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Children, Bereft of Guidance

An interview concerning the use of the drug called "ice," methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, is brought forth by Gurudeva as he asks questions of Sannyasin Arumugaswami. We are told what children do on weekends when they are bereft of parental guidance on the weekends and the consequences legal and personal. Swami has talked to the chief of police and others. Children in school are subject to detention, handcuffs, a trip to jail for illicit drugs. "DARE" a program regarding drugs is being taught by police officers in the schools as early as the 5th grade. Gurudeva reiterates 'just say no' do not risk life and freedom.

Unedited Transcript:

Today at Kauai Adheenam. Welcome, it is November 7th.

Our little delegation is now at the 'AIDS for religions of the World' convention, sponsored by the Ford Foundation. It is in Atlanta, Georgia. They are doing really well. They are showing the Hindu point of view on how to face death. That it is a wonderful thing to know when your going to die. Most people don't. You can prepare for the great journey within, and prepare for the great journey back into physical birth.

Well today, we are going to do something different. I see many, many faces out through cyberspace. Some of you look really wonderful but I think others of you got the idea that I am saying something about drugs. You might be using drugs, you might be using them this very moment. It doesn't look so good but listen, don't turn off your television right now. Hang on, listen. We have a message for you. This is going to be very unusual today because we are going to interview Sannyasin Arumugaswami who is here with us, who has just visited the chief of police here on the Garden Island of Kauai, and the Warden of the Jail. He has talked to some of the inmates who have been using "ice".

Now this is not the kind of ice that you make in your refrigerator. It's a very different kind of ice. He's going to explain it to you. Now you might be wondering why are we doing this. Why are we talking about drugs? "Why can't you be talking about higher things in your ashram?"

Well, we also are publishers of 'Hinduism Today', a international magazine that is guiding the Hindu peoples of the world, especially the new generation. Many of them are involved in the drug movement. All over the world, we have reached many, many countries. So we have a very broad perspective and we're doing an issue in 'Hinduism Today'. We are also making a CD, as un-official partners in the 'Coalition for a Drug-free Kauai', as a gift for our dear friend, Miss Marilyn Wong.

Now, Arumugaswami, speak out. Tell us all you know.

Arumugaswami: Thank you Gurudeva. Well, at your suggestion we began by speaking with the chief of police Frietas, who is in charge of the Police Department here on Kauai. It was from him that we first learned that they consider the biggest problem on the Island 'methamphetamine', although other drugs are present here and have been for a long time, including cocaine, and heroin.

Gurudeva: Would that be "ice", this amphetamine?.

Arumugaswami: Yes. It's called "ice". Something that's made and started in Asia some years back. It was something that changed amphetamines into something vastly more powerful. The police chief said it's so powerful that people on the mainland are even afraid of it, but for some reason it's taken a special hold here in Hawaii, and now it's also gaining a hold in the mainland too.

Gurudeva: Let's paraphrase a few things that our Chief of police, who happens to be practically our next-door neighbor. What did he have to say?

Arumugaswami: Well, one of our main concerns was the youth and he said, "Well, the first problem is the parents aren't involved with their own children. They know their children came home from school Friday night and they don't see them again until Sunday night, and they don't know what's going on. They have parents here working two and three jobs and the children don't have the luxury of having a stable home life that I remember," the chief said, when he was a youth.

In his estimation, it's really tough to grow up. Stability just isn't there for the children. They go off to these weekend parties on the Island here. It starts with alcohol, and they get on with drugs and there is assault. You see two hundred people on a beach somewhere with alcohol and illegal drugs. This is what these children are doing on the weekends when they don't have any parental guidance or any reason to be home and it even seems that their parents don't necessarily know that they are missing.

He went on to explain some of the consequences of drug use. One of the most drastic, of course, is arrest and incarceration, but there is also the "asset seizure" laws that are very stringent; where if you have drugs on your property, or growing drugs on your property and you have knowledge of it, the police can seize your house, or seize your car or whatever is involved in the drug deal. Traffic officers he mentioned are now being trained to recognize people on drugs, who are driving; and this carries the same penalty as drunken driving, driving while under the influence. People can lose their license right away because of it, besides being arrested for using the drugs. He said we can see what might happen in the future on Kauai because he worked in a inner city in the Bay Area, in East Bay I believe. He said there was an entire population of children who were born addicted to "rock cocaine", and they were now all being raised by their grandparents because the whole generation of parents had disappeared, gone back into the drug community.

He said, "As these children hit the schools it would be an almost uncontrollable behavior problem because of the nature of these children not growing up correctly, being damaged by the drugs".

Gurudeva: So, we would say that the talk that I gave in 1964, really was a prophesy! 'Chemical chaos' has actually happened and a whole new breed of born children is being recognized by our chief of police.

Arumugaswami: So, the chief sent me first over to Alvin Sato. He said that there were two experts on drugs on the island. Lieutenant Alvin Sato, who is in charge of the Juvenile Vice Division. He is the person responsible for following up on leads regarding juvenile use of drugs, including alcohol. We sat down and talked to him and asked him some of the things that would happen if they were given a tip about drugs. He said, well, if they received a tip about drugs that had to do with someone at a school, they would notify the principal of the school and the principal would call in the student and search them. Now in the case of students at school it's not necessary to get a court order to search them. It is considered part of the right of the school to do that. If they are found with drugs the police will be called, the student would be hand-cuffed, taken to the police station, finger-printed, photographed, booked and his parents will have to pick him up. He'll be suspended from school on the spot until the matter was resolved.

Gurudeva: Well, it's nice to see that our school system is so strict and working with the police. Here on Kauai, we really have an excellent police department.

Arumugaswami: Lieutenant Alvin Sato described a program called 'DARE - Drug Abuse Resistance Education', that the county had adapted from the Los Angeles Police Department. I was amazed to find that this program regarding drugs was being taught in the fifth grade, to ten year old children. It was taught by police officers. It was a fourteen week course, forty-five minutes per week and the officers would go to the school and teach the children how to say no to drugs, what drugs were like, and what the effect of drugs were upon them.

I asked Lieutenant Rosa, how effective this program was and he said that the University of Hawaii had done a study on it and determined that the program was as effective as the individual officers were effective, and that if the officers had the necessary skills for teaching ten-year olds and they were very dedicated to the program, then it tended to work, otherwise it did not tend to work. It was determined to do it at the fifth grade level because the Los Angeles Police Department had determined this as the age when children are most perceptive to education and the officers can impact them. At a later age, it seems it was too late".

Gurudeva: Well, we would like to put this program into our educational courses that go out all through Asia. We have been working very diligently for child-abuse and beatings in the home and wife-abuse. Actually we've just had Kiran Bedi, who was the warden of the largest prison in the world in New Delhi, India to be 'Guest of the Government', in the country of Mauritius and also now in South Africa, are talking along these similar lines.

We want to talk to everybody out there in cyberspace. You can be missionaries, you can spread the word. We want a new age, but the new age cannot be built on artificial, dangerous substances. All of you out there, who are in France and Italy and India and Sri Lanka, Norway, Sweden, Germany, who are listening to this - pass the word around. Be careful. Just say, "No". Don't risk your life, your reputation or your freedom.