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NHNE News Brief 2
Friday, November 18, 1994
"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."
The River Creature
DANNION BRINKLEY UPDATE:
The World Environmental Leader
Computer Chip Implants
A Mass Awakening?
DREAMS, VISIONS & REVELATIONS:
A Holy Instant
The Jesus Seminar
NOVA: Killer Quake!
The Decade Volcanoes
Krakatoa: The Power Of Volcanoes
One Square Inch For Peace & Quiet
Scallion Earth Changes Hotline Number
The Pope's Best Selling Book
Something Smells Fishy
Cigarettes: A Deadly Witch's Brew
NHNE DATABASE HIGHLIGHTS:
Dreams & VisionQuests
UP & COMING SPECIAL REPORTS:
The Great Pyramid & The Sphinx:
A Summary Of Current
Archeological, Geological & Psychic Controveries
A Course In Miracles:
Where It Came From,
What It Teaches,
And How It May Be Furthering God's Plan In The Earth
THE RIVER CREATURE
Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all: young and old, rich and poor, good and evil; the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.
But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!"
And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."
---From the book, "lIlusions," by Richard Bach
DANNION BRINKLEY UPDATE:
In our introductory issue we ran a story about Dannion Brinkley, his best-selling book, SAVED BY THE LIGHT and the 117 predictions he claims to have received during his near-death experience. Since then, two more pieces of significant information have come to our attention.
THE WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER
In SAVED BY THE LIGHT Brinkley predicts that a speaker from Russia will emerge as a world environmental leader.
"I saw a speaker from Russia as he talked with zeal about our need to heal the environment. People rallied around him quickly, and he soon became so powerful that he was elected one of the leaders of the United Nations. I saw this Russian riding on a white horse, and I knew that his rise would come before the year 2000."
Chapter 5: The Boxes of Knowledge; Box Seven: The Environmental Religion.
The Associated Press reported in October that former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is actively promoting global environmentalism. Speaking October 18 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Gorbachev welcomed Global Green USA into his Green Cross International, a non-profit environmental organization he founded in 1993. The groups will work together in a campaign to form ecological laws and end pollution.
''We are building bridges to save the world,'' Gorbachev said, adding ''nobody had time for the environment'' during the Cold War.
Besides the United States, Global Green USA has chapters in Russia, The Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland.
COMPUTER CHIP IMPLANTS
Brinkley also predicts that a biological engineer from the Middle East will find a way to use DNA to create a biological virus that would be used in the manufacture of computer chips. According to Brinkley, this new computer chip will eventually find its way into virtually every form of technology, giving the scientist who created it enormous power. In the end, Brinkley says the scientist who invents this new computer chip will then use it in an attempt to take over the world.
"His method of rule was unique. Everyone in the world was mandated by law to have one of his computer chips inserted underneath his or her skin. This chip contained all of an individual's personal information. If a government agency wanted to know something, all it had to do was scan your chip with a special device. By doing so, it could discover everything about you, from where you worked and lived to your medical records and even what kind of illnesses you might get in the future.
"There was an even more sinister side to this chip. A person's lifetime could be limited by programming this chip to dissolve and kill him with the viral substance it was made from. Lifetimes were controlled like this to avoid the cost that growing old places on the government. It was also used as a means of eliminating people with chronic illnesses that put a drain on the medical system.
"People who refused to have chips implanted in their bodies roamed as outcasts. They could not be employed and were denied government services."
Chapter 5: The Boxes of Knowledge; Box Twelve: Technology and Virus.
Although we have yet to verify anything about a DNA-based computer chip, we did come across a related article that appeared in the Tuesday, August 2, 1994 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Based in part on information supplied by the Associated press, the Dispatch article described a national study that was developed by scientists at Washington University. The study involves implanting a new breast implant, called Trilucent, in 50 women. The new breast implant, which is made from the natural fat of soy bean oil, is made by LipoMatrix Inc., a company based in Pal Alto, California. It will be tested by doctors in five different U.S. cities. The new implant also contains a transponder--a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice that stores medical information on the patient and the implant. The chip is read with an electronic paddle, similar to metal doctors used at airports. Doctors involved in the test claim that the transponder is a non-invasive way to follow patients "for a lifetime."
A MASS AWAKENING?
By David Sunfellow
There are few events taking place in the world today more fascinating than the growing phenomena of near-death experiences. In the United States alone, it has been estimated that as many as EIGHT MILLION Americans have experienced this phenomena.1 Although there is, at present, no reliable estimates of how many people worldwide have had this experience, it is likely than many more millions of people can be added to the number.
Typically, near-death experiences have been studied from the standpoint of the experience itself: What people experience when they cross the threshold between life and death; how their experiences are similar and how they differ; are these experiences real or simply the product of a human brain responding to severe stress. Less has been said about the impact of the experience itself on the lives of the people who have had near-death experiences, and even less about what it might mean for our race that MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of our members are presently passing through this life-changing experience.
While other researchers have been busily trying to analyze the experience itself, Kenneth Ring, the author of LIFE AT FIRST, HEADING TOWARD OMEGA and THE OMEGA PROJECT has been seeking to understand what the experience itself might mean. His observations are penetrating, thought-provoking and gripping.
Before we summarize Ring's research and perspectives, let us first take a look at the near-death experience itself. Dr. Raymond A. Moody, author of the near-death experience classic LIFE AFTER LIFE, constructed the following hypothetical description of the experience that contains the main elements common to most such episodes.
"A man is dying and, as he reaches the point of greatest physical distress, he hears himself pronounced dead by his doctor. He begins to hear an uncomfortable noise, a loud ringing or buzzing, and at the same time feels himself moving very rapidly through a long dark tunnel. After this, he suddenly finds himself outside of his own physical body, but still in the immediate physical environment, and he sees his own body from a distance, as though he is a spectator. He watches the resuscitation attempt from this unusual vantage point and is in a state of emotional upheaval.
"After a while, he collects himself and becomes accustomed to his odd condition. He notices that he still has a 'body,' but one of a very different nature and with very different powers from the physical body he has left behind. Soon other things begin to happen. Others come to meet and to help him. He glimpses the spirits of relatives and friends who have already died, and a loving, warm spirit of a kind he has never encountered before--a Being of Light--appears before him. This being asks him a question, nonverbally, to make him evaluate his life and helps him along by showing him a panoramic, instantaneous playback of the major events of his life. At some point he finds himself approaching some sort of barrier or border, apparently representing the limit between earthly life and the next life. Yet, he finds that he must go back to the earth, that the time for his death has not yet come. At this point he resists, for by now he is taken up with his experiences in the afterlife and does not want to return. He is overwhelmed by intense feelings of joy, love, and peace. Despite his attitude, though, he somehow reunites with his physical body and lives.
"Later he tries to tell others, but he has trouble doing so. In the first place, he can find no human words adequate to describe these unearthly episodes. He also finds that others scoff, so he stops telling other people. Still, the experience affects his life profoundly, especially his views about death and its relationship to life."
Near-death researchers now know that most near-death experiences are remarkably similar. Regardless of gender, race, social class, education, or religious persuasion, most people tend to share the same essential experience. But what about AFTER the experience? Do near-death victims also share similar transformations in their personal lives? According to Ring, they do indeed. And what's more, Ring is convinced that the transformations people experience in their personal lives "seem to be propelling humanity toward the next stage of its collective development."2 How? What kind of changes take place in the lives and consciousness of people who share this experience? And how do these changes suggest that the race as a whole may be undergoing a mass awakening?
According to Ring, people who experience a near-death experience tend to share the following changes:
CHANGES IN SELF-CONCEPT AND PERSONAL VALUES:
· A heightened appreciation for life
· A greater responsiveness to the beauty of the natural world
· A greater focus on living in the moment
· Concerns about past grievances and worries about the future diminish
· Greater feelings of self-worth
· Greater acceptance of themselves as they are (greater acceptance of themselves is typically traced back to the overwhelming sense of love and acceptance they felt "from the Light")
· Increased concern for the welfare of others
· Increased tolerance, patience, and compassion for others
· An increased ability to express love
· An emphasis that sharing love is the primary value in life
· A stronger desire to help others
· Increased insight into human problems
· Deeper understanding of other human beings
· Unconditional acceptance of others
· While people oriented values tend to rise, concerns for material things and material success tend to plummet
· The need to make a good impression on others declines
· There is an increased interest in understanding life
· There is increased interest in spiritual and religious concerns
· More effort is made to deeply understand oneself
CHANGES IN RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL ORIENTATION:
· Near-death survivors describe themselves as more spiritual, not necessarily more religious
· They feel closer to God
· Formal, more external aspects of religious worship tend to be less important and less emphasized
· They express an unconditional belief in life after death
· They express an unconditional belief that "the Light" will be there for everyone, regardless of one's belief (or lack of belief) about what happens at death
· There is a greater openness to the idea of reincarnation
· There is a belief that a single spiritual reality underlies all the world's religious traditions
CHANGES IN PSYCHIC ABILITIES AND AWARENESS:
· There tends to be an increase in telepathic abilities
· An increase in clairvoyant experiences
· An increase in precognitive experiences (especially through dreams)
· Greater awareness of synchronistic events and experiences
· An increase in out-of-body experiences
· An increased ability to enter states of consciousness that tend to produce paranormal insights and experiences 3
What does all this mean? Here's is what Kenneth Ring has to say:
"With resuscitation technology likely to improve and to spread in use around the globe, it appears inevitable that many more millions will undergo and survive near-death experiences and thus be transformed according to this archetypal pattern.
May it be that this high rate of transcendental experience collectively represents an evolutionary thrust toward higher consciousness for humanity at large? Could it be that the near-death experience is itself an evolutionary mechanism that has the effect of jump-starting individuals into the next stage of human development by unlocking previously dormant spiritual potentials? Indeed, are we seeing in these people, as they mutate from their former personalities into more loving and compassionate individuals, the prototype of a new, more spiritually advanced strain of the human species striving to come into being? Do these people represent the 'early maturers' of a new breed of humanity emerging in our time...
"I am not one who foresees the emergence of a new, cooperative planetary culture as a necessary consequence of the kind of evolutionary shift in consciousness I detect. Rather, I see that shift as a potential of the human species that is beginning to manifest, but whether it takes hold and transforms the earth depends on many factors; not the least is the extent to which many of us consciously align with these trends and seek to awaken. Clearly, nothing in the collective human potential emerging from the spawning grounds of transcendental experiences precludes the possibility of our planet's self-destructing.
"...the near-death experience seems to be holding out a powerful message of hope to humanity that even, and perhaps especially, in its darkest moments, the Light comes to show us the way onward. It is up to each of us whether we shall have the courage and the wisdom to follow where it beckons." 4
In conclusion, it is obvious that something remarkable is taking place in the realm of near-death experiences. There is the direct, life changing impact these experiences have on the people who experience them, and then there is the indirect impact their experience has on others. Those of us that know someone who has had a near-death experience are affected by their story and presence, and those of us who don't know someone personally who has had a near-death experience can't escape the daily mass media coverage. Not only has the topic of near-death experiences made it into the mass media, but the mass media has become unusually preoccupied with the subject. Best-selling books, talk shows, news shows, and televisions specials all prove that the public at large is deeply fascinated with the subject--which may itself be be a sign that the kind of evolutionary leap Ring is predicting is, indeed, taking place...
1,2,3,4 From an article by Kenneth Ring entitled, "The Near-Death Experience," that appeared in PATHS BEYOND EGO: THE TRANSPERSONAL VISION, The Putnam Publishing Group, 1993. -DS
DREAMS, VISIONS & REVELATIONS:
For millennia people have pursued the mystical experience, the timeless/spaceless/imageless experience of union with God. The experience that follows is a different kind of mystical experience. It is an example of what A COURSE IN MIRACLES calls a "holy instant."
A COURSE IN MIRACLES is a modern spiritual teaching that emphasizes that we awaken from the dream of time and space primarily through releasing our judgmental view of other people. In the classical mystical experience, our union with God is usually a solitary one, often the result of intensely personal prayer and meditation. THE COURSE, on the other hand, emphasizes a holy instant with an interpersonal focus. This kind of holy instant begins with our forgiveness of another human being and then leads to an experience of uniting with our brothers, sisters and God.
What follows is a riveting account of the kind of holy instant THE COURSE describes. We believe John Hutkin's experience is especially important in two ways: First, it offers us a glimpse of a new kind of mystical experience that is based on interpersonal relationships and; Second, we believe John's experience may be a foreshadowing of what we, as a race, are presently evolving towards.
---RP / DS
A HOLY INSTANT
By John Hutkin
Many times as a COURSE student I have asked that I might forgive this person or situation and see it with vision. But I know somewhere in the back of my mind was my desire to have the situation changed to something more acceptable to me, as well as a desire to hold onto my concept of right and wrong.
One time I did ask to forgive with no strings attached--it seemed like a very minor forgiveness--and I received a "holy instant," which goes to show that the COURSE asks very little and gives so much in return. As I look back, the single key that opens all the doors is that when we ask to forgive, we must truly turn it over to the Holy Spirit without any other consideration of how it should be.
I had attended a COURSE IN MIRACLES class on Tuesday evenings for over four years. The leader and host of the group, Sally, always gave a 20-30 minute meditation at the beginning, before we read from the COURSE. I always had a problem with these meditations, for I felt that 90% of them had nothing to do with the COURSE and in many cases were embedded in what the COURSE calls "magic." I saw them for the most part as her ego trip, and as a result would really judge her.
I remember coming into class one night. It was right before the meditation was to start. I said to myself just before I came in the door, 'I am not going to judge Sally today. I'm just going to do my (COURSE Workbook) lesson.' I don't even remember what the lesson was. I do remember very vividly that I was perfectly clear in my decision not to judge Sally. Looking back, I see there have been many other times when I've said I'm not going to do this or that, but I don't remember ever being as clear about it as I was this time. It just seemed that that's what I really wanted to do. I was absolute in my intention at that moment. It didn't feel weighty, like I had to do it or had been forced into it. It was a decision that came from within.
When I sat down on the floor the lights were very low. I think there were at least six people in this room, besides myself. Sally started the meditation. I closed my eyes and repeated in my mind that I was not going to judge Sally. And I started doing the lesson. I wasn't expecting anything to occur, except that I might feel better if I weren't judging Sally today.
Almost immediately after closing my eyes I saw Sally--the Real Sally. And I was seeing her with the Real John (that's me). Neither one of us were in the bodies that we normally would recognize. She was not in the body that I'm used to seeing her in, but I absolutely knew it was her, there was no doubt about it. The description that comes to me now is that she was an energy form that I knew to be her. At that moment I recognized I was seeing a high, pure part of Sally, I could say the Christ Self now, but I'm not sure I really thought any of those things at the time. And my sense of myself was different. I did not feel that I was in my body, but I was very conscious of my being, even more conscious than I am while in a body. It was me in a "purified," "Higher Self" version. It's interesting, I was thinking these things about Sally and myself simultaneously. I didn't really make a differentiation or comparison between us. What I recognized in her I also recognized in myself simultaneously.
The thing that struck me right away is that I felt more love/joy in being in Sally's presence than I have ever felt before. There was no other concept in my mind except love/joy/ecstasy in being in her presence. It was an experience of pure, absolute bliss in coming into contact with someone. And I know that she felt the same about me. There were no words spoken. All of this was just clear. I felt a love, a sense of love, that surpassed any concept of love that I have experienced on a conscious level. I have been in love; I've had many male/female relationships, and in looking back it was no comparison, because it was so much greater than anything that I had ever experienced. And I said, "This is love."
Not only did I meet Sally in this way, but I then started to meet another person that was present in the room in the same way. Again recognizing their individuality, but at the same time recognizing the same level of love that I had with Sally; still distinguishing individuality, but the love was the same, of the same magnitude. That didn't change, it didn't go up, it didn't go down, it just was the same. And this happened with each person that was present in the room.
At this point when I was meeting everyone in the room, I felt God. And my sense was that He was smiling on me. I say on me, because it felt like the sun when you're basking in it, when it is not too hot and just warm enough to have this wonderful warm feeling all around you. I felt I was basking in this smile. And I just was aware that it was God. It was not like the normal description of God, there was no physical aspect. It was more spherical and smiling.
This whole process was happening without any sense of time in it. It truly was timeless, eternal; there was no sequence or concept of time passing. But the weird thing that started happening immediately in meeting Sally and then the other individuals is that I was giving everything that was in me to them and I was receiving everything from them, simultaneously. There was nothing being held back. I was fully giving of myself, which I can never remember doing. I'm always feeling a sense of some holding back or some consciousness of myself and what would be appropriate or inappropriate to give. Everything at that moment was absolutely given, freely without any thought of what it was. There was no need to give it, just the absolute joy in doing it. It was just an enhancement, but there was no need. And there was no reason to withhold anything. The only thing was to give it. And I was receiving. I was totally aware that I was receiving totally their consciousness. And it was happening simultaneously. I don't know how I can explain that, other than saying that my thoughts were given and their thoughts were received at the same moment, without having to discuss them or interact or in any way comprehend. It was just happening. And again, it was pure joy.
And as we were getting closer and closer in space (if there was any space between us--I guess I did have some sense of space), it was like a heart beating, where every beat was totally received and given at the same time. And when the whole gap between space closed we were as one and intermingling. Again there weren't physical bodies, but we were intertwined; we came together and moved through each other. And that I would have to say was a combination of laughter and orgasm, but of a much more intense level. I say orgasmic, but it was different. It's not something I really can describe. I'm just using the word to try and capture some sense of it. We were laughing hysterically, laughing in pure ecstasy, like when you're out of control laughing. You're not thinking or judging your own laughter, you're just laughing. That was going on as part of a totally relaxed course of events. And we were very appreciative of each other. There was a definite honoring of each other, an appreciation of coming into contact, but not a solemn one. It was just full of laughter and joy.
At this point, because I had this experience with these people, I remember asking myself, "Where is everyone else?" And in that thought I was aware that everyone else that I knew on this conscious level (or that I thought I knew) was present. But not only that, everyone was present, and I don't know how I knew that, but I just knew. If you had asked me is everyone in the world there, I would have said "yes." Was everyone that was ever in the world there? I would say "yes." Was there more than everyone in the world past or future there? And I would say "yes." I felt like I was in the middle and this expanded out farther than I could see. But I was perfectly aware that everyone was there. And then I remember asking, "Could I ever be alone?" And in that moment I was totally alone. Then I asked about traveling. "Could I be anywhere?" In that moment I was traveling through something. I don't know if they were planets or stars or something, but it seemed that I was crashing into things. And I had this interesting sense that I was absolutely safe. It dawned on me that you couldn't be harmed, because I wasn't. I felt my energy crashing into things and there was no consequence. I felt absolute safety. And I was realizing that everything was happening in a thought. I could be anywhere, with anyone, doing anything, in a thought.
Meanwhile, Sally's meditation had been going on. I had never even heard any of the words. But at some point very near the end of the meditation something was said that I started to hear. At that moment I felt that now we were all at the same level, that the consciousness of Sally's meditation had joined me where I was. And then I remember hearing the words that were coming out of the meditation, something about seeing water--however those meditations end. And I started to feel my being being scrunched back into my body, which I had been completely unaware of during this entire episode. I had no sense of my body. I don't remember feeling any sensations one way or the other. I didn't even notice it. It just wasn't there. But all of a sudden I noticed it. And it felt like I was bringing my consciousness back in and was stuffing myself back into my body. And that was how it ended.
(John Hutkin is a COURSE student from St. Louis)
THE JESUS SEMINAR
By Robert Perry
The attempt to separate the historical Jesus from the traditional Christ of faith began in earnest over a hundred and fifty years ago. In the last 25 years, however, it has reached a new level, freed of many past assumptions, as well as institutional and theological burdens. In the last several years, the search for the "real" Jesus has generated major public interest. As an example, issues of U.S. NEWS that spotlighted this search were among its best selling ever.
Among the most visible, and controversial, participants in this quest has been THE JESUS SEMINAR, a group of over70 distinguished scholars from North America and Europe, led by Robert W. Funk and John Dominic Crossan. THE JESUS SEMINAR meets twice a year to study, debate and vote on the words and deeds of Jesus. Their first six-year project, beginning in 1985, was to determine what Jesus really said. They examined over 1,500 sayings and voted on their authenticity. The results are reported in the monumental book, THE FIVE GOSPELS: WHAT DID JESUS REALLY SAY? (MacMillan, $30.00). Each saying attributed to Jesus is printed in a different color according to THE SEMINAR'S judgment of its authenticity. Red means He said it. Pink means He probably said something like this. Gray means He didn't say it, but it contains ideas similar to his own. Black means He didn't say it, someone else made it up. THE FIVE GOSPELS also contains the Scholars Version of the five gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke, John and Thomas, in that order), a new translation by THE SEMINAR, designed to give the reader the experience of being one of the original readers or listeners. The Scholars Version, unlike most of the well-known translations, is free of ecclesiastical or religious control.
Some of THE JESUS SEMINAR'S major findings and assumptions about Jesus include:
· The synoptic ("seeing alike") gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are much closer to the historical Jesus than is the Gospel of John.
· Jesus was not a preacher of the imminent end of the world, a view which was popularized by Albert Schweitzer and which dominated the first fifty years of this century's Jesus scholarship. Rather, Jesus taught about a "kingdom" that was available now and in some sense had already "come."
· Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah nor make any claims about himself.
· Jesus did not commission his disciples to establish a church and convert the world.
· THE JESUS SEMINAR tends to favor a picture of Jesus as a sage with socially radical views, views that were softened by his followers. They also tend to downplay anything that smacks of Jesus as the dying and rising divine savior who descended from Heaven for the salvation of the world and then returned to Heaven. THE JESUS SEMINAR presently believes the savior-like image of Jesus was borrowed from the mystery cults popular at the time.
Having addressed the issue of what Jesus did and didn't say in THE FIVE GOSPELS, The Jesus Seminar has now turned its attention to examining the deeds of Jesus (what he did and didn't do), a project that is expected to conclude in 1995. They are also planning the formation of their own New Testament canon. In all probability, this new canon will include the newly-discovered Gospel of Thomas. It may also include the hypothetical Gospel Q (an unknown collection of Jesus' sayings that many scholars believe Matthew and Luke drew upon) and exclude the Book of Revelation.
THE JESUS SEMINAR is sponsored by the Westar Institute, a scholarly think tank headquartered in Sonoma, California. They publish THE FOURTH R (a newsletter geared toward the general reader), THE FORUM (a journal for the advanced student and scholar) and THE SEMINAR PAPERS ( the working papers of The Jesus Seminar). They can be reached at The Westar Institute, P.O. Box 1526, Sonoma, California, 95476.
And by the way, lest we leave you thinking that THE JESUS SEMINAR is the final authority on what Jesus really said and did, there are plenty of other scholars (and sources) who take issue with nearly every conclusion THE JESUS SEMINAR has reached. We'll share more about these other sources and perspectives in future issues.
NOVA: KILLER QUAKE!
NOVA, the National Public Television Series, recently aired a special concerning California's precarious earthquake situation (November 15, 1994). Called KILLER QUAKE!, the NOVA episode discussed current scientific research, discoveries, and predictions. In particular, the NOVA special focused on the vulnerability of the Los Angels area to a relatively new kind of fault called, "blind thrust faults."
Until recently, most seismologists believed that earthquake-prone areas could be identified by visible cracks in the Earth's surface. Now, however, seismologists have discovered that many major earthquake faults lie far beneath the Earth's surface. A case in point is the fault that unleashed the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake. The fault that produced that devastating earthquake lay some five miles beneath the Earth's surface. Efforts to understand how an earthquake could occur in an area that scientists had previously thought was fault-free, led to a series of chilling new discoveries, as well new insights into current earthquake knowledge.
What follows is a brief list of these new discoveries and insights:
· A massive, extremely dangerous blind thrust fault lies directly beneath downtown Los Angeles. Called THE ELYSIAN PARK FAULT, this recently discovered fault is approximately 35 miles long. The entire city is also crisscrossed by as many as 100 other blind thrust faults. Because the city, and surrounding area, sits directly atop these faults, even a moderate earthquake could cause catastrophic damage.
· Most of the blind thrust faults in the LA area haven't snapped in several thousand years. Scientists studying the situation believe that the entire area is well overdue for a major earthquake. These scientists believe that the stress in the area will be released either through a series of moderately sized earthquakes (in the neighborhood of 6) or large earthquake (greater than 7).
· Over the past 25 years the LA area has been rattled by a series of 10 moderate earthquakes. That cycle began in 1971 with a 6.7 shock in the San Fernando Valley. At present, the area is averaging one moderate earthquake a year--and the size and frequency seems to be increasing.
· Many seismologists no longer believe "The Big One" is going to be one big earthquake. Rather, they are beginning to believe that there are going to be a series of "Big Ones."
· Up until recently, most seismologists thought that changes in the earth took place very slowly. Now, however, earthquakes like the one that took place in 1980 in Algeria have proven that land can rise and fall dramatically, in a matter of seconds.
· Generally, scientists have known that earthquakes are the result of stress building up, and then snapping, as land masses collide, shift and slide. Recently, however, they have also discovered that earthquakes can trigger one another. As stress is relieved in one place, the shock waves travel to other stressful places, sometimes triggering them to snap as well.
· If and when a 7.0 or larger earthquake does strike the LA area, studies estimate that it will shake the area for some 24 seconds (an exceedingly dangerous amount of time for human structures to be subjected to stress) and cause the following reactions:
· 5,000 casualties
· 3/4 of a million people homeless
· 100 billion dollars in damage
· Major portions of the 2,000 miles of gas and water pipelines in the LA area would rupture
· Coastal areas would be turned into seas of dangerous mud
· Many skyscrapers, previously thought to be relatively safe, may be seriously damaged, possibly even collapse, because of cracks in the welded joints of their steal super-structures
Although California leads the world in the study of earthquakes, scientists admit that their understanding of earthquakes is still very limited. Because of this, they can't accurately predict when, or even where, exactly, they will strike. All they can say for sure, is that California, in particular the LA area of California, is going to have a series of moderate to large earthquakes that will probably cause catastrophic damage in the near future.
THE DECADE VOLCANOES
The United Nations and the U.S. Geological Survey has identified fourteen volcanoes around the world as potent and dangerous. Referred to as "Decade Volcanoes," two of these high risk volcanoes are located in America: Mt. Rainier in Washington state and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
Mt. Rainier last erupted about 150 years ago and numerous large floods and debris flows have been generated on its slopes during this century. Rainier is an especially significant threat because it is blanketed with snow and ice. If melted rapidly, the snow and ice on Rainier could produce catastrophic floods and debris flows.
The other 12 volcanoes are: Galeras, in Colombia; Merapi, in Indonesia; Nyiragongo, in Zaire; Sakurajima, in Japan; Santorini, in Greece; Taal, in the Philippines; Colima, in Mexico; Etna, in Italy; Teide, in Spain; Ulawun, in Papua New Guinea; Unzen, in Japan; Vesuvius, in Italy.
---The Earth Changes Report, November 1994 (DS)
KRAKATOA: THE POWER OF VOLCANOES
In 1883 an Indonesian volcano called Krakatoa erupted with the force of a100-150 megaton H-bomb. It caused huge tsunamis and did massive damage. One tidal wave, at Anjer in Java, was 118 feet high, while another one, at Telukbetung in Sumatra, was 131 feet high. 30 towns were destroyed and 26,000 people lost their lives. The sound of the explosion was heard 2,250 miles to the southeast in Australia and 2,968 miles to the west in the Indian Ocean island of Rodriguez. The shock wave from the eruption smashed windows and cracked walls 100 miles away. Large quantities of ash fell on decks of ships at sea 1600 miles away. Deep shipping lanes filled up with ash and were no longer navigatable. Pumice covered the sea for 100 miles around the island, thirteen feet thick; men could walk atop the floating pumice. Volcanic dust rose to the height of 50 miles. Krakatoa blew out 11 cubic MILES of material and three cubic MILES of gases. In 1950, the total consumption of electric energy on the entire planet was 250 times LESS than the total thermal energy released at Krakatoa. According to Lowell Ponte, former Pentagon consultant on environmental change and author of THE COOLING, Krakatoa's pillar of ash and smoke was 20 times larger than Mount St. Helens. It blotted out the sun and blackened the sky more than 100 miles away. For two years thereafter, global temperature fell by almost one degree Fahrenheit because of the debree that Krakatoa ejected into the atmosphere.
---"5/5/2000--ICE: THE ULTIMATE DISASTER," by Richard W. Noone (DS)
ONE SQUARE INCH FOR PEACE & QUIET
Gordon Hempton, a state-of-the-art digital recording artist with a passion for recording wilderness sounds, is having a difficult time these days. Although he is one of the best natural sound recording specialists in the business, he is having trouble finding natural sounds that aren't polluted by man. He has traveled all over the world and claims that it is difficult to find a noise-free interval that is longer than three to four minutes in most of North America! Invariably, after only a couple minutes of natural noises (or natural quiet) the sound of planes, trains, cars, chain saws, buzz saws and people disturb the normal tranquility of nature.
To help counteract this, Hempton has submitted a proposal to Congress calling for "One Square Inch For Peace And Quiet." The idea is to set aside one square inch in every Park and Wilderness area to be designated as a "National Historical Soundmark." Such a place would remain free of human noise at all times. Achieving such a noise-free zone would, in effect, restrict activities in the air and on land within a 40-mile radius.
---OMNI MAGAZINE, November 1994 (DS)
SCALLION EARTH CHANGES HOTLINE NUMBER
For those of you interested in finding out what the latest natural disasters around the world are, you can call GORDON-MICHAEL SCALLION'S EARTH CHANGES HOTLINE NUMBER: (900) 903-2745. Based on information from national weather and earthquake tracking services, their list is updated weekly, every Wednesday. The cost is .95 a minute. The estimated cost per call is between $1.95 and $2.85. You must be over 18 to call.
THE POPE'S BEST SELLING BOOK
Pope John Paul may soon be one of the most successful authors in the world. Five million copies of his new book, CROSSING THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE, are presently on sale in 35 countries and 21 different languages around the world. Mondadori, the publisher of the book, is estimating a long term sales of some 20 million copies.
Leonardo Mondadori, chairman of Mondadori, said that the Pope's royalties would be a flat 15 percent of the cover price, compared with the 10 percent rising to 15 that most authors command depending on sales success. Taking the U.S. cover price of $20 as a guide, that means the Pope could net close to $60 million if the long term sales target of 20 million copies is reached. The Pope is expected to donate the proceeds to a charity that he has yet to specify.
The 230-page book appears in a dust jacket of papal white and gold. It contains the Pope's reflections on a host of issues and is the first written by a reigning Pontiff for the general public.
SOMETHING SMELLS FISHY
Companies interested in collecting bills are going to new highs (or lows) to collect from their customers. According to an article that appears in the December 1994 issue of Omni Magazine, a company called LONDON'S BODYWISE is marketing a pheromone-based potion called "Aeolus 7+." Pheromones are behavior-altering hormones secreted by both animals and humans. According to David Craddock, managing director of LONDON'S BODYWISE, the pheromones used in Aeolus 7+, makes wearers feel more sexually attractive, friendly, and competent. One of the pheromones is also associated with aggression.
So what's all of this got to do with companies collecting bills?
According to Craddock, one mailorder cosmetics company in Australia recently sent out 1,000 bills threatening nonpayers with court action. Half of those bills were treated with Aeolus 7+. 17% more customers that received the Aeolus 7+ treated bills paid up, than those who received odor-free bills.
Although other odor experts claim that the pheromone's in Aeolus 7+ have minimal impact on human behavior, Craddock's company is unphased. Not only have sales of Aeolus 7+ skyrocketed, but several other companies, mostly wholesalers, have started using the product for debt collection...
CIGARETTES: A DEADLY WITCH'S BREW
Ever wonder what, exactly, is in that cigarette you, or that stranger beside you, is smoking?
As early as the 1930s there were some 120 components identified in tobacco smoke. By 1959 that number had grown to 450. Today it exceeds 4,000! Burning cigarettes contain over 200 poisons, 43 of which are known carcinogens. Some of these substances come from tobacco, while others are the result of various chemicals and additives that have been added to the cigarettes. The toxic witch's brew includes: benezene and 2-naphthylamine, cadium and n-nitrosodiethanolamine, polonium-210 (an element that emits alpha radiation), and residues of various agricultural chemicals and pesticides. Also found in cigarette smoke is a hodgepodge of tobacco company additives, including chocolate, wine, coconut oil, methoprene (an insecticide sprayed on tobacco leaves to fight beetles) and ammononia and ethl furoate (which may be linked to liver damage in animals).
The tobacco industry is, of course, under increasing pressure from all sides in America. They have been repeatedly sued by private citizens, relentlessly hounded by consumer groups, taken to task by the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Medical Association, and the Surgeon General, and, most recently, publicly challenged and chastised in Congress. So what have they done? Admit that their product is, after all, harmful and begun to invest in healthier alternatives? Not yet. Instead, they have shifted their focus overseas, notably to Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Although R.J. Reynolds and other major cigarette makers have been spending millions of dollars building new factories and hawking their products on foreign soil, many foreign countries are no longer the easy prey they once were. An increasing number of governments and grass roots health care groups are doing their best to challenge multimillion dollar television ads, giant billboards and slick cigarette packages that continue to promote smoking cigarettes as the "cool" (and healthy) thing to do.
---E, The Environmental Magazine (DS)
Ever wonder why the people at your local dry-cleaners may have trouble speaking, sleeping or remembering things? Or why they may have more miscarriages, bladder cancer and leukemia than the masses at large? "Dressed To Kill," a report issued by GREENPEACE, blames the trouble on perchloroethylene (perc), the magic solvent used in dry cleaning that gives your clothes that sweet (albeit highly toxic) chemical smell. While GREENPEACE and others are calling for an end to perc-based dry-cleaning, an alternative to dry-cleaning called "wet-cleaning" is beginning to emerge. ECOMAT, a New York based wet-cleaning alternative, is planning to go national this year.
The Dressed To Kill report, which costs $10.00 a copy, is available from:
1436 U Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
For more information about ECOMAT, you can contact:
180 West 80th Street
New York, NY 10024
---E, The Environmental Magazine (DS)
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