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Inside the brain school

www.cbc.ca /newsinteractives/features/brain-school-study-indigenous-biocybernaut-james-hardt

All of it was the brainchild of 79-year-old American psychologist Dr. James Hardt, whose neurofeedback program has been endorsed by self-help guru Tony Robbins and featured on CNN’s Larry King Live. Hardt says brain school can make participants smarter and happier. He says it can also allow them to levitate, walk on water and visit angels.

The study focused on four schools in Prince Albert with high populations of Indigenous students. According to Hardt, 60 children aged 12 to 15 participated, along with one parent or guardian each.

Writing in the Advances Journal in the spring of 2013, just as the Prince Albert study was being proposed, Hardt said “the schools up there have up to 85 per cent Aboriginal students and many teachers are Aboriginal so it would be a really good case study; a lot of drugs, a lot of absenteeism.”

For Ian Mosby, a medical historian from Toronto Metropolitan University with expertise in Canada’s mistreatment of Indigenous people through clinical research, that approval was "shocking."

“The entire project was very weird,” said Mosby. “The roadblocks were not put in place — the basic safety roadblocks.”

He said that’s especially surprising given the study was largely focused on Indigenous kids, "who have already in the past been exploited through medical experimentation and whose communities are regularly exploited economically and politically.”

“To expose a child to that process is abuse, in my eyes,” said Amanda LaVallee, an assistant professor of social work from the University of Victoria who went through the Biocybernaut training herself.

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