El papel y la importancia del Parlamento Europeo en el mundo actual – europeantimes.news

El Parlamento Europeo desempeña un papel crucial en la configuración del futuro de Europa y del mundo. Como la única institución de la Unión Europea elegida directamente, representa la voz de más de 500 millones de ciudadanos de los 27 estados miembros. Con sus poderes creciendo constantemente a lo largo de los años, el…

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China perfecciona su diplomacia del Sur Global – europeantimes.news

El papel de mediación de China en el acuerdo entre Irán y Arabia Saudita señala un cambio más amplio del guerrero lobo a una diplomacia más constructiva El acuerdo de Irán y Arabia Saudita para reanudar las relaciones diplomáticas después de años de enfrentamientos tomó a muchos por sorpresa, especialmente debido al papel de China en la mediación entre…

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Towards a fair and just world for all – europeantimes.news

In the history of the wars of the last millennium, the main platform of conflicts was Europe. But thanks to extraordinary decisions taken after the Second World War (for example, instead of continuing the confrontation, Germany and France created a structure of mutually beneficial relations –…

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The New MIVILUDES Report: Bad Methodology, Unreliable Results
The New MIVILUDES Report: Bad Methodology, Unreliable Results

Privileging the saisines (i.e., reports by those who write to denounce a “cultic deviance”) may only lead to biased conclusions.

by Massimo Introvigne

The MIVILUDES, the French Inter-ministerial mission for monitoring and combating cultic deviances (dérives sectaires), which is now part of the Ministry of the Interior, published last week its report for the years 2018–2020.

Like Diogenes wandering with his lantern in search of an honest man, the MIVILUDES wanders around France with the anti-cult ideology as its lantern looking for dishonest “cultic deviances.” Dérives sectaires is a quintessentially French formula and invention, of which MIVILUDES is no less proud than of the Tour Eiffel. It comes out handy to find “cultic” dangers even where no “cult” (which should be translated into French with the corresponding derogatory word, secte) exists.

The report does include some informative parts, mostly found in the pages devoted by researcher Bilel Ainine to the Muslim folk therapeutic practices of roqya and hiyama, although even here the use of an anti-cult and police jargon makes an


Drugs: focus on prevention and education
Drugs: focus on prevention and education

The international day against drug abuse and drug trafficking celebrated on June 26 is an important day! We must take this opportunity to organize information campaigns. This scourge concerns us all and we must get more involved every day to put an end to it. Drug use creates serious problems for society, important financial burden, medical costs, accidents

Cannabis use among adolescents and young adults in Switzerland has increased significantly over the past decade. In 2017, 9% of teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24 said they had used cannabis in the past month. Crystal Meth, a synthetic drug, is becoming more popular in our country. Worldwide, alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive substance among young people. In Switzerland, 13% of the boys and 8% of the girls aged 15 declare to have been really drunk at least once during the month preceding the survey.

I have always advocated zero tolerance for street dealing! My profession as a police officer and my experience in the field show me every day the devastation caused by drugs and the concern of parents when drug dealers approach our schools. It may sound utopian, but prevention and education on the danger of drugs are key instruments, the first ones to be put on the list of solutions to curb this problem. Informing children and their parents without moralizing or accusing, but emphasizing the effects and risks involved will bring about a change. An informed young person will be able to decide for himself and thanks to this he will be able to say no to the dealers!

“When we talk about the life and future of the next generation, it is really better to prevent than to cure,” said Yuri Fedotov, Director General of UNOV and Executive Director of UNODC (2010-2019). Let’s commit to this day! Because we can all do something about it.

First Person: Owner of first ‘vegan football club’ scoring sustainable goals
First Person: Owner of first ‘vegan football club’ scoring sustainable goals

A football club in the west of England has been recognized by the United Nations for its leading role in setting goals to tackle climate change, from planning a low-carbon stadium to selling only 100 percent vegan food. Ahead of the kick-off  of the delayed Euro 2020 football competition, owner and chairman, Dale Vince, told UN News that the club aims to be a beacon of sustainability in the sporting world

“Forest Green Rovers began as a rescue mission for me in 2010. This 120-year-old club was facing closure and it happened to be located close to the town, Stroud, where I built Ecotricity, an energy company that aims to replace fossil fuels with sustainable green energy.

I’m a football fan so I thought I’d help out and just a day or so into owning the club, I started to recognize issues that really conflicted with my outlook and the way I lived. The first thing was red meat; we were serving beef lasagne to our players and I was horrified to find myself part of the trade-in meat which is so harmful to the environment. So, we stopped that. We then realized we had to change just about everything to create a green football club, something that had never been done before.

We were communicating with football fans who would stereotypically be considered a very difficult audience and not interested in climate and sustainability issues. We decided to weave sustainability into the DNA of the club, putting it on an equal footing with football.

We identified energy, transport, and food as, biggest sources of carbon emissions in Britain which represent 80 percent of everybody’s personal carbon footprint.

Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers has pioneered a football kit made from recycled plastic and coffee grounds.

So, we made installed solar panels and now the entire club is powered by 100% green energy. We provided electric car-charging points for fans. The grass of our pitch is organic, it’s free from pesticides and weed killers and we collect rainwater to irrigate the pitch rather than using mains water. Our club strip is even made from a composite material consisting of recycled plastic and coffee grounds.

We have created space for nature around the stadium with eco-trails where people can learn about what we are trying to do in terms of improving biodiversity. Slow worms and orchids thrive in those areas!  Our modeling shows a 20 percent increase in biodiversity on the land around the stadium

Then there was the transition to a vegan menu. This was radical 10 years ago and so counterintuitive because football can be macho and seemed an unlikely bedfellow of veganism.

Forest Green Rovers

Once built Eco Park will be the most sustainable football stadium in the world

We get described as the world’s only vegan football club and that has been a monster in terms of PR, in terms of making an impact by getting our message around the world.

Our next step is to build the 5,000-capacity Eco Park, made entirely from wood which will be the greenest football stadium with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.  It’s not just a football stadium and training ground but a 100-acre sustainable development project which will include a green tech business park, new wetland restoration of a canal, and parkland containing 500 trees and 1.8km of hedgerows.

‘Mistake to talk about making financial sense’

If you go back ten years, it was more expensive to be environmentally friendly than it is today. Solar panels were pricey and electric cars barely existed. Even plant-based food, which should be cheaper than meat, was more expensive.

I would say it’s a mistake to ask whether it makes financial sense to be sustainable. People often question how quickly will a solar panel pay for itself, but they never ask the same about their toaster, mobile phone, or car.

Looking at the big picture, even if it seems like it costs more on day one, it’s absolutely more economic in the long term to be sustainable because of the damage we are doing to the climate, wildlife, and habitats.

Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers has been recognized by the UN for its work on sustainability and climate action.

Example to others

I think this club has to lead by example; that’s how we bring about change. There are four Premier League clubs and some big clubs in Europe as well that, like Forest Green Rovers, have joined the UN’s Sports for Climate Action initiative, which aims to get the global sports community to take action to counter climate change. I think it’s human nature to see what your peers are doing and to feel that you need to join in.
Businesses are also reacting to what people want in terms of products and outcomes. I think football fans themselves are lobbying their clubs to act and they point to Forest Green Rovers quite frequently as an example to follow.

Our fans don’t just tolerate this sustainability concept, they embrace it in a life-changing way. So many of them have told me their families have gone veggie or vegan, drive electric cars, and have solar panels at home.
In my experience just about everything I’ve focused on in my career can be done better if it is done differently. One of the keys is absolutely to start with a fresh approach.

I also think it’s so important to have fun. If people see you enjoying yourself, they can feel that in your messaging and they are more likely to listen.  I don’t talk doom and gloom; I talk about what we can do”.

India-China ties at crossroads, depend on neighbour following rules: Jaishankar
India-China ties at crossroads, depend on neighbour following rules: Jaishankar

The relationship between India and China is at a crossroads and its direction depends on whether the neighbouring country adheres to various agreements on maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff.

Jaishankar said the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit in 1988 to China, 26 years after the 1962 conflict, led to a consensus on having stability along the frontier, which was followed by the signing of two important agreements in 1993 and 1996 on maintaining peace and tranquillity at the border.

The stability at the border led to the expansion of relations in several sectors, but it was adversely impacted following what happened in eastern Ladakh, he said at a webinar organised jointly organised by the Financial Times and the Indian Express.

At a media briefing, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would enable progress in the bilateral relationship and that the disengagement of troops at friction points in eastern Ladakh remained “unfinished”.

The ties between the two countries came under severe strain following a deadly clash in the Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh in June last, over a month after the border standoff began between the Indian and Chinese militaries in multiple friction points in the region.

“I think the relationship is at a crossroads and which direction we go depends on whether the Chinese side will adhere to the consensus; whether it will follow through on the agreements which we both have made… What is very clear in the last year is that border tensions cannot continue with cooperation in other areas,” he said.

Asked about China’s attempts to expand its influence in the region and competition between the two countries, Jaishankar said India is ready to compete and it has its inherent strength as well as the influence that goes deep into the Indo-Pacific on the one side and Africa and Europe on the other.

“It is one thing to compete, it is another thing to have violence on the border,” he said.

“I am ready to compete. That is not the issue for me. The issue for me is how I manage a relationship if the basis of the relationship has been violated by one side,” he said.

The external affairs minister said the economic relationship and ties in other sectors between the two countries were driven by the stabilisation of the border through the 1980s and 1990s.

“I do not have a clear-cut answer at this point of time. We had the border conflict of 1962 and it took us really 26 years to have the first prime minister’s visit in 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi went to China. There was a 1988 sort of consensus which stabilised the border,” he said.

He was asked about where things stand now in ties between the two nations.

Jaishankar said the agreements in 1993 and 1996 on border management paved the way for the expansion of overall ties.

“Those agreements essentially stipulated that you will not bring large armed forces to the border and the Line of Actual Control would be observed, respected and there would be no attempt to change the status quo unilaterally. Now what we saw last year was actually China departing from the 1988 consensus,” he said.

Jaishankar said there is definitely going to impact the ties if the peace and tranquillity at the border are disturbed, “if you disturb the peace and tranquillity if you have bloodshed, as you pointed out, if there is intimidation if there is continuing friction at the border.”

To a question on further disengagement in eastern Ladakh, Bagchi said that full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would enable progress in bilateral ties.

He also referred to Jaishankar’s telephonic talks with the Chinese foreign minister last month.

Bagchi said Jaishankar conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that while the process of disengagement had commenced earlier this year it remained “unfinished” and emphasised early completion of the process. “In this context, the two sides have agreed in the interim that they would maintain stability on the ground and avoid any new incidents,” he said.

“It is our expectation therefore that neither side should take any action that is not keeping with these understandings. Full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would enable progress in the bilateral relationship,” Bagchi added.

India and China completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.

There was no visible forward movement in disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points as the Chinese side did not show flexibility in their approach to them at the 11th round of military talks with the Indian Army on April 9.

The Chinese military is currently conducting a drill in its training areas near the Ladakh region.

Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane said on Wednesday India is keeping a constant eye on activities by the Chinese military. He also hoped that both sides would be able to make forward movement in resolving issues in other areas.

In the interactive session, Jaishankar said the Quad or Quadrilateral dialogue has brought together countries with a growing degree of comfort with each other, shared interest in key global and regional challenges like connectivity, maritime security, technology, vaccines, resilient supply chains and climate change.

“Today, Quad fills a gap which cannot be addressed simply by four bilateral relationships, aggregated, and a multilateral or regional structure which isn’t there. Something has to fill that space. Quad helps to fill the gap,” he said.

Jaishankar also said that arguments of the Cold War cannot be used to deny other countries their right to maximise their options.

Why did the case of the murderer Petrus Arcan mark the treatment of information on minors?
Why did the case of the murderer Petrus Arcan mark the treatment of information on minors?


See initial in Spanish HERE

In the area of Justice, you will find remedies that have fun with the same part just like alchemy since they will be capable of working wonders and, furthermore, since they will be like articles that support the nation’s appropriate framework. These formulas could be the so-called burden of evidence.

The duty of proof is really essential. Everyone is innocent until proven responsible. It is actually understanding called the concept of presumption of purity.

An individual commits a criminal activity, whoever burden of evidence can it be to prove it?

Not at all the accused himself.

This is the part of the prosecution to show and substantiate the facts with witness testimony and evidence a variety.

To phrase it differently, the plaintiff gets the so-called burden of research. Both in municipal and administrative litigation, it’ll be the plaintiff, and in unlawful legislation, it’s the average man or woman prosecutor or the unique or general public prosecution.

But once a reporter is sued for a published report, who bears the duty of evidence?

In cases like this, it is to the reporter although the media socket to show which they acted with homework, which means that they made every work to have and validate the disputed information.

They could not be obliged to prove that whatever they published corresponded in to the absolute truth, nevertheless they must show that what they published during the time ended up being, for many of them, the facts, good analysis obtained. After having made every energy to cross-check that information.

This is just what the Constitutional Court features thought as truthful information.

The big courtroom has in fact recognised that, on many events, it’s virtually not practical understand the truth inside fast time agreed to reporters.

It’s for that reason establish it is adequate when it comes to journalist, after having made every work, after having “acted with as a result of diligence”, to trust the knowledge he/she makes available to site visitors or audience corresponds towards the truth. When it is often shown that she or he acted with diligence and effort within the quest for the news, the reporter is generally exonerated from obligation.

However, it just isn’t constantly the scenario. Since there is no rule without exemption. You’ll manage to show, because a reporter, that you’ve really acted with all the current diligence worldwide, and remain condemned with this.

For example? Every thing regarding minors.

Rules end you against getting photographs of minors or reproducing his or her names. Regulations with regards to Legal cover of Minors, specifically, is extremely explicit. Its purely prohibited.


Assuming this really is damaged, then comes the conviction, because happened regarding Petrus Arcan, the Moldovan murderer who, in 2003, attacked a villa maybe not far from below, in Pozuelo, killed the attorney Arturo Castillo, left their particular partner really injured and assaulted their two daughters.

The Petrus Arcan scenario noted a pre and post for news, so far as information on minors may be included, because most of the published the violence to which both women have been subjected and, although a lot of wouldn’t supply their companies and surnames, they performed have the ability to determine them. Some even ventured to publish their particular photographs.

Since this couldn’t be carried out, publications, radio and tv stations was in fact sued because of the wife and daughters about the lawyer Castillo for unlawful disturbance into the private and family members privacy in connection with two minors. Statements ranging from 6,000 euros, in the case of small news, to 150,000 euros, with regards to big news.

The architect for this technique ended up being, it must be stated, one of the most brilliant solicitors in this area, Gregorio Arroyo, who for many years was indeed the appropriate representative of this today defunct Grupo 16.

The news defended by themselves.

Many argued your companies involving ladies had received for them because of the police on their own and, therefore, originating from an authorised supply, they considered which they had been exempt from virtually any obligation.

Other people embraced the classic explanation they’d acted with research, this means that. they’d taken every step to show that information had been true.

To no avail.

In these cases, whenever minors are participating, the ability to privacy prevails within the to information.

The old stating that lack of knowledge of the legislation doesn’t exempt from conformity was put on these.

What the law states about the Legal Protection of Minors also extra legislation establishes extra protection, in terms of advertising and information, both for youngster sufferers and child alleged offenders.

Inside value, the reporters, in attempting to show which they had acted vigilantly, offered all the evidence needed for their belief.

The legal activities recorded by lawyer Gregorio Arroyo whenever you consider the Petrus Arcan circumstance up against the press had been won. Without exemption.

He’d discovered it easy for reporters plus the media defendants showing they had neglected to abide by what the law states and also to carry the duty of proof, which had fallen to him, to a successful summary.

And he won, for that reason establishing the principal precedent.

Before this instance, the Madrid Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office had claimed many rulings into the protection connected with image and privacy of minors, which aided to organize exactly what occurred later with Arcan.

City diplomacy offers opportunities
City diplomacy offers opportunities

Published originally on December 26th 2020 at the TaipeiTimes.

This year has been unusual on many levels. In the midst of a global health crisis ravaging the world, Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil in September led a delegation of 89 civic and political leaders to Taiwan, the only corner of the world that for more than 250 days (until Tuesday) did not register a single locally transmitted COVID-19 infection.

The visit caused quite a stir in international media and intensified already strained ties between the EU and China. Taiwan, a technologically advanced economy with a robust democracy, is a like-minded partner of the EU, but remains a highly sensitive matter within EU-China relations.

China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, despite never having ruled it. The EU has its own “one China” policy, but has officially committed to promoting “practical solutions regarding Taiwan’s participation in international frameworks.”

Following the Czech delegation, Brussels and Beijing engaged in a harsh exchange, with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) threatening that the senate president would pay a “heavy price,” while his German counterpart warned China against making such threats against an EU member state.

As tensions in EU-China relations remain high, and international cooperation becomes more challenging, there is good reason to return to the visit, and consider some of its less talked about contributions.

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who oversaw the signing of the Prague-Taipei sister city framework in January, was also in the delegation. In a global context where cities become key players in addressing complex challenges through innovation and creativity, this aspect deserves more attention.

As the pandemic has illustrated, local governments can increase their capacity to network internationally and bring solutions, while catalyzing new political consciousness. Cities shape identities. They help celebrate connectivity, diversity and openness by warming people-to-people relations and enhancing social networks. This, in turn, facilitates government-to-government ties.

Considering Taiwan’s abnormal international status, city diplomacy provides a particularly valuable platform to circumvent its isolation, by leveraging international cooperation and information sharing on a city-to-city level. Taiwan’s cities must further invest in such diplomacy and seek to build on the momentum the “Taiwan model” has ensured.

The sister-city agreement linking Prague and Taipei includes a wide range of cooperation, including on business, science, technology, tourism, education, healthcare and culture, as well as a smart city cooperation agreement. Through this partnership, the cities can act in their own right, stress collaboration over competition, empower their citizens and contribute to making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Taiwan is already working toward meeting the 17 SDGs. As COVID-19 is taking the world further away from the goals, cities’ contributions have become all the more relevant.

As such, Taipei has sought to advance several goals, including good health and well-being (Goal 3), quality education (Goal 4), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9), and sustainable cities (Goal 11).

Taiwan has a story to tell, but participating in international organizations will remain difficult. Taiwanese scientists were even excluded from participating in all UNESCO-affiliated events, which has shown that Taiwan is being excluded from international participation. It also indicates that China’s influence within UN organizations continues to increase. Yet, this should not constrain sharing science across cities. Cities are about choices and choices bring opportunities for all.

According to the Taipei City Government Web site, it has established ties with 51 sister cities across 37 countries. Four of these are in Europe: Versailles (1986), Warsaw (1995), Vilnius (1998) and Riga (2001). Since 2012, Helsinki is also a “friendship city” of Taipei.

These partnerships need a fresh approach and adjustment to address current challenges. In addition, it is evident that more similar cooperation should be built across Europe. This will require rapprochement from Europe and Taiwan. Both sides must recognize the value of using city diplomacy to leverage existing strengths and to enable new ones to flourish.

A meeting between Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony and Representative to Hungary Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), a former Tainan deputy secretary-general, is a welcome initiative. The two exchanged ideas on smart cities, innovation and city diplomacy. The next welcome step would be to establish a sister-city agreement. This would benefit both cities, just like the Grenoble, France-Taoyuan sister-city cooperation signed in March 2018 is hoped to do, particularly in technology, innovation and circular economy.

Kaohsiung, with the largest harbor in Taiwan and among the top 50 world container ports, should also consider expanding its network in Europe, with Rotterdam, the Netherlands, or Antwerp, Belgium, adding to its only sister city in Europe, Erzgebirgskreis, Germany (1993).

In a hyper-connected world, cities across Taiwan should further embrace the practical benefits of city diplomacy. At the same time, as the EU rethinks its China policy, European cities must be more involved, and expand their international sister-city network.

Following the Czech delegation visit, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said the visit was proof that “nothing can stop Taiwan and the Czech Republic’s determination to defend freedom, democracy and protect human rights.”

Let city diplomacy take this forward into the year to come.

Source: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2020/12/26/2003749395

India, Like US, Must Have A Clear Tibet Policy to Counter China
India, Like US, Must Have A Clear Tibet Policy to Counter China
The Quint | 24 Dec 2020 |

Following the standoff in eastern Ladakh including the clash in Galwan which marked the most precipitous decline in India-China bilateral relations in the last 40 years, India has not been able to develop a strategy to offset Beijing’s periodic coercion along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India has taken tentative steps with the United States and other allies to balance China, but these have not generated dissuasion or deterrence.

India’s Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar says that China has reneged on agreements and protocols to unilaterally alter LAC, and given five differing explanations for deploying troops on the border.

If this is not sufficient reason for India to reciprocally renege on its recognition of Tibet as an Autonomous Region of China — early warning on which New Delhi had begun signalling in 2010 when it stopped mentioning the ‘One China’ policy in official documents and joint statements — there is more.

Is Tibet Issue A ‘Usable’ Card?

India’s blow hot blow cold policy has angered young Tibetans and Indians alike. It is time for India to stop being deferential to China as it has gained little by doing so, and show the Tibet card though it will amount to crossing the Rubicon.

So, is Tibet a usable card — and is India able and willing to face a Chinese riposte given the disputed border and acute power asymmetry?

India’s boundary dispute is intrinsically linked to Tibet. New Delhi’s recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet was contingent upon China’s acceptance of Tibetan autonomy. The Dalai Lama gave up the quest for independence in exchange for genuine autonomy within China. Beijing has squashed autonomy and not kept its side of the bargain with Tibet and China.

India Did Nothing When China Invaded Tibet

India’s original sin was its failure to prevent occupation of Tibet in 1950 despite a military appreciation of Tibet as a Vital Area done as early as 1946 by Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Francis Tuker. He warned that it was China, not Russia, that was the main threat — and called for preventing the annexation of the Tibetan plateau.

He said India should be prepared to occupy the plateau and keep friendship and cooperation of the people of the frontier from Nepal to Naga Hills, especially Nepal.

Not only did India do nothing when China invaded Tibet but in 1954 agreed to designate Tibet as an autonomous region of China.

The Panchsheel Treaty ushered in short-lived era of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai and New Delhi unilaterally, and without any quid pro quo removed its political and commercial rights over Tibet, vacating the Counsel General at Lhasa and trading marts at Gyantse, Yatung and Gartok along with their military detachments. A Sino-Tibet conflict was by default turned into Sino-Indian.

Recalling this strategic blunder is crying over spilled milk.

Can damage be mitigated at this late stage when possession is nine-tenths of the law and claim? Dutch scholar and historian, Michael van Walt, who is backed by a team of 100 researchers who have been studying Tibet for decades, says it is worth giving it a shot.

Walt is legal advisor to the Central Tibet Administration in Dharamsala and author of a seminal book ‘Tibet Was Never Part of China But The Middle Way Approach Remains a Viable Solution’ and his latest‘Freedom Brief 2020’.

India Must Completely Stop Saying That Tibet Is A Part Of China

For starters, New Delhi should say it has reviewed the Tibet issue, admitting some mistakes were made initially but fresh facts had emerged. These are:

  • a) Tibet was never part of imperial China or the Mongol empire
  • b) Illegal occupation through invasion, misrepresentation of facts and altering narrative do not provide legitimacy
  • c) Indo-Tibetan border was resolved in 1914 by the MacMahon Line and ratified by Tibet
  • d) Tibet was a buffer state between India and China
  • e) Tibetans are not a minority of the Chinese
  • f) China enjoyed suzerainty, never sovereignty over Tibet
  • g) The Dalai Lama had traded suzerainty for autonomy
  • h) Tibetans can call for self-determination after China ends its occupation of Tibet
Step two is for India to completely stop saying that Tibet is part of China. Late Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj would say it is China’s turn to articulate a ‘One India’ policy that is inclusive of Arunachal Pradesh. The fact is, ‘One China’ policy applies to Taiwan not Tibet.

In 2017, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that his state has a border with Tibet, not China. In Step Three, India should formally recognise the Dalai Lama as a proud son of India and award him the Bharat Ratna. He should be extended all State privileges and courtesies and be free to travel all across India including Arunachal Pradesh.

Beijing should be advised to restart dialogue with the Dalai Lama and not interfere with the selection of his successor, which is entirely the Dalai Lama’s prerogative.

Former PM Shastri Had Said That India Would Recognise Tibet Govt In Exile

India has advised Beijing to resolve the issue while he is alive. US has said that China has no theological basis for picking the next Dalai Lama. India should recognise and support the Central Tibet Administration as the Government in Exile in achieving its political objectives through peaceful means, and advise China to resume dialogue which was suspended in 2010 after nine rounds of talks.

In 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had said India would recognise the Tibet Government in Exile (now CTA) but he died prematurely — a historical fact that should be made public.

Panchsheel Marg in front of the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi should be renamed the Dalai Lama Marg.

Why Tibet Issue Must Be Internationalised

The Tibet issue can be internationalised – introduced in the UNSC in the two years of India’s chairmanship of it starting 2021. The Tibet issue can join the Draft Convention on Terrorism in the UN, which has become India’s signature tune.

India can also take up Tibet at UNHRC over suppression of religious and cultural freedoms and violation of human rights. Discussions on Tibet that are held behind closed doors and almost sinfully, should be open to public and media.

Track I and Track 1.5 dialogues on Tibet can start in collaboration with CTA, Tibetan institutes abroad and Friends of Tibet worldwide. Studies on Tibetan Buddhism and culture should be introduced in the syllabi of universities and think tanks. China’s perfidy in instigating the 1962 border war needs to be exposed.

Steps 1 to 3 can be calibrated by government and non-government institutions. These measures should be coordinated with Friends of Tibet in Europe and US who have been accusing China of grave human rights violations in Tibet. The US Administration under Trump has been most active in targeting China over its omissions and commissions in Tibet with legislative acts like the US Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act 2018. It recently appointed its special envoy on Tibet, Robert Destro, and the State Department invited head of CTA, Lobsang Sangay, to meet Mr Destro — for the first time in six decades, which infuriated Beijing.

A ‘New Wall’ India Needs To ‘Breach’
While US has said it could soon start talks with CTA, Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, Samuel D Brownback told reporters after a visit to Dharamsala in October that Tibetans have picked their spiritual leaders for thousands of years. US accuses China of religious persecution and cultural genocide in Tibet. The Tibet Policy and Support Act was passed by Congress this month advocating genuine autonomy in Tibet and for Dalai Lama to choose his successor. One should hope President Biden will intensify the campaign for full freedom and autonomy in Tibet and that on this one issue India can form an active alliance with US, without forfeiting its strategic autonomy. Meanwhile, it is reported that US Congress and EU Parliament have both recognised Tibet is an occupied country.

No wonder President Xi Jinping is taking special interest in the controlling and monitoring of Tibet, saying China should build an impregnable fortress in Tibet and dig out facts that link Tibet to China for their impact on the boundary dispute with India.

It is this new Great Wall that India must start to ‘breach’. India has to take the lead in Tibet’s cause and the time to act is now.

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Nagorno-Karabakh War: Putin destabilising Pashinyan’s regime
Nagorno-Karabakh War: Putin destabilising Pashinyan’s regime

On 9 November 2020, an armistice agreement was signed between Baku and Yerevan under the aegis of Moscow after over six weeks of fighting.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Armenia suffered a crushing defeat and lost territories that have been under its control for about 30 years. President Ilham Alijev’s Azerbaijan regained about one half of the territories seized by Armenian forces in the early 1990’s that Azerbaijan had been trying to reclaim for decades on the basis of several UN resolutions. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey asserted its ambitions to be recognised as a regional power in the Caucasus and President Vladimir Putin’s Russia imposed a unilateral peacekeeping operation under its sole authority.

By stopping the war, Putin is freezing – again – the conflict between the two former Soviet republics and increasing his military presence on the ground. The deployment of peace troops in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor strengthens Russia’s dominant position in the Caucasus, side-lining and making obsolete the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US since its inception in 1992.

Another important opportunity for Putin to expand Russia’s reach in the region might still be to come: the toppling of Pashinyan by the same people who elected him two years ago. In the aftermath of the armistice, thousands of Armenians have expressed feeling humiliated and betrayed by their Prime Minister. They said Pashinyan did not have the right to sign such an agreement without consulting the people. They took to the streets to protest the secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, storming the parliament building and demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. However, he refuses to step down.

Pashinyan was the leader of the 2018 Armenian revolution that overthrew the corrupt and dictatorial regime of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. On 8 May 2018, Pashinyan managed to obtain enough votes from the Parliament to become the Prime Minister himself. 

For years, Putin has sold arms to both Azerbaijan and Armenia. He had good relations with former PM Sargsyan and so he was greatly concerned at the emergence of a people’s revolution calling for a democratic regime. Rebellions and quests for democracy and human rights in Russia’s neighbourhood are always perceived as an existential threat to Putin’s own rule because revolutions can be contagious.

The question is if Putin could have intervened more energetically at an earlier stage of the conflict to put an end to it or if he waited on purpose until the inevitable capitulation of Armenia to successfully push his pawns forward. Now that Pashinyan’s rule is contested, a regime change that side-lines the influence of the West in Yerevan and aligns more with Moscow might be the next episode in the post-conflict period.

The successful political and diplomatic operation led by Putin provides him with significant leverage to manipulate and pressure all parties in the region for a long time to come, pending a definitive solution which seems unlikely. 

What new operating system is Harapan offering?
What new operating system is Harapan offering?

The real issue here in Malaysia is that we have never got over our original sin of race and religion. S Thayaparan

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

– US author James Bovard

COMMENT | What the recently failed half-past-six emergency declaration has demonstrated is that the Malay political establishment is in total disarray. The fact that Muhyiddin Yassin loyalists – from the diverse political parties that make up PN or whatever it is called – are calling for ceasefire and cooperation indicates that the gang from the Sheraton Move are in trouble. This means Malaysia is in trouble.

All over the world, political systems and institutions are going through the wringer because what this Covid-19 pandemic is doing is ruthlessly pointing out the flaws in systems of governance. This could have been a time of reset and a reshaping of priorities, but here in Malaysia, we continue to meander and have become numb to the antics of the political class.

DAP senator Liew Chin Tong thinks that Malaysia needs a new operating system (OS), but what he considers a new reality that requires a new OS – a divided electorate, coalition building and bipartisanship – are merely baseline features of messy democracies all over the world.

The real issue here in Malaysia is that we have never got over our original sin of race and religion. The fact that the two biggest parties, in terms of representation and voter share, cannot find common ground because both sides use race and religion (in their own ways) to gin up their respective base, indicates that this country will never move forward…

From Afghanistan to France: Islamism attacks schools and kills teachers
From Afghanistan to France: Islamism attacks schools and kills teachers

On 17 October, a teacher at a middle school in a town northwest of Paris was beheaded on the street outside of his school. He was assassinated for facilitating a discussion with his students about caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad during his civic education class, which is in conformity with the National Education curriculum. Police shot his killer to death sometime later that same day. French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the killing an “Islamist terrorist attack”, as it appears that the killer was carrying out a sort of fatwa launched against this teacher on social media.

On Saturday 24 October, a suicide bomber attacked the Kawsar-e Danish centre in Kabul. The death toll was estimated at 24 and the number of wounded at 54, According to officials, many of the victims were teenage students between 15 and 26 years old.

In 2019, UNICEF declared that “attacks on schools in Afghanistan tripled between 2017 and 2018, surging from 68 to 192”. The UN agency added that “an estimated 3.7 million children between the ages of 7 and 17 – nearly half of all school-aged children in the country – are out of school in Afghanistan”, with 60% of them being girls. Schools and girls’ education are clearly priority targets on the agenda of Islamist terrorists.

Teachers are increasingly vulnerable to death, injuries and abduction, not only in Afghanistan but also in other Muslim majority countries torn by conflicts with Islamist extremist groups.

Afghanistan, France and others: different countries, same battle

School education is targeted, including in democratic countries, by extremist Islamist ideology regardless of whether it is done in non-violent or violent ways.

Their objective in democracies is to intimidate teachers so that they self-censure and keep silent about numerous points of their political ideology and governance, including: extra-judicial killing, homophobia, gender-based segregation and discrimination, an inferior status of women and non-Muslim people, discrimination, and so on.

Their objective concerning educational programmes is to obstruct their implementation on a number of issues such as: teaching about the holocaust and anti-Semitism, the theory of evolution, the study of the human body, swimming lessons, and the like.

Their objective is to reach Muslim school children with their extremist Islamist teachings through various channels and mould them into active opponents to points of the curriculum that they disagree with.

Finally, the ‘ideologisation’ and takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood of associations addressing anti-Muslim sentiments and hate speech in democratic countries is an essential component of this strategy.

Islamism is a political ideology, not a new Muslim movement

Islamism is a political ideology and must be treated as such. Radical Islamists are not teaching an alternative theology, like the Tabligh Jamaat followers or the Sufis. They aspire to take power in Muslim-majority countries where populations are peacefully practicing and teaching Sunni, Shia and other forms of Islam. In other countries, they try to undermine and manipulate their political, educational and cultural institutions, their societal weaknesses, vulnerable groups within their societies and their generous freedoms. Their objective is to divide and fracture societies with the intent of inciting community-based violence. Chaos is the fertile ground on which they can prosper.

The battle against Islamism in France and other democratic countries must not be against Islam as a religion or against Muslims as their co-religionists in Muslim majority countries are the main victims of this ideology. An increasing number of Muslim leaders and institutions oppose Islamism in France individually and collectively, such as the Conference of the Imams in France and the Union of the Mosques in France. The French state must provide them with full assistance and must combat Islamism as a political movement on every battlefield with the appropriate weapons and partners.

Religion in a pluralistic society
Religion in a pluralistic society

The equality bills by their very name give one the impression that they are a step in the right direction.

Who doesn’t want equality? We all want to eliminate discrimination. Pointing out the bills’ shortcomings, therefore, should be looked at positively.

We have to admit that our society is not different from other western democracies. We live in a pluralistic and secular society where different voices and opinions want to be heard.

While the Church preaches absolute truths to safeguard the dignity of the human person and promote the common good, in a secular society truth becomes relative and subjective. Secular voices insist on privileging no religion – on silencing the voice of religion. Secularisation is unconsciously pervading our culture and dictating the way forward.

It is in the context of such an environment that we need to seriously debate the equality bills. By insisting that everyone is equal we seem to be emphasising the value of equality and giving less importance to the value of diversity.

In the book by George Carey and Andrew Carey, We Don’t Do God, it is stated: “By insisting on compliance on matters that are morally questionable in the eyes of some citizens, the state is moving beyond democracy to authoritarianism, thus creating an unhealthy culture”.

To tolerate does in no way mean to submit or deny one’s point of view. In order not to offend, very often, we feel refrained from speaking out about our views – from practising our religion in public.

Quoting from the editorial of the Daily Telegraph, the Careys point out that, in Britain, “The right to hold religious beliefs, and to act in keeping with one’s faith, is being set against the right not to offend – and is losing. This is a dispiriting trend in a free society”.

Our faith and Catholic doctrine enrich our society

Shall the equality bills, therefore, when they become law, bring about conflict between equality and diversity? Is the ‘supremacy clause’ going to be in conflict with one’s conscience?

Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights gives prominence to the right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It also gives one the right to manifest one’s religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

Due to the rapid transformation of our society, which is becoming more cosmopolitan and multicultural, we tend to downgrade our Christian tradition. Rather than looking with pride at our Christian roots and being grateful for all that the Church has been doing throughout the years, we try to belittle her impact.

The predominance of our Catholic religion on other faiths is not a question of privilege as some seem to think. It is a fact that our Catholic faith is part and parcel of our Maltese identity. Our Christian roots have grown and spread because of the strong faith of our forefathers. Why denounce or downplay our Christian foundation? Why curtail the Christian ethos of Church schools?

Unless we stand up and vehemently defend the right to publicly practise our religion, we shall one day find ourselves struggling to practise what we believe in. Religion is not a private affair. Quoting once more from the Careys: “For Christians, the whole life is indivisible. We cannot retreat to a privatised ghetto because the Gospel concerns the whole of life. There is no ‘privatised’ morality because the whole life is based on morality. Faith is necessarily public”.

Let not those in power fall into the trap of secularism. Let not politicians be shy to publicly proclaim their beliefs for, no, religion is not a private matter. We have churches in every town and village not as museum pieces or to dominate but as a witness and a reminder of our dependence on the Supernatural.

Our faith and Catholic doctrine enrich our society and they will continue doing so if we only allow them. Our Catholic schools with their religious character have been in the forefront to promote justice, inclusion and the common good.

Let us not in the name of equality and tolerance divest ourselves of our diversity and religious identity. Promoting Christian values and inculcating in our young ones a Christian ethos is not a privilege but a mission entrusted to those of us who profess the Catholic faith.

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Open letter to the European Parliament: Call out the EU Council on its rule of law hypocrisy ǀ View
Open letter to the European Parliament: Call out the EU Council on its rule of law hypocrisy ǀ View

A few weeks ago, the European Council appointed the European prosecutors who will be part of the European Public Prosecution Office (EPPO). Some might remember the controversy surrounding the appointment of its Chief Prosecutor last year. The Council appointed an independent panel to evaluate the candidates but, under pressure from the Romanian government, initially planned on choosing a different candidate other than Romanian prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi who was preferred as its first choice. Ultimately, the European Parliament shielded the procedure from national interference and the independent panel prevailed in their choice.

The Council has now done the opposite with respect to the selection of the European Prosecutors who will work under the guidance of the Chief Prosecutor. With respect to the candidates of three member states Belgium, Bulgaria, and Portugal, the Council has decided to choose a candidate other than the one recommended by the independent panel, all without providing any reasons as to why it has done so and without its deliberation being made public. This strikes a blow at the credibility of the independence of the EPPO and the rule of law in the European Union.

The Council Regulation which set up the EPPO put in place a set of institutional guarantees aimed at safeguarding its independence. These include an impartial and independent selection process for the European prosecutors, guided by criteria of fairness and competence. Under the Regulation, member states are only permitted to nominate three candidates for a position (without any order of preference) with the selection and appointment to be done by the Council with the support of an independent panel that reviews and ranks the candidates.

Respect for the integrity of this procedure is crucial to protect trust in the independence of the EPPO. One of the reasons for the selection to be done at the European – and not national – level is because these prosecutors, while part of the EPPO, will have significant powers in regard to the investigations to be conducted in their member states of origin. They cannot owe their appointment to their national governments. The way the decision of the Council in appointing the new prosecutors was taken clearly undermines this objective.

It is true that the Council is not legally bound by the ranking made by the independent panel. But the Council must, at least, provide the reasons for when it opts for a different candidate. The independent panel provided reasons for its ranking. The Council cannot change this ranking without any explanation. In the absence of these reasons, a shadow is cast over the selection made by the Council, diminishing the trust of European citizens in the independence of the prosecutors.

The absence of reasons, as well as the total lack of transparency, also makes it impossible for EU citizens and other EU bodies (in particular the European Parliament) to effectively scrutinise the selection made by the Council.

The suspicion (based on the statements made by some national governments critical of its decision) is that the Council simply replaced the preferences of the independent committee by those expressed by the national governments of the candidates. This undermines the intent of the Council Regulation for the selection to be done at the European level. As stated, the Regulation did not even authorise member states to express a preference for any of the three candidates of their nationality. EU law expressly differentiates instances when the power of appointment is conferred on member states acting together or, as in this instance, it is vested in the Council, a Union institution acting on behalf of the rule of law and governed by the rule of law.

By undermining the role of the independent committee without providing any reasons to do so, the Council undermined the credibility and the independence of the EPPO. This is reinforced by the absolute lack of transparency and the strong suspicion that the choice was ultimately placed in the hands of the national governments of the different candidates. This is the exact opposite of the rule of law that the European Union claims to protect.

It is also contrary to what the EPPO stands for. It is for this reason that we call upon the European Parliament – whose own authority in this matter is also at stake, having helped to set up the independent committee – to seek the annulment of the Council decision before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Union cannot claim to be a defender of the rule of law if its own Prosecution Office is born in violation of such rule of law.


  • Alberto Alemanno, Professor, HEC, Paris
  • Andrea Simmoncini, Dean, Law School, Universitá de Firenze
  • Dimitry Kochenov, Professor, Groningen University Law School
  • Dominique Ritling, Professor, Strasbourg University Law School
  • Federico Fabrinni, Professor and Director Law Research Center, Dublin City University
  • Harm Schepel, Director of Law Programmes, Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent
  • Laurent Pech, Head of the Law Department, Middlesex University, London
  • Loic Azoulai, Professor, Sciences Po, Paris University
  • Kalypso Nicolaides, Professor, Oxford University and School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute
  • Kim Lane Scheppele, Professor, Princeton University
  • Miguel Poiares Maduro, Professor, Global Law School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa and School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute
  • Oreste Pollicini, Law School, Universitá Bocconi
  • Paul Craig, Professor, Oxford University
  • Sébastien Platon, Professor of Public Law, University of Bordeaux
  • Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Professor and Director of the Department of European and Comparative Law, University of Gdańsk
19,359 days spreading and creating smiles even more during challenging times
19,359 days spreading and creating smiles even more during challenging times

The Scientology Sea Organization celebrates its 53rd Anniversary

By Ivan Arjona Pelado.

President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights

It was Saturday 12th August in 1967, in the Canary Islands, Spain, that L. Ron Hubbard formed what is known as the Sea Organization, which was created and operated from a ship, and from that its name.

What it started as a dozen of dedicated members directly assisting Mr. Hubbard in the advanced research of the Scientology religion and helping manage the protection, safety, and expansion of Scientology, has to date overgrown to more than 6000 members that dedicate their life, skills, and efforts to make Scientology reachable and available to all mankind.

While the spread of Scientology and its social programs to more than 190 countries could have not been possible without the participation and contributions of energy and dedicated time of parishioners around the Globe, none of them will give you a different answer as to how come it happened. The most common and agreed answer is clear: The Sea Organization.

For Mr. Hubbard, not even 1 and 1/2 decade after the establishment of the first church of Scientology, it became crystal clear that purity and expansion of our truly humanitarian movement could not achieve its peace and freedom goals unless a spiritually and physically dedicated group of selfless beings would join together, roll up their sleeves and do whatever it would take to save mankind from the ignorance, oppression, and wars (with weapons or economy) in which human beings are so prone to trap themselves with.

Mr. David Miscavige, at the lobby of the Church of Scientology

Thanks to Ron, we in the Sea Org, and we in Scientology as a whole, have been lucky enough to count on a leadership, Mr. David Miscavige, who has exponentially improved the standards of every church and parishioners to a better life and the safest trip towards spiritual freedom. The same person who looks not only to the expansion of our religion but who is also setting a worldwide example on how humanitarian problems must get solved at once and so have a safer planet for all, regardless of nation, color, race, or religion.

So, whether you are a Scientologist or not, whether you know a member of the Sea Organization or not, be sure of one thing: they will do whatever it takes, in full compliance with The Way To Happiness and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to make of yours a better life.

And it is for this reason that in this 53rd Anniversary of this young (in eternity) but mature (in dedication and results) religious order I would like you to join me on giving the acknowledgment and respect that each one of its members deserves.

Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality, a review by Patrick Horn
Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality, a review by Patrick Horn

Aldous Huxley is among the most important thinkers of the 20th century. He was a key figure among a network of intellectuals and writers interested in transcendence and transformation, and he enormously influenced the Human Potential Movement, the 1960s psychedelic counterculture, the New Age Movement, and deep ecology.

In Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality, Jake Poller reviews Huxley’s investigations and experiments in sociology and mysticism in comparison to the differing perspectives on similar themes in his fiction, including Brave New World (Chatto & Windus, 1932) and Island (Chatto & Windus,1962). Poller skillfully shows the modern literary influence of H.G. Wells and D.H. Lawrence on Huxley’s early aesthetic and also defines a cultic milieu for the Perennial Philosophy, which is contrasted to historical antecedents and similar variations. The author draws heavily from the literary criticism of David Bradshaw and cites Wouter J. Hanegraaff and Jeffrey J. Kripal in positing a Western esoteric tradition. Finally, Poller situates Huxley in a sequence of mind-altering drug champions that include P.D. Ouspensky and Aliester Crowley as predecessors, scientific researchers Humphrey Osmond and Albert Hoffman, and popularizers such as Timothy Leary and Terence McKenna.

Huxley critiqued the aims of Gerald Heard’s Open Conspiracy Club, which envisioned a collective eschatology in Western psychology when an elite group of scientists and industrialists displace nationalist states with a rational, technocratic planetary government. During the first phase, the vague beginnings of organization sought to define the aims with proposals and propaganda, intimate contact with educational reformers, and actual development of the Earth’s resources in a global economy and world banking system. Huxley, who was a member of Heard’s Peace Pledge Union, worried about the dangers of machines intended to elevate humanity instead enslaving people, and he also warned about the possibility of exploitation when humans are trained (and drugged) to be obedient workers and predictable consumers. Huxley believed that peace is not possible without a religious philosophy agreeable to all nations. He rejected behavioralism in favor of Immanuel Kant’s transcendental idealism and proposed a Minimum Working Hypothesis and FourFundamental Tenets of the Perennial Philosophy, which is not universal (found in all religions at all times) but recurs in several traditions. Huxley was intrigued by examples of socially and spiritually mandated forms of sexual promiscuity, and his ideal politics would make the world safe for mystical experience.

Poller traces the varieties of perennialism starting with definitions: “spiritual” is neither secular nor is it institutional religion; “alternative” is not mainstream culture. Mysticism (as defined by William James and Rudolf Otto) is not esotericism (a Renaissance synthesis and polemic Other to Enlightenment discourse) which is not occultism (like Theosophy and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn).

Moreover, Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy is historically distinct from both De Perennis Philosophia (the Vatican librarian’s response to Luther’s protest) and also Marsilia Ficino’s Prisca Theologia (a Platonic worldview derived from the wisdom mythologized in legends of Moses, Hermes Trismegistus, Zoroaster, Orpheus, etc). The late 19th-century and early 20th-century cultic milieu was strongly determined by three inspirations: The Secret Doctrine by Madame Helena P. Blavatsky (Theosophical Publishing Society, 1875), which proposed hidden masters attempting to reconcile all sects and nations under a common system of ethics (later interpretations by Annie Besant and Alice Bailey expanded this concept into administrative offices of a planetary government); Traditionalism (represented by Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and Frithjof Schuon) which claimed to transmit a superior but partially corrupted and incomplete ancient knowledge which is inaccessible except through initiation rites similar to the Sufis and Freemasons; and, Neo-Vedanta which emerged from the cross-pollination of Unitarian Christianity and American Transcendentalism and produced a “New Dispensation” that claimed right guidance and practice will enable correct perception of the truth which has been concealed or distorted.

Huxley drafted the prospectus for Heard’s Trabuco College of Prayer, an intentional community imitating the charity and compassion of religious orders. It was imagined as an undogmatic, nonhierarchical, nondenominational club for mystics and rest center for social workers. It was open to maladjusted youth seeking to regain control of themselves and return to an integrated life in the world. Heard was interested in the regeneration of the individual (168), but he also believed the only hope for our derelict civilization is in the emergence of Neo-Brahmins who have attained the next stage of evolution and assumed leadership of humanity (158). Heard practiced an idiosyncratic discipline seeking a telepathic connection to an impersonal psychic field which had no resemblance to Patanjali’s yoga or Swami Vivekananda’s program (151). Huxley visited six times, once with Jiddu Krishnamurti who was disturbed and declined to return. Heard judged his attempt to be a failure and donated the compound to Swami Prabhavananda. Huxley’s interest pivoted toward tantra, which Poller compares to descriptions by Heinrich Zimmer, John Woodroofe, and Hugh Urban.

Huxley believed human progress results not from an evolutionary leap or paranormal training, but through cultivating existing potential aided by pharmacology. Heard also promoted LSD as an educational tool to right-wing Libertarian groups and introduced the drug to the engineers at the Sequoia Seminars who were in pursuit of a man-machine symbiosis through computer-augmented and artificial intelligence. Huxley regarded LSD as “moksha-medicine” (liberation) and the cure-all for modern problems. He took psilocybin at MIT with Leary, who dosed members of the Vedanta Center in Boston using Ganges water in a chalice. Huxley advised Leary to “turn on the elites” and advocated appropriate set-and-setting, but Allen Ginsburg persuaded Leary to reach out to the public instead. The movement that emerged was chaotic and dangerous. 

There was a time when perennialism flourished in the counterculture (through Alan Watts) and in the academy (through Mircea Eliade). However, this important branch of intellectual history and associated figures (including Carl J. Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Huston Smith as exemplars in their respective fields) was stigmatized and rejected in the postmodernist demolition project. Poller rescues Huxley from the disdain heaped on his “synthetic Yoga-Buddhic-Christian religion” and shows the connection between Huxley’s experiments in lived ideology as reflected in his creative literary achievements. Poller’s compelling book enhances appreciation and deepens respect for Huxley’s fiction and visionary mysticism. About the Reviewer(s): 

Patrick Horn is a Public Scholar and the Membership Committee Chairman for the Religion Communicators Council Board of Governors. Date of Review: July 30, 2020 About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jake Poller, Ph.D. (2010), Queen Mary University of London, is the editor of Altered Consciousness in the Twentieth Century (Routledge, 2019). 

The Global battle
The Global battle

By Jorge Buxade

(this is a non revised translation of original here)

Vox is not going to fight the left with the same weapons, in whole or in part. Vox’s weapons are called common sense, and a social and national sense of things.

Since May 68, the parties of the left, throughout Europe, have renounced two banners of attachment: the defence of the interests and needs of the workers, and the conscience of the nation.

They decided at that moment to change their political “hooks” to initiate a policy of “identities and collectives”: feminism, ecology, immigrationism, animalism, and in the last phase, the gender movements; all “transversal” movements where the family, the social and the national are irrelevant circumstances; because in reality their objective is to demolish everything.

In this way, the left became the main ally of the large multinationals that have only one objective: to globalize consumer habits, to globalize production and profits, to save on labor; to eliminate national regulations that protect what is their own, to eliminate the union defense of the workers, to give just one example.

That is why, all over the world, there is no longer a confrontation between left and right in the classical sense; but between patriots and globalists. We have seen this in the George Floyd affair when the multinationals have allied themselves with the anti-fa terrorist movements.

Both want a world without nation-states. Both of them respond to the same concept of human being: an isolated individual, who determines and asserts himself every morning, sexually, in the family, socially; uprooted, without memory and without tradition. That individual who is proposed rejects everything that is given to him: the family and the nation; he is an isolated individual. He is the perfect target for the big corporations that place their products on him, even though he does not need them: the perfect consumer.

In Vox we believe that the person, the human being is something else: he is not an isolated individual but a being in relation to his past, his tradition, his customs, history, family, his democratic institutions, his nation. At VOX we know that the family or the nation is an essential part of who we are, and they are good things, which should be preserved and strengthened. We know, because common sense says so, that happiness is not in self-determination every day and consuming anything even if it’s cheaper, but in being what one is, in feeling like a member of a family or a nation, which is a guarantee of rights and protects you when they go wrong.

The left has deceived the Spanish worker and left him alone, helpless and uprooted, to be a mere consumer. The interests are common: it is in the interest of the left-wing parties to have an uncritical citizen who consumes the intellectual rubbish that they propagate in the media and social networks; and it is in the interest of the large conglomerates to have a citizen who satisfies their thirst for freedom and happiness by consuming things and services that are often unnecessary.

They no longer defend the Spanish worker against his or her real problems: the search for a job; decent jobs, real reconciliation of work and motherhood, housing, safety in the streets, illegal competition from foreign products and services, illegal immigration.

Their banners are far from biological reality (gender), physical reality (global warming versus protection of the natural environment) or historical reality (official truth versus freedom of thought).

And that is why, more than ever, the interests of the worker are intimately linked to those of the self-employed and the small or medium business owner, to the defense of private property, of the primary and industrial sectors, of the rural world, and of the freedom of enterprise; all of them threatened by mundialist movements that globalize ideas destructive of the political order, intellectual misery and social control.