Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:34 am

Pierre Bovet, JJ Rousseau Institute Director
by José Paz Rodrigues
September 19, 2018



In some countries of the world, every 21st of September is celebrated the International Day of Peace . But the school day for peace and nonviolence takes place in many places on January 30, which coincides with the day dedicated to the great Indian pacifist Gandhi. In any case, it never hurts to carry out educational, playful and artistic activities in schools for students to acquire feelings and attitudes pacifist, respect, solidarity and tolerance with all cultures and philosophical ideas that exist in the world and that respect people's life. One of the educators and psychologists who worked most for peace and to develop in his class pacifist sentiments was the Swiss Pierre Bovet. For this reason, my testimony 66 of the series dedicated to great personalities of the world that all schoolchildren should appreciate and know, is dedicated to this Genoese psychopedagogue.


Born in Neuchâtel, he will study at the universities of Lausanne and Geneva, as well as at the Neuchâtel Academy and the Paris School of Higher Studies. The teaching activity will be practiced in various institutions of secondary and higher education, until teaching the subjects of Educational Sciences and Experimental Pedagogy at the University of Geneva. Director of the JJ Rousseau Institute from 1912 to 1924. Founder in 1925 and first director of the Bureau International d'Education (BIE) . He will also participate as a collaborator and editor in other international psychological and pedagogical publications. It was one of the synthesizers and diffusers of the broad theoretical and methodological movement of educational reform, called Escola Nova. To him is due to the use in 1917, for the first time, of the term active school , in place of school of work , because the latter was limited. The expression calls for a mainly methodological change in the educational relationship, based on the new psychological, biological and pedagogical knowledge provided by the Social Sciences, regarding the development of childhood.


For twenty years, from 1912 to 1924, Pierre Bovet directed the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute of Geneva, which had been created by him and Claparède in the first of the years cited. It is a center for pedagogical and psychological studies founded in the city of Geneva and which since 1948 has been the “Institute for the Sciences of Education” at the University of Geneva. His work in the field of education has been considerable, thanks mainly to the management of his collaborators, including, in addition to those mentioned above, Adolfo Ferrière, Alice Descoeudres, Minna Andemars, Jean Piaget, Robert Döttrens, Pedro Roselló, Ernst Schneider, Mercedes Rodrigo, Juan Jaen, Jose Peinado, Jose Mallart and Helena Antipoff.

Pierre BOVET Photo with other educators from Escola Nova

Under the inspiration of the Institute were published the Archives of Psychology and the Collection of Current Affairs in Pedagogy and Psychology . In addition the Institute founded the "House of the Little" (Maison des petits), experimental school that had a great repercussion in the educational field. From the Institute was born the present Bureau International d'Education (BIE), composed of representatives of the governments of many countries and collaborating with UNESCO. Its director after Pierre Bovet was Jean Piaget, and his publications are of great informative value. Unfortunately, because of its semi-official character, the Bureau cannot at the same time do a critical job of education in the world. The Bulletin of the Bureau is a very interesting publication, besides the magazine L'Educateur . In 1932 Pierre Bovet published in Neuchâtel an important book about the JJ Rousseau Institute, which he had directed under the title of L'Institut JJ Rousseau. Vingt ans de vie . A kind of chronicle of the twenties that this entity operated under Bovet's direction.

Pierre BOVET Teachers of the Inst JJ Rousseau


The JJ Rousseau Institute.
Producer: University of Geneva. Duration: 7 minutes.
View at:

The New School and History of the New School.
Duration: 12 minutes.
See at: ... moderna-de -freinet-y-la-institutional-pedagogy

New or Active School.
Duration: 7 minutes.
View at:

History of the New School.
Duration: 12 minutes.
View at:

Traditional school vs New school.
Duration: 7 minutes.
View at:

The Modern and Popular School: From C. Freinet to the present day.
Director: Paco Olvera. Duration: 37 minutes.
View at:

Traditional School vs New School (Complete).
Duration: 10 minutes.
View at:


Pierre Bovet was born in Gramchamp (Neuchâtel, Switzerland) on June 5, 1878, and died on December 2, 1965 in Boudry. He was the son of Felix Bovet (1824-1903), a cultured and religious man, theologian, friend of Ferdinand Buisson, director of the Neuchâtel library, and professor of French and Hebrew literature at the city's university. Bovet's mother was the director of educational institutions, and in particular of an orphanage in Gramchamp. Pierre married Amy Babut in his day, with whom he had a son named Daniel Bovet, who even won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1957. Between 1896 and 1898 Bovet studied at the Neuchâtel Academy to later graduate in philosophy at Lausanne University (1901). He then left for Paris and joined the School of Higher Studies where he remained between 1902 and 1903. From this last year until 1912 he worked as a professor of philosophy at the Gymnasium and Faculty of Letters of the University of Neuchâtel. At this moment, he leaves for Geneva, where, together with Adolfo Ferrière and Eduardo Claparède, he founded the JJ Rousseau Institute of Educational Sciences, where he worked as director until 1924, a work for which he is mainly remembered. However, Bovet reconciled his position at the head of this Institute with his study and later degree in Letters at the University of Lausanne (1918-1920), his exercise as a professor at the University of Basel, his position as editor of Intermediaires des Educateurs (1912). ) and L'Educateur (1921), a large number of collaborations in L'Année Psychologique and, since 1920, the professor of Educational Sciences and Experimental Pedagogy in Geneva.

Pierre BOVET Photo with Piaget

In 1925, he left the direction of the Rousseau Institute, which he never completely disbanded, to found and direct the Bureau International d'Education (BIE). His two most relevant works: The Combative Instinct (1918) and The Religious Feeling and Child Psychology (1925) mark a whole line of work, with interesting contributions to psychopedagogy and, therefore, the revision of theories and intellectual positions. Bovet's are of vital importance. At his time, in 1906, he even founded a pacifist diary under the name of L'Essor. He cultivated different international relationships and was a close friend of Robindronath Tagore, a topic we will discuss later, and Gandhi, whom he met personally on his 1938 visit to India.

It is very interesting the Universal History of Pedagogy, which came to write and was edited in different languages. His doctoral dissertation was entitled The God of Plato following the Chronology of the Dialogues (1902). Founding in 1925, with Ferrière and Claparède, the Bureau International d'Education (BIE), it was he who was most concerned that this newly created institution should focus especially on promoting peace. In such a way that, under the slogan “ Peace for School” , the first congress of the organization will take place in Prague in 1927. At the same time will attend more than 400 people and the main language will be Esperanto. In the months prior to the congress, Bovet's secretary Henriette Ith-Wille, who was also an Esperantist, will teach this language to future congressional attendees to facilitate communication and the organization of different activities, communications and lectures. More than 20 educational and pacifist organizations participated in this congress. This international conference continues to be held today every two years, co-organized with UNESCO.


Bovet will be a major promoter of the international auxiliary language called Esperanto. Through this language you will make many international contacts. Thus, through the intermediary of Edmundo Privat, who was Quaker and Esperanto, he will meet Gandhi during a trip to India in 1938, as we mentioned before. Bovet was also a friend of Jaume Grau Casas de Catalunya, to whom he will send help on several occasions in the form of food, books and money, when the Catalan Esperantist and poet was in the French concentration camps. In his diaries at that time, Jaume Grau explains that without the help of Esperanto friends like Bovet, he would not have survived the harsh conditions of these roosters. Thanks to Esperanto, Bovet will also be friends with Spanish Republican master Sidónio Pintado.

Pierre BOVET Teachers of the Inst JJ Rousseau

Most of Bovet's writings will be published in French and will reach the Spanish state through the Spanish translation by Domingo Barnés. Some of his books have also been published in Esperanto. Bovet became very close friends with Piaget. Which spoke of Bovet pointing out that he was one of the people he had the most influence on. He will also be friends with pacifist Pierre Céresole. As for his conception of pedagogy, his innovative methods were not based on a concrete textbook, but motivated his students to search for information in dictionaries, encyclopedias and other resources and materials. With the aim and desire to foster children's abilities, in addition to Esperanto, will also interest them by the scout movement. For this reason, he even translated into French the book Exploring for boys of Baden-Powell, and in 1921 will publish the book entitled The genius of Baden-Powell, making known in the French-speaking world the main figure of the scout movement.


One of his main books is the title of The Fighting Instinct , of which there is a Spanish edition published in 2007 on the occasion of the Centenary of the Board of Studies (JAE, 1907-2007). The Castilian translation, entitled El luchador instinct , done in 1922, was the work of Domingo Barnés. The book addresses precisely the problem of moral character formation and pacifist education, aspects that Bovet studies from the instinctive nature of the struggle in children. It also draws the attention of educators about the need to know the manifestations of this struggling instinct to channel it, divert it or sublimate it, putting it at the service of the Good. In the prologue of this 2nd edition of the work, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, who was Director-General of UNESCO, who runs the Foundation for a Culture of Peace, rebuts the idea that there are trends or proclivities for violence in the human condition, but rescues Bovet's idea of ​​the need for education to create a culture of peace. Other of his works were The JJ Rousseau Institute. Twenty years of life (1912-1924) , Esperanto in school (1922), Religious sentiment and child psychology (1925), published in Castilian by Psyche de B. Ares, Freedom in education (1975), O Power of the School of Yesterday and Today (1950), Models of the Mind (1996) and The Originality of Baden-Powell (1956). The Italian Idana Pescioli published in 1979 a book dedicated to Bovet entitled The Child and the Delivery: The Moral-Educational Problem in Pierre Bovet's Investigation .

It should also be noted that Pierre Bovet was a close friend of Robindronath Tagore, and an admirer of his work and pedagogical thinking. Meeting Tagore traveling in Europe in 1921, Bovet invited him to speak at the JJ Rousseau Institute. This conference, under the title My pedagogy, and truly beautiful, was delivered on May 4 of that year. Thanks to Bovet, who collected it in notes, it was later published in its entirety on May 11, 1921 in L'Educateur magazine by Bovet himself.


The Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute is a school of educational sciences founded in Geneva in 1912 by Édouard Claparède and Pierre Bovet and, in its original idea, aims to contribute to the training of educators and the dissemination of new pedagogies , based on the child's scientific knowledge. Rousseau was chosen as patron of the Institute for his defense of the need to know the child to better educate him.

This Institute was founded in 1912 by Édouard Claparède (1873-1940) together with Pierre Bovet . The Institute brought together some of the great names of psychology and psychopedagogy of the time, including Adolphe Ferrière , Ernst Schneider , Jean Piaget and Helena Antipoff . The main objective of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute was to train educators, in addition to conducting research in the areas of psychology and pedagogy. In addition, it aimed to encourage educational reforms based on the New School movement. Very quickly it became one of the leading centers of reference for the New School movement in Europe. He was involved in criticizing traditional education and advocating for changes in education that would make school more humane, more meaningful, and interesting to children. Knowledge of human psychology was central to the humanist and pacifist project of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute. Eduardo Claparède was one of the leading scholars to propose the deepening of psychological studies, especially from the functionalist point of view.

Linked from 1929-1930 to the Faculty of Letters of the University of Geneva under the name of Institut des sciences de l'éducation , it was later elevated to the status of autonomous university school in 1969 and thereafter under the direct supervision of the Rectorate of the University of Geneva. University of Geneva . From 1975 , it became the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Geneva.

The icon used as a symbol of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute shows a child standing next to a seated adult with a book in his hand. The child points out a window, as actively seeking to know nature through concrete experience. The similar height of the figures suggests a more egalitarian relationship between teacher and student. In other words, the ideal of basing education on nature observation while cultivating a camaraderie relationship with the child is present in the emblem chosen for the Institute. In this emblem is summarized, iconographically, the philosophy of the Institute: to cultivate the scientific spirit through the observation of nature, with the help of the accumulated knowledge in the books; see the child as an equal with the ability to take the initiative and eventually direct the adult; let the child be the guide of the educational process and warmly guide the child in the process of investigation and discovery.

It is noteworthy that already in the twenties the Institute became a basic reference for the progressive educational movements that emerged around the world. Under the coordination of E. Claparède and Pierre Bovet , research was conducted within a functional conception of education and the active child model was advocated. Jean Piaget was its director between 1925-1932.


We see the documentaries mentioned above, and then we developed a Forum Cinema to analyze their form (film language) and background (content and message), as well as their contents.

We have organized in our schools a monographic sample exhibition dedicated to Pierre Bovet, his life, his work, his ideas, his thoughts and his important work directing the JJ Rousseau Institute of Geneva, as well as the Bureau International de ´Education (BIE). In addition, in addition to various works of students, we will include drawings, photos, murals, phrases, texts, legends, books and monographs. The sample will also include a special section dedicated to the JJ Rousseau Institute, its activities and publications.

We will develop a Forum Book involving all students and teachers. The most suitable book to read is titled The Fighting Instinct . They could also be worth Freedom in education (1975) or The power of school yesterday and today (1950).

José Paz Rodrigues: He is Professor of EGB in excess, graduated in Pedagogy and graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid. He obtained his PhD at UNED with Thesis Tagore, pioneer of the new education. He was professor at the Faculty of Education of Ourense (University of Vigo); teacher-tutor of Pedagogy and Didactics at the UNED Associated Center of Ponte Vedra from 1973-74 to the present day; deputy director and later director of the Normal School of Ourense. It carried on a wide range of educational activities and pedagogical renewal. He has published numerous articles on educational themes and Tagore in The Teaching, We, The People's Notebooks, School Life, Educational Community, Fathers and Teachers, BILE, Agalia, Teaching Themes, The Visva Bharati Quarterly, Jignasa (in Bengali). .. Articles on cultural theme, namely about India, in the Galician Language Portal, Our Land, La Región, El Correo Gallego, The Sieve, Weekly Minho, Faro de Vigo, Teima, New Times, Bisbarra, Ourense ... Didactic Units on the Magus, Human Rights, Peace, The Bold, The Trees, The Mayans, The Woman, The Environment; Rodrigues Lapa, Celso Emílio Ferreiro, Carvalho Calero, São Bernardo and Cister in Ourense, as coordinator of the Permanent Curriculum Design Seminar of the MRPGs ASPGP and APJEGP.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:51 am

Rousseau Institute
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/18/19

Rousseau Institute (also known as Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute or Academy of Geneva; French: Académie De Genève or Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau) is a private school in Geneva, Switzerland. It is considered the first institute of educational sciences founded in Europe when it opened and gained international influence as the originator of the scientific approach to education phenomena.[1]


In 1912, Édouard Claparède (1873–1940) created an institute to turn educational theory into a science. This new institution was given the name of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to whom Claparède attributed the "Copernican reversal" of putting the child, rather than the teacher, at the centre of the educational process (cf. Thomas Kuhn's notion of paradigm shift).

The founder of the Institute appointed as director Pierre Bovet (1878–1965), whom he considered to be both a philosophical and rigorously scientific person. Between 1921 and 1925, Jean Piaget (1896–1980) took over the reins, soon conferring on Genevan experimental psychology its far-reaching renown. According to Piaget, he came to organize his research once he arrived at the Institute in such a way that he "gain objectively and inductively knowledge about the elementary structures of intelligence" and use it develop a psychological and biological epistemology.[2] It was to Piaget's dismay, however, that his theoretical work was not as successful. He was the director of the Institute until he died in 1980.[3]

In his eulogy at Claparède's funeral, Bovet highlighted his friend's profound attachment for Geneva and the broad international influence rapidly attained by the institute he had created; his capacity, in short, to be at the same time of a local land and of the greater world.

Connection with the International Bureau of Education (IBE)

In 1925, the governing board of the Rousseau Institute voted to establish the International Bureau of Education (IBE), which is now a category 1 institute of UNESCO. The governing board received a $5000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to found the IBE. Rousseau Institute director Pierre Bovet became the first director of the IBE, and fellow governing board members Adolphe Ferriere and Elisabeth Rotten were appointed as his deputies.[4]


1. Lawn, Martin (2008). An Atlantic Crossing?: The Work of the International Examination Inquiry, its Researchers, Methods and Influence. Symposium Books Ltd. p. 84. ISBN 9781873927267.
2. Ash, Mitchell G.; Woodward, William R. (1989). Psychology in Twentieth-Century Thought and Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 283. ISBN 0521325234.
3. Blocher, Donald (2000). The Evolution of Counseling Psychology. Berlin: Springer Publishing Company. p. 181. ISBN 0826113486.
4. IBE (2015). IBE In Focus: 90 years of excellence in education (PDF). UNESCO. p. 22.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:01 am

Rockefeller Foundation
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/18/19



The Rockefeller Foundation
Founded May 14, 1913; 106 years ago
Founders John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Frederick Taylor Gates
Type Non-operating private foundation
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)[1]
420 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York, U.S.
Method Endowment
Key people
Rajiv Shah
Endowment $4.1 billion (2016)[2]

The Rockefeller Foundation is a private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City.[3] It was established by the six-generation Rockefeller family. The Foundation was started by Standard Oil owner John D. Rockefeller ("Senior"), along with his son John D. Rockefeller Jr. ("Junior"), and Senior's principal oil and gas business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, in New York State on May 14, 1913, when its charter was formally accepted by the New York State Legislature.[4]

As of 2015, the Foundation was ranked as the 39th largest U.S. foundation by total giving.[5] By year-end 2016 assets were tallied at $4.1 billion (unchanged from 2015), with annual grants of $173 million.[6]


On January 5, 2017, the board of trustees announced the unanimous selection of Dr. Rajiv Shah to serve as the 13th president of the foundation.[7] Shah became the youngest person, at 43,[8] and first Indian-American to serve as president of the foundation.[9] He assumed the position March 1, succeeding Judith Rodin who served as president for nearly twelve years and announced her retirement, at age 71, in June 2016.[10] Rodin in turn had succeeded Gordon Conway in 2005. A former president of the University of Pennsylvania, Rodin was the first woman to head the foundation.[11]


Original Rockefeller logo, no longer in use

Rockefeller's interest in philanthropy and Public Relations began in 1904, influenced by Ida Tarbell's book published about Standard Oil crimes, The History of the Standard Oil Company, which prompted him to whitewash the Rockefeller image.[12][failed verification]

His initial idea to set up a large-scale foundation occurred in 1901, but it was not until 1906 that Senior's famous business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, seriously revived the idea, saying that Rockefeller's fortune was rolling up so fast his heirs would "dissipate their inheritances or become intoxicated with power", unless he set up "permanent corporate philanthropies for the good of Mankind".[13]

It was also in 1906 that the Russell Sage Foundation was established, though its program was limited to working women and social ills. Rockefeller's would thus not be the first foundation in America (Benjamin Franklin was the first to introduce the concept), but it brought to it unprecedented international scale and scope. In 1909 he signed over 73,000 shares of Standard Oil of New Jersey, valued at $50 million, to the three inaugural trustees, Junior, Gates and Harold Fowler McCormick, the first installment of a projected $100 million endowment.[13]

They applied for a federal charter for the foundation in the US Senate in 1910, with at one stage Junior even secretly meeting with President William Howard Taft, through the aegis of Senator Nelson Aldrich, to hammer out concessions. However, because of the ongoing (1911) antitrust suit against Standard Oil at the time, along with deep suspicion in some quarters of undue Rockefeller influence on the spending of the endowment, the end result was that Senior and Gates withdrew the bill from Congress in order to seek a state charter.[13]

On May 14, 1913, New York Governor William Sulzer approved a state charter for the foundation – two years after the Carnegie Corporation – with Junior becoming the first president. With its large-scale endowment, a large part of Senior's fortune was insulated from inheritance taxes. The total benefactions of both him and Junior and their philanthropies in the end would far surpass Carnegie's endowments, his biographer Ron Chernow states, ranking Rockefeller as "the greatest philanthropist in American history."[13]

Early grants and connections

The first secretary of the foundation was Jerome Davis Greene, the former secretary of Harvard University, who wrote a "memorandum on principles and policies" for an early meeting of the trustees that established a rough framework for the foundation's work. On December 5, the Board made its first grant of $100,000 to the American Red Cross to purchase property for its headquarters in Washington, D.C.[14] At the beginning the foundation was global in its approach and concentrated in its first decade entirely on the sciences, public health and medical education.

It was initially located within the family office at Standard Oil's headquarters at 26 Broadway, later (in 1933) shifting to the GE Building (then RCA), along with the newly named family office, Room 5600, at Rockefeller Center; later it moved to the Time-Life Building in the Center, before shifting to its current Fifth Avenue address.

In 1913 the foundation set up the International Health Commission (later Board), the first appropriation of funds for work outside the US, which launched the foundation into international public health activities. This expanded the work of the Sanitary Commission worldwide, working against various diseases in fifty-two countries on six continents and twenty-nine islands, bringing international recognition of the need for public health and environmental sanitation. Its early field research on hookworm, malaria, and yellow fever provided the basic techniques to control these diseases and established the pattern of modern public health services.[15]

The Commission established and endowed the world's first school of Hygiene and Public Health, at Johns Hopkins University, and later at Harvard, and then spent more than $25 million in developing other public health schools in the US and in 21 foreign countries – helping to establish America as the world leader in medicine and scientific research. In 1913 it also began a 20-year support program of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, whose mission was research and education on birth control, maternal health and sex education.


In the interwar years, the Foundation's support of public health, nursing, and social work in Eastern and Central Europe was a concentrated effort to advance medicine and create a global network of medical research.[16] After the war, it sent a team to West Germany to investigate how it could become involved in reconstructing the country. They focused on restoring democracy, especially regarding education and scientific research, with the long-term goal of reintegrating Germany to the Western world.[17]

China Medical Board

In 1914, the foundation set up the China Medical Board, which established the first public health university in China, the Peking Union Medical College, in 1921; this was subsequently nationalised when the Communists took over the country in 1949. In the same year it began a program of international fellowships to train scholars at the world's leading universities at the post-doctoral level; a fundamental commitment to the education of future leaders.

Department of Industrial Relations

Also in 1914, the trustees set up a new Department of Industrial Relations, inviting William Lyon Mackenzie King to head it. He became a close and key advisor to Junior through the Ludlow Massacre, turning around his attitude to unions; however the foundation's involvement in IR was criticized for advancing the family's business interests.[18] The foundation henceforth confined itself to funding responsible organizations involved in this and other controversial fields, which were beyond the control of the foundation itself.[19]


During the late-1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation created the Medical Sciences Division, which emerged from the former Division of Medical Education. The division was led by Dr. Richard M. Pearce until his death in 1930, to which Alan Gregg to succeeded him until 1945.[20] During this period, the Division of Medical Sciences was known for making large contributions to research across several fields of psychiatry. The 1930s was one of the most prominent decades in Rockefeller Foundation philanthropy to psychiatric research, as the foundation set a goal to find, train, and encourage scholars for research and practice.[21] One of the first large contributions from the Foundation to psychiatric research was in 1935, with the appropriation of $100000 to the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago.[22] This grant was renewed in 1938, with payments extending into the early-1940s.[23]

Social sciences

Through the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial (LSRM), established by Senior in 1918 and named after his wife, the Rockefeller fortune was for the first time directed to supporting research by social scientists. During its first few years of work, the LSRM awarded funds primarily to social workers, with its funding decisions guided primarily by Junior. In 1922, Beardsley Ruml was hired to direct the LSRM, and he most decisively shifted the focus of Rockefeller philanthropy into the social sciences, stimulating the founding of university research centers, and creating the Social Science Research Council. In January 1929, LSRM funds were folded into the Rockefeller Foundation, in a major reorganization.[24]

Junior became the foundation chairman in 1917. One of the many prominent trustees of the institution since has been C. Douglas Dillon, the United States Secretary of the Treasury under both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.


Beginning in 1930 the Rockefeller Foundation provided financial support to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics,[25] which later inspired and conducted eugenics experiments in the Third Reich.

The Rockefeller Foundation funded Nazi racial studies even after it was clear that this research was being used to rationalize the demonizing of Jews and other groups. Up until 1939 the Rockefeller Foundation was funding research used to support Nazi racial science studies at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics (KWIA.) Reports submitted to Rockefeller did not hide what these studies were being used to justify, but Rockefeller continued the funding and refrained from criticizing this research so closely derived from Nazi ideology. The Rockefeller Foundation did not alert "the world to the nature of German science and the racist folly" that German anthropology promulgated, and Rockefeller funded, for years after the passage of the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws.[26]

The Rockefeller Foundation, along with the Carnegie Institution, was the primary financier for the Eugenics Record Office, until 1939. [27]

Harvard International Seminars

The foundation also supported the early initiatives of Henry Kissinger, such as his directorship of Harvard's International Seminars (funded as well by the Central Intelligence Agency) and the early foreign policy magazine Confluence, both established by him while he was still a graduate student.[28]

Programs: scale and scope

Siyuan Hall,1923 Rockefeller Foundation donated to Nankai University in Tianjin. Now it is Nankai University School of Medicine

Through the years the foundation has expanded greatly in scope. Historically, it has given more than $14 billion in current dollars[29] to thousands of grantees worldwide and has assisted directly in the training of nearly 13,000 Rockefeller Fellows.

Its overall philanthropic activity has been divided into five main subject areas:[30]

• Medical, health, and population sciences
• Agricultural and natural sciences
• Arts and humanities
• Social sciences
• International relations

In the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation started a program to eradicate hookworm in Mexico. The program exemplified the time period's confidence in science as the solution for everything.[31] This reliance on science was known as scientific neutrality. The Rockefeller Foundation program stated that there was a crucial correlation between the world of science, politics and international health policy. This heavy reliance of scientific neutrality contradicted the hookworm program's fundamental objective to invest in public health in order to develop better social conditions and to establish positive ties between the United States and Mexico.[32] The Hookworm Campaign set the terms of the relationship between Mexico and the Rockefeller Foundation that persisted through subsequent programs including the development of a network of local public health departments. The importance of the hookworm campaign was to get a foot in the door and swiftly convince rural people of the value of public health work. The roles of the RF's hookworm campaign are characteristic of the policy paradoxes that emerge when science is summoned to drive policy. The campaign in Mexico served as a policy cauldron through which new knowledge could be demonstrated applicable to social and political problems on many levels.[33]

A major program beginning in the 1930s was the relocation of German (Jewish) scholars from German universities to America. This was expanded to other European countries after the Anschluss occurred; when war broke out it became a full-scale rescue operation. Another program, the Emergency Rescue Committee was also partly funded with Rockefeller money; this effort resulted in the rescue of some of the most famous artists, writers and composers of Europe. Some of the notable figures relocated or saved (out of a total of 303 scholars) by the Foundation were Thomas Mann, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Leó Szilárd, enriching intellectual life and academic disciplines in the US. This came to light afterwards through a brief, unpublished history of the Foundation's program.[34]

Another significant program was its Medical Sciences Division, which extensively funded women's contraception and the human reproductive system in general. Other funding went into endocrinology departments in American universities, human heredity, mammalian biology, human physiology and anatomy, psychology, and the studies of human sexual behavior by Dr. Alfred Kinsey.[35]

Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory Field Assistant, Nariva Swamp, Trinidad. 1959

In 1950 the Foundation mounted a major program of virus research, establishing field laboratories in Poona, India; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Belém, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt; Ibadan, Nigeria; and Cali, Colombia. In time, major funding was also contributed by the countries involved, while in Trinidad the British government and neighbouring British-controlled territories also assisted. Sub-professional staff were almost all recruited locally and, wherever possible, local people were given scholarships and other support to be professionally trained. In most cases, locals eventually took over management of the facilities. Support was also given to research on viruses in many other countries. The result of all this research was the identification of a huge number of viruses affecting humans, the development of new techniques for the rapid identification of viruses, and a quantum leap in our understanding of arthropod-borne viruses.[36]

In the arts it has helped establish or support the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada, and the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut; Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio; and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. In a recent shift[when?] in program emphasis, President Rodin eliminated the division that spent money on the arts, the creativity and culture program. One program that signals the shift was the foundation's support as the underwriter of Spike Lee's documentary on New Orleans, When the Levees Broke. The film has been used as the basis for a curriculum on poverty, developed by the Teachers College at Columbia University for their students.[37]

Thousands of scientists and scholars from all over the world have received foundation fellowships and scholarships for advanced study in major scientific disciplines. In addition, the foundation has provided significant and often substantial research grants to finance conferences and assist with published studies, as well as funding departments and programs, to a vast range of foreign policy and educational organizations, including:

• Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – Especially the notable 1939-45 War and Peace Studies that advised the US State Department and the US government on World War II strategy and forward planning
• Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in London
• Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington – Support of the diplomatic training program
• Brookings Institution in Washington – Significant funding of research grants in the fields of economic and social studies
• World Bank in Washington – Helped finance the training of foreign officials through the Economic Development Institute
• Harvard University – Grants to the Center for International Affairs and medical, business and administration Schools
• Yale University – Substantial funding to the Institute of International Studies
• Princeton University – Office of Population Research
• Columbia University – Establishment of the Russia Institute
• University of the Philippines, Los Baños – Funded research for the College of Agriculture and built an international house for foreign students
• McGill University – The Rockefeller Foundation funded the Montreal Neurological Institute, on the request of Dr. Wilder Penfield, a Canadian neurosurgeon, who had met David Rockefeller years before
• Library of Congress – Funded a project for photographic copies of the complete card catalogues for the world's fifty leading libraries
• Bodleian Library at Oxford University – Grant for a building to house five million volumes
• Population Council of New York – Funded fellowships
• Social Science Research Council – Major funding for fellowships and grants-in-aid
• National Bureau of Economic Research[38]
• National Institute of Public Health of Japan (formerly The Institute of Public Health (国立公衆衛生院 Kokuritsu Kōshū Eisei-in) "School of Public Health"ja) in Tokyo (1938)
• Group of Thirty – In 1978 the Foundation invited Geoffrey Bell to set up this high-powered and influential advisory group on global financial issues, whose current chairman is a longtime Rockefeller associate Paul Volcker[39]
• London School of Economics – funded research and general budget
• University of Lyon, France – funded research in natural sciences, social sciences, medicine and the new building of the medical school during the 1920s-1930s
• The Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory
• The Results for Development Institute – funded the Center for Health Market Innovations

Notable programs

The Rockefeller Foundation has accomplished some notable achievements, such as:

• Financially supported education in the United States "without distinction of race, sex or creed"[40]
• Helped establish the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom;
• Established the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Harvard School of Public Health, two of the first such institutions in the United States;[41][42]
• Established the School of Hygiene at the University of Toronto in 1927;[43]
• Developed the vaccine to prevent yellow fever;[44][45]
• Helped The New School provide a haven for scholars threatened by the Nazis[46]

The foundation also funded several infamous projects:

• Various German eugenics programs, including the laboratory of Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, for whom Josef Mengele worked before he went to Auschwitz.
• The construction of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute's Institute for Brain Research with a $317,000 grant in 1929, with continuing support for the institute's operations under Ernst Rüdin over the next several years.[47]
• An experiment conducted by Vanderbilt University in the 1940's where they gave 800 pregnant women radioactive iron,[48][49] 751 of which were pills,[50] without their consent.[49] In a 1969 article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was estimated that three children had died from the experiment.[50]

The Green Revolution

Main article: Green Revolution

Agriculture was introduced to the Natural Sciences division of the foundation in the major reorganization of 1928. In 1941, the foundation gave a small grant to Mexico for maize research, in collaboration with the then new president, Manuel Ávila Camacho. This was done after the intervention of vice-president Henry Wallace and the involvement of Nelson Rockefeller; the primary intention being to stabilise the Mexican Government and derail any possible communist infiltration, in order to protect the Rockefeller family's investments.[51]

By 1943 this program, under the foundation's Mexican Agriculture Project, had proved such a success with the science of corn propagation and general principles of agronomy that it was exported to other Latin American countries; in 1956 the program was then taken to India; again with the geopolitical imperative of providing an antidote to communism.[51] It wasn't until 1959 that senior foundation officials succeeded in getting the Ford Foundation (and later USAID, and later still, the World Bank) to sign on to the major philanthropic project, known now to the world as the Green Revolution. It was originally conceived in 1943 as CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. It also provided significant funding for the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. Part of the original program, the funding of the IRRI was later taken over by the Ford Foundation.[51]

Costing around $600 million, over 50 years, the revolution brought new farming technology, increased productivity, expanded crop yields and mass fertilization to many countries throughout the world. Later it funded over $100 million of plant biotechnology research and trained over four hundred scientists from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also invested in the production of transgenic crops, including rice and maize. In 1999, the then president Gordon Conway addressed the Monsanto Company board of directors, warning of the possible social and environmental dangers of this biotechnology, and requesting them to disavow the use of so-called terminator genes;[52] the company later complied.

In the 1990s, the foundation shifted its agriculture work and emphasis to Africa; in 2006 it joined with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation[53] in a $150 million effort to fight hunger in the continent through improved agricultural productivity. In an interview marking the 100 year anniversary of the Rockefeller Foundation, Judith Rodin explained to This Is Africa that Rockefeller has been involved in Africa since their beginning in three main areas – health, agriculture and education, though agriculture has been and continues to be their largest investment in Africa.[54]

Bellagio Center

The foundation also owns and operates the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy. The Center comprises several buildings, spread across a 50-acre (200,000 m2) property, on the peninsula between lakes Como and Lecco in Northern Italy. The Center is sometimes colloquially referred to as the Villa Serbelloni. The Villa is only one of the many buildings in which residents and conference participants are housed. The property was bequeathed to the Foundation in 1959 under the presidency of Dean Rusk (who was later to become U.S. President Kennedy's secretary of state). The Bellagio Center operates both a conference center and a residency program.[55] The residency program is a highly competitive program to which scholars, artists, writers, musicians, scientists, policymakers and development professionals from around the world can apply to work on a project of their own choosing for a period of four weeks. The essence of the program is the synergy obtained by the interaction between people coming from the most diverse backgrounds. Numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners, National Book Award recipients, Prince Mahidol Award winners and MacArthur fellows, as well as several acting and former heads of State and Government, have been in residence at Bellagio.

Rockefeller Foundation Communication for Social Change Network

The network is enabled by the Rockefeller Foundation for collaboration between experts and communication professionals that include grassroots/community-based and international non-governmental organizations, as well as multilateral and bilateral entities. Its involvement in AIDS prevention, was based on promoting deep-rooted social changes that stem from informed and inclusive public engagement. However, it recognized that wide-scale educational campaigns focused on altering individual behavior played a critical role.

The strategy and principles linked with the network are listed below:

• "Sustainability of social change is more likely if the individuals and communities most affected own the process and content of communication."[56]
• "Communication for social change should be empowering, horizontal (versus top-down), give a voice to the previously unheard members of the community, and be biased towards local content and ownership."[56]
• "Communities should be the agents of their own change."[56]
• "Emphasis should shift from persuasion and the transmission of information from outside technical experts to dialogue, debate and negotiation on issues that resonate with members of the community."[56]
• "Emphasis on outcomes should go beyond individual behaviour to social norms, policies, culture and the supporting environment."[56]

100 Resilient Cities

In December 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation launched the 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which is dedicated to promoting urban resilience, defined as "the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience."[57]

Through its program, 100 Resilient Cities offers cities the following resources:[58]

• Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city's resilience efforts
• Expert support for development of a robust resilience strategy
• Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies
• Membership of a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other

A total of 100 cities across six continents are part of the program, as of May 2016.[59] All 100 cities have developed individual City Resilience Strategies with technical support from a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). The CRO ideally reports directly to the city's chief executive and helps coordinate all the resilience efforts in a single city.

In January 2016, The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development announced winners of its National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), awarding three 100RC member cities – New York, NY; Norfolk, VA; and New Orleans, LA – with more than $437 million in disaster resilience funding.[60] The grant was the largest ever received by the city of Norfolk.

Cultural Innovation Fund

The Cultural Innovation Fund is a pilot grant program that is overseen by Lincoln Center for the Arts. The Rockefeller Foundation selected Lincoln Center to administer the fund based on the institutions steady track record in creating community based partnerships and implementing art based programs.[61][62] The grants are to be used towards innovative ideas that would bring art access and foster cultural opportunities in the underserved areas of Brooklyn and the South Bronx[63] with three overarching goals.

• Increase access to the arts in underserved neighborhoods around New York City
• increase the "places and platforms" where cultural activities are taking place
• support nonprofit organizations in implementing cultural based programs and strategies[62]

Family involvement

The Rockefeller family helped lead the foundation in its early years, but later limited itself to one or two representatives, to maintain the foundation's independence and avoid charges of undue family influence. These representatives have included the former president John D. Rockefeller 3rd, and then his son John D. Rockefeller, IV, who gave up the trusteeship in 1981. In 1989, David Rockefeller's daughter, Peggy Dulany, was appointed to the board for a five-year term.

In October 2006, David Rockefeller, Jr. joined the board of trustees, re-establishing the direct family link and becoming the sixth family member to serve on the board. By contrast, the Ford Foundation has severed all direct links with the Ford family.

Stock in the family's oil companies is a major part of the foundation's assets, beginning with Standard Oil and now with its corporate descendants, including Exxon Mobil.[64][65][66]

Historical legacy

The second-oldest major philanthropic institution in America, after the Carnegie Corporation, the foundation's impact on philanthropy in general has been profound. It has supported United Nations programs throughout its history, such as the recent First Global Forum On Human Development, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1999.[67]

The early institutions it set up have served as models for current organizations: the UN's World Health Organization, set up in 1948, is modeled on the International Health Division; the U.S. Government's National Science Foundation (1950) on its approach in support of research, scholarships and institutional development; and the National Institute of Health (1950) imitated its longstanding medical programs.[68]

Current trustees

As of January 7, 2017[69]

• Richard Parsons (chair), 2007-, chairman of the board, Citigroup Inc.
• Helene D. Gayle, 2009-, president and CEO of CARE.
• Donald Kaberuka, 2015-, former president, African Development Bank Group, Rwanda Minister of Finance and Economic Planning between 1997 and 2005.
• Martin L. Leibowitz, 2012-, managing director, Morgan Stanley; formerly TIAA-CREF (1995 to 2004) and 26 years with Salomon Brothers
• Yifei Li, 2013-, country chair, Man Group China
• Monica Lozano, 2012-, CEO, ImpreMedia, LLC
• Strive Masiyiwa, 2003-, Zimbabwean businessman and cellphone pioneer, founding Econet Wireless.
• Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 2009-, Finance Minister of Nigeria; former managing director of the World Bank; former Foreign Minister of Nigeria.
• Judith Rodin, president of the foundation (2005-); ex-officio member of board
• John Rowe M.D., 2007-, professor at the Columbia UniversityMailman School of Public Health; former chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc.
• Rajiv Shah, 2015-, distinguished fellow in residence, Georgetown University; previously administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2010 to 2015.
• Ravi Venkatesan, 2014-, chairman, Bank of Baroda; previously Microsoft India (2004–2011) and Cummins India

Past trustees


• Alan Alda, 1989–1994 – actor and film director. [70]
• Winthrop W. Aldrich 1935–1951 – chairman of the Chase National Bank, 1934–1953; Ambassador to the Court of St. James, 1953–1957.
• John W. Davis 1922–1939 – J. P. Morgan's private attorney; founding president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
• C. Douglas Dillon 1960–1961 – US Treasury Secretary, 1961–1965; member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
• Orvil E. Dryfoos 1960–1963 – publisher of The New York Times, 1961–1963.
• Peggy Dulany, 1989–1994 – Fourth child of David Rockefeller; founder and president of Synergos. [70]
John Foster Dulles 1935–1952 (chairman) – US Secretary of State, 1953–1959; senior partner, Sullivan & Cromwell law firm.
• Charles William Eliot 1914–1917 – president of Harvard, 1869–1909.
• John Robert Evans 1982 -1996 (chairman) – president of the University of Toronto 1972–1978; founding director of the Population, Health and Nutrition Department of the World Bank
• Ann M. Fudge, 2006-, former chairman and CEO, Young & RubicamBrands, New York
• Frederick Taylor Gates 1913–1923 – John D. Rockefeller Sr.'s principal advisor.
• Stephen Jay Gould 1993–2002 – author; professor and curator, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.
• Rajat Gupta, 2006–11, former director, Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, AMR Corporation; Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General; former managing director, McKinsey & Company.
• Wallace Harrison 1951–1961 – Rockefeller family architect; lead architect for the UN Headquarters complex.
• Thomas J. Healey, 2003–2012, partner, Healey Development LLC; teaching course at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government; formerly with Goldman Sachs and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.
• Alice S. Huang, senior faculty associate, California Institute of Technology.
• Charles Evans Hughes 1917–1921; 1925–1928 – Chief Justice of the United States, 1930–1941.
• Robert A. Lovett 1949–1961 – US Secretary of Defense, 1951–1953.
• Yo-Yo Ma 1999–2002 – cellist.
• Jessica T. Mathews, president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C.
• John J. McCloy chairman: 1946–1949; 1953–1958 – prominent US presidential advisor; chairman of the Ford Foundation, 1958–1965; chairman of the council on Foreign Relations.
• Bill Moyers 1969–1981 – journalist.
• Diana Natalicio, 2004-, president, The University of Texas at El Paso
• Sandra Day O'Connor, 2006-, associate justice, retired, Supreme Court of the United States
• James F. Orr, III, (board chair), president and chief executive officer, LandingPoint Capital, Boston, Massachusetts.
• Surin Pitsuwan, 2010–2012, secretary general of ASEAN (2007–2012)[71] and Thai politician.
• Mamphela Ramphele, chairperson, Circle Capital Ventures, Cape Town, South Africa.
• David Rockefeller Jr., 2006-, chair of foundation board Dec. 2010- ; vice chairman of Rockefeller Family & Associates; director and former chair, Rockefeller & Co., Inc.; current trustee of the Museum of Modern Art.
• John D. Rockefeller 1913–1923.
• John D. Rockefeller Jr. chairman: 1917–1939.
• John D. Rockefeller III chairman: 1952–1972.
• John D. Rockefeller IV 1976–81.
• Julius Rosenwald 1917–1931 – chairman of Sears Roebuck, 1932–1939.
• Dean Rusk 1950–1961 – US Secretary of State, 1961–1969.
• Raymond W. Smith, chairman, Rothschild, Inc., New York; chairman of Arlington Capital Partners; chairman of Verizon Ventures; and a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
• Frank Stanton 1961–1966? – president of CBS, 1946–1971.
• Arthur Hays Sulzberger 1939–1957 – publisher of The New York Times, 1935–1961.
• Paul Volcker 1975–1979 – chairman, board of governors, Federal Reserve Board; president, New York Federal Reserve Bank.
• Thomas J. Watson Jr. 1963–1970?[72] – president of IBM, 1952–1971.
• James Wolfensohn – former president of the World Bank.
• George D. Woods 1961–1967? – president of the World Bank, 1963–1968.
• Võ Tòng Xuân, 2002–2010, vice president for academic affairs, Tan Tao University, Ho Chi Minh City; former rector of An Giang University, the second university in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.
• Owen D. Young 1928–1939 – chairman of GE, 1922–1939, 1942–1945.


• Rajiv Shah - 2017-, distinguished fellow in residence, Georgetown University; previously administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2010 to 2015.
• Judith Rodin - 2005–2017; former president of the University of Pennsylvania, and provost, chair of the Department of Psychology, Yale University.
• Gordon Conway – 1998–2004; an agricultural ecologist and former president of the Royal Geographical Society.
• Peter Goldmark, Jr. – 1988–1997; former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[73]
• Richard Lyman – 1980–1988; president of Stanford University(1970–1980).
• John Knowles – 1972–1979; physician, general director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (1962–1971).[74]
• J. George Harrar – 1961–1972; plant pathologist, "generally regarded as the father of 'the Green Revolution.'"[75]
• Dean Rusk – 1952–1961; United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969
• Chester Barnard – 1948–1952; Bell System executive and author of landmark 1938 book, The Functions of the Executive
• Raymond B. Fosdick – 1936–1948; brother of American clergyman Harry Emerson Fosdick
• Max Mason – 1929–1936
• George E. Vincent – 1917–1929; member of the John D. Rockefeller/Frederick T. Gates General Education Board (1914–1929)[76]
• John D. Rockefeller, Jr. – 1913–1917.

See also

Asia Society
• Association Internationale Africaine
• Eugenics in the United States
• Industrial relations
• Philanthropy
• Philanthropy in the United States
• Rockefeller Brothers Fund
• Rockefeller family
• Social sciences
• Rockefeller Sanitary Commission


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• Berman, Edward H. The Ideology of Philanthropy: The influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations on American foreign policy, New York: State University of New York Press, 1983.
• Brown, E. Richard, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.
• Chernow, Ron, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., London: Warner Books, 1998.
• Dowie, Mark, American Foundations: An Investigative History, Boston: The MIT Press, 2001.
• Farley, John. To Cast Out Disease: A History of the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation (1913–1951) (2005)
• Fisher, Donald, Fundamental Development of the Social Sciences: Rockefeller Philanthropy and the United States Social Science Research Council, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1993.
• Fosdick, Raymond B., John D. Rockefeller, Jr., A Portrait, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956.
• Fosdick, Raymond B., The Story of the Rockefeller Foundation, New York: Transaction Publishers, Reprint, 1989.
• Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.
• Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller Conscience: An American Family in Public and in Private, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.
• Jonas, Gerald. The Circuit Riders: Rockefeller Money and the Rise of Modern Science. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1989.
• Kay, Lily, The Molecular Vision of Life: Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of the New Biology, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
• Lawrence, Christopher. Rockefeller Money, the Laboratory and Medicine in Edinburgh 1919–1930: New Science in an Old Country, Rochester Studies in Medical History, University of Rochester Press, 2005.
• Nielsen, Waldemar, The Big Foundations, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
• Nielsen, Waldemar A., The Golden Donors, E. P. Dutton, 1985. Called Foundation "unimaginative ... lacking leadership and 'slouching toward senility.'"
• Palmer, Steven, Launching Global Health: The Caribbean Odyssey of the Rockefeller Foundation, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010.
• Rockefeller, David, Memoirs, New York: Random House, 2002.
• Shaplen, Robert, Toward the Well-Being of Mankind: Fifty Years of the Rockefeller Foundation, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964.
• Theiler, Max and Downs, W. G., The Arthropod-Borne Viruses of Vertebrates: An Account of The Rockefeller Foundation Virus Program, 1951–1970. (1973) Yale University Press. New Haven and London. ISBN 0-300-01508-9.
• Rockefeller Foundation 990
Further reading[edit]
• CFR Website – Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996 The history of the council by Peter Grose, a council member – mentions financial support from the Rockefeller foundation.
• Interview with Norman Dodd An investigation of a hidden agenda within tax-free foundations, including the Rockefeller Foundation (Video).
• Foundation Center: Top 100 US Foundations by total giving
• New York Times: Rockefeller Foundation Elects 5 – Including Alan Alda and Peggy Dulany
• "Eugenics and the Nazis: the California Connection"
• Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue # 53: "Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism," Bryan Sanders, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, March 2004

External links

• Rockefeller Foundation website, including a timeline
• Hookworm and malaria research in Malaya, Java, and the Fiji Islands; report of Uncinariasis commission to the Orient, 1915–1917 The Rockefeller foundation, International health board. New York 1920
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:08 am

Max Cassirer: German local politician and entrepreneur
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/18/19



Duck Fountain in front of the Renaissance Theater

Tomb, Trakehner Allee 1, in Berlin-Westend

Max Cassirer (born October 18, 1857 in Schwientochlowitz , † January 15, 1943 in Llanelltyd, Wales) was a German local politician and entrepreneur.


Max Cassirer came from the German-Jewish entrepreneurial family Cassirer, his father was the wood manufacturer Marcus Cassirer (1809-1879) and his mother Jeannette, born Steinitz (1813-1889). He was born in 1897 in Schwientochlowitz, today Świętochłowice, and married Hedwig, nee Freund (1862-1928) and sister of Natalie Freund, later wife of his brother Salo Cassirer. With her he had three children: the art dealer and art historian Kurt Hans (1883-1975), the reform educator Edith Johanna (1885-1982), wife of Paul Geheeb, and the businessman Franz Otto (1886-1912). [1]

After graduating from high school in Katowice he studied medicine in Breslau and Berlin. In 1881 he founded his first company in Gdansk, a timber exporting company. In 1887 he moved to the then independent city of Charlottenburg near Berlin. Together with his brothers Julius, Louis and Isidor he founded the company Cassirer & Co and in 1899 they founded the Włocławek sulfite-cellulose factory J. & M. Cassirer as pulp mill in Włocławek, which he headed. After the First World War, he took over the management of Tillgner and Co. Zellstoffwerke KG , which was active in Berlin and in the Silesian Ziegenhals / Głuchołazy.

From 1893 he was a non-party member of the city council and from 1909 city council of Charlottenburg. When Charlottenburg lost its independence in 1920 and became part of Greater Berlin, he resigned on 18 February 1920 as a city councilor. On the occasion of this date, the city of Charlottenburg awarded him the honorary citizenship for his services. From June 1920 he was a member of the newly formed district council of the district of Charlottenburg.

During his life he supported various artistic actions. For example, he donated the Duck Fountain, which now stands in front of the Renaissance Theater. He was closely associated with its creator, August Gaul, for many years. So Gaul was also an architect of the 1895 built family villa. Socially, Cassirer was involved in many areas. He supported the Familienstiftung fur Arme and the Odenwaldschule, which [was] built [by] his daughter Edith with her husband Paul Geheeb. Since 1970, the Max-Cassirer-Haus has been remembering its commitment in the Ecole d'Humanité. In 1928, Max Cassirer Honorary Senator of the Technical University of Charlottenburg.

After 1933 he lost much of his fortune. His share capital went to the Siemens subsidiary Elektro-Licht- und Kraftanlagen AG Berlin. In 1938, his remaining assets were "Aryanized" and he was forced to sell the villa. In December 1938 he managed to emigrate. First he fled to his daughter in Switzerland; she had emigrated there in 1934 with her husband and students. In 1939 he traveled to Britain, where he lived until his death.

In 1941 he was expatriated and confiscated his remaining assets. He lost bank accounts of several hundred thousand Reichsmark, his art collection was auctioned or confiscated. Max Cassirer died two years later in Welsh exile.


1. Sigrid Bauschinger: The Cassirers. Entrepreneurs, art dealers, philosophers. CH Beck, Munich 2015; Pp. 445-447. ISBN 978-3-406-67714-4.

Web links

Commons: Max Cassirer - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Short biography at
Short biography at
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:49 am

Mary Butts
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/18/19



Mary Butts
Photo portrait by Bertram Park, 1919
Born Mary Francis Butts
13 December 1890
Poole, Dorset, England
Died 5 March 1937 (aged 46)
Penzance, Cornwall, England
Occupation Novelist

Mary Francis Butts, (13 December 1890 – 5 March 1937) also Mary Rodker by marriage, was an English modernist writer. Her work found recognition in literary magazines such as The Bookman and The Little Review, as well as from fellow modernists, T. S. Eliot, H.D. and Bryher. After her death, her works fell into obscurity until they began to be republished in the 1980s.[1][2]


Butts was born on 13 December 1890 in Poole, Dorset,[3] the daughter of Mary Jane (née Briggs) and Captain Frederick John Butts. She had a younger brother, Anthony. Her great-grandfather was Thomas Butts, the friend of William Blake, the poet and artist.[2] She was brought up at Salterns, an 18th-century house overlooking Poole Harbour (described in her book, The Crystal Cabinet: My Childhood at Salterns), where she became an admirer of the Blake watercolors which her father had inherited.[2] In 1905 her father died; after which she was sent for a boarding school education at St Leonard's school for girls in St Andrews (1905–1908).[4] In 1906 her mother sold the Blake paintings and in 1907 remarried. From 1909 to 1912 Mary studied at Westfield College in London, where she first became aware of her bisexual feelings. She did not complete a degree there, but was sent down for organising a trip to Epsom races.[5] She went on to study at the London School of Economics, from which she graduated in 1914.

She became a student of the occultist Aleister Crowley. She and other students worked with Crowley on his Magick (Book 4) (1912) and were given co-authorship credit.

In 1916, she began keeping the diary which she would maintain until the year of her death.

In the first years of World War I, she was living in London, undertaking social work for the London County Council in Hackney Wick, and in a lesbian relationship. She then met the modernist poet, John Rodker, a pacifist at that time hiding in Dorking with fellow poet and pacifist Robert Trevelyan.[6] In May 1918 she married Rodker, and in November 1920 gave birth to their daughter, Camilla Elizabeth. Butts also adopted Rodker's pacifism.[2] She helped Rodker to set up as a publisher, and through him she met several modernist writers, including Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Ford Madox Ford, Roger Fry and May Sinclair.[2] But shortly after the birth of her daughter she began a liaison with Cecil Maitland.

During the early 1920s Butts was mostly in Paris, where she became friends there with several writers and artists, including the painter Cedric Morris (a friend of her brother) and the artist, poet, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau,[7] who illustrated her book, Imaginary Letters (1928).[8] In mid-1921 she and Maitland spent about twelve weeks at Aleister Crowley's Abbey of Thelema in Sicily; she found the practices there shocking, and came away with a drug habit.[9] In 1922 and 1923 she and Maitland spent periods near Tyneham, Dorset, and her novels of the 1920s make much of the Dorset landscape.[10] In 1923 her book of stories, Speed the Plough and other stories was published; which was followed in 1925 by her first novel, Ashe of Rings (published by Robert McAlmon).[11] Ashe of Rings is an anti-war novel with supernatural elements.[12]

In 1927, she and Rodker were divorced. In 1928, Butts published Armed with Madness a novel featuring experimental Modernist writing revolving around the Grail legend. In 1930, she married the homosexual artist, William Park "Gabriel" Atkin or Aitken (1897–1937) (Mary then styled herself Mrs Aitken, but retained her maiden name for her writings). After a time in London and Newcastle, they settled in 1932 at Sennen on the Penwith peninsula on the western tip of Cornwall, but by 1934 the marriage had failed.[4][13]

Butts was an ardent advocate of nature conservation, and attacked the pollution of the English countryside in her pamphlets Warning To Hikers and Traps For Unbelievers.[2]

In 1933, at Sennen, she was introduced to the young novelist, Frank Baker, by George Manning-Sanders. Some time later, when Baker was living at Halamanning Valley with his friend John Raynor, she and Baker met again and became friends. They became members of the congregation of St Hilary's church, where Fr. Bernard Walke would produce nativity plays broadcast by the BBC.

Shortly before her death, she was working on a study of emperor Julian the Apostate. She died on 5 March 1937, at the age of forty-six, at the West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance, after an operation for a perforated gastric ulcer. Her funeral was held at St Sennen's Church, Sennen. Her autobiography, The Crystal Cabinet, was published a few months after her death. Her brother, Anthony, committed suicide in 1941 by throwing himself out of a window.[14]

A portrait of Mary Butts was painted in 1924 by Cedric Morris, and a portrait drawing of her was made by Jean Cocteau (reproduced as a frontispiece to her memoir, The Crystal Cabinet).

Scholarship on Mary Butts

Mary Butts's papers are held at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.[15] Her biography, by N. Blondel, appeared in 1998.[16]

Published works

• 1912 Magick (Book 4), by Aleister Crowley, Butts given co-authorship credit
• 1923 Speed the Plough and other Stories
• 1925 Ashe of Rings
• 1928 Armed with Madness
• 1928 Imaginary Letters
• 1932 Death of Felicity Taverner
• 1932 Traps for Unbelievers
• 1932 Several Occasions
• 1932 Warning to Hikers
• 1933 The Macedonian [a study of king Alexander of Macedon]
• 1935 Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra
• 1937 The Crystal Cabinet: My Childhood at Salterns [autobiography]
• 1938 Last Stories

Most of her books were reprinted in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Further reading

• D'Arfey, William (pseudonym of Anthony Butts & William Plomer), Curious Relations. Fictionalised family memoirs of Mary Butts's brother.
• Andrew Radford, 'Mary Butts and British Neo-Romanticism. Bloomsbury, (2014)
• Nigel Jackson, 'Obscene Icons: Desacralization & Counter-Tradition in the Work of Mary Butts' in 'Sacrum Regnum II' (2013)
• Mary Butts, The Journals of Mary Butts Edited by Nathalie Blondel (2000. Yale U.P.)
• R. Reso Foy, Ritual, Myth and Mysticism in the Work of Mary Butts ... (2000)
• Nathalie Blondel, Mary Butts Scenes from the Life (1998)
• C. Wagstaff, A Sacred Quest: the life and writings of Mary Butts (1998)
• Frank Baker, 'Mary Butts', in F. Baker, I Follow But Myself (1968), p. 114–148
• Mary Butts, [extracts from her journals, prefaced with an article, 'Mary Butts', by R. H. Byington and G. E. Morgan], in Art and Literature; 7 (1965 winter), p. 162-
• Mary Butts, The Crystal Cabinet: My Childhood at Salterns (1937), reprinted (1988)


1. Blondel, N (2004). "Butts, Mary Franeis (1890–1937)". In Brian Harrison (ed.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
2. Jane Garrity, "Butts, Mary" in Faye Hammill, Ashlie Sponenberg and Esme Miskimmin (ed.), Encyclopedia of British Women's Writing, 1900-1950. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 9781403916921 (p.37-38)
3. ... nty=dorset
4. Taylor, Alan (12 January 2003). "Bohemian rhapsodies". The Sunday Herald.
6. The New York Times ... butts.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
7. Ifs, Ands, or Butts, Austin Chronicle, 31 August 1998
8. Beinecke Library, Recent Acquisitions, Fall 1998 Archived 3 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
9. Booth, Martin (2001) [2000]. A Magick Life: A Biography of Aleister Crowley (trade paperback) (Coronet ed.). London: Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 375–76. ISBN 0-340-71806-4. Mary Butts and [Cecil] Maitland left Cefalú on 16 September after staying about twelve weeks. They had not enjoyed their visit[...] Also, they both came away drug addicts.
10. Patrick Wright, The Village that Died for England (2002 edition), pp. 99–108.
11. ... yrnet.html
12. Faye Hammill, Ashlie Sponenberg and Esme Miskimmin (ed.), Encyclopedia of British Women's Writing, 1900-1950. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 9781403916921 (p.37-38) (p. 295)
13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
14. William Plomer: a Biography by Peter F. Alexander. O.U.P. 1989.
15. Mary Butts Papers. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
16. N. Blondel (1998), Mary Butts: Scenes from a Life, McPherson & Company, Kingston, NY, ISBN 0-929701-55-0

External links

• Works by Mary Butts at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Family tree
• Mary Butts at Library of Congress Authorities, with 19 catalogue records
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:17 am

Marie Butts
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/18/19



Marie Butts (front row center) with International Bureau of Education director Pierre Bovet (far left) and their team.

Marie Butts (Thonon, France 1870 – Geneva, Switzerland 1953) was a French educator, translator, and children’s book author. She served as the first General Secretary of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) from 1926-1953, alongside directors Pierre Bovet and Jean Piaget, respectively.[1]


Butts held several teaching positions from 1895 to 1939, lecturing in subjects such as English language, literature, and industrial psychology.[2] In 1926, she became the first General Secretary of the International Bureau of Education (IBE), a position she retained for 28 years, until the age of 77.[1] In 1947, she was a member of the committee of experts of UNESCO on international understanding.

IBE-UNESCO ARCHIVES: Jean Piaget, Director (front row center). Pedro Rosselló, Deputy Director (front row right) Marie Butts, Secretary General (front row center left)

Butts was the author of several children’s books, including Roland le Vaillant Paladin published by Librarie larousse in 1911. She also translated a number of works by English language writers into French, including H.G. Wells, Dhan Gopal Mukerji, and Anatole Le Braz.[2]


1. Rossello, Pedro. (1953, June 5). [Hommage to Marie Butts]. The IBE Historic Archives, 1925-1969. International Bureau of Education, Geneva, Switzerland.
2. Picot, Albert. (1953, June 5). [Address by M. Albert Picot, Member of the Conseil d'Etat, President of the Executive Committee at the International Bureau of Education]. The IBE Historic Archives, 1925-1969. International Bureau of Education, Geneva, Switzerland.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:42 am

Pedro Rosselló (educator)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/18/19



Pere Rosselló (center) with the IBE Director Jean Piaget

Pedro (Pere) Rosselló i Blanch (Calonge, Spain 1897-1970), was a Catalan lecturer and educator. He served as the deputy director of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) from 1928-1969, a position which he took over from Elisabeth Rotten. Working alongside director Jean Piaget, he played an integral role in shaping the IBE during its inception as an international organization until its merger with UNESCO in 1969.[1]


A photograph from the Seventh International Conference on Public Education in 1938. Rosselló was the IBE's main organizer of the International Conference on Public Education from 1934-1969.

Rosselló did his studies in Education first at the Escola Normal in Girona, then at Madrid Teacher's College, and followed his graduate studies at the Geneva Institute of Sciences of Education and at the University of Lausanne, completing his doctorate in social sciences at the latter in 1934 with the dissertation "Marc-Antoine Jullien, pére de l'éducation comparée".[1] In 1927, he became a lecturer at the Rousseau Institute in Geneva. He collaborated with fellow Rousseau Institute colleagues Edouard Claparède and Adolphe Ferrière in turning the IBE into an intergovernmental organization, a status it achieved in 1929. During that time, he was appointed deputy director, serving under director Jean Piaget. Rosselló held this position until 1969.[1] He taught in comparative education at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Geneva in the mid-1940s, and at the Institute of Educational Sciences from 1948 to 1967.[2]

Main areas of focus

During his tenure with the IBE, Rosselló promoted the comparative approach to the international debate on education, notably through overseeing the majority of the IBE's publications on the subject, including the International Yearbook of Education.[2] He was the chief organizer of the International Conference on Public Education, a renowned global forum dedicated to creating dialogues around educational themes and subjects, which he and Piaget were responsible for creating in 1934.[1]


1. Avanzini, Guy; Darcy de Oliviera, Rosiska; Egger, Eugen; Roller, Samuel; Stock, Rodney; Suchodolski, Bogdan (1979). The International Bureau of Education in the service of educational development. UNESCO. p. 65. ISBN 92-3-101733-0.
2. University of Geneva. "Personnalités marquantes". University of Geneva.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:53 am

The Fighting Ascetics of India. [1]
by J.N. Farquhar, M.A., D. Litt. (Oxon.).
Professor of Comparative Religion in the University of Manchester




MONASTICISM, the system which sets men and women apart from ordinary life, in order that they may live in celibacy and poverty, and devote their whole time and energy to the highest ends of religion, is something which we can all understand and appreciate, whatever our judgment as to the final value of the practice may be; but when we hear of members of some monastic order taking to arms and fighting, we hardly know what to make of the information. How can the life of complete self-dedication to religion square with war, terror, bloodshed and death? How can the monk have ever been to become a soldier? -- The answer is that in most cases, religious war has been the exciting cause. When people of one faith have attacked people who held another, with some sort of religious or semi-religious end in view, then monks, though dedicated to an exclusively religious life, have, in most cases, felt it was time to take up the sword in defence of their fellow-believers. When, under the early Caliphs, the armies of Islam attacked the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire, we read that, at a number of points, Christian monks went out with banners and arms to oppose them. Muslim ascetics have, however, frequently taken up the sword, even when they were not threatened by religious war, and the same seems to be true of certain groups of Indian ascetics.

The mediaeval movement in which the three great orders of monastic knighthood arose -- the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, the Knights Templars and the Teutonic Knights [2] -- was inspired by the desire to protect Christian pilgrims and invalids from Muslim violence; but thereafter the knights proceeded to play for some two centuries a great part in the political and military struggle between Europe and Islam. Similarly, in Spain, the orders of St. James of Compostella, Alcantara and Calatrava, were all founded as military religious orders to fight the Moors of Spain [3] Even to-day in those parts of the Near East where conditions are constantly disturbed, you may see the Christian monk shouldering his musket or any other weapon he can get to defend his monastery. [4]

Sufism, as Muslim Mysticism is called, sprang from the religious experience of Muhammad, on the one hand, and from Christian mysticism, [5] on the other; while early Muslim asceticism is almost entirely a reflex of the life of the Christian monk of the seventh century. Muslim mystics, whether householders or vowed ascetics, are called Sufis; [6] while ascetics are called Faqirs [7] or Dervishes, [8] faqir being Arabic, while dervish is Persian. The only word used in India for a Muslim ascetic is faqir. These ascetics are organised in orders, each dependent on an ancient historical founder and controlled by a living head. [9] Like the Christian monk of the seventh century, the faqir took to fighting in the religious wars. We hear of them in the early struggles and in most of the later wars.
[10] In most Islamic countries of the East to-day, you meet the faqir carrying a spear or heavy axe.' [11] Sheikh Said, the leader of the Kurds who have rebelled against the modern Turkish Government, is the head of one of the most famous Dervish orders, the Nakshbandis, [8] so that, doubtless, many of his fighting followers are faqirs.

It is very remarkable that, although Buddhist teaching is of a deeply quietist character, yet one great order of Buddhist monks in medieval Japan developed into a military force and played a considerable part in the politics and wars of their time. [12]


I expect most students of history know about the Christian military orders and have also heard something about the fighting prowess of Muslim faqirs; but to most of us the ascetics of India seem to stand by themselves. We think of them as the supreme penitents of the world. This side of Hinduism is usually thought to be, beyond other forms of religious life, characterised by otherworldliness, by a supreme contempt for the pleasures, comforts and shows of the world. The idea of Hindu monks becoming fighting men seems grotesquely absurd.

If you dip into the great books on the history of India, you will find scarcely a hint that such a thing ever happened; [13] most students have never heard of the facts; and even in the latest and greatest books on Hinduism, there is scarcely a reference to its monastic warriors. I should have known little or nothing about this very significant aspect of Indian history, had I not been driven to investigate the present-day organisation of certain orders of Hindu ascetics: only when I got to understand the history of the fighting did the problem become soluble.

There is a sort of faint prophecy of all this strange history found at a very early date in India. It was probably about seven hundred years before Christ, but possibly earlier, that groups of Hindu householders began the practice of giving up the life of the village and the town to devote their whole time to religion in the quiet and peace of the forest. Those who entered on this life were called Vanaprasthas, forest-dwellers, hermits, but their practice cannot be called ascetic. It was rather puritan than ascetic. Celibacy was not necessary. A man usually took his wife with him to the forest, and children were often born in the hermitages. The chief end these men had in view was to escape from the toil and bustle and worry of ordinary life, and to devote their whole attention to religious thought and practice. The hermit gave up his profession and every form of work; he did not even sow and reap. He was forbidden to enter a village or to step on ploughed land. His sole interest was religion. He therefore went to the forest and built a rude hut, and laid up in it a store of grain for food. Usually a number of huts were built near each other, and thus formed a hermitage. As there were many wild beasts in the forest in those early days, and also many wild men, the hermits crowded together for safety.

When a king or prince or courtier was driven into exile, the custom was to retire to the forest and live as a hermit until some change in the political situation should give him the chance of returning.] Thus the Ramayana tells us that when, through the scheming of one of his wives, Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhyi, was persuaded to send his son Rama into exile, Rama with his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshman, withdrew to the forest to the south of the Jumna, and there lived as hermits; and there is a episode in the life of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. In the case of a king, prince or noble, the exile took his arms with him to the forest, and used them to keep off wild beasts and hostile men, and also to kill the deer of the forest for food; but the ordinary hermit had no arms. This then is the faint early prophecy of the great history of later days which we have to study.

In those days Hindus of the highest castes still ate flesh. But in later centuries animal sacrifice and the eating of flesh were denounced as cruel in that they led to the destruction of animal life. Hence the saving of animal life became an ideal, and a rule arose that no hermit in the forest should kill an animal: it was thought inconsistent with his religious life. This is the famous rule of ahimsa, [14] harmlessness.

When hermits had learned to practise this rule, the animals of the forest gradually realised, in the neighbourhood of a hermitage, that they were perfectly safe from attack, and became absolutely tame, completely free from fear of man. In early Indian poetry one finds many descriptions of these scenes of peace and friendship in the forest. [15] In the course of the first attempt to climb Mount Everest, when the explorers had come within a few marches of the great mountain, they found many places where beasts and birds were exceedingly tame, quite untouched by fear of man. The Buddhist monks on the mountains still practise ahimsa.


One of the greatest of all the changes that mark the history of Hinduism is the rise of the doctrine of transmigration and karma, the central idea of which is that every soul passes through innumerable lives, in each life enjoying or suffering just recompense for the deeds done in its previous life. Now all Hindus accepted this doctrine; but, while the ordinary man accepted it with equanimity, quite pleased to look forward to another life, thinking men hated the prospect and regarded it as intolerable to be unceasingly driven through the round of birth and death. Hence they began to look about for some means of escape from this dreadful fate. They sought for Release from Transmigration.

Now every form of asceticism, Hindu, Buddhist or Jain, which arose in ancient India, was meant to secure this inexpressibly precious boon; and men who were determined to achieve Release became ascetics, because it was felt that no one could escape from rebirth, unless he had completely subdued his passions and all the natural tendencies of the human personality to love life and the world and its joys. Indian asceticism has thus for its one aim the complete expulsion of love of all things worldly from the soul. How incredible then, at first sight, it is that any Indian ascetic should take to fighting! Further, every ascetic takes the vow of ahimsa, i.e. harmlessness, the vow not to destroy life in any form: how then can the Indian ascetic become a warrior?

The earliest of all the ascetic orders of India is the famous Hindu order, the sannyasis or renouncers, so named because their faith and their practice equally required that they should renounce everything worldly. The order came into being, in all probability, about 600 B.C. The belief which created the movement is that the human soul is identical with the Supreme; and the original teaching of the school is found in the early Upanishads. [16]

Rather later arose Jainism and Buddhism, each with its order of monks intent on Release.

We now leave those early days of the sixth century B.C. and come down to a time about the Christian era. In the interval the mass of the Hindu people had learned to worship the gods by means of temple and image; and in the centres of population artistic temples were being erected, each dedicated to one of the chief divinities of the Hindu pantheon.

The most noticeable result of this new worship was the rise of sects within Hinduism. Each god had his own special worshippers who preferred him to all the other gods; and, as they became organised for his worship and everything connected therewith, they became a sect.

By far the greatest of the sects of these early days were the sect which still worships Siva and the sect which still worships Vishnu. Each sect had its own group of monastic devotees.

We take the sect of Siva first. At this early date, about the Christian era, the monks of Siva practised yoga, "restraint," i.e. a series of exercises, partly mental, partly physical, meant to still the mind and to help the man to escape from the influence of the world and to understand spiritual things. Hence those ascetics who were devoted to Siva and practised yoga were called yogis, "restraint men."

The sect of Vishnu had its ascetics also. As they also sought to conquer the worldly passions of the human heart and to become spiritual men, they were called vairagis, passionless men."


We may now consider how the various groups of ascetics became transformed into fighting men.

A. We begin with the devotees of Siva, who, we have seen, were called yogis. Some of these yogis worshipped the fierce form of Siva called Bhairava, i.e. the Terrifier. In his images, he has a red skin, matted hair, four arms and three eyes, the third eye set vertically in the middle of his forehead. In one hand he carries a sword, in another a cup of liquor. He is stark naked, wearing only a garland of human skulls hanging from his neck, an emblem of the human sacrifices in which he delights. [17]

Now to imitate one's god is one of the commonest of religious impulses; so the yogis who adored Bhairava got themselves up so as to be as like the god as possible. The yogi went naked, had his hair in a great matted cone on the top of his head, carried a sword in one hand and a cup of liquor in the other, and, if possible, he also wore a garland of human skulls hanging from his neck. They frequently used a human skull as a drinking vessel. The sword was used for slaying the victims of sacrifice, whether animal or human, and also played a great part in some of their magic rites. In one of the most famous of Indian dramas, the Malati-Madhava of Bhavabhuti (c. 700 A.D.), the heroine is on the point of being slain in a temple as a sacrifice to the fierce goddess Chamunda, by a yogi, when the hero arrives, kills the yogi and saves the lady he loves. [18]

In one of the romantic histories found in Sanskrit literature, Ba~a's Harsha-charita, [19] the life-story of the emperor Harsha, we learn how these yogis became soldiers. King Pushpabhuti meets a learned yogi named Bhairavacharya, i.e. Priest of Bhairava, and becomes his friend. This ascetic scholar kills a man, and, by the might of a weird magic rite performed on the corpse, he enables the king, in a midnight encounter, to conquer and subdue to his will an unearthly spirit of great power called Srikantha. Thereafter, two yogis, disciples of Bhairavacharya, who had borne arms along with the king in the night battle and are described as "men of a warlike spirit," enter the royal bodyguard to spend the rest of their lives fighting for the king. The romance belongs to the seventh century A.D.; and we thus see that at that early date it was already customary for these yogis to hire themselves out as soldiers. Here there is no religious war to account for the transformation of the monk into a fighting man.

At later dates we find many references to yogi warriors, especially in the chronicles of Rajputana. [20] Clearly each Rajput chief was glad to gather round him a bodyguard of these men; and many a chief hired large numbers of them, so that they formed a considerable element in his army. They seem to have usually gone naked, thus keeping up their allegiance to the naked god Bhairava. While most of our references to yogi warriors in the early centuries relate to Rajputana, it is clear that in later centuries they were common in many parts of the north. [21]

Besides sword, spear, bow, and arrow, these yogis carried steel discs, which they threw with deadly effect. The discus made of thin steel was an ancient Indian weapon, and was called Chakra, i.e. wheel. They were made with a saw-edge, and each was but a narrow circlet of steel, so that the warrior could pass six or eight of them over his head and wear them like a ruff round his neck. We are told that they could throw a disc with so much force as almost to cut a man in two.

But fighting yogis did not always become the hired soldiers of a recognised king. They frequently gathered in great companies, when the country was in an unsettled condition, and went out to fight in their own interests. They would seize a piece of valuable land, settle down on it, and live by agriculture and trade; but they retained their arms and were quite ready to use them if any one tried to dispossess them. Many of them made considerable fortunes. It is hardly likely that in those circumstances their vow of celibacy was very much respected. An excellent example of this type of settlement is found in the case of a yogi king who, about 1500 A.D., had his lands in Western India and kept a considerable army of yogis. Once in three or four years some three thousand of these warriors went out on pilgrimage and laid the whole country under contribution. [22] Anquetil du Perron, the French scholar who went to India about 1760 A.D. and brought to Europe the earliest trustworthy information about the Zoroastrian religion, describes a rich yogi who lived stark naked near Surat. He had great influence and did a very large trade in precious stones; so that he kept up correspondence with every part of Asia. [22]

One of the most notable religious leaders of India about 1500 A.D. was Kabir. In his system Hinduism and Islam mingle. Nanak, who founded the religion of the Sikhs, is only one of a number of teachers who drew their inspiration from him. Kabir vigorously condemned both idolatory and caste; and he had great influence all over North India. In the Bijak, a volume of his religious verse, there is a poem which pictures the fighting yogi and his irregularities very vividly:-- [23]

1. O brother, never have I seen yogi like this: puffed up with pride he walks, caring for nothing.

2. He teaches the religion of Mahadeva (i.e. Siva) and therefore is called a Mahant.

3. In market and street he sits in the posture of a yogi; he is an imperfect Siddha (saint) a lover of Maya (the illusion of the world).

4. When did Dattatreya [24] attack his enemies? when did Sukadeva [24] lay a cannon?

5. When did Narada [24] fire a gun, or Vyasadeva [24] sound a horn?

6. They who fight are of little wisdom; shall I call such men ascetics or bandits?

But how was it possible for these irresponsible companies of ascetic warriors to wander about in this way, at their own sweet will, killing people, stealing their property and their children and committing all sort of excesses? -- One part of the reason is to be found in this, that for some centuries there was no Imperial power in North India. The country was cut up into a great number of independent kingdoms, big and little, and no one felt responsible for the general peace and welfare of the country. So long as a roving band of yogis did not attack the interests of a king or chieftain powerful enough to cut them to pieces, they were free to continue their plundering and murderous pilgrimages.

But the chief reason for the immunity from punishment which fighting ascetics enjoyed in North India for a thousand years is to be found in their religious status. Since they were initiated ascetics, recognised devotees and servants of one of the Hindu gods, they could not be tried for murder by any Hindu king. They did not come within the ambit of the law. Only the guru of the ascetic could punish him. Necessarily the ordinary Hindu was afraid to touch one of these men: there was no saying what sort of supernatural vengeance he might wreak upon him. Their consecrated position thus effectively protected them from civil process and also from popular reprisal.

B. We now turn our attention to the end of the twelfth century, when the great Muhammadan army of invaders from Western Afghanistan crossed the Indus, and within a few years conquered a very large part of North India. From 1200 A.D. the bulk of the north was ruled by a Muhammadan empire.

I had better interject at this point a yogi custom which expresses rather a noble spirit. After the conquest had taken place, one might meet in North India, bands of yogis, each with several lengths of heavy iron chain hanging from his shoulders and trailing on the ground behind him. It was a symbolical act, meant to express their overwhelming shame at the enslavement of their country by foreigners. [25]

The writer does not know whether fighting faqirs formed part of the army which invaded India or not. In any case, after the conquest, great numbers of Muslim adventurers of many types came into North India; and among them religious teachers and faqirs in great numbers. From a date not later than 1500 A.D., we have plenty of information to show that faqirs wandered about, taking part in any fighting that was to be done, and also murdering, plundering and seizing lands. Here is how Tavernier, the well-known French traveller of the seventeenth century, describes a company of them which he met:-

"The following day I had another experience, which was a meeting I had with a party of Faqirs, or Muhammadan Dervishes. I counted fifty-seven of them. . . . The only garment of the five leaders consisted of three or four ell of orange-coloured cotton cloth. . . . Each of them had also a skin of a tiger upon the shoulders which was tied under the chin. They had eight fine horses, saddled and bridled, led by hand before them, three of which had bridles of gold, and the five others had bridles of silver, and the saddles also covered with plates of silver and a leopard skin on each. The other dervishes had for their sole garment a cord, which served as a waistband, to which there was attached a small scrap of calico, to cover the parts which should be concealed. They were all well armed, the majority with bows and arrows, some with muskets, and the remainder with short pikes, and a kind of weapon which we have not got in Europe. [26] (He refers to the disc which we have already described.)

Since the government of North India was then in Muslim hands, these Muslim ascetics were shielded from popular reprisal and from civil process by their sacred character. So long as they did not assail the government, they did what they liked with impunity.

By 1500 A.D., it is evident that there were immense numbers of armed faqirs and yogis wandering about in North India, and far down the west coast. Faria [27] speaks of yogis, and also Kalandars, i.e. faqirs of the Qalandar [28] order, moving about in the Konkan in bands of 2000 or more, forcing the people to give them what they wanted; and Varthema [29] tells of a yogi king out on a raid with 3000 followers as far south as Calicut. We must take these facts as proof that hordes of ascetics warriors marched far south along the west coast on plundering expeditions; but it is important to notice that the enlisting of ascetics as soldiers never infected to any extent the monastic orders of South India. [30] The movement arose and spread and lived for centuries in the great northern area, where the Muslim government was struggling to maintain its supremacy and where in the latter half of the eighteenth century, it succumbed to the British.

C. We now turn to another group of Hindu monks. At the beginning of this article we saw how the most respected and most cultured order of ascetics, viz., the sannyasis, came into existence. By the sixteenth century they were found in large numbers in most parts of India, and they were specially numerous in the central part of North India, that section which contains the great cities, Benares, Allahabad, Agra, and Delhi.

For many centuries only Brahmans were initiated as sannyasis; and even in the case of Brahmans care was taken to accept only men of some education and some philosophic interest. They were expected to study the chief texts of the Vedanta and to spend some part of their time in thoughtful meditation. A certain percentage of them proved fine scholars and wrote philosophic works of distinction. They have always been the most illustrious Hindu ascetics. In the sixteenth century they dressed, as they do to-day, in long saffron robes, and each man carried a single bamboo rod, danda, to indicate that he belonged to the ekadandi, [31] one-rod division, of the sannyasi order. They were divided, as they are to-day, into ten sub-divisions, viz.: 1. Tirtha, 2. Asrama, 3. Sarasvati, 4. Bharati, 5. Vana, 6. Aranya, 7. Parvata, 8. Sagara, 9. Giri, 10. Puri; and each man received a name which included the name of the sub-order to which he belonged. Thus Madhusudana Sarasvati belonged to the third sub-order, the Sarasvati.

Naturally, the armed faqirs, as they roamed about, found it very good sport to kill sannyasis. A group of these Hindu scholars would go down to the Ganges to bathe in the morning, when a company of faqirs would suddenly appear and kill them all. We can readily understand the indignation of the sannyasi order and of the whole Hindu community when those highly respected men were murdered in this brutal and cowardly fashion. To the faqirs, as good Muslims, to kill those idolatrous infidels seemed to be the right thing to do; and the ordinary Muslim official would quite sympathise with them.

But Akbar was then on the Imperial throne, and he had already given his Hindu subjects a number of notable privileges. There were numerous Hindus who occupied high office in the government and in the army. Among all his courtiers the favourite seems to have been the cultured Hindu, Raja Birbal. There had been no such Muslim emperor in India before.

At that time there lived in Benares a well-known sannyasi scholar called Madhusudana Sarasvati. His books are well known to Sanskrit scholars to-day. He decided to try to persuade Akbar to do something to save sannyasis from these outrages. He therefore went to court and had an audience with the Emperor. Raja Birbal, as a trusted adviser on Hindu questions, was present at the interview. Madhusudana stated the grave danger in which sannyasis stood, since they were themselves defenceless, while there was no possibility of getting their enemies punished by law. Raja Birbal then suggested that Madhusudana should initiate large numbers of men of non-Brahman caste as sannyasis and arm them, so that they might be ready at all times to defend Brahman sannyasis from attack. The Emperor agreed to the proposal and promised that fighting sannyasis should be immune from prosecution, precisely like faqirs. I am inclined to date the interview about 1565 A.D.

The condition in which we find the sannyasis to-day shews us clearly what steps Madhusudana took to carry out the plan. He found thousands of Hindus of Kshatriya and Vaisya caste who were willing to become fighting men. These he initiated as sannyasis, so that they became full members of the order; but, since for some twelve or thirteen centuries it had been recognised as the law that only Brahmans should be initiated, their initiation was held to be irregular. The sub-orders into which they were brought are numbers 4 to 10, [32] and these sub-orders as they exist in North India have therefore been recognised as "impure" [33] ever since those days.

Readers will not find this agreement between Akbar and Madhusudana Sarasvati mentioned in any historical work. So far as I know, it has not been recorded anywhere. I picked up the information from the lips of sannyasis, who told it me to explain how large numbers of their order came to be fighting men.
But, though it has come down to us only by tradition, there can be no doubt about its truth. All sannyasis in North India hold the tradition; and we may also be certain that the Emperor who had given the Hindu an equal place with the Muslim in his-empire would at once recognise the justice of Madhusudana's appeal and would respond to it. But there is also an incident recorded in the Emperor's life, which fits so well into the tradition that I am sure every historical mind will at once acknowledge that it ought to be accepted as full corroboration of the story.

The incident is described by Abul Fazl and other historical writers. Akbar was in camp at Thaneswar, north of Delhi, early in 1567 A.D. News was brought to him that two companies of armed sannyasis, Giris and Puris, [34] who had quarrelled about the possession of the gifts in the shrine of Thaneswar, were about to have a fight. Like the keen soldier he was, he at once went to witness the encounter. When he arrived, he found that the Puris were outnumbered by the Giris, and he therefore ordered some of his own men to join the weaker side and redress the balance. The battle was fought, and the Puris were victorious. In this fight some twenty men were killed. We are told that the emperor greatly enjoyed the spectacle. [35] Since he had agreed to their organisation, in order that they might fight Muslim foes, he must have chuckled inwardly to see them turn their swords against each other.

It seems passing strange at first sight that an enlightened man like Akbar should tolerate such things in his empire instead of strengthening the law to deal vigorously with all breakers of the peace! Yet he acted in harmony with the ideas of the times. It would not seem strange to sixteenth-century India that the Emperor should stand by and see a fight in which twenty men were done to death. It did not shock India of the sixteenth century, any more than duelling shocked England in the eighteenth century.

We thus conclude that, about 1565, large numbers of non-Brahmans [36] were initiated as sannyasis and armed to fight Muslim faqirs. From this time onward for two and a half centuries we have abundance of information about their activity. There were immense numbers of fighting sannyasis. They went naked, like other fighting ascetics. [37]

Like yogis, these fighting sannyasis were called Gosains (Sanskrit Gosvami) and also Nagas, to distinguish them from the real sannyasis, who were still busy with philosophy.

No doubt these men soon gave a good account of themselves as soldiers. Evidence of their fine fighting qualities will be given towards the end of this paper. But within a few decades, like the faqirs and the yogis, large numbers of them took to fighting on their own account and to a domestic life and trade, on lands which they had seized.

Tukaram, a famous Maratha poet, who flourished about 1640 A.D., follows Kabir in expressing a very healthy scorn for some of these men:--

Brother, we have become a Gosain and abandoned everything:
Patel -- build us here a chapel; bring bhang and tobacco in plenty;
Provide daily food for me, and send a sister to serve me.
Tuka said that such devotion resembled a mask worn at the Holi.

--Holi, India's EPIC Color Festival - Vrindivan, India

D. We have thus far learned how the yogis and the sannyasis became fighting men. We now turn to the devotees of Vishnu, who are called vairagis, passionless men, in the vernacular bairagis. Probably shortly after the time when Madhusudana organised great numbers of fighting sannyasis, the movement spread to bairagis. [39] I think we may with safety conclude that by 1600 A.D. many of these had become armed also. The movement probably began with the Ramanandi sect, which by this date was already very large; but Vishnusvamis, [40] Nimbarkas and Vallabhacharyas [41] also took to fighting. These bhairagi warriors soon became very numerous, almost as numerous as the armed sannyasis.

E. We have already heard of Kabir, the man who opposed idolatry and caste and mingled Hindu and Muslim ideas in his system. Apart from his own immediate followers, who are called Kabirpanthis, a number of other sects, large and small, arose from his influence. We have also seen Kabir's scorn for the yogi who carries arms, seizes lands and lives no celibate life. In spite of that biting satire, many members of the sects which sprang from his teaching took up arms. So overpowering was the urge towards fighting in those days.

Ascetics belonging to these groups are called sadhus, the generic name for ascetics to-day. The most notable of these sects who took up arms were the Satnamis, the Dadupanthis and the Sikhs; and the change in all three cases seems to have come in the seventeenth century.

Of all these groups the Sikhs are the most interesting. Throughout the sixteenth century they were a pious Puritan community, drawn almost entirely from the peasantry of the Punjaub and eager only to live at peace with every one. During the reign of Akbar, 1556-1605 A.D., there was peace between the Mogul empire and the Sikhs; but immediately thereafter, suspicion and treachery arose, and there was frequent trouble. Finally under the tenth Guru, Govind Singh (1676-1708), relations became so seriously strained that the Guru created an order of fighting ascetics, the Akalis, i.e. the Immortals, and many men belonging to the older groups of ascetics among the Sikhs (especially the Udasis) also took to arms. Hence the Sikh church practically became an army. Still later, under Ranjit Singh, early in the nineteenth century, the Sikhs ruled the Punjaub; and they finally fought two stubborn wars with the British before they would consent to give up aggressive war.

All the fighting groups had a good deal in common. They all went naked, or next to naked, and were therefore called nagas, "naked men." A very large number of them used hemp drugs, and the yogis drank strong drink freely. Their weapons were bow and arrow, sword, spear and shield, chakras, and now and then firearms. Before they went into battle, they painted their faces and their bodies, so as to give them a fearsome appearance; and they raised most unearthly yells as they rushed to the charge. Many of them cultivated beards with projecting whiskers to make them look still more frightful.

All these fresh groups of armed ascetics frequently fought on their own account, seized lands and settled down to trading, agriculture and money-lending. There is evidence that large numbers of all the fighting groups formed settlements of this nature. Traces are found of them in nearly all parts of North India. In many cases monasteries were built on the lands thus seized, and an attempt was made to continue the ascetic life. They recruited their numbers by buying or stealing, during their raids, the healthiest children they could find.

But though a considerable proportion remained celibate, vast numbers married and formed families. They thus became very like the ordinary Hindu householder. But one noticeable point of difference remained. In becoming ascetics they had lost their caste status. Thus, although they had become householders, they could not return to their old castes. The result was that each local group gradually developed into a new caste, the yogis forming the Yogi caste, the sannyasis the Sannyasi or the Gosain caste, and the bhairagis the Bairagi or the Vaishnava caste. Thus in most Gazetteers from Assam to the Punjaub, and south as far as Central India and the Marathaa country, these castes are noticed. Within the Sannyasi caste, each family is usually called by the name of the sub-order to which it belonged, whether Bharati, Puri or what not. There are many of these irregular Sannyasi families to be found in Nepal also. The men may marry or remain celibate as they please; but, married or single, they are usually employed as ministrants in Saiva temples. Men of the same type perform a similar function in Assam, and in some other parts of India. [42]

These agricultural and mercantile settlements usually prospered. Most men made a good livelihood, many became well-to-do and a few very rich. Many traded in a special commodity, e.g. opium [43] or precious stones. In the widespread fighting in India between 1750 and 1817, individual sannyasis, yogis and bairagis would be found who were quite ready to finance a campaign. [44] They frequently marched about levying heavy contributions; and are said to have been guilty of every enormity. Sir Lepel Griffin [45] says of the Sikh Akalis, "these men, excited by hemp, were generally the first to storm a town, and often did excellent service; but they were lawless and uncertain, and in peaceful times enjoyed almost boundless licence."

Tavernier [46] says that it was estimated in his day (early seventeenth century) that there were in India 800,000 Muslim faqirs and 1,200,000 Hindu ascetics. If this is trustworthy, there were two million ascetics in India, the vast majority of them ready to fight at a moment's notice.

F. It may be interesting to mention the most prominent battles fought by ascetic soldiers. The record is very irregular and scanty as yet: perhaps this paper may lead to the discovery of many other battles.

a. There was a battle at Hastinapur between faqirs and Hindu ascetics in 1558 A.D.

b. In the seventeenth century, the only great fight between ascetics which I have met in my reading, took place at Narnol, south of Delhi, in 1673, between a large mass of Satnamis and a section of the army of Aurungzebe, when the Satnamis were decisively defeated and many thousands of them slain. [47]

c. Writing in the eleventh volume of Asiatic Researches, Captain Raper says [48] that, during the time of Maratha government in North India, a large force of sannyasis of the Giri sub-order [49] seized Hardwar, collected all the dues and policed the fair. They had to fight many actions in defence of their position, but they maintained the sovereignty for many years. The bhairagis endeavoured to oust them from Hardwar at the Kumbh Mela of 1760, but were severely defeated in a bloody contest, in which it is said 18,000 bairagis were left dead on the field.

d. At the battle of Patna in May 1764, when Major Carnac defeated the Nawab Wazir of Oudh, Malleson tells us that "a body of five thousand fanatics, all perfectly naked, and covered with paint and ashes," who were fighting on the side of the Nawab Wazir, "rushed forward with great impetuosity, with wild shrieks and gestures, presenting a very formidable appearance, but the English received them with a volley so well directed, that many of them were laid low and the remainder scattered in disorder." [50] No indication is given to enable us to decide to which order of ascetics these wild warriors belonged.

e. In 1766, James Rennell, the famous geographer of the rivers of North India, was nearly cut to pieces in an encounter with ascetics in Kooch Behar.

f. For several years, before and after 1770, great hordes of armed sannyasis infested Bengal. Appearing suddenly in a district, they would burn, plunder and ravage without mercy or measure. On one occasion they plundered Dacca, which was then a wealthy city. The income of the British Government in Bengal was seriously curtailed in consequence more than once. [51] The memory of this horror still survives in Bengal and is called The Sannyasi Rebellion. [52] Hastings finally put them down.

g. In 1778, General Goddard, in his march through Bundelkhand, was attacked by 2,000 sannyasis. [53]

h. In 1779 a body of Vishnusvami ascetics entered the service of Bijai Singh of Marwar. [54]. Some Vishnusvami ascetics were still employed as State Sepoys when the Census Report of 1891 was written.

i. In 1789, Mahadaji Sindhia, while reorganising his army, introduced large numbers of sannyasis and placed them under Himmut Bahadur, who acted as their guru as well as their commander. His monastery was the Abhana Akhara of Jhansi. Until this date very few fighting ascetics had appeared in the Maratha armies. [55]

j. In 1796, some 12,000 Sikh cavalry, under an Udasi leader, attacked the various groups of armed ascetics at Hardwar, and killed 500 of them. The Sikhs were finally driven off, losing 20 men killed. [56]

k. In 1803 Gosain Himmut Bahadur, who had been leader of Sindhia's sannyasi force but had quarrelled with him, helped to conquer Bundelkhand for the British. [57]

l. In 1809 a force of Sikh Akalis attacked Metcalfe's Muhammadan escort. [58]

m. In 1817 at the battle of Kirkee, a strong force of sannyasi infantry fought on the side of the Peishwa. [59]

n. In 1823, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the King of the Punjab, succeeded in making the city and province of Peshawar tributary to him. But an Afghan leader, disgusted with the new arrangement, raised an army and met the king in battle near Naoshera, midway between the Indus and Peshawar. Sir Lepel Griffin in his Life of Ranjit Singh, in the Rulers of India Series, remarks, "The Akalis, the Sikh fanatics, and the Ghazis, the devotees of Islam, met in fair fight, which resulted in the repulse of the former with the loss of their much feared leader Phula Singh." Clearly, these Afghan Ghazis belong to the type of naked Muslim ascetic warriors which we have met so often.

o. The ascetics of the Svami-Narayani sect, which was formed in Gujarat about 1804, were originally armed; and there are records of great fights about 1830 between them and bairagis [60] (most probably Vallabhacharyas).

When the British became supreme in India, the armed ascetics in most cases gave up all attempt to live as soldiers and settled down in cities or on the land. For many decades they retained their arms and frequently used them. They still carried arms, when Wilson wrote about them in 1832. [61] They remained wild, lawless groups, constantly engaged in conspiracies, in private feuds, in murders and raids. They were often used as spies. Vivid pictures of them may be found in the literature, especially in many passages in Pandurang Hari (1826), Sleeman's Rambles and Recollections (1844), Meadows Taylor's Story of my Life (1874) and Sir Bartle Frere's Introduction to the 1876 edition of Pandurang Hari.

By the middle of the nineteenth century most of the fighting groups had given up the old life; for the British administration does not allow men to wander about the streets naked, nor do they permit people to carry dangerous arms about, unless they have government licences; yet interesting traces of these old days may still be seen in many places.

A. Yogis. I have several times met individual yogis belonging to the most shameless class of all; but they are extremely respectable to-day. In their monasteries you do not find them naked, nor do they have arms about, at least so far as I have seen. But there is one monastery in Benares belonging to the old Kapalikas, now called Aghoris, where a good deal of the old foul life still goes on, drink, women [62] and shamelessness. I found a yogi there one day and had a talk with him. He was very reticent, but he readily shewed me the human skull which he used as a drinking cup.

B. Sannyasis. There are vast numbers of naga sannyasis (i.e. non-Brahman sannyasis, modern successors of the fighters) to be found in monasteries all over North India; but if you met them in ordinary circumstances, you would see nothing very noticeable in their appearance. Yet there are many monasteries where they keep their old arms. Shortly before I left India, I paid a visit to Jaipur. My excellent host drove me to the old deserted capital, Amber, some five or six miles distant. The palace is still in good repair, but most of the houses and temples are falling to pieces. He took me to an old disused Jain temple, an excellent piece of architecture, which it was a pleasure to inspect. We went inside, and there we found about a dozen naga sannyasis sitting about, wearing clothes and looking very like ordinary mortals. But on the walls hung swords, spears, muskets and other arms, all that remains of their old military life.

A huge gathering of Hindu ascetics of all types is held once in four years at Allahabad. I had the pleasure of visiting the gathering in 1918. There we found a vast assemblage of sannyasis of two very different types. The first type were dressed in long saffron robes, and, when they moved about, each carried a long bamboo rod in his hand: these are the legitimate sannyasis, all Brahmans, all scholarly in some degree: these are the people whom the Muslim faqirs of the sixteenth century thought it such sport to kill.

But there were far larger numbers of naga sannyasis, the men who represent the fighting sannyasis of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There were many thousands of them, and they sat about on the sand, in nearly all cases, stark naked. That was the mark of their old life. They would not be allowed to walk about naked in towns, as they used to do; but, at this noted ascetic assembly, they were allowed to retain their nakedness. They held a great procession daily, wearing literally nothing. Men, women and children stood looking on unmoved. One group [63] wore a sort of uniform and executed a fine military dance.

The Malkana Rajputs are a set of Hindus who, some considerable time ago, became Muslims, but have retained rather large pieces of Hinduism in their practice; so that they are usually called "half-converted." Some naga sannyasis, remembering the struggles of their predecessors with the Muslims, are now endeavouring by means of Suddhi, a purificatory ceremony, to bring them back to Hinduism.

C. Bairagis. A similar tale may be told of the devotees of Vishnu, the bairagis. You may find arms here and there on the walls of their monasteries, momentoes of the fighting times, but in ordinary circumstances you would see nothing else to recall their old warrior status. At the great gathering at Allahabad, however, I found thousands on thousands of them sitting about stark naked, like the sannyasis. It was, however, quite easy to distinguish them from sannyasis; for every single bairagi wore his sect-mark [64] painted on his forehead. Most of them went still further: they had their faces painted all over with bright cojoured chalks or paint, pink and blue and yellow and red and green; these are momentoes of the days when their predecessors rushed to battle with their whole bodies painted like savages.

Considerable numbers of Vishnusvamis are still in state service in Marwar, Bundi and Kotah; there are also a number of Nimbarkas in the Jaipur state service: these are Rajput states.

C. Sadhus. We take next the groups that trace their religion back to Kabir. Great numbers of these men, successors of the sadhus who fought in the wars, are still in state service in Rajputana. The most noteworthy group is a body of Dadupanthis at Jaipur, where they act as State Tax Collectors. If you went to see one of these men in his monastery or his office, you would take him for an ordinary Hindu; but when he is present at some state ceremony, or when he goes on a journey, he appears in white garments with a sash round his waist and a tulwar, or curved sword, hanging by his side. Some of them still cultivate the fierce beard and side whiskers which were worn by their predecessors in the wars.

D. Akalis. I once met one of the chief Akalis resplendent in full dress in the Mall, Lahore. He was a man of magnificent physique. He wore a long coat of navy blue cloth and a dark conical cap, which was encased in a sort of open helmet formed of steel discs and bars. In his hand he carried a huge baton of dark wood beautifully mounted in silver.

Not in such dress have the Akalis been pursuing their recent crusade in the Punjaub. While there has been great excitement, the leaders have done their best to make the movement truly peaceful and to keep the Akalis from violence.



NOTE. -- In the hunt for the facts in connection with this subject, I have received a great deal of help from friends, especially from Mr. W. D. P. Hill, M.A., Benares, the Rev. C. Spooner, M.A., formerly of Benares, Darsan Sastri J. N. C. Ganguly, M.A., Calcutta, the Rev. Dr. F. E. Keay of Saugor, C.P., India, and Dr. Mingana of the John Rylands Library, Manchester.

1. A lecture delivered in the John Rylands Library, 11 March, 1925.

2. Encyclo. Britt., xxiv. 12; xxvi. 591; 676.

3. Ibid., xv. 866.

4. I owe this touch to Dr. Mingana, who has travelled much in the East.

5. ERE., xa. 10; Encyclo. Britt., xxvi. 31.

6. Ibid

7. lbid, x. 136.

8. Ibid., vai. 75.

9. See ERE., iv. 641; va., 881; Encyclo. Britt., vai. 75.

10. See Dervish and Marabout in Encyclo. Britt.

11. This also I owe to Dr. Mingana.

12. ERE., iv. 642.

12. Sir Charles Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism, I. lxxxa.; xca.; Griffis, Religions of Japan, 247, Cave, Living Religions of the East, 183.

13. In the Bombay Gazetteer, xiv. 134 ff,, there is a long note which gives more facts about the fighting ascetics than I have found anywhere else; but see also Grant Duff, Tod, Sleeman and Forbes.

14. Later, the rule of ahimsa prohibited injury to plant life as well. The sannyasi was not allowed to pluck fruit from a tree or grain from a field.

15. Ramayana1, III; Kalidasa, Sakuntala, Act I., Everyman edition, p. 7.

16. See Hume, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads Translated, Oxford, 1921.

17. See Sastri, South Indian Images of Gods and Goddesses, 151.

18. See Wilson's translation, Act V.; Keith, The Sanskrit Drama, 188.

19. Translated by Cowell and Thomas, RAS., 1897, pp. 83-99.

20. See especially Tod, and Grierson's Lay of Alha.

21. Probably, the earliest group were Kapalikas, like Bhairavacharya and his men; but Lakulisa fighters were also found; and great numbers of Gorakhnath's Kanphata Yogis took to arms.

22. Bombay Gazetteer, xiv., 135.

23. Ahmad Shah, The Bijak of Kabir, 85.

24. Famous Hindu saints.

25. Barbosa, Stanley's edition, 99-100, quoted in the Bombay Gazetteer, xiv. 135 ff. See also Oman, The Mystics, Ascetics and Saints of India.

26. Tavernier, Travels in India, Ball, 1. 21.

27. History of the Konkan, referred to in Kerr's Voyages, VI. 230.

28. Encyclo. Britt., iv. 76a.

29. Badger's Varthema, III. 273.

30. But there were a few bodies of armed Bairigis and Sannyasis to be seen: Buchanan, Journey, I. 22, 303; II. 76.

31. The Ekadandi Sannyasis follow Sankaracharya in holding the monistic view of the Vedanta philosophy, while the Tridandis or three-rod Sannyasis follow Ramanujacharya in holding the theistic view. The latter are found, almost exclusively, in South India.

32. See above, p. 441 -2.

33. Sannyasis of this "impure" type are called Atita in Sanskrit, as having "gone beyond" the rule.

34. See p. 441-2, above.

35. V. Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, 78.

36. It is probable that Madhusudana initiated only Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as the tradition maintains, but it is quite clear that at later dates Sudras also were freely admitted.

37. Grant Duff, Mahrattas (Oxford, 1921), I. 16 f.; 436; 514; II. 189 f.; 428; 471; Tod, Rajasthan (Oxford, 1920), II. 601; 642; III. 1670; 1673; Wilson, Sects, 238 ff. Sleeman, Recollections (Oxford, 1915), 218; 370; 592 n.; Forbes, Ras Mala (Oxford 1924), 1. 358; 359; II.,40; 45.

38. Edwardes, Intro. to Grant Duff, Mahrattas, Oxford (1921). I. lxvai.

39. Grant Duff, Mahrattas, Oxford, 1921, I. 15; 17; Asiatic Researches, VI. 309; Sleeman, Recollection (Oxford, 1915), 300; 370; 591; 592 n Wilson, Sects, 238 ff.

40. Tod, Rajasthan, Oxford, II. 1081.

41. Ibid., 642.

42. Cf. Forbes, Ras Mala, II. 308, 309, 310.

43. Tod. Rajasthan, III. 1670.

44. Meadows Taylor, Story of my Life, 146; 179; 183-7; 236.

45. Life of Ranjit Singh.

46. Travels in India (Ball), II. 178.

47. V. Smith, Oxford History of India, 428; Jadunath Sirkar in Modern Review, 1916, 383.

48. P. 455.

49. See p. 442 above.

50. Decisive Battles of India, 189- 191.

51. Trotter, Warren Hastings, 70.

52. See Bankim Ch. Chatterji's Anandamatha, Appendix.

53. Pennant, Hindusthan, II. 192.

54. Tod, Rajasthan, III. 1082.

55. Grant Duff, Mahrattas, II. 189.

56. Asiatic Researches, VI. 309; Saharanpur Gazetteer, 1875, p. 291.

57. Grant Duff, Mahrattaa, I. 357.

58. Sir Lepel Griffin, Ranjit Singh, 136.

59. Grant Duff, Mahrattas, II. 428.

60. Bombay Gazetteer, xiv. 136.

61. Religious Sects of the Hindus, 238.

62. Govinda Das, Hinduism, 337, says, "A festival is held every year, when all the prostitutes of the city gather there."

63. Probably Alakhgirs (i.e. disciples of a naga sannyasi belonging to the Giri sub-order) see ERE. av. Alakhnamis.

64. In most cases Ramanandi.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:17 am

Asia Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/25/19

Asia Society's New York City Headquarters and Museum
Asia Society is located in New York CityAsia Society
Location within New York City
Established 1956
Location 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), Manhattan, New York, USA
Coordinates 40.7698°N 73.9643°W
President Josette Sheeran
Public transit access Subway:
"6" train"6" express train​ to 68th Street – Hunter College
"F" train​"M" train​"N" train​"Q" train​"R" train to Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street
M1, M2, M3, M4, M66, M101, M102, M103

The Asia Society is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the world about Asia. It has several centers in the United States (Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York) and around the world (Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Zurich). These centers are overseen by the Society’s headquarters in New York, which includes a museum that exhibits the Rockefeller collection of Asian art and rotating exhibits with pieces from many Asian countries including China, Japan, India, Iran, and Korea.

On June 10, 2013[1] Josette Sheeran, former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme and Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum, became the seventh president and CEO of the institution. On October 21, 2014[2] Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, was named president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, the organization's think tank.


Asia Society logo.

The Asia Society defines the region of Asia as the area from Japan to Iran, from central Asia to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The Asia Society is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose aim is to build awareness about Asian politics, business, education, arts, and culture through education. The organization sponsors the exhibitions of art, performance, film, lectures, and programs for students and teachers. The programs are aimed at increasing knowledge of society with a focus on human rights, environment, global health and the position of women.

The Asia Society's original focus was explaining aspects about Asia to Americans, and Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times said that it was "[l]ong regarded as a New York institution with regional branches".[3] Around 2011 the society was refocusing efforts on augmenting partnerships amongst Asians and between Asians and Americans in business, culture, education, and public policy. In 2011 Pogrebin said "over the last few years has aimed to recast itself as an international organization, partly through the construction of the two major centers in cities where it previously had only offices".[3]


The Asia Society was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III. Initially established to promote greater knowledge of Asia in the US, today the Society is a global institution—with offices throughout the US and Asia—that fulfills its educational mandate through a wide range of cross-disciplinary programming. As economies and cultures have become more interconnected, the Society's programs have expanded to address Asian American issues, the effects of globalization, and pressing concerns in Asia including human rights, the status of women, and environmental and global health issues such as HIV/AIDS.[4] The organization's records are held at the Rockefeller Archive Center in North Tarrytown, NY.[5]



The Society's Manhattan headquarters, at Park Avenue and East 70th Street on the Upper East Side, is a nine-story building faced in smooth red Oklahoma granite designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1980. Since it replaced some old brownstones on one of the city's most prestigious streets, Barnes gave the building a strong facade to continue the line along Park, and set it back from East 70th with a terraced garden buffering it between the street and the older houses on that block. The semicircular window on the upper story and variations in the color and finish of the granite are intended to evoke Asian cultures. Paul Goldberger, architecture critic at The New York Times, called it "an ambitious building, full of civilized intentions, some of which succeed and others that do not". In the former category he put the interiors and the overall shape; in the latter he included the facade.[6]

In 1999, it was closed for 18 months so that new interiors, designed by Bartholomew Voorsanger, could be built. During that time the society used the former Christie's Manhattan offices on 59th Street as a temporary home. The completed renovation included a 24-foot-high (7.3 m) atrium and cafe. The expansion doubled the museum's exhibition space, allowing the society to put the entire Rockefeller Asian art collection on display.[7]

Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times said in 2011 that the Asia Society is "perhaps best known for the elegance of its headquarters and galleries on Park Avenue at 70th Street".[3]

Global centers

Asia Society Texas Center in Houston

Along with its New York headquarters, the Asia Society has centers throughout the United States and Asia. 2012 marked a major expansion, with the opening of multimillion-dollar buildings in Hong Kong and Houston, Texas.[8] The Hong Kong complex, dedicated on February 9, 2012, is situated on the site of a former British military explosives magazine overlooking Victoria Harbour and includes numerous restored military buildings. The project was designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. The Houston building, located in the city's museum district, opened on May 6, 2012 and was designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi. The other American centers are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Other Asian centers are in Seoul, Manila, Shanghai and Mumbai. There is also a center located in Sydney, Australia.


At its 70th Street headquarters, The Asia Society Museum is host to both traditional and contemporary exhibitions, film screenings, literature, performing, and visual arts. The holdings include works from more than thirty Asian-Pacific countries including Hindu and Buddhist statuary, temple carvings, Chinese ceramics and paintings, Japanese art, and contemporary art. The museum's collection of traditional objects stems from a donation from Asia Society founder John D. Rockefeller III and Blanchette Ferry Hooker Rockefeller, who contributed a number of items in 1978. The society began actively collecting contemporary Asian art with a 2007 initiative.[9] A major renovation was completed in 2001, doubling the size of the four public galleries and expanding space for educational programming.[10]

The headquarters also houses a museum shop and café. Forbes has listed the Garden Court Cafe on its All-Star Eateries in New York list several times.[11]


On May 21, 2013, Asia Society announced[1] that World Economic Forum Vice Chair Josette Sheeran, a former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), would on June 10, 2013 become the seventh president and CEO of the institution. Dan Washburn is the Chief Content Officer.[12]

Board Co-Chairs

Ronnie Chan
Henrietta H. Fore

Past Presidents

Dr. Vishakha N. Desai 2004–2012
Robert Oxnam 1981–1992
Nicholas Platt
Phillips Talbot 1970–1982



The Asia Society annually presents a Corporate Conference in Asia, which functions as a fundraiser, to examine the implications of macroeconomic trends and geopolitical developments for the region and the world. Heads of Asian governments are often featured, as well as roundtable discussions with business and policy leaders from around the world.[13]


The Asia Society's Education department has two primary objectives: one focusing on teaching and learning about Asia in the United States and the other on the expansion of US investments in international studies at the elementary and secondary school levels.[7]

International education generally encompasses the knowledge of other world regions, cultures and global issues; skills in communicating in languages other than English, working in global or cross-cultural environments and using information from different sources around the world; and values of respect and concern for other cultures and peoples.

International Studies Schools Network

The Asia Society International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) comprises a select group of public elementary and secondary schools across the country with programs in "developing globally competent, college-ready high school students".[14] There are currently 35 schools in the network, covering both rural and urban communities and in cities throughout the U.S., from the Henry Street School for International Studies (New York, NY) and the Academy of International Studies (Charlotte, NC) to the Denver Center for International Studies (Denver, CO) to Vaughn International Studies Academy (San Fernando, CA) and the International Studies Learning Center (Los Angeles, CA).[15]


Blocking pro-democracy activist from attending event

Pro-democracy activist and secretary-general of Demosisto Joshua Wong was allegedly disallowed by Asia Society Hong Kong from speaking at a book launch originally scheduled to take place at its Hong Kong venue on June 28, 2017. It was understood that Asia Society Hong Kong was approached by PEN Hong Kong to co-curate the book launch, but negotiations stalled upon the former's request for a more diverse panel of speakers. PEN Hong Kong, a non-profit organization supporting literature and freedom of expression, eventually decided to relocate the launch of Hong Kong 20/20: Reflections on a Borrowed Place – of which Wong was one of the authors – to the Foreign Correspondents Club. Joshua Wong says that Asia Society Hong Kong needs to give a “reasonable explanation” for the incident.[16]

“The mission of PEN Hong Kong is to promote literature and defend the freedom of expression. To bar one of the contributors to our anthology, whether it is Joshua Wong or somebody else, from speaking at our launch event would undermine and in fact contravene that mission,” said PEN Hong Kong President Jason Y. Ng.[16]

Back to November 2016, Asia Society Hong Kong also canceled a scheduled screening of Raise The Umbrellas, a documentary on the 2014 Occupy protests with appearance of Joshua Wong.[17] Asia Society Hong Kong has similarly cited the lack of balanced speaker representation at the pre-screening talk as the reason for not screening the film.

US Congressman Chris Smith, co-chairperson of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, expressed that “The Asia Society has some explaining to do after two events that featured Joshua Wong prominently were canceled over the past nine months,” said the New Jersey representative. “I commend PEN Hong Kong for not appeasing the Asia Society’s demands.”[18]

On July 7, 2017, Asia Society Hong Kong released a statement on PEN Hong Kong's book launch event and acknowledged for their mistakes. “Asia Society takes this issue very seriously, and after looking into the circumstances, it is clear that an error in judgment at the staff level was made involving the PEN Hong Kong event. Asia Society, throughout its history, has hosted events at all of its global locations with speakers representing all sides of major Asia-related issues.” Asia Society Hong Kong emphasized they received no representations from the Chinese government on this matter, and Joshua Wong and speakers from all sides of the issue are welcome at Asia Society.[19]

In an email to a member, Asia Society Hong Kong's Executive Director S. Alice Mong reasserted that as an independent non-government organization, it remains impartial and apolitical, and that its priority is to stay focused as an educational organization that presents balanced perspectives to promote critical understanding of topics that matter to Hong Kong, Asia and their respective roles in the global context.

On July 10, 2017, Forbes magazine ran an article revealing Hong Kong real estate magnate and Asia Society Co-chair Ronnie Chan (a US citizen) to be the political force behind the Joshua Wong incident. It alleged that wealthy Asians have been behind US think tanks and NGOs and effectively turning them into foreign policy tools of the People's Republic of China (Beijing).
However, the link to the article went dead a day later. It has been rumored that Asia Society or Ronnie Chan could be taking legal action against Forbes for libel. The original Forbes article is still accessible, at a different site: ... -hk-607591 .

On July 20, 2017, Asia Society Chairman Ronnie Chan defended the Hong Kong center’s apolitical stance at an event in New York. He reiterated the Hong Kong center’s deliberate stance to stay away from local politics and to cover business and policy, education, arts and culture as an institution. “At Asia Society, we generate not heat but light,” he said.[20]

On August 4, 2017, Hong Kong international affairs commentator and newspaper columnist Simon Shen wrote in support of Asia Society Hong Kong’s apolitical stance and described it as a “firewall” between international relations and local politics. He pointed to the increasingly blinkered outlook of the local political discourse and argued for the need served by Asia Society to bring a broader perspective for understanding the role of Hong Kong in a global context.[21]

See also

Japan Society (Manhattan)
• New York City portal
• Asia portal


1. "Asia Society Names Josette Sheeran New President". Asia Society.
2. "Former Leader of Australia to Study Asia in a New Way". The New York Times.
3. Pogrebin, Robin. "Asia Society Expands, in Houston and Hong Kong". The New York Times. February 2, 2012. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
4. "Mission & History | About". Asia Society. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
5. "Treasures Within a Treasure: The Rockefeller Archives Center". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
6. Goldberger, Paul (April 11, 1981). "Architecture: Asia Society Building, A Design Full of Civilized Intentions". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
7. Vogel, Carol (December 10, 1999). "Inside Art: Asia in Midtown". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
8. Pogrebin, Robin (January 31, 2012). "Asia Society Expands, East and West". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
9. Pogrebin, Robin (September 5, 2007). "Asia Society Will Build a Contemporary Art Collection". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 17,2016.
10. "Asia Society & Museum". Voorsanger Architects PC. Retrieved October 17,2016.
11. "The Forbes 2008 All-Star Eateries in New York: Special". December 4, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
12. "Our People". Asia Society. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
13. [1] Archived July 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
14. "International Studies Schools Network". Asia Society. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
15. "International Studies Schools Network | International Studies Schools Network". Asia Society. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
16. "Asia Society faces backlash as Joshua Wong demands explanation over 'blocked' book launch". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
17. Tatlow, Didi Kirsten (November 10, 2016). "Hong Kong Venue Cancels Screening of Protest Film, Citing Political Concerns". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
18. "PEN Hong Kong". Retrieved July 6, 2017.
19. "Statement on PEN Hong Kong Event". Retrieved July 8,2017.
20. "Hong Kong, 20 Years Later: Promises Made, Promises Kept, Promises To Be Fulfilled". Asia Society. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:25 am

Japan Society (Manhattan)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/25/19

Japan Society
Founded May 19, 1907[1]
Type Educational
Focus Education
333 East 47th Street, New York, NY
Area served
New York, NY
Method Film screenings, Lectures, Symposia, Cultural lectures, Workshops
Key people
Motoatsu Sakurai, President
Ruri Kawashima, Tokyo Representative
Endowment $60,458,898 (2015)[3]

Japan Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1907 to promote friendly relations between the United States and Japan. Its headquarters, the youngest landmark building in New York, was designed by Junzo Yoshimura and opened in 1971 at 333 East 47th Street near the United Nations.[4] With a focus on promoting "arts and culture, public policy, business, language, and education," the organization has regularly held events in its many facilities, including a library, art gallery, and theater, since its opening.[5] After suspending all activities during World War II, Japan Society expanded under the leadership of John D. Rockefeller III.[6]


In 1907, Tamemoto Kuroki and Goro Ijuin were chosen to represent Japan at the Jamestown Exposition. They attended a welcome dinner in New York with Japanese ambassador to the United States, Shuzo Aoki, where there was talk of forming an organization to promote US-Japan relations in the city. Two days later at a luncheon held by Kuroki, Japan Society was born. The organization would be run by Aoki, then Honorary President of the Japan Society of the UK, and John Huston Findley.[7][8][9]

Japan Society spent the next forty years hosting events in honor of Japanese royalty, giving annual lectures on a wide range of topics, and presenting art exhibits that drew in thousands of New Yorkers. In 1911, Lindsay Russell, another founding member of the society and later president, met with Emperor Meiji and spent his visit to Japan encouraging more societies to form there and throughout the United States.[7]

Japan Society was soon incorporated under New York law and finally found a home near one of Russell’s work offices, though it continued to relocate throughout its history before its current headquarters was opened in 1971. At this time, Japan Society and its members began to express interest in improving teaching about Japan in the United States. The organization began sponsoring trips to the country, publishing books, and sent a report to the Department of Education about the portrayal of Japan in American textbooks.[7]

It remained active during World War I, operating as it had for the last seven years, but the organization became more political when it began associating with the Anti-Alien Legislation Committee, an advocacy group that spoke out against yellow peril. Russell and Hamilton Holt, another founding member, used the organization's publications to defend all of Japan's actions at the time. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, even one of Japan Society's writers secretly worked for the Japanese government with the task of improving Japan’s image in the United States. The organization eventually realized the dangers of taking sides and by 1924 stopped publishing any political commentary.[7]

Rockefeller, who served as president and chairman from 1953 until his death in 1978, helped expand Japan Society.

By the 1930s, membership had dropped significantly due to financial difficulties and the Second Sino-Japanese War. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Henry Waters Taft immediately resigned as president after serving from 1922 to 1929 and again from 1934. Russell also stepped down as one of Japan Society's directors. All activities were suspended and would not resume until the Treaty of San Francisco was signed in 1951.[7]

John D. Rockefeller III served as president from 1952 to 1969 and then as Chairman of the Board until his death in 1978. He accompanied John Foster Dulles on his trip to Japan that eventually led to the signing of the 1951 treaty. Rockefeller, a supporter of the Institute of Pacific Relations who visited Japan in 1929 during one of its conferences, wanted to contribute to bettering US–Japan relations after the war and believed there needed to be non-governmental organizations like Japan Society in each country in order for such friendly relations to exist.[7]

Under Rockefeller's leadership, Japan Society expanded and talk began to find a permanent headquarters for it. It shared offices with another Rockefeller-led organization, Asia Society, but as the two organizations continued to grow during the 1960s it became increasingly clear that Japan Society needed its own building. After receiving donations from Rockefeller and other members, construction began on "Japan House" in 1967. Designed by Junzo Yoshimura, whose work also includes Asia Society's headquarters, it became the first building in New York of contemporary Japanese architecture. On September 13, 1971, it was finally opened to the public after a ceremony attended by Prince Hitachi. He echoed Russell’s first words about Japan Society, calling for "closer people-to-people" contact between the countries.[7][10]

See also

• Japanese in New York City
• Nippon Club (Manhattan)


1. Auslin, Michael R.; Edwin O. Reischauer (2007). "Japan Society: Celebrating a Century (1907-2007)" (PDF). Japan Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
2. "Japan Society Annual Report 2012–13" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
3. "Japan Society Annual Report 2014-15" (PDF). p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
4. Gootman, Elissa. "Four New Landmarks Include City's Youngest". City Room. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
5. "Mission Statement & Overview". Japan Society. Japan Society. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
6. Auslin, Michael R.; Reischauer, Edwin O. (2007). Celebrating a Century: 1907-2007. New York, NY: Japan Society.
7. Auslin, Michael R.; Reischauer, Edwin O. (2007). Celebrating a Century: 1907-2007. New York, NY: Japan Society.
8. "Japan Society Born at Kuroki's Party". The New York Times. 1907-02-05.
9. "Nations Join Hands at Kuroki Dinner". The New York Times. 1907-05-18.
10. "Japan House Here Opens with a Call for More Contact". The New York Times. 1971-09-14.

External links

• Japan Society
• Japan Society: Celebrating a Century, 1907-2007
• About Japan, A Teacher's Resource
• U.S.-Japan Innovators Project
• Japan Society Film Program
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