Message from Maitreya
At the end of Mr Creme’s interview on Radio Ici & Maintenant, Paris, France, Maitreya gave a blessing and the following message via Benjamin Creme on 6 April 2006:
My friends, I am nearer to you than you may think. My heart beats step by step with yours. My heart cries for the suffering of so many. Yet I know that the hearts of those who hear Me now are open and willing to help. Fear not My friends. Give bravely and willingly to help all in need. When you do this you enter that area of divinity from which you come. This is the action of divinity itself.
So My friends, wait no longer for the manifestation of the great changes which are to come. Bring them about by your actions. Think widely. Think that your brothers and sisters are yourselves, the same throughout the world. Do this My friends and see Me very soon.
My heart embraces you all.
Unity in diversity
by the Master , through Benjamin Creme
Throughout the centuries, men have adopted many different forms of government, ranging from the most despotic to the most egalitarian. Today, most countries have opted for a democratic form, that is, one elected by popular vote for one or other political party. It is assumed that the voting system used is fair, honest, free from malpractice and fraud.
Unfortunately, as recent history shows, this is often not the case, even in those countries which lay great stress on the probity of their election process. Deception and duplicity abound, men and factions are brought to power by chicanery and guile.
More authoritarian are those one-party states where decisions are made by a committee of ‘strong men’ backed by the army and police. The people have little say in the laws which rule them and often, as yet, do not feel the need to claim such rights.
Some countries are in the grip of cruel despots, hungry for power and the wealth which comes with it. Some are ruled by deluded zealots, sure that they and their followers are in the hands of God and are carrying out His plans. Others are struggling to help their people out of poverty and pain, and to fend off the demands of their wealthy neighbours.
Still others are fighting for their independence or are engulfed in chaos and civil war.
Men must take to heart the lesson from this evidence: many are the ways of organizing the needs of different peoples. Greater tolerance, therefore, is necessary in the approach to this vital matter. The energies of the rays governing the nations are different and require different structures in which to express their qualities. It is not the evolutionary Plan that one form of government, democratic or otherwise, should prevail. The needs of men are more real and more important than ideologies. Tolerance of difference unites, while ideologies divide.
When Maitreya speaks openly, therefore, He will show that unity in diversity is the key to future harmony. That all the nations have a destiny, unique and sacred. He will point the way to achieve this blessed state and encourage men to open their hearts to a wiser understanding of the Plan. Under Maitreya’s guidance, men will come to appreciate and value the richness of the achievements of themselves and others. The urge to compete and to dominate will gradually subside and a new chapter will open for men in brotherhood and peace. Thus will it be.
(Read more articles by the Master)
Q. Can the Master say how many people marched for peace in (1) London on 18 March 2006, and (2) worldwide on 18-19 March 2006?
A. (1) 80,000. (2) 2.5 million.
Q. (1) Approximately what percentage of the Earth’s population is Aquarian-oriented as opposed to Piscean? (2) What are the percentages of those who are being born/coming into incarnation now?
A. (1) 40 per cent. (2) 49 per cent.
Q. (1) Can bird-flu be transmitted from birds to humans? (2) Is a pandemic of bird-flu likely? (3) Will a vaccine against bird-flu in humans be found?
(1) No, not now. If it mutates, then it might. Bird-flu has affected a certain number of people, mainly in countries where people have handled infected birds, but it is not directly transferable. (2) Not very likely, but possible. (3) Yes, most likely, but it cannot be made unless and until the virus mutates.
Q. I know you have said that certain species of more ‘primitive’ animals are destined to die out. Is it also part of the ‘Plan’ that so many species of birds, animals and aquatic animals will die out? Experts are warning that many are under threat of extinction because of the destructive effect of human activity on the environment.
A. No. It is true that environmental change caused by human activity is having a very destructive effect on many species of animals, birds and fish. However, the planned slow extinction of certain very ancient and primitive animals and fish has an evolutionary purpose and takes place under law. It is the result of the focused destructive aspect of the 1st ray.
Q. (1) I have heard of people in near death situations being saved through some kind of divine intervention. Why do some people receive these miracles but not others? It seems God is being unfair here. (2) Maitreya likes to call us “complacent”. This is judgemental. I thought He would be against judgement.
A. (1) This is regulated by the Law of Cause and Effect or Karma. People are helped or cured according to their karmic condition. Our actions in this and previous lives – whether harmless or destructive – determine what happens. (2) I do not know if Maitreya ‘likes’ to call us complacent. The fact is we in the West are complacent in the face of so much hunger and unnecessary suffering in the world. It is one of the chief factors in our ability to accept such cruelty.
Q. (1) Is the present Pope or Pope John Paul II one of the Masters? (2) If this is so, why does the Vatican not share the riches and treasures it stores there?
A. (1) No. (2) Why not indeed, even if the Popes are not Masters. The Vatican, quite apart from the priceless treasures it keeps stored in the Vatican, has billions of pounds of investments abroad, some of which are in less than savoury domains. It is one of the richest institutions in the world. The time is coming when it, too, will have to ‘clean house’.
Q. Which aspect of God worked through Mohammed? Which Teacher worked through him?
A. That aspect which we call devotion or idealism. The Master Who worked through him was the Master Jesus. The irony of the friction between Christians and Muslims is that Jesus gave Mohammed the Koran.
Not one of the scriptures, the holy books of all religions, has come down to us in its original pure form. They are all more or less distorted.
Q. I read your website regularly. Please explain why the Masters spend Their valuable time to appear to someone – to stay sometimes for an hour or two with people who work with you – when They are so busy and there are so many problems in the world, so many people to heal, rescue and comfort. It doesn’t seem logical.
A. The answer lies in the fact that when Maitreya or a Master appears to someone, it is not the Master or Maitreya the person sees and talks with but a ‘familiar’, a thoughtform, which He can invest with some fragment of His consciousness. The mastery of a Master involves being able to divide His consciousness into thousands of separate and simultaneous activities. In Maitreya’s case He is literally omnipresent.
Q. What difference do you think it makes in a person’s life if they believe in reincarnation or not?
A. It is obvious, is it not, that if you ‘believe’, even as an intellectual idea, that you will live again and again, it removes one of the great fears of life, namely, the fear of death. It gives you a sense of proportion and ‘lawfulness’ in this life and relates you, inevitably, to the Law of Karma (of cause and effect), the basic law governing our existence on Earth.
Q. There is a common trend in childbirth in many Western societies for expectant parents to opt for elected Caesarean births (surgical delivery). (1) Is this procedure, which may be carried out before the soul-scheduled time, detrimental to the child on a spiritual level? (2) Does the new soul actually have some influence about this happening, making it part of the decided sequence of events for the chosen life? (3) If not, is there a set-back in the karmic relationship between the mother and the child?
A. (1) No. (2) No. (3) No.
Q. (1) Approximately how many hundreds of years will it take for time to be eliminated from the consciousness of the masses? (2) What will be the average point of evolution at that time?
A. (1) 200 years. (2) 0.4 degrees initiate. Time, of course, will still exist in the relative, physical world, otherwise no one would catch a train or plane ‘on time’. The point is, time does not exist and should not dominate the mind.
Q. (1) The ‘Letters to the Editor’ section of Share International never seems to report cases of help given by Sai Baba, whereas His followers know Him to intervene in a huge number of situations. How is that? There are certainly Sai Baba followers among the readers who tell their stories in the magazine. And (2) if we pray to Baba, can He ‘delegate’ the work to Maitreya or Jesus?
A. (1) I am sure that Sai Baba intervenes in many situations but we can publish only the letters we receive. There are occasional stories published in Share International in which Sai Baba has intervened. (2) No.
Q. (1) Is it true that Sai Baba hasn’t changed physically for some time now, or (2) is His body indeed getting older?
A. (1) No. (2) Yes.
Q.(1) Can Transcendental Meditation bring psycho-physiological problems at all, as reported by a number of meditators, or only when it is not properly practised? (2) Are these problems not linked to the practice? (3) What would be your advice to such people? (4) Is Transcendental Meditation a beneficial technique? (5) Would you recommend a shift from Transcendental Meditation to Transmission Meditation altogether, or can both be practised at different times?
A. (1) Not if properly practised. (2) The problems are not linked to the practice. (3) Seek counsel of a practitioner. (4) Yes. (5) Transmission Meditation is more a service and so more beneficial to the world but both can be practised at different times.
(More questions and answers)
Letters to the editor
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared at Benjamin Creme’s lectures and Transmission Meditations. They also appear, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. Some of these recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the experiences are authenticated by Benjamin Creme’s Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, they draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance to, for example, smoking or drinking. Many times the Masters act as saving ‘angels’ in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. They use a ‘familiar’, a thoughtform, who seems totally real, and through whom the Master’s thoughts can be expressed: They can appear as a man, a woman, a child, at will. Occasionally They use the ‘blueprint’ of a real person, but in most cases the ‘familiar’ is an entirely new creation. The following letters are examples of this means of communication by the Masters. Please note: In the absence of any indication to the contrary, the editors will assume that your name may be printed. Unless requested otherwise, some of these letters may be reproduced on the Share-International.org website. Only initials, town and country will be used.
A message – simple and true
On the peace march through London on Saturday 18 March 2006 we carried banners about sharing, peace and justice. The sun came out, and people of all ages, carrying a myriad of banners, walked together, cheerfully joining in chants.
A tall slim man, aged about 70, wearing hiking clothes, walked with us for a while, smiling and pointedly looking up at our banners with great interest. He came up beside me and asked me about mine. It said: ‘Only sharing and justice will bring peace’. He liked the message, saying it was simple yet included everything. There were many groups here he said, with many messages, yet this one was strong and true and easy to understand. He recalled reading an inspiring article recently by Bruce Kent about sharing the world’s resources.
He asked about sharing and I said it was the only way we could achieve real justice, that it was the key to solving the world’s problems. Then I spoke about Share International magazine and Maitreya. He was intrigued and quizzical, asking: “But why do we need a teacher? Surely it’s up to all the people, like here, to change things?” I agreed, saying that people power is crucial; that we need to join forces and demand peace; that this is a movement that is growing and growing in strength. He listened without interrupting as I explained about Maitreya and the Masters; how Maitreya will be the mouthpiece for the masses of people without a voice; that the Masters are benign and wise and humanity and the Masters will work together, co-operatively. I was expecting him to counter this with his own beliefs, but he kept nodding and listening.
I told him about Benjamin Creme and gave him a card of his lecture dates. Thanking me, he walked over to his companion, a short, kind-looking woman wearing hiking clothes and a woolly hat, showed her the card and they smiled and nodded to each other. Waving, they said goodbye and turned away into the crowd.
Please could you say whether this man was Maitreya, and who his companion was?
G. F., London, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya and his companion was the Master Jesus.)
Nicol, a 17-year-old student and a member of a Transmission Meditation group, from Nachod, Czech Republic, recounts the following story, which happened on 28 March 2006: It was midday and the English lesson was taking place. Suddenly someone knocked at the classroom door and a very tall man entered. He was at least two metres tall and could hardly enter because of his height, which attracted everyone’s attention. The impression he gave was one of astonishing purity; he had gorgeous shining blue eyes and nut-brown skin, as if he was sunburnt. He was about 45 or 50 years old. He spoke English, introducing himself, saying that his name was Johnny and that he lives in California now.
Nicol thought that the man was very handsome. The visitor said no more and sat down at a desk at the back of the class. All the students and the teacher, remained as if paralysed. They hadn’t expected anybody to come to the lesson. It was a surprise because although the teacher often invited native English guest-speakers this was not the case that day and the man had not been introduced by anybody. He sat quietly, not disturbing the lesson.
The students finished their work and then they had to read aloud the text from an English magazine. Finally, the teacher asked the man to read the last article. The stranger came to the front and started to read.
As he started reading Nicol’s eyes filled with tears. She felt so much love for the stranger, as if he were her father. Everyone present sat quietly; even the usually noisy students were changed suddenly. Nicol was extremely moved and couldn’t keep back her tears. She felt immense love stream from the man and couldn’t understand it.
Then the students started to ask questions and the stranger replied. They learned that he had worked previously as a builder, after that as a teacher and that he was now doing massage. Then the bell rang and the students started to leave the classroom.
As Nicol passed him, he bent down to her and wiped the tears from her cheeks, and said “Goodbye” in English. Nicol was unable to express her feelings and to explain the energy present there that day. She is a very intelligent girl and not given to hysteria but she couldn’t concentrate on her school work for the rest of the day. When she got home Nicol told her mother about the incident and both of them started to ‘get light’ as she was talking about it and they began to wonder if the stranger could be Maitreya Himself. Who was the man who visited the classroom?
L. and J. K., Trinec, Czech Republic.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)
Give and receive
One Tuesday in March 2006 a group member told me of an experience she had in the late 1970s in London. On impulse she gave £10 (a lot of money in those days and which she could hardly afford) to a good cause. Two minutes later, as she walked to work, there in front of her lay £10 – it was folded and the upper half fluttered and appeared to beckon her, although it was not a windy day.
On Tuesday evening after I heard this story someone collecting for a medical charity knocked at my door and I gave him €20 because that is what I had in my wallet and I could not send him away without giving him any money. The man was surprised and even asked me: “Are you sure you want to give so much?”
On Wednesday morning I went to our post box at the local Post Office to collect letters for Share International and as I came out again there on the ground, right next to my bicycle, was a €20 note, beckoning me in the same way as described above, so that I couldn’t miss it.
Was this a generous gift from a Master? Was the first incident also a gift from a Master?
J. K., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that in both incidents Maitreya manifested the money.)
A new cycle begins
A strange incident happened to a girlfriend of mine. Living in Amsterdam she is very reliant on her bicycle to get to school and work and visit friends. A while ago her bicycle was broken. It worried her a lot for various reasons. One day just outside our school a man came up to her and asked if she needed help with her bike. He said he often helped people with their bikes, and proceeded to take it to pieces so thoroughly that she was worried in case he couldn’t put it all back together again! He gave it a complete overhaul. After that he went on his way as if it was the most normal thing in the world. The bike worked perfectly.
Was the kind bike repair man a Master?
S.C., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man who repaired the bike was Maitreya.)
On Friday 25 November 2005 my daughter Amber was admitted to hospital for an emergency operation. During the operation on her appendix, which had already burst, the surgeon punctured one of the main arteries and was unable to stop the bleeding. When she had lost half her blood, the artery suddenly closed. Did Maitreya or one of the Masters come to the rescue?
A. M., Velserbroek, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was Maitreya Who intervened in Amber’s operation.)
In October 1998 an elderly woman came to the supermarket where I work. I was sitting at the counter when I saw her walking between the shelves and comparing our prices with those on a bill she had from another supermarket. She asked two or three of my co-workers to help her with checking the bill because she thought she had paid too much there. She came to me, too. I wanted to help but I couldn’t find a way through all those numbers on the bill — even though I do it every day. It was strange, indeed. All I could do was to advise her to be more cautious next time. Then she thanked me and left. During our conversation I had a feeling that she was looking through me and reading my mind. I think she was not an ordinary person. Could you please tell me who she was?
D. K., Ljubljana, Slovenia.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)
Buddha statue miracle
We have a gorgeous 0.5 meter bronze statue of the Golden Buddha, and since at least July 2005 a clear quartz-like structure about 1 cm thick that leaves a rusty mark has been forming on the lotus-shaped pedestal.
What seems even more odd is that this quartz-like formation produces, every day, drops of clear watery liquid that streams down the surface of the bronze base leaving a green oxidized trace-mark, about 1 cm wide.
I have to mention here that this statue was also with us in our car, among the three Buddha statues, during our 8 March 2005 experience (see letter in SI May 2005 issue) when we were saved by Maitreya.
Is this something special and what is the origin of this manifestation?
B. and J. S., Troy, NY, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this is a sign, manifested by Maitreya.)
Signs in abundance
For many years, Share International has been inundated with photographs from all over the world showing miraculous light blessings and patterns of light. We now have a vast archive, a fascinating and awe-inspiring collection of photographs.
As Benjamin Creme’s Master wrote in Share International (March 2006): “The time is soon coming when men will remember the signs and accept them as true portents of the days to come. They will understand them as a planned manifestation synchronized with the emergence of Maitreya and His group of Masters at this unique time in the history of the world.”
We present a small selection from the constant stream of ‘miracle photographs’ we receive from around the world. We take this opportunity to thank readers for sending them, in the knowledge that they contribute to the ever mounting number of signs heralding Maitreya’s presence in the world.
You can see the pictures on
this page (large file).
From our own correspondents
Journalist Adam Parsons spent some time working in Mother Teresa’s “Home for the dying destitute”. His descriptions of the dedicated work of the ‘Sisters of the Slums’, and his own experiences as one of a team of volunteers, is powerful and moving, and so shocking as to rid the reader of complacency. For the complete article see the May 2006 issue of Share International magazine.
Mother Teresa — saint of the gutters
by Adam Parsons
When Mother Teresa died in 1997, many people wondered if her congregation would flounder. Eight years on, Adam Parsons investigates the legacy of Kolkata’s famous ‘Sisters of the slums’.
The monsoon rains of southern India were bucketing down as I ran towards the hospital with the other volunteers. Stall-holders and temple worshippers in the bazaar jeered at us from under cover, which made me laugh when I stood drenched on the doorstep. ‘Nirmal Hriday’, read a sign, ‘Missionaries of Charity: Mother Teresa’s Home for the dying destitute’.
My smile didn’t last long. There were two long rows of stretcher beds inside, all of them filled with painfully thin Indian men. I was disarmed by the muggy smell of antiseptic. Some men at the front were connected to drips; many of them lay motionless and stared upwards with hollow eyes. A patient by the entrance may have been a teenager, but his emaciated body was of an old man. Through the lobby, as I stuffed my bag in a cupboard with the other volunteers, another packed room was filled with shaven-headed women dressed in identical gowns. They were also bone thin, staring, and most looked mentally deranged. Many of them would eventually die here.
We are in Kalighat, in the middle of Kolkata, in a hospital unlike any other; it is the first centre opened by Mother Teresa, and not only does it serve one of the most problematic cities in the world, but it accepts only those people who are vagrant, destitute, and on the brink of death. It is not really a hospital at all, more of a converted outbuilding, a gift from the neighbouring Hindu temple. Nuns hurry around wearing the famous blue-trimmed white saris, and a few Brothers work alongside them in normal clothes and aprons. Their philosophy is encapsulated by a framed sign on a wall: ‘The greatest aim in human life is to die in peace with God.’
It seems ironic that someone who has been totally neglected since birth, sleeping on the filthy streets and begging or pulling rickshaw carts through the city, should be picked up off the pavement at the moment of death, if only to die with a scrap of dignity and someone aware of their end. What’s perhaps more surprising is the number of Western volunteers that continue to flock here, even eight years after Mother Teresa’s death. A hundred can arrive in a single day, a few as intrepid tourists, but most to give up their time, energy and savings to help the poorest of the poor in West Bengal. They are normally young, taking time out from studies, and often stay from six months to a year.
I awoke early on my first day after a sleepless night. Not only was I slightly petrified at the prospect of working in the ‘death shed’, as some have dubbed Nirmal Hriday (meaning ‘Pure Heart’ in Bengali), but my room was damp and crumbling from the monsoon rains, and the bathroom had somehow flooded. At 7am everyone had to meet at Motherhouse, the famous headquarters at 54A Lower Circular Road, where a breakfast of bread chunks, bananas and sugary tea is served up for volunteers who swarm around the tables. By 7.30am the noisy gathering veers off to catch crowded local buses to the various centres around the city. The hospital for the dying destitute, somewhat surprisingly, is one of the most popular assignments.
There must have been 70 volunteers in Kalighat that morning for 100 patients, most of them wearing bandanas to prevent them from catching lice. The first bus alone was filled with about 40 of us, then a small army of South Koreans and Japanese filed into the hospital, many of them fitting on surgical masks, gloves and plastic aprons as if preparing for biological warfare. The patients were lying on their beds looking oblivious, or just resigned to this sudden influx.
“The constitution for the Missionaries of Charity comprises 275 rules and a fourth vow on top of the usual three, referred to by the Sisters as ‘our way’ – to observe ‘wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor’ as well as chastity, poverty and obedience. To join the Order requires forsaking the safety of convent walls to accept suffering, renunciation and even death by serving the sick, the dying, the lepers and the unloved, and all those who have lost faith and hope in life. It also means forsaking all links with family and loved ones, returning home on average only once in 10 years. You must work preposterously hard, often 18 hours a day, six or seven days a week, without any kind of material luxury, and the only possessions of three cheap cotton saris and a bucket.
Yet despite this unimaginable hardship, the Missionaries of Charity (MC) have one of the largest novitiates in the church. At a time when church numbers are fading the world over, there are well over 4,000 MC Sisters and novices alone and more than a million co-workers in over 40 countries.”
Voice of the People
In this section Share International focuses on the rising tide of people power which will continue to swell until, under Maitreya’s wise guidance, the people will lead their leaders into the creation of a just society in which the rights and needs of all are recognized and met.
Worldwide peace marches
Hundreds of demonstrations took place throughout the world on 18 March 2006, marking the third anniversary of the Iraq war. Protesters demanded an end to the occupation of Iraq, and spoke out against a possible attack on Iran. Demonstrations were held in 12 countries throughout Europe. In London, 80,000 people marched through the streets, according to the Stop The War Coalition. “We are united in this view and we are not going to stop demonstrating because we were here three years ago and will carry on in 10 years’ time,” said a young Muslim woman. In a speech to the crowds in Trafalgar Square, Rose Gentle, whose soldier son Gordon, 19, was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq, said: “Every day you hear of new deaths. Tony Blair has actually made Iraq a worse place for the Iraqi people.”
In the Middle East, peace events took place in Baghdad and Damascus, with smaller demonstrations in Beirut, Cairo and other cities. In Turkey, about 3,000 protesters gathered in Istanbul and an estimated 3,000 people demonstrated in South Korea, which has the third-largest number of foreign troops in Iraq after the US and Britain. In Japan protests continued into a second day, with marchers banging drums and walking to the US Embassy. “The Iraq war was President Bush’s big mistake and the whole world is against him,” said the organizer Ayako Nishimura, one of 2,000 demonstrators. “Iraq must decide its own affairs.”
In Australia, whose government supported the war, hundreds marched through the capital Sydney. “Iraq is a quagmire and has been a humanitarian disaster for the Iraqis,” said Jean Parker, a member of the Australian branch of the Stop the War Coalition, which organized the march.
In the US and Canada, tens of thousands took part in more than 200 separate protests organized against the war. One of the largest US demonstrations took place in Chicago, where organizer Andy Thayer shouted: “The anti-Vietnam movement started with protests like these! If you’re going to stop the war, it’s not going to be because of some great leader, it’s going to be due to regular people like you.”
“We are all here for our different reasons, but together our voice is so much more powerful,” said 28-year-old Elisa Armea of Pilsen, who marched through Chicago with her friends. In New York protesters chanted: “Stop the US war machine, from Iraq to Korea to the Philippines.” Marchers also gathered in Philadelphia where resident Al Zappala, whose 30-year-old son was killed in Iraq in 2004, said: “We attacked a country who never did anything to us. He was sent to Iraq based on lies.”
(Source: Chicago Tribune, International Herald Tribune, CBSNews, US; BBCNews, UK; Associated Press; seattlepi.com; indymedia.org;)
Immigration protests in the US
Large demonstrations took place in dozens of cities throughout the US, including more than 500,000 people in Los Angeles, to protest against a proposed federal law that would impose criminal penalties on those found to be in the US illegally. In Denver, Colorado, more than 50,000 people marched. An estimated 20,000 protested in Phoenix, Arizona, in what police officials said was one of the largest demonstrations in the city’s history. More than 10,000 demonstrated in New York City and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The law, passed by the US House of Representatives, would impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants; require churches to check the legal status of parishioners before offering them assistance; and build fences along one-third of the US-Mexican border.
Illegal immigrants want legislation that would protect them, unify their families and address future flows of immigrants, said Lisa Duran, of the group Rights for All People, at the Denver protest. Javier Rodriguez, of the group March 25 Coalition, which helped organize the Los Angeles demonstration, said he wanted to stop “the approval of anti-immigrant reforms” and demand “migration reform that is humane and fair, and not racist”.
One demonstrator in Denver, Elsa Rodriguez, a pilot who came to Colorado in 1999 from Mexico to look for work, said she protested because she wants to be considered equal. “We’re like the ancestors who started this country. They came from other countries without documents, too. They call us lazy and dirty, but we just want to come to work. If you see, we have families, too.”
(Source: Associated Press; BBC, UK)
Native Ecuadorians protest against free trade agreement
Thousands of indigenous Ecuadorians marched and blockaded roads and highways for more than a week in March 2006 to protest against their government’s negotiation of a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. Native Ecuadorians used piles of rocks, tree trunks, and burning garbage to block key highways in several provinces.
The groups organizing the protests also called on the government to put any negotiated trade agreement to a national vote, cancel an oil contract given to US-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and convene a constitutional assembly to rewrite Ecuador's constitution. About 1,500 Ecuadorian Indians and students marched through the capital of Quito, chanting: "We don't want to be a North American colony!" and "Get out, Occidental." The national government declared a state of emergency in five provinces and sent thousands of police and soldiers to clear blocked highways.
According to the human rights group Global Exchange, organizations including CONAIE (the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – the country’s largest indigenous organization) and Acción Ecológica (Ecological Action) have been working to stop the FTA, which they believe will erode sovereignty, environmental and labour standards, reduce prices for crops, and lead to increased migration of farmers.
Indigenous groups have said they will not halt their protests until the government stops all negotiations on the FTA, since they consider that treaties of this kind have a devastating effect on the economies of poorer countries like Ecuador, while benefiting only powerful nations such as the USA.
Manuel Castro, leader of CONAIE, said: “We have been forced to evaluate this negotiation and the government stance in relation to the FTA. And we will establish new strategies to solve the problems of the country.”
(Source: Associated Press; Reuters Global Exchange; El País, Spain; La Hora, Ecuador; Prensa Latina.)
Facts and Forecasts
Over the years, Share International has printed articles outlining Maitreya’s expectations concerning political, social, environmental and spiritual changes in the world, as presented to us by one of Maitreya’s associates in the London community in which He lives. From time to time, both Benjamin Creme and his Master have shared their prognosis of future developments. In this section, “Facts and forecasts”, our staff monitors recent news, events and comments bearing on these insights.
Global warming reaching ‘tipping point’
“Maitreya has said that everybody — every man, woman and child — must see the upholding of the planet itself as the number one priority in the world.” (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Cooperation)
James Hansen, one of the world’s leading researchers on global warming, has warned that humanity has only about 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide before global warming reaches a 'tipping point’ and becomes unstoppable. In an interview with the US television newsmagazine 60 Minutes, Hansen, director of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Science, said: “We have to, in the next 10 years, get off this exponential curve and begin to decrease the rate of growth of CO2 emissions. And then flatten it out. And before we get to the middle of the century, we’ve got to be on a declining curve.
“If that doesn’t happen in 10 years, then I don’t think we can keep global warming under one degree Celsius and that means we’re going to, that there’s a great danger of passing some of these tipping points. If the ice sheets [in the Arctic] begin to disintegrate, what can you do about it? You can’t tie a rope around the ice sheet. You can’t build a wall around the ice sheets. It will be a situation that is out of our control.” (Source: CBS News, USA)
Protecting marine bio-diversity
As experts warn of the loss of bio-diversity – which means, in effect, the extinction of many species of birds, plants, animals and fish – a positive advance was made during the recent Biological Diversity Conference held in Brazil. New large marine reserves will be created in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean thanks to the current UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Brazil.
The UN convention’s executive secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf said that the protection of marine environments was an important step in the fight to preserve the world’s biodiversity.
The island state of Kiribati in the Phoenix Island group will be the most extensive wildlife sanctuary in the Pacific Ocean, covering an area twice the size of Portugal. The Caribbean state of Grenada has committed to expanding the size of its natural reserves nine-fold and the islands of Palau and Micronesia are to form a preserve area network together with the Marshall Islands covering 6.7 million square kilometres. The region is home to more than 60 endangered animal and plant species. More maritime protection areas are planned around the Fiji islands.
(Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germany)
USA: deaf to warnings at home and abroad
“… The United States will find that the world will not stand still. With or without American co-operation the nations will proceed as best they can to deal with the many ecological and social problems which beset us, and which so urgently must be addressed. America will find itself left behind and ignored, and only then will it be prepared to ‘lead’ the way….”
(Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘America adrift’, SI December 2004)
A Republican congressman Henry Hyde warned in a speech entitled ‘Perils of the Golden Theory’, at the end of February 2006, that America is so confident in its own rectitude that it fails to hear what its allies, and others, are saying. Speaking before the Full Committee of The International Affairs Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2007, Congressman Hyde said: “It is a truism that power breeds arrogance. A far greater danger, however, stems from the self-delusion that is the more certain companion. For individuals and countries alike, power inevitably distorts perceptions of the world by insulating them in a soothing cocoon that is impervious to what scientists term ‘disconfirming evidence’.”
“Our power, then,” said Hyde, “has the grave liability of rendering our theories about the world immune from failure. But by becoming deaf to easily discerned warning signs, we may ignore long-term costs that result from our actions and dismiss reverses that should lead to a re-examination of our goals and means.”
Hyde also alludes to other powers which could soon take over the role of the world’s superpower.
“To allow our enormous power to delude us into seeing the world as a passive thing waiting for us to recreate it in an image of our choosing will hasten the day when we have little freedom to choose anything at all.”
Martin Jacques, a senior visiting research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, refers to Congressman Hyde’s speech in an unequivocal article in The Guardian newspaper (28 March) which also warns of the dangerous and “overweening confidence” on the part of the US. Jacques describes American foreign policy failure in Iraq: “It is clear that the US occupation of Iraq has been a disaster from almost every angle one can think of, most of all for the Iraqi people, not least for American foreign policy. The unpicking of the imperial logic that led to it has already commenced: Hyde’s speech is an example…”
Another example of erstwhile allies picking at the “imperial logic”, writes Jacques, is the surprising volte face by Francis Fukuyama and his criticism of White House and neo-conservative thinking. In his new book After the Neocons, Francis Fukuyama (once a neo-conservative himself), now presents a merciless attack on the Bush regime’s foreign policy and the ideology that spawned it. The Iraq war was the outcome of the position of the US as the only superpower in a post Cold War world and “the triumphalist mentality that imbued the neocons and eventually seduced the US. But”, warns Jacques, “triumphalism is a dangerous brew, more suited to intoxication than hard-headed analysis. And so it has proved. The US still has to reap the whirlwind for its stunning feat of imperial overreach.”
(Source: The Guardian, UK; www.house.gov)
In this section, Share International reviews current affairs in order to highlight issues which urgently require a new approach and lasting solutions.
US academics under pressure
A study published in March 2006 in the London Review of Books and on a Harvard University website has caused a storm which the authors say proves one of their points – that American critics of Israel are constantly silenced with charges of anti-Semitism by the powerful pro-Israel lobby. The study by Stephen Walt, Academic Dean of Harvard’s School of Government, and John Mearsheimer, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, argues that the pro-Israel lobby in the United States exerts a dominant and damaging influence on American foreign policy, and accuses it of responsibility for the US invasion of Iraq.
The study has provoked an enormous row, with its authors labelled anti-Semitic, and Harvard removing its logo from the online version. It was also announced shortly after the article’s publication that Professor Walt would be stepping down as Dean at the end of June 2006, although his colleagues say this had been long planned. “We argued in the piece that the lobby goes to great lengths to silence criticism of Israeli policy as well as the US-Israel relationship, and that its most effective weapon is the charge of anti-Semitism,” Professor Mearsheimer told The Guardian newspaper. “Thus, we expected to be called anti-Semites, even though both of us are philo-Semites and strongly support the existence of Israel.” The authors’ accusation that the lobby monitors academics to ensure that they do not diverge from the pro-Israel line is backed up by The New York Sun, which asserted that Robert Belfer, businessman and major donor to the university, had called the university requesting that Walt be forbidden to use the title of Dean of Harvard in publicity for the study.
The paper documents how Israel is the largest recipient of US aid – receiving around one-fifth of America’s foreign aid budget – and how it is also provided with “consistent diplomatic support”, quoting an American participant at Camp David’s 2000 talks as saying later: “Far too often, we functioned…as Israel’s lawyer.” Walt and Mearsheimer question the logic of this unwavering support, maintaining that it is not in America’s interests, and counter Israel and US’s assertion that they are linked by a shared terrorist threat: “The US has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way around. Support for Israel is not the only source of anti-American terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on terror difficult.”
The paper also questions the common claim that Israel deserves unqualified support because it is weak and surrounded by threatening enemies: “There is a strong moral case for supporting Israel’s existence, but that is not in jeopardy. Viewed objectively, its past and present conduct offers no moral basis for privileging it over the Palestinians.” Pointing to Israel’s military and economic dominance in the region, the professors write: “If backing the underdog were a compelling motive, the United States would be supporting Israel’s opponents.”
The study focuses on the main pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affaires Committee), but also plays close attention to pro-Israel government officials such as former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz in the current Bush administration and former assistant secretary of state Martin Indyk in the Clinton administration. It also accuses the pro-Israel lobby of inciting the American government and people against the Palestinian Authority, shifting foreign policy against Syria and other Arab states, and trying to push the United States into aggressive action against Iran’s nuclear programme.
(Source: Haaretz, Israel; The New York Sun, USA; The Guardian, UK; imemc.org)