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Smorgasbord 4
Friday, December 5, 1997
© Copyright 1997 by NewHeavenNewEarth

smorgasbord (smor-gos-bord) n.
A buffet meal featuring a varied number of dishes.

Another NHNE publication --
albeit more loosely knit than most

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Total Subscribers:
This week: 965
Last week: 953

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This life is a test.
It is only a test.
Had it been an actual life,
you would have received further instructions
on where to go and what to do.

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CONTENTS:

LETTERS:
Earth Calling NHNE!
Follow Through is Hell Sometimes
Advanced Energy Conversion Devices

IN SEARCH OF THE PROMISED LAND:
Consumer Protection for Spiritual Seekers

NEWS WATCH:
Internet Holds Key to World Peace
Scanning Eyes Instead of Bank Cards
CONSUMER REPORTS Online
FDA OKs Meat Irradiation
Breast Feeding Reduces Cancer Risk
Global Warming Could Cause Global Collapse
New Era in Shroud Study
The PHILANTHROPRENEUR NEWSLETTER
Second World Skeptics Congress
Rev. Moon Blesses Millions of Marriages
More About Reverend Moon

LIGHT BULBS:
How Velcro Came to Be

THE LIGHTER SIDE:
EuroEnglish

COPYRIGHT, COST & SIGN-UP INFORMATION

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LETTERS:

EARTH CALLING NHNE!

"You pick the week before Thanksgiving to run a test to determine how many people are reading your newsletter? Hello! Seems to me the results would be highly accurate in determining how many of us on your mailing list had 'other things' like family, school Thanksgiving programs with the kids, holiday stuff, increased work deadlines due to a short week, and various other more pressing issues to deal with that week. I know I sure did! "

---Debra Hegerle, San Francisco, California

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FOLLOW THROUGH IS HELL SOMETIMES

"I must admit that I was one of the many readers that read the last issue of Smorgasbord (Number 2), but never got back to looking at the photographs you posted. The message was placed in a file I have labeled 'to be reviewed.' As time would have it, I never got back to reviewing the file. After glancing at the Smorgasbord 3, I went back and reviewed the photographs. I particularly like 'A Message for the Great Spirit.' Thank you for sharing the collection, especially the family portrait at the end. Please do not think that your efforts are not appreciated. I really look forward to receiving each email. I DO eventually get around to reading them. I have good intentions, it is just that follow through is hell sometimes."

---Lynn Jarrett, Oklahoma

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ADVANCED ENERGY CONVERSION DEVICES

Thank you for the interesting information you included regarding the Boron-11 energy device as reported by the BBC (Smorgasbord 3). I had not heard about this project before. As President of the INSTITUTE FOR NEW ENERGY, and with a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from MIT, as well as an eye-opening education at UC BERKELEY in the mid-'60s, I can say that there are several dedicated researchers and companies that are networking on the Internet to uncover and utilize new and advanced energy conversion devices that hopefully would be used to divert the world from our current path of wide-spread pollution and destruction. For those interested in these new technologies, and perhaps joining in our various quests, a SUBJECTS INDEX of items that we have researched is available at:

http://www.padrak.com/ine/SUBJECTS.html

---Patrick Bailey, San Jose, California

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IN SEARCH OF THE PROMISED LAND:

CONSUMER PROTECTION FOR SPIRITUAL SEEKERS
By David Sunfellow

Little is known about the true origins of the world's major religions -- or for that matter, their founders. On the one hand, we have scriptural accounts that have been passed down, often inaccurately, through countless generations. And on the other hand, we have the founders themselves -- mysterious figures like Krishna, Lao Lse, Buddha, Moses, Jesus that left little, if any, "first-person" accounts of their lives, teachings, perceptions, intentions, struggles, innermost thoughts. And yet, billions of human beings regard these faiths, and teachers, with awe, reverence, and in many cases, infallibility. How can so many human beings, from so many different cultures, invest themselves so fervently in religions that are thousands of years old without knowing how, exactly, they came to be?

If I could, I would like to visit these ancient faiths and meet their founders. And I would like to take the rest humanity with me. Together, we could ask questions, poke around, see what really happened, and what didn't; we could brush aside centuries of embellishment, biased story telling, and inaccurate record keeping; best of all, we could view these ancient visionaries and legendary events through the eyes and minds of 20th century human beings who know a great deal more about our planet, human psychology, other religions, philosophies and cultures, and life in general than our isolated, often very primitive-minded ancestors did.

Would humankind's great religions, masters, teachers, and prophets survive such a visit? Would ancient seas still part with the tap of a stick, manna still fall from the skies, virgins still give birth to glorious babes, the dead still rise from their graves? Perhaps. And perhaps not. The only thing that is certain in my mind is that we would come away with a very different view of what really happened than the ones we have been spoon fed, through multitudes of middlemen, over the ages.

One of the reasons I think that ancient history would see some dramatic revisions if it could be revisited today, is because of how modern history has been made. In the last few hundred years numerous religious movements have emerged, gathered believers, and begun to shine like mighty suns in the eyes of their believers -- even though many of these new faiths, and founders, were far from divine. Indeed, while some of these movements were genuinely inspired, the success of many contemporary religious movements has had less to do with clear blue bolts of divine inspiration, and more to do with the passage of time, the glorification of real and imagined events, and gullible seekers who didn't do their homework.

All of these movements, even those that are outright fabrications, are, of course, meeting needs and feeding souls. The fact that so many people are drawn to them is evidence of this. But how truly inspired are they? How reliable are they as vehicles of human transformation? How can you and I discern which ones to hang our spiritual hats on?

One of the central purposes of NHNE is to help create a global network of spiritual seekers that can discern the true nature of spiritual claims, promises, predictions, practices, ideas, movements -- and make this information available to everyone in the world. While evaluating all aspects of human spirituality might seem like an impossible task, I believe it is only a matter of time before we have the resources we need to thoroughly scrutinize whatever claims and/or belief systems are put forth -- both past, and present. Beginning with a simple, no-holds-bared search for the truth, we will be able to find out if the stories and/or events that various religions base themselves on are true. Does a tribe of aboriginal metahumans really exist in the outback of Australia (as Marlo Morgan claimed in the early editions of her best-selling book, "Mutant Message"), or did Morgan make the whole story up (as she later confessed)? Did Joseph Smith, the Founder of MORMONISM, really transcribe The Book of Mormon, which claims to be "another testament of Jesus Christ," from gold plates given to him by "a glorified, resurrected being" named "Moroni," or did he concoct this new gospel himself (http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/plagiar.htm)? Is SCIENTOLOGY, which is based on the belief that 75 million years ago there was a galactic confederation of more than 70 planets that solved their population problem by chaining people to volcanoes on Earth and blowing them up, a bona fide religion (as its faithful proclaim), or is it primarily a money-making machine concocted by a troubled science fiction writer (as TIME MAGAZINE (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/time-behar.html), FORBES MAGAZINE (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/forbes-behar.html), and numerous other sources claim)?

When it comes to contemporary spiritual movements, we can answer these questions with little difficulty (if we really want to). And once we have answered them, we can document our answers for future generations, sparing them from falling into the spiritual sink holes some of us fell into.

Ancient spiritual movements are another matter. Aside from relying on current archeological research, modern scholarship, personal experiences and intuitions, we might have to wait a few more decades, or centuries, before ancient claims can be effectively evaluated. But someday, there will probably be ways that legendary cities can be reconstructed from fragmentary ruins, prehistoric bones can be transformed into flesh and blood, genetic material can provide detailed personality profiles, ancient conversations and events can be revisited by Star Trek-like manipulations of time and space. Even more likely, we will probably be able to see how various belief systems affect our minds, emotions, physical bodies, and relationships. And when that day comes, religion as we know it today will cease to exist. Holy books, and codes of human conduct will no longer be necessary because it will be clear to everyone what kind of thoughts, and beliefs, align us with the divine, producing peace, happiness and fulfillment, and what kind of thoughts and beliefs don't. In the meantime, good detective skills can help us determine the validity of most spiritual claims. And so can knowing a little bit about human nature and human history.

While most of humanity continues to cling, unquestioningly, to all kinds of dubious notions, religious and otherwise, a growing number of people are waking up and beginning to ask hard questions -- which brings me to the point of this article:

In 1936 an organization called "CONSUMER REPORTS" was created to test, compare, and evaluate new products that were beginning to flood the American marketplace. Now, 61 years later, CONSUMER REPORTS tests everything from cars, computers, and stereos to wine, fast food, and cocoa mixes. It has state-of-the-art laboratories, major offline and online publications (see "News Watch" for information about their new website), and a long history of blowing the whistle on dangerous, bogus, and sometimes potentially life-threatening products, as well as providing thoroughly researched recommendations as to which products consumers should buy, or avoid, and why. Our planet desperately needs an organization, composed of caring, open-minded, non-judgmental, objective, truth-loving spiritual seekers, that can tackle the volatile, ever-changing world of spirituality in the same way. NHNE is seeking to rise to that calling.

There are, of course, other organizations that are seriously investigating spiritual and paranormal claims. One of the most well-known is THE COMMITTEE FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS OF THE PARANORMAL (CSICOP), publishers of the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER. Composed of both lay people and well-known scientists (like the late Carl Sagan), CSICOP has a global network of supporters, numerous affiliate centers in the United States and around the world, and growing contacts and influence in the mainstream media. Unfortunately, as the name of their flagship publication implies, CSICOP is an organization of "skeptics." Indeed, with close ties to secular humanism, they are not only skeptics, but they don't believe that God or other supernatural forces exist -- and they're putting their money where their beliefs are by doing everything possible to debunk every kind of far out claim, belief, and group they can.

Another organization that shared similar goals, but used cruder, less ethical tactics, was THE CULT AWARENESS NETWORK (CAN). Originally created to track, hound and hopefully sink various organizations that it considered to be cults, CAN eventually went out of business due to lawsuits filed by people its organizers helped kidnap and "deprogram." Ironically, CAN's trademark rights and stylized logo, ended up being sold to a SCIENTOLOGY-related law firm, which was CAN's most bitter enemy.

NHNE, of course, has no desire to go after anyone as CAN did, nor are we interested in debunking anything and everything that suggests there may be more to life than meets the eye as CSICOP does. Believing that we are spiritual beings pilgrimaging through a confused world, we want to separate lies, distortions, and guesses from the truth; once and for all, we want to know the true nature of our existence and God's plan for us, and our world. If you think this is a noble cause that deserves to have at least as much money, and clout, as organizations like CSICOP, and CAN, then how about remembering us this Christmas? Help us become a world class "News, Inspiration & Consumer Protection Network for Spiritual Seekers" by switching your long distance carrier to EXCEL (if you are a U.S. resident), sending in regular tithes and donations, and/or sponsoring publications like this one (see the end of this newsletter for details)!

NEXT WEEK:

A list of the most important things I have learned in my two and a half decades of seeking -- and an invitation for you to share your's in an upcoming Special Report.

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NEWS WATCH:

INTERNET HOLDS KEY TO WORLD PEACE
(Source: Suzanne Perry, REUTERS, 11/25/97)

Tired of all the hype about the Internet? Well, think again -- one respected Internet guru says it will bring world peace. Nicholas Negroponte, head of the MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY's Media Laboratory, told an information technology conference in Brussels Tuesday that the potential of the global computer network had actually been vastly underrated. "I have never seen people miss the scale of what's going on as badly as they are doing it now," he said, predicting that the Net would do no less than bring world peace by breaking down national borders. Twenty years from now, he said, children who are used to finding out about other countries through the click of a mouse "are not going to know what nationalism is." Negroponte said the U.S. Administration was among those who had underestimated the Internet's impact, citing its prediction that electronic commerce would be worth $300 billion by the year 2001. The figure will actually hit $1 trillion by 2000, fueled by the one billion people who will be using the Internet by then, half of them in developing countries, he said. Negroponte, author of the book "Being Digital," said forecasters were understating the Internet's potential because they were not taking full account of children's growing "digital literacy."

http://www.yahoo.com/headlines/971125/odd/stories/peace_1.html

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SCANNING EYES INSTEAD OF BANK CARDS
(Source: CNN ONLINE, AP, 11/30/97)

SENSAR INC., a New Jersey-based company, is preparing to offer eye-scanning to ATM manufacturers as an alternative to passwords and PINs for automatic teller machines. The system works like this: When a customer puts in a bank card, a stereo camera locates the face, finds the eye and takes a digital image of the iris at a distance of up to three feet. The resulting computerized "iris code" is compared with one the customer will initially provide the bank. The ATM won't work if the two codes don't match. The entire process takes less than two seconds. SENSAR says the system works equally well with customers wearing glasses or contact lenses and at night. No special lighting is needed. The camera also does not use any kind of beam. Instead, a special lens has been developed that will not only blow up the image of the iris, but provide more detail when it does. Iris scans are much more accurate than other high-tech ID systems available that scan voices, faces and fingerprints. Scientists have identified 250 features unique to each person's iris -- compared with about 40 for fingerprints -- and it remains constant through a person's life, unlike a voice or a face. Fingerprint and hand patterns can be changed through alteration or injury. Even identical twins do not have identical irises. During tens of thousands of tests by SENSAR and outside testing laboratories, there has never been a false acceptance of a test customer. SENSAR will be testing the system in a number of undisclosed banks through 1998. The first widespread use is expected the following year. Once the system is widespread, it will add $2,000 to $3,000 to the cost of an average ATM machine, which now runs $35,000 to $40,000.

http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9711/30/eyeball.id.ap/index.html

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CONSUMER REPORTS ONLINE

Since 1936, CONSUMER REPORTS has been providing consumers with valuable information about all kinds of products. Along with publishing offline magazines and books, CONSUMER REPORTS now has a website that provides unbiased information about products and services based on testing conducted in their extensive state-of-the-art laboratories. The site offers two levels of access: Visitors can get solid consumer advice for free. Paid site subscribers have access to our exclusive product and service ratings and recommendations. You can subscribe for $2.95 per month or $24.00 for a full year.

http://www.ConsumerReports.org/

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FDA OKS MEAT IRRADIATION
(Source: REUTERS, 12/2/97)

THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION today gave the green light for using tiny doses of gamma rays or X-rays to kill bacteria and parasites in beef, lamb and pork. Irradiation, first used by NASA to sterilize food for astronauts, is widely used to control insects and disease in fruits, vegetables, grains and spices. The FDA approved its use with poultry several years ago, but it is rarely used. The FDA action comes after recent scares over tainted beef. Deputy FDA Commissioner Michael Friedman says the process has been shown to be safe and to significantly reduce bacterial contamination. Consumer groups contend that scientists need to find better ways to treat food safety problems on the farm. "Irradiation is definitely being oversold as a solution to food safety problems by the food industry," said Caroline Smith DeWaal of THE CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. "It isn't the right approach to take a filthy product and irradiate it to make it sterile. We need to make sure that the filth is removed earlier in the process," DeWaal said.

http://www.yahoo.com/headlines/971202/news/stories/irradiation_2.html

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BREAST FEEDING REDUCES CANCER RISK
(Source: UB NEWS SERVICES, 12/2/97)

Breast-feeding for at least 20 months during their lifetime appears to offer women some protection against developing breast cancer later in life, a study by epidemiologists at the UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO has found. Results of their case-control study involving 1,313 women showed that premenopausal women had a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer if they had breast-fed for at least 20 months, compared to women who had at least one baby and had not breast-fed. "This is one of a number of studies now that show a decreased risk of breast cancer with breast-feeding," said Jo L. Freudenheim, Ph.D., UB associate professor of social and preventive medicine and primary researcher on the study.

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/Latest/FreudenheimBreastAJE.html

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GLOBAL WARMING COULD CAUSE GLOBAL COLLAPSE
(Source: EUREKALERT, 11/27/97)

On the eve of the international meeting on global warming that opens Dec. 1 in Kyoto, Japan, one of the world's leading climate experts warned of an underestimated threat posed by the buildup of greenhouse gases -- an abrupt collapse of the ocean's prevailing circulation system that could send temperatures across Europe plummeting in a span of 10 years. "The consequences could be devastating," said Wallace S. Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and author of the new research, which appears in the Nov. 28 issue of the magazine SCIENCE.

A complex of globally interconnected ocean currents, collectively known as the Conveyor, governs our climate by transporting heat and moisture around the planet. But the Conveyor is delicately balanced and vulnerable, and it has shut down or changed direction many times in Earth's history. Each time the Conveyor has shifted gears, it has caused significant global temperature changes within decades, as well as large-scale wind shifts, dramatic fluctuations in atmospheric dust levels, glacial advances or retreats and other drastic changes over many regions of the Earth. Greenland ice cores have shown that during the last ice age Earth's climate switched back and forth every few thousand years between periods of intense and moderate cold, with the transitions occurring on a timescale of a few decades to as little as a few years. Each interval of intense cold was matched by the launching of great armadas of icebergs in the North Atlantic, seen in ocean sediment cores, and a great influx of dust into Earth's atmosphere, indicating a pronounced change in wind and storm patterns. Wetlands in tropical areas and mountain glaciers in Chile and New Zealand expanded and shrank in synchrony with the North Atlantic changes. Professor Broecker suggests that sudden switches in thermohaline circulation may act as a trigger that sets off ice ages and other large-scale climate cycles.

Professor Broecker is one of the world's leading authorities on global climate change. He has won nearly every major geological award, including the Vetlesen Prize, considered by many to be the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in earth sciences. Last year he was awarded the National Medal of Science and the Blue Planet Prize, for achievements in global environmental research.

http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/cu-wgwctoc.html

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NEW ERA IN SHROUD STUDY

[Editor's Note: Barrie Schwortz, creator of the "Shroud of Turin" website (http://www.shroud.com/), and an NHNE Toby Award winner (http://www.nhne.com/tobyaward.html), recently attended a meeting with other prominent Shroud of Turin researchers. Their goal is to create a way to archive and make available to the general public everything presently known about the enigmatic Shroud (http://www.nhne.com/shroud.html). What follows are excerpts from a report Barrie posted on his website that describes this important meeting.]

On September 13th and 14th, 1997, I had the pleasure of attending an informal gathering of Shroud researchers at the home of STURP attorney Michael Minor in Kaufman, Texas. The intention of the meeting was to discuss possible ways that important and often inaccessible Shroud resources, now scattered and residing in many collections around the world, could be archived and made broadly available without the need of a physical center to actually house and conserve the materials. To that end, the group discussed not only the conventional archiving methods already in use worldwide, but the new digital technologies that are soon to become the new archiving standards of the 21st century.

With the goal being the long-term preservation and better sharing of the world's Shroud materials, it was agreed that the first step should be the assembly of a master catalogue. This would be created by integrating an inventory of each collection into a single alphabetical list. The participants unanimously agreed to add to this "pooled resource" a list of the materials that each holds, with hopes that others around the world would be encouraged to join and provide a listing of their materials as well. This master catalogue would then be made available to everyone via the Internet and other collections could easily be added in the future. The catalogue would only be the first step towards the ultimate goal of archiving all of the rarest materials in their entirety and creating a comprehensive digital library for eventual distribution on multiple CD-Roms or DVDs (Digital Video Disks).

Probably the best part of the meeting from my point of view, was the spirit of openness and cooperation that pervaded this group. No one was to be excluded. Everyone would be invited to participate. This was not the "typical" Shroud meeting I was used to! The participants were not representing any particular group or affiliation and each was there solely as an interested individual. Frankly, it reminded me of the early days of STURP, the group I was part of that performed the 1978 scientific examination of the Shroud. There had been a feeling of "family" in those early days that was lost in later years, as personal interests and egos prevailed. By the end of the weekend, I felt I had been privileged to participate in a very special and unique event. An event that could lead to a new era in Shroud study. An era where cooperation and sharing of information was the rule rather than the exception and where the study of this fascinating relic could go forward in an open and intelligent manner. An era of equal and open access to everything we already know about the Shroud of Turin -- a wonderful goal as we approach the 21st century.

I urge everyone around the world with Shroud resources to become a participant in this archiving project by
contacting Michael Minor at the address below:

Michael Minor
P.O. Drawer 878
104 West Grove Street
Kaufman, Texas 75142
Fax: 972-932-7742

For Barrie's complete post:
http://www.shroud.com/latebrak.htm

Shroud of Turin website:
http://www.shroud.com/

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THE PHILANTHROPRENEUR NEWSLETTER
(Thanks to Anita Halcyon for forwarding NHNE this information)

The founder of Western monasticism, St. Benedict, ruled in the sixth century that monasteries had to be self-sufficient. So, monks became farmers, herders, artesans, tailors, cheesemakers, vintners, blacksmiths, and hoteliers. They did gainful labor to support their inner work. They did worldly business in order to attend to the business of the other world. An early Christian model was St. Paul, who subsidized his evangelistic travels as a tentmaker. In 19th-century America, Shaker communities achieved self-sufficiency, even a measure of wealth, the same way. The Shaker broom became the American standard. Shakers used their commercial success to buy slaves, free them, and train them in Shaker industry. Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian anthropologist and explorer, used the considerable proceeds from his popular books and movies to pay for his scientific institute in the south of France. Later, Jacques Cousteau followed this same strategy -- adding TV specials -- to subsidize his oceanic research.

THE PHILANTHROPRENEUR NEWSLETTER (PNL), an 8-page monthly, will help today's nonprofit managers and fundraisers create new income streams through entrepreneuring. PNL will share examples of successful nonprofit enterprise, profile their developers, list free resources, and provide advice. Guest columnists from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors as well as lawyers and accountants will also be regular features. PNL will be launched January, 1998. For a free sample, contact:

THE PHILANTHROPRENEUR NEWSLETTER (PNL)
350 Ward Ave., Ste. 106
Honolulu, HI 96814

eMail: lorenek@aol.com
Phone (Toll Free): (888) PHILANT (744-5268)

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SECOND WORLD SKEPTICS CONGRESS
(Source: SI DIGEST, 12/1/97)

THE COMMITTEE FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS OF THE PARANORMAL (CSICOP) and THE GERMAN SOCIETY FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF PARASCIENCE (GWUP) are planning their Second World Skeptics Congress, to be held at THE UNIVERSITY OF HEIDELBURG, July 23-26, 1998. The first such conference, held in June 1996 at the STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO, was attended by over 1300 people. The Second World Skeptics Congress will celebrate the growing strength and diversity of the world skeptics movement, while addressing issues of the day. The congress theme will be "Armageddon and the Prophets of Doomsday" and will explore the many apocalyptic fears spreading throughout the world as we approach the year 2000 -- fears ranging from religious millenialism to pseudoscientific claims of impending natural disasters. It will also explore how the advent of a new millennium might be used to fire the public imagination to embrace a new global consciousness. Other Congress topics could include education and critical thinking.

http://www.csicop.org

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REV. MOON BLESSES MILLIONS OF MARRIAGES
(Source: Janet Guttsman, REUTERS, 11/29/97)

Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon conducted a mass blessing of marriages of identically dressed couples from his UNIFICATION CHURCH Saturday and watched by satellite as millions more rededicated their vows. The ceremony, which church leaders said involved 100 times as many people as those in a similar ceremony two years ago, was centered in a Washington sports stadium, but linked by satellite with 84 countries. Moon said 39.6 million couples took part on Saturday, including 36 million couples reaffirming their vows, while the church said there were 360,000 at a 1995 ceremony. Many had met their partners only days before the ceremony and were planning to return home alone, waiting for Moon to give the go-ahead to consummate their new relationships. A handful of protesters outside the stadium complained that the Unification Church was destroying families, rather than creating the family values couples in the stadium were promising to maintain. Church leaders invited representatives from six religions to address the crowd before Moon, wearing a white crown with seven gold stars and floor-length white and gold robes, blessed the couples from the podium. Singer Whitney Houston, who was scheduled to perform at the event, canceled at the last minute. Outspoken black civil rights leader Louis Farrakhan did address the gathering.

http://www.yahoo.com/headlines/971129/news/stories/religion_4.html

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MORE ABOUT REVEREND MOON

While we are talking about Reverend Moon, here is an article about Moon and his organization that I wrote in 1994, but never published. While no longer "current," the article does contain alot of interesting information about Reverend Moon and his church.


WORLD SCRIPTURE:
A COMPARATIVE ANTHOLOGY OF SACRED TEXTS
By David Sunfellow

Remember Sun Myung Moon, the messianic reverend from Korea who claimed that Jesus failed his mission and that another Messiah was coming from Korea to pick up where Jesus left off? Maybe you thought he just went to jail for evading taxes and then disappeared? Maybe you thought his church, THE UNIFICATION CHURCH, his holy book, "The Divine Principle," and his followers, commonly called "Moonies," vanished with him? Not so. He, and his organization, have gone from visibly selling flowers on street corners to invisibly buying huge chunks of America (and the rest of the world). According to "The Resurrection of Reverend Moon," a detailed expose' on FRONTLINE (an award-winning news documentary show that aired on PBS January 21, 1992), Moon's growing assets, as well as his far-reaching political influence, is almost beyond belief. Among other things, FRONTLINE reported that Moon and his UNIFICATION CHURCH had invested millions in the following ventures:

-- 800 million dollars in THE WASHINGTON TIMES

-- 10's of millions on various periodical publications

-- 10 million dollars on a New York publishing house (PARAGON HOUSE)

-- Millions on high tech and computer industries

-- Millions on various all-expense paid international conventions

-- 40 million dollars on New York newspapers

-- More than 10 million on conservative political action organizations like THE AMERICAN FREEDOM COALITION and THE COMMITTEE TO DEFEND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

-- Well over 100 million dollars on real estate

-- At least 40 million dollars on commercial fishing operations

-- Some 75 million dollars on The New Birth Project (a project designed to clear Moon of the stigma associated with being convicted--and serving time--for tax evasion)

All told, that's over a billion dollars! And where is all this money coming from? According to FRONTLINE the money is NOT coming from Moon's American ventures. Most of them are losing money. When the FRONTLINE story first aired, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, for instance, was losing as much as 50 million dollars a year. According to the FRONTLINE report, most of the money is coming from Japan. In particular, from a Japanese business man named Ryoichi Sasakawa who was also actively involved in supporting some of the more infamous dictators of World War II, as well as the Imperial government of Japan.

In interviews with several people who were closely associated with Moon, including a former editor and publisher of THE WASHINGTON TIMES, Moon's motives were said to be simple: To gain power and influence. Why? For what purpose? Moon claims that Jesus appeared to him when he was 16 years old and asked him to complete God's work on Earth by establishing the perfect family -- something Moon believes Jesus was suppose to do, but failed. Early on, Moon also claimed that a Messiah would be coming from Korea. And as time has passed, Moon has made it increasingly clear that he believes himself to be the Messiah he has long spoken of.

However others may chose to view Moon and his claims of messiahship, one thing is certain: Moon is serious about influencing things -- and, what's more, he has become increasingly adept at doing so behind the scenes. A case in point is THE WASHINGTON TIMES. THE TIMES, which Moon owns, and which is only one of two papers operating in the nation's capital, strongly influences the nation's lawmakers who, in turn, strongly influence what happens around the country and world. Another Moon venture, THE AMERICAN FREEDOM COALITION, is said by many Washington insiders to be one of the most powerful political action groups in the country -- and it has thousands of people in all 50 states, most of whom know nothing about where the money comes from to run their organization or how Moon reportedly pulls the strings behind the scenes. Claims that Moon has nothing to do with the day-to-day operation and policy of these organizations was directly challenged by those who worked with him. Former WASHINGTON TIMES editors went on record as saying that in spite of claims to the contrary, Moon himself often gave direct orders to newspaper editors concerning what to stories to cover -- as well as how to cover them.

Significantly, attempts made at the time of the FRONTLINE story to launch a U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT investigation of Moon's American activities were stonewalled, while earlier attempts resulted in Moon using his vast resources to discredit and crush whomever sought to investigate him, and his American operations.

So what's all this got to do with "World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts"? One of Moon's international organizations (THE INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FOUNDATION), organized it and one of his publishing companies (PARAGON HOUSE) published it. Not only is Reverend Moon acknowledged and thanked in the book's introduction ("We wish to give grateful acknowledgement to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who first conceived of the idea for World Scripture and commissioned its preparation"), but he is also quoted alongside Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tsu, Confucius, Krishna, Mohammed and other great religious leaders. Although Moon's involvement in publishing World Scripture may be little more than another attempt to promote himself as the Messiah, other contemporary religious movements and religious leaders (some with credibility problems almost as large as his own) are also included in the book.

And what about the book itself? It boasts a list of some 40 scholars from around the world as advisors and contributors, is over 900 pages long, and includes passages from Zoroastrianism, Theosophy, Tenrikyo, Taoism, Sikhism, Shinto, Scientology, Native American Religions, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), Judaism, Jainism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Christian Science, The Baha'i Faith, African Traditional Religions and, of course, Sun Myung and his book, The Unifcation Principle.

As impressive as all these stastics are, PARAGON HOUSE, the book's publisher, says there are only10,000 copies of World Scriptue in print -- not that many considering World Scripture has been on the market since1991. Even more surprising, with all of Sun Myung Moon's wealth and far-reaching influence, the FRONTLINE report claimed that Sun Myung Moon presently has fewer than 5,000 American followers.

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LIGHT BULBS:

HOW VELCRO CAME TO BE

"Anybody who's ever struggled with a stuck zipper or stubborn button owes a debt of gratitude to Georges de Mestral, the Swiss engineer who gave us all an alternative. After a walk in the woods with his dog one day in 1948, de Mestral marveled at the ability of burrs to fasten themselves to his dog's coat and to his own wool clothing. De Mestral shoved a bit of burr under a microscope and saw that its barbed, hooklike seed pods meshed beautifully with the looped fibers in his clothes. Realizing that his discovery could spawn a fastening system to compete with, if not replace, the zipper, he devised a way to reproduce the hooks and loops in woven nylon, and dubbed the result "Velcro," from the French words "velours" and "crochet."

---NEWSWEEK'S: 2000, A NEW MILLENNIUM: "The Power of Invention"

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THE LIGHTER SIDE:

EUROENGLISH

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year plan to phase in what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be relaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptance of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplicated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of all double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languaj is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the forth yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" wiz "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" can be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After ze fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

ZE DREM VIL FINALI KUM TRU!!!

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NHNE MISSION STATEMENT, CREDITS & CONTACT INFORMATION

The mission of NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) is to answer humankind's oldest, most perplexing questions: Who are we? Where are we from? What is the origin and purpose of life? Instead of relying on ancient or contemporary wisdom, or the knowledge of isolated experts, we are building a global network of seekers from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, lay people and professionals alike, that can pool talents, experience, and resources to unravel life's great mysteries.

We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound change and are seeking to create a global community of like-minded people that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our way and help give birth to a new way of life on our planet.

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NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ USA 86339

eMail: nhne@nhne.com
NHNE Website: http://www.nhne.com/
Phone: (928) 282-6120
Fax: (815) 346-1492

 

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