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 Home >> Share International magazine >> June 2003

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Share International magazine June 2003

This is an abridged version of Share International magazine.
Through these electronic files, the magazine Share International makes available a compilation of its contents. Permission is granted to reproduce these articles in magazine, newspaper or newsletter format, provided that credit is given to Share International and clippings are sent to: PO Box 41877, 1009 DB Amsterdam, Holland. Copyright (c) 2003 Share International. All rights reserved.

Master's article:

The creation of trust

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme

If men would know peace they have the simple duty to establish the way of peace. There is but one way to peace as all men know in their hearts: the creation of justice. When men at last acknowledge the necessity of justice, for themselves and for others, the blessed day of peace will dawn on this earth. The path, too, of justice is not difficult to find; it requires only the acceptance of sharing.

The divine principle of sharing is central to life; it underlies all harmony and balance. Without sharing, each effort to attain equilibrium comes to naught.

For centuries men have known this to be true. These ideas have permeated the great movements which have held aloft for men the concept of Liberty. They are ingrained in the Constitutions of many countries. Why then do men find them so difficult to implement? Why, and for so long, do they suffer their non-realization?

The answers to these questions are manifold but one, above all, is basic and persisting: men live in fear. The fear of change, of loss, of still greater insecurity, fills the minds of countless millions, creating, as a result, the inertia which ties them to the ways of the past. These ways may be onerous and difficult to bear but they are the known ways, the ways of the forefathers. This conditioning saturates and holds sway in the world, manipulated and fed by the actions of greedy and powerful men.

Trust
Fear arises where there is a lack of trust; few there are who trust their fellow men. Thus men have for long lost the sense that they are One, brothers and sisters all, engaged in the tasks of life together, sharing these tasks for the Common Good, and sharing, too, the wherewithal for each one’s needs.

The rediscovery of this common heritage will galvanize humanity and awaken it to its destiny: the creation of a way of life in which men become co-creators with God.

It is Maitreya’s task to remind men of their heroic destiny, and to persuade them that the act of sharing will engender the trust they seek. He will show that sharing is no longer an option, a choice, but the inevitable consequence of their realization that humanity is One.

Thus will Maitreya and His Group guide humanity away from the abyss which, many believe, threatens to engulf it. And thus, too, will He set men firmly on the course to realize their divine destiny.

Questions & Answers:

Q. Why does America dislike the United Nations, or at least, appear to dislike the UN?

A. Very many people in the US do not dislike the United Nations. On the contrary, they see the UN as the major hope of peace and sanity. However, there are many, mostly of a conservative political persuasion, who distrust the UN, who fear its power and its capacity to act at times against what they see as America’s interests. Many fundamentalist Christian groups fear the UN as a potential World Government over which America would have no control. America, the United States, is a young country, powerful and over-confident, with, as yet, a less than sure grasp of the interdependence of all peoples and nations. Eventually, I believe, that will come, but it will take much suffering — ‘the wilderness experience’ — to bring the US into touch with reality.

Q. (1) At what point did the US-led forces and the US administration know definitely that Saddam Hussein was dead? (2) Surely they must have known, or at least been able to presume his death, shortly after their first bombardment? (3) If they knew early on in their attack on Iraq why did they continue their invasion?

A. There is little evidence to assume that the US administration do know for certain that Saddam Hussein is dead. They have only begun now — 25 April — to suggest that he may be. I made it known in the May 2003 issue of Share International and by press release to media and government authorities on 8 April that this was the case. It is possible that this has prompted the recent suggestion that he may be dead. America very much needs Saddam Hussein to be dead or captured; they still have no idea where Osama bin Laden is to be found, a double embarrassment.

Q. Is it paranoid or an exaggerated reaction to be on the alert for further US interference in other countries, (1) in the Middle East and (2) elsewhere, such as North Korea?

A. (1) No. (2) No. They have openly threatened Syria, Iran and North Korea. That does not mean necessarily that the US is going to invade these countries now or in the near future. I have no doubt, however, that plans for any eventuality have been made.

Q. Ariel Sharon is urging the USA to get tough with Syria? Why? And would threats or pressure on Syria be justified?

A. Threats and pressure on Syria would certainly not be justified but that is not the point if the US believe Syria to be giving sanctuary to major Iraqi figures, in particular Saddam Hussein who, they suspect, has made his way there. There is also the Syrian support of the Hezbollah group who are fiercely anti-Israeli. It would suit Israel very well if the US would come down heavily on Syria and so relieve potential pressure on its northern border and deal with the Hezbollah at the same time.

Q. Surely it is time for the world to move on, not forgetting the horrors of World War II, but having acknowledged them fully, free ourselves from the hold guilt has on the world community? Is it incorrect to say that the world is vulnerable to emotional blackmail and therefore tends to turn a blind eye to Israel’s unjust demands? Is this the basis for the very evident double standards the world operates with regard to the Israelis and the Arab world? The Arab world is angered and frustrated by the double standards, and is this not the basis for terrorism?

A. Yes, I agree that this is largely the case.

Q. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair assert that the world is a safer place since they unilaterally attacked Iraq. Is this the case?

A. I do not believe this to be so. America and Britain, in this reckless invasion, have stirred up many dangers for themselves and for others. The world is suddenly more unstable than for many years. But, with Maitreya’s presence, longer-term security and balance is assured.

Q. If ‘live’ or usable weapons of mass destruction are found in Iraq and/or Syria can we assume that they have been planted there to prove the case for invasion?

A. No, I do not think so. Unless verified by unbiased (United Nations?) scientists no one would believe that the US forces had not planted them, so they would seek confirmation of any find. They will, of course, try to make the most of every box of matches they find.

Q. I was first introduced to the story of Maitreya in the early 1980s by a newspaper advertisement headed ‘There will be no World War Three’. I have never doubted Maitreya’s presence and eventual emergence, and have joined the anti-war protests, but I am now wondering if that newspaper statement was somewhat over-optimistic?

A. It is true that many people still fear a third world war, and the recent invasion of Iraq, unilaterally and pre-emptively, by America and Britain, has heightened world tension immeasurably. Longer-term ambitions by the US as voiced openly by their most ‘hawkish’ leaders do not help to build harmonious and co-operative relations. However, despite these real problems, Hierarchy have no doubt of eventually inspiring justice and therefore peace.

Maitreya, you may be certain, has not come into the world to watch its destruction. Peace, today, is not an option but an absolute necessity for humanity to survive. That being so, Maitreya, you may be sure, will use all His various means to ensure that His plan succeeds.

Q. There is an extraordinary passage in The Rays and the Initiations, Part Two, by Alice A.Bailey, which was written in 1947 but seems to speak very much to present world conditions. The Master DK says: “The tension in the world today, particularly in the Hierarchy, is such that it will produce another and perhaps ultimate world crisis, or else such a speeding up of the spiritual life of the planet that the coming in of the long looked-for New Age conditions will be amazingly hastened…. The selfishness of the United States is also due to youth, but it will eventually yield to experience and to suffering; there is — fortunately for the soul of this great people — much suffering in store for the United States…. In the hands of the United States, Great Britain and Russia, and also in the hands of France, lies the destiny of the world disciple, Humanity. Humanity has been passing through the tests which are preparatory to the first initiation; they have been hard and cruel and are not yet entirely over. The Lords of Karma (four in number) are today working through these four Great Powers; it is, however, a karma which seeks to liberate, as does all karma. In the coming crisis, true vision and a new freedom, plus a wider spiritual horizon may be attained. The crisis, if rightly handled, need not again reach the ultimate horror.… the Jews [Editor: ie Zionists] have partially again opened the door to the Forces of Evil, which worked originally through Hitler and his evil gang. The “sealing” of that door had not been successfully accomplished, and it is the part of wisdom to discover this in time. These Forces of Evil work through a triangle of evil, one point of which is to be found in the Zionist Movement in the United States, another in central Europe, and the third in Palestine [Editor: now Israel].… In the maps which are to be found in the Archives of the spiritual Hierarchy, the entire area of the Near East and Europe — Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Palestine, the Arab States, Egypt and Russia — are under a heavy overshadowing cloud. Can that cloud be dissipated by the right thinking and planning of Great Britain, the United States and the majority of the United Nations or — must it break in disaster over the world?”)

(1) Does this “ultimate world crisis” still lie ahead, (2) are we now in it or its early stages, or (3) has it been mitigated by the rapid evolutionary changes during the past half-century?

A. (1) No. (2) We are in its early stages. (3) It has been mitigated to some extent.

Q. (1) Was the “coming crisis” the Cold War and its nuclear threat? (2) Could it also be the world’s present economic crisis?

A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes.

Q. (1) Does the “suffering in store for the United States” refer to remorse for the Iraqi War and/or (2) other military adventures, or (3) the effects of an economic crash?

A. (1) Not remorse but the effects of unilateral action and rejection of the rule of law of the United Nations. (2) Yes. (3) Yes.

Q. (1) Is it accurate to say that the UN Security Council has been a focal point for the Lords of Karma for the past 50 years? (2) Are the Lords of Karma involved in the United Nations crisis over the Iraqi War, and in the Middle Eastern crisis in general?

A. (1) Yes. (2) The Lords of Karma are involved in all acts.

Q. (1) Is the “triangle of evil” still operating as the Master DK described? (2) Is it accurate to say that this triangle is operating more powerfully or openly today than in the past 50 years?

A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes.

Q. Is the Master DK saying that if the heavy cloud that lingers over the Near East and Europe is exploited by the “triangle of evil”, there will be a world tragedy?

A. Yes.

Q. Through the resolution of this present conflict, will Humanity attain the liberation, true vision, new freedom and wider spiritual horizon which the Master DK predicted?

A. Yes.

Q. Does the “right thinking and planning” of Great Britain, the United States and the UN refer to (1) the economic reconstruction and development of democratic conditions in places like Bosnia/Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq; (2) settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; (3) representative democracy for the Muslim people of the Middle East?

A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes. This is the single most important problem. (3) Yes.

Q. Could this be a reason why Maitreya, Who represents all of Humanity, has chosen to appear to the world as a Muslim, as in the Nairobi photograph?

A. No. Maitreya is not a Muslim any more than a Buddhist or Hindu or Atheist. He appeared to a Christian group in Nairobi in a garb that they would recognize; they did instantly recognize Him as the Christ. When He appears to religious groups He does so in the garb conforming to their thoughtform of their ‘expected one’.

Letters to the editor:

Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters 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, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.

Birthday present

Dear Editor,

April 23 2003 was the evening before my 30th birthday, so I felt like indulging in a taxi to go to Transmission Meditation. When I got in the car, which smelt of fish (I later saw the driver was eating a pastry), the driver very cheerfully said “How are you?” “Fine thank you, how are you?” “Can’t complain” he said. I explained where to go, using my hands. He laughed, copying my movements, and said: “I like your style!” I remarked that it was a nice evening and he said again: “I can’t complain”.

He asked me if I’d had a good day and, after seeing a clamped car, we got into a conversation about the expense of driving, parking restrictions, and the expenses involved for a taxi driver. I said it must be hard because you never knew how much you would earn each day. He said sometimes he got lots of bookings, but usually to get enough money “you have to put in the hours.” I asked him if there was a lot of sitting around (waiting for bookings) and he said “Yes but I use my time. I read things that will benefit the world. It’s very important to read things that will benefit the world.” I asked him what sort of things he read and he replied “I read about alternative medicine.” I told him I use homoeopathy; he asked me why, and I told him, ending with “and also, it works.” He said something like (if I heard correctly) “When people say it doesn’t work I tell them to try alcohol!… to try the alternative.” We talked more about alternative medicine, and then got on to the subject of the governments and pharmaceutical companies and how they withhold the benefits of alternative medicines to promote drugs, yet they don’t provide much-needed drugs cheaply to poor countries. We talked about South Africa and AIDS, and he mentioned Nelson Mandela, comparing him with the current president in regard to their policies on AIDS.

I asked him where he was from. “Nigeria” he said. “Oh, they were just talking about Nigeria on the radio”. “Ah, you know about our country!” he said, smiling. “A little, not very much” I replied. I said that on the news they had been saying that there had just been an election there but that they hadn’t been free elections. “Where in the world are there free elections?” said the driver. “True!” I replied emphatically and he laughed.

Somehow we got onto the subject of knowledge. He said “You’ve got to use your knowledge. It’s no good having knowledge if you don’t use it.” He said it was like giving a pound to someone on the street who asks for it. If you give him the money you really still own it, because you don’t expect anything in return, and you both feel much lighter. It’s more important than giving away £100 if you don’t expect anything in return. He said giving away that £1 means you own it more than if you had thousands in the bank, which, he said, you don’t really own anyway, and will be forced to spend it on things you don’t want to spend it on. He said it was the same with knowledge and continued to talk about it. I think he talked about giving out knowledge without preaching, without expecting anything in return. At one point, after a pause from him, all I could think to say was “Yes”. He smiled at me and said “It’s a lot to take in”. I asked him another question and we continued the conversation. I asked him something about when you should share your knowledge. “You don’t wait to feed (or teach?) a child until he’s grown up.” We talked about how you give little bits of knowledge as you learn it and that sometimes you know something without realising it — then you add to this later and consolidate on the earlier knowledge. He likened this to relationships, and what we know and feel about people, but I was giving him directions at the same time and I confess I didn’t quite get what he said about this.
Then we were there. Throughout the conversation, he looked at me intensely and seriously through the mirror, except when he was joking and laughing. He had a strong African accent, was a big black man, with a large bald head.
After paying him I said, “It’s been a very interesting conversation”. He smiled and said cheerfully “I’ll pick you up next time!” Was this man Maitreya?
TC, London, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘driver’ was Maitreya)

Well-read

(Two letter from the same person)

Dear Editor,

(1) I was on the bookstand at Benjamin Creme’s lecture at Friend’s House on 10 April 2003. During a quiet period I noticed a fair-haired young man who came up and stood in front of me.
He didn’t seem to be engrossed in reading so I decided to say hello. I asked if he already had any of the books and he said yes but he had them in German because he came from Berlin. I said “Oh well…” and he continued, “now I can read them in English.” We laughed at the idea and continued talking. He said he was visiting the UK for a few days with some friends.
I spoke of the many appearances in Germany of Maitreya as Egon. He said he saw Maitreya at an anti-war march in Berlin. I assumed he had had the sighting confirmed by Benjamin Creme but he said he didn’t need to as he knew it was Maitreya.
We spoke about the magazine, Share International. I asked if he was familiar with this and he said yes, but only the German version. I invited him to browse through the magazines on display if he wished. He left the book-stand, apparently to do this. Later I saw him looking at the poster displays. I saw a similar-looking man sit down for the lecture with a group of people. Despite earlier wonderings, this indicated to me that he not Maitreya. Or was he?

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the ‘young man’ was Maitreya.)

In step

(2) I went on the anti-war march in London on 12 April with two people from my meditation group. About half-way through the march my attention was drawn to a man who stepped in front of me. He appeared to be Asian and was wearing workman’s clothes and boots. The effect looked odd to me.
He stayed near us for about 15 minutes, I suppose. Sometimes he fell behind and then he would join us again. I joked with my colleagues about his possible identity.
At one stage I looked over at my colleague Suzanne who was on the end of the line. She was carrying a lovely homemade banner with the words “The world belongs to everyone” on one side, and “UN into Iraq now” on the other side. The Asian man was walking under her banner and in profile they looked determined and serious, and somehow moving.
The next thing I knew he was walking by my side and in step with me. Soon he moved forward into the crowd and I knew he had finally left us. Was he just one of the many focused marchers?
SM, London, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘Asian man’ was Maitreya.)

Imperative call

Dear Editor,

For a long time I have wanted to share my experience. I had forgotten it but it came to life when I begun to meditate. This event took place around 30 years ago. My parents and I were driving home from Croatian Istria. As we were driving uphill towards a small village I saw a little old woman sitting on a wooden chair at the side of the road. She held a basket full of eggs in her arms. At that moment something moved inside my heart. I felt so very close to this little woman. I was drawn to her so much that I insisted we stop there so I could run to her. I really wanted to meet her. My heart was longing for her and these intense feelings were tearing me apart. But we passed and drove on. My parents didn’t want to stop, they didn’t understand. I became incredibly sad inside. I didn’t say a word about it because they wouldn’t have understood me. But the feelings of joy, happiness, longing and sorrow are still there. Could you please explain why she was so special to me?
NK, Slovenia.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘old woman’ was Maitreya)

Global crises: challenges and new paradigms

by Patricia Pitchon

One of the most shameful features of the early 21st century is the degree to which wealthy countries have scaled back what they are willing to share with impoverished nations. If they decided to fulfill a pledge made in the 1970s to devote 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to aid, this would mean an increase of US $100 billion a year.

Another issue is that many poor countries are not allowed to export to wealthy nations a range of goods beyond particular agricultural products. Further, the price of many commodities poor countries export has steadily diminished. To make matters even more unequal, wealthy nations spend US $360 billion per year subsidizing their own agriculture. This has led to tensions between rich and poor countries.

A third feature of the present imbalance is the degree to which poor nations are indebted to wealthy ones. Financial and political institutions appear unwilling to engage in meaningful debt cancellation that would ensure for many countries a reasonable start on the road to further development. This unbalanced situation ensures they will never repay their debts and are condemned to a form of ‘debt slavery’ which leads to yawning educational gaps, health crises, social tensions, mass migration and environmental degradation, not to mention the possibility of further wars in the desperate scramble for resources.

Understanding what population growth means

A revealing study of these and allied issues, High Noon, by J.F.Rischard, the World Bank’s vice-president for Europe, develops interesting theses about the pressures we face. For example, a quarter of people in Africa live on less than 60 cents a day, and 65 per cent of Asians live on less than a dollar a day — well over a billion people in total. But close to half the world’s population, some 3 billion people, live on less than $2 a day. On the other hand, just 20 per cent of the world’s population consumes 85 per cent of the goods and services.

The projected population growth indicates there will be around 8 billion people, rather than the current 6 billion, by 2020-2025. This means that one of every three people in the world will probably be short of water. The world’s food production will have to rise by around 40 per cent. Both of these issues can be dealt with, but not without serious reform of the decision-making process in major institutions ill-equipped to respond with alacrity and imagination to rising populations and rising demand for the most basic resources required to sustain life.

It is J.F.Rischard’s thesis that current major multilateral institutions (for example, inter-governmental bodies, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, various organizations of the United Nations, other major bodies designed to propose, develop and oversee measures to deal with environmental and other stresses) are inadequate to the task at present. This, he feels, is the major reason why there is a disconnection between people everywhere, who are beginning to identify urgent issues, and the institutions that appear unrepresentative due to their seemingly glacial pace. For example, total debt forgiveness for highly-indebted poor countries (so-called HIPCs) so far amounts to a paltry US $30 billion in the last decade, compared to other major expenditures.

To deal with the complexity inherent in population increase and major global issues such as poverty reduction and related health, environmental and educational needs, Rischard proposes changes in the decision-making process and increased co-operation among three crucial sectors: civil society, government and business.

Decision-making

Typically, organizations that have hierarchical structures with decision-making focused at the top are layered systems based on rules and controls, stable but not flexible, and unable to respond rapidly to crises. One aspect of Rischard’s proposed reforms includes a ‘problem solving vehicle’ to tackle each major global issue. Each would have a strong knowledge base, and would be non-hierarchical and open so that people could contribute and be heard rather than excluded as ‘outsiders’. A further condition would be to exclude legislation as the object of these new structures. Rather, they would have to produce norms or standards and exert pressure through ‘reputational effects’. This means evaluating what is best or worst practice and who engages in it. These problem-solving vehicles must be able to draw on the expertise of existing institutions, to capitalize on the legislative power of governments and to obtain the best from already existing multilaterals.

The aim is to move, in Rischard’s words, from traditional hierarchical government to something that can be called ‘networked governance’. These ‘global issue networks’ in effect would create a new type of public space — each network focused on a different global issue out of a range of 20 or so (eg water deficits, education, pollution of air, earth and water, global infectious diseases and global warming). Issues are considered global when they are insoluble outside a collective international framework. This is why Rischard’s other contribution, about the need for increased co-operation across sectors, matters so much.

Co-operation: civil society, governments and business

The rapid growth of non-governmental organizations or NGOs (advocacy groups, unions, religious organizations, humanitarian agencies, public monitoring groups and others) has been significant in the last decade. Rischard provides these telling figures: in Eastern Europe some 100,000 have sprung up in the last 10 years; the United States has 2 million such groups. Coalitions between them are evidence of increased co-operation and growing influence. They have taken advantage of new technologies, making good use of the internet to exchange information. These factors illustrate the advantages of effective networking and have made public protests, for example, more global. Recent surveys in the US and Europe show that their ability to identify and respond to urgent issues have resulted in the public’s greater trust in them, and translates into increased funding and public membership to support and finance their activities. Rischard believes their specialist knowledge in many fields provides a perspective without which the complex problems of our time cannot be tackled.

Similarly, he believes multinational corporations possess a unique global perspective which puts them ahead of national governments. Their know-how is needed in tackling urgent global issues such as developing renewable energy, cheaper and more effective water desalination, sustainable food production and more effective distribution systems.

Rischard charts four phases of some large companies in the process of growing awareness: (1) they had small charity departments; (2) they responded to NGOs’ attacks on environmental damage and poor labour practices by creating larger corporate responsibility departments; (3) some became agents of development on their own, for example, one created a large online educational facility; (4) some are now interested in problem-solving for global issues in co-operation with governments and civil society representatives such as NGOs.

In terms of government, Rischard refers to the ‘beleaguered’ governmental public sectors, and gives as the cause for this situation the rising complexity of human affairs. He cites Enron as an example, a ‘huge, unregulated energy company that traded in some 2,000 products’, whose manoeuvers left government officials charged with investigating it absolutely dumbfounded at the range and complexity of what they discovered. In Rischard’s own words: “It will take partnerships among government, business and civil society to solve intractable problems.” He expects ‘tri-sector partnerships’ to flourish at every level, local, regional and international, over the next 20 years.

(Reference: J.F.Rischard, High Noon. Peruses Press, Oxford, 2002.)

UNITED NATIONS: A VIEW FROM WITHIN

An interview with Federico Mayor Zaragoza - Part One
(part two)

by Carmen Font

Professor Federico Mayor Zaragoza (born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1934) is a respected figure in Spain and abroad for his tireless work for peace and development. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Professor Mayor, a biochemist by profession, held several senior ministerial posts in the Spanish transition governments and later as Member of the European Parliament. He gained widespread international recognition during his mandate as director-general of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999, a period in which he gave new momentum to the organization’s mission and worked towards creating the “Culture of Peace Program”. Following his guidelines, the United Nations General Assembly approved the ‘Declaration and Programme for Action on a Culture of Peace’ (September 1999) which constitutes, from a conceptual and practical standpoint, his highest aspirations. In 1999, he decided not to run for a third term with UNESCO and, on returning to Spain, created the Fundación Cultura de Paz, (the Foundation for the Culture of Peace) of which he is chairman.

I met Professor Federico Mayor in the Fundación Cultura de Paz headquarters in Madrid, where he elucidated the reasons behind the weakening of international institutions.

Share International: You have clearly positioned yourself against war in Iraq, and basically against any armed conflict. One of the Bush Administration’s main arguments for the war was that they they had exhausted every diplomatic means with Saddam Hussein, and that they needed to use war in order to get peace and freedom. How can one convince leaders, then, that it is possible to talk their way to peace, however big their differences?

Federico Mayor Zaragoza: I would tell the Americans that we liked their Pax Americana in 1945, and that we detest this one in 2003. It was the Americans who said after the Second World War: “We have to look for guidelines at a world level, a framework of democratic reference, of global coexistence.”

They created the United Nations in San Francisco; the Bretton Woods system gave way to the World Bank, which was initially called The Bank for Reconstruction and Development, although we have largely forgotten that. The United Nations exists precisely because “we, the peoples, have decided to protect our children from the horrors of war”. This is something we must applaud, since the Americans didn’t say “we won the war” — they went beyond that.

How is it, then, that years pass and America marginalizes the UN, uses it at its convenience? America cannot use the UN as if it were a humanitarian agency. It says the UN can take part in the reconstruction of Iraq, once the Bush Administration has signed substantial contracts with reconstruction companies. The UN must give America a clear response: “No, we are not a reconstruction nor a humanitarian agency. We are here to provide guidelines and act, and say we condemn the fact that you did not follow the UN path.”

SI: What will it take, then, for all countries to respect the UN?

FMZ: As I see it, we need some moral values that are accepted and applied by everyone, and these are in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let’s not forget, either, that it was an American, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was very outspoken about these values. They exist for all.

I protested, for instance, before the intervention in Kosovo. That breached a principle, and when a principle is infringed, many things are broken, lives are lost, confusion arises, and many people lose precisely those lights which are needed in the darkest times. I said, in March 1999: “As director-general of UNESCO, I condemn this invasion.” Although the motives were right, we should have gone through the established channels; if the US, NATO, and other European powers do not abide by them, why should Russia in Chechnya or continental China in Taiwan, do the same?

We need a global framework of reference to establish norms where transgressors know that punitive mechanisms exist. We need to strengthen international institutions; this is why I participate in a project at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain, known as Ubuntu [a traditional African term for humanness and sharing], which campaigns for a more effective, representative and democratic system of international institutions.

SI: What is the main task of the Fundación Cultura de Paz?

FMZ: It is to put into practice a declaration and action plan which was unanimously approved by the UN General Assembly in September 1999. I realized while at UNESCO that we are subject to the imposition of force and the imposition of the wishes of the few on the majority. It is the law of the strongest. I thought it was high time to say enough is enough, because the cost in human lives and suffering is so high that we all have to work to end violence and imposition once and for all. We have to proclaim that every human being is equal, in dignity, in freedom — and, as the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, we have to live “in a spirit of brotherhood”. And that’s it. Everything is so simple and so complex at the same time.

I can no longer accept that some leaders, in the name of the people and of democracy, continue to use force, when it is time, at the dawn of this new century and millennium, to discuss issues in order to find or create concrete solutions.

SI: That spirit was manifested in the recent anti-war marches around the world.

FMZ: Exactly. I believe that 15 February 2003 was a moment of great hope and, to my mind, it could be a major historical watershed. It’s time to say loudly that we want to see people ‘on the scene’. If you look at what happened in the past, the people never appeared. In the portraits of those times only powerful individuals are shown, like political leaders or clergymen. Ordinary people were missing, and it is time now to listen to their voice. This is the culture of peace.

SI: Do you consider the war in Iraq a failure of international institutions, specifically the UN? Many experts and ordinary citizens say the UN was weakened by the US decision not to wait for another UN resolution authorizing an attack on Iraq.

FMZ: International institutions, specifically the United Nations, were already very weakened. They were weak before the war, and they are fragile now. On an international scale, we find total impunity: tax havens, all kinds of trafficking, every imaginable kind of shame — including the war on Iraq, which is an unnecessary and illegitimate war that, once again, has breached the principle of institutional order at an international level.

To my mind, the US now has an enormous responsibility, because they expect others to respect certain UN norms which they themselves do not respect. They ask Iraq to observe them, while they know that Israel infringes those same norms every day.

The US has imposed a Pax Americana on the world, but it doesn’t know how to manage victory. The day after the US army took Baghdad, people looted, and chaos prevailed. Why? Because the US is not able to manage the post-war period properly. Wars usually make things worse than they were before.

SI: And in this particular case of Iraq, the solution could have been…?

FMZ: If the international community believes a person such as Saddam Hussein has to be removed from power, because he was clearly a tyrant, the first thing to do is to create a Truth Commission — then, following the United Nations system, we could proceed to trial. Why is the US against the International Criminal Court? Because the US does not want to follow any paths that could manage conflicts in a peaceful way.

In the past, the US preferred to use force; in Chile, for example, in the 1970s the US thought President Allende was not a good leader, although Allende had been elected by the democratic process. The US removed Allende and put Pinochet in power. They did the same in Nicaragua with Somoza, and in Argentina with Videla, and Massera. Along similar lines, the US has not signed the Kyoto protocol, for ‘domestic reasons’, while the health of the planet is at risk.

What I and many officials and ordinary people say is: “Democracy yes, of course, but on a world scale, not only locally.” The US should be the first country to accept global democracy. The US cannot demand compliance with the Geneva Convention from others where it concerns American prisoners, while the US itself has Afghan prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

If it is true, as American leaders claim, that they are major defenders of human rights, then at least treat all human beings as equals. I don’t see the US and UK treating Afghan or Iraqi deaths as equal to those of the allied forces. Palestinian deaths are apparently not as important as Israeli deaths. In all this I am very serious, and will continue to publicly denounce leaders who opt for violence.

SI: There is a general sense that the United Nations should have acted strongly to avoid war, that it is a somewhat passive institution, and that it should stand up to countries or leaders who want to manipulate it.

FMZ: The UN is not an institution by itself, but a gathering of nations. We all hoped that, when the Berlin Wall collapsed — thanks to that great statesman Mikhail Gorbachev — the world would receive the promised ‘dividends of peace’. We thought: “At long last, we will get the $2 billion-a-day some powers spend on armaments; let’s celebrate the fact that the UN will receive some of the money, perhaps 10, 20 or 30 per cent.” But then we were denied the peace dividends and a re-structuring of the UN. The phrase ‘we the people’ was not heard. America used the time to build up the G7 and G8 and, little by little, it began silencing the UN. This is what is happening now: the UN’s voice has been muted.

Lately, some countries have raised their voices; I am proud of the way Mexico and Chile have acted, knowing the risks they run, telling the United States that they saw no objective reasons for a war in Iraq. Bravo for France, and for those nations who said clearly: “We don’t see that what the US is telling us is a reality.”

When I saw Spanish President José María Aznar, in parliament, saying: “Such and such persons have been captured in possession of toxic substances,” I wondered if perhaps the President knew more than I did. I was curious about the laboratory results — not because those toxic substances justified a war — disarmament processes and inspections exist precisely to dismantle dangerous arsenals. But I wondered if Saddam Hussein, apart from being a tyrant, would really compromise world stability in that way. However, when the laboratories confirmed that those allegedly toxic substances were only harmless detergents, when British intelligence showed that those people didn’t have links to Saddam Hussein or Al-Qaeda, when the supposed weapons of mass destruction weren’t found by a person of the competence and integrity of Hans Blix, then countries should have said to the US: “Don’t pretend you are defending international legality.” The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan clearly says a war in Iraq is illegal, that it is being carried out despite UN opposition and disregards the majority decision of the UN Security Council.

SI: Do you think that the power of veto, at the core of the Security Council, is the crux of the matter?

FMZ: No, I don’t believe it’s the main problem. The power of veto needs to be corrected, as do many other aspects of the UN — although nobody knows exactly how. In the last 30 or more years there have been hundreds of studies and proposals for solutions to replace the power of veto, and to ensure that powerful nations don’t have a disproportionate influence in the organization. One proposal, for instance, is to keep the veto only in exceptional cases; another suggests a re-organization of the Security Council. For instance, is it not inconceivable that decisions are made without taking into account highly populated countries like India, Brazil or Nigeria, which are not represented in the Security Council?

All these matters have been the subject of study, but since the late 1970s the stance of the United States has been: “We prefer to do without the UN, we are fonder of the Pax Americana.” This is the start of the prevailing hegemony, which culminated in the profound wound of September 11.

SI: In your opinion, does the United Nations have the capacity to establish correct priorities in the world?

FMZ: The UN, no — but nations, united, yes. The current institution we see today, no — but the United Nations reinforced, yes.

We, the great majority of people who are astonished at this way of managing things — which runs contrary to democracy — want to say that there are other economic and social alternatives, that there are environmental, cultural and moral alternatives. It is unacceptable that a politician abdicates his or her responsibilities to the market — that is calamitous. Obviously, the market decides in favour of profits at the expense of the people. In other words, the order of priorities has changed, and we have to return things to their rightful place. The United Nations can, and should, really help to establish priorities, but at present it does not do all it would like to do.

SI: Are you hopeful for the future?

FMZ: It is very sad to say this, but we are starting the third millennium with one of the deepest crises in decades. The same people who created international democracy now want to create international hegemony. But, fortunately, there are the media, there are cameras which film what’s going on, and therefore leaders cannot act purely arbitrarily or justify some of their actions because “all is fair in war”. So at the same time I am also hopeful for the future, because leaders who only think in terms of force are starting to be a bit wary. They know that, most probably, they will have to listen to the people who shout in demonstrations. A short time ago, they didn’t even hear them, but now, yes, they have to listen to them. What is more, the people who shout can also present proposals which really make a difference. Since Porto Alegre [the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil] there are already concrete proposals for a change of direction which the United Nations is giving serious consideration.

In Part II of the interview (Share International July/August), Professor Mayor focuses on the economic and political reasons behind differences between the developed and developing world, especially in Africa.

For more information about Ubuntu: www.ubuntu.upc.es
Fundación Cultura de Paz: www.fund-culturadepaz.org 

(part two)

Anti-war protests continue

On 12-13 April 2003 hundreds of thousands of people in over 60 cities around the world once again demonstated their opposition to the US/UK invasion and occupation of Iraq.

One of the biggest gatherings was in Rome, where an estimated 110,000 people took to the streets. In Berlin 12,000-15,000 marched with banners saying “Peace instead of occupation”, and in Paris around 11,000 demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of allied troops from Iraq.

In London tens of thousands of marchers stopped in front of the Houses of Parliament and observed two minutes’ silence for Iraqi war victims, then laid flowers outside Prime Minister Tony Blair’s residence in Downing Street. Anas Altikriti, of the Muslim Association of Britain, said the mood among protesters had changed since the first anti-war march in the capital in February. “The pre-war anti-war demonstration was more jubilant,” he said. “People are now more angry that we have committed to what they see as a crime, an illegal occupation, and that people continue to suffer away from the media spotlight. This war is wrong and it never became legitimate.”

In Dhaka 50,000 demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of allied troops from Iraq and accused the US and UK of crimes against humanity. Protests also took place in New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Greece and the USA. In New York, Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, said: “It’s more urgent and more important than ever that there be a mobilization. Only now the focus is, ‘No’ to colonial occupation,” she said.

On 18-21 April the traditional “Easter Marches” took place in 30 German cities and towns, with tens of thousands demonstrating about “the war of aggression in Iraq that contravenes international law”, and calling for an international ban on weapons of mass destruction, and a lasting Middle East peace solution.

Journalist Peter Preston, writing in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper, commented: “Victory in the desert hasn’t made a blind bit of difference [to public opinion about the Iraq war]. The rest of the world is neither forgiving nor forgetting. Its rulers may, or may not [forget] … but the people they rule have elephants’ memories and a view which mere outcomes do not affect. They proved nothing down the barrel of their own guns ... We still assume that leaders lead and people follow. We forget that sometimes it’s the other way round, that maybe Schröder and Chirac did what they had to do; that publics have their fixed opinion, too ... And that may be the final, wider lesson of this war. We groundlings, down below ... didn’t see the case to begin with. We scornfully reject it now. Whatever those guys in the presidential palaces or state houses have to say, we know the truth — and it both alarms and disgusts us.”

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington recently, US actor and director Tim Robbins warned that free speech in the US is under threat: “A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies ... If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications. Every day the airwaves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent ... Our ability to disagree, and our inherent right to question our leaders and criticise their actions, define who we are. To allow those rights to be taken away out of fear, to punish people for their beliefs, to limit access in the media to differing opinions, is to acknowledge our democracy’s defeat.” (Source: Evangelischer Pressedienst, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Germany; Associated Press, CNN, Reuters, Indymedia.com, USA; The Guardian, BBC, UK)

Signs of the time :

Forest blessing

The following story, sent by a Share International reader, recounts the experience of a friend, Berthe Olaerts, who is now 83 years old:

On 8 July 1981 Berthe Olaerts had a vision of the Madonna while walking in the Melberg Forest in Genk, Belgium. The Madonna stood against a tree which turned quite white. The Madonna and Jesus blessed the forest and said: “This is a holy place, and will remain so and something important will happen here in the future,” and that this would be revealed later. The Madonna asked Berthe to say the rosary there every day and showed her the path she should take through the forest. The path was sky blue and the tree was a brilliant white. Berthe fell to her knees and covered her eyes with her hands — so astonished was she at the vision. When she opened her eyes again both Mary and Jesus had disappeared, and on the spot where They had stood she saw a little cloud which floated away.

Since then pilgrims visit the same spot on the eighth day of every month to pray and say the rosary. Each time the pilgrims pulled little pieces of bark off the tree where Mary had appeared, and now the face of Jesus can be seen on the tree trunk where the bark has been removed. A photograph of the tree trunk was taken and Berthe was asked to disseminate it.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this to be a genuine experience.)

Venezuelan miracles

Hundreds of Catholics in Venezuela are flocking to see two statues of the Madonna where reports of miracles are taking place.

Since March 2003, the small Mary Mystic Rose statue which resides in an ornate wood-and-glass case in the Belen College chapel, eastern Caracas, has been seen to weep blood, the tears staining the cheeks of the blue-eyed statue. According to a nun, the statue’s eyes “started oozing blood all at once. It was really an amazing sight”. She said the statue — brought to Venezuela from Germany in about 2000 — had been carried in processions throughout the predominantly Catholic South American country.

Not far away, in the San Cayetano Church, Caracas, a statue of Our Lady of Coromoto — patron saint of Venezuela — has been exuding aromatic oil since December 2002. The miracle began at a time when the country’s future was very bleak, and many people believe it was a sign for them to have hope. “I believe this is a blessing from God,” said José Coromoto, the 75-year-old parish priest. “The Virgin is telling us not to fear and that God will lead Venezuela out of this labyrinth soon.”

Worshippers sometimes have to wait two or three hours to pray before the statue and receive a piece of cotton wool impregnated with the statue’s oil. Reports are already emerging of the statue’s healing powers. (Source: Sun Sentinel, Venezuela; Dagsavisen, Norway)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that these miracles are being manifested by the Master Who was the Madonna.)

Extraordinary elephant behaviour

The matriarch of a herd of South African elephants deliberately opened a gate to free antelope being held at a camp in the east of the country.

The South African Press Association reported that a private company had rounded up the antelope near Empangeni to relocate them for a breeding programme. At first, members of the capture team thought the elephants were attracted to the alfalfa being used to feed the antelope. But the team watched in amazement as the herd’s matriarch, known locally as Nana, carefully undid all the gate’s metal latches with her trunk, swung the gate open and stood back to watch the antelope run into the night.

Local ecologist Brendon Whittington-Jones told the news agency: “Elephants are naturally inquisitive, but this behaviour is certainly most unusual and cannot be explained in scientific terms.”
(Source: Earthweek, USA)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the elephant was ‘prompted’ by Maitreya.)

UFOs in Argentina

On Saturday 11 January 2003, beginning at 8.30pm, a large group of “flying fireballs” was seen over Buenos Aires, Argentina. UFO researcher Ricardo E.D’Angelo said: “Buenos Aires is experiencing a massive wave of UFOs, possibly the most intense of the past few years. Balls of fire, crossing the sky at high and low altitudes and in all directions, were observed by thousands of Portenos (the nickname for residents of Buenos Aires) and videotaped between 8.30pm and 10pm. I myself counted 23 of them in the sky at one time, and I am accustomed to seeing satellites pass overhead. These were definitely not satellites.

“The balls of fire were three to four times more luminous than Venus,” said D’Angelo. “Many of the fireballs had small pulsing lights at their outside edges — colourful blue at the tips but also red and green. Later in the evening, 10 of the phenomena crossed the sky from one side to the other, entering heavily-populated barrios in which they were witnessed by many people. Their speed varied greatly, ranging from hovering stationary to showing a very high velocity at times, appearing and disappearing without any regard for logic.” (Source: UFO Roundup, www.ufoinfo.com)

(According to Benjamin Creme’s Master, these UFOs originated on Mars.)

UFOs in Azerbaijan

According to information given to the Olaylar News Agency by UFO expert Fuad Gasimov, the appearance of UFOs in the sky above Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, “symbolizes that it is clearly an alarm signal” regarding war in Iraq. Azerbaijan is a small country on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Its neighbours are Iraq and Iran.

Gasimov is chairman of the Cosmic Seismological Department of the Azerbaijani National Cosmic Agency. “Something must happen,” he said. “If we analyze the processes going on in the world, we would observe that the probability of war becomes high in Iraq.

“First the UFOs appeared over Baku on Thursday 2 January 2003. The residents of the Third Mikrorayon of Baku had a chance to shoot video footage of the objects in the morning at 8am, which was later broadcast on ANS-TV. The footage shocked everyone who saw it.”

Gasimov stated that the appearance of UFOs in the region is an indication of the probability of a major war in Iraq. “They are trying to prevent the war,” he said. “The appearance of UFOs in Azerbaijan’s skies may be considered a warning against the (Islamic) republic [Azerbaijan] too. Gasimov believes that the objects are against the use of Azerbaijan’s airports in the potential conflict.

“They don’t want mankind revealing their secrets,” Gasimov said. “But there are some facts showing that UFOs keep in touch with certain scientists. The objects keep in touch with these individuals by means of the Morse (code) alphabet for telepathy signals and they transmit information related to the future.”
(Source: Baku Today newspaper, UFO Roundup, www.ufoinfo.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that these UFOs, too, originated on Mars. No symbolism was intended. The UFOs are not giving ‘warnings’. They have their own agenda.)

Madonna miracle

Many people are visiting the small Saskatchewan community of Ile-à-la-Crosse to see what some believe is a miraculous image of the Madonna. The white image, on the side of a backyard greenhouse, is seen with arms spread wide as if giving a blessing. The image first appeared on the evening of 9 September 2002. The greenhouse owner tried to scrub it away the following day, but it reappeared. Visitors say there is now a strong smell of roses inside the hothouse. “They said when they first saw it, there was a bright light and there was this woman who is nearly blind from diabetes who said she saw it,” according to community resident Lloyd McCallum. Another resident, Randy Desjarlais, saw the image and said it was glowing, with a cross in the centre. He also said he was left with a “good feeling” in his body. (Source: The Daily News, Kamloops, Canada)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this to be a mircale manifested by the Master Who was the Madonna.)

Madonna painting miracle

Thousands of people have visited a small Romanian church after two men said they had seen the Madonna “crying” in a painting. A delegation from the Romanian Orthodox Church arrived at a church in the village of Musetesti, west Romania, to investigate the claims made by the two workers. The pair said they first saw the Madonna crying on 2 January 2003.

Local parish priest Aurel Chiana said the tears had been seen for four consecutive days after that. He told local media: “It is a sign from God, but I cannot say if it’s a good or bad sign.” The delegation is continuing investigations into the claims and taking statements from other people who say they saw the phenomenon. The claims come just weeks after reports of tears coming from a statue of the Madonna in a church in Giurgiu, southern Romania.
(Source: www.ananova.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this is a genuine miracle manifested by the Master Who was the Madonna.)

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First published April 1999,