The Attacks on NY & Washington
Thursday, September 13, 2001
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"
NHNE: The Attacks on NY & Washington
Thursday, September 13, 2001
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Like many of you, I've been inundated with email concerning the attacks
in New York and Washington. I've also spent hours watching CNN and the
other major television networks. Everyone, it seems, is trying to make
some sense of these traumatic events.
Predictably, the mainstream media is primarily focused on the extraordinary,
emotionally-charged outer events: the horrendous crashes, the loss of
life, eye-witness accounts, rescue efforts, analyzing the events that
precipitated the crashes, guarding against future attacks, restoring
normalcy and, of course, efforts to locate and "punish" those
But behind the scenes another kind of processing has been going on:
many people, from a variety of religious traditions and philosophical
perspectives, have been attempting to identify the deeper, unseen forces
that produced the outer infernos.
What has America done to engender such hatred and wrath? What valid
grievances do "terrorists" have and how can their concerns
be holisticly responded to? How can the endless cycles of violence be
stopped -- in the outer world where they manifest as airplanes full
of "innocent people" being hijacked and crashed into buildings
full of other "innocent people", and deep inside ourselves
where they first appear as dogmatic ideas, self-righteous perspectives,
and the universal human tendency to blame others for whatever ills have
This two-part special report contains news, resources, and heartfelt
comments from both mainstream and alternative sources, with a special
focus on the deeper issues that are often overlooked by the culture
at large. My hope is that this information will not only give us deeper
insight into the painful events that are unfolding in our external world,
but, more importantly, help us see, understand, and heal the forces,
deep inside, that are the true source of our individual and collective
Special thanks to Tom Atlee, John Steiner, Halim Dunsky, Gary Gach,
Diana Brock Makes, Art Rosenblum, Chester Hatstat, and many others who
sent in many of the posts that appear in this report.
--- David Sunfellow
1. A CHRONOLOGY OF THE EVENTS OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
2. EMERGENCY INFORMATION HOTLINES
3. ESPECIALLY INSIGHTFUL MAINSTREAM NEWS STORIES
- Attacks Show That Political Courage Is The Only Real Defense
- Understanding Osama Bin Laden
- Is The World's Favorite Hate Figure To Blame?
- For America, A Dose Of Reality
- What Is The Right Us Response?
4. A PETITION FOR A SANE RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
5. A DIFFERENT KIND OF RESPONSE
6. ESPECIALLY INFORMATIVE NEWS SOURCES
7. OTHER VOICES
- Deepak Chopra
- Paul Von Ward
- Michael Moore
- Gary Zukav
- Sharif Abdullah
- Lama Surya Das
- Marianne Williamson
- Steve Hassan
- Doug Carmichael
- Jennifer Hadley
- Nicholas Longo
- John Perry Barlow
- Chris Stout
- Mark Gerzon
- Halim Dunsky
- John Atlee
- Diana Morley
- Vicki Robin
- David La Chapelle
- Neale Donald Walsch
- Tom Atlee
- Pennie Stasik O'Grady
1. A CHRONOLOGY OF THE EVENTS OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
The New York Times
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
7:55 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 leaves Boston bound for Los Angeles
8:00 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 departs Newark bound for San Francisco
8:10 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 departs Washington bound for
8:15 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 departs Boston bound for Los Angeles
8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 strikes the north tower of the
World Trade Center.
8:55 a.m. According to wire reports, President Bush, who is in Sarasota,
Fla., is informed of the attacks
9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 strikes the south tower of the
World Trade Center.
9:15 a.m. President Bush makes statement condemning terrorist attack.
9:25 a.m. FAA shuts down all New York City area airports.
9:35 a.m. All bridges and tunnels in the Manhattan area closed.
9:40 a.m. FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports.
9:55 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 hits Pentagon.
10:05 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:05 a.m. President Bush leaves Sarasota; White House evacuated.
10:15 a.m. A portion of the Pentagon collapses.
10:24 a.m. The FAA reports all inbound transatlantic aircraft are being
diverted to Canada.
10:25 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, 80
miles southeast of Pittsburgh
10:27 a.m. The World Trade Center's north tower collapses.
10.46 a.m. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip
to Latin America to return to the United States.
10:53 a.m. New York's primary elections scheduled for today are postponed.
10:55 a.m. Financial Markets closed in New York
11:02 a.m. New York Mayor Rudy W. Giuliani urges citizens to stay at
home or work and orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.
11:15 a.m. U.N. headquarters in New York is fully evacuated
12:04 p.m. Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of three
of the hijacked American Airlines flights, is evacuated.
12:25 p.m. San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut
1:04 p.m. President Bush speaks from Barksdale Airforce Base in Louisiana.
1:45 p.m. Pentagon announces that warships and aircraft carriers will
take up positions in the New York and Washington areas.
8:30 p.m. President Bush addresses nation from White House
2. EMERGENCY INFORMATION HOTLINES
New York Times
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Main New York City Numbers:
- NYC Emergency Information: 212-560-2730
- NYPD Emergency Information: 212-741-4626 or 866-856-4167
- American Airlines: 1-800-245-0999
- American Airlines Statement: http://www.aa.com
- United Airlines: 1-800-932-8555
- United Airlines Statement: http://www.ual.com
United also has established its international toll-free
numbers for friends or family members who want more
information. Those numbers are:
- The Netherlands: 020504051
- Germany: 06966985407
- Italy: 024829813
- Belgium: 027133646
- France: 0169199659
- Red Cross WTC Victim Information: 212-604-7285
- WTC: AON Employees: 203-863-6380
- WTC: Morgan Stanley Employees: 888-883-4391
- WTC: Carr Future: 800-755-7620
- WTC: Cantor Fitzgerald: 866-326-3188
- WTC: Pitney Bowes: 800-932-3631
- Pentagon Employees: 1-877-663-6772
- Fire Department and EMT Employees: 718-999-2541
- Police Department Employees: 718-677-8238
New York City Hospitals:
- St. Vincent's Hospital: 212-604-7285
- Bellevue Hospital Center: 212-562-4141
- Coler Memorial Hospital: 212-848-6300
- Goldwater Memorial Hospital: 212-318-8000
- Gouverneur Hospital D&TC: 212-238-7000
Other New York City Services:
- City Mortuary: 212-562-3051
- Chief Medical Examiner: 212-447-2030
- Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center: 718-579-5000
- Metropolitan Hospital Center: 212-423-6262
- St. Vincent's Health Crisis Center: 212-604-8220
- Department of Mental Health Services: 212-442-5000
3. ESPECIALLY INSIGHTFUL MAINSTREAM NEWS STORIES:
ATTACKS SHOW THAT POLITICAL COURAGE IS THE ONLY REAL DEFENSE
By William Pfaff
International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
[Thanks to Tom Atlee and Mark Robinowitz.]
The first thing that must be said about the attacks in New York and
Washington on Tuesday is that they have demonstrated the vulnerability
of the United States, as of any modern society, to an intelligently
prepared and determined attack.
Military officials and the uniformed and civilian analytic agencies
attached to the U.S. defense establishment have for decades formulated
speculative scenarios of attack on the nation, but their work has all
but invariably been dominated by the high-technology mind-set of the
Pentagon and by the engineering ethos of American society.
The planning has always suffered from the planners' assumption that
their opponent would attack them in a manner symmetrical to the defenses
they already had or that they planned to have.
Thus they concentrated speculation and planning on the danger of attack
with mass-destruction weapons, probably using more or less high-technology
methods. The discussion has almost entirely concerned missile attacks,
rogue nuclear weapons and chemical and biological agents. Rogue commercial
aircraft were not interesting to defense planners.
The real lesson, which was not learned, was provided nearly 60 years
ago, shortly before the end of World War II, when an American medium
bomber, lost in the fog, crashed into the Empire State Building in New
York City -- then the country's highest building.
The lesson was that exotic methods and high technology are not necessary
to produce devastating results. On Tuesday the lesson was validated.
You merely need to crash three old-fashioned airplanes into vulnerable
targets to produce mass panic in the United States, shutdown of most
of the government and evacuation of the centers of Washington, New York
and other major cities.
The second lesson was that the psychological and political consequences
of such an event are not primarily measured by the scale of the casualties
but by the unexpectedness and drama of the attack. So long as the attack
remains anonymous, the fear and panic increase.
The effect sought is demonstration of the vulnerability of those who
are targeted -- and the continuing vulnerability of those who might
be targeted the next time. It is to demonstrate that high-technology
defenses, of the kind in which the United States takes pride, can easily
be circumvented, using simple methods. It is to demonstrate that there
is no real defense against an anonymous attack that makes use of the
ordinary functioning of civilian society.
Such an attack is possible so long as civil airplanes fly, trains run,
power systems and utilities function, people go to work and business
and markets continue. Each can be subverted, or intervened in, or exploited
in ways that damage their users and the larger society.
Even a totalitarian security state cannot deal with this -- even if
it were to suppress basic civil liberties. It is extremely important
to understand this, since there will be two natural reactions to what
has happened, both of them essentially futile.
First there will be continuing calls for revenge against whomever is
responsible, presuming that the author is eventually identified.
The practical uselessness of revenge has repeatedly been demonstrated,
and continues to be demonstrated in the Middle East, since those who
employ terrorism are not functioning on a pragmatic scale of reward
and punishment. As the Israelis find, making martyrs of your enemies
invites further martyrdoms.
The second reaction will be that the United States needs even more
elaborate defenses than now exist. Yet the Pentagon, CIA, NSA and the
rest of the American apparatus of national security proved incapable
of preventing the attacks Tuesday. They are incapable of preventing
their repetition in some other version.
There are no technological defenses, as such, against this sort of
thing. Surely, if nothing else comes out of the attacks Tuesday, they
ought to have demonstrated to Americans the irrelevance of national
There are ordinary security measures that can be taken or improved,
but the nature of attacks mounted from within the regular functions
of society, means that no comprehensive or conclusive defense exists.
The entire history of terrorism in both 19th and 20th centuries has
The final and most profound lesson of these events is one that it will
be hardest for government to accept -- this government in particular.
It is that the only real defense against external attack is serious,
continuing and courageous effort to find political solutions for national
and ideological conflicts that involve the United States.
The immediate conclusion nearly everyone has drawn about the origin
of these attacks is that they come out of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.
It is reasonable to think that this is so, although there is as yet
For more than 30 years the United States has refused to make a genuinely
impartial effort to find a resolution to that conflict. It has involved
itself in the Middle East in a thousand ways, but has never accepted
a responsibility for dealing impartially with the two sides -- locked
in their shared agony and their mutual tragedy.
If current speculation about these bombings proves to be true, the
United States has now been awarded its share in that Middle Eastern
UNDERSTANDING OSAMA BIN LADEN
By William O. Beeman
Pacific News Service/Alternet
September 12, 2001
The United States risks a severe miscalculation in dealing with the
destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon
This event is not an isolated instance of violence. This is not an
"act of war." It is one symptom of a cancer that threatens
The root cause is not terrorist activity, as has been widely stated.
It is the relationship between the United States and the Islamic world.
Until this central cancerous problem is treated, Americans will never
be free from fear.
Merely locating and hunting down a single "guilty party"
in this case will not stop future violence: such an action will not
destroy the organization of terrorist cells already established throughout
the world. Of greater importance, it will do nothing to alleviate the
residual enmity against America.
The perpetrators of the original attack on the World Trade Center in
1993 were caught and convicted. This did not stop the attack on Tuesday.
The chief suspect is the Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden, or his surrogates.
He has been mischaracterized as an anti-American terrorist. He should
rather be thought of as someone who would do anything to protect Islam.
Bin Laden began his career fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan
in 1979, when he was 22 years old. He has not only resisted the Soviets,
but also the Serbians in Yugoslavia. His anger was directed against
the United States primarily because of the U.S. presence in the Gulf
region, more particularly in Saudi Arabia itself -- the site of the
most sacred Islamic religious sites.
According to bin Laden, during the Gulf War America co-opted the rulers
of Saudi Arabia to establish a military presence in order to kill Muslims
in Iraq. In a religious decree issued in 1998, he gave religious legitimacy
to attacks on Americans in order to stop the United States from "occupying
the lands of Islam in the holiest of places." His decree also extends
to Jerusalem, home of the sacred Muslim site the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Bin Laden will not cease his opposition until the United States leaves
the region. Paradoxically, his strategy for convincing the United States
to do so seems drawn from the American foreign policy playbook. When
the United States disapproves of the behavior of another nation, it
"turns up the heat" on that nation through embargoes, economic
sanctions or withdrawal of diplomatic representation. In the case of
Iraq following the Gulf War, America employed military action, resulting
in the loss of civilian life.
The State Department has theorized that if the people of a rogue nation
experience enough suffering, they will overthrow their rulers, or compel
them to adopt more sensible behavior.
The terrorist actions in New York and Washington are a clear and ironic
implementation of this strategy against the United States.
Bin Laden takes no credit for actions emanating from his training camps
in Afghanistan. A true ideologue, he believes that his mission is sacred,
and he wants only to see clear results. For this reason, the structure
of his organization is essentially tribal, or cellular, in modern political
terms. His followers are as fervent and intense in their belief as he
is. They carry out their actions because they believe in the rightness
of their cause, not because of bin Laden's orders or approval. Groups
are trained in Afghanistan, and then establish their own centers in
places as far-flung as Canada, Africa and Europe. Each cell is technologically
sophisticated, and may have a different set of motivations for attacking
the United States.
Palestinian members of his group see Americans as supporters of Israel
in the current conflict between the two nations. In the Palestinian
view, Ariel Sharon's ascendancy to leadership of Israel has triggered
a new era, with U.S. government officials failing to pressure the Israeli
government to end violence against Palestinians. Palestinian cell members
will not cease their opposition until the United States changes its
relationship with the Israeli state.
Above all, Americans need to remember that the rest of the world has
an absolute right to self-determination that is as defensible as our
own. A despicable act of terror such as that committed in New York and
Washington is a measure of the revulsion that others feel at U.S. actions
that seemingly limit those rights. If we perpetuate a cycle of hate
and revenge, this conflict will escalate into a war that our great-grandchildren
will be fighting.
IS THE WORLD'S FAVOURITE HATE FIGURE TO BLAME?
Osama bin Laden
By Robert Fisk
12 September 2001
[Thanks to Art B. Rosenblum.]
I can imagine how Osama bin Laden received the news of the atrocities
in the United States. In all, I must have spent five hours listening
to him in Sudan and then in the Afghan mountains, as he described the
inevitable collapse of the US, just as he and his comrades in the Afghan
war helped to destroy the Red Army.
He will have watched satellite television, he will have sat in the
corner of his room, brushing his teeth as he always did, with a mishwak
stick, thinking for up to a minute before speaking. He once told me
with pride how his men had attacked the Americans in Somalia. He acknowledged
that he personally knew two of the Saudis executed for bombing an American
military base in Riyadh. Could he be behind the slaughter in America?
If Mr bin Laden was really guilty of all the things for which he has
been blamed, he would need an army of 10,000. And there is something
deeply disturbing about the world's habit of turning to the latest hate
figure whenever blood is shed. But when events of this momentous scale
take place, there is a new legitimacy in casting one's eyes at those
who have constantly threatened America.
Mr bin Laden had a kind of religious experience during the Afghan war.
A Russian shell had fallen at his feet and, in the seconds as he waited
for it to explode, he said he had a sudden feeling of calmness. The
shell never exploded.
The US must leave the Gulf, he would say every 10 minutes. America
must stop all sanctions against the Iraqi people. America must stop
using Israel to oppress Palestinians. He was not fighting an anti-colonial
war, but a religious one. His supporters would gather round him with
the awe of men listening to a messiah. And the words they listened to
were fearful in their implications. American civilians would no more
be spared than military targets. Yet I also remember one night when
Mr bin Laden saw a pile of newspapers in my bag and seized them. By
a sputtering oil lamp, he read them, clearly unaware of the world around
him. Was this really a man who could damage America?
If the shadow of the Middle East falls over yesterday's destruction,
then who else could produce such meticulously timed assaults? The rag-tag
Palestinian groups that used to favour hijacking are unlikely to be
able to produce a single suicide bomber. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have
neither the capability nor the money that this assault needed. Perhaps
the groups that moved close to the Lebanese Hizbollah in the 1980s,
before the organisation became solely a resistance movement. The bombing
of the US Marines in 1983 needed precision, timing and infinite planning.
But Iran, which supported these groups, is more involved in its internal
struggles. Iraq lies broken, its agents more intent on torturing their
own people than striking at the the US.
So the mountains of Afghanistan will be photographed from satellite
and high-altitude aircraft in the coming days, Mr bin Laden's old training
camps highlighted on the overhead projectors in the Pentagon. But to
what end? For if this is a war it cannot be fought like other wars.
Indeed, can it be fought at all without some costly military adventure
overseas? Or is that what Mr bin Laden seeks above all else?
FOR AMERICA, A DOSE OF REALITY
By Derrick Z. Jackson
The Boston Globe
[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]
The United States is wailing and wrenching, caught in its most bewildering
moment of war. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians, the most ever
killed on our shores, died within the space of a few hours by a violent
act. But the enemy carried no Union Jack, no Stars and Bars, no Iron
Cross, no rising sun, no swastika. It involved no visible army at all.
It is the most bewildering moment because we have the world's mightiest
army, yet the Pentagon was bombed. It is bewildering because America
is the world's richest nation, yet its greatest twin symbols of capitalism
no longer stand. It is bewildering because the president says terrorism
will not stand, yet he knows not where the enemy stands.
It is bewildering because we have fantasized, through our shelves of
disaster movies, from ''King Kong'' to ''Independence Day,'' that America
could be attacked by everything from gorillas to aliens, but most of
us would always be saved. ''Independence Day'' has now happened for
real, and we are bewildered because there are no spaceships for Will
Smith to shoot at. No spaceships are needed when you can simply fly
It is bewildering because in a nation so numb to celluloid violence,
gun violence, and even genocide abroad, no one can now be detached from
the effects of violence. Fifty thousand people work in the World Trade
Center. Hundreds more people were in the air when four passenger planes
were deliberately crashed. Well within the six degrees of separation,
all of us were somehow connected to someone who was in there or up there
and prayed that they came out or came down alive.
Nearly all of us fly, and there could not be a person in this nation
who did not cringe over replays of one of the planes exploding into
the World Trade Center. In this modern world, airplanes simultaneously
symbolize our faith in technology and the terror of helplessness. We
cringe because an unseen roll of the dice could have put any one of
us on board those airplanes. Here in Boston, it is sickening to think
that the hijackers of the two flights from Logan may have slept comfortably
in our midst the night before.
America now knows, in the most personal way, to the depths of its civilian
vulnerability, that it is part of the world. Obviously, whoever did
this must be found and put away forever. That only partially solves
the problem. If one recalls, America was originally reluctant to enter
what became World War II. Pearl Harbor changed all that. Now America
has been forced into the world again, at a probable loss of life worse
than Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941, 2,400 soldiers and 49 civilians
The question is, what world are we joining? The smoke has not cleared,
and our more hawkish leaders are whipping up the winds of revenge. A
senator was on CNN railing about the ''bastards.'' Security experts
were bellowing about holding fully responsible any nation that has ever
given comfort to Osama bin Laden, the most talked about suspect.
Since most states in this nation employ the death penalty, the term
''fully responsible'' is a perilous term. In the Gulf War, the United
States killed thousands of Iraqi civilians in ''collateral damage.''
If we did that merely over oil, does that mean we should bomb women
and children in, say, Afghanistan?
Revenge will be an understandable emotion in the coming days, as the
body count and the saber-rattling mount. But it is also eerie that,
suddenly, we want help on terrorism at the very time when we have been
isolating ourselves from the world stage, from the environment to racism
to missile defense. Missile defense would not have prevented the worst
peacetime act within the lower 48 states.
Whoever attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and our sense
of daily trust and freedom, must be found. But America must find itself,
too. The targets clearly represented America's global power, a power
that is not innocent of arrogance, either militarily or economically.
With all the condolence that can be offered, it is incongruent to think
that the world's leading exporter of the tools of death and destruction
would not someday be visited with an evil in return.
Yesterday America learned that its soul could be momentarily leveled,
humbled, and reduced to rubble. How we pick ourselves up will determine
how long this war will go on. It will depend on how humbly we handle
our power, which by definition makes us a target. What we know more
clearly than ever is that no matter how much we withdraw, the most terrible
evils can still come to us.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT U.S. RESPONSE?
By Brad Knickerbocker
The Christian Science Monitor
[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]
To some experts, the main response needs to be more diplomatic than
"The most constructive response for the president and government
would be to become much more engaged in the Middle East," says
Emilio Viano, a terrorism expert at American University in Washington.
"The region has been neglected," he adds, "and to the
extent we have been involved, it has been increasingly interpreted as
acting on the side of Israel."
"There is tremendous rage among Palestinians, and that has fueled
the fires of fundamentalism," explains Professor Viano. "It
would be more constructive to go to the root of all of this, and that
is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Going to the root of a problem that has simmered -- and often flared
-- for decades and generations is difficult under far simpler circumstances
than American now finds itself confronting.
And a military response, whether it is a quick retaliation or a protracted
response meant to permanently change the geopolitical landscape, nonetheless
brings with it the questions of balancing a nation's fundamental values.
"We have to be true to our principles, take into account the fact
that people will be vulnerable and without offense and themselves at
risk," says former CIA and FBI director William Webster. "We
should avoid doing to them what they did to us, which is to take innocent
4. A PETITION FOR A SANE RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]
In the aftermath of the ruthless attack on the World Trade Center and
Pentagon, we implore the leaders of the United States to ensure that
justice be served by protecting the innocent citizens of all nations.
We beg that the President maintain the civil liberties of all U.S.
residents, protect the human rights of all people at home and abroad,
and guarantee that this attempted attack on the principles and freedoms
of the United States will not succeed.
We plead for a thorough investigation of the terrorist events before
We call for PEACE and JUSTICE, not revenge.
NOTE: The system centralizes signature collection to provide consolidated,
useful reports for petition authors and targets.
5. A DIFFERENT KIND OF RESPONSE
By Peggy Holman
[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]
So much of our public discourse today plays out through the media and
their broadcasting of politicians. I have been sitting with the question
of what happens from here? It occurs to me that rather than watching
with great frustration as the politicians and media foment discord and
speak of punishing those at fault, it is time to let them know that
there are voices who wish to see a different kind of response. I have
gathered e-mail addresses for people I thought important to reach. Some
are here because they are in positions of power and it seems important
that they hear another perspective. I chose others because they seem
to be searching for other alternatives and are respected. You may have
others you think worth contacting.
So, I ask, as we talk to each other to make some sense out of this,
please consider also contacting people in the public eye to let them
know we wish to see a different kind of response. The note I am sending
follows the addresses I've located.
(I'm contacting Ted Koppel)
ABC World news tonight with Peter Jennings:
CBS News with Dan Rather:
NBC News with Tom Brokaw:
Lots of NBC contact addresses:
President George W. Bush:
Vice President Dick Cheney:
House of Representatives:
Working Assets Long Distance:
The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks create an enormous opportunity
for unity. These unspeakable acts dramatically draw most of us together
in our shock and disbelief. What about those who celebrate it? Who are
they? What is it that moves them to joy as the rest of us are moved
Their stories are a vital part of what happens next. As a person with
great influence and power, I implore you to tell us their stories. Why
do I want to know? Because it is by understanding their humanity that
the greatest chance for healing all of us occurs.
We can respond, as we always do, with swift, and just military vengeance.
We have centuries of experience of the results of this course. It simply
breeds more of the same.
At this time when we are all grieving for the people directly affected
and those close to them, let us respond differently. Help us to understand
the anger that turns such atrocity into valid action so that we can
face the enemy and see their humanity in ourselves.
Rather than deepen the divide, help us bridge it.
6. ESPECIALLY INFORMATIVE NEWS SOURCES:
The Drudge Report:
Dave Winer's Scripting News:
Lyco's News Photos of New York & Washington Disasters:
New York Daily News Online Photos:
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"
NHNE: Part 2 of 2: The Attacks on NY & Washington
Thursday, September 13, 2001
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7. OTHER VOICES:
THE DEEPER WOUND
By Deepak Chopra
[Thanks to John Steiner <email@example.com>.]
As fate would have it, I was leaving New York on a jet flight that
took off 45 minutes before the unthinkable happened. By the time we
landed in Detroit, chaos had broken out. When I grasped the fact that
American security had broken down so tragically, I couldn't respond
at first. My wife and son were also in the air on separate flights,
one to Los Angeles, one to San Diego. My body went absolutely rigid
with fear. All I could think about was their safety, and it took several
hours before I found out that their flights had been diverted and both
Strangely, when the good news came, my body still felt that it had
been hit by a truck. Of its own accord it seemed to feel a far greater
trauma that reached out to the thousands who would not survive and the
tens of thousands who would survive only to live through months and
years of hell. And I asked myself, Why didn't I feel this way last week?
Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia? Around
the world my horror and worry are experienced every day. Mothers weep
over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are
ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their
anguish enough to call a halt to it?
As we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military
response to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers.
However, we feel compelled to ask some questions.
Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, What was the root cause
of this evil? We must find out not superficially but at the deepest
level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world
and is even celebrated.
Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we
don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for
a long time?
One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred for
America. Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the
All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis. Isn't
something terribly wrong when jihads and wars develop in the name of
God? Isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan,
Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?
Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying
cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?
If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?
When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks,
and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells
them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against
If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any
form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for
an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind,
toothless and crippled?
Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now
been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is
patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another
form of tribalism?
What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening?
Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?
Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift
in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without
that is also from within?
When we have secured our safety once more and cared for the wounded,
after the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for
soul searching. I only hope that these questions are confronted with
the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind
the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no
safety until the root cause is faced. In this moment of shock I don't
think anyone of us has the answers. It is imperative that we pray and
offer solace and help to each other. But if you and I are having a single
thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment,
we are contributing to the wounding of the world.
THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED
By Paul Von Ward
September 11, 2001
[Thanks to Chester Hatstat.]
Today is my birthday. When the phone began to ring, I thought it would
be a child or loved one calling with a happy birthday wish. The first
calls were from a sister, a loved one, a child and then friends. But
the birthday wishes took a far second place. I was breathlessly asked
if I had heard the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been bombed,
by planes crashing into them. Shocked, I turned on the TV as the callers,
frightened and sobbing, inquired if my son and ex-wife were safe in
DC and if a former lover and friend who worked in lower Manhattan was
I had no idea how to respond; I had been repainting a bathroom wall.
Trying to absorb the devastating news, I frantically started making
calls. With no success in New York or Washington. Circuits were jammed
or the numbers were busy. I had no idea of their fates, and was forced
along with millions of others to await the news of friends and relatives
caught in the two separate explosive and fiery maelstroms of death.
My mind and limbs were like water. The cries and moans of the dying
and wounded reverberated throughout my cells. A part of my own being
seemed to perish with each soul's departure. While one part of me was
fighting to express its anger at the deaths and wounds of friends and
former colleagues, their names not yet known in both cities, another
was feeling the anguish and emptiness that their relatives will experience
when they get the news.
At the same time I felt a different sharpness cut through me, the source
being another form of soul pain -- the level of despair that causes
one to maim and kill a fellow human. My whole being was a microcosm
of the self-inflicted pain members of our species inflict on others.
Why does the human family live in such a way as to die the way so many
of us have to do? It was so clear to me that we were all parts of the
same body, but it was not clear to me why this body had turned on itself.
All my adult life when I have mentioned my birthday, I have said I
was born along with World War II, as Hitler invaded Poland in September
1939 and Britain and France had to declare war on Germany in the defense
of the free world. From that date the world changed forever. From now
on my 62nd birthday will mark another date of the world shifting directions.
We have no idea where it will end and what global society will be like
when the consequences of the principle of cause and effect work their
way throughout the human race. The direction it takes will be the legacy
this generation leaves to the next.
We now must recognize that the world is one place, that all humans
are one family, that no country can be independent of others, and that
when the world is finally safe for one it will be safe for all. The
academic discussions of interdependence has now been made real; everyone
in the world is within two or three relationships of at least one person
who lives or works in New York City or Washington, DC. When some of
us are harmed all of us are hurt. The new direction the world takes
must deal with this reality. Conscious humans everywhere will work to
keep this reality in our full awareness.
As we seek justice, as we seek understanding, as we seek revenge, as
we seek forgiveness, and as we seek the path to a better future, let
us remember that whatever we do consciously and energetically will come
back to us manyfold. As we do unto others, so we do unto ourselves.
That which we reap one day is the result of that which we have sown
on a previous day. May we be filled with love and compassion for all
those who were wounded or died, and for their famiiles, for giving us
another opportunity to make a different choice for our collective future
than we have exercised in the past.
The calls are finally in; though shaken to the core by the horrors
witnessed or sensed, members of my extended family are physically safe.
My heart goes out to those whose homes tonight are left with places
at the dinner table that will never be filled again. But to the survivors
are left the task to make sure that those who did not survive did not
die in vain. To honor them we must strive to create a world in which
justice and peace are the birthright of all people, and in which the
many are not left needy due to the way some of us live. To be truly
human we must rise above the emotions that divide, accept our part of
the responsibility for the whole and learn from today how to create
a better tomorrow.
By Michael Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight
from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible
range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work
and live in New York City.
My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened
by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to contact our
daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the
World Trade Center. I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked
up, the first tower imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed
and ran out, leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would
It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.
On December 27, 1985 I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist
incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there
and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each
city was timed to occur at the same moment.)
I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings
up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live. A
fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here -- there
but for the grace of.
Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions.
I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons through an x-ray
machine, and I know all will be well.
Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:
* At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The
counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just "go ahead and
get on" -- without a ticket!
* At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought
at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal
detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the
detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him "It's just a sandwich."
He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through
neither security device.
* At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide
to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with
my bag -- no one knowing what is in it.
* Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By
the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers
to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac, free
to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up
truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to
* I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought
a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.
Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines
consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour
to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my life
is worth -- less than the cost of an oil change.
Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American
Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000
a year in annual pay.
That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands.
Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year.
There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he
went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he
Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real? Yes, it is.
So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the
FAA is making. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing
-- the bottom line and the profit margin.
Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security
on the same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this heinous
act? My only response is -- that's all?
Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the "terrorist
threat" and today's scariest dude on planet earth -- Osama bin
Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't
Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a
desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated
jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these
three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far
Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political
fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED
to want to kill themselves today?
Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause
-- but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.
What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this
bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as
Osama bin Laden!
Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!
Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that
laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA
trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against
the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden
was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use
those same techniques against us.
We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.
We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in
the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and
me. Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!
We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent
people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt
our day one single bit.
We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world,
with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in
Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans
grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have
Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted
by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of
ex-military guys who hated the federal government.
From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility
suggested. Why is that?
Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient
in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the
all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the
object of our hatred doesn't look like us.
Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the
military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more
talk about more money for education or health care -- we should have
only one priority: our self-defense.
Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure
when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice
In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again.
He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference
on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby
Bush has blown it all.
The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version
of "God Bless America." They're not a bad group of singers!
Yes, God, please do bless us.
Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right.
They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush,
then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for
him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California
-- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!
Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.
Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine
our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.
It doesn't have to be like this.
COMPASSION OR REVENGE?
By Gary Zukav
[Thanks to Diana Brock Makes <email@example.com>.]
The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are occasions
of great significance. They are opportunities for you to feel inside,
to find those parts of yourself that are in fear, and to make the decision
to move forward in your life without fear. That is the challenge for
each individual on this planet today. The pursuit of external power
-- the ability to manipulate and control -- creates only violence and
destruction. The painful events in New York and Washington are living
examples of that reality.
The causal chain that created this violence is one in which compassion
and wisdom are absent. Are wisdom and compassion present in you as you
watch the television, and read the papers? It is important to realize
that you do not know all that came to conclusion, or into karmic balance,
as a result of these events. Because you are not able to know all that
can be known about them, you are not in a position to judge them.
When you are able to look at the events of the Earth School from this
perspective, you will see clearly the central importance of the role
that you play in it. That role is this:
It is for you to decide what you will contribute to this world. Many
will be asking your opinion of these events. Each question is an
opportunity for you to contribute to the love that is in the world or
to the fear that is in the world. This is the same opportunity that
presents itself to you at each moment.
If you hate those who hate, you become like them. You add to the violence
and the destructive energy that now fills our world. As you make the
decision to see with clarity and compassion, you will see that those
who committed these acts of violence were in extreme pain themselves,
and that they were fueled by the violent parts of ourselves -- the parts
that judge without mercy, strike in anger, and rejoice in the suffering
of others. They were our proxy representatives. If you can look with
compassion upon those who have suffered and those who have committed
acts of cruelty alike, then you will see that all are suffering.
The remedy for suffering is not to inflict more suffering.
This is an opportunity for a massive expression of compassion. It is
also an opportunity for a massive expression of revenge. Which world
do you intend to live in -- a world of revenge or a world of compassion?
OUR WAR WITH "THE OTHER"
By Sharif Abdullah
[Thanks to John Steiner <firstname.lastname@example.org>.]
Prayers for the Departed; Compassion for the Injured: First, I think
all of us should take a break from the television and radio broadcasts,
light a candle and say a few prayers:
First, for our friends, families, loved ones, business associates,
travel companions and others who have departed in these attacks -- our
prayers on the rest of their journey.
Next, those of us who have been injured -- physically, mentally, emotionally
and spiritually -- our compassion and prayers for healing.
For the rest of us -- hope that our compassion and understanding exceeds
our fear, our anger and our desire for revenge.
CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST:
There are some very, very angry people out there in the world. Part
of their anger is in not being heard. People who do not feel heard will
do ANYTHING to get one's attention.
Some of those angry people live here in the US; some are in other parts
of the world. Some look and act just like you.
In general, Americans have no idea that such anger exists. It's not
that people aren't screaming at you, its that you're programmed not
to see or hear them. Or, if you do hear them, you think they are saying
something other than "I am angry at you".
Or, you hear the anger yet ignore it -- these people can't possibly
hurt you in your middle-class, gated community, your gated lives. "We"
feel "protected" by our "security".
The US government has ignored these angry people, calling ANY attack
against the US or its interests "unprovoked".
The United States, directly and indirectly, supports violence throughout
the world. Denying it won't make this truth go away. We seem unable
to understand the anger of someone who had their village leveled by
American cruise missiles, or whose family was killed by a US-backed
government. Believe me, they are angry and they feel powerless. Anger
and powerlessness is the root of violence.
CULTURE AND CONSCIOUSNESS:
A few years ago, when I was in the Sri Lanka war zone, we passed two
young men who were acting in a way that I believed was consistent with
Tamil Tiger attack spotters. I mentioned this to my Sinhalese companion,
who said, "That's impossible; those boys are Sinhalese." I
asked him, "Is it possible for a Sinhala person to be in sympathy
with the Tigers?" He looked at me as though my head had jumped
off my shoulders and flew around the room.
Like the Oklahoma City bombing, the first (and predominant) thought
is that the perpetrators are Islamic fundamentalists, America's favorite
"Other". We are programmed to not hear or understand them.
Americans were in "shock" when the "foreign terrorist"
turned out to be blue-eyed Timothy McVeigh.
Let's not rush to see "the Other" as in any way different
from yourself. The people who steered those planes aren't "crazy,
cowardly fanatics". They are people whose spiritual emptiness and
frustration led them to commit these acts. Let's not think that their
emptiness is any different than our own.
FORGIVENESS AND WEAKNESS:
We may find it difficult to forgive, because many of us equate forgiveness
with weakness. In the face of attack, we want to attack back. We want
to find the perpetrators and make them hurt, the way that we are hurting.
We believe its the only way we can relieve our pain.
We have to find another way.
Many of us have been talking about a change of consciousness. Many
of us think that it is THE OTHER who must change; it is THE OTHER who
must change their consciousness. They point to their favorite "Other";
people of different ethnicity, class or power status.
It's not "the Other" who must change first -- its "us".
Beefing Security and Preventing Terrorism:
There is no way to stop a coordinated suicide attack. I repeat: there
is NO WAY to stop a suicide attack. The suicide attackers in Sri Lanka,
in the Middle East, and now in the US have a way of making their point,
with ever increasing accuracy and deadliness.
The ONLY way to prevent such an attack occurring in the future is to
de-fuse the attacker before the attack begins. We must work to remove
the ROOT CAUSES that drives the suicide attacker. Our intelligence must
be geared toward identification, understanding and transformation, not
technology and retribution. We clearly have the capacity to punish:
so far, that punishment has given us ever-escalating rounds of violence
and terror. We must generate a much greater capacity to transform "the
We cannot do this without the capacity to transform ourselves.
DISARMING THE HEART
By Lama Surya Das
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
[Thanks to Gary Gach.]
Buddha said that hate is never overcome by hate; hatred is only overcome
by love. With today's tragic events we may be on the brink of an escalating
war in the Middle East. I think that we must look into our hearts and
minds and see what we -- individually, collectively, societally -- are
doing to alleviate or to perpetuate these problems, and how we might
become part of their eventual solution. I think an eye-for-an-eye retaliatory
approach is not the most measured response at this time. But do our
Religion is supposed to further peace, happiness and harmony, not contribute
to hatred and prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, violence and war. Nonviolence
is the first precept of Buddhism, and a fundamental tenet of many world
religions; yet look what actually happens in the world, recently in
the Middle East and Bosnia, in Belfast and Sri Lanka, as well as throughout
history. Even here at home in America, guns in the schools and at home
continue to harm us. Violence both at home and abroad, even in our schools
and homes and neighborhoods, has come to the fore in our time as a major
focus of concern, but we have not made much progress in averting or
dealing with it.
Martin Luther King said that we have two choices: to peacefully coexist,
or to destroy ourselves. Do you know how many countries in the world
are experiencing war right now? Dozens, literally; yet we remain for
the most part insulated from that terrible reality. Here in America
we don't usually feel as much first-hand evidence of the recent twentieth
century's war death toll, although we certainly did during the several
wars of the twentieth century. But I don't think that war begins outside
somewhere, on a battlefield, along some disputed border, or in a diplomatic
conference room or economic summit meeting; war begins with the cupidity,
hatred, prejudice, racism, ignorance and cruelty in the human heart.
This is because the true battlefield is the heart of man, as Dostoevsky
says. If we want peace in the world -- and I firmly believe that we
all do -- we need to face this fact. We must learn how to deal with
anger and hatred, and to soften up and disarm our own hearts, as well
as work in larger contexts towards nuclear disarmament and peace in
our time. We need to think globally and act locally, beginning with
ourselves and each other -- at home, in the family, as well as outside
at work and in the community, reaching out more and more in broad, all-embracing
circles of collective caring and responsibility. This is the path to
a more peaceful future for all of us.
Today is a time for prayer, reflection on what is most important in
our lives, and to think about what steps we might take towards nonviolence
within ourselves and our own lives as well as towards a more peaceful
world. I myself am thinking about what the Buddhist wisdom tells us
about how to deal with anger and hatred, grief and loss.
What we experience today is a tragic event of monumental proportions,
comparable perhaps to Pearl Harbor. And yet, the fact that it hits us
in the heart of NY and Washington could remind us that it is the kind
of thing that happens during conflicts in other countries and their
capitals, and which we Americans have for the most part been mercifully
insulated from. I'd like us to reflect on that as we continue to pursue
our national goals and policies, realizing more and more deeply our
connectedness with the peoples and ongoing conflicts in other parts
of the world.
SPECIAL PRAYER REQUEST FOR THE ATTACK ON THE UNITED STATES
Global Renaissance Alliance <Office@renaissancealliance.org>
September 11, 2001
During this awful hour, we pray for those who lost their lives and
the lives of their loved ones in today's tragic attacks. May God's love
and wisdom prevail. Please, dear God, protect the people of the world.
May the pain and sorrow that we feel today, and witness in others,
be the spiritual springboard for powerful prayers for peace. In each
of us, there lies a divine connection to a power more powerful than
hate or violence. Today is the day to attune to that power, and use
it on behalf of peace on earth.
Join with others in your own family or community to allow the power
of "two or more gathered" to call down the miraculous elixir
of a loving God. May we not succumb to thoughts of violence and revenge
today, but rather to thoughts of mercy and compassion. Our God is a
God of justice, and His justice is rooted in love. "Vengeance is
mine, sayeth the Lord" means that God has His own way of righting
wrongs, and they are not our ways. We are to love our enemies, that
they might be returned to their right minds.
Please bring your Light
Into the darkened corners
Of our world today.
May Divine Love
Cast out all fear,
And peace prevail on earth.
For our errors.
Forgive others for theirs,
Please help us, God.
God bless you all. I am joined with you in prayer.
TERRORISTS? CAUTION: RESIST JUMPING TO "EVIL" CONCLUSION
By Steve Hassan
Freedom of Mind Resource Center
September 11, 2001
When trying to understand today's horrific events, it might be helpful
to understand cult psychology," cult expert and author Steven Hassan
"Members of terrorist organizations are in fact members of a destructive
mind control cult. The use of influence techniques to create a fanatic
are essentially the same. There are many similarities between the way
people are programmed in a cult which can result in an act of suicide
bombing. Many people while in a destructive cult, including myself,
can tell you that we were ready to die for the cause, if necessary."
How can a human being reign horrific death and destruction, as they
have today? Are they evil?
This is a question people are likely to be asking themselves on this
darkest of days in most American people's lifetimes.
"Thinking of the perpetrators merely as evil people may be a mistake,"
says Hassan, "as it is exactly that type of simplistic thinking
that ultimately can lead to this type of behavior."
"Part of the cult mentality is that people see things in terms
of black and white. Everything gets reduced to extremes belief of "good
versus evil" and "us versus them." Cult members are indoctrinated
to exercise strict blind obedience to the charismatic figure atop the
pyramid structure of their group. They are in a form of trance."
"Basically it's mind control. The recruit is given a new identity
(in the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, it
is referred to a Disassociative Disorder NOS 300.15). Destructive mind
control cult members often change names and take on a new language system;
they have different beliefs and usually different clothing. Reality
is redefined: for instance the Heaven's Gate followers didn't believe
they were committing suicide, they thought they were just leaving their
vehicles behind and traveling to a waiting spaceship.
"Cult members believe that they are part of an elite few, that
they are chosen by God for a special purpose, that they will always
be remembered as heroes for what they have done."
Suicide bombers go through an intense indoctrination: they are put
into a coffin and buried, and told that they are dead already. Then
they have no choice but to follow the plan: they believe that they are
already dead. They're in a trance, confident of their redemption as
they die, along with all the victims of their actions.
The Mayor of New York says, "this was an unprovoked act against
innocent men women and children."
I write to use all means available to simply say, there is no cause
without a cause. The creation of terrorism must be understood and dealt
with at the root of what creates people whose lives are pained enough
to make this kind of move. Everything is provoked. We must understand
the deeper picture of human reality.
Jennifer Hadley, Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence:
"The price of freedom is constant alertnesss and the willingness
to strike back with Consciousness."
Nicholas Longo, CEO of CoffeeCup Software:
This is Nicholas Longo, the CEO of CoffeeCup Software. As you may have
heard the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked about 45 minutes
The Team at CoffeeCup would like to send our heart felt sorrow to those
that perished in these attacks.
We would like to also say on record that if any country is found responsible
for these attacks, we call for that country's complete destruction and
Do not let terrorism which is designed to create fear and stop production,
halt your life or work.
Stay focused and do not stop what you are doing.
May God bless us all and the decisions we must make.
[Thanks to Raya.]
The date of the attack: 9/11 - 9 + 1 + 1 = 11
September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2 + 5 + 4 = 11
After September 11th there are 111 days left to the end of the year.
119 is the area code to Iraq/Iran: 1 + 1 + 9 = 11
Twin Towers - standing side by side, looks like the number 11
The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11
State of New York: The 11 State added to the Union
New York City: 11 Letters
Afghanistan: 11 Letters
The Pentagon: 11 Letters
Ramzi Yousef: 11 Letters (convicted or orchestrating the attack on the
WTC in 1993)
Flight 11 - 92 on board: 9 + 2 = 11
Flight 77 - 65 on board: 6 + 5 = 11
Posted on Dave Winer's Scripting News
[Thanks to John Steiner <email@example.com>.]
John Perry Barlow compares today's events to the burning of the Reichstag
that led to the Nazi takeover of the German government in 1933. He said
in a published email "Within a few hours, we will see beginning
the most vigorous efforts to end what remains of freedom in America.
Those of who are willing to sacrifice a little -- largely illusory --
safety in order to maintain our faith in the original ideals of America
will have to fight for those ideals just as vigorously."
Posted on Dave Winer's Scripting News
"Hate caused this disaster; more hate will not make it go away."
AN EMERGENCY CALL
By Mark Gerzon
September 11, 2001
[Thanks to "Halim Dunsky" <firstname.lastname@example.org>.]
"After something like this, there will be a desire to strike back.
What will be hard for us, given our national psyche, is that we cannot.
We don't know who, or where, to strike."
-- General Norman Schwartzkopf
How do we respond to this emergency call? Even our most renowned general
recognizes that we cannot strike back. We must find something to do
with our anger and our fear.
We that many voices will call for increased military spending, massive
new investments in intelligence-gathering, and the creation of a domestic
security state. So it is important that of us whose work involves alternatives
to violence have an important challenge ahead of us. We must find a
way, an EFFECTIVE way, to make clear that a vital part of our response
must be to understand the sources of the rage against the superpower
we call home and to respond with wisdom. In addition to whatever military
and security measures are taken, we absolutely must reflect on why we
have become a target.
In my view, there are three primary sources of rage. The first is because
much of the Muslim world believes that the United States is the enemy
of Islam. There are religious, geopolitical, and cultural reasons for
this hatred, all of which are intensified by the targeted assassination
of Palestinian leaders. But we can no longer afford to pretend that
this hatred results 100% from the ideological fanaticism of militant
followers of Islam.
The second source is the widespread view of the United States as a
symbol of wealth and power, and hence the enemy of the poor and powerless.
To what degree this is true is obviously debatable, but what is beyond
doubt is that the perception runs deep and wide throughout much of the
world, particularly in the South. Yes, we are still a symbol of freedom
and democracy, but we cannot afford to let this historic role camouflage
the fact that we are also profoundly hated as a symbol of superpower
arrogance and privilege.
The third source of rage is more diffuse, but it relates directly to
the growing protests against the World Bank, IMF and WTO. As symbolized
by a series of actions in which we are the Lone Ranger (Kyoto accords,
Durban racism conference, etc), we are rapidly isolating ourselves from
the world around us. While on the one hand we are the most "international"
global nation on earth, we are on the other hand the most isolationist.
Like the World Bank, IMF and WTO, which we played a pivotal role in
creating, we are seen as orchestrating a world that suits our national
interest, regardless of the consequences on other nations. This view
is increasingly common in Europe, which is culturally closest to us.
If that view can take hold there, just imagine how much more strongly
it can grip other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Africa
and South Asia.
Rage, of course, is no excuse for mass murder. What the terrorists
did in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania is itself an outrage. But
now we, as a people, have to choose. Just like the Serbs and Croats
in the Balkans, the H utus and Tutsies in Rwanda, and Tamils and Sinhalese
in Sri Lanka, the Indians and Pakistanis in Kashmir, and the Protestants
and Catholics in Ireland, WE HAVE TO CHOOSE WHAT KIND OF NATION WE WANT
Do we intensify the cycle of retaliation and revenge, or do we open
ourselves to the heart of the hatred?
If, as the Dalai Lama has said, we have moved from a century of war
to a century of dialogue, then our choice is clear. On a scale never
before imaginable, we must know our enemy -- not forgive them; not excuse
them; and not appease them -- but KNOW them. We must know them in our
hearts and respond to them with a wisdom that passeth all understanding.
To Mark Gerzon's comments I would add a challenge to further our knowing
of ourselves: we must take up the painful question, How are the horrific
acts perpetrated today similar to acts -- fast and slow -- perpetrated
within recent memory and every day by the United States, other nations
with similar blindnesses, and transnational corporations? Can we come
to acknowledge our share of culpability in fostering the conditions
that have nurtured the rage and determination we saw today?
Meeting the heart of the enemy means being willing to see ourselves.
New wisdom in response to a new understanding will demand that we change
our lives -- not in order to seek greater security, but to stand down
from the ongoing provocations for which we have been responsible.
I'd like to see a national campaign for the US to donate a small part
of the proposed national missile defense to economic aid to the Palestinians.
I'd like to see us become independent of Middle Eastern sources of
oil. It's because of our commercial interests in the oil that we interfere
militarily. It's because of our attack on Iraq during the Gulf War that
Osama bin Laden initially turned against the U.S. (combined, of course,
with our lack of concern for Muslim victims of war, as in Bosnia). Maybe
the horrific suffering caused in yesterday's attacks will help get our
attention so that we might see conserving energy and seeking out alternative
sources, especially renewable sources, as a small price to pay for freeing
up our commercial and military interests.
As I watched the World Trade Towers collapse this morning and as the
shock works its way through my body, I am aware that people everywhere
will be grappling with what this means. I encourage all of you to join
me in being aware in these next days and weeks of this meaning making
activity, knowing that how we understand this event governs how we will
If people recoil into fear, vengeance and scapegoating we are in for
very dark times. Our conversations right now make a big difference in
whether we as people, as a nation can grieve, search our souls, stay
connected to all that is good in us. If not, if we as people and as
a nation seek to relieve our pain through blame, then many, many people
here who have challenged the status quo will be hurt and the conviction
that we must live in a police state will not be far away.
Please join me in compassionate conversation with as many people as
possible -- not instructing others in how to respond but in listening
and feeling together and discovering what our responses might be. May
we use the power of our words and our inquiry into the soul of "the
other" to heal. May we flood our streets with love rather than
Thank you for listening.
By David La Chapelle <email@example.com>
September 11, 2001
I woke this morning after three days of increasing tension in my body...
I woke knowing that I am not separate from the occurrences across this
there are many lines of destiny that cross through our lives...
occasionally they join in a moment that cannot be denied.
what I know this day
is that it is not good to be alone...
alone and dying in a street, or town, or tower, or in a town...
violence is born of unbonded hearts
however that violence unfolds is the agony cry of loneliness...
compassion in action is never more truly tested
than in times like these...
understanding the whole out of which this particular has arisen
is as important as the gesture we make to those closest to us on this
and the gesture we make
is as important as the understanding of the whole...
I see no easy answers
in a system that is weighted so largely by the forces of such pasts,
I have heard of a dream
that we might know a better world...
now would be a good time
to wake into that dream
in each action...
in each thought...
in each breath...
attention is the sword that sharpens souls
in times when fear swirls and reaction is so easy grasp....
this turning point
has turned us,
who do we see now?
this is what becomes truly interesting,
and the great affair of these times...
who have we become?
and what is truly possible when the worst is imagined into being?
if such fear can manifest
what of our most cherished hopes for this world and our lives?
it is with this hope
near my heart
that I lay down to sleep tonight
I cannot repay such sacrifice with anything but a holy hope.
DEAR FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD
By Neale Donald Walsch
September 12, 2001
The events of this day cause every thinking person to stop their daily
lives, whatever is going on in them, and to ponder deeply the larger
questions of life. We search again for not only the meaning of life,
but the purpose of our individual and collective experience as we have
created it-and we look earnestly for ways in which we might recreate
ourselves anew as a human species, so that we will never treat each
other this way again.
The hour has come for us to demonstrate at the highest level our most
extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are.
There are two possible responses to what has occurred today. The first
comes from love, the second from fear.
If we come from fear we may panic and do things-as individuals and
as nations-that could only cause further damage. If we come from love
we will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others.
A central teaching of Conversations with God is: What you wish to experience,
provide for another.
Look to see, now, what it is you wish to experience-in your own life,
and in the world. Then see if there is another for whom you may be the
source of that.
- If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.
- If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that
they are safe.
- If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things,
help another to better understand.
- If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the
sadness or anger of another.
Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you for guidance,
for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding, and for assurance
at this hour. Most of all, they are looking to you for love. This is
the moment of your ministry. This is the time of teaching. What you
teach at this time, through your every word and action right now, will
remain as indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives
you touch, both now, and for years to come.
We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment.
There is much we can do, but there is one thing we cannot do. We cannot
continue to co-create our lives together on this planet as we have in
the past. We cannot, except at our peril, ignore the events of this
day, or their implications.
It is tempting at times like this to give in to rage. Anger is fear
announced, and rage is anger that is repressed, and then, when it is
released, that is often misdirected. Right now, anger is not inappropriate.
It is, in fact, natural -- and can be a blessing. If we use our anger
about this day not to pinpoint where the blame falls, but where the
cause lies, we can lead the way to healing.
Let us seek not to pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause.
Unless we take this time to look at the cause of our experience, we
will never remove ourselves from the experiences it creates. Instead,
we will forever live in fear of retribution from those within the human
family who feel aggrieved, and, likewise, seek retribution from them.
So at this time it is important for us to direct our anger toward the
cause of our present experience. And that is not necessarily individuals
or groups who have attacked others, but, rather, the reasons they have
done so. Unless we look at these reasons, we will never be able to eliminate
To me the reasons are clear. We have not learned the most basic human
lessons. We have not remembered the most basic human truths. We have
not understood the most basic spiritual wisdom. In short, we have not
been listening to God, and because we have not, we watch ourselves do
The message of Conversations with God is clear: we are all one. That
is a message the human race has largely ignored. Our separation mentality
has underscored all of our human creations.
Our religions, our political structures, our economic systems, our
educational institutions, and our whole approach to life have been based
on the idea that we are separate from each other. This has caused us
to inflict all manner of injury, one upon the other. And this injury
causes other injury, for like begets like and negativity only breeds
negativity. It is as easy to understand as that. And so now let us pray
that all of us in this human family will find the courage and the strength
to turn inward and to ask a simple, soaring question: what would love
do now? If we could love even those who have attacked us, and seek to
understand why they have done so, what then would be our response? Yet
if we meet negativity with negativity, rage with rage, attack with attack,
what then will be the outcome?
These are the questions that are placed before the human race today.
They are questions that we have failed to answer for thousands of years.
Failure to answer them now could eliminate the need to answer them at
all. We should make no mistake about this. The human race has the power
to annihilate itself. We can end life as we know it on this planet in
This is the first time in human history that we have been able to say
And so now we must direct our attention to the questions that such
power places before us. And we must answer these questions from a spiritual
perspective, not a political perspective, and not an economic perspective.
We must have our own conversation with God, for only the grandest wisdom
and the grandest truth can address the greatest problems, and we are
now facing the greatest problems and the greatest challenges in the
history of our species. It is not as if we have not seen this coming.
Every spiritual, political, and philosophical writer of the past 50
years has predicted it. So long as we continue to treat each other as
we have done on this planet, the circumstance that we face on this day
will continue to present itself.
The difference is that now our technology makes our anger much more
dangerous. In the early days of our civilization, we were able to inflict
hurt upon each other using sticks and rocks and primitive weapons. Then,
as our technology grew, it became possible for clans to war against
clans and, ultimately, for nations to war against nations.
But even then, until most recent times, it was not possible for us
to annihilate each other completely. We could destroy a village, or
a town, or a major city, or even an entire nation, but only now is it
possible for us to destroy our whole world so fast that nothing can
stop it once the process has begun.
That is what makes this point in our history different from any other.
And that is what makes this call for each of us to have our own conversation
with God so appropriate and so important.
If we want the beauty of the world that we have co-created to be experienced
by our children and our children's children, we will have to become
spiritual activists right here, right now, and cause that to happen.
We must choose to be at cause in the matter.
So, talk with God today. Ask God for help, for counsel and advice,
for insight and for strength and for inner peace and for deep wisdom.
Ask God on this day to show us how to show up in the world in a way
that will cause the world itself to change.
That is the challenge that is placed before every thinking person today.
Today the human soul asks the question: What can I do to preserve the
beauty and the wonder of our world and to eliminate the anger and hatred-and
the disparity that inevitably causes it -- in that part of the world
which I touch?
Please seek to answer that question today, with all the magnificence
that is You.
I love you, and I send you my deepest thoughts of peace.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO IN THIS CRISIS?
By Tom Atlee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
"What should we do?" Elliot was calling from work, having
just heard about this morning's attacks on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon. We are housemates in a 9-person collective house into
which I moved a month ago.
My partner Karen, my daughter Jennifer, Adin (another housemate) and
I had been talking about the crisis for over an hour. We wondered about
Elliot's question. One thing we could do was write to you -- my list
of 800 people -- who have so many important connections into the world.
But what should we say?
We thought of sharing a lesson we'd all agreed on: "We can't be
secure when we are doing so many things that lead people to hate us."
We wondered about saying more. We looked at the role of greed, and then
at how greed was just one form of power-hunger, and how power-hunger
derives from insecurity which, in turn, arises from disconnection from
other people and life. People don't exploit, neglect or terrorize things
they love and vibrantly relate to.
But, one of us said, there's more than individual motivations at work
here. The systems we live in and use -- the social, economic, political,
and other systems -- support greed, power-hunger, insecurity and alienation
in thousands of subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Someone else commented
that the systemic and the individual dynamics feed back into each other.
Another person suggested there are many positive initiatives that could
change both the system and the individual behaviors. I suggested evidence
that -- right now -- the world has the resources and know-how to create
a just and sustainable world that works for all, but they just aren't
being used for that.
As we explored all this, we noticed that our individual contributions
were painting an ever-fuller, richer picture of what was going on and
how to understand it. We decided that this situation has so many facets
that high-quality reflection and dialogue -- thoughtful exploration
among diverse perspectives, such as we were doing -- may be the ONLY
way to comprehend and creatively address incidents as profoundly important
as these. In the absence of dialogue and reflection, we oversimplify.
All of us do. We blame an enemy -- perhaps terrorists or "the system"
-- or we focus on one small part of the web of causation -- perhaps
"greed" or "revenge" or something else that we particularly
But the significance of this realization reaches beyond today's attack
on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon: This horrible incident is
but one in an ongoing chain of incidents of profound social significance.
Each one is an opportunity to think, to feel and to talk -- to deepen
and learn -- so that we can act more effectively and wisely, both individually
and collectively. We saw that hope lies in the kind of "learning
together" that generates engaged wisdom -- rather than in the kind
of reactivity that supports our weakest and worst responses.
This isn't the first crisis to hit our society. And it definitely won't
be the last. We all know that crises like this can evoke the worst --or
the best -- in ordinary folks, in leaders, and in whole societies. What
can we do to help the best, the wisest and most useful responses emerge?
Usually in crisis most people watch the news and wait like spectators
to see what various leaders and governments will do, as if the drama
were a football game. Meanwhile, those leaders and governments are caught
up in dynamics which -- to say the least -- do not enhance their wisdom.
More often than not, their actions -- and our spectatorism -- lead us
all into even worse problems.
To change that, we need widespread, healthy conversations that generate
deeper insight and the kind of creative engagement that makes a difference
in the world. Ultimately, we need to make such conversations part of
the structure of our culture -- especially of our political and governmental
systems (see www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_Index.html and www.democracyinnovations.org).
But today we can find people we trust and care about, and gather in
circles, speaking and listening from our hearts. We can listen well
to those who disagree with us, and ask questions that deepen shared
understanding. And, for the long haul, we can advocate the "infrastructure
of dialogue" that our democracy so sorely needs -- places we can
go for high quality public conversation, publicly available facilitators
and technology, and diverse citizen councils who explore important issues
with high quality dialogue in full public view, whose findings and recommendations
have a real impact on public policy and public activity.
We find ourselves in a moment of great danger. It contains seeds of
great opportunity. Let us each do what we can to promote healthy dialogue
that motivates wise action at all levels of our society. That one change
would change everything else: With each successive crisis, we would
find ourselves moving away from ultimate Disaster towards a world that
works for all, a world that is actually a joy to live in.
QUESTIONS FOR DIALOGUE ABOUT 9/11/01
Tom Atlee <email@example.com> writes:
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
I offer these questions -- formulated today with my daughter Jennifer
-- as a resource for those of you wishing to organize conversations
around the current crisis.
Use whatever conversational process and venue you are most comfortable
with. If you would like a suggestion, gather 2-20 people for a listening
circle (aka talking circle or council, ref <http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-listeningcircles.html>).
You can do it at home, at work, at your place of worship, in a library
Read over the list of questions below. Add any others that come to
you, avoiding leading questions and questions that invite simple, shallow
answers (e.g., yes or no). Pick one or more questions and have people
speak from their hearts about it.
To choose questions, you might place your own favorite dozen questions
in a hat, then have a participant pick 1-3 questions out of the hat,
which everyone then speaks to. Or put up a list of a dozen or so and
take 5-10 minutes with the group brainstorming some other questions
that interest them. Then have each person choose their favorite half
of the list (e.g., their favorite ten out of a list of 20). Pick the
question with the top votes, and have everyone speak to that.
Or do something else. Feel free to use these questions in any way you
wish, including for your own reflection or to ask your friends and family.
I hope they prove useful for you.
INQUIRIES ARISING FROM THE CRISIS OF SEPTEMBER 11th
- What could lead someone to do something like this?
- What might we do differently so that fewer people hate Americans?
- What response would move us to a world in which this kind of thing
- How well do revenge and punishment serve us?
- How can the media be most helpful in these times?
- What constitutes real safety and security?
- What is the worst response we could have in this crisis?
- How do we deal with personal and communal suffering?
- What ways of dealing with our emotions serve us or make things worse?
- What can we learn from this? What are the most important lessons?
- What is the place of anger in this situation?
- What are you feeling in your body right now?
- What could have prevented this?...what else?...what else?...
- What consequences would result from each of those actions?
- What good could come of all this?
- What are you most scared of right now?
- What is most important to you right now?
- What would be the advantages or disadvantages of waiting until all
the evidence was in before deciding who did it and how to respond?
- How should we relate to people who applaud this act -- what difference
would it make?
- How does our society deal with trauma? What would help our society
deal better with trauma?
- What do we need our leaders to do? To what extent are they doing
- How can we effectively communicate with our leaders?
- What would we be feeling if it were proven that this was done by
a white US citizen?
- What would we be feeling if this were done to another country by
an ally of ours? Has anything like that ever happened?
- What would have to change for there to be no terrorism?
- To what extent are we responding in automatic ways or in conscious,
creative ways? How do we feel about that?
- What outcomes of this could make you feel it has been worth it?
- To what extent do you trust what the government and/or media has
been saying about this?
- Who do you know that was directly effected by this? What is your
relationship to those people? How has their story affected you?
- What is the relationship between business as usual and crises like
- If you were the ruler of the world, how would you handle this problem?
- What does this mean for our everyday lives?
- What can one person do about this? What can people do together?
- What changes in the system would help us?
- How should we talk with children about this?
- What responses to this have you heard that upset you or inspired
--Where do you think those perspectives come from?
- What does all this mean about our future?
- What does this mean about who we are as human beings?
- What does this mean about who we are as a society?
- What other questions need to be asked?
- What would have to happen for people's responses to these questions
to make a real difference in the world?
My fantasy is that in a speech to the nation President Bush will say,
"No we are not going to retaliate. We want all violence to stop.
Let it begin with us. I call upon all corporations to stop making weapons
of war. I call upon Congress to make their manufacture illegal, and
to find ways to help weapons industries transfer to other products.
I call upon all nations to stop the trading of weapons across their
borders. I also call upon all nations to join in a universal covenant
to disarm -- not only our own national arsenals but those of any violent
groups within our borders, acknowledging, finally, that there are better
ways to settle disputes than by the killing and maiming of innocent
men, women and children -- and to now turn our attention to saving our
planet from ecological disaster."
Pennie Stasik O'Grady <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
I see a world looking back on Sept 11, 2001 as the turning point which
transformed America and its decision making on international policy
to one of careful consideration of the needs of ALL people in the world
-- and all life on this planet. I see an America remembering with full
awareness and regret its former status as a Most Feared Nation. And
I see an America relieved and grateful for the lessons learned and wisdom
gained through this most tragic expression of unmet needs.
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We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound
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that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our way and help
give birth to a new way of life on our planet.
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a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
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