by Ken Keyes, Jr.
WAS TRANSCRIBED FROM A BOOK WITH COPYRIGHT INFORMATION AS
FOLLOWS: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG NO. 81-70978 / ISBN
This book is not copyrighted.
You are asked to reproduce it in whole or in part, to distribute
it with or without charge, in as many languages as possible,
to as many people as possible. The rapid alerting of all
humankind to nuclear realities is supremely urgent. If we
are wiped out by nuclear destruction in the next few years,
how important are the things we are doing today?
This book is dedicated
to the Dinosaurs, who mutely warn us that a species which
cannot adapt to changing conditions will become extinct.
Two events converged
on me this summer. They supplemented each other and gave
me the inspiration and added push I needed. They made me
respond to the urgency I had felt brewing in me for some
time to express my concern about the worldwide danger of
The first event was
my viewing the videotape "The Last Epidemic," taken at a
symposium held in November, 1980 on the unacceptability
of nuclear weapons for human health. I was deeply impressed
by the physicians and scientists who brought their knowledge
and eloquence to that meeting. Their stature and level of
experience, insight and courage left no doubt in my mind
that my priorities had to be rearranged. I had to add my
voice and speak out now!
The second experience
was my exposure to the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon, which
I learned about in talks by Marilyn Ferguson and Carl Rogers.
This phenomenon shows that when enough of us are aware of
something, all of us become aware of it.
That concept confirmed
my own intuitive trust in the basic tenet of my work — that
the appreciation and love we have for ourselves and others
creates an expanding energy field that becomes a growing
power in the world. This radical new support gives me the
counterbalance of hope to offset the doomsday story of nuclear
There is no need to
feel helpless or get paralyzed by hopelessness. We know
we have the power to make changes if we can join together
and raise our voices in unison. There is more power in numbers
that we ever hoped to dream about! I call for us to let
our numbers grow exponentially as we all take it on ourselves
to spread these messages.
We are the bearers
of a new vision. We can dispel the old destructive myths
and replace them with the life-enriching truths that are
essential to continued life on our planet.
St. Mary, Kentucky
Ken Keyes, Jr.
BY KEN KEYES, JR.
I appreciate your
letting me share the drama of our megaton madness with you.
This book does not
deal with petty matters.
It tells how to operate
our lives — and our world.
It tells us how to
The mess we've brought
upon ourselves is a most perilous and challenging one.
The broad picture
pieced together here will show you the immensity of the
nuclear dangers, the futility of any defense or protection,
the power of the new awareness and your role in the unfolding
There is a phenomenon
I'd like to tell you about.
In it may lie our
only hope of a future for our species.
Here is the story
of the Hundredth Monkey:
The Japanese monkey,
Macaca fuscata, has been observed in the wild for a period
of over 30 years.
In 1952, on the island
of Koshima scientists were providing monkeys with sweet
potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste
of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.
An 18-month-old female
named Imo found she could solve the problem in a nearby
stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates
also learned this new way and they taught their mothers,
This cultural innovation
was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes
of the scientists.
Between 1952 and 1958,
all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes
to make them more palatable.
Only the adults who
imitated their children learned this social improvement.
Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then something startling
took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima
monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is
Let us suppose that
when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima
Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.
Let's further suppose
that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to
THEN IT HAPPENED!
By that evening almost
everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before
The added energy of
this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!
A most surprising
thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of
washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea —
Colonies of monkeys
on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama
began washing their sweet potatoes!*
(*Lifetide by Lyall
Watson, pp. 147-148. Bantam Books 1980. This book gives
other fascinating details.)
Thus, when a certain
critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness
may be communicated from mind to mind.
Although the exact
number may very, the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that
when only a limited number of people know of a new way,
it may remain the consciousness property of these people.
But there is a point
at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness,
a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked
up by almost everyone!
Your awareness is
needed in saving the world from nuclear war.
You may be the "Hundredth
Monkey" . . . .
You may furnish the
added consciousness energy to create the shared awareness
of the urgent necessity to rapidly achieve a nuclear-free
"If I knew then what
I know now, I never would have helped to develop the bomb,"
spoke George Kistiakowsky, an advisor to President Eisenhower
who worked on the Manhattan Project.
Let's look at the
almost incredible nuclear monster we have created in the
last forty years on planet Earth . . . .
Jr., former deputy for research of the Central Intelligence
The unfortunate situation
is that today we are moving—sliding downhill—toward the
probability or the likelihood that a nuclear conflict will
actually break out—and that somebody will use one of these
nuclear weapons in a conflict or perhaps even by accident.
The only result of
a substantial nuclear exchange would be a hollow victory
in which the "winners' would be no better off than the losers.
An all-out nuclear
war could make our planet uninhabitable for a million years!
A nuclear war can
end the way we live.
It cannot be won —
it can only be lost.
Winning equals losing.
The word "war" is
too mild to apply to this nuclear craziness.
Carl Sagan at the
Conference on the Long-Term Biological Consequences of Nuclear
We have an excellent
chance that if Nation A attacks Nation B with an effective
first strike, counter-force only, then Nation A has thereby
committed suicide, even if Nation B has not lifted a finger
(*The Cold and the
Dark by Paul R. Ehrlich, Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy, Walter
Orr Roberts, p. 33. W. W. Norton and Co., 1984.)
Suppose you and your
family are rafting down an unexplored river.
Most of your attention
is on steering the raft away from the rocks and keeping
it off the banks so that it will not get damaged or stranded.
Several miles downstream
unknown to you lies a huge waterfall that will fling you
and your family on the rocks below.
It is easy to miss
the significance of certain signals that are coming to you.
You have noticed a
distant, rumbling background sound. But what does it mean?
You can see a mist in the air ahead of you. There's nothing
alarming that seems to call for your immediate attention.
And, besides, you
are so busy guiding the raft and keeping it off the rocks
that you don't want to think or anything else right now.
Maybe the rumbling
will go away . . . .
But the distant rumbling
is getting louder.
We can ignore it —
or we can use our intelligent minds to inform us of the
dangers we must avoid.
What are the signs
and the scientific data that are so easy for us to ignore
— but which are giving us a clear warning of a certain catastrophe
that lies ahead if we remain on our present course?*
in Part 2
Hundredth Monkey Revisited