Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Tale of Spiritual Conversion, by a Man Looking for Answers

A British author gave up drink and drugs for Islam

Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani, Aug 01, 2014

Author John Michaelson, who has converted to Islam, with his wife
and editor Hetih Rusli. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Jakarta. British author John Michaelson found God when he realized that alcohol and drugs were not giving him the answers he wanted from life. But it was not until four years ago, when he visited a quiet town in West Java, that he made peace with his existence.

Michaelson says that Islam has the answer and has written about his journey of spiritual discovery in a novel titled “ Mualaf ” (“Convert”).

“[Islam] just felt right,” he said.

The book, which was first published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama in April 2014 and is now printing its second edition, is his answer to those who questioned why he decided to become a Muslim.

“I was never able to answer all their questions. That’s why I wrote this book; to show people what I’ve experienced and how I came to Islam.”

Michaelson was born in a small town in southwest England in the 1970s and had a difficult childhood. His parents fought a lot, and they got a divorce when he was just a toddler. His father took him to live with him, but they did not get along. When Michaelson’s father re-married, he was sent to live in an all-boys boarding house.

The young Michaelson lost himself in alcohol and drugs. He writes eloquently about his problems: the dark years in which he got kicked out of school, went to live with his mother, and studied at an ill-reputed high school in town where he fell even deeper into the cycle of drugs and alcohol.

After his then-girlfriend became a heavy drug addict, and as the relationship faltered, he took another job as a mechanic at a telecommunications company. The job took him to exotic places all over the world.

“And I discovered through working [at the company] that I like working with people of other nationalities,” the author said. “I enjoy communicating with people of other nationalities.”

But the job sent him further down the road of decadence. Whenever the ship anchored, he and his friends scoured the foreign towns in search of booze and women.

“It was a good job, but there was too much alcohol involved,” Michaelson said, with a chuckle. “Too many parties.”

Determined to lead a better life, Michaelson went back to school. He studied English language and sociology at a university in his hometown. After finishing his studies, he taught English to foreign students.

In his new job he was introduced to Islam by a French-Algerian colleague. Michaelson admitted that his previous understanding of Islam was of a religion that encouraged terrorism and the oppression of women. He soon learned that the holy Koran is often misinterpreted.

When Michaelson applied to work as an English teacher in a small town in West Java, he found a Koran in the house where he was staying. It piqued his interest, and he went online to find an English translation.

“The Koran touched on things that I experienced earlier in my life,” he said. “We had a connection. And I think that’s important.”

When his neighbors found out about his interest in Islam they introduced him to an ustadz , or religious teacher, who helped him to understand more.

Michaelson also enjoyed observing his neighbors’ lifestyle. When he could not sleep, he often stood at the fence of his house to see them go to the mosque at dawn to pray. They would look back, wave and greet him enthusiastically.

“Something feels right about their morning ritual,” he said. “They always seem very happy.”

After a couple of months of learning the Koran, Michaelson decided to convert to Islam.

His neighbors and colleagues drove him to a nearby mosque and became the witnesses as he uttered his first syahadat (Islamic testimonial).

Since his conversion to Islam, Michaelson prays five times a day, recites the Koran and fasts during Ramadan. He also abstains from alcohol and drugs completely.

“I’m at the bottom of the mountain at the moment,” he said. “I have a lot to study, a lot to understand [about Islam].”

His family supports his decision.

Last week, Gramedia published the English version of “Mualaf.”

Michaelson’s wife and editor, Hetih Rusli, said that he had a fresh, new perspective on Islam.

“I’m not a Muslim, but through his eyes I saw that Islam is actually a peaceful and tolerant religion,” she said.

The story, which is written in the first person, is quite easy to read and understand for both Muslims and non-Muslims. Instead of presenting religious dogmas and Koranic verses in the book, the author narrated his own life experiences that had led him into conversion. Through the story, both Muslims and non-Muslims can reflect on their own lives and spiritual journeys.

Indonesian author and scriptwriter Boim Lebon also lauded the book, saying it would satisfy many people’s curiosity of the unique phenomenon of a Westerner converting to Islam.

“Many of us wonder why and how he came to that decision,” Boim said. “By reading the book, we can learn of John’s experience and maybe become inspired by it.”

Michaelson is now married to an Indonesian and lives in East Jakarta. The couple have a 17-month-old daughter, Frances.

Michaelson and his wife run their own translation and copy-editing company, which is called “Fair Measure.”

He is also writing his next novel, a romance fiction, which is set to be published in October.

Author John Michaelson, who has converted to Islam, with his wife and editor Hetih Rusli. JG Photos/Sylviana Hamdani

(JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)


Indonesian version: 
Paperback, 349 pages, Rp 78,000 ($6.75)

English version: 
Paperback, 343 pages, Rp 139,000 ($12)

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