This is the story of an attempted coup d'etat more than twenty years ago on the Seychelles, an idyllic but obscure group of islands in the Indian Ocean. At the time, the attempt made headlines across the world, partly because it involved names still famous or torious from the mercenary involvement in the Congo in the 1960s, partly because it involved the hijacking of an Air India jetliner, partly because South Africa, the international pariah, was involved, and partly because the incident was perceived as ather small skirmish in the Cold War. However, this is more than a behind-the-scenes account of those faded headlines. It is the story of one individual's personal growth. The author writes, I was wounded and captured in the Seychelles. I was severely beaten on a daily basis, stood trial and then was sentenced to death. I eventually served two and a half years in prison, a time, which I value with hindsight because I w realise it was then that I discovered hidden depths in my comrades and myself. I discovered humanity in my jailers and in the president of the Seychelles, whom my group had set out to depose. Cut off from my wife and family, I treasured their support from a distance and today do t for an instant take for granted the strength and joy of a loving family. And I deepened my religious faith, which today lights my path. It seems an odd thing to say, but I owe a lot to that escapade in the Seychelles. I realised how shallow and crass the racial attitudes are that exist in this world we live in. Human courage and kindness, I discovered, kws of racial barriers. I experienced the unbelievable magnanimity and greatness of spirit of President Albert Rene, the man to whom I owe my life. I also experienced support from a distance from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a person I had been conditioned to expect thing from except hostility. It was an illuminating and humbling experience. I also experienced the fickleness of the apartheid regime. I suppose, it would have been expecting a bit much for them to admit they backed the Seychelles attempt and supplied the weaponry, but as far as I am aware, they subsequently did t stir a finger, officially or ufficially, to ameliorate our condition or secure our release. What they did do was put sinister and unpleasant pressure on my wife, alone in Durban with two young children, for reasons I am still at a loss to understand.
Aubrey Brooks is a motivational speaker/trainer and life skills coach with a difference. Many people have known him over the years as many things - Modern day adventurer, petrol head, and adrenaline junkie to name a few. Between working for a living and running his own successful businesses, he has raced cars, motorcycles, powerboats and ocean going yachts. He obtained a pilot's license, sky dived and spent time in the military, including the elite unit the Rhodesian Selous Scouts. Aubrey was involved in an attempted coup d'etat that took place nearly a quarter of a century ago on the Seychelles islands. He was wounded, captured, severely beaten on a daily basis, stood trial, and then sentenced to death. After serving a number of years in prison, including 18 months on death row and 9 months in solitary confinement, he was given a full presidential pardon and released. His search to understand the meaning of life has led him on an incredible journey, a journey that has taken him to many interesting an unusual places; it has also opened up many wonderful opportunities for him, this has included meetings with many, many really outstanding people; he has looked into religious and spiritual beliefs, visited monasteries and retreats; he has been on self betterment courses, like Mind Power and the Secret; he has also attended a number of courses like meditation and practical philosophy; everything he has learnt, done and seen, over these years, has brought him to his current understanding of the universe that we live in and how we can and must shape our own future. Aubrey and his family now live happily on the unique, wonderful and scenic Isle of Man, where he has his own events company and is also a motivational speaker and life skills coach.