Christopher Hills, 1993
9 April 1926|
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
31 January 1997 (aged 70)|
Boulder Creek, California, United States
|Known for||Spirituality, aquaculture|
Wrote over 30 books on|
food from sunlight, chakras, consciousness, divining, world peace, creative conflict resolution
Christopher Hills (April 9, 1926 – January 31, 1997) was an English-born author, philosopher, and scientist, popularly described as the "Father of Spirulina" for popularizing spirulina cyanobacteria as a food supplement. He also wrote 30 books on consciousness, meditation, yoga and spiritual evolution, divining, world government, aquaculture, and personal health.
As a successful commodities trader and art patron in Jamaica, he retired from business at an early age to follow a spiritual quest that took him around the world as a speaker, author, entrepreneur and pioneer of algae as one of the most efficient sources of food and fuel for humanity.
- 1 Early biography
- 2 Jamaica business leader
- 3 Rastafari movement
- 4 Spiritual awakening
- 5 Global outreach
- 6 Friendship with Nehru
- 7 Microalgae International
- 8 Centre House, London
- 9 World Conference on Scientific Yoga, New Delhi
- 10 University of the Trees
- 11 Supersensonics
- 12 International philanthropy
- 13 Spirulina: food from sunlight
- 14 Santa Cruz sanctuary
- 15 Bibliography
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Born in Grimsby, England to a family of fishermen, Hills grew up sailing the bleak and turbulent North Sea. In 1940 he enrolled as a cadet in nautical school and joined the British Merchant Navy during World War II. At sea, Hills had several life and death experiences that formed his views on karma, divinity and destiny. On one occasion a rogue wave swept him off the deck hundreds of yards (metres) away from the vessel, but another wave picked him up and threw him back onto the ship, cutting open his forehead but saving him from freezing to death. As German U-boats sank 2,828 merchant ships, he watched tanker crew colleagues incinerated in the flaming oil-slicked Atlantic. At the end of the war, as navigating officer for an Esso oil tanker, Hills found himself docked in Curaçao, where he set up shop as a commodities trader with branch offices in Venezuela and Aruba.
Encountering problems with South American contract law when a client reneged on a deal, Hills moved to Jamaica, where business was conducted under the British judicial system. There with the help of plantocrat philanthropist Percy Junor he founded commodity companies specializing in sugar, bananas, insurance, telegraph communications and agricultural spices pimento, nutmegs and ginger. Financing for the first export corporation came from British businessman Andrew Hay, then husband of best-selling motivational author Louise Hay who in the 1950s was a high-fashion model and Hills family friend.
In 1950 Christopher Hills married a young English woman, Norah Bremner, deputy headmistress of Wolmer's School in Kingston. Her father, Bernard E. Bremner B.E.M., was the Magistrate, Chief of Customs, and Mayor of King's Lynn, Norfolk who in 1951 co-founded the King's Lynn Festival with concert pianist Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy. Lady Fermoy, wife of Baron Fermoy, is Diana, Princess of Wales' maternal grandmother. The Hillses had two sons, both born in Jamaica. The family frequently sailed to England for events such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and Mayor Bremner's presenting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother with Freedom of the Borough, which encompassed the royal family's home at nearby Sandringham.
Jamaica business leader
From 1949 to 1967, Christopher and Norah Hills became influential forces in Jamaica's commerce, art, politics and culture.
Believing that Jamaica's strength lay in its agriculture, Christopher Hills co-founded the Jamaica Agriculture & Industrial Party (AIP) as an alternative to the two major political parties: Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP), both of which he felt were too busy warring with each other to look out for the middle class and the country people who were the backbone of Jamaica's rural economy. Despite competing vigorously in the polls, the Hills couple were nevertheless close friends with JLP leader Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley, head of the PNP, who both served as Jamaican Prime Ministers. Norman Manley in fact had been best man at the Hills' wedding.
In 1951 Christopher and Norah Hills founded Hills Galleries Ltd, which, in cooperation with the Prime Minister's wife Edna Manley, became a nexus of the Jamaican art movement. The Gallery & Antiques showroom at 101 Harbour Street, Kingston was built on the site of Simon Bolivar's Jamaica residence where, in 1815, the revolutionary wrote his famous letter Carta de Jamaica.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Hills Galleries supplied and exhibited local celebrity artists Ian Fleming and Noël Coward, enjoyed the patronage of British royals and such high-profile clients as Sadruddin Aga Khan, Winthrop Rockefeller, Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Bird Johnson, Grace Kelly and Errol Flynn. Hills Galleries was also the main agent for Rowney's, Grumbacher and Winsor & Newton art supplies in the West Indies. Through multiple exhibitions, the Hillses nurtured or launched the careers of a plethora of talented Jamaican artists, such as Gaston Tabois, Kenneth Abendana Spencer, Carl Abrahams, Barrington Watson, Albert Huie, Gloria Escoffery, Karl Parboosingh, Vernon Tong and the revivalist preacher/painter/sculptor Mallica Reynolds.
Christopher Hills opened a Hills Galleries branch on Jamaica's north coast at Montego Bay, mooring his yacht, the Robanne at Round Hill, a popular resort for foreign leaders and industrialists vacationing in the Caribbean. It was there he met then Vice President Lyndon Johnson and CBS president William S. Paley, who in 1956, sponsored a Hills Galleries exhibition of Jamaican art at Barbizon Plaza in New York City, which awoke U.S. art collectors to Jamaica's dynamic sphere of artistic talent. The exhibition was described by the Daily Gleaner as "Epochal in the establishment of a market for West Indian art." The Hills family spent weekends and holidays at Port Antonio visiting friends and clients including their neighbor, novelist Robin Moore at Blue Lagoon. There Hills met Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza who asked Hills to curate part of his art collection. For five years many classic works of the baron's international art acquisitions decorated the walls of the Hills' home. Von Thyssen also granted Hills' children access to his private island at San San near Port Antonio.
In 1955 Hills had just returned from sailing the Robanne to Havana when he met Adlai Stevenson who had given a speech honoring a visit to Jamaica by Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. At the gallery Stevenson fell in love with Hills' George III period Sheraton bow-fronted desk, immediately purchasing it for his own office in Chicago. Over dinner, Hills shared his observations of simmering revolution in Cuba, while he and Stevenson compared their concepts of justice, democracy, conflict and dictatorships — a conversation that inspired Hills to publish his ideas for uplifting the world's underprivileged masses in his landmark volume Rise of the Phoenix.
Hills also became an advocate for Jamaica's Rastafari movement, who were being oppressed in the late fifties. He gave Rastafarians jobs as woodcarvers, free paints to poor artists, such as the now-famed Ras Dizzy and bailed them out of Spanish Town Prison while encouraging rasta brethren to sustain themselves through art and music. Christopher and Norah Hills were personally thanked for their years of support for struggling rastas by Mortimo Planno, the Rasta teacher of Bob Marley and one of the few Rastafarian elders to have met with Emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Hills also "reasoned" Gandhian non-violence with Leonard Howell, the original "Gong" activist who founded Pinnacle, a Rastafarian community farm at Sligoville, a few miles from Hills' home. In 1958 Pinnacle was raided in a brutal crackdown by the authorities, ostensibly for growing marijuana, but in fact Rastafarianism at that time was regarded by The Crown as a threat to social harmony. Hills interceded with the Prime Minister but, with an election coming, law & order politics prevailed and many sustainable farming families had to leave the land. For his support, Hills was given the moniker "The First White Rasta". Unlike his skeptical friends and business colleagues, he saw Rastafarian spirituality as a righteous way of life, indeed growing out his hair and beard in solidarity and also in keeping with his emerging interest in the sadhus and enlightened sages of India who had much in common with the vegetarian mystical Rastafarians.
By 1960 Christopher Hills had accumulated a large metaphysical library on frequent trips to Samuel Weiser Books in New York, while writing his own books, Kingdom of Desire, Power of the Doctrine and The Power of Increased Perception. At 30 he retired from business and began to research multiple spiritual paths and the physics of what Einstein called Unified field theory. Prolific research papers and lectures came out of Hills' laboratory in the Blue Mountains (Jamaica) on subjects such as bioenergetics, hypnosis, tele-thought, biophysics, effects of solar radiation on living organisms, resonant systems of ionosphere, and capacitor effects of human body on static electricity and electron discharge of the nervous system. In 1960 he began a 30-year project to document the effects of sound and color on human consciousness and states of health.
With Norah Hills running the galleries, Hills set forth on a two-year journey travelling in Asia, Europe, Pakistan and India, meeting with members of the UN and calling on politicians, scientists and religious leaders. UNESCO hired him to shoot 1,000 photographs of their projects in faraway countries, which appeared in an exhibit at United Nations headquarters.
Hills' global odyssey's itinerary grew out of publishing his views on conflict resolution and alternative government in a manifesto, Framework for Unity, that was circulated to The Commission for Research in the Creative Faculties of Man, a network he had founded of thinkers around the world which, in 1961, included Prof. Oliver Reiser, Humphry Osmond, Dr. Andrija Puharich, David Ben-Gurion, and Lady Isobel Cripps, among its 500 members.
After teaming up with his good friend and noted lawyer Luis Kutner (co-founder of Amnesty International), Hills decided to search the world for a spot to establish a Center where a dedicated community could live and test his World Constitution for Self-Government by Nature's Laws, which he published in a book with an introduction by Bertrand Russell.
Friendship with Nehru
Working his way on a speaking tour through Europe in the direction of India, Hills decided to make a precarious expedition to the remote Himalayan Hunza Valley where he had long been curious about the diet and extraordinary longevity of the Pashtun, Balti and Uzbek hill tribes. In Pakistan, Hills was the guest of Professors Duranni and Walid Uddin at Peshawar's College of Engineering. Visiting Sufi holy men and Islamic scholars in Karachi, he met Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to discuss possible Indo-Pakistan cooperation in algae cultivation in the climatically suitable Gujrat-Sind border region, which is where Bhutto and his ancestors were from. Later, when Bhutto was overthrown in a military coup, Hills orchestrated urgent appeals to General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq for clemency, but, like many westerners protesting Bhutto's imprisonment, was ignored, and Bhutto was hanged.
In the 1950s Hills became known to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru through his friend the Deputy leader of India's Congress Party, Surendra Mohan Ghose, a Bengali revolutionary and relative of Sri Aurobindo. Hills invited Ghose to Jamaica, to speak at the 1961 Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, and together they formed a partnership to promote World Union and global famine relief through algae aquaculture. S.M. Ghose was one of the founders of Auroville, an experimental sustainable-living International Village in Tamil Nadu. In 1962 Ghose took Hills to Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a personal audience with Aurobindo's successor, spiritual head of the ashram, Mirra Alfassa, known as "The Mother". Later Ghose arranged for Christopher Hills' son, John Hills, to give the keynote address at the World Parliament of Youth in Puducherry in 1971.
In 1959 Hills had lobbied Nehru to approve a government in exile for the Dalai Lama fleeing persecution in Tibet and to grant full refugee status to exiled Tibetans. He had become connected to the Tibetans through his study of Buddhism and in 1960 provided funding for the Young Lama's Home School in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh founded by his English friend Freda Bedi, one of Gandhi's handpicked satyagrahis who became Gelongma Karma Kechog Palmo, the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism. Freda Bedi is the mother of film and television star Kabir Bedi. In 1968 Hills contributed to Freda Bedi's building of the Karma Drubgyu Thargay Ling nunnery at Tilokpur in the Kangra Valley and helped organize her journey to the West with the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in 1974.
When Hills arrived in India, he found Nehru besieged by border disputes with China and discussion inevitably turned to Hills' theories of conflict resolution and how to avoid war. Their connection also evolved out of the fact that India was experiencing famine in some states. With dependence on wheat shipments from the United States, Hills helped lobby President Lyndon Johnson for an increase in wheat aid, which was granted. But when Hills mentioned his research with algae as a food source, then Nehru became interested and offered to support cultivation in India. (PDF will be posted)
While in New Delhi, Hills spent time with the prime minister at Teen Murti Bhavan, enjoying Jawaharlal Nehru's rose gardens and meeting his daughter Indira Gandhi. Hills was the guest of Indian industrialist G.D. Birla, where on his first day in India, he had met Swami Shantananda, an enlightened sage and a remarkably politically connected guru with whom Hills would travel throughout India for two years, much like a roaming sanyassin. On one of his "pilgrimages", Hills was taken by Shantanananda and Nehru's Parliamentary Secretary S.D. Upadhyaya to Brindavan for a private audience with India's highest female yogini Sri Anandamayi Ma, from whom he felt a "genuine sublime holiness" and received one of the most significant blessings in his life.
In Patna, Bihar, Hills, along with Dr Raynor Johnson, were the only Europeans to attend the 1961 Science & Spirituality Conference, where seeds were sown for Hills' decade of cooperation with hundreds of Indian scientists and yogis, many of whom eventually journeyed to visit Hills' centers in the West and who comprised many of the delegates for a 1970 Yoga conference Hills staged in New Delhi.
In 1963, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Gandhi Peace Foundation sponsored another conference in Patna, hosted by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Mahatma Gandhi's longtime right-hand disciple and first President of India. Prasad was supposed to speak at the conference but became ill, and Hills' guru Shantananda was leading prayers for him every day at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna. Prasad requested to meet Hills, whose goals for World Union he had heard about from Nehru. Hills considered Prasad the most spiritual of the founders of Independent India, and their meeting was a profound encounter in which Prasad gave his blessing for Hills' global endeavors, but then the president lost consciousness, tightly holding onto Hills' hand. Apparently Prasad never recovered, and at the time, there was a controversy that the man who, through satyagraha, had resisted multiple British governments and Viceroys and been jailed by them for so many years, had said his last words to an Englishman.
In earlier travels from Jamaica to Japan, Hills had formed an aquaculture research company with his friend and colleague, biologist Dr Hiroshi Nakamura, Dean of Tokyo Women's University. Dr Nakamura was a noted scientist and a colleague of Emperor Hirohito (himself a marine biologist) who asked Nakamura to research alternative food sources for Japan after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had devastated food supplies. The goal of Hills and Nakmura's organization Microalgae International Union, was to develop strains of algae as a way of harnessing the sun's energy for biofuels and human nutrition and as a solution to World Hunger. Presented with M.I.U.'s feasibility studies, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru endorsed Hills' proposal for bringing the cultivation of protein-rich Chlorella algae to the villages of India.
With India's Home Minister, Gulzari Lal Nanda, Hills had co-founded the Institute of Psychic and Spiritual Research in New Delhi. A devout Gandhian, Nanda feared social upheaval and possible communal violence if poor and hungry villagers started migrating to India's cities so he threw his support behind Hills' plan for developing rural economies via small footprint aquaculture that could help villages become sustainable. A detailed plan for a pilot project in the Rann of Kutch was approved by the Indian government. However, the initiative became mired in bureaucracy when Nehru died in 1964. Nanda became acting prime minister but only until the new Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was nominated to succeed Nehru. Shastri continued working with Hills and had his staff prepare a budget request for Parliament to fund the chlorella algae project. However, because it competed with traditional agricultural interests, the aquaculture project became victim to political jockeying as well as an outbreak of war with Pakistan. With Shastri's mysterious death at the 1966 India-Pakistan peace conference in Tashkent, the project lost its key sponsor.
Nevertheless, the networks Hills had established with the founders of modern India proved valuable when his son, John Hills, was introduced by Nanda and S.M. Ghose to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who helped the younger Hills garner support among India's Congress party and religious leaders for India's largest conference of Western scientists and Indian yogis.
Centre House, London
Three years after Jamaica's 1962 declaration of Independence from Britain, the Hills family moved to London, at the suggestion of two of his mentors, Bertrand Russell and Sir George Trevelyan, 4th Baronet. They helped Hills find and purchase a six-story Edwardian building in London's leafy Kensington. There Christopher Hills founded Centre House, a self-discovery and human-potential community known as a nucleus of yoga and spirituality in the emerging New Age movement throughout the late sixties and seventies. Seekers came from all over the world to study with visiting gurus, such as Swami Satchidananda, Muktananda, B.K.S. Iyengar, Sangharakshita and John G. Bennett as well as Sanskrit scholar Dr. Rammurti Mishra, Christmas Humphreys, Tibetan lamas, chief Druids, homeopathic doctors and scientists studying meditation, telepathy and neuroplasticity in Hills' Yoga Science laboratory. It was here Christopher Hills wrote his magnum opus, Nuclear Evolution - recognized as a definitive treatise on the chakras as they relate to the human endocrine system, light frequencies and human personality. Yoga Journal described the book as, "Synthesizing a vast amount of information ranging from the structure of DNA to the metaphysics of consciousness" and also as, "A giant step forward in integrating science with religion in a meaningful way."
Centre House was an experiment in group consciousness where the majority of residents were well-educated students, teachers and scientists interested in the convergence of science and spirituality. For a while the large basement kitchen was a macrobiotic restaurant, first run by Craig Sams,:141 then called Gandalf's Garden which counted John Lennon amongst its health-conscious patrons. Its founder, Muz Murray (Ramana Baba), was one of the early residents of Centre House and there published the first issues of Gandalf's Garden magazine, a publication chronicling the vitality of London's New Age scene.
World Conference on Scientific Yoga, New Delhi
In December 1970 Christopher Hills and his son organized the world's first World Conference on Scientific Yoga (WCSY) in New Delhi, bringing 50 Western scientists together with 800 of India's leading swamis, yogis and lamas to discuss their research and establish a network for the creation of a World Yoga University.
The conference generated some controversy when Indian politics intersected with religion, particularly the concept of Christ Yoga, a book Hills had written linking Christ's teachings to those of Buddha and the Vedas. But the conclave nevertheless emerged as a milestone in the soon-to-be-booming migration of Indian yogis to the West. John Hills, helped by his father's prior relationship with Nehru, worked with India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Nehrus' yoga master Dhirendra Brahmachari to steer a fractious committee of MPs, ministers and often competitive spiritual leaders from disparate religions and castes into creating a uniquely diverse and widely hailed program of events. Presenters from the West included transpersonal psychology pioneer Dr. Stanislav Grof and Dr. Sidney Jourard who compared their research in lively sessions with Indian scholars, scientists, philosophers and yogis such as B.K.S. Iyengar, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Swami Satchidananda, Padma Bhushan Murugappa Channaveerappa Modi, R.R. Diwaker, Swami Rama, Acharya Dharma Deva Vidya Martand, Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center and yoga hospital founder Dr. G. S. Melkote, M.P.
Post-conference, the select delegates' presentations were published in CHAKRA magazine, founded with the help of Tantra scholar Ajit Mookerjee and Indian art patron Virendra Kumar and edited by John Hills whose first venture in publishing was mentored by Baburao Patel M.P., editor of Filmindia and Mother India magazines.
The conference was deemed a success and Christopher Hills was elected by a majority of the delegates to establish a World Yoga University somewhere on the planet. A mission that would take him from the United Kingdom to the United States.
University of the Trees
As the spiritual axis shifted to America, Christopher Hills visited his friend Laura Huxley who urged him to move to the United States where he settled in Boulder Creek, California, and became a U.S. citizen. There, amidst the ancient redwoods, he founded in 1973, an accredited college, University of the Trees, an alternative education and research center for the social sciences to study the laws of nature and their relation to human consciousness. Students lived on campus and studied subjects as diverse as Radionics and dowsing (Hills was a well-known diviner), meditation, hatha yoga, the Vedas, and early forms of social networking he called "Group Consciousness".
The campus housed University of the Trees Press which published Christopher Hills' writings and the research of a number of resident students who obtained degrees at the university and wrote books on light & color frequencies and the science of Radionics. A small workshop produced pendulums for dowsing and a line of negative ion generators. With the buildup of the vitamin business surrounding discoveries that spirulina had significant weight loss benefits University of the Trees became one of the largest employers in the San Lorenzo Valley and leased more than 10 buildings in Boulder Creek for housing students and warehousing for Light Force, a burgeoning nutritional products brand based on spirulina.
From this base in California, Hills extended his hospitality to a pantheon of visiting scientists, writers, philosophers and scholars such as Alan Watts, Edgar Mitchell, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Allen Ginsberg, Thelma Moss, Hiroshi Motoyama, Haridas Chaudhuri, Sri Lanka president Ranasinghe Premadasa, Menninger Foundation's Swami Rama, Dr. Evarts G. Loomis, Viktoras Kulvinskas, Max Lüscher, Marcia Moore, Bernard Jensen and countless others in the fields of human potential, holistic health, aquaculture, religion, quantum physics and alternative medicine.
Within the campus, Hills founded an experimental laboratory, managed by physicist Dr. Robert Massy, to develop his theories on the Electro Vibratory Body – documenting what Hills' colleague Stanford University's William A. Tiller Ph.D, calls "subtle energies" or "psychoenergetics". Shortly before he died radionics pioneer George de la Warr donated a substantial portion of his research files, library and instruments to Christopher Hills. In 1975 Hills wrote the book Supersensonics — the Science of Radiational Paraphysics, widely considered "The Bible of dowsing" The book sheds new light on divining, telepathy, The I Ching, Egypt's Pyramids, Biblical miracles and discusses the value of low level extrasensory phenomena vs higher levels of insight, wisdom and consciousness. New Age Journal magazine called Supersensonics "A short course in miracles for scientist and seeker alike."
With the Cold War in full swing liberation from the evils of totalitarianism was a constant theme in Hills writings. He lobbied hard against the KGB's persecution of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the internal exile with police surveillance of Andrei Sakharov and the denial of an exit visa for Natan Sharansky's emigration to Israel.
Christopher Hills' lifelong crusade against dictatorships and Man's inhumanity was manifested in the book Rise of the Phoenix while his passionate beliefs against deficit spending were set forth in a book on the global economy — The Golden Egg. A recurring theme throughout all Christopher Hills' approaches to world, local and family problems was a process he developed called "Creative Conflict" — the same principles of solving differences between individuals, political parties and even nations that Hills had debated with Adlai Stevenson, Nehru and Luis Kutner.
Throughout the seventies and eighties Hills focused on international affairs, particularly the emergence of democracy in the Soviet Republics, eventually traveling to Russia to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev where he joined the Soviet Peace Committee. U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush bestowed awards on Hills for his commitment to democratic freedom and his humanitarian support for victims of oppression.
The Christopher Hills Foundation donated more than $9 million worth of spirulina products to charitable organizations in the U.S. and abroad. When the Soviet Union had occupied Afghanistan, Hills learned from his friends in Peshawar that Afghan freedom fighter Ahmad Shah Masoud's mujahadeen troops as well as Tajik and Pashtun tribals were starving because supply routes had been cut by Russian forces. Hills donated and shipped $300,000 worth of spirulina, which was packed in by mules with help from Senator Charlie Wilson to sustain the Afghans.
In 1989 Sri Lanka president Ranasinghe Premadasa, struggling to find a formula to end the Sri Lankan Civil War, traveled to Boulder Creek to meet with Hills and learn more about his conflict resolution concepts. The two men shared a spiritual connection and established a close friendship. Premadasa then brought the Ceylon conflict closer to a democratic solution than any other Sri Lankan president had. However, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam hierarchy had split and in 1993 a faction assassinated Premadasa in a suicide bombing that killed 23 people.
Spirulina: food from sunlight
Hills and Nakamura had a vision of feeding the world from lakes, seas and backyard aquaculture and in 1975 they authored a book, Food from Sunlight which published all their proprietary research as open source for the world to use in the cause against global famine and malnutrition. Their company, Microalgae International, invested in research and technology to find a super food for solving World Hunger. Early research focused on chlorella but its cellular structure was too small to be collected without expensive centrifuges. However, in 1967, while Dr Nakamura was living at Centre House, they discovered that women at Lake Chad were harvesting an algae in baskets to make dihé, a highly nutritious sun-baked biscuit. After studying the lakes of Africa, Hills and Dr Nakamura developed seed culture for a strain of 70% protein algae called spirulina that they had collected from Lake Aranguachi in Ethiopia. Later, in 1981, Dr Hills made an expedition to Lake Chiltu at the invitation of Mr. Wollie Chekal, Minister of Trade for the Ethiopian Revolutionary Government and brought back a new set of spirulina samples to his California laboratory for hybridizing an optimal strain for commercial cultivation.
For millennia spirulina had been a food staple for natives of Lake Chad and also for the Aztecs but Hills funded much of the early experimentation needed for its successful modern day mass cultivation, described in Dr Nakamura's book Spirulina: Food for a Hungry World.
To manufacture spirulina nutritional products Hills started the Light Force company in Santa Cruz, California, which was one of the early models for multi-level marketing. Customers began reporting weight loss and health benefits from spirulina and the success story was featured in The National Enquirer. Sales skyrocketed into the millions of dollars propelling Light Force to 50,000 distributors worldwide. To grow that much spirulina Hills formed joint ventures with Koor Foods in Eilat, Israel, Taiwan Aqua in Taipei and Sosa Texcoco at Lake Texcoco in Mexico. Hills also had an association with Cyanotech on the Big Island of Hawaii which grew a very pure Pacifica brand of spirulina. By 1995 more than 5000 tons of spirulina a year were being imported for Light Force products. To encourage domestic research and production Hills purchased a 150-acre farm and built raceway ponds filled from the land's own natural geothermal aquifer in Desert Hot Springs, California. Professor Nakamura's student and protégé Dr Kotaro Kawaguchi relocated from Japan as chief research scientist and working with Sebastian Thomas, an algae cultivation expert from India, they refined desert-grown spirulina into consumable powder using the world's first 90,000 sq ft (8,400 m2) solar heated dryer.
While a staff of 40 ran the Southern California "Green Gold Farms," harvesting its own U.S.-grown spirulina for Light Force, Hills built a 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) home/laboratory on a mountain in the redwoods of Boulder Creek, California, dedicated to researching neutraceuticals and as a gathering place for scientists, innovators and spiritual "map makers". Three years after moving to the new home Norah Hills died from Alzheimers eliciting an outpouring of affection from the many who had seen her as the "divine mother" and a significant force in all that Christopher Hills had achieved.
Santa Cruz sanctuary
At the property he built a Hollywood quality video production studio to produce films on Enlightenment and, through new media, to inspire people to celebrate what he called the "Divine Goddess". The studio is run today by his second wife, artist/producer Penny Slinger Hills.
In 1996, after three decades of globetrotting, Hills visited Vietnam to invest in a naturally carbonated underground spring water venture. He contracted an obscure virus which caused a deterioration of his health. Light Force and the research company Biogenics were sold to Royal Body Care which continued to market the products.
Christopher Hills died at home January 31, 1997 leaving his wife Penny Slinger Hills, two sons, John Hills and Anthony Hills and four grandchildren. He believed that "Algae biomass was God's way of providing an inexhaustible source of energy from the sun". Today millions of health conscious people enjoy the health benefits of spirulina in myriad products worldwide. Recent innovations have moved algae to the front burner as researchers recognize its efficiency as a carbon sequestration mechanism and alternative biofuel.
Hills' legacy of bio-innovation and commitment to hunger relief is being carried forward by the Christopher Hills Foundation.
Christopher Hills wrote over 30 books. The following are a selection of his works:
- The Power of Increased Perception—Philosophical Library New York, 1958
- Kingdom of Desire—Philosophical Library New York, 1959
- Supersenonics—The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, ISBN 0-916438-18-X (1975)
- Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body (2nd ed.), ISBN 0-916438-12-0 (1977) (hardcover)
- Food from Sunlight—Planetary Survival for Hungry People, ISBN 0-916438-13-9 (1978)
- Rise of the Phoenix—Universal Government by Nature's Laws, ISBN 0-916438-04-X (1979)
- The Golden Egg, ISBN 0-916438-32-5 (1979)
- Creative Conflict—The Secret to Heart-to-Heart Communication, ISBN 0-916438-36-8 (1980)
- The Christ Book, ISBN 0-916438-32-5 (1982)
- Spirulina—Food for a Hungry World, ISBN 0-916438-47-3 (1982)
- Instruments of Knowing—Human Biological Sensitivity, ISBN 0-916438-22-8 (1985)
- The Book of Vision, ISBN 978-0-916438-63-0 (1995)
Christopher Hills Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowerment of rural economies and feeding the world's hungry.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Christopher Hills.|
- San Jose Mercury News obituary, February 2, 1997:- "Spirulina Czar"
- Western Guru Scientist – Holistic Health & Medicine magazine, 1988
- Natural Foods Pioneer – Los Angeles Times, Feb 10, 1997
- "Evolutionary Revolutionary" – Monterey Peninsula Herald, Jan 29, 1977
- Modern Merlin, Hills Seeks Answers in the Mountains – Oakland Tribune, 1978
- The Movie of Life – Early Morning Meditations series, volume MM3
- Thirty thousand men of the British Merchant Navy were killed. Battle of Wits, p. 280, ISBN 0-684-85932-7
- "Indisputably one of Jamaica's most successful self-made men" - Sunday Gleaner, March 8, 1972
- "Andrew Mackenzie Hay, 73, Trade Expert". The New York Times. 18 May 2001.
- "The Queen of the New Age". The New York Times. 4 May 2008.
- Louise Hay Interview www.telegraph.co.uk, 23 April 2007.
- "32 Years in Civil Defence" Mr. Bremner a leading figure in civil defence since 1930 awarded the British Empire Medal, Eastern Daily Press, pg 5, Oct 11, 1962
- "Mr. and Mrs. B.E. Bremner, Mayor and Mayoress of Lynn" Lynn News, July 27, 1954
- "History of King's Lynn Civic Society".
- The Times (London), Thursday, 8 July 1993; p. 4 col. D and p. 19 col. A
- Williamson, D The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine, 1981; vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) p. 281-282
- "Kings Lynn Ceremony". Getty Images. 26 July 1954.
- Music Awards, Christopher Hills Challenge Cup - The Daily Gleaner, July 4, 1955
- "Statistics Support Call for Third Party" - Daily Gleaner, September 13, 1949
- Given in Marriage by Mr. N. W. Manley K.C. - Daily Gleaner, July 31, 1950
- "She changed Jamaica for the better" - Globe and Mail, June. 16, 2009
- "Edna Manley: The Mother of Modern Jamaican Art" - Woman's Art Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Autumn 1986 - Winter 1987) pp. 36-40
- Hills Galleries - Daily Gleaner March 3, 1954
- "The Selected Writings of Simón Bolívar". The Colonial Press Inc. 1951.
- "Queen Mother and Lady Fermoy visit Jamaica" - Daily Gleaner, February 22, 1965
- "Lady Morley opens Hills Galleries exhibition" - Daily Gleaner, November 21, 1962, p 20
- "Of Beauty and Majesty", Princess Margaret's visit - Daily Gleaner, February 24, 1955
- Knodler Gallery New York - "Jamaican Paintings Join Top Bracket" - Daily Gleaner, July 15, 1958
- "Hills Dine with Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher" - Sunday Gleaner, March 31, 1960
- "Elizabeth Taylor buys three Gaston Tabois paintings from Hills Galleries: "Village Street", "Rock River", "Rio Cobre Dam" - Daily Gleaner, March 26, 1960, p 18
- "Dealer's Art" - Daily Gleaner, February 22, 1960
- "Gaston Tabois First Solo Show at Hills Galleries, 1955". Daily Gleaner,. 2 December 2012.
- Tamara Scott-Williams, "Barrington Watson: A life in paint", Jamaica Observer, 16 October 2011.
- "Albert Huie, First solo exhibition at Hills Galleries 1955". The Jamaica Gleaner,. 24 December 2000.
- "Huie More Than a Superb Craftsman" - Sunday Gleaner Magazine, October 28, 1973
- Hills Galleries "This Is Jamaica" exhibit - Daily Gleaner, July 31, 1962
- "Artists sail to Round Hill exhibit aboard Christopher Hills' yacht the 40-ton Robanne" - Daily Gleaner, April 17, 1956, p 12
- New York Socialites Appreciate Jamaica's "Intuitive Art" - Sunday Gleaner, March 3, 1956
- Art & Artists - New York Times, March 2, 1956
- A World of Glory to Record. Review by George Campbell - Daily Gleaner, March 26, 1956
- "Robin Moore's Big Marlin Bet" Telepathy experiment, Supersenonics - The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, 0-916438-18-X (1975) p 593
- "Industrialist Who Built Fabled Art Collection, Dies at 81". The New York Times. 28 April 2002.
- "Pellew Island". Jamaica Environment Trust. 5 March 2012.
- "Jamaican Mementoes" - Daily Gleaner, September 18, 1955
- Adlai Stevenson paid $328.00 with Northern Trust Company personal check No.5162 ($2,884 in today's dollars)
- Rise of the Phoenix - Universal Government by Nature's Laws, 0-916438-04-X (1979)
- "Rasta Spirit Knows no Boundaries" - Daily Gleaner, June 22, 1960
- "Revered Rastafarian leader". The Independent. 25 April 2006.
- Bob Marley named his record label Tuff Gong after Leonard "The Gong" Howell
- "Back to Africa" movement, Christopher Hills' speech at Addis Ababa - Kingston Gleaner July 22, 1960.
- "The Business of Art" - Business Sketch Magazine, July 1961
- Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body (2nd ed.), ISBN 0-916438-12-0, pp. 108, 190, 431
- Christ Yoga of Peace - Centre Publications, 1966
- "Hunza – Dreamland of the Hillside Farmer". Sunday Gleaner, Feb. 3, 1963
- "The Nehru I Knew" – Sunday Gleaner, full page, May 31, 1964.
- S.M. Ghose, Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference – Daily Gleaner, Nov 7, 1961
- Food from Sunlight - Planetary Survival for Hungry People, 0-916438-13-9 (1978)
- "Indian Leader to announce World Centre project" – Daily Gleaner, November 4, 1964
- Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment, Vicki Mackenzie, 1999, ISBN 1-58234-045-5
- Andrew Rawlinson, "The Book of Enlightened Masters". Open Court, 1997, ISBN 0-8126-9310-8, p. 181
- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, Vicki Mackenzie, 2017, ISBN 9781611804256
- "Remembering Freda". Mid-Day Magazine. 27 March 2015.
- "Internationally acclaimed Indian actor". IMDb. 1971–2016.
- Creative Conflict - The Secret of Heart-to-Heart Communication, 0-916438-36-8 (1980)
- The One I Love, ISBN 0-916438-51-1, p. 96
- The President's Last Words – The One I Love, ISBN 0-916438-51-1, p. 153
- "SPIRULINA - Food From The Sun's Light". Yoga Journal. May–June 1982. p. 44.
- Spirulina - Food for a Hungry World, 0-916438-47-3 - Micro Algae International Union, pp. 5, 69, 85
- Food from Sunlight, 0-916438-13-9, pp. 103–109
- "Mystery of Prime Minister Shastri's Death". Indian Express. 2 August 2009.
- "Young British Yogi Plans World Meet", Hindustan Times, Sept 17, 1970, p.5
- "World Conference on Scientific Yoga" – Times of India, Nov. 30, 1970
- "The Superman Project", News of the World, Dec 5, 1966
- Rammurti S. Mishra - Yoga Sutras: The Textbook of Yoga Psychology
- Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body (2nd ed.), ISBN 0-916438-12-0
- Yoga Journal magazine - The Rainbow Body, March 1978
- Green, Jonathon (1988). Days In The Life: Voices from the English Underground 1961-1971. Heinemann. ISBN 978-1-448-10444-4.
I remember Christopher Hills, who ran the Centre House, calling down one day, 'Can you please not smoke marijuana - we can smell it on the third floor.' After that we put in a guest book which said, 'I am not in possession of any kind of drugs,' and everyone signed it including Yoko Ono
- "Gandalf's Garden publisher Muz Murray aka Ramana Baba".
- "World Yoga Conference" – Times of India, Nov. 30, 1970
- "Masters of Emotions – Yogis Wind Up Parley By Losing Tempers", Los Angeles Times, Dec 24, 1970
- "Yogis Act Unyogalike", The Daily Herald, Dec 24, 1970
- "Young British Yogi Plans World Meet", Hindustan Times, Sept 17, 1970, p.5
- Time magazine, Dec 27, 1970 – "World Conference on Scientific Yoga"
- "Man With A Vision". The Deccan Herald. 20 December 2005. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012.
- "Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha. 26 December 2008. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011.
- "Yogi Film Moghul" – Times of India, Dec 23, 1970
- "Editor's Welcome" - CHAKRA Magazine, Vol 1, March–May, 1971
- "Yoga University Seeks Site" - San Mateo Times, March 4, 1972
- "Laura Huxley Obituary". The Guardian,. 17 December 2007.
- "Christopher Hills; Natural Foods Pioneer, Microbiologist". Los Angeles Times. Feb 10, 1997.
- "Incredible Feat" – National Enquirer, June 22, 1976, p. 14 (Diviner finds stolen loot for Santa Cruz Police)
- "From Counterculture to Mainstream" – Santa Cruz Sentinel (Cover), Aug 19, 1984
- "Spirulina – Miracle Pill or Mind Pill? " – The Press Democrat, September 24, 1981, p. 11
- "Revealing Look Into World Of Luminous Revelations" - The Times, San Mateo, September 22, 1977
- Robert Koehler (June 2, 2004). "What the #$*! Do We Know!? (Film review)". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Supersenonics - The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, 0-916438-18-X (1975)
- New Age Journal, July/August, 1976
- The Golden Egg - 0-916438-32-5 (1979)
- Hills received a Humanitarian Award from the Afghan National Islamic Council, 1985
- "Assassination Clues Point to Tamil Rebels". Los Angeles Times. 3 May 1993.
- Spirulina - Food for a Hungry World, 0-916438-47-3
- "Doctors Praise Safe Diet Pill" – National Enquirer (Cover), June 2, 1981, p. 23
- Hills-Koor Red Sea Negev Algae Partnership - How to Feed the Hungry, 1981
- The Visionary State - 0-811848-35-3 (2006)