Monday, November 25, 2013

Media Attention, Your 2 cents worth.

Media Attention


When one needs support for a cause it is very important to keep it in the public eye, and to do that, we need the media. The challenge is to first get the attention of the media and then to be sure that the subject will attract the attention of the public. There are a few subjects that tend to grab attention and one is often money. People are interested in items that cost money and especially if it is their money or their tax dollars going to pay for the project. But how much money does it take to get the attention of the public. Government programs often cost hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. These figures will raise eyebrows, but how much money will really get public attention?

Try 2¢. What? Yes 2¢. Now, are you not curious? When 2¢ makes the headlines, don’t you want to know why?

And that is what the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project did. They launched the 2¢ worth campaign to raise $45,000 and it is working beautifully. Since 2¢ during the time the fugitive slave chapel was originally built is worth about $2.50 today the aim of the 2¢ worth campaign was to suggest that 18,000 concerned citizens could donate $2.50 and we would have the $45,000 that was needed. There were families that combined their money and sent a cheque with the results. At least one person sent in $1 and one person sent $10,000. The overall result for the first two weeks of the campaign was $20,000. It seems that, if you ask for a lot of money you will get a lot of no’s.  But try asking for 2¢ worth and many will respond with a resounding “yes, and we  will do better, we will give you much more than you asked for.”

There is one other factor that cannot be ignored, in fact it is the most important of all. This campaign was arrived at through much prayer. There is the Divine aspect to all of this. We are working under the guidance of the Almighty and it seems that He wants this little Chapel to be saved. And for this, the importance of the money pales beside the Heavenly Bounties that are being bestowed upon us. Yes, the result of bringing these two structures, that were built and dedicated to the worship of God, together will glorify the Almighty One. The Fugitive Slave Chapel, built about 1848, will be placed beside Beth Emanuel Church that was built in 1868-9 and replaced the old Chapel as the place of worship for the congregation. The richness of the history of these two buildings is astounding. Both buildings were involved in the formation of London as a community, but it is the religious history of these two buildings that is most important. Many say that the claim to fame for the Old Chapel was its role in the American Civil war, but this pales when compared to its role in the spiritual healing of an oppressed people. Slaves who were taught it was a sin against God to run from their masters congregated here and had to learn the Truth anew without the prejudices of their old masters who would often beat them while quoting scripture from the Bible. They needed to learn how to live as free persons without cruel masters to tell them what they must do. And adjust they did, and they did it well. The Black population of London came to London with almost nothing, yet managed, against all odds, to be among the most affluent of the community. The history books attest to this fact. And they did it without outside aid. Outside aid was often offered and many times accepted, but the results of it was often negative. Many a time the fugitive slave would just ask for equal opportunity, which they seldom got. Instead corrupt fundraisers would raise money on their behalf and then run off with the money. Even when it did come, the general consensus was that handouts made people lazy, and this group of new arrivals was anything but lazy. They did not want laziness introduced to their members and were willing to work hard to build a community in London. Their contributions to the now City of London in Ontario, Canada, was the greatest of any group of people who settled here. For this there humble beginnings need to be remembered and preserved. Thus it is that I am proud to represent the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project as its Chairman and proud to be a part of the organization that remembers the contributions of such an honourable class of people. The Fugitive Slaves brought honour and affluence to a Community that did not welcome them. However the resounding outpouring of those contributing to the cause of Saving the Fugitive slave Chapel echoes with a belated Welcome to those honourable citizens that came to reside here in the mid 1800’s.

If you wish to participate and share in the honour of this project you can do that right now by going to and making a contribution of any amount. Your 2¢ worth ($2.50) will be most welcome. If you give less or more, it does not matter. What matters is that you personally felt it was a cause worthy of your support and in that you honour those hardworking citizens who helped shape the community of London, Ontario. You can also send a cheque for any amount you please. Cheques should be made out to the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project and sent to Beth Emanuel Church, 430 Grey St. London, Ontario. Canada. N6B 1H3.

Do you want to learn more. Our web site at contains much more information about the project and we will continue to add to it, so come back often.

Thank you.

George McNeish

Chairman of the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Historic Value of 275 Thames Street, London, Ontario, Canada

Historic Value of 275 Thames Street, London, Ontario, Canada

The Fugitive Slave Chapel of London, Ontario was built about 1848 presumably by fugitive slaves and perhaps other citizens of African descent. Little is known about how this building came into being but London land records show that trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the land at 275 Thames Street on October 14, 1847. One would speculate that the building would have been erected shortly after that date, but some sources put the date of construction as late as 1852.

You may wonder at the lack of documentation for a building of such historical value, but, at the time, these few fugitives from our southern neighbour were insignificant and even unwanted, so their activities were largely ignored. Fleeing from slavery meant that they had endured hard labour with no wages paid, so it is not surprising that they had very little when they arrived in London. What they did have was an ability to work and a desire to succeed, so, despite odds against them, they worked, bargained and prospered. With only the finances that labour could bring them, they naturally congregated in an area of London were real estate was cheap. The smelly hollow at Thames Street was such a place during the middle of the nineteenth century. The coming of the railroad in 1853 soon changed all of that. Real estate values escalated and the black community of London were soon known to hold greater value in real estate than their white counterparts.

When they arrived in Canada all these fugitives wanted was an equal opportunity to work and earn a living. Some well intentioned people took it on their selves to raise money for those they regarded as unable to succeed on their own. Others who were not so well intentioned used the situation of the fugitives to solicit money which seldom got to the intended destination. Either way this was not wanted by the black community. Many narratives of fugitive slaves who came to Canada stated that they felt handouts would make people lazy and they preferred to work for what they could earn. Equal opportunity is the most they asked for, and that they did not get. The prejudice in Canada was often worse than they faced in slavery, but in Canada they were free and had protection of the law. This was enough to enable them to work hard and prosper under adverse conditions.

For more than 200 years the African American was told he was not human and could expect no human rights. He was brainwashed into thinking he had no capability to survive on his own and needed a master to look after his affairs. Many were so convinced of their inferior abilities that they made no attempt to escape slavery, but the ones who did manage to break the bonds of slavery proved that the common beliefs were utterly false. Not only did they succeed but they succeeded despite adverse conditions. They came together in small communities and helped each other to overcome obstacles. In slavery they had learned of the God of Christianity and many carried that belief with them when they came to Canada. White Christians would usually make them feel unwelcome, so they established their own churches. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was born in the south when Black Christians suffered segregation in the Methodist churches of that area. In 1856 it was considered to be unsafe for black ministers to travel to the USA for conferences and so the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada split from their parent organization to form the British Methodist Episcopal Church. Canada then was a British Colony and the Church wanted to honour the country that gave them freedom when they named their new organization.

Sometimes we tend to distance ourselves from human suffering when it happens to another group, but I take this very personally. Although I am not black, I am human, and slavery was a crime against humanity. Although the black population suffered more, slavery damaged all human society. Ancient forms of slavery were sanctioned in the Christian Bible but this more recent form was condemned back as far as the time of Moses. In ancient times one who owed money might sell himself into slavery or when enemies were captured during a time of war they would often be forced into slavery. Beginning in 1441 the first African Slaves were stolen from their homeland. The slave trade would continue to grow through the following centuries and would not end until the USA civil war ended it in 1885. In Exodus 21:16 we read, “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” It is clear from this verse that man stealing has always been abhorred and even one in possession of a stolen man was to receive the most severe punishment. When the Christian Churches twisted the meaning of the Bible to justify this form of slavery they not only condemned and innocent population to slavery, they also condemned themselves to spiritual death. When someone is devoid of human spirit it is increasingly easy to do wrong and it gets more and more difficult to do what is right.

Today we hear of terrible crimes perpetrated against the most innocent of our citizens. Young girls are brutally raped. Little children are kidnapped, used for sex and then murdered in an attempt to cover the original crime. The laws of the land keep these events down to a few cases, but imagine what would happen of these things were legal. What if, instead of condemning the child rapist, you protected his activity by law and made it illegal for the family of the child to interfere with his right. Now imagine this is your little daughter or son that is being raped by one who the law says you must respect as your master. This is just one example, if there is any other crime that repulses you more, imagine that one. I am not saying that these things were common place, but when we realize that such things still happen despite the law we can only assume they happened more often when the perpetrator had no fear of punishment. If the neighbours found out they would see him as a sick man but they would look the other way since he would have the right to do whatever he wanted with his property.

More common would be the breeding practices. Slaves were treated as livestock and as in livestock they had no rights to select a mate for themselves. The master would decide which slaves would produce the best offspring. When one mate was sold off another would be forced on the one remaining. Unlike livestock the master himself could also act as stud and do his own breeding. Anyone born of a slave woman was considered a slave and this master would sell off one of his own offspring as quickly as he would any other slave. Now imagine it was your mother, your sister or your daughter being forced into a sexual relation and used for breeding slaves for her master. She had no rights to her offspring. They were the property of her master who could do anything he wanted with them.

I have painted this brief picture of the nature of slavery to show what the fugitives coming to London, Ontario were running from. Next we can look at how they got to Canada.

The journey from the South was made at great peril to the slaves. When one became a fugitive one was hunted down like a wild animal. Many masters wanted to teach their slaves that running was worse than staying and so they would not care if a runaway was returned dead or alive. Slave catchers preferred the dead or alive posters as they could collect the reward without needing to return a living person who would be constantly trying to escape. Even when returned alive it was not uncommon to whip the slave to death as a lesson to others on what happens to a runaway. Before a slave would run he had to accept that death was better for him than to stay in slavery.

Having never been paid for his labour, the fugitive had no money to pay for his journey north. He had to avoid public detection so he stayed clear of roads and any place where people may be found. Not knowing who he could trust he was forced to steal food and walk for many months. Even when a friend who could help was close by, he was often unaware. Sometimes, out of desperation he would be forced to approach a stranger. Sometimes he was rewarded with help, other times he was sent back to slavery or killed on the spot. Through the aid of the Quakers and the Underground Railway many fugitives were rescued with the rescuers sharing in the risk. It was illegal to help a runaway slave and anyone caught in this would be subject to huge fines and/or prison time. Yet many would take the risk because they followed a higher law and that law said oppression was wrong, even oppression that was sanctioned by the government. The underground rail-road provided depots were fugitives would be hidden while they had a chance to rest and eat. They were then given instructions on how to find the next depot and sometimes were even provided with transportation. If a fugitive slave could make his way to one of the terminals of the underground rail-road his chances of reaching Canada were greatly increased. Many of the Fugitives coming to Canada were helped by this organization run mainly by Quakers.

Whether or not a fugitive found the underground rail-road his dangers were not past. Besides the danger from humans the fugitive was harassed by natural elements. He was at risk of being torn apart by wild animals. Heat, cold, rain or snow may overcome him. He may be forced of hide in swamps, contend with insects, snakes, leaches and worse without any protection whatsoever. With only stars to lead him he would often become lost in a blizzard and find that he had been going in the wrong direction when the sun arose on an unexpected horizon. Needless to say, many didn't make it, but death to them was better than the life they had known.

Now imagine the terrible life you had as a slave. Top that with a perilous three month journey on foot while suffering from starvation and anything nature could throw at you. When you meet the first person you have seen since you started from the South you know not if he was a friend or enemy, by divine providence found you in favour and that person helped you get quickly to Canada. In Canada you found slave catchers were still searching for you in the border communities. You found there was a place called London that was further inland and afforded more protection against capture, so again you set out on foot being thankful for the small amount of help you have received. You now had the protection of the law and could find work along the way to pay for your food. Finally you arrive in London Ontario and someone directs you to a little chapel on Thames Street. You go in and kneel down to pray as you thank God that you made it. Many troubles lie ahead of you. You do not know where you will sleep, what you will eat or where you can find a job, but the kind people at the Chapel had previously gone through what you have and they understood your needs. Together you give a prayer of thanks and pray for continued guidance.

This is the significance of this little unassuming building that now needs a new home. This building symbolizes the overcoming of evil. This is a place where free men could pray. It is a reminder of a time we do not want to repeat. It is a symbol for continued justice and for continuing to fight for the rights of the oppressed. The North American Continent was wounded by slavery for more than two hundred years. A century and a half has elapsed since slavery was finally abolished but the wounds are still healing. The symptoms of slavery are being treated but the route cause still needs to be discovered or the disease of slavery will simply take on new forms. This is our present day challenge so that we can forever rid the world of oppression.

We have a symbol of freedom in London, Ontario. It is currently at 275 Thames Street. There are a lot of people who want to move it to 432 Grey Street where it can be restored and preserved. $65,000 is needed just to get the building moved. And additional amount estimated at $500,000 is needed to restore and add additional facilities needed to realize its full potential. A contribution to this cause is a contribution to world peace and the end of oppression of all kinds. Plans are under way to have a plaque displaying the names of major contributors made that will be displayed at this historical site.

You can contribute via internet at Cheques can be sent to the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project, c/o Beth Emanuel BME Church, 430 Grey St, London, Ontario, N6B 1H3.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Past Knowledge is Proven False

Past Knowledge is Proven False

There was no superior race

In the future much that is announced and accepted as true now will be rejected and disproved. And so it will continue ad infinitum.

                (Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 45)


How do we know what is true. It has been proven that all criterion we use as humans is faulty. We perceive the mirage to be real. We transmit invisible signals into the air and develop technology to detect them and interpret them. We then see images of people on the TV set in our living room. They look real but they are not there.

We investigate to see what will happen when certain elements are put together and then speculate as to why the reaction happened. We develop rules and theories to explain why things happen and they are continually changed and modified as new information becomes available. When it comes explaining why something happens we are at a loss. Low frequency radio waves are more effected by gravity than high frequency waves. Why? We don’t know. Through observation and tests  we just find more information on how things react but we are no closer to discovering the root cause.

For many years certain races of men felt that they were superior to others. They based that knowledge on erroneous information. They amassed superior weapons and forced their beliefs on others. When it came to waging war these ones excelled. If the criterion for superiority is in the ability to kill humans and destroy cities these ones where the best. If you didn’t agree that they were superior they would kill you and destroy your civilization. If you resisted they would declare you to be bloodthirsty savages who needed to be destroyed and would murder your warriors along with innocent children and women. They would lie to you and cheat you to get what they wanted. Since they were the superior race, human rights applied to themselves and themselves only. All others were regarded little better than animals.

So they rode into Africa and shot up the black population, stealing men women and children to be used as slaves. They refused to educate the Africans, gave them barely enough food to keep them alive and worked them long and hard hours every day. Many Blacks began to recognize their perceived inferiority but not all. No matter how the whites tried they could not keep the black man in submission.

They rode into America and shot up the red man, stealing his land. When these aboriginal ones tried to protect what was rightfully theirs they were called savages and attempts were made to wipe them out. They tried to assimilate the ones that refused to die and teach them the better ways of the superior race. This created more problems than the killing and pillaging.

It is like a gang of schoolyard bullies rode onto the world stage. There seemed to be no stopping them. None could be found to stand up to them. But there is one thing they didn’t count on.


Sir, the Americans may tell of their ability, and I have no doubt they have it, to keep back the invader’s hosts, to repulse the strongest force that its enemies may send against this country. It may boast, and rightly boast of its capacity to build its ramparts so high that no foe can hope to scale them—to render  them so impregnable as to defy the assaults of the world. But, sir, there is one thing it cannot resist, come from what quarter it may. It cannot resist TRUTH. You cannot build your forts so strong, nor your ramparts so high, nor arm yourselves so powerfully, as to be able to withstand the overwhelming MORAL SENTIMENT against Slavery now flowing into this land. For example: Prejudice against Color is continually becoming weaker in this land; and why? Because the whole European Continent denounces this sentiment as unworthy a lodgment in the breast of an enlightened community. And the American abroad dares not now, even in a public conveyance, to lift his voice in defence of this disgusting prejudice.

Douglass, Frederick.  Abolition Fanaticism in New York -- The Frederick Douglass Collection:


The bully’s enemy is the Truth. He will fight against it, deny it, twist it and do anything with it except believe it. He will blame others for the wrong he is doing but will not recognize that he himself is the worst offender.

The bully reigns terror in his neighbourhood, but then his mother comes out and drags him into the house by his ear, humiliating him in front of his victims. And yet the bully does not understand. The only law he knows is the law of brute force. Intelligence and reasoning are beyond his capabilities. Yet he proclaims himself the most intelligent and will beat you to a pulp if you do not agree. He reasons with gun and sword to get his own way, but, oh no, here comes mom again. He is gone for now but he will be back to reign terror another day.

Among every race there are those who abide by higher moral standards and who long for peace in the world. They are likely as numerous as the bullies but the unthinking majority is easily swayed. Yes they can see that slavery is wrong, but it is the way things are done. How can I manage my business if I don’t have slave labour to do my work. It is so much easier to have someone else do the work while I reap the benefits, so I won’t rock the boat. I’ll pay my dues to the bullies so long as they leave me alone. I can look the other way when my brother is abused.

But tyranny feeds and festers and grows to be a pain that cannot be ignored forever. Finally the mass of humanity is swayed toward reason and a huge battle is fought with the bullies. Eventually they are subdued and slavery is brought to an end, or is it. At least on paper the law looks good and it is now illegal to own a slave. Yet major companies will rent their slave labour. Still they get rich off the labour of the oppressed. And the prejudice that the bullies taught is not so easily unlearned. Although the physical condition may be improving it takes much longer to recover from psychological abuse.

People tend to believe what they are told, especially during the formative ages of childhood. A misinformed public continues to misinform the next generation and it takes many generations to undo prejudice beliefs. Such beliefs lie hidden and many times the prejudice person is not aware they hold prejudice beliefs. “My beliefs are well founded. They go back for generations and this was good enough for my ancestors, so it is good enough for me.”

Then comes a rebellious child who asks, “Why?  Why is it so that we have held these values for so long. Let’s see if we can find a better way.” This child has a hard time. He must fight tradition. He goes against the values of his family. And, oh no, look who he has brought home. “Surely they are not going to marry?”

The Nineteenth century was a time of rebellion. A rebellious generation grew up to question the status quo. During 1848 there were uprisings in almost every country in Europe and the USA fought its most formidable enemy, itself, from 1861 to 1865.

Now, during the beginning of the twenty-first century we are still feeling the effects of that rebellion. The rebellious child is starting to grow up and realise there are things he cannot change. Now we face the greatest danger, the danger of slipping back to our old standards. Yes, laws have been written that won’t likely be repealed, but there are ways around that.  “I can no longer hold a piece of paper that says I own another human being but I can exert my influence over others and force them to do things that go against their moral standards. If I have money I can hold it out in front of my employees and get them to do things they never thought they would do just as easily as teaching a dog a new trick by promising a doggie treat.” We still have the oppressed and the oppressors. The danger is in falling back into the thinking that this is okay.

The greatest reward for working is the knowledge that one has worked to the best of his ability and has done a job he can be proud of. Oppression takes that award away and no amount of money can replace it. Many fugitive slaves stated that they worked harder when they became free than they ever did as a slave. Just the fact that they were earning a living for themselves outweighed any incentive a whip could bring. For the slave it was enough that you valued him enough as a person to pay him a wage. Now things are getting more complicated. The money incentive is being used more like a whip and many employers have adopted policies that cause their employees to feel undervalued and that their work does not really matter.

It is my feeling that everyone deserves a job. That job should not be just for the purpose of earning a living, but it should be the job that the person wants to do and he should feel rewarded in doing it to the point that he would want to continue even if he wasn’t paid. That way, even those who have inherited enough money that they don’t have to work would have a job that they felt was contributing something to society. Yes, people need to be remunerated so they can earn a descent living, but they also need the comfort of knowing that everyone has the same opportunity so they don’t have to live in fear of their earnings being stolen from them. There is enough wealth and enough work to go around if it is distributed fairly. If we can get people off of the welfare system maybe families would not have to hold down two or more jobs to pay the bills. Perhaps one parent could concentrate on the most important job on earth, that is the raising, educating and nurturing of our own children.

The trend since the industrial resolution is to mold and shape the person to fit the job. I believe things would work better if the opposite approach was taken. Let’s see if we can develop a new strategy were we start with the individual and develop the job to fit him. Now even the handicapped can work. Yes granny, who has trouble getting out of bed, can have something to do that makes her feel that she is a valuable citizen and not a burden on society. You may be surprised how much energy this could instill into an old soul. We can do this while maintaining and building family values. I child may be surprised how much more interesting are the stories told by his grandparents than the computer games he has been playing. “But mom, it is story time. I don’t want to play on the computer.”

My study of the nineteenth century has enlightened me in many ways. It was a troubled time and a time of rebellion and change. The status quo was questioned and challenged. We see many effects of those changes in today’s society, but now they have become normal and we have grown apathetic. We cannot afford to forget the progress that has been made and we need to maintain the fight for sustainable progress.  If we don’t continue to advance we will fall back. The nineteenth century contains a history we do not want to repeat. Let us learn from past mistakes so we don’t have to repeat them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Frederick Douglass

Sir, the Americans may tell of their ability, and I have no doubt they have it, to keep back the invader's hosts, to repulse the strongest force that its enemies may send against this country. It may boast, and rightly boast of its capacity to build its ramparts so high that no foe can hope to scale them—to render them so impregnable as to defy the assaults of the world. But, sir, there is one thing it cannot resist, come from what quarter it may. It cannot resist TRUTH. You cannot build your forts so strong, nor your ramparts so high, nor arm yourselves so powerfully, as to be able to withstand the overwhelming MORAL SENTIMENT against Slavery now flowing into this land. For example: Prejudice against Color is continually becoming weaker in this land; and why? Because the whole European Continent denounces this sentiment as unworthy a lodgment in the breast of an enlightened community. And the American abroad dares not now, even in a public conveyance, to lift his voice in defense of this disgusting prejudice.


(Douglass, Frederick (2011-03-30). Abolition Fanaticism in New York Speech of a Runaway Slave from Baltimore, at an Abolition Meeting in New York, Held May 11, 1847 (Kindle Locations 85-92).  . Kindle Edition.)

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8: 31, 32)


Ignorance breeds slavery. Knowledge set you free. Ignorance believes in many falsehoods. Knowledge is knowing what is TRUE.

Frederick Douglass knew at a very young age that education was the way to get out of slavery. The Slave holders saw this knowledge as a devil. Douglass was known as a good worker, but education had put the devil in him according to those who would own his soul. It was education, knowledge of the truth, that made Douglass aware that he was a man and therefore could not be owned by another man. He would give of his body and work for those who held a paper saying he was their chattel, but his soul he would not give. His body suffered many whippings and he was afflicted to the point of death, and it was accepting death that made him free. The fear of death had made him a slave. Now, knowing truth, he no longer feared death, so he could no longer be whipped into submission.

So education led Frederick Douglass to know the TRUTH and that TRUTH set him free. Divine providence was on his side. He knew it and lived a life that no fiction writer could have made up. Almost starved and whipped to death as a slave, Frederick Douglass went on to be an advisor to presidents of the United States. He became friend and helper of the oppressed and led the slave masters as well as the slaves out of the system of slavery. It was that system that was his enemy. He told his former owner that the slave master was as much a victim of the system as was the slave. Douglass and Auld were both victims. One was made to bear the lash, the other was made to wield the lash.

The Slave was denied education. It was feared that if he should learn the truth he would no longer be content being a slave. The slave master denied truth. Although he had access to education he refused to see any way except the way of slavery. He attempted to justify an unjust system and truth would not let him do that. Being thus blinded he made himself a victim of the slavery system.

The brilliant mind of Frederick Douglass could see the danger of slavery. Frederick Douglass was for the people and against slavery. He pleaded with the slave holders, not only for his sake and the sake of those like him, but for the very soul of the slave holder himself. In his letter to Thomas Auld, his old master he expressed a wish to have Auld as a guest in his house so he could show him by example how one person should treat another person.

Frederick Douglass showed us by example that it is better to attack a problem than to attack a person. He abhorred the practice of slavery and would do anything to rid the world of its evil influence but his goal was not revenge, but to free both slave holder and slave from the fetters of slavery.

As Douglass entered the field of politics he was far advanced from the time he lived, even far advanced of the present time. We still see politicians attacking each other to the extent that the public has lost confidence in the system. Newspapers know that conflict sells and they give priority to the dirty deeds. Douglass could disagree with the position a politician would take while still considering him a friend. We do not have to agree on everything, but we can discuss our differences in a friendly manner. If the presidents that Douglass was advising could have seen the wisdom of this approach we could have had a very different kind of politics today. Imagine politicians praising one another’s attributes while encouraging each other to do better. We could have solved every difficulty in the world by now and eliminated any excuse for war. This will be the way of the future. The survival of the world depends upon it.

I praise Frederick Douglass, not as a prophet, but as a man put on earth to do a job. God placed him in time and place where he could do the most good. Being an ordinary man, his abilities are not above our own, and we can all do similar works. We have but to take up TRUTH as a cause and treat it as our best friend. When we come across evil and falsehood, we need to shine the light of Truth on it. A light appears brightest we it shines in the darkest recesses. Frederick Douglass was a shining light during one of the darkest times in our history.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Peace Fest 2013, London, Ontario, Canada

It is again the time of year to commemorate the Unity Feast hosted by 'Abdu'l-Bahá 101 years ago. We will again gather at Queens Park. Again I’ve had no commitments so I do not know how many may show up. I am not very good at organizing and I keep hoping that someone with more talent will take over.

Anyone who is in the London, Ontario, Canada area is welcome to join me. We need to commit to peace and be at peace with those around us as well as within our own beings. Come and join the discussion. There may be music, song, and art display or anything else. It will be up to whoever shows up. I will endeavor to divide the time between individuals and groups in a fair manner.

This year there will be no sound system, so acoustic or battery operated instruments only. Perhaps next year we can get the power turned on at the park stage and have a big event all day. I order to do this I need help with organizing. I will bring a signup sheet this year so interested individuals can let me know their interest level.

The event will be held on June 29th, 2013 (that’s a Saturday) about 6:30 pm. I have some Sowing Peace banners I will display so you can identify me.

Bring friends, food, something to sit on, acoustic instrument, art to show and anything you want to share (food, ideas, a song, a story, a poem etc.) Please try to keep the theme on the subject of Peace and on how we can achieve world peace. Peace begins in individual hearts.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Spiritualization of the world.

The Spiritualization of the world.

Why is the spiritualization of the world important?

We have seen great strides in technology and the physical sciences are growing at tremendous rates, but spirituality is being left behind. If spirituality is not the main motivator for progress the alternative is greed. Greed works well in a materialistic society where everyone is grabbing for the almighty dollar without thought for their fellow creatures. In fact long term gain is often sacrificed for immediate pleasures. No thought is given for future generations and we leave the world in a mess for our children to clean up. With greed comes anger, fights and wars. As each individual, community and nation struggles to amass more wealth for themselves, they become more and more willing to destroy those who are viewed as getting in the way of their goal. Indeed money becomes their god. In money they trust and when the dollar fails, the whole society falls apart. As manmade systems are imperfect and subject to failure, the dollar will surely fail. We are already seeing economic stress in many parts of the world and it is only a matter of time before it is worldwide.
Spiritualization, on the other hand takes a more cooperative stance. Now the individual learns to subject himself to the needs of the society. As we are becoming a global village, that society is ever taking on a larger planetary scale. No longer can our concerns be limited to family, municipality or country. We need to consider the impact our lives are having on the entire planet and beyond. To learn to do this we need to go beyond man's knowledge. No two men can be found that can agree on every subject, so how can all of mankind agree on a worldwide system that will benefit all. In order to do this we need to acquire God's knowledge and subject ourselves to His plan. He created us and He alone can come up with a plan that will benefit the entire human race.

How do we spiritualize the world?

One may argue that religion has made a bigger mess of the world than materialism. Indeed, religion in the hands of greedy individuals becomes a powerful tool for corruption. Pure religion is very powerful and greedy men recognize this, so they take it and attempt to modify it to their own advantage. Soon religion becomes a bigger cause of strive than non religion.
'Abdu'l-Bahá says:
The third teaching of Bahá'u'lláh is that religion must be the source of fellowship, the cause of unity and the nearness of God to man. If it rouses hatred and strife, it is evident that absence of religion is preferable and an irreligious man better than one who professes it. According to the divine Will and intention religion should be the cause of love and agreement, a bond to unify all mankind, for it is a message of peace and goodwill to man from God.
('Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 181)
The first thing we need to do to enable the spiritualization of the world is to abandon any idea of the multiplicity of God. God is a loving caring God who wants what is best for us, His children. He has always taught His unity and condemned any idea of multiple gods. To worship any God other than the One True God is idol Worship. To put your trust in any object it to trust in idols. When we worship God alone and put our complete trust in Him, we will not fail. He will show us the way that we may all live in harmony, each one of us as concerned about all others as we are of ourselves. In order to spiritualize the world we need to have classes that embrace all Faiths and all people. A meeting of minds where differences are set aside and our common goals and needs are embraced.

Where do we find such classes?

Although there may be many such classes in the future there is one organization now that is developing a curriculum for spiritualizing mankind. They are The Ruhi Institute and you can find their web site at They have developed a unique system were tutors lead a study circle through a series of books that they have published. A tutor leads the group but does not teach. All learn together.
Although based on the teachings of the Baha'i Faith, Ruhi study circles are open to all and, increasingly, members of all faiths are attending such study circles all over the world.

Is there a cost involved?

The study circles are offered for free and the books are available at a minimal cost. For those who can't afford it, the books may be subsidized or provided free by other individuals or organizations.

Where can I sign up?

If you are in London, Ontario, Canada, you can email myself at Here and elsewhere you can also contact the local Baha'i Community where you live. You may also contact the Ruhi Institute directly. I am just an interested individual and my views may not be the official view of the Baha'i Community or the Ruhi Institute. I can let you know of some upcoming classes and/or refer you to someone that is starting a class.

Why am I doing this?

I feel the spiritualization of the world is of the utmost importance. I am an advocate for peace and I believe world peace will only be achieved through the spiritualization of humanity. Some may come up with temporary fixes, but any system devised by man will fail. Only by turning to the Creator can we remedy the problems that plague mankind. Yes, when all else fails we need to consult the owner's manual supplied by the manufacturer.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

It is now time to try Peace

It is now time to try Peace

XXV. It is evident that every age in which a Manifestation of God hath lived is divinely ordained, and may, in a sense, be characterized as God's appointed Day. This Day, however, is unique, and is to be distinguished from those that have preceded it. The designation "Seal of the Prophets" fully revealeth its high station. The Prophetic Cycle hath, verily, ended. The Eternal Truth is now come. He hath lifted up the Ensign of Power, and is now shedding upon the world the unclouded splendor of His Revelation.

                (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 60)


In the past, prophets  have foretold the coming of a great and glorious age; a day when God would rule the earth. This is the day when God's will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven as promised in the Lord's Prayer. This is the day of the fulfillment of prophesy, and therefore prophesy is no longer necessary.

Thus Mohammad, the Seal of the Prophets, was the last Manifestation of God to prophesy the coming of the Eternal Truth because Baha'u'llah, The Spirit of Truth who will lead us to all truth, has come.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.


There is only one God, so therefore there is only one religion of God. That religion has been called by different names during different eras, much like we designate special names for various days, although the same sun rises each day.

Just as the physical Sun sheds light on the world, the Manifestations of God are the rays of the Spiritual Sun who flood the world with Spiritual Light. We cannot approach the sun. We only know it by its rays, and the Spiritual Sun, God, is only known through the Manifestations He sends. He has made knowledge of the messenger equal to knowledge of Himself. Thus Christ stated, "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9)

When we are in a forest, all we see is trees. We need to view the forest from a distance to see a forest. We are now living in this glorious age, but is will take historians looking back on it to get a glimmer of its significance. The revelation of God is transforming the World and the evidence of that will be realized in the future.

When a mother gives birth, there is pain and turmoil, but when the baby is placed in her arms it is all forgotten.

LXI. The world is in travail, and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight, that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed   hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 118, 119)


Soon a new world will be born, but the new and old cannot coexist, so the old world order will die. We see evidence now as we watch the decay of the political system. At one time a King ruled and none dared to question his authority. Now the political leaders are questioned and doubted at every turn. The element of trust was at one time taken for granted, now trust is at its lowest level. Bahá'u'lláh teaches us that we must be obedient to those in authority. Without respect and obedience the political system will degrade to a state of anarchy.

THE one true God, exalted be His glory, hath ever regarded, and will continue to regard, the hearts of men as His own, His exclusive possession. All else, whether pertaining to land or sea, whether riches or glory, He hath bequeathed unto the kings and rulers of the earth. From the beginning that hath no beginning the ensign proclaiming the words 'He doeth whatsoever He willeth' hath been unfurled in all its splendour before His Manifestation. What mankind needeth in this day is obedience unto them that are in authority, and a faithful adherence to the cord of wisdom. The instruments which are essential to the immediate protection, the security and assurance of the human race have been entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp, of the governors of human society. This is the wish of God and His decree....

                (Bahá'u'lláh, The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 13, 14)

For 6,000 years man has tried to do things his own way, and there have been wars and rumors of war. Each person has an opinion and a belief and each is willing to kill to eliminate those who disagree. Peace by force has not worked. The war to end all wars only led to more war. It is time to try God's way.  It is time to try peace.

I would love to hear your opinion. Please leave a comment.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

He that is not against us is for us

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

               (John 10:16)

I was just watching a very painful addition of a talk show on Baha’i vs. Christianity. I thought that I would leave some comments when I was finished, but there was a note that comments had been closed for this video. Apparently someone does not want the truth to get out.

It reminded me of accounts I had read about the days of Jesus. He would bring forth proofs and arguments to the learned scholars of the day, and they would reject everything He said because it was not in agreement with their knowledge. Yet the principles of Jesus were so simple that an uneducated fisherman could immediately pick them up.

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

               (Mark 2:17)

Many will tell me that self righteous is what is inferred by the above passage, but if I think I am righteous, is that not being self righteous? And so it is with those who believe they are righteous. No amount of proof can make them change their view. And since they are right everyone else must be wrong.

When confronted with the fact that not all Christians were in agreement with the Christian scholar on the talk show he would brush it off with, “We don’t consider them Christians.” When you are right, you are right and if Jesus Himself comes to you with evidence to the contrary, you will not change. That is why I don’t want to be right. I prefer to learn the Truth.

I find with many devout believers in any sect or religion that it is more important for them to be right than it is for them to know the Truth. They will get angry, deny, and refute any argument that is contrary to their beliefs even to the point that they will crucify One that goes against what they believe.

So how does the ordinary person decide which way to follow? Do we accept a view were only scholars can interpret the Word of God for us? Or do we simply hear His voice and follow Him into the one unified fold?

Those who want division will try to prevent the coming together of the sheep. They will raise all kinds of arguments so that they themselves become the shepherd of a few. Many are these wolves in sheep’s clothing who try to cause division and hatred. They want all others to be destroyed. This is their belief in Unity. Death to all who disagree.

But this is not the Way of God for this day. Today we turn the other cheek. Today we are tolerant and understanding. Today we realize that we do not have all the answers and that we can learn much from entertaining the views of others.

And Jesus said unto him, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

(Luke 9:50)

Just because someone doesn’t follow in the same way I do does not make them wrong. If they are doing good works and following the One True God, it is not for me to forbid them or tell them that they are wrong. The straight and narrow path leads from each of us straight to salvation. The route that path takes depends on the starting point, which is the point we are at now. When I fix my gaze on my destination and progress toward the light, I do not have time to veer off and try to guide you. I only urge you to focus on your goal and tread your strait path. I don’t know what obstacles or distractions you will encounter, because as soon as I focus on you I have lost my own focus and I veer off the strait and narrow path.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

(Matthew 7:14)

Many are the distracters.  They will dispute with us and try to get us angry. They are looking for a fight and, if we give in to their devises we have already lost. I think we all know that the purpose of these talk shows is to try to get a fight going because that is considered entertainment. I am not sure of the wisdom of Baha’is going on such shows, but I have to admit that the two Baha’is on the show I saw exercised a lot of self control. I am not providing a link to it because I feel it is one sided and not conducive to unity and peace. However, if you do come across such a show, be aware that even Christ could not change the mind of the religious leaders of His day, nor was Bahá’u’lláh successful in influencing the majority of the leaders of Islam. It is not our goal to change the minds of the righteous. Let us be content to humbly show the sinners the True Path. No, we will not even lead them there. We will simply introduce them to the Shepherd and He will be their guide. When they fall we will help them get back up. Perhaps when we fall they will do the same for us. We will teach them about the Source of Knowledge and He will give them True Knowledge. We are all progressing to the same point and all have similar challenges. Perhaps together we can make it. Not one insisting his way is correct and attempting to bully everyone else into following himself. No. We all follow the same Way and help each other overcome the obstacles that get in our way.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The healing of all the world

In the Suriy-i-Haykal we read: "That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith."
To me these words of Bahá’u’lláh make sense. It is better to have friends than enemies. It is better to make allies than to go to war.
In the struggle for power, the biggest and the best would win. Small countries soon learned that they needed allies to help them survive against more powerful enemies. There was power in numbers and several small countries could easily overpower one larger one. The more allies one would have, the greater the power they would share.
Once the large countries realized they could no longer bully the smaller ones, they too started forming alliances. Soon it was a competition as to who had the most friends.
Now, for ultimate power we need to every country in the world to be our allies. We need to form friendships with every person on earth. Then, not only would we be unbeatable, but there would be no one left to be our enemy. Yet the best formed alliances are prone to break up. Greed rules and once the friendship is no longer profitable, the allies turn against one another. Each member of the alliance vies for position to be in control of the alliance. Leadership is challenged and the body attacks the head. Now we need a system where everyone shares in decision making and everyone benefits equally from the alliance.
In steps the Divine Physician. Sometimes we must consult the manufacturer. God sends His Messengers to bring the Divine Healing we need. He writes the prescription and, when we follow it, the body of mankind is healed. It becomes one whole being. No longer do its parts fight against one another. Love prevails and unity is established. This is the Ultimate plan of God and it is the Ultimate and most powerful alliance. All the body of mankind turn to Our Creator for leadership and all willingly follow His plan.
From the Suriy-i-Haykal
That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error. Each time that Most Mighty Instrument hath come, and that Light shone forth from the Ancient Dayspring, He was withheld by ignorant physicians who, even as clouds, interposed themselves between Him and the world. It failed, therefore, to recover, and its sickness hath persisted until this day. They indeed were powerless to protect it, or to effect a cure, whilst He Who hath been the Manifestation of Power amongst men was withheld from achieving His purpose, by reason of what the hands of the ignorant physicians have wrought.

               (Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 91, 92)