Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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James Martineau
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/8/19



Our perceptions may well mislead us about the nature of 'reality'. Despite this uncertainty, it is confidently asserted -- with the vigour of an unchallengeable dogmatism -- that 'truth' is relative, especially when it comes to religion. How can all the religions of the world be 'true'? How are we to evaluate such claims? How is one religion to be judged 'truer' than another? Is the attempt to make such value-judgements merely another example of a human predilection for the absurd? More sensible, perhaps, to remain silent or to take the line that all religions can, at best, be only relatively true. Comparisons are seldom so odious as they are when made about religion. Is it 'true' that we do not know, and can not know, the 'truth'? The word agnosticism is used almost exclusively today to express scepticism about revealed religion. Agnostics may include among their number those who are uncertain about the claims advanced for any institutionalised religion, but it may be truer to say that they are convinced about the irrelevance of such claims. To put it another way, their agnosticism is selective, in that their 'not-knowing' does not extend to social ideals, values, politics, business, or education. On these matters they are usually as certain as the most devout believers are about their religious convictions. In theory, agnosticism is not an absolute position, but when it comes to the world's religions, agnostics and atheists have much in common. For much of the Agnosticism of the age, the Gnosticism of theologians is undeniably responsible. 'They have inconsiderately overstrained the language of religion till its meaning breaks; and the coherent thinker easily picks up its ruins to show they can contain nothing.'33 -- [33. James Martineau, 1888, A Study of Religion: Its Sources and Contents, Clarendon Press, Oxford, vol. I, p. xi.]

-- The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions: H.N. Spalding's Pioneering Vision, by Edward Hulmes

James Martineau
Born 21 April 1805
Norwich, England
Died 11 January 1900 (aged 94)
London, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Manchester College, York
Notable work
The Rationale of Religious Inquiry (1836)
The Seat of Authority in Religion (1890)
Region British Unitarianism
Institutions Manchester New College

James Martineau (/ˈmɑːrtənˌoʊ/; 21 April 1805 – 11 January 1900)[1] was an English religious philosopher influential in the history of Unitarianism.

For 45 years he was Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy and Political Economy in Manchester New College, the principal training college for British Unitarianism.

Many portraits of Martineau, including one painted by George Frederick Watts, are held at London's National Portrait Gallery. In 2014, the gallery revealed that its patron, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was related to Martineau. The Duchess' great-great-grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, was Dr James Martineau's grandnephew.[2][3] The gallery also holds written correspondence between Martineau and Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson - who records that he "regarded Martineau as the master mind of all the remarkable company with whom he engaged". William Ewart Gladstone said of Martineau; "he is beyond question the greatest of living thinkers".[4]

One of his children was the Pre-Raphaelite watercolourist Edith Martineau.

Early life

The seventh of eight children, James Martineau was born in Norwich, England, where his father Thomas (1764–1826) was a cloth manufacturer and merchant. His mother, Elizabeth Rankin, was the eldest daughter of a sugar refiner and grocer. The Martineau family were descended from Gaston Martineau, a Huguenot surgeon and refugee, who married Marie Pierre in 1693, and settled in Norwich. His son and grandson — respectively the great-grandfather and grandfather of James Martineau — were surgeons in the same city. Many of the family were active in Unitarian causes, so much so that a room in Essex Hall, the headquarters of British Unitarianism, was eventually named after them. Branches of the Martineau family in Norwich, Birmingham and London were socially and politically prominent Unitarians; other elite Unitarian families in Birmingham were the Kenricks, Nettlefolds and the Chamberlains, with much intermarriage between these families taking place.[5][6][7] Essex Hall held a statue of Martineau.[8] His niece, Frances Lupton, who was close to his sister Harriet, had worked to open up educational opportunities for women.[9]

Education and early years

James was educated at Norwich Grammar School where he was a school-fellow with George Borrow under Edward Valpy, as good a scholar as his better-known brother Richard, but proved too sensitive for school.[10] He was sent to Bristol to the private academy of Dr. Lant Carpenter, under whom he studied for two years. On leaving he was apprenticed to a civil engineer at Derby, where he acquired "a store of exclusively scientific conceptions," but also began to look to religion for mental stimulation.

Martineau's conversion followed, and in 1822 he entered the dissenting academy Manchester College, then at York - his uncle Peter Finch Martineau was one of its Vice-Presidents.[11] Here he "woke up to the interest of moral and metaphysical speculations." Of his teachers, one, the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved, was, Martineau said, "a master of the true Lardner type, candid and catholic, simple and thorough, humanly fond indeed of the counsels of peace, but piously serving every bidding of sacred truth." The other, the Rev. John Kenrick, he described as a man so learned as to be placed by Dean Stanley "in the same line with Blomfield and Thirlwall," and as "so far above the level of either vanity or dogmatism, that cynicism itself could not think of them in his presence." On leaving the college in 1827 Martineau returned to Bristol to teach in the school of Lant Carpenter; but in the following year he was ordained for a [12] Unitarian church in Dublin, whose senior minister was a relative of his.

James Martineau at a younger age.

Martineau's ministerial career was suddenly cut short in 1832 by difficulties growing out of the "regium donum", which had on the death of the senior minister fallen to him. He conceived it as "a religious monopoly" to which "the nation at large contributes," while "Presbyterians alone receive," and which placed him in "a relation to the state" so "seriously objectionable" as to be "impossible to hold." The invidious distinction it drew between Presbyterians on the one hand, and Catholics, members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), other nonconformists, unbelievers, and Jews on the other, who were compelled to support a ministry they conscientiously disapproved, offended his conscience. His conscience did, however, allow him to attend both the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837 and the her Golden Jubilee half a century later. A year prior to the coronation, at St James's Palace, Martineau had "kissed the hand" of the queen at the Deputation of British Presbyterians ministers.[13]

Work and writings

From Dublin, he was called to Liverpool. He lodged in a house owned by Joseph Williamson. It was during his 25 years in Liverpool that he published his first work, Rationale of Religious Enquiry, which caught the attention of many religious and philosophical figures.

In 1840 Martineau was appointed Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy and Political Economy in Manchester New College, the seminary in which he had been educated, and which had now moved from York back to Manchester. This position, and the principalship (1869-1885), he held for 45 years.[14] In 1853 the college moved to London, and four years later he followed it there. In 1858 he combined this work with preaching at the pulpit of Little Portland Street Chapel in London, which for the first two years he shared with John James Tayler (who was also his colleague in the college), and then for twelve years as its only minister.

In 1866, the Chair of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College, London, fell vacant when the liberal nonconformist Dr John Hoppus retired. Martineau became a candidate, and despite strong support from some quarters, potent opposition was organised by the anti-clerical George Grote, whose refusal to endorse Martineau resulted in the appointment of George Croom Robertson, then an untried man. Martineau, however, sidestepped Grote's opposition, much as Hoppus had learnt to do during his Professorship, and developed a cordial friendship with Robertson.

Martineau was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1872.[15] He was awarded LL.D. of Harvard in 1872, S.T.D. of Leiden in 1874, D.D. of Edinburgh in 1884, D.C.L. of Oxford in 1888 and D. Litt. of Dublin in 1891.

Life and thought

Martineau described some of the changes he underwent; how he had "carried into logical and ethical problems the maxims and postulates of physical knowledge," and had moved within narrow lines "interpreting human phenomena by the analogy of external nature"; and how in a period of "second education" at Humboldt University in Berlin, with Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg, he experienced "a new intellectual birth". It made him, however, no more of a theist than he had been before, and he developed Transcendentalist views, which became a significant current within Unitarianism.[16]

Early years

James Martineau by Elliott & Fry, circa 1860s

Martineau was in his early life a preacher. Although he did not believe in the Incarnation, he held deity to be manifest in humanity; man underwent an apotheosis, and all life was touched with the dignity and the grace which it owed to its source. His preaching led to works that built up his reputation:Endeavours after the Christian Life, 1st series, 1843; 2nd series, 1847; Hours of Thought, 1st series, 1876; 2nd series, 1879; the various hymn-books he issued at Dublin in 1831, at Liverpool in 1840, in London in 1873; and the Home Prayers in 1891.

In 1839 Martineau came to the defence of Unitarian doctrine, under attack by Liverpool clergymen including Fielding Ould and Hugh Boyd M‘Neile. In the controversy, Martineau published five discourses, in which he discussed "the Bible as the great autobiography of human nature from its infancy to its perfection," "the Deity of Christ," "Vicarious Redemption," "Evil," and "Christianity without Priest and without Ritual."

In Martineau's earliest book, The Rationale of Religious Enquiry, published in 1836, he placed the authority of reason above that of Scripture; and he assessed the New Testament as "uninspired, but truthful; sincere, able, vigorous, but fallible."[17] The book marked him down, among older British Unitarians, as a dangerous radical, and his ideas were the catalyst for a pamphlet war in America between George Ripley (who favored Martineau's questioning of the historical accuracy of scripture) and the more conservative Andrews Norton. Despite his belief that the Bible was fallible, Martineau continued to hold the view that "in no intelligible sense can any one who denies the supernatural origin of the religion of Christ be termed a Christian," which term, he explained, was used not as "a name of praise," but simply as " a designation of belief."[18] He censured the German rationalists "for having preferred, by convulsive efforts of interpretation, to compress the memoirs of Christ and His apostles into the dimensions of ordinary life, rather than admit the operation of miracle on the one hand, or proclaim their abandonment of Christianity on the other."


James Martineau - Replica (National Portrait Galley) by George Frederic Watts, 1873

Martineau came to know German philosophy and criticism, especially the criticism of Ferdinand Christian Baur and the Tübingen school, which affected his construction of Christian history. French influences were Ernest Renan and the Strassburg theologians. The rise of evolution compelled him to reformulate his theism. He addressed the public, as editor and contributor, in the Monthly Repository, the Christian Reformer, the Prospective Review, the Westminster Review and the National Review. Later he was a frequent contributor to the literary monthlies. More systematic expositions came in Types of Ethical Theory and The Study of Religion, and, partly, in The Seat of Authority in Religion (1885, 1888 and 1890). What did Jesus signify? This was the problem which Martineau attempted to deal with in The Seat of Authority in Religion.[19]

Memorial to Martineau, near Aviemore, Scotland

Martineau's theory of religious society, or church, was that of an idealist. He propounded a scheme, which was not taken up, that would have removed the church from the hands of a clerical order, and allowed the coordination of sects or churches under the state. Eclectic by nature, he gathered ideas from any source that appealed. Stopford Brooke once asked A. P. Stanley, Dean of Westminster, "if the Church of England would broaden sufficiently to allow James Martineau to be made Archbishop of Canterbury".[20]

Although he had opposed the removal (1889) of Manchester New College to Oxford, Martineau took part in the opening of the new buildings, conducting the communion service (19 October 1893) in the chapel of what is today Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.[21] A wide circle of friends mourned his death on 11 January 1900 — Oscar Wilde references him in his prose.[22]


• Endeavours after the Christian Life (1843);
• Miscellanies 1852;
• The Rationale of Religious Enquiry: or, The question stated of reason, the Bible, and the church; in six lectures(1853);
• Studies of Christianity : a series of papers (1858);
• A Study of Spinoza (1882)
• Types of Ethical Theory (1885)

See also

• Free Christians (Britain)
• General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
• Unitarianism


1. "Obituary - Dr. James Martineau, London - January 12, 1900". The West Australian. 15 January 1900. p. 5. Retrieved 15 Jan 2014.
2. Furness, Hannah. "Duchess of Cambridge visits National Portrait Gallery - home of little known Middleton family paintings". UK Daily Telegraph - page 3. UK Daily Telegraph - February 11th, 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
3. Gallery, London, National Portrait. "George Frederick Watts,- Portrait of James Martineau, 1873". NPG, London, 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
4. Jackson, A.W. (1901). "James Martineau - A biography and Study". Little, Brown and Co, Boston, Mass. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
5. Tree, Chamberlain Family. "Chamberlain Family". Graham Wall copyright 2001. Retrieved 20 Jan 2014. Note connection of Martineau, Kenrick, Nettleford and Chamberlain families (1862-1945)
6. Ruston, Alan. "Joseph Chamberlain". UUDB. c2011. Retrieved 20 January2014.
7. (Rowe 1959, chpt. 6)
8. (Rowe 1959, chpt. 8)
9. Edited by Elisabeth Sanders Arbuckle, Harriet Martineau (1 January 1983). "Harriet Martineau's Letters to Fanny Wedgwood". Stanford University Press. p. 150. Retrieved 15 May 2015. (May 1857) My (H. Martineau) niece, Mrs (Frances) Lupton and her husband came for two days
10. Hooper, James (1913). Souvenir of the George Borrow Celebration. Jarrold & Sons. p. 14.
11. Ronalds, B.F. (February 2018). "Peter Finch Martineau and his Son". The Martineau Society Newsletter. 41: 10–19.
12. (Rowe 1959, chpt. 1)
13. Carpenter, J. Estlin. James Martineau, theologian and teacher; A study of his life in thought. Philip Green, Essex Steet, London, 1905, Chapter VII.
14. University of Oxford, Harris Manchester College -. "Archives and History - Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford". Harris Manchester College Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
15. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter M" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
16. Tiffany K. Wayne, Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism (2006), p. 179.
17. James Martineau, The Rationale of Religious Enquiry (London, 1836), p. 17.
18. James Martineau, The Rationale of Religious Enquiry (London, 1836), "Preface to the Second Edition", p. x.
19. Martineau, James. The Seat of Authority in Religion
20. Waller, Ralph. "(Entry) - James Martineau". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Pty. Ltd. 2004. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
21. A.G. "Entry - James Martineau". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press - (Date of original publication - 1901). Retrieved 22 January 2014.
22. Wilde, Oscar (2005-01-01) [1st. pub. Cosmopolitan Book Cor. 1916]. The Prose of Oscar Wilde. ISBN 9781596050969. Retrieved 15 January 2014.


• J. Hunt, Religious Thought in England in the 19th Century (1896) pages 246-250;
• A. W. Jackson, James Martineau, a Biography and a Study (Boston, 1900);
• J. Drummond and C. B. Upton, Life and Letters (2 volumes, 1901);
• Henry Sidgwick, Lectures on the Ethics of Green, Spencer and Martineau (1902);
• A. H. Craufurd, Recollections of James Martineau (1903);
• J. E. Carpenter, James Martineau, Theologian and Teacher (1905);
• C. B. Upton, Dr. Martineau's philosophy, a survey (1905);
• Rowe, Mortimer, B.A., D.D. The History of Essex Hall. London:Lindsey Press, (1959) full text reproduced here;
• Frank Schulman, James Martineau: This Conscience-Intoxicated Unitarian (2002).
• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Andrew Martin Fairbairn (1911). "Martineau, James" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:05 pm

Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy
by United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner
22-23 September 2016



On 22 September 2016, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief in collaboration with the World Council of Churches and Finnish Ecumenical Council organised a workshop on “Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy”. The main objectives of the workshop were:

1. To understand the use of religion in foreign policies including in development and humanitarian aid;
2. To sensitize the need of both “literacies” on religions and religious freedom in international diplomacy and foreign policies;
3. To find ways to contribute to the advancement of religious literacy and freedom of religion or belief.

See Summary Brief of the Workshop.

Following the workshop, on 23 September 2016, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief with the sponsorship of the delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva and the World Council of Churches (WCC) organized a panel discussion “Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy” during the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

See flyer.


See press releases*

Religion in International Diplomacy: Promoting Religious Literacy
by Delegation of the European Union to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva
23/09/2016 - 16:42

News stories

The EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva jointly with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the World Council of Churches organised today an event on "Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy". The aim of the event was to address the role of religious literacy and freedom of religion or belief in international diplomacy and foreign policy.

"Freedom of religion or belief is a high priority under the EU’s human rights policy," explained Ambassador Peter Sørensen, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva. "The EU defends and promotes the principled position that freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right to which everyone is entitled, everywhere," he added. Making reference to the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief he underlined: "The EU is committed to promoting a human rights approach based i.a. on the principle of equal promotion and protection of all human rights, including freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression, in all their aspects. Actions in this field should be strongly anchored in the human rights framework. But legislation alone is not enough. We believe that a comprehensive approach is needed, including preventive measures, dialogue, education, promotion of tolerance and pluralism."

Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, Member of the British House of Lords, described her work as Chair of the International Panel for Parliamentarians on Freedom of Religion or Belief, an informal network of parliamentarians and legislators from around the world. Lord Indarjit Singh, Member of the British House of Lords, made the point that "marginalising religion doesn't do any good at all, as they become unknown. It is difficult to trust your neighbour if you are not familiar with his religion."

"Religious diversity and religious minorities are crucial for healthy and sustainable societies" underlined Peter Prove of the World Council of Churches, adding that it is important to bring the situation of religious minority communities to the centre of international affairs, acknowledging the equal rights for all.

As the final speaker of the panel, Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, underscored that "freedom of religion doesn't protect religion, but it protects human beings." Specifying that "the whole purpose of freedom of religion is creating space in which diversity can unfold freely."

The panel debate was moderated by Ahmed Shaheed, Professor of Human Rights at the University of Essex. Professor Shaheed has been appointed new Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. He will hence succeed Professor Bielefeldt in this mandate, which was prolonged in March 2016 by an EU-led resolution at the Human Rights Council. ... iteracy_en

WCC holds discussion on religious freedom literacy and diplomacy
by World Council of Churches: A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service
23 September 2016

Peter Prove (CCIA) presenting at the discussion panel. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

Advancement of religious literacy and religious freedom literacy in international diplomacy is increasingly needed, a panel on religious freedom and international diplomacy stated on 23 September in Geneva.

A panel discussion “Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy” was organized during the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council by the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

The meeting was moderated by Ahmed Shaheed, professor of human rights at the University of Essex’s School of Law and its Human Rights Centre. Participants of the meeting, including representatives of diplomatic missions in Geneva, international and faith-based organizations and non-government organizations (NGOs), were welcomed by Ambassador Peter Sørensen, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the UN in Geneva. "The EU defends and promotes the principled position that freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right to which everyone is entitled, everywhere," stated Ambassador Sørensen in his opening remarks.

Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, member of Britain’s upper parliamentary chamber, the House of Lords, addressed the meeting, describing the work of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, an informal network of parliamentarians and legislators from around the world committed to advancing freedom of religion or belief and combatting religious persecution. The panel also featured Lord Indarjit Singh, Baron Singh of Wimbledon, who raised concern that in foreign diplomacy, greed and economic interests should not trump human rights: "There will be no peace in the world unless we are even-handed in human rights. God is not interested in our different labels. He is interested in how we behave."

Peter Prove, director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches, stated that the WCC has never seen religion as being purely a matter for the private realm - but rather as a reference point and basis for public advocacy for justice, peace, human dignity and care for creation. Respect for freedom of religion is a fundamental prerequisite for democratic and peaceful progress of human society. "The difficult situation of religious minorities in many parts of the world has increasingly become a concern for the WCC - especially in the Middle East region. Religious diversity and religious minorities are crucial for healthy and sustainable societies. Our concern is to bring the situation of religious minority communities to the centre of international affairs, acknowledging the equal rights of all."

Heiner Bielefeldt, UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, noted that we need to understand the secularity as an open space, not an empty space. "Religion should be visible and audible in public space, rather than silenced or pushed out of it. Therefore international diplomacy should not move away from the secularity paradigm." Referring to human rights, Bielefeldt said: "I do believe in human dignity, but human rights are not a religion, and must not be turned into religion. Because the function of human rights is to provide equal rights for members of all religions and beliefs."

The CCIA, an advisory body of the WCC providing a platform for joint advocacy and support initiatives for peace-making, justice and overcoming poverty, was founded in 1946. “As we mark this year the 70th anniversary of the CCIA, it was important to highlight the work, contribution and engagement of the WCC/CCIA on questions of freedom of religion or belief through a public event at the UN,” said Semegnish Asfaw, programme executive at the WCC, and a co-organizers of the public event. “The contribution of religious literacy to religious freedom literacy in foreign diplomacy is a contemporary issue in an increasingly secularized world.”

The public event was preceded by a consultation involving the CCIA and diplomatic representatives from ministries of foreign affairs, developmental aid agencies, permanent missions in Geneva, UN Agencies and NGOs, on 22 September.

Longstanding member of CCIA Duleep DeChickera, Anglican bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, who participated in both days of the discussions, noted the meeting was a valuable contribution in advancement of understanding freedom of religion in international diplomacy. "The meeting was a success in setting out the agenda for the future work in advancement of religious literacy and religious freedom literacy more clearly," said DeChickera. "To our future work in this area I commend the principle from the tradition of Bodhisatva: Go slowly, go carefully, go mindfully."

The WCC has been deeply engaged in espousing and defending freedom of religion and belief since the end of World War II. In part, to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the CCIA has compiled a comprehensive anthology of more than 500 pages of documents on religious freedom. Under the title Freedom of Religion: Statements and Issues of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, the resource is available at

More information on the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs
by World Council of Churches

CCIA vice-moderator Emily Welty presents interfaith statement at NPT Review Conference, 2015. © Daniela Varano/ICAN

The tasks of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) include:

1. advice on public policy and advocacy
2. advice on programmatic directions, including analysis of systemic issues that underlie injustice and social transformation
3. addressing particular programmatic and policy issues, with a special emphasis on the aim of promoting a peaceful and reconciling role of religion in conflicts and on the promotion of inter-religious dialogue as a framework for community building, faith sharing and understanding.

The CCIA dates back to 1946. However, its scope was much extended in 2006, when its merger with three other WCC advisory bodies was decided: the Commission of the Churches on Diakonia and Development (CCDD), the Commission of the Churches on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (CJPC), and the Reference Group on Inter-religious Relations and Dialogue (IRRD).


The Commission of the Churches on International affairs (CCIA) comprises 35 people nominated by churches and regional ecumenical organizations to advise the WCC. These men and women from around the world are church leaders, pastors, laypersons and academics with expertise on areas relevant to the commission. They usually meet once a year.

Working groups on specific topics come together and stay in contact in-between commission meetings, mainly through the internet. They thus respond to the challenge of providing WCC staff and governing bodies with timely advice despite the complexity of issues.

Working groups are not established on a permanent basis but respond to urgent challenges faced by the WCC and the ecumenical movement. Currently, there are eight working groups:

Economic justice;
Human rights & freedom of religion or belief;
Middle East;
Nuclear disarmament;
Reform of international governance;
Religion and violence;
Statelessness, refugees & migration.


Particularly in the WCC programme areas of public witness and diakonia, and inter-religious dialogue and cooperation, the CCIA offers an ecumenical forum, information and leadership on national and international problems to WCC member churches, their agencies and other ecumenical partners.

The CCIA provides a platform for information-sharing and joint advocacy on critical situations and on opportunities to support initiatives for peacemaking, justice and overcoming poverty.

The CCIA also assists the WCC in preparing public statements, appeals to state authorities and messages of support and solidarity to churches and others engaged in struggles for justice and peace. It helps the WCC governing bodies identify challenges to the churches and to guide them to shape a coherent ecumenical response.

Freedom of Religion: Documents of the CCIA
by World Council of Churches
22 September 2016

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has been deeply engaged in espousing and defending freedom of religion and belief since the end of World War II. In part to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC-CCIA) has compiled a nearly comprehensive anthology of documents pertaining to religious freedom. The 550-page collection includes statements, letters, reports and background studies that specifically address such issues as religious conflict and intolerance, violations of freedom of religious expression, country-by-country statements, blasphemy laws and treatment of religious minorities, anti-Semitism, conscientious objection, religious pluralism and the coexistence of religions.

The resource is available in PDF form through the link below. The documents themselves are arranged in reverse chronological order, with the newest first. To use the resource by topic rather than chronologically, use the search function in the PDF to locate all the mentions of the search term, for example, conscientious objection or blasphemy laws or Pakistan.

Freedom of Religion Freedom of Religion: Statements and Issues of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy: Workshop Summary Brief
by World Council of Churches
24 October 2016

On 22 September 2016, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief in collaboration with the World Council of Churches and Finnish Ecumenical Council organized a workshop on “Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy”.

The main objectives of the workshop were:

(1) To understand the use of religion in foreign policies including in development and humanitarian aid;
(2) To sensitize the need of both “literacies” on religions and religious freedom in international diplomacy and foreign policies;
(3) To find ways to contribute to the advancement of religious literacy and freedom of religion or belief.

Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy: Workshop Summary Brief ... -diplomacy
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:55 pm

The Magic Mountain [Mt. Shasta]
by Alexa van Sickle



On her last trip to the United States, exhausted, she managed to find time for a solitary two-week meditation retreat at Mount Shasta. Eyewitnesses reported that she emerged quite radiant. The retreat coincided with her tenth anniversary as a nun, after which she was regaled with a large party, complete with cake, candles, and musicians. Allen Ginsberg and Lama Karma Thinley were among the guests.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


A journey to Mt. Shasta City, the New Age capital of California, where ancient enlightened beings dwell in underground cities and humans squabble over who truly represents them.

I was right around Whiskeytown at the edge of the forest when I got my first glimpse of Mount Shasta. I was driving on highway 299 about to join the I-5 North at Redding, CA, 70 miles and more than an hour away from the mountain’s foothills. This 14,162ft cone of an extinct volcano is half the size of Everest, and because it stands alone, it looks more like Mt. Fuji. It’s not foreboding like Himalayan mountains, and it doesn’t loom with a stern, steep face like the Eiger. There’s something about its gradual slopes that gives it an accessible, intimate feel. That intimacy, perhaps, explains why so many here feel like Shasta is more than a mountain, that it almost has a personality of its own, that actively calls them to live and worship in its shadow.

Mount Shasta is a center of mystical, paranormal and metaphysical activity like no other in America. The mountain was worshipped for millennia by the Wintu and Hopi and other Native American tribes, but over the last century and change, they have been joined by believers in aliens, UFOs, Bigfoot, and lizard-people.

Mount Shasta’s weather system forms lens-shaped clouds around the dome that look uncannily like flying saucers, clouds that believers says are meant to hide the alien mothership.
But there are also more traditional spiritual seekers here. Mount Shasta City, a town of only 3,300, supports a Buddhist monastery and over 20 centers of worship, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the Abundant Life Church of the Nazarene.

Mount Shasta Boulevard, one of Mount Shasta City’s main drags. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

It has also inspired writers. The Shangri-La in James Hilton’s Lost Horizons, though set in the Himalayas, was inspired by Mount Shasta. Bram Stoker wrote The Shoulder of Shasta, a romance set on the slope of the “old volcano”, two years before Dracula came out. Jim Morrison crowned himself the Lizard King because his girlfriend, who grew up in the shadow of Mount Shasta, told him about the Reptilians who supposedly live in the mountain.

But no myth is as striking to me as the story of the Lemurians. Living deep inside the mountain, they are the descendants of refugees from the sunken continent of Lemuria, who left their ancient civilization to take refuge in the mountain after a cataclysmic event 12,000 years ago. If the mountain calls some to move here, it was the Lemurians, or at least those who believe in them, who made me want to visit.

Mount Shasta from the road leading up to the mountain. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Mount Shasta is visible from most points in the towns in its foothills—but after my first glimpse, for most of my stay in Mount Shasta City, clouds of the non-Lenticular variety obscure it. It’s like being at a party where the host is always in a different room, but there are portraits of them all over the place.

Mount Shasta City clings to the mountain’s foothills nine miles from its peak, a few clustered blocks around the L-shaped Mount Shasta Boulevard. The town is a small clearing in miles of black forest; it could be in the Alps, but for the dry, red tint to the soil and the manzanitas. Siskiyou County is not the California of Prius and Tesla; this is Big Truck country. Except there are more crystal stores than bars, and townspeople divide the town into rednecks and “purplenecks” (the color purple is revered by one of the new age groups in town). I get no cell phone signal with my carrier, and have to resort to actual printed maps to get around for the first time in a decade.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet on Saint Germain's violet flame mantra I AM a being of violet fire, I AM the purity God desires. You are affirming that God is where "I AM" and I am that God in manifestation and God in me is right now manifesting the violet flame.

"I AM a being of violet fire." That means that is the nature of my being:

"I AM a ray of God of the seventh ray, I AM saturated with the violet light, my aura is expanding to include my entire household, my family, my community, my state, nation, and planet.

"I am seeing the violet flame penetrating the ocean, transmuting the oil spills. I am seeing the detoxification of the environment of all toxic waste—all substance that is harmful to life.
I know the violet flame in concentration can transmute all of this.

"I am seeing the purification of the air, the water, the uses of the atoms, of all animal life who are burdened by mans' misuses of the synthetically produced chemicals. I am seeing the violet flame heal the rent in the ozone layer. I am seeing the violet flame saturate everywhere bringing the ecosystem back into alignment.

"I call to the nature spirits of fire, air, water and earth, as I affirm that where I AM God is—that God is everywhere in the heart of the earth and on earth and I go with God."

Black Butte at 6,334 ft elevation is a cluster of dacite lava domes and a satellite cone of Mount Shasta. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

My first morning in Mount Shasta, a misty Sunday, it seems deserted. (I guess they must be at their 20-plus places of worship.) But I first pick up the Lemurian trail at the Mount Shasta Brewery, six miles up I-5 in Weed.

On the menu, along with Shastafarian Porter and Weed Ale, there is a Lemurian Golden Lager. The head brewer keeps a Lemurian Quartz crystal near the vats. And it turns out one of the brewery employees, Charlotte Kalayjin, a 23-year-old native of Weed, CA, has a Lemurian story.

“I was with my dad hiking on Mount Shasta. I was about 12, and I don’t remember which route. But I remember it was summer because there was no snow. Something just appeared in front of us—and it was grey, small and round.”

It disappeared a few seconds later, without having said a word. She alternately describes it as an alien and a Lemurian—the two are often conflated, though Mount Shasta Lemurians are thought to be the descendants of an ancient, advanced, earth-bound race, and are generally reported to be not small and grey but tall, with white hair and flowing robes.

Vaune Dillmann’s brewery tasting room in Weed, CA. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Charlotte’s boss, Vaune Dillmann is a gregarious, grey-haired Milwaukee-born cop with large features who relocated here from Oakland. (In 2008, Dillmann got a some nationwide notoriety or as he puts it, free advertising, when his “Try Legal Weed,’ beer marketing campaign got him in trouble with federal regulators.)

“A lot of strange things happen here—you wouldn’t even be able to make them up,” says Dillmann. His office is dark, but illuminated by one picture window—the snow of Mount Shasta is just visible from behind Black Butte, a bizarre structure that looks like a gravelly pyramid but is actually a pile of lava domes. He says he once had a man in his office who claimed to be a “slider”—someone who causes electrical systems to short. At one point, the slider spread out his arms, but didn’t touch anything. Dillmann shows me a couple of beer cans on the shelf. They are empty, and look slightly bent. “When he spread his arms out, those exploded open. Beer went all over my ceiling, my paperwork, everything.”

Vaune Dillmann, ex-cop, raconteur, and proud brewery owner. Photo courtesy of Mount Shasta Brewing Co.

Dillmann’s office and brewery is stuffed with souvenirs of his life, from bottle caps to grand pianos made for the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and twice as many stories to go with them. He says he has never seen one himself, but Lemurians are iconic enough in Shasta to warrant their own beer.

In November 2004, Dillmann ran a contest to design the label of his Lemurian Golden Lager, encouraging locals who had seen Lemurians to send in their artist’s impressions and descriptions: “We had the body, but we needed a face,” he says.

He asks me to take a fat zipped-up folder down from the shelf, from which he takes out a thick sheaf of papers. These are the responses to his call-out, about 80 entries for the label, with renderings of Lemurians varying from comic to intricate. There are also accounts of encounters, entire histories, and other strange reflections about the mountain. One described encountering a tiny man next to the basement of his house, who shrunk him down to 12 inches and showed him around the tunnels of an underground city (this city, Telos, is central to Lemurian lore).

Vaune Dillmann’s favorite entry from his contest to design a Lemurian Lager label, asking locals to send in their drawings from Lemurian sightings. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Dillmann framed his favourite one, and it sits on his shelf. The contest won him some local fame, but also ruffled some feathers.

“It was 6pm, I was finishing up for the day, and through the window I saw this bright pink-purple Mercedes pull up in the parking lot. I thought it was a door-to-door saleswoman or something. Out comes this older lady with a beehive so big, it swayed as she walked. She was really angry. She wagged her finger in my face and started barking at me: how dare I demean ‘our people’. ‘We don’t even drink!’ She even insinuated she would take me to court.”

This beehive and pink Benz did not belong to a Lemurian, but to Aurelia Louise Jones, a native Quebecer who moved to Mount Shasta in the ‘90s and called herself the human representative of the Lemurian race.

Dillmann managed to talk Jones down, explaining that his was a family business and that he was in tune with the community. Jones was won over and by the end of the encounter, she gave him copies of her books and inscribed them, “To my dear friend, Vaune.”

“After that, we were golden.”

Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

The idea of Lemurians has a complex pedigree—rooted in science, pseudoscience, science fiction and various esoteric beliefs.

In the 18th century, a palaeontologist named J. Sclater came up with Lemuria—a theoretical land bridge—to explain how Lemurs got from Asia to Madagascar. Plate tectonics pretty much ended the vogue for lost continents in science, but Lemuria was co-opted into a popular theory of a lost, pre-Atlantean continent called Mu that explains common mythology and symbology between disparate cultures. The concept evolved in different directions, but in certain circles of thought Lemuria-Mu morphed to incorporate much of the Pacific, and eventually, California and the entire West Coast of the U.S. A great flood, or thermonuclear war, depending on who is doing the telling, caused the Lemurians to take refuge in Mount Shasta.

Their descendants still live there, although according to Lemuria believers, they are not inside the mountain on earth’s physical space: they exist in a fifth dimension, but they can travel freely back and forth between that dimension and ours.

Theosophist Willam Scott-Elliot’s map of Lemuria superimposed over the modern continents from his book, The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria. He envisioned Lemuria as a large continent that sank, leaving only small islands. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Theosophists took up Lemuria in the 1880s. In her writings, Theosophical Society founder Madame Blavatsky furnished the Lemurians with the metaphysical properties they still have today. To her, they were not just ancient refugees; they were a spiritually advanced civilization. Blavatsky’s writings were influential, an appealing mix of ancient religious ideas and new concepts borrowed from Darwin and modern science, but Lemuria was not linked to Mount Shasta until the publication of Frederick Spencer Oliver’s A Dweller on Two Planets in 1904. Oliver—who grew up in the gold rush town of Yreka not far from Mount Shasta—claimed his writing was channelled through visions and “mental dictation” from Phylos the Tibetan, of the Great White Brotherhood, who once lived on the ancient continent of Lemuria but now lived in the depths of Mount Shasta. The book incorporates many Theosophical ideas.

But the most decisive chapter for Lemurians came in 1931 when Harvey Spencer Lewis, a founder of the San-Jose-based Order of the Rosicrucians, published under the pseudonym Wishar Cerve, Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific. It tied various strands of Lemurian lore together by rehashing other books and articles, cementing the link between Lemuria’s ancient civilization and archaeological ruins in the western United States, and trying to support his claim that Lemurians were a common ancestor to all mankind. The book draws heavily on Dweller on Two Planets and Blavatsky’s writings, with some added shopkeeper testimony about tall, slender men in robes who paid in gold nuggets. But it goes a step further in asserting that Lemuria and Mu are the same thing.

What truly ensured its impact was the claim that the descendants of the Lemurian Garden of Eden were to be found in California, not Asia or Africa; and, just as curiously, that California was the oldest territory on earth. The notion that California was the true cradle of mankind was impossible for Golden Staters (narcissists even then!) to resist. California was already a haven for new religions and thought; this new belief in Californian Lemurians just added to the mosaic.

Lemurian swag at Mount Shasta City’s Visitor Center. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

In the 1930s, the spiritual influx began in earnest—thanks both to Cerve’s book and the I AM movement, which was founded in the wake of a 1934 book, Unveiled Mysteries, which was written by a Midwestern mining engineer named Guy Ballard.

Ballard was a fan of Theosophist ideas, and he claimed in his book that while on a hike on Shasta in 1930, he met Saint Germain, a common figure in New Age beliefs who is alleged to be an 18th century alchemist, referred to by followers as “the Wonderman of Europe” and “the man who knows everything and never dies”. St. Germain called himself an Ascended Master and began training Ballard to be a “messenger”. Based on these teachings, Ballard and his wife founded the St. Germain Foundation— a group (classified as a cult by J. Gordon Melton in his Encyclopaedic Handbook of Cults in America) that is still active today. It remains guided by “I AM” activity—the acronym comes from Ascended Masters and the religion includes a series of affirmations such as “I AM the spirit”. (The I AM concept had already appeared in A Dweller on Two Planets). The idea of Ascended Masters (St. Germain is one, Jesus is another) like the Theosophy that influences it, blends Christianity, Buddhism, and other spiritual threads. It is essentially a guide to life based on Ascension–achieving an individual higher spiritual consciousness.

The I AM Reading Room—the St Germain Foundation’s education center and book store. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Ballard also described the visions of his and St. Germain’s past lives in Atlantis and Lemuria when he was at Mount Shasta—and soon, the mountain was besieged by Lemuria seekers—many of whom were I AM followers.

The St. Germain Foundation bought a lot of land around Mount Shasta. Not everyone was thrilled with the area’s spiritual makeover. When the foundation bought the historic Shasta Springs Resort in the 1950s, in Dunsmuir, it made what had been beloved public land, including two waterfalls, off-limits to the locals.

Frank Barr was seven years old when he came to Dunsmuir in 1949, when his father got work at a lumber mill. Sipping on barley wine at Dunsmuir Brew House in a pair of denim Dickies overalls, he had plenty of complaints: “They took away our free country! Bought up the retreat, painted it white, and put up No Trespassing signs. They don’t contribute anything to the community.”


Today, many I AM adherents live at the Dunsmuir complex. There is an I AM Reading Room and a temple in Mount Shasta—and a yearly ‘I AM COME’ pageant. I AM adherents revere the color purple; the Violet Ray is divine love. (Before I visited the Reading Room, Barr told me not to wear red or black.).

Another influx—not just of I AM followers—began in the 1960s, with the cultural appetite for spiritual alternatives and expanding consciousness: “A lot of people were travelling to India,” says a spiritual guide and coach named Andrew Oser. “But people said you don’t have to go to India, just go to Mount Shasta.”

A view from Mount Shasta. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Aurelia-Louie Jones was a public face for Lemuria-Telos, and gave it a global footprint; her books were translated into 17 languages and there is a worldwide Telos network that is still active. Jones died of cancer in 2009.

But Jones was not the first to channel from Telos: that was Diane Robbins, a schoolteacher from Rochester, NY.

Robbins lives in a dark-wood house at the base of Mount Shasta; one more left turn, and you are on the road that takes you up and into the mountain’s dense forest.

In 1990, Adama, the High Priest of Telos, contacted Robbins telepathically and began to dictate. “I didn’t even question why—I just did it. I took messages for 2 or 3 years, word for word.”

When finally, sitting in her kitchen in Rochester, she asked Adama what to do next, he told her to bind and market the book, which she did. Telos: Original Transmissions from the Subterranean City beneath Mount Shasta was published in 1992. The current edition features a blurb by Shirley MacLaine: “I read this book and found it to be fascinating.”

Telos, she explains to me, means “communicating with the spirit”.The book’s purpose was for others to make their own connections with Adama and to attain higher consciousness. In this iteration, Adama is an Ascended Master in the tradition of the I AM movement. The book reveals details of Telos’ advanced society, such as the Telosian Justice System; it also says Lemuria ended not in a flood, but thermonuclear war.

In Robbins’ reading, Telos is one of 100 subterranean cities inside the earth called the Agarthan Network – the book also contains a diagram of the Hollow Earth. The Hollow Earth theory has waxed and waned for centuries, but is present in many ‘alternative history’ beliefs and conspiracy theories, including the Illuminati. It appeared in in two of Blavatsky’s books, and she may have cribbed it from the holy city underground found in some Buddhist ideas.

Diane Robbins on Mount Shasta. Photo courtesy of Diane Robbins.

Robbins insists that she does not read about other people’s experiences with Lemuria or Telos. “I could never read them; I don’t want to hear about them, otherwise I don’t know what’s coming from me, or from the Ascended Masters. I never even watch movies, because I have to be clear. I can’t do what I do if I fill my mind with other people’s information.”

Robbins says she had however, listened to the revelations of Sharula Dux – a supposed Princess of Telos inside Mount Shasta, born in 1725, who said she came to the surface through Mount Shasta’s tunnel systems in 1988. Sharula Dux spoke at conferences and gave a few interviews, revealing that Atlantis and Lemuria were two great continents that fought a war; that Telos is an underground city in the Agarthan Network governed by 12 Ascended Masters, with Adama its high priest. These revelations are the root of the modern channelers, it seems.

It appears that Dux, also known as Bonnie Condey, ended up in Santa Fe with her husband. (Santa Fe is also a St. Germain hub—and was also, in some books, the location of Telos.) According to an investigative journalist in Austin, TX, Sharula/Bonnie was born in Utah in 1952 and worked as a stripper in Hollywood under the name Atlantis. The name Sharula had also appeared in a 1978 Romance novel.

The Mount Shasta Gateway Peace Garden was set up by a local family in their private garden but is open to all, and has shrines of several religions and a labyrinth. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

A few months after Robbins’ book came out, Aurelia Louise Jones contacted Robbins and offered to help publish and promote a second edition. Jones then moved to Mount Shasta in 1997, and started channelling for her own messages from Adama and Telos.

Robbins and Jones worked together for a time: Jones was in the dedications in Robbins’ second and third editions. But they differed in their approaches, particularly on the correct way to channel Adama: “I wrote down word-for-word what Adama said to me, and Aurelia wanted me to edit my sentences, so we would argue.”

Robbins explains that Jones performed what she called a “co-creative process” in her books by editing Adama’s channelings, which Robbins believes diluted and disrupted Adama’s true “vibration”.

Even a spiritual mecca is not immune to small-town politics.

At Adama’s insistence, Robbins moved to Mount Shasta in 2007, expecting to join a welcoming community, but found that fellow Lemuria/Telos believers in Jones’ circle would have nothing to do with her.

“Aurelia [Jones] really did not want me to move here. She sent me emails telling me not to move here. She didn’t want anyone to know,” says Robbins. “And when I came here, nobody talked to me. I can only imagine what she told people about me. Her ego got in the way. And those people are not following the teachings of Telos. It’s really sad.”

Robbins is not sure what to make of the alleged encounters around the mountain; “People tell me all the time they’ve seen Lemurians… but Adama made it clear that they weren’t showing themselves right now.”

For her part, Jones claimed to have encountered Telosians only once; two tall gentlemen showed up at her door and bought $400 worth of her health products. She had complained to Adama about cash flow problems. She suspected the men were from Telos, not Tahoe as they said, but one of the rules is that Telosians, while they surface from time to time, cannot reveal they are from there. Although Adama did confirm to her afterwards that he had sent them.

Mount Shasta from the lake, hiding behind clouds. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Ashalyn, who runs Shasta Vortex Adventures, says she is not an adherent of any of the movements in Mount Shasta. When I ask he if she has had a Lemurian encounter, she responds, “I don’t see Lemurians, I channel them.” She is currently working on her own book with Adama. Her previous book was written with Thoth the Atlantean, another Mount Shasta inhabitant.

There are other spiritual vortex locations, such as Arizona’s Sedona Valley, and other New Age centers like Santa Fe. But the mountain makes it easier for people to tune in to whatever they’re trying to hear.

So what are people seeing when they have encounters with odd people? Some tell me it’s more about the feeling, not seeing; many of the strangest stories contained in books from the last century seem to have been taken as second-hand gospel by others.

Saranam (birth name: Mark Greenberg), who works at Mount Shasta’s Crystal Room, has another theory: people who have meditated a lot and have themselves tapped in to a higher consciousness might seem otherworldly to others who hike on the mountain. “People might just go there and meet people there that have a presence – and think they’ve had an encounter with a mystical being.”

Shasta Vortex Adventures – one of many businesses servicing spiritual pilgrims. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Mount Shasta was settled in the 1820s, and became a busy stop en route to Yreka during the Gold Rush. From the early 1900s came Italian immigrants. Many also visited for the pure spring water; there are still ruins of an old sanatorium where tuberculosis sufferers would recuperate, which is now being reclaimed by the forest.

But then the sanatorium business died off, and lumber and other extractive industries sank. The region is still economically depressed. Jim Mullins, CEO of the Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce, says they are working on getting more tourists to come, hopefully by advertising outside of the region. In any given year, between 2000-4000 visitors per month come to the Center, and the summer is the peak season for both recreational and spiritual visitors.

Lemuria believers are a loose collection of individuals, but many of them make a living doing it. Some, like Jones, are channelers – conduits between humans and the city of Telos inside Mount Shasta. The practice of contacting Lemurians draws much from Theosophy and the I AM movement, particularly the idea of spiritual hierarchy.


In this reading, Lemurians live in Telos, and Adama, their High Priest, is an Ascended Master who speaks through human messengers. Some lead meditation sessions with visitors; some sell books online or in the book stores around Mount Shasta; some travel the globe to speak about their experiences; another might do weekly Ascension sessions, or do the same thing on Skype. This also draws visitors interested in the subject to Mount Shasta – spiritual tourists.

Ashalyn estimates about one-third of Mount Shasta’s population is involved in the metaphysical in some way. The city’s Chamber of Commerce literature lists a couple dozen Spiritual or Alternative Health businesses – but there are many more business cards and pamphlets in restaurants advertisings similar services, plus a clairvoyant chiropractor. The mountain is a local industry; people come to hike or fish, but also for spiritual retreats, and there is a loose collection of spiritual entrepreneurs who serve this industry. “New Age” is a baggy term these days, but its original meaning—an alternative way of living in spirituality, finding God within oneself and practicing a mixture of spiritual beliefs rather than following one doctrine – is not far off from what happens here.

But for all the mountain’s broad appeal, it’s not a close-knit community.

Ashalyn says she came here in 1988 “to be a part of the metaphysical community, but when I got here I found there was none. Everyone just operated out of their own house.“

“You ever hear of the expression, Too many chiefs, not enough Indians? Well, there are a lot of chiefs in Mount Shasta.”

There’s a sort of spiritual segregation in town as well. Mount Shasta’s various spiritual groups have their own hangouts, according to Oser. The Coffee Connection is where Christians get coffee. “Spiritual, non-religious” residents linger with coffee at Seven Suns, and shop at Berryvale, the organic produce store. The rest shop at Ray’s Food Place.

Many people are drawn here, but everyone’s experience of the mountain’s energy is personal.

Something I hear frequently, is that people who live here do so at the pleasure of the mountain:

“Either the mountain accepts you, or it doesn’t,” says a friendly woman behind large framed glasses named Ann, who crafts Native American drums. She came here full-time in 2005 after dividing time in Mount Shasta and Sedona. She wanted to be closer to the vortex. “If you have baggage, the mountain amplifies it.”

“Many people who came here answer a call of some kind, but being here is too intense for some people,” says Saranam of the Crystal Room.

Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

Andrew Oser, the spiritual guide, takes me to see some of the mountain’s sacred sites; places for contemplation, or ceremony, where the energy is especially pronounced. Oser organizes vision quests and mediation sessions for visitors. He says his clients come from all kinds of beliefs and backgrounds.

Oser is a lean, soft-spoken character in his 50s, with curly brown hair and just a hint of grey. He came to Mount Shasta full-time from San Diego in 2006, but had been coming since the 1970s. He was raised in an atheist Jewish home. A Princeton summa cum laude graduate and long-time tennis coach, he started a non-profit in D.C. called Joy of Sport, which was honored as a Point of Light by President Clinton, after the idea sparked at a meditation session at one of his favorite spots on the mountain. He has a laminated portrait, the size of a playing card, of the Archangel Michael in his car.

As we drive up the winding road towards the snow line, the temperature palpably dropping with each turn, trees covered with lichen; the green, white, and silence, is eerie.

One of the sites Oser brings me to, a short walk from a road into the trees, is a sort-of secret rock formation that is supposedly also a nexus of sacred geometry. Some report feeling high here. It is beautiful and peaceful, but for me at least, it is only that. I do feel that being at this spot alone it might be overwhelming and kind of scary; I have a healthy fear of getting lost in deep forests. Or maybe it’s the remoteness that unsettles me. Then again, maybe you need to do this kind of thing alone to tune in.

Our last stop is a headspring of the Sacramento River. Locals come here to fill up water bottles and gallons jugs; the water is known to be some of the purest known to man – or at least to the U.S. There are two signs next to it; one says to drink at your own risk; the other, that this water fell as precipitation on the mountain 50 years ago.

A headspring of the Sacramento River – where locals get their water. Photo by: Alexa van Sickle

We mull the question of what draws people to the mountain.

“The question is to what extent people’s experiences are based on some energy here, independently of their beliefs, and to what extent it’s their expectations that form their experience,” says Oser.

We agree it’s probably a little of both.

Perhaps it’s the centuries of consecration that makes the mountain feel sacred; people could be responding to this accumulated reverence in the same way – but inverted – that some report feeling when visiting Cambodia’s Killing Fields or Gallipoli. But there too, people’s knowledge of the events informs their experience.

Nevertheless, I leave Mount Shasta 15 hours earlier than planned. I had intended to leave early Thursday morning, but on Wednesday evening as I was finishing up my notes at the Wayside Inn, I’m struck by an overwhelming urge to hit the road. Maybe the idea of driving South through the Trinity forest bathed in late-afternoon sun—and going to sleep in my own bed—is far more appealing than one more night in my cold motel room. Or maybe I’m being gently exiled. Maybe a little of both.

[Header image: Lenticular Cloud and Mt. Shasta by Brad Greenlee, used under CC BY 2.0]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Secrets of the Seventh Ray: 21st Century Science Meets an Ancient Prescription for Change
by Josefine Stark
Atlantis Rising, #86
March/April 2011



In his article for Atlantis Rising #84 (“Politics and Psychic Manipulation in Romania”), Boston University professor and author of The Parapsychology Revolution (Tarcher/Penguin, 2008), Dr. Robert Schoch, wrote about a phenome­non called “The Violet Flame,” which he said had played an important role in the history of Romania. “The color vio­let is unlike any other color,” he explained, “and has long been a focus of attention by alchemists and occultists. Seen as the boundary between the physical and the spiritual, with the ability to promote transmutations between the realms, in modern terms the color violet does indeed have unique properties. Of the visible spectrum, violet has the highest frequency… and in its representation and manifestation spiritually can be harnessed and channeled as a pow­erful force…”

Just weeks afterward, scientists at Scotland’s University of Strathclyde reported that a special, yet visible, violet light is enough to make bacteria “commit suicide.” Clinical trials have now proven the HINS-light Environmental Decontamination System is effective in getting rid of bacterial pathogens in the hospital setting. In other words, vio­let light makes a great disinfectant, a fact which may not surprise those who have, for years, used ultraviolet (UV) light in water purification technology. Incidentally, Washington State University researchers have found that UV im­pacts gene repair and also activates the creation of defense proteins. Although UV and colored light are not to be con­fused with the violet flame of esoteric lore, they are thought to be its physical counterpart and to provide uses which, some feel, might indicate what could be achieved were the actual thing to be properly harnessed.

Early in the twentieth century, Edgar Cayce (The Sleeping Prophet) recognized the power of the violet light. In many of his recorded readings, he recommended a “violet-ray” electrical device that emits a violet-colored charge to treat a number of ailments. At the heart of this device was a Tesla coil. It was widely used in the first half of the twen­tieth century and is still available today.

The violet flame theme has even made it into popular culture. The Inn of the Seventh Ray is the name of a restau­rant near Los Angeles frequented by many Hollywood types who live nearby.

In Romania even presidential politics, it seems, is influenced by the Violet Flame. In 2009, defeated candidate Mir­cea Geoana publicly charged he had been attacked by “violet flames.” Traian Basescu, the winning candidate, might view this as yet another example of the disinfecting capabilities of the seventh ray.

Vibrating at between 785 and 665 terrahertz, the “Seventh Ray,” or, alternatively, the Violet Flame or light, is said by some to be one of the best-kept secrets of the twentieth and previous centuries. The proverbial cat, though, it now seems, may be out of the bag. An Internet search for “violet flame” produces over six million results. Doctors, nurses, teachers, architects, engineers, and even heads of state outside of Romania—a former President of the Philippines for one—have reportedly attempted to deploy it.

So what is the truth of the matter? Is there more to the subject of the Violet Flame than meets the untrained eye? To gain some perspective we need to look at the larger picture, one familiar for ages to initiates in the spiritual mys­teries—the “Seven Rays.”

Seven Rays of Creation

For centuries the concept of “The Seven Rays” has been part of many mainstream religions, as well as esoteric philosophies. Wikipedia says it has been around since at least the sixth century BCE, in both Western culture and in India. In the west, the notion can be seen in early mystery traditions, such as Gnosticism and Roman Mithraicism, and in the texts and iconic art of the Catholic Church as early as the Byzantine era. In India, the idea has been part of Hindu religious philosophy and scripture since at least the Vishnu Purana, dating from the post-Vedic era.

The Seven Rays appeared in a modified and elaborated form in the teachings of Theosophy, starting in the late nineteenth century, first presented by Helena P. Blavatsky. The Theosophical concept of the Seven Rays was further developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the writings of C. W. Leadbeater, Alice Bailey, Manly P. Hall, and others, and in the philosophies of organizations, such as, The ‘I AM’ Activity, The Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse, and various other organizations promulgating what are called the teachings of the ascended masters—the immortalized saints and sages of all ages, East and West.

In the mid-to-late twentieth century, as the New Age movement developed, the Seven Rays concept appeared as an element in metaphysical healing techniques such as Reiki and other modalities and in esoteric astrology.

The idea is that all that exists emerges from the original white light of creation. The seven rainbow rays—into which that light can be separated by a prism—all possess unique properties which can and should be nurtured and developed for the advancement of creation on both the individual and collective level. These fundamental seven color rays have been depicted in religious iconography as rainbow auras around the heads or hearts of saints, or around sa­cred relics. The Seven Rays also correspond roughly to the seven days (or stages) of creation, as well as the days of the week, the seven chakras, the seven churches in the Book of Revelations, etc.

Mastery over the Seven Rays is still considered by some groups to be a requirement for the evolution of conscious­ness. The process—also known as the spiritual path—is said to lead to expansion of the “rainbow body,” or aura, of the saints. One focuses (or “majors”) on developing the skills or virtues associated with one of the rays while advanc­ing generally with the others. Mastery of the green ray, for example, involves the use of healing energies and precipi­tation (making the spiritual physical). We see this color used often in hospitals or in surgical garments as well as with alternative therapies, etc. Violet is usually associated with alchemy or transmutation, and as the Seventh Ray it corre­sponds to the seventh day of creation; or the day of rest when the creation—to that point—is set free. In New Age cir­cles it is usually associated with the Aquarian Age.

Transmutation means change, of course, and “alchemy” (derived from the Arabic word al-kimia) was an ancient philosophy and practice (some would say a science) devoted to changing base metal, or lead, into gold. That, at least, was the popular view. Secretly though, say scholars, the alchemists were interested more in changing themselves than any mere lead; and the gold they sought was the elevation of their own human consciousness to the level of the divine—a change perhaps more akin to metamorphosis, as when the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. They did, though, by some accounts, do the lead/gold thing, too.

One name that comes up frequently when the violet flame is discussed is St. Germain. Known to some as the Wonderman of Europe, the Comte de Saint Germain is believed to have lived in seventeenth and eighteenth century Transylvania and to have been an important behind-the-scenes figure in the Enlightenment. Many credit him with the founding of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism. Some, including Manly Palmer Hall, have claimed he acted to in­spire the founding fathers of the United States. Hall, along with the Theosophists and other groups, regarded St. Ger­main as an ascended master whose many embodiments on Earth included the Biblical prophet Samuel, the Greek philosopher Plato, Merlin of Camelot fame, as well as Francis Bacon (believed to have secretly authored the Shake­spearean plays). A few years ago the television series, In Search Of, featured his story in an episode entitled, “The Man Who Would Not Die.”

St. Germain, it is said, taught the invocation of the Violet Flame to alchemists as a means of facilitating the kind of personal transmutation which was their goal.

Scientific Theory

Is there a scientific basis for using the Violet Flame? Some argue, that since it is the color wave with the highest frequency, it can act upon matter and substance of lower frequencies. Since energy can neither be created nor de­stroyed, it can only be transformed from one state to another. According to this line of thinking, all energy we have ever used (including presumably our thought and emotional energy) continues to exist—it doesn’t just disappear.

According to quantum theory, matter is also a form of energy. Atoms aren’t material substance at all; they are merely little packets of energy. Even though an electron is described as a particle, when its wave function has “col­lapsed,” it remains a form of energy. This energy, of which everything is composed, is in the form of waves that can be encoded with information. In fact, waves have an infinite capacity for information storage, and all the energy we have ever used remains encoded with our unique, individual frequency signature.

In Lynn McTaggart’s compilation of fascinating discoveries in quantum physics, The Field, she writes, “On our most fundamental level, all living beings, including human beings, are packets of quantum energy constantly ex­changing information with this inexhaustible energy sea.” This sea of energy is also known as the Zero Point Field and is described as “an ocean of microscopic vibrations in the space between all things.” Some scientists call it a huge reservoir of energy information.

Physicists have also discovered the quantum property called nonlocality. This refers to the ability of subatomic particles to influence other particles instantaneously over any distance without apparent energy expenditure. Once connected, always connected—no matter how vast the distance. This is known as quantum entanglement.

Like all colors, violet is a wave, and waves can alter other waves through resonance entrainment or by creating an interference pattern. Waves with an opposing pattern of alignment of peaks and valleys will cancel each other out. Vi­olet is composed of two colors: rose, from pink to dark ruby, depending on the shade (accentuating, it is suggested, the action of love from gentle to intense expression) and blue (amplifying the power of alignment with cosmic princi­ples).

The rose frequency purportedly erases the negative-record overlays held by electrons, possibly through the oppo­site-wave-pattern cancellation effect. The blue wave aspect ostensibly re-polarizes the energies to their original “blue­print of perfection.”

At the quantum level, it doesn’t matter whether the energy records are stored in our atoms, cells, the electromag­netic biofield around our bodies, or on the other side of the galaxy. Because of non-locality and entanglement, change can occur instantaneously.

Sometimes teachers will refer to the Violet Flame as a higher dimensional frequency working as the “Holy Spirit” on different dimensional levels. A dimension can be described as a frequency field within a specified range of oscilla­tions.

A materialist scientist could say Violet Flame doesn’t exist because his instruments can’t identify it. He could also say that love, forgiveness and compassion don’t exist because his instruments can’t detect them either. Yet, we know they do exist because of our direct experience with them and their effects on our lives.

Application of the Violet Flame

Seventh-Ray energy, according to most schools, is accessed through four modalities: intention, visualization, feel­ings, and sound. When all four are employed, it is said, the greatest action is achieved, though some people report suc­cess using as few as one.

INTENTION: Many researchers have studied the effects of intention on outcomes, and Lynn McTaggart has docu­mented some of these in her books. Dr. Gary Schwartz, a professor at the University of Arizona, studied the effect of intention on plants in his research lab. With bio-photon imaging equipment, using a super-cooled camera to record the aura of light emitted by plants, he showed that a group of 400 people in England, sending the intention to one particular leaf on a lab plant in Tucson, was able to cause the leaf to increase its light output.

VISUALIZATION: Intention and visualization are not quite the same. A few people are able to put the intention of a goal into the field and achieve the desired outcome. Others have to add visualization, which probably relates to the observer effect in physics. It has long frustrated scientists that subatomic particles like electrons will behave differ­ently and cause different outcomes in experiments when they are being observed. Which begs the question: how do electrons know they are being observed? Such ‘knowledge’ implies consciousness, and many researchers now think that the basic fabric of the universe is one all-pervading consciousness. Nobel Prize winning physicist Erwin Schro­dinger said, “Mind, by its very nature, is a singular entity. I should say the overall number of minds is just one.” Forming a mental image of one’s goal and intent adds another dimension of action upon the “one mind.”

FEELING: Feeling is another key to activating the power of the violet ray. Violet contains the shades of pink and/ or ruby, which are believed to resonate vibrationally with the frequencies of love. The “love vibes” of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness are known to create healing on many levels. Most people have discovered this by direct experi­ence. Gregg Braden calls feeling the language of the universe. In our work with the ancient healing mantras of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, we have coined the phrase HeartSound™ to emphasize the powerful multiplication factor of the effectiveness of sounding her mantras combined with intention, visualization, and devotional feelings.

SOUND: As explored in Sol Luckman’s groundbreaking work, Sound, Intention and Genetic Healing, scientists have long established that light (photons) and sound (phonons) have a direct influence on matter, even on the DNA. Sounding can include the use of seed syllables, such as the “OM,” or worded and repeated phrases in the form of prayers, invocations, affirmations, and mantras. An invocation to increase the action of the Seventh Ray could be as simple as “I am calling the violet light to blaze through me and through all the earth now!”

Our observable world is a world of forms, and many experiments have shown that form is related to and sustained by sound. In his book, Cymatics, Swiss physician and scientist Hans Jenny showed how he created various geometric shapes in substances like powders, pastes, metal filings, and liquids by applying various sounds to the media. As some became spirals, flower-like patterns, and so on, he demonstrated that the world of form can be changed and shaped by sound and that dissonant sounds create chaotic shapes. He also experimented with the intoning of ancient Hebrew and Sanskrit syllables which caused vibrating sand to form their written symbols—evidence that the ancient languag­es were based on what we today would call the optical manifestation of a sonic interference pattern. This also points to the fact that ancient seers and linguists understood that sounds and their symbols were keys to unlocking certain actions in the physical.

Jonathan Goldman, sound researcher and author of The Seven Secrets of Sound Healing, argues that “vocaliza­tion plus visualization equals manifestation,” and that sound can be a carrier wave for consciousness.

Unlike light, which is electromagnetic in nature, sound is a pressure wave that doesn’t travel very far; yet, say the adherents, it can still effectuate change at a distance because the waves can be transformed, just as sound waves that enter the ear are converted to electrical impulses in the brain. Sound conversion is also employed with the use of ra­dio waves and even the digitizing and reamplification of music onto CDs and into other media.

More research and study is warranted, but that shouldn’t stop today’s would-be alchemists in their explorations of this powerful high-frequency agent of positive change—keeping in mind that changing the baser aspects of our hu­man nature into the gold of our higher nature is the true goal of Seventh-Ray alchemy.

Josefine Stark lives in Bozeman, Montana and is author of the recently published e-book, Kuan Yin’s Miracle Mantras: Awakening the Healing Powers of the Heart. Contact her by e-mail at Web site:
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:49 am

Mohan Singh Oberoi
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/9/19



Happy, she left Guli to get on the Delhi train taking her to her next engagement, the World Buddhist Conference being held at the Vigyan Bhavan Hall, Delhi's premier conference venue. There she settled herself into a luxury suite at the five-star Oberoi Intercontinental Hotel, as a guest of her close friend and devotee Goodie Oberoi, wife of the owner.

March 28, 1977, the day of her death, was an interesting one....

Throughout the day many people spontaneously turned up to visit Freda, many of them from the Tibetan Friendship Group that Freda had founded. She greeted them all warmly and told them about her new project to sponsor Tibetan children in top Indian public schools, especially girls, who had less chance of receiving a good education than boys....

At six p.m. Freda and Pema Zangmo went for a walk, after which Freda settled down to some letter writing. She then took out some of her own childhood photographs and those of her children, taken in Lahore, before Partition. At ten p.m. Freda woke Pema Zangmo to give her instructions about certain gifts and money she wanted her to pass on to specific people. She brought out some yellow fabric as a gift for her faithful attendant to make into a nun's blouse, and told her to practice Dharma faithfully. Freda then dressed herself in her finest robes, telling the curious Pema Zangmo, "I will need them tomorrow." She then put on a tape recording of H.H. Karmapa, which he had sent her from New York, and sat down to meditate.

Pema Zangmo, who had gone back to sleep a few feet away from Freda, was awakened by the sound of "louder breathing." She got up and went over to Freda, who was still sitting bolt upright in the meditation position, and tapped her on the shoulder. Freda did not move, nor open her eyes. Peering closer, Pema Zangmo could detect no sign of outer life at all. In total panic she ran out into the hotel corridor screaming for help. A doctor was quickly summoned, who officially pronounced Freda dead. The cause: cardiac arrest....

On March 29 Freda's body was taken to Binder's house in Delhi and laid out on a bed of flowers. The Karmapa was deeply shocked, sent messages of condolences, and strongly advised that her body be taken to Rumtek for cremation. The family, however, decided to cremate Freda in Delhi, on the grounds of the Oberois' farm....

"On the fourth day we took her to Goodie Oberoi's farm"....

[T]he funeral on the Delhi farm had its own profound meaning. Near the cremation site, next to a wall of bougainvillea, was a sapling bodhi tree, which had been planted there a month earlier at Freda's suggestion when she had visited the farm with Goodie Oberoi Goodie had wanted to build a small temple there, and Freda felt it would be auspicioiuis to bless the ground with a replica of the tree under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment.

With fortunate synchronicity Freda's funeral coincided with the opening day of the World Buddhist Conference [The World Fellowship of Buddhists]. It was postponed until two p.m. so that the delegates could pay their respects to the woman who had been the close and beloved disciple of the Karmapa, who had been the first nun to achieve the highest bikshuni ordination, who had tirelessly helped the Tibetan refugees in the greatest hour of their need, and who had been such a powerful diplomat of Buddhism around the world.

12th General Conference
Date: 1 – 6 October B.E. 2521 (1978)
Venue: Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan
Theme: Buddhist Contributions to the Future
At this conference practicing of having Declaration at the end of each WFB General Conference was followed from this Conference onwards. Since many resolutions were remained unimplemented, no resolutions with that were of (1) political nature, (2) have difficulties of implementation, and (3) no providing funds to implement to the submitted project; could be proposed to the General Conference.

11th General Conference
Date: 20 - 25 February B.E. 2519 (1976)
Venue: Bangkok, Thailand
Theme: Role of Buddhists in Present Day Society
The conference was to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the WFB. Princess Poon, the WFB President mentioned of the significant fact on the recognition given by the United Nations (UN) which was glad to cooperate with religions for the sake of peace desired by all. The letter of this recognition was given to the WFB President on 25 October B.E. 2518 (1975) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

-- The World Fellowship of Buddhists (The WFB) [World Buddhist Conference], by

According to Kabir, coaches carrying around a hundred robed delegates arrived -- Buddhist monks from across the world, including representatives from Russia, who were attending the Conference for the first time in history. They stood around the pyre chanting and saying prayers. A white cloth was placed on Freda's body, and Ranga lit the pyre. Rather alarmingly, those standing close by saw beads of sweat appear on Freda's face.

"It was an amazing send-off. We knew her life had been devoted to the spiritual, but I had no idea how big she was in the Buddhist world until she died," said Ranga.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Freda's involvement with Buddhism introduced her to several rich and influential Punjabi women who shared her interest. Goodie Oberoi had married into the family that ran one of India's leading chains of luxury hotels. The Maharani of Patiala was part of a Sikh royal family which retained its political influence after the dissolution of the princely states. In 1957, Freda travelled to Britain at the maharani's request -- her first visit for a decade -- to accompany her two daughters to their new boarding school. She took the opportunity to visit her mother and brother in Derby and see old friends. Freda saw no inconsistency in championing the interests of poor village women and accepting the patronage of the moneyed elite.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Soon it was time for lunch. Rik and I were hesitant to eat at the monastery, where sanitary conditions were uncertain, so we said we’d had a large breakfast. “Not at all, that was hours ago,” insisted the nun. “Anila is cooking our meal in the next room. I have taught her to make crepes.”

We couldn’t believe it; I watched her cook over a little oil burner in the corner. Everything was spotless. The crepes, when served with cream and honey whipped with butter, were delicious. I’d been afraid we’d receive “buttered tea” and tsampa, made from roasted gingke, a flour-like barley mixed with yak butter.

“What a treat for me,” said Sister Palmo. “Our diet is sparse here. One of the things I miss is toast with my tea. We often go weeks without bread. We raise chickens and goats outside the monastery. So it’s an eggs, goat’s milk, and grain menu.” No wonder the foods we’d brought were thought so dazzling.

Sister Palmo was interested in hearing about Maharishi and his teachings. “He sounds like a wise man, and from the happiness you both exude, one can see it’s working.” We then urged her to tell us more about her life at the monastery.

She explained in detail her daily routine, how she counted hundreds of thousands of Aum mani padme hum, a Buddhist mantra, on her rosary type beads, her mala. She told us about visualization, very important in the practice of Buddhism, and the exaltation one felt when the Buddha was seen sitting on a lotus with the honey of compassion dripping down. Even though she detailed it carefully, it was foreign to us and seemed laborious in comparison to our system.

Shortly after lunch, she announced, “Anila has brought a message that His Holiness is ready to receive you.” Gathering her robes, she stood up. We had only seen her seated and were surprised to see that she was as tall as I. She walked as an English woman, with good sturdy shoes, taking long decisive steps.

From an outside door, the Karmapa’s quarters were on the far side of the monastery. The room was bare, but lighted by many windows. On a small divan-like platform sat His Holiness. Without his hat and heavy cape, he looked younger than he had the day before. Now, he wore a simple wine red robe. He smiled in welcome, indicating we should sit on cushions near him.

Then we had a surprise. A beautiful Indian woman entered the room. It was Goodie Oberoi. Sister Palmo was delighted to find we knew each other, and left us with Goodie to interpret. “How is it that you are here?” I asked. She had been one of the Indian friends I’d brought to Maharishi for initiation while I was attending the 1969 course in Kashmir. She hadn’t mentioned the Karmapa to me.

“His Holiness is my treasured teacher now and has helped me more than anyone in the world.” I could understand her need of help. Her life with Bikki, son of the hotel tycoon, had to be difficult. Bikki’s love of drinking and women were well known among the social set of India.

“Sister comes to visit us and now we have one of her nuns with us at home. You have no idea, Nancy, what a wonderful change it has brought over the children. I will always love Maharishi,” she continued, “but, for me, I need personal contact with my spiritual guide.” Her handsome face looked more serene than I had ever seen it.

Interpreting was difficult. The Karmapa spoke rapidly. His man translated the Tibetan into Hindi; then Goodie put the Hindi into English. It discouraged any substantial penetration of his knowledge.

We were left with the simple enjoyment of sitting near him and receiving his serene vibrations.

“This is a most wonderful soul,” Goodie explained. “You are fortunate to see him like this and share his darshan. He is revered as a God King by the Sikkimese, Bhutanese, and many Tibetans. He is the Supreme head of the Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism, the embodiment of the power and compassion of Buddhist Tantra. They consider him a higher incarnation than the Dalai Lama. When the Chinese invaded Tibet, India offered the Dalai Lama asylum; likewise the Karmapa, but he came here to Sikkim at the invitation of the Chogyal.”

The Karmapa radiated sunshine and he was attentive when we spoke. He appeared to be in his 30s, but I heard later he was almost 50.

“He would like to give you a special mantra,” Goodie explained. It was an honor we couldn’t refuse. We moved close to him. He had been knotting some cords while he spoke and with his expressive hands he now tied both a yellow and red cord around each of our necks. With a small pair of scissors, he cut a lock of hair from our heads.

"It is a great blessing," Goodie explained, "that he would knot the cords and put them around your necks with his own hands. It is unusual, and I'm so happy for you. You have taken refuge in the Buddha with this ceremony."

She wrote down our mantras on a piece of paper, handing it to us with some powder and pills. "Sister Palmo will explain these to you."

-- Chapter 23. Politicians versus Saints. Excerpt from "All You Need is Love: An Eyewitness Account of When Spirituality Spread from the East to the West", by Nancy Cooke de Herrera, with a foreword by Deepak Chopra

Bikki Oberoi, The Executive Chairman of Oberoi Group

Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi (15 August 1898 – 3 May 2002) [1] was an Indian hotelier, the founder and chairman of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, India's second-largest hotel company, with 35 hotels in India, Egypt, Indonesia, UAE, Mauritius and Saudi Arabia.[2][3][4]

In his obituary the Times of India said that he was acknowledged for putting the Indian hoteliering on the global map by successfully establishing hotel brands like Oberoi and Trident worldwide.[5]

Early years

M. S.Oberoi was born in a Punjabi Sikh family in Bhaun, a minor village of Jhelum District (now Chakwal District), Punjab, British India. When he was six months old, his father, a contractor in Peshawar, died, leaving his mother with few resources. After attending schools in his village and nearby Rawalpindi, he passed the Intermediate College Examination in Lahore, but was unable to continue attending classes because of lack of finances. Instead, he learned typing and shorthand.

In 1922, M.S.Oberai came to Shimla to escape from the epidemis of Plague and got a job as front desk clerk, at The Cecil Hotel at a salary of Rs 50 per month. He was a quick learner and took many additional responsibilities. The manager of Cecil, Mr. Ernest Clarke and his wife Gertrude took a great liking to the honesty of a hardworking young Mohan Singh Oberoi.

Mr. Clarke and his wife decided to hand over the responsibility of managing Hotel Carlton now renamed as Clarkes to this impressive young man. During their six months absence, Mr. Mohan Singh Oberoi doubled up the occupancy to eighty percent which gave them enough reason to offer the hotel - on a decided amount to Mr. Mohan Singh Oberoi as they wanted to return to England.

After continuous hard work for five years, on 14 August 1934, Mohan Singh Oberoi became the sole and absolute owner of Hotel Carlton, Shimla. He subsequently named it after Mr. Ernest Clarke.

Business and Politics

As India became independent, M. S. Oberoi built additional hotels, while expanding his base holdings. In 1948, he established East India Hotels, now known as EIH Ltd., whose first acquisition was the Oberoi Grand Hotel in Calcutta.[5] In April 1955 he was elected President of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, and in 1960 was named President of Honour of the Federation for life. He also participated in legislative politics by winning elections to the Rajya Sabha for two terms, from April 1962 to March 1968 and from April 1972 to April 1978. He was elected to the fourth Lok Sabha in April 1968, and remained a Member of that House till December 1970.[6]

In 1965, in partnership with international hotel chains, he opened the Oberoi Intercontinental in Delhi, India's first modern five-star, world-class hotel.

Oberoi Intercontinental in Delhi

Oberoi Group

The Oberoi Group, founded in 1934, employed about 12,000 people worldwide and owned and managed about thirty hotels and five luxury cruisers as of 2012. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, ranks amongst the top ten hotel spas Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East of the Travel + Leisure magazine,[7] and ranked third in Best Hotels in Asia in 2007.[8] Other activities include airline catering, management of restaurants and airport bars, travel and tour services, car rental, project management and corporate air charters. The Group has a number of hotels worldwide, latest hotel additions being in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Egypt and Africa,.

Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi was the first to employ women in the hospitality sector.

Honours and awards

Throughout his later life M. S. Oberoi received numerous honours and awards from the Indian government and private organizations.

M.S.Oberoi was presented with the title Rai Bahadur (pater familiae) by His Majesty the King of Great Britain in 1943.

The other honors include admission to the Hall of Fame by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); Man of The World by the International Hotel Association (IHA) New York; named by Newsweek as one of the "Elite Winners of 1978" and the PHDCCI Millennium award in 2000.[9]

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards, in 2001.[10]


Almost all publications indicated M. S. Oberoi's year of birth as 1898 and his age at death as 103. In his own autobiographical sketch - How M S Oberoi became India's greatest hotelier,[11] however, he gave 1900 as his birth year, a fact attesting to his having lived to 101. However, New York Times obituary, the date is given as 1898 and the following was written: "He was 103, although for years he said he was born in 1900 because he did not want to be seen as dating from the 19th century."

Personal Life and Family

M.S Oberoi married to Ishran Devi in 1920, the daughter of Shri Ushnak Rai belonged to his village. They had two sons and two daughters. Eldest son Raj Tilak Singh Oberoi (1924) known as Tikki Oberoi and second son Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi (1929) better known to the world as Bikki Oberoi.

Tikki Oberoi married Leela Naidu on 16 July 1956; he was 33, she 17. Her father was a nuclear physicist, Science Director for UNESCO for South East Asia. They had twin daughters, Priya Oberoi and Maya Oberoi.

Bikki Oberoi married Goodie in 1959, the daughter of a Punjabi landowner of Lyalpur. They had a son Vikram Oberoi and daughter Natasha Oberoi.

Goodie Oberoi

Oberoi’s daughter Swaraj married Gautam Khanna in 1950. Youngest daughter Prem married Captain KK Mehra in 1957.

Tikki married in 1964 Jutta, the Teuton daughter of Ludwig Mittel Huber. They had a son Arjun Singh Oberoi.

Oberoi nephew Brij Raj Oberoi also called as "Diamond Oberoi" (nickname given by M.S Oberoi) consciously followed M.S Oberoi footsteps and continued on the family business, by operating several Heritage hotels in the Himalayas.[12]

Many other relatives of Mohan Oberoi have followed his footsteps and have worked in the hospitality industry, notably for the Oberoi group.

Further reading

• Dare to Dream: a Life of Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, by Bachi J Karkaria. Viking, 1992. ISBN 0-670-84723-2.
• 216: M.S. Oberoi. 333 Great Indians, who is who & who was Who, from the Remotest Past to the Nearest Present: Philosophers, Politicians, Diplomats. Edited by Om Parkash Varma. Published by Varma Bros., 1963. Page 189
• Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi: Father of the Indian Hotel Industry. by Chathoth, P. K. Chon, K. K. S. JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM EDUCATION, 2006, VOL 18; NUMB 1, pages 7–10. USA. ISSN 1096-3758.


1. Mohan Singh Oberoi
2. Mohan Singh Oberoi, 103, A Pioneer in Luxury Hotels New York Times, 4 May 2002.
3. The centennial Man Times of India, Sept 1, 2001.
4. Mohan Singh Oberoi - Founder Chairman - Official Biography Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
5. Noted hotelier M S Oberoi passes away Times of India, 3 May 2002.
6. Obituary Rajya Sabha debates.
7. Top 10 Hotel Spas Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East Travel + Leisure.
8. Oberoi Amarvilas Travel + Leisure.
10. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
11. How M S Oberoi became India's greatest hotelier by M S Oberoi,, 21 October 2005.
12. [1]

External links

• How M S Oberoi became India's greatest hotelier by M.S. Oberoi, with note by Dr. Gita Piramal, Managing Editor, The Smart Manager.
• M.S. Oberoi dies at 103 (2002) The Hindu Business Line.
• Rai Bahadur M S Oberoi - A Tribute To The Founding Father (2000) Indian Express.
• MS Oberoi:A Century Of Hospitality the-south-Asian, September 2000.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:13 am

Sheila Meiring Fugard
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/9/19



Single-handedly Freda had already set the scene for Buddhism to make the historic leap from East to West when she had the foresight to establish the Young Lamas Home School. In 1972, the year of her full ordination as a bikshuni nun, she took another momentous step in that direction by personally agreeing to take the Buddha's message to South Africa, the first of several overseas "missions" she undertook. Her journey there was significant not least because it revealed the full extent of the spiritual authority invested in her by the Karmapa, as well as the scope of the knowledge and personal realizations that she had attained in her relatively new religious path.

The invitation had come from Rosemary Vosse, a theosophist descended from Italian nobility, who had met Freda in India. She had literally begged Freda, now known as Sister Palmo, to come to South Africa, which was being brutally ripped apart by the bloody internal war of apartheid, as blacks fought for equal rights and the end to racial segregation. Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), the group that led this fight, was serving a life sentence on Robben Island, a measure intended by the government to cut off the hope he had inspired in his followers. Everywhere, protestors were being beaten and jailed, and a general reign of terror, instigated by the police, hung like a dirty pall over the land.

It was an invitation Freda could not resist. Any notion of racial inequality and suppression of freedom was an immediate clarion call to her. In fact it was in Johannesburg that her hero, Mahatma Gandhi, had formulated his philosophy of peaceful civil resistance, triggered when he was ordered to move from a first-class carriage to a third-class carriage because he was "colored," despite the fact that he was working as a lawyer there and had a valid ticket. The result was Satyagraha, his Doctrine of Truth, which he propagated there for twenty years and which Freda espoused when she became a Satyagrahi.

Her tour was to encompass Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. It started on an auspicious note. Stepping off the airplane and into the terminal, she saw a delicate pink, green, and yellow butterfly still alive in a wastepaper basket. She gently picked it up and put it in a flowerbed. Freda viewed it as a sign. "It had a significance I can't put into words, but something extremely beautiful happened as I entered Africa," she wrote to her family.

She addressed audiences, large and small, who had come as a result of publicity generated by her Tibetan Friendship Group. She was warmly welcomed, and the press was polite. She spoke from university podiums and temple high seats, telling people about her experience of Gandhi and her own time as the first Englishwoman to offer Satyagraha. And then, when the audience was warmed up, she moved on to even more unconventional themes -- reincarnation and the Tibetan tulku system -- showing them slides of the young rinpoches she had taught and of her own teacher, the Sixteenth karmapa.

"I tried to convey to them something of the wonder of the Tibetan masters, the Dalai Lama, and in particular my own guru," she said. The university students were especially rapt, she reported.

Her talks to the Indian community living there and to the small group of Buddhist sympathizers were more profound, and they allowed Freda to share the depth of her knowledge. She gave discourses on both major and minor points of Buddhist philosophy.

"I was able to give a talk on the realizations of Milarepa (Tibet's beloved poet-saint). I endeavored to bring out his philosophical approach as well as his beautiful teachings, which were based on the Vajrayana lyrics, which I translated. This talk was taped, as were many others," she stated.

In Milarepa's biography, examples can be found of a range of images of woman, from human to demonic and to divine. In general Milarepa disparages women, their nature, appearance, and the role they play in the life of the religious practitioner. 'Woman is always a trouble-maker ... the primary source of suffering',18 he warns (male) practitioners. Of woman's ability to attract men he cautions, 'At first the lady is like a heavenly angel ... middle-aged she becomes a demon with corpse's eyes ... at life's end she becomes an old cow with no teeth.'19 Of her role he is equally scathing, 'At her best, she may serve and devote herself to others, at her worst, she will bring mishap and disaster.'20 In the text, women themselves subscribe to this position, 'Because of my sinful Karma I was given this inferior [female] body',21 declares a young woman when she approaches Milarepa for Buddhist teachings. In these examples, the practitioner of Buddhism is implicitly male, the woman implicitly 'other'. While the male strives for perfection, the woman acts as obstacle and deterrent, or as an inferior being.

In many of the Buddhist scriptures there are numerous examples of teachings which pair together the female and the demon as beings which potentially cause difficulties for the 'practitioner' on the path. Robert Paul notes the connection between these categories, 'In general it may be said that the demons, the passions and women are conceptually related, and thought of as opponents of Buddhism, and of patriarchal unity.'22 Milarepa constantly warns of the destructive powers of women, admonishing his followers to reject their seductive charms, and become meditative hermits. Even a demon, who is subdued by Milarepa after she emerges from a crack in a rock, is told that she is in an unfortunate rebirth, not because of her demonic form, or because of living in a rock, but that 'Because of your evil habit propensities formed in the past, and your vicious doings in the present . . . you were born as a lower form of woman' (italics mine).23 In the relatively tormented world of demons, Milarepa is at pains to point out that the female demonic status is inferior to that of the male.

-- Traveller in Space: In Search of Female Identity in Tibetan Buddhism, by June Campbell

More impressively, Freda also revealed that she conferred initiations. This was nothing short of extraordinary. Only the most qualified lamas gave initiations, ceremonies that bestowed on the recipient the power, knowledge, and blessings of the particular buddha invoked. It was exceptional for a newcomer to Buddhism to be conducting this rite, and it was unheard of for a Western woman to do so. This was proof that the Karmapa held her in high spiritual regard.

"On Easter Sunday I was able to give the Forest Dolma (Tara) initiation, which His Holiness Karmapa had allowed me to confer. It was in a perfect setting, in a forest glade with pine needles all around, and the shrine at the foot of a tress," enthused the nature-loving Freda. She continued to give the Tara initiation throughout her tour. And then she ventured into the highly esoteric and advanced reaches of Tibetan Buddhism -- the Vajrayana or Diamond Path -- by conferring the initiation of the buddha of purification, Vajrasattva.

"I explained how to meditate on Vajrasattva, and say his hundred-syllable mantra," she explained. "It was a most interesting experience to be giving these teachings, and I do think that if the group carries on with the practice, there will be a quick and wonderful development, because the Vajrayana path is more rapid than the Mahayana path. But all the time I am weaving in the Mahayana. The Vajrayana is the meditation side, the Mahayana, the philosophy," she went on, indicating the highly arcane and intricate system of Tibetan Buddhism that Thomas Merton, the Jesuit, described as the most complex religion on earth. "It is complex and detailed because it is profound," said Freda.

Following her plan to sow permanent seeds of Buddhism in South Africa, Freda established small centers, often in people's homes, where people could gather to meditate, say prayers together, and study the Buddha's teachings. She fervently hoped the centers would grow.

Although she fell instantly in love with the natural beauty of Cape town, she was utterly dismayed by the absence of black faces in the suburbs she was visiting. This was apartheid at work.

"I was surprised to see so few Africans about -- they are living in outside areas. You do see them in shops and streets, but Cape Town has such a Western appearance. I was not prepared for that. I rather thought it would be like India, where there would be big houses and a lot of simple houses around. Instead it is like being in Switzerland or Holland -- there are hardly any black or brown faces visible."

Much to her delight, she did manage to introduce one African into Buddhism, when she gave the Refuge ceremony to a gathering at a home belonging to Bruce Ginsberg (later famous for introducing rooibos tea to the rest of the world).

"She was a housemaid and was extremely delighted to get it. It gave me some personal satisfaction too," Freda admitted. "Actually Buddhism is not a conversion religion -- and I cannot seek people out to give the teachings to, as much as I want to. We have to wait until people come voluntarily. That is how it should be," she added.

Despite being forbidden to proselytize, Freda was nevertheless openly thrilled when she was called upon to officiate at the funeral of a Chinese seaman who had been murdered in Port Elizabeth. Her fame as the only ordained Buddhist in South Africa had spread, much to the gratification of the sailor's Buddhist family. Freda saw it as yet another sign that her religion would take root in South African soil. Officiating at the cremation ceremony, Freda once again revealed her spiritual credentials when she performed the esoteric rite of powa -- the transference of consciousness -- a highly accomplished process whereby a "master" steers the departing mind, or soul, through the death process into a favorable future existence.

"I was able to use the Amitabha Puja for the first time in English," she elaborated, referring to the ritual of the Buddha of Infinite Light, much beloved of the Chinese. "I also made use of the teachings of powa, which the Venerable Ayang tulku [an eminent reincarnate lama recognized as a living expert in afterlife rituals] gave me in Mysore. It was miraculous I had it with me. by 'chance" I also had a special mandala from Rumtek to be used at the time of somebody's passing. Whatever I could do, I did, praying for the liberation of his mind into the luminous states of consciousness, which is the buddha-field. I also drafted a telegraph to H.H. Karmapa in Sikkim to do special ceremonies for the seaman.

"Many people there had never seen Buddhist rites before, and they were deeply moved. We felt it was extraordinary that the first Buddhist nun to reach South Africa was able to be in Port Elizabeth on the very day that the seaman needed help," she added.

She continued on her whistle-stop tour, founding centers, giving talks, and meeting would-be Buddhists. She was particularly happy when she came across the Indian community, who took her into their homes. "They helped stanch my homesickness at being severed from the motherland. It's a group of some thirty-five Indian families, who have kept the flag of Dharma flying here. I gave them the initiation of Jetsun Dolma in her form as the Perfection of Wisdom," she said, indicating the zenith of the wisdom path, "Emptiness," which is represented by the female form, out of which all things are made manifest.

Sheila Fugard, who met Freda in south Africa, was won over. She was the wife of the internationally renowned playwright Athol Fugard, as well as a poet and author in her own right, and was in a distressed state due to the constant harassment she and her husband were receiving from the police. Athol was courageously defying apartheid by writing and staging political plays, such as Blood Knot for a group of multiracial actors, and they were under perpetual surveillance as a result, with their house regularly being ransacked. It was a situation Freda understood only too well from her own experience of being harassed and pursued during her defiant fight for Indian independence. To Sheila, Freda, or Sister Palmo, as she called her, was a veritable lifeline. Her devotion became absolute, as depicted in the book she wrote about her, Lady of Realisation.

"We were going through a very tough time. I was under enormous stress and was just coming out of a nervous breakdown. We had no money and yet were still trying to create a new theater for all races, but the government was forbidding us to go into the townships, where the blacks lived," said Sheila, now living in California with her daughter.

There was also a lesser-known, religious component to apartheid. "The Dutch Reformed Church felt that blacks should have separate churches, and were fighting with the Catholics who wanted to open the churches to blacks. sister Palmo was invited in order hopefully to help sow seeds of harmony through establishing Buddhism, and teaching meditation," she explained before continuing with her own story:

"I knew nothing about Buddhism apart from reading Evans-Wentz (an early translator of Tibetan texts, including the Tibetan Book of the Dead). I was desperately seeking some means of achieving inner stillness, and had visited several teachers, including Sufis and Hindu swamis. They had offered advice and explanations as regards the nature of the mind, meditation, and the problems of living, but none really helped. The knots of personality remained unsolved.

"I went to a lecture sister Palmo was giving in a private house. As I walked in, I was met by a sight I had never seen before -- a middle-aged Englishwoman sitting in the lotus position, wearing maroon robes with a shaved head. There was no doubt she was beautiful, with a firm bone structure and skin, which, although aging, had a unique softness. She emanated a tranquility, an aura of profound compassion, and what could only be described as an elevated energy. There was an aspect of the yogi about her that fascinated me, and yet at the same time she was undisputedly the Western intellectual.

"What she said was interesting enough to draw me back to listen to her again. By the third time, I thought, 'Forget everything else, this is it.' I signed up for an initiation and a retreat. I was so glad I did. And I also took Refuge with her. The experience was unforgettably powerful," she reminisced.

Freda also had secular words of wisdom to offer regarding apartheid, telling her audience that the intellectuals invariably suffered in any repressive regime. "Such situations toughen the moral fiber," Freda told them. "Tenacity is at the root of sila, or morality, the very bedrock of Buddhism. And nonviolence is only understood through experience."

It was in the personal arena, however, where Freda provided the most comfort to Sheila Fugard.

On hearing about her breakdown and the traumas she was going through, Freda said, "Well, you know, what you are talking about is suffering. That was the Buddha's main message, it was the foundation of what he taught. But if you think of the mind like a lake, while the surface may be ruffled and agitated by waves, in the depths it is very calm and still.

"Mind is radiantly pure. emptiness, the primordial ground, underlies both samsara (the Wheel of Suffering) and nirvana. The world of meditation is of extraordinary beauty. In mastering concentration all concepts and confusion fall away. All is attainable by the pupil, but initiations by the guru, proper instruction, and firm endeavor are necessary.'

The effect of Freda's words was immediate and electric. "With those words Sister Palmo changed my life," said Sheila. "She made me realize that that was how it was. Suffering is there, clear and simple, and yet there is a way out. I understood that there was a deep reservoir of peace available to me beneath the fear and anxiety. From that moment I turned a corner and came out of my depression. Things slowly began to improve. She was an excellent teacher and had the clearest view of the Path of any Tibetan master I later met. She had a unique ability to cut through. She was also extremely articulate, the result of her education and talent as a writer and teacher."

As with all truly effective teachers, however, it was the unspoken qualities that Freda embodied that made an equally powerful impression on Sheila. Qualities including compassion, empathy, kindness, and a sense of humor, gained from a deep understanding of the Path, and literally embodied.

"Aside from her words it was her manner itself that was healing. she reached me at a human level. Sister Palmo became a role model, not just for me but for many women, because of all that she had been through and because she was powerful. Her life was vast. She'd been a conservative Englishwoman, an intellectual who had fitted in with a Sikh family, who had got involved in Indian politics, who knew Indira Gandhi and who had had a family before her inner path took over. She was extraordinary. I was her student, and was devoted as well as highly respectful of her," said Sheila.

When she flew out of South Africa, Freda left behind the Karma Rigdol centers she had established in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth, all under the auspices of H.H. Karmapa, and a small but enthusiastic group of people committed to following the Buddhist path. Many, like Sheila Fugard, had taken Refuge with Freda, and had been given Tibetan names. Others, like Andre de Wet, became ordained taking a monk's name -- in his case, Karma Samten.

She left her new converts with texts of prayers and rituals in English that she had translated herself from the Tibetan. this in itself was an innovative step forward in the bringing of Buddhism to the West, as for many years after the Tibetan diaspora newly engaged Buddhists were obliged to read prayers and chants in the original, without knowing what they were reading and saying.

Over the ensuing years she remained in constant contact with them through her usual stream of letters, guiding their newly formed centers in precise detail: suggesting candidates for the roles of president, secretary, or treasurer according to each person's personality and ability, which she had witnessed and assessed. As with her own children, she was liberal with advice: "youth are the breath of any new movement, but we need the older students to give stability, those who have seen something of the sorrows of the world. they have more staying power and more understanding of continuity, which is important." Multitasking, also as usual, she set up journals, sent articles, and tried tirelessly (in vain) to get visas for eminent lamas such as Ayang Rinpoche to visit the centers to inspire them anew. When that did not work, she encouraged her students to come to India so that they could experience for themselves what it was like to be in the presence of the freshly emerged meditation masters from Tibet, and get their blessing that way.

Personally on several occasions Freda tried to return to South Africa herself, battling for months to get another visa, but to no avail. The authorities would not let her in.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Rosemary [Vosse] was known to her many Tibetan friends as Karma Dolma Chuzom, a name which was given to her by H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. To many of us, she was simply known as Dolma, ‘Mother.’

Over the years, Rosemary was a great inspiration to many through her selfless service to Humankind. She was deeply involved in Theosophy, with her late husband - and was a President of the Cape Town Lodge.

Inspired by an article which appeared in The Middle Way, the Journal of The Buddhist Society in London, Rosemary founded The Tibetan Friendship Group in the late 1950’s and edited its Newsletter - The Tibetan Friendship Group Newsletter, for many years, which then changed into The Bodhisattva Path, and eventually transformed into eighteen issues of MAITRI under the Editorship of Karma Samten (Andre de Wet), AND Sheila Fugard. Later, Rosemary produced and edited ‘Koeksister’ and eventually ‘Co-Exister’ for many years.

Deep friendships with the Tibetan Community in exile, were cemented through her various journeys to India, where she and her husband were received in audience by many of the great Rinpoches. In 1974/5, Rosemary and Karma Samten joined the Entourage of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Ranjung Rigpe Dorje, and in 1976 she once again toured the world, to join Sister Palmo in California, with Sheila Fugard, and Karma Samten, for extended Teachings and diplomatic work on behalf of the Tibetan Refugees.

-- In Memory of Rosemary Vosse (Karma Dolma Chuzom), by Family Faraggiana of Turin, Italy, edited by Samten de Wet


Sheila Meiring Fugard (born 1932) was born in England. She is a writer of short stories and plays and the ex-wife of South African playwright Athol Fugard.

Personal history

Born in Birmingham, England in 1932, Sheila Meiring moved with her parents to South Africa, in 1940, when she was eight years old. She went to the University of Cape Town, where she wrote short stories and studied theatre.

She met playwright Athol Fugard when she acted in one of his plays. In September 1956, she married Fugard and adopted his surname.[1]

In 1972, when she was 40 years old, Sheila Fugard published her first novel, The Castaways, which won the Olive Schreiner Prize. Subsequently, she published other novels, including Rite of Passage, in 1976, and A Revolutionary Woman, in 1983. A Revolutionary Woman, her best-known novel, takes place in the 1920s in the Karoo district of South Africa and tells the story of a female disciple of Mahatma Gandhi who gets entangled in a rape case between a young colored boy and a young retarded Boer girl. Rite of Passage concerns a doctor and a young boy traumatized by a tribal circumcision ceremony.

Fugard has also published collected poems, including Threshold, in 1975, and Mystic [Mythic] Things, in 1981.

Athol Fugard acted in the BBC adaptation of her novel The Castaways. Their daughter, Lisa Fugard, who has acted in some of her father's plays, such as My Children! My Africa!, has also written a novel.



• The Castaways (1972). ISBN 0-333-14222-5.
• Rite of Passage (1976). ISBN 0-86068-620-5.
• A Revolutionary Woman (1983). ISBN 0-86068-620-5.


• Threshold (1975). ISBN 0-949937-11-8.
• Mystic [Mythic] Things (1981). ISBN 0-949937-87-8.
• The Magic Scattering Of A Life (2006). ISBN 0-9535058-4-7.


• "Lady of Realisation. 1st ed. Cape Town: Maitri Publications, 1984. Copyright © The Library of Congress, No. Txu 140-945. Cape Town: Electronic Ed., 19 Apr. 1999. Accessed 30 Sept. 2008. (In 3 parts.) [A "spiritual biography" of Buddhist Sister Palmo.]


1. Craig McLuckie (Okanagan College) (2003-10-08). "Athol Fugard (1932–)". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-09-29.

External links

• "Sheila Fugard" (Index of articles) at
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:41 am

Buddhist Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/9/19



-- The 90th Anniversary of The Buddhist Society 1924–2014, by The Buddhist Society
-- Tibet Relief Fund: About Us, by Tibet Relief Fund
-- Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine
-- The Office Of Tibet London, by The Office of Tibet
-- Tibet House US: Overview, by Tibet House US
-- Tibet Society: Our Story, by
-- Tibetan Friendship Group, by
-- A Tour of Biddulph Old Hall: Rigdzin Shikpo takes us on a tour of Biddulph Old Hall in Staffordshire, England. Biddulph Old Hall is the site of some of Trungpa Rinpoche's early teachings in the UK, by Rigdzin Shikpo
-- Biddulph Old Hall, by Staffordshire Gardens & Parks Trust (
-- The English Sangha Trust: History, by
-- Ananda Metteyya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett]: The First British Emissary of Buddhism [Excerpt], by Elizabeth J. Harris
-- Charles Henry Allan Bennett, by Wikipedia
-- Convert to Compassion: Allan Bennett, from Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, Missionary and Colonial Experience in Nineteenth Century Sri Lanka [Excerpt], by Elizabeth J. Harris
-- Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a new Buddhist Movement, by Sangharakshita [Dennis Lingwood]
-- Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa, by Richard Arthure
-- Edwin Arnold, by Theosophy Wikipedia
-- The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions: H.N. Spalding's Pioneering Vision, by Edward Hulmes

So I went to the phone book, and I looked up “Tibet.” Now in London, there’s 12 million people, the phone book is in four volumes, but I looked up in the “T’s,” and there was only one entry that began with the word “Tibet.” And that was “The Tibet Society of the United Kingdom.”

So I saw that, and noted down the address -- I think it was 58 Eccleston Square -- and I didn’t think of phoning. I thought, “Well, I’ll go in person to see what happens.” ...

[S]o I got in the car, and I knew where Eccleston Square was, and I managed to find a parking place ... And it was sort of a Victorian townhome. And I went up the steps and there was a brass plate that said, “Buddhist Society.” And I thought, “Ha, that’s a good sign.” And underneath it it said, “Tibet Society.” So I pressed that bell push, the buzzer sounded, the door opened, and I went in

-- Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa, by The Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The Buddhist Society is a UK registered charity with the stated aim to:

[...] publish and make known the principles of Buddhism and to encourage the study and practice of those principles.

The Buddhist Society
Formation 1924
Founder Christmas Humphreys

Type Buddhism in the United Kingdom
Headquarters 58 Eccleston Square,
London SW1V 1PH
United Kingdom

The Buddhist Society is an inter-denominational and non-sectarian lay organization. It offers talks and classes on the teachings of all the different major mainstream Buddhist schools and traditions, as well as a structured programme of courses on general Buddhism, for both the public and members. It has a publishing programme and in its premises houses one of the main libraries in Britain on Buddhism. It is managed by an elected council and its patron is the 14th Dalai Lama.

Among other publications, it produces The Buddhist Directory, a reference book which lists the vast majority of Buddhist groups, centres and other related organisations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and The Middle Way, a quarterly journal (referring to the Buddhist concept of a Middle Way).[1]


The Society was created in 1924 in London as an offshoot of a Theosophical Lodge by Christmas Humphreys, a British judge and convert to Buddhism.[2] It became an independent body in 1926 and Humphreys remained its president until his death in 1983. In 1961 the 14th Dalai Lama became patron of the Society, the first organisation in the West to be so honoured.[1]

The Buddhist Society was one of the first Buddhist organisations outside Asia and remains one of the oldest in Europe to date.


The Buddhist Society runs a number of classes, courses and lectures, many of which are open to the general public. This includes Saturday meditation classes and popular Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime sessions. More specific members classes are offered in the Zen, Theravadan and Tibetan traditions. The Society is open on occasional Sundays to the public for 'Zen Sundays', 'Theravadan Sundays' and a Pure Land class.

Three courses are taught at the Society representing three levels of Buddhist study, the first of which, ‘Introducing Buddhism’, is free and open to the public. This can be followed by the Intermediate and advanced, 'Great Way' courses. A Correspondence Course is also available to those who are unable to study at a Buddhist centre.

Free public lectures are held at least once a month on a Wednesday evening. Topics are varied and concern not only the practical application of Buddhism but its cultural and historical aspects too. The guest speakers include academic as well as spiritual scholars of Buddhism. Special function days are held four times a year on Saturdays and are intended for those who do not live in London. A Summer School is held annually in August, too. This one-week residential course is open to members of all Buddhist schools and explores the major aspects of the Buddha’s teachings and their practice. The Summer School is highly popular and is now in its 63rd year (2014).


For more than 50 years The Buddhist Society has published Buddhist works and continues to do so today. The Buddhist Directory is a comprehensive directory of Buddhist groups and organisations in the UK and Ireland. It also gives details of sizeable library collections, publishers and retailers of Buddhist literature and items.

The Society continues to print a selection of Buddhist classics and important new works including some titles by its founder Christmas Humphreys. Books can be bought by mail-order or in person at the Society.

The Middle Way is the quarterly journal of the Buddhist Society and has been in print since 1926 originally under the title Buddhism in England.[2] The journal is respected worldwide and contains news and articles on Buddhist practice and history as well as details of the Society’s programme. Non-members can take out a subscription without joining the society.


In 1956 the Buddhist Society moved to its present location at 58 Eccleston Square in south-west London. The library on the ground floor, which began with just a few volumes in 1926, is now a collection in excess of 4,500 volumes. Members can request books by post and renew them by email and there is an online catalogue on the Society's website. The library also houses a small bookstall and offers items such as incense and cards for sale.

The Society’s Audio Department offers CDs and tapes of public lectures and courses for sale at a small cost and there is a free tape library for the registered blind.

The building also has a lecture hall and two shrine rooms and is a treasure house of Buddhist statuary and artefacts presented to the Society by donors from around the world.


Membership includes subscription to The Middle Way, access to all lectures, classes and courses and full use of the library services.

The Buddhist Society is located close to Victoria Station and is open to all Monday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm and on Saturdays until 5pm.

See also

• Network of Buddhist Organisations
• Zen Centre


1. "The Buddhist Society: History". The Buddhist Society. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
2. Bluck, Robert (2006). British Buddhism: Teachings, Practice and Development. Routledge. pp. 7–9. ISBN 978-0415483087.

External links

• Official website
• Charity Commission. Buddhist Society, registered charity no. 1113705.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:48 am

Clan na Gael
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/10/19



Francis Cunliffe Owen, the officer heading the Home Office agency in New York, had become thoroughly acquainted with George Freeman alias Fitzgerald and Myron Phelps, the famous New York advocate, as members of the Clan-na-Gael.

-- Hindu–German Conspiracy, by Wikipedia

The Clan na Gael (in modern Irish orthography: Clann na nGael, IPA: [ˈklˠan̪ˠ n̪ˠə ˈŋeːlʲ], family of the Gaels) was an Irish republican organization in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries, successor to the Fenian Brotherhood and a sister organization to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.[1] It has shrunk to a small fraction of its former size in the 21st century.


As Irish immigration to the United States of America began to increase in the 18th century many Irish organizations were formed. One of the earliest was formed under the name of the Irish Charitable Society and was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. These new organisations went by varying names, most notably the Ancient and Most Benevolent Order of the Friendly Brothers of Saint Patrick, founded in New York in 1767, the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants in Philadelphia in 1771, and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick also formed in New York in 1784.

In the later part of the 1780s, a strong Irish patriot (rather than Catholic) character began to grow in these organisations and amongst recently arrived Irish immigrants. The usage of Celtic symbolism helped solidify this sense of nationalism and was most noticeably found in the use of the name "Hibernian." (Hibernia is the Latin name for Ireland.)

In 1858, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) had been founded in Dublin by James Stephens. The initial decision to create this organisation came about after Stephens consulted, through special emissary Joseph Denieffe, with John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny, members of a precursor group called the Emmet Monument Association.

In response to the establishment of the IRB in Dublin, a sister organization was founded in New York City, the Fenian Brotherhood, led by O'Mahony. This arm of Fenian activity in America produced a surge in radicalism among groups of Irish immigrants, many of whom had recently emigrated from Ireland during and after the Great Hunger. In October, 1865, the Fenian Philadelphia Congress met and appointed the Irish Republican Government in the US. But in 1865, in Ireland, the IRB newspaper The Irish People had been raided by the police and the IRB leadership was imprisoned. Another abortive uprising would occur in 1867, but the British remained in control.

After the 1865 crackdown in Ireland, the American organization began to fracture over what to do next. Made up of veterans of the American Civil War, a Fenian army had been formed. While O'Mahony and his supporters wanted to remain focused on supporting rebellions in Ireland a competing faction, called the Roberts, or senate wing, wanted this Fenian Army to attack British bases in Canada. The resulting Fenian Raids strained US–British relations. The level of American support for the Fenian cause began to diminish as the Fenians were seen as a threat to stability in the region.

The Irish were still seen as a foreign people within the borders of the American state by anti-Catholic Americans such as members of the Know-Nothing Party; their existence within America was seen primarily as temporary camps of immigrants who planned to stay in America only as long as the British stayed in Ireland. Upon the British withdrawal from Irish soil, it was believed, the Irish immigrants would return to their native land. The Fenian Raids were seen as an astonishing example of immigrant activity in US history and Irish nationalism has itself become something of an exception among the American melting pot. Very few US immigrants concerned themselves with their mother country as did the Irish; in March 1868, 100,000 Fenian supporters held an anti-British demonstration in New York.

Creation of Clan na Gael

After 1867, the Irish Republican Brotherhood headquarters in Manchester chose to support neither of the existing feuding factions, but instead promoted a renewed Irish republican organization in America, to be named Clan na Gael.

According to John Devoy in 1924, Jerome James Collins founded what was then called the Napper Tandy Club in New York on 20 June 1867, Wolfe Tone's birthday. This club expanded into others and at one point at a picnic in 1870 was named the Clan na Gael by Sam Cavanagh. This was the same Cavanagh who killed the informer George Clark,[2] who had exposed a Fenian pike-making operation in Dublin to the police.

Collins, who died in 1881 on the disastrous Jeannette Expedition to the North Pole, was a science editor on the New York Herald, who had left England in 1866 when a plot he was involved in to free the Fenian prisoners at Pentonville Prison was uncovered by the police. Collins believed at the time of the founding in 1867 that the two feuding Fenians branches should patch things up.[3]

Catalpa rescue

After arriving in America in 1871 John Devoy indicated he joined the Clan na Gael early on and attempted several times at Clan conventions to get the Clan to adopt a plan to free the military prisoners held by the British in Fremantle Australia. In 1874 John Devoy, with some oratorical help from Thomas Francis Bourke, was elected Chairman of the Executive Board of the Clan and was also chosen to execute the rescue of the prisoners. Bourke warned Devoy that there would be "kickers" and he would have to have a heavy hand to control the Clan na Gael and succeed in the project.[4] John Devoy devoted all his time to this project and oversaw the purchase of the bark Catalpa and the outfitting of this ship as a whaler. The Clan engaged an American Captain George S Anthony as its Captain with New Bedford whaling crew. John received considerable help in running the Clan from Dr. William Carroll who was elected Executive Board Chairman in 1875 and between them they controlled Clan activity until 1882. Carroll was of Ulster Protestant stock and brought in others to the Clan from the upper middle class such as Simon Barclay Conover, Senator from Florida. Devoy's nemesis during the fund raising for the enterprise was John Goff, an aspiring Clan member who later became a New York Supreme Court Judge and who, perhaps, resented the influence of Bourke and Devoy in the Clan. Devoy did in fact take a strong hand and began tossing out Clan members for malfeasance in office and violation of Clan rules as is shown in "General Circular No. 2" dated 15 January 1875.[5] The success of the rescue in 1876 resulted in the Clan na Gael replacing for all practical purposes the Fenian Brotherhood as the spokesman of Irish-American nationalism.

Under the leadership of John Devoy, Clan na Gael would eventually be successful in educating Americans about the movement.

New Departure 1879

In 1879, Devoy promoted a "New Departure" in Irish republican thinking, by which the "physical force party" allied itself with the Irish Parliamentary Party under the political leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell, MP; the political plans of the Fenians were thus combined with the agrarian revolution inaugurated by the Irish National Land League. The arrangement was cemented at the first Irish Race Convention held in Chicago in 1881.

By 1880, more aggressive men within the Clan na Gael were chafing at the slow pace of Devoy and Carroll and these men were able to take control of the organization in 1882 when two "action men", Alexander Sullivan and Michael Boland took over the reins and ran the clan as a dictatorship along with an inactive Mr. Feeley. The new leadership ignored the Revolutionary Council set up by Carroll to coordinate between the IRB and the Clan and began to operate in total secrecy from even the membership of the Clan. These three men called themselves the "Triangle" and began making bombing runs into England in what was called the "Dynamite War". This infuriated the IRB in Ireland which cut ties with the Irish-Americans. Michael Boland was later pointed out as a British spy which might have explained why the majority of the bombers were caught and jailed before they could strike.[6][7][8]

The 1880s saw the solidification, at least within America, of Irish ideological orientations, with most nationalist sentiment finding its home within Clan na Gael, rather than organisations such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The more agrarian-minded found their ideological brethren within the Irish Federation of America. The third ideological strand was connected to the union and socialist movement and found support with the Knights of Labor. In the late 1880s a financial scandal in the Chicago branch of the Clan led to a successful conspiracy to murder whistle-blower Dr. Patrick Henry Cronin. John Devoy, who worked with Cronin, also began carrying a gun and expected to be assassinated by Alexander Sullivan's henchmen. The Cronin case, prosecuted by State's Attorney Joel Minnick Longenecker achieved international attention. Neither the prosecution nor the defense were concerned with the Clan's ties to the Fenians, trying the case simply as a conspiracy to commit murder.[9] The Clan na Gael had split into pro and anti Sullivan/Boland branches, but was re-united by John Devoy around 1900.

In Ireland the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) achieved electoral success in the 1880s, and was supported by the British Prime Minister William Gladstone who introduced the unsuccessful Government of Ireland Bill 1886. Gladstone's party then divided over home rule, and the IPP also divided for a decade over Parnell's marriage to Mrs. O'Shea.

In 1891, a moderate offshoot of the Clan na Gael broke away and formed an organization under the name of Irish National Federation of America with T. Emmet as president. The federation supported the National Party in Ireland, a splinter group of Parnell's Home Rule Party. Rising to prominence within the Clan from the 1890s were Daniel Cohalan (later to be a Judge of the New York Supreme Court) and Joseph McGarrity.

In the 20th Century

The objective of Clan na Gael was to secure an independent Ireland and to assist the Irish Republican Brotherhood in achieving this aim. To this end, the Clan was prepared to enter into alliances with any nation allied against the British; with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Clan found its greatest ally in Imperial Germany. A delegation led by Devoy met with the German Ambassador in the US Count Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff and his aide Franz von Papen in 1914. This was followed by an emissary John Kenny, sent on a mission to Berlin to discuss how the German war effort and Irish Nationalism could cooperate. Devoy, along with Roger Casement and Joseph McGarrity, was able to bring together both Irish-American and German support in the years prior to the Easter Rising. However the German munitions never reached Ireland as the ship Aud carrying them was scuttled after being intercepted by the Royal Navy.

Clan na Gael became the largest single financier of both the Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence. Imperial Germany aided Clan na Gael by selling those guns and munitions to be used in the uprising of 1916. Germany had hoped that by distracting Britain with an Irish uprising they would be able to garner the upper hand in the war and affect a German victory on the Western Front. However, they failed to follow through with more support. Clan na Gael was also involved via McGarrity and Casement in the abortive attempt to raise an "Irish Brigade" to fight against the British.

Some Sikhs held talks with Clan Na Gael, which led to authorities in Great Britain and India fearing Irish-Americans and Sikhs uniting against the British Empire.[10] Clan Na Gael supported the primarily Sikh Ghadar Party, and played a supportive role in the Hindu German Conspiracy in the United States during World War I,[11] which led to the Hindu German Conspiracy Trial in San Francisco in 1917–18.

Clan Na Gael largely controlled the Irish Race Conventions from 1916, and its affiliated group the Friends of Irish Freedom. The Irish War of Independence led to a split in Clan na Gael which was precipitated in June 1920 by Éamon de Valera, who as President of the Irish Republic became involved in a dispute with Devoy and Judge Cohalan over lobbying US Presidential candidates on the issue of American recognition for the Irish Republic. To punish Woodrow Wilson for his apparent lack of support, the Clan backed Harding in the United States presidential election, 1920. In October, 1920, Harry Boland stated that the IRB in Ireland had terminated connections between the Clan and the parent body in Ireland until the will of Dáil Éireann was mirrored in Clan na Gael. Devoy and Cohalan refused to accept this but McGarrity disagreed, believing that without IRB support, the Clan was not legitimate, which led to a split. McGarrity, whose faction went by the name Reorganized Clan na Gael, supported the Anti-Treaty forces during the Civil War while Devoy and Cohalan supported the Free State. After 1924, when the IRB and the Devoy-Cohalan Clan na Gael both voted to disband, McGarrity's faction became the sole Clan na Gael. In 1926, the Clan na Gael formally associated with the reorganized Irish Republican Army in the same fashion as it had with the IRB.

McGarrity continued to provide support and aid to the IRA after it was outlawed in Ireland by de Valera in 1936 but became less active in the 1940s and 1950s following McGarrity's death in 1940. However the organization grew in the 1970s. The organization played a key part in NORAID and was a prominent source of finance and weapons for the Provisional IRA during "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland in 1969–1998.

The Clan na Gael still exists today, much changed from the days of the Catalpa rescue and as recently as 1997 another internal split occurred as a result of the IRA shift away from using physical force as a result of the 1998 Good Friday peace accords, and before that over the abandonment of the policy of abstentionism in 1987. The two factions are known to insiders as Provisional Clan na Gael (allied to Provisional Sinn Féin/IRA) and Republican Clan na Gael (associated with both Republican Sinn Féin/Continuity IRA and 32 County Sovereignty Movement/Real IRA, though primarily the former).[12] These have been listed as terrorist organizations at various times by the UK Government.

Presidents of the Clan na Gael

From its founding in 1869, although heavily influenced by founder John Devoy over the years, the organization was nominally under the control of an executive committee headed by a national Executive Board Chairman. This executive committee was elected at yearly, later ever other year, conventions. At the convention held in Chicago during 1881, the committee was reduced to five members making it easier to control. The committee then came under the domination of Michael Boland, D.S. Freely and national executive chairman Alexander Sullivan who together were known as "the Triangle".

The first Chairman perhaps should be Jerome Collins as the man who founded the first Club (D1) of what would later be called the Clan na Gael (these clubs later were called "Camps"). The club was named Napper Tandy after an Irish patriot. From the beginning, according to John Devoy in the Gaelic American, the secretary of Napper Tandy and later of the Clan na Gael was William James Nicholson. He was secretary from 1867 to 1874 when he was dismissed for loaning Camp Funds which were not repaid. According to a descendant of the John Haltigan the foreman printer of the Irish People, James Haltigan son of John Haltigan was Executive Board Chairman in 1871.

In 1873 James Ryan was Executive Board Chairman.[13] In 1874 John Devoy was chosen Executive Board Chairman at the Baltimore Convention. From 1875 until he resigned in 1879, John Devoy's trusted friend and ardent nationalist Dr. William Carroll of Philadelphia was Executive Board Chairman. James Reynolds of Connecticut temporarily held the post from Carroll's resignation until 1881 (there was no convention in 1880) when the Triangle of Sullivan, Feeley and Boland assumed command. Although Devoy supporters Reynolds and Treacy remained on the Executive Board, they were left out of the decision-making process by the Triangle. The Triangle's bombing campaign split the organization into two factions in the mid-1880s. After the murder of Cronin, the Clan na Gael united once again under John Devoy in 1900. John Kenny served as president of the Napper Tandy branch in 1883 and again in 1914.


1. Buescher, John. "What Happened to the Fenians After 1866?", accessed 8 October 2011
2. Gaelic American, 7 January 1905
3. Much of the preceding is found in the Gaelic American, 29 Dec 1906, in an article entitled "The Inside Story of the Jeanette Horror". Both John O'Mahony and William R Roberts, opposing leaders of fighting branches of the Fenians, belonged to the Napper Tandy Club, according to Devoy in the aforementioned article.
4. Proceedings of the United Brotherhood Convention, Cleveland Ohio September 1874 held at the Fenian archives at the Catholic University of America.
5. NLI MS. 18,015(1): John Devoy Papers. For more on the Catalpa rescue see Sean O'Lung "Fremantle Mission", Philip Fennell and Marie King (Eds.) "John Devoy's Catalpa Expedition", a transcription of John Devoy's Catalpa Story in the Gaelic American, and ZW Pease's "The Catalpa Expedition" the latter published by George Anthony the Captain aboard the ship.
6. McGee, Owen. The IRB. Four Courts Press, Dublin. 2006 pp 105-8
7. Devoy, "Story of the Clan na Gael," Gaelic American 29 November 1924
8. Whelehan, Niall (2012). The Dynamiters: Irish Nationalism and Political Violence in the Wider World. Cambridge.
9. McEnnis, John T. The Clan na Gael and the Murder of Dr. Cronin. (The original book had no publisher information, however a preliminary subscriber list indicates it was to be published in 1889 by John W Liff & Co. of Chicago, Illinois)
10. Mount, Graeme Stewart (1993). Canada's enemies: spies and spying in the peaceable kingdom. Dundurn Press Ltd. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-1-55002-190-5. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
11. Plowman, Matthew Erin. "Irish Republicans and the Indo-German Conspiracy of World War I," New Hibernia Review 7.3 (2003) 81-105
12. Ed Moloney, Clan na Gael split a worry for Sinn Féin Published 9 May 2006. Accessed 17 March 2008.
13. Devoys PostbagBP Vol. I p. 87–88. was he from Lawrence, Mass? (Devoy in the Gaelic American said the man who preceded him was from there and was a nonentity.)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:09 am

The Untold Story of Gandhi and Theosophy
by David Livingstone
Sun, 12/15/2013 - 20:32




According to Gandhi:

The soul of religions is one, but it is encased in a multitude of forms. The latter will endure to the end of time. Wise men will ignore the outward crust and see the same soul living under a variety of crusts... Truth is the exclusive property of no single scripture.

These ideas mirror those of a "universal brotherhood," expressed by H. P. Blavatsky, an avowed Luciferian and the leading figure of the nineteenth century Occult Revival, and the "godmother" of the New Age movement, which aspires to create a one-world religion based on the teachings of Freemasonry.

(the following is an excerpt from Black Terror White Soldiers)

In India, Blavatksy’s Theosophical Society evolved into a mixture of Western occultism and Hindu mysticism, and also spread western ideas in the east, aiding a modernization of eastern traditions, and contributing to a growing nationalism in the Asian colonies. The Theosophical Society had a major influence on Buddhist modernism and Hindu reform movements, and the spread of those modernized versions in the west. During the nineteenth century, Hinduism developed a large number of new religious movements, partly inspired by the European Romanticism, nationalism, scientific racism and Theosophy. With the rise of Hindu nationalism, several contemporary Indian movements, collectively termed Hindu reform movements, strove to introduce regeneration and reform to Hinduism.

The Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj were united from 1878 to 1882, as the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.

Arya Samaj monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas. The samaj was founded by the sannyasi (ascetic) Dayanand Saraswati on 10 April 1875. Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one God and reject the worship of idols. Arya Samaj was the first Hindu organization to introduce proselytization in Hinduism.

-- Arya Samaj, by Wikipedia

And, along with H. S. Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala, Blavatsky was also instrumental in the Western transmission and revival of Theravada Buddhism. Dharmapala (1864 – 1933) was a pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in India after it had been virtually extinct there for several centuries. Along with Olcott and Blavatsky, Dharmapala was also a major reformer and revivalist of Ceylonese Buddhism and very crucial figure in its Western transmission. Dharmapala also believed that Sinhalese of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) are a pure Aryan race, and advised that Sinhalese women should avoide miscegenation by refraining from mixing with minority races of the country.[1]

The Aryan Hindu belongs to the oldest races now on earth; the Semite Hebrew to the latest. One is nearly one million years old; the other is a small sub-race some 8,000 years old and no more....

Human crossing may have been a general rule from the time of the separation of sexes, and yet that other law may assert itself, viz., sterility between two human races, just as between two animal species of various kinds, in those rare cases when a European, condescending to see in a female of a savage tribe a mate, happebs to choose a member of such mixed tribes. Darwin notes such a case in a Tasmanian tribe, whose women were suddenly struck with sterility, en masse, some time after the arrival among them of the European colonists. The great naturalist tried to explain this fact by change of diet, food, conditions, etc., but finally gave up the solution of the mystery. For the occultist it is a very evident one. "Crossing", as it is called, of Europeans with Tasmanian women -- i.e, the representatives of a race, whose progenitors were a "soulless" and mindless monster and a real human, though still as mindless a man -- brought on sterility. This, not alone as a consequence of a physiological law, but also as a decree of Karmic evolution in the question of further survival of the abnormal race...

It is a most suggestive fact -- to those concrete thinkers who demand a physical proof of Karma -- that the lowest races of men are now rapidly dying out; a phenomenon largely due to an extraordinary sterility setting in among the women, from the time that they were first approached by the Europeans. A process of decimation is taking place all over the globe, among those races, whose "time is up" -- among just those stocks, be it remarked, which esoteric philosophy regards as the senile representatives of lost archaic nations. It is inaccurate to maintain that the extinction of a lower race is invariably due to cruelties or abuses perpetrated by colonists. Change of diet, drunkenness, etc., etc., have done much; but those who rely on such data as offering an all-sufficient explanation of the crux, cannot meet the phalanx of facts now so closely arrayed. "Nothing", says even the materialist Lefevre, "can save those that have run their course .. It would be necessary to extend their destined cycle ... The peoples that have been spared ... Hawaiians or Maories, have been no less decimated than the tribes massacred or tainted by European intrusion." (“Philosophy,” p. 508.)

True; but is not the phenomenon here confirmed of the operation of CYCLIC LAW difficult to account for on materialist lines? Whence the “destined cycle” and the order here testified to? Why does this (Karmic) sterility attack and root out certain races at their “appointed hour”? The answer that it is due to a “mental disproportion” between the colonizing and aboriginal races is obviously evasive, since it does not explain the sudden “checks to fertility” which so frequently supervene. The dying out of the Hawaiians, for instance, is one of the most mysterious problems of the day. Ethnology will sooner or later have to recognize with Occultists that the true solution has to be sought for in a comprehension of the workings of Karma. As Lefevre remarks, “the time is drawing near when there will remain nothing but three great human types” (before the Sixth Root-Race dawns), the white (Aryan, Fifth Root-Race), the yellow, and the African negro — with their crossings (Atlanto-European divisions). Redskins, Eskimos, Papuans, Australians, Polynesians, etc., etc. — all are dying out. Those who realize that every Root-Race runs through a gamut of seven sub-races with seven branchlets, etc., will understand the “why.” The tide-wave of incarnating EGOS has rolled past them to harvest experience in more developed and less senile stocks; and their extinction is hence a Karmic necessity.

-- The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena P. Blavatsky

An important influence on western spirituality was Neo-Vedanta, also called neo-Hinduism, a modern religious movement inspired by the ecstatic visionary experiences of Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886) and his beloved disciple Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902). It was Vivekananda who coined the term “Hinduism” to describe a faith of diverse and myriad beliefs of Indian tradition. Also a Freemason, Vivekananda was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. Vivekananda taught the doctrine of the unity of all religions, and is perhaps best known for a speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893, the first attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths. Vivekananda quoted two passages from the Shiva mahimna stotram: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!” and “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to Me.”[2]

In addition to Vivekananda, the Parliament of the World’s Religions was dominated by the Theosophists and their counterparts among the representatives of neo-Vedanta and Buddhist Modernism. According to K. Paul Johnson, the Parliament gave Theosophists “a breakthrough into public acceptance and awareness which had hardly seemed possible a few years before.”[3] Colonel Olcott shared his sentiments in Old Diary Leaves, “How great a success it was for us and how powerfully it stimulated public interest in our views will be recollected by all our older members.” Several of the World Parliament’s speakers on behalf of international religions had been Theosophists, such as Dharmapala and Kinza Hirai, who represented Buddhism, Mohammed Webb for Islam, and Chakravarti for the Hindus. In his 1921 history of the Theosophical movement, René Guénon wrote that after the 1893 Parliament, “the Theosophists seemed very satisfied with the excellent occasion for propaganda afforded them in Chicago, and they even went so far as to proclaim that “the true Parliament of Religions had been, in fact, the Theosophical Congress.”[4]

At the Parliament, Vivekananda’s speech also made a profound impression on Annie Besant (1847 – 1933), who had assumed the leadership of the worldwide theosophical movement when Blavatsky had passed away in 1891. Born in London into a middle-class family of Irish origin, Besant was proud of her heritage, and became involved with Union organizers including the Bloody Sunday demonstration, which she was widely credited for inciting. During 1884, Besant had developed a very close friendship with Edward Aveling, who first translated the works of Marx into English. He eventually went to live with Marx’s daughter Eleanor Marx, whose network was being spied on by Theodor Reuss. Besant was a leading speaker for the Fabian Society. The Fabians were a group of socialists whose strategy differed from that of Karl Marx in that they sought world domination through what they called the “doctrine of inevitability of gradualism.” This meant their goals would be achieved “without breach of continuity or abrupt change of the entire social issue,” and by infiltrating educational institutions, government agencies, and political parties.

After a dispute, the American section of the Theosophical Society split into an independent organization. The original Society, then led by Henry Steel Olcott and Besant, based in Chennai, India, came to be known as the Theosophical Society Adyar. Besant’s partner in running the Theosophical Society was Charles Leadbeater, a known pedophile. In 1909, Leadbeater claimed to have “discovered” the new Messiah in the person of the handsome young Indian boy named Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti gained international acceptance among followers of Theosophy as the new Savior, but the boy’s father nearly ruined the scheme when he accused Leadbeater of corrupting his son. Krishnamurti also eventually repudiated his designated role, and spent the rest of his life travelling the world and becoming in the process widely known as an unaffiliated speaker.

As President of the Theosophical Society, Besant became involved in politics in India, joining the Indian National Congress, and during World War I helped launch the Home Rule League, modeling demands for India on Irish nationalist practices. This led to her election as president of the India National Congress in late 1917. As editor of the New India newspaper, she attacked the colonial government of India and called for clear and decisive moves towards self-rule. In June 1917 Besant was arrested, but the National Congress and the Muslim League together threatened to launch protests if she was not set free. The government was forced to make significant concessions, and it was announced that the ultimate aim of British rule was Indian self-government.

After the war, a new leadership emerged around Mohandas K. Gandhi, who was inspired by the ideals of Vivekananda, and who was among those who had written to demand Besant’s release, and who had returned from leading Asians in a non-violent struggle against racism in South Africa. In 1888, he had travelled to London, England, to study law at University College London, when he met members of the Theosophical Society. They encouraged him to join them in reading the Bhagavad Gita. As a result, despite not having shown any interest in religion before, Gandhi began his serious study of the text, which was to become his acknowledged guide throughout his life. According to Kathryn Tidrick, Gandhi’s approach to the Gita was theosophical.[5] Gandhi later credited Theosophy with instilling in him the principle of the equality among religions. As he explained to his biographer, Louis Fischer, “Theosophy… is Hinduism at its best. Theosophy is the brotherhood of man.” The organization’s motto inspired Gandhi to develop one of his central principles, that “all religions are true.”[6]

Gandhi had met Blavatsky and Besant in 1889.[7] And when Gandhi set up his office in Johannesburg, among the pictures he hung on his walls were those of Tolstoy, Jesus Christ and Annie Besant, and in a letter he wrote to her in 1905 he expressed his "reverence" of her.[8] Besant bestowed on him the title by which he became famous, "Mahatma,” a Hindu term for "Great Soul,” and the same name by which Theosophy called its own masters. Besant's distinctive influence on Gandhi was through her contribution to theory was the “Law of Sacrifice,” which was set out most fully in Esoteric Christianity. The Law of Sacrifice was derived from a Fabian reading of the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna's selfless activity brought the world into existence and continues to sustain it. Action performed in this “sacrificial” spirit, says Krishna, is free from Karma. From this Besant developed the notion of the Law of Sacrifice, a form of “spiritual alchemy,” through disinterested action, “cast upon the altar of duty.” The man who acts in harmony with the divine selflessness animating the universe becomes:

..a force for evolution… an energy for progress, and the whole race then benefits by the action which otherwise would only have rough to the sacrificer a personal fruit, which in turn would have bound his Soul, and limited his potentialities.[9]

Despite his popular image as holy man, Joseph Lelyveld’s Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India, according to his reviewer, reveals Gandhi was a “sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist—one who was often downright cruel to those around him. Gandhi was therefore the archetypal 20th-century progressive intellectual, professing his love for mankind as a concept while actually despising people as individuals.”[10] According to Lelyveld, Gandhi also encouraged his ­seventeen-year-old great-niece to be naked during her "nightly cuddles,” and began sleeping with her and other young women. He also engaged in a long-term homosexual affair with German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder Hermann Kallenbach, for whom Gandhi at one point left his wife in 1908.[11]

Though Gandhi was concerned for the plight of the Indians of South Africa, he shared the racist beliefs of the Theosophists. Of white Afrikaaners and Indians, he wrote: “We believe as much in the purity of races as we think they do.” Gandhi lent his support to the Zulu War of 1906, volunteering for military service himself and raising a battalion of stretcher-bearers. Gandhi complained of Indians being marched off to prison where they were placed alongside Blacks, “We could understand not being classed with whites, but to be placed on the same level as the Natives seemed too much to put up with. Kaffirs [Blacks] are as a rule uncivilized—the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”[12]

[T]he astral prototypes of the lower beings of the animal kingdom of the Fourth Round, which preceded (the chhayas of) Men, were the consolidated, though still very ethereal sheaths of the still more ethereal forms or models produced at the close of the Third Round on Globe D. [215] “Produced from the residue of the substance matter; from dead bodies of men and (other extinct) animals of the wheel before,” or the previous Third Round — as Stanza 24 tells us. Hence, while the nondescript “animals” that preceded the astral man at the beginning of this life-cycle on our Earth were still, so to speak, the progeny of the man of the Third Round, the mammalians of this Round owe their existence, in a great measure, to man again. Moreover, the “ancestor” of the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting himself physically on the level of an animal….

Ay, but that “primeval man” was man only in external form. He was mindless and soulless at the time he begot, with a female animal monster, the forefather of a series of apes….

Perchance in these specimens, Haeckelians might recognize, not the Homo primigenius, but some of the lower tribes, such as some tribes of the Australian savages. Nevertheless, even these are not descended from the anthropoid apes, but from human fathers and semi-human mothers, or, to speak more correctly, from human monsters — those “failures” mentioned in the first Commentary. The real anthropoids, Haeckel’s Catarrhini and Platyrrhini, came far later, in the closing times of Atlantis. The orang-outang, the gorilla, the chimpanzee and cynocephalus are the latest and purely physical evolutions from lower anthropoid mammalians. They have a spark of the purely human essence in them; man on the other hand, has not one drop of pithecoid blood in his veins.….

These “Men” of the Third Race — the ancestors of the Atlanteans — were just such ape-like, intellectually senseless giants as were those beings, who, during the Third Round, represented Humanity. Morally irresponsible, it was these third Race “men” who, through promiscuous connection with animal species lower than themselves, created that missing link which became ages later (in the tertiary period only) the remote ancestor of the real ape as we find it now in the pithecoid family. [150]...

A naturalist suggests another difficulty. The human is the only species which, however unequal in its races, can breed together. “There is no question of selection between human races,” say the anti-Darwinists, and no evolutionist can deny the argument — one which very triumphantly proves specific unity. How then can Occultism insist that a portion of the Fourth Race humanity begot young ones from females of another, only semi-human, if not quite an animal, race, the hybrids resulting from which union not only bred freely but produced the ancestors of the modern anthropoid apes? Esoteric science replies to this that it was in the very beginnings of physical man. Since then, Nature has changed her ways, and sterility is the only result of the crime of man’s bestiality….

But this was when Africa had already been raised as a continent. We have meanwhile to follow, as closely as limited space will permit, the gradual evolution of the now truly human species. It is in the suddenly arrested evolution of certain sub-races, and their forced and violent diversion into the purely animal line by artificial cross-breeding, truly analogous to the hybridization, which we have now learned to utilize in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, that we have to look for the origin of the anthropoids. In these red-haired and hair-covered monsters, the fruit of the unnatural connection between men and animals, the “Lords of Wisdom” did not incarnate, as we see. Thus by a long series of transformations due to unnatural cross-breeding (unnatural “sexual selection”), originated in due course of time the lowest specimens of humanity; while further bestiality and the fruit of their first animal efforts of reproduction begat a species which developed into mammalian apes ages later....

For surely, it was not in or through the wickedness of the “mighty men” . . . . men of renown, among whom is placed Nimrod the “mighty hunter before the Lord,” that “god saw that the wickedness of man was great,” nor in the builders of Babel, for this was after the Deluge; but in the progeny of the giants who produced monstra quaedam de genere giganteo, monsters from whence sprang the lower races of men, now represented on earth by a few miserable dying-out tribes and the huge anthropoid apes….

The monsters bred in sin and shame by the Atlantean giants, “blurred copies” of their bestial sires, and hence of modern man (Huxley), now mislead and overwhelm with error the speculative Anthropologist of European Science…

[T]he bestiality of the primeval mindless races resulted in the production of huge man-like monsters — the offspring of human and animal parents. As time rolled on, and the still semi-astral forms consolidated into the physical, the descendants of these creatures were modified by external conditions, until the breed, dwindling in size, culminated in the lower apes of the Miocene period. With these the later Atlanteans renewed the sin of the “Mindless” — this time with full responsibility. The resultants of their crime were the species of apes now known as Anthropoid

On the data furnished by modern science, physiology, and natural selection, and without resorting to any miraculous creation, two negro human specimens of the lowest intelligence — say idiots born dumb — might by breeding produce a dumb Pastrana species, which would start a new modified race, and thus produce in the course of geological time the regular anthropoid ape….

-- The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena P. Blavatsky

Gandhi and Mussolini became friendly when they met in December 1931, with Gandhi praising the Duce's "service to the poor, his opposition to super-urbanization, his efforts to bring about a coordination between Capital and Labour, his passionate love for his people." He also advised the Czechs and Jews to adopt nonviolence toward the Nazis, saying that "a single Jew standing up and refusing to bow to Hitler's decrees" might be enough "to melt Hitler's heart."[13]



[1] Wijesiriwardhana Sunil, Purawasi Manpeth (Published by: FLICT/ First Print 2010) p. 222-223.

[2] John R. McRae, "Oriental Verities on the American Frontier: The 1893 World's Parliament of Religions and the Thought of Masao Abe,” Buddhist-Christian Studies (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991), pp. 7–26.

[3] K. Paul Johnson, Initiates of Theosophical Masters (State University of New York Press, 1995) p. 97

[4] Guénon, Theosophy.

[5] Kathryn Tidrick, Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006) p. 63

[6] Mitch Horowitz, Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation, (New York: Bantam Books, 2009), p. 189.

[7] Charles Freer Andrews (Hrsg.): Mahatma Gandhi, Mein Leben. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M. 1983.

[8] Kathryn Tidrick, Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006) p. 60-61.

[9] Ibid., p. 63.

[10] Andrew Roberts, "Among the Hagiographers,” Wall Street Journal, (March 26, 2011)

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:11 am

Parliament of [the] World Religions
by David Livingstone
Tue, 12/24/2013 - 20:18



Displaying the degree of penetration of Theosophy's goal of creating a one-world religion into the mission of the UN, the Parliament of World Religions of 1893, as mentioned in the article, was reestablished by the UN in 1983. Here's is an excerpt from my book on the subject:

According to [Robert] Muller [who served as Assistant Secretary-General of the UN for forty years], "We must move as quickly as possible to one-world government, a one-world religion, under a one-world leader."[1] Muller’s ideas about world government, world peace and spirituality led to the increased representation of religions in the UN, especially of New Age Movement. He was known by some as “the philosopher of the United Nations.”[2] Muller, who won the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1989 for his World Core Curriculum, said, "The underlying philosophy upon which The Robert Muller School is based will be found in the teaching set forth in the books of Alice A. Bailey by the Tibetan teacher, Djwhal Khul."[3]

In the 1980’s, numerous projects were sponsored by the United Nations to promote notions of a universal religion
and global citizenship, such as World Healing Day, World Instant of Cooperation, World Peace Day, Annual Global Mind Link, Human Unity Conference, World Conference on Religion and Peace, Provisional World Parliament. In 1995, the UN asked the Temple of Understanding, founded by Bailey’s Lucis Trust, to host the 50th Anniversary of its founding, and to organize two inter-faith services. The Temple of Understanding is located in Manhattan’s historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, dedicated to St. John, traditionally revered by Freemasons according to the Johannite creed. The completion of the cathedral was such a prized accomplishment for the Freemasons that it was featured on the front page of Masonic World of March 1925. The Cathedral is replete with occult symbolism and often features unusual performances.

The presiding bishop of the cathedral was the bisexual Bishop Paul Moore, whose family were heirs to the Nabisco company fortune, and as a priest in Indianapolis he gave Jim Jones’s People’s Temple cult its start. Having been dormant for several years, the Temple of Understanding was revived at the cathedral in 1984 at a ceremony presided over by Moore and the Dalai Lama. While the chairman of the Temple was Judith Dickerson Hollister, those involved with its founding included: Dame Margaret Mead, Robert Muller, who had been involved as well with the Lucis Trust, and Winifred McCulloch, leader of the New York-based Teilhard de Chardin Society.

The Cathedral also houses the Lindisfarne Center, founded in 1972 with funding from Laurance Rockefeller, brother to David Rockefeller, by cultural historian William Irwin Thompson, a former professor of humanities from MIT and Syracuse University. Lindisfarne functioned as a sponsor of New Age events and lectures, as well as a think tank and retreat, similar to the Esalen Institute, with which it shared several members, like Gregory Bateson and Michael Murphy. Their aim is participate in the emerging planetary consciousness, or Noosphere. In addition to Teilhard de Chardin, Thompson is influenced by Alfred North Whitehead, Rudolf Steiner, Sri Aurobindo and Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher of communication theory, who is also celebrated in [url=Parliament of [the]World Religions
by David Livingstone]Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy[/url]. Lindisfarne has also been supported by the Lilly Endowment, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Rockefeller Foundation, and lists among its faculty members Amory Lovins, Gaia theory biologist James Lovelock, and Luciferian adept and New Age author David Spangler. Lindisfarne was founded in 1972 by New Age philosopher William Irwin Thompson, a former professor of humanities from MIT and Syracuse University. Thompson said: “We have now a new spirituality, what has been called the New Age movement. The planetization of the esoteric has been going on for some time… This is now beginning to influence concepts of politics and community in ecology… This is the Gaia [Mother Earth] politique… planetary culture.” Thompson further stated that, the age of “the independent sovereign state, with the sovereign individual in his private property, [is] over, just as the Christian fundamentalist days are about to be over.”[4]

Held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Temple called together leaders of the world’s religions to offer prayers, and invited the world’s leading artists to perform music, poetry and dance. In 1997 and 1998, with the Interfaith Center of New York, the Temple of Understanding held an Interfaith Prayer Service at St. Bartholomew Church to pray for the work of the General Assembly and the Secretary General of the UN [United Nations].
It was also at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine that the controversial “Islamic feminist” preacher named Amina Wadud led a Muslim Friday prayer in 2005, breaking with the tradition of having only male Imams, and conducted without the traditional separation between male and female sections.

The Temple of Understanding promotes the “Interfaith Movement” with its centennial celebration of the World’s Parliament of Religions. The first Parliament of World Religions Conference, as a successor to the first Parliament of World Religions Conference, in effect the Theosophical Congress, gathered in Chicago in 1883. It had been founded by Reverend Dr. John Henry Barrows, according to whom, “The best religion must come to the front, and the best religion will ultimately survive, because it will contain all that is true in all the faiths.”[5] The Parliament was dominated by Theosophists, such as Annie Besant, Dharmapala and the Hindu universalist Vivekananda who, in his famous speech, called for an end to religious conversions, and instead for each to "assimilate the spirit of the other," and said, "The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each religion must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve its own individuality and grow according to its own law of growth."[6] Commenting on the Parliament, Max Müller told an audience at Oxford University:

Such a gathering of representatives of the principal religions of the world has never before taken place; it is unique, it is unprecedented; nay, we may truly add, it could hardly have been conceived before our own time… It established a fact of the greatest significance, namely, that there exists an ancient and universal religion, and the highest dignitaries and representatives of all the religions in the world can meet as members of one common brotherhood, can listen respectfully to what each religion had to say for itself, nay, can join in a common prayer and accept a common blessing, one day from the hands of a Christian archbishop another day from a Jewish Rabbi, and again another day from a Buddhist priest.[7]

The recent one-world-religion agenda has been pushed with the re-establishment of the Parliament of World Religions Conference, the United Religions Initiative (URI) and United Religions Charter. The URI was founded in 1995 by Episcopalian bishop William Swing and dedicated to promoting inter-faith cooperation. The URI, which aspires to have the stature of the United Nations, was established to, “promote enduring, daily inter-faith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.”

The Parliament of the World’s Religions was reconvened again in the city of Chicago in 1993. The Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was one of the co-sponsors of the Parliament, along with the Muslim World League, which was originally founded by Said Ramadan and Mufti al Husseini with the assistance of the CIA. Prince Muhammad al-Faisal bin Turki, former director of Saudi intelligence, who had worked closely with bin Laden and the CIA during the fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, was one of its speakers. The first address was delivered by Robert Müller, titled “Inter-faith Understanding,” who said:

There is one sign after the other, wherever you look, that we are on the eve of a New Age which will be a spiritual age… We are entering an age of universalism. Wherever you turn, one speaks about global education, global information, global communications—every profession on Earth now is acquiring a global dimension. The whole humanity is becoming interdependent, is becoming one… this Parliament and what is happening now in the world… is a renaissance, a turning point in human history. So even the astrologers begin to tell us that there will be a fundamental change.[8]



[1] Dwight L. Kinman, The World’s Last Dictator (Woodburn, Oregon: Solid Rock Books, 1995), p. 81.

[2] “Schweitzer - Robert Muller.” Star-News (March 17, 1993).

[3] Terry Melanson, “Lucis Trust, Alice Bailey, World Goodwill and the False Light of the World" (Last Update: May 8th, 2005) Conspiracy Archive []

[4] William F. Jasper, “A New World Religion,” The New American Magazine (October 19, 1992).

[5] “World Parliament of Religions (1893)” Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology.

[6] quoted in Celia and David Storey, eds., Visions of an Interfaith Future (International Interfaith Centre, 1994) p. 39.

[7] quoted in Gomes, The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, p. 17; cited in Lee Penn, False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, Globalism, And The Quest For A One-World Religion (Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004) p. 41.

[8] Carl Teichrib, “Global Citizenship 2000: Educating for the New Age,” Hope For The World Update, 1997, p. 10.
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