“But how shall we educate men to goodness, to a sense of one another, to a love of the truth? And more urgently, how shall we do this in a bad time?”
RIP Daniel Berrigan, died April 30, 2016 (aged 94)*
By the mid 1970s, by the middle of high school, it became clear to me something was very wrong. For example, I had an uncle who taught chemistry at West Point Military Academy. He was a war ‘hero’ (diving from a rescue boat back into the English Channel to help rescue his fellow solders when he didn’t have to) and he hated war. He saw his work at West Point Military as a sincere attempt to work to create peace. He had an innate sense of decency. My father was a vet too; wounded in the South Pacific. After he was hit, he spent about 3-5 years just regaining his motility. When he heard about the UN he thought it might be the solution to ending war. He worked there for 35 years. These two men, appeared to be ‘part of the system’ yet both intended to work for peace.
How my father and uncle became disillusioned is a story for another time, but amidst the chaos and controlled demolition, there were so many role models out there: people like Pete Seeger who dedicated his life to promoting a healthy Hudson River; Buckminster Fuller, Ralph Nadar, the Berrigan brothers, Dorothea Day, John Lennon, so many working for social justice.
In college I won an essay contest called “If you want Peace, defend Life” sponsored by the UN and the Holy See. I figured they were hoping to hear an argument against abortion. I focused my essay on forgiveness. I wrote about the genocide of the First People of America as an example of the worst within us and how if we can forgive ourselves and others, we can defend Life and create peace. I went to Rome and saw the ‘back office’ so to speak, of the Vatican. None of the men/priests would look at me or meet my eye. This was at odds with the Italians I met at Radio Vatican ! I came away thinking that within those gold leafed palaces, where few women breathe, “something wicked, this way comes….”
Between the convent school, the wars and the weaponized mass culture, many others, just like me, were actively seeking “the truth.” By the late 1980s I was steeped in searching: for example, The Arcane School of Annie Besant and the Lucis Trust (a ‘mystery school’ with appropriately mysterious entrance exams. (https://www.lucistrust.org/ ) that had its own office at UN HQ. Their ‘world server’ blueprint was a kind of NWO God Corps. (I later learned this group was part of the new ‘earth-based religion’ concocted by Gorbachov and the Club of Rome peeps).
I studied the writings of the Agni Yoga Society (http://www.agniyoga.org/) and had a several year association with the Nicolas Roerich Museum in NYC. (http://www.roerich.org/roerich-biography.php) Roerich was an artist, attempting to create “peace through culture” . My suspicion was that he got a little help….the kind of help the American AbStract Expressionists underwritten by the CIA to combat the popular Soviet constructivists….(but I digress and I have no proof to back that up)
Then there was a Christian mystery school and Jungian psychology, Gnoticism, and my final foray into organized spirituality, a 10 year stint within Tibetan Buddhism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzogchen).
I even moved into a monastery for a time , cut my hair off, and sat in meditation for days on end (more on the efficacy of this later…)
Convinced the JFK assassination was an inside job and that the CIA was now running the show, this was confirmed, for me, when George Bush Sr. announced the start of the Iraq war. To my understanding, this war confirmed the military industrial complex had indeed won. I was yet to understand the meaning of Bush Sr’s “1000 points of light” allusion (the thousands of foundations and non profits acting as proxies for the corporatists and drug/arms runners) but it was coming…thanks to researchers like Alan Watt. (http://cuttingthroughthematrix.com/)
Even now, one rarely hears a discussion within the MSM that asks who exactly benefits from these wars and fake ideological antagonisms. The media supports the pretext there is an actual ideological tussle going on – but the two sides appear to be the same agenda –both support corporate hegemony and a ‘race to the bottom.’ (this quote is from Charles Kernagan, another hero, tirelessly working on behalf of exploited garment workers and others. I know because I worked with him.
Right before Gulf War I, I was as a graphic/TV news designer in New York but I was tired of the east coast and moved to Montana. I ended up going back to school to become a teacher and tried working in schools. I wanted to make real physical changes in my world. So what happened?
After going back to school and spending lots of money for a graduate degree I realized I was completely out of my element within the current school system. I retreated again into esoteric study.….When I entered my 50th decade in 2006, I realized I had ‘spiritualized’ my pursuit of the truth and I realized there were consequences that I had not anticipated…
End of part II
Thanks for reading.
On September 9, 1980, Berrigan, his brother Philip, and six others (the “Plowshares Eight”) began the Plowshares Movement. They trespassed onto the General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where they damaged nuclear warhead nose cones and poured blood onto documents and files. They were arrested and charged with over ten different felony and misdemeanor counts. On April 10, 1990, after ten years of appeals, Berrigan’s group was re-sentenced and paroled for up to 23 and 1/2 months in consideration of time already served in prison. Their legal battle was re-created in Emile de Antonio‘s 1982 film In the King of Prussia, which starred Martin Sheen and featured appearances by the Plowshares Eight as themselves.