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Share International magazine July/August 2008

Share International magazineThis is an abridged version of
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The magazine is published monthly, except bimonthly in January/February and July/August of each year.

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The Master's article for Share International magazine, July/August 2008

The Oneness of Humanity

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, 15 June 2008

The time is soon coming when men will see for themselves that the direction on which they are now embarked is false, fruitless for their future happiness, and doomed to failure. Seeing this, they will pose the questions: Why this emptiness? Why do we fail to achieve the peace we seek? Where have we gone wrong? Turning then to Maitreya, they will evaluate His words, testing them for relevance to their plight. They will find that central to Maitreya’s thought is the concept of Oneness. Men must, He will assure them, see themselves as One, each part of a united Whole – the human family – and that all that they do must reflect that Oneness. The present failure to appreciate this reality, He will contend, is responsible for all our difficulties and troubles, our disharmony and fears, our conflicts and wars.
“See your brother as yourself,” says Maitreya. Create an International Storehouse from which all can take. Only thus, by Sharing, can the world be renewed, is His Teaching. Only by Sharing, He will affirm, will men find the happiness they seek. Sharing alone will bring Justice and Peace.

Guidance

Thus will Maitreya guide the thoughts of men towards the Truth that He brings and is. Thus will Maitreya show men their errors and the solution to their dilemma, and thus will men take stock of their situation and, in growing numbers, realize the Truth of His advice. More and more, men will see that Maitreya’s guidance is the only way to achieve the happiness and peace all inwardly crave. Held back by fear until then, they will find in His simple Teaching the answer to all their fears and woes.
Naturally, not all will find in Maitreya the guide they seek. Many, indeed, will find in His Teaching, all that they fear and hate. Gradually, however, the ardour of those who can respond and resonate to His simple words of Truth will bring millions to His cause of Justice and Peace. His Teaching, though simple, will penetrate the hearts of all those in whom love has not yet been extinguished.
Thus will Maitreya work throughout the world, drawing to His side all who long for a new start, a simpler, happier world wherein to raise their families in peace and harmony.

Signal

The Day of Declaration will be the signal for that new start for Planet Earth. On that day without precedent, men will experience the Oneness of which Maitreya speaks. They will sense that all humanity is undergoing the same experience. They will feel a humble pride in being one of a huge family of brothers and sisters whose hearts are beating together in a love altogether new. This sense of belonging together will embrace them and bring tears of long-forgotten joy to each and every one.

(Read more articles by the Master)

Questions & Answers - a selection

Q. The Irish vote against the European Union calls into question its continued existence. Was the EU doomed from the start? Or could it be transformed into something more positive – along the lines of the British Commonwealth model? How does the Hierarchy see the EU?
A. The EU was founded as an economic common market. It is not part of Hierarchy’s Plan that the individual countries of Europe be ‘lost’ in a unified political State of Europe. That should not be allowed to happen. The idea of such a state is driven today by the forces of Commercialization and need to be resisted.

Q. How can Iran convince the international community that it is being truthful when it says that it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons? Further sanctions are being threatened and Iran is experiencing growing pressure on it, particularly from America.
A. It could invite UN observers into Iran to check and confirm (or otherwise).

Q. A glance at the daily news seems to indicate that popular protests are taking place around the globe, giving the impression that people power is on the rise. Is this a false perception? To some critics, marches, protests, demonstrations are anarchic acts undermining the true mechanisms of democracy. Your insights, please.
A. No it is not a false perception. It is true that rising prices of food and oil and local shortages of staple foods are the main cause as yet, rather than more abstract international causes like Justice and Peace, but it is a step in the direction required.

Q. The Vatican seems to be saying publicly that life might exist on other planets. Is the Vatican easing its flock into the notion that life exists on other planets, that UFOs and all accompanying phenomena are real? What’s behind this policy?
A. Quite simply, yes! The truth is beginning to come out and the Vatican cannot afford not be aware of the obvious.

Q. Maitreya has said that we are our “brother’s keeper”. Does this apply on an international scale? For example: should the rest of the world stand by while a country like Zimbabwe spirals even further out of control into devastating chaos? Some call for the Zimbabwean people to rise up and overthrow the corrupt leadership. The world expects African leaders to take action. Meanwhile the violence, misery and hunger escalate. 
A. The United Nations should be invited by the African leaders to investigate thoroughly and act if necessary.

Q. (1) Should the outside world intervene to help the plight of the Burmese people first denied their rights, now in desperate straits? (2) Is sovereignty inviolable?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Not in such circumstances.

Q. People who are starving, or at least having difficulty feeding their children, offer a simple answer to the present food price hikes and rising fuel prices: ‘Bring the prices down – then we can all eat again and move and run our homes and businesses and earn a living’. Is it as simple as that?
A. No. The present economic system does not work. These events are the symptoms. There is really no shortage of food or oil. The answer is simple – sharing alone will right the wrongs of the past and present.

Q. Israel is building more settlements which will double the present number. Ambitious expansion plans have just been approved for settler homes in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. What are the obligations of the international community vis-à-vis this ongoing crisis and conflict?
A. There are already over 60 UN resolutions against Israeli contraventions which are simply ignored by Israel protected by the US veto in the Security Council. It is necessary that the Security Council be abolished. It has long past its usefulness. The International Community must also stand up to the US abuse of power.

Q. Was the cyclone that hit Burma natural, and were the earthquakes in China natural or man-made? (Question from Benjamin Creme lecture, Nagoya, Japan, May 2008.)
A. No, they were not natural and they were not directly man-made or manipulated. Nor were they the karmic result of the government of Burma or China’s misdeeds. They are the result of tension and the resulting stress which unleashes forces which cannot be contained.
For example, humanity does not understand the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Harmlessness. We have tremendous tension in the world today because of the Iraq invasion – a totally illegal, unnecessary and ghastly war, costly in human lives. That war, the invasion by the Americans and the British has created extraordinary tension in the world. That, as well as the war in Afghanistan and American pressure on Iran, causes inevitable fear across the world. So people are living in a state of tension partly because of the great cosmic energies but also because of the actions of powerful individuals. And people watch in silence. This country [Japan] watches in silence because you are allies of America. But all nations of the world must raise their voices against this trampling on other countries by America.
America is a great nation and will become a greater nation but it is sadly out of step with its destiny. It is playing with forces it does not understand. It is a young, powerful and extremely arrogant nation. It is the arrogance of youth, especially strong youth. It is time that the older, wiser nations of the world raised their voices against the actions of America.
The best way to do that is to encourage the acceptance of sharing. Sharing and justice will bring tranquillity and balance to the world.
When we are out of equilibrium as we are now – the sub-human elemental forces, which organize the cyclones, earthquakes and so on, the forces of the planet itself, go out of equilibrium. Where you have regular tornados – they become massive; where you have regular earthquakes – they become massive earthquakes. The elemental forces respond to our stress. Humanity has to understand the connection that exists between all forces and all aspects of the planet.

Q. I have read about a man who lives in England and calls himself Maitreya. He is a Buddhist, provides healing and makes pyramids from gem stones to put over your bed at night. He has appeared on television late at night in a programme about alternative healing. Is this the same Maitreya you speak of and is he still in the UK?
A. I know the person you mean. He has absolutely nothing to do with the Lord Maitreya, World Teacher and Head of our planetary Hierarchy.

Q. In a Share International article back in March 2006, you stated that the world was heading towards ‘peak oil’ which would trigger a global stock market crash of 1929 proportions. Everything I have read recently on this subject seems to point to peak oil happening now – is this truly the case? The peak oil scenarios paint a grim picture of worldwide starvation, oil wars, etc. Is this likely to happen or will Maitreya’s Day of Declaration happen before this (ie very soon) to forestall any major calamity?
A. ‘Peak oil’ is not a term I have ever used and the scenario you describe seems remote from anything I have written. It therefore seems to me that you are confusing my articles with those of someone else you have read. Whether this is so or not, I do not see the future in that way. There is in fact no shortage of food or oil. The present crisis is the result of manipulation and profiteering from fear of such loss. According to my Master there are 78 years’ worth of oil in the world at the present rate of consumption and no real shortage of food if properly distributed.

Q. Dear Mr Creme, I want to thank you so much for Transmission Meditation and all your comments and teachings since I first heard about this great story in 1999.
My question is: Is it better to collect money from all Transmission Meditation groups and give it into your hands to a central pool for making known this information (through television or radio advertisements, articles in newspapers), or would it be better to use the money for regional media work?
A. I think the best way to use money collected at this time is to buy advertisement space in newspapers advertising talks, lectures, books, etc, giving some information about the ‘story’ as a whole at the same time for people in general who do not come to the talks. The important thing is to get the information out as soon as possible ahead of Maitreya’s emergence. Make the money available to the groups in Austria [your country]. I thank you for your kind words.

Q. Interesting website. However, one sure sign of fraud is when the saviour of humanity is trying to sell books. I really doubt that Christ, Krishna, Buddha and all the others would have sold a thing. If the internet had been around in their day, they would have posted it for all to see and not try to make a couple of dollars off foolish people. This proves to me that you folks are not sincere in your beliefs.
A. Interesting comment, arrived at without the slightest inquiry or investigation. Had this inquiry been done, you would have realized that Maitreya does not write books and present them for sale as you suggest, but that we (Share International) have collected His teachings and published them, free of royalties, to enlighten the interested public, as well as placing them on our website for those who have that availability. You would also have realized that Share International is a completely ‘not for profit’ organization, run exclusively by non-paid volunteers, with many sister groups, also run by non-paid volunteers, around the world. Our work is done as service – which still flourishes in this otherwise over-commercialized world.

(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 at Benjamin Creme’s lectures and Transmission Meditations. They also appear, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. Some of these recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the experiences are authenticated by Benjamin Creme’s Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, they draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance to, for example, smoking or drinking. Many times the Masters act as saving ‘angels’ in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. They use a ‘familiar’, a thoughtform, who seems totally real, and through whom the Master’s thoughts can be expressed: They can appear as a man, a woman, a child, at will. Occasionally They use the ‘blueprint’ of a real person, but in most cases the ‘familiar’ is an entirely new creation. The following letters are examples of this means of communication by the Masters. Please note: In the absence of any indication to the contrary, the editors will assume that your name may be printed. Unless requested otherwise, some of these letters may be reproduced on the Share-International.org website. Only initials, town and country will be used.

Dear Editor,
On 19 May 2008 at 2.28 pm, exactly one week after the terrible earthquake in China, there was three minutes of national silence in memory of the victims in Sichuan. My friend, her parents and I were in a restaurant in Beijing for lunch at that moment, and there was a sudden halt in everyday life, no cars going, nobody working whatsoever. A whole nation concentrating on memory, grief and compassion. Soon, I felt a tremendous energy being set free in the ajna and the heart, like during a blessing or so. It was amazing.
Everybody had tears in their eyes. Strange I was not sad, but tears started running from my eyes. A moment of oneness, like a relief. I cannot tell what it was, but the energy kept flowing for some time. Did the Masters send some relieving energy?
T. W., Berlin, Germany.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was a blessing from Maitreya for the whole of the Chinese people.)

Affirmation

Dear Editor,
On 10 May 2008 I went to a ‘Rally for a Free Palestine’ in Trafalgar Square, London. I was early and the square was still fairly empty as I crossed it with my placard which read ‘Justice through Sharing = Peace’. An elderly woman dressed in black was passing in a wheelchair and she beckoned me over saying she wished to look at the message on my placard. She then beamed heartily and pronounced it a “very good message” and carried on her way. I was very much encouraged as I dislike being on my own at these demonstrations. Then I thought it strange that she had been propelling herself in the wheelchair with no one in attendance, and wished I had engaged her in conversation. Was she Maitreya or perhaps the Master Jesus?
I. L.G, Notting Hill, London, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ in the wheelchair was Maitreya.)

Seeing is believing

Dear Editor,
My brother Frank was driving near his home in the Cheshire countryside on a Friday evening in late October or early November 2007 when he saw some bright lights in the sky. At first he thought that perhaps there was a fair-ground nearby but then he noticed that the lights were coming towards him.
He pulled into the side of the road, got out of the Landrover and watched their approach. The lights were large and in rows of three. He counted about seven rows. They came so close he thought they were going to land. He was surrounded by them as they passed overhead and he felt a sense of peace and wonder.
Were they UFOs and, if so, where did they come from?
S. McD., Richmond, Surrey, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they were seven spacecraft from Mars.)

Catalyst

Dear Editor,
On 10 May 2008 at Benjamin Creme’s Tokyo lecture, my sister and I were in charge of the information table for Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ cards and Benjamin Creme’s mandala art catalogues.
About an hour before the lecture, our area was already very crowded with people. When I looked up, a man who was standing in front of us, shaking his body left and right, suddenly asked with a very loud voice: “Is Maitreya alive?” He was about 65 years old and rather small, but because his question was so straightforward and sharp, I lost my presence of mind with a shock as if an arrow had struck my chest. We tried to find the words to answer his question, but didn’t know what to say. I finally said: “Well, He is not publicly out, but….”
“You don’t even know if he is alive or dead? Then this is trickery!”, he said loudly with a tone of disgust and left. A few people looked at him with a puzzled expression, but most people continued looking at the cards and booklets as if they hadn’t heard him. Although he had said: “It’s trickery”, my sister and I both felt as if he had said to everyone around us that “this was real!” His speed of contact was so fast that we were overwhelmed and could not have a conversation with him or even answer his simple question. But afterwards, many more people talked to us and we were able to respond and explain our information with a bit more confidence. Was that man a special person?
M. U., Shiga-ken, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)

Two letters from the same person:

Guides’ motto: ‘Be Prepared’

Dear Editor,
(1) On 10 May 2008 at Benjamin Creme’s Tokyo lecture, my sister and I were in charge of the information table.
Many people came to our table and spoke to us, including a tall slender woman in her 40s with long black hair. She talked to my sister for a while and then turned to me and asked: “Is Maitreya alive?” As I had been ashamed that I could not answer the same question earlier [see previous letter], I replied clearly: “Yes, He is alive.” Her hair was unnaturally black, and her bangs [fringe] were cut straight in an old-fashioned hairstyle, like a Japanese Ichimatsu doll. She then asked when the Master would come out, to which I replied: “I am told that He will come when goodwill begins to manifest in our daily life. What is important is our awareness.”
In spite of my awkward explanation, she smiled and asked more questions like how many Masters there were, where were they, and so forth. I answered as best as I could and apologized for my poor explanations. “Maitreya will emerge when our human conflicts such as the Tibet problems and such are solved, won’t He?” she said smilingly, as if she understood very well. Was she a special person?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘lady’ was the Master Jesus.)

Guardian

(2) At about 8.30 pm when we started clearing up after the Tokyo lecture, a short man of around fifty-five, wearing glasses, came to our table. He was carrying a handful of rubbish and a rolled-up newspaper, and discarded them in the rubbish bin near me. He was wandering this way and that as if looking for a bathroom, so I showed him the way and he went up the steps. He came back and looked at a poster showing the image of Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ and asked: “What is this?” My sister answered: “This is a ‘Handprint’ of Maitreya, which appeared in the bathroom of a house in Barcelona, Spain.” He looked closely and asked: “Did Maitreya come to the bathroom and place His ‘Handprint’ there?” My sister replied that He did not visit but through telepathy had placed the ‘Handprint’ there. The man looked puzzled so my sister added that Maitreya is omnipresent and omniscient, so He is able to do that. The man left as if he had no interest, while murmuring: “Omnipresent? Omniscient?” He was behaving like a drunken man but I thought he actually knew everything and only pretended to behave like that. He was the last to leave and I felt he stayed to watch over us until we finished our task. Was he someone special?
H.N., Gifu-ken, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master in Tokyo.)

The following three letters are from the same person:

Self improvement

Dear Editor,
(1) On 17 May 2008, at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Osaka, I was tending a book table alone on the basement floor. Just before the lecture, when hardly anyone was around, a tall man in his forties with a slender face and narrow eyes came up to my table. He was dressed casually with a check shirt and khaki pants. He took a copy of the Transmission Meditation book and started to read. Then he asked: “Do you practice this?” I answered yes, and he asked: “For a long time?” I answered yes. Then he asked: “What motivated you to start?” I answered: “It was recommended to my younger brother by a president of one of his client companies that meditation would help one to become less angry. So I decided to do it.” He laughed out loud and asked: “Well, have you become less angry?” I answered: “I do get angry, but I think I don’t lose control any more.” He nodded: “I see. Is there anything else that changed you internally?” “I think I can see life more positively than I used to,” I replied. He said cheerfully: “That’s good.”
Then, other people began to talk to me and while I was responding to them, he put the book back on the table and disappeared. I remember now he spoke without any trace of Kansai dialect. Could you please tell me who he was?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master Jesus.)

Positive thinking

(2) On 20 May 2008, at Benjamin Creme’s Nagoya lecture, I was standing by a glass sheet that showed a Cross of Light. A woman in her early 50s approached me. She was of medium height and build with short hair, wearing a white shirt, vest with embroidery on the bottom, cotton pants and glasses.
She told me that she had come from Hamamatsu with her husband, because she saw an advertisement of the lecture twice in the Chu-nichi Shimbun newspaper. “Usually my husband would not come to places like this even if I asked him, but today, he himself suggested we go. So we were able to come together. It took three hours to get here, but it is much better to attend this kind of lecture than just staying at home for three hours as usual.” She also said that when she read the newspaper advertisements carefully, she realized she had always wanted to hear this kind of information. She said: “I felt the time of change was coming. That time is now, isn’t it? It is the time to put on new clothes, isn’t it? Taking off the old ones.” She continued: “Recently, I have finally understood how to use my mind. If we clearly visualize a good result in our minds, things will go well in one way or other. If we have doubtful or pessimistic thoughts, nothing will turn out well even if you try hard. Today, everything went smoothly for us, the train and the time, and we could even get front row seats here. I don’t really like this phrase, but it says whatever one wishes, it’ll happen. It happened that way for us today. The people I associate with have completely changed now, and I no longer care for an ordinary social engagement. Life should be lived with joy. It won’t be fun to be angry.” I felt she was looking deeply into my eyes. (To be honest, I had been quite angry in the morning).
She repeated: “Life is to be lived with joy. Living should be a joy.”
While I was listening to her, a sense of respect for her welled up in my heart. She said politely: “I am really grateful that you are holding this meeting. Thank you very much.” And she went inside the hall. She came to the lobby again during the interval and bought two of Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ cards.
Could you tell me if she was someone special?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)

Helping hand

(3) On 10 February 2008 I attended the Kansai group meeting in Osaka. It was about preparing for the upcoming lecture by Benjamin Creme in Osaka.
After the meeting, on the way to the highway bus station I stopped at a department store near the Namba station. Because I was so thirsty, I bought a bottle of cold tea and tried to open it, but it was too tight.
When I looked up, I saw a small man in his 70s standing in front of me, holding out his hand toward me without saying a word. I automatically held out the bottle to him, saying nothing. He kindly opened the cap and I received it with a light bow.
When he returned the bottle to me, our eyes met. His eyes were slightly smiling and I felt I was deeply loved and cared for. I thought only if human beings could look at each other with such a look of love, we would not have conflicts and fights.
Was this man a Master?
M. S., Okayama, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)

Confirmation

Dear Editor,
On the way to Benjamin Creme’s Tokyo lecture I found myself praying in the train to be shown a sign if Mr Creme’s story about Maitreya was true.
At the lecture during Maitreya’s blessing through Mr Creme, I could feel tremendous light on top of my head and I felt a warm powerful beam of light flowing into my body. Although I was not feeling emotional at all, I was surprised to find tears suddenly welling up in my eyes and flowing down my cheeks.
Also, I took two photographs of the cross of light display with my digital camera. While taking one photograph I saw another large white cross of light suddenly appear and spread through my camera. Hoping to capture the image, I pressed the shutter: it clearly showed on the screen.
Were these phenomena manifested by Maitreya?
K.W., Yokohama, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these to be blessings from Maitreya.)

Light work

Dear Editor,
On 17 May 2008, at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Osaka, I stood by the cross of light display while my brother went to the bathroom. A tall, thin man in his 60s and a young man of around 20 came together to see the cross of light display. The older man showed the crosses to the younger man saying very earnestly: “Here! Look at this!” The older man kept talking to the younger man eagerly: “Incredible!” “Isn’t it amazing?” He seemed excited. I was happy to see his excitement and explained that the first cross of light appeared in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, USA. “Really? I see,” he nodded. He asked: “Does this happen due to the light?” I answered it was not because of the light itself, but a miracle happened as the light is refracted through the glass.
Then the older man asked me suddenly: “You are all volunteers, aren’t you?” “Yes,” I replied. He seemed quite impressed. “That is amazing, in such terrible times to be working as volunteers. It’s really wonderful.” Then the older man nudged the younger man and they went away.
Could you please tell me who they were?
N.S., Okayama, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the older man was Maitreya and the younger man was the Master Jesus.)

Signs

Light blessings around the world

Share International regularly prints photographs sent in by readers showing a variety of different light phenomena: light blessings, crosses of light and light images. Typically, a column or swirl of light is discovered on the photograph after development. These patterns of light are not caused by film faults or accidents in the developing process and are only seen on the exposure in question, not the whole film. Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they are blessings manifested by Maitreya or the Master Jesus. A further selection of light-blessing photographs follows, chosen from the many sent to Share International. 

Madonna apparitions in America

Apparitions of the Madonna  are “springing up across America, giving messages of hope to stunned eyewitnesses”, reports the US tabloid newspaper, Sun.The article describes the experience of a 12-year-old girl in Winthrop, Washington, who was staying with family and a friend at a remote cabin during the Christmas holidays in 2007. While outside experimenting with a new camera, she noticed an unusual moving object at tree-top level and photographed it: to her surprise, the object appeared in the photograph as a lady in a white robe.
About a week after the Washington sighting, Joel Sullivan, a bicycle messenger in San Francisco, saw an apparition of the Madonna. While riding his bicycle, Sullivan skidded into the side of a large metal trash bin. “I looked up and there was this blinding blue glow coming from the end of the alley, with a lady in a long dress standing in the middle of it,” Sullivan said. “My first thought was: ‘She is absolutely beautiful.’ My second thought was: ‘What is she doing here?’” The lady looked at Sullivan and said: “War will soon be over.” Then she disappeared in a flash of light.
Jennifer Wilson of Richmond, Virginia, described her experience of the Madonna. While driving her daughter to soccer practice, Wilson noticed a woman standing in the middle of an intersection. “She was young and wearing a blue dress with a long blue head scarf,” she said. Wilson stopped the car and her daughter rolled down the window. The woman turned to her “with this brilliant smile and said: ‘You will inherit a beautiful world.’ Then she just sort of faded away.” (Source: Sun, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these to be appearances of the Master Who was the Madonna.)

Miraculous escape

Joanne Denobriga, a volunteer with the UK Swan Lifeline charity, was attempting to rescue a distressed swan when she fell into a weir and was sucked under the sluice-gate at Colthrop Lock on the Kennet and Avon canal. She was trapped unconscious under water for 10 minutes and finally surfaced 50 feet downstream where she was able to drag herself out of the water with the aid of some willow branches.
“I believe my guardian angels were looking after me,” said Denobriga. “It was like being pulled down a plug-hole,” she said. “I was caught in the current which turned into a whirlpool, like a vortex and I just remember shooting through this tunnel, like a chute. It was not until I was in the white water that I came round.”
The hospital neurologist said that the cold water helped prevent the brain being starved of oxygen, but her survival was nevertheless “a phenomenon”, said paramedic Paul Mitchell. Sadly, the swan did not survive. (Source: dailymail.co.uk)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that she was helped by the Master Jesus.)

Holy tree

An Islamic scholar in Skokie, Illinois, USA, discovered a piece of tree bark in front of his house with the word ‘Muhammad’ in Arabic carved into it by insects. One day in May 2008, while watching squirrels run up the tree in front of his house, Assad Busool heard a piece of bark hit the ground with a loud cracking sound. When he looked at it closely, he was astonished to see the word ‘Mohammed’. “I said: ‘What is the meaning of this?’ I have a holy tree in my yard.”
Some Muslims in his community believe the markings on the 14-inch-long piece of bark is a sign from heaven. “It’s crystal clear, it says Muhammad,” said Andala Mbengue, a cab driver from Senegal who saw the wood after prayers at the American Islamic College in Chicago. “Allah is always putting himself out there. Sometimes people ignore it, but he’s always showing us signs.”
Scholars of Islam interviewed about this phenomenon said some Muslims view such apparitions as reminders that God is everywhere in nature.
Busool teaches religion and Arabic at the American Islamic College in Chicago, and is an Islamic judge who rules on family issues. He points to a verse in the Quran to explain why insects might carve lines into wood to spell the word Muhammad. The verse says that every living being on Earth sings the praises of God in languages human beings can’t understand. “They don’t know Arabic. To eat the inside of the branch and make that writing, it’s guidance from God, of course,” said Busool.
Busool has shown the bark to a few people at the Muslim Community Center in Chicago. He also showed it to about 50 people who had come to Friday prayers at the American Islamic College. One worshipper, Walid Guerfal, said the writing had left him in awe. “It’s like a miracle from God,” he said. (Source: Chicago Tribune, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it is a sign manifested by Maitreya.)

UFO sightings

Namibia – Several residents of Usakos, Namibia, say they saw a UFO pass over them on 18 May 2008. Resident Hester Schmidt was sitting on her porch with her husband when they saw what looked like a “round ball with a long tail” passing overhead. “We didn’t hear anything, but it was extremely fast and it went really low,” Schmidt said. Two other witnesses, Thomas Ismael and Sabina Naruses, corroborated Schmidt’s story. “It made a huge light over the town,” Ismael said. “My children, my wife, they all saw it. Everyone is talking about it.” (Source: www.allafrica.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was a spacecraft from Mars.)

UK Three residents of the London suburb of Woodford Green reported seeing five unusual lights hovering in the sky on the night of 31 May 2008. The lights went out one at a time as a dark object descended to earth, they said. One witness, Bradley Gross, said: “It still gives me the shivers even thinking about it now. It was really freaky-looking and we saw these bright spots and then this thing slowly came down diagonally to earth. Without a doubt it was something odd and it could not have been a plane or a balloon as it was not moving at all and had these bright lights.” (Source: Wanstead and Woodford Guardian, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they were spacecraft from Mars.)

USA – 12-year-old Brandon Puckett and his mother Laura saw two fiery orange orbs in the sky at St Augustine, Florida, USA, on 19 April 2008. The identical flaming globes flew past the coastline at 9 pm and were seen by others in the area. Brandon was convinced they were UFOs. Witnesses in Germany also reported seeing flaming globes at the same time. (Source: firstcoastnews.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that they were spacecraft from Mars.)

Crop circle in South Korea

A huge crop circle was discovered by a photographer in South Korea in early June 2008 in a field near Boryoung City. The first crop circle to be reported from Korea, its diameter was estimated to be between 150 and 200 metres (450-600 ft). (Source: x-cosmos.it/cropcircles; kornkreise-forschung.de)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was created by a UFO from Mars.)

UFO sightings in UK up by 40 per cent

The British Ministry of Defence has released a file listing 135 reports of strange objects in the skies in 2007, a 40 per cent increase on 2006 when 97 were reported. The MoD file was released as part of its new policy under the Freedom of Information Act to open its archives on UFO research.
While in most cases eye witnesses remain unidentified, the file mentions that in two cases the sighting involved pilots who were flying over Alderney (Channel Islands), when they reported seeing two bright orange objects. In a separate incident another pilot reported witnessing a balloon-like object in the south-west of the UK. Many witnesses report seeing bright lights, but a number of callers insisted they saw “a definite UFO”.
Former MoD officer Nick Pope, who was responsible for investigating UFO sightings between 1991 and 1994, said: “I welcome the MoD’s new openness on this subject. Whatever people believe about UFOs, the government is releasing some of the most fascinating material in its files. Sceptics and believers alike should welcome this.” (Source: Metro, UK)

The New Education — A compilation

We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘The New Education’ from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ, and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.

My Teaching will show you that there is nothing in this world which, if needed, cannot be achieved by man. Man is a God and requires only to manifest that divinity to flourish. My Presence will assure you that this is so, for My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, and I shall show you the wonders of your divine nature. In this way shall you sense your potential and grow in Light. (Maitreya, Message No. 71)

The world stands ready for more light. The peoples everywhere are thirsty for new knowledge of themselves and of God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from‘Let there be light’)

To me, education is every activity that fits a man, woman, or child for the fullest expression of their potential. Coming into incarnation at a certain stage in development, carrying on from a previous life, we have a given potential in terms of soul expression, intelligence, and physical equipment, whatever that brings into this life. Education is the preparation of a man, woman, or child, on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes, to  bring out their potential in any given life. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

Only by a re-education of humanity about the true nature of man as a threefold reality – spirit, soul and personality – and of the Law of Cause and Effect in its relation to the Law of Rebirth, can a true expression of man as a soul take place. This will condition our new systems. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume One)

We have to learn the art of living. It is an art form, and can only be learned as we go. It is not something that you can teach, but you can teach the rudiments, the laws. Teach the laws and the rules which stem from them – the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Rebirth, the Law of Harmlessness  and the Law of Sacrifice – and you have taught the basics of life. Life proceeds under these Laws, and the sooner we make them instinctive parts of our life the sooner we will have a reasonably co-ordinated and harmonious life and world. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living)

Past and Future

What mankind has expressed in the last 2,000 years is the energy of knowledge. Our science and our educational systems are the expression of this. In the next 2,000 years we shall express the love of God, not only the intelligence of God. The Christ will bring a yet higher aspect than Love, the Will aspect, but of course it will only become manifest in individuals. In the following cycle, or towards the end of this cycle, more and more of humanity will begin to evidence that quality of Will which includes Love. (Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom)

My Masters will teach you the rules of Life; I Myself will show you that higher Light which beckons mankind. My Teaching is twofold: it has to do with man’s physical nature, the necessities of life; it has to do, also, with man’s relationship to that Divine Being Whom we call God. In My vocabulary these are as one, for only in so far as man correctly relates to man does he so relate to God. My plan is to show you this, to teach you that when man discovers in himself the ability to share, to love, to trust, from that moment begins his ascent to God. It was always so and always shall be so. (Maitreya, Message No. 29)

All children need a stable background in which to grow and the exemplars of that process, a mother and father. That not all parents provide that stability or offer worthy examples is, sadly, all too true, and many factors are involved in this unfortunate condition: lack of education, poverty, inadequate housing, illness, and irresponsible and feckless adults, immature and unfit for the rigours of family life.
Let it also be said that millions in every country, poverty-stricken and deprived of every amenity, strive valiantly, and mostly succeed against all the odds, to hold their families together and provide a stable and loving example to their young. They are the unsung heroes of the race who, through tenacity of purpose and endless self-sacrifice, represent the best that humanity can show.
The new education must address this fundamental problem and institute the training and requirements for family life. It is odd, is it not, that this most basic aspect of social life should receive such scant attention, and be left to the vagaries of chance to such a large extent? (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘The family’)

My Teaching, simple though it is, will show you the necessity for sharing, for the creation of a pool of resources from which all men may take, the substitution for greed of co-operation and trust, the manifestation of the inner divinity of men. (Maitreya, Message No. 64)

The needs of all peoples are the same: adequate food, housing, education and healthcare are the essential requirements without which men cannot reach, nor render to society, their full potential. Millions, today, are denied these basic rights. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘Inclusivenesss the key’)

Change will take place in our educational institutions, which will teach people the art of survival, not just in the material world, but also to inspire them in mind and spirit. Education in the future will be free of ideological and religious bias. It will create fullness and wholesomeness in the individual. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

There is probably no perfect education anywhere today. Everyone has a more or less limiting, and in some cases crippling, education which thwarts their creative imagination, inhibits them as individuals, and builds fear complexes – fear of teachers, fear of examinations, fear of each other; it also overstimulates harmful competition.
…. every individual should be seen as a soul. The whole of education should be geared to that. In addition, each child needs to be recognized as being unique, with a personal ray structure that is the outcome of their past incarnational experience and the soul purpose in this life – because the soul provides the rays for the various bodies.
Therefore, real education, and the education of the future, must necessarily take into account the ray structure so that each individual’s education can be tailored to fit that person. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)

Opening of centres for young people – In Britain, Maitreya has made himself known in various ways to religious and political leaders. There are deep divisions in society, but these divisions cannot heal unless they come out openly. The social, economic and political ferment Britain is experiencing will eventually produce a mellowing of capitalism and there will be a balanced blend of socialism and capitalism.
Aspects of Maitreya’s mission in Britain will include the opening of certain centres which will attract young people and families. The aim is, first of all, to treat these youngsters in a way that will generate self-respect and build trust. Thus equipped, they will be helped to find jobs. The banking sector will eventually offer help, and teachers, doctors and politicians will visit these centres and study them for guidance. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

Teachers cannot control classrooms because the leaders themselves are unable to understand what life is about. They are only good at unleashing market forces and turning individuals into robots in factories. Now, responsible intellectuals will come forward, not just those who do not know how to live, who are ruled by the ballot box and ideology.
To indoctrinate a child is un-divine. To impose ideologies on anyone is un-divine.
The minds of children at present are stuffed with facts and figures. How can the Self experience peace and happiness? However, “in the name of the children everything will evolve”. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

Great new spiritual energies in great potencies are pouring into the world on a daily basis. This is transforming human consciousness including the consciousness of young people.
Young people are sensitive. They feel themselves to be souls in incarnation, and yet everything they experience in their family, in school, and in the streets seems to be totally materialistic. It is against the very nature of the soul. The soul is oneness, wholeness, seeing humanity as one. But the child goes to school to compete with other children, to be the best, the very opposite of the nature of the soul. Schools are not there to prepare children for life. They are there to prepare children for business.
Business has taken over all life. That is why children don’t want to go to school. It is called commercialization. Education and healthcare are run as if they were businesses. They are not businesses, but services absolutely essential to evolving human beings. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)

When I announce Myself to the world, I shall speak to all men in these terms: “Prepare to see yourselves as Gods. Prepare to be uplifted into Light. Prepare to realise yourselves as brothers, one of another. Prepare to teach the Truth. Prepare to live the Law. Welcome this Law and restore the Plan of God.” (Maitreya, Message No. 34)

[Maitreya] is a spiritual teacher, an educator in the broadest sense of that word. He has come to educate humanity about its own nature, to show us that we are divine, that in every single person is the divine spark which connects us with all cosmos. This is the inner reality. He comes to inspire humanity to reveal that reality and to become like the Masters, not only potentially but actually divine. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)

Even in the educational system, great changes are taking place now. Children will offer things completely out of the unknown – not from textbooks. The changes are coming from the children. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

[Maitreya] will draw the attention of men to the special needs of the young, so to foster their latent aspiration and readiness to serve. He will emphasize the role of woman and her need for emancipation, education and respect. He will show that in the years ahead, a vast army of servers will be required to fulfil even the basic needs of a world hungry for food, for work, for education and knowledge; for a chance to demonstrate their humanity and longing for betterment. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘Events without precedent’)

One of the saddening things about present education is the way children are put down, told that they are wrong, told not to do that, that is naughty. This inhibition of the child that goes on all the time has nothing to do with naughtiness. The child has no concept of naughtiness. The child has only desires, instincts, and a looking for adventure. If they were allowed to do that without always being told that they are naughty and wrong, they would grow up without these inhibitions, this lack of self-esteem. They would feel loved, feel that their parents really cared about them, had patience for them, were ready to listen to them, speak with them, and so on. That would give an inner confidence, which reflects itself in an ability to make the best of any opportunity presented by life.
What holds most people back is a lack of confidence. That is mainly the result of continual nagging by parents, putting the child down. “You’re only a child”, or: “How could you know?” Everything a child says is sneered at and belittled. I do not mean in every family, but in many. Even among otherwise intelligent and educated people you will find the same kind of down-putting, derision of their children. Children should never, ever, be derided. It is only a convenience for parents to inhibit the child so that they can keep them under moderate control. People are so overworked and tired, their nervous systems so taut, that they cannot bear the presence and demands of their own children. That is a tragedy for them, for the children and for society as a whole.
Self-esteem is a fundamental need in every human being. The lack of it is what drives people to crime, drug-taking, all the abuses, even suicide. All of that is a direct result of the inability of many parents to inculcate a sense of love and understanding, to treat them with a warm, patient, readiness to help, to listen and relate to the child, and give them that essential confidence. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

Today, most education, for what it is worth, is education for jobs. People are simply fitted to make their living in the outer commercial world under the whip of competition. This will change. Competition has to give way to co-operation. Above all, it is competition, which is based on greed and fear, that holds humanity back in its most important expression of its oneness, its sense of being part of one group. This has to change. When it does, people will realize, and the Masters will exemplify, the fact of the soul. People will realize that they are souls and will turn to the soul. Then the education for the life of the soul, and the psychology of the soul, will become more and more the norm in our educational system. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

Each child, at whatever level it comes into incarnation, comes into the world with its own set of purposes. A main purpose is to learn to live in peace and harmony with the rest of us, all the people with whom he or she comes into relationship. The actual possibility to do this is rare today. You are a very exceptional individual if you come into life in a family, a school situation, a national community, where everything you need to work out your life purposes as a soul is available to you.
We need to recognize that all young people are unique. They are sons of God evolving towards the manifestation of that divinity and sonship. How many people see an individual child in that way? (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)

Educational endeavour

Those relatively few who have led the way in preparation for this time will find themselves offered another field of service: an educational endeavour vast in scope. From all sides will come the queries; a long-felt hunger for knowledge will, like a dammed-up river, overflow and burst its banks. Many will seek to know the background and history of this event; for others, the immediate future will be the chief concern. Still others will feel the need to analyse and to question every explanation, unsatisfied in the end with aught but their own beliefs. Persuasion and tact, therefore, must be the order of the day, so to avoid the charge of bigotry and pride.
Societies, worldwide, will play their part, assuring the broad dissemination of the needed teachings. Much remains to be given, but, already, much remains unopened and unread in the hands of men.
Endeavour, the counsel is, to inculcate the habit of reading much, thus to inform and guide the seekers on the way. Systematic study of the teachings, and earnest attempts to live the precepts of Maitreya, will give the needed balance and authority with which to teach. Each one, thus equipped, can avail themselves of this opportunity to serve anew. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘To serve anew’)

A new vista of possibilities will soon appear as men grapple with the problems of separation and division. This will release the forces and inspire the techniques of training and teaching which will bring men in due course to the feet of God.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master, A Master Speaks)

2008 Benjamin Creme Japan Tour

by Michiko Ishikawa

Benjamin Creme’s Japan lectures drew the largest audiences ever at all three cities – Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya – exceeding the seating capacity of each of the halls. The large audiences were the result of the extraordinary advertisement efforts that each sponsoring group carried out this year.
The most interesting episode regarding the newspaper advertisements concerned help given by Maitreya. As reported in the Letters section of Share International May 2008, a group member in the Osaka area received a phone call from Maitreya, disguised as a man from an advertising agency. He offered an extraordinary discount for a full-page advertisement in the local edition of Sankei Shimbun newspaper.
The Osaka group thought the advertisement might not pass the newspaper’s policy of screening out religious or politically-oriented subjects and were fully prepared to modify it upon request, but to their great surprise and joy, it was printed without any changes. About 1,150 people attended the Osaka lecture with many also watching the lecture on a monitor in the lobby.
When the Tokyo (Kanto Area) group learned about the advertising story, they were so inspired that they bought a full-page advertisement in Asahi Shimbun, the largest and most respected newspaper in Japan. The group quickly raised the necessary funds and the full-page advertisement reached 4-5 million households in the northern half of Japan. As a result, more than 2,100 people came to Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo for Benjamin Creme’s lecture; people began queuing in the rain as early as 11.30 am for the 2 pm start.
Benjamin Creme’s talk in Tokyo, the first of the tour, was to an extraordinarily attentive audience. The meeting lasted five-and-a-half hours, yet most of the audience stayed until the end. Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya and the Master Jesus were also present, in disguise, and stayed until the end of the lecture. The public Transmission Meditation the next day drew 600 people with nearly 150 first-time participants.
The Nagoya group also focused on newspaper display advertisements and drew their biggest crowd ever – about 760 people.
As usual, Maitreya, the Master Jesus and the Master in Tokyo were confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master to be at various meetings including the Share Japan conference, and were recognized by group members (see Letters to the Editor).
At the Share Japan conference held in Shiga at the end of the tour, Benjamin Creme expressed his appreciation for the intelligent, focused and dedicated work of the Japanese groups, enabling him to give his talks to over 4,000 people at three lectures. The groups are already busy looking for even larger lecture halls for next year.

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Voice of the people

Iraq war veterans lead anti-war demonstration

In an effort to energize public anti-war sentiment, US veterans of the Iraq war led a demonstration of hundreds of people through the streets of  Seattle on 31 May 2008. The demonstration was held in conjunction with an event called ‘Winter Soldier’, one of a series of hearings held across the US that feature testimonials from US veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The demonstration was sponsored by the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. Active-duty soldiers comprise the fastest-growing segment of the 1,200-member group. Many of the Seattle demonstrators were veterans who had just given testimony about their time in Iraq.
Christopher Diggins, a psychotherapist who volunteers his time to work with soldiers and their families, attended the march. “I want to show my solidarity for vets who are against the war, because it is the only way this war is going to stop. It’s hard to have the war if nobody is going to fight.”
Another marcher reported that the demonstration “is a great way to be informed by the vets, support GI resistance, and try to end the war.”
Children took part in the demonstration as well. Asked why he was participating, nine-year-old Wes Cunningham said: “It’s a cool march, and I think it’s bad to kill other human beings.” (Source: Inter Press Service)

Democratic elections in Nepal

On 10 April 2008 democratic elections were held in Nepal. BBC journalist Charles Haviland said turnout in much of the country seemed high. The new government, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), will over the next two years rewrite the constitution. A Maoist Party leader hailed the result saying: “We believe this will take Nepal to a new era”. This optimism was echoed by Arpana Shrestha, a 47 year-old woman voting in Kathmundu who commented: “This is our chance to stop the bleeding … Always there was blood in Nepal. Not anymore”. Mukunda Maraseno, a 40 year-old bank employee, also voting in Kathmandu,  told Associated Press news agency: “I came here to vote today believing this process will settle political instability for good”.
This election follows mass protests in Nepal. In February 2005 King Gyanendra suspended parliament, appointed his own government and imposed martial law. Countrywide uprisings began in April 2006 resulting in demonstrations and rallies. The King was forced to give up his  power declaring “power would be returned to the people” and parliament was reinstated. An interim parliament was formed setting a date for forthcoming elections in 2008. Nepal was declared a Republic in May 2008
A crowd of about 500 protestors gathered to shout: “Long Live the Republic”, as the deposed King left his palace in central Kathmandu on 11 June. He handed over his royal sceptre and crown of peacock feathers, yak hair and jewels to the Nepalese government, who threatened to put him on trial if he did not bow out gracefully. Mr Shah, as the former king is now known, will continue to live in Nepal. (Source: BBC News, UK; The Washington Post, USA;Agence France Presse)

Indian Gujjar tribe demands justice

On 29 May 2008, Delhi, India, was brought to a standstill when thousands of protestors set up a ring of burning tyres around the city, and brought the railway network to a halt, squatting on the tracks.
The protestors were members of the Gujjars, nomadic farmers, of whom there are around 15 million in India. They are considered disadvantaged, but are seeking to be reclassified in the Hindu caste hierarchy. Avinash Bandana, a Gujjar farmer’s leader, told a local television channel that they “needed the appropriate status.” At present they are catagorized too high and prefer to be classified with ‘tribal groups’ who are the poorest in India. This would entitle them to access government jobs and university places that the Indian government normally reserves for those socially disadvantaged by centuries of caste oppression. The Indian government runs the largest affirmative action programme in the world.
The Gujjars were outcast by the British Raj which classified them as “criminal castes”. “These groups cannot escape history and what we see is they just cannot compete with other groups because they were nomadic and had no rights to land. The solution would be to give them a separate status and examine their needs,” recommends Amaresh Misra, historian and writer. The Times of India editorial responds, saying: “The Gujjar agitation once again highlights the perils of caste-based reservations, which is bound to lead to more groups clamouring for quota benefits … A points-based system where factors like income and gender are considered, in addition to caste, might deliver social justice better”. (Source: The Guardian, UK)

Anti-hunger march

Nicaraguans took to the streets of the northeastern city of Matagalpa, in a protest supported by the UN World Food Programme (WFP).  Senior government officials including ministers of agriculture, education, health and foreign affairs and more than 1,000 children from Matagalpa, took part in the march designed to highlight the issue of hunger and poverty in Nicaragua. Matagalpa is one of the areas hardest hit by hunger and has high rates of chronic malnutrition.
The WFP is supporting and encouraging more action in 70 other cities around the world. In Nicaragua alone, WFP Nicaragua is helping feed more than half a million people including 400,000 elementary school students in the department of Matagalpa.
About 6 million children die each year from malnutrition in the world, while 840 million people go hungry, according to the WFP. (Source: Xinhuanet.com)

Protests around the globe

Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Britain are some of the European countries feeling the brunt of rising fuel prices, while in Asia, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, South Korea, Nepal and Thailand are witnessing similar strikes and protests.
The traffic jams sometimes extend for endless kilometres. Several people have already lost their lives in accidents, as workers in many parts of Europe stage strikes, go-slow campaigns and demonstrations to protest against the high price of fuel.
The price of oil is impacting on workers across a wide range of the labour market. Spanish, Italian and French fishermen, Belgian and Dutch truck drivers and farmers across Europe have protested in recent weeks to demand government aid to compensate for high fuel costs, which they say are threatening their livelihoods.
Thousands of Spanish fishermen took to the streets of Madrid in May calling for urgent measures to stop the rise of oil prices in the marketplace. Due to the fact that the fishing industry is still an important element in the Spanish economy, protesters complained that the price of oil has increased 320 per cent in the last five years while the price of fish remains the same as twenty years ago. Fishermen wrote a manifesto to the government saying that the cost of oil represents between 50 and 60 per cent of their overhead costs, and that this state of affairs is seriously damaging their jobs and the Spanish fishing industry. One of the protesters said: “The working conditions have gone seriously bad in the last three years. We, Spanish fishermen and fishermen around the world, are small businessmen and governments have to help us in order to make sure that fish is available in the marketplace”. Another fisherman added: “Governments have to do something about it: they need to reduce the price of oil so that small business, here and abroad, in the fishing sector and others, can prosper and activate the real economy, not the economy of abstract numbers.”
“Fish, in itself is not expensive”, said a fisherman from Ghana working in the north coast of Spain, “but governments abuse the price of raw materials. I totally agree with the proposal of the French premier, Nicolas Sarkozy, to withdraw tax on all kinds of fuel”.
Angry fishermen held a demonstration outside the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. They are demanding that the price of marine diesel be cut by 50 per cent. The price has doubled in recent weeks reaching €80 cents per litre. Some banners read: “Brussels, you kill us!”
Frustration is also spreading rapidly to other sectors, including transport and agriculture, which have also been heavily hit by the price increases. Rising food prices are at the root of financial distress for Europe’s poorer citizens. This issue featured high on the agenda of the 19 June 2008 European Council meeting in Brussels. The EU’s hands are tied, however, because commodity prices are largely driven by increased demand and speculation taking place outside its borders. (Source: euractiv.com; El Mundo, Spain)

 

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