'Pacific Standard,' September/October 2015

Inside the reclusive and controversial religious sect known as the Twelve Tribes; one forensic psychiatrist's self-funded effort to evaluate depraved crimes; how to convince teens to raise money for charity; improving life for aging populations; and one man's quest for the perpetual, elusive quarry of environmentalists: a message that gets people to care. Plus: Five studies on IUDs.
Pacific Standard, September/October 2015. (Photo: Chris Jordan)

Pacific Standard, September/October 2015. (Photo: Chris Jordan)


Children of the Tribes
In this country, we celebrate the First Amendment, which prevents the government from interfering with religious beliefs and practices. But what if those beliefs and practices make children suffer?
By Julia Scheeres

The Messengers
How do we get people to care about the environment? What if we’re asking the wrong question?
By Brooke Jarvis

Evil Genius
For the last decade, forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner has led a curious, self-funded effort to create something he calls the Depravity Standard, a crowd-sourced instrument for objectively scoring the level of evil associated with humanity’s most twisted crimes. But can a scientist really define the outer edges of our morality?
By Rachel Monroe


Punished for Being Poor
Defendants who can’t make bail, regardless of their crime, are four times more likely to be sentenced to time in prison. So much for innocent until proven guilty.
By Maura Ewing

The Kids in the Yard
Precious Lamb Preschool serves an especially vulnerable group: homeless children between the ages of two and six.
By Marisa Agha

Single Man Seeking Baby
For a growing group of straight men, fertility clinics and gestational carriers are providing life after 40.
By David MacNeal

Haunted by the Past
With few direct witnesses to Nazi atrocities left alive, some Germans are chasing ghosts. Literally.
By Thomas Rogers


Need for Speedrunning
Gamers have found a way to get a younger generation excited about raising millions for charity. And they don’t even need to put down their controllers.
By Paul Bisceglio

The Aging Advantage
At 91, Barbara Beskind is three times the age of most of her colleagues at the global design firm IDEO, but age can be more than just a number in the workplace.
By Bonnie Tsui


A Safe Haven for Whom?
Advocates argue that safe haven laws prevent mothers from abandoning their newborns, but the policy abandons mothers upon dropoff.
By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

Race Isn't Everything in Medical Treatment
But it is something.
By Ross Ufberg

More Than Just the Numbers
When we treat people as collections of statistics, we ignore important aspects of their humanity.
By Aubrey Clayton



There's a Name for That
By Michael Fitzgerald

Research Gone Wild
Crazy cats

By Paul Bisceglio

Quick Study
Think twice before calling the movers
By Tom Jacobs

In the Picture
Upriver, downmarket

Quick Study
Exposure to nature promotes cooperation
By Tom Jacobs

Five Studies
Why IUDs are poised to become the future of birth control
By Nora Caplan-Bricker

Life in the Data
How an unexpected stay on a living room couch served as a reminder of the kindness in people.
By Max Ufberg



Brooke Jarvis' exploration of photographer Chris Jordan's documentation of the struggling birds of Midway ("The Messengers") provides a touching, real-life example of the psychological toll climate change can take.

It's long been acknowledged that a changing climate will affect—and is affecting—our physical selves (consider injuries due to extreme weather, faming, and displaced refugees), but only recently have researchers started to study the mental repercussions: anxiety and worry, depression and despair, numbness and apathy.

The 2011 American Psychologist paper referenced in Jarvis' story takes a close look at, and provides a must-read overview of, those indirect impacts, which have us locked in a Catch-22. Apathy contributes to inaction, and as a result our problems worsen. Might Chris Jordan have found a solution?


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