By John G Bennett
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I found another group in an Anatolian village near the Euphrates, and yet another in Mosul on the Tigris. All these dervishes or sufis were convinced that the End of the Age was imminent and urged me to prepare myself for the arrival of the Prophet of the Latter Days, who they assured me was already living on the earth and had sent news of his presence to the heads of the brotherhood. While in Damascus I met almost daily the Sheikh of the brotherhood, Emin Bey Chikhou, who spent most of his time endeavouring to prove to me from the Qur'an and the Hadisat that the signs of the end of the age were now being fulfilled.
My only reason for telling the story is that it was an important factor in my subsequent decisions. After saying that someone would come from the East, Abdullah startled me by telling me that not only was I chosen by God to be an immediate helper of this 'someone', but that he would come to England and even live in my house. He added that when I returned to England I should prepare a place for him, and assured me that henceforward I would be guided and protected in all my doings. It is hard to explain why I found myself taking seriously such a fantastic story and why, on my return to England, I began, without explaining my reasons, to prepare Coombe Springs to receive an extraordinary visitor.
This in turn led to the decision that Rofe should come to England, where he arrived in the summer of 1956. Meanwhile, the expansion of Subud in the Indonesian Islands was proceeding steadily. More than two thousand men and women had received the latihan, which was regularly practised in Djakarta, the capital, as well as in many outlying places. Reports of remarkable cures of illnesses were undoubtedly one of the main factors in the growing interest in Subud. On the whole, the orthodox Moslem authorities, the Ulema, were lukewarm towards a movement so catholic in its scope as Subud.