An Open Letter to the Religious Leaders of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and all


Hello Religious Leaders


Let me say from the outset that I am not religious in the sense that I do not belong to any religion. I am however deeply spiritual in that I attend church every day (I live in the bush surrounded by wild animals)


For 10 years I fought a devastating court case and by sitting and meditating with a Tigress I was able to survive the ordeal.


I was born in the year of the Tiger and symbolically I have made the Tiger my spiritual God (In fact all cats are my God). I was fortunate in India to go with a group of forest people and actually worship the Tiger. (It was like attending church except the God was the Tiger)


This particular group of people protect the forest because this is the home of the Tiger and the Tiger is their God.(It is the Indigenous Amazonian Indians that are defending the forest against the onslaught of the bulldozer ordered by the new Brazilian President).


Maybe I am getting off the point. I have noticed that when human beings are in crisis, they turn to Religious Leaders. After the devastating 9/11 attacks on the Trade Centre, President Bush turned to the religious leaders for support.


I have noticed in times of great joy we turn to Religion. Prince Charles and Princess Dianna were married in Westminster Abbey watched by a billion people around the world.


In times of great sorrow we turn to Religious Leaders as well. At Nelson Mandela’s funeral, Religious Leaders conducted the ceremony.


Religious Leaders have spoken out strongly against the wrongdoings of political systems. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was loudly outspoken against Apartheid. He is also highly critical of the ANC.


Political Leaders are very like politicians, you need big numbers to join your religion. The Islamic religion has 1.3 billion members, Christianity has 2.1 billion follows. Once you have the numbers in your religion you have the power!


Every Sunday across the world (The Jews attend Synagogue on Saturday) hundreds of millions will attend a Church or Mosque of some description. Week in and week out millions of people will come to hear you preach (I wish I could get those kind of numbers at my concerts)


Recently I posted a Newsletter on Facebook which was addressed to the Headmasters and Headmistresses of schools in South Africa.


The post was extremely well received with Teachers, Headmasters and Headmistresses all responding. Teachers are similar to you in that from Monday to Friday millions and tens of millions of children come to hear them teach (The Religious Leaders can only spread their influence on Sundays, the teachers have 5 days a week).


So my question to the Headmaster and Headmistresses was how is the education system equipping our children for a world that is adding 100 million people every 14 months.


I was surprised that in all the answers there was no mention of Religion. In fact not a single Religious Leaders responded to my post. Then it occurred to me, perhaps Religious Leaders are not on facebook. Therefore I will pose the question to you. Religious Leaders, how are your religions adapting to the fact that 100 million people are being added to the planet every 14 months.


I know when I was a kid, the Catholic Church was vehemently opposed to abortion and even opposed to condoms. Is this still the case today? Can I ask the question to the Islamic Leaders, what is your attitude towards family planning?


As we add 100 million people to the world every 14 months, it is obvious that there will be many more environmental refugees. (In the last 20 years worldwide million and millions of people have been displaced because of drought, flood or natural disasters)


Religious Leaders, when the refugees are dying in the Refugee Camps, will you assist them with food aid. Will you comfort and pray with them when they are dying?


From my post to the Headmasters and Headmistresses it became obvious to me that people do not understand that the human species is moving into crisis. Human’s have over taxed the earth’s resources and now the life support systems are failing.


In times of War, people are able to organise themselves. When Hitler’s tanks were rolling across the land and his planes were bombing England, Winston Churchill could galvanize the British people. In short we could see the War!


When the Argentineans invaded the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher ( a lady and a mother) had no hesitation in sending troops and battle ships to defeat the Argentineans. In short we could see the War, it was real!


To protect his oil George Bush Senior had no hesitation in mounting “ Operation Desert Storm” against Saddam Hussein. In short we could see the war, I fact we watched it on Television.

The war I am talking about is a silent, unseen war. However it has the ability to kill many many more people than all the wars put together!


This war will not be fought with the bombs, missiles and guns. This war will be fought with droughts, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, heat, fire, and disease. (The people of Beira in Mozambique and the people of New Orleans have already had a taste of things to come)


The opponent is more powerful than any that human beings has ever faced before and she is ruthless.

You cannot attack her, she is everywhere. She is like a cancer that cannot be cured. She is scorching our food supply, she is blocking our lungs, she is taking our water. Some say she is taking revenge!

However by your very name Religious Leaders, your are leaders of billions of human beings, especially in times of crisis.


Imminent ecologists have calculated that to get back into a sustainable relationship with the planet, some 4 billion people will have to be removed from Planet Earth. Many of these people belong to your Religions. Therefore my question to you Religious Leaders, is this. Is yours a laissez faire approach i.e. God almighty will decide. Are you passive or proactive. Your very name Religious Leader suggest you will provide leadership. My question is what is your leadership. How will you adapt your religions to avert the impending disaster that awaits human beings. How do you combat the cancer of human over population presently consuming Planet Earth?


Tread Lightly on the Earth JV (John Varty) Global Environmental Activist www.johnvarty.com Whatsapp: +27 (0)83 651 1600

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