Report from the 2013 Symposium

Here's what happened at the 2013 Symposium... Report by Helen Sewell

Friday 25 July 2013

Jazz Razool kicked off the first day of the 2013 Symposium with a compelling presentation on the ‘awakening process’. Combining his scientific background with his interest in Eastern medicine and spirituality, he is trying to find new ways to help people become more conscious. Jazz recommends that as with our need for vitamins to keep our physical body healthy, we also need our ‘three-a-day’ in the form of ‘support, challenge and reflection,’ which we can obtain by surrounding ourselves with people who can give us these things. If we can clear the energy we lock up in our past and also our future, we can focus it into the present to create tremendous energy for change. Jazz has been working on a related computer app over the past five years that people can be a part of by logging onto his website at:

Gary Bobroff continued the day with a deep and meaningful talk that was able to combine two great themes oft-covered by the Symposium – crop circles and psychology – in a very accessible way, with a particular focus on Carl Jung’s work. Gary’s pictures were also beautiful. The age of the masculine hero is dying, he says, and hopefully we now have the opportunity to restore the feminine to her rightful position in the collective. Maybe the crop circles have something to say about this, being as it is a wonderful mystery that both deflates the ego and venerates the sacred.

The theme of raising our consciousness continued with Serena Roney-Dougalwho was our first speaker after lunch. She shared with us the first-hand experience she has gained on her travels to other cultures. The Yogic, Vedic, Tantric and Buddhist philosophical traditions consider consciousness as the origin of the universe, together with energy. Serena showed some fabulous slides from her time in Tibet, and her meetings with some very enlightened people are to be envied. However, it sounds like there definitely needs to be changes to the status of women over there, with Serena telling the audience that women are often thought of as being on the same level as a yak!

‘I loved being in the army!’ said our next speaker, Ben Griffin – who then began to tell us how that all completely changed for him. He told of how his raw experiences in active service in Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Iraq and Afghanistan showed him that these campaigns were not represented truthfully in the media. To a hushed and shocked audience, Ben showed footage of US army atrocities in Iraq that Bradley Manning helped expose on the internet via WikiLeaks, for which he is now imprisoned in the US. What a brave man Ben is to stand up for truth and walk his talk. He rightfully received a long standing ovation at the end of his presentation. Please support his mission and go to this website:

Hugh Newman then shared with us his globetrotting experiences and research into the possibility of an energy grid which not only encompasses our Earth but also places beyond, showing how there is evidence of the same phenomenon on other planets. Hugh took us on a journey exploring the incredible geometrical coincidences that abound at certain sacred sites. Are the authorities hiding from us the knowledge that once upon a time a true race of giants inhabited the earth..? Hugh was off to the Bermuda Triangle soon afterwards in the hope of returning with more fascinating findings.

Our afternoon speakers were followed by a very welcome break for our brains with Jason Porthouse leading the meditation. It felt like coming out of a bustling city and diving into deep and calm water to refresh our souls. Thank you Jason.

John Dalton opened the post-dinner evening proceedings with a musical journey of latino harp pieces. Everyone agreed that they could listen to John all evening. His harp playing was completely mesmerizing, leaving everyone awestruck by his skill of transporting them to a heavenly place. Thank you, John!

To finish off a very stimulating day of lectures, we gave our audience the chance to have their say during the Open Forum session, to close the Friday. There was a panel of five – John Dalton stayed on to share verbal rather than musical insights, along with Nigel GracePetrina HoldsworthJazz Rasool and Richard Smith. As ever, some very interesting themes developed, giving many extra tidbits of knowledge and exchanged ideas to complement the weekend lectures.

Saturday 26 July 2013

No better way to start off the second day of the Symposium than with our MC and regular speaker Andy Thomas, author of The Truth Agenda and his new book Conspiracies. Andy has such skill in making quite complex real world issues seem more accessible and less overwhelming – by using discernment. ‘I can get quite scared by the dark future that some people paint but Andy makes me feel like there is hope’, said one attendee after the talk. Yes, there are many challenges ahead for the New Era but there is a lot of good out there too, and Andy struck the perfect note in his assessment of the opportunities the times ahead will bring.

The Symposium likes to keep a good balance between the material and the spiritual worlds, and our next speaker of the morning, Petrina Holdsworth, managed to combine these two in a very eloquent way. Bringing together her very real world experience as a barrister – and her time as the chairperson of UKIP! – with her current interest in more esoteric topics gave a very rounded presentation as she unfolded her vision of the future and of how governments could change the way they work to present more holistic and lasting solutions to global social and political issues.

The last speaker of the morning was Laura Williams. Her subject definitely deserves air time. She has been trying to actualise her visionary project Aluna – a huge three dimensional tidal clock installation in London – for 11 years now, and its realization may be getting very close. It would be so good to see this fabulous feminine structure manifesting in the middle of all the masculine energy of the high rise city skyline, bringing back some balance. Both the symbolism and genuine effect of the Moon has deep meaning for us all. We wish her the best of luck for her project, and please do check out her website at:

Patrick Henningsen was our first speaker after lunch and gave a very measured and informed presentation outlining recent discrepancies between global events and what has been presented by the media. His 21st Century Wire internet news service provides a useful rebalancing. ‘We need to respond to what’s going in an adult way,’ said Patrick, who indeed presented a very mature and constructive evidence-based assessment to important truth issues that can sometimes lead to disempowering paranoia. This is an approach that we all need to develop, leaving child-like responses behind, if we are to make a success of the New Era we are entering.

A subject we had not covered at the Symposium before is the controversy over the famous shroud of Turin, so we were in for a treat with Dr Andrew Silverman‘s in-depth and convincing presentation. Coming from his scientific background, he has thoroughly researched all the data available and come to the conclusion that the shroud is indeed a genuine relic. The well-known carbon-dating experiments which claim it is a medieval fake are flawed, said Andrew, because they had taken threads from a part of the cloth that had been repaired in that era! New dating methods from other parts of the shroud take it back to being from the time of Christ… A fascinating talk.

The closing treat for the Saturday afternoon was the British premiere of Roy Leraand’s film, Crop Circles: Embrace the Mystery. Edited down from his four-hour prime-time Norwegian TV series, the excerpts we were shown by Roy today were superb, with stunning footage. It is so nice to see a film on crop circles that is so professional and such good quality. Roy was ‘interviewed’ onstage by Andy Thomas to reveal the background behind the film, which is planned for DVD release in 2014. We very much appreciate Roy showing us sneak-previews from the film and look forward to seeing the completed version.

The Saturday evening commenced with the traditional appearance of the fabulous Avalonian Free State Choir as a welcome contrast to all the amazing mind food we had been feasting on throughout the day. Spellbinding.

A great friend to the Symposium is Andrew Collins, who was our Saturday night speaker. Andrew, with his endearingly affable style, shared with us some fascinating anecdotal evidence about people’s personal experiences with UFOs and perceived ETs, and how they often experience ‘missing time’. Andrew believes that many UFOs are made of plasma, rather than being solid objects or craft (though he does not deny that this aspect may also exist), and stated that governments were also beginning to conclude that plasma was involved in the phenomenon, despite their denials about its existence. This was a refreshing new twist on an old subject. Andrew then ended with a tantalising epilogue about the incredible discoveries being made at the ancient site of Göbekli Tepe in what was once Mesopotamia, which will be the subject of his next book.

Sunday 29 July 2013

Sunday morning kicked off to a fascinating start with John Cowie. A far cry from how English Heritage describes Silbury Hill, John’s theory that the structure is in fact a white pyramid constructed with extra-terrestrial technology 12,000 years ago was backed up by much presented evidence. His explanation of how pyramids act as electrical capacitors made the much-vaunted idea of the Giza monuments being far more than tombs seem very convincing. Everyone loved the practical experiment with the dangling pyramid that John, with the help of an audience member, showed us at the start of his talk too!

Our second speaker of the morning, Karen French, posed the fundamental questions of what exactly the process of creation is, and what part does symbolism play in it all. With some beautiful images, Karen helped us to understand how geometry, light and sound create our world, and that shapes and symbols carry genuine power beyond being merely metaphorical. The biblical phrase ‘In the beginning was the word…’ was shown to be more than artistic flair, revealing to us instead perhaps the very fundamentals upon which our universe is created and maintained.

The morning’s proceedings were rounded off with our old friend, Palden Jenkins, the Symposium’s webmaster and coach tour guide who, in his admirably centered and calm way, spoke of his philosophy on life and where he felt we were in our evolution right now. Giving examples from his experiences in working in Israel and Palestine, he told of how, when at a particularly tricky border crossing he was faced with an aggressive armed soldier, he said ‘You can shoot me now and I will haunt you in your thoughts for the rest of your life, or, if you don’t, I’ll just be in your life for the next three minutes!’ He was allowed through. Use your fear for positive growth he told us – 2012 marked the passing of an era and now we are faced with a void. These are times in which we need to bring the collective unconscious into consciousness. Thank you Palden, for a very thought provoking talk.

Our first speaker after lunch was respected astrologer Wendy Stacey. Astrology is a much maligned and misunderstood subject and it is always a battle to get people to realise that there is much more complexity to it than Sun Sign columns in the newspapers. Wendy talked us through how the themes of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in the mid 1960s are now coming into sharp focus because these two planets have now reached the first major aspect since then. Wendy’s research into the consequences of elected caesarean births is both fascinating and scary for mankind as its popularity increases, for it has started a process whereby the natural mix of diverse astrological character traits in society is being overbalanced by the plethora of daytime births…

Our last speaker of the main Symposium programme (excepting our special Sunday night guest) was Nigel Grace, who gave us a fantastic update on the now much-discussed Bosnian Pyramids – believed by many people to have once been parts of a major ancient complex, now overgrown but gradually being uncovered by volunteer groups. It would appear, with all the new excavations into the tunnels, that there are indeed man-made dry stone walls lining the tunnels. So the mystery continues and it is very exciting to think what more could be revealed as the excavations continue. ‘Please do go out and join the volunteers there’ says Nigel. People can do so by contacting Nigel through his website at:

Following a beautiful meditation in the nearby Abbey grounds in the late afternoon, our very final speaker of the Symposium, in our special Sunday night slot, gave a powerhouse of a presentation. We were very privileged to have Dr Manjir Samanta-Laughton give her brand new talk for the first time in this country. Although Manjir is a medical doctor, she has also been having mystical experiences since she was 18, giving her rather special insights into the nature of reality. She gave a wealth of information about her new and radical theory on black holes – apparently they are everywhere, from the centres of galaxies to the possibility that there is one at the centre of our own Earth. AND – amazingly – even tiny ones inside all of us! Could a process of miniature holes even explain the seemingly anomalous processes behind the creation of the Shroud of Turin (as discussed by Dr Silverman earlier in the weekend)? Manjir is indeed a true visionary, and a very welcome figure who is trying to pull together the world of the ‘alternative’ with the ever-stretching paradigms being presented by the new physics. What a perfect end to a quite astonishing weekend, which many people felt was one of the best Symposiums yet mounted. (


We would like to extend a very big thank you to all our attendees and speakers who helped to make the 2013 Symposium such a huge success. 

Report by Helen Sewell, photos by Andy Thomas

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