mars project – Jonathan Balazs and Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart

Help support  an important  local movie project about mental health, labelling people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and the right to choose  own explanations of our experiences.

‘A decade ago rapper Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart was diagnosed with a psychological disorder, but he has rejected the label and is pursuing a spiritual path.’

There’s a great interview clip with Dr Kwame Mckenzie of Uof T / CAMH…

” …because we haven’t got the pathology, we can’t say what’s going on in the brain or the mind -or whatever, we try and find the symptoms and cluster symptoms together and we say ‘we’ve got this diagnosis or that diagnosis.

“…and ‘schizophrenia’ is a number of symptoms that have been put together to say that this is ‘an illness’ …

“…and that’s an idea: it’s not a thing”

Here’s how you can help get the movie made.

By Jonathan Balazs


For those that don’t know me, my name is Jonathan and I am an emerging film director from Canada living in Toronto (by way of Edmonton, AB).

I’m writing to let you know about Mars Project – an independent documentary I’ve been working on for the last 5 years that explores topics of mental illness in race, culture; with a focus on “Schizophrenia” – perhaps the most dreaded and stigmatized of diagnostic labels.

We have about a month to raise $5000 in this online fundraising campaign, take a moment to check it out on Indiegogo

and also share it with your friends (word of mouth is key) – tweet, re-tweet, share, pin it, email it, talk about it etc. All the tools are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. Here’s a link to the campaign –

Mars Project – a brief summary:

Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart is a rapper in a great independent Canadian hip hop group called Supreme Being Unit with his twin-brother Addi “Mindbender” Stewart.

In 1996, when they first broke out in the underground rap scene, they amazed listeners with their creative subject matter and unique brand of hip hop. In 2007 I learned the full extent of Khari’s psycho-spiritual plight in an artist interview for independent hip hop magazine Since then, Khari and I have become partners, releasing music and a short film together. Sharing a friendship with Khari and gaining an academic understanding of these issues (I registered in a class called “A History of Madness” in university and I have since read extensively on the subject) has revealed a broader picture of the psychiatric world. His experiences have informed my perception of a “patient” in the mental health system; he has (probably unwittingly) made me more cognizant of the mental health “survivor” experience; those individuals who have been misunderstood, negatively labeled and who have had treatment plans thrust upon them. Khari’s claims of an intergalactic space demon may be far-fetched to some, but so, perhaps is the bold assertion that his brain is some how inherently abnormal (I might add that his genetically identical twin-brother has never received a similar diagnosis).


Jonathan Balazs (J.B.)


Mars Project website and blog –

here’s a short treatment ,

caution: contains language you may not like to hear

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3 Responses to mars project – Jonathan Balazs and Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart

  1. So-called ‘schizophrenia’ is a psycho-spiritual crisis (‘spiritual emergency’) which must be respected and allowed to complete its course. See the work of Doctor Stanislav Grof.


    • Hi Marion, welcome. I’m familiar with Dr Stan Groff’s work, and personally find a lot of meaning in it. You’ll find stuff here that references his work [esp from bipolarorwakingup] Me, I don’t much like any dogma that insists it has some knd of definitive “the truth” – but try to see all perspectives or insights as having something I can learn from. I prefer to think we all have a piece of a bigger “truth”. And the world, life, experience: its different for each of us – my experience is not yours, yours is not mine- and we each have the right to choose our own language to describe our experience, but not to seek to impose that understanding or language on each other….Kevin


  2. Wow. We need this doc!


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