TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE…UNLESS YOU’RE A CULT BABY

There are many kinds of prejudices in the world; political, religious, cultural, racial, gender. You name it, they’ve got it. Most, if not all, are born from ignorance and fear of what is “different”. My little brother had a dream that was almost destroyed by prejudice. It was not prejudice against his idea; it was
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The Transcontinental Race

It was about the time the saddle sores started bleeding, the dull ache in my knees got sharper, the sun burned some crazy degrees too many and headwinds slammed into me at 60 kmph, that I began to think participating in the Transcontinental Race had been a really bad idea. When Mike Hall originally told
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(Italiano) DICHIARAZIONE AI MEDIA

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italiano.

The Best Day Ever

When I landed in Brisbane on my world cycle, I was met by a couple who were old friends of mine from back when we all lived in Africa. They put me up for the night and the following day, the husband, an avid cyclist, pedaled the Gold Coast with me; a route he traveled
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WHAT WOMEN WANT

I was flying from Wellington to Brisbane with Virgin Australia last year, when I happened upon an interesting article in the inflight magazine. It was all about today’s explorers and adventurers, featuring 8 different guys who had done or were doing interesting things. One had walked the length of the Amazon, another climbed so many
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The Adventure Aftermath

After the high of any great accomplishment, follows the inevitable low. Explorers and adventurers the world over know it. This ‘after low’, or withdrawal, doesn’t really have a name, but it’s depression alright. I often found myself staring out into the horizon, into the sky, and I didn’t know how long I’d stood there. It
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The sky is not the limit

From the beginning, everybody told me I wasn’t ready. Without a sponsor or money, without a technical and medical support team, with only eight months of training on a bicycle, I was not ready to leave and should delay the entire endeavour for at least another year. I got a lot of laughs in the
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Three months in…

Today the little kid in the street nailed it when he pointed at me and shouted ” look, it’s a phalang!” That’s exactly what I feel like. A guava. Pink-faced, rough bruised skin, slimy with sweat. I feel less human these days and more like a feral wild woman. Even after a shower I feel
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A pleasant warm rain

Make it Harder!

Eventually, perhaps inevitably, comes that moment. I realize that hard as my legs are pedaling, the bicycle is simply not moving. Another 100 kmph gust of wind slams into me accompanied by a sheet of icy rain. My shoes are heavy with water, squishing between my toes as I labour against the pedals. 100 kilometers
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Why Cults are an Unsafe Environment to Raise Children

‘Cult’ is a skunk word, that is to say, its meaning, whether positive or negative, is variable depending upon who is using it and in what context. The Latin origins of the word ‘cultus’ simply meant a group worshiping or giving reverence to a deity. There is much debate over whether a cult is just a
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I fixed Africa

A lot of Kony Baloney?

A couple of days ago, my facebook account was subjected to a fusillade of links to a video called Kony 2012. If you are reading this, then it is possible that this half-hour film, currently running viral across the internets, also made its way to you. It is doubly possible that you contributed to this
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Here’s to 2012

The last day of 2011 was crisp and clear. I mounted my bike onto the car and headed to Lake Patria for the last cycle of the year. I was leaving to Africa the next day and figured I’d better go for one last training session, since I was fairly certain the next ten days
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Hendri-Coetzee_120810

In Memorium

In order to live alone, said Aristotle, one must be either an animal or a god. The third case is missing, added Nietzsche, one must be both – a philosopher. I knew a man who was all three. He jokingly called himself ‘The Great White Explorer’. I preferred ‘river god’ and if you’d seen him
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A Question of Identity

I padded barefoot across my loft apartment, relishing the cool tiles, typical of Mediterranean homes, under my feet. Outside, dewy vineyards stretched down the hill, disappearing into the mist and beyond them, the silhouette of Ischia rose from an iridescent Mediterranean Sea. The sun had not yet reached its zenith and a fresh wind blew
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Children in Gulu IDP camp

African Cult Killers

In the new year of 2005, while sitting down to breakfast at the Sheraton gardens in Kampala, I met John Prendergast, former advisor on African affairs for the Clinton administration and co-founder of ENOUGH. At the time, he was working for the International Crisis Group, and was on his way up to Gulu to try
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Church of Scientology

Just to be Clear…

The first time I entered the Church of Scientology’s grand structure in San Francisco, was with suitable equanimity, armed with a great deal of research on what I could expect. My friend, who admittedly enjoyed trolling culties, decided to come along as much to satiate his curiosity as to stir the hornet’s nest. We were
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Performing for strangers

Rebel Lab Rats

American psychologist John Watson famously said, “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select…regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his
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God’s Warrior Twins

It was a sizzling day in July last year and I was walking down the main shopping street of Napoli, when my phone beeped with a text message. Dodging between stalling motorists and a crowd of Napoletans swearing loudly and throwing up their arms in impatience, I found shelter under the stall of a fruit
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A shameless plug for Christopher Owens

I’m just gonna use this space to promote Christopher Owens, lead singer and writer of the band Girls. Owens’ new album Father, Son, Holy Ghost is gold. The Guardian has recently posted an exclusive album stream which can be listened to HERE. Owens was born into the Children of God and tells quite a story,
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