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Yawal2-Amazing MaharashtraBadi is a village with a population of about 20,000 located in the Yawai Wildlife Sanctuary in central India.

Badi is surrounded by scenic forested hills marked by shrines and temples.

In the first 3 months of 2016 80 Badi villagers committed suicide.

350 Badi villagers have taken their own lives in the last twenty years.

According to Rajendra Sisodiya, the sarpanch (elected official) of Badi;

“There are 320 families in our village and at least one person from each has killed himself or herself.”

Some of the villagers attribute the suicides to psychic attacks by malevolent demons.

Depending on how one characterizes a “demon” they may not be far wrong.Rakshasa

Pesticides long used in the region contain organophosphate which recent studies show may cause disruptions of cholinergic synapses in the brain.

Bodi is only 200 miles from Bhopal, the site of the worst industrial chemical poisoning disaster in history.

Those neural disruptions may be associated with depression and disordered thinking, and so possible related to the suicides.  A similar relationship of pesticides and suicide has been observed in China.

It is a profound notion to consider that environmental influences such as chemical may influence our minds and sense of self to the degree that people kill themselves.

Such a chemical influence is insidious in ways that 144px-Lifelinelogooverlap the concept of the “demonic.”

I wonder how many invisible influences are at work in the inner struggles of many people, including the 800,000 suicides world wide.

At least the story of Bodi is sufficient to cause all of us to reflect on why we experience inner struggle and to spark a doubt in the form “maybe it is not just me.”

I hope that India and China lay off the pesticide use even on the possibility that people are being physically and mentally poisoned.

Jon facilitates Death Café Corvallis which is open to all and meets weekly in Corvallis Oregon.



80 deaths in 3 months in ‘suicide village’ Badi – Times of India. (n.d.). Retrieved May 07, 2016, from

London, L., Flisher, A., Wesseling, C., Mergler, D., & Kromhout, H. (2005). Suicide and exposure to organophosphate insecticides: Cause or effect? Am. J. Ind. Med. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 47(4), 308-321. doi:10.1002/ajim.20147

Organophosphate poisoning. (n.d.). Retrieved May 06, 2016, from

Zhang, J., Stewart, R., Phillips, M., Shi, Q., & Prince, M. (n.d.). Pesticide exposure and suicidal ideation in rural communities in Zhejiang province, China. Retrieved May 06, 2016, from


Image Acknowledgements

Yawal2-Amazing Maharashtra.jpg


HIV_StructureSince it was identified in 1983, HIV has infected 78 million people world-wide.

Half of the people infected with HIV have died from AIDS.

For three decades researchers have been seeking effective treatment for AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

These objectives are high aims given the challenges that the HIV virus poses.

HIV is as sneaky a virus as it is deadly.

One of the infection strategies of the HIV virus is to establish hiding places in the body in which it may lay dormant ready to re-emerge as a persistent infection.

Since HIV attacks the immune system, disabling the body’s defenses, infected cells do not produce HIV antigens making them indistinguishable from uninfected cells.HIV_Epidem

These research and medical challenges are well described in an article by Genevieve Martin, Hidden Menace.

Yet, in 2015 there appear to be several breakthroughs that some scientists characterize as a “renaissance in HIV vaccine research and development.”

Treatments have improved to the level that many with HIV may live decades without developing AIDS.

Medical trials have demonstrated individuals who test negative for HIV after5425951169_1a17b23c46_o experimental treatments.

Researchers have reached a level of collective understanding about HIV that a vaccine is a practical objective.

The best article that I have read about these recent advances is Defeating the Virus by Wayne C. Koff.

As knowledge in science and medicine grows it is critical that intelligence people generally stay informed.

Death may come to all, but you and I may soon live in a world where HIV/AIDS is not the deadly cause that it has been for so long.

Image Acknowledgements




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