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To all the Santo Daime community in the world

My name is Juan Carlos, responsible for the Daime church of St. John of Madrid, Spain, and president of the Spanish Federation of Daime churches.

As you know, on the last 5th of April came to Spain the inquisition persecuting our sacrament in all of Europe. After Germany, Holland and France, it was our turn to be harassed. To be sincere, I would say this did not catch us by surprise, except in the way it happened. Here we raised the first proper Daime church, following the Brazilian model, and we were aware that the beginning was not going to be easy. After the busts in the rest of the continent, we had taken more extreme precautions, reducing the rhythm of our works and paralysing the eventual expansion of our doctrine in our country until the whole situation became clear. We were hoping that, at some point, the authorities would get in touch with us, and in that case we would be initiating the process for the legalisation of our church, to be well prepared. We didn't have time to do anything else, though.

What we could never have imagined was that we would be treated as if we were delinquents of the Colombian drug cartel. For a whole month, they were listening to our phone calls, spying on our homes and investigating our lives. And then we gave them a reason to intervene. The rest you already know. We were arrested: six Spanish and two Brazilians. Chico and Fernando stayed 54 days in prison and I have been freed on bail, but will go to trial.

Before going on, I would like to thank deeply, in my name and of all here in Spain, the effort you made to generate this current of solidarity that still goes on. After the shock we suffered, it helped infinitely to raise our morale to see all the mobilisation that was going on beyond our reach. I believe this is the moment of not letting this flame of communication die out and keep on pushing for this New Age, that has already begun in the material world, to continue until we obtain the world's recognition of our right to freedom of cult.

I would also like to make one point clear. For better or for worse, politics also affects our Daime organisation. It is impossible to escape from it. And here we know, from references, the polemics that came about with Cefluris around the fact that Chico and Fernando brought Daime to Europe without Cefluris' previous knowledge. It certainly was an error. But it was made by all of us. Even here, when we were warned, we were not awake and regarded this arrival as something natural, without foreseeing that were heading for the precipice. There were precedents, though, and we did not worry. At Christmas, many Spanish brothers travelled to Europe with Daime and there were no problems. Thanks to them, we managed to keep up the pace of our works. One of the litres they brought was even facilitated by Cefluris in Rio de Janeiro.

All right. I don't want to throw more wood into the fire. But it has to be to said that, sooner or later, all of this would have happened, anyway. Three weeks later, two brothers from Andaluzia were expected to arrive from Mapiá. They surely brought Daime with them and were arrested at customs. And this, apart from the days in prison that Chico and Fernando suffered, was worse for us, since it did not produce the world-wide mobilisation that happened this second time around. It was not the same as having two "Brazilian shamans", as they were called by our national press, in jail, compared to two little known Spanish guys. I believe that this was written, that it had to be like this. It would have been worse if, for example, the police appeared in the middle of a spiritual work, followed by an army of reporters. Chico and Fernando were martyrs, but their prison also served to put into movement something the other incidents in Europe did not manage to do until now: an absolute solidarity coming from people in a dozen different countries.

Now, as I was saying, is the moment to make the best of this energy, towards a decisive step in our world union. So much is being talked about globalisation that we could not hope to stay out much longer. The initiative of our brothers in Brasília, creating a world-wide network of daimistas in the internet (the Daime eGroup), was the first step. Paulo Roberto, in Rio, is also launching a movement to group all ayahuasqueros in the world in the name of the same cause: the defence of our sacrament as an option to exercise, in freedom, the spiritual dimension of each human being. Akira, in Japan, was also thinking of something similar. Even with Fernando's father, we talked a lot about the ecumenism motivated by the Vatican itself and the need for inter-religious dialogue.

During this whole process, we got in touch with the CISEI - Centro Interamericano de Espiritualidad Indigena (Inter-American Centre of Indigenous Spirituality), in Mexico, which is preparing a meeting in Guatemala (next February) with a single theme: a request to the world's authorities for freedom of use of sacred plants in a religious or healing context, based on the right every people has of expanding its culture, spirituality and thought to all corners of the world. Spirituality is a patrimony of all humankind, let no one forget this.

I believe these events are clearly marking the path for us. No more civil wars (we, in Spain, know a lot about this), no more inner fighting, no more endogamous movements, no more quarrels - please! Every people that uses plants of power is in the same boat, for better or for worse. In this beginning of a new millennium, there is no other way out than uniting ourselves and our beliefs, to fight together for true spiritual union.

In Europe, we are planning to celebrate the III Meeting of European Daime Churches, next November in Assisi, Italy, and we hope this could be the seed for the creation of an European Union of all Daime centres in the old continent. We are already beginning to work together with CISEI to participate in this meeting in Guatemala and I imagine that, from now on, until then, there will appear many lines of action to mobilise the biggest number of persons, institutions and churches in the world with this aim.

This is the idea, for now. I think union begins with oneself, the Astral and those that are nearest us. It is logical to go from less to more, to sum up, and not to go after grandiloquent or megalomaniac shortcuts that lead nowhere. Until now, at least in Europe, many daimistas were half hidden. Now, those that decide to follow ahead, already have nothing to hide, because everyone knows what is going on. Or, better still, what is not going on. We have been taken out of the closet and now is the time to act with consequence.

Even if the best way for us to organise ourselves cannot be seen yet, we already have some references to begin to move on. Any reference will be welcome and perhaps someone could propose a good platform of world-wide communication to go on with this project. Many thanks to everyone and our greatest wishes for Love, Truth, and, now more than ever, Justice for all.



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