Acupuncturist claims cervical cancer is for prostitutes

Cross posted from Skeptic North

While doing some digging into the quackery of a local acupuncturist, I came across a sentiment that I found more than usually appalling. In her story of why she became an acupuncturist, she tells a melodramatic tale about a positive Pap smear test result that changed her life*. There’s all the usual makings of an natural health anecdote, with convoluted tales about her life being out of balance and her needing to take control of her own health – all pretty par for the course. However, what dropped my jaw was this paragraph:

My research about cervical cancer at the time told me it was very rare and that it occurred most often in women who had multiple sexual partners, who also had multiple sexual partners. In other words, the nurse said, it’s mainly a disease of prostitutes.
Well, I said, “That’s not me!”

Although my gut instinct was horror that she would imply that women with cervical cancer are prostitutes or they deserve their illness, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was simply recounting what this extraordinarily judgmental nurse had told her. Maybe she wasn’t actually implying that only whores** get cervical cancer as some sort of retribution for their immoral behaviour. (Though in my head I couldn’t help wonder if she also feels that AIDS is a “gay disease.”)
Or maybe she totally was. I watched her accompanying video, which basically repeats the information on the website for those of us too lazy to read.

So immediately I fell into research. And what I found out is that there’s a very specific profile of a person with cervical cancer. That person usually has many sexual partners. She’s very promiscuous. And her partners, in turn, also have very many different partners. What is really came down to was a description of a prostitute. And I knew that wasn’t me.

Considering this “advice” is coming from someone who is legally allowed to call themselves a doctor (of acupuncture) in the province of Alberta, I think these claims are worth examining.

  1. Cervical cancer is rare
  2. Cervical cancer happens to only very specific types of people.
  3. Promiscuity or prostitution is necessary to develop cervical cancer.

First though, a few notes on cervical cancer.

 

What is cervical cancer?

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina. Cervical cancer occurs when some cells become abnormal and start to proliferate. However, not all abnormal cells will become cancer – many will die because they are too abnormal. Others will not be abnormal enough that they grow and divide out of control. The purpose of a Pap smear, where a doctor takes a sampling of cells from the cervix to be examined via microscope, is to detect these early abnormalities. Weird cells can happen for a ton of reasons, but when they do they are called dysplasia. Dysplasia ranges from “a little weird but will likely not cause issues” all the way to “not looking anything like they should and almost certain to become cancerous.” Most positive Pap tests are not actually cancer. The most common result is classified as Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASCUS). These cells only might be dysplastic and so they will ask you to come back in a few months for a repeat Pap before they do anything. However, screening for cervical cancer is extremely important, as it has few clear signs or symptoms (heavy periods and back pain could be anything or nothing) and without early detection has high rates of death. In 2004, the five year relative survival rate of Canadian women with cervical cancer as 74% – in other words, a quarter of women will die within 5 years of receiving a diagnosis of cervical cancer. Fortunately, this is a huge drop in mortality since the introduction of the Pap test, and the number continues to fall as provinces aggressively promote screening to groups of women who are less likely to get regular Paps.

 

Is cervical cancer rare?

There are many way to answer this question, but it’s easiest to just say… no. It’s not. Cervical cancer is the 3rd most common type of cancer worldwide, accounting for 10% of all cancers. In Canada, it is less common, ranking back in 12th, although it is still in the top three cancer diagnoses for women between the ages of 20-49. In 2011, there were approximately 1,300 new cases of cervical cancer in Canada, and 350 deaths. 1 in 150 women is expected to develop cervical cancer over a lifetime. In other words, cervical cancer is about as rare as some estimates of autism spectrum disorders.
In any case, although “rare” in the context of disease prevalence doesn’t have an official definition, Health Canada policy indicates it considers rare to be diseases that affect fewer than 1 in 1000 people. It’s also important to remember that Pap tests allow us to catch things before they become cervical cancer, and approximately 2% of all Pap tests are positive. Cervical cancer, then, is not rare.

 

Does cervical cancer only happen to certain types of people?

Cervical cancer only affects people who have cervices, so I suppose that’s a type.
What is implied by the “certain type” comment, however, is the association of cervical cancer with infection by sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV). Some types of HPV can infect the cells of the cervix and can cause the cells to behave oddly, which can send them down the path to becoming dysplastic or even cancerous. Of course, only promiscuous women and prostitutes get HPV, right?

Well, barring the outrageous slut shaming which I cannot even begin to discuss here, it’s important to note that 70% of all sexually active Canadians will exposed to HPV over a lifetime. 70%! Even condoms are not fully protective since HPV can spread via any skin-to-skin contact. Plus, HPV infection is almost entirely asymptomatic, and there is no general screening test to look for it. In other words, for most people, until you are diagnosed with cervical cancer, you have absolutely no way of knowing if you or your partner are positive for HPV. Only in a world of strict, puritanical monogamy is this a disease for prostitutes and the promiscuous, and given that 70% of women are exposed, I think it’s fair to say that such an expectation is profoundly unrealistic. Either that, or 70% of Canadian women are whores! What a charming sentiment.

Realistically, if you want to prevent cervical cancer, then you should be advocating for the use of the HPV vaccines, which protect against many types of aggressive HPV infection and is now approved for males, as well as females. Maybe, if there is enough uptake in the community, we can dramatically reduce the rates of cervical cancer so that it is a rare thing.

 

Do only promiscuous women develop cervical cancer?

The ridiculous assertion that cervical cancer only happens to “promiscuous” women works on the assumption that HPV is the only cause of cervical cancer. This is also not entirely true. Smoking, for example, doubles your risk of cervical cancer. Other things that put you at risk for cervical cancer include taking immunosuppressants (people with organ transplants or auto-immune diseases), the use of oral contraceptives, giving birth to many children, or having taken a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol to prevent miscarriage, or being the daughter of a woman who had taken diethylstilbestrol. There also may be a genetic component. And, of course, even if all of these happen through an HPV-mediated mechanism, you cannot control whether your partner has ever had other partners in the past (or may have them in the future).

On another level, this sort of attitude is profoundly damaging since it blames the individual with the disease. Women will have portions of their cervix removed, and may even be going through chemotherapy and radiation. They are facing the possibility of infertility. They are dealing with a potentially life threatening illness that they in no way invited into their body, particularly since there was no way for them to know the HPV status of their sexual partner(s), and furthermore, HPV is not necessarily the cause. To call them prostitutes simply for being sexually active is degrading, insulting, and incredibly cruel, to say nothing of being profoundly hypocritical.So, I guess we can say there is a type of person who doesn’t get cervical cancer: the type that never has sexual contact of any kind, never smokes, never requires an immunosuppressive drug, and isn’t born predisposed to it.

Even if we can blame HPV solely for the development of cervical cancer, to place blame squarely on the women who have it is to point a finger at just one piece in a larger puzzle. For the purposes of sexually transmitted infections, you are having sexual contact with every sexual partner your partner has ever had. A woman could be as chaste as they come until her traditional one-man-one-woman marriage and only have sex for procreation, and still contract HPV because her husband had sexual contact (with or without penetration, with or without protection!) with someone who was infected in the past.

Oh, that whore, having sex with her husband and having multiple children. When will she ever learn?

 

What’s her professional recommendation?

I continued my annual PAP tests for a few years after that. But since I no longer have a conventional medical doctor for many years now, I can say that I don’t need one. I don’t do PAP smears anymore. I don’t do anything that conjures up unnecessary fear. Instead I rely on what I know today, real preventive measures.

Yes, you eschew actual knowledge about your body because it’s scary. You hide from reality because it might hurt your feelings. I mean, you will almost certainly die if you do actually have untreated cervical cancer, but hey, at least you’ll die happy. Sorry, that’s not the word I was looking for. I believe what I was looking for was “in agony and far too soon.”

I sincerely hope nobody with cervical cancer ever has the misfortune of entering this woman’s office. Nobody deserves to die of cancer. If you can look into the eyes of a woman dying of cancer and tell her that she deserved it, well, let’s face it. You have bigger problems than false positive Pap smears.

Does not deserve this.

 

*I’ve had an abnormal pap test, and unlike Freak-out McMelodrama, I talked to my doctor about what it meant and why it wasn’t particularly concerning, but worth monitoring. It wasn’t a cancer scare, it was a “huh, that’s weird.” Maybe I’m just used to my body doing strange things, but I really can’t fathom using it as the impetus to quit my job and go to an unaccredited college to get a unrecognized 4 year TCMD (Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctorate) diploma for $40,000. If you’re worried about an abnormal Pap test, or just the potential to exposure to HPV and the risks of cervical cancer, talk to your family physician. And if they tell you that only prostitutes get HPV, find a new physician, and then talk to them.

**In case this is not perfectly clear, throughout the article, my use of the word “whore” is satirical and in no way passes judgement on the sexual activity of women. If you don’t know why you shouldn’t be calling women whores/prostitutes/sluts/tramps etc, check out this awesome video by a 13 year old girl who is better spoken and more informed than most 30 year olds.

Images from euthman and Offbeat Photography on flickr.

Libya television station under siege

I want to warn you, the following video is disturbing. A reporter at al-Libiyah channel has decided to fight the rebels if they attempt to take over the state-run television station.

“With this weapon, I either kill or die today, you will not take al-Libiyah channel. You won’t take Jamahiriyah channel, Shababiyah channel, Tripoli or all of Libya, and even those without a weapon are willing to be a shield in order to protect their colleagues at this channel. We are willing to become martyrs.” (translation courtesy of  Al-Jazeera)

When will these people learn that bloodshed is not the answer? Life is more important than a silly television station. I can’t help draw parallels to the coveted position of martyrdom that is promoted by Islam. But how could being killed defending an oppressive state-run television station constitute martyrdom? This is not a noble act.

Libya NEEDS reform. Bottom line is the dictator Gaddafi must be removed from power.

Please Mrs Reporter Lady, put down the gun and stand aside. Your life is not worth losing over your job. I beg you, lay down your arms.

2cp

Rant 2

Today, I am on the warpath. Today I am shooting laser beams out of my eyes at a certain group of people. This group of people is a popular and abundant low form of humanity, if there ever was one. Perhaps, I speak not to the people who read this blog, unless you fit into this despicable denomination. The people who read this blog tend to be a little more, how do you say, smarter than most. I don’t know why intelligent people gravitate to this blog (I believe it may be because of Flora) when I tend to write tripe and opinion pieces with an undertone of ignorance. I think maybe because of my ravishing good looks.

That being said and my vanity thirst quenched, I am here to smack some face. Here it goes.

To all you ignorant pricks out there who look, talk and breathe at homosexuality in a negative fashion, those of you who have a vendetta against the love expressed between a same-sex couple, and those of you who are opposed to all other forms of sexuality other than heterosexuality, I have the deepest disrespect and anger towards you as a person. I loath your very existence.

Strong words huh. Who said I need to tip toe around jerks like that? Sometimes, it’s better to be upfront and in your face as opposed to feigning respectfully.

Courts are passing anti gay laws, homosexuals are being killed and persecuted by people of all denominations and I would like it to stop. From the pious to the putrid, people are using every method to oppress a people who have not only belonged in our communities for centuries but have done nothing to deserve this treatment other than being an advantage to the human race due to the ability that only a homosexual has mastered, to bridge the gap between the sexes. That statement in it self is stereotypical, but it would take too much time to list every individual in the world and their affiliation towards deemed “acceptable” social norms in their view.

I have a lot to learn about how to approach this topic in a positive manner. All I am feeling now is anger towards those who oppress these people. So after venting and spewing my displeasure in the above paragraphs I will now calm down and find a way I can help the homosexual community overcome the obstacles that exist within me, in hopes that tmy actions are contagious to others around me. I want more people to be as appalled with the treatment of these people as much as I am and I want them to look within themselves to see if they are contributing to the negativity in their own lives with their own actions, thoughts and words. If more people think about this issue there may be a big change.

Education is always the solution to any social problems. Go educate yourself. You don’t want me to smack the bigot out of you.

Note: A strong note I wanted to add is in my last post I wrote the word “tards”. I am sorry if that offended anyone (I did not get any emails or responses, I was offended myself). Tards, I suppose, is a negative slang referring to anyone with a disability in today’s society. Similar to calling things “Gay” when referring to something in a negative fashion, the slip up is something I cannot accept. Please accept my deepest apology for the use of the term and I will endeavour to never use it again.

This is not hate speech

Harold Camping (I think he recieves a penny for every time someone says his name in print), the man of “infinite wisdom”, has once again failed to predict the end of the world. His website has removed most mention of his prediction and he has come onto the record to say that God has decided not to burn us until October.

I agree with PZ Myers when he stated his displeasure with people who are making fun of this fuck tard (Camping) in a recent blog post. Quoting scripture or using scripture to battle the insane claims of the pious is nothing short of legitimizing their claims. You (people who take this opportunity to use scripture to prove a point against religion) are missing the fuckin point. The point I am referring to is the denial of religion is the obliteration of scripture. What does that mean? It means STOP using scripture as an authority in an argument. It means bash them over the heads with their bible instead of reading from it to prove your point.

I can picture it now (wiggly waves, wiggly waves, wiggly waves):

“Why sure in Matthew 24:36 it says… and we read “No one knows the day …”

I snatch the bible from their hand and smack them upside the head with it.

“In real life we don’t chase fairy tales down the rabbit hole unless we are under the influence of plenty of barbiturates, fuck head. Come back when you have something useful to add to the conversation. I will accept meteor hitting the earth or global climate change as substitutes for your scripture argument. You’re lucky this book is full of fluff otherwise it may have hurt more than it did.”

Ahhh… that felt good. I enjoy a good beating with a bible. I also like to prop up shaky tables with one at the bar.

I understand the literature is important but it has been studied to death and should be put out to pasture in the land of antiquity. Also, let’s remove tax exceptions from churches. The free ride at my expense needs to be over.

Can we spend money to cure cancer already? Give the fuckin scientists money for their research. And, for the love of fuck, fund NASA again. I’ll send my Canadian dollars down there to help in any joint efforts to improve our understanding of life and the universe instead of spending all my time waiting for it to end.

Fuck you Camping, and the rest of the Christians as well. In fact, all you religious morons are the problem as well. You’re ALL part of the problem.

*Note: Fuck is an acronym meaning For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Of which it is not a positive word but a legal term defining rape. Rape, to me, is crime greater than murder as the person must now live their entire life with this travesty. Religion, to me, is the rape of the mind of perfectly good people making them live their entire lives with the shame and guilt associated with the doctrine.

Dutch Politician thumbs his nose at Islam.

My first reaction to the arrival of a Dutch politician coming to Canada to speak to a group of Christians about Islamic principles was one of Skepticism. Geert Wilders, traveling with bodyguards and strict security, has just hit my radar and I will do some further investigation into this man and his cause. I really did not think that a Dutch man would have any insight into the culture that is Islam. I may have been wrong in my initial assessment of the man.

My first reaction was to state “Come on my brothers and sisters, lets give this man a warm Canadian welcome and then tell him to ‘Fuck off’.” But he may, actually,  have a point.

“The word ‘Islamism’ suggests that there is a moderate Islam and a non-moderate Islam,” he told me during an interview in Toronto on Sunday. “And I believe that this is a distinction that doesn’t exist. It’s like the Prime Minister of Turkey [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, said ‘There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.’ This is the Islam of the Koran.” – National Post interview

I find this extremely interesting. It takes plenty of courage to speak out against Islam. I was also sad to learn that this man cannot sleep in the same place for more than two nights out of fear. It seems the radical islamic people tend to have no fear when it comes to mortal punishments and they will go to any length to make this one speakers life difficult and dangerous.

This type of fear is not limited to Islam. Christians can and will attack people in a similar fashion if provoked in such a manner. North American Christians are just as violent as any other denomination of Christianity but many, as is in Islam, choose to be pacifists. I will find an example later of this, I don’t have much time right now to research. Three letters I can start my research at is ‘KKK’.

I find the venue for this disturbing, however. Geert Wilders should have spoken to a group of critical thinkers and not only a group of Christians. This type of action further drives a wedge between the two superpowers.

Let’s see what happens.

The Skeptics are coming!

I am pleased to announce that the Winnipeg Skeptics are opening their doors to the world again in the second annual SkepiCamp.  The location and date of this event continues to be a ongoing work in progress. I had a fantastic chance to join in on the event planning party on Saturday night to share some ideas and contribute my expertise to the gathering.

The evening started off interesting. I woke from a nap late and rushed to get out the door. On the way to Gem and Laura Newman’s residence I was compelled to stop and obtain a bottle of wine for my hosts. I find the gift of a bottle of wine to any host (if they drink or not) is the best way to show my appreciation. Wine carries with it a special message of which an accomplished poet of antiquity is able to hardly murmur a phrase appropriate to its majesty. I digress.

When science goes too far.

Discussions at the beginning of the meeting were random and disorganised. Gem Newman, Founder of Winnipeg Skeptics, with a commanding clink of his glass (which sounded more like a mouse in a crystal bowl, as opposed to a spoon on a goblet), caught the attention of the attendees and they grew quiet. The meeting initiated with a discussion on the previous year’s event. What worked, what did not work and how we can improve on last years event seemed to make the first hour disappear. I briefly pondered the magical powers that may be present in the Newman household to enable time to evaporate as it did, briefly being 1/32 of a second. The largest complaint from the previous year was the size of the room. To rectify this, we decided as a group to try to find a larger venue or to obtain the larger room at Aqua Books which would hold around four times the crowd we had last year.

On an interesting note, we did have around 25-30 people attend last year. This is above average attendance for first annual SkeptiCamp events held in other major centres. I would like to attribute this factoid to the growing movement of people who are educating themselves and thinking critically. Anecdotal evidence for that claim at best, but one can dream.

We talked further about speaking topics. Several people volunteered to speak and gave us insight into their topics. I have to say, I am extremely excited to hear these talks. Winnipeg Skeptics counts among their members a cornucopia of intelligent people, who have chosen to take time to prepare interesting talks. I also volunteered and only decided what my topic would be on the ride home. I can only hope my talk is as interesting as the other topics discussed at the meeting.

I did notice that not one topic is related to religion. This is an interesting change and one that requires further study. But it does prove that being a skeptic does not mean your anti-religion. I am, but I make that abundantly clear on a daily basis. My talk is also not related to religion directly.

I have chosen to speak about the Star Trek Economy and how humanity can evolve into a utopian society geared around the pursuit of knowledge and fulfillment rather than monetary gain. Each speaker only has 15 minutes to speak so this is going to be a challenge.

We then spent nearly an hour discussing pizza choices. This was interesting to me as the people at the event had a wide range of tastes. I challenged myself to a vegetarian pizza (normally if I don’t have 1 inch of meat, vegetables and cheese I send it back) and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of flavour. That being said, the time spent on this important choice was not wasted.

The meeting turned, from this point, to casual dinner conversation with topics ranging from polygamy to homeopathy. I know this is not much of a range but it is fair to say, even a microscopic difference in morality is still a difference. The conversation briefly switched back to SkeptiCamp planning from time to time over the course of the meal and we did manage to hash out tasks for people to complete in the next little while prior to the pizza arriving.

All and all, the evening was a success. It created a fire in me to build and share an interesting idea with this group whom I identify with. I hope everyone gets a chance to speak in a venue like this in their lifetime. It is extraordinary to say the least. Incidentally, you can still submit a topic to speak about. So, what are you waiting for?

A loss of faith in Faith

I cannot pretend that there is a single, simple explanation for the precipitous drop in church attendance over the past few generations. Like most sociological situations, it is certainly a multifaceted problem with numerous, concurrent reasons. Certainly, the recent push of New Atheism has found its audience, but the majority of Canadians still identify as religious, even in the absence of any sort of religious involvement. Why do “believers” not attend church – or synagogue, or mosque or temple?

Although self-identification as atheist/agnostic/spiritual is increasing over the past 25 years, so are the affiliated but uninvolved. Notice the at least monthly group would still allow for a subgroup of the devout weekly attendees.

A recently published study by Papyrakis and Selvaretnam in the International Journal of Social Economics partially answers this question. Religious activity, they argue, decreases because our lifespan is increasing. When your average Canadian lives to be 81 years old, the expected “payoff” of religion – heaven, afterlife, reincarnation – is so dramatically delayed that the cost-benefit ratio is quite literally not worth it for most people.

In this respect, a higher life expectancy discounts more heavily any expected benefits and costs in the afterlife and is hence likely to lead to postponement of religiosity and ageing congregations. For the same reason, any contemporaneous benefits linked to religious participation (e.g. in the form of expanding a person’s social circle, communal activities, spiritual fulfilment, support and guidance) are likely to weigh more heavily in the decision-making process compared to what might happen in the less certain and far distant afterlife.

According to our analysis, religious organisations should be hence prepared to attract older members to the congregations… While many religious organisations place particular emphasis on increasing youth membership, they should not lose sight of incentives needed to attract older people… In light of rising life expectancy, it is important to emphasise contemporaneous socio-spiritual benefits, rather than uncertain rewards in the afterlife.

They contrast data from the developed world with that of underdeveloped countries like Nigeria, where with a life expectancy of just shy of 50 years old, the afterlife is something that needs to be attended to much earlier. The paper goes into some intense mathematical modeling that I cannot pretend to fully comprehend, but ultimately the point they are attempting to make is clear. Human actions are at least in part, based on analysis of cost-benefit ratios. If I subscribe to a Christian doctrine, ultimately, church attendance for my entire life isn’t going to help me get into heaven. When I’m old, and Death looms ominously in the shadowy corners of my house, I’ll repent then and deal with a more tangible reward. You can hardly expect people who become impatient with 3 minutes of commercial breaks to be proactive for 50 years down the road, especially if doing it later does not hurt their capacity for reward. Ultimately, this is a glorified restatement of Pascal’s Wager combined with procrastination. I’ll be religious because it can’t hurt my odds – but later.  The afterlife is so rarely a threat to young Canadians that hedging your bets can wait. It is better to be ambivalent than to be committed to something that will not benefit you for decades.

Combine the increasing life expectancy with a dramatically decreased infant mortality rate (grief and comfort surely intensify religious conviction), corruption of church officials,  and frequent denial of scientific reality perpetuated by the church, and you have an excellent cocktail for creating heathens.  And ultimately, if religion functioned as more than fire insurance, if it truly was fulfilling an innate need to have a close personal relationship with God, wouldn’t all of this be irrelevant?

 

Antigonish Movement

An example of Religion contributing to the betterment of man.

The other day I was listening to “In the Field” on CBC radio 1 (I have become extremely interested in CBC as of late). A story caught my imagination. A man, whom upon further research, I have come to respect, is Father Jimmy Tompkins. He started a movement to improve the lives of the citizens in a resource based community in Nova Scotia, Reserve Mines. He decided that to improve a community, the residents needed education. He accomplished this through confrontation, “nagging” and reading used as a confessional penance.

For those who do not know what the Antigonish Movement is I will explain it to you briefly. Antigonish, Nova Scotia was a community where the Co-op movement was developed in Canada. Father Jimmy spearheaded (with the help of several community leaders including but not limited to A.B. McDonald, Rev. Huge McPherson, and Father Moses Coady) several community events to help improve the citizen’s way of life. He began a cooperative adult education program, financial institution, agriculture program and housing developments. This man inspired people to spread the word about improving everyone lives through social justice improvements. The inspiration spread across the globe and has gained new light through a recent revival in a play written by Lindsay Kyte, the great niece of Joe Laben ( http://collections.mun.ca/cdm-stfx/document.php?CISOROOT=/stfx_coady&CISOPTR=1039&REC=11 ).

While I have not seen the play (and I would love to see this come to Winnipeg), I can say that this story has inspired me to look further into this topic. Why? Because, I am a huge promoter of education being used to make the world better. I am a firm believer that it does not take money to make the world a better place; rather it takes education and purpose to bring communities and the world together for a common purpose, the betterment of everything. Cooperative movements lean toward a society dedicated to the search for knowledge and the drive to work to better your community rather than for a monetary exchange. This system may be an example of how a community can come together to assist each other without resorting to an exchange of money. A transaction does take place but it is the exchange of knowledge and not paper money. I call this the Roddenberry Vision of Earth Based Affairs (or RVEBA).

Religion, being the cornerstone of the Nova Scotia community, was used to promote critical thinking and cooperation. While the word of god was most likely preached from the pulpit, so was education. To me, this is the greatest role religion can play in today’s world. Currently, the religious institutions preach ignorance and unquestioning obedience (as Gem discovered evidence of this claim when dealing with a student in a recent lecture) but this man, Father Jimmy, proved that religion can be a force for progression and change if the correct person with a vision is delivering the message.

Ms. Kyte can tell the story of her relatives with a lot more passion than I could, so please head on over to CBC to listen to this broadcast : http://www.cbc.ca/maritimemagazine/2010/11/journey-to-thompkinsville.html

You can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigonish_Movement to learn more about the Antigonish Movement.