Rob Konrad: Conversations

All Episodes

2019-7-7

017. Raped at Age 14, She Became a Right-Wing Extremist - And Turned Her Life Around

Season 1, Ep. 17

When she was 14 years old, Shannon Martinez was raped at a party by two men who took advantage of the fact that she was intoxicated. 


Overwhelmed with self-hate and anger, her life spiraled downwards - and she joined a violent right-wing extremist organization, where she would channel her rage and emotions against anyone who was "different". 


Luckily, after several years in this supremacist organization, she was saved by a family who took her in and helped her to deal with her trauma - and showed her that there is a perspective for her beyond violence. 


Now a mother of seven children, she is passionate about building empowered families and communities and believes that we all have the power to enact profound and fundamental change in our lives.


Shannon Martinez is now developing community resource platforms aimed at inoculating individuals against violence-based lifestyles and ideologies. 


She has worked in at-risk communities teaching and developing dynamic resiliency skills, for school systems, nonprofits, and community organizations and has participated in programs organizations such as the UN Office of Counter Terrorism, the National Counterterrorism Center, Hedayah, The Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, UN Women, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.  


Her story has been featured globally, including: The TODAY Show, NBC's "Left Field," the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, Marie Claire magazine, Quartz, Al Jazeera America, and Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “On Second Thought" program. 


She has been a commentator on such news outlets as HLN, CNN, Canada One and BBC radio. 


Shannon Martinez has also assisted in training law enforcement officers, building programs for educators, and collaborating with tech companies like Google and Twitter. 

Watch the video of our conversation, get the show notes and full transcript here: 

https://www.robkonrad.com/podcast/conversations/017-shannon-martinez

2019-6-12

015. He Was Almost A School Shooter: Aaron Stark

Season 1, Ep. 15

After years of physical and mental abuse in a chaotic and violent home, being bullied at the almost 40 schools he went to in his youth (due to the constant relocations of his drug-addicted parents), and battles with depression and self-harm, Aaron Stark reached a point where he could no longer take it.


He decided to get a gun and do the unspeakable - take revenge on a world that seemingly had forgotten him.


Luckily, before the unspeakable could happen, Aaron was saved by simple acts of kindness - by a colleague who understood that Aaron needed emotional help and support more than anything else. 


Aaron left his abusive home, got his life back on track, and how he shares his story of hope and transformation with the world.


His TEDx talk, "I almost was a school shooter", has been watched over 8 Million times, he is now a mental health and anti-gun activist, husband and proud father of 4.


In this deeply personal and emotional conversation we talk about bullying, what goes on in the mind of someone willing to take his life and those of others along with him, what we can do to prevent school shootings in the future - and much more….


Join the conversation now! 


For a video of our conversation, more background info about Aaron, show notes, a full transcript of our conversation and links to your favorite podcast players to listen to the episode on the go, visit:


https://www.robkonrad.com/podcast/conversations/015-aaron-stark


2019-5-22

012. DMT, our Brain and the Prophetic Experience

Season 1, Ep. 12

In the early 1990s Dr. Rick Strassman, was granted approval to conduct research with one of the strongest hallucinogens, DMT. At the time he was the first scientist in over 2 decades allowed to test the effects of psychedelic drugs on live subjects, and his results were groundbreaking and led him to call DMT the “Spirit Molecule”.


But after he completed his research he still felt that a major question had been left unanswered: Could the vivid hallucinogenic experiences caused by DMT possibly be more than just hallucinations? Rick started to notice that many of his subjects had strikingly similar experiences, regardless of the life experience, culture, or religious background of the person taking the drug.


These experiences are often described as “more real than real”; they’re different to what people experience on other psychedelic drugs.


Could it be that DMT doesn’t simply TRICK our brain into dreaming up another reality - but is actually the key to “tuning” our brains in to another reality? Rick was compelled to ask if DMT, in fact, enabled us to see aspects of reality beyond the horizon of what we can usually perceive?


Determined to join the dots, Rick ventured into researching the similarities between DMT experiences and the prophetic states described by people throughout history - and particularly in the Hebrew Bible.


In this fascinating conversation, Rob and Rick deep-dive into the results of his research, discuss the validity of his underlying assumptions, and go on a journey that explores the boundaries of our understanding of the human brain and spirituality.


Listen to the episode - and join the conversation now!


Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here:


https://www.robkonrad.com/podcast/conversations/012-rick-strassman