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NHNE News Brief 9
(August 25, 1995)
"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."
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© Copyright 1995 By NewHeavenNewEarth
Published By NewHeavenNewEarth / email@example.com
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Contents:Friday, August 25, 1995
The Big Questions
Mayan Demise: A 200 Year Drought
Fingerprints Of The Gods & New Egyptian Controversies
The Anti-Christ & Health Care
Here, There, Everywhere
1995 STILL The Big Year
The Blue Star
Scallion Hotline Revamped
HAARP: Blasting More Holes In The Ionosphere
Encounters With The Divine:
Dealing With Death
Body, Mind & Pocketbook
Holistic Health Software
Online Holistic Health Directory
The International Prophecy Conference
Prophecies For A New Millennium
The White House Goes Green
Hamburgers Are made Of Cows (Can You Believe It!)
Another Extinction Theory
Chinese "Big Foot" Hunt
Horseraddish To The Rescue
The Power Of Trees
"The Most Serious Cultural Change Since...Fire!"
NHNE Donations & Sponsors
How To Join Us
Up & Coming Special Reports:
Barbara Marx Hubbard
A Summary Of Her Life, Visions And Work
Quotables:THE BIG QUESTIONS
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my fate?
Where are the cookies?
---From a tee-shirt advertised in WIRELESS, the Minnesota Public Radio Catalog
Humanity has been both blessed and cursed with ancient civilizations that created stunning cultures and then vanished. The blessing has come from being able to count these great civilizations as part of planet Earth's legacy. And the curse has come from being unable to adequately explain where some of these great cultures came from and, often times, what happened to them.
Easter Island used to be one of these mysteries. But no more. And the lessons being learned from Easter Island are both chilling--and sobering.
In a recent article that appeared in the August, 1995 issue of DISCOVER MAGAZINE, Jared Diamond painted a dramatic picture of what happened on Easter Island, including just how those giant monolithic heads came to be and what purpose they served.
Easter Island, which consists of a scant 64 miles of land, is the most isolated habitable land on the planet. It lies in the Pacific Ocean more than 2,000 miles west of the nearest continent (South America), and 1,400 miles away from even the nearest habitable island (Pitcairm). Given its mild climate, volcanic origins and fertile soil, Easter Island should be a miniature paradise. Instead, it is a virtual wasteland.
When seafaring Europeans first encountered Easter Island they found a population of about 2,000 people scraping out a living on the barren island. Although the natives appeared to be from Polynesian ancestry, the natives that these first Europeans contacted not only had no idea that other human beings existed elsewhere on the planet, but their crude, leaky canoes could not possibly have made the journey to the island from elsewhere. Nor did they possess the skill, manpower, social structure or tools necessary to create the 200 giant heads that once stood upright on the island, let alone the 700 others that were abandoned in various stages of completion--some in quarries, others laying abandoned on ancient roads.
So where did these people come from? Who created the large monumental heads? What happened on this tiny piece of volcanic sand out in the middle of nowhere?
Erich von Daniken, author of CHARIOTS OF THE GODS, and other misinformed mystics, psychics and pseudo-researchers, boldly proclaimed that extraterrestrials were the ones that created the giant heads on Easter Island. More solid scientific investigation, conducted by archeologists, paleontologists, and pollen analysis experts, reveals a more down-to-earth story:
---First of all, the Easter Islanders were not the descendants of extraterrestrials. Their DNA, their language, even their tools clearly are of Polynesian origin. Radiocarbon dates, combined with linguistic analysis, indicate that the first Polynesians arrived on the island around 400 to 700 A.D.
---The period of statue construction peaked around 1200 to 1500 A.D., with few statues created thereafter. Current research indicates that the statues could have been made by as few as 20 people using only stone chisels within a year. With the help of a few hundred people, the statues could have been hauled into place. A complicated method of pollen analysis helped current researchers determine that the now barren island was once covered with a subtropical forest, complete with woody bushes, shrubs, herbs, ferns and grasses. In short, everything needed for constructing ropes, platforms and other hauling devices were abundant during the heyday of head building.
---A large population, between 7,000 and 20,000 people, once populated the island. One of their favorite sources of food was porpoises, which required solid, seaworthy vessels which could have been easily made from the plentiful resources of the island. These early natives also feasted on seabirds, land birds and rats which they cooked in ovens fired by wood from now non-existent forests.
---And then disaster struck: Pollen grains and bone records reveal that a few centuries after human population, the island's forests began to disappear. Then palm trees. Then the hauhau tree, which early Polynesians used to make ropes. Then the animals and birds became extinct, and the bones of porpoises no longer show up in ancient digs (because the natives could no longer build boats to go fish for them). As physical survival became increasingly tenuous, the social customs and structures of the island broke down. Canabalism became the norm and a new violent warrior class replaced the once centralized government. In the end, what few people survived the carnage, ended up living in caves while rival clans set out toppling one another's statues (statues which many experts believe were originally built to display the power and wealth of various clans).
How could a horrible disaster like this reduce a once civilized people to such groveling and barbaric standards? Research suggests that it didn't happen overnight. It happened by thoughtlessly destroying their environment one tree, bush, plant, animal, bird, at a time--until it was too late to turn the tide.
What can we learn from the Easter Island story: First, we are now facing on a global scale what the Easter Islanders faced on a tiny island (we are thoughtlessly destroying eco-systems all over the planet with little awareness of what horrible chains of events such wanton destruction might unleash on us); second, we have the advantage of learning from mistakes made by cultures like the Easter Island culture (and hopefully not repeating them); third, the tendency to ascribe the building of ancient, unexplained civilizations to aliens or super-advanced ancient civilizations, is a tendency that is embarrassingly common--and increasingly suspect.
Source: Discover Magazine, August, 1995 --DS
MAYAN DEMISE: A 200 YEAR DROUGHT
Meanwhile, in the land of the Mayas, another culture steeped in extraterrestrial speculation, new research is beginning to unravel the mystery of what happened to this once great culture.
While various theories have surfaced in recent years to explain the Mayan's sudden demise--overpopulation, disease, insect plagues, peasant revolts against ruling classes, civil wars and climate change--climate change seems to be gaining the upper hand.
Beginning around 800 A.D., Yucatan suffered a severe 200 year drought (yes, I said 200 years). The drought left the region drier than it has ever been in the past 7,000 years--and, according to paleoclimatologist David Hodell of the University of Florida, that was too much for the massive Mayan cities to bear."The onset of this drought period resulted in crop failure, which may have made the people more susceptible to disease. You'd also have more competition for food. That might explain the increased warfare between the various Mayan city-states."
Source: Discover Magazine, September, 1995 --DS
"FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS"
& NEW EGYPTIAN DISCOVERIES
Now that I have spent a few minutes chopping away at the popular, albeit misinformed, belief that the Easter Island culture was produced by some kind of advanced race (from Earth or elsewhere) or that the Mayan culture was suddenly beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise, it's time to take a look at the other side of the coin.
The idea that humanity, as we know ourselves today, descended from extraterrestrials or high-tech ancient civilizations has been around for a long time. Whether it is Rudolf Steiner, Edgar Cayce, Gordon-Michael Scallion (or hundreds of other psychics) talking about us being descendents of Atlantis and Lemuria, or Zecharia Sitchin talking about us being genetically altered mutants enslaved to mine gold for aliens from the 12th planet, or others claiming we came from the center of the Earth, or from the Pleiadians, or from Mars, or from who knows where, in the end, our true origin is still a mystery.
Are we native to this planet or not? Did we evolve, naturally, from the species of this planet, or were we planted here, more or less full-blown, from somewhere else?
And whether we are native to this planet or not, what about all those rumors, myths and legends about high-tech ancient civilizations? Is this all a bunch of baloney (like the Easter Island myths seem to be), or is there some kernel of truth in all these stories? How about some hard evidence?
Well, hard evidence is what Graham Hancock is after--and that's also what he published in his most recent book, FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS.
Hancock first gained international fame by publishing THE SIGN AND THE SEAL, an exhaustively researched book that claimed to track the legendary Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. Hancock's first book not only hit the bestseller lists in both America and Britain, but it also transformed itself into several television specials and enjoyed a good deal of critical acclaim. More importantly, Hancock may, indeed, have actually located the Ark! If Hancock is correct (and there is strong evidence that he is), the Ark of the Covenant is presently locked away in a small Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian population at large is feverishly devoted to the Ark (and has been for centuries). The small church is guarded round the clock by a heavily armed group of men. And only one man--a holy man who has dedicated his life to the care of the Ark--ever sees it. Hancock, who claims to have spoken with this holy man, said the holy man's fear and awe of the Ark were real: according to him, the Ark, true to its Biblical reputation, still had the capacity to kill those who were not pure of heart.
But Hancock's Ark of the Covenant book is another story. Suffice it to say, the research he did concerning the Ark of the Covenant ranks as some of the most interesting historical detective work ever done.
Not to be outdone by his first bestseller, Hancock tackles an even tougher subject in his second book: the idea that human civilization is MUCH older than the mere 5000 years most modern scientists say it is. In 600 pages, Hancock presents evidence of a forgotten epoch in human history which preceded the acknowledged cradles of civilization in Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Far East by several thousand years. What's more, Hancock argues that this lost culture was highly advanced, technologically proficient and that it came to an abrupt end some 12,000 years ago. How? According to Hancock, some kind of global cataclysm brought this powerful civilization to a sudden and dramatic end.
Following in the footsteps of THE SIGN AND THE SEAL, Hancock's second book has already been on Great Britain's bestseller list for six straight weeks. Just released in the U.S., a similar feat is possible here.
Significantly, Hancock does not rely on psychic or mystical sources of information to piece together his hypothesis. Indeed, while he thinks there is irrefutable proof that a technologically advanced culture preceded our own, he doesn't think it lies buried in the Atlantic (like Cayce and others say it does). Instead, he believes it lies buried under thousands of feet of ice in Antarctica!
Although there is little proof to back up the possibility that an ancient civilization lies buried beneath ice on Antarctica, Hancock does cite various pieces of evidence that he believes prove an ancient, highly evolved culture predated modern civilization by several thousand years:
---Ancient maps that show the actual coastline of Antarctica (which has been buried beneath thousands of feet of ice for thousands of years)
---Giant buildings in Central and South America, as well as in Egypt, that were constructed using building techniques that still cannot be duplicated by modern technology**
---Sophisticated archeo-astronomical alignments at ancient sites all over the world
---Evidence of comprehensive ancient knowledge of the 25,776 year procession of the equinoxes
---Water erosion of the Sphinx which indicates it was built long before the present desert conditions of Egypt**
Many of us are, of course, already familiar with all of these mysteries, and others like them. But Hancock doesn't stick with old, well-worn mysteries. He also tackles a couple new ones.
The first mystery is the recent discovery of cavities beneath the paws of the sphinx. Discovered by scanning the area with sophisticated seismic machines, one of the cavities is a large rectangular area, which suggests it was made by man.**
The second mystery concerns what looks like a small doorway, complete with two copper fittings, in a narrow shaft in the Queen's chamber. Rudolph Gantenbrink, a German inventor, made the discovery in 1993 after sending a camera-armed robot up the narrow shaft.
With respect to the second mystery, Hancock and others are livid that Egyptian authorities are refusing to investigate this new discovery. Citing episodes that he has personally witnessed, Hancock says, "You have Egyptologists saying 'there is no point in looking to see if there's anything behind that slab'--they call it a 'slab,' they won't call it a door--because we know there's not another chamber inside the great pyramid."
While publicly declaring Gantenbrink's discovery is a slab that leads nowhere, privately this same group of Egyptologists may have already taken a look. The Queen's chamber was suspiciously closed for more than nine months after Gantenbrink's discovery. The public story was that officials wanted to close the chamber so they could clean graffiti off the walls. But nine months later when the chamber was finally reopened, the graffiti had been untouched. Hancock wonders what those officials were really doing.
Actions like these have not only infuriated Hancock (and others), but they have also added fuel to Hancock's next book. In his next book, to be co-authored with Robert Bauval, Hancock plans to complete the decoding of the archeo-astronomy of the Giza plateau and to publish an expose' on how Egyptologists of the last two decades have misused their powers and responsibilities. Hancock promises "to look behind the scenes at what they've been doing--how research has been hindered, misled and misguided by a narrow group of scholars protecting their own interests at the cost of the rest of humanity. We have uncovered a really serious scandal in Egyptology which, once it's brought out into public view, will make it impossible for this group of scholars, who have controlled Giza for the past 20 years, to have any credibility at all."
Finally, the fellow that Hancock is writing his new book with, has a book of his own. Co-authored with Adrian Gilbert, Robert Bauval recently published a book entitled, "THE ORION MYSTERY: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE PYRAMIDS." Bauval's contention is that the three pyramids of Giza were built to perfectly align with three stars in the constellation Orion. Bauval suspected that if his theory was right, the shafts in the Giza pyramids might aim at the particular stars they represented.
So far, the shafts that Gantenbrink's robot have explored confirm Bauval's theory: they are aimed squarely at the stars they are supposed to be. Or, more accurately, they would have been perfectly aimed at these stars if they had been built 4475 to 4400 years ago, which corresponds to the time period conventional Egyptologists presently say the Giza complex was constructed. (Earlier attempts to carbon date the Great Pyramid also produced similar conventional dates.**)
So were these monuments built 12,000 years ago or 4500 years ago? Are they the handiwork of ancient Egyptians, or Atlantians, or Antarcticans, or extraterrestrials? Are there secret chambers yet to be discovered? Is some kind of serious Egyptologist scandal about to come to light?
Source: Atlantis Rising, Number 4, 1995; Venture Inward, July/August, 1995 --DS
** See our Special Report on "The Great Pyramid & The Sphinx" for more details concerning ongoing ancient Egyptian controversies.
HEALTH CARE & THE ANTI-CHRIST
Well, Dannion Brinkley is in the news again. And he is making some more startling predictions.
Those of you who are familiar with Brinkley's bestselling book, SAVED BY THE LIGHT, will probably remember his predictions about an anti-Christ figure coming to power in the Middle East. Brinkley predicted 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.So what does all of this have to do with health care? In an interview that appears in the current issue of ATLANTIS RISING, Brinkley discusses the current health care debate in America saying that a governmentally controlled health care system would lead to a national insurance health card which, he says, is "the mark of the beast, ain't no doubt about it."
"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
In response to this threat, Brinkley has this to say:"I beg everybody to write their Congressmen and Senators in support of THE OFFICE OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE at the National Institute For Health. Request information. Be mindful of health care and what's going on. If you're not political, become political. Pay attention to health care and how it's evolving, because you're talking about your right to choose how to take care of yourself. Supporting the NIH is the most important thing you can do in your life. As long as there's an Office of Alternative Medicine they can't create HMO's (Health Maintenance Organizations) Managed care and give us a national insurance health card."
HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE
Health care, of course, is not the only thing Brinkley has his hands in these days. In fact, he seems to be popping up so fast, in so many different places, that one might argue that there are two or three Brinkley clones running around.
First there are all the different businesses he has started:
---A surge protector business (Yes, he jokes he was a great salesman for this product, having been struck by lightning on two different occasions)
---An anti-eavesdropping business
---An anti-fouling business that produced devices to keep barnacles off of the hulls of ships (Brinkley claims he was shown this device in one of his visions)
---He also did work with the deaf, designing a device that helped convert speech into vibrations (Brinkley claims that this device was also based on visions he received)
---And somehow, he also managed to find the time to get deeply involved in the hospice movement, helping 148 different people die and recruiting between 5,000 and 7,000 new folks to the hospice movement
Then there are the healing centers Brinkley has been developing.
Based on visions Brinkley experienced during his first near-death experience, he has been systematically creating a multi-faceted healing center that he hopes to mass market. His centers consist of seven special rooms where people can go to relax and reduce fear and stress. There is a psychotherapy room, a massage room, a sensory deprivation room, a biofeedback room, a room to receive psychic readings, a room with a special bed designed to evoke near-death-like experiences, and a reflection chamber. Combined, these rooms are supposed to facilitate a spiritual awakening on the part of those who experience them. Brinkley is also working with his close friend, famed near-death researcher Raymond Moody, on Moody's "Theater of the Mind" (a project designed to help people contact departed friends and loved ones).
Then there is the lecture circuit. Along with appearing on nationally televised talk shows and specials, Brinkley is also a hot lecturer on the New Age lecture circuit. In October, for instance, he will speaking at the following places:
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES:
A Near-Death Experience & Reincarnation Conference
Dannion Brinkley, Dr. Kenneth Ring, Dr. Melvin Morse, Dr. Winafred Lucas, Rabbi Yonasson Gershom, Dr. Rune Amundsen, Dr. Peter Fenwick
October 20-22, 1995
GULF BREEZE UFO CONFERENCE
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Dannion Brinkley, Whitley Strieber, Fred Alan Wolf, Zecharia Sitchin, Colin Andrews, Bruce Maccabee, George Knapp
October 27 & 28, 1995
THE INTERNATIONAL PROPHECY CONFERENCE
Dannion Brinkley, Lori & Lenard Toye, Annie Kirkwood, Byron Kirkwood, Dr. Chet Snow, Norma Milanovich, Joya Pope, Michael Schuster, Robert Ghost, Judi Zion, Tuieta
And, finally, there are also TWO movies in the works. 20th Century Fox is planning to make Brinkley's life into a full-length motion picture--a motion picture that Brinkley isn't even acting as an advisor on. Why? Because he is more interested in THE DEATH AND TIMES OF DANNION BRINKLEY, a three-part documentary that first tells his story, then shows people "how to die" with a loved one and concludes with legal advice to help make the best decisions and reduce stress afterward. "That," he says, "is my mission. When I do a lecture I always read about some new mission I've supposedly been given; but if I can make people feel safe and comfortable with dying I rekindle the strength in God that people should have. The place I've been is a very logical, very systematic, very just, very fair and very righteous--it is a very reassuring kind of place. I'm trying to give everybody else that place, because if we can face death by hospice we are not afraid of dying, and once we're not afraid they cannot take our freedoms."
Source: Atlantis Rising, Number 4, 1995 / Celestial Contacts, Summer,1995 / NHNE News Brief 2, November 18, 1994 --DS
Gordon-Michael Scallion:1995 STILL THE BIG YEAR
In the April, 1995 issue of his EARTH CHANGES REPORT, Gordon-Michael Scallion writes:"I see a portion of the Imperial Valley under water this year. I see no turning back now. I believe all my predictions will occur regarding the West Coast. My visions are now in full color with no alternative aspects, or realities, to shift to. In other words, events will now unfold with no possibility of change. I suggest everyone living on the West Coast pay attention to their dreams and intuitive sense. Time is now very short. Earth changes in the year 1995 will create new maps of the West Coast."So far, we haven't seen any major California earthquakes this year, but Scallion is continuing to stick (kind of) with his 1995 scenario.
The biggest part of Scallion's current earth changes predictions is his "4-Quake Scenario." Scallion's 4-Quake Scenario begins with an earthquake in Japan, which triggers earthquakes in the Indian Ocean and/or South Pacific, followed by earthquakes in South America and, finally, the West Coast of America. On May 27, 1995, a 7.6 earthquake struck the island of Sakhalin, which borders the Sea of Japan. Although this earthquake was a few hundred miles away from Japan, Scallion felt it was close enough to be a part of the 4-Quake Scenario he has envisioned.
On July 4, 1995 a 7.1 earthquake hit the Kermadec Islands in the South Pacific, prompting Scallion to declare in his most recent EARTH CHANGES REPORT (August, 1995), "I believe the cycle has begun." According to Scallion, "The next event to watch for--within weeks rather than months of the July 4 quake--is a quake greater than 7.0 in South America or Mexico. Should this occur then the fourth event will be a quake, or quakes, on the West Coast of America."
And then, here's the loop hole:
"Should this cycle not complete itself, the next cycle... begins in December 1995 - January 1996 time frame." (Apparently, it is possible for Scallion's 4-Quake Scenario to leap-frog over California and start over again, beginning with an earthquake in Japan. Whether it leap-frogs over California or not, the next cycle is supposed to have earthquakes in the range of 8.0 or greater, rather than 7.0 or greater that Scallion has predicted for the current cycle.)
Along with the two earthquakes mentioned above, recent volcanic activity in the Caribbean has also reinforced Scallion's predictions that California may be in trouble. On July 18th Chances Peak on the small island of Montserrat began spewing smoke and ash. This was followed by a series of underground volcanic earthquake explosions. Authorities recently ordered the evacuation of about two-thirds of Montserrat's 11,000 residents to the northern end of the 7 by 11 mile island. The last time there was a major volcanic eruption on the island was over a hundred years ago and scientists are predicting there is a 75% probability that it is going to blow again.
What makes this situation particularly alarming is that Mount Pelee', which is located on the nearby island of Martinique, may be triggered by the ongoing eruptions. Mount Pelee', which figures prominently in Scallion's early warning predictions for California, is also one of Edgar Cayce's major warning signs.
By now you should now that this year is the biggest year EVER for hurricanes. With peak hurricane season barely upon us, there has already been 10 major storms. In earlier issues of THE EARTH CHANGES REPORT, Scallion predicted that this was going to be a bad year for hurricanes. And here's what he has to say in his current issue:"Two hurricanes originate in the Gulf of Mexico. One hits Florida between St. Petersburg and the Panhandle. The other hits Texas between Galveston and Brownsville. The third is an East Coast hurricane that originates in the region of the Bahamas and moves north passing close to Cape Hatteras, continuing northward, crossing Long Island, Long Island Sound and hitting New England.
"My sense is that the paths shown will begin their cycle between August 22 and September 4. I do not know which path begins the cycle, or the wind velocities, but I sense that the winds on the East Coast path will be at least as high as Hurricane Andrew."
THE BLUE STAR
If you have been following all of the things Scallion has had to say about ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid and The Hall of Records (see News Briefs 6, 7, 8), you might think that the guy couldn't possibly come up with anything more far-fetched. But he has. In his most recent newsletter he is now saying that a new blue star is going to be showing up in our solar system.
Scallion's blue star is not a new prediction. He has described it on his maps and in his newsletter. What is new about it this time, is that he is giving some more details. Although he doesn't explain how, the blue star is supposed to appear from behind our sun and transform our solar system into "a binary sun system." It will be visible "for 1,800 years" and then disappear behind the sun once again. While it is visible:"During the day it will appear as a silvery light 100 times brighter than any morning star... During the evening, it will appear as a moon."This new event is supposed to take place "by the turn of the century." In addition, Scallion claims that his original vision about the blue star occurred over thirteen years ago. His most recent vision, which Scallion says was unusually powerful, came after waiting all these years for new information.
SCALLION'S REVAMPED HOTLINE
THE MATRIX INSTITUTE has announced three new services on its EARTH CHANGES REPORT HOTLINE:
1. A weekly commentary by Gordon-Michael Scallion on current predictions
2. A daily review of earth changes around the world
3. A weekly summary of earth changes around the world
Prior to this announcement, the Scallion Hotline had been reporting earth change activity on a weekly basis and Scallion's current predictions were only briefly reported on. Daily messages are updated at 12 noon eastern time while weekly updates take place on Saturdays, 9 AM eastern time.
(900) 903-2745. The cost is .95 a minute and you must be 18 years or older to call. Scallion also offers a special 800 number with a monthly rate. Call (800) 628-7493 for details.
Earth Changes:KILLER ANTS
Killer bees, it turns out, are not the most menacing creatures to invade the North American continent from the south. Their cousins, the fire ants, are more widespread, more destructive and, so far, more deadly.
For decades now, the ferocious little critters have been terrorizing people in the southern United States. In some areas, they have even begun crowding out (or killing) other insects, lizards, birds, small mammals and seriously disturbing the delicate eco-system. Along with covering some farm fields with hundreds of mounds per acre, the little squirts are also strangely attracted to electric current. They have been known to chew through underground cables, disrupting everything from telephone service to airport runway lights. In some cases, their taste for electricity has even resulted in fires.
And they are turning out to be highly mobile. Or, more accurately, they are beginning to hitch rides on truckloads of produce, nursery stock, even industrial chemicals. While the moisture loving insects can't yet survive in arid areas, they have managed to successfully cross many such areas and are beginning to turn up in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon and Washington. To make matters worse, some of the insects are beginning to learn how to survive harsh winters (something they are not normally equipped to do).
The fire ant threat began in the 1930's, when the first fire ants showed up in Mobile, Alabama (some experts believe they hitched another ride on some shiploads of lumber imported from South America). In the 1950's and 60's a serious attempt was made to kill the unwanted migrants using a witch's brew of highly toxic chemicals. In the end, the poisons killed not only the ants, but most other wildlife in the targeted areas as well.
While many are beginning to argue that the time has come to nuke the growing menace again with powerful poisons, at least one government agency has come up with another solution. A tiny parasitic fly that lays its eggs right on the fire ant's body may turn out to be his doom. The fly lays its eggs, the eggs then hatch and the maggots eat their way into the ant's head until it falls off. Best of all, the fly seems to attack only fire ants. If laboratory and field tests show that the fly is indeed safe to use, the U.S. Agricultural Department says it will be ready to turn the little fly loose in a year.
Source: Time, June 5, 1995 --DS
HAARP: BLASTING HOLES IN THE IONOSPHERE
According to an article being circulated online by David Yarrow (a prolific champion of many different online causes), the Department of Defense recently spent $26 million to build a powerful microwave antenna array in a remote area of Alaska. The general public first became aware of the project when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began advising commercial pilots to avoid the area because of intense radiation bursts and possible side effects.
The purpose of the new array, which is called HAARP (High-Frequency Active Aural Research Project), is to burn holes in the ionosphere to see how the atmosphere responds to disturbance and how it ultimately recovers. Why? To better understand how the atmosphere might be used to defend the U.S. against ballistic missile attacks. While phase one of the project produced a 340KW ionosphere blaster, phase two, which will cost an additional $75 million, will produce a 1.7 gigawatt array!
According to Yarrow's posting, EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL published a 3-page report on HAARP in the fall of 1994, followed by a 1 page follow-up in the winter of 1995. They received a "Best Censored Stories of 1994" award from PROJECT CENSORED for uncovering this story.
Among other things, the HAARP project is powered by diesel generators. A normal HAARP test will burn 500,000 gallons of fuel--all of which must be shipped and stored in the delicate Alaska wilderness. Local communications, navigation and power supplies will be disrupted. Wildlife, especially migratory birds, will be "cooked" if they fly through a HAARP beam. Magnetic navigation on the western flyway may be disrupted. And, HAARP is sure to have unknown atmospheric side effects which may disrupt--possibly permanently damage--the already fragile ionosphere. Some people studying the situation are expressing concern that the HAARP project might cause a magnetic reversal of the poles.
For more information, you may contact:
Gar Smith, Editor
Earth Island Journal
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133-3312
Phone: (415) 788-3666
FAX: (415) 788-7324
WWW Home Page: http://www.earthisland.org/ei/
By Michael Donahue
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, also known as the "Blessed Virgin Mary" among Catholics and some other Christians, and as "Mother Mary" among many who are seeking their own unique spiritual paths, seems to have suddenly increased in spiritual "relevance," or what C. G. Jung called "numinosity." There have been a sudden spate of books and articles: devotional, descriptive, critical--even empirical research on the sources of Marian devotion. In addition, The Lady seems to currently be on something like a world tour. Reports of apparitions--and followings formed around a variety of seers (primarily female)--has increased dramatically in the past ten years. In the past decade, apparitions, some of them ongoing, have been reported in Canada, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, the Ukraine, Yugoslavia; in the United States in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and more! Some reporters who go to "debunk" the sightings come back with profound religious experiences.
What is going on here? What does it all mean?
This is the first of a series of columns which will be devoted to the current spate of appearances of "Mother Mary" or the "Blessed Virgin Mary" around the world. I'll start with some general background, and history (Our Lady of Guadalupe dates to the 16th century), trying to highlight common themes: who reported the apparition; how it was received; what the content of the messages was/is; whether there were "secrets" involved, and the like.
By Michael Donahue
Where does the Catholic devotion to Mary come from? How did it develop so far that while some refer to theology concerning her as "Mariology," some call it "Mariolatry" (from "idolatry"). What can we learn by going back to the source, the Bible?
MARY IN THE BIBLE
Well, the first thing one learns is that controversy starts immediately. Where is the first mention of Mary? The obvious place to look would be in the first book of the Christian scriptures, the Gospel of Matthew. But, those who profess a strong devotion to Mary claim the first reference to her occurs in the first book of the Hebrew scriptures: Genesis.
After Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden of Eden, having eaten of the forbidden fruit at the bidding of the serpent, and God tells them of the hard life they will now have to endure. Then God turns to the snake, to curse it."Because you have done this, cursed be you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go and the dust shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her's; he will strike at your head, and you will strike at his heel." (Genesis 3: 14-15)Because of the reference to the defeat of the snake (Satan), some say the reference here is to Christ, and that the woman, whose offspring does the crushing, is Mary. By association, this "crushing" role is sometimes passed on to her. Next time you see a statue of Mary, check out the feet: there's a good change you'll see a snake being stepped on.
Now let us go to the New Testament. Here we find that the Gospels themselves quarrel about this woman.
In Mark's Gospel (generally considered to be the earliest of the four), there is no account of Jesus' birth and infancy, and about the only mention of Mary is that Christ's mother comes with the rest of the family to see him, and are apparently rebuked, as Jesus says that those who fulfill his will are his family (Mark 3:31-35). In Mark's Gospel, Mary is also not at the foot of the cross when Jesus dies.
In contrast, in Luke, Mary plays a quite prominent role. It is here, and only here, that the most familiar scenes from the Christmas story involving Mary are found: the angel announcing Jesus' birth; the visit to Elizabeth; the circumcision and the prophecy that a sword will pierce Mary's heart; and the scene in the temple when Jesus is twelve; all in the first two chapters! This emphasis on Mary has lead some to suggest that the author of Luke's gospel may have been a woman. (None of the most ancient Gospels have "titles" with authors' names; the identity of the authors is based on ancient tradition.)
Then in the Gospel of John, Mary appears twice. Her first appearance is at the wedding feast at Cana. When the wine runs out, Jesus turns about 120 gallons of water into the finest wine. This scene begins with Mary telling Jesus that they are out of wine and Jesus' apparent rebuke: "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come." His mother then tells the servants: "Do whatever he tells you." (John 2: 4-5) The fact that Jesus apparently changes his mind when his mother makes a request of him would later develop into the theology that "praying to Mary" or rather asking Mary to pray with the worshipper to Jesus, would make prayer more effective.
Mary's second appearance in the Gospel of John is at the very foot of the cross. There, "when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, 'Woman, here is your son.' Then he said to the disciple 'Here is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home." (John 19: 26-27)
From this simple scene, a number of Marian doctrines take root:1. That Mary did not have any children besides Jesus, since if she had Jesus would not have been concerned about who would care for her. Therefore the "brothers of the Lord" must be cousins or others who were close to Jesus, and the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity is supported.The last New Testament passage sometimes thought to refer to Mary is in that famous scriptural inkblot test of a book, the Book of Revelations. In chapter 12, there is an account of "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars." Mary is sometimes thus depicted in Catholic religious art. It will also be helpful to keep this image in mind when we discuss the Marian apparitions.
2. The disciple whom Jesus loved is taken as a symbol of all believers in Jesus, and here Jesus entrusts all of them to consider Mary as their mother; "Mother of the Church" as she would be called.
As the woman enters into the travails of labor, a dragon appears, to try to devour "her son, a male child, who is to rule all he nations with a rod of iron. But the child was snatched away and taken to God and his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God." It is in this one and only book of the bible that dragons are mentioned, and that in association with Mary.
This, then, is where it all starts. Remember the themes raised here:
---Enmity between the woman and the forces of evil
---The virgin birth
---The statements of Jesus on the cross; even referring to Mary as "Woman."
We will see all these again and again.
Mary in the New Testament Apocrypha,
the "lost books of the Bible."
And Later On:
An account of a trip to a Marian appearance site in the United States.
Michael Donahue is a social psychologist and psychologist of religion who lives in Minnesota. (Yes, there was an apparition in that state, too, but Michael wasn't involved.) If you have questions or comments, you can email Michael at at firstname.lastname@example.org
Encounters With The Divine:DEALING WITH DEATH
For many years now, a wide variety of social customs have been challenged and changed. Having babies at hospitals has been giving way to home births. Babies are increasingly nursed instead of bottle fed. More and more children are being exposed to alternative methods of schooling, like Waldorf and Montessori. Shots, surgery, drugs and other traditional methods of healing are being systematically replaced by kinder, gentler and usually more effective alternative methods of healing.
And now the way we deal with death is also beginning to undergo a transformation.
Normally, when a human being dies in America, their dead body is rushed away and, shortly thereafter, buried or cremated. If we are lucky, we might get one last peak at our loved one's body after it has been washed, embalmed and dressed in Sunday clothes.
Considering that death is an exceedingly common, ordinary, everyday occurrence--in the same ballpark as births--it is simply stunning that we have so little contact with it. When we stop and think about it, it is also stunning that we allow strangers to take charge of the bodies of our friends and loved ones without a second thought.
While psychologists might debate the ills that befall those of us who avoid confronting death head on (or of an entire culture that avoids confronting death), a deeper concern may be the psychological harm that is done by not being able to say a solid farewell (or "see you later") to those we care about.
While some ethnic and religious groups--the Amish, Quakers, Native Americans, and some Jewish congregations--have always cared for their own dead, it has taken a big push from the twenty year old hospice movement to stir up a larger movement. In a sense, this new movement is not new at all. Like the home childbirth movement of today, it is simply calling people back to more holistic ways of living that were once a normal, everyday part of life.
Up until the Civil War, the family was intimately involved in caring for their dead. They washed and dressed the body, constructed a simple coffin, transported the body to the church to be viewed by family and friends, dug the grave and, finally, buried the body themselves. When, however, the Civil War came, the sophisticated process of embalming was born. Bodies needed to be embalmed in order to travel long distances back home. Embalming caught on and soon led to what is today's way of dealing with death. Whereas death used to be a simple, natural and inexpensive affair, it has slowly grown into a strange, frightening, disempowering experience that costs an average of $7000.00 each time someone dies.
But all that is beginning to change now, principally because people are beginning to rediscover how healing it is to spend time with the body of those they have loved before sending it on its way.
An article by Jeff Elliott that appeared in the March/April, 1995 issue of NEW AGE JOURNAL, examined this important topic from several different angles. Along with including a list of resources and steps to take to make the process of death and dying as easy as possible, the article also included some interesting quotes from people who have reclaimed the right to deal directly with the deaths of their loved ones.
"There was something about touching the body that was important," Patty says. "When something like this happens, your mind cannot grasp what's going on--it's as if you need more senses to grasp the reality of it. Touch makes it real, and you can feel it's your friend; your touch knows she's dead. There's something that's instinctive in our animal nature, drawn to touch the body of a dead friend. I was just pulled into the comfort I took from touching Carolyn, moving through my grief."
Patty and her friends did everything. After their friend died, they washed her body, dressed her, layed her on a futon in the living room and had their closest friends come over to share the experience with them. Although this was a strange experience for everyone at first, once everyone began to adjust to the experience, the atmosphere became less morbid and more natural. The room was intimate, familiar and unrushed (a luxury not provided by most funeral homes). Norma (a friend of Patty's) spent the night with another friend. Even though Norma was a trained nurse, she still found it difficult to accept that her friend was dead: her body didn't smell, her skin color remained normal, as if she were sleeping. When the time came for Carolyn's body to be cremated, a group of friends returned, tied various special objects to her body and then transported the body to the crematorium. In the end, the body was not only taken care of in a much more respectful fashion, but friends and loved ones were able to fully deal with their feelings about death and pass through a healing experience together.
But is this legal? Can't you get into trouble with the law dealing with the death of a friend or loved one in this fashion? Here's what the NEW AGE JOURNAL article had to say:---Being around a dead body for a couple days won't hurt the living. If the body in question died of a communicable disease, it should be dealt with in the same cautious fashion a living body is dealt with. Some states require that a professional funeral director be used if a communicable disease is involved. All experts agree that an umembalmed body should be dealt with quickly--usually within two days--to prevent bacteria from multiplying to unhealthy levels.Here are a few things you can do to help ensure death is dealt with in a more holistic way:
---Unless the body is being shipped out of state, embalming is NOT required in most circumstances. Many states do require that bodies be refrigerated if not disposed of within 24 to 48 hours. Turning off the heat and turning on the air conditioner can help preserve a dead body. You can also use bags of ice or dry ice to delay the decomposition process.
---While embalming has traditionally been thought to sterilize bodies, this may, in fact, not be the case. Not only have live viruses been found in bodies that have been embalmed, but embalming fluids themselves (which are composed of highly toxic substances) may pose a far greater hazard to the living than dead bodies do. Research has linked embalming compounds to several cancers and birth defects and there is concern that these highly toxic chemicals might be contaminating ground water as bodies begin to decompose.
---While most people are somewhat horrified at the thought of dealing with dead bodies, when you are actually faced head on with the experience, most people can cope with it gracefully. Rather than becoming a horrible experience, the experience instead awakens deep feelings of connectedness.
---Burial on your own property is permitted in many states--if you live in the country (you'll have to check with local officials for details). Future owners may, however, elect to move the graves or prevent others from visiting them. City dwellers will have to dispose of the bodies of their friends and loved ones in more conventional ways (through cremation or burial in city cemeteries).
---All states require a death certificate, signed by a doctor or other official. A permit to transport a dead body is also required and burial or cremation documents must also be filed. While rules vary widely between states, it is possible to navigate through the laws of your state without the help of a professional funeral director (who may often suggest that there are too many details for an untrained person to navigate).---Assign a medical durable power of attorney. This form gives an individual selected by you the rights to your body after death. A free copy of the document can be obtained from CHOICE IN DYING (800) 989-WILL.Finally, in a related note, Dannion Brinkley (the author of SAVED BY THE LIGHT) and a long time advocate of hospice care, is putting another spin on the entire topic. According to an article that appeared in the current issue of ATLANTIS RISING, Brinkley says that there is another aspect of death that is often overlooked. Not only can dealing directly with the death of loved ones help ease the transition for all involved, but they may also share a spiritual experience together. Brinkley, who has shared the deaths of 148 different people, claims that learning how to breathe with a dying person can result in a mystical experience for people on both sides of life.
---Make a will and keep it current. One of the easiest ways to do this is through computer software such as WILLMAKER, available from Nolo Press (800) 992-6656.
---Spend time with family and friends discussing how you would like your death to be dealt with.
---Read Lisa Carlson's definitive book, CARING FOR YOUR OWN DEAD. Copies are $12.95 plus shipping and handling and can be ordered from UPPER ACCESS PRESS (800) 356-9315.
---Join your local funeral society. Lifetime membership is a one-time fee of ten to forty dollars and includes a packet of information, emergency card, necessary forms, and often a list of recommended providers for inexpensive cremations, urns, or caskets. For more information, check your local telephone directory or call the national headquarters: FUNERAL & MEMORIAL SOCIETIES OF AMERICA (414) 868-3136."The moment of death expands and the two places overlap. The quality of their final breath and the quality of your breath that will stay and go on creates an expanded state of consciousness."According to the ATLANTIS RISING article, Brinkley has developed a program to teach hospice workers how to learn to breath "in a step-by-step pattern through the eight sinus chambers into the third eye area in synchronicity with the person that's crossing over to the other side." Brinkley feels that "the world can be saved" through learning how to share this mystical last breath.
Source: New Age Journal, April,1995 / Atlantis Rising, Number 4, 1995 --DS
Holistic Health:BODY, MIND & POCKETBOOK
Slowly, but surely, holistic health is going mainstream. The June 26, 1995 issue of NEWSWEEK not only compares the effectiveness of holistic health treatments to conventional ones, but it also quotes a list of eye-opening prices:
Bypass Surgery - $30,000 to $40,000
1 Year Diet & Lifestyle Therapy - $5,500
Benemid - $30.60 For 100 Capsules
Freeze-Dried Burdock - $9.50 For 90 Capsules
D.H.E. 45 - $10.26 Per Injection
Ginkgo Biloba - $6.98 For 30 Capsules
Full Course Of Ceclor - $65.00
Warm Garlic Oil - $3.75
Decongestant Seldane - $103.80 For 100 Capsules
Freeze-Dried Nettles - $9.50 For 90 Capsules
The story cited a 1993 Harvard study that indicated fully one third of all Americans pursue some kind of alternative care each year. In addition, insurance companies are also starting to wake up and realize how much money they could save if they encouraged their clients to use alternative healing approaches. One two-year study of 200 people, funded by the MUTUAL OF OMAHA INSURANCE COMPANY, indicated that the company could save as much as $20.00 on every dollar they spend. Inspired by the remarkable results of the MUTUAL OF OMAHA study, fifteen other insurance companies are presently experimenting with similar programs.
And, lest I forget, the test subjects in the MUTUAL OF OMAHA study avoided serious operations and expensive hospital stays by engaging in a year's worth of structured exercise, meditation, group support and a strict vegetarian diet.
Source: Newsweek, June 26, 1995 --DS
HOLISTIC HEALTH SOFTWARE
Diagnostic and treatment methods for almost 300 common illnesses are now available on a computerized database from INTERACTIVE BODY/MIND INFORMATION SYSTEMS. The software is oriented toward the health care professional and includes treatment plans involving acupuncture, homeopathy, vibrational medicine and herbal remedies. The software is available in both MAC and DOS formats.
Alchemical Medicine & Research Training Association
P.O. Box 14641
Portland, OR 97214
Source: Venture Inward, July/August, 1995 --DS
ONLINE HOLISTIC HEALTH DIRECTORY
NEW AGE JOURNAL now has their own site on the World Wide Web. Although the magazine part of their Internet home base is still rather sketchy, their HOLISTIC HEALTH DIRECTORY is off to an impressive start. At present they have over 6,000 different practioners listed by state.
You can check out this important resource at:
Current Events:THE INTERNATIONAL PROPHECY CONFERENCE
Now here's an interesting conference. Over 12 different "New Age Prophets" are gathering together in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia to share and explore their visions for the millennium. Presented by "I AM AMERICA" (the folks who brought us the "I AM AMERICA MAPS"), the conference includes many of today's big name New Age prophets:
Dannion Brinkley / Saved By The Light
Lori & Lenard Toye / I Am America Maps
Annie Kirkwood / Mary's Message To The World
Byron Kirkwood / Survival Guide For The New Millennium
Dr. Chet Snow / Mass Dreams Of The Future
Norma Milanovich / The World's Changing Plan
Joya Pope / Upcoming Changes, The Next 20 Years
Michael Schuster / Upcoming Earth Changes
Robert Ghost / The Rainbow Nation
Judi Zion / Last Waltz Of The Tyrants
Tuieta / Live With Love Today
The conference is scheduled to be held in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, October 27 & 28, 1995. Tickets are $150.00 per person and can be purchased from B&A Products (home of Annie & Byron Kirkwood) using your MasterCard of Visa Card: (214) 418-9771.
PROPHECIES FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM
After reading about THE INTERNATIONAL PROPHECY CONFERENCE, you are probably wondering where Gordon-Michael Scallion and the rest of the end time spokespeople are?
Well, many of those who aren't showing up in Philadelphia will be showing up a couple weeks earlier in Virginia Beach, Virginia at The Association for Research and Enlightenment. The A.R.E., which is Edgar Cayce's home base, is sponsoring a conference called "PROPHECIES FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM." Featured speakers at this conference include:
Dolores Cannon / Conversations With Nostradamus
Kirk Nelson / The Second Coming
Bejan Daruwalla / A Leading Prophetic Astrologer From India
Mark Thurston, Kevin Todeschi, John Van Auken / The Edgar Cayce Readings
This four-day conference takes place October 5 through 8 and costs $275.00 for A.R.E. Members and $315.00 for Non-Members. The price includes breakfast. Call (800) 333-4499. The A.R.E. accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover.
Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson are well known within spiritual community circles as the founders of SIRIUS (a spiritual community located in Massachusetts that is modeled on Findhorn principles). They are also co-authors of "BUILDERS OF THE DAWN," a widely read book on spiritual communities. Now, however, they are gaining a growing reputation as influential political activists.
To begin with, they recently published a book called, "SPIRITUAL POLITICS: CHANGING THE WORLD FROM INSIDE OUT." They also live in Washington, D.C., and are involved in several political organizations. Davidson is a director of the Environmental Allies Fund. He also served as the Executive Director of the Social Investment Forum and the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics. McLaughlin, meanwhile, has taught Transformational Politics at American University in Washington, D.C., and has worked with President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development.
President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development?
That's right. If Sightings, Encounters, Ancient Mysteries, Unsolved Mysteries and other such shows weren't enough to convince us that New Age ideas--and people--are beginning to make major marks on the world at large, maybe the fact that they are now rubbing shoulders with world leaders will wake us up.
So what, exactly, are Davidson and McLaughlin hoping to accomplish with their political activism? According to an interview that appeared in the July, 1995 issue of THE CELESTINE JOURNAL, they are attempting to help various political foes see the truth in one another's perspective--and then join forces for the common good. What's more, they think helping people with differing views come together is a major way to assist our personal and collective evolution. But encouraging opposing sides to look for common points of agreement, is only the beginning. Davidson and McLaughlin also stress the importance of guidance!"We have found through research that the guidance received from Saints and angels goes back throughout the ages, for example, to the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece. And you see Joan of Arc, hearing voices of the Saints guiding her to lead the French people in battle against their enemies. George Washington had a vision of an angelic presence who showed him the birth and destiny of the United States. He was shown how the Union would persevere through three great crises. This was recorded by Anthony Sherman, who was with Washington at Valley Forge and it was written up in the National Tribune at the Library of Congress. We don't normally hear about the Founding Fathers seeing angels in our history books, do we?"And along with talking about being guided from on High, Davidson and McLaughlin also talk about karma on a national and international scale. Citing several examples, they point out how whenever one people treat another badly their actions always come back to haunt and hurt them.
And finally, along with trying to see the good in opposing views, seeking guidance from on High and becoming increasingly conscious of how what we do affects others (and eventually comes back to us), they are also promoting an "Adopt A Leader" initiative; they are asking for people to send light and love to government leaders, helping them align with their souls or higher self, so they might serve the good of the whole better.
Source: Newsweek, April 3, 1995 --DS
THE WHITE HOUSE GOES GREEN
Speaking of world leaders, politics and the little guy influencing the government, a REAL GOODS catalogue cover recently envisioned an eco White House. According to an article in the April, 1995 issue of NEW AGE JOURNAL, that clever cover helped inspire the White House to begin a serious eco-transformation. While the White House is presently working on long-term goals like installing a new alternative energy heating system, here are a few of the changes already underway:
---Energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs have replaced incandescent ones in the East and West Wings as well as the family residence.
---A super-efficient Whirlpool refrigerator has been installed for the First Family's use.
---Water-conserving devices have been installed in bathrooms.
---Pesticide use is being reduced on the White House lawns.
---Yard waste is being composted.
Source: New Age Journal, April, 1995 --DS
Now here's a novel use for a copy machine. How about putting in a document that is written in Japanese and having it pop out translated into English?
Students and faculty researchers at the University of Southern California have built a copier that can translate one language into another. Called "AUTOSCRIBE," the copier they built is basically a color scanner that is housed in the body of an old copy machine. The scanner is linked to a SUN workstation, which runs the software needed to translate documents. A quick translation takes about 4 minutes per page, while true accuracy requires about 15. Along with the length of time involved in converting documents from one language to another, there is also a problem with price. AUTOSCRIBE is expected to cost more than $10,000 and is still a few years away from showing up in your local Circuit City store.
Source: Newsweek, August 7, 1995 --DS
HAMBURGERS ARE MADE OF COWS (Can You Believe it!)
OK, you are a health conscious parent that cares about the welfare of all creatures--and you're putting your mouth where you're convictions are: you're trying to eat vegetables instead of animals. But you've got some kids who want you to buy them another Big Mac or Whopper and could care less if such dietary habits contribute to endless global ills and health problems.
What to do?
How about buying them a copy of ANIMAL PLACE: WHERE MAGIC THINGS HAPPEN. The book's heroine begins by noisily demanding hamburgers from her parents only to end up meeting a talking cow that helps her understand that hamburgers are, if you can believe it, made of cows!
The book is written by Kim Sturla and illustrated by Eric Sakach. All proceeds from the book go to an animal haven in California.
3448 Laguna Creek Trail
Vacaville, CA 95688
$8.99 Each, Plus $1.25 Postage & Handling
ANOTHER EXTINCTION THEORY
Between 40,000 and 1,000 years ago, Earth was visited by the biggest wave of large animal extinctions since mammals took over from dinosaurs 65 million years ago. North and South America lost 135 species, including almost all their animals over 100 pounds. Elsewhere, in Australia and New Zealand, for instance, mass extinctions also took place. So far, two major theories have been offered to explain this stunning phenomenon. One theory says that a rapid change in the climate did the large beasts in, while the other theory believes that little two legged creature called "man" is responsible. Man, this theory goes, did the beasts in either by wiping out their habitats with fires, logging and farming, or by simply hunting them down.
Now there's a new spin on theory number two. Ross MacPhee, Chairman of the Mammalogy Department at the American Museum of Natural History in New York thinks humans are responsible, but unwittingly so. MacPhee theorizes that humans infected the beasts with some kind of new pathogen. In MacPhee's theory, as man and his domesticated animals moved into new areas some kind of hypervirulent plague was unleashed on animals that had no natural immunities. The large animals were affected the most because they had fewer offspring and took longer to reach reproductive age.
While MacPhee has yet to prove his theory, he, along with a few of his colleagues, has set to work to see if they can track down proof of his theory in fossil records. If he is successful, it will be a stunning discovery. Not only will it solve the riddle of what wiped out millions of animals in ages past, but it will also leave us all to ponder the possibility that it could happen again.
Source: Discover, July, 1995 --DS
CHINESE "BIG FOOT" HUNT
China's COMMITTEE FOR RESEARCH INTO STRANGE AND RARE ANIMALS is preparing to launch a high-tech search for China's version of "Big Foot." Residents in Hubei Province have reported 114 sightings and collected hair and footprints from the Chinese Big Foot during the past 40 years. China's Big Foot has also been popularized by "The Wild Man From China," a documentary shown on American Public Television.
While earlier searches this summer by the COMMITTEE FOR RESEARCH INTO STRANGE AND RARE ANIMALS turned up nothing, now they plan to launch balloons equipped with infrared-sensing instruments 2,000 feet above the forest. Wang Fangchen, the leader of China's search team told reporters, "Any activities conducted by large-bodied mammals would be recorded by the apparatus."
Source: Earthweek, August 18, 1995 --DS
HORSERADISH TO THE RESCUE
You're probably used to putting horseradish on your tofu hotdogs. But now there's another use: the minced root can be used to decontaminate industrial waste water!
According to a recent study conducted by Pennsylvania State University on a grant from the EPA, horseradish can detoxify harmful water more effectively than chemical treatments. What's more, when the spicy little fellow is finished, the water is perfectly clean. Not a trace of toxins remain.
How does the horseradish do it?
The horseradish is harvested in the tons. Then the root is separated from the rest of the bushy plant and minced thoroughly. The horseradish and a proportionate amount of hydrogen peroxide are then added to the polluted water. And in half an hour, the pollutants are neutralized, forming into insoluble polymers which can be easily filtered from the water.
Source: Mother Earth News, July, 1995 --DS
THE POWER OF TREES
Along with providing us with air to breath, shade, places for birds to build nests, and numerous other gifts, trees may also help us love one another.
Researchers at the University of Illinois surveyed residents of a large complex in Chicago. Some of the residents lived in buildings with nearby trees, while other residents were surrounded only by other bleak buildings. Those who lived near the green space reported better relations with their neighbors and less violence in their homes, while those surrounded by concrete reported more.
The researchers speculated that these green areas may provide a place for a sense of community to take root.
Source: New Age Journal, August, 1995 --DS
Well, here we go. Warfare, like everything else, is moving into cyberspace.
The August 21, 1995 issue of TIME ran a cover story, entitled, "Cyber War." While the article dealt with two different kinds of weapons--those used on the ground and those used online--the idea that wars will soon be fought online is what is drawing the most attention--and concern. They've even coined a new term for online warfare: "infowars."
America, of course, leads the world in both arenas. But while America reigns supreme in the arena of high-tech ground war, it is at once the most advanced AND the most vulnerable to infowar. America is particularly vulnerable to infowar because it is more fully "wired" than any other nation on the planet. But what really makes America vulnerable is not how wired it is, but how easy it is for other nations (or small groups of terrorists) to get wired, too. Whereas in the past enormous amounts of money and resources were required to wage and win a war with a major power like the U.S., now a handful of highly skilled hackers with a relatively inexpensive arsenal of high-tech online weapons could seriously disrupt, maybe even destroy, huge sectors of America's techno-based culture.
So what do some of the new infowar weapons look like? And how serious do defense experts view this threat? Here is a summary of some of the latest developments in this new field:
Last year the government's Joint Security Commission called U.S. vulnerability to infowar "the major security challenge of this decade and possibly the next century." Infowar offices are being set up in the Army, Navy and Air Force. In June, the National Defense University in Washington quietly graduated its first class of 16 infowar officers, specially trained in everything from defending against computer attacks to using virtual reality in planning battle maneuvers. They are also being trained in how to crush the computer infra-structures of other nations (both in major, all-out attacks or in behind-the-scenes covert, highly selective assaults). Exotic high-tech weapons include:
---An electromagnetic pulse bomb that can be placed next to a bank or other electronically sensitive area. The bomb, about the size of a suitcase, explodes, frying all electronic devices with a high-powered electromagnetic pulse. This disables all electronic devices in the area: computers, telephones, radios, televisions, etc.
---Microbes that can eat the electronics and insulating material inside computers just as microorganisms consume trash and oil slicks
---Viruses that can infect enemy computer systems, destroying all the data stored there. Other viruses, called "logic bombs," would remain dormant in an enemy system until a predetermined time when it would come to life and begin eating data. Logic bomb viruses could be used to effectively disable weapons systems that a foreign arms manufacturer might ship to a potentially hostile country.
---Infiltrating an enemy's communications systems (televisions, radios, even military communications systems) with images of its leaders saying and/or doing things that have been completely fabricated (Forrest Gump style)
Here is the kind of cyber war scenario TIME envisions:"First, a computer virus is inserted into the aggressor's telephone-switching stations, causing widespread failure of the phone system. Next, computer logic bombs, set to activate at predetermined times, destroy the electronic routers that control rail lines and military convoys, thus misrouting boxcars and causing traffic jams. Meanwhile, enemy field officers obey the orders they receive over their radios, unaware the commands are phony. Their troops are rendered ineffective as they scatter through the desert. U.S. planes, specially outfitted for psychological operations, then jam the enemy's TV broadcasts with propaganda messages that turn the populace against its rulers. When the despot boots up his PC, he finds that the millions of dollars he has hoarded in his Swiss bank account have been zeroed out. Zapped. All without firing a shot."This scenario is, of course, how the U.S. envisions knocking out the bad guys of the world. But the bad guys of the world can also use the same medicine on the U.S.
How likely is it that wars will be fought like this? Considering the fact that a very poor nation can arm itself to the teeth for virtually pennies, it seems likely. What's more, it may already be happening. Various aspects of the U.S. computer system are constantly under attack. Legions of hackers regularly try to hack into the Pentagon and Defense Department. Although such hacking appears to be erratic, unstructured, and launched more by curious individuals than organized terrorist groups, that would be one of the ways a real attack was launched. A real attack would be designed to be difficult to trace and might be made to look like a bunch of college kids simply flexing their high-tech muscles. Worse still, a real attack might take place without anybody noticing anything--until it was too late.
Finally, the high-tech weapons that we've discussed in this article are what we presently know about. Who knows what kind of exotic weapons are being dreamed up that have yet to appear in the pages of TIME or NEWSWEEK?
Source: Time, August 21, 1995 --DS
"THE MOST SERIOUS CULTURAL CHANGE SINCE...FIRE!"
While some folks are dreaming of using the Information Superhighway to wage wars, other folks are busily using the Information Superhighway to stop wars--altogether. With each passing day more and more people with strong spiritual values are learning to use this new technology to get their message out to the world and, perhaps more importantly, to one another.
Along with projects like this one (NewHeavenNewEarth), a growing number of spiritually-oriented web sites are rapidly staking their claim on the World Wide Web. Although it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all of these new sites, many of these sites are listed on our popular site (http://www.well.com/user/nhne/).
Elsewhere, groups like the SUNBOW 5 WALK FOR THE EARTH are using the Internet to promote their walk as well as to plan it. Not only do they have their own web site that is serving as their Internet home base (http://www.sunbow5walk.org/sunbow5), but THE SUNBOW 5 WALK also runs a rather talkative emailing list--a list which frequently includes letters to and from the walkers themselves (who are armed with a portable Apple powerbook). Significantly, nearly every newspaper that has reported on this important Walk, has spent almost as much time marveling at the high-tech connectedness of the Walk as they have talking about the purpose of the Walk itself (to bring people together to help heal the Earth).
In our home town of Sedona, Arizona, we are having a difficult time keeping up with spiritually-minded folks who are anxious to jump into the cyber soup with us. And what is true here, in Sedona, seems to be sweeping much of the rest of the country--and world. If ever there was a genuine mass movement in consciousness, this is it.
As John Perry Barlow, the co-founder of THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION, said in an interview that appeared in the September, 1995 issue of NETGUIDE, "We're in the middle of the most serious cultural change since the capture of fire!"
Let's just hope those of us working to bring more love and light into the world can harness the power of this new media more quickly and effectively than those who seek to harm others with it.
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About NewHeavenNewEarth:NewHeavenNewEarth is a spontaneous, grass roots network of enthusiastic people who believe that a divine plan is unfolding in the earth. Our primary goal is to identify, understand and manifest this plan as best we can.
We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound change and we are busily building a global network to share information, pool resources and connect with others of like mind. Our goal is 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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