Religion

Sacred Weeds

"In many cultures, distant in place or time from our own, there are special plants that give rise to strange visions and hallucinations. Experiences we associate with illegal drugs, that which for these other cultures, are thought to be a gateway to another world." Sacred Weeds was a four part television series of 50 minute documentaries investigating the cultural impact of psychoactive plants on a broad array of early civilisations. The series was filmed at Hammerwood Park by the producer, Sarah Marris, and her production company TVF. It was broadcast in the summer of 1998 on Channel 4, a British television network. The Reader in European Pre-History at the University of Oxford, Dr Andrew Sherratt, was the ...

Zen: The Best of Alan Watts

"A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except faults, so he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions. By thought I mean the chattering inside the skull; perpetual and compulsive repetition of words, of calculations, and symbols going on inside the head. For as a result of confusing the real world of nature with mere signs, such as money, stocks and bonds, title deeds, and so forth. This is a disaster. Time to wake up." –Alan Watts Alan Watts (1915-1973) who held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best known as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. He ...

Wisdom of the Dream, The

"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism." First in a three-part series of films produced by PBS, on the life and works of the great thinker and psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung. Part 1: A Life of Dreams Part one provides an overview of the major contributions made by Jung in his long career. Born on July 26, 1875, in Switzerland, Jung became interested in psychiatry during his medical studies. He saw that the minds of mentally deranged persons had similar contents, much of which he recognized from his own interior life, described in his autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections. His lifelong quest to understand the workings of the psyche led him to develop the analytical ...

WACO: A New Revelation

"According to the agency, there were three of four video cameras pointing at the front door that could tell you everything that happened at the front door of that building that day. They claim they can't find a single one of them. Every one of those videotapes vanished." –David Hardy, attorney and investigator Waco: A New Revelation is the film that triggered a new Congressional investigation of the Waco tragedy, and caused the Justice Department and the FBI to reverse their long-held positions on Waco. It has generated a firestorm of events unprecedented in the history of documentary filmmaking. After six years of painstaking investigation, the complete story of the tragedy in Texas is finally coming to light. This compelling feature-length documentary ...

Unholy War

"Out of 57 Islamic states, 7 impose the death sentence on Muslims who convert to another religion. In other Islamic countries, converts have been striped of their civil rights and had their marriages dissolved by the states." Dispatches investigates the violence and intimidation facing Muslims who convert to Christianity in Britain. Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett meets former Muslims who now live under the threat of reprisals from their former communities. Many are still living in fear. He interviews a family who have been driven out of their home and a convert whose brother was beaten close to death. The investigation uncovers a network of churches supporting converts from Islam who have to worship under a veil of secrecy. It is estimated there ...

True Islam

"In medieval times, the unwavering belief that the world was flat led to riots, isolation, and even death to those who dared to contest this fallacy. Misconceptions and myths can be dangerous. Today, this same ignorance and intolerance has led to a backlash against Islam and Muslims." In this 90-minute documentary, Rageh Omaar uncovers the hidden story of Europe's Islamic past and looks back to a golden age when European civilisation was enriched by Islamic learning. Rageh travels across medieval Muslim Europe to reveal the vibrant civilisation that Muslims brought to the West. This evocative film brings to life a time when emirs and caliphs dominated Spain and Sicily and Islamic scholarship swept into the major cities of Europe. His journey reveals ...

Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life

"The Tibetan book of the dead is a guide for the dying. It describes the process of dying as a natural transition. The text explains how by recognizing the mental states and physical sufferings involved, we can come into contact with our own essential nature. In this way, it is possible to find freedom from confusion and fear." Death is real, it comes without warning and it cannot be escaped. An ancient source of strength and guidance, The Tibetan Book of the Dead remains an essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas. Narrated by Leonard Cohen, this enlightening two-part series explores the sacred text and boldly visualizes the afterlife according to its profound wisdom. Part 1: A Way of Life ...

Tibet: A Buddhist Tradition

"The people of Tibet carried intact into the mid 20th century one of the world's richest and most sophisticated ancient cultures. Following China's invasion of Tibet in the 1950's, the Dalai Lama and more than 100,000 refugees fled their homeland and resettled in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. During and after the occupation over 6,000 monasteries were destroyed and an estimated 2,000,000 Tibetans died. Tibet's living cultural legacy represents more than 2,5000 years of examination into the nature of mind and the human condition. This film is an exploration of that legacy." Part I: The Dalai Lama, The Monasteries and the People Filmed in the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, North India, and in the re-built Sera Monastery, the second largest monastery of ...

Story of God, The

"However you define God, and whether you believe in God or not, the world we live in has been shaped by the universal human conviction that there is more to life than life itself that there is a 'god' shaped hole at the centre of our universe." Professor Robert Winston presents a definitive three-part documentary series on the history of mankind's quest to understand the nature of God. The Story of God is an epic journey across continents, cultures and eras exploring religious beliefs from their earliest incarnations, through the development of today's major world faiths and the status of religious faith in a scientific age. The series examines the roots of religious beliefs in prehistoric societies and the different ways in which ...

Sex Crimes and the Vatican

"The church knew he was a child abuser. Instead of reporting O'Brady, the church hid him from the authorities. No mistake, a part of a secret church directive. The man responsible for enforcing it was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict the XVI." Created in 1962, a now infamous document was issued in secret to bishops. Called Crimen Sollicitationis, it outlined procedures to be followed by bishops when dealing with allegations of child abuse, homosexuality and bestiality by members of the clergy. It swore all parties involved to secrecy on pain of excommunication from the Catholic Church. This document was reissued in 2001 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and sent to all bishops. Yet rather than ordering more openness and cooperation with the ...