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Share International magazine November 2009

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Men’s lives will flourish

by the Master –, through Benjamin Creme, 11 October 2009

When men more fully realize the extent of the damage done to their lives by the economic and financial collapse of recent years, they will find it impossible to revert, as many hope will be the case, to the old system. That economy was shattered by greed, selfishness and separation, but essentially by the action of the energies of the new time. Already, more than men are aware, the energies of Aquarius work their magic on Earth. Increasingly people are being drawn together in consciousness; the energies of synthesis are performing their beneficent work. Already, many are responding in a new way, as if relieved of a deadening weight, looking forward to a world simplified but more united.

When We see this, We too are gratified and strengthened in Our belief in the qualities of man. Our hope for the future is renewed as We see men search and respond to the new. The ‘star’ has not been alone in changing the atmosphere of Earth from despair to hope, but is proving a potent factor in this transformation. More and more the Aquarian energies will create in men the desire for unity and oneness, and even now are sowing the seeds of future transformation.

Maitreya, meanwhile, waits patiently for the day on which His face may be seen by men. That day is not far off. Already arrangements are being made for His initial interview, the first of many such. Do not be surprised if reactions to His statements are quiet or subdued. Have no doubt that in future appearances Maitreya will speak loudly and boldly for the suffering poor of the world, for an ending of war, for a world in which justice and sharing enfold men in their beneficent grace. Much, very much, is expected of Maitreya, but few can realize the vast extent of His generosity of spirit. People will come to know and love Him as a friend and as a teacher, and will willingly respond to His words. Maitreya will evoke from men their own hearts’ love for justice, sharing and peace, perennial jewels in the hearts of all men.

Now comes the time of a further flowering of these divine attributes as men reconsider the faults and inadequacies of the past. Under the guidance of Maitreya and His Group, men’s lives will flourish as never before; raising men from their past state of ignorance and fear into the expression of a divinity until now almost unknown.

(Read more articles by the Master)

Q. Some people who have seen the ‘star’ report that they seem to experience an energy emanating from it. Does this really happen?

A. Yes. The ‘star’ (all four of them) does indeed radiate energy, the quality which we would usually associate with love, which is why some people say that they actually love the ‘star’ and hold it in awe as something sacred.

Q. I don’t think I have seen the ‘star’ but would like to very much. If someone strongly desires to see it, is it possible that it would show itself in response?

A. Yes. Several people have reported this phenomenon. What we have to remember is that the ‘star’ is a Spaceship with people inside it and it is They who pick up the desire and respond.

Q. I saw the ‘star’ on 2 March 2009, which was confirmed in Share International magazine. (1) Do sightings of the ‘star’ happen according to a person’s karma, responsibility to inform or other reason? (2) What would be the most effective way to inform people, and therefore accelerate the first interview of Maitreya and eventually the Day of Declaration?

A. (1) No. Anyone can see the ‘star’. (2) Contact media with what you have seen and ask them to ask questions about this unusual phenomenon.

Q. A short while ago I sent an e-mail to Share International to ask if the ‘star’ had appeared over Glasgow yet and received an e-mail from I assume Mr Creme himself whereby he stated he would try and arrange for the ‘star’ to make an appearance over my area and commented ‘jovially’ that he had very fond memories of Glasgow since of course this is his birthplace. I was absolutely delighted that he had returned my e-mail, it wasn’t expected.

I was wondering if the ‘star’ has already appeared over Glasgow recently because I fear I may have missed it, as I was on holiday recently. It’s not that I am that desperate to see it, it’s just that I told my children that it would be appearing soon and I would hate to disappoint them. I wish to put no pressure on anybody, least of all those who are flying the ‘crafts’.

I thank you for your patience and understanding and wish all who work for Share International well. Keep up the good work.

A. Keep your eyes on the skies.

Q. What is the difference between true and false hope?

A. True hope emanates from the soul and is therefore a spiritual quality. It fills the person with the desire to seek and visualize an aspiration for future betterment and is therefore a driving force for evolution itself. That is why, for humanity, hope is an essential aspect of life.

False hope, on the other hand, is the expression of an emotional desire for belief, help and security. It is essentially the outcome of fear and frequently leads to disappointment.

Q. There is a program called ‘Destination Truth’ on the SYFY Channel in the US. It is a non-fiction program about a team of investigators, led by explorer Josh Gates, who travel the world investigating unexplained mysteries.

On the episode that debuted on 7 October 2009 the team was in Chile to investigate claims of the paranormal surrounding an abandoned mineshaft that is alleged to involve beings from outer space. Local Chileans were also seeing anomalous lights in the sky.
After spending a night in the mineshaft, where they encountered some strange occurrences, several members of the team exited the mineshaft. They almost immediately saw and filmed a very bright white star which the team leader Josh Gates described as “bugging out and dancing around”. It was also referred to during the broadcast as a “star”. After a few moments it faded very quickly.

Their parabolic dish (audio enhancing equipment) started making strange noises which the team could not explain, especially considering the dish was not plugged into anything and is designed to passively receive sound and not emit anything.

(1) Was the ‘star’ indeed the ‘star’ (one of the 4 UFOs) that are the modern day ‘Star of Bethlehem’ or a ‘normal’ UFO? (2) Did the ‘star’ or the Space Brothers have anything to do with the few bizarre occurrences the team experienced while inside the mineshaft?

A. (1) It was the ‘star’. (2) Yes. The Space Brothers do use the mineshaft.

Q. Who are the ‘Forces of Light’?

A. We think of the Forces of Light as the Esoteric Hierarchy: the Christ and His group of Masters, Who make up, with all of Their disciples, the Forces of Light of our planet. There are 63 Masters including three Great Lords, one of Whom is Maitreya, connected with the human evolution. They are gathering together a host of people from all over the world to work with Them in this coming time. Some are already working with Them, others will come. There is a huge new group formed by Maitreya in 1922, called the New Group of World Servers. There is no outer address where you can join. You are picked according to your attitude to life. There are 4 to 5 million people in the group of which there are two kinds: a small inner group who receive instruction directly from the Masters and a much wider group who do not get the information from a Master but gradually from their own soul. They are in every walk of life, in every country: in politics, economics, science, religion, artistic, social, educational and so on. They are responsive to humanity’s needs.

In the early 1930s in one of the Agni Yoga books published by the Agni Yoga Society, Maitreya Himself said: “There was a time when 10 true men could save the world. Then came a time when 10,000 was not enough. I shall call on 1 billion.” Five or six years ago, I asked my Master: “Has Maitreya got His billion people yet?” He said 1.5 billion, so already He has half a billion more than He needed then. The number is now 1.8 billion. These form the Forces of Light. He will call on all those whom He knows beforehand will respond to Him and will teach others to respond. It does not take the whole of humanity to respond to Maitreya but a certain proportion, a critical mass. The Forces of Light also include, of course, the Space Brothers from the other planets of our solar system, particularly from Mars and Venus, our neighbouring planets.

Q. What is the purpose of this frenzy of UFO activities particularly in the UK but worldwide in recent times?

A. The real purpose is the “gathering of the Forces of Light”. The Esoteric Hierarchy, the Christ and His group of Masters, make up, with all of Their disciples, the Forces of Light of our planet.

They are added to by spacecraft from our neighbouring planets, which you rightly said are coming in greater and greater numbers. We are part of a solar system, an integrated unit. My Master wrote an article in March 2007 in which He talked about the coming together of the Forces of Light: both from this planet and from our sister planets in the system. That is why we are seeing so much UFO activity. They are real and come from Mars and Venus, mostly, but also from Jupiter and Saturn and other planets.

Most people believe what they are told, that there is no life on Venus or the other planets, but the spaceships, the UFOs, have been seen by thousands of people for years, mainly from Mars and Venus, which are the nearest planets to us. The governments of the world for over 60 years have denied the existence of UFOs, which indeed in growing numbers are active in our skies. The governments have hoodwinked the public for their own reasons, probably mixed. They have sought to deny the existence of UFOs, flying saucers, whereas people who have seen them know that they are always present in our skies. The curious thing is that while denying the existence of UFOs they have sought to denigrate occupants of these ‘non-existent’ craft as malicious, threatening the wellbeing of humanity.

What is the motive for this curious non-exposure of a tremendous event? The governments would say they want to avoid panic but beneath that is the unacknowledged fear of loss of control and power, which a welcoming approach to the Space Brothers would ensure. They know that if humanity knew that the spacecraft in our skies were not ‘aliens’ but were here to aid and alleviate the suffering of humanity on this planet, and with their obviously far more advanced technology, people would demand that they are openly welcomed and their superior teaching made available to them.

Earth scientists deny the existence of any form of life on Mars and Venus and the other planets of the system. This is the result of their inadequate understanding of the true range of matter. These scientists acknowledge three planes – solid, liquid and gaseous physical – above which, they have not the technology to measure. Therefore they believe ‘more’ does not exist, yet the Masters and all students of esotericism know that there are four further states of matter above gas, the etheric planes of matter. It is on the etheric planes that can be found ‘life’ on our sister planets, from Mars, on the lowest etheric level, up to extraordinarily advanced planets like Vulcan, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and planets like Mercury, Uranus and Neptune. Venus, the alter ego of Earth, is in the last of its seven ‘rounds’ or incarnations (equivalent to our incarnational experiences), while Vulcan is completely perfected.

Spacecraft from these planets create the crop circles of which the largest number are seen in Wiltshire, the southwest of England, because Maitreya is in London. These crop circles are the ‘calling cards’ of the people who man the UFOs, to acknowledge that they are here, without alarming people or infringing our free will. The craft are so designed they can make in seconds the most complex design, covering several hundred yards in diameter – they have such an advanced technology. They also are concerned in making this planet habitable. They go through our skies mopping up and neutralizing large amounts of the nuclear waste and the general toxic muck that we pour into the atmosphere. They are not allowed by karma to completely clean up the planet, but within karmic limits they do so. Otherwise life on this planet would be very painful indeed: more people would be dying than are dying, more people would be suffering from Alzheimer’s and daily we would be more and more asphyxiated. So we owe the Space Brothers a tremendous debt. Maitreya when asked will talk about the Space Brothers. They are our brothers and sisters of our own planetary system. We work together, the Hierarchy of all the planets work together in a kind of interplanetary parliament.

They are also engaged in a tremendous work of replicating on the surface of our planet the grid of our magnetic field. This is preparing the way for the ‘science of light’ which is the technology of the future. This will give us total, unlimited, safe power for all our needs. It is obvious, therefore, that far from being ‘alien’, malicious monsters to be feared, as they have often been presented to the public, the Space Brothers are on a spiritual mission to help in every way possible within the Laws of Karma to maintain the stability and future health of Planet Earth.

Q. Recent events in USA indicate that certain forces have determined that there are too many people on the earth and are devising methods such as vaccinations to cause pandemics to this end. What should one do to stop this or to protect oneself and loved ones?

A. This is yet another of these conspiracy theories that emanate so regularly from the USA. There is no substance in them at all. Relax!




As leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 the world is experiencing more climatic disturbance than ever. To highlight the urgency of the need for change to save our planet we present a second selection of excerpts on the theme of the environment 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.
See first Environment compilation Share International June 2006.

Our prime task now is to look after the environment. This will become the responsibility of every individual, politician, guru, saint and scientist. Our energies will be spent in making it healthy again. When that happens there will be less suffering, disease and poverty. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

The early signs of a new global consciousness can be seen as men realize the need for co-operation in dealing with their environmental problems. This augers well for the future and shows correct response to a major danger facing the race: unless the damage now being done to the environmental balance of the planet is quickly restored, the life expectancy of many will dramatically decrease. No one, rich or poor, is totally free from this insidious breakdown of the human immune system. Men tamper with that system at their peril.
Notwithstanding the seriousness of these and other problems, much progress is being made in tackling them, and many groups exist, worldwide, whose main concern is to bring these hazards to the notice of the governmental agencies in every country. That being so, there is every expectation that the nations will emerge from this period of trial with a new confidence in the future, and in the benefits of co-operation and mutual help.
In this way, the energies of Aquarius are, indeed, bringing the peoples together, creating the ties of co-operation and understanding, and, albeit slowly and gradually, welding the disparate forces of the present dispensation into a synthetic whole. The New Age is truly upon us. The imminent advent of Maitreya and His Group will signal its inauguration. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘The New Age is upon us’)

Every discovery of reality, or aspects of reality, is beautiful. It is a beautiful unfoldment of the riches of life, the natural system in which we live, which we call nature. The only problem is that we separate ourselves from it. We see nature out there. We think God is up there and that we are here. There is actually no separation between any of these. We are not separate from nature; that is why we should not despoil the natural environment. We are not separate from what we call God. It is imminent in every aspect of our Being. And we are not separate from each other, which is the great thing we have to discover. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)

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. Deforestation 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 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. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Saving the planet’)

We have a direct effect on our environment. Very soon, under the tuition of Maitreya and the Masters around Him, humanity will come to understand that what we call God, what we call nature, our environment, and what we call humanity are one. There is no separation between these. Everything, according to Maitreya, is interconnected. Every atom, every particle within every atom, is related to every other particle throughout cosmos. Therefore, what happens in one aspect of creation inevitably has an effect on another. Humanity is part of its everyday environment; we call it nature. The destructive thoughtforms of humanity create the conditions of imbalance and tension in the world. The imbalance between the developed world and the developing world – the poverty and suffering which ensues from that imbalance – and therefore the thoughtforms of pain, agony and of destruction, pour into the mindbelt of the world. They affect what are called the devic elementals whose work it is to control the weather patterns. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

Much of the destruction now taking place in the world, the unusual weather conditions, hurricanes and floods, are not ‘acts of God’. They are the result of the action of the Law of Cause and Effect. We set in motion the causes, which produce these effects. These disturbances in our weather patterns are in our own hands. The violent hurricanes and floods are the unleashing of destructive forces – our destructive forces – and they create as a result calm and equilibrium for humanity. If we misuse our free will and resources, if we behave violently, competitively, creating disturbance in the world, we affect the elementals who control the weather. As soon as we come into harmony they, too, will come into harmony.(Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)

My task will be to show you that for mankind the ways part. The signposts are set, and on your decision rests the future of this Earth. We are here together, you and I, to ensure that man chooses the correct path, the only Way which can lead him to God. (Maitreya, from Message No.19)


According to Maitreya, nuclear explosions disturb the elements of nature. The entire Creation is composed of atoms. If you disturb the pattern, the elements of nature, the weather cycles, and human beings themselves become disturbed. Since man-made items such as airplanes are equally composed of atoms, when these patterns are interfered with, crashes are inevitable. People whose balance in mind, spirit and body is fragile can be tipped over the edge by the disturbance of atomic patterns. (Maitreya’s associate, SI December 1988)

… a new phase in man’s history begins. Step by step, men will set in motion the requirements of the future. These must respect the destiny and free will of all. The right to the essentials of life: food, shelter, healthcare and education, must condition the direction of all governments’ actions. The safeguarding of the environment – with all that that entails – must become a sacred duty which will allow men, in time, to nurse this planet back to health. So must it be if men would inherit their birthright and find, again, the path to God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘The requirements of the future’)

We must respect our environment, not destroy it. When you want to reach the roof of your house, you need a ladder. Once you get there, you should not throw it away and abandon it, for there are others who are following on who need it. So it is with the environment for the generations that follow us. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

The world is now suffering profoundly from the misuse of resources. We have polluted our planet so much that there is no person in the world today, probably – except a Master – who is free from the pollution created by ourselves: the air, the earth, the oceans of the world are polluted to an extent that we are really endangering our own species and the sub-human kingdoms. This is the way that the Earth is really suffering, these are the changes which have to be righted, the changes which are taking place in our immune system as a result of these polluting agencies. The husbandry of the world needs complete transformation – that is the change which will take place. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

It may be said that at last some men are beginning to take seriously the dangers posed by global warming and the consequent climate changes that this is bringing about. It is true that there is much disagreement over the reality and extent of the dangers, and of the best means of approaching the problems which are agreed to exist. However, there is no doubt that some men, at least, are recognizing that men face a formidable task in halting the progress of destruction and in stabilizing the environment. It is also true that even the most aware and concerned of men know little of the extent and complexity of the problems.
The problem of pollution is such a case. Pollution takes many forms, some obvious and easily dealt with, if the will to do so exists. Some, however, require a science and a remedy as yet unknown to man; they are so toxic and destructive that they must be given high priority to overcome. The effect of pollution on the quality of air, food, on animals, and on fish, in rivers and the oceans, is known but largely ignored. The most destructive of all, that caused by nuclear radiation, awaits discovery by Earth scientists. The upper levels of nuclear radiation are beyond the present atomic technology. They are also the most toxic and hazardous to man and the lower kingdoms. On all those levels the problems of pollution must be overcome. This can be achieved only by a complete reconstruction of the present political, economic and social structures.
Man has ravaged and polluted the Earth, and severely damaged his own environment. Now man must see it as a top priority to remedy what he has hurt and so restore to health his ailing planet. He must learn to simplify his demands on the planet and learn the beauty of simplicity and the joy of sharing.
Man has but little choice: the urgency of the task demands immediate action; few indeed realize the true scale of damage already done. The question may be asked: can planet Earth be saved and by what means? The answer is a resounding YES! and by means which involve the transformation of the present modes of living by the majority of men. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Earth in travail’)

When you see Me you shall know that the turning point has been reached, that My Forces are gathered in strength, and that victory is assured. My Plan is to release into the world My simple teaching of Truth: that men are one, brothers all; that God loves all men equally; that nature provides the sustenance for everyone to share; that, coming as I do from mankind’s past, I know the answers to man’s dilemma. I shall show you the simple ways of change, of correctly relating one to another, of correctly manifesting the Will of God. (Maitreya, from Message No.55)

When men take the decision to share together the produce of this bountiful world, an extraordinary and mysterious happening will take place: at a stroke, men will realize that the need for war is past, the menace of terrorism will quickly disappear, the trust engendered by sharing will make the problems facing men, environmental and territorial, resolvable in blossoming goodwill. Through sharing, men will realize that they are brothers, and acting as brothers in close co-operation, will begin the process of transforming this world. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The secret of living’)

It is precisely the misuse of resources, the blind following of market forces, the competition, which has created the pollution which is now proving such an ecological hazard. We are poisoning our planet so quickly that unless we change direction very soon it will be too late, and future generations will suffer unbelievably. Luckily, Nature is very resilient and, I believe, will bounce back. Already, many people, even governments, at the insistence of various groups in different nations, are beginning to address the problems of pollution. More and more governments, groups and individuals are seeing the necessity for an ecological rethink, a solution to the problem of pollution. But it will not be stopped while we have such competition in our methods and policy of manufacture.
We have to shift the present attitude to production from that of greed, waste and competition to that of sufficiency. Instead of saying: “How much can we produce and how fast?” we have to say: “How much do we need? How little of this commodity can we get away with using? How little of this and that will give us a rich, full life in such a way that all individuals can share that life?” (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)

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. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Saving the planet’)

My Mission, as I have said, is twofold: to release you from the bondage of your self-imposed limitations, and to take you with Me back to God. I shall show you that through the right distribution of this earth’s manifold resources all men may enjoy God’s bounty. I shall show you, too, that the Path to God is simple indeed, that your Divine Spark will become manifest through Me. Let Me do this work for you, My friends. Let Me lead you into your Divine Heritage. I shall show you wonders of which you cannot dream. I shall release from your eyes the blindfold of ignorance. I shall drive from this earth forever the curse of hatred, the sin of separation. (Maitreya, from Message No.51)

If men are to save this planet from the results of global warming they must do infinitely more than is planned to limit carbon emissions, and in a shorter period of time than is generally accepted as necessary. Men have been slow to recognize the dangers, and even now many refuse to take the problems seriously. Such attitudes, there is no doubt, put in jeopardy the future of planet Earth. At most, men have ten to fifteen years in which to establish a balance before irreparable damage is done.
To achieve this goal, men must change dramatically the present way of life, and embrace simpler forms of living and working. Gone are the days in which men raped and ravaged the planet at will, without a thought for the generations still to come, neither seeing nor caring ought for the environment which has gradually and inevitably decayed.
Each year, and for many years, huge areas of ancient primal forest are cleared of life-giving trees for purely commercial benefits. Commercialization indeed bodes ill for humanity as it tightens its grip on the throats of men. Commercialization, says Maitreya, is more dangerous to men than the atomic bomb, and is showing its destructive power in the economic chaos which rules in the world today. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The curse of commercialization’)

For about a century and a half, we have thought it perfectly in order to ravage and despoil the planet for short-term gains – making money, driving industry, all the forces and ideas which brought about the industrial revolution. Now we are faced with the post-industrial revolution, which is a new concept. We are past the age of 19th century industrialization and its refinement in the 20th century, and we do not know what lies ahead. There must be the creation of goods, but most people do not know that it will take a completely different form, using completely different methods which will not despoil the planet. We are now awakening to the urgency of this planetary, ecological problem. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation)

My plan is to show you that the way out of your problems is to listen again to the true voice of God within your hearts, to share the produce of this most bountiful of worlds among your brothers and sisters everywhere. (Maitreya, from Message No.11)

At long last, under pressure from their peoples, governments are accepting the need to cherish and nourish the environment on which all future life depends. Without such wise husbandry, the future for mankind would be bleak indeed. Gradually, it is being realized by those who make decisions that time is not on the side of those who despoil and poison the planet, that resources are not unlimited, and that nature recoils from exploitation and assault. There is a growing awareness that careful and concerted action, on a global scale, alone can remedy the many transgressions of the natural order which man’s ignorance and greed has brought about. A start is being made, but many years of dedicated action will be required even to halt the menace of pollution and depredation which threatens man now.
Fortunately, not all in the future sounds so dark a note. Man, as ever, is not alone, and steps have been taken to release to him the knowledge of new and cleaner and safer modes of generating power. Technologies altogether new will transform daily living and leave man time and impulse to explore his own Being and purpose. Thus equipped, man will learn to work and live in harmony with nature, coaxing from her richness a brimming cornucopia sustaining all he could desire or need.
When men see the Christ the issues will be clearly placed before them: men now face the challenge to work together for the well-being of all, and to remake their ways of living with sufficiency the key, or to sound the death knell of a planet already sorely stressed, and so place their future in greatest jeopardy. Maitreya, Himself, has no doubt that men will hear and answer His call. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Awakening to responsibility’)

The guiding principle must be that of sufficiency and not waste. At present the world’s economic system is governed by waste. The profligacy of that waste has created our various pollution problems and constitutes a danger to the planet’s well-being. This is only half-realized. A sustainable economy is one that supplies the needs of all within the possibilities of the planet’s health. At the moment this seems impossible to achieve, but the technology of light will transform the situation for humanity, and give unlimited, ecologically sound energy for all our needs.(Benjamin Creme’s Master, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)

In restoring the planet, salvation is a collective effort. Maitreya will make it clear that this is the case. I estimate that within three to five years from the moment of Maitreya’s appearance an enormous transformation will be taking place. Starvation on the planet will be tackled: mass progress for the starving millions is the aim, and on a scale which we have never contemplated. That achieved, we will tackle the problems of the environment around us. The top priority is the complete transformation of our mode of living towards one that is sustainable. We will see the end of the current economy based on unbridled growth. Men everywhere will be able to eat and live and preserve the resources of the environment. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

The highest priority will be the environment; the lowest will be defence.
(Maitreya, SI July/August 1991)

Today, vast sums are spent on research into nature’s laws. At the same time, enormous resources are wasted and misused. Were these resources directed to stabilizing the natural balance, a new world would emerge. Man would find himself the possessor of secrets long hidden from him. He would enter areas of knowledge until now closed to his enquiring mind. Nature would yield up her mysteries and man would begin a partnership with the creating Logos, taking his rightful place as custodian of the Plan. Man has the power to make all things new or to destroy his world; never before has such omnipotence been his. To ensure the correct use of this power requires the expression of a wisdom seldom seen today, but one that man must find within himself or die.
Fortunately for the race, man is not alone. From behind the scenes of life is now emerging a group of Knowers; men endowed with all the attributes of God. From Them will flow the wisdom of the ages to guide and shepherd man along the way. Under Their inspiration, man will retrace his steps and begin anew. Under Their wise tutelage will he begin the ascent into divinity, to demonstrate that divinity, potential, but unexpressed. Thus will men in time become the Knowers, servants alike of the Purposes of God. From them, then, will flow a stream of universal wisdom to nurture all together in the furtherance of the Plan. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The role of man’)

Take your place by My side and together shall we make all things new. Take My hand, My friends, and let Me guide you through My Garden, Let Me show you My Flowers. Let Me teach you My Law. My Heart enfolds you as always and on each step of the upward path My Hand steadies and guides. I am your Master, Brother and Friend. Know Me then in this way. Let Me teach you the simple Path to God. Let Me show you the Greater Light Divine. Let us travel together this Path and know the Secrets of Old, know the Wonders of God, know the Blessing of Love.  (Maitreya, from Message No.35)


Subtle teaching

Dear Editor,
On Sunday 13 September 2009 I was volunteering at a Share International booth at the UFO EXPO in Santa Clara, California. A jovial, bearded, heavy-set man approached me at the booth. I introduced myself and he told me his name was Rob. He was rather eccentrically dressed, with earrings in both ears. He had an easy smile and we began to talk about the ‘star’. I shared my experiences with him, having seen the ‘star’ several times in the last month. I was telling him that I was sharing the ‘star’ information with friends of mine, and it seemed to appear when I needed it to. He nodded in agreement and I had the strange feeling that he knew exactly what I was talking about. He then asked me questions like: “Does the ‘star’ appear when your intention is strong enough?” and “Can the ‘star’ be summoned by thought?” I had never heard that information, and even though he was asking a question, it was as if he was teaching me new information about the ‘star’. Rob exuded an energy that I could only describe as ‘joy’, and clearly knew much more about this information than I did! Rob smiled and said: “I agree with what you’re saying,” when I mentioned sharing as a key tenet of Maitreya’s teaching.
He said he had to go to see another speaker, and I turned my head, only for a moment. When I turned back ... he had disappeared! The exit to the auditorium was 20 yards away and Rob was nowhere to be found! Was ‘Rob’ Maitreya or the Master Jesus?
D.M.C., Berkeley, California, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Rob’ was Maitreya.)

Star struck

Dear Editor,
At a seminar I attended for medical professionals and volunteers the speaker was leading the group through an activity designed to encourage the participants to engage their creative capacities.
The participants were invited to share what they had created during the activity and the inspiration behind their creation. The chairwoman of the board of directors, of which I am a member, rose and told the group about her work and then mentioned that she had been partly inspired by the beautiful star which she had seen recently in the sky near the moon. She stated that this ‘star’ is a source of hope for her. As I know that this woman is not familiar with the significance of the ‘star’, I was amazed. It seems that many people are responding to the ‘star’ without any knowledge of its significance.
M.P., San Francisco, USA.
(Editor’s comment: This response to seeing the ‘star’ is a very frequent way in which humanity expresses its aspiration for love and guidance from sources above our own level. It is a spiritual manifestation emanating from the person’s own soul. It is in response to the spiritual energy radiated by the ‘star’.)

Hierarchical quartet

Dear Editor,
I was at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Amsterdam on 23 September 2009.
In the first half of the lecture, I saw a rather small man in a neat black suit sitting in the middle of the hall. He had nice dark grey hair and, I think, a darkish complexion. (I was sitting upstairs so I could only see him from the side, but he and his companions continued to draw my attention.)
The man sat in the 6th row from the front on the 11th seat from the left. Next to him sat another man, to his left. He, in contrast to the man of dark complexion, was very fair-skinned, tall and wore a white shirt. He was slightly bald.
Because they were sitting in the middle of the hall they were very noticeable – black and white next to each other in absolute stillness. On either side of them sat two teenage girls with long curly hair, as if this symmetry and harmony complemented the whole visual image. Were these two men Masters?
Thank you for the lecture and all the work you do.
J.P., The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the tall man in white was Maitreya and the shorter man in black was the Master Jesus. They were accompanied on either side by two disciples of the Master Jesus.)

Hierarchical duet

Dear Editor,
During the interval at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Amsterdam (23 September 2009) I saw a black couple beside the free information table, collecting brochures. The man caught my eye as from where I stood, he looked like ‘Maitreya as the flute player’ [see photograph in a New York public library,  Share International, October 1998]
The man wore yellow trousers, a green jacket and a reddish shirt. His curly hair was quite grey and covered by a cap. His wife had a long face and beautiful soft, light brown skin. She looked very friendly and wore brownish clothes.
As more people came to the table asking questions, I lost sight of them.
The next day I realized they were of a striking appearance compared to the rest of the audience. Did I see Maitreya and the Master Jesus?
I. S., The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the couple were Maitreya and the Master Jesus but appeared not in the same form as They did in the hall where They sat in the audience for the lecture.)

Double take

Dear Editor,
On 23 September 2009 I was on the stage next to Benjamin Creme translating his lecture in Amsterdam. At the end of the lecture Mr Creme was being overshadowed, as he explained, first by Sai Baba, and then by Maitreya. I believe it was during the overshadowing by Sai Baba that Mr Creme raised his hand in a gesture of blessing to dispense the energies of the overshadowing when I opened my eyes for a moment. In the front row, to our right I saw a black man wearing a cap and colourful clothes. When I saw him earlier he was looking down under his cap as if he was trying to stay unnoticed in spite of his bright red shirt and green jacket. His face reminded me somewhat of Maitreya’s ‘familiar’ as the flute player in the New York library. However, as Benjamin Creme was moving his hand in blessing, and the audience were silently receiving the blessing, most with their eyes closed, I saw the black man wave his hand in response. It was such an unexpected and funny sight that I immediately closed my eyes again and had to suppress a giggle, trying to get the image out of my mind and continue to receive the overshadowing energies. At once I thought, no he can’t be Maitreya. Or was he perhaps not the confused member of the audience that I thought he must be?
G. A., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this was Maitreya. He also appeared with a black woman during the interval in the same bright clothes.)

Attention call

Dear Editor,
In August 1999 I was waiting for my train on the underground platform when a blond young man came rather quickly from my right towards me, looking directly and intensely at me, smiling with his mouth open in a way that suggested pleasure and joy.
He wore a black t-shirt, heavy-metal Iron Maiden-style. At the bottom of it I read ‘Meditation’ in English. I was very impressed by him, but at first I took it as someone wanting to draw my attention. He stood at a distance on my left. Then, he came towards me again, looking with the same smile, and stood on my right. The train came, I went into the carriage and sat down. Two rows before me, now to my left, there he was sitting, looking at me directly and unconditionally smiling with the same sense of pleasure. Again, I found it prudent not to look at him, but after a minute or so I couldn’t resist it anymore so I directed my sight discretely towards him. He was no longer there, but a young woman had taken his place. He could have gone out of the train from the other exit door, but I don’t recall that we had a stop during that brief interval. He wasn’t standing nor had he changed his seat.
Could you tell me who that young man in the underground was?
C.F., Barcelona, Spain.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the ‘young man’ was Maitreya.)

Two letters from the same person:


Dear Editor,
(1) In autumn 1992 I had just moved to Nottingham to start a university degree. Soon after the beginning of term I went out socialising for the evening and had a really good time and I must say, quite a lot to drink.
I was cycling home in the dark, a ride of a few miles, all along the Mansfield Road. I was in such a good mood and after a tough uphill section I really enjoyed going downhill. At the bottom of the hill I rode round the roundabout a few times, shouting: “Weeeeee!” (As I said, I’d had a good evening!)
Further on, I became hungry so I stopped at a fish and chip shop to buy a spring roll. I sat down beside my bike by the side of the pavement to eat it.
Finally, after quite a long ride, I arrived home. As I was getting off my bike two policemen came out of their car and approached me. “Uh oh,” I thought. “Is this your house ma’am?” asked one of the policemen. “Yes,” I said, feeling nervous that I was about to be told off. But the policeman said: “Oh that’s fine, we were just checking you got home okay, we’ve been following you since Mansfield Road.”
I felt relieved but also embarrassed that they had witnessed my various escapades on my journey home! But also I thought how nice that these two policemen had taken all that time just to check somebody was OK, without telling them off. I have told the story of these caring policemen over the years but it was just the other day, after reading an experience of Maitreya, that it occurred to me they might not have been policemen at all?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘policemen’ were Maitreya and the Master Jesus.)


Dear Editor,
(2) Sometime around 1996 I was having a drink with some friends in a pub in Nottingham.
There was a group of us round the pub table. While my friends were chatting I slowly became aware that two men were standing behind me, as if waiting for me to pull in my chair so they could pass, although they weren’t saying anything. It was strange because there was plenty of space in the room and they absolutely didn’t need me to pull in my chair in order for them to get through – they could have just walked past. Still, I pulled in my chair and they walked past me from behind, one in front of the other. They looked very ordinary and not at all out of place in the pub. They were white, in their late 20s or 30s, and the first man had black hair and glasses and a black leather jacket. As he came past me he gave me an enormous smile and a very emphatic “Thank you”. They walked out of the pub and my friend and I had a little laugh about it: such a big ‘thank you’ for what? I only pulled in my chair, which was unnecessary anyway!
Who were these men?
T.C., London, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the men were Maitreya and the Master Jesus.)

The star that heralds Maitreya’s emergence

“In the very near future, people everywhere will have the opportunity to witness an extraordinary and significant sign, the like of which has been manifested only once before, at the birth of Jesus. Then, according to Christian teaching, a star appeared in the heavens and led three wise men from the East to the birthplace of Jesus. Soon, once again, a star-like luminary of brilliant power will be seen around the world.” (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘Maitreya’s first interview’, SI Jan/Feb 2009)

On 12 December 2008 Share International distributed a news release announcing that in the very near future a large, bright star would appear in the sky visible throughout the world, night and day, heralding the imminent appearance of Maitreya in His first interview on a major US television programme. Since early January 2009 sightings of the star have been reported all over the world and hundreds of sightings have been sent to Share International. We include a selection of the latest reports from the media, Share International readers, and sightings from YouTube. All the photographs show genuine sightings confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master to be the ‘star-like luminary’ heralding Maitreya’s emergence.


Samnanger, NorwayRIGHT: Photograph taken on 10 October 2009 between 6 and 7am in the southeast, at Samnanger, 40 km from Bergen, Norway. Sent in a video link by T.W. who asked: “On the videos the ‘star’ seems to take on shapes resembling the Christian cross and maybe also the Buddha?”

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was the ‘star’, in the shape of a cross. The earlier images were not related to the Buddha, but were of the cross being formed.)

CaliforniaLEFT: California, USA, 26 January 2009:
“On 26 January around 8pm … It was a starry night and my boyfriend began looking at this so-called star (disc-like shape) that started spinning and turning weird colors. He ran in the house and got his digital camera. Took a video of this surprising star that was very entertaining. Spinning up and down and side to side and turning colors. Then it disappeared. Just dropped out of the sky. Anyone know what this is?” (Source: YouTube: ledz4cars)

MoscowRIGHT: Moscow, Russia, 7 October 2009
(Source: YouTube: olegen77)



Kerkrade, the NetherlandsLEFT: Photographed on 26 September at 8pm during the annual Transmission Meditation Conference in Kerkrade, the Netherlands. More than 100 participants witnessed the large star in the evening in a south-east direction. Sent by C.Q., Amsterdam, Holland.



RIGHT: two photographs taken in Barcelona, Spain, on 1 October 2009, sent by H.L. and C.F.Barcelona 1, Spain
Barcelona 2, Spain

Montreal, CanadaLEFT: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 3 February 2009. (YouTube)




RIGHT: Two photographs taken between 5 and 7am on 24 September 2009 in Menton, south of France, at a 40 degree angle from the eastern horizon. Sent by M.S. Menton 2, France
Menton 1, France



Leeds, UKLEFT: Whinmoor, Leeds, UK, April 2009 (YouTube: columbiantony)




Brentwood, California, USA,RIGHT: Brentwood, California, USA, 11 October 2009: “I’d heard from my friends that there was a UFO that would appear over my cousin’s house at night, but I finally got to witness what they were talking about. The brightness along with the rapidly pulsating various colors just boggles my mind!” (Source: YouTube: caliskate04)


Heavenly herald
As we go to press, reports are coming in of a large, very bright “fireball”, a “shining bullet”, or a “glowing heavenly body” as German media described it. The object was seen in the early evening of 13 October in clear skies above Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Over the Netherlands there are reports that the object broke the sound barrier with the accompanying sonic boom. (Source: Zeit-online, Bild.de, NDR Online, Germany; de Volkskrant, the Netherlands)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the “heavenly body” is the ‘star’ heralding Maitreya’s first interview.)


Dear Editor,
When I was back in Austria during the summer [2009] I always sat on my terrace and regularly saw very bright stars. Sometimes only one, and sometimes two at the same time, and they were moving around quite fast. I was sure that either they were the ‘stars’ Share International reported or spaceships. I was very moved by the sight and started to pray.

Please can you confirm if I saw the ‘star’ or spaceships or both?
R.I., Rankweil, Vorarlberg, Austria.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the sightings were of two of the four ‘stars’. The ‘star’ is, of course, a spaceship.)

Dear Editor,
On the night of 26/27 September 2009 just after midnight some of the participants of the Transmission Meditation Conference in the Netherlands were outside on the terrace at the back of the main building of Rolduc looking at a star in the sky that behaved in such a way that it could be the ‘star’. Suddenly we saw a flash of light across the sky and we all cried out: “Wow, a shooting star!” Once home I was not so sure it was a shooting star. The flash was spectacular and of an extremely beautiful golden-yellow-reddish colour. The star was east to northeast. (1) Was it the ‘star’ we were watching? (2) Did we see a shooting star or a flash of light connected with the ‘star’ or a UFO?
M.L., The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that (1) it was the ‘star’, and (2) it was a shooting star.)

Dear Editor,
Every day around 9pm from my living room I see many planes going to and from Amsterdam-Schiphol airport. On the evening of 26 September 2009 I also saw a very special star. It was a beautiful orange colour and was as big as the moon or the sun and had small pointed ends from where sparks emitted.

Full of admiration I followed this impressive, magnificent star and watched it until it became smaller and disappeared to a dot. This ‘star’ went from west to east. It lasted all in all about three minutes. It made a profound impression on me and I felt tinglings and goose bumps all over.

Was this the ‘star’ that heralds the emergence of Maitreya, the World Teacher?
J.B., De Goorn, The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was the ‘star’.)

Dear Editor,
On Tuesday 4 August 2009 the moon had a star alongside its left. Then, two nights later, on the right-hand side. Was this the ‘star’ or was this the satellite I heard had just been launched on 4 and 6 August?
J.J., Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was the ‘star’.)

Dear Editor,
I have seen beautiful stars several times but sometimes I believe they are not stars but UFOs. One in particular caught my attention on the morning of 1 August 2009 at 5.30 am in Madison, Virginia, in the United States. In reality there were two stars, they say one of them is Venus (I have my doubts about it), the other one on the other side of the sky looked like an identical twin.

I saw another one in front of my window in January 2009, it was different since it had many colours and there were two more on the other side of the sky. I would like to know if I have seen Maitreya’s ‘star’.
A.A., Groveland, Florida, United States.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the sighting on 1 August was the ‘star’ alongside a spacecraft. The January sighting was also the ‘star’.)

Dear Editor,
(1) On the night of 9 August 2009, I saw a strange object in the sky. It looked like a little star, but it was moving slowly, similar to the speed of an airplane. It was strange, because the object emitted little light, but twice it began to brighten with a very strong light.

For some time here in São Paulo we have seen a very bright star in the east. It looks like Venus, but I think this planet should not be appearing in the sky this time of the year. Was it the ‘star’?

(2) On the night of 16 August 2009 I was observing the sky when I saw a red light going upwards in the far distance. It had a particular brightness and for some time it moved up in the sky, and then began to go towards the east, and after that to the north. Was this the ‘star’ of Maitreya or a UFO?

(3) On that same night, I saw another strange object in the sky. It was big and had some lights on it, similar to those of a plane (they were red and blue), but the form was different from a plane, and the strangest thing was that it was moving but didn’t make any noise. It just moved across the sky from east to north, at a low altitude. What was it?

(4)Also on 16 August 2009, late in the night, I saw another strange object in the sky. This time, the oval object was bigger and it changed direction when it moved. Was this another sign of the Space Brothers?
T.S.A., São Paulo, Brazil.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms (1) It was the ‘star’. (2) It was Maitreya’s own Lightship. (3) It was a spacecraft. (4) Yes.)

Dear Editor,
One evening I was reading The Emergence newspaper about the ‘star’ and found it really interesting so I went onto the website to have a look at the photos from all over the world. That evening between 9.30-10pm, I was walking down the stairs to my car when I saw this really bright star shining. It kept changing colours from red to green in the western sky. It made me stop in my path and I sat on the stairs for a while thinking it was a plane but it wasn’t moving. I kept looking out the window for it for a few days but didn’t see anything. Then a week or so later when driving home from work I saw it again but this time, northwest and left of One Tree Hill, flickering red and green, between 5-6.30pm. Another time while driving, I saw a flickering red and green star in the southwest between 5-7pm. Could you tell me whether these were the ‘star’ or a plane or another planet?
J.T., Aukland, New Zealand.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that each time it was the ‘star’)

The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer

Book review by Betsy Whitfill

It may seem that this period of extreme economic collapse is a strange time to write a book about giving away money, enough money to eliminate the extreme poverty in which 1.4 billion of us live, or rather, die. Yet Peter Singer, author and Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University in the US, boldly proclaims that it is imperative, if we are to live an ethical life, that we give, and through giving, accomplish this goal of eliminating poverty.

Singer presents his basic argument as follows. “First premise: Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care are bad. Second premise: If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so. Third premise: By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care, without sacrificing anything nearly as important. Conclusion: Therefore, if you do not donate to aid agencies, you are doing something wrong.”
Not only does Singer advise giving of our plenty, he argues strongly that it is ethically imperative that we restrict consumption of our “first world necessities” like bottled water, spa visits, new computers and phones, and even private school tuition for our children, in favor of giving the money saved to fight extreme poverty. We should, he argues, give so much that if we gave any more, our own children’s lives would be endangered.

The recipients of aid, Singer explains, are those who, through no fault of their own, are desperately and hopelessly poor. Further, we in the ‘first world’ have in many cases caused their extreme poverty: we are culpable in the deaths of eight million people each year. We over-fish the ocean. We buy (read “steal”) their raw materials for a pittance. Our international corporations’ payments support many dictators in the world. Exxon-Mobil and Marathon Oil, for example, buy most of New Guinea’s oil and pay their money to the dictator Teodoro Obiang, who is richer than Queen Elizabeth of England, while his people live to an average of 49 years and 1 in 12 children dies in the first year of life. Our greenhouse gas emissions impact the poor disproportionately through disruption of rain patterns creating drought, the scourge of agriculture-based communities. Meanwhile, Singer says, research shows that Americans waste $100 billion worth of food annually. We can and we must, he says, bring our way of life into balance with the lives of others on the planet.

Singer discusses the full range of reasons why we claim we cannot give, or cannot give very much, everything from the oft-misunderstood Biblical injunction that the “the poor will always be with us” to the fear that if we give everything to the poor we will have nothing left. Most Americans, he says, are quick to state that they are the most generous people on the planet. In fact, the US is near the bottom of the list of industrialized nations in giving, and as a nation usually gives for political advantage rather than to alleviate poverty.

According to statistics gathered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US ranks second to the bottom, only above Greece, in official aid as a percentage of gross national income, 18 cents of every $100 of national income. Further, US private giving for international aid amounts to only 0.07 per cent of our gross national income or 7 cents out of every $100 of income. According to Giving USA 2008, an annual report on philanthropy in the US, privately Americans give one-third of all donations to religious organizations, whose money goes primarily to pay clergy, administrative expenses, building costs and maintenance.

It is no surprise to the readers of Share International magazine that many new millionaires, even billionaires, have been created over the past decade. Singer takes the position that these “super rich” are much happier when they give, and give generously. For example, James Hong, who made his millions developing an internet social networking website, has started 10over100.org, an organization whose members commit to giving 10 per cent of their income over $100,000 per year. Hong’s satisfaction comes from the fact that he measures his success not by how much money he accumulates, but by how much he gives away. Using an inheritance of $250,000, Chris Ellinger, a social activist in Philadelphia, started the 50% League whose members have given away at least half of their wealth or, for the past three years, half of their income.

Singer’s list of such groups includes both the super rich and those of modest means. They have found, he says, renewed meaning in their lives knowing that they have actually saved the lives of people they do not know. However, for most people, creating a culture of giving requires getting to know those who need their help, to see their faces and know how their giving has helped. He also recommends that when large sums are donated, Biblical injunctions to the contrary, there should be great fanfare, which, he suggests, will encourage others to contribute generously. People really do act in caring ways every day, he argues. They leave extra tips, rescue lost animals, and help elders cross the street. Singer counts those acts as ethically potent and should be acknowledged as such, even if people often say they acted for selfish reasons. 

The question, then, is how much should we give to end absolute poverty and save lives if we are to meet the standard for living an ethical life? Although Singer presents a broad discussion about what is the “fair share” nationally and privately, with technical formulas, he concludes that 95 per cent of us should give at least 5 per cent of our income annually. If such donations are tax deductible for us, we should use our gross income as the standard. If donations are not tax deductible, we should use the net or after-tax income figure.

When considering the basic needs of the extremely poor, Singer recommends a sliding scale of giving based on income ranging from the “super rich” (those making above $10.7 million annually) who should give one-third of their income, to the “comfortable” (averaging $122,000 annually) who should give 5 per cent. He further extends that model worldwide, to include the US giving one-third of its Gross Domestic Product, its fair share of the total income of all 22 OECD nations*. He concludes that $1.5 trillion could be provided annually towards the eradication of extreme poverty, eight times the amount needed to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by 2015. So he argues that not only is there no excuse for holding back in giving, our giving can and will end the most critical poverty forever.

In closing, Singer offers some motivational thoughts. If we don’t have to spend money to keep up appearances, just think how relaxed and comfortable we’ll be. Just think of the satisfaction to be gained by living simply and sharing our plenty so that others may live. Just think of the freedom gained if we don’t need to always focus on making more money, buying products and generating garbage.
Just think of the happiness we will feel when the way we live harmonizes with the way we know we should live.

To learn more about Singer’s seven-point plan to enable readers to join in this effort, visit: www.TheLifeYouCanSave.com

Peter Singer: The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, Random House 2009.

*Using “OECD purchasing power parity figures, in 2006 the US GDP was 36 per cent of the OECD total.”


Child mortality declining

Child mortality worldwide is decreasing, but progress is not taking place quickly enough, according to UNICEF. Although child mortality has decreased steadily during the past two decades, UNICEF estimates that about 8.8 million children under the age of five died in 2008. “Compared to 1990, 10,000 fewer children are dying every day,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman. “While progress is being made it is unacceptable that each year 8.8 million children die before their fifth birthday.”
The reduction in child mortality can be traced to the extensive distribution of life-saving technologies, especially vaccines, mosquito nets and vitamin A supplements. The introduction of useful practices that are simple to perform, such as breast-feeding until the age of six months, which protects children from diarrhoea, also accounts for the improvement in children’s health.
Success in the country of Malawi and other developing nations demonstrates the creative ways that have been found to distribute treatments. A programme to train 10,000 high-school educated village health workers has proven extremely effective. These workers dispense medicines, give injections and provide birth control, even reaching remote areas that have never been served by doctors or nurses.
Melinda Gates, co-founder and co-chair of the Gates Foundation, noted: “If we say as a world we care about saving children, and tackle the problem systematically, piece by piece, we can make progress.” (Source: The New York Times, USA; UNICEF)

New malaria treatment could save many lives

Researchers from the University of Barcelona have concluded that one-third of malaria cases in African babies could be prevented by giving them intermittent doses of anti-malarial drugs before the children become infected. This approach helps children develop immunity to the disease and reduces the risk that the malaria parasite will become drug resistant.
Studying data from 8,000 children and infants in Tanzania, Mozambique, Gabon and Ghana, lead researcher Pedro Alonso and his team concluded that this technique could save “tens of thousands of lives every year across Africa”. If the technique were expanded to other African countries, 6 million cases of malaria could be prevented each year, he said.
Malaria is considered one of the most devastating public health problems, killing more than 1 million people a year, but it is also one of the more preventable diseases. Although this new protocol is promising, researchers emphasized that it is only one of many avenues to pursue in protecting against the disease. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets remain the primary means of malaria prevention. (Source: Reuters)


Increasing number of people receiving HIV treatment

More than 4 million people in low- and middle-income countries received life-saving HIV treatment in 2008, an increase of 1 million over the previous year, according to a recent report by several UN agencies.
The report by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) also highlights other advances, including an increase in HIV testing and counselling, and improved access to services to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child.
“This report shows tremendous progress in the global HIV/AIDS response,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “But we need to do more. At least 5 million people living with HIV still do not have access to life-prolonging treatment and care. Prevention services fail to reach many in need. Governments and international partners must accelerate their efforts to achieve universal access to treatment.”

Treatment and care

Access to antiretroviral therapy continues to expand at a rapid rate. Of the estimated 9.5 million people in need of treatment in 2008 in low- and middle-income countries, 42 per cent had access, up from 33 per cent in 2007. The greatest progress was seen in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of all HIV infections occur.
Prices of the most commonly used antiretroviral drugs have declined significantly in recent years, contributing to wider availability of treatment. The lower prices are due to a combination of factors, including greater co-operation by pharmaceutical companies and the widespread use of generic drugs.
Despite recent progress, access to treatment services is falling far short of need and the global economic crisis has raised concerns about the sustainability of services.

Testing and counseling

Recent data shows increasing availability of HIV testing and counselling services. In 66 reporting countries, the number of health facilities providing such services increased by about 35 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Testing and counselling services are also being used by an increasing number of people. In 39 countries, the total reported number of HIV tests performed more than doubled between 2007 and 2008.
Nevertheless, the majority of those living with HIV remain unaware of their HIV status. Low awareness of personal risk of HIV infection and fear of stigma and discrimination account, in part, for low use of testing services.

Women and children

In 2008, access to HIV services for women and children improved. Approximately 45 per cent of HIV-positive pregnant women received antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission to their children, up from 35 per cent in 2007. More children are also benefiting from paediatric antiretroviral therapy programmes: the number of children under 15 years of age who received antiretroviral therapy rose from approximately 198,000 in 2007 to 275,700 in 2008 – 38 per cent of those in need.
Globally, AIDS remains the leading cause of mortality among women of reproductive age. “Although there is increasing emphasis on women and children in the global HIV/AIDS response, the disease continues to have a devastating impact on their health, livelihood and survival,” said Ann Veneman, UNICEF executive director.

“All indications point to the number of people needing treatment rising dramatically over the next few years,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS. “Ensuring equitable access will be one of our primary concerns and UNAIDS will continue to act as a voice for the voiceless, ensuring that marginalized groups and people most vulnerable to HIV infection have access to the services that are so vital to their wellbeing and to that of their families and communities.” (Source: WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS press release; BBC, UK)



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First published April 1999,