22.04.2014 New Age

Unheralded Peacemaker

International peacemaking efforts of Braco better known as a mystic and healer. Story by Michael Salla

Braco is an international phenomenon that defies a simple explanation of his remarkable ability to transmit a force, energy or gift of some kind by silently gazing at groups of people in person or via the Internet. He has been described as a healer, a mystic, a catalyst, a transformer and other positive labels by the 200,000 or more people who visit him each year to receive some benefit through his gazing. He adopts none of these descriptive labels given to him by his admirers and goes by the simple name of "Braco," which means little brother in his native Croatian. It was given to him by his Serbian mentor and predecessor, Ivica Prokic who worked as a healer, mystic and prophet in Zagreb, Croatia from 1989 to 1995.

Braco first met Ivica in November 1993 when the latter was working during the most tumultuous period in the history of post-World War Europe, the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Ivica, and then Braco, met people individually to assist them by transmitting something to them that would help heal or resolve their difficulty. The problems people were experiencing were varied and extended across all the religious and ethnic communities. Ivica and Braco encouraged harmonious community relations in the midst of a devastating civil war that pitted neighbours, families and friends against one another. At a time of powerfully disruptive social forces in the former Yugoslavia, Ivica and Braco were helping heal and restore fractured relations between the warring communities.

For Ivica in particular, this was a daunting challenge. As an ethnic Serb living in the capital of Croatia, he would be an easy target for any disgruntled Croatian wanting retribution for what had been personally lost during the war. Yet Ivica had extraordinary charisma and exceptional abilities that made him a magnet for all needing assistance. People from the different religious and ethnic groups would come to visit Ivica, and later Braco, at their centre in Zagreb, Srbrenjak.

Standing side by side for hours on end while waiting their turn, visitors set aside their ethnic difference and stereotypes as they talked and swapped life changing experiences. Ivica and Braco shared a unique ability in helping people rise above the distrustful perceptions and stereotypes that each religious and ethnic group held against others.

They were able to help people connect with a much deeper bond that ties all humanity, indeed all life on the planet and beyond. This was among the most important of gifts bestowed upon the visitors to their Srbrenjak center. After visiting Ivica or Braco, people would often feel a deep sense of peace that would help them deal with the problems they were facing, and aided them in an uncertain future as new nation states emerged from the failed multi ethnic state of Yugoslavia.

This ability to help people connect with one another, despite religious, ethnic and other differences made Ivica and Braco individuals with enormous, though unheralded, significance as peacemakers.

After Ivica's unexpected death in April 1995, Braco continued his mentor's work and travelled extensively throughout the Balkans and Central Europe to continue helping individuals and groups. The greatest need came from those whose lives had been disrupted by the Yugoslav civil war and who were forced to escape to other parts of Europe as political refugees. Braco visited many cities and communities where former Yugoslav citizens were located and helped them readjust to life in strange new countries. Tens of thousands of individuals were helped each year by Braco as he travelled regularly outside his native Croatia into Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Slovenia. Later, he made visits to Hungary, Bosnia, Macedonia and Italy.

Braco's peacemaking work would go largely unheralded by the international community despite the profound affect it was having on the lives of thousands of individuals disrupted by war, religious intolerance or other social problems in Europe. This began to change in 2012 when, at a ceremony at the United Nation's Tillman Chapel on November 16, Braco was honored for his peace work spanning nearly two decades.

The Croatian Ambassador, UN staffers and several non-government organisations affiliated with the UN attended and honoured Braco as an international peacemaker. Helping individuals find peace and hope in fractured communities or challenging social conditions was a wonderful gift. The need was great and certainly not confined to the former Yugoslavia or Central Europe.

Braco first came to the United States in February 2009, at a time when the US was in great need of the remarkable gift that he had to share through his gazing. The nation was going through its own difficulties with the financial collapse of October 2008 when many people lost their life savings, jobs, or homes. Tens of thousands of Americans visited Braco as he did successive West to East Coast tours starting from 2010. Most remarkable were his visits to areas marked by violence such as New York City.

After successive visits on November 17-18, 2012 and November 1-3, 2013, New York City soon experienced its first days without reports of violent crimes in living memory. The first of these unique events was November 28, 2012 and received widespread media coverage. CNN quoted the New York Police Department chief spokesperson Paul Browne who said it was "the first time in memory" that NYPD had experienced a peaceful day. An amazing coincidence? Not so, according to some who have been closely following Braco's work. In my own case, after attending both sets of Braco events in New York City, and experiencing the powerful feelings of peace and goodwill flowing through the audience, I was not surprised that the city soon after experienced days free of violent crime.

In 2013, Braco began visiting the Russian Oblast of Belgorod, and administrative Federal region bordering the Ukraine. The capital of the Oblast is the city of Belgorad, which lies just 40 kms from the international border. The Belgorod Oblast is prominent due to significant land battles that occurred there during the World War. Indeed, Braco visited the site of the largest tank battle in history, Prokhorovka, one that helped turn the tide against Nazi Germany. Significantly, the province borders Ukraine, currently in the midst of turmoil since the legally elected president was dismissed from office on February 22 due to political violence unleashed by police forces. Divisions between the Western European-leaning portions of the Ukraine and its more prosperous Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions has brought the country to the verge of civil war. On February 26, Russia announced military mobilisation in the Russian provinces adjoining the Ukraine in case ethnic Russians were threatened by the growing turmoil. The province of Belgorod which Braco visited twice in 2013 and will visit again in the coming months is among the areas where Russia's military has been mobilised. It appears that serendipity has again taken Braco to a place in the world sorely in need of his peacemaking gift.

In March he will make his first visit to Turkey, which has been suffering the effects of a devastating civil war in the bordering country of Syria. Over a million refugees have found safe haven in Turkey. To add to Turkey's recent woes in accommodating such a large refugee influx, the Prime Minister has been recently directly implicated in a corruption controversy that has threatened his rule. Political instability and civil strife are now present in Turkey itself - and, once again, Braco is a beacon of hope in a troubled land.

Braco will visit Australia this year as the Keynote Presenter at the Conscious Living Festivals in Melbourne April 25-27, Sydney May 23-25 and Perth October 16-19. While Australia is not afflicted by political violence, challenging economic circumstances have led to trying times for an increasing number of individuals.

What is unquestioned in the Braco phenomenon is that many people are having powerful experiences by simply watching as he gazes upon them, either at live events or Internet streaming sessions. The scope and power of these experiences has been documented in thousands of testimonies recorded in more than 90 videos. His ability to help people heal or transform their lives in remarkable ways has been known for some time through recorded videos, letters, television and newspaper reports. Braco's impact as an international peacemaker, however, while still largely unheralded, may ultimately be his greatest legacy.


Australian tour visit www.consciouslivingexpo.com.au

About the author

Michael Salla has taught international peace and conflict resolution at American University and George Washington University, in Washington DC. He has authored/edited four books and has had over 70 articles published on the topics of ethnic conflict and international peace. He has a PhD in government from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Michael Salla

Michael Salla has taught international peace and conflict resolution at American University and George Washington University, in Washington DC. He has authored/edited four books and has had over 70 articles published on the topics of ethnic conflict and international peace. He has a PhD in government from the University of Queensland, Australia.