Wednesday, May 30, 2007


My Child,
You may read or discuss scripture
As much as you like.

But until you forget everything,
You will never live in your heart.

-Ashtavakra Gita 16:1


You have no caste.
No duties bind you.

Formless and free,
Beyond the reach of the senses,
The witness of all things.

So be happy!

-Ashtavakra Gita 1:5


Understanding the Fraud Investigation Behind the R-1 Visa Changes

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2007: (HPI note: This article from July 15, 2006, is the most complete report we've seen on the fraud investigation of the religious worker visa program. It is useful information in understanding the present proposed rule changes for this visa, which is used by many Hindu temples to bring priests and temple artisans to America. We include here the entire article.)

A special visa program that allows churches to bring thousands of foreign religious workers into the country each year is riddled with fraud, an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security has found. The probe found numerous instances in which groups in the United States falsely claimed to be churches, and visa applicants lied about their religious vocations to get into the country. More than a third of the visas examined by investigators were based on fraudulent information. A report on the investigation, obtained by the Globe, said that instances of fraud were particularly high among applicants from predominantly Muslim countries, and the report raised concerns about potential terrorism risks.

Homeland Security auditors who reviewed an application for a 33-year-old Pakistani man, for example, could not locate the alleged religious group listed on the petition as his sponsor, and when investigators went to the group's address they found an apartment complex. In addition, the investigators found that an address listed on the form "has been used by an individual suspected of membership with a terrorist organization." The report does not say whether the address was in Pakistan or the United States. In another case, investigators found that an Egyptian man working for a religious group in the United States had filed "at least 82 petitions with many fraud indicators" in an attempt to obtain visas for dozens of alleged religious workers.

Under the program, churches, synagogues and mosques can ask the gove rnment to grant visas to foreigners to fill vacant positions. The sponsoring group or the foreigner may file the application. An applicant must include letters from a sponsor attesting that he or she has been a member of its denomination for at least two years, that the applicant will fill a specific religious position and is qualified for the job. The application also must provide evidence that the sponsor is a bona fide religious organization that qualifies for nonprofit tax status.

The U.S. government issues several thousand religious worker visas each year. There are two types: temporary three-year visas, and "green cards" that allow foreigners to become permanent residents. The Homeland Security study looked only at petitions for green cards, but the report noted that the three-year visa program faces identical fraud risks. The program dates to 1990, and has been used primarily by the Catholic Church. The State Department said that statistics breaking down recipients by faith are not available, but the majority do not come from predominantly Muslim countries. In fiscal year 2006, the top five countries of origin for religious worker visa recipients were India, Mexico, South Korea, Brazil and Colombia.

The program has long been suspected of being susceptible to fraud. In 1999, for example, the General Accounting Office found that many applicants for temporary religious worker visas were unqualified for the positions they were coming to fill. Such concerns have grown since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In September 2004, a Pakistani man living in Brooklyn, N.Y., was convicted of visa fraud for helping more than 200 illegal immigrants falsely obtain religious worker visas. The man had declared himself to be an imam and the basement of his store to be a mosque.

The Brooklyn case helped prompt Homeland Security, which had inherited the religious worker visa program from the old Immigration and Naturalization Services, to conduct an audit. The internal investigation was completed in August, but it has not been made public. The Globe obtained a redacted version with several pages missing. Stewart Baker, assistant secretary of homeland security for policy, said in an interview that the department still is wrestling with how to crack down on fraud in the program without hurting the benefits it provides to legitimate churches. "There is way too much fraud in this program," Baker said. "One of the things we need to do is go there more often and actually check that it is a real institution, because unfortunately one form of fraud is to say, 'I have a storefront church,' and when you go to that address there is a store, not a church."

Baker said the department is significantly increasing the number of "fraud detection and national se curity investigative officers." There were a "negligible" number of such agents before 2005, he said. Last year the department trained 160, and this year it is adding 220 more. The new agents will be charged with investigating the claims of all visa applicants, including checking up on the sponsoring group after they have arrived in the country. In the 2005 investigation, Homeland Security agents subjected a random sample of 220 religious worker petitions to more intense scrutiny than they normally receive. On 78 of the applications, they discovered such problems as "paper" churches, described in the report as "offices with no indication of religious functions;" petitions that overstated workers' experience and qualifications; and immigrants who did not end up working for their sponsor religious organization. The probe found a particularly high fraud rate among applicants from countries the government deemed to pose a security risk, such as Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq, the report said. There were 11 applications for people from special-risk countries among the 220 petitions that were audited -- and eight of those 11 were fraudulent, it said.

Some immigration watchdogs say the program should be seriously curtailed because, even in cases where the applications are legitimate, the visas could b ring radical clerics into the country. Last year, for example, the FBI arrested three Pakistani men associated with a mosque in Lodi, Calif. All had entered on religious-worker visas. Two were accused of ties to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan before coming to the United States, and the third, an imam, allegedly delivered sermons endorsing violence against non-Muslims before he came to America. All three were deported for having overstayed their visas, but were not accused of obtaining them fraudulently. Calling for sharply increased scrutiny to be placed on the program, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti- immigration group, said the government must spend more to police the program.

"We're living in a post-9/11 environment where any loophole that can be leveraged to aid and abet any potential terrorist cannot be tolerated," said Susan Wysocki, a federation spokeswoman. "If something is being abused, it needs to be stopped, it needs to be reworked, and it needs to be implemented properly." Baker agreed that the potential for terrorists to use the program to enter the country has been a concern, but he said the program needs to be preserved because it has provided "real value" to "a lot of legitimate religious organizations that are well-established."

The Catholic Church, for example, says it needs the program because not enough Americans are choosing a religious vocation. Margaret Perron, director of religious immigration services for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, said there are 100,000 fewer nuns in the United States than there were 40 years ago, and one in 10 parishes is without a resident priest. Perron said she did not know how many priests, nuns, and brothers the Catholic Church had in the United States on religious worker visas, but that her operation alone was working on more than 850 open cases for foreign Catholic workers who are seeking visas. "I would urge (the government) to exercise caution in terms of totally eliminating the program," Perron said. "I think in the Catholic Church it certainly serves a purpose, and there are other religions who also make legitimate use of it. You should not throw out the baby with the bath water because of some abuses by some people."

Baker said he was sensitive to such concerns, acknowledging that "there has been a little bit of alarm at the prospect that the program will be changed radically." But, he said, "the kinds of things we're looking at won't interfere with the ability of the Catholic Church to bring in priests if they need to bring in priests from abroad."

NOTICE: Some source URLs cited in HPI articles are only valid on the date the article was issued. Most are invalid a week to a few months later. When a URL fails to work, go to the top level of the source's website and search for the article.
Daily Inspiration

Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the greatest teachings of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climes and nationalities and the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, philosopher and writer

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bharat Gajjar"
> To:
> Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 3:40 PM
> Subject: Convert Entire Indian Population to Christianity
>> Convert Entire Indian Population to Christianity
>> Christian organizations, mostly from the U.S. or from the Catholic Church
>> based in Europe, want to convert all of the Hindu population of India to
>> Christianity. Just a few years ago, Pope Paul came to Delhi, put a
>> cross
>> down, and declared that in this century India will become a Christian
>> country. This was their strategy in South Korea and now South Korea is a
>> Christian country. Please remember when Christianity started in Europe,
>> they destroyed every religion which was there at the time. They do not
>> dare
>> convert Muslims to Christianity, so they would like to concentrate on
>> India
>> with its large Hindu population. They seem to be using the following
>> strategies to reach their objective:
>> 1.. Get control of all of the news media of India. At this time 90% of
>> the
>> news media of India is under their control. There are 4 Christian
>> channels
>> on TV and quite a few radio stations.
>> 2.. Defeat the Nationalist party. Millions of dollars are spent to
>> defeat
>> Nationalist parties, e.g. BJP, and to make sure that the Congress Party,
>> which is dominated by Christians, rules India. The Nationalist RSS and
>> VHP
>> are also targeted through negative comments by the controlled news media.
>> They make RSS and VHP's life difficult.
>> 3.. Intimidate Nationalist leaders. Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra
>> Modi, an RSS man, wanted to visit the U.S. to attend a meeting and the US
>> government denied his entry into the U.S. They do not like RSS and VHP
>> because they convert Christians back into Hindus saying, "Come home
>> again".
>> 4.. Open Christian schools and hospitals. In India Christian schools
>> have
>> a certain number of seats reserved for Christian children. Since
>> Christian
>> schools teach English well, Hindus wait in line to get in. Some Hindus
>> become Christian just to put their children into Christian schools. In
>> the
>> mountain area, if they open schools, they force the children to accept
>> Christianity.
>> 5.. Get control of the primary Indian political parties. I have heard
>> that the Catholic Church arranged for a Catholic girl to marry Rajiv
>> Gandhi
>> and when he wanted to marry her in the church he had to convert to
>> Christianity and accept a Christian name, Robert Gandhi. Later he became
>> the
>> Prime Minister of India. At that time I was in Hawaii, on my way to
>> India.
>> I was in a taxi and the driver told me "we are very proud that the Prime
>> Minister of India is a Christian." After his assassination his wife
>> Sonia
>> Gandhi has complete control of the major Congress Party of India.
>> 6.. Have thousands of missionaries actively pursuing conversions. There
>> may be 10,000 Christian missionaries in India, they are the cancer of
>> India.
>> Some of them give money if a Hindu converts to Christianity. I have
>> heard
>> that the going price is about 2,000 to 3,000 Rupees.
>> 7.. Open churches in every town and village. I read a report that they
>> started building churches in Punjab. One report says that they are
>> planning
>> to build hundreds of churches on the banks of the Ganges River.
>> 8.. Divide and conquer Hindu society. This strategy continues to be
>> used
>> effectively against Hindu society. They want to divide Hindu society
>> based
>> on the caste system.
>> 9.. Take control of Hindu temples, get their money, and give it to
>> Christians to convert Hindus. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S.
>> Rajasekhar Ready, who is a Christian and was selected by Sonia Gandhi, is
>> doing this.
>> 10.. Take control of Hindu businesses by having Christians marry Hindu
>> children. This is an organized strategy. I know a rich family, whose
>> daughter came to the U.S. A Christian boy married her and the girl's
>> family
>> announced that he was a Brahman Christian from Goa. Since the family has
>> no
>> other children, the girl's husband may take over the family business.
>> 11.. Take over Indian organizations as well as NGOs and other
>> organizations built with western money. This is an organized strategy as
>> well.
>> 12.. Penetrate Hindu art and music. When I was making a music CD in
>> Amadavad, I took the assistance of an Indian singer. He told me that
>> Christian churches give him money to sing Christian songs in Gujarati and
>> they distribute those tapes in villages to spread Christianity through
>> music. In Indian movies, Christians give money to the producers to have
>> the
>> actors and actresses presented as Christians by coming out of a Church
>> and
>> emphasizing the cross behind them. The star is often shown dancing with
>> a
>> cross on his T-shirt.
>> 13.. Put a Cross on every nook and corner of India. When I was visiting
>> South India every house had a cross on the front of their cottage.
>> Recently
>> the congress party which I consider a Christian party, has put a cross on
>> the new $2 Rupee coin.
>> 14.. Build up Christianity and down grade Hinduism. Create a myth of
>> Saint Thomas a great saint of Christians, which is not the true.
>> These strategies can work against Hindus only if we allow them to work
>> against us. The first step is for as many people as possible to become
>> aware of what is happening. Please inform as many people as you can. The
>> second step is to work together to prevent these strategies from being
>> used.


When thousands took to Buddha's path

Vipin Vijayan in Mumbai | May 27, 2007 | 21:49 IST

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of an unspiritual situation. It is the opium of the people.
- Karl Marx.

The oppressed finally broke�their shackles at the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai on Sunday. Dressed in white outfits and dark blue scarves, Dalits from across Maharashtra turned up in thousands to renounce Hinduism and walk the path of Buddhism.

Failing to find an identity in the caste-dominated Indian society even 60 years after independence, about 50,000 Dalits converted at the function, which also commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism.

However, the Dalai Lama, who was supposed to preside over the ceremony,�was conspicuous by his absence.

The new converts come from far-flung areas of Maharashtra like Nashik and Solapur. They have been ostracised and have faced the brunt of the caste-equations. Each of them has tales of atrocities, committed mostly by the upper caste and those in power, as reasons for converting to Buddhism.

"Hindus are committing atrocities on Hindus. No other religion treats its followers the way Hinduism does. We have no ration cards and no identity. By joining Buddhism, I feel we can change all this," says Nandakumar Pawar, a member of the Pardhi community, who came from Barsi village in Solapur. A majority of the converts belonged to this community.

"Then there is the issue of the police-politician nexus. Politicians eliminate their rivals and�blame members of our community. We are helpless," he claims.

Sivaji Bhonsle, hailing from Baramati taluk in Songaon district, agrees with Pawar and alleges, "Boys who are aged between 15 and 18 years are picked up from the village for crimes they never committed. Whatever those with money and muscle-power say is gospel. Nobody listens to us."

"After joining Buddhism, things will change. We have been hearing about how our brethren have leading a normal life ever since they joined Buddhism. They are no longer ostracised. Jainism was another option before us but its rigid norms are difficult to follow," he said.

Others said the Buddhist principles of Samta (equality), Karuna (compassion) and Ahimsa (non-violence) was what drew them to Buddhism.

"Upper-caste Hindus created obstacles for us like not letting us attain education and did not give us the respect that a person deserves. In Buddhism, the individual is given more importance. Its principles are more unifying than the divisive ones of Hinduism," observes Yeshwant Sadashiv Mahate from Nashik.

"Dhamma (teachings of Buddha) is�a thought that will help us in our upliftment and help us gain an identity. And obviously, it will save us from social stigma," he adds.

By Sunday afternoon, the race course was teeming with people, even as Buddhist monks made their way on to the stage.

During the prolonged wait for the ceremony to begin, chants of Jai Bhim rent the air. Speeches, recitations and folk dances built the momentum for the evening.

One by one, leaders like�Republican Party of India president and parliamentarian Ramdas Athavale and tribal leader Laxman Mane made their way to the stage amid tumultuous applause. Soon, the head priest initiated the conversion ceremony, called upon the mammoth gathering to join him in prayer. The ceremony lasted about 15 minutes.

Once again the air around the famous Race Course reverberated with chants praising Lord Buddha, Ambedkar and the leaders who showed them the way to emancipation from Hinduism.

Welcoming the new recruits, Athavale said, "We are here to strengthen India. We are not challenging Hinduism. For many years, we have been part of Huinduism. But all these years, our heart has pained. Art of Living or Yoga alone cannot ease this pain, Buddhism can."

Athavale went to the extent of even taking a dig at US President George Bush.

"We have to tell the United States and George Bush that to fight terror, you don't have to bomb cities. Buddhist ideals are a one-off solution to combating terrorism," he said.

Also present on the occasion was Vipassana acharya S N Goenka, who later gave a discourse on Buddhist ideals to the gathering.

Interestingly, all through the proceedings of the evening, the person whose absence was not missed was state Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. The chief minister was scheduled to inaugurate the proceedings, but had not turned up till the filing of this report.

Nevertheless, it was a historic day that saw thousands taking to the simple way of living, that preached by Lord Buddha. The converts stood tall, confident that this evening would change their lives forever.

URL for this article:

Monday, May 28, 2007


Today's Quote

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

-General George S. Patton

Sunday, May 27, 2007


>>FRIENDS: Never ask for food
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Always bring the food.
> > FRIENDS: Will say 'hello'
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug .
> > FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr and Mrs.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS:Call your parents uncle and aunt.
> > FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Cry with you.
> > FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking,laughing and just being
> >together (and doing dishes)
> > FRIENDS: know a few things about you.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.
> > FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' ass that left you.
> > FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, 'I'm home!'
> > FRIENDS: Are for awhile.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Are for life.
> > FRIENDS: Will ignore this.
> > INDIAN FRIENDS: Will forward this on...
> >
> >


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Daily Inspiration
Read today's inspirational quote and story.

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May 27, 2007
I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.
George Burns

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'I Learned What It Means to
Have Faith'
In this 1945 letter, an American soldier liberated from a German POW camp, tells his family what kept him going.
By Private First Class James F. Norton
From "Grace Under Fire: Letters of Faith in Times of War" edited by Andrew Carroll.

Only days after being liberated from a German POW camp, Private First Class James F. Norton writes a jubilant letter to his parents proclaiming "by the grace of my Lord and Savior I am here today."

"Dearest Mom and Dad," Private First Class James F. Norton began a letter to his parents back in St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 15, 1945. "This is the second happiest moment of my life," the nineteen-year-old soldier continued, at last a chance to write home. "The happiest moment came a few days ago when the greatest army in the world liberated me. Things have been happening so fast to me since I've been liberated, my head is still spinning. As much as I've cussed the army, I love it now, and I've never seen a more smooth working, efficient organization."

Norton especially wanted his parents to know that the experience of being wounded and captured, as terrible as it had been, had one positive effect—it had made him a more religious man. He went on to write:

Gosh, there's so much to say, I don't even know how to start, and to tell the truth I don't know what I'm allowed to write or not.

I'm back in a huge, beautiful hospital in France, so I guess it won't be very hard for you to guess where I am. I've received nothing but the greatest of kindness from every one, and I never could put it in words what it feels like to be treated as a human being again. I am so happy I don’t known whether to laugh or cry. Today we had the meal I've been dreaming about for 4 months—steak and French fries, and how—how I've been eating."

I'll never forget as long as I live when I saw that first Yank. I always said I'd kiss the first one I saw who liberated us, even if it were a 2nd Looie, and you guessed it, he was. He was more surprised than I, and I imagine it's the first time in history an officer has ever been kissed by an enlisted man. Then they gave us chocolate bars and cigarettes and I went wild. From there to here it has been a smooth job of evacuation.

I was shot and taken prisoner on the memorable day—Dec. 16, the first day of the terrific German breakthrough in the Ardennes, when all hell broke loose. The next four months I will tell about when I get home, and will describe them now in two words, Living Hell.

My leg is just about well now, and I'm here more of less to be built up. It will only be a short stay and I should be back in the States soon, Mom, and when I do get home, I'll probably never get farther than the back porch, as I've had all the excitement and adventure to last me a lifetime.

This is a small world. I never saw Bob Muyre from the day I got captured until now, and I often wondered what happened to him, and here we run into each other in the same ward of the huge hospital, and we both came in the same day. He was also shot in the leg but went to a different place and was also liberated a few days ago. Gosh, were we happy to see each other. Now my biggest concern is what happened to Red Deal, the best friend I ever had, and a lot of my other buddies. There's a million things I want to learn now that I'm back in contact again.

My biggest concern and something that has always been on my mind is how you two are and how the Missing in Action affected you. But you are both brave, strong parents so I'm sure everything is all right.

We were all saddened very much yesterday by the death of our great leader and a real buddy to every G.I. Joe, President Roosevelt. But it was God's will, and I hope that President Truman can fill his shoes.

Death has faced me many times in the past months and by the grace of my Lord and Savior I am here today to write this letter. I always considered myself a good Christian until I was captured, and then I learned what a fool I had been and what it really means to have faith and the power of prayer. I pray day and nite [sic], and these prayers were heard with the result that today I can really call myself a good Catholic and a firm believer in the will of God.

I could fill up pages, but there's so much I'd rather tell than write, and so much more I want to know about you, Johnny and Bill. This is a poor attempt for my first letter, but I find it much more difficult than I expected. I hope to be in the States before I get an answer. To see your faces again will be the happiest moment of my life. I love you both and thank God every day I have such wonderful parents.

Your loving son, Jim


Today's Quote

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.

-George Burns

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Today's Quote

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within.

-Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Friday, May 25, 2007


Saharashri Subroto Roy's is a story from rags to riches. Rather, from a rickety scooter to a fleet of aeroplanes.

He has vision. A scooter-riding chit-fund seller, Subroto Roy of Gorakhpur during the 1970s has grown into a global Goliath, thanks to that vision. Saharashri Subroto Roy, if you please.

They say he has a knack to spot the contours of any virgin territory/terrain faster than many hawks put together. This sounds preposterous to most people who do not know him. Visit Lonavala's picturesque Amby Valley if you refuse to believe this assertion.

Reliable observers say valuable prime land all over UP has been extensively surveyed, methodically carved out and acquired by the Sahara India Parivar group of companies.

Several Sahara townships have sprung up on paper, all over UP. Project Gangotri and the Sahara 5000 acres super-prime land between Kanpur and Lucknow is just one example.

The huge, historic Bareilly jail campus is located in the most coveted and prestigious Civil Lines, Cantonment, Bareilly. Its takeover in Sahrashri's master plan was almost botched up. Why did Mulayam have to lose to Mayawati? Bad luck!


Lucknow also boasts of one huge, new Saharaganj, rival to the world-famous Hazratganj.

Interestingly, the famed Sahrashahr is situated on the banks of the Gomti in Lucknow. It is a sprawling landscape spread over hundreds of acres of virgin territory.

Recall the most ostentatious wedding of Saharashri's two sons some time ago? The most lavish wedding ever held in India? This is that famous place.

Yes, that very Saharashahr property's nakshas (plans and maps) have not been formally sanctioned by the Lucknow Development Authority till date. Chief town planner Goel was removed for raising objections.

Chief Minister Mulayum Singh allowed all the constructions to grow and got his ministers to sanction/legalise/regularise the arrangement.

Virtually all of Uttar Pradesh waits and watches with bated breath to see how Mayawati will handle this sensational case. She has the capability and the power to re-open the Lucknow Saharashahr case afresh.

The question doing the rounds in UP is: Does she have the guts, willpower and integrity to do it?

Small cases she has opened up. But this one case will involve tremendous moral strength and determination.


According to those in the know, Sahara has taken possession of huge areas of land in Noida. Their market value/price runs into hundreds, maybe thousands, of crores of rupees.

With Mayawati's advent, some rash optimists predict there may be some efforts at investigating those purchases.

Veteran sceptics scoff at the rash optimists. The doubting Thomases seem to know the power and influence of the Sahara India Parivar.

In Dadri, Bulandshahr, farmers were encouraged to join in the grand dream fulfilment of building Uttam Pradesh.

The compensation paid to the Dadri farmers by the UP government was Rs 150 per square foot. Thereafter, the UP government acquired that very land.

And what happened to the land so acquired?

It was hived off to Anil Ambani's group.

Whether the Dadri power plant finally takes off or not is to be seen. The electricity shortage in UP has been a perennial problem which Anil Ambani has promised to solve.


Mayawati has a huge appetite for power. Cynics cite the popular UP saying, 'Haathi ke daant khaane ke aur hote hain, dikhaane ke aur hote hain (An elephant has different teeth for eating, different teeth for display).'

A general election is round the corner. Her teams are methodically being put in place for that election. Election expenses are rising by the second. The Congress party has failed to control/contain inflation and the ever-spiralling price rise.

Saharashri Subroto Roy can take her on, and fight on any front she chooses. He is determined to go to any extent to protect his friends.

How Mayawati reacts needs to be watched closely.


The battle-lines are drawn. On one hand there is the intrepid, mighty, all-powerful Mayawati. Pitched against her is Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani and Mulayam Singh's dearest friend, philosopher and guide, the ever-resourceful Saharashri Subroto Roy, with his mammoth muscle and money power.

What she does to deliver results will also decide her fate in the next election.


May 24, 2007
CRIME: Evangelist K.A. Paul arrested

DrkapaulHouston based evangelist Dr. K.A. Paul, who runs the Global Peace Initiative and was called "The World's Most Popular Evangelist" by The New Republic, has been arrested for "lewd and lascivious acts with a minor." That's according to the Houston Press...

Lieutenant Mitch McCann of the Beverly Hills Police Department has confirmed that Kilari was arrested at a Beverly Hills hotel on suspicion of “lewd and lascivious acts with a minor” on April 20. McCann referred us to the California Penal Code section relating to Kilari’s arrest, which is basically getting freaky, or trying to get freaky, with a 14- or 15-year-old child, and the alleged perp is at least 10 years older.

I haven't seen any other reports on this yet, and according to the Houston Press, Paul hung up on the reporter who called him for confirmation.

Here's a link to an expose the Houston Press did on Paul last year. These are some of its revelations about what Paul has been guilty of:

• claiming another minister's leper colony as his own, and videotaping said lepers for a promotional video
• transporting children in an airplane one former crew member called a "flying death trap"
• leaving a trail of unpaid bills for the plane's fuel and maintenance
• interfering with a murder investigation in India, earning the wrath of that country's National Council of Churches
• fleeing to the United States from India after nine of his American volunteers were arrested and thrown in prison
• abandoning an 11-year-old girl after checking her into a hospital

The Chicago Sun-Times has a report on how Paul allegedly snuck into the home of Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the House.

Paul has written in opposition to some Bush administration policies, such as the war in Iraq:

The Bush Administration’s foreign policies have created more widows and orphans through its prolonged and even unnecessary war in Iraq. Instead of rescuing widows and orphans, as James 1:27 says “The religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,” the war policy, the neglect of domestic and worldwide poverty, and the passive approach to genocidal tyrants in places like Darfur, have created countless millions who are deprived of basic needs, liberty, life and even the American ideal of the pursuit of Happiness.

More on his politics, from his Wikipedia entry:

In October 2006, Paul announced a 30 city tour. He spoke in Cleveland before an audience of 1,000 and said voters should oust Republican congressional leaders. He spoke against government policies which make it difficult for Christian missionaries to go to Iraq, Iran and Syria. He described the war in Iraq as "unnecessary genocide."

Posted by Arun Venugopal at 05:51 PM in Crime | Permalink

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"The World's Most Popular Evangelist"!! based on what?claiming another minister's leper colony as his own, and videotaping said lepers for a promotional video or transporting children in an airplane one former crew member called a "flying death trap" ??

this guy should be in jail for a long time..

Posted by: bhumika g | May 25, 2007 at 01:44 PM
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Arun Venugopal
Arun Venugopal


Gmail Sher Agrawal
Re: Islamic Peril
surinder attri Thu, May 24, 2007 at 8:30 PM
To: Mohan Gupta , Sarve Samachar , Sher Agrawal , "J. G. Arora" , R K Ohri , Dr S Sharma

Defense of Hinduism

By S.P. Attri ( USA )


1. Hindu society has been facing Islamic aggression and barbarism, for 1200 years plus. As a result of its terrible brutality on the Hindu, Islam has gained a large population of converts, out of the Hindu fold, mostly through forced conversions, and also partitioned our Sacred land of Bharat. Now 150 million of Moslems living in India, are dreaming of creating another Pakistan, out of existing India.

2. Hindu society has also been facing aggression from Christianity, for the last 500 years plus. As a result of its aggression and relentless evangelization, Christianity has gained a substantial number of converts, mostly by enticements, force, fraud, and treachery. The Christian converts in NE India, now feel sufficiently strong numerically, to mount physical attacks against the local natives, Hindus and Tribals living in NE India, to convert them to Christianity. They also feel confident and powerful enough to launch, violent insurrections against the Central Government of India.

3. It should be obvious that, as a result of ideological and physical aggression of Islam and Christianity in India, the Hindu has suffered staggering losses, not only in terms of property and land, but in population, pride and happiness as well. Motivated by an unabashed desire for proselytisation, conquest, and subjugation of Non-Moslems/Non-Christians, both Islam and Christianity have developed powerful tools, for targeting weaker sections of the Hindu population for conversion, and eventually to finish off Hinduism in India altogether. Even though, there is no justification, sense, or logic in this Islam and Christian aggression against the Hindu, it is not possible to convince either of the two, of the futility of this aggressive pursuit. Both are determined and convince that, Hinduism must die in India.

4. It needs to be pointed out to all, Hindus and Non-Hindus, that the Hindu of today is not the Hindu of 12th century. Hindu is now getting wise to the designs ( evil designs ) of both Islam and Christianity. Hindu is now preparing counter-measures, to vacate both Islamic and Christian aggression against the Hindu. The Aggressor stands warned that:

Hindu is very patient, but Hindu's patience is Not Unlimited.

Surinder Paul Attri

On 4/2/07, surinder attri wrote:

Subj: Islamic Peril

1. Writes Dr. Suseelan:

Kanayalal Raina's interpretation of Koran and islam is based on wrong assumptions. He has failed to understand the Muslim behavior pattern because he has failed to study the inherent evil nature of Islam. He has assumed a priori that the Koran is a religious scripture full of lofty messages.

2. My Take:

I do not want to pick on Shri Kanayalal Raina, because there are too many other Hindus who are victims of the same mis-apprehension, same mis-interpretation. To pick on Shri Kanayalal Jee, would only trivialize the problem. However, Dr.Suseelan's identification of " based on wrong assumptions ," provides the clear answer.

Is Quran a scripture of lofty-messages ? Lofty messages, my foot !

Quran is a manual of Kafir-Murder, Torture-Murder of Hateful Non-Moslem Infidels ( labelled by Islam as Kafirs ).

3. My friend, Shri R.K. Ohri Jee, has just supplied me with the following quote from Al Qaeda:


"Islamic governments have never and will never be established by peaceful solutions and cooperative councils. They are established as they have always been, by pen and gun, by word and bullet, by tongue and teeth."

Preamble of Al Qaeda.

My Reaction: Al Qaeda's bell-wether makes Islam's intentions very clear. Moslems want to murder us Kafirs ( Kafir-Hindus included ), in order to prevent us Hindus from going to Hell ( Islamic Hell ). Pen and gun, ….tongue and teeth are the weapons ( murder-weapons ) of Islam's war against us Kafirs. What Kafirs need to do is to slash the tongue of Islam, and cut its teeth.

4. Islam is a violent criminal, it cannot hide its identity, it wants to avoid responsibility for its criminal behavior and its crooked culpable actions.

If we Hindus don't fight back, there will be a torture murder of the Hindu, on a mammoth scale.

5. Wrties Dr. Suseelan:

Even Mohammedan leader and founder, the pedophile Mohamed was a mass murderer.

My Take:

Hazrat Mohammad was a cold-blooded killer, cold-blooded SOB ( Snaffu Bitch ). He has terrorized Kafirs from start to finish, for the last 1400 years.

Surinder Paul Attri



A student asks a teacher: What is love?
The teacher said: in order to answer your question, go to the paddy field and choose the biggest paddy and come back.
But the rule is: you can go through them only once and cannot turn back to pick.

The student went to the field, go thru first row, he saw one big paddy, but he wonders....may be there is a bigger one later. Then he saw another bigger one... but may be there is an even bigger one waiting for him.
Later, when he finished more than half of the paddy field, he start to realize that the paddy is not as big as the previous one he saw, he know he has missed the biggest one, and he regretted. So, he ended up went back to the teacher with empty hand.

The teacher told him, this is love... you keep looking for a better one, but when later you realize, you have already miss the

The student asked: What is marriage then?
The teacher said: In order to answer your question, go to the corn field and choose the biggest corn and come back.
But the rule is: you can go through them only once and cannot turn back to pick.
The student went to the corn field, this time he is careful not to repeat the previous mistake, when he reach the middle of the field, he has picked one medium corn that he feel satisfied, and came back to the teacher.

The teacher told him, this time you bring back a corn.... you look for one that is just nice, and you have faith and believe this is the best one you get.... this is marriage.


Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK
E-mail this to a friend Printable version
Beef diet 'damages sons' sperm'
Meat counter
Growth promoters are banned in Europe
Scientists have produced evidence to suggest that Europe was right to ban the beef industry from using growth promoters to increase yield.

A US study has linked use of the chemicals to damage to human sperm.

The University of Rochester found men whose mothers ate a lot of beef during pregnancy had lower sperm counts.

The Human Reproduction study found they were three times more likely to have a sperm count so low they could be classified as sub-fertile.

It confirms that Europe was justified to ban the use of these hormones when they did
Dr Allan Pacey
University of Sheffield

The use of growth promoting chemicals was banned in Europe in 1988.

But although the US banned the use of some growth promoters in 1979, others, such as the sex hormones testosterone and progesterone, are still in use in the beef industry.

The Rochester team examined sperm counts among US men born between 1949 and 1983.

They found those whose mothers ate more than seven beef meals a week had an average sperm concentration of 43.1 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid.

In contrast, the sons of mothers who ate less beef had an average of 56.9 million sperm.

Fertility threshold

Six growth promoters are legally in use in the US:
Natural steroids:
Synthetic hormones:
trenbolene acetate
melengestrol acetate

Among sons of mothers who ate a lot of beef, 17.7% had a sperm concentration below the World Health Organization sub-fertility threshold of 20 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid. The figure for the sons of lower beef consumers was 5.7%.

Lead researcher Professor Shanna Swan said the findings suggested that exposure to growth promoters contained in the beef eaten by the boys' mothers was to blame.

However, she admitted the research team had no specific data on which chemicals the meat contained, and conceded other possible causes, such as exposure to pesticides, or lifestyle factors could not be ruled out.

She said: "Theoretically, the foetus and young children are particularly sensitive to exposure to sex steroids.

"Therefore, the consumption of residues of steroids in meat by pregnant women and young children is of particular concern."

Professor Swan said to pin down the role of growth promoters the study would have to be repeated in men born in Europe after 1988.

Damaging effects

Hormonal growth promoters banned in EU in 1988
UK government runs a system of surveillance for residues of such substances in UK cattle to monitor compliance with the ban
EU law bans meat from hormonally treated animals being exported to the EU by non-member countries

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said: "Even though males don't start producing sperm until puberty, it is during the time in their mother's womb, and in the early years of their life as an infant, that the testicles develop their capacity to produce sperm.

"Scientists have been concerned for a number of years that oestrogen mimicking chemicals in water supplies, plastics or make-up can affect the critical stages in the development of young boys' testicles.

"In extreme cases of exposure, this could lead to sperm counts in adult men that are low enough to be the cause of infertility

"That hormones given to cattle might have lowered the sperm counts of adult men because their mothers ate a lot of beef when they were pregnant with them is alarming to say the least.

"But it confirms that Europe was justified to ban the use of these hormones when they did."

Professor Alastair Hay, an expert on environmental toxicology at the University of Leeds, said one weakness of the study was that it relied on women being able accurately to recall how much beef they had eaten during pregnancy - something which may have happened many years earlier.


Today's Quote

We must remain as close to the flowers, the grass, and the butterflies as the child is who is not yet so much taller than they are.

-Friedrich Nietzsche


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: vasav
Date: May 24, 2007 7:36 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: painting of the infamous painter hussein on your card
To: Sher Agrawal

Namaste Agrawalji
Jai shree Krishna.

Well done.

I receive your emails and love to read them when I
can. You are the best. I am so glad you are on our
side that is Hindu side. You are valuable and do
great work for all of us. I wish you where in Atlanta.

Keep up the good work.

Take care.


Vasav from Atlaqnta

From: Sneha Mehta
Date: May 24, 2007 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: painting of the infamous painter hussein on your card
To: Sher Agrawal

great work. we need few more fearless souls like you.
please keep me posted. I look forward to your email.
It was good talking to you. I am sorry if don't
respond as often as i should but i do value your
massage and work you are doing. my regards to

sneha mehta

--- Sher Agrawal wrote:

> I forward to you copy of my letter dt. May 9 which I
> had sent to the bank
> requesting withdrawal of the credit cards, to which
> I have received today
> the response advising that the card is being
> withdrawn, etc., which has
> already been forwarded to you.
> to:,
> date
> May , 2007 2:27 PM
> subject
> mailed-by
> *Consumer Clients*
> ABN AMRO Banking Centre
> 63, Market Street, Level 5
> Singapore
> Dear Sir/Madam,
> I am writing to you from Seattle, USA, concerning
> the painting of the
> infamous painter Hussein which you have printed on
> your card.
> Please note that this painter has been making
> paintings of Hindu Gods and
> Goddesses in the nude in several vulgar poses, which
> is extremely hurtful
> and blasphamous for the one billion Hindus all over
> the world.
> Please withdraw your card with his painting as this
> painter also comes in
> the category of a criminal, since warrants by
> several Indian courts are
> pending against him and he is evading arrest and
> action against him by
> remaining abroad.
> It would be in the interest of your great bank from
> both business and moral
> points of view to take urgent action in the matter.
> Thank you for your consideration,
> I remain,
> Yours truly,

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Today's Quote

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

-Dolly Parton

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Today's Quote

Those who believe they can do something are probably right--and so are those who believe they can't.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Home Media
Watch Kerala
Focus Bharath
Focus World
Focus Communist/
Cult Agenda
Dharma Smriti Seva HK Special

5/21/2007 10:30:14 AM PRADEEP RAMA KRISHNAN

[Ageold Hindu tradition of making medicated clothes revived]

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala, the land of Parasurama and Adi Sankaracharya, for centuries is much ahead in exploring the enormous hidden value of ayurveda, the Hindu science, for the benefit of mankind. Oral and other modes of treatments apart, a revolution is now set in motion in Kerala in the field of ayurvedic clothes. Though the know-how for the incorporation of ayurveda into the clothes was there in the thousands of years old Thaliyola (writing on plamleaf), in course of time, first the Britishers and then our own native rulers moulded with Western charachterestics completely ignored this great tradition. A recent exploration in making medicated clothes was prompted by lack of demand for handloom clothe items in the face of high-tech competition from mechanized and automated composite mills. The initiative was taken by the Hindu weaving families of Balaramapuram in Thiruvanthapuram district who have the tradition of more than 600 years in the field.

The order books of the weavers in Balaramapuram are now thick with orders from leading dress material and garment merchants in Europe. The European people are tired with various ailments in a faster scale than their growth scale and they were in search of a solution.

A new act banning the import and export of dress materials or dresses dyed in azo-dyes (the chemicals which are harmful to the skin) are already in place in Europe. The act was promped by a study about the causes of the diseases that afflicted the European people in a large scale.

A Hindu family called Kuzhivila in Balaramapuram had explored and used the techniques of ayurveda dye many years ago. The family has found a means to boost the ailing rural economy with the knowhow handed down from their great granduncle Ayyappan Vaidyar, who was the chief physician for the erstwhile Travancore royal family. Incorporating the techniques they had woven cloths and supplied to the royal family as a solution to the various ailments that afflicted the members of the royal family. The Kuzhiviala family’s present generation revived the ayurveda-dye technique now and given life to the handloom industry that was dying in Kerala.

"As in many other cases, the family tradition was dying and we wanted to revive it. Moreover, herbs seemed a bright alternative to synthetic dyes," says K. Rajan, chief technician at the society's dyeing unit. “We renewed the practice and made these garments whenever people wanted. Later, we organised ourselves into a society as the demand increased,” he added.

Once patronised by the Travancore kings, the healer-weavers of Balaramapuram have added Saudi royals to their customer list. “We have been exporting naturally-dyed purdahs to Saudi Arabia. We have sold over a lakh pieces there,’’said K Vijayan, marketing manager of Handloom Weavers’ Development Society, the trade body that networks about 6,500 makers of medicinal garments..

Last year, Kuzhivila family alone manufactured and supplied cloths worth Rs 5 million to the Europan countries. When the demand for ayurveda clothes surpassed high-mark level, about 600 weavers’ co-operative societies of Balaramapuram formed a nucleus Society in the name of Handloom Weavers Development Society(HWDS). Orders are now pouring to this society from scores of countries. From America alone Rs 10 million worth order is already in the kit. Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Japan, Malaysia,Singapore, Taiwan and Jordan are in queue for order placement.

The products are manufactured as per the directions of Ashtavaidyars, Aryvaidyars, Siddhvaidyars and Marma chikilsa vaidyars, who are experts physicians. The quality test is done at Government Ayurveda College at Thiruvananthapuram.

For colouring and fragrance to the products the raw materials used are herbs and plants. For yellow colour - turmeric, woody turmeric, kasthuri turmeric and many other varieties of turmeric are used. For red – manjadi is used. For green – kurunthoti is the raw material. For blue – neelayamiri (indigo) and for black cuscus grass, promanagati, cardamom, cloves, nutmerg etc are the raw materials.

The technique employed for retaining the colour and fragrance too is ayurvedic. Preservatives for this are made from the roots of kathali plantain, gum of neem, chebula etc. The entire process is organic. The cloth is bleached with cow's urine, which has high medicinal value. The dyeing gum too is herbal. It does not pollute like synthetic dye. And the waste is used as bio manure and to generate biogas.

The studies in India and abroad have established that ayurveda dress is a proven remedy for allergy, skin diseases, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases.

The shortage of herbs and plants is becoming a hindrance to execute in time the bulk orders pouring in from abroad and India. The Society managers say they are ready to buy all the herbs and plants, used in their production, cultivated in every inch of Kerala land. Still their input requirement will lag behind. The Society has developed many gardens of herbs and plants on its own. All are in high ranges and are entrusted to the tribals for maintenance. No chemical fertilizer is used. Only bio-fertilizer is feeded to the plants in order to maintain the quality of inputs.

Recently a delegation of Japanese government evaluated the herbal gardens and the quality of ayurvedic cloths. The impressed Japanese government gave Rs 2 million to the Society for the development of herbal gardens.

Apart from dress materials, other types of ayurvedic cloths are also marketed in diffeent brands. In a shirt there are minimum 30 medicines. Surprisingly, ayurvedic cloths are comnparatively cheap.

There are specific dresses and cloths for specific diseases. For psoriasis and other skin diseases, the saris and dress materials are made mainly with turmeric and karinochi. For blood pressure, the dress material is made mainly of chebula and thulasi. For arthritis, the cloths are treated in agathi and manjishta. For asthma, the cloths are incorporated with the ingredients of avanakku, adalodakam and vallipala.

Ayurvedic bedsheets and mattresses are too manufactured and marketed.

In Thiruvanthapuram Government Ayurveda College Hospital the Society has herbalised few rooms in which the cots are woven by herbally treated coir. The walls are concealed with herbally treated carpets while the blankets and mattresses are also herbalised. For arthritis treatment these rooms are very effective. There is great demand for these rooms in the hospital.

The main problem the French people confront is sleeplessness. They came to Balarampuram in search of a solution. They are now a satisfied lot with specially made dress material and specially made bed-spreads and mattresses. American people’s problem is obesis, cancer and skin diseases. They too wanted a solution from Kerala and came to Balaramapuram. Dress materials with more than 200 varieties of herbs and plants are readying for them.

Now many eyes and ears from different parts of the world are tuned towards Kerala to have a lasting solution for their health problems through never failing ayurveda science.

In one voice Vijayan, Rajan, Satheesan and Komalakumaran, who are the pivots of the HWDS say that India could ``recapture’’ the world textile market as more and more Western countries strictly enforce eco-friendly norms. “The government aid will ensure standardisation of our products. We are already witnessing a huge demand for all kinds of garments, be it silk, wool or jute, dyed with medicines,” Vijayan said.

The contact address of the Society is: Ayur Vastra, Handloom Weavers Development Society, Thompodu, Balaramapuram P.O., Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala. Phone: 0471-2401438/2401750: Fax: 0471-2401438: E-mail:


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Monday, May 21, 2007


Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 18:44:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: ""
Subject: Is there imperial design behind conversion overdrive?
Is there imperial design behind conversion overdrive?
By Sandhya Jain

There is empirical evidence that the evangelical
movement operates through multinational corporations
(MNCs). A special section has been devoted to the
Seventh Day Adventist church (to which Andhra Chief
Minister Samuel Rajshekhar Reddy is affiliated), which
targets Dalits for conversion. It is closely
associated with Maranatha Volunteers International,
engaged in church planting.

A journalist researching how permissions were obtained
for such a vast numbers of churches found that a rough
estimate at $ 5,000/church x 1,000 churches gave a
turnover of $5million. One churches in 1,000 days, and
$5m turnover! There is no land cost because most
churches are built illegally on Poromboke or Mandir

In recent weeks, allegations of assault by Christian
evangelists in BJP-ruled states have once again turned
the spotlight on conversions. Now, meticulous research
by Ms. Anuja Prashar, director, Transnational Identity
Investments (TII), documents the political, economic
and secular backing by Western-Christian governments
for this imperialist project and its special focus
upon India.

Ms. Prashar’s report, titled “Conversion and
Anti-Conversion in India Today,” owes its genesis to
British MPs Andy Reed and Gary Streeter protesting to
India’s Deputy High Commissioner in London that
certain laws in the country restricted religious
freedom. They presented a letter signed by a
cross-party group of 16 MPs; Reed is a member of the
board of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. This exposes
the hollowness of the secular principles of the
British Government, as evangelical paradigms are so
openly supported across political parties.

This agitated Hindus organisations in Britain and
America, and independent academics, social analysts,
and observers joined hands to prepare a report which
convincingly establishes that Western Christian
charity and faith organisations have a clear agenda to
convert the socially disadvantaged, and a global
imperialistic mission. There is empirical evidence
that the evangelical movement operates through
multinational corporations (MNCs). A special section
has been devoted to the Seventh Day Adventist church
(to which Andhra Chief Minister Samuel Rajshekhar
Reddy is affiliated), which targets Dalits for
conversion. It is closely associated with Maranatha
Volunteers International, engaged in church planting
and 25-villages and 50-villages conversion programmes.

Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale of Gujarat studied some
multinational Christian organisations, such as the
Evangelical Church of India which belongs to OMS
International. Its motto is the imperialistic slogan
“Reaching Nations for Christ.” The website openly
proclaims the targets as Latin America, Europe and
Euro-Asia, Africa and Asia , where the organisation is
actively involved in training and preparing native
evangelicals, and church planting. In 2005 alone is
succeeded in getting 103,464 people make a decision
for Christ and 10,592 undergo lay leadership training.
The donor nations include the United States (HQ),
Australia , Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the
United Kingdom.

The Evangelical Church of India (ECI), established in
1954, targets the slums, scheduled castes and
scheduled tribes, in cities and villages. “We must go
to where the fish are found …where the fish bite the
bait on the hook,” it boasts inelegantly. Its logo
depicts a cross struck deep in a lotus, seat of Hindu
divinity. Dr. Chauthaiwale also studied the US-based
Mission of Joy (MOJ), whose mission is “to bring the
gospel to a million unreached believers and provide
temporary and permanent assistance to orphans.” MOJ
has three orphanages in Tenail, Nasaraopet and

But the most organised movement is the US-based AD
2000 and Beyond Movement and its ‘Joshua Project 2000’
which lists 216 people groups throughout the world as
Priority-I. These include nine Indian tribes (Bhilala,
Binjhwari, Chero, Kawar/Kamari, Lhoba, Majhwar,
Panika, Shin or Sina, and Sikkimese Bhotia). The
Joshua Project has identified the North India Hindi
belt as “the core of the core of the core” because of
its population density (40% of the Indian population);
its political importance; its is very deprived (the
“Bimaru” states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan
and Uttar Pradesh lie in this region); it is the
religious hub of India; and it has the smallest
Christian presence in India. Detailed plans have been
drawn up to target India’s 75,000 Pin Codes.

An umbrella called North India Harvest Network (NIHN)
has been organised on the principles of “Plug, Prem
and be NICE” to avoid duplication of effort. Plug
stands for People in every Language in every Urban
centre in every Geographic division. Prem means
Prayer, Research, Equipping & training and
Mobilisation. NiCE involves Networking, Initiative,
Catalyst and Encouraging the missionaries. Virtually a
war strategy.

Britain ’s South Asian Development Partnership (SADP),
led by Mr. Ram Gidoomal, a Sikh convert to
Christianity, is supposed to “facilitate and catalyze
entrepreneurial initiatives in the UK and South Asia
.” Its website explains how the principle of NICE can
be applied to SADP working. If there is a link between
SADP and Indian evangelical movements, how do these
programmes fit into the developmental programmes of
Asian and UK professionals? Ms. Prashar further points
out that Mr. Gidoomal has co-authored a book with
Robin Thompson, an Evangelical Minister with South
Asian Concern (SAC), a Selsdon Baptist Church keen to
convert South Asia.

The Seventh Day Adventists owes its Indian success to
Canadian evangelist Ron Watts, President for the South
Asian Division, who entered India on a Business Visa.
He operated out of Hosur. When Watts arrived in 1997,
the Adventist Church had 2.25 lakh members after 103
years of operations. In five years, to took it to 7
lakhs. Dorothy Watts’ recorded their methodology,
namely, the 25-Village and the 10-Village Program.

This involved five sets of laymen, going two by two,
under guidance from a regular pastor, and exploring
the villages in a district, to identify 25 villages in
close proximity, with people of the same family groups
and castes, so they could continue to have social
relations and marriage alliances after conversion!
Once the villages were selected, the teams would
approach the leaders of each village and invite them
to send two leaders to a 10-day seminar at a nearby
resort, at the organisation’s expense. They were then
brainwashed in the idea of better living, which was
offered to their villages, along with the tenets of
Christianity. Then they were denied baptism till they
convinced the village to convert.

In 1998, there were 17 Ten Village Programmes and
9,337 were baptized. In 1999, forty programs were held
and nearly 40,000 people baptized. The 25-village plan
made proselytization a flourishing business, which got
a further boost with the arrival of the Maranatha
Volunteers International. Under Andhra Chief Minister
Samuel Reddy, the Adventists shifted to a 50-village
plan. They began baptizing at the rate of 10,000
persons per month.

The US-based Maranatha Volunteers International
focused on providing buildings for the Seventh-day
Adventist Church . The Fjarli family, who own a
construction company, Southern Oregon Builders, went
on their first Maranatha project in 2001. They raised
funds to build 1000 churches at a rate of 1 per day. A
journalist researching how permissions were obtained
for such a vast numbers of churches found that a rough
estimate at $ 5,000/church x 1,000 churches gave a
turnover of $5million. One churches in 1,000 days, and
$5m turnover! There is no land cost because most
churches are built illegally on Poromboke or Mandir

When deportation proceedings were launched against Ron
Watts, Dr. K.J. Moses testified that Watts had
committed fraud, spending Rs. 1.30 crores as bribes to
stay in India . Advocate V.S. Raju said Watts was in
the business of conversion to Christianity, offering
petty cash concessions and allurements of employment
to educated persons in Christian schools and
hospitals; sending youth for education to the Spicer
Memorial College, Pune, and arranging marriages
between young men and women belonging to SDA. Watts,
however, remained in India after a much-publicised
meeting with Ms. Sonia Gandhi!

Besides America , the European Union is funding a
seven year Sustainable Tribal Empowerment Project
(STEP), targeting 200,000 tribal households in
Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatanam and East

"Lead me from the unreal to the Real;
Lead me from darkness to Light;
Lead me from death to Immortality. "

"Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor ma amritam gamaya."

Sunday, May 20, 2007


'Then, before long, forsaking his portion of wealth, be it great or small, forsaking his circle of relatives, be they many or be they few, he cuts off his hair and beard, he clothes himself in the orange-coloured robes, and he goes forth from the household life into the homeless state.

'When he has thus become a recluse he lives self-restrained by that restraint that should be binding on a recluse. Uprightness is his delight, and he sees danger in the least of those things he should avoid. He adopts, and trains himself in, the precepts. He encompasses himself with good deeds in act and word. Pure are his means of livelihood, good is his conduct, guarded the door of his senses. Mindful and self-possessed he is altogether happy.

'And how, O king, is his conduct good?

'In this, O king, that the Bhikshu, putting away the killing of living things, holds aloof from the destruction of life. The cudgel and the sword he has laid aside, and ashamed of roughness, and full of mercy, he dwells compassionate and kind to all creatures that have life.

'This is part of the goodness that he has.

[Here follow the whole of the Sîlas (the paragraphs on minor morality), in the words already translated above in the Brahma-gâla Sutta, 8 to 27. Only for 'Gotama the recluse' one should read 'the Bhikshu'; and alter in each case the words of the refrain accordingly.]

'And then that Bhikshu, O king, being thus master of the minor moralities, sees no danger from any side; that is, so far as concerns his self-restraint in conduct. Just, O king, as a sovereign, duly crowned, whose enemies have been beaten down, sees no danger from any side; that is, so far as enemies are concerned, so is the Bhikshu confident. And endowed with this body of morals, so worthy of honour, he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease without alloy. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes righteous.

'And how. O king, is the Bhikshu guarded as to the doors of his senses?' 'When, O king, he sees an object with his eye he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it. He sets himself to restrain that which might give occasion for evil states, covetousness and dejection, to flow in over him so long as he dwells unrestrained as to his sense of sight. He keeps watch upon his faculty of sight, and he attains to mastery over it. And so, in like manner, when he hears a sound with his ear, or smells an odour with his nose, or tastes a flavour with his tongue, or feels a touch with his body, or when he cognises a phenomenon with his mind he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it. He sets himself to restrain that which might give occasion for evil states, covetousness and dejection, to flow in over him so long as he dwells unrestrained as to his mental (representative) faculty. He keeps watch upon his representative faculty, and he attains to mastery over it. And endowed with this self-restraint, so worthy of honour, as regards the senses, he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease into which no evil state can enter. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes guarded as to the doors of his senses.

'And how, O king, is the Bhikshu mindful and self-possessed?'

'In this matter, O king. the Bhikshu in going forth or in coming back keeps clearly before his mind's eye (all that is wrapt up therein--the immediate object of the act itself, its ethical significance, whether or not it is conducive to the high aim set before him, and the real facts underlying the mere phenomenon of the outward act). And so also in looking forward, or in looking round; in stretching forth his arm, or in drawing it in again; in eating or drinking, in masticating or swallowing, in obeying the calls of nature, in going or standing or sitting, in sleeping or waking, in speaking or in being still, he keeps himself aware of all it really means. Thus is it, O king, that the Bhikshu becomes mindful and self-possessed.

'And how, O king, is the Bhikshu content?

'In this matter, O king, the Bhikshu is satisfied with sufficient robes to cherish his body, with sufficient food to keep his stomach going. Whithersoever he may go forth, these he takes with him as he goes--just as a bird with his wings, O king, whithersoever he may fly, carries his wings with him as he flies. Thus is it, 'O king, that the Bhikshu becomes content.

'Then, master of this so excellent body of moral precepts, gifted with this so excellent self-restraint as to the senses, endowed with this so excellent mindfulness and self-possession, filled with this so excellent content, he chooses some lonely spot to rest at on his way--in the woods, at the foot of a tree, on a hill side, in a mountain glen, in a rocky cave, in a charnel place, or on a heap of straw in the open field. And returning thither after his round for alms he seats himself, when his meal is done, cross-legged, keeping his body erect, and his intelligence alert, intent.

'Putting away the hankering after the world, he remains with a heart that hankers not, and purifies his mind of lusts. Putting away the corruption of the wish to injure, he remains with a heart free from ill-temper, and purifies his mind of malevolence. Putting away torpor of heart and mind, keeping his ideas alight, mindful and self-possessed, he purifies his mind of weakness and of sloth. Putting away flurry and worry, he remains free from fretfulness, and with heart serene within, he purifies himself of irritability and vexation of spirit. Putting away wavering, he remains as one passed beyond perplexity; and no longer in suspense as to what is good, he purifies his mind of doubt.

'Then just, O king, as when a man, after contracting a loan, should set a business on foot, and his business should succeed, and he should not only be able to pay off the old debt he had incurred, but there should be a surplus over to maintain a wife. Then would he realise : "I used to have to carry on my business by getting into debt, but it has gone so well with me that I have paid off what I owed, and have a surplus over to maintain a wife." And he would be of good cheer at that, would be glad of heart at that:--

'Then just, O king, as if a man were a prey to disease, in pain, and very ill, and his food would not digest, and there were no strength left in him; and after a time he were to recover from that disease, and his food should digest, and his strength come back to him; then, when he realised his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that:--

'Then just, O king, as if a man were bound in a prison house, and after a time he should be set free from his bonds, safe and sound, and without any confiscation of his goods; when he realised his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that:--

'Then just, O king, as if a man were a slave, not his own master, subject to another, unable to go whither he would; and after a time he should be emancipated from that slavery, become his own master, not subject to others, a free man, free to go whither he would; then, on realising his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that:--

'Then just, O king, as if a man, rich and prosperous, were to find himself on a long road, in a desert, where no food was, but much danger; and after a time were to find himself out of the desert, arrived safe; on the borders of his village, in security and peace; then, on realising his former and his present state, he would be of good cheer at that, he would be glad of heart at that:--

'Just so, O king, the Bhikshu, so long as these five Hindrances are not put away within him looks upon himself as in debt, diseased, in prison, in slavery, lost on a desert road. But when these five Hindrances have been put away within him, he looks upon himself as freed from debt, rid of disease, out of jail, a free man, and secure;

'And gladness springs up within him on his realising that, and joy arises to him thus gladdened, and so rejoicing all his frame becomes at ease, and being thus at ease he is filled with a sense of peace, and in that peace his heart is stayed.

'Then estranged from lusts, aloof from evil dispositions, he enters into and remains in the First Rapture--a state of joy and ease born of detachment, reasoning and investigation going on the while.

'His very body does he so pervade, drench, permeate, and suffuse with the joy and ease born of detachment, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.

'Just, O king, as a skilful bathman or his apprentice will scatter perfumed soap powder in a metal basin, and then besprinkling it with water, drop by drop, will so knead it together that the ball of lather, taking up the unctuous moisture, is drenched with it, pervaded by it, permeated by it within and without, and there is no leakage possible.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, higher and sweeter than the last.

'Then further, O king, the Bhikshu suppressing all reasoning and investigation enters into and abides in the Second Ghâna, a state of joy and ease, born of the serenity of concentration, when no reasoning or investigation goes on,--a state of elevation of mind, a tranquillisation of the heart within.

'And his very body does he so pervade, drench, permeate, and suffuse with the joy and ease born of concentration, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.

'Just, O king, as if there were a deep pool, with water welling up into it from a spring beneath, and with no inlet from the east or west, from the north or south, and the god should not from time to time send down showers of rain upon it. Still the current of cool waters rising up from that spring would pervade, fill, permeate, and suffuse the pool with cool waters; and there would be no part or portion of the pool unsuffused therewith.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'Then further, O king, the Bhikshu, holding aloof from joy, becomes equable; and mindful and self-possessed he experiences in his body that ease which the Arahats talk of when they say: "The man serene and self-possessed is well at ease," and so he enters into and abides in the Third Ghâna.

'And his very body does he so pervade, drench, permeate, and suffuse with that ease that has no joy with it, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.

"Just, O king, as when in a lotus tank the several lotus flowers, red or white or blue, born in the water, grown up in the water, not rising up above the surface of the water, drawing up nourishment from the depths of the water, are so pervaded, drenched, permeated, and suffused from their very tips down to their roots with the cool moisture thereof, that there is no spot in the whole plant, whether of the red lotus, or of the white, or of the blue, not suffused therewith.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'Then further, O king, the Bhikshu, by the putting away alike of ease and of pain, by the passing away alike of any elation, any dejection, he had previously felt, enters into and abides in the Fourth Ghâna, a state of pure self-possession and equanimity. without pain and without ease.

'And he sits there so suffusing even his body with that sense of purification, of translucence, of heart, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.

'Just, O king, as if a man were sitting so wrapt from head to foot in a clean white robe, that there were no spot in his whole frame not in contact with the clean white robe--just so, O king, does the Bhikshu sit there, so suffusing even his body with that sense of purification, of translucence, of heart, that there is no spot in his whole frame not suffused therewith.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm, and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to that insight that comes from knowledge. He grasps the fact: "This body of mine has form, it is built up of the four elements, it springs from father and mother, it is continually renewed by so much boiled rice and juicy foods, its very nature is impermanence, it is subject to erasion, abrasion, dissolution, and disintegration; and therein is this consciousness of mine, too, bound up, on that does it depend."

'Just, O king, as if there were a Veluriya gem, bright, of the purest water, with eight facets, excellently cut, clear, translucent, without a flaw, excellent in every way. And through it a string, blue, or orange-coloured, or red, or white, or yellow should be threaded. If a man, who had eyes to see, were to take it into his hand, he would clearly perceive how the one is bound up with the other.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm, and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to the calling up of a mental image. He calls up from this body another body, having form; made of mind, having all (his own body's) limbs and parts, not deprived of any organ.

'Just, O king, as if a man were to pull out a reed from its sheath. He would know: "This is the reed, this the sheath. The reed is one thing, the sheath another. It is from the sheath that the reed has been drawn forth." And similarly were he to take a snake out of its slough, or draw a sword from its scabbard.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this life, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to the modes of the Wondrous Gift. He enjoys the Wondrous Gift in its various modes--being one he becomes many, or having become many becomes one again; he becomes visible or invisible; he goes, feeling no obstruction, to the further side of a wall or rampart or hill, as if through air; he penetrates up and down through solid ground, as if through water; he walks on water without breaking through as if on solid ground; he travels cross-legged in the sky, like the birds on wing; even the Moon and the Sun, so potent, so mighty though they be, does he touch and feel with his hand; he reaches in the body even up to the heaven of Brahmâ.

'Just, O king, as a clever potter or his apprentice could make, could succeed in getting out of properly prepared clay any shape of vessel he wanted to have--or an ivory carver out of ivory, or a goldsmith out of gold.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind to the Heavenly Ear. With that clear Heavenly Ear surpassing the ear of men he hears sounds both human and celestial, whether far or near.

'Just, O king, as if a man were on the high road and were to hear the sound of a kettledrum or a tabor or the sound of chank horns and small drums he would know: "This is the sound of a kettledrum, this is the sound of a tabor, this of chank horns and of drums."

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this life, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene ( c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge which penetrates the heart. Penetrating with his own heart the hearts of other beings, of other men, he knows them. He discerns--

The passionate mind to be passionate, and the calm mind calm;

The angry mind to be angry, and the peaceful mind peaceful;

The dull mind to be dull, and the alert mind alert;

The attentive mind to be attentive, and the wandering mind wandering;

The broad mind to be broad, and the narrow mind narrow;

The mean mind to be mean, and the lofty mind lofty;

The steadfast mind to be steadfast; and the wavering mind to be wavering;

The free mind to be free, and the enslaved mind enslaved.

'Just, O king, as a woman or a man or a lad, young and smart, on considering attentively the image of his own face in a bright and brilliant mirror or in a vessel of clear water would, if it had a mole on it, know that it had, and if not, would know it had not.

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene ( c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge of the memory of his previous temporary states. He recalls to mind his various temporary states in days gone by--one birth, or two or three or four or five births, or ten or twenty or thirty or forty or fifty or a hundred or a thousand or a hundred thousand births, through many an aeon of dissolution, many an aeon of evolution, many an aeon of both dissolution and evolution. "In such a place such was my name, such my family, such my caste, such my food, such my experience of discomfort or of ease, and such the limits of my life. When I passed away from that state, I took form again in such a place. There I had such and such a name and family and caste and food and experience of discomfort or of ease, such was the limit of my life. When I passed away from that state I took form again here"--thus does he call to mind his temporary state in days gone by in all their details, and in all their modes.

'Just, O king, as if a man were to go from his own to another village, and from that one to another, and from that one should return home. Then he would know: "From my own village I came to that other one. There I stood in such and such a way, sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus. Thence I came to that other village; and there I stood in such and such a way, sat thus, spake thus, and held my peace thus. And now, from that other village, I have returned back again home."

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse. Visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene ( c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge of the fall and rise of beings. With the pure Heavenly Eye, surpassing that of men, he sees beings as they pass away from one form of existence and take shape in another; he recognises the mean and the noble, the well favoured and the ill favoured, the happy and the wretched, passing away according to their deeds: "Such and such beings, brethren, evil in act and word and thought, revilers of the noble ones, holding to wrong views, acquiring for themselves that Karma which results from wrong views, they, on the dissolution of the body, after death, are reborn in some unhappy state of suffering or woe. But such and such beings, my brethren, well doers in act and word and thought, not revilers of the noble ones, holding to right views, acquiring for themselves that Karma that results from right views, they, on the dissolution of the body, after death, are reborn in some happy state in heaven." Thus with the pure Heavenly Eye, surpassing that of men, he sees beings as they pass away from one state of existence, and take form in another; he recognises the mean and the noble, the well favoured and the ill favoured, the happy and the wretched, passing away according to their deeds.

'Just, O king, as if there were a house with an upper terrace on it in the midst of a place where four roads meet, and a man standing thereon, and with eyes to see, should watch men entering a house, and coming forth out of it, and walking hither and thither along the street, and seated in the square in the midst. Then he would know: "Those men are entering a house, and those are leaving it, and those are walking to and fro in the street, and those are seated in the square in the midst."

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last.

'With his heart thus serene ( c. as before), he directs and bends down his mind to the knowledge of the destruction of the Deadly Floods. He knows as it really is: "This is pain." He knows as it really is: "This is the origin of pain." He knows as it really is: "This is the cessation of pain." He knows as it really is: "This is the Path that leads to the cessation of pain." He knows as they really are: "These are the Deadly Floods." He knows as it really is: "This is the origin of the Deadly Floods." He knows as it really is: "This is the cessation of the Deadly Floods." He knows as it really is: "This is the Path that leads to the cessation of the Deadly Floods." To him, thus knowing, thus seeing, the heart is set free from the Deadly Taint of Lusts, is set free from the Deadly Taint of Becomings, is set free from the Deadly Taint of Ignorance. In him, thus set free, there arises the knowledge of his emancipation, and he knows: "Rebirth has been destroyed. The higher life has been fulfilled. What had to be done has been accomplished. After this present life there will be no beyond!"

'Just, O king, as if in a mountain fastness there were a pool of water, clear, translucent, and serene; and a man, standing on the bank, and with eyes to see, should perceive the oysters and the shells, the gravel and the pebbles and the shoals of fish, as they move about or lie within it: he would know: "This pool is clear, transparent, and serene, and there within it are the oysters and the shells, and the sand and gravel, and the shoals of fish are moving about or lying still."

'This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, and higher and sweeter than the last. And there is no fruit of the life of a recluse, visible in this world, that is higher and sweeter than this.'

And when he had thus spoken, Agâtasattu the king said to the Blessed One: 'Most excellent, Lord, most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up that which has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which is hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness so that those who have eyes could see external forms--just even so, Lord, has the truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the Blessed One. And now I betake myself, Lord, to the Blessed One as my refuge, to the Truth, and to the Order. May the Blessed One accept me as a disciple, as one who, from this day forth, as long as life endures, has taken his refuge in them. Sin has overcome me, Lord, weak and foolish and wrong that I am, in that, for the sake of sovranty, I put to death my father, that righteous man, that righteous king! May the Blessed One accept it of me, Lord, that do so acknowledge it as a sin, to the end that in future I may restrain myself.'

'Verily, O king, it was sin that overcame you in acting thus. But inasmuch as you look upon it as sin, and confess it according to what is right, we accept your confession as to that. For that, O king, is custom in the discipline of the noble ones, that whosoever looks upon his fault as a fault, and rightfully confesses it, shall attain to self-restraint in future.'

When he had thus spoken, Agâtasattu the king said to the Blessed One: 'Now, Lord, we would fain go. We are busy, and there is much to do.'

'Do, O king. whatever seemeth to thee fit.'

Then Agâtasattu the king, pleased and delighted with the words of the Blessed One, arose from his seat, and bowed to the Blessed One, and keeping him on the right hand as he passed him, departed thence.

Now the Blessed One, not long after Agâtasattu the king had gone, addressed the brethren, and said: 'This king. brethren, was deeply affected, he was touched in heart. If, brethren, the king had not put his father to death, that righteous man, and righteous king, then would the clear and spotless eye for the truth have arisen in him, even as he sat there.'

Thus spake the Blessed One. The brethren were pleased and delighted at his words.

Here ends the Discourse on the Fruits of the Life of a Recluse.

Sâmañña-phala Sutta is ended.

THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho


The alchemist said: No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it.

Extract from THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

He saw the omens were scattered throughtout the earth and in space, and that there was no reason or significance attached to their appearance; he could see that not the deserts, nor the winds, nor the sun, nor people knew why they had been created. But that the hand (God's) had a reason for all of this, and that only the hand could perform miracles, or transform the sea into a desert...or a man into the wind. Because
only the hand understood that it was a largter design that had moved the universe to the point at which six days of creation had evolved into a Master Work.

The boy reached through to the Soul of the World, and saw that it was a part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Deep-sea booty! $500 million in coins found
Mystery over site of sunken vessel; could be richest shipwreck treasure ever
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:09 p.m. PT May 18, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. - Deep-sea explorers said Friday they have hauled up what could be the richest sunken treasure ever discovered: hundreds of thousands of colonial-era silver and gold coins worth an estimated $500 million from a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean.

A chartered cargo jet recently landed in the United States to unload hundreds of plastic containers packed with the 500,000 coins, which are expected to fetch an average of $1,000 each from collectors and investors.

“For this colonial era, I think [the find] is unprecedented,” said rare coin expert Nick Bruyer, who was contracted by Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration to examine a batch of coins from the wreck. “I don’t know of anything equal or comparable to it.”

Citing security concerns, the company declined to release any details about the ship or the wreck site.

Company co-founder Greg Stemm said a formal announcement will come later, but court records indicate the coins might have come from the wreck of a 17th-century merchant ship found off southwestern England.

Because the shipwreck was found in an area where many colonial-era vessels went down, the company is still uncertain about its nationality, size and age, Stemm said, although evidence points to a specific known shipwreck.

The site is beyond the territorial waters or legal jurisdiction of any country, he said.

“Rather than a shout of glee, it’s more being able to exhale for the first time in a long time,” Stemm said of the haul, by far the biggest in Odyssey’s 13-year history.

He would not say if the loot was taken from the same wreck site near the English Channel that Odyssey recently petitioned a federal court for permission to salvage.

In seeking exclusive rights to that site, an Odyssey attorney told a federal judge last fall that the company likely had found the remains of a 17th-century merchant vessel that sank with valuable cargo aboard, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the southwestern tip of England. A judge granted those rights Wednesday.

In keeping with the secretive nature of the project dubbed “Black Swan,” Odyssey also is not discussing details of the coins, such as their type, denomination or country of origin.

Bruyer said he observed a wide variety of coins that probably were never circulated. He said the currency was in much better condition than artifacts yielded by most shipwrecks of a similar age.

The coins — mostly silver pieces — could fetch several hundred to several thousand dollars each, with some possibly commanding much more, he said.

Value is determined by rarity, condition and the story behind them.

Other experts said the condition and value of the coins could vary so much that the price estimate was little more than an educated guess.

“It’s absolutely impossible to accurately determine the value without knowing the contents and the condition of the retrieved coins. It’s like trying to appraise a house or a car over the phone,” said Donn Pearlman, a rare coin expert and spokesman for the Professional Numismatists Guild.

Experts said that controlled release of the coins into the market along with aggressive marketing should keep prices at a premium.

The richest-ever shipwreck haul was yielded by the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. Treasure-hunting pioneer Mel Fisher found it in 1985, retrieving a reported $400 million in coins and other loot.

Odyssey likely will return to the same spot for more coins and artifacts.

“We have treated this site with kid gloves, and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed,” Odyssey CEO John Morris said. “We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance.”

Odyssey stock shot up 80.9 percent Friday, closing at $8.32.

The company salvaged more than 50,000 coins and other artifacts from the wreck of the SS Republic off Savannah, Ga., in 2003, making millions. But Odyssey posted losses in 2005 and 2006 while using its state-of-the-art ships and deep-water robotic equipment to hunt for the next mother lode.

“The outside world now understands that what we do is a real business and is repeatable and not just a lucky one-shot deal,” Stemm said.

Other sunken treasures
In January, Odyssey won permission from the Spanish government to resume a suspended search for the wreck of the HMS Sussex, which was leading a British fleet into the Mediterranean Sea for a war against France in 1694 when it sank in a storm off Gibraltar.

Historians believe the 157-foot warship was carrying nine tons of gold coins to buy the loyalty of the Duke of Savoy, a potential ally in southeastern France. Odyssey believes those coins could also fetch more than $500 million.

But under the terms of an agreement, Odyssey will have to share any finds with the British government. The company will get 80 percent of the first $45 million and about 50 percent of the proceeds thereafter.

Odyssey also is seeking exclusive rights to what is believed to be an Italian-registered passenger vessel that sank during World War I in the Mediterranean Sea east of Sardinia, and to another discovered in the Mediterranean about 100 miles west of Gibraltar.
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.