Discerning Truth in a Post-Truth World


One of the most important messages Mahatma Gandhi left us relates to the importance of Truth. According to Gandhi, “Truth is perhaps the most important name of God. In fact, it is more correct to say that Truth is God than to say God is truth.” Unfortunately, in a world full of “fake news,” Russian trolls, marketing tricks, social media, and other online absurdities, how can we know that what we see on the internet or hear on the nightly news is actually true? And once we discern the Truth, what can we do to help ourselves, our confused friends, and the world?

This retreat – being held in honor of Gandhi’s 150th Birthday and the 100th Anniversary of satyagraha (nonviolent political resistance) – will explore confirmation bias, identify filters, group-think, propaganda, conspiracy theories, healthy skepticism, and the difference between relative versus objective Truth. Attendees will have the opportunity to fine tune their “truth barometers” and learn to discern the real from the unreal. The final session of this retreat will focus on Gandhi’s concept of satyagraha and help participants feel empowered to utilize Truth for the betterment of humanity.

The price for this retreat includes all meals. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know. As a general rule, we prepare organic meals, including farm fresh eggs from our chickens! Meat is served on the side (for vegetarians) and gluten-free options are served as well. Lodging is not included because some of our attendees are local. Out of town guests are encouraged to stay at Oracle Campus at one of our guest houses or in our campground. After you book your retreat, you will receive a discount code for accommodations, which you can use to book a room or campsite at www.OracleGuests.com.

Valerie Tarico, Ph.D.
Rev. Laura George, J.D.
Terry Beitzel, Ph.D

Valerie Tarico, Ph.D. is the award-winning author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, a children’s book of universal wisdom tales. She also is a regular journalist for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Truth-Out. Valerie is a former Christian fundamentalist and graduated from Wheaton College, a bastion of Evangelical education. She also holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Trusting that “All Truth is God’s Truth,” Valerie committed to follow her spiritual questions wherever they might lead, and today she is an atheist. To learn more about Valerie, visit www.ValerieTarico.com

Rev. Laura George, J.D. is the Executive Director of The Oracle Institute and author of the award-winning Oracle Foundational Trilogy. She is a retired attorney and an interfaith minister with experience in multiple spiritual paths. Laura is a fan of Ken Wilber (the “Einstein of Consciousness”), which led her to study and teach Spiral Dynamics and the Spectrum of Consciousness. A self-confessed “news junky,” Laura is appalled by the conspiracy theories shared by the far-right and far-left, both extreme factions in America that are susceptible to “fake news.” And Laura shares her birthday on October 2 with Mahatma Gandhi!  

Terry Beitzel, Ph.D. 
is Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center and Associate Professor in Justice Studies. He teaches about social responsibility and justice by studying issues of war, violence and nonviolence, and revolution. His research interests include nonviolence, nonviolent revolutions, conflict theory, peacebuilding, restorative justice, and international human rights. His work at the Gandhi Center encourages students to work for peace through their involvement in the refugee community, prisons, and Peace Camp.


Yvette Ladd is a semi-retired pharmacist and works as a health and wellness mentor and owner of Wellness Pursuits in Hillsville, VA. She offers group classes in hatha yoga and fitness, one-on-one services for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy & Thai bodywork, and programs and retreats for life-enhancement. Her mission is to support others in recognizing and fully inhabiting their potential in health and well-being. Yvette believes this is possible when we have the resources available for self-study, service to others, and community support.

Day 1

Saturday, October 5

  • Light Yoga
  • Session 1 with Dr. Valerie Tarico
  • Exercise on Truth
  • Session 2 with Rev. Laura George
  • Roundtable Discussion
  • Session 3 with Dr. Valerie Tarico
  • Exercise on Truth
  • Fire Ceremony
8:00 am - 9:30 pm
Day 2

Sunday, October 6

  • Labyrinth Meditation
  • Session 4 with Dr. Terry Beitzel
  • Closing Ceremony
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
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