Saving the planet
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
When mankind realizes how serious is the ecological imbalance of their planetary home, they must take the steps so urgently needed to remedy the situation. If men were to fail to respond with sufficient resolution they would be guilty of surrendering the planet to slow but inevitable destruction. What, then, the legacy to hand on to their children? That this self-destruction should not prevail all must act together, and make the necessary sacrifices. This will entail a complete change in attitude to the integrity of the planet and what are seen as the needs of men today.
It will not be easy for some to countenance the changes needed but only by such change can the life of the planet be assured. Already, deep inroads have been made into the essential stock of trees on Earth. De-forestation has caused a growing loss of oxygen and the rise of carbon gases. This is now at a critical stage and requires immediate action.
The reality of global warming is now dawning on the minds of millions, yet, despite the overwhelming evidence some still deny that the actions of men are the cause.
We, your Elder Brothers, can say with full conviction that the actions of men are responsible for eighty per cent of global warming.
Maitreya, you will find, will not be long in bringing this urgent problem to man’s attention. He will face men with the alternatives: the beneficial results of action now, on the one hand, and the destruction which would ensue from doing nothing, or too little, on the other. Thus, the decision is man’s alone.
When men understand this they will indeed rally to the cause. They will see that the future for their children depends on action now, and will elicit from Maitreya and His group the necessary steps to take. Maitreya will advocate a simpler form of living, one more in keeping with the reality of the planet’s situation. When enough people are convinced that this is necessary there will be a growing movement to simplify throughout the planet. This will proceed with quite unusual speed, so inspired by the need for change will millions be. Thus will the gravest dangers facing planet Earth be somewhat countered. This will encourage many and boost their readiness for further changes.
Faced with the dilemma of necessary change men will come to realize the inevitability of accepting the principle of sharing. Only sharing will make these changes practical and possible. Only through sharing can the bounty of Planet Earth be successfully used. Only through sharing can this bounty be correctly husbanded. Only thus can the Planet itself live in harmony with its environment and with its inhabitants.
(Read more articles by the Master)
Q. On a recent British television programme it was claimed that a large part of global warming is caused by the oceans, and is entirely natural. Would you please comment?
A. This is a very dangerous idea and widely believed by those who would gladly accept that we need do nothing to prevent or reduce our emissions of carbon gases which cause global warming. It is very important that we learn to cope not only with global warming but also with the complete changes that are taking place in the fabric of our planet. There are many scientists on both sides of this question, and the purveyors of oil are not slow to employ those who say there is nothing to worry about. According to the Masters, Who are the only people Who can know with certainty, 80 per cent of the rise in temperature in the world is due to global warming caused by man. Twenty per cent is due to certain changes in the relation between the sun and the Earth which Maitreya Himself has brought about, in part to draw our attention to the urgency of dealing with this danger to our planetary life.
Q. A recent UK report reveals that drug use among the young is soaring despite all efforts to counter it. Can you please comment?
A. The distributors and ‘pushers’ of the drugs work harder than those (police forces) who try to stop the distribution. They also work more systematically, and from long experience, more effectively. The educational effort is only semi-successful in preventing drug use and although widespread has not justified the time and money spent on it. The fundamental reason, however, for the increase in drugs is that through what Maitreya calls the “blind following of market forces”, the government has created a condition of arid competition as the only beckoning light for young people; mostly they feel that they have nothing worthwhile to look forward to and seek the transitory effect of drugs to alleviate their inner anxieties. They need to be given hope and sufficient inspiration to meet their innate idealism but find instead a future empty of such inspiration. They feel at war within themselves and alienated from a society that they feel provides them with nothing worthwhile.
The growth of drug use among the young, therefore, will continue to grow in the present political economic situation. It will take Maitreya’s open presence to inspire the young with the hope and enthusiasm which they have lost or have never found.
Q. You talk about people power, and there have been a lot of peace marches. Are they actually having an impact? It seems that people don’t attend them, so do they actually make a difference?
A. There was a march quite recently in London, and the organizers said that about 100,000 people attended. The police eventually admitted about 10,000 had taken part. My Master said the organizers were not far from the truth, it was between 90,000 and 100,000. The police always lie about the numbers taking part in a march, it is just simple manipulation by the police for governmental reasons, to make out that the people are under control. It is to put people off marching because they will say: “What’s the use?” However, you can only see part of the march at any given time, the bit you are in. You have no idea of its extent. It is usually that the organizers put the best figure on it and maybe exaggerate, but this time they don’t seem to have exaggerated at all. It is important to maintain a growing number of marches, not now and again but continually, and these sustained demonstrations will have a gradual impact on government thinking.
It is difficult for us to estimate the value of such demonstrations but the Masters are in no doubt that they are very powerful levers of change. We must organize them more and more frequently and with even greater numbers. ‘People power’ will transform the world.
Q. Do you have any information about the future of Cuba if and when Fidel Castro goes?
A. Cuba has been an artificial state for a long time, the result of two forms of action, one mainly from Castro himself and one from the United States government. The United States government has withheld any aid or even trade with Cuba for years. At the same time Castro – and he has some very fine qualities – has been a long-term dictator in Cuba, and a dictatorship of any kind, beneficent or otherwise, is no good to anybody. So the people of Cuba could advance very quickly if America stopped its embargo and if Castro retired and gave up control of every aspect of Cuban life.
Dictatorship, even beneficent dictatorship, is no answer to the needs of humanity. People have to be free. And that freedom has to be in relation to a sense of justice. In Cuba there is a degree of justice but no political freedom. Justice and freedom are intertwined, they are both divine, they are both necessary for the divinity of every human being.
So I would say the end of Castro’s reign will really be a good thing for the Cuban people in the long term. They will grow into themselves, think for themselves and have freedom and justice together.
(More questions and answers)
The Masters of Wisdom – a compilation
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of the Masters of Wisdom – 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.
This is the first section of the compilation.
When you see Us you will know that the New Time, the New Age, has begun, the time of Sharing and Justice, of Love and Brotherhood, the time of the Law of God. I am the Instructor of this New Time. I am its forerunner. I shall release to you that which will take you quickly home. I shall give you these instructions which will release in you your divine nature. From My Brothers will flow a stream of creative fire which will light your lamps and carry you brightly to God. My Masters know naught but Love and Joy. Likewise, My friends, this will be your heritage. (Maitreya, from Message No. 136)
Whenever mankind is afraid it turns to God or the Angels for help and assurance. Thus it is today, in the midst of man’s deepening crisis … When We, the Brethren, appear as angels, we do so in accordance with the Law of Recognition. In this way, men know that they are not alone. When higher evolution permits, We need no subterfuge and demonstrate Our true appearance. Thus it is that some see angels while others recognize the Brotherhood. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Masters enter man’s domain’, A Master Speaks)
Throughout the history of humanity (which according to the esoteric teachings is eighteen-and-a-half million years), we have never been alone. We have been led and guided, taught, stimulated and protected – sometimes openly, but often from behind the scenes – by a group of, from our point of view, perfected men. They have gone ahead of us in evolution, and finished the evolutionary journey on which we are still engaged. Having done so, by the same steps which we today take to evolve, They have perfected Themselves, and need no further incarnational experience on this planet. For Them it remains simply a field of service, a means by which They take upon Themselves the responsibility of overseeing our evolution. This group of perfected men is known by many names: the Masters of Wisdom and the Lords of Compassion, the Great White Brotherhood, the Society of Illumined Minds, the Spiritual or Esoteric Hierarchy, the Guides and Elder Brothers of Humanity.
These Masters have lived, for the most part, in the remote mountain and desert areas of the world: the Himalaya, the Andes, the Rocky Mountains, the Cascades, the Carpathians, the Atlas, the Urals, the Gobi and other deserts. From these mountain and desert retreats, They have beneficently overseen the evolution of humanity for countless millennia. Much of the work of the Masters is carried out by Their disciples, men and women in the world – people such as da Vinci, Mozart, Lincoln, Einstein and Madame Curie. By a gradual stimulus of our conscious awareness, the Masters have brought humanity forward to the point where we now find ourselves today. Under such stimulus and guidance, our civilizations have risen, flowered, crystallized, died and been renewed again age after age. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
My Masters are now returning ahead of schedule. This will allow Them, too, to share in this great and final battle for the world. We are behind you, My Brothers and I. We know the Way. We send you Our Strength. Take within you this Armour and show your valour. (Maitreya, from Message No. 72)
Soon, it will become apparent that man is not alone. Never, in all its long history, has humanity lacked guidance from Those Who have gone before and Who have mapped the route for man to follow. Now, as the spiral turns, We take Our places once more among you and offer to you the benefits of Our achievements. Regard Us as brothers, eager to help. Look on Us as guides to the future, for We know well the way. With Our Brotherhood behind you, you cannot fail. Our inspiration will be yours, and from that source of strength will flow the knowledge and the power with which to fulfil your dreams.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘We are not discouraged’, A Master Speaks)
During Atlantean times the Masters of those days worked openly. They were the priest-kings, the God-like Beings Who created the various scientifically advanced civilizations whose knowledge has been lost. At the destruction of Atlantis the Masters retreated to the mountains and deserts, leaving humanity to regenerate itself while They acted as the stimulus behind the scenes. For the first time since those days the Hierarchy of Masters and initiates is returning now to work in the world.
(Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume One)
With My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, I shall show you the way to release your divinity and receive your inheritance. My Plan is to awaken Mankind to its true worth, its true capacity, and show it that within all men lives a divine Son of God. If men will follow Me, I shall take them step by step through the process of Initiation, whose Seal I guard. In this way they will reveal the God Who within them dwells. My Masters are preparing the way. They are choosing Their workers through whom to act, and soon, in the Centres, the fiat will go forth, the work will commence, and the New Dispensation for Mankind will begin. You who are here present are among those who can point the way. Show to your brothers that there exists for Man a better life, a better future than he could dream of. Tell them that Maitreya lives, that the Lord of Love walks abroad, that the Son of Man is returned to the world, to change that world, through men. Tell them this My friends, and reveal to them the hope of the future. (Maitreya, from Message No. 24)
When the Masters establish Their presence in full view of the world, a great change will take place in the relationship existing between humanity and Them. Whereas, until now, They have been remote and removed from close contact with all but a few disciples, in the immediate future the Guides of the Race will foster a deeper and more continuous form of co-operation with mankind. This process, known as the Externalization of the Hierarchy, has already begun and several Masters have established contact with groups on the physical plane. So far, this contact has been restricted to groups working in the fields of economics, administration and science, and to a lesser extent in education, but the time will come when Their inspiration and guidance will be given freely to all the groups working to rehabilitate the world.
From that time onwards, an entirely new system of communication will be established between the Inspirers and humanity. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Masters in the world’, A Master Speaks)
My Masters are working now to bring about the transformation of your social life, the old forms of which are rotten and perished. Under Their guidance your brothers are preparing the new forms, the new lines of action, through which may be expressed the new aspirations of Man in this New Age. (Maitreya, from Message No. 30)
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.
Help at hand
On Saturday 11 March 2000, I saw a discarded wooden desk as I walked along a street in Berkeley, California. Needing just such a desk for my new apartment, I decided to take it. I had no vehicle so I carried it for a couple of blocks and dragged it to the subway.
It was about 5pm as I was dragging this old desk along 11th Street in downtown Oakland when a Mexican-American man, in his 50s and with a slight paunch, saw me and asked where I was going. I said: “A few blocks.” He offered me a ride in his very old yellow workman’s pickup truck. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, though I have forgotten his name. He was someone who had compassion for me and didn’t in any way look down on me for lugging this desk along the street. He had an utterly relaxed demeanor, happy to do service and acting as if service were his very nature. I thanked him and we lifted the desk into the back of the truck.
I walked around to the door of the truck and saw a dog in the front seat area. The man asked the dog to climb into the back of the truck and guided it to a very thin space between the side of the desk and the side of the truck. I was a bit stunned at how the dog had been willing to trust its master to jump into that thin little space.
The man started the car and we began to move down the street. I said we should turn at Jackson Street; he repeated “Jack-son” in heavily accented English. A block from Jackson, I indicated we should turn left. He nodded; somehow he seemed to already know that we were to turn left.
He said with a smile and a genuine earnestness what a beautiful day it was. As we approached my building I pointed to a spot where we could pull over, but he asked if a little further down (nearer my building) would be better and I said yes. He stopped the truck and said he would help me get the desk out. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him jump up into the same thin space the dog had with surprising agility despite his un-athletic appearance and relative age. He lifted the desk up and handed it down to me. Remembering my Bible history I said to the man, after thanking him: “you’re a good Samaritan”. He smiled a Mona Lisa, inscrutable smile. I said goodbye and he said, “see you later”. Who was the man and his dog?
S. R., Oakland, California, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya. The dog was a dog.)
At Christmas 1996, I was walking through a Barcelona street when I passed a beggar I had not seen before. He looked Arabic and wore a tunic and a turban. Although they seemed like mended rags, they were well ironed and cleaned as if they had just come from the laundry. The man had a dark complexion and was in his 50s or 60s. He was still, looking straight ahead and there was a kind of dignity and humility radiating from him. In his hands he held a cardboard sign with the word HUNGER in capital letters in Spanish. I was moved by the scene and at that moment I thought that he may be Maitreya. I gave him some coins and continued on my way.
Some months later I found him again begging in Barcelona’s Ramblas. It was a sunny day and I was taking a walk. When I saw him, everything was the same, his perfect rags, his appearance, his position, only the message on the board he held had changed. This time the word was POOR, in capital letters in Spanish.
I stopped at a safe distance to take a look as I was sure that he was Maitreya. I thought of asking him if he knew Maitreya but I did not dare so I gave him some coins and continued my walk. I thought that if I met him again then “third time lucky” and perhaps I would dare to talk to him, but I have not met him since.
After a few days, I told a friend from the Transmission Group about it and to my surprise she had also met him – the first time, on the same day as me, on the opposite side of the street, and the second time, on the same day and at approximately the same time as me, she met him at the Ramblas. She also thought he was Maitreya and has not met him since. Who was the beggar I met twice?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘beggar’ was Maitreya.)
On 10 February 2000 I took the metro at the Charles Michels station in the 15th district of Paris. It was a Thursday, about quarter past eleven in the evening. The weather was dull and my life at that time was also dull: my body and my mind had been in a state of crisis for some time. I was in a period of doubt and had let my spiritual life go; in short I was fed up.
On the stairs to the metro, I thought I recognized a well known astrophysicist, Hubert Reeves. As I reached the platform, I was next to him and also with somebody else I felt immediately drawn to. He was a tall man with dark skin, sitting on a bench holding a magazine in such a way that his face was hidden. His clothes made out of denim were perfectly clean but worn-out, but what impressed me most was his abundant Rasta-style shiny black hair, and the large cap he wore on top of it. Next to him there were one or two green bags. As I am a hairdresser, I found his black shiny Rasta hair quite astonishing. I also found the fact that he held his magazine in front of his face without moving for at least 10 minutes quite curious. For one short moment, I could see his eyes full of light and a feeling of well-being went through my whole body. I then saw what he was reading: it was a magazine of women’s hairstyle photos. As I was myself a 52-year-old hairdresser and as I was going through a difficult phase in my job, I was filled with joy. This message at that very moment could only be for me. I was subject to different feelings; amusement, inner joy and also interrogation. Perhaps he was a Master, even Maitreya? These images are engraved in my memory and are still present.
J. M., Paris, France.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man with the shiny Rasta hair was, indeed, Maitreya.)
In 1976 I was a harassed, exhausted young mother, helping my husband in his business and teaching at night. Perhaps I felt “tired to death”. One night I had a dream in which I stood on a cliff looking out to sea. I was aware that many others were below on the beach milling around, enjoying the day.
Far out at sea a giant wave rose up and began to come towards the shore, its height never diminishing. I was transfixed in terror and although I knew it could kill us all, I was frozen to the spot. I just watched it come. In the wave’s crest I saw the figure of a man dressed in white. As the distance closed I kept my eyes on the man’s eyes. These beautiful eyes held mine in utter compassion as the wave finally engulfed us all. Far from feeling fear, I woke weeping with combined feelings of bliss and unworthiness. Since that time, death holds little terror. Perhaps this experience predisposed me several years later to accept the idea of the return of the Christ. And when I heard the story of the quiet in Tiananmen Square as the tanks rolled over the bodies of the students and that Maitreya had intervened so that they did not experience suffering, I understood completely.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man dressed in white was Maitreya.)
I feel prompted to write to you after the Share International stall at a fair in Ayr, Scotland. I have felt drawn to the photographs of Maitreya for a long time and it brought back a dream which I’d had, on 20 May 1993.
This profound dream shook me so much that I wrote it down:
“I am in a hot Arab street on the first floor balcony. There is a procession coming along the street with an Arabic man with long, white robes and a long grey beard in the centre. As they walk past, he looks up, right into my eyes. I feel exposed. He ‘knows’ me deep inside. I am spiritually naked and cannot look away. Something moving happens inside.
This seems to go on for ever, even as they walk on down the street. As I stand stunned, two other women on the balcony come to quiz me.
I was hoping that you could shed some light on this profound experience. I was shaken for days at the time and told many friends. I also took the trouble to document and date it, which was not a frequent occurrence. Who was this man? Maitreya? Could he appear in a dream?
J. B., Ayrshire, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man in the dream was, indeed, Maitreya.)
About three days before Christmas, my four-month-old baby awakened me for her nightly feed. She sleeps in a room adjacent to my bedroom and the usual routine is to take her to the nearby living room to nurse. I generally sit on a sofa that faces four large windows enabling me to view a heavily wooded landscape. On this particular morning, at about 3am, I glanced out and was startled by a strange sight that seemed to jump out at me.
The leaves in Alabama had fallen a bit later than usual that year, and had left the image of a man’s head imprinted in the empty branches. It was a dark bearded man who seemed to be peacefully staring down toward earth. I was not sure who exactly the image was of. While sitting there somewhat amazed, I felt a feeling of peace and protection as I stared at the silent image in the beautiful moonlight. It seemed to be vibrating or moving much like an image under water. I must add that I had felt a bit worried about the upcoming millennium. Seeing this image seemed to calm my fears.
D. M., Montgomery, Alabama, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the image was created by Maitreya and was a kind of self-portrait.)
Signs of the time
Former US governor witnessed UFO
The former US governor of Arizona, Fife Symington, recently announced that he saw a UFO 10 years ago, although he publicly ridiculed the sighting at the time. Symington now says that the aerial phenomenon known as the “Phoenix Lights”, which took place on 13 March 1997, was in fact a UFO. The “lights” were widely reported as aligned on the leading edge of a large craft that slowly traversed an area of approximately 300 miles over the US states of Arizona and Nevada and the Mexican state of Sonora (see Share International, September 1997). Symington was a witness to the lights, which he knew at the time to be “other-worldly”, but remained a critic of the UFO explanation for 10 years because he “didn’t want people to panic”.
As a former US Air Force officer and long-time pilot, he was trained to identify airborne objects accurately. Symington recalled: “I’m a pilot and I know just about every machine that flies. It was bigger than anything that I’ve ever seen. It remains a great mystery. Other people saw it, responsible people. I don’t know why people would ridicule it.” He added: “It was enormous and inexplicable. Who knows where it came from? A lot of people saw it, and I saw it too. It was dramatic. And it couldn’t have been flares [from military aircraft] because it was too symmetrical. It had a geometric outline, a constant shape.” In remarks to CNN he explained that the UFO “just felt other-worldly. In your gut, you could just tell it was other-worldly.” In reference to the larger UFO issue, Symington has stated: “I wish that government entities would stop trying to shut down these [UFO] investigations by putting out some flakey story.” (Source: Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this was a large spacecraft from Mars on regular work.)
UFOs detected in Delhi
On the morning of 7 March 2007, air traffic control radar in Delhi, India, picked up two UFOs moving over the city, and at one point detected them flying close to the Indian prime minister’s residence. Indian Air Traffic Control officials say the objects were moving too slowly to be aircraft. The Indian Air Force says the objects could have been migratory birds, or that the sighting may have been a radar malfunction.
According to a report by CNN-IBN news in India, the UFOs were flying seven miles apart from one another over the district of Safdarjung in Delhi before heading east and disappearing off the radar. Both Air Traffic Control and the Air Force tried unsuccessfully to establish radio contact. The UFOs flew above the Safdarjung Airport, which is located two kilometers from the Indian prime minister’s house as well as other high-security areas. (Source: www.ibnlive.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both of these UFOs were spacecraft from Mars on regular control work.)
Air force jets sent to intercept UFO near London
London Military Air Traffic Control sent jets from a nearby airforce base to intercept a UFO on 12 January 2007, according to a report in The Bury Free Press, UK. A UFO group based in the UK has posted an audio recording online which they say proves that “London Military Air Traffic Control contacted a flight of US Air Force F-15s from the base, after a UFO was picked up on their radar on 12 January.” UFO Data Magazine writer Steve Johnson says the audio was recorded by amateur radio operators in the area, who intercepted a call made by London Military Air Traffic Control to a crew of US F-15 military jets stationed at the local Royal Air Force air base at Lakenheath.
The voice on the recording tells the American airmen to intercept an unknown target flying at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. The American jets went to investigate, and detected an unknown object on their radar. The jets made two passes of the object, once at 17,000 feet and again at 17,700 feet. Pilots described a “black rock-like object” unlike any aircraft they had seen before. The craft was seen to come to a complete stop in midair. On the tape, one pilot said to another: “Did you see that?” The other pilot replied: “Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it.”
Steve Johnson of UFO Data Magazine said: “We are still looking into it and we have made a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Defence and have also contacted RAF Lakenheath – but they haven’t got back to us yet.” (Source: Bury Free Press, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this was a spaceship from Mars on regular analysis work.)
Report of UFO crash in Somalia
An object that was described by eyewitnesses as looking like “a satellite or UFO” crashed in a rural area of Somalia. The event took place near the village of Buulo-Burde, 220 kilometers north of the Somalia capital Mogadishu, on 21 March 2007. “A large device flew over us, and some time later we heard a big sound,” said Ilyas Ali, a villager who lives in the area. The device occupies an area 100 metres square, and according to Ali, “it glitters and in [the] nighttime, it turns [on] lights and speaks a strange language which can’t be understood.” (Source: www.somalinet.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this was a spacecraft from Mars. It did not crash but landed deliberately.)
UFO sightings in the UK
A witness described seeing an oval, scarlet object with flashing red lights on its side at 10.40am on 2 March 2007, traversing the sky above Tottenham High Road, London, England. “It went towards Spurs [football ground], then it disappeared. I don’t know what it was. The whole thing was all metal and shiny red with lights,” she said.
A few days later a jet-shaped flying object with a double jet stream was captured on a home video by Leslie Williams, a retired businessman who was setting up his camcorder on 7 April 2007, to record a lunar eclipse. He reported that at about 9.15pm the object suddenly “shot across the face of the moon” above Manchester Road, Burnley, Lancashire, England. (Source: Tottenham and Wood Green and Edmonton Journal, Burnley Express, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms both sightings to be scout ships on routine patrol from the planet Mars)
Miracles in India
Two portraits of Jesus on a remote Indian island began bleeding in March 2007. Eric Nathaniel, a police radio operator in Port Blair on the Andaman Islands noticed blood trickling down a portrait of Jesus in his house on 8 March 2007. “We lit candles and prayed all night and a little later the blood dried but it soon started trickling down from the hands and heart of another portrait in the house,” Nathaniel said. Thousands of people have since visited Nathaniel’s house to see the portraits.
In another report from India, blood oozed from the eyes of a statue of Jesus in the yard of a Catholic church on 12 February 2007. The statue at St Joseph the Worker Church in Ghoreghat, Madhya Pradesh, was first seen weeping by Chandrawati Armo, who, after cleaning the statue, noticed it shedding blood from both eyes.
Armo told the church’s assistant priest, Father Pappachan. “I raced to the statue and found blood oozing out of its eyes,” he said. Pappachan smelled and tasted the red substance and was “convinced it is a miracle.” The bleeding statue was also witnessed by nuns and a villager. The flow of blood stopped, and the blood on the statue clotted. Clots are also visible on the statue’s hands, according to Father Florentius Kujur, the parish priest. Many people have visited the church to view the statue. (Source: Union of Catholic Asian News; Reuters)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that these were miracles manifested by the Master Jesus.)
From our own correspondents
An idea that can bring us together
Interview with Howard Zinn
by Jason Francis
Historian, playwright, professor and author of over 25 books, Howard Zinn has been a lifelong activist for peace and justice. His opposition to warfare developed after reflecting on his time spent in the US military during WWII. Later, he participated in the civil rights movement, serving as an advisor to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known as author of A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present (2005). His most recent book, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress (2007), is a collection of his published essays on such topics as history, class struggle, war and terrorism, justice and the impact made by ordinary citizens. Currently, Howard Zinn is professor emeritus at Boston University. Jason Francis interviewed him for Share International.
This is the first section of the interview.
Share International: You say that America’s future is linked to an understanding of its past and that Americans would not be so eager to go to war if not for our “historical illiteracy”. What do Americans need to learn from our national as well as world history?
Howard Zinn: They need to learn the history of American foreign policy. They need to know that there’s been a persistent pattern of American expansionism from the earliest period on; from the time of the American Revolution to the expansion into the West in the 19th century; all through the 19th century, moving the indigenous people out of the plains of the West, committing massacres, pushing them farther and farther into smaller and smaller parts of the country and, essentially, taking their land from them – actually, something that we today would call ethnic cleansing. This is just barely mentioned in the history books, which reduce our relationship with the Indians to a few dramatic points: Custer’s last stand, Pocahontas. That very complex history of the American annihilation and expulsion of the Indians is lost.
There is the beginning of expansion overseas in 1898 in response to Spain’s occupation of Cuba, replaced by an American occupation of Cuba. The US took over Puerto Rico and the Philippines, and in the early 20th century there are the continual Marine invasions of Central America and the long occupations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. After World War II, the US became the number one imperial power, replacing the imperial powers of the Middle East, the oil domination by England, the Dutch and French.
Now we’re fighting war after war – in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq – a whole series of wars after World War II. It is very important to understand we do not bring democracy or freedom to any of these countries that we occupied. We have brought misery and death to these people. We became a military superpower, not a humane superpower but a dominating superpower, setting up military bases in over 100 countries.
Knowledge of that history would have prepared the American public for President Bush’s insistence that we must go to war after September 2001 in order to make war on terror, in order to bring democracy to the Middle East. Knowing that history would have made the American public very skeptical of these claims that we would, by going to war, bring freedom and democracy to other parts of the world. That history of foreign policy is crucial to an understanding of American history which will prepare us for events today.
There are other parts of our history – the class struggles inside the United States, the domination of this country by business interests from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the present day. The importance of economic control in creating political control, the subjugation of the labor movement, the use of the government to break strikes, and the long history of labor struggles in this country against both corporate power and the government in order to win certain basic rights for working people – the eight-hour day, workman’s compensation, and a decent standard of living.
That part of our history, which tells something about class domination, is extremely important for people to understand; that behind the political struggles today are economic struggles. Behind the two-party domination of our politics is the fact that both parties are tied to corporate interests. The result is that we don’t have a genuine opposition party but instead have two parties that are basically beholden to the same financial interests, in contradistinction to the interests of most of the American people.
SI: What does history teach us about the power of unified peoples to bring about change even if it means challenging such seemingly insurmountable odds as the power of government and wealth?
HZ: That is a crucial part of learning history, to learn not only how we have been led into wars, nor how our foreign policy has been detrimental to us and other people, but learning how, at various times, the American people have resisted this combination. And that it is possible for citizens at certain points in history to organize social movements that will overcome the power of the government and the power of corporations.
The history of the labor movement isn’t just a history of defeat. It’s a history of very inspiring struggles by working people to win the eight-hour day, to organize unions, to challenge corporations. The history of the labor movement shows that it’s possible to face off against corporations that have enormous power and seem invulnerable, like General Motors and Ford and US Steel in the 1930s, which seemed absolutely impervious to change. Yet when they were faced with organized labor unions, with sit-down strikes, they had to give in – in spite of all their claims that they would never give in.
We have learned that black people in this country have at various times been able to organize movements that brought about very critical change. I’m thinking of the anti-slavery movement that took 30 years to develop, from the 1830s to 1860s, but that eventually became powerful enough to force Lincoln and the Congress to emancipate or partially emancipate slaves. It was only a partial emancipation, because blacks still remained subjugated in the South: It took another social movement in the 1950s and 1960s, which showed that it’s possible for apparently powerless people – if they organized and persisted, if they committed civil disobedience and were willing to go to prison and even get beaten and some killed – to develop power that would bring about fundamental change. That’s what happened in the south when black people got together in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the demonstrations in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and other places. That brought about a really miraculous transformation.
We had the experience in the years of the Vietnam War, of an apparently tiny antiwar movement growing into a great antiwar movement. It caused the most powerful military nation in the world to yield, finally, and to call off the war, to withdraw from Vietnam in spite of all its claims that it would never withdraw, never give in. The antiwar movement was successful in doing that.
We’ve seen other victories by social movements. We’ve seen women organizing in the 1960s and 1970s, creating a feminist movement which has brought about a new consciousness of sexual equality in this country; also how disabled people were able to organize and finally get legislation that would give them certain rights. There is a history in this country of citizens at certain times getting together and managing to overcome the immense power of the government and wealthy interests.
SI: Do you see that taking place today with the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq?
HZ: It’s in an early stage; it hasn’t happened yet. If you look at all those movements and observe them at early stages, they look something like the antiwar movement today. They look as if people are beginning to speak up but they haven’t yet succeeded in changing policy. If you look at the antiwar movement against the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968, it still looked as if it was not going to bring about anything.
Today, unfortunately, after four years of war in Iraq, the antiwar movement is only powerful enough to ensure the Democrats in Congress sponsor pitifully weak legislation calling for timetables. That will keep us in the war at least another year or two, and in the meantime give the government more funds for the war. I do see the antiwar movement today growing. But it has not grown fast enough or large enough yet to bring about change in policy.
SI: Could you discuss how your military service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II helped shape your opposition to war?
HZ: It was only after the war that I looked back on it and realized that war had corrupted my mind, as it did others’, as happens in wars. People get herded into a kind of collective mentality, where they don’t question what is going on, don’t question what they’re doing. That leads to atrocities, to bombings of civilians that took place in World War II – some of which I engaged in. I escaped the prison of the military and then looked back on the experience and began to think for myself. I learned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and reflected on my own experiences. I looked around at the world and saw that even a so-called ‘good war’ had not really changed the world in a fundamental way after 50 million people were dead. So I came to the conclusion that war is futile and cannot be accepted.
SI: You say in your book: “At the core of unspeakable and unjustifiable acts of terrorism are justified grievances felt by millions of people who would not themselves engage in terrorism but from whose ranks violent desperation springs.” What are those grievances?
HZ: The grievance, for instance, that lies behind the acts of terrorism – whether the attacks of 9/11 or suicide bombers in the Middle East is an anger against foreign occupation. Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, did a study of suicide bombings, acts of terrorism, over a 20-year period all over the world, looking at perhaps 180 such acts of terrorism. He found that the common denominator was not religious fanaticism, or anything like that. The common denominator for all these actions, whether in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka or the Palestinian territories, was anger against foreign occupation.
If we understood that in the United States, we would no longer support the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, or support our occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, or our military bases in Japan and other countries. It’s so important to understand the root of terrorism – the indignation that millions and millions of people feel, which drives a small fraction of them to fanatic acts.
“If a better world is possible, then it should be made a reality”
Interview with Erwin Wagenhofer
by Andrea Bistrich
Worldwide 1 billion people are threatened by starvation. At the same time 12 billion can be fed by the world’s produce. In his film We Feed the World Austrian documentary film producer Erwin Wagenhofer sets off on the trail of our food. It has led him to France, Spain, Romania, Brazil and back to Austria. The result is a sobering, shocking picture of global food production based solely on profit and quantity: gigantic hot houses in southern Spain where low-priced tomatoes are shipped 3,000 kilometres to mid-European supermarkets; mass production of chickens slaughtered after just eight weeks; the daily destruction of 2 million kilos of bread in the Austrian capital Vienna; and the industrialization of traditional European fisheries, even when it means lower quality products.
In an interview with Share International Erwin Wagenhofer speaks of the injustices brought about by this system of globalized food production and of those involved.
The following is the first part of the interview.
Share International: In contrast to people who have too little and starve, we in the industrialized nations should be the happiest people since we have never really suffered from hunger and thirst. Yet we are actually far from being happy and content. What is it that hinders us?
Erwin Wagenhofer: When I look around I do not see many happy people, even though we today have such immeasurable wealth. My mother and father, for example, experienced hunger; I am the first in our family who comes from a generation that has not known hunger.
Maybe this is due to our considerable need for time to learn to deal with such material wealth. I believe that we need more time than we think is required. A human lifespan is not very long, even if we do live to a ‘ripe old age’. In comparison to the world’s history it is really very short. Maybe we should also be more modest and do everything somewhat more slowly. The pace of life today is killing us. An example of this in the food sector is fast food. How are we to function in daily life if we don’t even take the time to eat? This is a terrible thought.
SI: Some say that we will appreciate our wealth only when we have made sacrifices.
EW: To me this sounds too religious, the assumption that we must suffer. Suffering always has a cause. This is the reason that the church constantly talks of guilt and seeks the guilty. Salvation takes place in the afterlife. I am interested in the now.
The Poles were the most pious people and worshipped the Pope as long as Communism ruled. And now? Within just a few years the country has developed an unbelievable capitalism with the result of a loss of solidarity of large sections of society; Poland joined NATO and is amongst the first advocates of the Iraq war.
I believe another reason for our not knowing how to be happy is that we are not taught how to be. There is, for example, no course – from school to college – that asks: “What is solidarity? How do I deal with my life? How do I build correct human relationships?” Instead things that are taught are only oriented towards economic values and profitability.
SI: Your documentary We Feed the World is about how to deal with foods in the 21 century and especially asks the question: what does it have to do with us?
EW: It has a lot to do with us since we stuff ourselves daily with these products. As the film shows, 90 per cent of people feed themselves in this way, especially those countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). We in the rich industrial nations are, for example, the ones eating up the Brazilian rainforest while the people there go hungry.
It can clearly be seen today: our economic system is out of control. There is constant talk of growth. Why is growth needed? We already have everything. The population growth in Europe is minimal – and this is only due to immigration. Populations are declining rapidly. At the same time we want constant growth. Who should buy it all? We don’t give it to those who really need it.
SI: The amount of bread thrown away daily in Vienna is the same as that eaten in Austria’s second largest city, Graz. Such comparisons show that this is happening on our own doorstep and as consumers we should feel responsible.
EW: That is why the film is called “We Feed the World”. That is exactly the decisive factor. We always blame others, yet as long as we do that society will not change. We ourselves are participants – as consumers, as citizens. The question of guilt is something for insurance companies, historians or religions. I am less interested in why this has come about than: how can we now improve it? We are also the ones who decide who we will feed. We could feed everyone, but we don’t.
“Feed” does not only refer to foodstuffs. Man does not live by bread alone. We force our unrealistic thoughtforms and commercialized economic systems on the developing world. We tell them to adopt our capitalist model and prevent them from developing their own, which may possibly be better suited to their country.
Voice of the People
Americans act for peace
The fourth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003 drew hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world to demonstrate against the war, in Canada, Australia, Turkey, and across Europe, where the largest march – an estimated 100,000 – was in Spain.
However, March also saw America mounting a huge number and variety of peace demonstrations. During the anniversary weekend of 17-18 March, over 1,000 US protests took place nationwide, including a march on the Pentagon that drew tens of thousands of people despite freezing rain and snow and a vicious windchill factor.
In another event in Washington, DC, nearly 3,000 people from all over the US gathered at the Washington National Cathedral in an event sponsored by more than two dozen religious groups. Protestors included Christian peace activists, about 100 of whom were arrested as they prayed for peace in a planned act of civil disobedience. Participants heard speakers including Celeste Zappala, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004. “I am here tonight as a witness to the true cost of war,” she said, “the betrayal and madness that is the war in Iraq. We lay before God the sorrow that lives in all of us because of the war.” Over the weekend, more than 150 Christian and interfaith peace vigils and actions were held around the country, together with large-scale acts of moral civil disobedience.
Some active-duty members of the military joined the Washington, DC, protest, under rules that allow them to demonstrate but limit what they can say. Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, on active duty with the Navy, told the crowd that the US people had voted against the war in the November 2006 elections and “we’re here to cash the check”. “Too many people have died and it doesn’t solve anything,” said Ann O’Grady, who had driven through appalling conditions from Athens, Ohio, with her family. “I feel bad carrying out my daily activities while people are suffering, Americans and Iraqis.”
Demands to cut war funding
But US protestors’ actions were not limited to the anniversary weekend. Throughout March, a wide variety of actions demonstrated the strength of American antiwar feeling. One major initiative is an ongoing nationwide attempt to persuade lawmakers to vote against funding for the Iraq war, with campaigners staging ‘occupations’ in congressional offices on Capitol Hill and in their home communities. “We really see it as an extension of lobbying,” Jeff Leys, a co-ordinator of Chicago-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence, said. “The aim is to keep going back time and time and time again.” The protesters, numbering from a handful to a few dozen, may stay for minutes or hours before police move in. They sit, stand, sing, chant, pray, ring bells, read letters from American troops sent home to their families and perform antiwar satirical theatre sketches. Among the many political figures targeted were Presidential hopefuls John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose office was occupied and Pacific Heights home the venue for week-long ‘Camp Pelosi’, a vigil mounted by protesters with tents, signs and displays urging her to fight against continued funding of the war.
In a wide range of events the funding debate was brought to the fore. Thousands converged on a New York park opposite the United Nations, carrying placards reading “Drop Bush, Not Bombs” and “Not one more dollar, not one more death”. And, in a protest directed at major defence contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Halliburton, General Electric and others, demonstrators lay down in front of the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange, chanting “Stop the money, stop the war”. Forty-four were arrested. “US service members and Iraqi civilians are dying so that an elite few can profit,” said teacher Fabian Bouthillette, who served for two years in the US Navy.
Calls for impeachment
Hundreds of other actions focused on calls for the impeachment of President Bush. In Vermont, following a four-day tour by antiwar campaigners including Cindy Sheehan, 36 towns in the state voted to urge state lawmakers to support a bill currently in the House Judiciary Committee which calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. “This is clearly not a cry of protest, but the start of action – an impeachment insurrection that will lead to the reclamation of our Constitution,” said impeachment resolution organizer Dan DeWalt. Protestors on the Capitol steps called for the President’s impeachment, citing “criminal acts” including justifying the US invasion of Iraq with false information, while in Salt Lake City, Mayor Rocky Anderson told a state Senate committee that, in stark contrast to former Presidential impeachments, when it comes to President Bush, “Never before has there been such a compelling case for impeachment and removal from office of the president of the United States”.
Grass roots action
Local protests were many and varied, including:
• Natick, Massachusetts: protesters gathered to support the ‘Sherborn Five’ – antiwar campaigners charged with breaching the peace on 10 January 2007, the day President Bush announced a new “troop surge” in Iraq. Before sentencing them to 10 hours of community service each, Judge Singer gave all five time to make a cogent and hard-hitting statement – widely reported in the media – about the reasons for their actions. “I hope we inspired people to take to the streets, to fill the jails and get in front of the judges,” said Randa, head of the Peace Abbey in Sherborn.
• Port of Tacoma: a week of protests against the shipment of Army equipment for the war in Iraq.
• Winona, Maryland: Protesters transformed the US Armed Forces Recruiting Center at the Winona Mall into ‘the US Peace Forces Recruiting Center’, under a sign that read “3,210 is too many”.
• Louisville, Kentucky: Volunteers erected 4,000 flags in long rows at the city’s Waterfront Park, in commemoration of US military and civilian war dead.
• St Paul, Minnesota: Local protests were timed to include the nationwide travelling exhibit of shoes “Eyes Wide Open”, intended to represent Iraqi and military war dead.
• Philadelphia: Demonstration outside a Lockheed Martin plant, accusing the defence contractor of improperly profiting from the Iraq war.
• Dallas, Texas: Here, Bill McDannell, walking across America in protest at the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was more than 1,000 miles into his walk, with about 1,500 signatures in a petition to end the wars, which he believes are immoral. A former Methodist minister, he began walking in November 2006 and expects to finish in late June or early July 2007.
• Orangeburg, South Carolina: Arrival of ‘Books not Bombs’, a 16-city, month-long ‘hip-hop’ tour of schools and colleges organized by bereaved war mother Elaine Johnson. “The purpose is to educate young children on what is going on about the war and voting because that will be a big issue when it comes to ending this war,” she said. “It is about their future and their education.”
• Rockville, Maryland: Parents and peace activists protested against military recruiting initiatives on high school campuses.
• Edmonton, Alberta: A peace march was joined by US Army deserter Kyle Snyder, who deserted in Spring 2005, four-and-a-half months into his tour of duty. “It was enough for me to make an educated decision on whether it was right or wrong,” he said, describing seeing a fellow squad member shoot an innocent Iraqi civilian in the leg – an incident never investigated by the US Army. “He was no threat to me, the convoy or the major we were escorting,” Snyder said. “I don’t think the United States’ involvement in Iraq was ever about peacekeeping.”
(Source: The Washington Post, Associated Press, USA; BBC News, UK; www.michaelmoore.com, www.answerla.org, www.indymedia.org)
“We will create a new world”
In March 2007, the anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, the UK’s Stop the War coalition held a ‘People’s Assembly’ at the Methodist Central Hall close to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. Participants came from all over the UK representing 175 organizations. Tony Benn, president of the coalition, told delegates: “This assembly represents the opinions of the people far more than those in the Houses of Parliament.” He reminded the audience that the historic hall was the venue which hosted the inaugural General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946.
As sunshine flooded into the room from the huge windows, Tony Benn introduced the first speaker, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, candidate for the Democratic nomination for American President in 2008. His inspiring, passionate speech drew enthusiastic applause and set the tone for the day.
“We come together because we understand that the world is truly one. That the world is interconnected, it is interdependent … We understand that human unity is in fact an imperative. All those things in our life which serve to unite us and to confirm the transcendent purpose of human unity are things that need to be celebrated – such as the United Nations, such as the UN Charter, which was written with the anticipation and the hope of ending war for all time….
“… if peace on earth is truly to be accomplished, we must be exemplars of peace. We have to take that challenge into our own everyday lives…. When you realize that every day we can be architects of peace in our lives, in our communities, with everyone with whom we come in contact, we realise the transformative power we really have in our hands. That’s why what you represent as members of the Stop the War Coalition is not simply some kind of a passing response to the failure of government to respond to this impulse for peace, you represent something much deeper: not simply rejection of this war, it is the rejection of war as an instrument of policy. It is to take a stand together as people of the world to say that war itself must be made obsolete. It is not acceptable any more to use war and aggression to solve differences between people and between nations. We are at that moment in human history where we are called upon consciously to choose … I submit to you that the choice that we can make right now is a choice for human unity …
“We have proposed to create a Ministry of Peace which looks at the issues of domestic violence, child abuse, violence in schools, and creates a structure where we teach our children principles of peace giving, peace sharing, mutuality, looking at the other person as an aspect of oneself. We have the power to create structures of peace in our own communities, in our own homes, in our own lives. When you think about that then peace in the microcosm becomes peace in the macrocosm. Then nations who take up arms against nations will realize that you do not have the legitimacy which only comes from support of the government.
“… we can link parliamentarians all round the world for peace, parliamentarians for peace and prosperity, because peace and prosperity are twins. They go together. War and poverty also go together. When a nation makes a choice for war that means [less] for housing health and education. We can’t let that happen any more. We have a right as human beings to security and we have a right for housing and healthcare and education. We have to insist that our governments take the direction that affirms those rights and stop spending money on wars that destroy the hopes of people everywhere …
“There is a hunger for peace; there is an essential understanding that we must take a stand to save the world. We are at a turning point in human history where we will either decide to act on our impulse within the human heart to create peace, or we will be drawn along by impulses of aggression and destruction and that’s basically the choice we have been given. How empowering is it to know that we can make our choice as individuals for peace? How empowering is it to know that we have in our hands the chance to change the world, not just to end war against Iraq, not just to stop an attack on Iran, not just to create peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but to make peace a chance for future generations….”