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Share International magazine January - February 2009

Share International magazineThis is an abridged version of
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Maitreya’s first interview

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, 11 January 2009

In the very near future, people everywhere will have the opportunity to witness an extraordinary and significant sign, the like of which has been manifested only once before, at the birth of Jesus. Then, according to Christian teaching, a star appeared in the heavens and led three wise men from the East to the birthplace of Jesus. Soon, once again, a star-like luminary of brilliant power will be seen around the world. What does this mean? How is it possible?

The answer lies in the fact that this mysterious event is a sign, and heralds the beginning of Maitreya’s open mission. Soon after the sign appears in our skies, Maitreya will give His first media interview on American television.

Public

On that open, public occasion, still unannounced as Maitreya, the World Teacher will present His views on the economic and financial chaos which now grips the world. He will explain its origins and final outcome, and present, to some extent, His recipe for amelioration of the present heavy burden on the poor of the world. Thus He will prepare the way for a more detailed and specific announcement of His ideas.

How will viewers respond? They will not know His background or status. Will they listen to and consider His words? It is too soon to know exactly but the following may be said: Never before will they have seen or heard Maitreya speak. Nor, while listening, will they have experienced His unique energy, heart to heart. Also, this is a unique time in history with whole nations stunned and apprehensive for the future. Therefore it can be assumed that many who hear His words will be open and eager to hear more. It is not for nothing that Maitreya has waited patiently for this moment to enter the public world; America, for one, would not have responded sooner. Now, for the first time in many years, a new Administration has to cope with financial chaos, unemployment and social unrest on a massive scale. The moment of truth for America and the world has arrived.

Worldwide

Not alone in America but worldwide, people are awakening to the need for and the possibility of change. The politicians and economists call the present situation a ‘downturn’ and a ‘recession’. In truth, we are witnessing the last stumbling steps of the old order. Millions are becoming aware that unbridled competition and greed are not the safest path for men, that such materialistic doctrines create a ‘slippery slope’ for the unwary, and, eventually, the international crisis we have today.

Of course, many people of burgeoning wealth stand clear of the present loss of confidence in the ways which have made them rich, and think it only ‘a matter of time’ until we are back on course and thriving again.

Will they heed Maitreya and recognize the sense of His argument? Lost in their arrogance and self-esteem, possibly not. However, many are less sanguine about a return to the status quo. Many have suffered painful losses and have lost faith in the old methods. The peoples of the nations are ripe and ready for change. They call out for change and a more meaningful life. Maitreya will remind men of the essentials without which there is no future for man: Justice and Peace. And the only way to both is through sharing.

(Read more articles by the Master)

Click for latest news about the star

Q. Is the Israeli attack on Gaza a reason for the delay in the appearance of the star predicted to appear some time between Christmas and early in the New Year?

A. No. From the viewpoint of the Masters there is no delay. In our press release to the media we did not say that the star would appear “some time between Christmas and early in the New Year” but that it would appear in the “very near future”. In any case, this is being written on 8 January, still very early in 2009. My Master says: be calm and expectant (they are not mutually exclusive). The Plan is going very well.

Q. What will it take to convince both sides in the conflict that they must negotiate to arrive at a point where peace and tolerance become possible in Palestine and Israel?

A. It is easy to say they should negotiate but the gap between the two sides is very wide and I am convinced that it will take Maitreya to bring them together. The problem is that a negotiated peace has to be fair to last. So far, the Palestinians have never been offered a fair or just solution. Nor has Israel been open to negotiation on crucial matters of difference.

I believe that a worldwide embargo of Israel, such as was applied to South Africa which led to the end of apartheid, would be the most effective way to bring Israel to the negotiating table.

Q. If the action Israel took in 1967 during the 6-day war constituted ‘evil’ are we seeing the same energy at work with regard to their actions against the Palestinians, particularly those in the Gaza strip?

A. Yes.

Q. Much, perhaps too much, is expected of the new American President. Do you think the world is being too optimistic? Barak Obama is expected to solve the major current world crises: the economic crisis, the environment, unemployment, collapsing industries, growing homelessness, rising poverty, conflict in the Middle-East and terrorism. Surely such a task would take a superman to get to grips with?

A. Absolutely true. Luckily, we do have a superman who really can show us the way to solve these problems – His name is Maitreya. The rest is up to us. We have to make the right decisions in the light of Maitreya’s ideas. Obama could be a decisive voice for a ‘new’ America – co-operative and willing to listen to others – in the world.

Q. The elections and the prospect of a new era in US politics with Barak Obama as President seems to have lifted the spirits of Americans and many others around the world. Do you expect a new phase of moderation and negotiation instead of warmongering?

A. Yes. He probably would not immediately withdraw from Iraq or Afghanistan, but as soon as possible, whatever that means; but we can look forward to dealing with a President who does not seem to speak or act from ideological demagogy, who is empirical and moderate and who has a very sick country to restore to health. He has this in his favour – Maitreya and His vision, energy and love. What an example for him to follow!

Q. Israel’s military power depends on American financing and supplies. Will the economic collapse in the US and around the globe have a positive impact on the conflict between Israel and Palestine?

A. Mr Obama has already said words to the effect that America would stand behind Israel but financial pressures may cause some lessening of US financial support. In any case, I am sure it will take Maitreya to reconcile these two groups.

Q. So many countries are beginning to suffer the fallout from the economic collapse. Vast amounts of money are promised to shore up crumbling industries and the financial sector, but surely it is the little people who are suffering even more than usual. What can the Masters do to help the already poverty-stricken and those now falling into debt, homelessness and unemployment?

A. It is not the Masters’ place to solve our problems. We are responsible for the chaos. To directly interfere would be an infringement of our free will. During the ‘good times’ most people gave little thought to the poor and homeless. The Masters give the teaching which would rid the world of poverty and war at a stroke.

Q. Many people seem nervous about the economic health of their countries at present but there are still financiers promising that an upturn is just around the corner, that this is just a ‘healthy adjustment’. People don’t know how best to proceed – save, spend, invest or carry on as normal. Your comments please?

A. As the Master says so clearly, this is not a temporary ‘downturn’ or ‘healthy adjustment’ we are all going through, but the collapse of the old, unjust order. It is necessary, and inevitable too, the logical outcome of our greed and selfishness. My advice, for what it is worth, is to save and learn to live more simply. This we all will have to do so that others may live at all.

Q. If all our savings and pension funds are going to go up in smoke, and if no one will be able to buy anything anymore because of the current economic crisis, how can the world keep on running?

A. The outlook is not as bleak and extreme as you think. The basics will continue to be made and sold – and Maitreya will show a better, more just and fair way to live. You can see now why Maitreya has had to wait so long to speak publicly. Humanity, apart from the developing world, was living in illusion for years, thinking that a totally corrupt and unfair economic system could continue for ever. They forget about the ever-increasing effect of the energies of Aquarius.

Q. We hear a lot these days about “bail-out packages” to jump start nations’ economies, as well as increased government spending on their countries’ infrastructures in order to create jobs. Also, countries already have enormous amounts of national and foreign debt, and are printing money around the clock. Will all this make it even more difficult to switch to an economy based on sharing? Do not the debts have to be paid off first?

A. These money-spending policies will not work. This is not a Roosevelt New Deal. The times are very different although the present situation resembles that of the 1930s. This is the end of the Age, and order (or disorder) is not a passing storm. It will help people to see sharing as the only way to restructure the world economy.

Q. (1) Were there really historically genuine figures known as the “three wise men”? (2) Who were they? (3) Why were they looking for Jesus?

A. (1) Yes. (2) They were Masters. (3) They were not “looking for” Jesus. They came to pay their respects to the One Who would be overshadowed by the Christ.

Q. How do I deal with/overcome my resistance to service?

A. Keep on trying. You may even get to like it!

Q. According to New Scientist magazine, scientists have discovered that space is filled by an unknown radiation. Its radiation is six times stronger than all known astronomic sources within this frequency band taken together. The scientists were seeking to discover small changes in the cosmic background frequency, the microwave echo of the Big Bang. Instead they discovered something more exciting: a mysterious radiation, whose origin is absolutely unclear, which seems to fill the universe.

The astronomers believe that they have discovered something new: according to the NASA scientists involved, the signal was not discovered earlier since Earth-based telescopes were not yet sensitive enough.

What is it? Please could you comment on this discovery?

A. If the scientists are representing correctly what they are seeing, they are discovering for themselves what has already been discovered by Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), the well-known psychoanalyst and later scientist, who discovered a primordial energy which he named ‘orgone’. He saw it as an energy which interpenetrated all forms of matter. He experimented with orgone in many ways: in healing and cloud-busting (making rain) where and when needed by very simple means. The US Food and Drug Administration had him arrested and imprisoned for his trouble, and he died in prison.

I believe that the vibration which astronomers have discovered, the ‘orgone’ of Wilhelm Reich, and the higher etheric levels of matter are one and the same. Scientists today recognize matter as being solid, liquid and gaseous but esoterists know that there are four further states of matter above gas known as the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st plane of etheric matter. So instead of three planes, there are actually seven planes of matter.

All matter is a precipitation of light and so the field of matter is light precipitated into seven more or less material planes.

Education, education, education

by Benjamin Creme

The following article is the first section of an edited talk given by Benjamin Creme at the Transmission Meditation Conference held near San Francisco, USA, in August 2008. The quotations used are selected from the following articles by Benjamin Creme’s Master: ‘The New Education’, ‘The Family’, and ‘The Age of Light’.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Education, education, education.’ I am going to talk about a different type of education from that which exists today, with different aims, different ways and methods of proceeding. If the direction is as suggested by the Master, it will entirely change education on Planet Earth.

“In seeking insights into the directions which education in the New Age might take it will prove useful to establish the basic purpose which education serves and so throw light on the inadequacies of present educational approaches.”

This is obviously true. If we do not know the purpose of education, if we do not know the nature of the being of the people we are being asked to educate, and if the present educational methods and approaches are not changed, then it is obvious we will not make much progress in training the young and adults for the experience of life in the new age.

Life in the new age will be completely different from all previous experiences on this planet. None of us, except the most evolved, will have gone through the stages of enlightenment, and the growing meaningfulness of their lives, under the instruction of the Masters of Wisdom.

In this coming time the Masters will be living openly in the world. There are already14 Masters plus Maitreya in the world. Eventually there will be about 40, though not all involved in education. However, a large number of the Masters are involved in education of some kind. Their disciples will become the teachers, in the first place, of the people who will most likely perform the main task of training and educating all groups, young and old, in this coming time.

As the nature of the human constitution and the aims of life on planet Earth are realized, as the world becomes more and more united through sharing, justice and peace, so more and more people will find in themselves the need to know: about who they are, their purpose in life, and their stage in evolution. People will talk a great deal about evolution which will become the most significant factor on planet Earth. The evolution of human consciousness, and the development of all the kingdoms in nature, will dominate the thought and purpose of men and women everywhere.

As people become more aware of their identity as souls in incarnation, they will begin to express more of their soul quality. Therefore, the intuition will begin to work in people in whom it hardly plays a part today. More and more, we will intuit the possibilities and meanings behind the outer appearances of life. We will want to know who we are in all aspects. Why were we born? Were we really born before? Are we really the result of a succession of lives through the Law of Rebirth? Is rebirth a fact of life?

Many people will take Maitreya’s word for it on the Day of Declaration, but millions of people already believe in some way in reincarnation, especially if they are Buddhists or Hindus. Millions of people will start asking questions. They will want to know how their age-long religious beliefs relate to the new information given out by Hierarchy, the Ageless Wisdom Teachings, which will be simplified in the beginning and then gradually approach the core of the truth.

People will begin to understand that humanity is travelling together as one huge group, at different stages of the evolutionary journey. We are all travelling together along a path of evolution to something tremendous which our minds at present find difficult to truly understand.

It is easy for a Master to say: “You become God-like beings who demonstrate all the qualities of God.” We do not even know all the qualities of God. We think we know the intelligence of God. We have an inkling of what a mighty intelligence might be like, or a capacity to love totally and unconditionally. We imagine God’s love must be like that. It has to be unconditional, of course, otherwise there would be no evolutionary process because we would never make it past the point where it could be unconditional. We would never change or grow.

Something as mysterious as the Will of God will begin to attract the minds of many people. They will want to understand that extraordinary mystery – how the Will, the Purpose of God, can be known, what it is, how it demonstrates. What further aspects of God must we recognize in order to fully understand the aspects which we think we already know?

Over a period of time, all of this will begin to concern the minds of more people. If they are to make anything of it, they must be educated. It is that kind of education that the Master means when He talks about education for life, education for the new age, in which men and women recognize themselves as potential gods. If you recognize yourself as a potential god, you get some inspiration from the idea. Your aspiration grows accordingly. You want to become like that idea of divinity when the idea of being a soul really grips the imagination and rings true in the heart.

When you see Maitreya and the other Masters Who are coming out into the open with Maitreya, you will see what God-like men look like, how They behave. What kind of inspiration must that be for humanity? “Firstly, it must be understood for whom education exists and the process by which it carries out its function. This may be less obvious than at first sight may seem to be the case, for man has long been ignorant of his true nature and constitution, taking the part for the whole, and ignoring, to a large extent, his essential being.”

According to the Masters, the human constitution at the very highest level is threefold. At the physical level, the level that we are familiar with, it is the physical body, the emotional body and the mental body. One makes us want to eat, the other makes us feel sad or happy, as the case may be, and one tells us the time, that if we do not hurry we will miss the bus. For most people, this apparently solid physical body, which we see in the mirror, is all we are. You see yourself getting older as you look in the mirror, week after week, month after month, year after year, the jaw slacken, the lines grow under the eyes, the hair recedes. Who or what is getting older? The body which is only equipment, a vehicle.

This is only equipment. The true human constitution, according to the Masters, is that we are sparks of the divine. The divine is everywhere. In fact, there is nothing else but the divine. We live in a divine, spiritual universe. That is the nature of life.

The spark of God, the divine spark, everywhere in cosmos – in us and not separate from us – is the ultimate, highest aspect of the human constitution. It is perfect and has all the potential of the divine. In this solar system, that potential will be X factor. In a higher solar system like Sirius it will be X plus, a potential that we cannot even begin to imagine. It is always an infinity, because it is creative, from our point of view manifesting at ever higher levels. As far as this solar system is concerned, when we have brought that which is our highest through every aspect of that which is our lowest, we have completed the journey of evolution on planet Earth.

We are physical, we are the soul, we are the spark of God. That divine spark reflects itself as the individual human soul. That soul is an individualized part of one great Oversoul, which is the human kingdom. The human soul is the intermediary between the divine spark (the Monad in Theosophical terminology), and the man or woman on the physical plane, with a physical, emotional and mental body. These three aspects – physical, emotional and mental – are the means by which the soul experiences life at the personality level.

If we see life clearly at this level on the physical, emotional and mental planes, the soul likewise experiences clearly at this level. Unfortunately, so unevolved are the vast majority of people on planet Earth, that we do not present to ourselves as souls, the divine intermediary, a sufficiently clear, pure view of life to allow the soul to see it adequately. The soul sees exactly what we present to it.

It is a problem of illusion. Humanity lives in the illusion of its physical, emotional and mental view of life. On any of these three levels, if a person is seeing in an illusionary way – not true, not direct – that is the view of life they present to the soul. The aim on the physical, emotional and mental planes is to purify the response to the world around us. We have done it more or less on the physical plane. I doubt if there are very many people today who are polarized, as it is called, on the physical plane. Most people are polarized on the astral-emotional plane. To be polarized on the physical plane means your thinking, your view of life, your focus of consciousness is the physical plane. Perhaps there are some people who are little more than intelligent animals.

Today 95 per cent of people are polarized on the astral plane, which is a heavy weight on the evolution of humanity. However, in this coming time this will change dramatically. Already nearly 5 million people are standing at the threshold of the first of the five great planetary initiations which culminate in the resurrected Master.

The Plan of evolution is in the mind of that unbelievably high, evolved Cosmic Being Who ensouls Planet Earth. Our planet – with everything on it including ourselves and all the creatures that ever walked the Earth – is the means of expression of that great Being. He has a plan for the evolution of this planet in relation to the greater plan of the Solar Logos. The Solar Logos is an even more advanced Cosmic Being, Whose body of expression is the solar system, including this and all the other planets. All planets have a Planetary Logos Whose plans relate to that of the Solar Logos. He has an even greater Plan because He sees a wider meaning and purpose beyond what the other Planetary Logoi are seeing and working towards.

As far as planet Earth is concerned, the custodians of this Plan are the Masters of Wisdom and the Lords of Compassion. Their task is to work out the Plan, through the human, subhuman and devic kingdoms insofar as this is possible. Not all the Masters will know all of the Plan, depending on Their status. The more advanced Masters like Maitreya will obviously know more of the purposes of the Logos than the Master of the fifth initiation, for example.

At each initiation, by token of the placing of the initiatory rod of power, the chakras of the initiate are heightened. The first two initiations are taken before Maitreya, and the third and higher ones before Sanat Kumara, the Lord of the World, on Shamballa. The initiations progressively give a greater and deeper sense of the extraordinary scope of the Plan.

The Plan touches on every aspect of life on planet Earth, and relate these different aspects to each other. Think of the human, animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, the extraordinary variety and scope of the devic, or angelic evolutions: the subhuman elementals, the lower builders, the great devas whose bodies are so vast they could cover a continent. We cannot imagine the scope and variety of the devic evolutions. All these kingdoms and evolutions are interrelated. Nothing stands separate.

There is no separation in the whole of cosmos. Every atom is related to every other atom. This is behind the reality of the two great Laws that govern the evolutionary process....

[End of excerpt]

Wake up call

Dear Editor,

On a cold, rainy evening, 10 December 2008, the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights took place in Amsterdam. Many people from the peace movement and outsiders were present and group members of Share International. We held torches and banners saying: “Only sharing and justice will bring lasting peace.” At some point we all formed the peace sign – with torches and all. Many photographers from the press were present; photos were even taken from a crane above us. One photographer in particular was very interested in the small group of Share Nederland co-workers and also our banner texts.

Just then a remarkable man with long, flowing, white hair arrived on a bike. He radiated vitality and power, but we noticed that his teeth were bad. (He only had a few teeth in the lower jaw.)

Members of the organizing committee made speeches, at the end of which the remarkable man, who did not need a microphone to make himself heard, called in a loud voice to the people in the surrounding houses: “Wake up people! Are you awake? Step out and join in.” Then the chant was started led by the organizers: “Love, power and joy.” Somewhat overcome by the cold we probably did not chant loudly enough for his liking; he called out to us: “Louder, louder!” and set an example by chanting with us which had an energizing effect: we began to chant louder and more enthusiastically.

Then he said: “All those who are present are good pupils!” One of the Share Nederland group gave her torch to him. He accepted it, but gave it back again, saying: “You are the light and I am the voice. You are a good pupil.” After the meeting three of us talked for a while and the remarkable man joined us, saying that he very often went to Amsterdam pubs to wake people up.

“Are you coming with me?” he asked, but we had to catch a tram. He then talked about the economic crisis, the greed of many and that as always the poor suffer worst due to wrong measures.

One of us had recently been preoccupied by Maitreya’s Message No.72: “My Forces are gathering around Me. My Army strengthens from day to day, and in planned and full array will it march into the Light …” and “Take your places, My brothers, in this Company of Light …” She felt the words evoke the idea of war.

Quite unexpectedly the man started to explain that it is not a matter of waging war, but of putting up a fight against those who are really waging war. There is often too little counteraction because people are too inhibited by fear and/or modesty. “We must let our voice be heard!”

He talked again about Amsterdam pubs, where he often goes. He said: “I tell them that on 23 August it will be 100 years ago since World War One broke out but the discussion that follows [this remark] is usually rather passive.” The man went on: “Then I say, if we continue as we are there will be a third world war in 2014! Only then do they wake up with a start. This is what we should do: not scare people, but wake them up!”

We would like to ask: Who was this remarkable man with the long, flowing, white hair? And was the unusual photographer someone special?

C., M., S. and J., the Netherlands.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man with white hair was Maitreya. The photographer was not a Master.)

Dancing with joy

Dear Editor,

(1) On 3 January 2009 a group of co-workers joined the London peace march supporting the Palestinians in Gaza. We began walking along the Embankment. It was cold but sunny, with a bright, clear sky. The atmosphere was intense with a sense of outrage and fear of escalation of violence in the region.

Then our group noticed a funny-looking man in the middle of the road. He stood on a raised section and was visible to all passing by. He looked like a leprechaun: he was an elderly, wiry chap with white hair and light skin. His legs were bare from his green football socks upwards and he wore a green outfit with gold and brown here and there. We only saw him briefly but had time to register his quirky appearance and the oddness of showing no sign of being cold! He held his banner up high and that caught our attention: “The Christ is here and will usher in an era of peace.” On the other side it read: “Peace Dance Marathon.” He exuded a sense of fun and lightness which boosted our mood as we started the march.

After 10 minutes we turned the corner by Big Ben and the crowd slowed down. Just then we spotted him again at the side of the march with his banner raised up high, getting lots of attention. We were amazed how he could have arrived before us – it seemed impossible to do.

Later, another co-worker saw him in Trafalgar Square, with a woman, dancing an Irish jig to the delight of passers by!

Who was this happy ‘leprechaun’?

G.F., London, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the happy ‘leprechaun’ was Maitreya, and that the ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)

(2) I attended the pro-Palestinian peace rally in Hyde Park, London, on Saturday 10 January. There was a good turnout, despite the extremely cold weather and the atmosphere was one of good will and unity.

As I neared the rally, in an open area I noticed that some kind of entertainment was taking place. A man was dancing to the music from his portable CD player. He was dressed in a costume like traditional Irish dancers. He had black shoes, bright green knee-high socks, bare knees, a pleated skirt in light green coming to above the knee, with a matching belt studded with silver. His shirt and waistcoat were brightly coloured mixtures of green, red and yellow with some black. On his head he had a strange-looking, tall conical-shaped hat in green, yellow and black. On his left shoulder he was wearing a long, wide green sash. On the back the word ‘Ireland’ was written in gold letters, accompanied by a gold shamrock.

He was holding a banner with the words written in pen. On one side it said: ‘Christ alone will solve the Palestinian problem.’ Underneath, in smaller writing, were the words: ‘Grand Prix and Marathon Priest.’ On the other side it said: ‘A salute to the gallant fighters of Hamas.’

He kept dancing while holding the banner, turning it around for people to see. He stopped only to restart the music.

I recalled that co-workers at the peace rally a week before had seen a “Leprechaun-looking man who was dancing”, who was later confirmed to have been Maitreya. It seemed that here he was again, giving his support to the Palestinians and entertaining the marchers.

The march moved off and people made their way around the dancer. The combination of the uplifting music, lively dancing and the eccentric-looking entertainer with his banner created a jolly atmosphere and people laughed and joked as they passed. Some took pictures, others stopped to watch and one person attempted to learn some of the steps. I regretted that I didn’t have a camera with me.

Some people commented on his banner. One Muslim woman, referring to the words ‘The Christ alone will solve the Palestinian problem’, said: ‘I believe this. We are waiting for Christ to come.” One of her group stopped and said: “We are Muslim and respect all the Prophets.” I told him briefly about Share International and said: “There is one Teacher for all.” He said: “I too believe it is one Teacher for all,” and at that point the dancer looked directly at me. The whole march finally went past him and he was still dancing.

Was the tireless dancer Maitreya?

S.McD., Richmond, Surrey, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the dancer was indeed once again Maitreya.)

Miracle worker

Dear Editor,

This New Year’s Eve [2008] I was feeling a little disappointed having not yet seen the miraculous star manifest over Christmas. Whilst returning home from the theatre with my brother and daughter, we were approached by a black lady smoking a cigarette. It was about 7pm; she was in her mid 40s and looked dressed to go out. She seemed harmless and sober, just a little crazy as she was talking absolutely random nonsense.

We walked away but she followed us into a shop and started to talk again to my daughter and me. She then declared that she believed in miracles. She repeated this enthusiastically and then asked me: “Do you know why I believe in miracles?” She asked me again, looking directly at me with her endlessly dark eyes, so this time I asked her: “Why do you believe in miracles?”, while wondering who this person really was. She smiled and replied: “Because … ‘I believe in miracles’” and proceeded to joyfully sing that classic 1970s song by Hot Chocolate. Then she pointed to my brother who was paying at the till and, in the words of the song, continued with “where you from, you sexy thing”.

We left the shop with a smile on our faces. It was a timely and uplifting experience, but who was this crazy lady?

R.M., London, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the “crazy lady” was the Master Jesus.)

Confirmation

Dear Editor,

About one week before Christmas 2008, I had a long talk with my friend from the Greek Transmission Meditation group on the outstanding news from the Share International website about the Christmas miracle that was going to happen in the very near future.

Although I became enthusiastic at first, my scepticism took over and I convinced myself and my friend for a negative outcome! After some time the other side of the argument popped up in my mind, that Mr Creme has information from an enlightened source, and who am I to argue about the news he is revealing on the internet for everyone to see!

When I went to bed soon after this another extraordinary happening took place! On my bedside table was the clasp from my wrist watch strap which I had long discarded because over the years its glue had evaporated and it had become unusable. But this formerly opened clasp was now a round shape, kept in place by fine threads obviously stitched by hand!

Could you please explain the meaning of this ‘minor miracle’? Who stitched the clasp on my watch strap and made it appear on my bedside table? Was it meant to cure my non-believing side?

L.A., Athens, Greece.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘miracle’ was manifested by Maitreya. The purpose? To reassure her that the information of the star is true.)

French connection

Dear Editor,

On 15 December 2008, I was travelling on the underground. There was only one other person in the carriage. Even so, when two men got on, one sat right next to me and the other one opposite him. I had to move my shopping bag. The man said: “Thank you.” He was smiley and friendly. He was black, wore glasses, had a green stud earring in his ear and held a half-smoked cigarette in his hand. He made an exaggerated comment on my love of colour. I thought he was teasing me. His French accent was so heavy I could barely make out what he was saying. When I got up to get off, he said: “You will see me in 2009.” I wasn’t sure I understood him correctly. In a daze I said: “But the changes are happening now.” With great enthusiasm he said: “NOW, NOW.” Then beaming he said: “Partage, Egalité, Fraternité”. I said: “Absolutely,” got off the train and walked down the platform. As the train gathered speed, we waved to one another.

Could this bubbly man have been Maitreya?

C.C., London, UK.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the “bubbly man” was Maitreya.)

Out of the snow

Dear Editor,

Towards the end of a lecture at a New Age Center in Amsterdam on 23 November 2008, a Surinamese woman of about 45 entered the room. She gave the impression of being rather self-confident and declined the invitation to have a seat in the front. “No, I am late and wet,” she said. It was snowing outside. She started immediately: “Do you have any books? And did Maitreya predict that Obama would be the elected presidential candidate?” I said: “No, he did not, however there is a considerable chance that Obama will be the last President and that the Presidency will eventually be replaced by a group of wise men (of State). She reacted: “Oh, I thought so! First Obama and then we can implement the changes.”

After the lecture she came up to the book table and asked Nancy what kind of meditation she did. Nancy explained about Transmission Meditation. Pointing to the book Messages from Maitreya the Christ, she said: “I would like to buy this book, but I don’t have any money with me.” Nancy noticed that she was wearing a fur-lined raincoat, a red scarf on her head, big golden earrings with red stones; underneath a red cardigan she also wore a white one over a coloured sweater. She saw that I was looking in her eyes and asked me: “Are you well-known from television? I know you, because you have such a familiar face.” Later she said: “We really have met before.”

Could you please say whether this remarkable woman possibly was a Master?

N. de G. and M. o. t N., Holland.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)

Canadian woman has extraterrestrial contacts

A woman from British Columbia, Canada, says that since a close encounter with a UFO in 1988 she has had numerous contacts and communications with extraterrestrial beings. Miriam Delicado was driving from northern British Columbia to the Lower Mainland with four people in October 1988. They were heading south along Highway 97, just past the town of Prince George, when Delicado said a pair of large, luminescent lights came up behind them and followed within 10 feet of their car.

“It was night time and we thought it was a truck but the lights would follow us when we were alone and then disappear when a car or a house came into view,” she said. “After the lights had been following us for hours, we came to 100 Mile House and I thought we’d be able to lose whatever it was.”

But soon after they left the town of Mile House, the lights once again followed them, often appearing and disappearing. Delicado asked the driver to pull off the road and stop the car. “As soon as we stopped, her head flopped back and she just had a blank stare and the back seat people were in animated suspension,” said Delicado. “The two spheres were a foot behind us and the car was engulfed in bright light. I turned to the front of the car and saw a craft sitting on the road. It was luminescent and it was hard to see the details but it looked like there was steam coming off of it,” she said.

Short beings, about four feet tall, with big round, black eyes and large, childlike heads approached her. “They had a small mouth and tiny nose and wore a one-piece suit. I heard instructions in my head to get out of the car. I was scared but not terrified, more in a state of confusion, but they kept saying not to be afraid, we will not harm you,” said Delicado.

The beings took her hand and walked with her a short distance along the highway and up an embankment. When she looked up, she saw a larger craft with an open doorway. “There were two tall beings, seven feet tall, in the doorway,” she said. “They had blond hair of the purest white, and large, water blue eyes. They wore long robes.”

Delicado boarded the craft, which had a metallic interior with a sterile feel. “In the centre was a circular work area with stools and overhead was a hovering white light ball of what I think was energy. It seemed to be a control centre where information streamed from the ball to the beings,” she said.

Delicado communicated with the beings telepathically. “They sat me down on some kind of light chair recliner and, in front of me, a screen appeared which showed pictures of possible futures of the Earth. I saw an earthquake aftermath and they explained what it was and seemed to have the ability to place the experience within me. They gave me the physical ability to experience the trauma,” she said.

Delicado spent about three hours on the craft, watching what appeared to be a movie, before returning to the car. Everyone in the car woke up when she returned, and they spoke about the lights, but no one had seen or experienced what Delicado had. The following day Delicado began recalling memories of the previous day’s events. She saw recurring images of war, meteors striking the Earth and other disasters. “They started to filter clearly into my mind,” said Delicado. “All of these possibilities of a future we are heading for if we don’t change the path humanity is on.”

The experience convinced her of the importance of respecting the Earth, and caused her to believe humans are not alone in the universe. “We have a responsibility to ourselves and to all of life,” she said.

Delicado believes the extraterrestrials are the caretakers of the Earth. “They are not allowed to interfere with what we are doing here on Earth, but they give people like me information and we have the free will to do what we want with the information.”

Delicado kept her experiences a secret for 15 years but during that time says she had many telepathic communications with the beings. She says that she was telepathically instructed when to start publicly sharing her experiences and knowledge. For the past five years she has been speaking at conventions and other gatherings.

Delicado says the extraterrestrials’ message is one of hope and encouragement. “These beings have been out there since the beginning of time and my understanding is that they take care of other planets out there,” she said. “They are also in the dream world and some walk around us. I’ve seen them in public and they don’t look like us, but others don’t see what I’m seeing.” Delicado has written a book about her experiences called Blue Star: Fulfilling Prophecy. (Source: bclocalnews.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this account is broadly true but with a small degree of astral embroidery to the story. The short beings were from Mars, the tall beings from Jupiter.)

UFO sightings

Australia: Steve Jolliffe, from Sydney saw what appeared to be a UFO in a photograph of his neighbourhood on the Google Maps website in December 2008. The UFO seemed to hover above Millers Point in Sydney, near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. “I live in the street on the corner and it has a beautiful view of the harbour.” he said. “I was just trying to get a look on Google when I saw it. It just caught my eye. I couldn’t get back to bed. I thought it was a UFO straight away.” (Source: Daily Telegraph, Australia)

Scotland: A 16-year-old boy and his family saw three UFOs in the sky over Dumfries on 26 December 2008. Macaulay Moodycliffe was on his way to a nearby fish and chip shop when he saw the unusual lights. He ran home to tell his family, who also say they witnessed the objects. According to Moodycliffe: “They were large orange balls with a circle of orange glow around them that was given off by the light. They appeared to be moving slowly but when I looked closer and I saw a plane in the sky, it was clear they were moving very fast indeed, a lot faster than the aeroplane.”

The two objects were visible for about five minutes before disappearing into the distance. Shortly after the first two lights disappeared a third one appeared. Moodycliffe said: “The two disappeared out of my sight after a while as they faded away into the distance but then from behind the houses a third one appeared and followed the direction of the other two until it also faded into the distance. It was strange as they appeared to be pretty big but were silent.” (Source: Dumfries and Galloway Standard, UK)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the above sightings were all spacecraft from Mars.)

Potato sign

On 17 December 2008 Sharda Ganpat, a Surinamese Hindu living in The Hague, the Netherlands, cut a large potato in half while preparing for her meal. To her great surprise she discovered a cross shape in each half.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the cross was manifested by Maitreya.)

Right:Potato with cross as manifested by Maitreya. Please see above article "Potato sign".

Left: Blessing by the Master in Tokyo on photograph of university students at the Buaiso, memorial house of Mr and Mrs Jiro Shirasu, Tokyo, May 2007, sent by H.I.

Please click either photo to view it in a larger copy.

Strength through peace

Interview with Colman McCarthy – an excerpt
by Jason Francis

American journalist and peace activist Colman McCarthy has been teaching courses in nonviolence and the literature of peace since 1982. In 1985 he founded the Center for Teaching Peace, a non-profit organization that has been helping schools throughout the United States to create and expand programs in peace studies. His publications include All of One Peace: Essays on Nonviolence (1994) and I’d Rather Teach Peace (2002). Colman McCarthy was interviewed by Jason Francis for Share International.

Share International: What is your definition of peace?

Colman McCarthy: Among individuals, peace is the result of love. If love were easy, we’d all be good at it. Collectively, peace is the result of justice. And again, if justice were easy all nations would be good at it.

SI: You have said that strength comes through peace. Could you contrast your view with the commonly held view that peace comes through strength?

CM: Strength comes in many forms. Politicians who argue that peace comes through strength are referring to military strength – the strength of violence, from the violence of the nuclear bomb to the roadside bomb. If military strength were effective, the planet would have had peace eons ago. Yet against all historical evidence, we are repeatedly told, war after war, century after century, that this time violence will work. Hannah Arendt had it right when she said: “Violence, like all action, changes the world but the most probable change is to a more violent world.” Currently some 35 wars or conflicts are raging, with an estimated 30,000 people a month dying in them – mostly the poor killing the poor. The wealthy rarely go to war. How many members of Congress had sons who saw combat in the 12 years of the Vietnam war? Only one. How many American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan right now are graduates of Ivy League schools? I doubt very many.

The opposite of violent strength is moral strength. Evidence that it works is not hard to find. In only the past 25 years, at least six brutal regimes have been overthrown by people armed with weapons of the spirit, not weapons of steel. In 1986, Marcos was brought down in the Philippines by a peaceful revolt. Pinochet in Chile was driven from power in 1988 by people who organized for three years to get a fair election. In 1989, the Soviets were driven from Poland by the Solidarity labor union. In 1994 in South Africa, the boycotts finally worked and Nelson Mandela – imprisoned for 27 years – became president of the country. Students in Yugoslavia drove out Milosevic in 2001. The bloodless “revolution of the roses” toppled Georgian President Shevardnadze in 2003. In each instance it was morally strong people who brought about these changes without guns, bombs or armies. They proved that right makes might.

SI: What inspired you to begin teaching nonviolence?

CM: As a journalist with The Washington Post, I interviewed many of the world’s true peacemakers: Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Mairead Corrigan from Belfast, Perez Esquivel from Buenos Aires, Mother Teresa from Calcutta, Rigoberta Menchú from Guatemala, Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh – all Nobel Peace Prize winners. I’d always ask the essential question: How do we go about decreasing violence and increasing peace? The answer was always the same: Go where people are and teach alternatives to violence. So I took their advice.

Most recently I’ve been teaching courses on nonviolence and pacifism at three high schools, as well as American University, the University of Maryland, Georgetown Law School and the Washington Center for Interns. I also lecture at about 30 schools a year, from destitute ones in the inner cities to private university-preparatory schools like Exeter and the Cate School, as well as colleges and universities, and conferences involved in social issues….

SI: You once said that “too many schools process students as if they were slabs of cheese going to Velveeta High on the way to Cheddar U and Mozzarella Grad School”, and also that “you can earn all ‘A’s in school and then go out and fail at life”. How important is it to cultivate harmlessness and caring as an approach to life in the development of young people?

CM: Testing mania has overtaken our elementary and high schools. Teachers are demoralized by the constraints of pushing their students to spout the right answers at test time. Are we creating gentle children, kind children, creative children? I doubt it. In colleges and graduate schools, the pressure to ace tests is intense. Students who get a B in the course see themselves as failures. In my high school classes, I give no homework, no tests and no exams. It’s pressure-free education. History’s enduring teachers gave no homework, tests or exams. There was Socrates among the ancients and Maria Montessori among the moderns.

SI: How do you teach your students peace?

CM: We read the literature of peace: A Strength Through Peace: The Ideas and People of Nonviolence and The Solutions to Violence. The goal is to familiarize students with what has been written and is being written about the alternatives to violence. Schools rarely go near the philosophy of pacifism and the methods of nonviolent conflict resolution. That means large numbers of schools are graduating large numbers of peace illiterates. We wonder why we have a world overwhelmed with violence: military, domestic, economic, environmental, governmental, legal and illegal violence, verbal, emotional, and political, as well as violence toward animals.

I just teach one course to my students, probably the only course they’ll ever have that will explore alternatives to violence. Would we ever graduate someone from high school with only one class in math or science? Do we dare graduate our students from elementary school with one course in science, writing or math? They get those subjects every year. It should be the same with peace education.

SI: How are students able to apply what they learn in class in a practical way in their lives?

CM: Life brims with conflicts, ones we settle either with violent or nonviolent force. After I spent a couple of weeks in one of my high school classes reading and discussing some of Gandhi’s essays, a student came up after and said it was useful to know about Gandhi’s success over the British but said: “I live in a war zone. My parents verbally and emotionally abuse each other every night, and often it’s physical abuse. How do I stop that war?” If we don’t teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence. I take field trips with my classes – to impoverished schools, drug rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, as well as to courtrooms and death rows – and Joan Baez concerts.

SI: How do you answer the skeptics who believe that violence such as warfare is a valid option and even that your class should also provide the arguments put forward by the proponents of violence?

CM: I don’t teach the arguments for violence. Students come into class already steeped in them – as taught by films, video games, violent sports like football and hockey, war-whooping politicians, school textbooks detailing war-making, and often the lessons learned at home to “fight like a man”.

SI: You point out that it is easy to blame militarists, sexists and racists for the violence in society but self-examination is more difficult. Adults most likely have already been conditioned to accept violence as a part of life, even if they may not overtly like it. What can we do as adults to find the source of and eradicate violence individually and collectively?

CM: I am not much into blaming. Jim Douglass [Christian theologian and nonviolent activist] has a good line: “The first things to be disrupted by our commitment to nonviolence will not be the system but our own lives.” The place to start is in our personal choices: where do we spend our time, where do we spend our money? Figure out the difference between what we want and what we need. Live simply so others may simply live.

The handiest place to practice peace is at the meal table. Do we have a cruelty-based or cruelty-free diet? More than 12 million animals are killed every day for food. I don’t think we have any moral right to kill or harm animals just because we like how they taste.

SI: Share International magazine speaks about the importance of sharing as the only way to justice, justice being the only way to peace. What do you see as the role of sharing in the creation of peace?

CM: Desmond Tutu was asked in Boston a few years ago about his views on terrorism. He answered that “the war on terrorism will not be won as long as there are people desperate with disease and living in poverty and squalor. Sharing our prosperity is the best weapon against terrorism”. The most liberated people, and nations, tend to be the most sharing. Unfortunately, out of 25 industrialized nations, the United States is near the bottom in the percentage of GNP shared with the world’s poor.

SI: What is the most important thing we can do to create a world of peace?

CM: Ask the person next to you: “What are you going through?” and act on the answer. If it’s hard times, unite to climb the hills and brave the winds. If it’s good times, celebrate, sing and dance. And either way, buy them a lifetime subscription to Share International magazine!

For more information:

www.peacejusticestudies.org

Jim Hightower, with Susan Demarco  – an excerpt
Book review by Cher Gilmore

When confronted by the scope and scale of today’s political, economic, environmental and social problems, many concerned and caring people feel hopeless, despairing of the possibility of real change even with their best efforts. Others don’t know where to start to make a significant difference. A few, however, rise to the challenge and develop some creative new solution to a problem that has touched them personally in some way.

If you are among the discouraged, you would do well to pick up a copy of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go with the Flow, the latest book by author and political activist Jim Hightower. It is full of inspiring stories of ordinary people who have abandoned corporate lifestyles and values to blaze new, more human, trails in business, politics and life itself. At the end of each section of the book (Business, Politics, Life) are ‘Connections Lists’, containing names, brief descriptions and contact information for local, national (US) and a few international organizations looking for like-minded activist volunteers.

Hightower, with his partner and co-author Susan DeMarco, traveled all over the US to collect the stories reported in the book. They provide a seven-word Executive Summary: ‘Defy the Corporate Order/Live Your Values’. They believe that placing human aspiration above corporate avarice is a struggle as important as the human rights struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and the labor struggles of the 1920s and 1930s. The people they highlight are all working for the common good as well as their own welfare, creating a new, genuinely democratic and egalitarian model for America. But the model can be applied anywhere.

The Business section begins with Hightower’s definition of corporations. “[A] giant corporation exists solely for itself, operating strictly to enlarge its bottom line and enrich the wealthiest elites who run it. Corporations are artificial legal fictions (a scrap of paper, really) that let their owners reap profits without having to be personally responsible for any harm done in pursuit of those profits.” The tentacles of the corporations, he says, are tightly wrapped around the US economy, government, environment and culture, choking the grassroots potential of the country to death.

There are, however, other possible business structures besides corporations – such as co-ops, family enterprises, partnerships, sole proprietorships, supply associations, local markets, bartering, and buying clubs. The book describes nine examples in detail.

Peace Coffee, for example, is a fair trade organic coffee business that started when a small organization called Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) was talked into buying a container of coffee on credit by a Mexican coffee growers’ co-operative. Fair trade means that growers are dealt with directly, treated with respect, and paid a fair price that allows them to practice environmentally sustainable agriculture and pay their workers a living wage. The IATP staff scrambled to find a place to store that first container, find eco-friendly bean buyers, make sales, ship the goods and collect their money. But within four years they had purchased their own roaster, rented a new space, developed relationships with 13 grower co-operatives in six countries, and founded Co-operative Coffees (a buying club for small, independent importers). The company now sells about 7,500 pounds of coffee every week, and is not only profitable but is growing by roughly 20 per cent each year. They do this while paying employees $16 per hour (roughly median wage in Minnesota) plus healthcare and benefits, and paying their producers a minimum of $1.61 a pound, even though the world price floor for fair trade coffee is $1.51 a pound.

Equally serendipitous were the beginnings of the Union Cab Co-operative in Madison, Wisconsin. In the mid-1970s the cab drivers at Checker Cab in Madison decided that their working conditions were unacceptable – with unsafe cars, 40 cents an hour pay, no benefits or rights, no process for promotion, no respect from management – so they unionized. Management quickly retaliated by attempting to fire anyone who had been on the organizing committee, and stalled contract negotiations for months. The new union struck, with 99 per cent of the employees walking off the job, and in four days Checker agreed to a new contract.

A year later, when the owner again walked away from contract negotiations, the union struck a second time with nearly 100 per cent participation. Finally, after three months, the owner shut down Checker Cab, leaving the cabbies with a union but no jobs. The following month, five cabbies decided to form a worker-owned company. After struggling to raise the initial $150,000 needed for start-up, they lost $35,000 in the first three months, primarily because of spiking gasoline prices.

Three strokes of luck in close succession allowed Union Cab to get back on its feet: the Madison city council allowed its two cab companies to raise their rates, the second cab company closed, and the Madison bus drivers went on strike. Today, Union Cab Co-operative is the largest of three taxi companies in Madison and the third largest in the state, with annual revenues of $6 million, over 200 employees who are all voting members of the co-op, wages well over Madison’s living wage standard, a full-service taxi facility with their own mechanics, and 90 per cent customer satisfaction.

Hightower points out that there are more than 250 such worker-owned co-operatives in the US, in all lines of business, from high-tech firms to restaurants. Together, they are creating a new definition of business success. Their goal is to be smaller, simpler, more personal, and to “make a profit, not a killing”….

Global marches for peace in Gaza

Since the start of the Israeli invasion of Gaza on 27 December 2008 thousands of people have voiced their opposition in demonstrations across the world.

In the UK, marches on two consecutive Saturdays took place across the country. In London, on 3 January, thousands of protestors walked from the Embankment to Trafalgar Square, where there were speeches from politicians, activists and entertainers. There was a huge variety of ages, faiths and professions represented including Jewish organizations on the march, all united in their opposition to the disproportionate Israeli action in Gaza.

Sarah Malin, a 42-year-old actress, went along with her family. “I don’t come along to a lot of demonstrations like this but I wanted to on this occasion because what is happening in Gaza is just so unjust,” she said. Ali Jamal, 25, a student from north London, said: “I find it absolutely shocking what is going on in Gaza and the fact that all leaders of the world are just standing back. The horror of the Israeli attack was summed up for me in the pictures of the five young sisters who were killed by a bomb which hit their house.”

A week later, on a freezing 10 January, there were larger numbers of protesters marching from Hyde Park to the Israeli embassy. Although violence marred the end of the demonstration the protest was largely peaceful and good-natured. Eaisha Tareen, a physiologist who had travelled from Colchester, Essex, to take part in the demonstration, said: “It is really unbelievable what is happening in Gaza but we are heartened by the solidarity people here are showing. We were coming here on the underground and met a Jewish lady who had written a letter to the newspapers condemning the Israeli action and we were really impressed by that. As you can see here today, it is not just Muslims – there are people from all parts of British life.”

Demonstrations were held in 80 French towns and cities on 10 January, the largest in Paris where an estimated 25,000-30,000 people marched against the Israeli attacks. Marchers were angry that since they had demonstrated the previous week Israel had attacked a UN school, killing 40 and that the three-hour ceasefire was not enough to get in medical aid and supplies.

There were also protests in Bosnia, South Lebanon and Germany, where 10,000 marched in the city of Duisburg.

In Malaysia around 1,000 took part in a demonstration outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur and a rally and fundraising concert was held. In Australia people marched to the American and Israeli embassies in Canberra, calling on the US to stop its support of Israel, and in Kenya hundreds gathered outside Nairobi’s Jamea mosque.

There were protests in cities across the USA. On 3 January in Seattle around 500 people gathered, carrying banners and beating drums. Many called on President-elect Barack Obama to speak out against the attacks. Maha Shabaneh, a 43-year-old who lives in Seattle and who has relatives in her homeland of Palestine, said: “He won’t be successful until he tackles foreign issues,” she said. “He needs to stand on these issues and prove that he is different.”

In the crowd, Wendy Somerson, 40, a Jewish woman from Seattle and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace said: “We don’t support collective punishment of the Palestinian people. All people are equal and all lives are equal.”

(Sources: The Guardian, BBC News, UK; Radio France Internationale, France; http://rainbowwarrior2005.wordpress.com; english.aljazeera.net)

World hunger on the rise

Despite a record world harvest in 2008, it is expected that 1 billion people will go hungry in 2009 because they are too poor to buy food. Prices of wheat, corn and rice increased to record levels in 2008. The global financial crisis and lack of promised aid are further worsening the situation.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization expects the number of undernourished to increase steadily and set back the progress that has been made in recent years to alleviate hunger. For 15 years prior to 2006, despite the increase in world population, the number of those suffering from hunger remained about the same. In the year 2000, world leaders agreed to the UN Millennium Development Goals, among them that between 1990 and 2015 they would halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Many countries were actually meeting their target goal ahead of time. But the situation began to deteriorate over the last three years.

A series of circumstances has created dire problems: high food prices preventing the poor from buying food; currencies depreciating in the developing world; farmers in poor countries unable to afford seed and fertilizer; wealthy countries importing fewer commodities from the developing world as their economies collapse; increased unemployment in the developed world, reducing money being sent from wages to relatives in poor countries; and foreign aid disappearing. Governments in wealthy nations pledged $12.3 billion in June 2008 to help alleviate the global food crisis, but have so far given only $1 billion, while at the same time providing trillions of dollars to bail out failing banks.

British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn believes that nothing short of a ‘Kyoto-style’ programme is needed to solve the food problem. “We have the knowledge and the technology to do this, as things stand,” he said, “but the perfect storm of climate change, environmental degradation and water and oil scarcity threatens our ability to succeed.” (Source: The Independent, Financial Times, BBC, UK)

Stock markets worldwide crashed in 2008

“As already announced (SI Dec 1988) a world stock market crash will begin in Japan. Maitreya reiterates: a stock market crash is inevitable.” (Share International, June 1989)

Many stock markets worldwide suffered their worst losses ever in 2008, and others were dramatically lower for the year. The main US stock index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, fell 33.8 per cent, its worst decline since 1931 and its third-worst year ever. Some $6.9 trillion in stock market wealth was lost in the US markets alone. Japanese shares suffered their biggest yearly decline, with the Nikkei dropping 42 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 had its worst year on record, down 31.3 per cent, with similar falls in Paris and Frankfurt. Shanghai was one of the worst-hit major markets, ending the year 65 per cent lower, which was also a record loss.

The international financial crisis in 2008 pushed several major economies into recession, with banks particularly affected, many requiring government bail-outs. The meltdown of the US housing market led to a global reduction in consumer spending and industrial production. “No one saw an end to the bull run,” said Kirby Daley from Newedge Group, a financial brokerage in Hong Kong. “What many failed to see was an endgame to the leveraged world we were living in and an endgame to the consumption-driven economy that the world had become.” (Source: BBC, UK; Associated Press, USA)

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