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Threats to the Lives of Vulnerable People (Calgary)

Date: June 1, 2020
Location:  Show map Ambrose University
150 Ambrose Circle S.W.
Calgary, AB
Contact: Alberta Safeguards FoundationPhone: 403.701.1385Email: absafeguards@gmail.com

The Alberta Safeguards Foundation and The Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry are pleased to announce a 5 day workshop on "Threats to the Lives of Vulnerable People, and Crafting a Coherent Defense in Response"

Workshop Content:

This event is based on four premises:

  1. That death is “in the air,” in the sense that there is a gathering momentum in the world that works towards “deathmaking.” (The word “deathmaking” refers to practices that kill people outright, or greatly hasten death, or lead other people to increase the risk of death for a person or group, or even lead people to act so as to bring about deaths.)
  2. That there is something amiss and incoherent with the common pick-and-choose approach that endorses some deathmakings and objects to others.
  3. That people who understand the dynamics of contemporary deathmaking should take strong moral stands to protect and defend the lives of endangered people.
  4. That each individual must make a personal moral decision on the issues, and craft a personal moral stance, regardless of what anyone else does, and regardless of whether any group, organization, or society will adopt it.

This event is intended for people who want to know more about contemporary deathmaking, and who would like to work toward a more coherent position that values and protects all human life. It is especially relevant for people such as family members, advocates, or service workers who are on the side of societally devalued people, for example, people who are impaired, elderly, or poor.

The workshop also attempts to accomplish four aims:

  1. To explain the growing support in our society for various forms of deathmaking of people who are devalued in some way, and that such deathmaking has already begun on a large scale.
  2. To reveal the deceptive disguises and interpretations that are given to deathmaking so as to make it less obvious and less repugnant, and even recruit people to join and support it.
  3. To spell out the values and other dynamics that contribute to these developments, and that generate widespread support for them. And
  4. To help people see the validity of a coherent moral stance in defense of all human life and what such a stance would entail, and to work towards such a stance for themselves.

Here are the topics covered in the workshop, in approximate sequence.

  1. The universal dynamics in any episode of deathmaking, including that some deathmaking can be very indirect.
  2. The universal dynamics in human beings and in societies that predispose towards both social devaluation and deathmaking of a devalued party.
  3. A lesson from history: how the killing of impaired people under the Nazi regime came about. This is a very well-documented example of how a large-scale killing of devalued people can be planned, carried out, and “detoxified.” This historic episode has much to teach us about the current situation in our own society.
  4. Value trends and developments in contemporary society that strongly support both direct and indirect deathmaking of devalued people, and even make such deathmaking inevitable. This analysis tends to be very wrenching for participants, because practically everyone in modern society is implicated in at least some of these values and lifestyles to at least some degree, and is therefore also implicated in the deathmaking entailed by these values and lifestyles. This review will also cite much evidence that many sectors of society support and endorse various forms of both direct and indirect deathmaking.
  5. The major forms of contemporary deathmaking of devalued people, and the kinds of settings where devalued people are most at risk. These major forms of deathmaking include the following, but there are additional forms of deathmaking besides: systematic marginalization and impoverishment of devalued classes; widespread attachment to devalued people of negatively valued images such as images of sub-humanity, garbage, menace, sickness, and death, which draws forth from others rejection and even violence; abuse and life-endangering conditions even within settings that are supposed to serve devalued people, and even within their families; abortion; infanticide; denial of elementary (not even extraordinary) life supports to the sick, such as nourishment and liquids; the promotion of suicide; the destruction of basic forms of community that generate and uphold life.
  6. The numbers of devalued people who are being made dead.
  7. The many ways that deathmaking is concealed, covered up, denied, disguised, and otherwise “detoxified.” When deathmaking is detoxified, people are less able to recognize deathmaking for what it is and to combat it.
  8. Likely consequences to individuals and societies that engage in deathmaking.
  9. What gives validity and “coherency” to a moral position, followed by presentation of one coherent position that rejects all intentional deathmakings of human beings. Especially, the workshop proposes that life and life-giving are connected in a unity, and similarly, that all forms of deathmaking are connected--and that what is therefore needed in order to seriously combat deathmaking are strong and coherent positions against all intentional deathmakings, rather than incoherent, pick-and-choose stances.
  10. Strategies that can combat deathmaking, and that derive from a coherent stance opposed to all intentional deathmakings.
  11. Issues in serving people said to be “dying,” including (a) important considerations in medical decision-making, especially when death appears to be imminent; and (b) so-called “hospice” and end-of-life services.

The workshop content is usually very challenging for most participants, even those who come already alarmed by, and opposed to, at least some deathmakings.

Workshop Format:

The workshop is conducted as a series of lecture presentations of various lengths, with extensive use of overhead transparencies and slides to illustrate the presentations. Each presentation sets forth a carefully designed body of ideas, historical material, or analysis. Once a topic has been presented, there are questions and discussion on it. Each presentation builds on the previous ones, making the entire event extremely sequential and tightly woven; this means that participants cannot miss any presentation without suffering a great loss in continuity of understanding.

It is only in the last part of the event that one possible coherent stance of defense of all human life is presented, and that action implications are presented--i.e. what a person might or should do. Some participants in the past have not understood this, and have demanded answers as to “what to do” early on; or they made travel arrangements so as to arrive late and miss crucial introductory material, or had to leave before the end of the event. Participants should plan to attend the event in its entirety.

The presentations on each day of the workshop begin promptly at 8 a.m. On the first four days, there are evening sessions until about 8 or 8:30 p.m. that are not optional. The last day ends at approximately 4:30 p.m.


Tuition: $500.00 per person.

Meals: Commuter Rate is $260.00 (includes refreshments, lunch and dinner each day except for dinner Friday; does not include breakfast); Overnight Rate is $330.00 (includes the above meals plus five breakfasts)


5 nights at the university is $350 for single occupancy or $250 each for double occupancy (please advise who will share rooms for room assignments). Each room contains 2 single beds, & 2 desks with chairs. There is one shared bathroom for 2 sleeping rooms. Participants may arrive May 31st & must check out of their rooms on the last day of the workshop (June 5th). If participants require a room on the last day of the workshop they will be billed an additional fee.

To see the workshop flyer and registration details, download the PDF version.