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Share International, formerly called the Tara Center,[1] is an organization started by Benjamin Creme with its main office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[2][3][4]

They believe that a spiritually advanced being named Maitreya has returned to the everyday world and is currently living in the Asian community in London, in the Bangladeshi Brick Lane area.[5][6]

Contents

Beliefs, practices, and background

Share International's publications claim that the coming of Maitreya (meaning 'friendly' in Sanskrit) fulfills not only Buddhist prophecies about the appearance of a future great teacher named Maitreya, but also the prophecies of a number of other world religions- including Christianity (the second coming of Christ), Hinduism (the Kalki avatar of Vishnu), Islam (the Imam Mahdi) and Judaism (the Jewish Messiah). Creme claims that Maitreya manifested himself through (or overshadowed) Jesus 2000 years ago,[6] that Maitreya resided in the Himalayas, and in 1977 he descended from his ancient retreat in the Himalayas and took an airplane to London. He took up residence in the Indian-Pakistani community of London in the Brick Lane area. He has been living and working there, seemingly as an ordinary man, his true status known to relatively few. Maitreya has apparently been emerging gradually into full public view so as not to infringe humanity's free will.[5][6][7][8][9] Journalists had been invited to find the Maitreya in the Brick Lane area but were unable to find him.[10] According to Creme, Maitreya influenced the ending of the cold war, the German reunification, and the ending of apartheid in South Africa [11].

Share International promote their own form of meditation that they call Transmission Meditation which, they say, is a way of redirecting beneficial and healing energies through the apparatus of the chakras in the human body, so that they may be utilised for benefit of humanity. The meditator is not in control of this process, but remains in silence while energy is transferred or 'stepped-down' by one of the Masters of Wisdom (Ascended Master). In this way, it is meant to be more a form of service, rather than a traditional meditation.[12][13][14] Share International and Benjamin Creme have been strongly influenced by Alice Bailey's version of theosophy.[15]

Share International claims that Maitreya appeared before a Christian gathering in or near Nairobi, Kenya in June 1988. This event was widely published among others by CNN and pictures of the Jesus-like apparition were distributed worldwide.[16].[15][17][18] Since then, it is claimed that he has made many more appearances. From 1991 to the present, they say Maitreya has been appearing before gatherings of orthodox religious groups worldwide. He addresses them briefly in their own language and is recognized by the majority of people in attendance as their awaited Teacher. Maitreya also apparently creates healing springs of water in the areas near these appearances. These healing waters in Mexico, Germany, and India have drawn millions of visitors.[19] See a list of Maitreya's alleged appearances: http://shareintl.org/maitreya/Ma_wwa.htm

1982 and 1997 failed television broadcasts from Christ

In the spring of 1982 Creme placed advertisements in newspapers around the world saying, "The Christ is now here". According to Creme the "Christ", whom he also called "Maitreya", would announce his existence on world wide television broadcasts, and that he would do that on Monday, 21 June 1982. This created a sensation within some New Age groups, and even among some Evangelical Christians; but, when the promised television broadcasts of the Maitreya/Christ failed to occur, most of Creme's followers lost interest. This, he said, was because Maitreya had seen the time was not right for his general acceptance, at the level necessary, for his work to be successful. Creme, who claims that time is now very near for Maitreya's emergence, is independently wealthy and continues to fund newspaper advertisements and press conferences, as well as to fund his journal and websites.[20][21]

Creme states (responding to a question) that when the "Day of Declaration: occurs, "The Christ will come on the world's television channels, linked together by satellite. All those with access to television will see... [His face]. He will establish a telepathic rapport with all humanity simultaneously".[22] While the Christ is speaking... [everyone will feel far more love than they've ever felt before, that massive outpouring of love will cause] "hundreds of thousands of 'miracle' cures will take place simultaneously." That is how everyone will know it is really the Christ that has returned.

In 1997 Creme made similar announcements that there would be imminent global TV broadcasts from Christ/Maitreya, though with far less media interest.[23]

According to the American religious scholar Gordon J. Melton, Creme's statement served as a catalyst to the assessments by Evangelical Christians of the New Age movement.[24] A week after these advertisements, other advertisements appeared in the Los Angeles Times accusing Creme of being an instrument of the Antichrist. The Evangelical Christian Detroit area attorney and author Constance Cumbey maintains that Maitreya is a pseudonym for the Antichrist and that the Share International version of Maitreya is an openly Luciferian movement.[25][26] Other Christian Evangelicals distanced themselves from Cumbey's conspiracy theory.[24] Some Christian pastors maintain that Maitreya is the Anti-Christ, citing passages in the Bible where Christ warns the disciples to beware of false teachers. Even among Catholics there are a number of voices denouncing Creme and the Maitreya as of occult origin and potentially the Anti-Christ. Father J.L. Ashcraft, a sedevacantist Byzantine Catholic priest,author and radio host,has gone so far as to postulate the theory that Creme may be the "false prophet" spoken of in the Apocalypse of Saint John.

Main priorities of Maitreya and the idea of sharing

They do not claim Maitreya as a religious leader, or that he is to found a new religion, but that he is a teacher and guide for people of every religion and those of no religion. Given this time of great political, economic and social crisis, they say that Maitreya will inspire humanity to see itself as one family, and create a civilization based on sharing, economic and social justice, and global cooperation.

They highlight the main goals that Maitreya will immediately recommend dealing with after the 'Day of Declaration.' They claim that he will call to action the people of the world to save the 862 million[27] who are starving and hungry in a world of plenty. Among Maitreya's recommendations will be a shift in social priorities so that adequate food, housing, clothing, education, and medical care become universal human rights.[28]

It is claimed that Maitreya says only through sharing can the world be renewed, and that only sharing will bring justice and peace. This can only be achieved by the perception of brotherhood. “See your brother as yourself,” Maitreya is quoted as saying.[29]

Through the years various messages from Maitreya have been given, totalling 140.[30]

Magazine and organization

Share International Cover, featuring one of Benjamin Creme's artwork

Share International's headquarters are located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but it also has main branches in London, England, Germany, France, Japan, USA, and several other countries.[4][31] It publishes a monthly magazine, also called Share International.[32] In it, Creme has published a number of articles that he claims were dictated to him telepathically by a Master of Wisdom (Ascended Master), an enlightened being who apparently has already passed through evolution on this planet and has an expanded consciousness and therefore does not have to reside in a fixed human body (the same is true for Maitreya who is claimed to have made appearances in many different bodies.) The magazine documents many miracles sent in by people experiencing them, that they assert appear all over the world.[33]

It is claimed that in April 1988, an associate of Maitreya began regular communication with two journalists, relaying Maitreya’s teachings and forecasts of world events. The forecasts cover a wide range of subjects including political events, natural disasters, scientific breakthroughs, and miracles. A forecast yet to be fulfilled is an impending worldwide stockmarket crash beginning in Japan. It is claimed that the forecasts were given primarily to illuminate one of the most important spiritual laws governing our lives: the Law of Cause and Effect, also known as the Law of Karma. By comprehending and working within this law they say we can resolve the present social, political, economic, and environmental crises. The information was made available to the world’s press and also published in Share International magazine. Maitreya predicted dramatic and unexpected international events weeks, months, or years before they happened, including the breakup of the Soviet Union, the release of Nelson Mandela, and the breakthroughs in the Middle East peace process.[34] In order to confirm these predictions, it is necessary to compare the back issues of Share International with the history of events following.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Groothuis, Douglas R. (1986). Unmasking the New Age. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0877845689. , page 120
  2. ^ Brown, Mick (1998). The Spiritual Tourist: A Personal Odyssey Through the Outer Reaches of Belief. Bloomsbury. ISBN 158234034X. . page 13
  3. ^ Limpt, Cokky van 23 December 1997 'Rouw om Diana teken van Zijn komst'/'Mourning about Diana sign of His advent' in Dutch newspaper Trouw English translation: ""Share International knows how the world teacher looks in his present outfit. For years publications of the movement have been showing one picture in which a being called Maitreya would be visible i.e. a dark colored man with a black beard, a moustache, dressed in white and with a white tulban-like hat [...]"
    Dutch original:"Share International weet ook al hoe de Wereldleraar er in zijn huidige gedaante uitziet. In de publicaties van de beweging circuleert namelijk al jaren één foto waarop Maitreya te zien zou zijn: een donkere man met een zwarte baard en snor, gehuld in een wit gewaad en met een wit, tulband-achtig hoofddeksel; [..]"
  4. ^ a b Melton J. Gordon, Gale Research Inc, Jerome Clark, Aidan A. Kelly Original from the University of Michigan, New Age Encyclopedia, 1990, ISBN 0810371596, entry nr. 96, page 135
  5. ^ a b Barrett David V. The New Believers 2001 ISBN 0-304-35592-5, page 347
  6. ^ a b c Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist. Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 8
  7. ^ Share International website: http://shareintl.org/introduction/introduction3.htm
  8. ^ Mick Brown. The Spiritual Tourist. Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 8
  9. ^ Nagel, Alexandra De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba/The Sai paradox: contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba in the series Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland/Religious movements in the Netherlands, 'Sekten/Cults, 1994, nr. 29. published by Free university of Amsterdam press. "Vroon schreef verder over Maitreya, waar Benjamin Creme al jarenlang de verkondiger van is. Creme beweert dat in 1977 de nieuwe wereldleraar, Maitreya genaamd, in Londen is gearriveerd. Deze zou ook een avatar zijn, degene die de aarde zal helpen de geestelijke revolutie welke naar zijn zeggen gaande is, te begeleiden. Het is een revolutie die liefde als middel en als doel heeft. Maitreya belichaamt in dit gebeuren het planetaire liefdesaspect, Sai Baba het kosmische. Volgens Creme staat Sai Baba hoger in de 'hiërarchie der meesters' dan Maitreya en is hij op aarde gekomen om Maitreya te helpen bij zijn werk.13 De relatie tussen Sai Baba en Maitreya werd door Vroon niet vermeld, maar deze informatie verscheen prompt via een ingezonden brief in de krant." Partial English translation "Vroon wrote further about Maitreya whose apostle is Benjamin Creme. Creme claims that in 1977 the new world teacher, called Maitreya has arrived in London. He would not only be an avatar, the one who will help earth in it spiritual revolution that according to Creme is taking place. The revolution has love as its aim and method. [....] "
  10. ^ Barrett, David V. The New Believers 2001 ISBN 0-304-35592-5, page 347-349
  11. ^ unknown author (2006-11-25). "Messias in aantocht" (in Dutch). Het Parool. http://archief.parool.nl/artikel?text=maitreya&SORT=presence&ED=ola&PRD=2y&SEC=%2A&FDOC=0. Retrieved 2008-05-17. "In spite of this, Maitreya remained busy, according to Creme. He was claimed to have been responsible for the end of the cold war, the unification of Germany, and the ending of apartheid in South Africa"
    Dutch original: "Toch heeft Maitreya volgens Creme allerminst stilgezeten. Zo was hij verantwoordelijk voor het einde van de Koude Oorlog, de eenwording van Duitsland en de beeindiging van de Apartheid in Zuid-Afrika."
     
  12. ^ "Transmission Meditation". Share International official website. http://www.share-international.org/background/xmission/tm_main.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  13. ^ Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist. Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 250
  14. ^ Melton J. Gordon, Gale Research Inc, Jerome Clark, Aidan A. Kelly Original from the University of Michigan, New Age Encyclopedia, 1990, ISBN 0810371596, entry nr. 96, page 136
  15. ^ a b Barrett, David V. The New Believers 2001 ISBN 0-304-35592-5, page 348
  16. ^ Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist, Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 349
  17. ^ unknown author (2006-11-25). "Messias in aantocht" (in Dutch). Het Parool. http://archief.parool.nl/artikel?text=maitreya&SORT=presence&ED=ola&PRD=2y&SEC=%2A&FDOC=0. Retrieved 2008-05-17. "English translation: Pictures of the Jesus-like image were distributed worldwide"
    Dutch original: "Foto's van de Jezusachtige verschijning werden wereldwijd gepubliceerd."
     
  18. ^ Limpt, Cokky van 23 December 1997 'Rouw om Diana teken van Zijn komst'/'Mourning about Diana sign of His advent' in Dutch newspaper Trouw English translation: ""Share International knows how the world teacher looks in his present outfit. For years publications of the movement have been showing one picture in which Maitreya would be visible i.e. a dark colored man with a black beard, a moustach, dressed in white and with a white tulban-like hat [...]"
    Dutch original:"Share International weet ook al hoe de Wereldleraar er in zijn huidige gedaante uitziet. In de publicaties van de beweging circuleert namelijk al jaren één foto waarop Maitreya te zien zou zijn: een donkere man met een zwarte baard en snor, gehuld in een wit gewaad en met een wit, tulband-achtig hoofddeksel; [..]"
  19. ^ http://shareintl.org/introduction/introduction7.htm
  20. ^ THE NEW AGE CONSPIRACY
  21. ^ The Tara Press (Jun 03, 1982). "Advertisement". The Times. p. 6. 
  22. ^ Creme, Benjamin Maitreya's Mission I 1986 Page 23
  23. ^ "British Futurist Says 'World Teacher' Will Be Seen On TV Within Four Weeks". Canada NewsWire. December 2, 1997. "British futurist Benjamin Creme states that Maitreya -- 'World Teacher' for the coming age -- will be interviewed on a major American network before the end of the year. This will be followed by appearances on other networks around the world and, within months, will lead to a global satellite hook-up where Maitreya can speak to all people simultaneously -- in their own language." 
  24. ^ a b Newport, John P. The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1998, ISBN 0802844308, pages 180-181
  25. ^ She bases this on Creme's open professions of loyalty to Lucifer on various talk radio shows -- some of which she has personally participated. She also bases this on Creme's recitation of his belief in the contents of the Alice Bailey books -- books which are published by Lucis Press -- and organization that originally published under "Lucifer Publishing Company." Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist. Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 23 "Creme was agent for the AntiChrist. I had come across a pamphlet published by an organisation called the Christian Research Institute declaring its belief that Mr. Creme was indeed 'deriving his inspiration from a spiritual realm, albeit a malevolent one'."
  26. ^ Barrett, David V. The New Believers 2001 ISBN 0-304-35592-5, page 349 Quote "Sensing a good offbeat story, a number of journalists search the Brick Lane area, but no one could point them at the returned Christ. Creme lost credibility and supporters, and gained some serious enemies among Evangelical Christians. An Evangelical book, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (1983) attacked all New Age and esoteric movements - especially Creme and the Maitreya - as a satanic conspiracy [..]"
  27. ^ State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006
  28. ^ http://shareintl.org/maitreya/Ma_main.htm
  29. ^ http://shareintl.org/magazine/SI_current.htm
  30. ^ http://shareintl.org/maitreya/messages/Ma_mess.htm
  31. ^ Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist, Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 13
  32. ^ Limpt, Cokky van 23 December 1997 'Rouw om Diana teken van Zijn komst'/'Mourning about Diana sign of His advent' in Dutch newspaper Trouw English translation:"Their clube magazine Share international [..]" Dutch original "Hun verenigingsblad Share International [..]"
  33. ^ Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist, Bloomsbury publishing, 1998. page 257
  34. ^ http://shareintl.org/introduction/introduction5.htm

References

  • Barrett, David V. The New Believers 2001 ISBN 0-304-35592-5
  • Brown, Mick. The Spiritual Tourist, Bloomsbury publishing, 1998.
  • Groothuis, Douglas R. Unmasking the New Age 1986, InterVarsity Press, ISBN 0877845689, page 120
  • Melton J. Gordon, Gale Research Inc, Jerome Clark, Aidan A. Kelly Original from the University of Michigan, New Age Encyclopedia, 1990, ISBN 0810371596, entry nr. 96, pages 135-137
  • Nagel, Alexandra De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba/The Sai paradox: contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba in the series Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland/Religious movements in the Netherlands, 'Sekten/Cults, 1994, nr. 29. published by Free university of Amsterdam press, Dutch language
  • Limpt, Cokky van 23 December 1997 'Rouw om Diana teken van Zijn komst'/'Mourning about Diana sign of His advent' in Dutch newspaper Trouw
  • Newport, John P. The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1998, ISBN 0802844308, pages 180-181
  • Messias in aantocht by unknown author, in Dutch newspaper Het Parool 25 November 2006 available online

Further reading

  • Cumbey, Constance Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and Our Coming Age of Barbarism, Huntington House Publishers 1985, ISBN 091031103X
  • Brown, Mick. "Messiah is alive and well and in London." The Sunday Times, 23 October 1988, p. A15.
  • Peterson, Wayne S. Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Beings: Experiences of an American Diplomat with Maitreya and the Masters of Wisdom, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 2003, ISBN 1571743766
  • See books by Benjamin Creme

External links

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