The final empowerment

by Alextstlaurent on May 15, 2013 - 10:06am

The volunteer work.

Out of this class, I consider volunteer work to be essential, no matter what form it takes. It is what binds people together, create positive non-monetary outcomes for everybody and is done only by purity of heart.

Since I find this giving-receiving ritual important I often do physical volunteer work. What I wanted to do differently this time is that I wanted to create something that will stay and not be a one time deal like it is for example when caring about people in need, I wanted to give something that will stick. I wanted to give something that will not take me much time, given my other work and volunteer work, and I wanted the impact to be considerable. I decided, guided by my teacher, to make a pamphlet giving tips and resources for empowerment and emancipation.

My early articles were always about political stakes and fallacies. I always wished that everybody could see past the deception installed by the principal News instances. I provided links to many pages giving alternative views, alternative knowledge and alternative analysis methods and philosophy. I then figured out that knowing about them fallacies was not all there was to be independent in your mind. Then I told myself: independent in the mind… better make it in the physical plane too!

For this purpose, I made a pamphlet on empowerment that is 6 pages long and that takes place in 3 steps:

- Concentrated on the self: Physical and Mental Well-Being
- Concentrated on the link between the self and the physical world: Green Living, Cheap Living, Independent living.
-Concentrated in the intellectual defence: The fallacies and how to recognize them and trash them.

My work is then aimed at anybody wishing to achieve such independence in their quest of happiness. For that matter, it has been given to the soon to come champlain club whose purpose is to help people achieving well being and self confidence. They can then use the pamphlet in any way they like, since it was a gift from me to them.


Text version of the pamphlet (without images). For complete PDF, please click on this dropbox link:

Empowerment in 3 steps

Empowerment in 3 steps

There are many ways of seeing the world. In fact, there is as many ways as there are people on this earth. Most of the time, one tries to imprint his way of seeing on others. In our present society it is seen everywhere: in the medias, in schools, in public spaces or even in simple conversations. This creates a rich diversity to the world, yes, but a diversity that

is often intimidating and hard to grasp. What is "the right way" of living? Of thinking? If it is up to me, I'd say that the right way is the one you elect.

This pamphlet is made for those who want to think and live their way.

There are 3 sections to this pamphlet, each aiming at one aspect of empowerment. Once the three are achieved, life will seem easier and humble self confidence will be innate.

Section one

Well-being and empowerment.

There are many ways of feeling empowered, but the greatest guides and the happiest people often argue that it all starts with the self.
The alignment of the body, the soul and
the mind is essential to a free life, for it is in harmony that personal answers come.

The most basic tips one can give are:


-Drink lots water. It is the base of your being.
-Massage yourself each day, with herbal oils if possible
-Eat in your plate, mostly vegetables of all the color of the rainbow. Smoothies are a quick way of getting this.
-Walk outside, often.
-Avoid GMO's, chemicals, limit meat intakes (or better: get rid of meat).
-Breathe, relax and meditate. 5 minutes while waking up is a perfect time to do it.


-Simplify: Nothing is complicated
-Embrace the unknown: to let go of fear while being aware that you can adapt to whatever comes.
-Do not oppose feelings: let everything come into you, welcome it, listen to what they say to you. Those constrictions are messages.
-Transform fear in action. Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere. Focusing on the action removes the dis-ease you feel.
-Embrace your condition, your state in the world: you are a free being that is part of the Earth. Fear and hesitation are being imprinted by your relation with the human world. You can choose what your relation towards it is.
-Judge not. In the words of Dr. Deepak Chopra:
ʻʼI will judge nothing that occurs. Judgment and creativity do not go well togetherʼʼ.
-Wonder and explore. Accept that the only constant in this world is change.
-Is it considered impossible? Good! Impossible is just a way to describe what has not been done before.

For further and deeper guidance, you might want to check out these:

-Chopra Center Cookbook
! A cookbook that explain how to eat well, cheap and in a way that heals, by Dr. Deepak Chopra

-Terre d'Hysope Website
! A french-canadian land that produces all kinds of well-being products, herbs, oils, and that offers personalized consultations that mixes traditional medicine, ancient medicine and lifestyle tips. From the molecule to the soul.

-Davidji and Deepak Chopra's CD
! Audio guidance and books. Philosophy, psychology, spirituality. !

Section two

Green Living, Cheap living

Feeling empowered is also being, to all willing extent, independent. This section is for low environmental impact improvement of your house or apartment. Plus: it is healthier!

-Indoor gardening, balcony gardening. (Pictures)
If you live in a house or a farm, that's good. But if like me you have a small apartment, use your ramp to grow fine herbs or food. Vertical gardening is the best since it fully uses the water. Use everything to make a plant pot, every content going to waste is good.

# Easy to care plants: Mint (all kinds), sage, parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme,marjoram, borage. #T h o s e a r e healthy, # always fresh, seasons perfectly well and saves you a couple of bucks right # off the bat.

# Try mint in beer or wine strengthens the taste. Borage in the wine prevents hangover.

# You have a particular talent? When possible exchange
it for something. Ex: I repaired a
# computer. I got a
haircut out of it. I filmed an interview for a farm, I received for a month of
# basket. If you get creative, this saves money like hell!


in a


  • #  It takes no big formation. A mason jar, your recipe (a soup or anything with all the green

  • #  vegetables) or the vegetables themselves in vinegar.

    -Avoid excessive consumerism.

# Do you really need it? Can you find it cheaper on kijiji or ebay? Can you exchange it?

-Clean the apartment (with green products, refill at ''Concept Lemieux"). Give away the old stock you #don't use. A free apartment is a free mind.

- Use plants in everything: aloe juice in ice cubes, vegetal oils (true oils) for cooking. Spice up your meals: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garlic, fennel, sage, oregano. Fresh if possible. Peppermint essential oils keep spiders out of the house.

-Recycle on your own (reuse everything. Find a use to everything). (Example: drying machine lint in toilet paper tubes = great fire starters. Stick a water bottle cap in a plastic bag and it makes great flexible jars for cereals).

-Build stuff yourself: need a metal stand? Metal bars are cheap at Rona's. Check DIY videos on youtube: there is one for everything! In fact: learn with youtube, to perform everything yourself: you become a powerhouse AND you save money on people's expertise. Don't be afraid to try. Make your own toothpaste, your own soap, shampoo etc.

-No time to prepare lunch? Take every vegetable and spice that lays near, put it in the blender with water. It is better than any fast food.

-Raise chicken if you are permitted to. Their eggs are orange and full of life if they are free. Eat honey. Lots of honey.

-Compost. Your waste will diminish and you can either use it or sell it.
-Check out the Homesteading/survivalism Facebook page or webpage for daily ideas!

-Reduce electricity input to the maximum. The drying machine is wasted money and time. It saves up to 3 minutes, yes, but it cost about 10 of your daily work in electricity.

-Transform your lawn into a garden. Many plants don't even demand nurturing.

For more hints and tips, visit the facebook page of « homesteading-survivalism. It is an ever up to date page with the widest variety of tricks.

Section three

The liberation of the mind

This section is not saying to boycott mass media. It is saying to be aware of how it functions and to think by yourself. Medias are made by humans and have human qualities and defects. This section initialize the discussion on how to analyze an information that is being presented to you.

The principle is simple: Question, Observe and research everything. You will then have a greater power than anybody trapped in a doctrine.

Recognize the fallacies:
There is an incredible book called "Petit Cours d'Autodéfense Intellectuelle" by Normand Baillargeon that explains everything precisely. I will translate (and summarize), however, the page where the top fallacies are listed and how to recognize them.
Original page can be found here (1).

-Fake dilemma

  • #  Force a choice that does not exist as if there was no other solution. Example :

  • #  # -Be my friend, or be my foe.

  • #  # -America, Love it or Leave it.

    -Hasty Generalization

  • #  Conclusion on insufficient basis.

  • #  # -All black people have rhythm. I know: I have 3 black friends.

  • #  # -All white people burn in the sun. I know: my skin burns all the time. ##
    -Red Herring

# Change subject in a subtle way

  • #  #

  • #  #

  • #  #

  • #  #

  • #  #

-Bobby! Teave that stick, it's dangerous! -It's not a stick 'pa! It's a sword!
(Fictive example)
[-What can you tell about the situation in Iraq, mr president?
-What in fact grieves me the most is the terrorist bombing in Boston, that injured and killed many people and destroyed lives of hundreds!]

-Argumentum ad Hominem

  • #  Argument against the person

  • #  -Chomsky said [..... statement......] -Chomsky is a communist! How can you rely on him?

  • #  -You don't know what you're talking about: you're too young and part of a generation that

  • #  # never suffered.

    -Refer to Authority

# Refer to an authority figure in a domain without questioning or checking how the person came to conclusions. Remember: authority is still human.

  • #  -It is ok because [clergyman] said it

  • #  -It is true because [scientist] said it

  • #  -It is true because [teacher] said it

    -Petitio Principili

  • #  Begging the question

  • #  -God exists because the bible says it. -Why believe in the bible? -Because it's the words of god!

-Post hoc ergo, procter Hoc

  • #  After A, therefore because of A.

  • #  -I won at the casino while wearing my mom's watch. I won because of the watch.

    -Ad Populum

  • #  Refer to the majority (even if the majority can be wrong)

  • #  -It's good! Everybody does it!

  • #  -Drink Budweiser! The most popular beer in canada!

  • #  -It's a tradition. It's been like that for years!

  • #  -No society ever legalized gay marriage: therefore, we must not do it

  • #  -This president is good: the people chose him.

    -Composition fallacie, Division fallacie

# Affirm that the whole is true because a part is true, or that a part is true because the whole is true.

  • #  -The atoms are invisible. This rose is invisible.

  • #  -This rose is red. It's atoms are therefore, red.

  • #  -How can you love a country without loving it's people (Reagan)

  • #  -Those hockey players are the best. Reunite them, you'll make the best team.

    -Argumentum ad ignorantiam

# To declare that something is true or false without facts, on the principle that we can't know.

  • #  -This statue moves when you do not look at it, but becomes immobile when you look.

  • #  -It would have been an insult to the integrity of the Pharaoh to admit that the jews were capable # to flee with moses. It is why only the bible talks about it and that there is no other evidence of it.

  • #  -Nobody ever proved that he cheated. He therefore, never cheats.

  • #  -You are guilty until you prove it.

    -Slippery slope

  • #  Because of A, B, then C, then D

  • #  -Smoke pot, you'll be stoned. And if you're stoned, you can't thin straight and if you can't think straight, you can't have good grades, and if you don't have good grades, you'll be expelled and if # you're expelled, you'll have no job, therefore no money and no home. You'll be poor and finish in # prison.
    -Smoke Screen

  • #  Diversion to change subject by introducing a variable that has no importance.

  • #  [-What can you say of the deficit?

  • #  -Listen... you must know that a sick duck produces this noise: FAGAGAGGAGATOIIII]

  • #  -What can you say of the deficit?

  • #  -We did an excellent job during the last 5 years. Can the opposing party say the same?

    -Straw Man

# Rephrase a statement weaker than what it is and/or extrapolate from a part, and finally destroy it for convenience.

[-Abortion is wrong because it is a baby and early on, he often kicks
# -A cow also kicks and we still eat them. If I follow your rationale, we should stop eating cow. A foetus is not more human than a cow and abortion is morally permissive]

  • #  [-Education should be free for everyone.

  • #  -Nothing is free in

  • #  life. If I follow you, everything would be free. This is communism and it does not work.]

  • #  [-Education should be free.

  • #  -so you want us to pay for everything you want. You are selfish).

    -Argumentum ad misericordia

  • #  Refer to pity

  • #  -The pressure the prime minister has is great. It is understandable that he came to do this.

  • #  -It is normal for this teacher to be mean: he was bullied as a kid.

    -Refer to fear

  • #  -If you don't read the bible, you'll go to hell!

  • #  -Don't publish this, I know your boss and you could loose your job.

  • #  -You are reasonable: you know you don't have enough money to intend a trial.

    -Fake Analogy

  • #  The principle is not necessarily fake, but the analogy is because it is not related in any way.

  • #  -Rain and erosion kills mountains, time and patience will kill our problems.

  • #  -Oppose us, it's like oppose the weather.

  • #  -Our party was successful: re-elect it! You don't change horses in the middle of a race!

    -Suppression of pertinent data

  • #  The hardest one to spot: the speaker hides data from the listener.

  • #  [-Our product is super effective!

  • #  -Suppressed data: all products are as effective.]

    Recommended readings:

    CHOMSKY, Noam. McChesney, Robert. Propagande, Médias et Démocratie. Écosociété, Québec, Print.

    BAILLARGEON, Normand. Petit cours d'autodéfense intellectuelle. Lux Éditeur, Montréal, 2006. Print

Photo credits:

-Homesteading-survivalism page -Alex T. St-Laurent

Information provided or inspired by

-Deepak Chopra
-Terre d
-Normand Bailargeon -Homesteading-survivalism