Never take sweets from strangers?

A plea for awareness: How strange that on one specific night of the year, during the hours of darkness, we increasingly allow our children to dress up in costumes which make Screen shot 2015-10-26 at 18.48.39them unrecognisable and encourage them to knock on the doors of strangers to demand sweets, ‘trick or treating”. Halloween has become a secular holiday, perceived as harmless fun, an opportunity to engage in shared community activities. We have forgotten the significance of the 2000 year old Celtic pagan origins which were a celebration of naturals cycles; a thanksgiving for harvest in preparation for the coming of winter, but one which marked the division between the spirit world and our own.

Halloween has its roots in Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) the Celtic festival celebrated on November 1st, the day which marked the seasonal division of the year between light tlachtgaand darkness. The Celts followed a lunar calendar and festivities began on the eve before, October 31st. It was believed that on this night the veils between the worlds was thinned making communication with departed souls easier. Deceased family and friends were remembered and honoured on this day; this day unfortunately also allowed other malevolent entities, of the spirit world to cross over into the physical. Bonfires were lit with torchlight processions of masked revellers. Costumes depicting the beings who inhabit the underworld were worn as a means of disguise in the hope that unfriendly spirits they might meet would be tricked into believing they were ghosts, ghouls, goblins etc.

The later Christian association comes from the 7th century when All Saints Day was established by Pope Boniface lV  to honour the departed saints of the church. Initially observed on May 13th. the feast day was moved to November 1st by Pope Gregory 111 inthe 9th century supposedly in an effort to integrate pre Christian pagan calendars. October 31st was then designated All Hallows Eve (eventually Halloween) a time to pray for the souls of the departed who had not yet entered heaven.Screen shot 2015-10-25 at 18.19.50 Later still pagan ritual was modified to a more acceptable form, children would dress up and go from door to door asking for ‘soul cakes’ in return for praying for the departed souls, the origin of ‘trick or treat’. The combination of pagan/Christian origins continues today in the more extreme form as in Mexico’s “Los Dias de los Muertos” (The Days of the Dead) when souls are invited to step over the threshold.

What we might ask has this got to do with a 21st century secular holiday? For the atheist or for those who consider a belief in the paranormal to be nothing more than the remnant of superstition ….  the answer is ‘Nothing’.  Others retain if not a conviction then  a healthy respect for the possibility that we are a soul with a body rather than simply a body with a mind.  Halloween provides an opportunity to pause to consider the potential dimensions beyond the physical realm and those who may inhabit them.

White witchcraft or ritualized magic is the belief in the manipulation of natural forces for benevolent purposes eg healing, it has millions of adherents throughout the world.Today white witches continue to celebrate Samhain a major pagan religious festival on 1c5da-wheeloftheyear3November 1st, commencing on 31st October.  Confusion has arisen regarding the association of Halloween with pagan Sabats, (Sabbaths)  sacred days.  This resulted from the infamous medieval persecution by the Christian church towards those they regarded as heretics. These included women accused of practicing witchcraft or ritualized ‘magic’. In medieval Europe and beyond when hundreds of thousands, mainly women, were incarcerated, tortured and often put to death for practicing herbalism and the healing arts. (witch means ‘wise woman’)

There is another form of ritualized magic which is far from benevolent. Satanism240px-Jack-o'-Lantern_2003-10-31 is a perversion of the healing arts, the worship of the ‘devil’ (deified evil) as a personification of the ego, which denies God in any form, elevating man as the supreme expression of consciousness. The anti Christ focus of the ‘black mass’ inverts the symbolism and artifacts of the Christian mass as a means of magnifying and directing cosmic forces. Satanic ritual has historically involved both human and animal sacrifice which continues among some adherents today, it has been linked to human trafficking, particularly of children. No surprise then that Halloween remains an important date in their calendar.

Masquerade1-copy-270x400It is for each of us to decide whether or not we believe in supernatural forces or a spirit world. If we do,we must surely question whether or not the festival of Halloween potentially opens a portal between the worlds as our ancestors believed. Our allegiance inevitably reflects  our spiritual beliefs, or lack of them. We have the choice to  align to positive or negative force fields and aspects of consciousness and also  to reject them. As in all things decision requires informed choice. Ignorance is not bliss ….it simply makes us vulnerable. Before we send our children out to have fun, dressed as vampires, ghouls and devils we might pause to consider the astral forces which do not dissolve, simply because we do not believe in their existence. For those with clairvoyant vision entities are all too real and operate in accordance with natural law – ‘like attracts like’.  This might help us decide what costume we might choose to dress our child in.

The increased awareness that consciousness is multi dimensional leads us to a fascinating study of paranormal realms and spheres and the journey of the soul. To be of value it should be more than an academic study, the knowledge should be applied. Just as we would not allow our children to venture out alone and unprotected in every day life, we should not invite the attention of those whose motives and intentions may be questionable – whether they reside in this world or another.

‘There are more things in heaven and Earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’                                                                                                           William Shakespeare

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Shall we overcome?

robinson27n-2-webAMELIA BOYNTON ROBINSON – Died August 26th aged 104

Fifty years after Martin Luther King and leading civil rights activists led the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 we mark the passing of an icon of the movement.

imgresWhen  activists groups joined together to launch a voters registration campaign in 1963 they were met with implacable opposition from white officials and turned to Dr Martin Luther King for support. This was the beginning of the three Selma marches led by Dr. King and leaders of the Civil Rights movement, Amelia Boynton Robinson was one of them.

Marchers were met with extreme brutality by State Troopers and prevented from crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to reach the State Capital. Amelia was one of many who were severely beaten, she was rendered unconscious for two days. The photograph of her lying on the bridge was flashed around the world on television screens, drawing national attention to the event which became known as Bloody Sunday.

Martin Luther King JrDr Martin Luther King  and other prominent leaders came from all over the country to continue the protest marches. Within weeks over 3,000 people had been arrested but on the third march they crossed the bridge to the Alabama State Capitol where Dr King gave his speech. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was finally passed with  Boynton  present as Lyndon B Johnson’s guest of honour.

Amelia Boynton Robinson championed the rights of African Americans throughout her long life. She married her co worker in 1936 and together they worked towards achieving voting, property and education rights particularly for poor sharecroppers of Alabama.   She was the first black woman to run for Congress and was awarded the Martin Luther King Jnr. Medal of Freedom in 1990.

As we watch the continuing struggle of black Americans against oppression, race it seems remains a defining factor. In the words of Martin Luther King:  “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

There can be few who worked so tirelessly and with more dedication than Amelia Boynton Robinson, she will no doubt continue to inspire many to take up the torch in ‘the land of the free’.


Amelia Boynton Robinson: Marching in Selma

Amelia Boynton Robinson: Racial Violence

Gold and the River

Screen shot 2015-08-14 at 23.13.06A gold mine  inactive since 1920 which spilled 3 million gallons of toxic mining waste into the Animas River in Colorado was accidentally breached  by Environmental Protection Agency contractors investigating there. Residents watched helplessly  as the yellow water moved downstream through the Animas Valley, into downtown Durango and on into New Mexico. There  it has choked off the main water supply for farmers along the way, before reaching  into Utah.  The main drinking water supply for towns such as Aztec and Farmington plus the 27,000 square-mile Navajo Nation are directly affected along with over 100 river miles.

The colour of the water is due to the infiltration of iron, Screen shot 2015-08-14 at 23.13.20perhaps less deadly than the other heavy metals identified which are said to include mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium, all highly toxic. Exposure is known to seriously affect the central nervous system, cause cancer  and kidney disease. One of the samples of mercury was nearly 10 times higher than the EPA acceptable levels while samples of beryllium and cadmium were 33 times higher. Arsenic levels were 300 times the normal level with the highest reading for lead 12,000 higher times higher  than EPA guidelines allow.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the size of the spill to be more than 3 million gallons, compared with the initial EPA estimate of 1 million gallons.  State engineer Tom Blaine said that the EPA took no action to alert residents of New Mexico to the potential danger, and did not notify the state directly.Experts have warned that as sediment settles into the Animas riverbed,  Durango could see a rash of river closures for years to come as monsoons, spring snowmelt runoff from the mountains and major weather events disturb the heavy metals.

Gold_King_Mine_Entrance-336x252Earthworks estimates that there are over 500,000 abandoned and inactive hard rock mines strewn across the country which perpetually leak this type of mine pollution into our waters. The estimated clean up bill is  $50 billion. The 1872 Mining Law which allows corporations, foreign and domestic, to mine  public owned  minerals with  no environmental provisions to cleanup after mining is over, ensures mining companies will continue to pollute with impunity.

See Blog:  Reaping what we Sow

YouTube:  Removing Heavy Metal toxins from the body 

Reaping what we Sow

Some 30,000 years ago, the Paleo-Indians, the ancestors of Native Americans, followed herds of animals from Siberia across Beringia, a land bridge connecting Asia and North America, into Alaska. By 8,000 B.C.E., these peoples had spread across North and South America. The tribal peoples were diverse but all Indians lived in organized societies with political structures, moral codes, and religious beliefs. The idea of private land ownership was foreign; all land was held communally and worked collectively. Most of the Four Corners region belongs to semi-autonomous Native American nations, the largest of which is the Navajo Nation, followed by Hopi, Ute, and Zuni.

400px-4corner4 CORNERS REGION:  The United States acquired the four corners region from Mexico after the end of the Mexican–American War in 1848. Colorado Territory was created in 1861 and in 1863 Congress created Arizona Territory from the western part of New Mexico Territory. Gold was discovered in California just days before Mexico ceded the land to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Under the treaty, Mexico recognized the U.S. annexation of Texas, and agreed to sell California and the rest of its territory north of the Rio Grande for $15 million plus the assumption of certain damages claims.  The people of these newly created states share jurisdiction for the region along with  the Navajo Nation and Mountain Ute Tribe. Tribal nations living within the 4 Corners region  include the Hopi and other Ute.

 Until 1920 citizens had been free to prospect for minerals on public lands and allowed  to stake claims to both minerals and surrounding lands for development; 1024px-Navajo_(young_boy)_2007this led to a major oil rush in the mid west and the government acted swiftly to withdraw lands from public use. Congress enacted the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 which dictated a system of leasing and development for mining interests on federally owned land. The discovery of oil on Navajo land in the early 1920’s resulted in pressure from American oil companies to lease Navajo land for exploration.

In the 1950s the mining interests of Peabody Western Coal and John Boyden, a bishop in the Mormon Church and a former U.S. attorney began the strategy which would open up the coal deposit  on sacred lands of Black Mesa to major energy development. The cooperation of the tribal council of at least one of the Indian tribes on Black Mesa was required, Boyden approached the Navajo, who turned him down. He then exploited traditionalist and progressive divisions between the Hopi through his knowledge of both tribal council politics and the Bureau of Indian Affairs policies and created a new tribal council favourable to Peabody. In 1964, Peabody Energy (then Peabody Western Coal),  CoalMine_byBertKaufmannsigned a contract with the Navajo Tribe and in 1966 with the Hopi Tribe, allowing the company mineral rights and use of an aquifer to transport water. The contract was negotiated by attorney John  Boyden, who claimed to be representing the Hopi Tribe while actually on the payroll of Peabody. It offered unusually advantageous terms for Peabody and was approved despite widespread opposition. The two tribal councils split a royalty rate of thirty cents a ton at a time when the government royalty rate for coal extracted on public lands was $1.50 a ton).

The leases were signed secretly by the tribal councils and the company with no tribal referendum on either side. John Boyden remained the Hopi’s lawyer for thirty years. presenting himself as a humble country lawyer working for the Hopi pro bono. In fact his fees which totalled $2.7 million. were paid by the government out of monies held in trust for the Hopi.  One of Boydens first actions was to introduce a bill in Congress creating a special court to allow the Hopi to sue the Navajo to clear title for the coal lands.

Screen shot 2015-08-15 at 18.19.29Peabody pumped, on average, 3 million gallons of water from the Navajo Aquifer every day. The aquifer is the main source of potable groundwater for the Navajo and Hopi tribes, who use the water for farming and livestock maintenance as well as drinking and other domestic uses. The tribes have alleged that the pumping of water by Peabody Energy has caused a severe decline in potable water and the number of springs. Both tribes live in arid semi-desert and attach religious significance to water, considering it sacred; they have cultural, religious and practical objections to over-use of water. Protracted lawsuits have continued despite intermittent settlements. Peabody (Revenues  US $6.79 billion)  is seeking a lifetime permit for the lands it leased from the American tribes.

Hopi prophecies predict that when the heart of the Hopi land trust is dug up, great disturbances will develop in the balance of nature. For the Hopi, the land is sacred, the microcosmic image of the entire planet; any violations of nature in the Four Corners region will be reflected and amplified all over the Earth.

The major cities of Phoenix and Tucson are located in the Sonoran desert, the hottest desert in North America. Computer operators with a few key strokes release millions of gallons of water from the Colorado River into grapefruit orchards and cotton fields hundreds of miles away. As residents enjoy the luxury of swimming pools and fountainsScreen shot 2015-08-15 at 20.09.59 few realise that much of the energy that makes the desert “bloom” comes from the Black Mesa strip mines on an Indian reservation or that twelve thousand Navajos have been removed from their lands as a result; the largest removal of Indians in the United States since the 1880s. The unequal battle between two Indian tribes and Peabody Mining is now recognised as  an attempt to divide and conquer the native people in a determined effort to acquire 21 billion tons of coal beneath Black Mesa. Today, that coal powers cheap electricity for Los Angeles, a new Phoenix aquaduct  and the urban playground of Las Vegas. The corporate view sees only profit even at the cost of exploitation and today these urban conurbation’s are facing the same impending disaster as the tribal peoples as drought engulfs the region.

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 1)‬ Spirituality    Black Mesa Mine

Last Call

 HOPI PROPHECY ROCK: Oraibi  Arizona: The Hopi believe that there have been 3 worlds before this one and that we are inhabiting the 4th world of creation. Their legends tell of those who were saved from the Great Flood who made a sacred covenant with the Great Spirit.   Ears of corn of different sizes were placed before the leaders of the four different racial groups  each was to choose which would be their food in this world. The Hopi waited until last and picked the smallest ear of corn. At this, the Great Spirit said: “It is well done. You have obtained the real corn, for all the others are imitations in which are hidden seeds of different plants. You have shown me your intelligence; for this reason I will place in your hands these sacred stone tablets, Tiponi, symbol of power and authority over all land and life to guard, protect, and hold in trust for me until I shall return to you in a later day, for I am the First and I am the Last.”

In time the Hopi forgot the teaching and began to fight. On the death of their leader his two sons were each given a set of Tiponi, and  instructed to carry them to a place to which the Great Spirit directed them.The elder brother was knowledgable and inventive and was told to go  to the east, toward the rising sun, and upon reaching his destination to start back immediately to look for his younger brother. This younger one, the Hopi had humility and simplicity and was told to maintain the sacred ceremonies and remain on Turtle Island [the Continental United States of America]. If the elder brother returned with the cross without the circle this would signify the loss of understanding of the sacredness of all life.

The legend is carved on the Hopi Prophecy rock.url Great Spirit is depicted as the large figure on the left. The bow in his left hand represents his instructions to the Hopi to lay down their weapons. To his right is a vertical line representing thousands of years or cycles of time. The point at which the great Spirit touches the line is the time of his return. The “life path” the people will follow divides into two. The lower, narrow path representing  Life in harmony with nature as lived by the Hopi, the wide upper road represents the path of the white man’s scientific achievements. The circle to the right represents the unity of life,  the cross above  is Christianity and the bar leading to the two paths, the coming of the white settlers.The four small human figures on the upper road represent, on one level, the past three worlds and the present; on another level, the figures indicate that some of the Hopi will travel the white man’s path, having been seduced by its glamour.                        maxresdefault

The two circles on the lower Path of Life are the “great shaking of the earth” (World Wars One and Two).The swastika  in the sun (an ancient symbol representing balance) and the Celtic cross representing unity are two helpers, the True White Brother. The short line that returns to the straight Path of Life is the last chance for people to turn back to nature before the upper road disintegrates and dissipates. The upper path peters out in a zig zag line to show the end of the cycle, the bar which joins the lower and the upper path is a last opportunity to follow the cosmic laws which govern the universe.The small circle above the Path of Life,  is the Great Purificatio, a cleansing for the Earth, a rebalancing to herald the next cycle and the eternal  Path of Life. The Hopi 400px-4cornershield in the lower right corner symbolizes the Earth and the Four-Corners area where the Hopi have been reserved. The arms of the cross also represent the four directions in which they migrated according to the instructions of the Great Spirit.

Hopi Chief Dan Hevehema speaks of the prophecies given by The Great Spirit.

“There are prophecies to give to you now at this closing of the Fourth World of destruction and the beginning of the Fifth World of peace. He gave us many prophecies to pass on to you and all have come to pass. This is how we know the timing is now to reveal the last warnings and instructions to mankind. Ancient cultures are being annihilated. Our people’s lands are being taken from them, leaving them no place to call their own. chiefdanWhy is this happening? It is happening because many have given up or manipulated their original spiritual teachings. It is because of this great sickness-called greed, which infects every land and country that simple people are losing what they have kept for thousands of years.

Now we are at the very end of our trail. Many people no longer recognise the true path of the Great Spirit. They have, in fact, no respect for the Great Spirit or for our precious Mother Earth, who gives us all life. We are instructed in our ancient prophecy that this would occur. We were told that someone would try to go up to the moon: that they would bring something back from the moon; and that after that, nature would show signs of losing its balance. Now we see that coming about. All over the world there are now many signs that nature is no longer in balance. Floods, drought, earthquakes, and great storms are occurring and causing much suffering.

This land which people call the Land of the Freedom celebrates many days reminding people of the world of these things. flag-300x225Yet in well over 200 years the original Americans have not seen a free day. We are suffering the final insult. Where is the freedom which you all fight for and sacrifice your children for? Is it only the Indian people who have lost or are all Americans losing the very thing which you original came here to find

We now stand at a cross road whether to lead ourselves in everlasting life or total destruction. We believe that human beings spiritual power through prayer is so strong it decides life on earth. Be well, my children, and think good thoughts of peace and togetherness. Peace for all life on earth and peace with one another in our homes, families and countries. We are not so different in the Creator’s eyes. The same great Father Sun shines his love on each of us daily just as Mother Earth prepares the substance for our table, do they not?  We are one after all.  Chief Dan Evehema

From Hotevilla, Arizona, Hopi Sovereign Nation


Indigenous Native American Prophecy  (Elders Speak part 2)


Bubbles always burst

It used to be said that when the USA sneezes the world catches a cold. 1404442666Governments all around the world are poised, proverbial handkerchiefs in hand as China the second largest trading nation, devalues its currency. A move we are told which will affect the global economy. Why then was so little prominence given to the recent stock market crash described (by a Chinese financier) as ‘greater in its impact than the stock market crash of 1929’. The financial crash of 2008 has faded from our memory despite its legacy of unemployment, food banks, homelessness and bankruptcy. Unable to accept the reality of the failing banking system we refuse to seek alternatives and watch as nations fall prey to the ‘money as debt’ cycle.

In 17th century England an entity  which nowadays we call a corporation was created. Unsurprisingly  it involved only a fairly small number of rich and powerful people. At a time when capital was freely available a new merchant class became the ‘stockjobbers’, what today we refer to as stock brokers. These astute, silver tongued traders began to operate in the streets and coffee houses; business was done in the narrow passageways forming what was called Change Alley. This was the birth of the London Stock Exchange in 1698. The ruling class of the landed gentry looked down their noses at this new merchant class, once described by Daniel de Foe  as people who “can wheedle men to ruin themselves and fiddle them out of their money’  Among them was one who would work his way up to be Joint Postmaster General, a position that allowed him to open other people’s mail obtaining valuable advance information about their business plans.

200px-JohnAislabie-1An example of the use of ‘privileged knowledge for personal gain’ is what is known today as insider trading. When John Aislabie the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day was offered illegal favours and the chance to make £35,557 10 shillings profit on a fictitious sale of stock in the new South Sea Company, he invested not only his own money but public funds. The Royal family and members of the House of Commons accepted illegal favours and the general public buoyed up by this patronage confidently rushed to take advantage of anticipated profits.

The scam was presented as an offer to take over huge amounts of the national debt, a legacy of war. Bonds and annuities would be exchanged for shares of stock in the South Sea Company. Margin trading was invented by allowing purchase by instalment, with only 10% down, blocks of shares were issued for which no payment was received. When stocks went up shares were sold to the public. When competition arose. more national debt was taken over with more bonds issued; share prices soared from £250 to £800. It was said that you could buy stock at one door in Change Alley and sell for a profit going out of another. King George conferred a baronetcy for ‘extraordinary services in raising public credit to a height not known before’

south-sea-bubble-2Since the profits only existed on paper, creating an illusory bubble of wealth, the bubble inevitably burst, leading to a collapse of all credit and a financial crisis which engulfed England. Businesses collapsed, unemployment soared along with bankruptcies and the government fell. As the South Sea Company  cashier made his escape over the channel taking with him the green book in which all the names and numbers of the illegal stock transactions were recorded, financial institutions were bailed out with losses split between aggrieved parties. The company directors assets were confiscated with some 2 million pounds distributed among stock holders, many others were made destitute. John Aislabie the disgraced Lord Chancellor was removed from the Privy Council and placed in the Tower of London. Eventually released and heavily fined he was barred from ever holding public office again and retired to his extensive country estate.

Wisdom as they say comes with experience but to avoid repetition we also need to remember. It seems self evident that if we give our money to others expecting them to safeguard it they will be less vigilant than they would be with their own. For this reason it has been said that partnerships might be preferred to corporate bodies yet we continue to place our trust in a discredited banking system based on profit and greed rather than the common good. Sir Isaac Newton who lost £20,000 in the South Sea Bubble fiasco commented: ‘I can measure the motions of bodies but I cannot measure human folly’

We can see the parallels today. There are those we might wish to see incarcerated in the Tower today were that possible. We watch in disbelief as failing banks are bailed out with public money and those responsible for their failure continue to receive bonuses and ‘golden parachutes’.

foodbankIt is estimated that the number of people using food banks in the UK will shortly pass the million mark while 13 million older Americans are now reported to rely on food banks.  While we have perhaps naively become enmeshed in the corrupt banking systems, it is never too late to choose another way; alternatives exist. It is not necessary or perhaps even possible  to withdraw completely from a financial system designed to exert control; we can however learn to utilise the system minimally and more effectively to our advantage. By taking the first steps we become empowered. Ask for help, join community initiatives, share, get an allotment, seek advice, which is today readily available. Most importantly we should examine our motives to be certain that we are not passive participants in a system we resent.




Global Migration – A Return

Screen shot 2015-08-02 at 18.04.47As a child of around 8 I was disturbed by a recurring vision I did not understand. I could clearly see the continent of Africa with which I was familiar from my school books, it was like viewing a map. As I watched, the map began to burn slowly, beginning at the top slightly to the left of centre then moving to the left and right where it it burned more quickly until the whole of the top section was alight. At this point the vision would fade, leaving me perplexed.

I somehow knew that I was being shown something of significance for the future. Once the image became familiar it did not recur although I never forgot it. Many years later I began to understand that I had received a premonition of  global events linked to North Africa however at that time this did not make sense as South Africa, Nelson Mandela and the Freedom movement were the focus of attention.  In recent years as I watched the Arab Spring light the revolutionary spark in Tunisia I remembered the vision clearly and looked at a map of Africa to realise that I had viewed the timeline of events, the uprising in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt which occurred  some 60 years later. (According to my vision Algeria and Morocco are to follow)

I believe the purpose of premonition is to provide a warning to allow us to change course. The African continent like so much of the world is in turmoil due to a culture of greed imposed by internal oppressive regimes and external political  influence. It is a principle that the consequence of manipulating commodities  to obtain an advantage results in impoverishment for both parties in the end. When we take without concern for the welfare of others natural law ensures that the energy will be returned to us like the wave upon the shore. Perhaps we are about to learn that we do not own anything and are simply custodians of the wealth of the Earth. If we are unwilling to share the proceeds gained at the expense of others in the past and exact more than our entitlement, we will in the end be forced to share the same experience we have meted out to others.

Today 30 million children are fleeing conflicts beyond their control including those which have engulfed Tunisia, Libya, Northern Nigeria, Eritrea, Chad, Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. 800,000 children have fled the Boko Haram terror in Nigeria.

US113292_Medium_resThe number of migrants to have arrived in Italy by boat this year passed 50,000. More than 5,800 people were rescued from the Mediterranean sea  in one weekend with a total of 3,480 people rescued from 15 separate boats that had set off from Libya, The international effort involved the Italian authorities and naval ships from the UK, Ireland and Germany.The Maltese, Spanish and Swedish navies also took part in rescues on Sunday alongside the Italian coastguard and private vessels

The UK and France have urged other EU nations to help address the root causes of the Calais migrant crisis, described as “part of a global migration crisis”. Thousands of migrants have attempted to access the Euro tunnel terminal in the last week, nine have died trying to access the tunnel since the start of June. David Cameron has said the UK will not become a safe haven” for migrants and warned illegal immigrants would be removed from the country. It is proposed that landlords offering housing to undocumented immigrants would  now receive a  5 year prison sentence.

op-stack-paEuro tunnel, which operates the Channel Tunnel says it has blocked 37,000 attempts since January. The M20 motorway has been blocked for days by hundreds of lorries in ‘Operation Stack’ the government response to delays at the port of Calais. Mr Cameron states British troops will be involved in an operation to ease traffic congestion in Kent as the chaos continues and  transport is disrupted.

Some 900 migrants who  left Libya in April drowned when their boat capsized at sea some weeks ago. migranti-420x406-1The threat of death is meaningless when measured against the horrors of their lives. Tony Abbot, Prime Minister of Australia has his own solution to the problem: “We have got hundreds, maybe thousands of people drowning in the attempts to get from Africa to Europe. The “only way you can stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats,” He has been accused of paying people traffickers to turn the boats around to make the return journey.

 main_1200Meanwhile in a detention camp in Zawya Libya Abdullah who is from Darfur in Sudan sits and waits, saying there is no way back to his country. He left for what is now South Sudan in 2006, after his village was destroyed in the Darfur war, his father died, and his sisters were raped. In South Sudan, another war later broke out, he made his way through the Sahara and on to Libya and another civil war. On the journey his brother and cousin died. Abdullah had worked in a soap shop, and saved up to pay local smugglers for the boat to Europe. But just as he hoped to complete the payment, he was robbed, and then arrested.

 US113287_Medium_res-1200_0One man says he left Sierra Leone after both his parents died in the Ebola outbreak . Around 120 had been at sea for a week, drifting aimlessly. Libyan smugglers had crammed them on the boat with just a compass and no driver. They say “No one knew where we were going, everyone was trying to drive the boat. We were just following the sun.” A 30 year old Eritrean nurse describes the horror of home, where anyone suspected of breathing a word of dissent is imprisoned “Our country is a total dictatorship. They can put us in prison for unlimited years. If we go back we will die.”

Afghan refugees arriving on a beach in Kos Greece welcomed by those who understand poverty and oppression.


The Karma of Genocide (1)

BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES:  The aim of colonialism is to exploit the physical, human, and economic resources of an area to benefit the colonising nation. Between the 1870s and 1900  Africa  ColonisationAfricaresisted European imperialist aggression, the attempt to colonise by foreign domination until finally Europeans  imposed their formal rule of law on African countries.. In 1884, leaders from 14 colonial powers, including the United States, Great Britain, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain, held the Berlin Conference where they divided the continent of Africa into 50 countries and claimed them for themselves. No African representatives were invited.

Today most of Africa’s 53 so called ‘independent sovereign countries’ retain the borders drawn by this agreement.These European nations redefined territories, drawing borders to protect their own interests from other colonial powers. In doing so they altered forever the local balance of power, creating ethnic divides which had previously not existed. Social groups who once lived side by side now became isolated while buffer zones separating traditional enemies disappeared. An example is the Congo River, once providing a geographic boundary with groups who shared a language and culture, living on both sides until France and Belgium redefined the boundaries.The destruction of culture and tradition is a deliberate strategy of colonisation, altering language, ways of life and weakening political structure by replacing authority figures in the community. Africans lost control of their land and their future.

The Karma of genocide: The Berlin Conference granted the region that became the country of Rwanda to Germany. German colonists arrived in Rwanda in the 1890s and found a centrally governed and efficiently run country made up of people who shared a common culture, language and religious beliefs. Over centuries two ethnic groups Hutus and Tutsis had merged into one culture with intermarriage, and cultural practices erasing the former culture divide. ‘Hutu’ originally referred to the agricultural-based Bantu-speaking peoples who moved into present day Rwanda and Burundi from the West. ‘Tutsi’ referred to North eastern cattle-based peoples who later migrated into the region. The terms did not define racial ancestry but a person’s current economic class. Individuals who owned roughly 10 or more cattle were considered Tutsi, and those with fewer were considered Hutu.

At the end of WWI, Belgium accepted the League of Nations Mandate of 1916 to govern Rwanda. In order to create greater control, the Belgian colonists divided Rwanda’s unified population into three distinct groups: Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. Both the Belgians and the Germans, influenced by racist ideas, thought that the Tutsi were a superior group because they were more “white” looking. Christian missionaries were seeking converts in Africa and the Catholic church favoured the Tutsi due to a greater willingness to convert to catholicism.

Screen shot 2015-08-01 at 14.55.21The colonists created a strict system of racial classification, the size of the nose was measured and the color of the eyes and skin were factors used  to determine whether a person was classified as Hutu, Tutsi or Twa. Identity cards based on this philosophy conferred power and privilege. The colonists believed that the Tutsi were natural rulers, so they put only Tutsis into positions of authority and discriminated against Hutus and Twa. The Hutus, who make up about 85% of Rwanda’s population, were denied higher education, land ownership and positions in government. By the 1950s, resentment towards the colonial rulers and the Tutsis erupted resulting in the mass slaughter of the Tutsi by the Hutu. Check points and barricades were set up and the racist National Identity cards were used to identify and systematically kill Tutsi. In a 100 day period an estimated 500,000 – 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, 70% of the Tutsi and 20% of the Rwandan population as a whole.

“The most devastating legacy of European control of Rwanda was the transformation of social distinctions into so-called ‘races’. We were classified and dissected, and whatever differences existed were magnified according to a framework invented elsewhere’

                                                                                    Paul Kagame   President of Rwanda

The Karma of genocide (2)

TRAFFICKING: The Portugese travellers who discovered the Kingdom of Kongo in the 15th century reported a population close to half a million people, a highly developed state at the centre of an extensive trading network. Merchants traded in raw materials including ivory and a wealth of manufactured goods such as copper and ironware, raffia cloth and pottery all of which were highly profitable and in great demand in Europe.

In the 1800s the great explorer David Livingstone established his hospital then disappeared into the jungle to minister to the African natives before the famous meeting stanley-portrait2with Stanley in 1871. King Leopold II of the Belgians read about this meeting in The Times, igniting his desire to acquire land to increase his personal wealth. When the Belgian parliament resisted he decided to acquire the colony himself. The king commissioned Stanley to go back to Africa under the guise of an international scientific and philanthropic association, – to negotiate with the local chiefs. The 400 “cloth and trinket” treaties of the next four years were sealed by pacts. The African chiefs believing they were signing friendship pacts, they were in fact selling their land.

The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 marked the climax of the European competition to acquire African territory with each government seeking to safeguard its national interests. The colonial nations of Europe authorised Leopold’s claim for a colony, committing the Congo for the purpose of ‘improving the lives of the native inhabitants.’ On May 29, 1885, the king named his new colony the Congo Free State; a million square miles of unmapped jungle, 75 times the size of Belgium. The worldwide boom in rubber began when a Scot named Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre.  Vines yielding rubber grew prolifically in Congo and Leopold set quotas of both rubber and ivory for each village, for which they were paid a pitifully low fixed price set by his officials on the ground.The peoples of the Congo River basin were forced to work as porters, miners, rubber-tappers, woodcutters, and railway builders for European interests.

victim_of_congo_atrocities_congo_ca._1890-1910_imp-cscnww33-os10-19A colonial army called the force publique (public force) was created, largely from local Africans and a handful of Belgian officers in order to marshal labor, quell revolts, and enforce the collection of rubber and ivory. Its black soldiers were led by white officers who routinely supervised the burning of non-compliant villages and the torture and rape of those who were struggling to fill quotas. No form of organised government control or oversight existed, Europeans were free to adopt brutal policies of kidnapping, mutilation, amputated_congolese_girlrobbery, and murder to exact their demands. Failure to meet the specified quota of goods could mean the execution of the family while the routine penalty for failing to bring in enough rubber was the severing of a hand. A Baptist missionary wrote a letter to The Times stating: “The hands of men, women and children – were placed in rows before the commissary who counted them to see that the soldiers had not wasted cartridges.”

The brutal exploitation of the native Congolese population is said to have resulted in the death of as many as 30 million people. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)  By 1908, public pressure and diplomatic manoeuvres ended Leopold II’s rule.The Parliament of Belgium annexed the Congo Free State and took over its administration paying Leopold £2m in compensation for his losses. In the decades that followed  large amounts of the wealth produced in the Congo were spent there by the alliance of church, commerce and state. Missionaries built hospitals and clinics and ran schools, doctors and medics eradicated sleeping sickness. Many villages had medical posts, and bigger cities had well-equipped hospitals. Railways, ports and roads were built by the authorities and mining companies provided housing, welfare and technical training. By the Second World War, Congo was Africa’s richest colony.

The Congolese however had no rights to own land, to vote or to travel freely, with curfews in towns and forced labour in the countryside. Higher education was available only for those who wanted to become priests and Congolese could not enter the professions. Demands for independence were rebuffed, Colonialism ruled. On a sudden tide of African nationalism, independence was declared in 1960 with Patrice Lumumba elected Prime Minister. At the height of the Cold War Africa had become a proxy battlefield with America and  Russia jostling for position and a  new Imperialist phase began. A local CIA chief informed Washington that the Congo was “a Cuba in the making”, President Eisenhower allegedly authorised that Lumumba be assassinated. September 1960, a military coup led by Josef Mbutu overthrew Lumumba who was assassinated by firing squad led by a Belgian mercenary.

Corrupt dictators:  Mbutu’s military coup and one party state  was supported by US foreign policy to become  Africa’s most notorious dictator. Congo became Zaire. The man Ronald Reagan once called “a voice of good sense and good will” was given a total of $2bn over 30 years.  Of the $73m education budget for one year, schools got only $8m. Mbutu stole nearly $5bn – almost the equivalent of the country’s foreign debt and embezzled up to $15 billion becoming the fifth-richest man in the world at the time.

Nixon-w-MobutuAs Congo’s public infrastructure crumbled the CIA trained and armed his bodyguards and France and Belgium deployed troops to support the Mbutu regime. The Congo became Africa’s haven for mercenaries, war lords, money launderers and diamond smugglers. In the decades which followed tens of thousands of child soldiers have been forced into armed conflict with female child soldiers used as sexual slaves by the commanders and boys made to commit the most atrocious acts of murder. Amnesty International reports that a 15-year-old soldier, ‘Kalami’ was made to ‘kill a family, to cut up their bodies and eat them’. He goes on to say ‘my life is lost. I have nothing to live for‘.

The Karma of Economic Slavery (3)

BONDAGE: Slavery in Africa  existed throughout the continent for centuries before the arrival of white settlers but was a small part of the economic life until Europeans introduced a form of slavery which  devastated African life and society in theSlavery+Zanzibar+-+12 1400s. The Portuguese were the first to buy slaves and the Spanish the first to use enslaved Africans in the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. The Abolition of Slavery by Great Britain in 1833 led to the collapse of the international African slave trade economy resulting in European financial losses. This coincided with the colonisation of Africa and was the beginning of a commodity based trading system designed to serve the industrialisation of Europe.

Historically Africa had engaged in international trade from the time of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Prior to the official partition of Africa by the major European nations, West Africa had developed extensive international trading systems with its economies advancing in every area, particularly in the area of trade. Following the collapse of the slave trade Africa became a source of raw materials for the rapidly industrialising European powers. The colonisers encouraged the development of a commodity based trading system to meet their own requirements.  The consequence was a trade network linking the total economic output of African regions to the demands of the colonizing state with devastating results for the indigenous people.

Screen shot 2015-08-02 at 14.31.19In Tanganyika for example, “the colonial authorities shifted labor from food production to a labor intensive, non food cash crop, cotton.’ The colonial authorities also promoted the minor crops of peanuts and sesame while reducing dietary staples such as millet and sorghum. This led to inadequate food reserves, chronic malnutrition and famine. By insisting on the development of certain crops, Europeans undermined the existing economic power structure creating the total dependency of African countries upon Europe. Colonialism lasted in Africa for only a period of about eighty years, the legacy was enduring; Africans became and remain unequal partners in the arena of international trade and economics.

Following decolonisation Africa borrowed vast sums from various nations, banks and companies in an effort to feed, educate and modernise its people The price being political influence over Africa with a requirement to devalue their currencies. Political instability and devastated economies remain, with social issues of health and education ignored largely due to mismanagement by corrupt dictators many of whom  became puppets of the West. Today debt slavery is the commodity which holds Africa in bondage.