"That which you deny
[Editor's Note: The following letter and list of questions were sent to James Twyman through his editor, Colleen Kapklein, and several other people who are friends and associates of Twyman's. This was my/our first letter to Twyman.]
Thursday, May 7, 1998
Dear Mr. Twyman,
My name is David Sunfellow and I am the founder and publisher of an Internet-based organization called, NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE). Physically located in Sedona, Arizona, we are seeking to unravel the mysteries of human existence through building a global network of discerning spiritual seekers.
In November of 1997, we were sent a copy of your book, "Emissary of Light", by your editor, Colleen Kapklein. In the letter that accompanied your book, Ms. Kapklein mentioned that your story had profoundly affected her and that it might have a similar affect on us if we took time to read it.
Upon reviewing your book, we were immediately struck by the similarities between your claims and those of Marlo Morgan, author of "Mutant Message Down Under". In case you are not familiar with Morgan's story, she essentially created an elaborate tale of having met and spent several months with a tribe of aborigines in the outback of Australia. Along with claiming that this small, elusive group of natives were some of the most highly-evolved people on the planet, Morgan wove miraculous events, spiritual teachings, and a series of personal tests and challenges into the idea that humankind was on the brink of disaster. According to Morgan, humanity's only hope lay in changing destructive thoughts and actions and embracing the philosophy of the "Real People", who were masters of living in harmony with one another and the Earth. Morgan, like you, also claimed that she had been chosen to bring the message of the Real People to the world. Presented as a "true story", Morgan's book gathered the endorsements of various well-known people and quickly became a best-seller. She began presenting lectures, appearing on talk shows, and gathered a following of spiritual seekers who not only believed her story was real, but also attempted to apply the philosophy and supposed spiritual truths that she presented in her book.
In the end though, Morgan's story turned out to be a complete fabrication. Confronted by authentic aborigines who felt she was using them and their culture for her own purposes, and by reporters who systematically exposed her many falsehoods and embellishments, Morgan was forced to confess she had concocted the entire episode. While Morgan's intentions may have been sincere, she ended up hurting herself, the aboriginal people she built her story around, the spiritual principles she claimed to champion, and a large number of people who believed she had told the truth when, in fact, she had not.
Having investigated many stories similar to Morgan's, both ancient and modern, and seen the profound harm such stories have caused humanity, we carefully tracked Morgan's rise and fall, so that our network of seekers might have the information they needed to make informed decisions concerning her story, as well as the worldviews, and spiritual beliefs and practices she advocated. When we received a copy of your book, we immediately set out to do the same.
While we sympathize with many of the ideals and goals you advocate, we have become increasingly concerned with what appears to be a growing list of fraudulent, misleading, highly-embellished claims, as well as concerted efforts on your part to influence public opinion and action by presenting yourself as a special emissary of God who is in contact with a powerful, albeit secret, society of lightworkers. Since we are interested in discovering the true nature of your claims, we would appreciate you answering a few questions for us.
Your book, Emissary of Light, claims to be "the true story" of your encounter with a mystical community known as the Emissaries of Light. We have heard from friends and associates of yours, including people with contacts in Croatia, that your story is not a true account. We have also heard rumors that your publisher, Warner Books, plans to publish future editions of your book as "allegorical non-fiction" instead of "non-fiction" and that you have been issuing disclaimers at book signings, declaring that you used poetic license to create the story.
1. Our first question then, is did you actually meet a secret society of 13 people (six men, six women, and one man you referred to as "Teacher") and their attendants? Or did you invent this story?
2. What does the term "allegorical non-fiction" mean and are you the one who invented this term?
3. If your story is part fiction and part non-fiction, can you tell us, precisely, which part is which? We understand that you visited Bosnia and Croatia and apparently performed some concerts there, but we have no evidence, of any kind, that supports any aspect of your Emissaries of Light story.
4. Are any of the principle people in your story -- Gordana, Snjezana, Nadina, Duro, Toni, Teacher -- real people? And if so, are these their real names?
5. If any of the principle people in your story are real, were they aware that they would be used to introduce the Emissaries of Light to the world? Also, were these people aware that your book would present you as the Emissaries' chief spokesperson?
6. If your story is a fictional account, why did you decide to present it as a true story? Why not present it as fiction, as other spiritually-oriented authors have?
7. Why have you chosen to present yourself -- in your book, on your website, and in interviews -- as a prophetic/messianic figure on a special mission to save the world?
Quotes from your book:
From the Great Experiment Website:
We have been in contact with the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Iraqi Mission at the United Nations. At their request, we faxed them copies of your press releases which describe your reported invitation to Iraq by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Peace Concerts in Baghdad. The officials who reviewed this information told us that the Iraqi government, not Saddam Hussein, issues all invitations to visit Iraq. Moreover, both the Embassy in Washington and the Mission in New York told us that they had never heard of you, and that it is quite impossible to be personally invited by Saddam Hussein to Iraq. According to Iraqi Mission at the UN:
8. How were you personally invited to Iraq by Sadam Hussein? What are the names of the Iraqi officials who were involved in this invitation and who was the "top government official" that told you Hussein stopped what he was doing to watch and pray with a re-broadcast of one of your Peace Concerts?
From the Emissary of Light Website:
9. Who can we contact (Iraqi officials or news organizations) to confirm that you did, indeed, perform Peace Concerts in Iraq when you claimed? Also, do you have any proof that you were in Iraq when you claimed you were?
10. Who were the government officials in Northern Ireland that invited you to sing in that country?
From the Emissary of Light Website:
11. Do you actually believe, as your press releases seem to suggest, that you were instrumental in ending the US/Iraqi standoff and also in influencing events in Northern Ireland?
From the Great Experiment Website:
But The Story Continues . . .
12. Concerning The Great Experiment, it was our impression that the invitation to sing at the UN-related event came about as a direct result of your reported concerts in Iraq and Northern Ireland. We now understand that you were invited to sing by the Values Caucus, a group of NGOs at the UN, chaired by Deborah Moldow of the World Peace Prayer Society, long before the Ireland and Iraqi events took place. Is this true?
13. At the recent Whole Life Expo in San Francisco, you said that you had helped organize "the largest mass meditation ever" with participants numbering "five to ten million in seventy-five countries." How did you come up with these figures?
14. It is our understanding that you were a member of Endeavor Academy for several years. Is Endeavor Academy the spiritual community you refer to in Emissary of Light? Are they in any way directly involved with your current work? How deeply were you involved with their work in the past?
15. Can you tell us more about your current attitude towards Endeavor Academy? Do you, for instance, support The Master Teacher and the ways in which his community interprets and practices the teachings of A Course in Miracles?
16. It is our understanding that the term "The Great Experiment" is found in the Journal of Endeavor Academy. Is this where you came up with this term?
If there are any additional comments or clarifications you would like to make, please do. Our intention is to publicly share the concerns I have itemized in this letter, complete with whatever answers you provide, as well as comments from your editor, publisher, friends and associates. Since our final report will be widely disseminated on the Internet, I encourage you to set the record straight if you have invented, embellished, distorted, or exaggerated anything. If, on the other hand, you believe you have told the truth, I encourage you to offer specific rebuttals/explanations for the concerns I have listed above.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I can be reached via email at "firstname.lastname@example.org" or via phone or fax at "520-282-6120." I would also be glad to call or write you directly if you will provide me with a telephone number and/or email address where you can be reached.
With Love & Best Wishes,
[Editor's Note: The following letter, which was widely distributed on the Internet, was Twyman's first response to the preceding letter and questions.]
Monday, May 11, 1998
Dear co-workers in the light,
I wish to share with you the excited weekend we had here in Israel in the "Light for Jerusalem" festival, in which we are activating peace energies to all the earth and the specifically to the region. This occasion became almost a traditional event to us. We share this celebration with many friends from here and from overseas. This time we planted another Peace Pole in Jerusalem in the presence of Palestinians brothers who are working in the light.
One of our distinguish guests was Jimmy Twyman, The Peace Troubadour, author of the "Emissary of Light". Jimmy followed his inner guidance and came here to lead a wide world meditation and to perform in one of his peace concerts. I believe some of you received, as I did, an email message in which you could very easily notice a seed of doubts and even alluded as if a fraud was made in Jimmy's story. It was claimed that people are "inquiring" the "authenticity" of the "Emissary of Light" story and it was even announced that no matter what, soon the truth will come out.
I really don't understand why do we still need to create this division of opinion. Why don't we all decide that instead of judging, each and any of us will decide whether he feels good with any of the materials or not. As Jimmy said -- the story, authentic as it is -- is the vehicle for the Emissaries truth. Let us trust our inner guides. Let us put all efforts in building up harmoniously unification. Let us release fears to make place for unconditional love, the only way to manifest Peace on Earth.
As Jimmy doesn't have his PC with him, he asked me to send you the following message composed by him. I am privilege to do so and very humbly add my pray that we all will find the way to our inner peace center to radiate it outwards. Don't forget -- we are ready! May Peace Prevail on Earth! Be blessed with Peace, Love & Light - Hagit
I am writing this letter in response to the "Inquiry" into the authenticity of my book "Emissary of Light". It is unfortunate that the attention is focused on the story instead of the truth behind the story. But since an effort has been made to investigate what I have written, I felt it was appropriate for me to respond. First, I want it to be clear that I have never claimed that "Emissary of Light" is work of pure non-fiction. I have always said that the story is a mix of facts and allegory. My attempt to explain a profound life-changing experience that defies explanations.
However, everything I have written is either totally true or is at least based on what happened. The nature of my experiences with the Emissaries was certainly physical, but in a way that is difficult to comprehend. In some cases, etheric experiences were concretized to make the story easier to tell. But this in no way to destroy the fact that the Emissaries are real, and that their message is true.
Also, let it never be said that I don't know how to tell a good story. Adaptations must always be made to facilitate flow and drama. And yet, before the book was ever released I made the decision to never make the mistake of picking the story apart to satisfy the curiosity of some people. The reason is simple -- it doesn't matter. The inquiry into the authenticity of the story is the very reason I make that decision. To overemphasize the story is to miss the point of the book. I would prefer that someone believe all of the teaching and none of the story than the other way around.
But there is a way to definitely tell what is true from what isn't. One of the greatest Emissaries of all time once said: "Judge a tree by the fruit that it bares". I hope I will be remembered not for my ability to tell a good story, but for the way I practice what I have learned. In the last months, millions of people have accepted the single most important message from the Emissaries: "Tell them they're ready," Teacher said "Get them to understand that its time to step forward into the light". It's time to put away gossip and rumors and accept that. Believe my story or don't believe my story. It really makes no difference at all. But please believe that you are ready, because that makes all the difference in the world.
In Peace - James F. Twyman
Tuesday, May 12, 1998
We received a copy of the letter you wrote on behalf of Jimmy, as well as Jimmy's response to the questions we have concerning his claims of having contacted, in the physical, a group of advanced beings he refers to as "The Emissaries of Light." Since Jimmy does not presently have his own direct access to the Internet, and since we have been unable to connect with him directly so far, I would appreciate it if you would forward the following message to him.
Thank you, Hagit.
With Love & Best Wishes,
A message arrived last night from Hagit Raanan that contained a response from you concerning our attempts to find out if your book, Emissary of Light, is a true or fictitious account. Judging by your response, which focused exclusively on our questions about your book, you have not yet seen the longer list of questions we sent to your editor, webmaster, and other associates. Along with seeking to know if your book is a true story or not, we also want to verify your claims that Sadam Hussein "personally" invited you to Iraq (both the Iraqi Embassy in Washington D.C. and Iraqi Mission at the United Nations told us you weren't), find out more about your connections with Endeavor Academy (a Course In Miracles-related organization that is well-known for lying and/or distorting the truth to serve their particular agenda), and your ongoing claims to be a special, hand-picked spokesperson for a secret society that you apparently believe yourself to be in contact with. In order to give you the opportunity to clear up these and other concerns, I will include our list of questions in this letter.
With respect to your current response, I have a couple more questions for you:
1. In your letter, you write "I want it to be clear that I have never claimed that Emissary of Light is work of pure non-fiction. I have always said that the story is a mix of facts and allegory."
Could you please refer us to the portion of your book that makes this declaration, Jimmy? The copy that I read contains numerous statements that your account, as recorded in your book, is a true story and I can find nothing indicating it is a mix of facts and allegory.
I would also like to know where this information is posted on your website? Everything we have read -- both in your book, on your website, and via email press releases -- states that your experience with the Emissaries was true, rather than a mixture of truth and imagination.
2. You write, "the nature of my experiences with the emissaries was certainly physical..."
If this is the case, Jimmy, could you please provide us with the names and addresses of the people who shared the experience with you so that we can verify that your story -- or at least portions of your story -- are authentic? We are also still interested in specifics: which portions of your story, exactly, are fiction and which are not? Did you actually meet twelve emissaries -- six men and six women, and a person you refer to as "Teacher" in the physical -- or are these imaginary/visionary/allegorical people?
Since you and some of the other folks involved in your recent efforts seem to be genuinely mystified as to why we are so determined to discern the true nature of your claims, let me spell out our concerns:
1. We have watched many people create fictionalized versions of the spiritual path, complete with fictionalized versions of spiritual truth, and then pass those paths and truths off as genuine. History, in fact, is littered with such stories which have caused a great deal of harm to those who sincerely believed them and attempted to apply them, unsuccessfully, in their lives. We are, therefore, interested in knowing which aspects of your story are true, and which are fictionalized, so that those who are interested can have a better idea what kind of experiences human beings genuinely have on the spiritual path -- and, by extension, what kind of belief systems and spiritual practices can be trusted. Obviously, allegorical stories, as uplifting and inspiring as they might be, are not as reliable as a story that has actually been lived in the world.
2. Spiritual spokespeople who insinuate, either by word, deed, or example, that being dishonest, vague, and evasive is an appropriate part of the spiritual path, encourage others to do the same -- which, in turn, strengths the perception of the public at large that spiritual truth and dishonest hucksterism are inextricably intertwined. More importantly, such behavior obscures and trivializes the spiritual path from those who are sincerely seeking to follow it.
3. The ability to mobilize many people to a particular cause is, in our opinion, not necessarily an indication that God is present or that good fruits are manifesting -- even if those people are mobilizing for what appears to be a good cause. History, again, presents us with a long list of people who were able to inspire the masses to all kinds of deeds -- good, bad, and mixed. It is our view that the true caliber of a particular person and/or movement can more readily be measured in terms of their character. Are they honest? Are they who they claim to be? Do they practice what they preach? Since you appear to be guilty of numerous falsehoods and embellishments, and since you publicly declared yourself to be a special, hand-picked messenger of a highly-evolved group that is responsible for bringing peace to the world, it is important to investigate your claims. If you are, indeed, who you claim to be, then taking the time to answer our questions will help clear the air and vindicate you. If, on the other hand, you decide to be evasive, then your motivations, claims and character must be called into question.
4. While I, personally, think prayer and mediation can be a wonderful tool for personal and planetary transformation, I also believe that focusing exclusively on these tools as the means to heal our planet can be a way to escape from the messier business of living good lives in the day-to-day world. Thinking we can do anything that will cause all of our problems -- personal and collective -- to evaporate overnight is, in my opinion, wishful thinking. The Great Experiment, as an example, was supposed to shift our planet into a new reality, but didn't: "On April 23rd the world will shift and we will accept what has always been true -- that our holiness has never been compromised by this silly dream of separation. This is the moment you have been waiting for. This is the time of the return."
Everyone, of course, should be free to follow whatever course of thought and action they believe will help themselves and others, so my/our intent is not to stop you or anyone else from doing whatever you feel called to. We do, however, intend to provide those who are interested with all the information they need to make an informed decision concerning who they follow and what, exactly, they are getting involved with. So we hope you will take the time to answer our questions so we can better understand who you are, and what you are seeking to do.
Finally, Jimmy, I have spoken to or exchanged email with several people who know you personally. Many of these people have told me that they believe your primary motivations are sincere and that you are doing the best you can to serve Spirit and go where Spirit leads. If this is true, why not take a few minutes to clear up the growing discrepancies that surround your book, claims, and activities? Attempting to dodge or discredit legitimate questions not only engenders more confusion and questions, but it also makes you look dishonest and untrustworthy -- qualities, I'm sure, you would not want to be associated with.
With Love & Best Wishes,
Wednesday, May 13, 1998
Thank you for your letter. My editor did get the questions to me earlier and I appreciate your interest.
However, I feel that I've said everything that was important to say in the letter was sent via Hagit. I feel that to respond further would be to defense myself, which is something I feel would be unwise. My only request to you is to allow people to decide for themselves rather than promote suspicion. I'm sure this is not your goal and it is important that at this crucial time we stand together in Light not darkness. If you have any more concerns, please address to my agent -- Sandra Satterwhite.
Wednesday, May 13, 1998
I urge you to reconsider your decision not to answer our questions. With no further input from you (and since you are the main force behind what you have written and done, you, not your agent, editor, or friends, should be the one that addresses our concerns), our immediate course of action will be to publish a special report about you that will include, among other things, our questions to you, your refusal to answer them, letters from friends of your's who claim that you invented the Emissaries of Light story, comments from Iraqi government officials that claim you were not personally invited to Iraq by Sadam Hussein, the laissez-faire attitude your publisher, Warner Books, has taken with respect to classifying your book as "New Age" versus "fiction" or "non-fiction", and background information on Endeavor Academy, including how their unethical behavior parallels your own. Taken together, this information will seriously challenge your credibility and hurt every aspect of your work.
Once complete, our report will be widely circulated on the Internet, reaching, through our readers and friends, nearly everyone who has heard of you, as well as many who have not. We will also be sending copies of our report to every online New Age/spiritually-oriented organization we are aware of, including many Course-based organizations. Finally, we will be contacting mainstream news organizations like DATELINE, 60 MINUTES, PRIMETIME LIVE, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc., asking them to use their resources, which presently outstrip our own, to pursue this story.
Whenever possible, our desire is to be on good terms with everyone -- especially those who share hopes and dreams similar to our own -- and we would like to work this situation out with you in a way that strengthens the growing spiritual impulse seeking to manifest on our planet. I urge you to work with us, Jimmy. Clear the air. Take responsibility for clearing up the confusion and potentially erroneous information you have created and helped spread. If you will take the time to deal with this situation in a responsible fashion, we will do what we can to soften the blow of some of the poor decisions you have apparently made. Otherwise, we will move ahead on our own, making it impossible for you to continue your work without being increasingly haunted by the legitimate questions we have asked that you refuse to answer.
With Love & Best Wishes,
[Editor's Note: Twyman called from Jerusalem and left the following message on our answering machine.]
Friday, May 15, 1998
"Hi David, this is Jimmy Twyman calling from Jerusalem. Just wanted to call to let you know that I have received your letters. What I am going to be doing, David, is putting together a letter. I probably won't be able to get it to you until sometime next week because I am going to be out of the country and it will be hard for me to get it to you. But probably next week sometime I should get that to you. The only thing that I ask is that whatever letter I do send to you, which I am going to try and answer as many of the questions as you put forth, [is] that you print this with the report that you are going to put out.
"If you are interested in getting confirmation on my going to Iraq this is not going to be a difficult thing since there are many news reports, radio, television, as well as things from Iraqi newspapers that came out because of that. In fact, you can call the embassy in London -- it's not actually an embassy -- you'll have to find out what the phone number is because I don't actually have it -- but if you call the Iraqi office in London, you can certainly get confirmation because the UN office is not going to have known about it more than likely because it was issued from London.
"Anyway, I just want you to realize, and everybody on your network to realize, that I certainly have nothing to hide here and would be more than happy to respond to some of these questions. My only concern, David, is the impression that I get from your letters is that I have been tried and convicted here just because of the opinions of some of the people that you have contacted who believe that the story in Emissary of Light is not true and I think it is unfortunate that you are going to be publishing opinions of people as if they're facts. So anyway, I will address some of these things in the letter that I am going to be writing to you and I look forward to talking to you then."
May 19, 1998
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clear up some of the confusion around my book, Emissary of Light, which, by the way, is not being published as "allegorical non-fiction," but rather as "New Age", which according to my editor, is a category to help bookstores to know where to shelve a book. The term you've quoted was no more than a not very successful attempt at humor in response to the sudden controversy. I hope that by answering the questions that have been raised, and clearing up any misconceptions, I can re-focus attention on what really matters -- the message of the Emissaries.
I share your belief that there are a great many "distractions" in the spiritual arena. This is a very crucial time in the evolution of humanity toward a much higher consciousness, and some teachings will support that progress while others will not. The message of Emissary of Light is wholeheartedly intended to assist every person on the planet in achieving a new understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings.
You sent a list of questions, and I will try to address as many as possible in this letter. If I have left some unanswered, or have not answered them to your satisfaction, please forgive me. Some of these points are difficult to address simply because words on paper are an altogether inadequate medium in which to describe certain experiences. Perhaps it is only my own inability to find the right words, but I have done, and will continue to do my best.
First, you have asked if the Emissaries in my book are real, or were they simply invented to teach a particular lesson. This is the easiest question to answer. THE EMISSARIES ARE VERY REAL. The experience I had in Bosnia and Croatia is based on actual events and I have done my best to describe these events in a way that was both accurate and entertaining. Perhaps, of course, you are more interested in what I mean by "based on actual events." Frankly, I am still trying to understand and evaluate all that happened to me during that journey. I'm sure that you have had personal experiences that were so "high" or so far beyond your normal experience of life that words hardly come close to describing them. Though my experience was physical (in the sense that I was physically there and dealing with physical phenomena and real people), it occurred in a way that I have yet to fully comprehend. This answer may not satisfy every person. But it is the truth, something that readers will have to evaluate through their own connection with the Divine. I have no reason to concoct stories when the truth is so wonderfully and miraculously available. But I can understand how difficult it is for some people to accept what they, themselves, have not seen with their own eyes, or heard with their own ears. I have no problem with those who have a "hard time" with the story. Nor do I want to fall prey to an ego-centered need to defend the story. The teachings are what matter.
Is there any "crafting" of the story itself? To give an example of the difference between having an experience, and then describing that experience, look at the last scene in the book that describes a visit to Medjujorge, a village in Bosnia where Mary has been appearing to six children for over fifteen years. I wrote of being powerfully and inexplicably drawn to a distant hill which I climbed with a great deal of difficulty. There I had a vision of "Teacher," and in the book we had a long discussion about the Door of Eternity which I was unable to enter. The facts of this particular passage are simple. I CLIMBED A THORN-COVERED HILL, AND I HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH TEACHER THAT WAS BEYOND PHYSICAL "REALITY." But how interesting or effective would that last sentence be in the context of a book? Could the reader learn anything from that? So I chose to express the communication between Teacher and me in the form of a conversation that the reader could follow and relate to. And, quite frankly, I am less concerned with whether people believe I HAD that communication than whether they pay attention to what was communicated. Besides, how on Earth could I "prove" that it happened? Any more than someone else could "prove" that it didn't.
As for the events which involved other people, the characters in my book are real. In some cases, I have not used their real names because of their concerns over personal privacy. Some of them did not wish to attract notoriety. One of the women who was with me, however, Snjezana, has agreed to be interviewed for a national magazine in the next week or so. I think that article may help clear up some of the conflict which is distracting all of us from our highest and best pursuits.
One of the most interesting questions you have posed is whether I consider myself to be a "prophetic/messianic figure on a mission to save the world." If you are asking whether I am claiming to be the new Messiah, the answer is an unqualified NO! I believe that each and every human being on Earth has both the responsibility and the privilege of viewing themselves as Divine beings with the power to bring about peace. This principle forms the core of many spiritual teachings. And I believe that the reason I was given this opportunity, to go to the mountains of Bosnia and meet the Emissaries, was simply that I am just an average human being, neither better nor worse than most, no holier, no more special than you or the person next door. That's why it was me, so that every individual can accept himself or herself as an emissary of light and see that there is no need to give their power away to any teacher or guru. That is the message. I can see, from the passages you have highlighted that this issue can be taken in the wrong context. I only hope that my life will speak more loudly than my awkward story. I am not nearly as concerned with the popular success of my book as I am with understanding and living the teachings myself. I was not personally instrumental in ending the U.S./lraqi standoff. It is the people of the world, praying and meditating together who can influence events.
You have also questioned whether I was truly in Iraq. This is easy enough to settle. I am sending a copy of my visa, and there are numerous other sources of information such as articles in international media, and interviews regarding my work there. Unfortunately, this story was largely ignored by media in the United States, for reasons not hard to discern. I know you have received some confusing responses from different governmental agencies. For accurate information you need to call the Iraqi legation in London. I was told by these officials that my invitation would not have been approved without Saddam Hussein's personal knowledge. I was also told before leaving London that a personal meeting with him had been arranged. Whether either of these assertions was true is anyone's guess.
The concert in Northern Ireland at Stormont Castle was coordinated by an official working with the peace talks. Since I did not handle the arrangements directly, I do not know his name or official title. However, there is a video of the event, and it is hard to imagine how I would have been permitted to stage a concert in a highly secured area without official sanction. Once again, though, I know that I brought the message of peace to all who were there to hear it, supported by every individual who prayed with us. And THAT was the point, not my personal stardom.
You are correct in your understanding that the UN-related event around which "The Great Experiment" was organized was set weeks before I went for lraq. We decided this was the best day to schedule the Experiment since it was bound to be a powerful event. Also, the quote from the San Francisco Whole Life Expo regarding the number of people who participated in The Great Experiment was my own ESTIMATE based on the numbers of people who had responded to the web site, as well as the number of countries (there were seventy-five) which were involved. As for the term, Great Experiment, this came about during a brainstorming session with Gregg Braden and Doreen Virtue. During my stay at Endeavor Academy, I don't consciously recall ever hearing that term, but it is possible. Let me assure you, however, THERE IS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN ENDEAVOR AND THE EMISSARIES OF LIGHT. While I strongly disagree with some of the methods practiced by Endeavor, I am forever grateful to them for introducing me to A Course in Miracles.
Lastly, as I have been telling those who inquire, Emissary of Light is not an organization, and I am not a guru. I am not asking for donations , and I do not seek either fame or adoration. This is not about me. It is about peace. THE QUESTION IS NOT WHETHER YOU OR ANYONE ELSE BELIEVES IN ME, BUT WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF HUMANITY TO RESTORE PEACE TO THE WORLD.
I hope this letter has helped to answer a few of your questions. I agree that some of these issues could have been dealt with more effectively, which might have prevented some of the confusion and conflict which has arisen. Believe me, that is the last thing I would wish for. But we are all learning to live in a way that reflects what we believe, and probably making a few mistakes along the way. Still, we have to keep trying... keep preparing to step into the Light. I know that is your goal, and it is mine as well. In this we are the same.
In Peace, James F. Twyman
Thursday, May 21, 1998
[Editor's Note: While Twyman was still in Israel, we exchanged a couple email messages, and he faxed us a four-page letter of answers (his email messages and question/answer fax are included above) and a newspaper article from the Baghdad Observer. Once he returned to North America, he tried to fax us a copy of his visa, which further proved that he was in Iraq when he claimed he was. In the process of setting up my computer to receive Twyman's visa, we finally connected on the phone and Twyman agreed to answer a few more clarifying questions.]
Sunfellow: The main thing I would like to get clear on is if you actually met 13 physical people, Emissaries of Light, in the flesh?
Twyman: Yes, absolutely.
Sunfellow: Is there some way we can contact Snjezana, or some of the other people that met the Emissaries with you to confirm that they actually exist?
Twyman: Snjezana is going to be doing an interview with THE HOLISTIC HEALTH JOURNAL (a quarterly U.S. magazine) for a big article that they are doing (in their fall issue). She's actually the only one of the three or four people who is willing to do interviews. We've been holding off until we felt it was the right time. It is important for me to be very selective on who does talk to her because even though she is willing to do one or two interviews, it needs to be under a very controlled situation because she's not used to this -- to publicity and everything. So it has to be someone who I trust, but at the same time, a non-partial person -- not someone who's job is just to represent me. This magazine had offered to do an article and I talked to them about it, so I think that's probably the best way to do that.
Sunfellow: To be sure that I perfectly understand what you are saying about the Emissaries, there are 13 people that you met -- six men, six women, and a man you refer to as "Teacher" -- these are all physical people that you met?
Twyman: That's correct.
Sunfellow: They were engaged in the kind of activity you describe in your book?
Twyman: That's correct.
Sunfellow: Is there anything about this particular part of your story that you have embellished or fleshed out that you would like to clarify?
Twyman: In terms of the reality of these people?
Twyman: No. There is nothing that I really fleshed out with that. The only things that I had to flesh out were the stories around them.
Sunfellow: Your book indicated that there's really no way to get in contact with the Emissaries.
Twyman: That's because as far as I know, they don't exist anymore -- or at least they aren't together. And I have no idea where they are. I have no reason to believe that they are available. The thing is, this gets very ethereal on certain levels, even impossible for me to understand. I can say, on the one hand, that I feel very much in contact with them all the time, especially Teacher, but not in a physical way.
Sunfellow: So you haven't actually seen Teacher again in the physical?
Twyman: No, not at all. But at the same time, I feel him more present with me than I ever have -- like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. That was even true when I was with them physically. Describing the essence of what really happened was almost impossible because in some ways I'm still trying to figure out what happened myself.
Sunfellow: You must understand that this is an extraordinary claim: that you, along with a few other people, met 13 Emissaries of Light, in the physical, and now all 13 of them have vanished?
Twyman: (Laughing) Sure. Yes.
Sunfellow: If a person was telling the same story and saying, "it wasn't exactly a physical experience -- it was an etheric experience, a vision -- maybe it even took place over a few days and involved other people" -- that's in an entirely different league from claiming "there are 13 physical beings that myself and others met." And that's what you are saying?
Twyman: I'm saying that both are true. I'm not saying that in any way these were not physical people, because they were. The circumstances around meeting them were of such a nature that to this day it is perplexing to me. That's why it was impossible to write the book exactly how it happened. In some ways, I don't even know exactly how it happened.
Sunfellow: About your book: our understanding is that Warner Books is going to publish future editions under the "New Age" category, but nothing was said about whether it would be published as fiction, or non-fiction, or if future editions would include some kind of explanation of it being a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.
Twyman: I'm not sure if they are putting any sort of explanation on it. I had written an explanation long ago that I wanted to be in there, but it was never included.
Sunfellow: So you don't know what they are going to do about this?
Twyman: I don't know and I really don't have any control over that.
Sunfellow: What would be your preference? How did you suggest for them to present it?
Twyman: [What I wrote] was one little paragraph, a synopsis saying that this is a real story but that in order for it to work as a book, as a story, certain adaptations had to be made. And once again, I truly feel the emphasis is not on the story so much as it is on the teaching itself, but at the same time, the Emissaries are very real and that this was based on a very true experience...
I understand that there are many, many people who either don't believe the story, or have a problem believing it and I have no problem with that because the fact of the matter is if I had not been the one to write it, I would probably be one of those people. I tend to be a very grounded kind of person and I think one of the most important things for me is that the teachings of the Emissaries as I encountered them were very grounded and universal. Even though the circumstances around the story are certainly fantastic, what I am trying to communicate from that experience is itself very grounded and very important. My only concern with this investigation is not to take away attention from that.
Sunfellow: Whether your story is true or not is critically important. What we've seen repeatedly -- and Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan is one example -- is that someone comes up with a story, which they claim is a true story, that not only advocates a particular philosophy, but also promises the philosophy will work in the real world because it worked in the story.
Twyman: I really do understand that concern. And that's a concern that I've always had as well. The one thing that I think needs to be watched very carefully is promoting suspicion. That's a very fear-based thing -- being suspicious of these types of things.
Sunfellow: If you have a story that is presented like your story is -- as a true story -- wouldn't you feel an obligation to find out whether it was true or not?
Twyman: Yes. I think the only difference between Emissary of Light and a book like Mutant Message Down Under is, at least to my knowledge, that Marlo Morgan claimed that everything in that book was totally true -- and I have never done that.
Sunfellow: But the way that your book is presented now, that's what it does.
Twyman: Yes, and I have some regrets about that. That's one thing that I feel could have been done a bit more effectively. And that, quite frankly, is one of the reasons why I originally wrote a little something that could be put in the beginning of the book. On the one hand, I truly want people to believe that the Emissaries are real, because they are. But, on the other hand, I also want people to understand that certain artistic [licenses] have been taken in order to tell a proper story. For example, we are working on the movie for Emissary of Light right now and it is like trying to take a book to a movie, they are different mediums, so you can't tell the story in the same way. And the same thing is true when you take something from real life to a book -- you can't write it exactly as it happened in most cases, because it just won't work.
Sunfellow: Were you a part of the decision to present your book as if it were a completely authentic story, or was this a decision that your editor's made?
Twyman: I'm not sure how to answer that question. First of all, as you may or may not know, in the publishing business the author doesn't have a tremendous amount of say. And like I said, I did originally write something that I wanted to be included.
Sunfellow: In the very beginning you wrote this -- not after your book was published?
Twyman: Yes. Yes. And this is not in any way to point blame on Warner because I think Warner has done everything quite effectively. But, I think they just decided that it wasn't needed.
Sunfellow: As the author of Emissary of Light, you will be the one who is ultimately responsible for the affect your book has on other people. Many people are going to believe your story, and the accompanying "truths" that it presents. Are you comfortable with what may come of this? Of how your book will affect others, and how others will apply this information in their lives?
Twyman: The best thing that I have to operate under in answering that question are all the thousands of letters that we have received from people all over the world who say -- and I think this is probably the greatest compliment that I could receive -- that what the book helped them to identify what was resonating inside them already. My attempt with this has not been to present something that is new, because none of this is new, but to bring out the truth that is already there. Every time I get these letters and sit down and read them and [see how] beautiful they are, and how touched people are by the experience that they're having, that's what it is all about for me. I can also speak for the transformation that has taken place in my own life. I often say that I have the best job in the whole world because all I do is travel around telling people how holy they are. If people can just get the real simplicity of this message, which can be summed up in two words: "you're ready." When people get that message, the answer to your question is absolutely, "Yes, I'm fully willing to take on the responsibility of people realizing that they're ready."
Sunfellow: There are many examples in history of people presenting messages that seem, in the beginning, to be very hopeful and inspiring, and which inspire great masses of people, but later turn out to cause many problems -- especially messages that promote instant enlightenment or simple solutions to complex problems.
Twyman: That's certainly not what "you're ready" means. "You're ready" doesn't mean that you snap your fingers and suddenly everything is different. What it means is that we're ready to begin a journey in love rather than fear.
Sunfellow: In your story you talk about quantum leaps, time coming to an end, humanity being on the edge of an awakening. So there does seem to be a very strong focus, both in your book and, for that matter, with the Great Experiment, on an instant awakening.
Twyman: I do believe that is possible. And, quite frankly, taking the Great Experiment as an example, can it happen in an instant? I believe it can. Will it? I don't know.
Sunfellow: Your message seems to suggest that if we gather together in prayer and meditation, and practice the principles you set forth in your book, then an instant awakening of some kind will be the result?
Twyman: I don't see where you've gotten the interpretation of instant.
Sunfellow: You don't feel that the Great Experiment was presented as a vehicle for humanity to experience an instant healing or shift in consciousness?
Twyman: No, I don't think it was. When we say things like "a shift" or "a shift that occurs in an instant," it's like a pendulum. The pendulum stops at one point and then shifts in the other direction. But it is not instantly at the other side. A shift has occurred that now begins a movement in another direction. That doesn't take away the responsibility for us to work, to do what's required to release our fear, to do what we need to do in order to nurture and bring in this new experience. But I do believe the Hundredth Monkey theory -- that when there are enough of us who are focusing and choosing love over fear, there is something that occurs that is an instant that begins the shift.
Sunfellow: The Hundredth Monkey story is apparently not true.
Twyman: Yes, I've heard that before. But I think the principle is probably still sound. You know the bottomline is, "who knows?"
Sunfellow: That's our point and premise: we don't know and when someone shows up that has an airtight story that seems to look like they do know, and present a path to follow that will take us where we need to go, that concerns us.
Twyman: The primary message of The Emissaries was surrender, trust, and gratitude. Surrender must always begin with the experience of "I don't know." And if anyone thinks that I, James Twyman, have the answer, then they're wrong because I don't. I am confident that something is happening both within myself and within all of us that is bringing about an amazing awareness, but I certainly don't want to present myself as some sort of an all-knowing guru that has all the answers, because I am going to disappoint a lot of people if they think that.
Sunfellow: Jimmy, I appreciate you taking the time to deal with all of this. You obviously spent a lot of time answering our questions and made numerous attempts to get things to us (faxes, news stories, a copy of your visa). I will be sure you receive a copy of this special report and do the best I can to present it in a fair and objective fashion. If you have any comments, I would like to hear them. Long term, I hope that we can work together and be a support to each other.
Twyman: Thank you. I appreciate all of your help as well.
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