Consuming Junk Media & Cleaning Up My Own Press

by Adrienne Ryan, Funeral Co-ordinator, BEd, Brisbane, Australia

Recent events with the media’s treatment of the Universal Medicine (UniMed) group have made me aware of how inaccurate and sensationalised reporting can be. In the case of UniMed, this came at the expense of the true story – which is nothing short of inspiring. I have known Serge Benhayon and his family for over ten years. I read with amazement and disappointment the twisted presentations of them, their lives and work, accompanied by a dawning understanding of how I had just accepted reported information over the years without really feeling into the quality of what was being presented. Here were stories that I knew to be misleading, sensationalised, biased and wrong in so many ways, but if not for knowing the subject so well, I wondered how much I would have accepted as truth?

I came to understand that in my own relationship with the media I had stopped feeling what was presented and relied instead on the fact that because something was printed in a major newspaper this alone confirmed its accuracy. I’m not an ignorant person – it’s more that I didn’t want to know what was really going on locally or in the world. I found it hard to accept that the world was a mess and that people were inflicting such suffering on themselves and others. I felt powerless to change or fix it so I opted to avoid it, not by ignoring the media but by no longer acknowledging what I was feeling with what I read or watched.  I looked to the press to be entertained instead of accurately informed.

There is a responsibility to be discerning of the quality of what is presented in the media, and for paying attention to the possibilities behind what is being said: is it to inform, incite, ridicule, persuade, belittle, judge, scare, sensationalise, entertain, distract, sway, tell, sell, teach, preach, dramatise or to present the whole picture, without bias or emotion? I understand that there is real media out there, but for now it is up to me to discern this for myself, instead of relying on an editor or a claim to truth to do it for me.

A little while after the media attention on Universal Medicine I was out walking and became aware of the thoughts running through my head. They were rubbish and I knew it, but I realised that sometimes I didn’t notice the quality of my thoughts until it was too late. I took on what they presented and didn’t question or feel into what was behind them. It felt like there was an ‘internal media’ running inside my head 24 hours a day.

The thoughts I had and the stories I ran, the features and the bylines were all there inside my head, going to press every moment. With some I just read the headline and moved on, others I got hooked into and took on the whole story. Most of those stories were rubbish, junk journalism, sloppy stories, outright lies and misperceptions about myself, others and the world that I (in my emptiness) can gobble up, without a second thought. It was a toxic diet. I didn’t eat junk food but I had allowed a constant diet of junk with my internal media. I had begun to discern media externally but here I was, editor-in-chief of my own internal press…  and it was shabby. The ‘stories’ would come in from all over – why someone hadn’t called me; worry about money; uncertainty around my work; what I could’ve said in a conversation long gone; did my hair look alright… and on and on. It wasn’t the stories that were the problem though – it was me, in the editor’s chair, who let them go through to the keeper or not. I let lots go through without regard for their quality or influence over my perceptions of myself and the world. Sometimes I might stop for confirmation of facts, but mostly I allowed these stories to go to press.

Why? I am by world standards intelligent, yet if the definition of intelligence is the ability to make choices that look after myself, then consuming junk food or junk media without discernment of its compromising effects doesn’t seem so smart.   

We have a global obesity problem for all to see, but what if there was a visual correlation for the diet of junk media that we indulge in?  What if we are what we ‘consume’ in every sense? Is it possible that obesity, weight issues and heaviness of being are related not just to food, but to the quality of what we consume through all our senses combined – hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and feeling? What if there were weight loss centres that dealt with the diet of what we ‘consume’ for our reading, listening and viewing ‘pleasure’? We get obese from too much food and a sedentary lifestyle, but what happens when we consume too much junk media, junk music, junk literature? What would be healthy choices if what we read, watched and listened to could be measured for ‘empty calories’ that stir us up as they weigh us down?

There on my walk with the rubbish internal media flowing, I began to understand that cleaning up the press began with me: that my demand actually determined the quality of press that was supplied. As far as my internal media went, I got to feel how my demand sometimes came from believing that I was not good enough, got things wrong, wasn’t living life right and so I looked for stories that made me feel better (i.e. focus on people less fortunate than me), or stories that made me feel worse and confirmed me as not ok (i.e. focus on people who were better than me – in any and every way). I was consuming a lot of drama that wound me up or dragged me down and either way there was no rest. Another of my demands was to not know what was really going on (but still appearing to want to know), and the supply for this was snippets of facts wrapped up in fairy floss or cotton wool instead of the true picture.

As I began to pay attention to the quality of my inner-press and the effect it had on my physical and mental state of being, I started to axe certain stories that weren’t accurate or true and began to discern what the feeling was of a piece. Even if the words sounded right, if the feeling didn’t, I knew it wasn’t a keeper. I also began to notice how I was in myself, what I was looking for – what my demand was. Gradually, the quality of my internal media went from rubbish to beginning to have the qualities of respectful expression – truth, tenderness and care.

Cleaning up the press is an inside job: the more I develop truth, respect, tenderness and care within myself, the more I can recognise when it is present in what I read, listen to or watch – internally and externally. I then have a choice to accept what is presented or to understand that it is tainted, skewed or off centre for reasons I may not know, but can feel nonetheless.

630 thoughts on “Consuming Junk Media & Cleaning Up My Own Press

  1. Great contribution, convincing parallels between the junk media and our internal dialogue; being “editor-in-chief of my own internal press” strikes me as a very healthy and supportive way to look at what goes on between our ears, mostly unquestioned and uncensored, in some kind of passive and meek submission.

  2. They say we now live in the age of false news, but I say that age was already upon us, just not so aptly named, nor so obvious. For a long time the media has been able to hide those memebers of its constituency who continue to lie, if not outright, then by twisting the context in which the truth is presented, or equally by ommiting key facts that would otherwise present a different story. And they have been able to hide those unscrupulous journalists primarily because there is no independent system of accountability to keep them in check.

  3. ‘I also began to notice how I was in myself, what I was looking for – what my demand was.’ I have shocked myself in the past as to how I actually relished some of the rubbish that got through to my head and wanted to lodge itself there. I can understand how people want to twist the truth in order to justify their own agendas. This practise is extremely harmful and now being more and more aware of it on more and more subtle levels I feel a responsibility in deconstructing it and allowing the absolute truth to shine through.

  4. This blog reminds me of the fact that we cannot call out abuse in another if we are not calling out abuse within our own life. This is why the media get away with what they do because people are allowing abuse in their relationships, in their workplaces, in their lives in general and are therefore immune to it in many ways. The more we say NO to any form of denigration, disrespect, abuse etc the more we will be able to call it out when we encounter it in organizations like the media.

  5. How do we speak? What do we say? What do we think? Everyday we are a certain way – but honestly is that energy the real you? Other people may be entertained or seem to be fooled but underneath we all know the truth. After reading this post Adrienne, I feel it’s simply a matter of how long the piece of string is before we understand we are not getting away with the way that we act, but only getting away from the true facts. I’m ready to change that.

  6. I think a lot of what is in the media today should come with a health warning – being gossip, here-say and outright lies and manipulation to create sensationalism. It is indeed wise to be always discerning of the energy behind what we are reading or watching and to be honest with ourselves about what it is we are seeking – to be entertained or distracted or to be informed of the truth…

  7. There is little honesty, truth and true care in the world that to not discern opens us to being bombarded by everything else. I love the responsibility you have taken to address your internal media and the quality of your own expression so that anything you are not living is clearly seen for the falseness or lack of true quality it projects and can therefore not be taken on or circulated further.

  8. The treatment of Serge Benhayon in the press was a real eye opener. Why? Because, this is something we know very well and we have followed very closely. This is different from other things which we do not really know first hand and may have just opinions on it. Yet, if the press is able to come up with a story which by any counts is false about Serge Benhayon, what on Earth guarantees that what I read about anything else is true?

  9. Thank you for bringing back the responsibility factor on our part in this, Adrienne. We have all seen how corrupt the media is, they manipulate, lie and all that, yet at the end of the day, they supply what is being demanded. Sometimes I feel like I really don’t know what to do – I don’t want to be ignorant and I want to know what’s going on in the world, but there’s so much untruth circulated so perhaps I shouldn’t bother wasting my time trying to keep up with it – but reading your article, I can feel my unwillingness to take responsibility.

  10. We’ve all seen headlines that scream from the page, and seem extreme and unfair to read. But why do we just turn a blind eye and let them sit there? Perhaps as you show Angela because we readily let these libellous phrases slide, in our mind. But after reading your blog I can’t go on entertaining things I know are not right. If it’s not true or loving it has no place in my life.

  11. The media are extremely deliberate in seeding discussions that keep us enthralled and entertained by this mess we have created for ourselves.

    1. Yes, the media knows exactly where the hooks are and how to pull the strings; creation feeding creation. It leaves us with the responsibility to consider how we may be adding to that.

    2. Yes, and as Adrienne exposes so well we are our own copy writer and editor-in-chief that keeps us enthralled in the illusion of creation.

  12. I love the awareness that this blog brings to the “inner press” that we have. Are we circulating lies about ourselves or are we enriching our life through connecting more and more to the infinite well of wisdom that lies within each of us?

  13. I love this- that we need to clean up our own internal dialogue and know our own truth to then be able to read and discern truth in the world. We need to call it to account in ourselves first and this then offers us the ability to speak from a truth lived.

  14. Thank you Adrienne, being honest with ourselves and willing to call out what is not true in our own lives…including the internal dialogue, enables us to see through the lies we are being fed and also feeding when we are not.

  15. Our internal press, the personal junk media you talk about, can feel like regurgitating the same old, same old over and over again; it reminds me very much of chewing one’s cud and the results are always predictable – anxiety, worry, concerns, doubts, etc. etc.

  16. Gosh we like so to point the finger at the press and the lies that they tell. It’s true that these things are really not right. But what we seem to refuse to see is that it all begins with the lies we entertain within ourselves, within you and me. Then from there we tend to let them slide with other people too. Like a fantasy story these lies entertain, stimulate, and fill up our lives, but ultimately as you show Angela we know they are not true. So why indulge any longer when in our body we actually know what’s right?

  17. It seems much easier to just consume what the media offers us as opposed to considering what is true or pure sensationalism on the part of a journalist. But is it easier, or does that actually keep us trapped in a world of fiction? What is presented as news is often now fiction, and that distinction is one that we as a society need to say no to.

  18. We all know the term that someone is listening to “their own press”, but what you offer takes that understanding to a whole new level. There are so many things we tell ourselves about who we are that are just rubbish, so what a great shift to say “let’s look at those thoughts with a fresh set of eyes, and nail the rubbish ones”.

  19. ‘it was me, in the editor’s chair, who let them go through to the keeper or not.’ What thoughts we entertain is completely up to us and the more awake we are the more we can clock the thoughts that are really not serving us at all, let alone anyone else. Cleaning up my diet, the way I live and even the way I move has been, and still is instrumental to the clarity I bring to this process.

  20. I love how you have expressed this –”As I began to pay attention to the quality of my inner-press and the effect it had on my physical and mental state of being, I started to axe certain stories that weren’t accurate or true and began to discern what the feeling was of a piece.” We need to axe the untrue stories that we have accepting as truth in our childhood and begin to discern what is true and what is not. Our body is the greatest marker of truth so it is a matter of listening to our body and the messages that it has for us.

  21. A lot of the time when I read a headline or title to a news piece it feels like it’s just there to encourage judgement and condemnation of other people, rather than truly asking us to consider deeper why people act the way they do at times (that’s if the story is even factually correct).

  22. As you have pointed out beautifully we all contribute to the abusive writing of the press and discerning the quality of my thoughts is my responsibility. This needs a constant focus in the way I move with myself, being present with my body and not run away from what I see and feel.

  23. If we don’t know a subject ourselves we rely on the accuracy to be presented for us and just assume it is being presented in truth – we obviously always need to be discerning and read between the lines of what is written, and what is said.

  24. We are all responsible for the media that we have ended up with, as we have not stood up for truth. The way to bring accountability now to the media is to make sure we have it first in our own lives and then we will naturally want it in all parts of our society.

  25. To re read your sharing again Adrienne is quite pertinent right now for me. I appreciate your clear and true account of how we often allow “junk media” to fill up the empty spaces of our minds and lives at times. To bring this to our awareness is to be accountable for what we allow into our perception of the world and our minds. The truth is what we are all really wanting. Thank you for a great blog.

  26. I like returning to this blog because we can never take our eye off the fact that we constantly have to keep looking at what we allow within ourselves that then gets reflected in our media and in our society.

  27. I love coming back to this, a pertinent reminder “that cleaning up the press began with me: that my demand actually determined the quality of press that was supplied.”

  28. Even with our own internal quality of thoughts, it’s an interesting question to ask ourselves “what’s the demand?”.

  29. This is a good point Adrianne, it is our responsibility to discern what is the quality of media we are choosing to run through us, what are the type of thoughts, words or movements we are being obedient to at any moment in time? as is these that create the reality that we experience for ourselves and others, nothing less and nothing more.

  30. “There is a responsibility to be discerning of the quality of what is presented in the media, and for paying attention to the possibilities behind what is being said: is it to inform, incite, ridicule, persuade, belittle, judge, scare, sensationalise, entertain, distract, sway, tell, sell, teach, preach, dramatise or to present the whole picture, without bias or emotion? ” – Absolutely, this is something that I remind myself of whenever I’m reading news pieces/ stories or headlines. Otherwise it can be a bit like jumping into a whirlpool or ocean with lots of rip tides and currents that you are getting swept away in without really being aware of it…

  31. Without a doubt we really do have a responsibility to love and care for ourselves in a much greater depth. It is often shocking how cruel we are to ourselves and often much worse than to anyone else. All that energy going into us has to come out, it is time to clean up our own inner environments.

  32. Since the media’s maltreatment of Universal Medicine I too have started to become more discerning as to any headline, story or claim made by others and by my own inner media reel. I can now tell when a thought is a complete lie and when certain statements in the media and in others tones of voice don’t quite feel right.

  33. “I looked to the press to be entertained instead of accurately informed.” This sentence stands out for me because if we are expecting to be entertained by the press then we cannot be surprised if we are fed a diet of ever increasing sensationalist junk stories.

  34. It is interesting to hear how often people will share stories from the press and know that they have been written to sensationalise the truth yet carry an air of excitement that keeps us in the drama of the story when the reality of the world continues to be ignored.

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