Silo: This construction, which the locals called the Hermitage, is in reality a replica. Some of our friends built it many years after the original was built near a geyser-like spray on the other side of those two rushing rivers. But after our discourse, the Discourse on the Healing of Suffering and other events of 1969, the original was completely destroyed, leveled, and only rubble remained. Of course you can visit the site, but getting there isn’t simple.
Once we had built the hermitage, a few friends came to visit, on occasion we would use it for meetings, and I had the opportunity to write a few things there. Starting from there we began to develop other places where we could meet and study.
As a place for study it was a bit complicated, but it fulfilled the function at a time when you could not have public or outdoor gatherings but only small meetings. Since it was just us and the rocks it was permitted. That’s where things started.
Question: But it didn’t end there, right?
Silo: No, the thing didn’t end. That’s where the thing of building began, but after the disasters they brought about we left for the north of this country–on the border with Bolivia–the jungle–a place that is called, or was called, San Pedro de Jujuy. There we made a big clearing. We cut down trees and cleared an area in the middle of the jungle.
There we built a house. Not with stone like this hermitage, but since this was a tropical forest, a log house.
This was one of our first changes of location.
Question: Negro, that happened in San Pedro de Jujuy... but you moved to other places, too...
Silo: Sure, because they destroyed our log cabin. They leveled it to the ground with machine guns. Of course, after the log cabin was flattened we went to another place in the north, a place known as Yala, where we built another house. This one was made of wood and stone, a large house, a substantial house, but we had to abandon that place, too.
Then we looked for something in the center of the country, since we'd already tried the mountains and we'd gone to the jungle... So now we found a flat area in the middle of the country, in Cordoba, and there we established a Center of Work.
We were able to work fairly well there since people could get to it easily. People could get there, we could interchange, we could talk among ourselves, and look into many things that we wanted to check out. And that also came to an end–we had finished our work, but it ended badly–people jailed, people deported, etc.
Comment: ...yes, wasn't it there at the end of the year that everyone was jailed? And that forced people to leave for other places.
Silo: Exactly... so then there weren't many places left for us to go. We could have gone south, to the south pole, but that was getting a little complicated.
To make matters worse, military dictatorships were in power throughout Latin America. Like in La Plata, near Buenos Aires, they assassinated friends of ours, our people. And they were putting many of our friends in prison in different places too... In Chile, for example, they set up real concentration camps–they imprisoned some of our people in Pisagua, in the north of Chile.
We were quite uncomfortable with the situation, and decided not simply to change our geographic location by one or two countries, but to change continents. And so we left–and landed up by the Aegean Sea, where we established another Center of Work, in Corfu. In that Center of Work we were able to work without any problems whatsoever.
Let’s remember, this was also near our friends in Europe. At that time it wasn't as easy to travel as it is now. With the Center of Work in Corfu, well, people could come from all parts of Europe, and we were able to make progress until we finished our work there and went on to other places.
Silo: There were many other places that weren’t Centers of Work or retreats. Remember, there were meeting centers of all kinds, there were things set up in the street, we were doing public relations, we were doing all kinds of political and social activities. But right now we're talking about the places where we carried out studies and retreats and different kinds of work, where people received training and were discussing and understanding things. Many people were also participating in those other activities, but more peripherally.
We were able to do a lot of things, but we also needed to coordinate all our activities, and we achieved this coordination by setting up a coordinating center on some other islands, on the Canary Islands.
Then different activities were coordinated from there. But the Centers of Study and the Centers of Work had a different direction from the coordination activities, the more superficial activities–which of course were also important and were how our Movement became known.
Comment: It seems that in any case this flood of activities once again alarmed those... those "dark forces," I’m not sure what to call them. They no longer attack physically, but they have their people who they pay and give instructions to, like the opinion-makers and those who slander us on the Internet. They don’t want people to know about us–so they create distortions about our activities, they hinder us from circulating accurate information, they ban our books, they don’t want people to read our books... they don’t want anyone to know about us–it’s a tacit agreement–if people know about us, then whatever information they have should be distorted.
That explains the disinformation that exists around us, the great disinformation there is around everything we do, it seems to me...
Silo: In terms of disinformation and all of that, after the physical assaults stopped in Latin America especially, there were small attacks but nothing very significant... they burned down two of our meeting centers in France, they broke the windows of many centers in Spain, in Germany...
Comment: ...in Egypt
Silo: No, Egypt was more recent. It was an attack through the press and all that, but as I say, to my knowledge there weren’t the kinds of physical assaults that there were back then.
And so that’s how this whole thing of assaults and other tactics continued, this arranging things so that "no one knows," the suppression and destruction of books, all of that...
...And so that was why we kept moving from place to place, jumping like fleas from place to place, because there was no other way. And then we began with more permanent constructions in different parts of the world.
We began building what we’ve called Parks, Halls, little halls, meeting places of the Communities of The Message. Little by little, those more lasting constructions were erected in different places.
There we also began or continued studies that had been to some degree interrupted in other moments.
And there is the seed of what we call the Works of School, extremely complicated works, complex, very complex. But those places that were started about four years ago continue moving ahead, and that’s not going to stop because they are being built throughout Latin America, in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa. We can’t yet say that there are Halls in Oceania and that area... but the thing is advancing.
And that’s how we’ve reached the present moment. We haven’t reached the future yet... but we'll get there.