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 Home >> Share International magazine >> May 2004 

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Share International magazine May 2004

Share Internaional magazineThis 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 Path to the Sun

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme

It is often to be observed that people do not always believe the evidence of their own eyes. Hence the rejection of many experiences which would have been valuable to them as they search for meaning and purpose in their lives. It is common, for example, that many disbelieve that they have seen a UFO, as they are generally known, when all evidence shows otherwise. People are loath to embrace the new and unknown, however much to do so it might be to their benefit. In this way, they inhibit their awareness and growth. For many years now, the craft emerging from our sister planets have roamed our skies, done immeasurable service on our behalf, and, from time to time, given ample and inspiring evidence of their reality and presence. In ones and twos and untold numbers, they have worked selflessly to mitigate, within the karmic Law, the harmful results of our foolishness and ignorance. Many on Earth have seen them, have stood in awe and wonder at their obvious mastery of space, and, fearful of ridicule, kept silence. Thus the knowledge of their reality and the grateful understanding of their purpose has been lost to men. Why should this be so? Why should men reject that which is most to their betterment to accept and understand?

Fear
There are several reasons why men behave so unreasonably in this way. Chief among them is fear. The great numbing fear of possible destruction lies deep within the human psyche, ready to rise and condition all reactions, all spontaneous gestures of hope and wonder. It has, alas, always been so for many. The governments and the media of most countries have failed in their duty to educate and enlighten the masses. Much is known by many governmental agencies and withheld from the public. Above all, the harmlessness of the UFO, even when known, is never affirmed. On the contrary, everything concerning them, while wrapped in vague mystery, is presented as threat. People in positions of power and control know that if their people knew the true nature of the UFO phenomenon, and understood them to be envoys from civilizations far ahead of ours, they would no longer accept, passive and mute, the conditions of life on Earth. They would demand that their leaders invite these aerial guests to land openly, and to teach us how to live and achieve in the same fashion.

Knowledge
The time is not far off when this will be the case. The time is coming when the true nature of life on planets other than Earth will be common knowledge; when men will begin to think of the Solar System as an interrelated whole, the planets at various points in evolution, but all working together to fulfil the Plan of the Solar Logos, and to help and sustain each other on the way.

(Read more articles by the Master)

Questions & Answers:

Q. Could your Master please say how many millions of people demonstrated around the world on 20 March 2004 — the first anniversary of the US/UK attack on Iraq? Did Maitreya and/or any of the other Masters join in the marches?
A. Fifteen million. Yes. Maitreya marched in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Rome, Madrid and New York.

Q. On 11 March 2004 in Madrid, Spain, there were multiple terror bombings on the commuter train system that left at least 200 dead and more than 1,200 injured. It is the biggest terror attack in a European country in peace time. Was the attack perpetrated by the Basque separatist group ETA or by an Islamic group due to the Spanish involvement in the war against Iraq?
A. My information is that it was a fringe group of ETA. That is why the main ETA group denied responsibility.

Q. If ETA was responsible for the Madrid bombing, (1) did they plan the attack alone? (2) Did they execute the bombing by themselves or were they aided by other groups (Al-Qaeda, Islamic radical groups, paid mercenaries, or others)? (3) Why isn’t the main Basque separatist movement claiming it?
A. (1) Yes. (2) By themselves, but a fringe group only. They have no links with Al-Qaeda. (3) They did not organize it, and the Spanish public reacted with such shock when the government at first blamed ETA. They had never done anything on that scale before.

Q. Are the claims made by Al-Qaeda (as being responsible for the bombing) authentic, in the sense that they were also involved, or are they using it in an opportunistic way to seed fear among people everywhere?
A. Their claim is purely opportunistic.

Q. Denials were issued by a spokesperson from ETA’s political arm and from ETA itself concerning their involvement in the Madrid bombing. Due to the present situation with ETA weakened by their former leadership being in jail, is it possible that the bombing was performed by a radical wing of ETA without the other part of the organization knowing about it?
A. That is precisely the case. A radical fringe group, impatient with the main ETA leadership, decided to go further than ETA has ever gone before with a very large, destructive attack for maximum effect. The Spanish Government was therefore correct in stating that the attack had “all the hallmarks” of ETA. The public, however, were angered that the government was trying to ‘cover up’ an Al-Qaeda attack (as a result of the government involvement in Iraq) by suggesting ETA was responsible. Immediately, the Bush Administration asked the Spanish Government (of the time) to drop all reference to ETA and announce that the culprits were Muslim terrorists, probably Al-Qaeda. This is now being done. A large group of Muslims, some from Morocco, have been arrested so far. They are not guilty of causing this tragic act. The CIA, as usual, have made attempts to lay ‘evidence’ — a bag with a Koran inside! It is of course, ammunition for President Bush’s plans for re-election, that every terror attack be laid at the door of Al-Qaeda, guilty or not.

Q. Is it too cynical to suspect US interference?
A. The US has interfered to make Al-Qaeda the culprit.

Q. If the US regime is involved in ‘changing the facts’ (1) how did they do it? Why? (2) Were so-called ‘clues’ authentic?
A. (1) By pressuring the (then) Spanish Government. (2) They were not authentic, but given much publicity while any other possibility, eg ETA, was quickly dropped.

Q. (1) Surely I’m not alone in thinking that if the US regime thought they could continue to hoodwink the public they would by now be parading the supposed Saddam Hussein figure as a vote catcher for the upcoming elections? As it is, we see and hear nothing of Saddam’s poor double. (2) Is he still alive? (3) Where is he being held?
A. (1) Probably, yes. They realize public exposure would lead to much rejection of their captive as Saddam Hussein. They most likely think he has served their immediate purpose. (2) Yes. (3) In the US.

Q. What percentage of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been involved in terrorist activities?
A. About one quarter — 25 per cent.

Q. I have followed Share International for more than 10 years now. I have made donations, attended the meditations, read some of the books, read the website regularly, and seen Benjamin Creme in person in Los Angeles and London. In fact, I planned a London vacation with my family so I could attend a lecture. I am sensitive enough to feel the spiritual power around Mr Creme; this has kept me listening. However, while I find the spiritual guidance enlightening I find the politics often misguided. In particular I read the ‘Questions and Answers’ section of your magazine carefully every month and have become more and more dismayed at the political orientation of Mr Creme and Share International. It has kept me from deeper participation in the organization. Because there are so many outrageous and irresponsible assertions made that have no backing in any other source, I have begun to doubt the rest of the program. I am not asking you to hide your orientation. It is good that you expose it so openly. However, it does limit your credibility with me and perhaps others. Best wishes in any case.
A. I am sure the writer is not alone in his dissatisfaction with the political/economic element in Share International. I can understand his dismay at what he sees as a greater and greater encroachment on the ‘spiritual’ element of the magazine by the purely ‘political’. When many of the political statements are deeply critical of the present US Administration and its massive contribution to the present chaos, fear and stress in the world, and the reader is American and sees US actions differently, it must be painful, vexing and embarrassing. So, too, it is for many here in Britain when we see our Government lying and spinning in support of US action. It should be remembered that our approach is never party-political and that the questions come from readers who no doubt are seeking truthful answers which they are not getting elsewhere. Certainly, they do not all find the answers to be “outrageous and irresponsible assertions” but ones which do indeed have the backing of Hierarchy. The avowed intention of Share International is to bring together the two major directions of New Age thinking — the political and the spiritual — to show the synthesis underlying the political, social, economic and spiritual changes now occurring globally. For Share International, everything that makes life better for humanity is spiritual, whether on the physical, the mental or the ‘spiritual’ plane. Why does Maitreya walk with the millions of protesters who call for political action to end war and injustice? The spiritual crisis through which we are all painfully moving is focused today in the political and economic fields. Only in these areas can it be solved and open the way for the establishment of right human relations.

Q. What do you and your Master think of the murder of Sheik Yassin, spiritual head of Hamas? What consequences should the world expect?
A. It was terrorism at its most blatant, reckless and ruthless, and shows Sharon’s contempt for and opposition to, the Peace process. It will only inflame the Middle East and lengthen the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people.

Q. Sharon says he wants to pull out of some of the Israeli settlements. Is this just a ruse? What’s behind this?
A. I am afraid Sharon’s statements have no value in the context of his actions against the rights of the people of Palestine. He has no intention of surrendering land.

Q. History shows that empires overreach themselves, are often too busy on too many fronts fighting real or imaginary or trumped-up enemies. (1) Is the American ‘empire’ entering the final phase of its existence? (2) What can bring America to its senses?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Profound economic collapse.

Q. Every day more evidence comes to light of the United States, through agencies such as the CIA, bullying other countries and manipulating their sovereign affairs (such as elections) to benefit the US. (1) Has this always gone on, and we are now seeing the corruption come to the surface, as Maitreya predicted? Or (2) has the present US Administration taken political corruption to new depths?
A. The United States is a young country, dominated as a personality by the lower aspects of the 6th ray of idealism or devotion. It therefore suffers from all of the vices of the ray: devotion to its own interests, suspicion of others’ motives, combativeness and self-assertion, self-deception about its own motives, etc, etc. Thus its bullying tactics are endemic and long-standing. Its inhabitants and governments believe they are spreading Freedom and Justice around the world, while they are actually serving their own interests. This self-deception is one of the chief characteristics of the ray. This political corruption has, therefore, always gone on; this Administration, led by fundamentalist extremists, is simply taking it to new depths. The world, as the Master Djwhal Khul has written through Alice Bailey, is waiting for the 2nd-ray soul of America to make its appearance felt, as it did through the Marshal Plan after World War II.


(More questions and answers)

Letters to the editor:

Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, 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.

The mirror never lies

Dear Editor, In the afternoon of 18 March 2004, I was on my way home. That evening we were to hold our monthly lecture on the emergence of Maitreya. A young black man was coming in the opposite direction. He said, in a slight French accent: “Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror? You are SO beautiful!” I was almost shocked when I heard this, but then thought he was simply flirting. I saw his trolley was empty, with no door-to-door advertising material, which I had assumed he was delivering. He carried straight on: “Indeed, look at yourself in the mirror! How beautiful you are!” At that point, I felt quite embarrassed, and said to him: “It’s very kind of you, but I must go home.” Then I realized perhaps he wasn’t simply just any young man. He really did not stop it, and followed me all the way home: “Very beautiful, yes, you should look at yourself in a mirror. How beautiful!” Finally, I reached home, not knowing exactly what to do with this man. Suddenly, he said something different: “You live here, yes; well, we will surely see each other. I will come to see you. Till then!” And we waved to each other cheerfully as he left. Was the young man an ordinary person?
CF, Barcelona, Spain.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘young man’ was Maitreya.)

Vincent — but not Van Gogh!

Vincent - click to view larger pictureDear Editor, At 10am on 6 March 2004 Christophe and I were erecting an information stand in front of the church near the station in Berne where we planned to give out details about Benjamin Creme’s forthcoming lecture. The stand was difficult to erect; one of us held the frame while the other stretched the awning. Suddenly we saw a young man of about 28 years under the awning, holding up the roof. He helped us to set it all up. Then he placed his rucksack on a chair at the back of the tent. He behaved as if he already belonged to our team, and for us this seemed absolutely normal. He said his name was Vincent, and said in French that he came from Lille (France), but was homeless. At the beginning of this encounter, I wondered if it could be Maitreya, but I said to myself that Maitreya would have more shining eyes, so I dropped the idea. We stayed together as if with old good friends; we spoke of simple things and it was very natural. In the front of the tent, we had a table with the information cards for the lecture. Vincent put his beer on the table and stayed behind it while we watched the passers by. It was a great pleasure to be together, we didn’t mind that people were not interested in our information. We three co-workers took turns having a break from the stand. When I was alone with Vincent, he asked me who was paying all the costs of the event that we were organizing. I answered very vaguely, because I did not want to tell him that we were assuming the costs. After some silent reflection, I told him that the money is always available when it is for a good purpose. Vincent asked what we did in our meetings. I said that we transmitted high energies coming from the Spiritual Hierarchy into the world. He replied: “I also feel the energies and when I go into the shops I feel bad energies, so I cover my head with a hat.” He insisted on showing me by taking off the hat he was wearing and put it on again very tightly, covering his forehead. Then we resumed watching the passers-by. I said to him: “The people don’t seem very interested in our message; they don’t even see our stand.” He replied: “Yes, everybody is very busy going shopping, buying a lot of things that they will accumulate in their houses and never use.” The conversation with Vincent went on like that, in a very friendly and comprehensive way. Each of us bought some food and drink for him. At one point, Vincent opened his rucksack and showed us his collection of pens, saying that he takes a pen everywhere he goes. He gave three of them to Anne-Françoise and he wanted to give me one too but I told him that I did not need one. He started to draw on a small piece of paper, keeping three different coloured pens together in his fist and drawing alternately with them! It was very funny and I felt great friendliness and compassion for him. I reflected that if the social conventions would allow it, I would invite him to my flat to take a shower, put on some fresh clothes and eat something good — even stay for some days, since he told me that he was sleeping at the Salvation Army, with sometimes 20 people in the dormitory. Then he gave me the drawing, which was a portrait sketch. At about 1 o’clock he said goodbye and left the tent. In my heart I felt that I would like to meet him again.
Francine Wild, Berne, Switzerland.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Vincent’ was Maitreya.)

Two experiences from the same person:

Light of the world

Dear Editor, Around 1996, after Transmission Meditation, I was on the way home. It was dark and very quiet, nobody around — I felt myself very close to Maitreya and I thought: “Maitreya, please could you show me now how you really are — without disguise.” After a few steps I saw a small, shining pink light the size of a golf ball hovering over the sidewalk in front of me. I was fascinated, it moved ahead in front of me hovering a few inches over the sidewalk. I looked up to the buildings left and right thinking somebody was making fun of me with a torch. But everything was quiet — not a living soul was around. I watched the pink light again which still hovered ahead, about a metre in front of me. Suddenly it made a curve to the left and vanished. I looked at the buildings and windows again, searching for an explanation, supposing that someone had fooled me, but it was as dark and silent as before. Could you please tell me where this shiny pink light came from — did Maitreya manifest it, or was somebody pulling my leg?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya was showing Himself as He really is — as light.)

Benjamina?

Dear Editor, About four years ago (2000) I was sitting on the tram on the way home. At the stop before I had to get out there was a woman standing outside, looking and smiling at me very friendlily. She looked exactly like Benjamin Creme. She was wearing a skirt and a jacket or a coat. She had yellow-blond curly hair and I instantly made out that it was a wig. The whole person seemed to me somehow unreal but it was the face and the stature of Benjamin Creme — only he was a woman. She was standing there without moving and looking straight at me, smiling. I was looking at her too, but then I thought: “Well, you can’t stare at her like that,” and I tried to turn my head away but she attracted me so much I just had to look at her. She kept on smiling at me. Then as the tram started again she moved her lips, saying something like: “Nice day.” I smiled too, nodded to her and said: “Same to you.” Then it was all over. That day and those following I was uplifted so much. I think of this encounter very often, particularly every time I pass that tram stop. Who was this woman?
AM, Zürich, Switzerland.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was Maitreya.)

SIGNS OF THE TIME:

UFOs prevent meteor crashing in Turkey

Q. (1) The internet site www.siriusufo.org reported this remarkable event: A meteor, entering the atmosphere of the Earth above Turkey on 1 November 2002 and likely to have caused a major disaster, was pulverized and rendered harmless by a UFO before it could strike the Earth. This conclusion was made by a research centre which investigated the reports of six aircrews. Amateur photographs and video recordings have also been made of the event. Was there really an enormous meteor above Turkey on 1 November 2002? (2) If so, did a UFO destroy this meteor and why? (3) On whose authority would a UFO do this? (4) Where did this UFO come from and how could a UFO react so quickly? A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes. It would have caused enormous damage and loss of life. (3) There is a standing order to UFO crews to help in this way. (4) Mars. They do not work in ‘time’ as we know it.
(For eye-witness reports of this event see Share International magazine.)

Mysterious ‘fairy circles’ in southern Africa

Botanists say they cannot explain the mysterious round patches of bare sandy soil found in grassland in southern Africa. They studied possible causes of the ‘fairy circles’ — radioactive soil, toxic proteins left by poisonous plants, and termites eating the seeds. But tests do not support any of these theories for the 2-10 metre diameter rings, according to New Scientist magazine. The circles occur in the western coastal fringes of the Namib desert, from southern Angola to the Orange River in South Africa. They are easy to see because they are barren in the middle yet have unusually lush perimeters of tall grasses, which stand out from the otherwise sparse vegetation of the desert. In the early 1970s researchers began to take an interest in how the circles formed.

The ‘fairy circles’ have become so famous that they are included in visitors’ tours. “They still remain a mystery,” says Gretel van Rooyen, a botanist at the University of Pretoria, who headed the research team. Van Rooyen is exploring the theory that toxic elements are deposited in the shape of the circle, making it impossible for plant life to get established there. “But even if we find them, how they came there is the next problem — for the moment, we’re left with the fairies,” said van Rooyen.
(Source: BBC, New Scientist, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘fairy circles’ are landing patches made by UFOs, variously scout-ships (the largest circles) and survey discs. The bare centres are caused not by toxic substances, but by high-vibration radiation of the craft. The profuse grasses of the perimeters are stimulated by the high-energy release. The craft come in ‘mother-ships’, mainly from Mars and Venus.)

Miracle vegetable

Asif Hamid of Preston, Lancashire, UK, is trying to preserve a leek which he bought recently. The reason? The vegetable quite clearly has the word Allah ‘written’ on it in Arabic script. Mr Hamid believes that fate directed him to buy the ‘miracle vegetable’. He said he had looked at, and picked up, quite a number of leeks before choosing the one he bought. Mr Hamid rushed to show friends and family who were also convinced they could read the name ‘Allah’ on the vegetable.
(Source: The Citizen, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this to be a genuine miracle manifested by Maitreya.)

Turin Shroud has 1st-century stitching

The Turin Shroud: “It is the shroud in which the body of Jesus was wrapped after the crucifixion.” (Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom) According to a new documentary on the Turin Shroud, Shroud of Christ? by producer/director Alex Hearle, aired on UK’s Channel 4 on 28 March 2004 in the ‘Secrets of the Dead’ series, new analyses have called into question the carbon-dating results which claimed it was a medieval forgery. The 14-foot cloth bearing the image of a crucified man is housed in a shrine in Turin Cathedral. Textile expert Mechtild Flury-Lemberg, invited to Turin to undertake restoration work on the Shroud in summer 2002, discovered it had 1st-century stitching. It was the first time a fabrics expert had been able to work closely on the Shroud. On examining a side of the Shroud not previously seen, her team found a style of stitching similar to one found in the ruins of Masada, a Jewish citadel destroyed by the Romans in 74 AD. Forensic experts and bacteriologists also examined the Shroud, and Alex Hearle reported that the rare blood type AB found on the Shroud is the same as found on the Sudarium Cloth of Oviedo.
(Source: Channel 4, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed in Share International July/August 1998, that the Cloth of Oviedo, in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain, is the burial napkin of Jesus. In St John’s Gospel (ch.20, v6&7), Jesus’ empty tomb is described as having a “napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself”.)

The voice of the people

15 million people march for peace

According to Benjamin Creme’s Master 15 million people marched in cities around the world on 20 March 2004 — the first anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. From Sydney to Tokyo, from Seoul to New York, from London to Delhi, demonstrators condemned the US-led invasion of Iraq and demanded the withdrawal of the occupying troops. Protests occurred in at least 65 countries as part of a global day of action:
 

Rome, Italy: Between 1 and 2 million demonstrated “in probably the biggest single protest” against the occupation of Iraq. “This is an expression of solidarity with the Iraqi people and with the victims of all wars,” said Flavio Lotti, a member of the Stop the War committee that organized the rally.
“This war was carried out for the wrong reasons,” said 24-year-old Stefania Martinelli, a human resources employee from Busto Arsizio in northern Italy. “It was carried out for interests that have nothing to do with democracy,” she said on the march in Rome.
Barcelona, Spain: Around 250,000 people demonstrated in Barcelona, and cities all over Spain, calling for the withdrawal of troops. “The government took the country to war, but it was ordinary people who got hurt and killed by the terrorists,” film producer Lila Pla Alemany said at the protest in Barcelona. Chanting “Bring back our troops!”, about 40,000 people marched through Madrid only a week after the surprising election victory of the opposition Socialist Party, which had made a key election pledge to withdraw Spain’s 1,300 troops from Iraq unless the 30 June deadline for transfer of sovereignty was met. “Today, Madrid is the moral capital of Europe,” Portuguese Nobel prize-winning author José Saramago told the Madrid protesters.
USA: There were demonstrations in around 250 cities and towns across the United States. “The 20 March Global Day of Action proves that opposition to the Iraq war and occupation is deep and it is worldwide,” said Brian Becker, a spokesperson for the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) group which co-organized the New York and San Francisco demonstrations with the United for Peace and Justice coalition. The most popular signs read: “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation” and “Bush lies, GIs and Iraqis die” and “End occupation of Iraq”.
New York, USA: 100,000 people marched and filled 45 blocks of midtown Manhattan chanting: “Occupation is a crime from Iraq to Palestine” and “Bring the troops home now.” Speakers at the rally included Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democratic candidate for President, and Tony Benn, veteran British peace campaigner and politician.
Alan Feuer reported in The New York Times: “The protesters were middle-aged mothers, tongue-pierced students, veterans and bearded professional dissenters, who all came together in what organizers described as a broad-based protest of the Bush administration’s foreign policy not just in Iraq, but in Haiti and Israel.” Rally organizer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said: “The streets of New York City were filled with people united in their opposition to the Bush program of war, conquest and empire. Members of the Arab and Muslim community marched shoulder to shoulder with military families and veterans demanding an end to the occupation of Iraq.”
Peta Lindsay, a national co-ordinator of the ANSWER Student and Youth National Coalition and a student at Howard University said: “People around the United States recognize that they have been lied to by the Bush Administration. When we were demonstrating in the millions a year ago, we asserted that the Bush administration was rushing to war not because Iraq posed a supposed grave and imminent danger to the United States but rather because the US had imperial ambitions in this strategic and oil-rich region. We were telling the truth and Bush was lying and more and more people can see that for themselves today.”
Reporting for the New York News Network, Lizelle A.Vibar wrote: “Students were a major presence at the protest ... Katherine Rocchio, a student at Wheaton College in Northport, Massachusetts, said she did not feel safer now than she did after 9/11. Seeing a connection between terrorism and economics, Ms Rocchio said she thought the United States should be more understanding toward countries that have less resources and money than we do.”
San Francisco, USA: Marching in San Francisco under a banner “Health Care not Warfare”, Dr Michael Kozart, a physician at San Francisco General Hospital, said: “We want to show the world there is not total acquiescence in the United States in support of Bush. We are exercising our constitutional right to free speech. There has been a criminalization of dissent in this country.”
“The tide is turning against George Bush,” said one of the rally speakers, Sister Bernice Galvin of the San Francisco group Religious Witness with Homeless People. “The tide is turning against the Bush war. Today and tomorrow, we will hit the streets and keep this tide turning.”
London, UK: According to Benjamin Creme’s Master, 29,600 people marched through central London to Trafalgar Square. Speaker after speaker underlined what the majority of people know: that Bush and Blair are making the world a more dangerous place. Peace campaigner George Galloway told the demonstration that the allies’ action had not been legitimate: “Just because they call themselves the international community doesn’t mean their actions are right.” In a moving, symbolic gesture, the crowd all raised a right hand for peace during a moment’s silence, followed by the release of 2,000 black balloons in memory of the thousands of dead Iraqis, troops and victims of the Madrid bombings.
Tokyo, Japan: In March 2004 The Asahi Shimbun newspaper found that 66 per cent of Japanese voters believed the US had no legitimate reason to invade Iraq, and on 20 March around 130,000 people protested across Japan, with 60,000 in Tokyo, despite pouring rain.
Kenkichi Takahashi, reporting for Body And Soul, writes: “[A] man in his early twenties carried a placard that said: “Mr Bush, where are the weapons of mass destruction? You should get rid of your weapons of mass destruction in the US.” Kazuko Sasaki, a 72-year-old housewife, said the United States should leave Iraq now and let the United Nations handle a post-war Iraq. “For the sake of Iraqi people, the UN must take a central role. The US troops bring nothing but chaos,” she said.
Marches also took place in Osaka (20,000), Fukuoka (7,000) and Sapporo (5,500). On the northern island of Hokkaido protests took place in more than 12 towns, with around 11,000 people walking for peace.
Brussels, Belgium: 6,000 people marched in the Belgian capital. A minute’s silence was observed for all victims of war and terrorism and a huge symbolic Israeli Apartheid Wall was constructed by the Action Platform For Palestine.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Up to 2,000 people demonstrated and speakers linked the oppression in Iraq and Palestine with the lack of democracy and the loss of social welfare at home. A wide variety of participants took part: young, old, black, white, workers, students, men, women.
Helsinki, Finland: 1,500-2,000 people marched in cold, rainy weather shouting: “Troops out — occupation is crime,” “Stop the killing, stop the crime — Israel out of Palestine,” and “True terrorist — Bush, Blair and Sharon.” Demonstrations also took place in other major cities.
Reykyavik, Iceland: 1,000 people demonstrated in the capital.
Athens, Greece: Around 10,000 marched on the US embassy.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands: About 2,000 people marched in Amsterdam.
Paris, France: 10,000 people demonstrated in Paris with placards saying: “Bush, Sharon, Aznar, Blair: Assassins! Troops out of Iraq, Justice in Palestine.” On the same day, French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin told Le Monde newspaper that the invasion “has not made the world safer”.
Budapest, Hungary: A peace conference took place in Budapest where a minute’s silence was observed for all victims of terror attacks.
Germany: Thousands of people took part in demonstrations in 70 towns across the country. “George Bush did not wage a war against terror,” veteran anti-war activist Franz Alt told about 2,000 protesters gathered near the entrance of the US military’s Ramstein Air Base in western Germany. “He has ensured that with his wars, terrorism is now stronger.”
New Dehli, India: 3,000 people marched against the continuing occupation in Iraq by the US and its allies. Various organizations, prominent intellectuals and citizens marched together under the banner of the Citizens Against War and Occupation (CAWO). Strong opposition was also expressed towards the continuing occupations of Afghanistan and Palestine. Leaflets were distributed in Hindi and English, and there were street skits with actors using inflated masks of Bush and Blair and impromptu collective singing of peace songs. Demonstrations were held in many cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Nagercoil and Trivandrum.
Canada: Around 25,000 people, including peace campaigner and writer Noam Chomsky, demonstrated in Vancouver, and 7,000 in Montreal. Events took place all over Canada.
Tens of thousands marched in the following countries, often in several cities: Mauritius Turkey, Brazil (in more than 20 cities)’, Chile, Colombia and Nicaragua.
Australia
: 6,000 people marched through Sydney and heard journalist and writer John Pilger address the rally. Marches also took place in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.
Jakarta, Indonesia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Seoul, South Korea: About 10,000 people protested in Daehak-ro, the biggest Korean demonstration against the war in Iraq. The success was due to the support and sponsorship of 300 social and civil organizations and 2,500 individuals: 30,000 posters, 20,000 stickers, 70,000 leaflets, and 2,000 subway posters were distributed nationally.
Organizers report: “It was a day that showed the world that the anti-war movement, whether in Korea or elsewhere, is here to stay.” Large demonstrations took place in six other cities.
Manila, Philippines: Filipinos joined the worldwide demonstrations. The Philippines Global Day of Action Committee issued a statement which ended: “We, the democratic forces and peace advocates around the world, unite in this Global Day of Action Against War and Occupation. We will never ever give up the fight for peace, justice, and democracy because we know that another world is possible — a world with many worlds in it; a world where peace and co-existence thrives; a peaceful world where people are respected for what they are and not for what they have.”
(Sources: Green Left Weekly, Australia; Body And Soul, www.Japantoday.com, Japan; www.stopwar.org, The Guardian, The Observer, UK; New York News Network, Bloomberg News, Reuters, The New York Times, USA)

 

WORLD SCAN:

“Showing up the lies!”

On 15 February 2003, Maitreya was seen and filmed, in the guise of a Caribbean man, among the people at the Peace March in London (see Share International, April 2003). “I am proud today to hear brothers and sisters SPEAKING THE TRUTH and showing up the lies, THE LIES, that’s beautiful!” He said. Now, a year later, the lies are becoming more and more exposed.

Carter says Iraq war “based on lies”

Former US President Jimmy Carter has strongly criticized President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair for waging an unnecessary war to remove Saddam Hussein based on "lies or misinterpretations". The 2002 Nobel peace prize winner said Blair had allowed his better judgement to be swayed by Bush's desire to finish a war that his father had started.
Carter said the two leaders probably knew that many of the claims being made about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were based on imperfect intelligence. He said: “There was no reason for us to become involved in Iraq recently. That was a war based on lies and misinterpretations from London and Washington, claiming falsely that Saddam Hussein was responsible for [the] 9/11 attacks, claiming falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And I think that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair probably knew that many of the allegations were based on uncertain intelligence ... a decision was made to go to war [then people said] 'Let's find a reason to do so'."
Carter said he believed the momentum for the invasion came from Washington and that many of President Bush's senior advisers had long ago signalled their desire to remove Saddam by force. "I think that Bush Jnr was inclined to finish a war that his father had precipitated against Iraq. I think it was that commitment of Bush that prevailed over, I think, the better judgement of Tony Blair and Tony Blair became an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush policy." (Source: The Independent, UK)

Gorbachev calls Iraq war “great mistake”

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has described the US-led war in Iraq as a "great mistake that led to more terrorism and not the prevention of this scourge." Speaking at a peace conference in Mexico City on 19 March 2004, he said: "Every day we witness the consequences of the erroneous invasion of Iraq." Democracy cannot be achieved by military force, he continued. "Democracy is not imposed with tanks and missiles, but with respect of other peoples and international law.”
The war has also hurt US relations with traditional allies, the former Soviet leader said. "Nobody doubts the economic, military and democratic power of the United States. We recognize this and that (Washington) can be a world leader. But we do not believe in leadership through domination. There is no other path than through the respect of international law and cooperation. Anything else would be a great danger to the rest of the world." (Source: Agence France Presse)

Former counter-terrorism head condemns US policies

In a new book entitled Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, and in testimony before the Commission investigating the 11 September terror attacks, former counter-terrorism director Richard Clarke presented a scathing condemnation of the Bush Administration for its exploitation of 9/11 for political purposes and for ignoring the threat of Al-Qaeda in order to focus on the invasion of Iraq.
Clarke complained that combatting terrorism was not a priority for the Bush Administration prior to 9/11 despite receiving many warnings about its urgency. He also asserted that not only was the war in Iraq unnecessary, but that in effect it strengthened the fundamentalist, radical terrorist movements worldwide, thereby making the world more unsafe.
Clarke has been a highly regarded civil servant for over 30 years, having served in senior positions in both the Republican Reagan and elder Bush’s Administrations as well as the Democratic Clinton Administration. (Source: The New York Times, New York Newsday, USA)

David Kay calls on US to admit Iraq mistakes

David Kay, former chief United States weapons inspector in Iraq, has implored the US to admit its mistakes in Iraq. Kay resigned in January 2004 from his post as weapons inspector saying he believed no weapons of mass destruction existed and that the prewar intelligence regarding them raised serious questions. In a speech at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, he cautioned the United States that if it failed to admit that the stated reason for going to war with Iraq was wrong, it would destroy its credibility regarding future events. “The answer is to admit you were wrong, and what I find most disturbing around Washington is the belief you can never admit you’re wrong,” he said. (Source: Reuters)

Poland misled on Iraq, President says

Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key US ally, said that Poland was "misled with the information on weapons of mass destruction " and was considering withdrawing troops from Iraq several months early. The remarks came as polls showed about half of Poles were opposed to involvement in Iraq. (Source: Associated Press)

Forward planning

American magazine Vanity Fair published in April 2004 an account by Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to Washington, of an extraordinary conversation between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September 2001. It provides new corroboration of the claims made by Bush's former counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, that Bush was 'obsessed' with Iraq as his principal target after 9/11.
According to Sir Christopher Meyer, who was present at the dinner, Blair told Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror's initial goal — dealing with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Bush, claims Meyer, replied by saying: “I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.” Regime change was already US policy. It was clear, Meyer says: “that when we did come back to Iraq it wouldn't be to discuss smarter sanctions.”
Elsewhere in his interview, Meyer says Blair always believed it was unlikely that Saddam would be removed from power or give up his weapons of mass destruction without a war. Faced with this prospect of a further war, he adds, Blair “said nothing to demur”.
Commenting on the article, David Rose writes in The Observer newspaper: “The implications for Blair may be still more explosive. The discussion implies that, even before the bombing of Afghanistan, Blair already knew that the US intended to attack Saddam next, although he continued to insist in public that 'no decisions had been taken' until almost the moment that the invasion began in March 2003. His critics are likely to seize on the report of the two leaders' exchange and demand to know when Blair resolved to provide the backing that Bush sought.” (Source: The Observer, UK)

The ‘Separation Wall’ — a barrier to peace

An interview with Professor John Dugard by Felicity Eliot

No symbol for separation and strife could be more powerful than that of a wall. Almost two decades after the fall of that modern icon of conflict and division the Berlin Wall, Israel is constructing a giant barrier. The walls of Jericho were said to have been brought down by the power of trumpets sounding in unison; perhaps the ‘Separation Wall’ will be brought down by the power of the united voices of people demanding justice.
Professor John Dugard, professor of international law at Leiden University in the Netherlands, is also on the Commission on Human Rights as a Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967. He was born in South Africa and lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa; he is an acknowledged authority on Palestinian human rights abuses. Felicity Eliot interviewed him for Share International before the latest developments at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Share International: You have spent a number of years observing, writing and reporting back to the United Nations about the plight of the Palestinians. Could you say why it is that the ‘Separation Wall’ is such a contentious issue and one which seems to have caught public attention?
Professor John Dugard: The Israelis call it the ‘Security Fence’ or ‘Seam Zone’, and in Palestine it is generally known as the ‘Separation Wall’. These terms are euphemisms and serve to obscure the true facts. The Wall is in fact a clear act of territorial annexation in the West Bank and yet it is presented under the guise of security.

SI: Do you accept that Israel has the right to security just as the Palestinians do?
JD: Absolutely. The problem with regard to the Wall, however, is that it is not only a matter of securing borders but, as I said, of territorial annexation.

SI: Are you saying, just to clarify this issue, that the Wall does not follow already existing borders but actually cuts into Palestinian territory?
JD: It doesn’t follow the so-called ‘Green Line’, the 1967 boundary between Israel and Palestine which is generally accepted as the border between these two countries. The Wall’s route incorporates substantial parts of Palestine into Israel. At present, in places, the Wall intrudes between 6 and 7 kilometres into Palestinian territory, but now there are proposals to extend it even deeper into Palestinian land to include the settlement of Ariel.

SI: How does that impact on Palestinian lives?
JD: It means that the route taken by the Wall creates a barrier that separates Palestinian villages from the West Bank and converts them into isolated enclaves. Palestinians between the Wall and the Green Line will effectively be cut off from their farmland and workplaces, schools and health clinics. So you can imagine the disruption caused.

SI: What is the Wall like?
JD: The Wall between Israel and the West Bank will, when completed, stretch for approximately 650 kilometres. In places it is an 8-metre-high (26-foot) wall, which is higher than the Berlin Wall was. In other places it is a fence or barrier surmounted with razor wire. It is guarded, with watch-towers at intervals. On both sides of the Wall there are wide buffer zones running alongside it. So it takes the form of a barrier 60 to 100 metres wide, which includes buffer zones, trenches and barbed wire, trace paths to pick up footprints, an electric fence with sensors, and a two-lane patrol road.

SI: How does one cross to the other side? Supposing I’m a Palestinian farmer — I want to get to my olive orchards and perhaps also see my children safely to school, but both the school and my small farm are cut off from my family home by the Wall.
JD: One of the problems is that a sort of ‘no-go’ area has been created within Palestinian territory. To enter it Palestinians will be required to carry and show a visa. Israelis living there will not need a permit. At the checkpoints Palestinians must show their papers and may be held up some time. But, more dangerously, it is feared that Palestinians penned in between the Wall and the Green Line will become so frustrated and find their daily lives made so intolerable that they may decide to move to the eastern side of the Wall — that is, to what remains of the West Bank. By doing so they would in effect be creating a new generation of refugees.
It is widely expected that, following the completion of the Wall separating Israel from the West Bank on the western side, an eastern wall will be constructed separating Palestine from the Jordan Valley. The illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank will be the principal beneficiaries of the Wall. It is estimated that ultimately more than half the settler population of 400,000 will be incorporated on the Israeli side of the barrier.

SI: Israel maintains that the Wall is a temporary measure — what is your response to that?
JD: I know it is said to be a temporary measure; however, my experience in Palestine leads me to believe otherwise. Why? The Wall itself: the nature and structure of the Wall, the fact that no-go areas are being established, that land is seized, all makes it seem rather permanent in nature. The evidence strongly suggests that Israel is determined to create ‘facts on the ground’ amounting to de facto annexation. Like the settlements it seeks to protect, it is manifestly intended to create facts on the ground. It may lack an act of annexation, as occurred in the case of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. But its effect is the same. Annexation of this kind goes by another name in international law: conquest.

SI: Do you think the Wall should be dismantled?
JD: Israel’s security concerns cannot be denied but some limit must be placed on the violation of human rights in the name of counter-terrorism. Yes, I believe it should be pulled down.

SI: Who is paying for the Wall’s construction — it must be very costly?
JD: I believe the cost of constructing the Wall is said to be 8.5 billion shekels (US$1.7 billion). The Wall is being built at great cost to the Israeli taxpayer.

SI: But is there not a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Wall as being illegal and requiring Israel’s compliance in dismantling it? It is in fact a contravention of international law, if I understand correctly?
JD: Yes, it was declared to be a contravention of international law.

SI: But there’s no compliance on the part of Israel.
JD: No, none. But now the question is, what will be done?

SI: Will the case be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague? And do you think it would be correct and useful to do so?
JD: Whether this case is to be heard in The Hague hinges on the opinions of Western countries. My information is that they are divided on the issue. Some are worried about the usefulness of such an advisory opinion to resolving the conflict. There is also the question of whether it would be good for the International Court to be given such a hot potato. Those in favour of a resolution argue that it would serve the same purpose as the 1971 advisory opinion on Namibia.
I think it is useful to look at the Palestinian issue in the context of Namibia. Both were mandated territories under international tutelage. In 1971 the International Court was asked for an advisory opinion and it held that South Africa was in unlawful occupation of Namibia. That had no immediate effect but it did shape subsequent UN resolutions in respect of Namibia. It took 20 years to be implemented but it was the foundation for change. With regard to the Wall, the Court’s advisory opinion might serve at least to establish the fact that Israel should not trespass any further into Palestinian territory.
[Addendum, March 2004:
JD: In December 2003 the General Assembly asked the ICJ for an advisory opinion on the legality of the Wall. In February 2004 the ICJ heard oral presentations on this matter. Palestine presented its arguments to the ICJ but Israel and the Western states made written representations in which they asked the court not to give an opinion.]

SI: What movement is there on this issue within the UN — the General Assembly?
JD: The matter will be brought before the Assembly again, particularly in view of the undertaking on the part of the Secretary-General to report within a month (in December 2004, probably). The Arab states — not only the Arab states but what we could call the ‘non-aligned states’ — are in favour of requesting an advisory opinion.

SI: How can pressure be brought to bear to get Israel to comply and begin dismantling the Wall? And what are the implications of Israel’s non-compliance for peace in the Middle East?
JD: I think the Wall remains a major stumbling block to peace in the Middle East. I really don’t see that the ‘Road Map’ can ever be implemented without a dismantling of the Wall. I don’t think the Palestinians are prepared to negotiate on the settlements, although having said that, there is a certain amount of flexibility on the part of the Palestinians to accept that perhaps some of the settlements might become part of Israel. However, I don’t think there’s any room for compromise on the Wall in so far as it intrudes into Palestinian territory. So it is a major stumbling block.
What will be done about this? I suppose the answer is “Nothing,” without the assistance of the United States. The United States holds the key, in my view, to peace in the Middle East, but at present there’s no sign it is prepared to unlock the door to allow negotiations to continue. The US is, domestically, not willing to take a firm stand on the Wall.

SI: Do you think that their reluctance is only for domestic reasons, or it is part of US foreign policy?
JD: I’m not an expert on US foreign policy but the general belief is that, given the fact that there are Presidential elections on the horizon, the present administration doesn’t want to alienate an important US constituency.

SI: Given that there is constant and continuing unrest, tension, terrorism coming out of the situation in the Middle East, how do you see the situation panning out in the wider world?
JD: I find it rather strange that President Bush recently made a major policy speech about democracy in that part of the world, and I certainly share his view, but it’s difficult to understand how he could make such a call without any attempt to address the principal obstacle to peace — and that is the Palestinian issue.
If a democracy were to be established in Palestine, with democratic institutions, this would set an example to states in the region and I think that Palestine is the one state in the region which could set such an example. But it is being denied that opportunity, largely by the United States.

SI: Would you give examples of how the Wall and the present circumstances are impacting on individual Palestinians?
JD: Well, it’s not a question of individuals — it’s a question of an entire population! The latest UN report suggests that 680,000 Palestinians will be harmed by the existence of the Wall in some way or another. It is obviously going to contribute further to the restrictions on freedom of movement, [and] deterioration of the Palestinian economy — where already 40 per cent of the people are unemployed, and 60 per cent are below the poverty line. There are curfews and checkpoints; the Wall will obviously aggravate the situation because it will further restrict freedom of movement by introducing more checkpoints. It has serious implications for a large number of Palestinians. I’ve seen only some of the villages that are directly affected, but it is estimated that it has serious consequences for 122 towns and villages and has a direct impact on them. It is an extremely serious matter — the statistics are quite alarming — and one would like to see it addressed more vigorously.

SI: You are talking about the United Nations and European states working together on this?
JD: One would love to see the United States become part of a coalition for change for peace in the Middle East, but it seems to be dragging its heels.

SI: Is there any chance of further support coming from elsewhere?
JD: There is a bit of light, in that important voices within Israel are unhappy with the present situation. Former security chiefs have condemned the Israeli Government policy. There’s also the Geneva Accord promoted by the Swiss Government bringing together moderates from both sides, who’ve come up with a proposal which involves the recognition of two states, Israel and Palestine, with the dismantling of most, but not all, settlements and the return of a limited number of refugees, but certainly not all. It is an attempt to promote the kind of solution which has always appealed to the Israel left. And one hopes that the Israeli electorate will see sense and change from its support of the present government.

SI: There is also growing frustration and anger around the world at the injustice and double standards practised; public demonstrations demanding change are growing.
JD: I don’t know whether that will have any effect on public opinion in Israel. I’m a South African and lived under the apartheid regime most of my adult life and that regime was able to stay in power largely because of the ‘security threat’ which was manipulated by the government of the day. In such a situation the electorate is simply incapable of accepting the need for change and, I fear, that is where the Israeli electorate is today. It is terrified by the suicide bombings which obviously disrupt society and constitute a real security threat. So one cannot expect too much of the Israeli public, but, with proper leadership, something may be possible.

SI: Talking about leadership, what should be done by the international community about the plight of Chairman Yasser Arafat, and the way he is sidelined by the Israelis?
JD: He is still an important voice in Palestinian society. I don’t think it would be possible to reach a viable agreement without his support. It doesn’t help to negotiate with his lieutenants while he’s left out in the cold. It seems a very strange way of proceeding. The history of peace negotiations shows that personalities who dislike each other have to sit down and negotiate and seek agreement at some point. The present situation is an unusual and unhelpful way of proceeding.

SI: What role could Arab states play?
JD: The Arab states are all very concerned and they have a serious problem in that public opinion is incensed by what is happening in Palestine and they certainly have to reckon with that. On the other hand they have had experience of conflicts with Israel and they know that the Israeli military is very powerful. I think they [Arab states] pin their hopes very much on the United Nations and also on the United States. So there is a real awareness on the part of Palestinians and Arab countries and others that the key to peace in the Middle East is with Washington.

SI: What is your opinion of the suicide bombers?
JD: I’ve always condemned them. It is unhelpful to the Palestinian cause. Of course, the Palestinian authority has also condemned them, repeatedly. Whether they’re able to control the suicide bombers is another issue.

SI: To sum up then, your hope is that through negotiated agreement two independent states with guaranteed secure borders for both could be established.
JD: Yes, I believe that a two-state solution would be the best for all, but the longer the current situation is allowed to continue the more likely it becomes that one state will become the only possibility and that would be disastrous for Israel. That’s why it is difficult to understand why the Israeli Government does not negotiate with the Palestinian Authority which, after all, represents the moderate element in Palestinian society.

SI: Are you optimistic about peace in the Middle East?
JD: As a South African I am optimistic. I know that miracles can happen and I hope the place that produced a miracle before might produce a miracle again. A free and democratic Palestine would be an excellent example to other countries in the region.

Benjamin Creme — thirty years preparing the way for Maitreya (Part 2)

In March 1974 Benjamin Creme formed, in London, the first Transmission Meditation group, and began his public work of preparing the way for Maitreya, the World Teacher. Now, 30 years on, there are around 650 Transmission Meditation groups in over 40 countries, and his information is known to millions of people around the world.

My arrival in Los Angeles for the first time, on 1 January 1980, was very pleasant, sunny and a warm 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius), unbelievable. I stayed with a new friend who lived in Hollywood in a house once owned, I was told, by famous film actors. It was charming and quintessential Tinsel Town, L.A. There was practically no furniture, the rooms decorated with scores of large professional photographs. In the evening, you entered a room and clapped your hands to turn on the light. I spent a long time one evening sitting on the floor talking to a woman who told me, in all seriousness, that she went every year on holiday to Venus in little red space ships sent specially for her.
The three-day Conference, at which I had been invited to speak and be generally available for the participants throughout, began immediately (jet-lag had not been invented in those far-off days). For three days, on four hours’ sleep overall, I answered incessant questions. I had never seen such a hunger for information. The enthusiasm and response was extraordinary.
My first ‘lecture’ was strange and totally unexpected: I mounted the platform and looked around. There were several hundred people already there, expectant. One man in the first row to my right sat engrossed in his newspaper, oblivious to all else. Before I could say a word of introduction, or even “Good afternoon”, I was overshadowed by Maitreya and I just looked at the audience in a total, ‘pin-drop’ silence. They stared back at me, as if entranced, tears streaming down many faces. This continued for 50 minutes although it felt to be outside time, no time at all. At one point the gentleman to my right looked up and round, heard nothing, folded his newspaper and walked out.
When the overshadowing stopped, I said: “Well, I was supposed to give a lecture but we have only 10 minutes left. What do you suggest?” Someone said: “Can you answer questions?”, which for the next 20 minutes I did, giving the essence of my information on the Reappearance of the Christ. This silent introduction was repeated a few months later at another Conference in Florida, and for many years has been the norm (only for about half an hour) at all my lectures. This happening is for many people the most convincing. The energies released during the overshadowing are so powerful and produce such a feeling of well-being that many are convinced about the reality of the ‘message’ by this alone. Some are more or less clairvoyant and claim to see the light of the overshadowing around me and filling the room.
Immediately after the Conference I began a week of lecturing in towns north and south of Los Angeles, between San Diego and Santa Barbara, a gruelling two lectures a day, plus travelling. The Americans are certainly into the work ethic!
From California I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, and lectured to the Mormons, staying with a charming Mormon family, the mother of whom was already totally convinced of the truth of my information.
Then followed Colorado, with lectures and Transmission Meditation in Denver and Boulder. For some reason, through the years, Denver media has always been particularly interested in my ‘story’ and five or six interviews a day were quite usual.
One stands out in my mind for its bizarre sequel. With a friend I arrived in the radio studio at 11.30pm, the fifth or sixth interview of that day. The host’s name was Berg, the studio the size of a large cupboard (closet), with a notice, pinned above an ashtray brimming with ash and stubbed cigarettes, which read: “I thank you for not smoking.” Mr Berg smoked continuously, which was unpleasant in the confined space. The interview began and quickly passed over to phone-ins from the public, most of whom were very interested and had serious and intelligent questions.
The problem was that Mr Berg would scarcely let me answer a question but jumped in with his own vague patter. Both I and the listeners complained that he should let me answer the questions but to no avail. During a break for commercials I told him I had better things to do and would go unless he let me answer. He snarled: “Get out before something worse happens to you!”
We left and immediately switched on the car radio. Mr Berg was telling the listeners how surprised he was that I left, that he was ‘bending backwards’ to be supportive of me. It transpired that he had been a lawyer in, I think, Chicago, who had got into some trouble and was de-barred or de-frocked or whatever happens to double-dealing lawyers, and had been involved with the Mafia. A week later he was found outside the radio station riddled with bullets. I assure readers that this extreme act had nothing to do with me.
From Denver I returned to Los Angeles where the nucleus of the first US group was formed, and firm plans to form Tara Centre and to publish The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom were made. We had already published the book in London and I carried a dozen or so copies with me to America where they were quickly snapped up. An unforgettable two weeks had passed since I arrived, and, like a forest fire, the information spread quickly across the US, so much so that when I returned a few months later the tour took in almost half of that enormous country …
(See Share International magazine for the full article and related questions and answers. To be continued.)

Benjamin Creme lectures — first time accounts

Since 1974 Mr Creme has given thousands of lectures on Maitreya’s emergence in the UK, throughout Europe, the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and other countries. He encourages his colleagues also to convey the information in this most direct way, face to face. Coming from all walks of life, audiences hearing Benjamin Creme for the first time often remark how his ‘message of hope’ has changed their lives. The following accounts have been written by various people who have attended his lectures.

HT, Japan (Public servant)
I attended Benjamin Creme's lecture for the first time at Tokyo in 1991. The lecture hall was rather big and I was surprised that the 500-600 seats were almost filled to capacity. When Mr Creme appeared on the platform he looked a very friendly and warm person.
Once the overshadowing began, his expression changed and he looked very dignified. It seemed that a deep calmness emanated from him. I thought he seemed to be a great Zen master and was so moved that I felt like running to him and kneeling before him. It was a very unusual experience for me (I am not a devotee type at all).
The question and answer session was very interesting for me because he answered some unasked questions which had been on my mind. Above all I was glad to hear him say that essentially Krishnamurti’s teaching was Maitreya’s, as I was reading Krishnamurti's books intensely in those days. In a word my impression after listening to the lecture was: this is authentic!

Diana Elderton, London, UK (Teacher and librarian)
In 1982 a good friend told me about Benjamin Creme’s lectures. Intrigued, I arrived in a large lecture hall in Friends House and was shown to my seat.
During the ‘overshadowing’ of Mr Creme, and his pronouncement of the final message [of the series of 140 messages], a profound calm and hush descended on the audience. The message was spoken in a strong clear voice with deliberate pauses and an almost biblical rhythm. I felt uplifted, comforted and nourished not only by the atmosphere, but also by the words of optimism and hope for humanity.
After this moving experience, Mr Creme gave a statesman-like lecture, about world events, linking developments to the benign but potent influence, not only of an emerging World Teacher, but of his team of Masters, many of whom had taken their places in the modern world. This was a biblical story brought right up to date with current information, filling the void which had sent me running from organized religion in my late teens. Here was a humanitarian perspective of global politics and economics, and a proposal for the realistic changes required to set the world to rights. This was not a revolutionary call to arms, but a call to ordinary people to see their role in events, the part they could play in implementing sharing and justice, in ending hunger in the world.

Horacio Londner, Barcelona, Spain (Biochemist)
In August 1993, a few months after hearing for the first time about the presence of Maitreya and the Masters in the world, and after reading Maitreya's Mission Volume One, my girlfriend and I went to London to a lecture by Benjamin Creme. We arrived a bit early and sat down. The room was quiet and calm as Benjamin Creme was looking at the audience. I closed my eyes. There was a kind of vibrating and lively stillness. At one moment, I felt a very strong energy concentrating on me. I opened my eyes and saw that Benjamin Creme was looking in my direction. I closed my eyes again and remained in that position till the overshadowing was over and the lecture started.
As had happened to me when reading his book, I found an internal recognition that Mr Creme’s words were the truth I had being looking for since childhood. As if the pieces of a puzzle were coming into place.
[Later that evening, reading Share International for the first time] — the Master's article and an interview with the Master called ‘The challenges of the 21st century’ — we knew that this information had to be spread as widely as possible.

Jackie Osterloh, Dublin, California, USA (Payroll Processing Manager)
My first Benjamin Creme lecture was a life-changing experience for me. I had an intuitive response to the overshadowing. I saw this older gentleman looking intently at everyone in the audience. I just had a sense that something extraordinary was going on. When he looked directly at me with a slight smile on his face I allowed myself the thought: “I suppose it is possible that the Christ is looking at me." At that moment I felt a jolt go up my spine. He continued looking at me with that sweet smile for a little while longer and then moved on. The lecture proceeded and I was amazed at how logically the story unfolded. I thought: “At last, someone is telling me the TRUTH about the Christ, about the evolution of man towards mastery; the reasons for the terrible tension in the world due to lack of love and sharing of the world's resources.” To hear about the presence and guidance of the Spiritual Hierarchy was like a huge weight being lifted from my mind, which was so very concerned about the future for the planet and for humanity. That night as I laid in bed I thought to myself: "I am going to see the Christ and see the total transformation of the planet." I then cried, sobbing tears of joy. I was never the same person after that lecture.

Tim Welch, Milton Keynes, UK
The first Benjamin Creme lecture I went to was the result of a recommendation from a friend. The element of the talk that focused on the esoteric teachings gave me what was the most complete explanation I have ever heard about how the universe works at the perceivable and unperceivable levels. The ground was set for a system of beliefs that came over as a philosophy and a framework for a responsible way of living. There were no ‘isms’ and that drew me straight away.
The fact that Mr Creme was effectively saying “test this for yourself to see if it rings true for you” was also a very refreshing change. Most peddlers of religions, or belief systems, don’t ask that question so this was another very refreshing change from anything I had heard before. Also I was not being tapped for money.
The need for a fairer and more equitable sharing of the world’s resources amongst the world’s population, and the need to care for the environment struck a particular chord for me.
I was particularly impressed by the wide range of people who attended the lectures, evidently from all walks of life. It feels that many of us are seeking a more just and equitable world and wish to see the many wrongs of such a polarized world put right.
Lastly, and most importantly, was the tremendous sense of hope given by the fact of the presence of Maitreya, and the Masters of Wisdom, in the world.

Felicity Eliot, Amsterdam, Holland (Teacher)
In 1976 an advert caught my imagination about a “World Teacher”. I found Friends House, London, crept in slightly late, sat down and was immediately absorbed and in seventh heaven because of what I was hearing. It was as if I had a little check-list in my head which suddenly gave me access to ideas I’d always known but not necessarily thought out consciously. To everything Mr Creme said I found myself nodding enthusiastically; I think I must have sat there beaming and nodding.
This was it! This was what I’d been looking for all those years when I’d read all sorts of books, looked into various disciplines and areas of life trying to find a fully satisfying complete understanding of reality.
After the lecture I literally skipped, hopped, jumped, flew along the corridor in Friends House barely suppressing squeals of delight. Such joy — the most joyful day of my life so far.


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First published April 1999,