CHAPTER FIVE

Encounters with the Opposition

Dr Neil Hitchen is a pseudonym we will use for an acquaintance of Andrija's who had had an interest in his work for many years. Formerly a leading political figure, Dr Hitchen had more recently spent several years in education. He had begun his career, however, in the ministry, so when he and his wife Alice paid a visit to Ossining and participated in some communications, it was natural that the subject of Christianity and the Church should come up.

Recalling that in a recent communication Tom had said that there was a time, two thousand years ago, when the Earth was ready to make the evolutionary change now being attempted, Andrija asked if the time referred to was the period of Jesus Christ.

'This is correct,' Tom answered. 'But we do not call him Jesus Christ. We call him the Nazarene. He was one of us. His inspirational work and healings were inspired by us and his energy was supplied by us. We had great hopes at that time, but then you made a god of him as you have made a god of many. This will not happen this time. There will not be one but there will be a collection of beings who will raise the consciousness of this planet.'

'There are many on Earth who expect the return of the Nazarene,' Andrija said, 'but I gather from what you say that this is not possible.'

'A single individual will not return,' Tom said. 'There are many of you on this planet that are similar to the Nazarene. It is very important that you do not defy us. It is important that you understand that God is in each and every one of you, that God is love and it is love that creates the one God!

Neil Hitchen said that he would be willing to help in any appropriate way, and was wondering whether he should go back into the religious sphere, for instance by accepting an offer of the presidency of a university with religious affiliations. Tom said emphatically, 'No. With them you can only go so far, because of the indoctrination they have had over two thousand years.' Neil then asked if his political connections could be of any use to the project. For instance, he could speak to people in the new President's entourage and possibly to President Ford himself. In response to this suggestion Tom said, 'We have found in the past that when you tell people the truth they feel threatened or feel that it cannot be so. But if it is their thought and they come to you, they readily accept ... We are grateful for your offer to help this project. You are in a position, more than any of these beings, to help with contacts and credibility. You must walk softly and with patience, and you must drop the seeds.'

At the beginning of the next extended series of communications held at Ossining after Assagioli's death, Tom volunteered some information which will be as challenging for the reader as it was for John, Andrija and Phyllis, and no doubt will cause some to conclude that the communications must be contaminated by the unconscious of one or other of the participants. Recalling the 20 July celebration and what they had learnt about their roles at that time, Tom said he would now like to take the explanation one step further. It was very important that they should now understand their special relationship to the Nine. 'The Nine of us are in the area that you call the zone of cold. The three of you are here on the planet Earth. Now visualise as we are speaking to you of what is transpiring. Around each of you beings there are three other beings which are three beings of the Nine. This makes you then the centre as three of the Nine surround each of you . . . This then feeds and nourishes and sustains you, who in turn sustain us because without you three beings we cannot accomplish what is needed on this mission. You cannot be replaced. Do you understand?'

'We are honoured,' Andrija said, 'but it is difficult to understand.'

Tom said that there were also problems of understanding on their side. 'The difficulty we have is in understanding the problems you have in this gross, heavy, density world that as physical beings you must exist upon. This is creating problems for our project, but the project must continue, and its completion cannot be delayed.'

It would greatly help the project, Andrija said, if the Management would provide them, as promised some time ago, with the clear statement of purpose and programme imprinted on magnetic tape so that in future there should be no ambiguities arising out of their personal interpretations of the communications and understanding of the work. The statement had not yet been received, and Andrija now asked when they might expect it.

This brought from Tom a rapidly-spoken reproach: 'We have observed the great anxiety generating around all three of you beings waiting for this statement and programme. We have actually at times given you part of the programme before you asked, and at times after you asked, and you seem to be delayed by waiting for this programme, as if you cannot go forward without it. We do not understand its importance, or why you are waiting, when you already know why you are here, why we are coming and why we are doing this work with you. We understand that you would like to relay this statement to the rest of the world, and that you feel that this would be something that could be given to the people and they would believe. But there are those that still would not believe. Do you understand?'

Andrija answered that they understood that, but the point was that each of them had a partial and personal understanding of the programme and the philosophy, and they wanted a definitive statement in order to give their group internal coherence. 'I'm sorry if we're transmitting anxiety,' he said, 'but it is not a lack of faith or concern that leads to our anxiety. It is an anxiety to get ahead with the work. I hope you understand that.'

'I understand it because I am the one that works most closely with all of you,' said Tom, 'but the other members do not understand it.'

Andrija asked John to put his point of view to the Council, and John said that he too was concerned that their understanding of the message and the programme might be distorted in their individual interpretations, or even that the communications themselves might be distorted by the consciousness of the channel. Tom assured him that there were no distortions in the channelling. Then Andrija asked if the Council now understood their anxiety, saying, 'It is a kind of healthy anticipatory anxiety. I hope it has no negative connotations for you.'

Tom absented himself for about half a minute to consult with the Council, then returned and said, 'Let me explain to you their feeling. It is now the consensus among our group that the delay that was brought about in giving this statement has now caused us to take a new look at why you want this statement. I know why you want it, but when we observe you it is as if you have put down your plough and are no longer ploughing the ground to plant the seeds because you are waiting for the horse to pull the plough. We are disturbed, the entire Council is disturbed, because of your anxieties, and because you are waiting only for a statement. You must understand that I am their spokesman as I am your spokesman, and I understand why you do what you do. I am only relating to you the Council's feelings.'

Andrija said that for his part he didn't see the justice of the reproach that the work had stopped. He, John and Phyllis had all been working consistently for the cause in their different ways.

'We did not say the work had stopped,' Tom said. 'We were speaking of within your minds. All three of you have thought that you could not really go forward until this statement had been completed. This is what we speak of.'

John conceded that this was true of himself, but Andrija continued to rebut the reproach. 'I think what may have been interpreted as a kind of stoppage is really prudence on our part,' he said. 'Our interest is largely in economy of effort. We want to do the right thing. So it's in this spirit that we're asking for guidance.'

Tom replied to this, after a long pause of consultation, with a strong speech and the introduction of a shift of perspective on the problem, which virtually disposed of the question of the need for a statement and programme.

'You know this physical world better than we know it,' he said. 'We need your minds, and we need your energies. We suggest that you know better than we in which direction you are to go. If we feel that anything you are doing will jeopardise the programme, you will be made aware of that. We cannot lay out a complete formula for you, and a direction. There are things that we try to help you with, and there are things that we try to institute. In the past we have made many errors with this, because from where we sit it looks as if this may be possible or feasible, but then we find in your physical world it is not always so. We do not understand your material world, so therefore we have decided that only when we feel the programme could be contaminated or disrupted will we then step in. We will guide and direct you as much as we can. You can ask us if we feel you are going in the right direction or the wrong direction, but at the same time you must realise that we do not understand this material world and physical thing that you exist with. You understand that this is the error we made with Uri. We did not understand about the material part.'

Andrija and John never did get their definitive statement, but after this explanation the lack of it ceased to be a matter of concern, for they tended to regard themselves more as responsible partners in a project than as servants of a cause.

On 14 September, Tom brought up for the first time the subject of the opposition. Hitherto, Andrija and John had understood that the Management's effectiveness was limited only by lack of human understanding and the necessity to maintain the principle of individual free will. But now it emerged that the problem was more complex and more sinister than that, for there were strong and intelligent opposition forces at work whose aim was to frustrate and undermine the project, and one of the ways they would operate would be by availing themselves of any opportunity to attack any member of the group. So it was particularly important, Tom said, for them to keep in good physical condition and have proper rest and nourishment, for 'when the physical body is in a weakened condition and is lacking your physical rest or sleep, your energy levels are then down, and at these times other beings, other forces, other vibrations may interfere. And without your physical bodies, without your energies and without your minds we cannot do the work. Do you understand?'

Andrija said they understood the general idea, but were not clear about what was meant by other forces, other beings, other energies taking over. Tom elaborated: 'We have negative and we have positive, and as we have explained to you many times, we must reach a balance between the two. To be all positive is not right, and to be all negative is not right, but in this universe we have those that are all positive or all negative, and this causes an imbalance. The mission of the three of you is to bring this planet into balance. This planet is weighted and it is heavy and it is what you would call a negative vibration. We discovered this many of your years ago, and this is why you chose, as we explained to you before, to be the funnel . . . Because of the unbalance in your planet the negative forces have taken on power, and this has created the problem.'

Furthermore, Tom went on to explain, the forces of the opposition were going to be particularly active and dangerous, and 'until we pass the twenty-second of your month of October our project will not be removed from danger'. It was imperative that the three should remain together for the next month until the crisis period was over. The Nine would give all the protection they could, but, Tom said, 'there are technical problems at this time and there will be difficulties'. The powers of the opposition should not be underestimated. 'Be careful in your movements. Be careful of your electricity. Be careful with what is around you. If they remove this physical being, -then they have nullified all our work. And if they removed one of you it would be the same.'

This reminded Andrija of a harrowing journey he had had some days before, when he had driven to the airport to pick up Phyllis and John and through no fault of his own he had nearly been involved in an automobile accident on four separate occasions, one of them on the return journey when they were all three in the car. He asked if the experience was relevant to the situation under discussion. 'It was a warning,' Tom said. 'This is going to be a very difficult time, for us and for you ... Part of the problem is the earthly imbalances of the three of you ... We are sorry that we must bring these things to your attention, but we are at a critical time. When one of you becomes out of balance, then the negative feeds on your energies, they deplete and take from you.'

Tom now proceeded to point out the characteristic faults of each of them which rendered them particularly vulnerable. To John he said, 'You can be out of balance by not listening at times. You can be out of balance by presenting a problem in anger before it starts . . . Then when you are out of balance and you become angry or fearful, the more angry or fearful you become the more they feed on you.'

John said he understood this, and Tom next addressed Andrija: 'Be very careful, Doctor, that you do not miss some points. We know that you have a tendency to check and check and check. This we appreciate and are grateful for. But at times also you believe too readily. You are very trusting ... You have now had antennae added to you, and you should use your antennae to feel the vibration.'

This reference to bio-engineering performed upon him interested Andrija, because for approximately the past two months he had been troubled by general itching and spots and rashes on his skin and he had difficulty sleeping on account of excessive energy. He mentioned this and Tom confirmed that it was because of the implants, which when functioning properly would serve to balance the physical body and at the same time act as sensors. 'This is a new implant in you and we are adjusting,' he explained. 'It should be neutralised in a period of your four weeks. Remember that the civilisations are technical and are not perfect.'

Tom now spoke about Phyllis. 'This Being's problem is doubt and not believing. This is good at times, but to constantly doubt everything creates an imbalance. Her problem is that she does not listen to what is being said inside because of the doubts and the fears that what is being received will not be correct. That is ego. You will talk to her about this ego.'

Andrija took this up and asked about Phyllis's channelling. 'You know the degree of trance dissociation she has, and how accurately your thoughts get through,' he said. 'Could you give us an idea how accurate the transmission is?'

'It is the most accurate and refined that has been transmitted,' Tom replied.

'But tell us how inaccurate it gets when her ego gets in the way and she starts doubting and fighting etcetera,' Andrija said.

'It creates a problem and a frustration within the physical body, and then we in turn get short-circuited. But what we would like to talk to you about more than about the transmissions - because we are mostly in control of the transmissions - is the impressions received during the day. There are things that arise in your world that we must get through. This Being is also being used for that. She refuses to bring to attention some of the things that she feels because she fears there will be an error and then her ego would be bruised, or that she would interpret it wrong. The ego must be removed.'

Andrija suggested that a way of dealing with this problem would be to have Phyllis keep notes of her impressions and then check them against future events. To discover correspondences between her impressions and the events would give her confidence.

John contributed the suggestion that Phyllis should find more time to listen to the tapes of the communications, for she had in fact heard very few of them.

Both suggestions might help to an extent, Tom said, but neither would solve the main problem, which was that Phyllis could not always correctly analyse her impressions. John and Andrija could help by discussing them with her, for 'energy then would generate so that it can become clarified'. What they had to understand was that Phyllis's difficulty was not wanting to talk for fear of error and then the ego being hurt.

'We'll try and get round that by notes and giving her a sense of confidence about what things to share and what not to share, just to avoid bruising the ego,' Andrija said.

'You are misunderstanding,' Tom said. 'You are concerned about bruising the ego. That is the problem at this time.'

'Well, I understand that eventually she has to get rid of the ego,' Andrija said, 'but in the interim I think we should be careful about her ego, so long as she understands that some time she must conquer that sense of "I" and "me" and "self".

'You are misunderstanding what we say,' Tom said in a tone of rather weary patience. John said that he thought he understood and would explain to Andrija afterwards, and Tom accepted this, saying, 'We are reading you and we are sure that you are aware.'

John took the opportunity to put in a question about the bioengineering that had been carried out on himself, but Tom asked him if this was something he really needed to know at the moment because if not there were 'more cosmic things' to talk about. John said that in that case they should certainly defer answering his personal questions, and Tom went on: 'As you know, our project is at a critical time. We know that as long as we can keep the energy balance between you - and we know that this will be done, and we have not lost hope, and we have not lost faith, as we know that you have not, and we are still joyous because of your commitment - but as you become more aware of what is transpiring there are also those who will tempt you, create problems for you, cause danger for you, in order for you to give up the project. This is not a test of faith but is a test of stamina. What may happen between now and your October twenty-second, besides the danger that the Being is in, is that the three of you become so tired and so weary that you wonder if you can continue. It is not a test you are going through - there is no test - but it is your opponents that would like to see you fail.'

'It's clear to me that we have to address ourselves to two classes of opponents,' Andrija said, 'those that we have on Earth, who I think we can recognise, and on the other hand the negative cosmic forces. Could you say something about each of these forces that we have to contend with?'

'They are one and the same,' Tom said. 'Those that oppose you here are emissaries of those that oppose you in the cosmos. The cosmic civilisations that are in opposition feed on the negativity of this planet and of other planets: they are the civilisations; that instil in the physical beings of your planet their greeds, their hates, their desires and their love of possessions. By doing this they are able to generate more power. If you understand what we have explained to you before, that the energy which is created then creates God, because the energy is love, then you also understand that the energy of greed, the energy of jealousy, the energy of desire, also creates an opposing force. The opposing force is very powerful, it is very strong physically because it has no morals, no ethic, because of what is fed to it. We know your question, "How can we then bring it into balance?" And the positive forces also can create a problem by being too naive, but the positive forces also believe that acting on the principle of love they can then bring into balance the negative forces, This is a great cosmic battle. This may sound very strange to you, but if the forces of dark win over the forces of light, then the soul of the individual will no longer be the individual soul because it will then feed a gigantic power but will have no free will.'

We are getting into deep waters, and I feel that a few comments might be relevant here. There are readers who will have no trouble with the idea of the great cosmic battle between the forces of light and those of darkness, and there are others for whom it will be all too reminiscent of a Jehovah's Witnesses' doorstep sermon. Again, some will find the idea of reincarnation easily acceptable, while others will regard it as baseless superstition or wishful thinking. And probably a majority of readers will find the idea of the existence of 'pure light beings' endowed with intelligence, wisdom and insight, and of an intelligent and cunning 'opposition' difficult to entertain. It may be pertinent, therefore, to draw the reader's attention to a few facts and arguments that may dispose him to regard these concepts - of the cosmic battle, reincarnation and the existence of discarnate intelligences of both benevolent and malevolent disposition - in a new light, and to see some relation between them.

The key concept which helps elucidate and interrelate not only the three ideas mentioned above, but also a great deal else in the communications, is that thought is a field phenomenon. This is a concept familiar to any modern physicist, and by now virtually accepted as axiomatic by the avant-garde of that profession, but it has not yet been very widely publicised or understood in our culture. I know of only one book written for the general reader in which the implications of the idea have been explored at all thoroughly: Edward W. Russell's Design for Destiny. The terms 'L-fields' ('fields of life') and 'T-fields' fields of thought') used in the following paragraphs are Russell's coinage, though his book is inspired by the work of Professor Harold Saxton Burr of Yale University, whose own book, The Fields of Life - Our Links with the Universe, is also recommended to the reader who is finding the credibility difficulties of the present material insuperable.

Any schoolboy who has played about with a magnet and iron filings is familiar with the phenomenon of an electromagnetic field. A 'field' in the scientific sense may be defined as an invisible and intangible force which has the property of being able to organise matter. A fundamental principle of modern science is that everything, from cells, seeds and atoms to suns and astronomical 'black holes' and 'white dwarves', possesses field properties, electromagnetic or gravitational. Another fundamental principle is that it is not substance but organisation that is the basis of reality. The traditional scientific, the naive realist and the common-sense views of reality tend to consider things more real and concrete than the relationships between them, whereas modern physics has demonstrated that what distinguishes from each other the basic elements which are the components of all matter is their atomic structure, the number and organisation of electrons in subatomic space. And what distinguishes the different kinds of electromagnetic energy is the frequency per second of wave cycles, in other words, organisation in time. The substratum of reality, then, is an invisible and intangible thing: organisation. Wherever there is life or substance, there is an organising field.

Physics tends to lead the way among the sciences, and the adaptation of field theory to biology has been slow although the thirty years of research work that Professor Burr and his colleagues have put in has demonstrated its relevance. The biologist Sir Charles Dobbs once pointed out that 'the whole of the protein in the human body is replaced in roughly 16o days', and wrote that, 'When one contrasts the great complexity of the protein molecule with the fact that millions of these substances are constantly being built up and disintegrated in the human body, and moreover rebuilt to precisely the same structure, one cannot help but speculate about the controlling mechanism.' The 'controlling mechanism', we now know, is the L-field. The L-field carries all the relevant information to enable the living organism to maintain its individual identity despite numerous changes in the material of which it is constituted. L-fields are non-material but they organise and control living forms. And, as Russell points out, being non-material, L-fields 'cannot possibly be the result of physical evolution' and therefore 'it is not necessary to assume that they must have been designed or developed in association with the matter of this planet, any more than an architect's plans have to be drawn on the site'. Furthemore, since 'any thing that can organise has to exist before what it organises', human L-fields must exist before the bodies that they organise and 'there is no reason to suppose that they cease to exist when the bodies they have organised die and decompose, any more than a magnet's field ceases to exist when the iron filings it has formed into a pattern are thrown away'.

So field-theory biology lends support to the concept of reincarnation. In a sense we are reincarnated many times in the course of our normal life-spans, so we shouldn't have any difficulty with the idea that the L-field that controls and organises the several physical bodies we inhabit during our 'allotted span' might occupy other bodies in other times or places. Moreover, as fields can travel immense distances at the speed of light, the other places need not be the planet Earth. L-fields may be, to use Professor Burr's term, 'our links with the universe', the basis of our cosmic connection. In this context, we might recall Roberto Assagioli's enigmatic statement that there are 6o,ooo million souls in the universe and only 4,000 million of them are incarnated at the present time. The rest, we may surmise, exist as unattached L-fields or in association with some other form of organisation of matter, and when we recall, too, that according to relativity theory mass is convertible to energy and vice versa, the idea of the existence of what Andrija called 'pure light beings' becomes plausible.

Let's now consider the evidence for the existence of the T-field. That minds can interact with each other independently of the channels of sense, and that mind can interact with matter independently of the laws of mechanical cause and effect, are facts established by psychical. researchers and parapsychologists over the past century to the satisfaction of all but a minority of diehard orthodox scientists. The evidence for telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokinesis has demonstrated clearly the fact that thought is a field phenomenon. More recently, biofeedback research has enabled interactions between the T-field and the L-field to be measured and observed. The work of Elmer Green (which he reported at the May Lectures) has shown that people can generate a T-field that will slow their heartbeat or stop a wound bleeding if they are fed back through electronic circuitry information about these physiological states. Modern studies of memory, too, point to its being a field phenomenon, Brain physiologists today speak of 'memory molecules' and envisage these as analogous to holographic plates on which an immense amount of information can be stored in a minute space. The information remains constant, but the memory molecule itself does not. Like all the other protein molecules in the body, it is unstable and subject to decay. Both neurosurgical experiments and observations of people suffering brain damage have shown that one part of the brain can take over the memory contents of another. So these contents must exist independently of the container, the brain cell. Experiment and observation, too, have established that memories are tremendously enduring (old people recall in detail sometimes events of infancy). To be enduring and to exist independently of substance or spatial location are properties of field phenomena, so memory functions afford us convincing evidence of the existence of the T-field.

That T-fields can travel great distances instantaneously is proved by both anecdotal and experimental evidence for telepathy, or thought transmission. That they can attach themselves to material objects is suggested by the phenomenon of psychometry, or object-reading. Psychics can pick up from material objects impressions and information about people or events formerly connected with them, and many people who are not particularly psychically gifted are sensitive to the atmospheres or moods of places or people, especially when these are charged with violence or negativity. In religious, magical and occult lore the world over, there are prescribed rituals for putting blessings or curses upon people or objects, i.e. for influencing them with a positive or a negative T-field.

In the light of these considerations, some of the things Tom said in response to Andrija's questions about the Nine's mode of existence are interesting. The statements, 'We are what we think we are at the time, 'we are soul' and 'we are energy', are all consistent with the idea that the basic mode of existence of the communicators is as T-fields. As we have seen T-fields can interact with L-fields, which makes sense of the claim that extra-terrestrials can manifest in various forms including a human form although they 'have evolved beyond the point of needing a physical body.'

The same rationale would explain the existence of the 'opposition', the negative T-field. As the human body is an aggregate of millions of fields of varying sizes and functions, all of which may come under the control of a dominant field force giving the body as a whole a disposition towards health or disease, so a powerful cosmic negative field force might mobilise a body of sub-fields to work together negatively and thus constitute an opposition to the positive, evolutionary force. That a cosmic situation of such a kind and of such proportions exists is attested not only by the Ossining communications but by some of the oldest of the world's mythologies, for instance the ancient Zoroastrian myth of the cosmic contest between Ahura Mazda, the principle of light, and Angra Mainyu, the principle of darkness. Of course, the problem with correspondence is always that one doesn't know whether to regard them as mutually corroborative or to consider one derivative from the other. The Zoroastrian myth influenced, or was repeated in, Judaism and Christianity, and as we get deeper into the mythic-cosmological aspects of the communications the correspondences with Judaic-Christian traditions and beliefs become more prominent. Some will see the correspondences as evidence of truth and others will regard them as evidence that the conscious or unconscious minds of the participants have contributed to the material allegedly channelled, and I do not propose to attempt to arbitrate between these two basically subjective views of the matter here. The purpose of this digression has been to suggest ways of regarding the situation that was developing and some of the ideas that were emerging in the communications during these crucial weeks of September and October 1974. I have tried to show that neither the situation nor the ideas were inherently implausible. The thing I can't help the reader with is the implausibility that this particular trio of human beings were involved in this cosmic situation, the suspicion that there is a touch of megalomania in the idea of their unique destiny or of paranoia in the idea that they should be subject to the attentions of the cosmic opposition. These things worry me too. But let's get back to the story.

In point of fact, it was Diana who first fell foul of the opposition. It happened in the evening of 15 September, the day after the subject of the opposition had been raised by Tom and he had given the specific instruction, 'Be careful of your electricity.' Recalling the circumstances and the event in a recent conversation with me, Diana said:

Soon after Assagioli's death, I went to Ossining and my own psychic awakening started. I suddenly started seeing auras, thought forms, beings, energies: all that stuff. I'd never seen anything like it before. The attacks started coming with my awakening. I wasn't very experienced or discriminating in this area, and I suppose some of them weren't strictly attacks. I tended to freak out whenever I saw anything. But there was no doubt about the big one.

'The Management had apparently said that the opposition might try to get at the three of them by attacking their loved ones, and had also made a point of telling them to be careful of electricity and using electrical appliances. But at that time the Management was shit so far as I was concerned, because it was such a short time after Roberto's death. So I ignored the advice and used the electric iron. After about twenty minutes I had to stop because there was this crackling in the air and a queer sensation of current running up my arm. I began to feel really strange. I told Phyllis and she made me lie down and put cold towels on my neck. Then all of a sudden the attack started. There are no words to describe it. It was as if something was trying to suck my consciousness out of my being. I knew very clearly that that was what was happening, that they were trying to possess me, to take me over, and I knew that if I would sit still I would feel my consciousness being drawn back and down and out of me. It was a very strange feeling. But if I kept making erratic movements I could pull out of it.

'Well, John came into the room to see what all the noise was about, and Phyllis told him to stay away from me, not to touch me, or else, she said, "they might get you". Phyllis knew what to do. She wanted to get me outside and wrap me round a tree, which was what eventually happened. But at first when she tried to drag me out I fought. Then I experienced this click inside my head, this sudden realisation that nothing could ever take my consciousness. I was suddenly stronger than whatever it was attacking me. I kept saying, "It's okay". There I'd been, raging and hysterical a few seconds before, and now suddenly I felt calm and everybody around me was freaked out. I said, "It's okay, just get me outside". So they took me outside and wrapped me round a tree, and I had to stay there for about an hour. All that time I could feel the negative forces being withdrawn from me by that tree, and this incredible vibration that was in my body very gradually subsided.'

Later the same day they held a communication session, which John opened by asking for some explanation of what had happened to Diana. Tom answered: 'This had been building since the 22nd of your August. In her weakened condition, the negative forces were able to get through . . . When a being, whether it be one of you or one of yours, generates a fear or an anger, it then permits an energy wave, and as we had explained to you before, it was important to be careful with electricity, for this again creates another type of energy which we and also other forces may generate on.'

Moreover, Tom went on to say, it was still a dangerous day and they might have to leave suddenly, 'not because there is danger for us, but because there is danger for you'. But for the present they were holding, and John and Andrija could ask questions.

Andrija was anxious to follow up a new topic which Tom had introduced in a communication the previous day. He had led up to it in a roundabout way, and the conclusion came as a surprise to both Andrija and John:

'We know that there is a concern in your minds about the relation between you and the Nine. As you know, I am the spokesman for the Nine. But I also have another position, which I have with you in the project. I will try to give you names so you can then understand in what you work and who we are. I may not pronounce who I am in a manner which you would understand because of the problem in the Being's brain, but I will explain so that the Doctor perhaps will understand. I am Tom, but I am also Harmarkus, I am also Harenkar, I am also known as Tum and I am known as Atum.'

'Yes, we know something of these names historically, of course,' Andrija said.

'If you understand that,' Tom went on, 'you may understand what my position is in this situation and this project. Before there was light there was dark, and dark lasted longer than light. It is now time for it to be balanced. And this was attempted five thousand of your years ago and more, and now it is again the time, and this time it must be accomplished because the planet that you exist on cannot exist many more of your years otherwise.

The references to ancient Egyptian civilisation were quite new in the communications, and Andrija was anxious to follow up the topic, so when he was invited to put questions the following day he said: 'I'd like to go on with the identifications that you were giving for yourself, Tom, and the other names by which you have been known. I was particularly impressed by Harmarkus. Could you tell us . . .'

Tom didn't let him complete the question, but said enigmatically, 'I am the day, I am the evening, and I am the midnoon.'

Andrija wasn't in a mood to be sidetracked by enigmas however. There was something he wanted to know: 'How did the Egyptians come to build the sphinx and name it after you?'

There was a long pause before Tom said, 'You have found the secret.' He then said he would have to verify whether this information could be disclosed, and after a pause for consultation he said, 'The true knowledge of that will be related to you another time. But I will say briefly to you concerning the sphinx: I am the beginning. I am the end. I am the emissary.'

Another enigma. Though the word 'emissary' was interesting. Emissary from where? From the Nine presumably. Support for the view that ancient Egyptian lore and symbology were so strange that they must have come from another world.

Tom now said: 'Today is a day of danger and we must be very cautious. There are electric impulses in your atmospheric air conditions. We are having interference. You are being probed. We must speak guardedly.'

Andrija had been experiencing a chest irritation for some minutes, and he now started coughing convulsively. Tom explained that it was because of the probes. John asked if it would be advisable to terminate the communication and Tom confirmed that it would be the best thing for all concerned, and that they should send energy to Phyllis as she came out of trance.

On her way out, Phyllis said later, she had seen 'wires like spider webs that were sparking like crazy', and also she had seen something that made her urge Andrija to rest. 'Every time we sit they're doing something to you,' she said. 'They're draining you, Andrija, they're wiping you out. And they're doing something to John, too. He thinks he feels great, but it's a false thing.'

Looking back on this time some two years later, John wondered how much of what happened was due to suggestion. It was a strange time, with the three of them shut away together at Ossining for several weeks - for Diana only stayed a few days and of course there were interpersonal tensions, and as they had been told that things were going to be bad until 22 October he wondered whether anticipation might not have played some part in how bad they actually turned out to be. They all suffered depletion of energy, though he did so less than the other two, and Phyllis underwent regular psychic attacks going into and coming out of trance, at least until they got the Faraday cage. But in retrospect John sees these weeks as a period when they were drawn inward upon themselves in order to learn and in order to be strengthened for the work that was to come. He is dubious about the extent to which any cosmic opposition might have been responsible, and for him the concept of the opposition is most meaningful when it is regarded as the negative side of oneself, for so to regard it, he has found, is to have something specific to contend with.

It was different for Phyllis, for she was the one of them that was most vulnerable, and in her experience lower psychic manifestations taking physical form and producing physical effects were a reality. The day following the occasion when the communication had been abruptly terminated she had a curious experience. She was counting down through the levels into deep trance and when she reached the number thirty-six she stopped abruptly, fascinated by what she was seeing. 'I'm getting all sorts of Egyptian pictures and scarabs and everything,' she said. 'What's a scarab represent?'

'It's a symbol of the rising sun and of creation and of rebirth,' Andrija said.

'Such a lot of energy around. Those beings are here, and they're trying to put darts in me. But wait a minute, they had something to do with the Egyptians also.'

'Yes,' Andrija said, 'they were the opponents, the enemies of Horus. They were collectively known as Set.'

 

'Were they from the sea?'

'We don't really know, but they're symbolised to a great extent by hippopotami and crocodiles, so that may be a clue. They did come up from the river, as I remember the legend.'

'I seem to be in a place in the desert,' Phyllis went on, 'and I feel I'm going down underneath a pyramid . . . But these fish men ... I'm sorry, that's not right, I'm not supposed to call them that. These men that are wearing rubber suits. They came up out of the sea. And what have they to do with doing experiments? They tried to do experiments in order to control.' Phyllis felt that there was some elusive but important truth to be gleaned and said she must go further in. She was just going to count down further when suddenly the Egyptian scenario was eclipsed and she cried out: 'Oh, Christ! Now they're working on my left hand on the side. Can you see what's happening? Oh, the pain!'

Andrija examined her left hand. It was appreciably swollen.

'They're doing something to me,' Phyllis said.

'Yes, the veins are very distended,' Andrija said.

'They've got a big needle in,' Phyllis said, and she cried out with pain.

Andrija said, 'I want you to come out of it right away,' and very firmly he brought her back, counting with her through the levels from thirty-six back to forty-five. When she was out, Phyllis said she felt as if she had been drugged.

She wanted to go back immediately, though, and get an explanation of what had happened from Tom. This time she counted down, urged on by Andrija, without pausing. Eventually Tom announced his presence, and in answer to Andrija's request for an explanation of what had just happened said, 'What was actually done was an implant was placed at the very last moment in this Being. It was not of our doing. And in coming out, the sensitivity of this channel was aware of those that work with us attempting to remove. It has now been removed. Will you explain to this Being that those she said were of fish were workers of ours.'

With a touch of exasperation, Andrija asked if there weren't some way to give warning of potential harassment by the opposition so that Phyllis wouldn't have to go through doubt and agony each time she went into trance.

'This will pass, as we told you,' Tom said. 'We are in a game of war. We had thought, and you had thought also, that we would have adequate protective devices, but this time they came fast and swift. Remember what we told you, though: that we will never permit any of you three to be taken. We have those that work with us that arrange antidotes, and problems will be removed. Be assured of this.'

The occurrence of Egyptian imagery at the beginning of this session, and the fact that Andrija had the recondite knowledge necessary to answer Phyllis's questions, might cause us to think that Andrija generated the whole Egyptian scenario that Phyllis experienced in light trance. But if that were the case we would not expect his and Tom's explanations of the 'fish men' to differ. Andrija thought they were the opposition, but Tom said they were 'workers of ours'. Also, the pain and swelling in Phyllis's hand were unanticipated and quite unconnected with the mental imagery she was experiencing, and only Tom could explain how the two were linked. Which would appear to confront us with a choice between accepting Tom's explanation of the pain and swelling, which were undoubtedly genuine, or attributing them to some other cause and regarding Tom as an opportunist improviser skilled at accommodating any occurrence within his own crazy scheme of things.

Crazy or not, Tom's scheme of things has to be given high marks for consistency. In the same communication as the above, Andrija referred back to the very first communication with Tom and asked if they might now take up again the subject of early Earth history. Tom showed an impressive capacity for recall, saying, 'We spoke, at that particular time, of a massacre.' Andrija hadn't prompted him with this fact. He ignored Andrija's request for information about early history, and went on: 'And you are very much aware that this is what is happening. The massacre will not be in the cosmic but on the physical planet and because of the problems which the people of this planet have created. We are here to prevent this. This is our third time with you in preventing this. This is the third in a series, and this time because of the three being together, as we told you in our celebration, we know that this will be accomplished.'

If it will be accomplished, then presumably there will be no 'massacre'. Tom frequently appears to be making definite predictions when in fact be is talking about possibilities, about what is likely to happen unless something is done to prevent it. This is the case with references to the coming 'ice age' which came up several times in the communications in this period, and which are in fact a variation on the theme of the 'massacre'.

'Within a two hundred of your year period,' Tom said, 'there will be an ice age on this planet if something is not done, and then the souls who have been trapped on this planet will for ever be trapped. They will not be able to evolve or understand because they will be involved constantly in the desires of the physical.'

The theme was developed in a later communication: 'We spoke to you of an ice age that is coming, and this is something that is occurring because of the illnesses of the human race, and when we say illnesses we mean of your technology, which has not been refined. This is not something that is being brought to you from outside your planet or by other forces. It is coming about because of the greed and because of the desires of the beings of this planet ... because of the pollution in your atmosphere, and in your waters which in turn pollute your atmosphere, so that the sun can then no longer penetrate. With our technology we will be able to help rid the earth of the problems that your pollution and your technology have created.'

Human greed, desire, jealousy and emotional imbalance are responsible both for the dire situation the planet is in ecologically and for the general cosmic crisis, and as it would require a fundamental change in human consciousness and orientation to overcome these failings it is important both for the Earth and for the universe that such a change be effected. This message, embellished with the warnings about the cunning and power of the opposition forces bent upon preventing the change, is not remarkably original in the context of traditional ideas of apocalypse and the literature of moral exhortation. But there is one rather original aspect to it, which kept coming up in the communications of October: the stress on the fact that the primary need was for balance, and the cosmology related to this idea. The prescription for success and for continuing growth, both in the individual and in the cosmos, is not to beat the devil in a dramatic final contest and thus usher in a new age of sweetness and light, but through unremitting effort to hold in balance conflicting but complementary forces.

In answer to a question of Andrija's as to what the opposition forces were like, how they operated and where they came from, Tom said: 'You ask from where they come, and we know that in your mind you wonder if they are the counterpart of us. Is this not correct?'

'Yes,' Andrija said.

'No, they are not the counterpart of us,' Tom went on. 'Remember this: that we are in the centre; and we don't wish to sound as if we are perfect or as if we are egotistical, but on either side of us there is the positive and there is the negative, and when I say this I mean there is the positive which is not balanced and there is the negative which is not balanced. We are in the centre, and we are balanced. We are trying to bring those other forces into balance. Do you understand? They are not the counterpart of us.'

Andrija confessed that he was still puzzled. 'We don't understand the nature of these two forces that you are in the centre of,' he said.

Tom said patiently that he would try to explain in terms that they would understand, though he stressed that the explanation was really inadequate and only a rough analogy: 'You are a physical being, and you have a left and a right, and without your left you would be unbalanced with your right, and without your right you would be unbalanced with your left. This is the situation. They are part, but they are not all, and they are not complete.

This wasn't profoundly enlightening, but they let the question rest for the time being. Andrija took it up a few days later, asking how the forces that Tom called positive and negative related to what people on Earth considered good and bad. This elicited a long and interesting statement.

'It is difficult for you in your physical world to truly understand the importance of both,' Tom began. 'I will try to explain. Visualise the universe as a giant scale. We are the pivot of this scale. Visualise that on one side of the universe all would be negative and that all on the other side would be positive, and as you see this you know that there is a complete out-of-balance situation. The universe actually has four sides, and within each of the sides there are many galaxies and solar systems. Now on the other two sides of the universe from this side it is in perfect balance. But on this side ... How may I explain? If you would take a stone for each of the galaxies and they would be in perfect weight and perfect proportion to those on the other three sides, then this would also be in balance. But if one of those stones was a porous substance and you placed it in oil and it absorbed the oil and became weighted with it, then it would upset the balance and pull this scale out of calibre and would upset the other side of the universe. Your planet Earth is accomplishing that. The negative is the heavy oil. Remember, the other sides are balanced, but this imbalance that we have can in turn topple the rest.'

That seemed fairly lucid, but Tom wasn't entirely happy with his analogy, for he said, with a touch of the resigned weariness that anyone who has struggled to find words for abstruse concepts would recognise, 'That is not quite correct'. Then, apparently recalling Andrija's original question, he went on: 'In actuality, there is no good and there is no bad. It is only when one becomes sour or rotten that it contaminates the rest, whether it would be good or bad.'

'We understand that you are now working with us and what we consider the positive forces,' Andrija said. 'But have you ever in the past stepped in to actively aid the negative forces when the positive has been causing the imbalance?'

'When the positive has no understanding of the negative, it is out of balance,' Tom said. 'Without being aware of the negative and being aware that it must be balanced, then that is out of balance. And the answer to your question is yes.'

'That is very important for our understanding,' Andrija said.

Tom continued: 'Because of the ignorance of the peoples of your planet, and because of their religious leaders who have taught this ignorance, the negative forces, which are not truly as you see them, manifest in that way in order to instil fear. But what is truly negative, what has created the upset, besides the desires and the greed, is the complete denial of the existence of God. Do you understand?'

'Yes,' Andrija said, 'so this is the greatest thing that has to be redressed or righted?'

'This is correct,' Tom said. 'And you must explain also to people the necessity for earth people, and for the souls and spirits that surround your earth, to release themselves from greed and desire, because that is the trap. Your religious leaders do not understand this and do not teach the people.'

At the beginning of the communication that contained this discussion, which took place on 8 October, Tom said that there was a meeting of the Council in progress, and that while she was out of her physical body Phyllis would be taken before the Council again to have some things explained to her which she would report to the others when the communication was over. Towards the end of the session, Tom politely took leave of John and Andrija for a short time in order to 'go and meet with the Being', and when he returned he said that many things had been explained to her and they should have a conversation immediately on her return, for she would remember part of what she had experienced and learnt and other parts of it would be recalled in the conversation.

This is one of the most interesting of all Phyllis's reports of her out-of-the-body experiences, both in itself and because of the way some of its themes parallel and complement the themes of the communication that was taking place at the same time. This simultaneity of two corresponding but distinctly different and individually coherent experiences argues strongly, it seems to me, in favour of the view - which I'm sure some readers will still doubt - that Tom exists independently of Phyllis's unconscious.

'Oh, I went on a trip,' was the first thing Phyllis said when she came out of trance. 'I think I've been before the Nine. First of all they showed me how I go there and how they communicate. They come in on different beams. Like when I'm being removed from my body, they use a beam. They bounce it off things like satellites, and it depends on something in the atmosphere, the way they beam in. Anyway, so I got called up, and they said I was creating problems. I wish I could remember it all. They appeared in human form and I said, "You're not like that at all. Why do you look like that?" And then they were energy. They said that I'm causing problems, that I'm frustrating you and John, that you have faith and I haven't. I argued that point, because I do have faith. I have faith in God. They said what I was doing was creating problems by wanting "intricate revelations" - and I don't understand what they mean by that, but I got the essence of what they were saying. Then I asked them something, I said, "I'm quite upset about all the stuff you're telling John and Andrija, because I don't know if you're going to make all these things happen." They said I shouldn't doubt them. So I asked them to show me how things were going to happen, you know, with the radios and televisions. And it's Ultima that's going to do it, Ultima hooking up with Hoova.'

'Did they tell you how?' Andrija said.

'Yes, with these kind of beams, the same kind of beams they use with me. It's difficult to explain. I'm not scientific. But there's like a big spiral and they're in the centre, and out of this centre in all directions come literally thousands of very thin wires. And they take one of these beams, or one of these wires, and this is how they come in. And they can move them around and bounce them off things.'

It was hardly a description to satisfy Andrija's longing for new and verifiable technological know-how, but he had to be content with it because Phyllis suddenly remembered something else. 'Oh yes, do you know who they had on their carpet? They had a Pope up there.'

'A Pope?' John laughed. 'They had him on the carpet?'

'Yes. They were bawling the Pope out. They said he was creating more problems . . .' The memories were crowding each other now. Phyllis changed the subject again. 'Oh yes, and then they explained evil and good. They showed me very ugly things and they said, "These, in your world, are very frightening to you." They weren't frightening to me there. They were just animals and insects and things that we're not accustomed to. They said, "These, to some people, are beautiful, and to other people they're ugly, and it depends on where you're at in your relationship to it," and they said that they weren't ugly or beautiful, they just were. Then they showed me other civilisations, I didn't like them. They weren't good - though that's not the right word now, we're not supposed to use that word.'

John was intrigued by the image of the Pope on the carpet and asked Phyllis if she could recall anything more about that.

'Well, John, I think he'd been there for a hell of a long time,' Phyllis said.

'You mean it may not have been the present Pope Paul?'

'What does he look like?' Andrija described him as thin, with a beaky nose and Phyllis said, with a cry of recognition, 'That's him !'

'Were they trying to straighten him out?' John asked.

'Yes.'

'And was he going along with it?'

'No,' Phyllis said. 'He felt that he was absolutely right in his rationale.'

Most of the time, she said, she had been in the presence of just eight members of the Council, and then Tom had come along. Asked by Andrija to describe what they had looked like, she said that at first they had looked like venerable old men, but when she said, 'None of you are really like this, I want to see what you're really like,' they had turned into 'balls of light that were, like, pure energy, but with a soul'.

'Perhaps that's what a soul looks like,' Andrija said. 'Perhaps that's what they are, all soul and no body.

'Right,' Phyllis said. 'Anyway, they were very nice to me. They explained to me my responsibility and they were very very loving and they said I'd got to stop denying them. I said I wasn't denying them. Oh, and they showed me . . . now this was interesting. They took like the negative and positive forces or energy and they showed ... Now, if you're so positive and you spin - they showed me this energy spinning, and it keeps spinning so fast it gets light and it disappears ... And the negative also spins, but with its spinning it picks up other stuff and it gets dark. It's an energy that gets dark and then it falls. And they showed me that neither one of those was good because the way they were going that soul was out of line.'

'Or balance,' Andrija suggested.

'Out of balance, right,' Phyllis said.

'Hm,' Andrija said, 'that's interesting! And he tried to make scientific sense of Phyllis's imagery in terms of spinning leading to increased velocity and eventually to disappearance into another dimension. After toying with this idea for a while, he asked her, 'Did they give you any special instructions when they sent you back?'

'Mainly, they wanted me to tell you that what they say will happen will happen,' Phyllis said.

'You mean there's no bullshit?' Andrija said.

'Right, no bullshit,' Phyllis said.

Some readers may be of contrary opinion, but from any point of view the correspondences between this post-session report of Phyllis's and the information content of the communication itself must stand out as a phenomenon that challenges explanation. Tom's explanation of how an excess of the positive is as undesirable as an excess of the negative, and of the need to keep the two in balance, is paralleled in Phyllis's imagery of the spinning energies. And his point that really 'there is no good and there is no bad' was vividly brought home to Phyllis when she was shown things that to her were very ugly and told that to others they were beautiful. Again, Tom deplores the ignorance and ineptitude of the world's religious leaders, and Phyllis sees the Pope 'on the carpet'. This phenomenon of Phyllis getting visual imagery corresponding to information that Tom expresses conceptually often occurs, and as human brains tend to have a bias towards conceptualisation or visualisation it seems highly unlikely that Phyllis herself at an unconscious level should be generating both the concepts and the images. According to Tom, she is generating neither, but is channelling the concepts and being shown the imagery; in other words, both concepts and images are emanating from an external source, indeed from an extra-terrestrial source. That may be difficult to believe, but it is equally difficult to find a plausible psychological explanation of the phenomenon, even in the light of all that is known about the psychology of the dissociation of personality, for it is a case of two mental functions, of a type that are totally different and usually mutually exclusive, going on at the same time. Though some of Phyllis's out-of-the-body-experience reports tend to sound like science-fiction scenarios, it seems to me that when, as in this case, they include imagery that parallels and complements the conceptual content of the communication, they must confound psychological explanation and constitute prima facie evidence that the communications as a whole emanate from an external source, which depending on your point of view and the height of your credulity threshold might be either a stunning revelation or a pretty obvious point no longer needing evidence. Of course, even if the existence of the external source be considered thus proved, this evidence says nothing for its reliability. But in this perplexing area you can't ask too much of any one piece of evidence. Detective work has to be painstaking, patient and piecemeal.

The opposition would have less chance of getting up to mischief, Tom indicated, if the communication sessions could be held under conditions of electromagnetic shielding. The day after he made this suggestion Andrija received a call from a company that was going bankrupt and wished to dispose of, cheaply and quickly, an unusual piece of equipment, namely a Faraday cage. He made arrangements to go and see the equipment in New York, and in the course of the next session with Tom mentioned that 'fortunately' he would be able to get a Faraday cage for them to work in in the near future.

'Things are not fortunate,' Tom said.

It is synchronistic happenings of this kind - and many such have occurred in the course of the work - that have convinced the group that they are not just spinning the entire web out of their own heads.

The conversation that followed is worth reporting, for it gets back to one of the recurrent themes of this period and one of the basic and more difficult themes of the communications as a whole.

Andrija chuckled at the thought that the opportune offer of the Faraday cage was not just chance coincidence. There was just a suggestion of admonition in Tom's 'Things are not fortunate', as if to say Andrija should have known this.

'Well, you have to remember that we're stuck in bodies on the physical plane,' Andrija said, 'so we haven't got the lofty perspective that you have.'

'You have, because you are one of us,* or you would not be where you are,' Tom said.

'Yes, I understand that we are one of you,' Andrija conceded, 'but I think we are like one of you who has chosen to come onto Earth and take on the body of an ant with all its limitations, and therefore what one thinks, feels and does has all the limitations of the ant. Is that not true?'

* 'One of us' means one of the spiritual hierarchy who have returned to Earth to assist in the evolution of souls rather than a soul that is currently evolving here. This is consistent with the esoteric teachings about such a hierarchy and the 'new group of world servers' which I will elaborate upon in the final chapter.

'This is true. And all of us have decided that if such a situation arose again, if a planet should fall out of calibre again, rather than permitting a few of our people to return to help that planet all of us would return in order to understand, but that is not possible now for there is no longer enough time.'

'So then we came with a total memory wipe-out and just acted and lived like people on Earth. Right?' Andrija asked.

'The reason for the memory wipe-out is because of the atmosphere in which you live.'

'Well, I can understand that if we had had the slightest inkling of who we were we couldn't have tolerated the situation.' Andrija said. But Tom didn't agree.

'This is not necessarily so. Because you are who you are you can tolerate anything. You have had glimpses in your consciousness of who you are.'

'Yes, but those seem like wild imaginings, as you can surely conceive. Have you yourself ever been on this planet, Tom?'

'Yes, but you must remember that in my time there was not the confusion that there is now, and there was not the density that there is now - and I do not mean gravitational density but density of pollution and radiation, which also affects the physical body and the mind.'

'Yes, that's a very serious problem,' Andrija said. 'Is there anything that can be done in the next few years?'

'The reason for us will be that, will be one,' Tom said, then added after a pause: 'They say I am talking in riddles.'

'Yes, that was a bit of a riddle,' Andrija agreed.

'One of the reasons for the arrival of the civilisations that will help this planet is because of this problem,' Tom explained, getting it clearer this time.

In a number of communications over this period, Tom set out to make good their memory wipe-out by giving them details about their earliest associations with the planet Earth. The purpose was ostensibly to make them more clearly understand their roles in the present mission, and Tom repeatedly insists that the information is not given in order to flatter their egos.

'You were among the first arrivals of us, and that was over thirty-four thousand years ago,' Andrija was told. 'You were one of the founders of the first civilisation. Your story of Adam and Eve was from this time.'

'And where would that have been on Earth?' he asked.

'In Aksu.'

Andrija remembered the name. It was still on modern maps. They had come across it when they had checked the co-ordinates that Tom had given in his very first communication, at Count Pino Turolla's house in March. 'Ah, that's the place in the Tarim Basin?' he said.

'That is right.'

'And I gather that that civilisation didn't succeed?'

'It was not your fault. It was too soon. It was a high civilisation, but not adapted!

'Can you tell us what elements of civilisation we tried to give at that time?' Andrija asked. 'What was it we were concerned with? Was it agriculture, medicine, astronomy, or what?'

'It was a language. It was to raise the beings from the level of near-animal. It was a way to communicate.

A sophisticated idea this, that language is not so much the product as the basis of civilisation, the prerequisite of any evolutionary leap, as is stated in St John's Gospel, 'In the beginning was the Word'. Andrija asked if the language had survived and Tom said that it had, but not down to the present age. When the first civilisation had failed not all had been lost, for groups of people from it had moved into three other parts of the world, where civilisations had in due course developed, but these in turn were eventually eclipsed.

Andrija further learnt that he had spent 1,600 years on Earth at that time, and that during this period he helped give the civilisation of Aksu not only language but also knowledge of building, agriculture and healing. John had been incarnated as his son and had kept up the good work after his departure for a further 2,ooo and some years. Then, 6oo years after John's first earthly stint, some natural disaster had brought the civilisation of Aksu to an end. On a later mission to Earth, John and Andrija had been joined by Phyllis who had been involved with the civilisations of Ur, or Sumer. They had also all three worked together in Egypt, Tom said, 'in the time of 5,ooo to 6,ooo' (if we take this to mean between five and six thousand years ago he is talking about the fourth millennium BC, when, according to the Egyptologist, J. Viau, 'the earliest representations of the Egyptian deities appeared').

Andrija and John were fascinated by this information and wanted Tom to tell them more, but he declined to do so at the present time because, he said, there were problems, opposition forces were building up and if the information about their heritage were known the opposition would become angrier and more dangerous. He too would be glad when the twenty-second of the month came, for after that the opposition's powers would be much diminished and they would not be capable of mounting a sustained attack. So he would resume the record of their earlier lives at a later date.

I wonder how many readers the last two pages have lost us. Even thinking of Andrija, John and Phyllis not as personalities in a specific space and time but as T-fields does not help put down the suspicion that all this previous lives stuff is one monumental ego-trip, though it is difficult to know whose ego-trip it is since they are all credited with important historical roles. I envisage two types of reader who might have stayed with this narrative so far: those who are interested in the message and those who are intrigued by the mystery. It is primarily to the latter that the following remarks are addressed.

Tom divulged more information about previous lives in the course of the following months. If we ask what kind of information it is and where it comes from, and discount for the present the possibility that it is literally true and comes from an extra-terrestrial intelligence, its consistency has to be taken into account in any answer we propose. The way that the information comes out also has to be taken into account. It is not given en bloc at any one time, but is elicited in bits over a long period of time, sometimes by Andrija or John asking questions and sometimes by Tom volunteering information when their discussion takes an appropriate turn. If somebody were making up the entire background as they went along, the problem of maintaining consistency with the increasing complexity would become more and more formidable, and we would surely expect to find some anomalies cropping up in the later stages. If, on the other hand, it is not a case of the picture being gradually built up, then presumably the information exists in toto somewhere at all times and bits of it become available from time to time. But then the question is, where does it exist? In the conscious or unconscious mind of a particular individual? In a disembodied mind or T-field? Whose mind? What T-field? The reader intrigued by mysteries will be greatly exercised by these questions as the full story unfolds.

Though Tom was unable to say more about their previous lives at this time, on 12 October he had a great deal to say about their present lives. Emphasising that it was important for the work that the trio, both individually and as a group, should be well integrated and balanced, he said: 'There are aspects of your personality that perhaps each of you do not recognise within yourself. We could tell you those aspects, but would you believe at this time?'

Andrija said he was sure they were all honest enough to acknowledge their weaknesses, and it would help if Tom would pinpoint the important ones. John agreed, saying it would be very valuable to have specific problem areas that they should work on pointed out to them. Tom said he would have to consult, and after a brief absence returned to report: 'They tell me it is important you should understand that we are not criticising.'

'Oh yes,' Andrija said, 'we understand that you are just trying to make sure the project doesn't fail.'

But, there was more to it than that. 'Remember, besides the project, the world that will exist after the landing. Do you understand that every aspect of your personality must be balanced for the work after?'

To help them effect the balance, Tom now delivered a little speech addressed to each of them in turn, stressing different points than the ones he had brought up in a similar session the previous month. As before, John was the first to be put under scrutiny.

'Sir John, can you learn not to run from the world? Can you learn to be involved and not hurt? Can your frustrations be tempered? Can your frustrations be channelled and the energy used? Can your guilts be removed?'

John said he didn't understand the first statement, about his running from the world, and Tom explained: 'Remember that in the future it will be important for you to deal with the world. It is difficult for you to deal with the world. Can you remove your guilts? Can you love yourself? Can you not voice your needs? Remember, you are the balance, but also remember that you need those to balance you.'

To Andrija Tom said: 'It has been your need to share your work and to share your love that has created problems in your marriages. Is it possible in your life to have a separate life and not involve the work? It is easier the other way, but let us explain to you your own insecurities. You do not face your insecurities. You think that as a fellow human of all the fellow humans of the human race there is an element missing in you. May we say that as a human - which you are in your physical body - you have no need to have insecurities. You are complete. But in the vibration of your human life you have a need to prove yourself and a need to involve those in your personal life in your work, because your insecurity tells you that only through your work will they be with you, and that is not true.'

Andrija admitted that this was pertinent comment, and Tom went on to speak about Phyllis. She had over the past weeks largely overcome her problems of doubt and disbelief, but there was still the problem of ego. 'In this Being's vibration, because of past history in this life, there is the necessity to be in front, the necessity to be in motion, the necessity to be completely independent, and that is ego. Can this Being now be passive? Can she remove herself from the need to be in the centre with people and to have people? Can she remove herself completely and be placed in an area of no contact?'

Andrija asked for clarification of the last phrase, and Tom said, 'She is now in an area of no contact. If you understand this Being's human life you will understand of what we speak.' Andrija said he assumed what was meant was no contact with friends, relatives and loved ones, and Tom had to correct him: 'We mean no contact with many people and with the public.' Which clarified the apparent ambiguity of maintaining that she needed to be independent and at the same time needed to have people, for if the term 'people' was understood to mean the public the two needs' were not inconsistent.

From an evidential point of view, passages like this, of which there are several in the communications, are particularly interesting, for they do suggest that some intelligence independent of the trio under scrutiny is commenting from an objective viewpoint. Whatever the trio may have been in previous existences of elsewhere in the universe, they are now human beings with human limitations, and Tom has superior insight and knowledge and so can function as a kind of guru-figure to them. He frequently does, and is never at a loss for an answer even when he is called on to produce one spontaneously to the most abstruse questions. ('What is enlightenment?' was one that John brought up during one of the few sessions I have personally attended.) Following the above quoted psychoanalytic session, there occurred in the same communication a discussion very reminiscent of the guru-disciple situation, which is worth quoting because of the general interest of the questions raised.

'We don't quite understand the way you use the terms "soul" and "spirit",' Andrija said. 'I wonder if you could clarify what the distinction is?'

'There are actually three,' Tom said, 'mind, soul and spirit, and when they blend completely then you are pure energy which is pure soul.'

'And what is spirit, as distinguished from the other two?' Andrija asked.

'Spirit is the soul in the physical world, or the soul that manifests in the atmosphere of your physical world. It is a vehicle.'

'Does it have any relation to the astral body?'

'Yes, it is the astral.'

'And what about mind? Is it connected with the brain, with the spirit, or with the soul?'

'The mind is connected with the soul.'

'And the etheric body ... ?'

'Is the soul cover.'

Andrija recapitulated: 'So these are distinct functions of the human personality: the mind, related to the soul; the spirit, related to the body; and the soul of course independent if it is not in a body, but if it is connected with a body then it is connected with the etheric.'

'This is right,' Tom confirmed.

'Well, that's very important, because world literature is in total confusion about these things,' Andrija said.

While they were onto definitions, John asked about humour. 'Most of our humour,' he said, 'is based on our physical existence. So I wonder if you understand our humour, and if you have humour in your world.'

'We have cosmic humour God could not have survived without being able to laugh at himself.'

'What happens in the universe when God laughs?' Andrija asked. 'Does everything shake?'

'Everything shines.'

As the climacteric Of 22 October drew closer, it seemed indeed that the opposition forces were redoubling their efforts. John, Andrija and Phyllis all suffered from insomnia, and Andrija and Phyllis particularly felt that their energies were low. Phyllis, out of trance, saw ugly or hostile presences around them, and though John and Andrija did not possess the dubious boon of psychic sight they were both aware of an eerie atmosphere around the house. At the end of one session Tom said, 'There is an energy being sent. You are protected and you will be protected, but the energy being sent is pacing outside of your home and it is of a wolf-like nature. It is a creation that may be given life if they attempt that.' John listened intently in the ensuing silence, and could swear that he heard something moving outside the house. None of them slept that night.

'There is being mobilised in the area around you the nature of a brute force, and an attempt is being made to use the lower forms,' Tom told them on another occasion. 'We ask you not to become alarmed or frightened, because we will be with you, but we may not be able to prevent the problem totally.'

And indeed they were not able to. Phyllis continued to suffer attacks of varying degrees of ferocity on her way into and out of trance, and on several occasions she couldn't get down to the necessary level because of the opposition. Once she counted down as far as thirty and then quickly brought herself out. She said she had seen a horrible thing and had known that if she didn't get out it would take her. It was a very primitive thing, a reptilian form, and it was lying dormant somewhere and had one eye that blinked now and then. 'That thing couldn't have taken me' Phyllis said in disbelief, 'but I did have this strong sense of danger.' When eventually she tried again, successfully this time, Tom explained that the reptilian creature was a manifestation of the opposition.

'But couldn't she just ignore it, go on past it?' Andrija said. 'It doesn't have any power, does it?'

'There is power in all things,' Tom said, 'and in the intuition if it is followed there is protection.' He went on to explain, interestingly, 'What is happening in going into communication with us is the reviewing and seeing of all life, and of the beginning of all life ... As we go to communicate, we go to what we were and through what we were. In order to communicate with us, this Being must go to the beginning and through . . . She goes through all levels of existence, and civilisations and times. And it is not always the experiences of the planet Earth. It is sometimes the experiences of the universe.' As she went through the levels, he explained on another occasion, she had protection up to a point, but beyond that point there was an area to be crossed which was crowded with beings and forms, an area 'similar to a no-man's land ... and that should be a truce area, but those that oppose do not honour the truce'.

Several communications during this period ended abruptly, with Tom saying that they were experiencing difficulties, that the opposition forces were building, or simply that they had to leave. Sometimes the departure was so hurried that there wasn't time for the customary valediction, 'We go in love and peace,' and on these occasions Phyllis came out of trance very distressed and sometimes crying. Discussing this after one such session, Andrija said: 'It's very funny. It's as if Tom sees them coming, says, "Oops, sorry, but I've got to get out of here," and then bales out.'

'Yes, how come he doesn't take them on?' Phyllis said.

'That's what I was wondering,' Andrija said. 'Why doesn't he stay around and do battle with the dragon instead of leaving the fair lady stuck and having to fend for herself?'

'Why don't you ask him?' Phyllis suggested.

So at the beginning of their next communication, Andrija said: 'We're very happy that our channel, Phyllis, was able to run this gauntlet, but we're getting very concerned about these endless attacks. I say this with all due respect, but are you indeed powerless to prevent them?'

'We have explained to you many times that until the twenty-second of your October attempts will be made to prevent you from doing what is necessary,' Tom said patiently. 'The only way you would be stopped at this time would be if those opposing could frighten this Being, but they are operating a useless war and they realise that this Being is one that will not give in.'

Which amounted to saying that Phyllis could look after herself. That reminded Andrija of an odd thing that had occurred that afternoon. Immediately after the previous communication he and Phyllis had been in the kitchen and he had complimented her on her bravery in running the gauntlet and happened to add that neither Lyall nor Bobby would have had what it would take to do that. Ten minutes later Phyllis's daughter had called from Florida and said that some poltergeist-type phenomena had just occurred in the house, for instance, Lyall's book, Supernature, had jumped out of the bookcase and into the middle of the room. 'Can you explain this strange circumstance?' Andrija asked Tom, and he received the reply:

'Yes, it was the anger and the frustration of those that are opposing.

Even during these fraught last days there were periods of calm, when the opposition was quiescent, which gave Tom an opportunity to expatiate freely and at depth on a theme. At the beginning of a communication held on 18 October, Tom said, 'All is in harmony and balance,' and proposed, if they were agreeable, to speak to them on the subject of knowledge. 'We would welcome such a discourse,' said Andrija, and Tom spoke at some length about knowledge and responsibility, stressing that as the former increased so did the latter. 'All the knowledge that we impart to you brings additional responsibility to you,' he said, and explained that the Council were concerned about this. They thought that because of the limitations of the physical world in which they lived it might be difficult for John, Andrija and Phyllis to maintain their balance as they gained in knowledge, and they wanted all three of them to consider, before they asked for further knowledge, whether it was needed for them to function, because, Tom concluded, 'additional knowledge that is not needed for you to function in the limited space of your world brings an additional responsibility.

'Yes, we understand that,' Andrija said, and he went on to make a distinction that John did not agree with, though he withheld his protest until after the session in order not to disrupt it: 'I think there are two aspects of what you speak about. There is the knowledge that is for our own personal growth, which we do not need necessarily to function. There is a part of us that would like to know as much as you may know, as part of our spiritual development. As for the knowledge that is just functional, we agree that we only need to know as much as is necessary to carry out our tasks.'

'May we ask a question of you?' Tom said.

'Yes.'

'Do you in your hearts, all three of you, believe that by partaking of knowledge you consider necessary for your spiritual development, your soul will grow?

'I personally believe that,' Andrija said.

John said, 'I believe that knowledge is useful if it helps us understand the great responsibility that we have here. Some of the historical knowledge you have given us is helpful in this way. But I do understand that there is only a limited value for our functioning in that. On the other hand, both Andrija and I are very inquisitive and always like to acquire knowledge.'

'If you so desire, it will be transferred to you, but remember what we have said.'

'Yes, I think we are capable of handling that,' John said.

'Can you handle it in humility? Do you walk in humility? Do you walk without desire? Do you walk without vanity? We ask you to review these questions. Listen very carefully to what we say. You are now existing in a jungle in comparison with your true vibration. You are in a physical body, and we know that it is difficult, but you must remember that you must not permit your physical body to rule you. You must walk with the gods. And when we say this we do not mean that you may not have your human comforts and needs, but we ask that what you do you do with discretion, you do with knowledge, and that you never, as individuals or as a triangle, give reason for any of those in your physical world to throw stones at you.'

'Yes, that's very clear,' Andrija said. 'Talking about the gods, there's one question I'd very much like to ask. On Earth there are many ideals of God: the Buddhist, the Christian, the Mosaic, the Hindu, and so on. Could you indicate which of these ideals most closely matches the ideal of the Nine?'

'The ideal of the man called Christ, because he was the last of those of us,' Tom answered.

'And of those descriptions of Christ given in the Bible, which is the most accurate?'

'There are many misinterpretations in your Bible. It is true that the man you call Christ lived a normal, human existence, but he was a man of discretion, and he walked with discretion among the people.'

'Was he one of the Nine?'

'No, but he emulated their thoughts and their understanding. There are many things that are not told about him, for what he did he did in private and did not allow the world to see him in his human frailties.'

'That is a big problem for us,' Andrija said.

'Remember who you are, and remember it is important to master the areas of your life. If you can be discredited, for no matter what reason, then the jackals that are against you will find that reason.'

'It's very difficult for us to understand,' said Andrija, 'how so much could be at stake because of us. You've made it quite plain that if we remembered who we are these things would become clear, and we have tried to do that, but it's difficult.'

'We have told you who you are,' Tom said, 'and we understand that it is difficult for you to know who you are in your remembrance, but the most important thing for you now is to have faith in who you are.'

'We do have faith,' Andrija said. 'Our difficulty is articulating it, understanding it and rationalising it.'

'We wish to tell you that we realise that we have asked much of you and have promised you nothing,' said Tom in conclusion. 'And you have proceeded with faith, because within you you know. Within all three of you, you have the wisdom, the knowledge and the strength. Walk with humility, walk with love, and walk with the peace that is in you, for when you do this you generate peace around you. We leave you now. We go with peace and love.'

Phyllis came out of trance feeling good and without mishap, and the moving exhortations and assurances of this communication helped them all get through the trials and tensions of the final days. Another thing that helped was the diversion afforded by the delivery, erection and first use of the Faraday cage. It was delivered on the 18th, and they spent most of the next two days getting it set up and equipped. It was set up in the library, where it took up most of the floor space and left only a narrow book-lined passage around it. A heavy metal rectangular box of dimensions 8 x 8 x 12 feet, it had a heavy door that shut tightly and quietly, and Andrija equipped the interior with three chairs, a desk and his recording apparatus.

'Oh, we have some friends in here..' said Phyllis when they went into the cage to work for the first time, and she described some lights and colours and shapes that she could see and which she knew signified the presence of the space people. She was enthusiastic to work under the new conditions.

'Well, now we can control the heat, the light, and the electrical environment that we work in,' said Andrija to Tom at the beginning of this first session in the cage. 'Are there any further improvements we can make?'

Tom answered with instructions to line the interior of the cage with three layers of copper foil. They should also all obtain copper bracelets to wear during communications in future. The bracelets should be moulded so that they were as closely in contact with the skin as possible, and be worn just above the pulse on both wrists. Also, when they had obtained the bracelets they were to leave them in the cage for three days so that they could be worked on, for copper, after being submitted to certain processing, was a great aid to communication. If all these conditions were fulfilled, Tom said, they would be able to work at a higher rate of vibration. Although the opposition would not be entirely excluded from the cage, the cruder, elemental forms would be, and its manifestations would tend to be subtler and cleverer.

The opposition was not going to be totally inactive after the 22nd, but its attacks would be less consistent and sustained, and the time of cosmic crisis would be over. There was going to be, however, a situation of worsening crisis on earth which may require their intervention. Between 8 November and 12 December there would be increased potential of a war breaking out in the Middle East, Tom said, and it might be necessary for them to go to the area.

'When you have completed this period, there are very few things that cannot be accomplished,' Tom had told them on 16 October, and two days later he said that because of the energy they had generated the danger of war had temporarily receded. The danger had been that the United States and Britain would foment trouble in the Middle East in order to compromise Israel and protect their oil interests. The US President had met with the Security Council that day and there had been a swing away from a war-like posture, but their deliberations would not be completed until the following Monday, and each day until then the trio in Ossining should sit in meditation and send guidance and energy to the decision-makers in Washington. President Ford, Tom said, could create problems. Ford, he correctly prophesied, would be the target for an assassination attempt within two years 'made not by opposing forces but by people in your country who will think he is a fool.'

So before their period of trial was over, the trio received intimations that this period of intense subjectivity and introversion would be followed by one of extraversion, of their playing a significant role in the international political situation. Given the dates 8 November to 12 December as the time of political crisis, they must have been relieved that they were going to be able to have a couple of weeks off to relax and attend to their private affairs between rescuing the universe and rescuing the world from their respective crises.

'It is a joyous time for the universe because of you,' Tom told them at the beginning of the session they held on 23 October. 'We do not flatter you, we tell you a truth. We are overjoyed because this is a great day and a time of joy in the universe. To celebrate the occasion he divulged some more of the information about past lives that had previously been withheld lest the opposition should overhear it. 'We understand that in your physical world it is difficult for you to relate to other than what you are,' he said, but it was important that they should learn to do so and today and in some future meetings they would be given information that they would have to subsequently review in their minds, work on and try to understand in relation to their present lives and work.

As this information about the previous incarnations of the three is not of particular interest to anybody else, and as it does rather overtax one's credulity, I will not report it in full here, but will give just one interesting example.

John was told that one of his incarnations was as Peter; 'not the Peter that was with Jesus,' Tom said, 'but the Peter that was alone.' That was a mystery to both John and Andrija, so John asked which period this Peter had lived in. Tom consulted, and returned with the information that the date was about AD 1090. John asked which country he had worked in. 'Near Jerusalem,' Tom said, but then he said he would check and after a pause corrected his statement: 'They tell me that a trip was made to Jerusalem.'

The further information threw no light on the identity of Peter, but Tom said, 'If you look you will find,' and left the subject at that.

They did look, after the session, and under the listings of Peter in an encyclopaedia they found one known as Peter the Hermit ('the Peter that was alone,' Tom had said), who had rallied the peasants of France with his emotional revivalist preaching to participate in the first ill-fated crusade during the 1090s, and had entered Jerusalem with the survivors in 1098.

At the conclusion of this 23 October communication, John asked: 'Now that this period is over, can you give us any general information about our future plans?'

'Yes,' Tom replied. 'The most important thing we must do is work towards the preservation of the planet Earth. As we have told you before, if something is not done to reverse the devastation that has been perpetrated on the planet Earth, within two hundred of your years there will be an ice age. The important thing at this time is to prepare for the landing which will bring the technology to help and save the planet.' The plan to alert mankind by interfering with television communications was still in effect and a unit was working on it. There was also now another extra-terrestrial civilisation working with them. Named Ashand its field was creativity, and it would work through many people. Matthew Manning the young English psychic who had recently been astonishing scientists as much as Geller had done the year before, was from Ashand and, Tom said, one of his talents was that he 'could draw and paint us'. Uri himself was still struggling with his personality, but there was a possibility that he might come back to the work and be involved in healing. One of the things John and Andrija could do was to pursue a plan they had been discussing for some time, to convene a conference of all the scientists who had worked with Uri, for their collective testimony would convince themselves and others that what Uri did was genuine and make them ask how these things could occur. Another thing they should do was plan to make a film that would make ordinary people aware of what was going on in the universe and make them ask questions. But all these projects might have to be put aside, Tom intimated, if the situation in the Middle East deteriorated. The three were now going their separate ways for a short time, but, he stressed, they must be prepared to be recalled at short notice and to travel East.

Return