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Is Life Too Cheap? 3-10


In recent years it seems that a
death culture has developed among
young people. What are the causes?
Is there a solution?

Is Life G e ttin g Cheaper?

How Is the Death C u ltu re


Smile Its Good Prom oted?
for You! 11
H elping Youths Escape
Can smiling make the Death C u ltu re 8
a difference in your
A Tale of Two Rivers 14
daily life?
When Cow s Go on Vacation! 18

The Lure of Santeria 23

The B ib le s V ie w point
Who Is a M in ister? 26
The Search for the
Immortality Gene 20 W atching the World 28

Why do we die? From Our Readers 30


Can science really
DST An Idea Before Its Tim e? 31
increase our life span?
I Like the Way It Treats M a tte rs 32
C ourtesy of Geron Corporation

Awake! July 8, 2000


Is Life Getting
Cheaper?
It is a world where life is cheap. Death can
be bought for a few hundred pounds [sterling]
and there is no shortage of those willing to
provide the service. -TA e Scotsman.

During April 1999, in an assault that shocked the entire world, two
adolescents violently took over Columbine High School, in Littleton,
Colorado, U.S.A., leaving 15 dead. Investigation showed that one of the
attackers had a Web page on which he had written: DEAD PEOPLE
DONT ARGUE! Both attackers died in the tragedy.

U R D E R is universal, and dren and of their own parents. Life is

M untold num bers of people


die a violent d eath every
day. South A frica led the world with a
m urder rate o f 75 per 100,000 inhab
cheap indeed.
Why the Death Culture?
W hat do th e se facts and figures
itants in 1995. Life is especially cheap show? An increasing lack o f respect
in one S o u th A m e ric a n c o u n try , for life. Pow er-loving and m oney-
where m ore th an 6,000 were killed for hun g ry p e o p le k ill w ith o u t any
political reasons in 1997. Killing by qualms. D rug lords order the m urder
contract is a norm al procedure. One o f whole fam ilies. They euphem ize
report on th at country states: Shock their killing by using such expressions
ingly, the m urder o f children has also as whacking, rubbing out, elim i
soared: In 1996, 4,322 children were nating, or term inating the victims
killed, a 40 per cent rise in just two of what they call hits. G enocide and
years. How ever, even children are ethnic cleansing have added to the
becom ing m urdererso f other chil toll and have cheapened the value of
The younger lot in the gangs [in m A Brooklyn real-estate broker
Mumbai, India] are so desper was arrested .. . and charged with
ate, they will do a con paying a teen-ager part of a
tract killing for as little $1,500 fee to kill the mans
as 5,000 rupees [$115]. pregnant wife and her mother.
Far Eastern Economic The New York Times.
Review.
m The price of killing in England
He Killed a Passerby Who is coming down. Prices for a hit
Refused Him a Cigarette. H eadline have fallen from 30,000 pounds
in La Tercera, S a ntia go, Chile. five years ago to a more affordable
How Much It costs about $7000 to fix up an
5,000 to 10,000 pounds.
The Guardian.
Is a Life average contract killing in Russia
'Vicious Balkan gangs put Ma
[in 1 9 9 5 ]... Contract killings have
Worth? increased sharply in the economic fia in the shade. This is a new type
explosion of post-communist Rus of criminal, with new rules and new
sia. R euters, based on a re p o rt in weapons. He has explosives and
th e Moscow News. machine guns and doesnt hesitate
to use them. The Guardian Weekly.

hum an life. As a result, killings have be cultural anthropology, death has becom e
come daily fare on the news menus of TV the last effective taboo in our societies, and
stations worldwide. therefore, it is one of the m ost im p o rtan t
Add to this the violence and mayhem glo sources today o f ideological m anipulation.
rified on television and movie screens, and Perhaps the m ost outstanding character
ou r society appears to be w rapped up in istic of this death culture is the popular
a m orbid c u ltu re centering on death. In belief that power, supremacy, money, and
this regard the Encyclopedia Britannica says: pleasure are of m uch m ore im portance than
D uring the latter half of the 20th century, hum an life and m oral values.
death has becom e a strangely popular sub How is this death culture spread? W hat
ject. Before th at time, perhaps rather sur can parents do to counteract this negative
prisingly, it was a them e largely eschewed influence that surrounds them and affects
in serious scientific, and to a lesser extent, their children? These are some o f the ques
philosophical speculations. According to tions that will be answered in the following
Josep Fericgla, a C atalonian professor of articles.

W h y Awake! Is Published Awake! is for the enlightenment of the entire family. It shows how to cope with
todays problems. It reports the news, tells about people in many lands, examines religion and science. But it does more.
It probes beneath the surface and points to the real meaning behind current events, yet it always stays politically neutral
and does not exalt one race above another. Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creators promise of
a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.
Unless otherwise indicated, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures With References is used.

/te /re /(IS S N 0005-237X ) is published sem im onthly by W atchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.; M ilton G. Henschel, President; Lyman
A. Swingle, Secretary-Treasurer; 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2483. Periodicals Postage Paid at Brooklyn, N.Y., and at additional m ail
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Vol. 81, No. 13 Printed in U.S.A. 2000 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Sem im onthly ENGLISH

4 Awake! July 8, 2000


How Is the
Death Culture"
Promoted?
Thousands of miles lie between the traumatized
young refugees of Kosovo and American children exposed
to violence and other painful experiences, but the
emotional distance between them may not be so great.
-M a rc Kaufman, The Washington Post.

Whether we like it or not, we are all affected directly or indirectly by


death. This is true regardless of where we livein a country that is
racked by violent conflict or in one that enjoys relative stability.

H E m anifestation of the death cul t h a t . . . death is becom ing recognized as the

T tu re can be seen in the high inci central dynamism underlying the life, vitali
dence o f depression, anguish, drug ty, and structure o f the social order. D eath
is the m use o f our religions, philosophies,
addiction, abortion, self-destructive behav
ior, suicide, and mass m urder today. Profes political ideologies, arts and m edical tech
sor M ichael Kearl, o f the D epartm ent of nologies. It sells newspapers and insurance
Sociology and A nthropology o f Trinity U ni policies, invigorates the plots o f our televi
versity in San A ntonio, Texas, U.S.A., ex sion programs, and . . . even powers our in
plained with regard to the m anipulation of dustries. Let us examine some examples of
the subject o f death: From our late twen how this phenom enon, called death culture,
tieth century vantage point [1999], we find is m anifested in o ur times.

Would you welcome more information? Write Watch Tower at the appropriate address.
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Awake! Ju ly 8, 2000 5
The Sale of Arms has been counterproductive. Jonathan A l
The death cu ltu re is m anifested on a ter, writing in Newsweek, com m ents that this
daily basis in the sale of arms. A rm am ents may make kids want the forbidden fru it
are used to kill soldiers, b u t m ainly they m ore. He added th a t in o rder to sham e
kill civilians, among them innocent women and obligate those responsible into reduc
and children. In wars, w hether civil or other ing violence in the media, President C lin
wise, life is always cheap. How m uch does ton would have to publicly read the names
the bullet o f an assassin or a sniper cost? of all the big com panies (and their C EO s)
Easy public access to arm s in some coun that not only make movies o f knifings and
tries has resulted in a terrifying and con recordings of gangsta rap but also produce
stant increase in the deaths of individuals com puter-gam e program s th at allow chil
as well as groups of people. After the high dren to virtually kill people.
school shooting tragedy in Littleton, C ol Death in Video Games
orado, protests arose because o f the wide and on the Internet
spread sale o f arm s and their easy availabili In his book The Deathmatch Manifesto,
ty to minors. The num ber of young people Robert Waring analyzes the popularity o f
in the U nited States who die violently is so-called d e a th m atc h gam es am ong ado
a la rm in g according to Newsweek m aga lescents* Mr. Waring believes th at an un
zine, an average o f 40 a week. O f these, al derground society of gamers has sprung up
m ost 90 percent are shooting victims. This around this phenom enon. These games real
is equal to 150 m assacres like th at at Little ly have the effect, not o f educating, but o f
ton each year! teaching to kill. Playing with a live oppo
The Entertainment World nent from anywhere in the world, and trying
to prove yourself, is a powerful experience.
Movies exploit the subject of death. For
Its really easy to get sucked into th at, War
example, the plot of a film m ight glamorize
ing comm ents. Adolescents are trapped by
im m orality, violence, drug trafficking, or or
the force of the three-dim ensional scenarios
ganized crime and thus m inim ize the val
designed as backdrops for the bloody strug
ue o f life and m oral principles. There are
gles. N ot having access through the In te r
films in which death is even romanticized
net, some buy video-game packages to use
depicting the m yth o f life after death and
on the television at home. O thers custom ari
the supposed return o f some to visit the liv
ly go to public places where they rent video-
ingserving only to trivialize death.
game m achines and have virtual fights to
The same is true o f some television pro the death with other opponents.
gram s and m usic. A ccording to news re
A lthough deathm atch games are clas
p o rts, th e young m u rd e rers o f L ittle to n
sified according to the age o f the player,
were fervent adm irers of a rock singer who
the tru th is th at there is very little control.
has becom e fam ous for androgyny, satanic
Fourteen-year-old Eddie from the U nited
images, and songs w ith them es of rebel
States comm ented: People usually tell you
lion and death.
youre not old enough, but they dont stop
In the U nited States, the way television you from buying [the game]. He enjoys one
program s are rated was revised to protect
young p e o p le from seeing m aterial th a t * In Deathmatch games, notes this review, players [are]
driven to kill each other in three-dimensional networked
m ight affect th em adversely. T he resu lt games.

6 Awake! July 8, 2000


that consists o f shoot-out orgies. A lthough ish creatures, the life-style of m any people
his parents are aware o f this and do not like includes self-destructive behavior. For ex
it, they rarely check to see if he is playing ample, in spite o f fam ily influence, health
the game. One teenager reached this conclu systems, and o th er au th o rities who w arn
sion: O ur generation is far m ore desensi about the danger involved in smoking and
tized to violence th an any other generation. drug abuse, these practices continue to in
TVs raise children now m ore than parents crease. In m any cases they lead to a prem a
do, and television caters to childrens violent ture death. In order to increase illicit profits,
fantasies. John Leland, w riting in News big business and drug traffickers continue to
week, stated: W ith as m any as 11 million take advantage o f the anxiety, hopelessness,
teenagers now online [in the U nited States], and spiritual poverty o f the people.
m ore and m ore o f adolescent life is taking
Who Is Behind All of This?
place in a landscape th at is inaccessible to
Does the Bible present death as an apt
many parents.
su b ject for e n te rta in m e n t? A re th e life
Life-Styles That Lead to Death styles th at can lead us to death justified?
W hat about behavior outside the world of No. For tru e C h ristian s, like the apostle
deathm atch games and violent films? Al Paul, death is nothing less than an enemy.
though in real life we do not have to com (1 C orinthians 15:26) C hristians do not view
pete in a struggle to the death with outland death as som ething attractive and fu n but,

Our generation Is far more desensitized to violence than any other generation

Awake! July 8, 2000 7


rather, as som ething against nature, a direct deceit, by seducing people into sin, by pro
consequence o f sin and rebellion against moting conduct th at produces corruption
G od. (Rom ans 5:12; 6:23) D eath was never a and death, and by fostering m urderous atti
part o f G o d s original purpose for man. tudes in the m inds and hearts of men, wom
Satan is said to have the means to cause en, and even children. (Hebrews 2:14, 15;
death. He is called a manslayer, not nec John 8:44; 2 C orinthians 11:3; James 4:1, 2)
essarily because he produces death in a di However, why are young people the princi
rect way, but because he does it by using pal target? W hat can we do to help them?

Helping Youths
Escape the
99
Death Culture
What accounts for the fascination with the subject of death that is
seen among young people today? Representative Henry Hyde, of the
state of Illinois, U.S.A., said: There is a spiritual vacuum in these
young people that is filled with the culture of death and violence.

R E A D E R o f Time wrote: I ts lazy hours alone every day and spend 11 hours

A p a re n ts , v io le n t e n te rta in m e n t
^ and a lack o f m o ral and s p iritu
al grounding th at are responsible for the
subculture of death that exists among our
less w ith th e ir p a re n ts each w eek th a n
young ones did in the 60s. In fact, some
young people do not have the presence or
the em otional support o f their parents at
youths today. all.
Loneliness is another of the m ajor prob What Parents Can Do
lem s afflicting adolescents. Som e live in In view o f the sp iritual vacuum th at
homes where both parents work and are ab young p eople contend w ith, how im p o r
sent m ost o f the day; others have only one tant is the role of parents? Wise parents un
parent. A ccording to one source, adoles derstand that on the one hand, their chil
cents in the U nited States pass some 3.5 dren need wholesome entertainm ent and on

8 Awake! July 8, 2000


Parents should
take time to
really listen to
their children
and understand
their problems

the other hand, they need regular personal use such occasions, not to call their children
support. M otivated by loving interest, par to account, but rather to consider subjects
ents can talk with them about their prefer that are spiritually upbuilding. In these fam
ences in music, television program s, videos, ily gatherings, they listen to problem s o r
novels, video games, and movies. A lthough challenges th at affect each o f their children
young people may not express it, m any of so th at the youths have an o pportunity to
them crave the affection and loving guid receive individual attention.
ance o f their parents. They need forthright Young people who get no spiritual guid
answers because they live in a world full ance from their parents can gain strength
of uncertainties. A dults should understand from Psalm 27:10, which says: In case my
th at children face a m uch m ore com plicat own father and my own m other did leave
ed world than they did as youths. me, even Jehovah him self would take me
Parents who wish to protect th eir chil up. How does Jehovah, the Father of ten
dren willconverse with them regularly, really
der mercies, help young people? The con
listen to them , and w arn them o f the dan g reg atio n s o f J e h o v a h s W itn esses have
gers involved in m odern culture. W hen p ar been a refuge where m any have found the
ents set firm lim its and are consistent and affection o f other people and have resolved
reasonable as well as affectionate with their their doubts. Josias, a young m an who found
children, they will norm ally have good re th at to be true, com m ents: Jehovahs or
sults.M atthew 5:37. ganization fills a vital role. I felt th at life
P a re n ts w ho are J e h o v a h s W itn esses was not w orthw hile. I lived w ithout p u r
make an effort to have regular discussions pose, w ithout hope. To know th at one is not
w ith th e ir c h ild ren , using th e Bible and alone changed my life completely. I saw in
Bible-based publications and videos* They the brothers in the congregation the family
* The video Young People AskHow Can I Make Real Friends? th at I had lost. The elders and the fam ilies
is produced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of in the congregation are like an anchor in an
New York, Inc. It is presently in English and provides practi
cal help for young people. emotional sense.

Awake! July 8, 2000 9


In fact, m any youths and adults have im When Death Will Be No More
proved th eir m ental and spiritual health by The teaching given in the Kingdom Halls
regularly attending the congregation m eet of Jehovahs W itnesses stresses again and
ings o f Jeh o v ah s W itnesses. A n th ro p o l again G o d s prom ise of a new world th a t
ogist P atricia F o rtu n y com m ented about will soon begin, w here rig h teo u sn ess is
this positive effect in her essay L o s Testi- to dwell and where there will be no one
gos de Jehova: u n a a lte r n a tiv a relig io sa p amr aaking them trem ble. (2 Peter 3:13; Mi-
e n fr e n ta r e l fin d e l m ile n io (Jehovahs W it cah 4:4) M oreover, the prophet Isaiah re
nesses: A R eligious A ltern ativ e for Fac cords th a t th en G o d will actually sw al
ing the E nd o f the M illennium ): Jehovahs low up d eath forever, and the Sovereign
W itnesses offer a clear and explicit sys Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears
tem o f order to apply to daily life, an ex from all faces. D eath struck the hum an
act code th a t serves as a guide for th in k race as a consequence of the transgression
ing an d a c tin g . T h e system o f o r d e r of the first man, Adam, bu t G ods promise
and the code referred to here are based is that soon death will be no m ore.Isa
on th e Bible. H ence, a l iah 25:8; Revelation 21:3,4;
th o u g h J e h o v a h s W it Romans 5:12.
n e sse s face th e sam e If you are a youth look
p ro b lem s and p ressu res ing for help, we invite you
as th e ir n e ig h b o rs, they to find hope and a reason
are stre n g th e n e d by th e for living, through the pag
u n iq u e w isd o m o f th a t es o f the Bible. W ith the
a n c ie n t b o o k . Yes, th e help of Jehovahs W itness
W itnesses find refuge in es, you can have the hope
th e c le a r d o c trin e s a n d that the best o f times are
p rin c ip le s fo u n d in th e still ahead of us in the new
Bible. world th at G od promises.
Smile
It s Good for You!
BY A W A K E ! CORRESPONDENT IN JAPAN

'H E N genuine it melts away the o f my face they w ould n o t cast dow n. (Job

W ice o f su sp ic io n . It rem o v es
layers o f prejudice accum ulated
th ro u g h the years. It so ften s h e a rts fro
zen by disbelief and m istrust. It brings re
29:24) The light o f Jo b s face may have
denoted his brightness o r cheerfulness.
T he positive effect o f a sm ile rem ains
true to this day. A w arm sm ile may help
lief and joy to m any. It says, I understand. relieve b u ilt-u p te n s io n s . It m ay prove
D ont w orry. It m akes the appeal, I hope to be like a s a fe ty v alve o n a p re s s u re
we can be friends. A nd w hat is this pow er c o o k e r. W hen we feel te n s e o r f r u s
ful tool? It is a smile. It can be YOUR smile. tr a te d , a sm ile c a n h e lp us to a lle
W hat is a smile? A smile is generally de viate th a t tension and cope w ith o u r fru s
fined in dictionaries as a facial expression tra tio n . F o r in s ta n c e , T o m o k o o fte n
in w hich the corners o f the m outh curve o b serv ed o th e rs loo k in g at her. She as
slightly upw ard, expressing am usem ent, ap sum ed th a t they w ere c ritic a l o f her, as
proval, or joy. Herein lies the secret o f the they quickly averted th eir eyes w hen they
warm smile. A smile is a nonverbal way of saw th a t she no ticed them . Tom oko felt
expressing ones feelings or co m m unicat lonely and unhappy. O ne day a friend sug
ing ones em otions to others. O f course, a gested th a t she smile
smile m ight also express scorn or disdain, at p e o p le w hen she
b u t th a t is an o th er subject. caught th eir eye. To
D oes sm iling really m ake a difference? m oko trie d it fo r
Well, do you rem em ber w hen som eones two weeks and was
smile brought you a sense o f relief or m ade am azed th a t every
you feel relaxed? O r w hen the absence o f a o n e sm iled b a c k
smile m ade you feel nervous or even reject a t her! T e n sio n s
ed? Yes, a smile does m ake a difference. It w ere gone. L ife
affects bo th the one w ho is smiling and the has becom e real
one sm iled at. T he Bible character Job said ly enjoyable, she
o f his adversaries: I w ould smile at them says. Yes, a smile
they w ould not believe itand the light m ak es us feel

Awake! July 8, 2000


m ore a t ease w ith o th counselors face? A cold or
ers and helps us becom e stern expression m ay con
m ore friendly. vey anger, irritation, rejec
tion, or even hostility. On
The Good Effect
on You and Others the o th er hand, w ould not
Sm iling can affect a p er a w arm smile on the c o u n
selors face perh ap s m ake
son em otionally. It helps
you feel m o re a t ease
p u t one in a right fram e o f
and thus m ore receptive
m ind. It is good for phys
to the counsel? C ertainly,
ical health too. T here is a
a smile helps to reduce m isunderstandings
saying, L au g h ter is go o d m edicine. In
in tense situations.
fact, m edical a u th o ritie s n ote th a t o n es
fram e o f m ind has m uch to do with ones Positive Thoughts
physical condition. M any studies indicate Make Smiling Easier
th a t prolonged stress, negative em otions, O f course, m ost o f us are not like pro
and the like weaken o u r im m une system. fessional actors w ho can rad iate a flash
On the other hand, smiling m akes us feel ing sm ile a t any given m o m en t; n o r do
good, and laughter even fortifies o u r im we desire to be such. We w ant o u r smiles
m une system. to be n a tu ra l and genuine. A c o m m u n i
A sm ile h as a g re a t effect on o th e rs. cation school in stru c to r co m m en ted : It
Im agine a situation where you are receiv is im p o rtan t to relax and give a heartfelt
ing counsel or being adm onished. W hat fa smile, o r else your smile may look artifi
cial expression would you like to see on the cial. How can we sincerely smile from the
heart? Here the Bible can help us. R egard
ing o u r speech it tells us at M atthew 12:
34, 35: O ut o f the abundance o f the heart
A Word o f C au tion
the m o u th speaks. T he good m an o u t of
It is a sa d fa c t th a t n o t e v e ry s m ile w e
his good treasure sends o u t good things,
s e e is g e n u in e . Con m e n , s w in d le rs , u n
whereas the wicked m an o u t o f his wicked
s c ru p u lo u s s a le s p e o p le , a n d o th e rs m ay
fla s h m illio n -d o lla r s m ile s . They kn o w th a t
treasure sends o u t wicked things.
a s m ile ca n d is a rm p e o p le a n d p u t th e m Rem em ber, a smile is a nonverbal way
o ff g u a rd . P e o p le w ith d u b io u s m o ra ls or o f com m unicating o u r feelings. Bearing in
u n c le a n m o tiv e s m a y a ls o p u t on an e n m ind th at we speak ou t o f the abundance
tic in g s m ile . Yet, t h e ir s m ile s a re e m p ty ; o f the h e a rt and th at good things com e
th e y a re d e c e p tiv e . (E c c le s ia s te s 7 :6 ) So out o f a good treasure, it becom es evi
w h ile n o t b e in g ove rly s u s p ic io u s o f o th e rs , dent th at the key to a genuine smile lies
w e n e e d to a p p re c ia te th a t liv in g in th e in o u r thoughts and em otions. Yes, w hat is
la s t d a ys," w h ic h are h ard to d e a l w ith , we in o u r hearts will no doubt be expressed,
n e e d to prove o u rs e lv e s c a u tio u s a s s e r so o n e r o r la te r, n o t o n ly by o u r w o rd s
p e n ts a n d ye t in n o c e n t as d o v e s , as Jesus and deeds b u t also by o u r facial expres
h im s e lf re c o m m e n d e d .2 T im o th y 3 :1 ; sions. Thus, we need to continue to work
M a tth e w 1 0 :1 6 . on dwelling on positive thoughts. O ur fa
cial expression is strongly affected by o u r

12 Awake! July 8, 2000


thoughts a b o u t others. So let us concen to smile th an others.
trate on the finer qualities o f fam ily m em Even if they are filled
bers, people in o u r neighborhood, and ou r w ith g o o d w ill fo r
good friends. We will find it m uch easier to their neighbors, they
smile at them . It will be a genuine smile, for a re ju s t n o t a c c u s
behind it will be a h eart filled w ith good tom ed to smiling at
ness, mercy, and kindness. O ur eyes will be them . For instance,
bright, and others will know th at we really J a p a n e s e m en a re
m ean it. traditionally expect
It m ust be recognized, though, th at be ed to keep p e rfe c t
c a u se o f th e ir b a c k g ro u n d o r e n v iro n co m p o su re and to
m ent, som e people find it m ore difficult m aintain silence at
all tim es. T h e r e
fore, m any o f th em are n o t accustom ed
Take the initiative to sm iling at th o se w ho are co n sid e red
In greeting others strangers. T he sam e m ay be tru e o f o th
with a smile er cultures. O r som e individuals may
be shy by n atu re and may not find
it easy to sm ile a t o th e rs. H ence,
we should not judge others by how
big their smile is o r how often they
smile. People are different, and so
are their characteristics and ways o f
com m unicating w ith others.
N evertheless, if you find it
challenging to smile at o th
ers, why not w ork at it? T he
Bible advises: Let us not
give u p in doing w hat is
fine . . . Let us w ork w hat
is good tow ard all. (G a
la tia n s 6:9, 10) O ne way
to w ork w hat is good to
others is to smile at them
an d th is is w ith in y o u r
m eans! So tak e th e in itia
tive in greeting o th ers and
g iv in g a w o rd o f e n c o u r
agem ent w ith a smile. It will
be greatly appreciated. Also,
you will discover th a t smiling
becom es m uch easier as you
develop the habit.

13
A Tale of Two Rivers
BY A WA K E ! C O R R E S P O N D E N T IN INDIA

Two rivers that are major lifelines to the Indian subcontinent provide sustenance
for hundreds o f millions of people. Born not too far apart in the glacial areas of the
worlds highest mountain ranges, they each flow majestically more than 1,500 miles,
mainly through two countries. They empty into two different seas. Each river was the
cradle o f an ancient civilization. Each saw the birth o f a major religion. Each is
appreciated by man for its gifts, and one is worshiped, even today. Their names?
The Indus and the Ganges, the latter known here in India as the Ganga.

EC A U SE m an k in d needs w ater to Where Ancient Civilizations Started

B survive and prosper, early civiliza


tions developed around rivers. Since
rivers were som etim es personified as
and goddesses, early records can be shroud
It is believed th at the earliest inhabitants
of the Indian subcontinent journeyed east
ward into the Indus Valley. Here archaeolo
gods
gists have found ruins of a highly advanced
ed in mythology. This is certainly true of civilization at such sites as H arappa and
the histo ry o f the Indus and the G anga, M ohenjo-Daro. In the early decades o f the
also know n in India as G anga M a (M other 20th century, these finds changed the view
Ganga). th at Indias early settlers were prim itive no
To b o th H in d u s a n d B u d d h ists, madic tribes. M ore than 4,000 years ago,
22,027-foot-high M ount Kailash and near the Indus Civilization was on a p ar with, if
by Lake M apam Yumco, also known in Ti not superior to, th at o f M esopotam ia. Ev
bet as M anasarovar, are the abode of the idence o f g rid -p a tte rn e d s tre e ts , m u lti
gods. For a long time, it was believed that storied houses and tenem ent blocks, excel
four great rivers flowed from the lake out of len t sew er and s e p tic -ta n k d ra in a g e ,
the m ouths o f anim als. The lion river was enorm ous granaries, tem ples, and baths for
the Indus, and the peacock river was the ritual cleansing all point to an advanced u r
Ganga. ban civilization. There are also indications
The Tibetans did not welcome foreign ex o f trad e co n n ectio n s w ith M eso p o tam ia
plorers. In 1811, however, an English vet and the M iddle East, the Indus providing a
erinary surgeon employed by the East In route to the A rabian Sea from hundreds o f
dia C om pany traveled through the land in miles inland.
various disguises. He reported that no riv O ver th e c e n tu rie s n a tu r a l d isa s te rs
ers ran out o f M anasarovar, though some p e rh a p s e a rth q u a k e s o r g re a t riv e r
m ountain stream s did run into it. It was not floodsappear to have weakened the u r
until the early 20th century th at the head ban civilization o f the Indus Valley. This
w aters o f bo th the Indus and the G anga left little resistance to invasion by waves of
were located. The Indus has its source in Ti nomadic tribes from C entral Asia, general
bet, north o f the Himalayas, and the G anga ly referred to as Aryans. They drove m ost
starts in an ice cave in the Himalayan slopes o f the city dwellers away from the river, so
o f northern India. th at the ancient culture th at had developed
14 Awake! July 8, 2000
around the Indus now m oved to southern swam across the G angas great w idth w hen
India, where today the D ravidian race con he was 79 years old.
tinues as one of the m ajor Indian ethnic How Are the Rivers Today?
groups. River w ater is m ore critical today than
M oving east through India, some Aryan it was 4,000 years ago, when people were
tribes began to settle in the plains o f the draw n to the banks o f the Indus and the
Ganga. Thus the A ryan division o f the sub Ganga for sustenance. To su p p o rt the great
continent developed its unique culture in p opulations o f India, P akistan, and Ban
northern India, prim arily associated w ith gladesh, the rivers m ust be carefully con
the G anga River, where it largely rem ains trolled. (See the map on pages 16-17.) Inter
today. national agreem ents have been necessary,
Two Rivers and Two Religions since the rivers flow th ro u g h m ore th an
one country. Pakistan has built, am ong oth
A rchaeological finds show sim ilarities
ers, the two-mile-long, 470-foot-high Tarbela
betw een the religion practiced in the In
D am for irrigation. One o f the largest in the
dus Valley and th at in M esopotam ia. Some
world, it contains 194,200,000 cubic yards of
relics o f H induism , long thought to be the earth fill. The Farakka Barrage, on the G an
religion o f the Aryans, have been found in ga, ensures an adequate and stable supply o f
the ruins o f Indus cities. W ith the fusion w ater to the river for the increased shipping
of pre-Aryan and Aryan gods and religious near Calcutta Port.
beliefs, the H indu religion was born. The As is true with m any rivers, pollution is
Aryans first held the Indus as sacred, but a m ajor problem w ith the Ganga. Thus, in
as they m oved east and settled along the 1984 the am bitious G anga Action Plan was
G anga, they transferred th eir w orship to set in m otion by the Indian governm ent. At
th at river. As centuries passed, cities like tention was given to converting sewage into
Haridw ar, A llahabad, and Varanasi devel fertilizer or biogas, diverting drains em pty
oped on the Ganga. T hese were centered on ing into the river, and building treatm ent
the H indu religion. Today millions of pil plants for chem ical wastes.
grim s flock to such centers to dip in the wa However, the problem o f restoring earth s
ters of the Ganga, w hich are considered to rivers to their pristine beauty and cleanness
be both healing and purifying. is proving to be beyond the capacity of hu
W hile H induism was started around the m an agencies. But G od will soon rem edy
In d u s, B u d d h ism has its ro o ts n e a r th e the situation. U nder the rule o f his King
G anga. It was at S arnath, near Varanasi, dom, the rivers them selves will clap their
th at S iddhartha G autam a, called Buddha, hands as the entire earth becom es a para
preached his first serm on. It is said th at he dise.Psalm 98:8.
Harappa

The Mighty Indus


W ith so m a n y s tre a m s m e rg in g to fo rm th e Indus, th e re has been
d e b a te a b o u t th e lo c a tio n o f th e a c tu a l so u rce o f th e river. B u t th a t
th is g re a t riv e r o rig in a te s high up in th e H im a la yas is c e rta in . F low ing
in a n o rth w e s te rly d ire c tio n a n d jo in in g o th e r s tre a m s en route, th e riv
e r ru n s 2 0 0 m ile s a c ro s s th e high p la te a u o f T ibet, th e ro o f o f th e w o rld .
As th e riv e r a p p ro a c h e s th e b o rd e rs o f In d ia in th e Ladakh region, it w o rks
its w ay th ro u g h th e m o u n ta in s , w e a rin g in to th e base o f c liffs to fo rm a c h a n n e l be
tw e e n th e H im a la y a n a n d K a ra k o ra m ran g e s. Now in In d ia n te rrito ry , it d ro p s n e a r
ly 1 2 ,0 0 0 fe e t in a m a tte r o f 3 5 0 m ile s. D u rin g th is plunge it tra v e ls n o rth and th e n
ta k e s a s h a rp tu rn a ro u n d th e w e ste rn edge o f th e H im alayas, w h e re it is jo in e d by th e
G ilg it, a la rg e riv e r s u rg in g o u t o f th e H indu Kush. The w a te rs th e n flow s o u th th ro u g h
P a kis ta n . F o rcin g its w ay b e tw e e n th e m o u n ta in s , tw is tin g and tu rn in g w ith v io le n t
fo rce , th e In d u s e v e n tu a lly re a ch e s th e p la in s and flow s on th ro u g h th e P unjab. This
na m e m e a n s Five R iv e rs , as five g re a t trib u ta r ie s - th e Beas, th e S u tle j, th e Ravi, th e
J h e lu m , and th e C h e n a b flo w like o u ts p re a d fin g e rs o f a g ia n t hand to jo in th e Indus
and tra v e l w ith it to th e e nd o f its m a je s tic jo u rn e y o f m ore th a n 1 ,8 0 0 m ile s. Mountain High Maps
Copyright 1997
Digital Wisdom , Inc.
The Venerated Ganga
A b o u t 6 0 m ile s s o u th o f th e H im alayan so u rce o f th e Indus, th e G anga b e g in s its jo u rn e y o f
m ore th a n 1 ,6 0 0 m ile s to th e Bay o f B engal. At an a ltitu d e o f over 1 2 ,7 0 0 fe e t, th e h e a d w a te rs
gush fro m a g la c ia l p ro je c tio n th a t re s e m b le s a cow 's m o u th , c a lle d Gaumukh in H in d i, fo rm in g
a s tre a m n a m e d B h a g ira th i. S o m e 1 3 3 m ile s fro m th e s ource, it is jo in e d by a n o th e r s tre a m , th e
A la k n a n d a , a t D evaprayag. T hese tw o s tre a m s a lo n g w ith th e M a n d a k in i, th e D h a u lig a n g a , and
th e P in d a r b e co m e th e G anga.
F lo w in g s o u th e a s t a c ro s s th e s u b c o n tin e n t, th e G an g a is jo in e d by o th e r la rg e riv e rs
su ch as th e Y a m u na a t A lla h a b a d in In d ia and th e n th e m ig h ty B ra h m a p u tra in B a n g la
d e s h . S p re a d lik e a fa n , th e G an g a a n d its tr ib u ta r ie s w a te r o n e q u a r te r o f th e to
ta l a re a o f In d ia , th e fe rtile p la in s o f th e G anga. The riv e r s y ste m d ra in s an area
o f 4 0 9 ,0 0 0 sq u a re m ile s and s u p p o rts a b o u t a th ird o f In d ia 's p o p u la tio n , now
m o re th a n a b illio n , in o ne o f th e w o rld s m o s t d e n s e ly in h a b ite d a reas. In
B a n g la d e s h it b e co m e s very w ide, like an in la n d sea, w ith riv e r tra ffic o f
a ll kin d s . Then th e G anga d iv id e s in to s e ve ra l m a jo r riv e rs and n u m e r
ous riv u le ts to fo rm one o f th e la rg e s t d e lta s in th e w o rld .
Copyright Sean
Sprague/Panos
Pictures

gitai
Varanasi
Allahabad
Patna

Calcutta
INDIA
Since the roads and railways do not reach
high enough, th e last leg o f th e jo u rn e y
W hen Cows has to be c o m p leted on foot. T he herds
keep moving upw ard as sum m er advances.

Go on T h e re, so m e tim e s in p a s tu re s b e tw e e n
6,000 and 7,000 feet above sea level, the
cattle find sweet alpine grass and beautiful
Vacation! m ulticolored flowers. M ountain springs are
plentiful, so there is no shortage of drinking
water.
BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT The fine m ilk p roduced by the cows is
IN SWITZERLAND sometimes transported down the m ountain
for consum ption or processing. But in most
ID you k now th a t th o u sa n d s o f instances it is m ade into b u tter or cheese

D cows in Switzerland go on vacation


every year? You sh o u ld see how
m uch they enjoy it!
During Switzerlands cold and snowy win
right there in m ountainside cabins. As the
sum m er days shorten, the herds are guid
ed to lower stations. The day finally arrives
depending on the w eather, it is usually to
te r m o n th s, d airy cow s are sh e lte re d in ward the end of Septem berfor the herds
stables. W hat a welcome relief when spring to return to their w inter quarters. Yes, their
arrives and the cows can go outdoors and sum m er vacation is nearing its end! But first
graze in green meadows dotted with bright- a special parade is held.
yellow dandelions. T heir occasional leaps in
the air seem to express their sheer joy at the The Big Day!
change o f scene and season. Production records have been kept, and
By May or early June, additional pasture the best cows are decorated according to the
grounds becom e available w hen m elting am ount of milk they gave. The top m ilk pro
snow exposes the meadows at higher alti ducer gets to lead the herd on the m arch
tudes. It is tim e for sum m ering the cattle in home. The cows heads are adorned w ith
the m ountains. colorful paper flowers, ribbons, and branch
es of small fir trees. M any carry a m etal
A Land of Well-Watered Pastures
bell around the neck, announcing their ap
In Switzerland there are about 10,000 pas
proach from afar.
ture grounds at higher altitudes, covering
some 4,000 square miles. This am ounts to The herdsm en m ark this special occasion
one quarter of the countrys total land area. by dressing up in w hite shirts and em broi
Thus, great care is taken to protect this valu dered black velvet jackets. M eanwhile, down
able resource. in the valleys, the farm population gathers
M an and beast w ork to g e th e r to keep along the roadside to receive the procession
the high meadows clear o f brushw ood and with a standing ovation.
thickets. To this end, farm ers entrust about U pon reaching the lowlands, the cattle
500,000 cattle to the care o f professional are redirected to their respective owners for
herdsm en. M ilk cows, along w ith heifers, another winter. It wont be long, however,
are transported by truck or train for a sum before it is tim e for another vacation in the
m er vacation o f grazing in the m ountains. mountains! W hat a life!

Awake! July 8, 2000 19


| A N Y civ iliz a tio n s have sto ries In th eir quest to und erstan d the aging
and fables th at attem pt to explain process, geneticists and m olecular biolo
m ankinds m ortality. In Africa, gists have turned their attention to the cell.
for example, one legend has it that a cha M any scientists feel that w ithin these m i
meleon was sent by G od to bring im m or croscopic units, the key to longer life can be
tality to m ankind, but it traveled so slow found. Some, for instance, predict th at ge
ly th at another lizard, carrying the message netic engineering will soon allow scientists
of death, arrived first. G ullible m ankind ac to conquer cancer and heart disease. But
cepted th at lizards message and thus lost how close is science to fulfilling m ankinds
out on im m ortality. dream of living forever?
O ver the c e n tu rie s p h ilo so p h e rs have Unlocking Secrets of the Cell
likewise attem pted to answer the question, P revious g e n e ra tio n s o f sc ie n tis ts a t
W hy does m an die? In the fo u rth ce n tu tem pted to unlock secrets o f the cell, but
ry B.C.E., the G reek philosopher Aristotle they lacked the necessary tools to do so. It
taught th at the continuation o f a persons has only been within the last century that
life hinged on the bodys ability to balance scientists have had the ability to peer inside
heat and cold. He said: It is always to some a cell and observe m any o f its basic com
lack o f heat that death is due. Plato, on the ponents. W hat have they found? The cell,
o th er hand, taught that m an has an im m or says science w riter Rick Gore, has turned
tal soul th at survives the death of the body. out to be a m icrouniverse.
Today, despite the amazing advances of To get some idea of the enorm ous com
m odern science, biologists questions about plexity of a cell, consider that each one is
why we grow old and die rem ain largely un made up o f trillions of m uch sm aller units
answered. Said The Guardian Weekly of Lon called molecules. Yet, when scientists ob
don: One o f the great mysteries o f medi serve the structure of a cell, they find tre
cal science has been not why people die of mendous order and evidence o f design. Phil
cardiovascular disease or cancer: it was why ip Hanawalt, assistant professor o f genetics
they die even when there is nothing wrong at and m olecular biology at Stanford Univer
all. If hum an cells divide, and go on renew sity, says: The norm al growth of even the
ing themselves by division for 70 years or so, sim plest living cell requires th a t tens o f
why should they suddenly stop replicating thousands o f chem ical reactions occur in
all at once? coordinated fashion. He also states: The

20 Awake! July 8, 2000


p ro g ra m m e d a c c o m p lish m e n ts o f th ese
tiny chemical factories go far beyond the ca
pabilities of the scientist in his laboratory.
Imagine, then, the daunting task of trying
to extend the hum an life span through bi
ological means. It would require not only
a deep understanding o f the basic building
blocks o f life but also the ability to m anip
ulate those building blocks! Let us take a
brief look inside a hum an cell to illustrate
the challenge facing biologists.
Its AM in the Genes
W ithin each cell is a complex control cen
ter called a nucleus. The nucleus directs the
cells activities by following a set of coded
instructions. These instructions are stored
in the chrom osom es. The tips on chromosomes (shown here
O ur chrom osom es consist prim arily o f glowing) allow cells to keep dividing
protein and deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA C ourte sy of Geron C orporation

for short.* A lthough scientists have known


about DNA since the late 1860s, it was not cell stopped dividing and eventually died.
until 1953 that its m olecular structure was The observation th at cells appear to be lim
finally understood. Even then, it took near ited to a finite num ber o f divisions before
ly a decade m ore before biologists began to they die was first reported in the 1960s by
understand the language DN A molecules Dr. Leonard Hayflick. Hence, the phenom e
use to carry genetic inform ation.See the non is now referred to by m any scientists as
box, page 22. the Hayflick limit.
In the 1930s, geneticists found th at at the Did Dr. Hayflick discover the key to cel
tip o f each chrom osom e is a short sequence lular aging? Some thought so. In 1975 the
of DNA th at helps to stabilize the chrom o N a tu r e ,/ S c ie n c e Annual said th at the avant-
some. N am ed telom eres, from the G reek te'- garde in the field o f aging believed th at all
los (end) and me'ros (part), these snippets of living creatures carry around w ithin them
DNA act m uch like the protective end cap selves a precisely tim ed self-destruct m ech
on a shoelace. W ithout telom eres, our chro anism, a clock o f aging th at ticks away vi
mosom es would tend to unravel and break tality. Indeed, h ope began to grow th a t
into short segments, stick to one another, or scientists were finally beginning to zero in
otherwise becom e unstable. on the aging process itself.
Researchers later observed, however, that In the 1990s, research ers studying h u
in m ost types o f cells, the telom eres becam e m an cancer cells discovered a n o th e r im
shorter after each successive division. Thus, po rtan t clue regarding this cellular clock.
after 50 or so divisions, the cells telomeres They found th at m alignant cells somehow
were w hittled down to tiny nubs, and the le a rn e d how to o v e rrid e th e ir c e llu la r
clock and divide indefinitely. This discov
* For a detailed description of DNA, see Awake!, Septem
ber 8, 1999, pages 5-10. ery led biologists back to a m ost unusual

Awake! July 8, 2000 21


enzyme, first discovered in the 1980s and rating telomeres. Consider, for instance, the
later found to be present in m ost types of com m ents of Dr. M ichael Fossel, au th o r of
cancer cells. T hat enzyme is called telomer- the book Reversing Human Aging: If we con
ase. W hat does it do? Simply put, telomer- quer aging as we know it today, we will still
ase can be likened to a key th at resets a cells age in some new, less fam iliar way. If we ex
clock by lengthening its telomeres. tend our telom eres indefinitely, we may not
End to Aging? acquire the diseases we now associate w ith
Telomerase research soon becam e one of old age, but we will still eventually wear out
the hottest fields in m olecular biology. The and die.
im plication was th at if biologists could use Indeed, there are likely a num ber of bio
telom erase to offset the shortening of telo logical factors th at contribute to the aging
meres when norm al cells divide, perhaps ag process. But the answers at present rem ain
ing could be halted or at least substantial locked up beyond the reach o f scientists.
ly delayed. Interestingly, Geron Corporation Leonard G uarente of the M assachusetts In
News reports th at researchers experim ent stitute of Technology says: Right now ag
ing with telom erase in the laboratory have ing is still very m uch a black box. Scientific
already dem onstrated th at norm al hum an American, Fall 1999.
cells can be altered to have an infinite rep While biologists and geneticists continue
licative capacity. to probe the cell to understand why m an
In spite o f such progress, there is little rea kind grows old and dies, G ods W ord reveals
son to expect th at in the near future, biolo the real reason. It simply states: T hrough
gists will appreciably extend our life span one m an sin e n te red in to the w orld and
w ith telom erase. Why not? One reason is death through sin, and thus death spread to
th at aging involves m uch m ore than deterio all men because they had all sinned. (Ro
mans 5:12) Yes, hum an death results
from a condition that science will never
THE LANGUAGE OF DNA be able to cureinherited sin. 1 Co
The b a sic u n its, o r le tte rs , o f th e DNA language are rinthians 15:22.
c h e m ic a l c o m p o n e n ts c a lle d b a s e s . T h e re a re fo u r O n th e o th e r h an d , o u r C re a to r
ty p e s o f b a s e s : th y m in e , a d e n in e , g u a n in e , a n d cy to promises to undo the effects o f inher
s in e , u s u a lly a b b re via te d T, A, G, a n d C. T h in k o f th o s e ited sin by means o f C hrists ransom
fo u r ba se s as le tte rs in a fo u r-le tte r a lp h a b e t, says Na
tional Geographic m agazine. Ju st as we arran ge th e le t sacrifice. (Romans 6:23) We can be cer
te rs o f o u r a lp h a b e t in to m e a n in g fu l w ords, th e As, Ts, tain that our Creator knows how to re
Gs, an d Cs th a t m a ke up o u r g enes are arra n g e d into verse aging and death, for Psalm 139:16
th re e -le tte r w o rd s c o m p re h e n s ib le to th e m a ch in e ry o f says: Your eyes saw even the embryo
th e c e ll. In tu rn , g e n e tic w o rd s fo rm s e n te n c e s th a t of me, and in your book all its parts
te ll th e ce ll h o w to m a n u fa c tu re a p a rtic u la r protein. The
were down in writing. To be sure, Je
o rd e r in w h ich th e DNA le tte rs are s tru n g to g e th e r d e te r
m in e s w h e th e r th e p ro te in w ill fu n c tio n as an e nzym e hovah G od originated the genetic code
th a t h e lp s you to d ig e s t y o u r s u p p e r, an a n tib o d y th a t and put it down in writing, as it were.
w ards off an in fe c tio n , or any o f th e th o u s a n d s o f pro Thus, in his due time, he will see to it
te in s th a t are fo u n d w ith in your body. L ittle w o n d e r th a t that our genes perm it everlasting life
th e book The Cell re fe rs to DNA as th e basic b lu e p rin t for those who are obedient to his re
o f life ."
quirem ents. Psalm 37:29; Revelation
21:3,4.

22 Awake! July 8, 2000


BY A W A K E ! CORRESPONDENT IN MEXICO

A N T E R IA has been a prom inent reli ligion practiced am ong the Yoruba in N i
S gion in Cuba for m any years. However,
this form of w orship has been gradually in
geria. W hen Yoruba were taken to the Ca
ribbean islands as slaves betw een the 1770s
troduced to other countries. For instance, and the 1840s, they took their religion w ith
one of the m ain m arketplaces in downtown them. Once in the New World, these Afri
Mexico City features shops th at specialize cans in bondage were forced to accept Ca
in Santeria paraphernalia, such as crosses, tholicism, but they refused to give up their
candles, amulets, and fetishes. M ost of these traditions completely. So they created a new
shops are known as botanicas, and they can form o f worship w ith elem ents taken from
be found in other large cities o f the Am eri both religions. Such a merging o f religious
cas. In New York City, botanicas are well ad practices is called syncretism.
vertised in the telephone book, having far In an effort to w orship according to their
more listings in the yellow pages than other ancient beliefs, th e slaves gave C ath o lic
religious stores. saints dual identities, each one correspond
M any people are a ttracted by ing to an A frican god w ith p articu lar
th e m y sticism and exotic characteristics and powers. Thus, Af
mk rican gods and goddesses, called ori-
aura o f Santeria. Elements
of Santeria can be found sha, took on the nam es and form s o f
in som e p o p u la r L a tin Catholic saints. However, the ritu
als, customs, and beliefs rem ained
m usic and lite ra tu re . S an
the same as those practiced in Af
teria is becom ing m ore secu
rica. A Santeria priest in C uba ex
la r and c u ltu r a l th a n re li
plains: Syncretism allows us to
gious, and it has been spread
w orship the C atholic god on
th ro u g h A fro -C a rib b e a n
the altar, but w hat we see is
m usic and cultural events.
the African god behind it.
Origins in Ancient Africa Religions such as voodoo,
S anteria has the basic O b eah , and m ac u m b a a re
fe a tu re s and tra d itio n s also m ade up o f elem ents
o f an ancient African re from R o m an C a th o lic
Awake! July 8, 2000
liturgy, sacram ents, and sacred parapherna The religion em phasizes the here and now
lia blended w ith spiritistic practices from rather than the afterlife, and it focuses on
A frica. B ecause from th e beginning the natural forces. Each deity represents an as
Catholic C hurch in Latin Am erica prohib pect o f nature, like thunder, and a hum an
ited A frican religions, Santeria had to be characteristic, like pow er. Santeria priests
practiced in secrecy for a long time. Eventu help p e o p le to resolve day-to-day p ro b
ally the Catholic C hurch came to tolerate lems by consulting the orisha. T hese are
this syncretism among the slaves. not C atholic priests, and their ordinary San
Characteristics of Santeria teria rituals are held in hom es rath er than
W hat are the characteristics o f this reli temples.
gious w orship? Santeros, as the practitio People in need o f em otional and econom
ners o f S anteria are now called, w orship ic su pport are especially draw n to Santeria
one suprem e being and a group o f deities, because it offers a sense o f com m unity, an
or orisha, th at form the Yoruba pantheon. extended family. The ones m ost attracted
T he o rish as will is interpreted by Sante are the deprived and also im m igrants who
ria priests through divination. It is said that move to countries where Santeria is prac
som etim es orisha possess the w orshipers in ticed. Followers belong to a specific com
order to voice their counsel. Followers can m unity w ith a m ale or fem ale santero serv
appeal to the orisha through prayers, music, ing as godparent, counselor, and priest for
p ro p er behavior, and offerings. A ltars play the com m unity. New m em bers are initiated
an im p o rtan t role in the worship; santeros by priests in a cerem ony th at includes m u
set them up in their hom es and pu t flowers, sic, dances, and anim al sacrifices. A nim als
rum , cake, and cigars on them to keep the are also sacrificed to celebrate births, m ar
deities happy and helpful. riages, and deaths. Chickens, goats, doves,
Lizette Alvarez explained in a York pigeons, and turtles are am ong the anim als
Times article a b o u t S an teria philosophy: used.

Santeria paraphernalia on display In a botanlca


The Music of Santeria filtrated some Latin music. Santeria term i
M usic plays an im p o rtan t role as a regu nology has been included in som e m usical
lar feature o f w orship in Santeria. Music is pieces.
used during bembes,or cerem onies in which
What the Bible Says
drum s are beaten to invoke the deities. Spe
cific rhythm s are played to sum m on a p a r Santeria is closely connected w ith spirit
ticular god. The sound is so loud th at the in ism, a form o f w orship condem ned in the
sistent rhythm o f the drum s can be heard Bible. (Leviticus 19:31) G o d s W ord lists the
blocks away. practice o f spiritism am ong the works
Percussion in stru m e n ts such as drum s o f the flesh, which bar a person from in
and xylophones, or m arim bas, have been heriting G o d s Kingdom . (G alatians 5:19-
cult instrum ents in W est A frica for centu 21) The Scriptures also com m and those de
ries. T hat was their prevailing significance siring G o d s approval to flee from idola
when slaves brought them to Am erica. In try and to w orship the F ather w ith spirit
Brazil, m em branes for sacred drum s are and tru th . 1 C orinthians 10:14; John 4:
m ade from the skins o f ritually sacrificed 23,24.
anim als, and new instrum ents are custom C hristians should be alert to the fact th at
arily baptized, preferably w ith holy water Santeria practices and m usic are becom ing
from a C atholic C hurch. O ther drum s rep m ore secular in nature. Various form s o f
resent a certain deity, such as in the Afro- entertainm ent and som e aspects o f Latin-
C aribbean culture o f Haiti. A m erican culture are laced w ith elem ents
It is not unusual to find on the m arket o f Santeria. These are becom ing m ore p o p
com pact discs o f sacred m usic for Santeria, ular and are widely regarded as harm less.
openly referred to as such. D rum s are the N evertheless, C hristians do well to avoid
m ain instrum ent in the rhythm s, and some anything th at is in direct conflict with Bible
pieces have titles th at are actually nam es o f principles regardless o f how p o p u lar it is or
Santeria deities o r o f custom s of the reli how harm less it seems to be. 2 C orinthi
gion. Over time, these rhythm s have also in ans 6:14-18.

TERMS USED IN SANTERIA


Babalu-aye: God o f h e a lin g w o rs h ip e d as S a in t OChun: G od d e ss o f riv e rs , love, m a rria g e , m oney,
Lazaro. joy, and a b u n d a n c e , w ho d o u b le s as th e Virgen
Chango: God o f fire, th u n d e r, and lig h tn in g de la Caridad, p a tro n s a in t o f Cuba.
and also pa tro n o f a rtille ry , w o rs h ip e d as
Oggun: P atron god o f m in e rs and w o rk
S a in t B a rbara in th e C a th o lic fa ith .
ers, w o rs h ip e d as S a in t Peter.
Ifa Corpus: S y s te m o f la w s e x
p re sse d in 2 5 6 s y m b o ls th a t re p re Oloddumare: T h e s u p re m e b e in g ,
s e n t th e S a n te ria tra d itio n . w ho c re a te d th e u n iv e rs e .
Ikole orun: The h e a v e n w h e re all Orumila: A god th a t d e c id e s an in
h um ans go w hen th e y die. However, d iv id u a ls fa te .
bad peop le live in hell on e a rth and
s u ffe r in iko le orun. Yemaya, or xemaya: G o d d e s s o f
Obatala: A god w ho c re a te d hum an th e s e a s a n d o f f e r t ilit y , w h o is
life and c o n s c io u sn e ss o u t o f th e s u b id e n tifie d w ith th e V irg in M a ry , o r
s ta n c e o f th e e a rth . th e Virgen de Regia in C uba.
25
TH E B I B L E S V I E W P O I N T

Who Is a Minister?
N T H E eve of Jesus sacrificial death, ditions and rules th a t shut up the king-
O his closest friends got involved in a
heated argum ent. According to Luke 22:24,
dom of the heavens before m en. They were
position-oriented, prominence-seeking, self-
there arose a heated dispute among them centered individuals who perform ed their
over which one of them seemed to be great- works to be viewed by men.M atthew 23:
est. This was not the first time th at such an 4, 5,13.
argum ent had erupted among Jesus apos- A New Type of Minister
ties. On at least two previous occasions, Je- Jesuf, however, introduced a new concept
sus had to correct their thinking. 0f sp iritu a l m in istry to his disciples. He
How sad th a t on this critical night, Je- taught: Do not you be called Rabbi, for one
sus found him self having to rem ind them js yGur teacher, whereas all you are brothers,
again w hat a C hristian m inister should tru- Moreover, do not call anyone your father on
ly be. He said: Let him th at is the greatest earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly
among you become as the youngest, and the One. . . . But the greatest one am ong you
one acting as chief as the one ministering. m ust be your m inister. (M atthew 23:8-11)
Luke 22:26. Jesus disciples were not to im itate the reli
lt should not surprise us th at the apos- gious leaders of their day. If they wanted to
ties had an erroneous idea about the impor- be genuine ministers, they had to im itate Je-
tance of position and prominence. Prior to sus. W hat kind o f example did he leave?
Jesus, their principal example in the m atter The Bible often uses the G reek word
o f religious leadership had been provided by for m in iste r. The Encyclopedia
the scribes and Pharisees. Instead of giving o f Religion explains that this word repre
people spiritual guidance and direction, sents not status but the serving rela-
these false m inisters endorsed rigid tra- tionship of the m inister to the one
served: following the example of C h rist... is th at was m ostly devoted to adm inistering
at the heart of the C hristian understanding religious sacram ents and counseling the er
of ministry. rant. First-century C hristianity changed in
In harm ony with the correct definition of succeeding ce n tu rie s from an active reli
the word m inister, Jesus spent him self giv gion where everyone was a m inister to a pas
ing to others. The Son of m an came, he ex sive one where only a handful o f special
plained patiently, not to be ministered to, ly trained and accredited individuals could
but to m inister and to give his soul a ransom preach and teach.
in exchange for many. (M atthew 20:28) Je However, the Bible identifies a Christian
sus unselfishly used his time, energy, and minister, not by distinctive garb, elaborate
ability to help others physically and spiritu ritual, a salary, or state decree, but by his un
ally. Why? Because he felt pity for the spiri selfish labor. The apostle Paul outlined the
tually abused crowds th at flocked to see him. attitude Christian m inisters should display.
He wanted to help. G enerous love is what He encouraged them to do nothing out of
motivated his ministry, and he wanted his egotism but with lowliness of m ind.Phi-
disciples to display the same giving attitude. lippians 2:3.
M atthew 9:36. Paul certainly practiced what he preached.
Through his life course, Jesus set the pat Adhering closely to C hrists pattern, he nev
tern for fu tu re m inisters. The harvest is er sought his own advantage but that of the
great, he said, b u t the workers are few. many, in order th at they m ight get saved.
Therefore, beg the M aster o f the harvest to He understood and keenly felt his respon
send out workers into his harvest. (M at sibility to furnish the good news without
thew 9:37, 38) Yes, C hrists ministers were to cost, as he said, to the end that I may not
be workers in the greatest work the world abuse my authority in the good news. He
has ever seenproviding spiritual com fort was not seeking glory from men. 1 C o
to all m ankind by preaching and teaching rinthians 9:16-18; 10:33; 1 Thessalonians 2:6.
the good news o f G o d s Kingdom .M at W h a t an o u tsta n d in g m o d el o f a tru e
thew 28:19,20. C hristian minister! Those who im itate his
This focus on giving and on serving the excellent example and walk in the selfless
needs o f others is w hat m ade C hrists ap pattern set by Jesus Christ, giving of them
p roach to m in iste rin g so d istinctive. He selves freely to provide spiritual help and the
taught his m inisters to be laborers, spiritu com fort of the good news to others, show
al fishermen and shepherds, not mystics and them selves to be tru e m in iste rs o f G od.
academics in special garb and regalia. M at 1 Peter 2:21.
thew 4:19; 23:5; John 21:15-17.
The Bibles View IN OUR NEXT I S S UE
Sadly, over the cen tu ries this elevated,
selfless c o n c e p t o f m in iste rs as self- Spiritism Helpful or Harmful?
sacrificing preachers and teachers was dis
torted. W hat began as the C hristian ministry
evolved into a form al, hierarchical institu Antarctica The Last Frontier
tion. O rders and ranks were form ed, and
they were invested with prestige and pow
er and often accum ulated great wealth. This Is It Time for a New Bed?
created divisions. A clergy class developed

Awake! July 8 f 2000 27


W A T C H I N G THE WORL
Mars Spacecraft Problems Yueqing, a filmmaker who doc killing. The video-game indus
In December, NASA was un umented Nu Shu, describes as try, at $17 billion a year, is
able to reestablish contact with very feminine and beautiful, bigger than film and television
its Mars Polar Lander after the . . . also extremely graphic be combined. Stafford urges par
cause it was woven into cloth ents to know what games their
spacecraft entered the Martian
and embroidered as patterns, children are playing and to be
atmosphere. The failure oc
reports The Sunday Times of alert to any tendency toward
curred only about two months compulsion.
after the failure of the Mars London. The women recorded
Climate Orbiter, which was to folk traditions and expressed Reports of Wars
help relay information from the their lot in life in songs and
lander to Earth. Why the land poems written in Nu Shu. After There are now 27 active
er failed is unknown. But the women were granted equality wars worldwide, states Psy
orbiter went astray, among oth in China in 1949, the use of Nu chology Today. As reported by
er reasons, because the space Shu began to decline. Today, the Stockholm International
crafts navigation commands only three people are known Peace Research Institute, over
were in English units of mea to write the ancient script, and 150,000 Liberians perished in
surement rather than in the they are female senior citizens. their 7-year civil war, and 500,-
more widely used metric sys 000 people have died in the
tem! This difference prevent Violent Video Games 15-year civil conflict in An
ed navigation data from being gola. Clashes in Turkey have
killed more than 37,000 since
transferred properly. Although
1984, and war in Sri Lanka has
disappointed at their losses, claimed some 60,000 lives since
NASA scientists intend to con 1983. In all, more than 20 mil
tinue pursuing their goals, lion peoplemost of them ci
says CNN. These are to learn vilianshave died in war since
about the red planets climatic the end of World War II,
and geologic history; to look the magazine states. War may
for signs of life; and to lay the continue to be inevitable... be
groundwork for manned explo Based on a study of 600 cause of economics. War is one
ration. young video-game players, re [of] the largest industries on
searcher Brent Stafford, of Si earth, to the tune of $800 bil
A Vanishing Chinese
Writing System mon Fraser University in Brit lion in expenditures per year,
ish Columbia, Canada, warns and it also brings enormous
A unique writing system that many games are training spoils. The editorial notes:
called Nu Shu, understood our kids to celebrate violence. What an odd, odd species we
only by women, has been used Maclean's magazine reports: are to be so brutal to our own
for centuries in a cluster of Some hard-core players who kind. The United Nations has
small villages in Hunan Prov prefer the most violent and re declared this year to be an in
ince, southern China. It was de alistic games kill as many as ternational year of peace.
veloped by peasant women at 1,000 avatars (on-screen char
a time when girls were denied acters) in a single night, often in Smoking and Blindness
formal education. Its script scenes of gory realism. The re Smoking is a major cause of
consists of an estimated 700 search documented the extent blindness, reports the Canber
phonetic characters, compared to which violent video games ra Times newspaper. Research
with the thousands of Chinese are designed to appeal to a play ers at the Australian National
ideographic characters. Nu Shu ers emotions and to engulf University and Sydney Uni
is written with delicate curved young minds in worlds that de versity estimate that 20 per
and tilted lines, which Yang sensitize them to violence, even cent of all blindness in Austra-

28 Awake! July 8, 2000


lians over 50 years of age is ed that HIV and AIDS have Evil Rain
due to smoking. The research shortened life expectancy by 25 A n atural phenom enon
ers cited studies from Austra years in some parts of Afri known as evil rain occurs in
lia, the United States, and Eu ca. The report adds: The 21
rope that indicate that smokers Turpan, in the Sinkiang Uighur
countries with the highest inci Autonomous Region of China.
are two to five times as like dence of HIV infection are all
ly to develop age-related macu Even as dark rain clouds pass
in Africa, and in 10 of those overhead, the weather may
lar degeneration as nonsmok countries, at least 10 percent of
ers. Dr. Wayne Smith of the remain hot and dry on the
the population is infected. Of ground, reports China Today.
Australian National University all AIDS-related deaths world
suggested that cigarette packs Rain appears to be falling from
wide, about 80 percent have oc the sky, and a person can even
bear the warning: Smoking is
curred in Africa. feel the rain by waving his hand
a major cause of blindness.
up in the air. However, in the
Neglect and Child Abuse Pedal Power
extremely arid climate of Tur
R eported cases of child pan, evaporation takes place at
abuse in Japan soared 30 per a much faster rate than the rain
cent during fiscal 1998, com falls. Thus, the evil rain evap
pared with the previous year, orates before it ever reaches the
says Asahi Evening News. Ex ground.
perts attribute this to mount
Deadly Diet
ing stress borne by mothers,
many of whom were carrying A veterinary surgeon in the
the entire burden of rearing Kutch district of western India
their children, as well as to a One of the most energy-
efficient ways to get around recently removed 100 pounds
heightened awareness among of plastic bags from the stom
the general public of their may be a bicyclenot only be
cause it uses pedal-power but ach of a sick cow, reports The
responsibility to report abuse Week, a magazine of Kerala, In
or neglect. The Daily Yomiuri because its design wastes very
little energy, says a Reuters dia. Besides the bags, he also
mentions that Japan has also found cloth, coconut husks, a
seen an increase in the num report. Checking a computer-
controlled bicycle driveline by coil of wire, and a screw. Stray
ber of deaths of small children cows in India subsist main
means of an infrared camera,
who were left alone at home or engineers at Johns Hopkins ly on garbage, and discarded
in parked cars. In some cas University in Baltimore noted plastic bags are dangerous for
es their absent parents were that little heat was generated
gambling at pachinko pinball them. Even privately owned
as the chain moved. To their milk cows often eat roadside
machines. Until recently, few surprise, the engineers found
parents were held criminally garbage when moving to their
the chain drive had an ener grazing areas. The veterinarian,
responsible in such cases. Now, gy efficiency score of 98.6 per
however, authorities intend to Dr. Jadeja, says that consump
cent, meaning less than 2 per tion of plastic is second only
step up prosecution of serious cent of the power used to turn
ly negligent parents. to foot-and-mouth disease as a
the front sprocket was lost as problem for the cows. The indi
Newborns With HIV heat, the report said. The
worst the bicycle scored, under gestible material blocks the ab
Half of all babies in Af varying conditions, was 81 per domen, so that the cow can
rica are born infected with cent efficiency. James Spicer, not chew the cud. Such cows
HIV the virus that develops who led the study, said: This are often left to die. Dr. Jade
into AIDS, reports United was amazing to me, especially ja was alerted to the situation
Press International. Dr. Pe when you realize the essential by cobblers who found masses
ter Piot, executive director of construction of this chain drive of plastic in the stomachs of
the Joint United Nations Pro hasnt changed in more than dead cows when removing their
gramme on HIV/AIDS, stat 100 years. hides.

Awake! July 8, 2000 29


F R O M OUR R E A D E R S

Global Trade I want to thank you very Witchcraft I am 13 years old, and I met
much for the clear information presented in a girl at school who believes in the practice
the article Global TradeHow It Affects of witchcraft. One day she asked me what I
You. (September 8, 1999) Now I better un thought about it. I told her that I am one
derstand why there is a gulf between rich of Jehovahs Witnesses and that I dont be
and poor nations. lieve in using occult powers. She was upset
M. Z , Italy and has brought the m atter up many times
since then. I prayed to Jehovah for help,
I am studying economics in college and and it came in the form of the article The
have just finished the topic of international Bibles Viewpoint: W hat Is Behind Witch
trade. Your article had points that we did not craft? (November 8, 1999) I gave her the
discuss in class. I will use them in my exam article, and since reading it, she hasnt ques
next month. tioned the way I feel on the subject.
H. N., Zimbabwe K. E., United States

Wrong Laser? The item in Watching the Stinking Delicacy Thank you for the ar
W orld called Pain-Free D entist? (Octo ticle SurstrommingA Stinking Delicacy.
ber 22, 1999) spoke of the use of the (July 8, 1999) We had never heard of it be
erbium:YAG laser for dental surgery. fore, so we spoke to a fellow believer who
Should this have read neodymium:YAG? comes from Sweden. She described this del
icacy in glowing terms and surprised us
D. B., Canada
some time later by giving us two tins of it.
Although the Academy o f Laser Dentistry de A group of us from the local congregation
scribes the neodymium:YAG laser as the most decided to enjoy it together. Heeding the
commonly used wavelength in dentistry,an ar warning in the article, we opened the tins
ticle in The Journal o f the American Dental As outside in the garden. G ood thing we did.
sociation(August 1997, Volume 128, pages 1080- The smell exceeded even our wildest expec
7) mentions the use o f the erbium:YAG laser as tations! It was impossible for us to make an
FDA Consumerdescribed.ED. objective assessment of the taste! But
thanks for the article, without which we
Crossword Puzzle Regarding the cross would never have had such an unforgettable
word puzzles, couldnt you post the com experience.
pleted answers in the following issue? I al C. B., Germany
ways read the magazine first and do the
puzzle later, and it is hard to read the page RSD It has taken me two years to write to
on which the answers appear without glanc express my thanks for the article RSDA
ing at it. Puzzling, Painful Disorder. (September 8,
J. L., United States 1997) I had never heard of the disorder un
til I found out that I have it in my left arm.
We appreciate the suggestion. However, since My physical therapist said that she learned
Awake!is distributed from door to door, many more from the article than from her studies
o f our readers do not get successive issues. So we in college. Anyway, thanks for the article. It
feel it best to keep the answers in the same issue. has really helped me to cope.
Try not to peek at them in advance!ED. L.M.K., United States

30 Awake! July 8, 2000


Why do m any p e o p le have to re se t th e ir clo cks tw ic e a year?
It's a real h assle fo r som e w hen clo cks have to be a d ju ste d fo r
w a rd a n d b a c k w a rd . A n d w h e n d o you d o w h ic h ? In E n g lis h
th e phrase s p rin g fo rw a rd and fa ll b a ck" re m in d s people w hen
each change ta k e s place, in th e s p rin g and th e fa ll. How did day
lig h t saving tim e (DST) com e a b o u t? W ho s ta rte d it?
The Encyclopaedia Britannica says th a t B e n ja m in F ra n k lin
firs t su g g e ste d th e id e a o f s a v in g d a y lig h t in 1 7 8 4 . M ore th a n
a c e n tu ry la te r, an E n g lis h m a n n a m e d W illia m W ille tt a c tiv e ly
cam pa ig n e d fo r it. However, W ille tt die d before a law w as e n a c t
ed in P a rlia m e n t.
A cco rd in g to B ritish w rite r Tony Francis, W ille tt, a m aster b u ild
er from C h isle h u rst, Kent, s tru c k on th e u s e fu ln e ss o f a tim e m a
n ip u la tio n as he w as rid in g his horse e a rly one su m m e r m o rn in g
in Petts W ood. D u rin g th e rid e he notice d m any hom es w ith th e ir
w in d o w s h u tte rs c lo s e d . W h a t a w a s te o f d a y lig h t! he m u s t
have th o u g h t. He s ta rte d to c a m p a ig n fo r a bill in th e B ritish Par
lia m e n t to get th e clo c k a d ju s te d . S im p ly p u ttin g all th e c lo cks
forw ard 8 0 m in u te s, in fo u r in c re m e n ts o f 2 0 m in u te s each, d u r
ing th e s p rin g and s u m m e r m o n th s and th e n back in th e a u tu m n
w ould have a llo w e d p e o p le to have m ore d a ylig h t in th e evening.
Francis re p o rts th a t W ille tt w rote in one o f his leaflets: Light
is one o f th e g re a te st g ifts o f th e C reator to m an. W hile da ylig h t
s u rro u n d s us, c h e e rfu ln e s s reigns, a n xie tie s press less heavily
and courage is bred fo r th e s tru g g le o f life ."
K ing Edward VII d id n o t w a it fo r an a c t o f P a rlia m e n t. He d e
c la re d S a n d rin g h a m , h is royal m a n s io n w ith 1 9 ,5 0 0 a c re s , a
d a y lig h t s a v in g zone. He la te r a p p lie d th e sa m e cha nge to th e
royal e sta te s a t W in d so r and B a lm o ra l.
W h a t fin a lly p e rs u a d e d th e p o litic ia n s to give in and a d o p t
DST? They w an te d to co n se rve fu e l d u rin g W orld W ar I by reduc
ing th e need fo r a rtific ia l lig h t! O th e r c o u n trie s soon to o k up th e
idea fo r s im ila r reasons. Even d o u b le s u m m e r tim e w as a d o p t
ed in E ngland d u rin g W orld W ar II. This allow ed fo r a d iffe re n c e
o f tw o h o u rs in th e s u m m e r and one h o u r in th e w inter.
There is a m o n u m e n t in Petts Wood to W illia m W ille tt, p ictured
a t th e rig h t. It is d e d ic a te d to th e u n tirin g advocate o f s u m m e r
tim e . " The in s c rip tio n b e n e a th th e s u n d ia l says: Horas non nu-
mero nisi aestivas w h ic h m e a n s, I d o n t c o u n t h o u rs u n le s s
[they are] s u m m e r h o u rs .
With thanks to the National Trust
'mm

I like the
way it treats
m atters
That is what a young business adminis
tration assistant from Yucatan, Mexico,
said regarding the way Awake! magazine
covers topics. In a letter he explained
that he was introduced to Awake! by a
Witness coworker at the insurance bro
kerage firm where they both work.
With regard to Awake!r he stated: It
is a real source of information and truth.
I like the way it treats matters, as it does
not tend toward any political preference
and does not value some people over
others. I have found solutions to prob
lems by reading this magazine. This is
an attractive, well-balanced, up-to-date, W hen
enriching publication. I send you my
most sincere congratulations!

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