August 23, 2014. Calvin Neufeld spoke on the subject of suicide. The full text of the talk is below.
Calvin Neufeld On Suicide - Discussion Excerpts (1 hour)
Calvin Neufeld On Suicide
We need to talk about suicide. I will share my thoughts and then there will be time for open discussion together. As I said in my description of this talk, we need to take suicide out of the closest, to demystify mental illness, and to find our way forward as individuals and as a community.
When my wife told me that Robin Williams had killed himself, I felt stunned. “You’re joking,” I kept repeating. “You’re joking.” But it wasn’t a joke. Robin Williams, the funniest man in the world, left us with nothing to laugh about. But he left us plenty to think about.
I recently spoke at Almonte’s Personalities in the Park event, telling my story in a new way, sharing different experiences and reflections from my life. There is one story that came to mind as I prepared that presentation, but I ended up leaving it out, which I now regret. It was the story of one of my favourite high school teachers – the nicest lady you could ever hope to meet. Warm, funny, genuinely loving, always with a smile on her face. Always beaming kindness and happiness. One day as I was skipping one of my classes, roaming the corridors, I ran into her. Instead of telling me to get back to my class, she said “Hey, why don’t you come join me in my classroom for a while, we can chat!” So we settled down in her empty classroom and got to talking. She asked me how I was doing. She asked me if I was happy. I don’t remember what I told her, only that I wondered why she always seemed to care so much about everyone else. When did she ever get to talk about herself? Who ever asked her about her life? How was she doing? Was she happy? She seemed so happy. But I had heard through the grapevine – we were a small school – that her daughter had died years before of cancer. How could that story belong to this funny happy woman who greeted me every day with such a smile? I didn’t want to ask her about her daughter, so I asked her instead how it was that she always seemed so happy. She told me that a smile doesn’t mean you’re happy. She said, “Sometimes, when my smile is biggest, that’s when I’m crying the most on the inside.” Our conversation was brief, but it changed me. I learned one of the truest lessons in my life that day. And I don’t think I have to explain why that story feels truer than ever, in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide.
I go around giving a lot of talks. Talking about bullying, sexual and gender diversity, or just telling my story. In all of my talks, I talk about suicide. I will share with you a few words from my last talk, in Almonte, as I reflected on the darkest period of my life:
“I was consumed by it, by my despair, self-hatred, and an abhorrence of life. I don’t do anything half-heartedly, and I poured my whole sick and withered heart into my own self-destruction. I got away with it by hiding, by controlling what people saw and knew about me. I wanted to kill myself or to die trying, and the only way I could get away with it was to ensure that no one knew just how sick I really was. … People often wonder and ask how my parents could not have known. Well, first, of course parents know, a parent always knows when their child is suffering. And my parents did try to break through, but the walls I had built were impenetrable. And at the same time, never underestimate the power that each of us has to put on a good show, whatever storm may be raging underneath. If someone really doesn’t want their suffering to be seen, don’t feel surprised or guilty or ashamed if you failed to see it.”
So if our first lesson today is that the biggest smiles sometimes grow out of the deepest pains, our second lesson is that there is no shame or guilt in failing to see that.
Suicide is such a difficult topic to take on. This is not abstract, it is not a concept, it is real. And there are two sides to the reality of it: there are the people living with suicide in their own hearts, and there are the people living around them – or after them. Suicide has two victims: the one who dies, in one way or another (not all death is the physical kind), and the ones left behind. In giving this talk, I hope to offer clarity and support to people who have struggled with suicidality in a loved one – through seeing, understanding the experience, for what it’s worth – and I hope to offer clarity and even possibly a way through, for those whose hearts are currently infected.
This isn’t about saying that if you’re suicidal, there’s a cure. I have no idea if there’s a cure for that or not, but I do know that that doesn’t matter. I can’t promise you that life will get better. Life does get better, but it also gets worse. Then better. Then worse. That’s the way life goes. All I have ever said, from the beginning, from my very first talk, way back when I had hair, is that life is all that matters. It’s all there is in the end. Without life, there is nothing. And it is for that reason and that reason alone that I have been able to bring myself to say, over and over again from the beginning, with truth and conviction and integrity, that life is good. Because without it, there is nothing.
But I never just leave it at that. I always say, “Life is good. And quality of life is even better.” It’s not enough to just say that life is good. Life can be very good, life can be wonderful, amazing, even addictive for some people, but it can also be torture. Torture torture torture. So it’s not enough to just say that life is good. It is better than nothing, yes, but at the same time, it can always be better. Better than better than nothing. So the only thing I care about, as I’ve said countless times, is making life better. Everything else I don’t care.
So if anyone here has any wonderings about how I can wear a shirt that says “I don’t care” for a talk on suicide, there’s your answer.
In fact, let’s think about the “I don’t care” thing. Is this really such an inappropriate message to bring to the subject of suicide?
Why do we commit suicide? Do we commit suicide because we don’t care? Or is it because we care so much about our broken lives, broken hearts, shattered dreams of what our life would be? Because we care so much about what has been lost and what could have been? Because we care so much about failing to live up to the expectations we have of ourselves, or the expectations of the people we love? Is it because we care so much about what people think of us that we despise our own truth? Do we hate our lives because we care so much about every failure and every injury that has come our way every single day of it?
What if we bring “I don’t care” into this?
For me, it is the most freeing message in the world. I have had to give up every dream I have ever had of what my life would be. I have lost almost every friend I have ever cherished. I have lost and lost and been betrayed and gotten things wrong and tried again and failed again and lost again and been hurt again and again and again. If I cared, if that’s where I invested what I care about, I don’t think I could go another day. And I do care, about all of it, I care about dreams, about hurts, mine and yours, and I care care care deeply about every friend I’ve had and lost, my heart has never let go of any of them. But I don’t care. All that pain doesn’t matter. Life matters. It’s all there is. And that makes life good. And since life can always be better, making life better is the only thing that matters.
You can check my logic on that, but I think it’s sound. That logic has certainly saved my life. And that’s why I tell people to do whatever it takes to make life good. Be ruthless in your pursuit of quality of life for you and everyone else. That’s the cure. Fight, fight, fight. Fight against suffering. Fight for happiness.
And not skydiving from a plane kind of happiness, I’m talking heavy happiness, and we can’t afford to kid ourselves about what that kind of thing takes. It won’t be easy. And if you are in the grips of fear and self-loathing, depression, steeped in all the wicked lies that mental illness tells, your fight for happiness will be a hard one.
When I say in my talks that “you can’t have quality of life without truth, love, and happiness,” I mean it. That may sound like just feel-good talk, but it’s entirely the opposite. It’s heavy. Heavy heavy.
Let’s start with truth. Truth carries a terrible burden. It is risky. The number of people I talk to – gay and bisexual youth, trans folk who are still closeted – they know that the risk is real that the truth could cost them everything. So truth sounds nice and airy fairy, but it’s heavy. It is the easiest and the hardest thing in the world.
But without truth, you are powerless to make life better. You can’t have quality of life without truth.
And when it comes to suicide – truth is all-important! When it comes to suicide, we can accomplish nothing without truth. If you are suicidal, the only way out is through the truth. And that doesn’t have to mean telling the truth to others, first and foremost it means being in relationship with the truth about yourself. I am suicidal. Then, go further. I have this fear. This fear emerges from this memory. From this need. From this belief. I have this pain. I escape this pain through this and that. I have anger. This anger comes out as violence, emotional, physical, against myself, against others.
See it all! That’s what makes truth powerful. The seeing of it all is the freedom from it all! And I’m not talking about freedom from your painful memories and experiences, memory is there and will probably stay there unless you live long enough to see it inevitably fade. I’m talking about freedom in every moment from being slushed around in the eddy of your own emotional whirlpool. Happy one moment and not knowing why. Despairing the next and not knowing why. Lashing out and not knowing why. Crying, craving, fearing, and not knowing why. Escaping truth is the most destructive thing you can do. I wouldn’t be surprised if escaping truth is the leading cause of all suicides in the world.
So, when I say that you can’t have quality of life without truth, I am laying a terrible burden on you, not coddling you with feel-good platitudes. Being in relationship with the truth about yourself brings its own radical transformation. Like anger – the moment you see the anger, you see it there, you see where it came from, you see what it’s doing – the seeing of it is the freedom from it. That’s the power of truth. You still may be happy one moment and despairing the next, lashing out, crying, craving, fearing. But you’ll know why, and that brings about a whole different relationship with your emotions. Emotion is a tool, after all, it is there to do something, to communicate something, so pay attention to it. Don’t waste time and energy smothering it or coddling it or battling it, face it and see what it is revealing in you and to you. Seeing the truth of it brings about a whole different kind of intelligence, in which there is total freedom. Steadiness in your emotional whirlpool.
But… does a suicidal person care about that? Probably not. The suicidal person, I think, is too busy caring about the stuff that actually doesn’t matter – fears, expectations, shattered dreams, poisoned memories. All the stuff that has to be let go of before life can be better. That’s what the suicidal person holds on to.
So we have to go further. How to break through the wicked wicked lies of depression and mental illness, so that some small arrow of truth may break through to pierce the poisoned heart?
Over the years I have corresponded with a few suicidal people. There was one woman, a trans woman (meaning she was born male – she has given me permission to talk about this today) who I sent letters to for quite some time. Her mother and my mother had met through an online email listserv for parents of trans people. Her mother was desperate – her daughter, who had until then been her son, had come out to her as a trans woman but had decided to kill herself rather than transition. She was absolutely determined, it was not a question of if but of when and how. She had convinced herself that her height and body structure meant that she could never look female. She would rather die than try.
With her mother’s permission, I began to send this person letters, halfway around the world. I sent a series of letters over a couple of years. Never once got a reply. So I just rambled on, shared my thoughts, said what I thought needed saying, no way of knowing whether those letters played any meaningful part in the fact that this woman is now fully transitioned, happily partnered, looking stunningly beautifully lovely, and living life fully. I got to meet her and her mother recently when they came to Montreal for her final surgery. What a wonderful encounter, after all those years. Who would have thought? A horror story turned fairy tale.
But look at what it took for this woman to make her life better! She had to risk everything. She had to face her own truth. She had to walk into her greatest fears. Her only other choice was to walk out, out of the fear, out of life, out of everything.
That’s the choice that the suicidal person faces. Here I am with this fear and pain and misery and I don’t want it, I want to be free of it. And to be free of it, I can only walk into or away. But what I won’t do any longer is live in the hell of the in-between.
And here’s the lie: we tell ourselves that we can’t walk into it. That frightful future of facing truth. The truth about ourselves, the truth of the fear and pain and misery and loneliness of life, even the truth of our mental illness and its implications. Then we lie again: it is easier to walk away. Two lies: I can’t walk into it, and it’s easier to walk away.
And this is where I’m calling you on it. If you are suicidal, if you are genuinely prepared to give up everything, then what’s to stop you doing anything else? If you can do the one biggest scariest thing, why should you fear anything else anymore?
You can give up your fear of death, but not your fear of coming out as gay, or bi, or trans? You can give up your life but not your dream of what your life should or could have been? You can destroy yourself but not the expectations you have of yourself?
Really, think about that!
That’s why, to me, if someone truly is suicidal, then there is hope. If you can give up your life, I’m telling you, you can give up anything else. What’s to stop you? You’re prepared to lose everything anyway. You’re free! So give up all the crap that doesn’t matter. Let go of everything that makes life worse. Die to it all without dying. Die die die, keep dying. Die to the memory of pain. Die to your expectations of what life should be. Die to the meaning you invest into all the injuries and betrayals you have experienced. You’ll lose all your memories in the end anyway, through dementia or death, everything you’ve stored up in there will be lost forever one way or another. All your dreams, memories, expectations, betrayals, bitternesses, unfulfilled hopes, gone, gone, gone. So let go of it all now, why wait until then, why live in the meantime with the drama they create in the hell of your own little universe?
If you can suicide yourself for real, then you can suicide yourself to anything else in life. You’re free.
So if you’re queer and closeted, for instance, instead of giving up everything, why not just give up that image or wish or expectation you have of being that hetero picket-fence poster child?
And if you have mental illness, accept it, face it. Don’t run from it and don’t be ashamed of it. It is not a character flaw, it is not moral weakness, it is disease, a morally benign fact of life. So accept it, die to the idea that you should simply be strong enough or good enough to not be mentally ill. See the fact of your mental illness. Then you can deal with it. Treat it if you can. There are many forms of mental illness and many highly effective treatments – many, many forms of mental illness are perfectly treatable conditions. But even if you can’t treat it, or treat it fully, or treat it forever, then learn to distrust it. Learn to recognize the lies. See the lies, know that they are lies, that’s how to take away their power.
I think that many of us who suffer from mental illness get lost in it because it looks like truth. When my brain isn’t functioning in a healthy way, it is hard, hard, hard to see, because it looks like truth. It looks like truth that I am alone. It looks like truth that I am unloved or unlovable. It looks like truth that I can’t make anything good out of what I’ve got to work with.
So many lies. And they do, they do, they do look like truth. But here’s the thing: whatever truth may be scattered in there, it is truth without love. And that’s not truth. I’ve thought a lot about truth, and I’ve come to one firm conclusion, that there are many truths. Love sees the best truth.
And this is where we come to love. When it comes to suicide, we can do nothing about it without love. Not a thing. Truth alone just isn’t enough. Truth without love isn’t truth, after all, and I just don’t think that truth alone is enough to lift a body out of the black pit of depression.
We need love. And, as with truth and happiness, I know that I’m at risk of sounding hokey here. Airy fairy. But I’m deeply serious. We need love.
In my talks on bullying, I’ve commented that without love, we don’t survive. I mean this literally. A human baby deprived totally of love and affection is unlikely to survive. We have even studied this in primates, creating horrific tests to confirm the obvious: babies don’t survive without love.
And then we grow up and enter the big wide world so void of love – there is an almost total absence of love in the world – and find ourselves surprised when the will to live is weak in us.
We blame mental illness for suicide, but I wonder, how much lack of love is to blame for mental illness? Some mental illness is purely biological, its cause and treatment purely medical. But the rest – the mental illness that forms in a sensitive body beaten down by life – how much lack of love is to blame for that?
This brings me to a very difficult place. Some things that I think need to be said, but it won’t be easy for me to say them. They are harsh words but they need saying, so I’ll do it tenderly and carefully.
I can’t think how to express this without sharing a very personal story that I think communicates what I’m trying to get at. Three years ago I was fired from my job, very suddenly, unexpectedly, very painfully. No explanation, no apology, no thanks, no goodbye, no further communication from my former colleagues and friends. I was absolutely cast out. Once again in my life, though this rejection was the least expected. And I had no way of knowing why. I’m still left with not knowing.
I have thought about what happened every day since. This has been one of the biggest pains of my life, which is saying a lot. And here is that harsh question that I’m so reluctant but nonetheless driven to ask: if I were to give up, what role would they have played in my suicide?
And all the others, before and since, who I loved and love still, but who have retreated, dropped off the radar of my life. What role have you played in my mental health? So many people, so much loss, so much love interrupted. But you see, all of that is just the hell of my own little universe. And all of that doesn’t matter. I die to it every day. Every day I think of it, and every day I die to it. Life matters, here, now, it’s all there is. And in the meantime, there’s work to be done to make life better.
What role have you played in the mental health of the people connected to you? These are hard questions to ask. Every person who has betrayed or abandoned me is a good person. Good people can easily play a role in another person’s suffering. It happens all the time. So even if we are good people who care about preventing suicides, we need to look very very very deeply into ourselves and the role we play in the mental health of the people we are connected to.
We bemoan suicides once they happen, but do we really take responsibility for preventing them in the first place? Can we really call our relationships with each other love? I see everywhere people cutting people out of their life, I see messages spread around that if a friend’s not making you happy, get rid of them. If someone brings negativity into your life, dump them, you don’t need that. Awful messages. To me especially, having been cut out of every community I’ve ever belonged to, having lost a lifetime of friends! I know the toll that rejection takes on a person.
And these messages go directly against the messages we’re sending around now, in the wake of suicide. If you’re hurting, talk about it. If you have mental illness, tell someone. What a mixed message, coming on the heels of “if someone brings negativity into your life, dump them, they’ll just drag you down.” Terrible mixed messages.
I believe in faithfulness. Deeply, deeply. And there is an almost total absence of faithfulness in the world. Are you faithful? Are you loving? Because if we really want suicides to stop, it is going to take everything you’ve got. It’s going to take love and it’s going to take faithfulness, and that will take everything you’ve got.
There is mental illness, yes, and it does distort perception, but suicidal people aren’t entirely wrong in their bleak outlook. It’s not enough for us to say that the world is full of love and lollipops when mostly it’s an arid wasteland of lollipops masquerading as love. So there’s a lot to do to heal this disease, to stop this epidemic.
When I give my Meet Calvin talk, telling my story, which I’ve shared with thousands of high school students by now, at the end I tell people to “remember that those who love you want you, any way that’s alive.”
I chose those words carefully. I couldn’t say, “remember, your parents/family/friends want you any way that’s alive” because I’m not sure that’s always true. So many parents and families and friends put pressure on you to be what they want you to be – not understanding the impact this can have on a person. A lot of parents are devastated if they find out their child is gay or bi or trans, for instance. Devastated. But what if their child had committed suicide rather than come out to them, as so many tragically do? That’s devastation. How many parents would trade anything at that point to have their child back, any way that’s alive?
In the same way that the suicidal person can die die die to pains and poisoned memories and shattered expectations without actually dying, so too can you, the parent, sibling, friend, acquaintance die die die to your own imposed dreams and expectations and beliefs and wants and resentments without actually having to experience your loved one’s death. When you give up all of that stuff that doesn’t actually matter, you discover what does. You discover that you love your loved one. And you discover how to love your loved one. Which has nothing to do with expectations, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, memories, any of it.
Love, like truth, is a terrible burden. Nothing airy fairy about it. It demands so much. And it is not without risk. Love makes you vulnerable. Not vulnerable to abuse or that kind of thing, love does not allow abuse, it wouldn’t be love. But love makes you vulnerable to the pain that comes through relationship. There is pain in relationship. And the more you love, the more pain you are likely to experience. So love has nothing to do with avoiding pain. If anything, love walks into pain.
And here is where love becomes all-important when it comes to suicide. Remember that the suicidal person faces the choice: walk into or away from the fear and the pain. Truth is what you encounter if you walk into the fear and pain. But love is what it takes to do it. That’s why truth alone isn’t enough.
So we need more love. And not just love from me to you, but also love from you to you. But most importantly, what the suicidal person needs is more love from you to me.
You, the suicidal person. Maybe you’ll get love from outside, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll find love for yourself, maybe you won’t. What you can do and what you need to do to drag yourself out of the pit of despair is to love someone else. Anyone. Everyone.
Suffering is a selfish state. When you are suffering, you have no room for the sufferings of others. Suffering consumes the sufferer. In that state there is no love. The only way out of suffering is to stop being curved in on ourselves. And love is what takes us out of ourselves.
So if you want out, that’s your way out. Not out of your life but out of yourself. And that’s what love does. It takes you out of yourself and into another, seeing through their eyes, feeling through their heart, their happiness is your happiness, their pain is your pain. And helping to heal the pain of others then becomes the healing of your own. Their happiness becomes your happiness. None of this is theoretical. That is your way out. Do it and you’ll find out!
So love. And truth. Face it, all of it. Fear nothing. Or if you do, just walk into that fear, and you’ll discover that it’s nothing. But even if it isn’t nothing – maybe, for instance, your fear that your parents will reject you if you’re queer will come true. But if you’re going to suffer, why not suffer for the truth instead of all the suffering you have anyway from secrets and lies and pretending? If you’re going to suffer one way or the other, at least suffer for the truth. There is at least some happiness in that, the kind that comes with integrity.
And here we come to happiness. It’s obvious why this is needed. Without love we can’t survive; without happiness we don’t want to. But happiness is hard won. Like love, it takes tremendous effort. Like truth, it involves tremendous risk. The quality of happiness, like the quality of the view at the top of a mountain, increases with what you have invested into reaching it. But with happiness, unlike with the mountain, there is no destination, no view at the end of the journey. There is only the journey, and a quality of appreciation that grows deeper and finer and richer with every step.
But is all of that enough to convince the suicidal person to stick around? It’s just words after all, if that’s all you’re listening to.
I remember my darkest years, beginning largely in high school. I remember picturing my suicide, savouring the flavour of it, the relief it would bring me, the impact it would have on others. I did think that I would be remembered. I thought that the world would see my pain at last (while I would be freed of it) and that my memory would be carried with love by those who knew me. I romanced suicide.
Here is the reality of it. I will share a recent experience, one of many that prompted me to finally and urgently talk about all of this today. I don’t want to go into details, I think that would be irreverent, but we need to confront the reality of suicide. From my garden, among my sunflowers, looking out into a funeral home parking lot. Suicide of a young person. His mother in the parking lot after his funeral. Crying out that her son needed help. Crying out that her son is dead. Crying out her rage. Crying out her grief. The kind of grief that no one can touch. And I stood there helpless in my garden. Helpless to not hear. Helpless to not know. Helpless to change anything. Helpless to make anything good out of what had happened. That’s the reality of suicide. Out of suicide, nothing good grows.
If you kill yourself, maybe you will be remembered. But maybe not. Your mother will remember. You have etched yourself into her memory from long before you even had memory. If you kill yourself, you destroy her. She will always remember you, but all of her memories are permanently stained with pain.
Among your friends and acquaintances you will be remembered. Again, with pain. Some love. Some sadness. But life goes on. In time you will be forgotten. This is the big picture of life, and it was certainly a hard pill for me to swallow. I had painted a drama of my life, me the starring role, my narrative and my tragedies taking centre stage. And my suicide, if it happened, would be monumentally felt and remembered.
But that was fantasy. Reality is far humbler. In the history of this earth, humans are a tiny blip. And you are a tiny blip among blips. You don’t matter. I don’t matter. In fact, if you and I matter at all, it’s to our mothers. To our fathers. To our friends and acquaintances. All the people we would be betraying in suicide. Suicide erases the only way in which your life actually matters at all. Like it or not, one way or another, for better or worse, your life matters to all the little blips you’re connected to.
When my mother heard I was giving a talk on suicide, she wrote to me, “Do you remember the image that came to me with the thought of someone committing suicide by driving their car off the road? If their loved ones were standing in the path of the car, would they continue on regardless, running them over? Because that is the truth of what suicide does, transferring the anguish and woundedness to those they most love. Again, the connectedness is profound, inescapable.”
I thought if I killed myself, I would be sending a message. I will not live in this world. I object. Pain. Cruelty. Unkindness. Unfaithfulness. Resentment. Betrayal. Depression. Failure. Loss. Everything always going wrong. Life always beating a good heart down. I object. I’m done.
And perhaps, I thought, my suicide would awaken in people the kind of love and faithfulness and kindness that I had felt starved of.
I romanced suicide.
Suicide leaves the world with one message: it’s not worth it. One aftertaste: despair. If you resort to suicide, that is your legacy. That is the message you end with, and that is the message people remember.
Let’s all of us take responsibility for the role our blip plays in the lives of all the blips we’re connected to. And we’re all connected. If you find your way through, then anyone can. And if you can’t, then no one can. Accept that responsibility. Face truth. And love. See the best truth. Fight for happiness and quality of life for you and everyone else. Say “I don’t care” to the rest and make life good. Because life is all that matters. Without life, there is nothing.
If you’re prepared to toss your blip away, why not use it instead, radically, for something better than despair? Which is pretty much anything else.
And this brings me to my final thought. If we are prepared to say to the suicidal person that “those who love you want you any way that’s alive,” then we have to stand by it. Don’t make a liar out of me.
If someone like me decides not to commit suicide, and instead to stick around, to have my little fling on this planet, to face whatever life throws at me, to swallow whatever jagged little pills I have to, then let that person be. Don’t toss on whole new expectations, judgments, beliefs, don’t store up new resentments, let that person be, let every person be. Love every person as if they’re back from the dead. This is your second chance. My story could have been one of suicide. It isn’t. So I figure, from the suicide that never was on, all the rest is bonus. Every day, every moment, is bonus. All the rest is something that would not have been, and where instead there would have been despair. So just the fact of my being here reminds me that I am good. My being here is my gift of love. So for me, my being here is enough. Loving my family is enough. What I do with my life, whether my dreams come true or go down the drain, whether I am understood or misunderstood, whether I make something of myself, whether my memories are happy ones or painful ones, all of that doesn’t matter. I would have given it all up anyway. And the beautiful thing is that in dying to all that might have been or could have been or should have been or I wish had been or could be – in dying to all of that, I find myself living simply as a father and a husband, bringing a little more love and happiness into the world instead of despair, experiencing the healing and happiness of others as my own, and all of that is good enough for me. The rest doesn’t matter. The rest, I don’t care. And neither should you.
Calvin Neufeld interviewed about his talk on Brockville's What's On program, August 19, 2014:
Article in the Perth Courier, August 21, 2014:
Article in the Perth Courier, September 11, 2014: