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As the doctors fought to arrest the cancer
spreading through my body, hundreds and hundreds of messages of love
were reaching me from across the world.
Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and
others sent messages of encouragement. Messages from Masai herdsmen,
Zambian game scouts, Shangaans at Londolozi, singers, actors,
scientists, conservationists, businessmen and women reached me. I
can assure you that every message that reached me, made a
difference. Thank you!
In those messages were frequent references to
God. Clearly religion is a powerful force across the planet.
I have never followed a religion and know nothing
about it. My only connection to religion was that my forefathers
were missionaries preaching the word of God across Africa and Tina
Turner who introduced me to Buddhism.
Every day I get up, go into the bush (which is my
church) and search for a striped cat. When I find the cat, I marvel
at the beauty and wonder how we could have pushed such a beautiful
creature to the brink of extinction. Everyday I am inspired to be in
the presence of the Tiger. In short, the Tiger is my God!
I’m the first to admit that what I’m doing has
very little significance in the Greater Purpose. However, as Gandhi
said "even if you do not achieve, it is important to try".
What puzzles me, is why the religious leaders of
the world, who are obviously so powerful, are not more concerned for
the planet and its future. Whilst the Pope concerns himself with
whether his followers should or should not use a condom or should or
should not practice birth control, the human species is moving
towards 10 billion. That species consumes 80% of the world’s
What the religions of the world can't get away
from, is they all breathe the same air. If humans continue to remove
the forests of the earth, we will subject the planet to lung cancer,
which will drastically affect all of us. If the polar ice caps
continue to melt, it will affect all the people and religions of the
There is another God who is not concerned whether
you are Russian or American, Christian or Muslim. Her name is
Goddess Gaia, the Greek Goddess of the Earth. Gaia has been around a
long time. She has been hot and she has been cold. She has seen
species rise, fall and become extinct. As long as the Sun gives her
heat, she can support life on Earth.
Goddess Gaia is not concerned with the fall of
the dinosaurs or the demise of the tiger. Gaia concerns herself with
the health and future of the planet. Any species which disrupts her
ability to protect herself, will be reduced or eliminated.
Gaia deals in cause and effect. Actions have
consequences and she is the sole judge and adjudicator. If a species
partnerships with her, she rewards them richly. If a species
sabotages her, it is dealt with accordingly.
In January of 2011 Gaia flooded Tiger Canyons and
destroyed in a few hours what had taken me 10 years to build up. She
did it before and she will do it again.
Right now Gaia is scorching the grass on the
sheep farms across the Karoo and drying out the water table.
Gaia gave us 100 million springbuck and we
swapped that for 20 million sheep. Does Gaia care if 5 million sheep
die and 5 000 sheep farmers go bankrupt? Not at all!
South Africans complain about load shedding, Gaia
can switch off the entire power supply of South Africa permanently
with one stroke of her ecological armoury.
Consider what Gaia has at her disposal. Heat,
cold, wind, rain, snow, fire, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis,
drought and disease etc.
If I was a political or religious leader, I would
be standing in the queue to get into her good books. I would be
plotting and planning how I could partnership with her to ensure the
future of my country, my followers and my religions. In short, I
would be making friends with Gaia.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Respect Mother Earth, Father Moon and sky and
the earth will live abundantly. Don't, and you'll see the cause
and affect of poor debilitating judgment.
May Archangel Ariel give mercy and grace to
your illness. You have much still to do my friend. Your work is
not yet done. May Ariel abound healing and protection over you
always. Archangel Metatron offer your shield of protection to
I thank you always in service of our tigers.
Much light and love my friend
I wish you all the best! Your good works will
not go unseen.
Johnny, I, like you, am not a “religious”
person. I have never had a religious home - anywhere….ever -
Christian, Hindu, Islam, Shintu, Buddhist, or anything else for
that matter - none have ever really appealed to me. I have
almost admired the capacity believers have to subordinate
themselves so entirely to their particular spiritual belief.
I have also never heard of Goddess Gaia -
Your email provides a name…..Gaia….without
ever knowing the name, Gaia (Mother Nature as you describe her),
has actually been my sub conscious God all of my life.
I wish you well with your health John. I have
followed every word of yours on facebook and I respect and
admire the way you have dealt with dire adversity through humour
and pragmatism. No doubt Gaia has had a hand in that too!
All the best to you in good health and may
Goddess Gaia continue to look over you.
Wahoo! Just looked on Facebook and got the
terrific news from your docs! SO very relieved and pleased. Say
hi to Tibo and all of the family for us.
That was a brilliant video.
(Cotswold Wildlife Park, UK).
My breath was knocked out of me when I read
this email. I had no idea you had cancer. when did you get this
diagnosis? I am so upset. I care so much about what you, the
tigers and your efforts. Please, you or Sunette do let me know
how you are.
I visited in 2012 and although I was alone
with you you did not mention the flood in 2011. I know your mind
is filled with other things.
Please drop me a line. Like you I have no
allegiance to a proscribed religian but I do believe in spirit.
I really hope that the cancer has been
knocked for 6 and does not come back.
I had a really excellent day with you and I
got a lot of good photos, I just wish that their were more
people passionate about conservation of animal and plants etc.
You certainly saved me a trip to India but I would also like
to see tigers and also the building etc but the domestic
arrangement have a lot to say for themselves etc well it would
I wish you all the best and hope to return to
Tigers Canyon soon
Best Wishes for a speedy recovery.
Just received this email. JV, do you have
cancer? We are praying hard that this is NOT so. We are in
shock and very, very upset. We are praying very hard to our and
any other God we can find to heal you if indeed you are ill.
Our ongoing concern deepens every day, as the
genetically mutated hominid greedily goes about destroying this
beautiful intricately balanced planet.
My fear is that awareness will only waken
when the natural resource structure collapses completely - "So
many with no idea as to what they do" !
Nature as with you is my religion, the bush
my garden - often harsh and unforgiving, amazing and very
(No corruption, money making, deceit or
You have always faced adversity with intense
passion, intelligence and strength and our thoughts are with
It is with great sadness that I learnt of
your cancer in your latest news letter. I'm also a non believer
and have in fact no respect for religions. I value and treasure
nature. Your contribution to the betterment of nature is
I hope you have the strength and support to
deal with this sickness. You are in our thoughts.
Thank you for the precious gifts, the books
about Tiger Canyon and Londolozi, where it all began, following
your meeting with Pete Cummings. Your gesture is as appreciated
as it was unexpected.
Then I learned of your predicament on the
same day I received the books. I could not help wondering about
the irony and coincidence of it all, and the fragility of life
that comes palpably through the pages in your books.
Then I read your note on Goddess Gaia, and
found reassurance that your fighting spirit is alive. So, all
considered, I choose to hold on to that.
hey guys i really appreciate the work you
guys are doing to save tigers from being vanishing and
interacting different big cats like cheetah ,tiger ,lion ,
leopard etc and making the habitat just like before , i really
appreciate your work towards saving tigers .
22 feb gonna be a match between India and
South Africa its gonna be interesting
hey guys i also live in a very nice and
unique place in india and very less people knew about this place
and its beauty here are some pics of Punjab stste of India
clicked by me hope you will like these photos
some of them are of farms and just 200 km
away from them are himalayas . India is a nice place come and
explore more colours of india
Jesus Christ has been given ultimate power
over everything created including Gaia. Therefore it would be
wise for All Politicians to stand in the queue to please him.
I just learn about your cancer reading your
letter. I wish you all the
necessary physical and mind strengh to
overcome it. Because Gaïa is
abble to do that and she is you! You're 100 %
right : always try.
Every little thing is important.
Nothing is lost, all is transformed, turned
in something else.
Terribly sorry to hear that such a HUGE
presence as yourself is undergoing that furtive little sneaky
disease. I trust that you are healing to continue your good
Best regards from all at Impi wire in George.
I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been well!
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Hope all is well at Tiger Canyons.
I was shocked to read about your cancer. I
too have cancer but refused to let it get to me. I live my life
with determination to LIVE it, as I only have one life.
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and thank
the good Lord that I am still alive and kicking 9 years later
I loved your article, Goddess Gaia, and the
I wish you all of the very best with your
health and trust you will be strong, healthy and able to beat
the cancer so that you can continue your fabulous work at Tiger
These majestic animals need you.
Thank you JV – great call.
My family and I visited Tiger Canyons a few
years ago....(picture attached) I'm the one with the flower!
We were really happy to hear that you are
I imagine you will get a few responses from
this email. I wouldn't dare try and preach to you, though with
forefathers being missionaries you should have some kind of
biblical knowledge? I would just like to ask you 'Who do you
think made the beautiful creatures?'
"For since the creation of the world God's
invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have
been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so
that men are without any excuse................ They exchanged
the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created
things rather than the Creator" Romans 1 vs 21-24
I would love to return to Tiger Canyons one
day - the last visit was truly one of the most amazing
experiences I have had.
John, nothing more needs to be said. If
that message is not received or acknowledged I pitty us
Hope your health is kind to you.
In my religion we say ‘good may be with
you and support you for a total recovery’.
Best wishes from Switzerland
Saskia & Norbert Paprotta
Inspiring email this a m!
We all need to get our ducks in a row!!
We pray for your complete recovery asap!!
I was very shocked to hear of your
current fight with cancer.
My thoughts will be with you during this
difficult time and i wish you all the best.
I myself am also not a religious man at
all but like you believe in Mother nature as a great force.
She will eventually sort us all out one
way or the other i believe.
This human factor in the world has gone
crazy and i fear it will only get worse before it gets
I am so glad i had the opportunity to
come and see you and your cats. What great work you are
John you have my hart and i am truly
sorry to hear about your misfortune. I know you were a great
friend to my dad and a truly big piece of his life.
This has always stuck with me. You are a
very special person and i hope you beat the hell out of this
best wishes and good luck JV.
If you need anything that i can help with
in my small capacity, then please let me know.
Regards Tristan Parsons (Coki)=
I have read your mail with great
disappointment and sadness in my heart.
Somehow I always thought that a man like
you, doing such a great work in conserving God's creation
would have a closeness to Him that some of us can only dream
of - that you would know that your surviving the attack
from Corbett was through the mercy of God - not luck - not
some goddess that has her origin in Greek Mythology - not
anything or anyone but GOD.
God is the Creator of the Tiger. How can
the Tiger, as beautiful and awesome as it is, be your god? I
love Elephant, Rhino Lion Leopard Tiger and all other
living, growing things dearly. I love the streams and the
mountains and the desert and the sea and the bush and the
waterfalls and everything in between. All of it makes me
realise the greatness of God, the Creator of it all. My best
friend is/was my dog but GOD my creator is my God (and yours
even if you deny Him)
It is through His greatness and His mercy
that every thing on earth, and all of us, good and bad
exists. It is by His Hand that all of it will some day be
destroyed again - why - because we refuse Him His rightful
place in our lives. Because the so called religious leaders
of this earth, do not heed His call, will not obey His
commands, will not nurture and respect what He has created
and entrusted to us. It is by His mercy that you will
survive the cancer in your body, that this great work your
are doing will survive and flourish. It is to Him I have
always prayed for the blessing and the mercy that is upon
you and the work that you do.
Your forefathers were answering the call
of God our Creator. Please do not deny that heritage, the
call of God for us to love honour and respect Him.
Please do not be angry for writing you
this letter. I always had such respect and admiration for
you and the work you have dedicated your life to. With God
as your leader, provider and Jesus Christ as your saviour
you and the work you are doing, could be so much more.
I just could not sit back and let you
miss out on the greatest gift you can ever receive - life
eternal. I will never stop praying for you - for your
protection and your well being and that you will hear the
call of God your Creator in your heart and in your mind -
that you will obey it and that you may receive life
If all of us who actually care about the
earth and its creatures do a little then things would get
better. You're doing your part. I try in my small way to
The video states it perfectly. I had no
idea about the cancer that JV is now dealing with....I am
deeply saddened and sending blessings of strength and
Just to say that I am one of
those who believes in the God who created the
beautiful tiger, cheetah and all the rest. I
also believe He hears prayer, and I want you to
know that I have prayed for you at this time. I
honour you for the wonderful work you do to
preserve the beautiful creatures of our planet
and I am praying that you may yet have many
years to continue what you are doing!