Christmas offer to campaign groups

The All-Seeing Eye of Santa

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What started out as an idea for a spoof children's rights poster to spotlight Conscience Media's special offer to campaign groups, has thrown up some mixed reactions. So I will attempt to explain the meaning behind the message.

'Stop Santa Claus!' is a rallying cry to all responsible adults to break with tradition and stop inflicting the lie of an all-seeing omnipotent bearded old man on young children. The tubby cartoon character who bears an uncanny resemblance to Christian depictions of God, has been awarded a higher moral authority than parents, leaving a trail of cognitive dissonance and mistrust. This outmoded control fantasy, essentially a bribe, encouraging greed and materialism in the young, has had its day in this era of conscious awakening. It’s time to restore a culture of truth and honesty during the season of goodwill. Santa is one icon we can safely delete as Fake News.

Who is Santa then?

Who is this deified figure who has captured the public imagination since the middle ages anyway? Scriptures speak of a canonised fourth century Bishop known as Saint Nicholas of Myra from ancient Greece, renowned for his generosity and kindness towards children. Saint Nicholas was renamed Santa Claus when the cult of Nicholas spread North to German and Celtic pagans and reached Holland where he was pronounced Sint-Nicolaas and Sinterklaas.

When Nicholas merged with their chief God, Woden, he lost his Mediterranean looks, grew a long white beard, changed the date of his journey (originally in Autumn) for December, took to travelling by flying horse, and swapped his clergy robes for some cheerful fluffy red and white winter garments.

Western culture pressures parents to play a dangerous game in lying to their children about the existence of a mythical character they must obey. This subtle form of bribery coached in loving, playful language, could lead to gaslighting – a form of psychological abuse.

When falsehoods are repeated constantly, psychologists call this a kind of psychological warfare leading the victim to doubt their perception of reality or even their sanity. So, not only are children coerced to ignore their own intelligence and intuition and believe the lie of a gift giving Santa ('Saint' in English) flying through the sky on his sled to visit every well behaved child on Earth, they must deal with the resulting cognitive dissonance isolated and alone.

The Big Lie about Santa perpetuated in books and schools and shopping arcades has damaging repercussions for the family structure. Authors of a study at the University of California say: "The actions of parents suggest that they do not believe that the lies they tell their children will impact the child's own honesty. The current study casts doubt on that belief." Children are more likely to lie to their parents if they believe their parents have lied to them.

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Saint co-opted by the Elite

The cult of Santa Claus with its Big Brother-style fear and consume-at-all-odds doctrine has been exploited by the Saturnalian-worshipping sociopathic elite, a cult in its own right, situated at the pinnacle of the New World Order (NWO) power structure. How often do you see balanced discourse on the relentless imposition of Santa on the collective psyche? The hive mind swallows up the warm, fuzzy image presented on TV and cinema screens, in the octopus tentacles of the control system.

The Christmas message to children is clear: if you don’t do as you are told and dare to question authority about the true nature of Santa, you may not get any Christmas presents.

In today's age of mass surveillance, behaviour modification psychology through TV programmes, and the encroachment of artificial intelligence into every domain of our existence, the annual rite of lying to children about a fictional character is one delusion we can safely erase in the sanctity of our homes. We can all participate in creating a brighter future for the next generation by acknowledging and celebrating the true meaning of this winter festival and leave our children free from psychological harm and our consciences intact.


 Anna L. Bragga

Anna L. Bragga

Anna L. Bragga founded Conscience Media in 2010 to provide freelance PR to campaign organisations based in and around London. In 2017 she wrote a psychological suspense novella, ‘Fractured: Memories of a Survivor (Volume I)’, and is now in the process of writing the sequel. Her longstanding interest in complex trauma recovery led her to start a self-help group in Bedford and write blogs on the subject which can be seen on Out of the Storm.

For further information about our special offer on posters and flyers contact: anna@consciencemedia.co.uk or call 078616 77343.

Honouring the Dead at Halloween

Some of Bedford's Most Haunted Places

By Anna L. Bragga

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Samhain, Halloween, All Souls Night, Feast of the Dead, Festival of Remembrance, whatever you want to call it, October 31st is a magical time when the dark half of the year begins and traditionally the veils between the worlds become thin. Ancient in origin, dating back to the Celts in England, possibly further, some people light candles and play apple games - apples being a symbol of immortality - to honour the ancestors, while others go trick or treating dressed in scary costumes. Stuck for something to do, you could visit one of Bedford’s haunted locations and make a peace offering to the departed spirits.

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The Kings Arms pub in St Mary’s Street, just over the bridge crossing the Ouse, is reputed to be Bedford’s most haunted pub, and has even received a visit from one of television’s most celebrated spiritual mediums, Derek Acorah, of Living TV’s Most Haunted series.

I thought I’d find out for myself whether the pub lived up to its spooky reputation by paying a visit. The place was quiet at 4.30pm, midweek, and I was soon feeling warm and slightly heady after just a half pint of Bonkers Conkers guest ale. I don’t normally drink, but made an exception out of respect for the deceased, and to relax as I surveyed the environment for signs of otherworldly company. The smiling lady behind the bar said the place ‘feels haunted’ although she has never seen a ghost. She’s not scared of being there on her own, she said, as ghosts can’t hurt her.

From my vantage point at the bar, I wasn’t picking up any bad vibes, although I too sensed memories imprinted in the black wooden beams hovering above our heads, the uneven white washed walls, and the gentle light sprinkled across the ceiling in tiny orbs. You might hear the sanded floorboards creak when the music from the little black boxes quietens, for this pub is built on a former morgue, and legend has it that the coffin-shaped trap door above the bar used to be the place where they winched coffins down from the mortuary.

  The Bedfordshire Times and Citizen newspaper included the Kings Arms in its 1994 review of haunted Bedford

The Bedfordshire Times and Citizen newspaper included the Kings Arms in its 1994 review of haunted Bedford

The friendly barmaid pulled out a thick file containing the old deeds to the building, dated mid-17th century, and some old newspaper cuttings. The building originally belonged to the King of England and Bedford Castle’s moat flowed around the pub where Ropewalk is situated today. There used to be stables where the pool table is, and when I walked over to view the area, I felt a sudden temperature drop and went all goosebumpy. I found myself gazing at the wooden headboard of a bed, to my astonishment. It was only when I got closer that I realised it was a table, made out of an old bed. My spine tingled, and then I knew it was time to leave.

  Bedford Castle Mound

Bedford Castle Mound

I’d heard rumours that Bedford’s old castle mound, formerly the site of a large medieval castle built after 1100 by Henry I, was haunted by the souls of the dead. Eighty defenders died at the gallows there when the castle was captured by Henry III in 1224 after a long siege, according to the history records. As I climbed the muddy steps with a friend, I thought I could hear sighs in the wind rustling the burnished leaves in the old chestnuts and beeches around us. We stood in silence for a moment on the empty grassy mound and said prayers for the spirits who may still be trapped down here. We gazed in awe at the view of the Great River Ouse below, trying to imagine how it might have looked in medieval England.

 NOSTALGIA On top of Bedford’s Castle Mound - Anna L. Bragga October 2018

NOSTALGIA On top of Bedford’s Castle Mound - Anna L. Bragga October 2018


To celebrate the festival of Halloween (or Samhain), Conscience Media is offering a special 20% discount on all graphic design services on Halloween themes. Offer ends October 31st. Please contact Anna for details on 078616 77343 or email anna@consciencemedia.co.uk.

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Need to advertise a Halloween event or party?

Check out our special offer on all Halloween themed ads.







Community With a Heart

Stepping into the hidden world of

the King's Arms Project

By Anna L. Bragga

 SAFETY NET: Temporary accommodation for up to 18 roughsleepers provided by The King's Arms Project, Bedford.

SAFETY NET: Temporary accommodation for up to 18 roughsleepers provided by The King's Arms Project, Bedford.

How many times have you walked down Bedford High Street and straight into the gaze of a scruffy figure crouched in a doorway, cap in hand, and felt helpless? If you see a rough sleeper, someone on the street who, when you get talking to them, says they've got nowhere to go, there is something you can do: contact Streetlink or go to the Bedford Homeless Database which will guide you towards the appropriate channels.

Bedford has a well of resources geared up to help people who have for one reason or another, perhaps through a relationship breakdown or rent arrears, lost their home, as I found out from speaking to Outreach Manager at the King's Arms Project, Emma Johnson. You just need to know how to access them. Fortunately, the charity's outreach team, working collaboratively with other services, know just how to reach out to vulnerable adults and rescue them from the misery and cold.

If someone has a drug or alcohol problem they will most likely get referred to the NHS funded Path to Recovery (P2R) service for advice, treatment and support. Move-on Housing provides temporary accommodation in 2-6 bed properties providing an opportunity to acquire some stability while looking for employment.

 Anna L. Bragga

Anna L. Bragga

It's good to know that Bedford has people like Emma Johnson and her colleagues, people dedicated to lifting people out of homelessness, poverty and despair.

I would never have found this out were it not for my current research project, the second book in the Memories of a Survivor series. I look forward to exploring this topic further.  

Further information:

Kings Arms Project: https://www.kingsarmsproject.org

Bedford Homeless: https://bedfordhomeless.org.uk

Streetlink: https://www.streetlink.org.uk

Summer Madness: We are launching our new book cover design service!

Calling All Indie Authors!

We specialise in crime, mystery and horror fiction but can accommodate any genre. Choose one of our bespoke design packages or dip into our selection of original pre-made covers priced at just £49 each.

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Visit our Book Cover Design page for more details or email: anna@consciencemedia.co.uk

Trauma-themed poster series by Anna L. Bragga

Designs inspired by Anna's book,

Fractured: Memories of a Survivor

(Volume I)

Latest

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The first in a planned series of life affirming, validating statements called 'Notes to Self' inspired by the protagonist, Deborah Rawlings in Fractured, who had a habit of jotting down her thoughts on scraps of paper under challenging circumstances.  

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The true cost of 

 

survival

 

'A must read for the young and not so young. An excellent, memorable and somewhat haunting story. Can't wait for the second volume.' Amazon review

Others

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The long term physiological and psychological effects of inescapable, self-alienating trauma in childhood are still widely misunderstood, frequently leading to misdiagnoses of personality disorders and the medication of symptoms without addressing the cause. This series seeks to raise awareness of some of the adaptive psychological mechanisms that allow victims to continue to function after the threat has gone, well into adulthood, albeit at a price.

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Inspiration for these posters is drawn from the works of clinicians and researchers specialising in the field of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD).

To avoid missing out on future editions by Anna L. Bragga why not follow her on Facebook? Find her @AnnaBraggaAuthor or click here to go to her page.

 

See Anna's blog and other C-PTSD-related articles on Out of the Storm (OOTS), a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the effects of trauma.

Bespoke book cover designs by Steve Browne

Mystery and horror authors, this is your man!

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Just give him the title and an outline of your story, and Steve will come up with ideas in a flash.

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He's flexible too, and will work with you to ensure the final product is just right.

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We look forward to working with you.

Competitive rates available.

Call us for a quote on 078616 77343 or email anna@consciencemedia.co.uk

Digital artist joins Conscience Media

Conscience Media is thrilled to announce that we are expanding our services with a new addition to the team, the mystery face behind the eye-catching movie-style posters seen on our website, Steve Browne.

Steve is now officially working with us. As of today, he will be providing specialist graphic design services, including, but not limited to: advertisements, posters, leaflets, book and DVD covers. 

Read More