The Master's article for
Share International magazine, July/August 2008
The Oneness of Humanity
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, 15 June 2008
The time is soon coming when men will see for themselves that
the direction on which they are now embarked is false, fruitless for their
future happiness, and doomed to failure. Seeing this, they will pose the
questions: Why this emptiness? Why do we fail to achieve the peace we seek?
Where have we gone wrong? Turning then to Maitreya, they will evaluate His
words, testing them for relevance to their plight. They will find that central
to Maitreya’s thought is the concept of Oneness. Men must, He will
assure them, see themselves as One, each part of a united Whole – the
human family – and that all that they do must reflect that Oneness.
The present failure to appreciate this reality, He will contend, is responsible
for all our difficulties and troubles, our disharmony and fears, our conflicts
“See your brother as yourself,” says Maitreya. Create an International
Storehouse from which all can take. Only thus, by Sharing, can the world be
renewed, is His Teaching. Only by Sharing, He will affirm, will men find the
happiness they seek. Sharing alone will bring Justice and Peace.
Thus will Maitreya guide the thoughts of men towards the Truth
that He brings and is. Thus will Maitreya show men their errors and the
solution to their dilemma, and thus will men take stock of their situation
and, in growing numbers, realize the Truth of His advice. More and more,
men will see that Maitreya’s guidance is the only way to achieve the
happiness and peace all inwardly crave. Held back by fear until then, they
will find in His simple Teaching the answer to all their fears and woes.
Naturally, not all will find in Maitreya the guide they seek. Many, indeed,
will find in His Teaching, all that they fear and hate. Gradually, however,
the ardour of those who can respond and resonate to His simple words of
Truth will bring millions to His cause of Justice and Peace. His Teaching,
though simple, will penetrate the hearts of all those in whom love has not
yet been extinguished.
Thus will Maitreya work throughout the world, drawing to His side all
who long for a new start, a simpler, happier world wherein to raise their
families in peace and harmony.
The Day of Declaration will be the signal for that new start
for Planet Earth. On that day without precedent, men will experience
the Oneness of which Maitreya speaks. They will sense that all humanity
is undergoing the same experience. They will feel a humble pride in being
one of a huge family of brothers and sisters whose hearts are beating together
in a love altogether new. This sense of belonging together will embrace
them and bring tears of long-forgotten joy to each and every one.
(Read more articles by the Master)
Questions & Answers -
Q. The Irish vote against the European Union calls
into question its continued existence. Was the EU doomed from the
start? Or could it be transformed into something more positive – along
the lines of the British Commonwealth model? How does the Hierarchy
see the EU?
A. The EU was founded as an economic common market. It is
not part of Hierarchy’s Plan that the individual countries of
Europe be ‘lost’ in a unified political State of Europe.
That should not be allowed to happen. The idea of such a state is driven
today by the forces of Commercialization and need to be resisted.
Q. How can Iran convince the international community
that it is being truthful when it says that it is not seeking to
develop nuclear weapons? Further sanctions are being threatened and
Iran is experiencing growing pressure on it, particularly from America.
A. It could invite UN observers into Iran to check and
confirm (or otherwise).
Q. A glance at the daily news seems to indicate that
popular protests are taking place around the globe, giving the impression
that people power is on the rise. Is this a false perception? To
some critics, marches, protests, demonstrations are anarchic acts
undermining the true mechanisms of democracy. Your insights, please.
A. No it is not a false perception. It is true that rising
prices of food and oil and local shortages of staple foods are the
main cause as yet, rather than more abstract international causes like
Justice and Peace, but it is a step in the direction required.
Q. The Vatican seems to be saying publicly that life
might exist on other planets. Is the Vatican easing its flock into
the notion that life exists on other planets, that UFOs and all accompanying
phenomena are real? What’s behind this policy?
A. Quite simply, yes! The truth is beginning to come out
and the Vatican cannot afford not be aware of the obvious.
Q. Maitreya has said that we are our “brother’s
keeper”. Does this apply on an international scale? For example:
should the rest of the world stand by while a country like Zimbabwe
spirals even further out of control into devastating chaos? Some
call for the Zimbabwean people to rise up and overthrow the corrupt
leadership. The world expects African leaders to take action. Meanwhile
the violence, misery and hunger escalate.
A. The United Nations should be invited by the African
leaders to investigate thoroughly and act if necessary.
Q. (1) Should the outside world intervene to help
the plight of the Burmese people first denied their rights, now in
desperate straits? (2) Is sovereignty inviolable?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Not in such circumstances.
Q. People who are starving, or at least having difficulty
feeding their children, offer a simple answer to the present food
price hikes and rising fuel prices: ‘Bring the prices down – then
we can all eat again and move and run our homes and businesses and
earn a living’. Is it as simple as that?
A. No. The present economic system does not work. These
events are the symptoms. There is really no shortage of food or oil.
The answer is simple – sharing alone will right the wrongs of
the past and present.
Q. Israel is building more settlements which will
double the present number. Ambitious expansion plans have just been
approved for settler homes in East Jerusalem, which was captured
by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. What are the obligations
of the international community vis-à-vis this ongoing crisis
A. There are already over 60 UN resolutions against Israeli
contraventions which are simply ignored by Israel protected by the
US veto in the Security Council. It is necessary that the Security
Council be abolished. It has long past its usefulness. The International
Community must also stand up to the US abuse of power.
Q. Was the cyclone that hit Burma natural, and were
the earthquakes in China natural or man-made? (Question from Benjamin
Creme lecture, Nagoya, Japan, May 2008.)
A. No, they were not natural and they were not directly
man-made or manipulated. Nor were they the karmic result of the government
of Burma or China’s misdeeds. They are the result of tension
and the resulting stress which unleashes forces which cannot be contained.
For example, humanity does not understand the Law of Cause
and Effect, the Law of Harmlessness. We have tremendous tension in
the world today because of the Iraq invasion – a totally illegal,
unnecessary and ghastly war, costly in human lives. That war, the invasion
by the Americans and the British has created extraordinary tension
in the world. That, as well as the war in Afghanistan and American
pressure on Iran, causes inevitable fear across the world. So people
are living in a state of tension partly because of the great cosmic
energies but also because of the actions of powerful individuals. And
people watch in silence. This country [Japan] watches in silence because
you are allies of America. But all nations of the world must raise
their voices against this trampling on other countries by America.
America is a great nation and will become a greater nation
but it is sadly out of step with its destiny. It is playing with forces
it does not understand. It is a young, powerful and extremely arrogant
nation. It is the arrogance of youth, especially strong youth. It is
time that the older, wiser nations of the world raised their voices
against the actions of America.
The best way to do that is to encourage the acceptance
of sharing. Sharing and justice will bring tranquillity and balance
to the world.
When we are out of equilibrium as we are now – the sub-human
elemental forces, which organize the cyclones, earthquakes and so on,
the forces of the planet itself, go out of equilibrium. Where you have
regular tornados – they become massive; where you have regular
earthquakes – they become massive earthquakes. The elemental
forces respond to our stress. Humanity has to understand the connection
that exists between all forces and all aspects of the planet.
Q. I have read about a man who lives in England and
calls himself Maitreya. He is a Buddhist, provides healing and makes
pyramids from gem stones to put over your bed at night. He has appeared
on television late at night in a programme about alternative healing.
Is this the same Maitreya you speak of and is he still in the UK?
A. I know the person you mean. He has absolutely nothing
to do with the Lord Maitreya, World Teacher and Head of our planetary
Q. In a Share International article
back in March 2006, you stated that the world was heading towards ‘peak
oil’ which would trigger a global stock market crash of 1929
proportions. Everything I have read recently on this subject seems
to point to peak oil happening now – is this truly the case?
The peak oil scenarios paint a grim picture of worldwide starvation,
oil wars, etc. Is this likely to happen or will Maitreya’s
Day of Declaration happen before this (ie very soon) to forestall
any major calamity?
A. ‘Peak oil’ is not a term I have ever used and the scenario
you describe seems remote from anything I have written. It therefore
seems to me that you are confusing my articles with those of someone
else you have read. Whether this is so or not, I do not see the future
in that way. There is in fact no shortage of food or oil. The present
crisis is the result of manipulation and profiteering from fear of
such loss. According to my Master there are 78 years’ worth of
oil in the world at the present rate of consumption and no real shortage
of food if properly distributed.
Q. Dear Mr Creme, I want to thank you so much for
Transmission Meditation and all your comments and teachings since
I first heard about this great story in 1999.
My question is: Is it better to collect money from
all Transmission Meditation groups and give it into your
hands to a central pool for making known this information
(through television or radio advertisements, articles
in newspapers), or would it be better to use the money
for regional media work?
A. I think the best way to use money collected at this
time is to buy advertisement space in newspapers advertising talks,
lectures, books, etc, giving some information about the ‘story’ as
a whole at the same time for people in general who do not come to the
talks. The important thing is to get the information out as soon as
possible ahead of Maitreya’s emergence. Make the money available
to the groups in Austria [your country]. I thank you for your kind
Q. Interesting website. However, one sure sign of
fraud is when the saviour of humanity is trying to sell
books. I really doubt that Christ, Krishna, Buddha and all the others
would have sold a thing. If the internet had been around in their
day, they would have posted it for all to see and not try to make
a couple of dollars off foolish people. This proves to me that you
folks are not sincere in your beliefs.
A. Interesting comment, arrived at without the slightest
inquiry or investigation. Had this inquiry been done, you
would have realized that Maitreya does not write books and present
them for sale as you suggest, but that we (Share International)
have collected His teachings and published them, free of royalties,
to enlighten the interested public, as well as placing them on our
website for those who have that availability. You would also have realized
International is a completely ‘not for profit’ organization,
run exclusively by non-paid volunteers, with many sister
groups, also run by non-paid volunteers, around the world. Our work
is done as service – which
still flourishes in this otherwise over-commercialized
(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.
On 19 May 2008 at 2.28 pm, exactly one week after the terrible
earthquake in China, there was three minutes of national silence
in memory of the victims in Sichuan. My friend, her parents and I
were in a restaurant in Beijing for lunch at that moment, and there
was a sudden halt in everyday life, no cars going, nobody working
whatsoever. A whole nation concentrating on memory, grief and compassion.
Soon, I felt a tremendous energy being set free in the ajna and the
heart, like during a blessing or so. It was amazing.
Everybody had tears in their eyes. Strange I was not sad,
but tears started running from my eyes. A moment of oneness, like a
relief. I cannot tell what it was, but the energy kept flowing for
some time. Did the Masters send some relieving energy?
T. W., Berlin, Germany.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was a blessing from Maitreya
for the whole of the Chinese people.)
On 10 May 2008 I went to a ‘Rally for a Free Palestine’ in
Trafalgar Square, London. I was early and the square was still fairly
empty as I crossed it with my placard which read ‘Justice through
Sharing = Peace’. An elderly woman dressed in black was passing
in a wheelchair and she beckoned me over saying she wished to look
at the message on my placard. She then beamed heartily and pronounced
it a “very good message” and carried on her way. I was
very much encouraged as I dislike being on my own at these demonstrations.
Then I thought it strange that she had been propelling herself in the
wheelchair with no one in attendance, and wished I had engaged her
in conversation. Was she Maitreya or perhaps the Master Jesus?
I. L.G, Notting Hill, London, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ in
the wheelchair was Maitreya.)
Seeing is believing
My brother Frank was driving near his home in the Cheshire
countryside on a Friday evening in late October or early November
2007 when he saw some bright lights in the sky. At first he thought
that perhaps there was a fair-ground nearby but then he noticed that
the lights were coming towards him.
He pulled into the side of the road, got out of the Landrover
and watched their approach. The lights were large and in rows of three.
He counted about seven rows. They came so close he thought they were
going to land. He was surrounded by them as they passed overhead and
he felt a sense of peace and wonder.
Were they UFOs and, if so, where did they come from?
S. McD., Richmond, Surrey, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they were seven spacecraft
On 10 May 2008 at Benjamin Creme’s Tokyo lecture, my sister and
I were in charge of the information table for Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ cards
and Benjamin Creme’s mandala art catalogues.
About an hour before the lecture, our area was already
very crowded with people. When I looked up, a man who was standing
in front of us, shaking his body left and right, suddenly asked with
a very loud voice: “Is Maitreya alive?” He was about 65
years old and rather small, but because his question was so straightforward
and sharp, I lost my presence of mind with a shock as if an arrow had
struck my chest. We tried to find the words to answer his question,
but didn’t know what to say. I finally said: “Well, He
is not publicly out, but….”
“You don’t even know if he is alive or dead? Then this is trickery!”,
he said loudly with a tone of disgust and left. A few people looked at him
with a puzzled expression, but most people continued looking at the cards and
booklets as if they hadn’t heard him. Although he had said: “It’s
trickery”, my sister and I both felt as if he had said to everyone around
us that “this was real!” His speed of contact was so fast that
we were overwhelmed and could not have a conversation with him or even answer
his simple question. But afterwards, many more people talked to us and we were
able to respond and explain our information with a bit more confidence. Was
that man a special person?
M. U., Shiga-ken, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)
Two letters from the same person:
Guides’ motto: ‘Be Prepared’
(1) On 10 May 2008 at Benjamin Creme’s Tokyo lecture, my sister
and I were in charge of the information table.
Many people came to our table and spoke to us, including
a tall slender woman in her 40s with long black hair. She talked to
my sister for a while and then turned to me and asked: “Is Maitreya
alive?” As I had been ashamed that I could not answer the same
question earlier [see previous letter], I replied clearly: “Yes,
He is alive.” Her hair was unnaturally black, and her bangs [fringe]
were cut straight in an old-fashioned hairstyle, like a Japanese Ichimatsu
doll. She then asked when the Master would come out, to which I replied: “I
am told that He will come when goodwill begins to manifest in our daily
life. What is important is our awareness.”
In spite of my awkward explanation, she smiled and asked
more questions like how many Masters there were, where were they, and
so forth. I answered as best as I could and apologized for my poor
explanations. “Maitreya will emerge when our human conflicts
such as the Tibet problems and such are solved, won’t He?” she
said smilingly, as if she understood very well. Was she a special person?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘lady’ was
the Master Jesus.)
(2) At about 8.30 pm when we started clearing up after
the Tokyo lecture, a short man of around fifty-five, wearing glasses,
came to our table. He was carrying a handful of rubbish and a rolled-up
newspaper, and discarded them in the rubbish bin near me. He was wandering
this way and that as if looking for a bathroom, so I showed him the
way and he went up the steps. He came back and looked at a poster showing
the image of Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ and asked: “What
is this?” My sister answered: “This is a ‘Handprint’ of
Maitreya, which appeared in the bathroom of a house in Barcelona, Spain.” He
looked closely and asked: “Did Maitreya come to the bathroom
and place His ‘Handprint’ there?” My sister replied
that He did not visit but through telepathy had placed the ‘Handprint’ there.
The man looked puzzled so my sister added that Maitreya is omnipresent
and omniscient, so He is able to do that. The man left as if he had
no interest, while murmuring: “Omnipresent? Omniscient?” He
was behaving like a drunken man but I thought he actually knew everything
and only pretended to behave like that. He was the last to leave and
I felt he stayed to watch over us until we finished our task. Was he
H.N., Gifu-ken, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master in
The following three letters are from the same person:
(1) On 17 May 2008, at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Osaka, I was
tending a book table alone on the basement floor. Just before the lecture,
when hardly anyone was around, a tall man in his forties with a slender
face and narrow eyes came up to my table. He was dressed casually with
a check shirt and khaki pants. He took a copy of the Transmission
Meditation book and started to read. Then he asked: “Do
you practice this?” I answered yes, and he asked: “For
a long time?” I answered yes. Then he asked: “What motivated
you to start?” I answered: “It was recommended to my younger
brother by a president of one of his client companies that meditation
would help one to become less angry. So I decided to do it.” He
laughed out loud and asked: “Well, have you become less angry?” I
answered: “I do get angry, but I think I don’t lose control
any more.” He nodded: “I see. Is there anything else that
changed you internally?” “I think I can see life more positively
than I used to,” I replied. He said cheerfully: “That’s
Then, other people began to talk to me and while I was
responding to them, he put the book back on the table and disappeared.
I remember now he spoke without any trace of Kansai dialect. Could
you please tell me who he was?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master Jesus.)
(2) On 20 May 2008, at Benjamin Creme’s Nagoya
lecture, I was standing by a glass sheet that showed a Cross of Light.
A woman in her early 50s approached me. She was of medium height and
build with short hair, wearing a white shirt, vest with embroidery
on the bottom, cotton pants and glasses.
She told me that she had come from Hamamatsu with her husband,
because she saw an advertisement of the lecture twice in the Chu-nichi
Shimbun newspaper. “Usually my husband would not come to
places like this even if I asked him, but today, he himself suggested
we go. So we were able to come together. It took three hours to get
here, but it is much better to attend this kind of lecture than just
staying at home for three hours as usual.” She also said that
when she read the newspaper advertisements carefully, she realized
she had always wanted to hear this kind of information. She said: “I
felt the time of change was coming. That time is now, isn’t it?
It is the time to put on new clothes, isn’t it? Taking off the
old ones.” She continued: “Recently, I have finally understood
how to use my mind. If we clearly visualize a good result in our minds,
things will go well in one way or other. If we have doubtful or pessimistic
thoughts, nothing will turn out well even if you try hard. Today, everything
went smoothly for us, the train and the time, and we could even get
front row seats here. I don’t really like this phrase, but it
says whatever one wishes, it’ll happen. It happened that way
for us today. The people I associate with have completely changed now,
and I no longer care for an ordinary social engagement. Life should
be lived with joy. It won’t be fun to be angry.” I felt
she was looking deeply into my eyes. (To be honest, I had been quite
angry in the morning).
She repeated: “Life is to be lived with joy. Living should be
While I was listening to her, a sense of respect for her
welled up in my heart. She said politely: “I am really grateful
that you are holding this meeting. Thank you very much.” And
she went inside the hall. She came to the lobby again during the interval
and bought two of Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ cards.
Could you tell me if she was someone special?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was
the Master Jesus.)
(3) On 10 February 2008 I attended the Kansai group meeting
in Osaka. It was about preparing for the upcoming lecture by Benjamin
Creme in Osaka.
After the meeting, on the way to the highway bus station
I stopped at a department store near the Namba station. Because I was
so thirsty, I bought a bottle of cold tea and tried to open it, but
it was too tight.
When I looked up, I saw a small man in his 70s standing
in front of me, holding out his hand toward me without saying a word.
I automatically held out the bottle to him, saying nothing. He kindly
opened the cap and I received it with a light bow.
When he returned the bottle to me, our eyes met. His eyes
were slightly smiling and I felt I was deeply loved and cared for.
I thought only if human beings could look at each other with such a
look of love, we would not have conflicts and fights.
Was this man a Master?
M. S., Okayama, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)
On the way to Benjamin Creme’s Tokyo lecture I found myself praying
in the train to be shown a sign if Mr Creme’s story about Maitreya
At the lecture during Maitreya’s blessing through Mr Creme, I
could feel tremendous light on top of my head and I felt a warm powerful
beam of light flowing into my body. Although I was not feeling emotional
at all, I was surprised to find tears suddenly welling up in my eyes
and flowing down my cheeks.
Also, I took two photographs of the cross of light display
with my digital camera. While taking one photograph I saw another large
white cross of light suddenly appear and spread through my camera.
Hoping to capture the image, I pressed the shutter: it clearly showed
on the screen.
Were these phenomena manifested by Maitreya?
K.W., Yokohama, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these to be blessings from Maitreya.)
On 17 May 2008, at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Osaka, I stood
by the cross of light display while my brother went to the bathroom.
A tall, thin man in his 60s and a young man of around 20 came together
to see the cross of light display. The older man showed the crosses
to the younger man saying very earnestly: “Here! Look at this!” The
older man kept talking to the younger man eagerly: “Incredible!” “Isn’t
it amazing?” He seemed excited. I was happy to see his excitement
and explained that the first cross of light appeared in an impoverished
neighborhood in Los Angeles, USA. “Really? I see,” he nodded.
He asked: “Does this happen due to the light?” I answered
it was not because of the light itself, but a miracle happened as the
light is refracted through the glass.
Then the older man asked me suddenly: “You are all volunteers,
aren’t you?” “Yes,” I replied. He seemed quite
impressed. “That is amazing, in such terrible times to be working
as volunteers. It’s really wonderful.” Then the older man
nudged the younger man and they went away.
Could you please tell me who they were?
N.S., Okayama, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the older man was Maitreya and
the younger man was the Master Jesus.)
Light blessings around the world
Share International regularly prints
photographs sent in by readers showing a variety of different light
phenomena: light blessings, crosses of light and light images. Typically,
a column or swirl of light is discovered on the photograph after
development. These patterns of light are not caused by film faults
or accidents in the developing process and are only seen on the exposure
in question, not the whole film. Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms
that they are blessings manifested by Maitreya or the Master Jesus.
A further selection of light-blessing photographs follows, chosen
from the many sent to Share International.
Madonna apparitions in America
Apparitions of the Madonna are “springing up across America,
giving messages of hope to stunned eyewitnesses”, reports the
US tabloid newspaper, Sun.The article describes the experience
of a 12-year-old girl in Winthrop, Washington, who was
staying with family and a friend at a remote cabin during the Christmas
holidays in 2007. While outside experimenting with a new camera, she
noticed an unusual moving object at tree-top level and photographed
it: to her surprise, the object appeared in the photograph as a lady
in a white robe.
About a week after the Washington sighting, Joel Sullivan,
a bicycle messenger in San Francisco, saw an apparition
of the Madonna. While riding his bicycle, Sullivan skidded into the
side of a large metal trash bin. “I looked up and there was this
blinding blue glow coming from the end of the alley, with a lady in
a long dress standing in the middle of it,” Sullivan said. “My
first thought was: ‘She is absolutely beautiful.’ My second
thought was: ‘What is she doing here?’” The lady
looked at Sullivan and said: “War will soon be over.” Then
she disappeared in a flash of light.
Jennifer Wilson of Richmond, Virginia, described her experience
of the Madonna. While driving her daughter to soccer practice,
Wilson noticed a woman standing in the middle of an intersection. “She
was young and wearing a blue dress with a long blue head
said. Wilson stopped the car and her daughter rolled down
the window. The woman turned to her “with this brilliant smile
and said: ‘You
will inherit a beautiful world.’ Then she just sort of faded
away.” (Source: Sun, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these to be appearances of
the Master Who was the Madonna.)
Joanne Denobriga, a volunteer with the UK Swan Lifeline charity, was
attempting to rescue a distressed swan when she fell into a weir and
was sucked under the sluice-gate at Colthrop Lock on the Kennet and
Avon canal. She was trapped unconscious under water for 10 minutes
and finally surfaced 50 feet downstream where she was able to drag
herself out of the water with the aid of some willow branches.
“I believe my guardian angels were looking after me,” said Denobriga. “It
was like being pulled down a plug-hole,” she said. “I was caught
in the current which turned into a whirlpool, like a vortex and I just remember
shooting through this tunnel, like a chute. It was not until I was in the white
water that I came round.”
The hospital neurologist said that the cold water helped
prevent the brain being starved of oxygen, but her survival was nevertheless “a
phenomenon”, said paramedic Paul Mitchell. Sadly, the swan did
not survive. (Source: dailymail.co.uk)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that she was helped by the Master
An Islamic scholar in Skokie, Illinois, USA, discovered a piece of
tree bark in front of his house with the word ‘Muhammad’ in
Arabic carved into it by insects. One day in May 2008, while watching
squirrels run up the tree in front of his house, Assad Busool heard
a piece of bark hit the ground with a loud cracking sound. When he
looked at it closely, he was astonished to see the word ‘Mohammed’. “I
said: ‘What is the meaning of this?’ I have a holy tree
in my yard.”
Some Muslims in his community believe the markings on the
14-inch-long piece of bark is a sign from heaven. “It’s
crystal clear, it says Muhammad,” said Andala Mbengue, a cab
driver from Senegal who saw the wood after prayers at the American
Islamic College in Chicago. “Allah is always putting himself
out there. Sometimes people ignore it, but he’s always showing
Scholars of Islam interviewed about this phenomenon said
some Muslims view such apparitions as reminders that God is everywhere
Busool teaches religion and Arabic at the American Islamic
College in Chicago, and is an Islamic judge who rules on family issues.
He points to a verse in the Quran to explain why insects might carve
lines into wood to spell the word Muhammad. The verse says that every
living being on Earth sings the praises of God in languages human beings
can’t understand. “They don’t know Arabic. To eat
the inside of the branch and make that writing, it’s guidance
from God, of course,” said Busool.
Busool has shown the bark to a few people at the Muslim
Community Center in Chicago. He also showed it to about 50 people who
had come to Friday prayers at the American Islamic College. One worshipper,
Walid Guerfal, said the writing had left him in awe. “It’s
like a miracle from God,” he said. (Source: Chicago Tribune,
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it is a sign manifested by Maitreya.)
Namibia – Several residents of Usakos, Namibia, say they saw
a UFO pass over them on 18 May 2008. Resident Hester Schmidt was sitting
on her porch with her husband when they saw what looked like a “round
ball with a long tail” passing overhead. “We didn’t
hear anything, but it was extremely fast and it went really low,” Schmidt
said. Two other witnesses, Thomas Ismael and Sabina Naruses, corroborated
Schmidt’s story. “It made a huge light over the town,” Ismael
said. “My children, my wife, they all saw it. Everyone is talking
about it.” (Source: www.allafrica.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was a
spacecraft from Mars.)
UK – Three residents of the London suburb of
Woodford Green reported seeing five unusual lights hovering in the
sky on the night of 31 May 2008. The lights went out one at a time
as a dark object descended to earth, they said. One witness, Bradley
Gross, said: “It still gives me the shivers even thinking about
it now. It was really freaky-looking and we saw these bright spots
and then this thing slowly came down diagonally to earth. Without a
doubt it was something odd and it could not have been a plane or a
balloon as it was not moving at all and had these bright lights.” (Source: Wanstead
and Woodford Guardian, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they
were spacecraft from Mars.)
USA – 12-year-old Brandon Puckett and his mother Laura saw two
fiery orange orbs in the sky at St Augustine, Florida, USA, on 19 April
2008. The identical flaming globes flew past the coastline at 9 pm
and were seen by others in the area. Brandon was convinced they were
UFOs. Witnesses in Germany also reported seeing flaming globes at the
same time. (Source: firstcoastnews.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they
were spacecraft from Mars.)
Crop circle in South Korea
A huge crop circle was discovered by a photographer in South Korea
in early June 2008 in a field near Boryoung City. The first crop circle
to be reported from Korea, its diameter was estimated to be between
150 and 200 metres (450-600 ft). (Source: x-cosmos.it/cropcircles;
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was created
by a UFO from Mars.)
UFO sightings in UK up by 40 per cent
The British Ministry of Defence has released a file listing 135 reports
of strange objects in the skies in 2007, a 40 per cent
increase on 2006 when 97 were reported. The MoD file was released as
part of its new policy under the Freedom of Information Act to open
its archives on UFO research.
While in most cases eye witnesses remain unidentified,
the file mentions that in two cases the sighting involved
pilots who were flying over Alderney (Channel Islands), when they reported
seeing two bright orange objects. In a separate incident another pilot
reported witnessing a balloon-like object in the south-west of the
UK. Many witnesses report seeing bright lights, but a number of callers
insisted they saw “a definite UFO”.
Former MoD officer Nick Pope, who was responsible for investigating
UFO sightings between 1991 and 1994, said: “I welcome the MoD’s
new openness on this subject. Whatever people believe about
UFOs, the government is releasing some of the most fascinating material
in its files. Sceptics and believers alike should welcome this.” (Source: Metro, UK)
The New Education — A compilation
We present a selection of quotations
on the theme of ‘The New Education’ from
Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ,
and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws
of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A
Master Speaks), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
My Teaching will show you that there is nothing
in this world which, if needed, cannot be achieved by man.
Man is a God and requires only to manifest that divinity
to flourish. My Presence will assure you that this is so,
for My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, and I shall show
you the wonders of your divine nature. In this way shall
you sense your potential and grow in Light. (Maitreya,
Message No. 71)
The world stands ready for more light. The
peoples everywhere are thirsty for new knowledge of themselves
and of God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from‘Let
there be light’)
To me, education is every activity that fits
a man, woman, or child for the fullest expression of their
potential. Coming into incarnation at a certain stage in
development, carrying on from a previous life, we have
a given potential in terms of soul expression, intelligence,
and physical equipment, whatever that brings into this
life. Education is the preparation of a man, woman, or
child, on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes,
to bring out their potential in any given life. (Benjamin
Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)
Only by a re-education of humanity about
the true nature of man as a threefold reality – spirit,
soul and personality – and of the Law of Cause and
Effect in its relation to the Law of Rebirth, can a true
expression of man as a soul take place. This will condition
our new systems. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume One)
We have to learn the art of living. It is
an art form, and can only be learned as we go. It is not
something that you can teach, but you can teach the rudiments,
the laws. Teach the laws and the rules which stem from
them – the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Rebirth,
the Law of Harmlessness and the Law of Sacrifice – and
you have taught the basics of life. Life proceeds under
these Laws, and the sooner we make them instinctive parts
of our life the sooner we will have a reasonably co-ordinated
and harmonious life and world. (Benjamin Creme, The
Art of Living)
Past and Future
What mankind has expressed in the last 2,000
years is the energy of knowledge. Our science and our educational
systems are the expression of this. In the next 2,000 years
we shall express the love of God, not only the intelligence
of God. The Christ will bring a yet higher aspect than
Love, the Will aspect, but of course it will only become
manifest in individuals. In the following cycle, or towards
the end of this cycle, more and more of humanity will begin
to evidence that quality of Will which includes Love. (Benjamin
Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters
My Masters will teach you the rules of Life;
I Myself will show you that higher Light which beckons
mankind. My Teaching is twofold: it has to do with man’s
physical nature, the necessities of life; it has to do,
also, with man’s relationship to that Divine Being
Whom we call God. In My vocabulary these are as one, for
only in so far as man correctly relates to man does he
so relate to God. My plan is to show you this, to teach
you that when man discovers in himself the ability to share,
to love, to trust, from that moment begins his ascent to
God. It was always so and always shall be so. (Maitreya,
Message No. 29)
All children need a stable background in
which to grow and the exemplars of that process, a mother
and father. That not all parents provide that stability
or offer worthy examples is, sadly, all too true, and many
factors are involved in this unfortunate condition: lack
of education, poverty, inadequate housing, illness, and
irresponsible and feckless adults, immature and unfit for
the rigours of family life.
Let it also be said that millions in every country, poverty-stricken
and deprived of every amenity, strive valiantly, and mostly
succeed against all the odds, to hold their families together
and provide a stable and loving example to their young.
They are the unsung heroes of the race who, through tenacity
of purpose and endless self-sacrifice, represent the best
that humanity can show.
The new education must address this fundamental problem
and institute the training and requirements for family
life. It is odd, is it not, that this most basic aspect
of social life should receive such scant attention, and
be left to the vagaries of chance to such a large extent?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘The family’)
My Teaching, simple though it is, will show
you the necessity for sharing, for the creation of a pool
of resources from which all men may take, the substitution
for greed of co-operation and trust, the manifestation
of the inner divinity of men. (Maitreya, Message No. 64)
The needs of all peoples are the same: adequate
food, housing, education and healthcare are the essential
requirements without which men cannot reach, nor render
to society, their full potential. Millions, today, are
denied these basic rights. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘Inclusivenesss
Change will take place in our educational
institutions, which will teach people the art of survival,
not just in the material world, but also to inspire them
in mind and spirit. Education in the future will be free
of ideological and religious bias. It will create fullness
and wholesomeness in the individual. (Maitreya’s
Teachings – The Laws of Life)
There is probably no perfect education anywhere
today. Everyone has a more or less limiting, and in some
cases crippling, education which thwarts their creative
imagination, inhibits them as individuals, and builds fear
complexes – fear of teachers, fear of examinations,
fear of each other; it also overstimulates harmful competition.
…. every individual should be seen as a soul. The whole of education
should be geared to that. In addition, each child needs to be recognized as
being unique, with a personal ray structure that is the outcome of their past
incarnational experience and the soul purpose in this life – because
the soul provides the rays for the various bodies.
Therefore, real education, and the education of the future,
must necessarily take into account the ray structure so
that each individual’s education can be tailored
to fit that person. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume Two)
Opening of centres for young people – In
Britain, Maitreya has made himself known in various ways
to religious and political leaders. There are deep divisions
in society, but these divisions cannot heal unless they
come out openly. The social, economic and political ferment
Britain is experiencing will eventually produce a mellowing
of capitalism and there will be a balanced blend of socialism
Aspects of Maitreya’s mission in Britain will include
the opening of certain centres which will attract young
people and families. The aim is, first of all, to treat
these youngsters in a way that will generate self-respect
and build trust. Thus equipped, they will be helped to
find jobs. The banking sector will eventually offer help,
and teachers, doctors and politicians will visit these
centres and study them for guidance. (Maitreya’s
Teachings – The Laws of Life)
Teachers cannot control classrooms because
the leaders themselves are unable to understand what life
is about. They are only good at unleashing market forces
and turning individuals into robots in factories. Now,
responsible intellectuals will come forward, not just those
who do not know how to live, who are ruled by the ballot
box and ideology.
To indoctrinate a child is un-divine. To impose ideologies
on anyone is un-divine.
The minds of children at present are stuffed with facts
and figures. How can the Self experience peace and happiness?
However, “in the name of the children everything
will evolve”. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The
Laws of Life)
Great new spiritual energies in great potencies
are pouring into the world on a daily basis. This is transforming
human consciousness including the consciousness of young
Young people are sensitive. They feel themselves to be
souls in incarnation, and yet everything they experience
in their family, in school, and in the streets seems to
be totally materialistic. It is against the very nature
of the soul. The soul is oneness, wholeness, seeing humanity
as one. But the child goes to school to compete with other
children, to be the best, the very opposite of the nature
of the soul. Schools are not there to prepare children
for life. They are there to prepare children for business.
Business has taken over all life. That is why children
don’t want to go to school. It is called commercialization.
Education and healthcare are run as if they were businesses.
They are not businesses, but services absolutely essential
to evolving human beings. (Benjamin Creme, The Great
When I announce Myself to the world, I shall
speak to all men in these terms: “Prepare to see
yourselves as Gods. Prepare to be uplifted into Light.
Prepare to realise yourselves as brothers, one of another.
Prepare to teach the Truth. Prepare to live the Law. Welcome
this Law and restore the Plan of God.” (Maitreya,
Message No. 34)
[Maitreya] is a spiritual teacher, an educator
in the broadest sense of that word. He has come to educate
humanity about its own nature, to show us that we are divine,
that in every single person is the divine spark which connects
us with all cosmos. This is the inner reality. He comes
to inspire humanity to reveal that reality and to become
like the Masters, not only potentially but actually divine.
(Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)
Even in the educational system, great changes
are taking place now. Children will offer things completely
out of the unknown – not from textbooks. The changes
are coming from the children. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The
Laws of Life)
[Maitreya] will draw the attention of men
to the special needs of the young, so to foster their latent
aspiration and readiness to serve. He will emphasize the
role of woman and her need for emancipation, education
and respect. He will show that in the years ahead, a vast
army of servers will be required to fulfil even the basic
needs of a world hungry for food, for work, for education
and knowledge; for a chance to demonstrate their humanity
and longing for betterment. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘Events
One of the saddening things about present
education is the way children are put down, told that they
are wrong, told not to do that, that is naughty. This inhibition
of the child that goes on all the time has nothing to do
with naughtiness. The child has no concept of naughtiness.
The child has only desires, instincts, and a looking for
adventure. If they were allowed to do that without always
being told that they are naughty and wrong, they would
grow up without these inhibitions, this lack of self-esteem.
They would feel loved, feel that their parents really cared
about them, had patience for them, were ready to listen
to them, speak with them, and so on. That would give an
inner confidence, which reflects itself in an ability to
make the best of any opportunity presented by life.
What holds most people back is a lack of confidence. That
is mainly the result of continual nagging by parents, putting
the child down. “You’re only a child”,
or: “How could you know?” Everything a child
says is sneered at and belittled. I do not mean in every
family, but in many. Even among otherwise intelligent and
educated people you will find the same kind of down-putting,
derision of their children. Children should never, ever,
be derided. It is only a convenience for parents to inhibit
the child so that they can keep them under moderate control.
People are so overworked and tired, their nervous systems
so taut, that they cannot bear the presence and demands
of their own children. That is a tragedy for them, for
the children and for society as a whole.
Self-esteem is a fundamental need in every human being.
The lack of it is what drives people to crime, drug-taking,
all the abuses, even suicide. All of that is a direct result
of the inability of many parents to inculcate a sense of
love and understanding, to treat them with a warm, patient,
readiness to help, to listen and relate to the child, and
give them that essential confidence. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume Three)
Today, most education, for what it is worth,
is education for jobs. People are simply fitted to make
their living in the outer commercial world under the whip
of competition. This will change. Competition has to give
way to co-operation. Above all, it is competition, which
is based on greed and fear, that holds humanity back in
its most important expression of its oneness, its sense
of being part of one group. This has to change. When it
does, people will realize, and the Masters will exemplify,
the fact of the soul. People will realize that they are
souls and will turn to the soul. Then the education for
the life of the soul, and the psychology of the soul, will
become more and more the norm in our educational system.
(Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)
Each child, at whatever level it comes into
incarnation, comes into the world with its own set of purposes.
A main purpose is to learn to live in peace and harmony
with the rest of us, all the people with whom he or she
comes into relationship. The actual possibility to do this
is rare today. You are a very exceptional individual if
you come into life in a family, a school situation, a national
community, where everything you need to work out your life
purposes as a soul is available to you.
We need to recognize that all young people are unique.
They are sons of God evolving towards the manifestation
of that divinity and sonship. How many people see an individual
child in that way? (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume Three)
Those relatively few who have led the way
in preparation for this time will find themselves offered
another field of service: an educational endeavour vast
in scope. From all sides will come the queries; a long-felt
hunger for knowledge will, like a dammed-up river, overflow
and burst its banks. Many will seek to know the background
and history of this event; for others, the immediate future
will be the chief concern. Still others will feel the need
to analyse and to question every explanation, unsatisfied
in the end with aught but their own beliefs. Persuasion
and tact, therefore, must be the order of the day, so to
avoid the charge of bigotry and pride.
Societies, worldwide, will play their part, assuring the
broad dissemination of the needed teachings. Much remains
to be given, but, already, much remains unopened and unread
in the hands of men.
Endeavour, the counsel is, to inculcate the habit of reading
much, thus to inform and guide the seekers on the way.
Systematic study of the teachings, and earnest attempts
to live the precepts of Maitreya, will give the needed
balance and authority with which to teach. Each one, thus
equipped, can avail themselves of this opportunity to serve
anew. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘To
A new vista of possibilities will soon appear as men grapple
with the problems of separation and division. This will
release the forces and inspire the techniques of training
and teaching which will bring men in due course to the
feet of God.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master, A Master Speaks)
2008 Benjamin Creme Japan Tour
by Michiko Ishikawa
Benjamin Creme’s Japan lectures drew
the largest audiences ever at all three cities – Tokyo,
Osaka and Nagoya – exceeding the seating capacity
of each of the halls. The large audiences were the result
of the extraordinary advertisement efforts that each sponsoring
group carried out this year.
The most interesting episode regarding the newspaper advertisements
concerned help given by Maitreya. As reported in the Letters
section of Share International May 2008, a group
member in the Osaka area received a phone call from Maitreya,
disguised as a man from an advertising agency. He offered
an extraordinary discount for a full-page advertisement
in the local edition of Sankei Shimbun newspaper.
The Osaka group thought the advertisement might not pass
the newspaper’s policy of screening out religious
or politically-oriented subjects and were fully prepared
to modify it upon request, but to their great surprise
and joy, it was printed without any changes. About 1,150
people attended the Osaka lecture with many also watching
the lecture on a monitor in the lobby.
When the Tokyo (Kanto Area) group learned about the advertising
story, they were so inspired that they bought a full-page
advertisement in Asahi Shimbun, the largest and
most respected newspaper in Japan. The group quickly raised
the necessary funds and the full-page advertisement reached
4-5 million households in the northern half of Japan. As
a result, more than 2,100 people came to Hibiya Public
Hall in Tokyo for Benjamin Creme’s lecture; people
began queuing in the rain as early as 11.30 am for the
2 pm start.
Benjamin Creme’s talk in Tokyo, the first of the
tour, was to an extraordinarily attentive audience. The
meeting lasted five-and-a-half hours, yet most of the audience
stayed until the end. Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms
that Maitreya and the Master Jesus were also present, in
disguise, and stayed until the end of the lecture. The
public Transmission Meditation the next day drew 600 people
with nearly 150 first-time participants.
The Nagoya group also focused on newspaper display advertisements
and drew their biggest crowd ever – about 760 people.
As usual, Maitreya, the Master Jesus and the Master in
Tokyo were confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master to
be at various meetings including the Share Japan conference,
and were recognized by group members (see Letters to the
At the Share Japan conference held in Shiga at the end
of the tour, Benjamin Creme expressed his appreciation
for the intelligent, focused and dedicated work of the
Japanese groups, enabling him to give his talks to over
4,000 people at three lectures. The groups are already
busy looking for even larger lecture halls for next year.
See more pictures
of the people
Iraq war veterans lead anti-war demonstration
In an effort to energize public anti-war sentiment, US
veterans of the Iraq war led a demonstration of hundreds of people through
the streets of Seattle on 31 May 2008. The demonstration was held
in conjunction with an event called ‘Winter Soldier’, one
of a series of hearings held across the US that feature testimonials
from US veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The demonstration was sponsored by the group Iraq Veterans Against the
War. Active-duty soldiers comprise the fastest-growing segment of the
1,200-member group. Many of the Seattle demonstrators were veterans who
had just given testimony about their time in Iraq.
Christopher Diggins, a psychotherapist who volunteers his time to work
with soldiers and their families, attended the march. “I want to
show my solidarity for vets who are against the war, because it is the
only way this war is going to stop. It’s hard to have the war if
nobody is going to fight.”
Another marcher reported that the demonstration “is a great way
to be informed by the vets, support GI resistance, and try to end the
Children took part in the demonstration as well. Asked why he was participating,
nine-year-old Wes Cunningham said: “It’s a cool march, and
I think it’s bad to kill other human beings.” (Source: Inter
Democratic elections in Nepal
On 10 April 2008 democratic elections were held in Nepal.
BBC journalist Charles Haviland said turnout in much of the country seemed
high. The new government, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), will
over the next two years rewrite the constitution. A Maoist Party leader
hailed the result saying: “We believe this will take Nepal to a
new era”. This optimism was echoed by Arpana Shrestha, a 47 year-old
woman voting in Kathmundu who commented: “This is our chance to
stop the bleeding … Always there was blood in Nepal. Not anymore”.
Mukunda Maraseno, a 40 year-old bank employee, also voting in Kathmandu, told
Associated Press news agency: “I came here to vote today believing
this process will settle political instability for good”.
This election follows mass protests in Nepal. In February 2005 King Gyanendra
suspended parliament, appointed his own government and imposed martial
law. Countrywide uprisings began in April 2006 resulting in demonstrations
and rallies. The King was forced to give up his power declaring “power
would be returned to the people” and parliament was reinstated.
An interim parliament was formed setting a date for forthcoming elections
in 2008. Nepal was declared a Republic in May 2008
A crowd of about 500 protestors gathered to shout: “Long Live the
Republic”, as the deposed King left his palace in central Kathmandu
on 11 June. He handed over his royal sceptre and crown of peacock feathers,
yak hair and jewels to the Nepalese government, who threatened to put
him on trial if he did not bow out gracefully. Mr Shah, as the former
king is now known, will continue to live in Nepal. (Source: BBC News,
UK; The Washington Post, USA;Agence France Presse)
Indian Gujjar tribe demands justice
On 29 May 2008, Delhi, India, was brought to a standstill
when thousands of protestors set up a ring of burning tyres around the
city, and brought the railway network to a halt, squatting on the tracks.
The protestors were members of the Gujjars, nomadic farmers, of whom
there are around 15 million in India. They are considered disadvantaged,
but are seeking to be reclassified in the Hindu caste hierarchy. Avinash
Bandana, a Gujjar farmer’s leader, told a local television channel
that they “needed the appropriate status.” At present they
are catagorized too high and prefer to be classified with ‘tribal
groups’ who are the poorest in India. This would entitle them
to access government jobs and university places that the Indian government
normally reserves for those socially disadvantaged by centuries of caste
oppression. The Indian government runs the largest affirmative action
programme in the world.
The Gujjars were outcast by the British Raj which classified them as “criminal
castes”. “These groups cannot escape history and what we
see is they just cannot compete with other groups because they were nomadic
and had no rights to land. The solution would be to give them a separate
status and examine their needs,” recommends Amaresh Misra, historian
and writer. The Times of India editorial responds, saying: “The
Gujjar agitation once again highlights the perils of caste-based reservations,
which is bound to lead to more groups clamouring for quota benefits … A
points-based system where factors like income and gender are considered,
in addition to caste, might deliver social justice better”. (Source: The
Nicaraguans took to the streets of the northeastern city
of Matagalpa, in a protest supported by the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Senior
government officials including ministers of agriculture, education, health
and foreign affairs and more than 1,000 children from Matagalpa, took
part in the march designed to highlight the issue of hunger and poverty
in Nicaragua. Matagalpa is one of the areas hardest hit by hunger and
has high rates of chronic malnutrition.
The WFP is supporting and encouraging more action in 70 other cities
around the world. In Nicaragua alone, WFP Nicaragua is helping feed more
than half a million people including 400,000 elementary school students
in the department of Matagalpa.
About 6 million children die each year from malnutrition in the world,
while 840 million people go hungry, according to the WFP. (Source: Xinhuanet.com)
Protests around the globe
Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Britain
are some of the European countries feeling the brunt of rising fuel prices,
while in Asia, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, South Korea, Nepal and
Thailand are witnessing similar strikes and protests.
The traffic jams sometimes extend for endless kilometres. Several people
have already lost their lives in accidents, as workers in many parts
of Europe stage strikes, go-slow campaigns and demonstrations to protest
against the high price of fuel.
The price of oil is impacting on workers across a wide range of the labour
market. Spanish, Italian and French fishermen, Belgian and Dutch truck
drivers and farmers across Europe have protested in recent weeks to demand
government aid to compensate for high fuel costs, which they say are
threatening their livelihoods.
Thousands of Spanish fishermen took to the streets of Madrid in May calling
for urgent measures to stop the rise of oil prices in the marketplace.
Due to the fact that the fishing industry is still an important element
in the Spanish economy, protesters complained that the price of oil has
increased 320 per cent in the last five years while the price of fish
remains the same as twenty years ago. Fishermen wrote a manifesto to
the government saying that the cost of oil represents between 50 and
60 per cent of their overhead costs, and that this state of affairs is
seriously damaging their jobs and the Spanish fishing industry. One of
the protesters said: “The working conditions have gone seriously
bad in the last three years. We, Spanish fishermen and fishermen around
the world, are small businessmen and governments have to help us in order
to make sure that fish is available in the marketplace”. Another
fisherman added: “Governments have to do something about it: they
need to reduce the price of oil so that small business, here and abroad,
in the fishing sector and others, can prosper and activate the real economy,
not the economy of abstract numbers.”
“Fish, in itself is not expensive”, said a fisherman from Ghana
working in the north coast of Spain, “but governments abuse the price
of raw materials. I totally agree with the proposal of the French premier,
Nicolas Sarkozy, to withdraw tax on all kinds of fuel”.
Angry fishermen held a demonstration outside the European Union’s
headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. They are demanding that the price
of marine diesel be cut by 50 per cent. The price has doubled in recent
weeks reaching €80 cents per litre. Some banners read: “Brussels,
you kill us!”
Frustration is also spreading rapidly to other sectors, including transport
and agriculture, which have also been heavily hit by the price increases.
Rising food prices are at the root of financial distress for Europe’s
poorer citizens. This issue featured high on the agenda of the 19 June
2008 European Council meeting in Brussels. The EU’s hands are tied,
however, because commodity prices are largely driven by increased demand
and speculation taking place outside its borders. (Source: euractiv.com; El