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 Home >> Share International magazine >> July/August 2005

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Share International magazine July/August 2005

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.
 

London’s trauma

The elation of winning the Olympic bid caused Londoners to forget, for a moment, the ever-present threat to their city in today’s reality of terrorism. Our sympathy must go to the many bereaved and injured in this terrible tragedy.
We should, perhaps, have expected that the terrorists would take the opportunity of the G8 summit in Scotland to mount their barbarous attack. It would seem evident that too much of the attention and efforts of the security and intelligence forces were diverted from the capital to Scotland.
What is also evident is that we cannot win a ‘war on terror’ by military means. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have not protected us or others. On the contrary they have increased the likelihood of attack. What then is the answer to this ferocious antagonism?

There is only one way — we must seek the causes of terrorism. These are various but chief among them is the sullen hatred engendered in millions in the poorer countries by an endless sense of injustice, futility and despair. They feel no hope, no purpose in life and are ripe for the fanatical calls for ‘war on the West’ by the fundamentalist ‘professional’ terrorists we know as Al-Qaeda. These, ironically, were trained by the CIA to fight the Russians in Afghanistan and have now turned on their mentors.
Only justice will bring peace and an end to terrorism in this world. London was attacked because of the British invasion, with the USA, of Iraq, and because the Gleneagles summit, the meeting of the leaders of the eight richest nations, represents all that millions in the East and Middle East hate — the haughty dominance and usurpation of power of the rich elite who live in the illusion that they are the natural rulers of the world.
Their time of dominance is coming to an end. The voice of the people of all the nations is making itself heard and demanding justice. These powerful leaders turn a deaf ear to that voice at their peril.
Benjamin Creme

Master's article

The end of darkness

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme

Nowhere is division and disharmony more prevalent than on Planet Earth. No other planet of our system is so immersed in competition, so ignorant of the benefits of co-operation. Nowhere else is seen the results of such folly: anxiety, illness of all kinds; wealth and poverty side by side, insecurity and war.
Why should this be so? Why should the inhabitants of this most richly fertile world quarrel so over its ownership?
To some extent the answer lies in the very richness of Earth’s resources. Earth is the most densely material of worlds and for long ages men have been in thrall to its material wealth, and have fought and competed for its control. This has brought the human kingdom (and with it the animal) to the verge of destruction. With the nuclear bomb man has brought his very existence into jeopardy.
It is this fact above all which has prompted Maitreya’s decision to return with His group to the everyday world, at least a thousand years ahead of the planned date. His aim is to coax men back from the brink, to show them how dangerous and destructive is their lust for power, their greed and competition.

A simpler way
He will outline for them a simpler way, the way of co-operation, justice and trust.
Many there are today who, in their hearts, renounce the iniquities of the present materialism which pervades the planet. They long for justice and peace and march and demonstrate for their fulfilment. More and more, the peoples of the world are beginning to recognize that together they have the power to change the actions of powerful men. Thus does Maitreya trust the people and gives voice to their demands. Thus does He join their marches and adds His voice to theirs.

Conscience
Amid the general avarice there is, too, an awakening of conscience among politicians and others in several countries. The debts of the poorest nations are being cancelled and a new approach to the grinding poverty of so many is taking place. The fruits of twenty years of labour are beginning to ripen. Maitreya’s beneficent energies are working their magic and a new spirit is gaining strength.
Thus the attitudes and habits of countless ages are beginning to crumble before the tide of new and unstoppable energies wielded by Maitreya and His group. Men need have no fear; the meek, indeed, the poor, the powerless, the toilers everywhere, shall inherit the Earth. Men will learn the beauty of co-operation and service and one by one the bastions of power will fall. The empires of power and wealth will disappear as the new urge for sharing and oneness grips the minds of men. Thus will it be and thus will man regain his sanity and start the climb again.

(Read more articles by the Master)

Questions & Answers

Q. Could you say who is behind the recent bomb blasts in Iran just ahead of elections there? What is the reasoning behind this act?
A. A group of extreme, fundamentalist Shiites who consider that the government is not wholly committed to sustaining the purity of a religious state.

Q. (1) Does the resounding ‘No’ vote in EU referendums illustrate that the leaders are out of touch with the people? (2) Are the people rejecting the neo-liberal market-driven society? (3) Do you think this is yet another example of people power in that so many people seemed to make issues clear to politicians who had failed to consult them?
A. (1) Certainly in France and the Netherlands the governments seem to have been out of touch with the mood of the people. If Britain had had the Referendum I think the ‘No’ vote would have been 70 per cent. However, I expect that in the new member states the ‘Yes’ vote would be much stronger. They would, at the least, feel obliged to show enthusiasm for an EU Constitution. (2) No, I don’t think so. (3) Yes. The Constitution runs (in full) to about 500 pages and few have the time and inclination to study such a document. Many people have the feeling (correctly) that they have not been consulted, that decisions have been made over their heads. Hence the strength of the ‘No’ vote. Some people feel that they have lost too much sovereignty already and have no desire for a United States of Europe, which, again correctly, they suspect lies behind the presentation of the Constitution. They feel manipulated by non-elected politicians with their own agenda.

Q. I remember Maitreya foretold the fall of Margaret Thatcher while she was at the height of her powers — the wheel of fortune or fate was starting to turn against her. Mrs Thatcher seemed to fall from grace and office quite swiftly. Is there a similar process beginning for George W. Bush and his close colleagues?
A. Unfortunately, no.

Q. It’s as if many people really see that this year [2005], now, is ‘crunch time’ for tackling crucial issues — Africa, poverty, debt, AIDS, pollution, the environment and so on. How can we explain this widespread apparent ‘awakening’ and seeming maturity in our collective thinking?
A. What we are witnessing is the response of humanity to the energies poured into the world by Maitreya and His group. At last, the science of Maitreya is reaping its fruit. This is a clear lesson for humanity. Trends move simultaneously, on different wavelengths, and in different directions. The old patterns begin to break down and eventually, the new energies are absorbed enough by humanity to bring about change.

Q. How can you combine this ‘miracle’ of the existence of Maitreya with man’s free will?
A. You will find in practice that there is no contradiction. For the Masters, man’s free will is sacrosanct and is never infringed by Them. The coming into the everyday world by Maitreya is not really a miracle. He does so under Law and according to plan. It is simply that people, for the most part, have not heard of Him or the Plan.

Q. If the Masters must wait for humanity to produce good karma before They can manifest Themselves openly, does this mean that They also are subject to karma?
A. The Masters do not make personal karma but Their actions in relation to humanity are conditioned by world karma. Humanity does not have to ‘produce good karma’ but only to take the first steps themselves in the right direction.

Q. I understand that the Space Brothers work with both American and Russian scientists in the development of the Technology of Light. (1) Are the scientists of both nations aware that each is developing such technology? (2) About how many years is Russia in advance of America on its development?
A. (1) Yes. (2) About two years.

Q. In the Alice Bailey books the Master Djwhal Khul said that behind each problem in the world there was a religious problem. How will this problem be resolved — He said that it would take a long time?
A. It will take a long time. It is true that behind almost all the wars and fighting going on in the world is a religious division. There should not be any problem in a religious division. There have been places where Christians, Jews and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of years. Spain was one of them. The religious division may be there, but as soon as there is an outer problem, for example on the political/economic level, then the religious division comes to the fore and takes precedence. It is dealing with people’s religious beliefs which, for many, are the strongest emotional ties they have.
When India was divided there were terrible massacres. Trainloads of Indians (Hindus) would be massacred by Muslims (and vice-versa) while Pakistan was only being formed. They came from India and they were used to being Indians but they were not Hindus, they were Muslims. So there was conflict between Muslims and Hindus rather than between India and Pakistan. Then Bengal, which was part of Pakistan, became involved and, again, there was conflict between Muslims and Hindus. Then Bangladesh was formed and the same thing happened.

Whenever the outer political/economic pressures cannot be resolved relatively easily, it always turns into a religious divide. And it will go on. It was and still is so in Northern Ireland, although the fighting has stopped; it is so in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. It will be the last of all the big intolerances in the world to be resolved. The religious beliefs of a people are closer to them than anything else, which is another way of saying that the relationship of humanity to what we call God is stronger than we admit it to be. It is the strongest thought in the minds of most people in the world. Only the sophisticated intellectuals of Europe and a few other countries take a broader view and are not committed to any particular religion.
Only if you have given up religion early in your life do you take this stance. Otherwise the fear of being separated from the country which you identify with your religion is paramount. Until we learn to be more tolerant, this will continue.

There are three big associations of mankind: political, economic and religious, which if wrongly handled become a corrupt ideology or totalitarianism. There are the political ideologies: Democrats, Fascists and Communists and so on. Political totalitarianism has waned and is really in decline.
Economic totalitarianism at the moment is rampant. That is what Maitreya will be addressing more than anything else because it is the key to the others, to the tolerance which is needed to deal with the others. Last to go, but now at the height of its power and influence, is religious totalitarianism. If you are at the top there is only one way you can go, and that is down. Gradually its influence will lessen, but it will take time.

(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.

Inside information

Dear Editor,
At Benjamin Creme’s Osaka lecture in May, 2005, a large, tall man of about 30 with a shaved head came to me at the book table and said: “We are monks of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism and would like to talk with someone who is well versed in this subject. Whom should we speak to?” “There are several people in the lobby wearing badges that say, ‘information service’. Please ask them,” I replied. With him was a boy of about 17 years, who asked with eyes filled with expectation: “Does Maitreya really exist?” “Yes, he is in a physical body and lives in London,” I replied. “Oh that’s wonderful! How glad I am.” He expressed his joy by rubbing his head with a big full smile. I was moved when I realized that this information could bring such pure joy to people who learned about it.
Later the monk returned and asked: “Which book would you recommend I read?” I explained the different books. He showed a special interest in Messages from Maitreya the Christ, so I said: “When you read these messages aloud, you invoke Maitreya’s energy. It is written in very ¬simple words, but because it is so simple sometimes people miss the depth and complexity of these teachings.” (I used to be like that.) “This is like a Buddhist sutra isn’t it?” he said. I replied: “We also have an English edition.” He laughed: “I don’t need English,” adding: “I can’t buy many books today.” While he was wondering which one to select the young boy came to show him Maitreya’s Mission Volume I saying: “I bought this.” Because the monk was still undecided, I said to him: “Why don’t you decide after you’ve heard the lecture?” “That’s a good idea,” he said and went into the hall.

During the intermission he came back and began to read Messages from Maitreya the Christ in earnest and seemed to have decided to purchase it. However, because he also seemed to want to purchase some more books I showed him the Share International Special Information Issue and the small book Who am I (English title: Ageless Wisdom Teachings). He asked: “Who is this I?” I was at a loss for a moment. He asked: “Is it Maitreya?” I said: “No, I in you is the same I in me. And it is the same with Maitreya and it is also God Himself….” I stumbled along because I couldn’t remember the words ‘the Self’. “Oh, that is [...?] in Buddhism, isn’t it?” (I couldn’t understand the Buddhist term.) Then he went towards the cashier.
Suddenly the boy came running up with such enthusiasm and exclaimed with that big smile: “This is true isn’t it?! This is true!” I laughed and said: “Isn’t it great if it’s true?” “It IS true! It is absolutely true!” he pronounced. Watching him and how his joy radiated from him made me feel very happy. Were those two Masters?
KI, Osaka, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘tall monk’ was Maitreya and the ‘boy’ was the Master Jesus.)

The following two letters are from the same person:

Private coach

Dear Editor,
(1) On May 21, 2005, I was working as a floor manager at Benjamin Creme’s Osaka lecture. One of the co-workers asked me to attend to two men who had come to the lecture. One of them was a tall man with a shaved head and the other a very small young man who was looking at me with a smile. The tall man asked me: “What is this lecturer’s ideology?” It was such an unexpected question that I could only answer that he did not base his talk on any particular ideology. He said that he meant ideo¬logy in a bigger sense. Then he asked if the lecturer’s talk had any relation to Steiner or Krishnamurti. I explained a little about the relationship between Maitreya and Krishnamurti and added that the lecturer had no intention of talking about any particular ideology or teaching and simply wished to present information. I asked him to please listen to the talk attentively. The younger man then asked me with a smile if he could ask a global question. I answered: “Please write and submit it. If there is enough time Mr Creme would answer today and if not, he might answer in Share International magazine.” Then they smiled and went away to another stand and asked more questions of other staff members.
Later, I felt as if I had been given a lesson on how to tell this story to other ¬people. Were these men someone special?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that the ‘tall man’ was Maitreya and the ‘short man’ was the Master Jesus.)

Direct line

(2) On May 24, 2005, at Benjamin Creme’s Nagoya lecture, I was working as a floor attendant. Shortly after the lecture began, a young woman came out from the lecture hall and asked me: “Will you tell me the general content of this talk?” I answered that in spite of the present unstable world situation, Mr Creme says that the future of our world will be bright, and presents various reasons to believe so and how we should be working toward it. I also told her that the lecturer had been presenting this message to the world for more than 30 years, not as dogma but as information for the audience to consider. No sooner had she heard this, she called someone on her mobile phone. Judging from her behaviour, I thought she might be from some group or an editor or a journalist. Then she went inside. After a while she came out again with her mobile phone and went back and forth in front of me a couple of times as if to impress on me. Was this woman someone special?
SM, Gifu, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)

Family outing

Dear Editor,
On 16 January 2005, we ran a booth at the Spiritual Convention in Fukuoka City.
Soon after noon, a family of four — a father and mother in their 30s, a boy of about three years old and a baby of seven to eight months — came to our stand. They were dressed simply, with the mother wearing sports clothes with lots of stains on the front. I thought they must be a farming family.
The father, who had a large mole on his left cheek, said that they had a call from a friend to come and they came all the way from Oita City, which is quite a distance from the convention.
The father looked around enthusiastic¬ally at all the panels exhibited and took a lot of our pamplets. His wife handed him the baby and went away to look around other booths. The boy seemed to enjoy looking around the photos and came back again and again, touching and patting them. He seemed particularly fond of Maitreya’s picture. The father told the boy: “My dear, you shouldn’t pat Mr. Maitreya.”
From 3pm we had Transmission Meditation. While we explained the meditation, to our surprise the boy went under the chair of one of our staff. We told the father that a child under 12 should not join the meditation. He said: “I see.” When we were saying the mantram, we heard from behind a particularly loud voice reciting it. It was the father, and the children were not around.

The mother came back after a while and they were ready to go home. We all were astonished to see how she carried the baby on her back — back to back with a rope tied around the baby’s neck!
At the Tokyo conference Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that the father was Maitreya and the boy was the Master Jesus. May we ask who were the mother and the baby? (The photo shows the father, the boy and the baby.)
TT, Fukuoka, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘mother’ was the Master in Tokyo and the ‘baby’ was a disciple of the Master ¬Jesus.)

Two letters from the same person:

Inner truth

Dear Editor,
(1) Back in the late 1960s, I had what was for me, usually somewhat depressive, a most uplifting morning at work. Not euphoric exactly, but extremely intense and clear, like I was really alive. A small boy, perhaps the boss’s son, he was unknown to me, came along, and we chatted without barriers for a while. He departed, and I returned home for a short lunch break.
Immediately on entering my home, I passed a mirror, and was drawn to look at it, where I saw a face that was not mine. He had short, blond hair, serene, bright blue eyes, and radiated glowing health. He was quite young, probably early twenties.
I blinked, or changed my focus, and this face was replaced by my own familiar features. I blinked again, in what I hoped was a similar way, and back came the original as before, gazing quietly at me. During this time, I experienced only naturalness, despite witnessing something quite unique for me.
Could you please say if this was euphoric imagining, or something else?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was the reflection of his ‘inner self’, shown him by Maitreya.)

Nightwatch

(2) In the late 1980s, I went through a short period where I stopped breathing in my sleep. Coming somewhat out of the depths, I would feel pain across my chest, and some panic, and would start analysing what might be wrong — heart attack, stroke etc — and then a voice would say: “You’re not breathing.” I would then breathe, sit up as the pain receded, and eventually go back to sleep.
I became so used to this, that I got quite blasé about it.
One night, I felt the pain but instead of waiting for the voice thought: “Yes, yes, I know, I’m not breathing,” and drifted back to the depths without doing anything. I was awakened by a very hard blow on the right side of my chest, which sat me up very quickly and it was some time before I could sleep again. In the bathroom next morning I saw I had a large bruise, about the size of a fist, on the exact spot I had felt the blow.
Could you please say who intervened on my behalf? The problem ceased after this.
DW, Battle, Sussex, England, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘blow’ was given by Maitreya, Who intervened during his sleep.)

Signs of the time

Circular rainbow appears

A mysterious circular rainbow appeared twice on the ceiling of a church in Casey County, Kentucky, USA, in May 2005.
Pastor Rick Hogue first saw the rainbow on 22 May while teaching Sunday School in the sanctuary of Rich Hill Christian Church. He described it as a band of light, about seven feet in diameter, which changed slightly in length, width and colour before vanishing.
The rainbow image reappeared on the sanctuary’s low tile ceiling at the start of the morning service and was seen by 60 members of the congregation. Pastor Hogue said: “It had three bright lights in the centre of it. I had plenty of witnesses. When it first came up everybody was in awe — I mean just silence. It was unbelievable how bright and radiant it was.” His wife described the colours as purple, red, green, with traces of yellow.
The sky outside was cloudy. The pastor adjusted blinds, moved bright objects and turned lights out to see if a reflection of light was the cause, but the rainbow remained unchanged, only fading when the service ended. “I’m still asking the Lord for discernment on what it completely means,” he said.
(Source: Courier Journal, Casey County, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the circular rainbow was a miracle manifested by Maitreya.)

Supporting African farmers:

An interview with Sarah Gilliam
by Gill Fry

Sarah GilliamFARM-Africa (Food and Agricultural Research Management) is a British-based non-governmental organization that aims to reduce poverty for African’s poorest farmers and herders. With projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, the charity works in partnership with marginal small-scale farmers and herders to improve how they farm their land.
Over 80 per cent of African people are farmers dependent on the food they grow and the livestock they keep for survival. Working with those most in need, FARM-Africa knows that with even a little assistance Africa’s marginalised small-scale farmers and herders can dramatically improve their lives. The charity believes that Africa has the ability and resources to feed its own people — and with the right support its vision of a ‘prosperous rural Africa’ is achievable.
FARM-Africa is one of the 463 organizations aligned to the Make Poverty History campaign. Sarah Gillam from FARM-Africa was interviewed by Gill Fry for Share International.

Share International: When was FARM-Africa formed and what is its main work?
Sarah Gillam: We began in 1985 as a result of the Ethiopian famine but started working with camel herders in northern Kenya. A little later we started a goat project in Ethiopia. Sir Michael Woods, founder of AMREF, the Flying Doctor Service in Kenya, started it after he retired, with David Campbell who was then East Africa director of OXFAM. Michael realised that many of the illnesses he treated in his work would have been prevented by better nutrition. We have been working in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. It is our 20th anniversary this year. We work principally in three areas: smallholder agriculture, pastoralism (with herders) and forestry.

SI: So it is very practical and local?
SM: Yes. It is about transferring innovative technology and approaches, to natural resource management. We work with people regarded as the poorest of the poor. For instance, with smallholder development, we may work with research organizations researching new varieties of crops, which are disease-resistant (not GM crops) like new varieties of cassava, or sweet potato. A recent project tackled the problem of the mosaic virus on cassava plants. The yield had dropped from 8 tonnes per acre to just 1 tonne per acre. So, working with a research institute in Uganda, we introduced three or four new varieties of the plants to farmers who grew them in field trials, looked at the productivity and taste, and then chose the best varieties. Now they have excess crops and have been selling them and grinding them for flour to make bread and doughnuts. This project attracted funding from the Japanese as well. They were so impressed by what had been done they gave money to build a small factory to dry and grind the cassava. That is one example of smallholder development.

SI: How are you helping nomadic farmers?
SM: We are working with nomadic pastoralists who own cattle, particularly in Afar in Ethiopia. We have mobile outreach camps comprising a vet and a community animal health worker. The camps travel to where the cattle herders are and help introduce new methods of working with their animals. For instance, a short while ago there was a drought in the pastoralists’ area so we set up a mobile slaughter lab to cull the weakest animals, and keep the female animals for breeding so they could build their herds up again when the crisis had passed.

SI: Could you describe your work in the forest regions?
SM: We work in Ethiopia and Tanzania in community forest management. About 200,000 hectares of forest are being lost every year in Ethiopia, due to population growth, trees being cut down for fuel and land cleared for agricultural development. It has a huge impact on soil erosion as well as on the climate. We are working with communities who live either in or near forests. Working with the government, we have legally apportioned sections of the forest to communities so that they now own and look after them. If somebody comes in to chop the forest down, there are legal agreements between the community and the government to make sure the law is implemented.
Another project we will be doing with them is diversifying their living so that they can start beekeeping. They already have some agriculture and some chickens, so we are varying their incomes away from the forests.

SI: What is involved in your land reform work?
SM: We work on land reform in South Africa, in the Northern Cape running a restitution programme, where land is being given back to people when it was previously taken away. Land is also being divided up to give to people, particularly in poorer communities, and we have been helping people farm their new land.
One of the problems in South Africa, particularly with the restitution programme, is that some people who owned land 50 or 60 years ago were thrown off it under the former apartheid government and might have been moved 100 or 200 miles away. Now they have legally won the land back but many cannot necessarily live there and are having to commute [long distances], which is quite fraught.

SI: Do you support them financially in that case?
SM: We don’t pay anybody money, but for instance, we may provide sheep and goats. We give two local goats to a family and then crossbreed them with a British Toggenberg goat, to get a 50-50 mix. Crossing them again gives a mix of a three-quarter Toggenberg and a native East African local goat — resulting in a very hardy dairy goat which can produce about 4 litres of milk a day. The owners then give away the first two female kids to another poor family and cross-breed more goats.

SI: How do you decide who is given a goat?
SM: The community chooses the people themselves. The local chiefs and officials get together and see who is particularly hard up, often a widow. They have very poor status in society and are often left to their own devices with not much support. Women who are alone or heads of households, feature a lot in our programmes. Also older people, young people who have lost their parents to AIDS — there is a variety of people who are really on the breadline.
Most of the people we work with are in the countryside: they don’t have any electricity, running water or sewage and they probably have to walk three or four hours to get water from a hole in a dry river bed — the whole family will go with jerry cans to collect water.
Very few people eat meat, it is a luxury and what they have to eat is extremely meagre. They eat vegetables all the time, a very limited diet. It will be cassava, or mealie meal — starch-based foods, so it’s like eating potatoes all the time. Most people will have about half an acre to two acres, and will grow a number of different crops — sweet potatoes, and in some areas maize and sorghum and in Ethiopia teff. People may also have one or two citrus trees like a lemon tree, or a mango or nut tree; and an avocado or pawpaw tree.

SI: Are there schools in the area?
SM: Schools are often up to an hour’s walk away. Children will walk barefoot on muddy unmade paths. But, for instance, in Kenya now there is universal primary education so children can get about eight years of schooling free. If they go to secondary school they have to pay fees.

SI: Can you talk about the Make Poverty History campaign and why you joined it?
SM: It is a large coalition as you know. We support the aims: trade justice, dropping the debt, and more and better aid. Obviously each agency supports one thing more than another because of the nature of what they do. Our particular take on it would be for more and better aid. Because we are working with grassroots organizations and people who are really quite poor, the people we work with are not involved in international trading. The reason we exist is to help people to feed themselves better.
We are particularly concerned about more and better targeted aid, so it is not just bilateral, government to government, but civil society that benefits too. If people give NGOs money, it goes straight to the communities and you can see the benefits pretty quickly. We would argue for more of that. Giving aid bilaterally is easier but targeting aid, although it may be expensive to monitor carefully, is probably more effective. We would also argue that British aid should be accountable to British citizens so that we know how our money, our hard-earned taxes, is being spent and that citizens in Africa should know how it is being spent too.

SI: Is the eradication of poverty possible, and in what timescale?
SM: Sadly, unless things change drastically, poverty in Southern Africa is likely to increase; in fact the World Bank forecasts that in Africa and the Middle East the number of poor will increase between now and 2015, and on present trends the main Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations will not meet their targets by 2015. For instance, the two MDGs — halving the number of people living in absolute poverty and halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger — on present trends, will not be met. The worst poverty in the world is in Africa, south of the Sahara, where nearly half of all people live on less than a dollar a day — less than 60p.

SI: How can people demand change and get involved in creating the necessary political will?
SM: By supporting the campaign, writing to their MP, making a noise. Writing to Tony Blair, as Make Poverty History has encouraged people to do, getting in touch with their constituency MPs and lobbying.

SI: Do you think demonstrations are effective in making the will of the people known, and are you joining the rally at the G8 conference in Scotland?
SM: Yes I do — and yes, we will be at Edinburgh on 2 July and at Gleneagles on 6 July. If there was no comment and nobody appeared there, the G8 would feel there was a lack of interest. We are telling them there is a great deal of interest in what they are going to be talking about.
Further information: www.farmafrica.org.uk

Counting the cost

“Throughout the world there are men, women and little children who have not even the essentials to stay alive; they crowd the cities of many of the poorest countries in the world. This crime fills Me with shame. My brothers, how can you watch these people die before your eyes and call yourselves men? My Plan is to save these, My little ones, from certain starvation and needless death. My Plan is to show you that the way out of your problems is to listen again to the true voice of God within your hearts, to share the produce of this most bountiful of worlds among your brothers and sisters everywhere.”
— Maitreya, from Message No 11

Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that in the month of May 2005, 670,000 people died needlessly from hunger and poverty.

The voice of the people

Voice of the people in Bolivia

The question of the management of natural resources in Bolivia has caused the overthrow of two Presidents in less than two years. Pressure exerted by the poor, including the indigenous people of Bolivia, to nationalize the energy sector triggered the resignation in June 2005 of President Carlos Mesa.
The Bolivian Congress subsequently designated Eduardo Rodriguez as President. Chief of the Supreme Court until his nomination, Rodriguez accepted the post with the aim of calling new elections to renew public powers. The Church and the Army also played a key role in this unexpected turn of events, supporting Rodriguez’s designation.
After weeks of demonstrations, Bolivia’s capital, La Paz woke up with the hope that the designation of the new President would bring to a halt the four weeks of protests. A number of civil movements, including in El Alto, scene of mass fuel protests, met to decide whether to continue with street barricades and protests until the new government nationalizes Bolivia’s huge natural gas reserves. Protesters held banners saying “Nationalize Now” and “The People Demand Nationalization”.
“We must go back to our villages. We give the new government 10 days to nationalize hydrocarbons [gas] and summon a constitutional assembly,” said the farmers’ leader Román Loayza. Similarly, indigenous leader Evo Morales, from Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement for Socialism), wants to call a truce with the new government until Rodriguez forms his cabinet.

“We will come back to the streets en masse if this President does not fulfil the people’s will,” said one of the workers who took part in the last march in La Paz. He added: “The strike has to continue until oil is nationalized. We must keep the blockades.”
“We don’t care a fig about this new and mediocre President,” said Jaime Solares, leader of Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and one of the most radical leaders, “unless he does what we told him in the streets.”
Church representatives were milder in their reactions, but nevertheless their positions were clear. According to El Alto’s bishop, Jesus Juárez: “Although respecting the law, Bolivians have a right to claim that hydrocarbons serve to relieve their poverty. If laws are not good for the people, then we have to sit down to negotiate them, but not force them.”

Meanwhile, an atmosphere of social truce seems gradually to be pervading Bolivia. Most social organizations that participated in the national blockade have been invited to a meeting with President Rodriguez in order to talk, among other matters, about hydrocarbons nationalization. Although the leader of the Fejuve Alteña organization, Abel Mamani, said most groups are willing to attend the meeting and find a consensual solution, the executive secretary of COR, Edgar Patana, said he personally favoured more protests before meeting with the government, “since we have not yet achieved all our aims. They have to continue listening to the voice of the people”.
(Source: La Razón de Bolivia, El Diario, Bolivia; El País, Spain)

Make Poverty History

The Make Poverty History (MPH) rally in Edinburgh, UK, on 2 July 2005 is aimed at the leaders of the world’s richest countries gathered for the G8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland, from 6-9 July. The MPH campaign, along with the Jubilee Debt Campaign and many other groups, is demanding trade justice, debt cancellation, and more and better aid for the world’s poorest countries. Tens of thousands are expected to join the rally. In addition ‘Global White Band Day’ will take place on 1 July. Organized by The Global Call to Action against Poverty, white bands declaring Make Poverty History will be wrapped around buildings across the world, to demand from the G8 leaders action on trade justice, debt cancellation, and more and better aid.
The Make Poverty History campaign, which began in 2004, has grown rapidly into a coalition including 463 organizations, global charities, trade unions, local faith groups, and a remarkable selection of groups from all parts of the political spectrum. Richard Curtis, MPH founder and screenwriter, said: “If 50,000 people died in London on Monday, in Rome on Tuesday and in Paris on Friday, the G8 leaders would find the solution.”

More than 3 million people in the UK have purchased white armbands, the campaign’s symbol. Says MPH: “By wearing one you are part of a unique worldwide effort in 2005 to end extreme poverty — you’re saying that it’s time to stop the deaths of more than 200,000 people every single week from preventable diseases.” MPH’s book, How to defeat world poverty in seven easy steps, by Geraldine Bedell (Penguin), is full of good insights, from Bono to Nelson Mandela, and ideas on how to get involved.
LIVE 8 concerts to highlight the Make Povety History campaign, organized by musician and campaigner Bob Geldof, will take place in five major cities on 2 July, with many famous musicians and singers taking part. Further rallies and concerts in Edinburgh are planned for 6 July during the G8 Summit. Twenty years after the Live Aid concerts, Bob Geldof explained how people can help: “LIVE 8 is calling for people across the world to unite in one call — in 2005 it is your voice we are after, not your money.”
Bob Geldof spoke of the unique opportunity of the Edinburgh events: “This is without doubt a moment in history where ordinary people can grasp the chance to achieve something truly monumental and demand from the 8 world leaders at G8 an end to poverty. The G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history. They will only have the will to do so if tens of thousands of people show them that enough is enough. By doubling aid, fully cancelling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa, the G8 could change the future for millions of men, women and children.”
(Source: www. Makepovertyhistory.org; www.Live8live .com; www.whiteband.org; www.jubilee debtcampaign.org; The Independent, UK)

Maitreya’s Teachings - The Laws of Life

Benjamin Creme introduces the new book
Maitreya’s Teachings — The Laws of Life.

The Laws of LifeWe do not have even fragments of the teachings of former World Teachers given prior to certain knowledge of Their existence. We do not have the teachings of a Christ, or a Buddha, or a Krishna, except seen through the eyes of later followers. For the first time we are given the flavour of the thoughts and insights of a Being of immeasurable stature to enable us to understand the path of evolution stretching ahead of us which He has come to outline for us. The impression left in the mind by the Teacher is that the breadth and depth of His knowledge and awareness have no limits; that He is tolerant and wise beyond conception, and of amazing humility.

Few could read from these pages without being changed. To some the extraordinary insights into world events will be of major interest, while to others the laying bare of the secrets of self-realization, the simple description of experienced truth, will be a revelation. To anyone seeking to understand the Laws of Life, these subtle and pregnant insights will take them quickly to the core of Life itself, and provide them with a simple path stretching to the mountain-top. The essential unity of all life is underscored in a clear and meaningful way. Never, it would appear, have the laws by which we live seemed so natural and so unconstraining.

This newly published book contains the most contemporary phase of teachings given by Maitreya, the World Teacher. These profound yet simple insights offer straightforward, non-doctrinal answers to some of life’s most searching questions, addressing world problems — political, social and environmental — as well as those questions concerning the inner life. The teachings include many predictions of extraordinary accuracy, given by Maitreya often years ahead of time, between 1988 and 1993 and first published in the pages of Share International. These forecasts of world events demonstrate how the Laws of Cause and Effect work out, linking man’s actions with the consequences that unfold on a world scale.

Maitreya’s unique position as Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy, his ages-long experience on the evolutionary path, enable Him to present His teachings in the most simple and direct terms, free from dogma and jargon, and freeing the reader to be themselves.
Above all Maitreya teaches the art of Self-realization. Three practices, simple, yet needing discipline to achieve, are at the core of His teaching on Self-realization: honesty of mind; sincerity of spirit; and detachment. He says: “Anyone, at any stage, can learn the art of Self-realization and find he will enjoy life. Life is to be enjoyed, with detachment.”
Benjamin Creme (Editor), Maitreya’s Teachings — The Laws of Life. Share International Foundation, London, UK, 2005.
IBSN #90-71484-31-9. 250pp.
(Available in US 1 August 2005, Europe end of August.)

Excerpts from The Laws of Life

Benjamin Creme’s lecture tour of Japan, 2005

Once again, Benjamin Creme’s talks were well received during his 2005 tour of Japan, with many people travelling long distances to attend the events. The Tokyo public lecture on 14 May drew an attentive audience of over 1,800 — almost 70 per cent of whom were hearing the information for the first time — and the public Transmission Meditation on the following day was attended by nearly 500 people. The Osaka lecture on 21 May drew almost a thousand people, 350 for the Transmission Meditation the next day, and over 450 attended the 24 May Nagoya lecture.
Nagoya lecture blessingThe Japanese groups worked very hard to achieve this success, sharing ideas, resources and materials. They distributed over 400,000 small brochures; paid to have over 1 million flyers inserted in community newspapers; and bought advertising space for large posters at train stations. Maitreya, appearing to a group member in Tokyo who asked how ‘he’ had heard about the lecture, replied that he had seen “the lecture posters everywhere”.

The Laws of Life, the newly published book of Maitreya’s teachings and forecasts, was widely advertised in newspapers and introduced at all the lectures, where 750 copies were sold.
Maitreya and the Master Jesus were present at all the lectures and were recognized by group members — and were captured in several photographs. (See letters ‘Inside information’ and ‘Private coach’.)
Many photographs taken at these events showed blessings from either Maitreya or the Master Jesus. An especially beautiful photo was of the Nagoya lecture hall during the blessing from Maitreya at the beginning of the lecture.
The tour ended with the Transmission Meditation Conference in Shiga on 27-29 May, attended by 148 co-workers from across Japan. Everyone went home filled with renewed aspiration and determined to continue to make known this information.

Showing up the lies!

Memo exposes early US plans on Iraq

A highly-classified memo leaked during the recent British election campaign indicates that the Bush administration had decided to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein eight months before launching their attack, shaped intelligence to that aim, and never seriously intended to avert the war through diplomacy.
The memo, written by British national security aide Matthew Rycroft, was based on notes he took during a July 2002 meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his advisers, including Richard Dearlove, the head of Britain’s secret intelligence service (MI6) who had recently met with Bush administration officials.

The memo states: “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”
The memo asserted that President Bush had decided to remove Hussein nearly eight months before US and British troops invaded Iraq. Summarizing the view of intelligence chief Dearlove after consulting with US officials, the memo said: “Military action was now seen as inevitable.”
At the time, the Bush administration was assuring the public that a decision to go to war had not been made and that Iraq could prevent military action by complying with existing UN resolutions that were intended to curtail its chemical, nuclear, biological and missile weapons programmes.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office has not disputed the authenticity of the memo, but the White House categorically denies the assertions in it. US Representative John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee has circulated a public letter asking President Bush for further explanation. (Source: The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA)

Cooking ecology books while climate heats up

The New York Times has obtained documents from the Government Accountability Project (a non-profit legal assistance group for government whistle-blowers) which provide evidence that a White House official altered reports about the state of the environment. The changes made to documents played down the link between global warming and greenhouse emissions.
Philip Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues. Before he joined the White House team he was a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. He has no scientific training but on several draft reports (in 2002 and 2003) he removed and ‘adjusted’ findings of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors (including some senior Bush administration officials) had already approved.
Commenting on the alterations made by Cooney, climatologists and environmentalists said they were indicative of the unseen influence of Cooney and other such officials who have ties with energy industries that have long fought greenhouse-gas restrictions.
(Source: The New York Times, USA)

The power of the individual

Interview with Marion Bloem by Felicity Eliot

Marion BloemA glance at the daily news gives a pretty clear picture of industrialized Western societies moving in two directions at the same time — one segment outward-looking, investigating change and new ideas, the other increasingly suspicious, inward-looking, shutting down and, more importantly, shutting out — out with anything new or foreign.
As unemployment rises and economies falter, public spending is cut and immigration policies are ‘tightened up’. Meanwhile, the media reports hundreds of thousands of people from developing countries fleeing their homelands in search of a haven, a chance to live, to feed and educate their children.
Truckloads of people have arrived dead in the new country, and we read of bodies washed up on Mediterranean beaches. What is a decent person to do — a single individual powerless in the face of such misery?
Well-known Dutch author and artist Marion Bloem was asked to take part in a campaign to focus public attention on the plight of immigrants in the Netherlands. Along with other celebrities, she was host for a day or two to a family of asylum seekers — an Angolan mother with her teenage daughter and young son.
Their story, one of injustice and poverty, violence and sheer desperation, fired Marion to take action on their behalf and that of the thousands of other asylum seekers in the Netherlands. She is herself the daughter of immigrants from Indonesia who arrived in the Netherlands in 1951.

Share International: How long have ‘your’ family of refugees been in the Netherlands?
Marion Bloem: For 10 years. The daughter is 11 years old and now they have been told they must leave, they have been refused permission to stay. But the mother is physically ill, deeply depressed and traumatized. Members of her family were shot and she was raped by a policeman in Angola. Her daughter, who looks after her, goes to school here in Holland and doesn’t speak any language of Angola. I asked the girl what she wanted to study; she wants to be a human rights lawyer.

SI: But why do they have to return to Angola?
MB: Her rape was not a “political rape” — according to the authorities.

Marion went on to talk about many other refugees and asylum seekers and how they are treated by the current Dutch government.
MB: How can people make such laws and put people out on the streets with nowhere to go? Sometimes people don’t even have a country any more — some countries cease to exist, but still refugees are sent back to the now non-existent countries.

SI: What can one do? What can the ‘ordinary citizen’ do?
MB: That’s why we thought of the ‘Een Royaal Gebaar’ (‘A Royal Gesture’) project, including a book and CD of the same name. We needed to bypass the mainstream media which the government uses to tell its lies.

With 2005 marking the 25th anniversary of Queen Beatrix’s accession to the throne, Marion decided to use the celebrations to publicize the asylum seekers’ plight. Under the title ‘A Royal Gesture’ a petition and letter were posted online, asking the Queen to mark her anniversary with a gesture of leniency and generosity — a ‘general pardon’ for asylum seekers in the Netherlands. In just over two weeks nearly 200,000 people signed the petition and countless numbers wrote to newspapers calling for humane treatment of refugees. These responses from the people of the Netherlands were collected into a book on the refugee crisis to show that protests are coming from all types of people and sectors of society.
The book also contains facts, figures and information showing how the Dutch government is contravening the Geneva Convention on the treatment and rights of refugees.

MB: Isn’t it ironic? It is 60 years since the end of WWII and the liberation of this country and there were celebrations and everyone remembered what it is like to be ‘free’ — but we have to plead for people who are not at all free to be treated decently, humanely.
Of course, you must understand I wasn’t really and only expecting the Queen to do something – I meant all Dutch people who felt involved – although, naturally, the Queen could have done something to help. She could have used her position and influence.

SI: Is there a solution to the problem in general?
MB: I believe we should open national borders everywhere. Let people be registered wherever they are living, but basically open the borders and let people be free to decide for themselves.
We get as much media coverage as possible and ask people to pass on information about the campaign. I didn’t want people to be able to say “I didn’t know”.

Marion pointed out that part of the problem throughout Europe is that as the gap between rich and poor widens, people become more afraid of losing their jobs.
MB: We’re just ordinary people calling for humanity and human rights. We can’t let our leaders get away with it. If people only knew even a fraction of the terrible stories and suffering of these people who just want a life, enough food for their children! The Dutch (and other colonial powers) went all over the world, taking whatever they wanted. How can they now treat people in this way? The world is for all of us. We must learn from history and educate people, fight ignorance. I believe that people are kind-hearted — people are still visiting our site and signing the petition. And there’s no reason to stop signing. We hope people will go on making their voices heard like this.

SI: Are you saying that the way forward is through the voice of the people?
MB: Yes. If people are informed, they can act. We initiated all this just as ordinary citizens. I feel strongly that if I see something is unjust but do nothing…well, who will? People can make a difference if they do something. In this case and in many others it is private citizens, ordinary people, who are left to take up these challenges and tackle the problems. The quick, spontaneous reactions to our activities give me reason to hope and to believe in people.
(www.eenroyaalgebaar.nl)

 


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First published April 1999,