Ram Dass: Fierce Grace, directed by Mickey Lemle

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Ram Dass: Fierce Grace, directed by Mickey Lemle

Postby admin » Tue May 08, 2018 11:29 pm

Ram Dass: Fierce Grace -- Illustrated Screenplay
directed by Mickey Lemle
© MMI Lemle Pictures, Inc.




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Re: Ram Dass: Fierce Grace, directed by Mickey Lemle

Postby admin » Tue May 08, 2018 11:30 pm

Part 1 of 3


[Transcribed from the video by Tara Carreon]

"Fierce Grace," directed by Mickey Lemle
© MMI Lemle Pictures, Inc.

The Dalai Lama Foundation -- Core Founders, Board of Directors, Staff: Mickey Lemle is an award-winning filmmaker and television producer whose works have been shown theatrically, on television and at film festivals around the world. His films include Hasten Slowly: The Journey of Sir Laurens Van Der Post, Compassion in Exile: The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama, Our Planet Earth, and most recently Ram Dass: Fierce Grace. He holds a B.A. from Brandeis University. Mr. Lemle served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Tibet Fund.

Next up is the Tibet Fund, who first received NED aid in 1990 to “produce audio cassettes that will bring world and Tibetan news into rural communities in Tibet.” They then received continued NED support for this work in 1994 and 1996, whereupon the distribution of the audio tapes was extended to Tibetan exile communities in India and Nepal as well as those in Tibet. In 1996, the Tibet Fund also received NED aid on behalf of the Tibet Voice Project, “for an educational initiative based in Dharamsala, India, aimed at raising the social, political, economic and environmental awareness of Tibetans through audio-visual media.” The NED notes that:

“Particular emphasis will be given to speeches of the Dalai Lama on the topics of democracy and human rights. In Dharamsala, it will continue a series of lectures and films emphasizing social issues, politics, the economy and environment for new refugees and Tibetans in exile; and will organize grassroots level dialogues between Tibetans in exile and Indian youth to increase awareness and support for the Tibetan cause in India.”

The Tibet Fund’s work with the Tibet Voice Project was continued in 1998, and the Fund also received NED aid to run “an electronic media workshop for Tibetan journalists, and to introduce a bi-monthly Chinese language news magazine about Tibet.” Tenzing Choephel is the Tibetan scholarship program co-ordinator for the Tibet Fund, and it important to note that he previously helped “lay the foundation of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy [a group that was founded in 1996 and received NED funding in 1999], where he worked as an Office Administrator / English Researcher for three years in Dharamsala.” Finally it is interesting to observe that three people who are involved with the International Campaign for Tibet are linked to the Tibet fund, these are Lodi G. Gyari (who is the the executive chairman of the board of the ICT, and an emertius director of the Tibet Fund), Gehlek Rinpoche (who serves on ICT’s advisory board, and is a director of the Tibet Fund), and Tenzin N. Tethong (who serves on ICT’s advisory board, and is a founder and emeritus director of the Tibet Fund).

-- "Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy, by Michael Barker

[Ram Dass] The yogi is able to place the candle of his awareness, or his attention, in a niche within himself
where the winds do not make the candle flame move.

[Ram Dass 1969]

That is where a sound, or a sight, or a smell,
or a taste, or a sensation on the skin does not distract him.
What is left to distract him, of course, are still his own thoughts, his memories, his plans.
And it is here that the discipline that the yogi must impose upon himself becomes exquisitely difficult, and something requiring an extraordinary amount of patience.


[Ram Dass] I was in my bedroom.
I was laying in bed thinking through my book about aging.
At that time, I fell out of bed.
That was probably the moment when I first stroked, when I got stroked.



[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] The night of the stroke, Jai called me and asked me to go to the hospital. And I went to the Kaiser Hospital on the peninsula, and I was there when they brought the ambulance in. And I thought he was dead. If not dead, there was a gossamer-thin thread that separated him from death.

[Ram Dass] What's extraordinary is that I didn't have a spiritual thought,
a "I'm dying, I'm going tere [sic]."
No, none of those.
All I remember is looking at the pipes on the ceiling.

[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] He was in a very gentle and open space to the extent that he was there at all. It was pretty amazing, his recovery.

[Ram Dass] But here I am, Mr. Spiritual, and in my own death, I didn't, I didn't, I didn't, well, I didn't orient towards the spirit.
It shows me I have some work to do.
It shows me because that's the, that's the test. That's the test. So I flunked the test.

I'm using silence as a ... as a ...
It's too frustrating to come up ... come up ... you know ...

[Shana Roth, Speech Therapist] Well, let me tell you what a lot of listeners are thinking, if I may. Basically, the rules of discourse, and what people learn in terms of communicating with one another, is that there isn't supposed to be silence. Many, many people are very uncomfortable with the silence when they're talking. I mean, it's a dialogue, right?

[Ram Dass] The word gets lost and, yeah, okay ...

[Shana Roth, Speech Therapist] Yeah, keep going with that thought.

[Ram Dass] The concepts exist and then they're clothed with words, and I just don't ...
and the clothing closet isn't ... isn't ... isn't open.

[Shana Roth, Speech Therapist] Nice analogy. And when you get stuck, and you can't find the word, then you remember that you have a whole variety of resources that you can use now: analogies, which you did when you were talking about the closet and the clothes in the closet -- that's an analogy. It helped me understand how you felt about your word-finding difficulties. Okay?

[Ram Dass] What do you ... what do you do with people who insist on finishing your sentences?

[Shana Roth, Speech Therapist] That's an excellent question. Put up your hands. And if you can think, say, "let me finish." And tell them this means, "Could you help me here think of the word?" When you're using your strategies, you know, "it's like this," or "it sounds like this. Help me."

[Ram Dass] It's what-do-you-call-it game?

[Shana Roth, Speech Therapist] Right. Charades.

[Ram Dass] See?

[Shana Roth, Speech Therapist] Oh, I'm sorry. I just did it! You asked me, though.

[Wavy Gravy, Cosmic Clown] Ram Dass was the master of the one-liner, or the two-liner, or the ocean-liner.

[Mickey Lemle] And now?

[Wavy Gravy, Cosmic Clown] And now he's taken the pregnant pause to new dimensions.

[Physical Therapist] This shoulder is so tight.

[Ram Dass] It's usually right in there.

[Physical Therapist] Does it hurt right now?

[Ram Dass] Yes!

[Physical Therapist] Yes!
Lift up just a little bit more here.

[Ram Dass] Yes!

You know, this isn't who I expected to be. This is all new, because my expectations about me old didn't have this stroke in it.

[Physical Therapist] So you lean back a little bit.

[Ram Dass] The suffering comes when you try to hold on to continuity, like things I can't do. I can't ... I can't shift my car.
I got a new car before I stroked. And now, I get into that car, in the seat next to the driver ...
my attendant drives the car, and I can either be a driver,
which is going to make me suffer on that trip,
or somebody who is chauffeured.
It's just another ...

[Physical Therapist] All set?

[Physical Therapist] No. This leg, straighten them out.

[Ram Dass] I'm surrounded with therapists, doctors, aids who see me as a stroke-victim. They want me to try to change it. The symptoms: the leg, the arm, and the speech, and the mouth, and swallowing, and blup, blup, blup,
it's like the sirens in the rocks, my consciousness. I mean, I'd like to be free.

[Physical Therapist] Pass the left foot with the right.

[Ram Dass] Pass the left foot ...

Something like a stroke, it's so captivating to the consciousness. Like I want to see how this captivates my mind -- the stroke -- and then I want to pull my consciousness out and be free in the middle of the stroke.
That's like an experiment, an experiment of consciousness.
I feel like an advance guard, an advance parley that calls back to the baby boomers. And now I call back about aging. Because aging and things like stroke are going to be in their, in their present much sooner than they think.

[Steve Isser] Rachel is our daughter, our first born. By the way, she brought Anita and I together. First, we lived in Santa Cruz, then moved to Berkeley, and moved to Ashland. And we had only been here a year, and Rachel was 11, still meeting friends, making friends here in Ashland. And one of the reasons we moved up to Ashland, you know, we wanted to raise our family in a town that's smaller and a little safer, and away from the main streets of the city. And one day, she said, "I'm going to go and meet Deanna at the college field," or something like that. And she gave me a big smile -- it was right around lunch time -- and took off. And that was the last time I saw her alive. And there was some sort of commotion over by the stadium press box, over by the college. And the cops were all over the place. And they brought me in up to the press box, and there she was. And she was lying there, and I reached down and "Rachel, Rachel." And I reached down to hug her, and the police pulled me off and said, "You can't disturb a crime scene." He held me back. And we were blown away. And she was gone.

[Anita Isser] I felt like my heart had just been ripped open and I just did not see how I could go on.

[Steve Isser] I think I felt that I would never get past the pain. The pain would always be there, and there would be no future. And that our kids would be damaged, and Anita and I would be damaged. And our whole family life would be ruined, and there would be no future, no place to go to, nothing to hope for. And I think Ram Dass's letter was like a catalyst.

[Anita Isser] [reading letter] "Steve and Anita: Rachel finished her brief work on earth and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts as the fragile threads of faith are dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teachings as you are receiving? Probably very few, and even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and spacious peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation. I cannot assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel's legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is, and it must burn it's purifying way to completion. You may emerge from this ordeal more dead than alive, where something within you dies when you bear the unbearable. And it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves. Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with her work knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet, you will in a flash know what now it is not given to you to know, why this had to be the way it was. Your rational minds can never understand what has happened. Your hearts, if you can keep them open to God, will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which included her manner of death. Now her soul is free and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me, too. So much love, Ram Dass."

[Steve Isser] I think we spent the next six months working with all that was in that letter.

[Anita Isser] And I heard the truth in the letter, and it was just very, very meaningful. It was the light, a light at the end of my tunnel, I think. I thought, if I could work with it, if I could work with some of these ideas, if I could work with some of that, I can go on.

[Crowd] Loud applause]

[Ram Dass] [Sighs]

I've been, uh,
If you stay in the stroke, down in the ego, suffering, suffering.
But if you add into it the soul, the witness, the witness ...
uh huh -- stroke.
That stroke. I'm in pain. The witness says, "I'm witnessing."
"I'm witnessing" -- that's not very painful.
I'm witnessing the pain.
Physical pain. It is a worthy adversary of my spiritual practice.
All I can give you is a little of my faith ...
faith that there is a beloved. We each have melodramas. And we chop them up and put them in the salad, the salad for the beloved.
And your lives -- our lives -- are grist for the mill. Grist for the mill.

I was born Richard Alpert.
I was born into a very prominent Jewish family in Boston.
There were three boys: my two older brothers ...
and me.

[William Alpert, Older Brother] Richard as a child was, I would say, the star of the family.
He really was loved by everybody. He was intriguing and engaging, as a baby and a youngster.
Sometimes we were a little pushy with Richard when my brother and I would come back from the movies, and Richard of course was sound asleep.
And he'd wake him up and say, "Richard, get up and sing the Hut Sut song." So he'd stand up in his bed like a good little soldier and sing, "Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah add a little brawla, brawla soo it."
And we did many things like this to Richard. He was like the family mascot. Everybody loved him.

Our father George was one of the most preeminent lawyers in the city of Boston.
He was president of New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad.
And he didn't stop there.
He was the first person who became effective in creating Brandeis University,
afterwhich he was one of the leading founders of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
That was his style.
My mother was also involved in many charities.
That was just our life.

Our home in New Hampshire, we called it "The Farm."
I don't know why, but that's what we did.
Because we never really farmed anything. At one time we had a few vegetables that were growing, but nothing much.
About 300 acres, a big, beautiful, rambling place. A big barn. All sorts of things.
A three-hole golf course. One of the last things we did is dad decided we should have golf so we could play three holes,
and play a little tennis,
and go down to the waterfront and do a little water skiing.

My father bought a Criss-Craft.
And it was just put into the water, and Richard jumped in. Now he's turned the engine on, and the throttle is on the steering wheel, and there's a gear shift for forward and reverse. Richard, who of course figured he was driving a car, and he'd go into first, then second, and third. So he pulled it into what he thought was first gear, and in about four seconds, smashed the propeller, bent the shaft, and that was the end of that. We had the boat, I'd say, a minute and a half. Something like that. That was Richard.

But we started to take note of his accomplishments.
He got his bachelor's degree at Tufts, and then his master's degree at Wesleyan University, and his doctorate at Stanford.
Then he got a job teaching at Harvard.

[Ram Dass] Those faculty meetings: silver service of tea, big chairs.
The first time I went to those faculty meetings and I came walking through Harvard Yard, I just thought, "The world is my oyster."
I was a completely spit and polish Harvard professor.
That was a culmination for me.
I had a corner office, and oh God, I was riding high.
And then, into the office next door, which was a little office,
moved Tim. He was just wild. He was just wild.

[William Alpert, Older Brother] I thought Tim was a nut in that he provoked situations which didn't have to be put on the table. He seemed to get some pleasure out of sticking his finger in an electric light socket. But that was Tim.

[Timothy Leary, 1965] I took Mexican mushrooms, so-called magic mushrooms of Mexico, and I learned more about my brain and its possibilities,
and I learned more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms, than I had in the preceding 15 years of studying, human research and psychology.
And since that day, which is exactly five years ago this week, I've done practically nothing except continuous exploration.

[Ram Dass] So I bugged Tim so I could have some psychedelics. And that experience freed me. I became identified with the spiritual being inside of myself.

So you start to have this dissociative experience, where all that you become is awareness, is a point of awareness. That's all that's left.
I remember the first time this happened to me, as professor went, and middle-class boy went, and pilot went, and all of my games were like going off in the distance.
I got this terrible panic because indeed, I was going to cease to exist.
And I got the panic which is the panic that precedes the psychological death. Because indeed, Richard Alpert was dying at that point. And the panic was, "No, stop, stop! I've got to hold on to something so I'll know who I am." And Timothy, the wise old Timothy always says things like, "Trust your nervous system."

[Ram Dass] From then on, I've been somebody who, in here is the cue.

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] We were research psychologists, so suddenly there is this unusual experience, so how do you research it?

[Ram Dass] There were two experiments: one was the prison project where we were trying to show these drugs give you a reorientation about life.

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] Then also did a study which then led to the famous Good Friday study of using the set and setting idea to really test whether you could induce a religious experience, by taking people who were into theology, studying to be divinity ministers, and doing it in a setting during a religious service on Good Friday. And then having a double-blind study where some half the group got psilocybin and half the group didn't.

[Dr. Huston Smith, Philosopher] Nominally, I was one of the guides as having had some experience with the substance.
But all that went by the board when it turned out that I was one of the recipients of the psilocybin.

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] It was, you know, the first, and to this day really the only, I think, attempt to experimentally demonstrate or verify, induce, and evaluate a religious experience in the form of a psychological experiment.

[Dr. Huston Smith, Philosopher] For me, it was the strongest experience I have had of the personal god.

Firmly believing in God-Who-Is, Israel attracted to itself the manifestation and revelation of God; believing as well in itself, Israel could enter into a personal relationship with Yehovah, could stand before Him face to face, could conclude a covenant with Him, could serve Him not as a passive instrument, but as an active partner. Finally, by the strength of that same active faith that strives toward the ultimate realization of its spiritual principle, through the purification of material nature, Israel prepared within itself a pure and holy dwelling for the incarnation of God-the-Word.

-- Vladimir Solov'ev on Spiritual Nationhood, Russia and the Jews, by Judith Deutsch Kornblatt

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] And then the debate was, well, people who said, "Well, no, you could never have a mystical experience coming from an artificial substance." And the others said, "Well, why? Surely the experience itself should be the criterion of its validity rather than how it came about." And that debate went on and on and on.

[Ram Dass] When we go on and say, "Here's a pill, here's the same experience as Moses had, you can ...

Moses, the M'usa, or great sage of the Israelites, it is said, was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, thus becoming a priest of their religion, and an initiate or adept in their secret learning. Paul declares the story of Abraham and his two sons to be an allegory pre-figuring the Judaical and Christian systems. Clement, who had been initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries, is said to have declared that the doctrines there taught contained in them the end of all instruction, and had been taken from Moses and the prophets.

-- New Platonism and Alchemy, by Alexander Wilder

There is a species of magic by which living bodies can be formed and one body be transformed into another, as was done by Moses.

-- The Life of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim Known by the Name of Paracelsus and the Substance of his Teachings, by Franz Hartmann, M.D.

The founder of this "Brotherhood" was a local teacher and journalist, Jacob Gordin, who stood at that time under the influence of the South-Russian Stundists as well as of the socialistic Russian Populists. The "Spiritual Biblical Brotherhood" was made up altogether of a score of people. In a newspaper appeal which appeared shortly after the spring pogroms of 1881 the leader of the sect, hiding his identity under the pen name of "A Brother-Biblist," called upon the Jews to divest themselves of those character traits and economic pursuits which excited the hatred of the native population against them: the love of money, the hunt for barter, usury, and petty trading. This appeal, which sounded in unison with the voice of the Russian Jew-baiters and appeared at a time when the wounds of the pogrom victims were not yet healed, aroused profound indignation among the Jews. Shortly afterwards the "Spiritual Biblical Brotherhood" fell asunder. Some of its members joined a like-minded sect in Odessa which had been founded there in the beginning of 1882 by a teacher, Jacob Priluker, under the name of "New Israel."

The aim of "New Israel" was to facilitate, by means of radical religious reforms conceived in the spirit of rationalism, the contact between Jews and Christians and thereby pave the way for civil emancipation. The twofold religio-social program of the sect was as follows:

The sect recognizes only the teachings of Moses; it rejects the Talmud, the dietary laws, the rite of circumcision, and the traditional form of worship; the day of rest is transferred from Saturday to Sunday; the Russian language is declared to be the "native" tongue of the Jews and made obligatory in everyday life; usury and similar distasteful pursuits are forbidden.

As a reward for all these virtuous endeavors the sect expected from the Russian Government, which it petitioned to that effect, complete civil equality for its members, permission to intermarry with Christians, and the right to wear a special badge by which they were to be marked off from the "Talmudic Jews." As an expression of gratitude for the anticipated governmental benefits, the members of the sect pledged themselves to give their boys and girls who were to be born during the coming year the names of Alexander or Alexandra, in honor of the Russian Tzar.

The first religious half of the program of "New Israel" might possibly have attracted a few adherents. But the second "business-like" part of it opened the eyes of the public to the true aspirations of these "reformers," who, in their eagerness for civil equality, were ready to barter away religion, conscience, and honor, and who did not balk at betraying such low flunkeyism at a time when the blood of the victims of the Balta pogrom had not yet dried.

Thus it was that the withering influence of reactionary Judaeophobia compromised and crippled the second attempt at inner reforms in Judaism. Both movements soon passed out of existence, and their founders subsequently left Russia. Gordin went to America, and renouncing his sins of youth, became a popular Yiddish playwright. Priluker settled in England, and entered the employ of the missionaries who were anxious to propagate Christianity among the Jews. A few years later, during 1884 and 1885, "New Israel" cropped up in a new shape, this time in Kishinev, where the puny "Congregation of New Testament Israelites" was founded by I. Rabinovich, having for its aim "the fusion of Judaism with Christianity." In the house of prayer, in which this "Congregation," consisting altogether of ten members, worshipped, sermons were also delivered by a Protestant clergyman.

A few years later this new missionary device was also abandoned. The pestiferous atmosphere which surrounded Russian-Jewish life at that time could do no more than produce these poisonous growths of "religious reform." For the wholesome seeds of such a reform were bound to wither after the collapse of the ideas which had served as a lode star during the period of "enlightenment."

-- History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, by Simon M. Dubnow

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] But then at a certain point, then, the police move in, and switch shifts over from health and science over into law enforcement and the judiciary system, which is a whole 'nother system which doesn't really know anything about the science or care less really. What they care about is what's prohibited, and what should be prohibited, and all of that.

[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] We've lost a lot of very good friends to very bad drugs. And we've seen the exalted spirit that certain psychedelics, under certain conditions, can bring. And it would be disingenuous to deny that, just as it would be disingenuous to deny that religious and mystical experience from fasting, meditating and yoga. For me, it opened up a new world that my very conventional, very middle-class upbringing in Detroit, Michigan wouldn't have opened for me, that my training in medical school would have, if anything, have forbidden me to see. So I'm deeply grateful for those times and those experiments.

[Ram Dass] They really had this drug research in their craw.
I was the first professor in this century that was fired. Yeah.

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] Leary used the analogy saying I expect a university like Harvard to sponsor research in consciousness-expanding drugs ["religion expanding drugs"]
would be like expecting the Vatican to sponsor research in aphrodisiacs.

[Timothy Leary] You were on the tenure track.

[Ram Dass] I know I was. And you laughed. You laughed.

[Timothy Leary] If it weren't for me you would be a ...

[Ram Dass] I'd be somebody today.

[Timothy Leary] -- retired Harvard.

[Ram Dass] You blew my cover. You blew me apart.

[Timothy Leary] I ruined your economic career.

[Ram Dass] You did. You absolutely did.

This circular, on this end with the fireplace, that was my room.
We had been thrown out of Mexico, and Dominica, and of course Harvard,
after being thrown out, thrown out, thrown out, this is our resting place.
Peggy Hitchcock was part of our group,
and she said that her brothers were setting up a cattle ranch,
and the ranch had on it a large house.
They just had no use for it, and we did.
We did. We had parties to hold, and research and ...

["Dr." Ralph Metzner, psychologist] And then so a group of about 15 or 20 of us, initially, moved there and lived there, and tried to sort of put our lives together.

[Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Timothy Leary's former wife] Just about everything was going on at Millbrook.
It was an incredible place.
It had 64 rooms.

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, Psychologist] 62 rooms.

[Ram Dass] It's got 55 rooms

[Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Timothy Leary's former wife] It hasn't existed anywhere else in the world, and will probably never exist again, but for a very brief time it was a fairyland.
It was an interesting endeavor.
It was short-lived, and sometimes almost perfect.

[Ram Dass] We were protected so much in this estate, and I mean, the culture was down at the gate.

[Man] Dr. Leary, what are you up to here?

[Timothy Leary] We teach the "science" and art of ecstasy.
We teach people how to turn on or how to go out of their minds. The point is you have to go out of your mind.
You have to go out of all of the static, symbolic ways in which you think, experience.

[Ram Dass] People would come from all over. There were poets, like Allen Ginsberg; philosophers, like Huxley, Huston Smith; all kinds of musicians, like Maynard Ferguson was living down at the gate house.
It was a very creative moment, it was a creative moment, in history.
We were "experimenting" with consciousness.
We were prodding the culture.
I do experiment here that were [inaudible], and we had a bottle of LSD. And we take LSD every ... for weeks. For weeks. And this was an experimental unit, and we got to hate each other.

[Dr. Ralph Metzner, psychologist] Alpert was there, over there, and he talked about it. He got quite sick. I don't know how close he came to dying, but he got quite sick. And just taking LSD isn't healing. You know, if you've got an infection, you've got to treat the infection. Expanding your consciousness is not going to help you with that.

[Ram Dass] After the experiences here, I saw that going up, down, up, down, getting high ... getting high, getting high, getting high, wasn't satisfying. Wasn't satisfying.
Going to India after the psychedelics,
I came into a culture that recognized spirit.
I kept contacting people who knew the consciousness and the levels, and they didn't take acid.
When I went to India, my method was psychedelics.
When I came back from India, it was inside of me.

[Indians singing] Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Ram, Hare Ram
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Ram, Hare Ram.

[Ram Dass] Wow! A culture with these maps!
In going to India, I was looking for somebody that could read the maps of my consciousness.
I found Maharaji.
He was the map.
I met Maharaji in a little temple in the mountains, the Himalayas. I had been traveling with a young Westerner who had been in India for many months. And so he knew his way around.

[Bhagavan Das, Spiritual Traveler] So I took him in the Land Rover up the mountains to meet Neem Karoli Baba, against his will.
He was really uptight, angry, didn't want to go. He was giving me a hard time.
He was mad because I was driving. He wanted to drive.

[Ram Dass] We stopped on the way, about a hundred miles from the temple. And we stopped, and I went outside the house -- and I -- and stars, like stars, Van Gogh, Gogh stars -- and I thought of my mother. She was dead 6 months. And then I went inside. Then we went on to the guru.

[K.K. Sah, Translator] Ram Dass first met Maharaj ji right here.
Maharaj ji was sitting here with all his devotees were here.
And he came here with Bhagavan Das.
It is a tradition here just to bow down before a saint.
So, Bhagavan Das bowed down in pranam,
but Ram Dass was a bit hesitating.

[Ram Dass] He was laying on his belly on the ground touching the feet of the guru.
And I was Harvard professor. I wasn't going to go up and touch somebody's feet.

[K.K. Sah, Translator] He had his hands in his pockets,
and was just watching.

[Ram Dass] So he said, "Come, come. Sit down."
Then he said, "You were out under the stars thinking of your mother last night."
Which, which, I mean, a Harvard professor, you know, knowing, having been in cognitive research and stuff like that, nothing made me ready for that.

[K.K. Sah, Translator] "You were remembering your mother,
she died of a spleen."

[Ram Dass] And that was the breakthrough. That was the quieting my mind. Quieting my mind.

[Bhagavan Das, Spiritual Traveler] You know, it's like Jesus when he met the woman in the well, and told her everything she had ever done. That's what Maharaj ji would do: he would tell us everything that we'd been doing in the last parts of our lives. You're thinking, "Wow! He knows everything."

[Ram Dass] When Maharaji was near me, I was bathed in love.
And because he knew everything about me,
that was like I was forgiven. I think prior to that, I had a lot of things in my past I didn't want anybody to know. And I always felt, if they knew, they wouldn't love me. He knew, and he loved me.

[Bhagavan Das, Spiritual Traveler] And then he was transformed into Baba Ram Dass before my very eyes. He just turned into this love. He just totally opened his heart, and got into his heart.

[Ram Dass] It was so beautiful. It was so beautiful. It was so beautiful.

[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] How do I explain who Maharaji was, and how he did what he did? I don't have any explanation.
Maybe it was his love of God. I can't explain who he was.
I can almost begin to understand how he loved everybody. I mean, that was sort of his job. He was a saint.
Saints are supposed to love everybody. That's not what has always so staggered me. What staggered me is not that he loved everybody, but that when I was sitting in front of him, I loved everybody. That was the hardest thing for me to understand. How he could so totally transform the spirit of people who were with him and bring out not just the best in us, but something that wasn't even in us, we didn't know. I don't think any of us were ever as good or as pure or as loving in our whole life as we were when we were sitting in front of him.

[Ram Dass] I see him just as a, as a doorway towards God. A doorway.
His consciousness was so playful with mine. It sucks you in.
In India they have an expression, "God, guru and self are one and the same." He's just like my inner self.

[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] The most common word that he ever said was "Ram," God's name, and the second most common was "Jau," "get out of here." And all the Westerners who would come to him, attracted like a magnet, he would always say, "Go away. Go away." No, I don't think he wanted anything ever from me or from any of us. We tried to give him things. You couldn't give him money. You couldn't do anything for him. There was nothing that he needed.

[Ram Dass] All he wanted was for people to be liberated,
to be free.
One day Maharaji indicated that he would like to try LSD. And I didn't know that that was wise, because he was old, and I had strong pills.
But then he knew everything. So I got pills I had in my bag, and he selected the pills, and one pill would have been a dose for a person like me.
He took all the pills at once, and nothing happened. He didn't have any reaction.
I watched, I watched, and I watched. Nothing happened.
And what he was saying to me in his manner, as the mirror, he was saying, "It's in you. It's in you." The way we get caught in our method is, method drugs, method church, method, you know, method, method, method ... he got me out of my caughtness in my method. So I honored psychedelics, but I say there's other methods --

Maharaji gave me the name Ram Dass. Somebody told me that, and I said, "Is Good?"
And they said, "Yeah. 'Ram' is 'God,' and 'Dass' is 'servant.'
'Servant of God.'"

I waited until I was alone with Maharaji, and I said, "How do I get enlightened, Maharaji?" And he said, "Serve people and feed people." Here I'd come from America, and I was, you know, here was the guru: "Serve people, feed people."

[Richard Alpert, Older Brother] When Richard returned from India, he flew into Logan Field in Boston and my father went to pick him up. Now, keep in mind, my father had been president of the New Haven Railroad, and he was accustomed to wearing a Homburg hat and a Chesterfield coat, and very spiffy clothes and polished shoes. And he went up to the gate and he sees Richard coming off the plane with a sheet on, barefooted, and a big, long beard. And he said, "Oh my God." Then he jumped back into his car. And Richard finally made his way to the car. I think my father was probably confused for two weeks trying to figure out what had happened.

[George Alpert, Ram Dass' father] In our family life, we never had a situation where I said to any of my three boys, "You've got to do this," or "You've got to do that."
Richard , who you call "Baba something or other" --
But he has a very definite mind of his own, and he makes his decisions on what he thinks is right and true.
And I don't think he'd be influenced by anything that I say about his future any more than he's been influenced in the past. When he was a youngster, I had certain ideas as to what I thought I'd like to see him do. He didn't do them.
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Re: Ram Dass: Fierce Grace, directed by Mickey Lemle

Postby admin » Tue May 08, 2018 11:30 pm

Part 2 of 3

[Richard Alpert, Older Brother] When Richard came back from India, and he would come to visit us in Franklin, New Hampshire,
hundreds of hippies came to visit us. If we'd go out to dinner, as you're driving I'd say, "Richard, what are all these people walking up the road to our place?" He'd say, "Well, those are some of the people that want to see me." And by the time we'd get back, there'd be maybe 2, 3, 400 people all over the place. And I said, "Richard, get them off the golf course."





With Hitler's rise to power, the Obersalzberg became a place of pilgrimage.


The Cult of the Fuhrer began to annoy the other residents.


[Gertrud Straniak, Neighbour] You couldn't get through, and it was so noisy with people milling everywhere. My father got angry and said, "You can't live here any more. It's full of black and brown shirts."

-- Hitler's Family: In the Shadow of the Dictator, written and directed by Oliver Halmburger, Thomas Staehler

If it were not a serious implication, the news article and statement, first appearing in the New York Mirror last month, and then later in other of the Hearst newspapers, declaring that Hitler was supported morally by the Rosicrucians, would be amusing. The article, which was purported to be cabled from Paris, stated in part: “That Adolph Hitler is a member of the Mystic Order called the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, and that he is inspirationally directed by some of its leaders is a charge made by Edouard Saby, French writer, in a book now in preparation.”

-- Is Hitler a Rosicrucian?, by The Rosicrucian Forum 1939

[Hippies Singing] Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

[George Alpert, Ram Dass' father] Sounds like a fellow in the clothing business: Harry Krishna.

[Ram Dass] Every individual's karma is unique to that individual.
Your method, your upaya, must be found for your particular karma. You can't buy into someone else's trip.
People come to me and say, 'I went with this swami, or this baba, or this school, or this discipline, and they were beautiful people, and I tried, and nothing happened.
Am I wrong?' They say, 'it didn't feel right.' And I say, 'Always trust your inner voice.' Come back into the sea of silence.
We'll now meditate for about seven minutes.
If you're not familiar with meditating, don't try to turn off any of the other sounds. Let it all go by.
Just be here. Don't judge, don't try, don't stop, don't start. Just be here. It's all just enough.

[Krishna Das, Musician] I arrived at his father's place the first summer
in New Hampshire.
So I arrived there with my two dogs and my cat, and all my worldlies, right?
And the thing about meeting Ram Dass was that I knew that he knew. I knew that he knew what I wanted to know. And I had never met anybody who really knew what I wanted to know.
I knew that what it is I was looking for existed. It was real. It wasn't just some dream. I didn't know what it was.
I didn't know if I was going to get a piece of it or not. But it was real.
It actually existed in the world. And that changed my life.

[Hippie] It feels really wonderful to be part of the continuing story. All around the country everyone's common. We're all together here, you know, no matter where we go.
It's just like being almost in the same place. Like Ram Dass says, "We're all here no matter where we are."

[Ram Dass] Exactly! Exactly! We're totally, totally interconnected. We're totally interconnected.
So that the minute you change your consciousness, the entire universe consciousness changes.

[Hippies singing] Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
Oh, Jai Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
Jai Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
Oh, Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram

CHAPTER 15: Making an Obedient Mass

It is too easy to say that the German soul was predisposed to totalitarianism. Even if the people were inured to submissiveness through iron discipline for generations, they were never, before Hitler, genocidal maniacs.

Since World War II, several books have appeared which, while not dealing directly with the Nazis, are of invaluable aid in explaining how ordinary people can be transformed into automata, devoid of conscience or reason. They help us to understand, not only the Nazis, but millions of disciples of movements in Western countries today who, almost overnight, are weaned from their customary behavior and attachments and indoctrinated with irrational beliefs. They are The True Believer by Eric Hoffer, The Mind Possessed by William Sargant, and The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo.

What is the formula for producing pliant followers?

Take people, not wholly preoccupied with subsistence, who despair of being happy either in the present or in the future. They feel the sharp cutting edge of frustration. Either through some personal defect or because external conditions do not permit growth, they are eager to renounce themselves, since the self is insupportable.

Many German men were in this position at the end of World War I. They came home to a civilian life without purpose, in which they had no part. In the chaos and collapse, vast armies of uprooted people felt threatened by the war's economic and social aftermath. National Socialism gave them a chance for a fresh start. As Eric Hoffer points out:

People who see their lives as irremediably spoiled cannot find a worthwhile purpose in self-advancement. The prospect of an individual career cannot stir them to a mighty effort, nor can it evoke in them faith and a single-minded dedication. They look on self-interest as on something tainted and evil; something unclean and unlucky. Anything undertaken under the auspices of the self seems to them foredoomed. Nothing that has its roots and reasons in the self can be good and noble. Their innermost craving is for a new life -- a rebirth -- or, failing this, a chance to acquire new elements of pride, confidence, hope, a sense of purpose and worth by an identification with a holy cause. An active mass movement offers them opportunities for both. If they join the movement as full converts they are reborn to a new life in its close-knit collective body, or if attracted as sympathizers they find elements of pride, confidence and purpose by identifying themselves with the efforts, achievements and prospects of the movement.

To the frustrated a mass movement offers substitutes either for the whole self or for the elements which make life bearable and which they cannot evoke out of their individual resources.

The movement, in turn, encourages self-renunciation. It does not attract the individual who believes in himself, nor does it care to; on the contrary, he is precisely the individual whom it ridicules. It popularizes the idea that the private person who finds his own satisfactions is halting the progress of civilization. But to the person with the unwanted self, unable to believe in himself, the movement provides something larger to believe in. As Hitler pointed out: "Monkeys put to death any members of their community who show a desire to live apart. And what the apes do, men do too, in their own manner."

The movement also provides justification. To those who find no meaning or purpose in life, it says: "The world is out of joint, not you" or "The world that most people inhabit is an illusion... No longer alone in its misery, the frustrated mind now has company, which includes even those who protest that they are happy, because it is taught to see through that so-called happiness.

As one Nazi, Karl-Heinz Schwenke, a tailor, described it:

I had ten suits of my own when I married. Twenty-five years later, when their "democracies" got through with me in 1918, I had none, not one. I had my sweater and my pants. Even my Army uniform was worn out. My medals were sold. I was nothing. Then, suddenly, I was needed. National Socialism had a place for me. I was nothing -- and then I was needed.

The movement also provides a suitable outlet for the pent-up rage which frustrated people feel, against themselves and the world. It fans that rage and honors it. The believer's rage may actually increase in proportion to what he has had to give up to become part of the movement: his former life, his friends, his family, his privacy, his judgment, sometimes even his name and worldly goods. He is willing, even eager, to make these sacrifices and more, of course, because by making them he can slough off the undesirable self. He receives, in return, an artificial sense of worth. His stature grows through involvement with the group. He is assured that he is great, one of the chosen.

SS men were held together by the idea that they were a sworn brotherhood of the elect. Their mystic rituals gave them special obligations, some too abhorrent to contemplate, but also special privileges.

The believer becomes a fanatic. As a frustrated person, incapable of acting in his own best interests, he never had a firm grip on reality. He can enter into the fantasy life of the movement and act on behalf of impossible dreams, which impose less risk on his fragile ego than he would encounter if he were to tussle with personal hurdles. He gets a sense of omnipotence, too, from tackling world-shaking tasks.

Running away from an acceptance of his own nature and the world as it is, the believer is prone to credulity. He believes because it is impossible. He can be persuaded by the irrational and led by the nose by charlatans. It is easy for him to become irresponsible, since he is not following his own will.

Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, was the perfect exemplar of will-lessness. As he confessed at Nuremberg: "I had nothing to say. I could only say Jawohl! We could only execute orders without thinking about it.... from our entire training the thought of refusing an order just didn't enter one's head, regardless of what kind of order it was."

Since life has been irremediably spoiled for the believer, he has relatively little hesitation about spoiling it for others. This gives him an advantage. He can be unscrupulous under the disguise of idealism. His self-righteousness permits him to convince himself that he is destroying people for their own good. Josef Goebbels felt it his duty "to unleash volcanic passions, outbreaks of rage, to set masses of people on the march, to organize hatred and despair with ice-cold calculation." Eric Hoffer explains such inhumanity:

It seems that when we are oppressed by the knowledge of our worthlessness we do not see ourselves as lower than some and higher than others, but as lower than the lowest of mankind. We hate then the whole world, and we would pour our wrath upon the whole of creation.

There is a deep reassurance for the frustrated in witnessing the downfall of the fortunate and the disgrace of the righteous. They see in a general downfall an approach to the brotherhood of all. Chaos, like the grave, is a haven of equality. Their burning conviction that there must be a new life and a new order is fueled by the realization that the old will have to be razed to the ground before the new can be built. Their clamor for a millennium is shot through with a hatred for all that exists, and a craving for the end of the world.

This recalls Alfred Rosenberg's argument that "the denial of the world needs a still longer time in order to grow so that it will acquire a lasting predominance over affirmation of the world," and his equation of the Jew with world affirmation.

To be bored is also to be potentially an easy mark for a movement. It provides the meaning and purpose which are gone from the life of the isolated individual, burdened with freedom. As one young Nazi put it just before World War II, "We Germans are so happy. We are free of freedom."

What sort of social milieu is it that breeds people who want to be free of freedom?

Precisely that which has increasingly prevailed since the nineteenth century: a mass society in which the individual is atomized and counts for very little. He stands completely alone. His ties with the community, the family, the kinship group have been broken. Paradoxically, he needs them more than ever, because individual life becomes increasingly absurd and incoherent the more mass society advances.

Uprooted from village and ancestral loyalties and shifted to the anonymous city, the individual suffers culture shock: The old values are out of place in the hostile, competitive world. As an isolated person, no longer part of a settled group whose norms he accepted, he is uncertain and empty -- unless he is an independent thinker or a creative spirit, in which case he may feel himself well rid of the influence of the group. But with the encroachment of mass society, it is less and less likely that he will be able to think or create. A philologist, specializing in Middle High German, described the situation candidly to Milton Mayer (They Thought They Were Free):

... suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was "expected to" participate that had not been there or had not been important before.... it consumed all one's energies.... You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.... The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway.... Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about -- we were decent people -- and kept us so busy with continuous changes and "crises" and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the "national enemies," without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

Through mass education and mass communication, the individual is propagandized and molded into conditioned responses, like one of Pavlov's dogs. His innate ability to figure things out for himself atrophies, with predictable consequences.

To soften the pain of emptiness, he is drowned in entertainments, which offer him hero-surrogates who are able to live for him. Eternally occupied either as hustler, machine, or spectator, he seldom has a moment to notice that he cannot think, feel or live; that his life is petty, shabby, and totally without meaning; that his authorities are deceitful and manipulative, his society disintegrating, his relationships hollow, and worst of all, that nothing is being done to remedy these horrors.

The irony is that the individual in mass society has only himself. The authority of his parents has been undermined. He has moved from the soil where he was born and experienced certain local allegiances. His work is inhuman and mechanical. No meaning, responsibility, or dignity attaches to it. It requires his participation, but actually develops passivity. It regiments him, and he remains an apathetic machine. He is dependent on his job, and in periods of economic insecurity, glad to have it, but he feels diminished by it.

His relationships lack intimacy and affection. He can no longer trust anyone. He must have answers that will explain the problems of his life. Yet, because he has been trained not to think for himself, he faces a void, and his life becomes unendurable.

Human beings can't stand being unimportant. Most will readily accept the idea of further and further "massification" -- the greater leveling and equality which is evidence of greater democracy -- as a sign of progress. Mass society is symbolized by modernism and egalitarianism, two popular myths of progress. In Germany, this egalitarianism culminated in Hitler's boast that

sixty thousand men have outwardly become almost a unit, that actually these men are uniform not only in ideas, but that even the facial expression is almost the same. Look at these laughing eyes, this fanatical enthusiasm, and you will discover how a hundred thousand men in a movement become a single type.

What does the movement offer the faithful?

Nothing less than a new life. His rebirth is sometimes symbolized in a new name, exotic and foreign, to make the change of identity tangible. Now there is certainty. He knows exactly what is expected of him. Within a circumscribed set of rules, all is permitted: rage without guilt, relief from responsibility, the assertion of superiority over others.

He knows what action is required of him in the present and can look forward to a millennial future as well. There is no more ambiguity. The conflicts, tensions, self-criticisms, and doubts that assail the rest of us are washed away, and he enjoys a state of equilibrium. He is no longer a passive participant. Righteously, he looks down at those whom he formerly felt to be superior. The same society which scorned him now is forced to recognize that his beliefs are important. The mass man becomes a power in the world. Rudolf Hess, the melancholy student who became deputy leader of the Third Reich, remained grateful to the end. As he testified at Nuremberg:

It was granted to me for many years of my life to live and work under the greatest son whom my nation has produced in the thousand years of its history. Even if I could I would not expunge this period from my existence. I regret nothing. If I were standing once more at the beginning I should act once again as I did then, even if I knew that at the end I should be burnt at the stake. No matter what men do, I shall one day stand before the judgment seat of the Almighty. I shall answer to him, and I know that he will acquit me.

In exchange for this miraculous transformation, the individual willingly subjects himself to a thorough brainwashing, through which his old beliefs and personality are eradicated. He may never be aware that he is being brainwashed. It may happen instantly or gradually, but he puts absolute trust in the leaders of the movement. The group becomes the good father he may never have had, the proxy whom he depends on to solve all his problems, the authority to which he owes obedience. From the moment he is captured, he identifies with the group and begins to think as they do. Their common undertaking insures that he will never have to shoulder any personal blame for failure or shortcomings. So long as he behaves according to the rules, he will be accepted. The rules are clear and consistent, or seem to be.

The Germans were used to compulsion from early childhood. Rudolf Hoess's reminiscence is fairly typical, and makes his subsequent acquiescence in running Auschwitz more plausible:

It was constantly impressed upon me in forceful terms that I must obey promptly the wishes and commands of my parents, teachers, priests, etc., and indeed of all grown-up people, including servants, and that nothing must distract me from this duty. Whatever they said was always right.

These basic principles on which I was brought up became part of my flesh and blood. I can still clearly remember how my father, who on account of his fervent Catholicism, was a determined opponent of the Reich Government and its policy, never ceased to remind his friends that, however strong one's opposition might be, the laws and decrees of the State had to be obeyed unconditionally.

From my earliest youth I was brought up with a strong awareness of duty. In my parents' house it was insisted that every task be exactly and conscientiously carried out. Each member of the family had his own special duties to perform.

The group is beyond criticism. Its realm is sacred. Even if a man has convictions which run counter to those of the movement, he can still be led to act in a manner which contradicts his own beliefs, either because his will is weak or because he is the victim of certain techniques which cause his will to be transcended. He can say, with Hermann Goring, "I have no conscience! Adolf Hitler is my conscience!" or "It is not I who live, but the Fuhrer who lives in me."

It is important to examine these techniques if we are to understand how people can be made to follow a Fuhrer wherever he may lead.

The proselyte is isolated at first. No free exchange with unbelievers is allowed. He is cut off from ties of loyalty with the past. His family and friends are discredited. Feelings of exclusivity are encouraged.

His mind is barraged with repetitive propaganda until it is made weary. The indoctrination may go on uninterruptedly for sixteen hours or more a day, for weeks on end. Even if the proselyte rejects what he hears, argues against it, or falls into apathy, the Pavlovian conditioning ultimately seduces him, and he surrenders to the training.

Mechanical drill, rhythmical marches, dance rituals, and repetitive chanting are also effective in breaking down resistance.

The English psychiatrist William Sargant could better grasp how Hitler was able to bring even intelligent Germans into "a condition of intellectual and emotional subjection" through "mass rallies, marching and martial music, chanting and slogans and highly emotional oratory and ceremony" after witnessing the subservience of certain African tribes to their leaders and seeing their powerful initiation rites:

Whether in a "primitive" tribe or at school or in the army, the process is essentially the same. Severe stress is imposed on the new recruit, by subjecting him to arbitrary and frightening authority, by bewildering him, abusing or ill-treating him, by telling him that his old values and sentiments are childish, and so inducing in him a state of unease and suggestibility in which new values can easily be drummed into him, and he recovers his self-confidence by accepting them. The initial conditioning techniques may have to be reinforced from time to time by further conditioning procedures, and follow-up indoctrination is considered most important in all types of religious or other conversion.

Once the proselyte has been broken down and sensitized, his thinking and feelings can be manipulated, and delusions implanted. He falls under the suggestive power of the group and accepts its distortions as objective truth.

Most people are suggestible and can be hypnotized against their will, obeying commands even when they go against the grain. Dr. Sargant observes:

It is not the mentally ill but ordinary normal people who are most susceptible to "brainwashing," "conversion," "possession," "the crisis" ... and who ... fall readily under the spell of the demagogue or the revivalist, the witch-doctor or the pop group, the priest or the psychiatrist, or even in less extreme ways the propagandist or the advertiser.

In the suggestible state, the proselyte may attribute divine powers to his leader and accept dogmas which he might have rejected in a more normal state. Some of the men closest to Hitler, for example, acknowledged that they believed in his divinity. Himmler's masseur, Felix Kersten, relates that he once answered the phone and heard Hitler's voice before passing the phone on to Himmler, who exclaimed: "You have been listening to the voice of the Fuhrer, you're a very lucky man." Himmler told Kersten that Hitler's commands came "from a world transcending this one" and "possessed a divine power." It was the "Karma" of the German people that they should be "saved" by "a figure of the greatest brilliance" which had "become incarnate" in Hitler's person.

And even disbelievers and scoffers can also come to accept irrational dogmas -- through contagion, imitation or sudden conversion.

Beliefs have the power to infect. The onlookers at a mass rally, where emotions are being stirred up, often feel the same intensity of excitement that the participants feel. We can "catch" ideas that are completely foreign to us. In early Judaism, for example, there was no concept of a demonic force. God was responsible for both good and evil. But with influences from Iran, Egypt, and Greece came a tendency to explain evil as the work of demons. Soon after, people began to see manifestations of evil spirits everywhere, and "every misfortune, every illness, and particularly, under the name of possession, all disorders of the nervous system were ascribed to them," according to Charles Guignebert in The Jewish World in the Time of Jesus.

Hitler's early speeches were so mesmerizing that even people who were repelled by his ideas felt themselves being swept along. The playwright Eugene Ionesco mentions in his autobiography that he received the inspiration for Rhinoceros when he felt himself pulled into the Nazi orbit at a mass rally and had to struggle to keep from developing "rhinoceritis."

We "catch" ideas, too, because we want to be like others, particularly when we want not to be our despised selves. If we're satisfied, we don't need to conform, but if we're not, we imitate people whom we admire for having greater judgment, taste, or good fortune than we do. Obedience itself is a kind of imitation. Through conformity, the person who feels inferior is in no danger of being exposed. He's indistinguishable from the others. No one can single him out and examine his unique being. Conformity, in turn, sets him up to be further canceled out as an individual, to have no life apart from his collective purpose. This gives a movement tremendous power over the individual. Even intelligent people are not immune from the desire to conform. Heinrich Hildebrandt, a schoolteacher who was anxious to hide his liberal past, joined the Nazi party, and to his own disgust, found himself "proud to be wearing the insignia. It showed I 'belonged,' and the pleasure of 'belonging,' so soon after feeling excluded, isolated, is very great.... I belonged to the 'new nobility.'"

Hoffer observes:

Above all, he [the true believer] must never feel alone. Though stranded on a desert island, he must still feel that he is under the eyes of the group. To be cast out from the group should be equivalent to being cut off from life.

This is undoubtedly a primitive state of being, and its most perfect examples are found among primitive tribes. Mass movements strive to approximate this primitive perfection, and we are not imagining things when the anti-individualist bias of contemporary mass movements strikes us as a throwback to the primitive.

Sudden conversions, which may happen through hypnosis, emotional shock, despair, or exhaustion, can bring people into movements. William Sargant believes an apparently well-balanced person, "dominated by hypnoid and slightly suggestible brain activity," may suddenly give up his "previous intellectual training and habits of rational thought," to accept "ideas which he would normally find repellent or even patently nonsensical." Sargant is convinced that a heightened state of suggestibility accounts for many cases of demonic possession, or for sudden salvation. The history of mysticism offers instances of extreme opinions instantly reversed. The critical faculty is suspended, and what was formerly believed to be black is now white, and vice-versa.

Once the believer has been taken over by one of these means, it is difficult for him to revert to his former self. In a sense, collective totalitarian thinking can be compared with schizophrenia. In both, there is, says Joost Meerloo in The Rape of the Mind, a "loss of an independent, verifiable reality, with a consequent relapse into a more primitive state of awareness." In both, thought and action are arrested at an infantile level of development.

Since the totalitarian denies man's dynamic nature, views him simply as a submissive robot, and provides this robot with one single, simple answer to all the ambivalences, doubts, conflicts, and warring drives within him, all attempts to dislodge the official cliches clash with those same cliches. The believer's isolation in a fortress of other delusional thinkers gives him no opportunity for clear thought or contact with other influences. He is immune to reasonable propositions. He is convinced that he is reasonable, and that his enemies are not. Having burned his bridges behind him, broken with his family and old friends, he cannot go back. He is committed to his involvement in the group. To renounce it would be to repudiate himself. It would also mean giving up all the psychic benefits of omnipotence. His personality and prejudices have become crystallized around a set of actions and dogmas. They are irreversible. Any external stimulus which threatens to penetrate his armor and make him see the absurdity or injustice of his position is rationalized to further harden his rigidity. He has joined the movement at least partly because it handed him stereotypes in place of his vague notions and saved him from having to think things out for himself. Any stimulus which evokes a symbol causes a reflex action. With his weakened conscience and consciousness, he can no longer respond spontaneously, however he may appear to be doing so. He has become the movement. All thoughts and feelings that are at odds with it are snuffed out. This is what gives the believer the air of a one-dimensional man. He lacks depth. There is a limited range of possibilities open to him. If one wants, therefore, to convert him back to an autonomous human being, one finds that there is nobody at home. His mind is shut tight against new ideas. The slogans and ready-made judgments he has absorbed stretch forward into infinity. The believer is protected for all time. Within his sacred circle, all other knowledge is taboo. One might say that the most telltale sign of a believer is his refusal to examine ideas other than the divine commandments which have been implanted in him. One can't get to him because he will not and cannot engage in dialogue. What is particularly maddening about him is that, sterile and unimaginative, he masquerades as an exemplary man, an objective guide eager to spread enlightenment.

The ability to exercise his own judgment, having atrophied, is never restored. Even if he should drop out of one group, he will quickly seek and find another. Like a drug addict who needs his fix, he cannot live without his cliches.

At Nuremberg after the war, Allied examiners were shocked to see how unrepentant some of the Nazis were. Julius Streicher cried "Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!" at his execution, until the opening of the trap door muffled his voice. Arthur Seyss-Inquart declared, to the last, that Hitler remained "the man who made Greater Germany a reality in history." Rudolf Hoess, by his own admission "completely filled, indeed obsessed" with his monstrous goal, was not guilty of arrogance when he proudly declared that "Auschwitz became the greatest human extermination center of all time." He was one of the countless ordinary men who had been turned into a believer. He gave validity to Hitler's contention "that by the clever and continuous use of propaganda a people can even be made to mistake heaven for hell, and vice versa, the most miserable life for Paradise." As Hitler knew better than perhaps anyone else: "The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never again escape from it."

We need not, however, look as far back as Nazi Germany for examples of people undergoing personality changes and extreme shifts in ideology. We can learn from present-day American groups.

-- Gods & Beasts: The Nazis and the Occult, by Dusty Sklar

[Richard Alpert, Older Brother] The family felt that to some extent it was an invasion of our privacy.
On the other hand, we realized that Richard was doing a very good thing here. And my mother-in-law, for example, was absolutely in love with him. She'd say, "Whenever you have him over at your house, please let me be there. I just find it to be so peaceful to be with him."

[George Alpert, Ram Dass' Father] When I think of what he's doing, I think it's wonderful.
I look over the golf course, and hear all these people, some of them reading, some of them resting, some of them walking -- it's wonderful! And it makes Richard feel that he's making a contribution. And therefore, in a small way, I'm making a contribution.
That's about the way I feel about it.

[Krishna Das, Musician] [All teary-eyed] He brought me to my guru,
and that's -- and I first felt it in him in this life. In Ram Dass. I first felt it through him. And that's, you know, how can you ever repay that?

[Ram Dass] When Maharaji died, there were all the people crying, and I couldn't cry.
It was sad that I wouldn't see that body, but I didn't really think he had gone anywhere.
Even now when I call him, he's right here.

[Krishna Das, Musician] [All teary-eyed] We used to sing a lot with Maharaji. And he used to always ask us to sing so we would learn chants and sing with him.
Even when we weren't with him, we would sing.
It became a way of keeping a relationship with him.

[Hippies Singing] Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] You know, you can talk to, I don't know, a thousand people my age who went through the sixties, and you ask them "What was their first 'Ah hah'?" And for so many of them it was reading "Be Here Now."
It was at one time the best-selling book in the English language, except for Ben Spock and the Bible.

[Dr. Huston Smith, Philosopher] One of the virtues of the book is that it is not religion-specific in the sense of being tied to any historical religious tradition.
It just gets straight, goes straight for the pay dirt, and the essence and the heart that underlies them all.

[Ram Dass] I was in the Old City in Jerusalem, and I was walking across the square,
and two young Hassids were walking across. And one said, "Excuse me, you are Ram Dass." I said, "Yeah." He said, "You know, your 'Be Here Now' is what reason I'm a Hassid now."

[Rabbi Avraham Novick] I first came encounter with Ram Dass in high school in the 70s when somebody -- a friend -- gave me the book "Be Here Now,"
and thought I might find it interesting in light of some of the shared experiences we had had.

[Mickey Lemle] And what were those shared experiences?

[Rabbi Avraham Novick] LSD experiences.

[Ram Dass] Once, in Thailand, I was in a Buddhist monastery, and two Westerners in Buddhist outfit, and one of them says, "You know, 'Be Here Now,' it's why I'm a Buddhist monk." And, uh -- yeah.

[Dr. Larry Brilliant, Co-Founder of the SEVA Foundation] There was a time when so many Western seekers went to India in search of the truth.
Many experienced something which transformed them forever. A few could come back and articulate that transformation. Ram Dass allowed us to go along on his ride. Even after his stroke, Wavy said to him, "Look, Dick, you always go ahead of the rest of us and bring back what you've learned. Go back from this and tell us what we have to face as we get older and face the same kinds of problems."

[Ram Dass] When I was taking care of my father, he was slow, he was hesitant, he was deliberate. And I was wanting to go. Now I'm my father, and I see what he saw. And so I identify with my father, and I identify with the caretakers who have to take care of me.

[Doctor] Does that feel okay?

[Ram Dass] Yeah. It's okay now.

The stroke is a fact. It is traumatic, like an earthquake. And there was another fact in my life: Maharaji's grace. Stroke, grace, stroke, grace, stroke, grace. This has been my major spiritual exercise during the stroke. Bringing these two things together.

[Doctor] Try this one. Relax. Take a deep breath. That feel okay now?
Take a deep breath. Okay, stand up. Sit down. Slowly. Don't hold on to the chair. Yeah. This is good.
Try again. Slowly. Try walking.

[Ram Dass] Oh, now, this wasn't called for.

[Doctor] Left side first. That's okay. Yes. Good. Slowly, slowly. Yes. Okay. Yeah, yeah. Okay, turn. Slowly.

[Ram Dass] You're sure you think I could do this?

[Doctor] Yeah.

[Ram Dass] He's a doctor. He should know.
I'm living my life as an example to help others age and not be frightened and freaked by the chances of age.
I didn't expect that.
When I conceived of this book on aging, there were some things that I had fear about.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Or we could just go to this.

[Ram Dass] But I've experienced the worst of them. Now I'm seasoned by the stroke.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] And we're also, it's very balanced, Ram Dass,
because you're saying there was a physical reason, there were psychological reasons,
and the spiritual reason, which you interpret as having been given a stroke, and being held down.

[Ram Dass] Being stroked.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Being stroked, yeah.

[Ram Dass] That's -- being stroked is very crucial because -- that phrase.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Yes. Yes. Yeah, I think that's good.

[Ram Dass] Yep. Okay.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] "Physically this happened because of a blood clot, and I'm a happy accident of nature, but spiritually it was fierce grace." Shall we just say, "my guru had stroked me under his blanket"?

[Ram Dass] No, no. That's mixture of metaphors.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Alright. "My guru under whose grace I am -- "

[Ram Dass] No.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] " -- was stroking me?" Should we say that?

[Ram Dass] "Had stroked me. Had stroked me."

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Right, right, right. Uh hum, that's nice.
"Healing is not after all the same as curing."

[Ram Dass] No.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] "Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather of allowing what is now to move us closer to God."

[Ram Dass] Yes. Okay.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Well, that's basically it.
You finally found the end of the book. That's the point.

[Ram Dass] Yep.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] "I'm finally learning to Be Here Now."

[Ram Dass] Okay.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Is that okay?

[Ram Dass] [Laughing] Oh, Jesus. You're a schmaltz, New York schmaltz.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] Yeah, it's a little schmaltzy. It's too schmaltzy. So let's just cut the ending there. Let's cut that then.

[Ram Dass] Let's leave it in.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] You want to?

[Ram Dass] Yep. We did it.

[Mark Matousek, Editor] We did it! We did that.

[Audience] [Cheering, whistling]

[Publication Date of STILL HERE, May 22, 2000]

[Man] [reading] "I've been leading the way into an experience that lies ahead for most of us: the experience of aging.
Having the point of view of a disabled person, having come through a catastrophic physical event,
I can write about aging in a way I couldn't have before."
I'd like to begin by asking Ram Dass, "You had this tremendous whack at your ego and your body.
Um, the soul, I believe, was not diminished. Because when I read the book, I say, 'Yeah, Ram Dass. You came through this. You have more to teach than ever.' But this doesn't seem always to be the case."

[Ram Dass] There was a time when I bought everybody else's mind.

[Man] Uh hum. "Poor Ram Dass."

[Ram Dass] "Poor Ram Dass" -- yeah. And I said, "Poor Ram Dass." And I felt this was a terrible, terrible thing. And it was unexpected, and stuff like that.
The stroke caused me to lose faith. And it was a cold, cold place.
And I suddenly realized it was fierce grace. "Fierce grace" is what I called it, because it was one grace that turned my life around.

[Jyl] My name is J-Y-L. Jyl. It's spelled in an unusual way. Thank you, Ram Dass.

[Ram Dass] Good evening.

[Woman] Thank you for being such an inspiring teacher.

[Ram Dass] Great!

[Woman] Yeah. I work with people who are dying. I continue to learn a lot.

[Ram Dass] Yeah, that's a great, great sadhana.

[Woman] It's great. Yeah.

[Woman] Thanks, my love.

[Ram Dass] I've forgotten my own name, too.

[Man] Thanks so much.

[Woman] That's pretty good for your left hand.

[Ram Dass] I always had that.

[Woman] Oh. Good. Aren't you lucky? That's crazy. Thank you.

[Woman] Every time I've seen you, ever since the beginning, you're like a [inaudible] along the way.

[Ram Dass] It's been an interesting trip. For you?

[Woman] [Nods head]

[Ram Dass] Yeah.

[Abby] When I was 15, I met Ram Dass, or 16, at a camp called "Creating Our Future." "Creating Our Future" was a youth organization teaching environmental and social justice organizing. I met him again a couple of months ago after the murders of my boyfriend and two of his co-workers. They were environmental and indigenous rights activists who worked with a tribe in northeastern Columbia fighting two U.S. based oil companies. I'm just returning from the burial. We buried Terrence on his birthday, which was a few days ago, in New Mexico. And I'm struggling with ... I'm struggling with the body and figuring out where he is in relation to that body.

He came to us in four layers of plastic and a box.
And the night before the burial we had, his three best friends had removed that plastic, and cleaned the body,
and wrapped it in sage and red clean cotton cloth. And five women: one from his childhood, one from his immediate past, me from the present, a co-worker from the future and my mother sang a little bit in the distance during that process.
And there was an acute release then. Not relief, but release. Ability finally felt like for Terry to breathe into those wounds: the ten bullets, and the anguish of that week. And he was lowered without the box into the earth.

[Ram Dass] Now, characterize him in your mind.
He's not that body. You put that body to rest.
You, as a soul, took this incarnation in which you were involved in this melodrama.
And the melodrama is sticky.

[Abby] Why is that happening to me? Because I want that to happen? I don't feel like it's --

[Ram Dass] Your ego doesn't, but God does.

[Abby] Does God want that to happen to everybody?

[Ram Dass] No. No. No.

[Abby] So, should I be paying special attention to that?
That's this crossroads thing of like okay, like the knock came a long time ago. The knock came again when Terrence came into my life, when I was pretty asleep. I hustled to respond to that knock with Terrence. And then [slaps her hands violently together]

[Ram Dass] Knock, knock! [Laughing]

[Abby] He's gone.

[Ram Dass] [Making knocking movements with hand] Knock, knock, knock, knock.

[Abby] Yeah, but what -- it wouldn't have taken that! It wouldn't have taken violent ...

[Ram Dass] How do you know?

[Abby] Because we were going there anyway. That was already our work.

[Ram Dass] Uh huh.

[Abby] That was already how we were building our lives, and building the way that we related to each other.

[Ram Dass] You see how sticky the stuff you were working with? Here's the sticky.

[Abby] Well, "Here's the sticky" is that I'm doing it by myself. And that wasn't the plan.

[Ram Dass] Well, your plan is your plan. I'm not a plan God.

[Abby] [Crying]

[Ram Dass] The stroke, it's upset all my plans. I had a radio show on the drawing boards.
But I don't say, "Look, God, you've got a helluva nerve, my plan ..."

[Abby] In April, a month or so after the murders, I woke up one morning to a dream after a dream. Finally, he had come. We're having, finally, our first talk after it happened. "Oh my God, where have you been? Where are you? What the hell am I supposed to do now?" Finally, that interaction.

[Ram Dass] Good, good.

[Abby] It was good. He had me, he could embrace me, hands all the way around both sides. And I was kissing his temples. He had freckles. The last question I asked him was one that had been scaring me, if I would find someone again here to love, to manifest what we were incubating. He said, "Abby, this was small peanuts." He said, "And when you find that love, I'm part of it."

[Ram Dass] Oh, God! Yummy, yum, yum, yum. Oooh.
[Ram Dass Crying]
[Ram Dass Sobbing]
Boy, that's strong.

[Abby] Yeah!

[Ram Dass] And you had that relationship. You know how few ever have a relationship like the one you and -- ?

[Abby] [Sobbing]

[Ram Dass] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
My guru said, "Suffering brings me so close to God." When a girl came before him, and she was so sad,
and she said, "Oh Maharaji, my life is so full of suffering." And he says, "Mine is too."
But he seemed happy about it, because he understood what this plane, what kind of work this plane does.
And you have an intuitive understanding of your path. That's what your soul has.
The death of a lover is a path.
You know?

[Abby] Yeah. Thanks.

[Ram Dass] Thanks. Yeah, yeah. Ohhh!

[Abby] You don't have to get up. You don't have to get up.

[Ram Dass] I have to get up sooner or later!

[Abby] [Laughs]

Ram Dass] Good.

[Abby] I don't know where you're going to go.

[Ram Dass] I don't know where I'm going to go, either.

[Abby] You're going to give me a hug.

[Ram Dass] Oh, is that what I'm going to do?

[Abby] Uh huh.

[Ram Dass] I was galumphing through life before the stroke, and I kind of thought, "That was that. That was all it was." But the stroke, it's like a whole new incarnation.
There are qualities in me that never would have come out. Never.
I'm at peace more now than I have ever been.
The peace comes from my settling in to the moment. This moment is alright. Now, this moment is alright.
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Re: Ram Dass: Fierce Grace, directed by Mickey Lemle

Postby admin » Tue May 08, 2018 11:31 pm

Part 3 of 3


Produced and Directed by
Mickey Lemle

Buddy Squires

Associate Producer
Linda K. Moroney

Aaron Vega
Mickey Lemle
Jacob Craycroft

Original Music
Teese Gohl

Jessica Brackman
Buddy Squires
Sound Recordists
Peter Bettendorf
John Zecca
P.D. Valson
Michael Becker

Assistant Camera
John Chater
Jill Tufts
Ulli Bonnekamp
Production Manager (India)
Nihal Mathur
Sound Editor
Jacob Ribicoff
Planet 10 Post
Re-Recording Mixer
Cominick Tavella
Sound One Corp. NY
Additional Photography
John Chater
Pramod Mathur
Additional Editing
Linnea Hamilton

Assistant Sound Editor
Mike Poppelton

Rights Clearance
Elizabeth Klinck

Sound Effects
Dennis Leonard
Mac Smith

Foley Artists
Brian Vancho
Aaron Lemle

Film to Tape Colorist
John J. Dowdell

On-line Editor
Greg Smith

On-line Services
Tape House Editorial

Re-Recording Mixer
Dominick Tavella, Sound One

DuArt Film and Video

Negative Matching
Immaculate Matching

Graphic Artists
Michael Edelstein
Miguel Ferry
Jennifer Scheerer

Production Assistants
Penny Citrola
Nitin Madan
Christy Meyer
Jason Osder

Nancy Adams

Shalini Bajaj

Legal Services
Geoffrey Menin
Lawrence Levien
Music Consultant
Krishna Das
Fiscal Agents
Karen Thomas, Film Odyssey
Walter Beebe, NY Open Center

Historical footage and stills provided by
SUNSEED by Amertat Fredrick Cohn,
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: TV Archives,
Kathy Alpert, Peter Simon,
Ram Dass Tape Library, Gay Dillingham,
The Hartley Film Foundation, Lisa Law,
William Alpert, Rameshwar Das,
Larry and Girija Brilliant,
Ralph Metzner, FPG International

This film was made possible by

Bruce Katz

Marie-Elizabeth Mundheim

Laurance S. Rockefeller

Laurance Spelman Rockefeller (May 26, 1910 – July 11, 2004) was a venture capitalist, financier, philanthropist, a major conservationist and a prominent third-generation member of the Rockefeller family. He was the fourth child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and brother to John D. III, Nelson, Winthrop and David.

Early life and marriage

Rockefeller was born in New York City and graduated from Princeton in 1932. He then attended Harvard Law School for two years until he found that he did not want to be a lawyer.

Laurance married Mary French in 1934. A friendship between Mary French's mother, Mary Montague French, and Laurance Rockefeller's mother allowed for a childhood friendship. When Nelson Rockefeller attended Dartmouth College, he shared a room with Mary's brother. Mary was granddaughter of Frederick H. Billings, a president of Northern Pacific Railway.

Laurance and Mary had three daughters and a son. They are Laura R. Chasin, Marion R. Weber, Dr. Lucy R. Waletzky, and Larry Rockefeller. In 2004 he died, he had eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. His wife died in 1997.

Business, Philanthropy, Interests

In 1937 he inherited his grandfather's seat on the New York Stock Exchange. He served as founding trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for forty-two years, from its inception in 1940 to 1982; during this time he also served as president (1958–1968) and later its chairman (1968–1980) for twenty-two years, longer than any other leader in the Fund's history. He was also a founding trustee of the Rockefeller Family Fund from 1967 to 1977.

He was a leading figure in the pioneering field of venture capital, which began as a joint partnership with all five brothers and their only sister, Babs, in 1946. In 1969 this became the successful Venrock Associates, which provided important early funding for Intel and Apple Computer, amongst many other start-up technology companies, including many other firms involved in healthcare. Over the years his investment interests ranged also into the fields of aerospace, electronics, high temperature physics, composite materials, optics, lasers, data processing, thermionics, instrumentation and nuclear power.

Venrock was a limited partnership investment company financed by members of the Rockefeller family and a number of the institutions with which the family had longstanding philanthropic ties, among them the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Rockefeller's major interest was in aviation; after the War, he became friendly with Captain Rickenbacker, who had triumphed in many dogfights over Europe. Rockefeller had earned to fly, and found Rickenbacker's vivid accounts of an approaching boom in commercial air travel to be persuasive. Within a decade after Rockefeller's considerable investment, Eastern Airlines had become the most profitable airline to emerge after World War II. He became its largest shareholder. He also funded the pivotal post-WWII military contractor McDonnell Aircraft Corp.

Rockefeller was a longtime friend and associate of DeWitt Wallace, who with his wife in 1922 co-founded Reader's Digest. Wallace, who was a major funder of the family's Colonial Williamsburg, appointed Laurance as an outside director in the company. He wanted to ensure that it preserved its patriotic mission of informing and educating the public, along with support for national parks, one of Rockefeller's primary interests.

Through his resort management company, Rockresorts, Inc., Rockefeller opened environmentally focused hotels at Caneel Bay on Saint John, United States Virgin Islands (1956) (a favorite resort today for celebrities), some property of which was later turned over to the Virgin Islands National Park; in Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, and Hawaii, contributing to the movement now known as eco-tourism. The last of these, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, was established in 1965 on the Kohala Coast of the island of Hawaii.

Rockefeller funded the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at a critical juncture of its early development. He also funded William Irwin Thompson's Lindisfarne Association, a think tank and retreat. He had a major involvement in the New York Zoological Society, along with support from other family members and philanthropies; he was a long-time trustee (1935–1986), president (1969–1971) and chairman (1971–1985).

In later life, Rockefeller became interested in UFOs. In 1993, along with his niece, Anne Bartley, the stepdaughter of Winthrop Rockefeller and the then-president of the Rockefeller Family Fund, he established the UFO Disclosure Initiative to the Clinton White House. They asked for all UFO information held by the government, including from the CIA and the US Air Force, to be declassified and released to the public. The first and most important test case where declassification had to apply, according to Rockefeller, was the Roswell UFO incident. In September 1994, the Air Force categorically denied the incident was UFO-related. Rockefeller briefed Clinton on the results of his initiative in 1995. Clinton did produce an Executive Order in late 1994 to declassify numerous documents in the National Archives, but this did not specifically refer to UFO-related files.

He also had an interest, gained via his mother Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, in Buddhism and Asian cultural affairs. He also became interested in spiritual research and crop circles. He funded the research of Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. John Edward Mack, author of Passport to the Cosmos. He also funded a scientific study about crop circles in the late 1990s, in which scientists concluded that they were possibly dealing with an unknown energy source, as their research into a small number of them left them baffled.


He was noted for his involvement in conservation (Lady Bird Johnson in 1967 was to label him "America's leading conservationist") and the protection of wildlife and was chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission. He served on dozens of federal, state and local commissions and advised every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower on issues involving recreation, wilderness preservation and ecology. He founded the American Conservation Association and supported many other environmental groups.

He funded the expansion of Grand Teton National Park and was instrumental in establishing and enlarging national parks in Wyoming, California, the Virgin Islands, Vermont, Maine and Hawaii. In his home state, New York, he expended further cash and influence to help establish parklands and urban open spaces. There, as an active member of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, he helped create a chain of parks that blocked the advance of urban sprawl.

In September 1991, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for contributions to conservation and historic preservation. Awarded by President George H. W. Bush, it was the first time in the Medal's history (since 1777) that it had been awarded for outdoor issues, effectively naming Rockefeller as "Mr Conservation", who more than any other American had put this issue on the public agenda. Rockefeller said at the award presentation that nothing was more important to him than "the creation of a conservation ethic in America".

In 1992 Rockefeller and his wife Mary donated their Woodstock, Vermont summer home and farm to the National Park Service, creating a national park dedicated to the history of conservation, now called the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. In 2001, Rockefeller transferred ownership of his landmark 1106-acre (4.5 km²) JY Ranch to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. It was accepted by Vice-President Dick Cheney on behalf of the Federal government (see External Links below).

He died in his sleep of pulmonary fibrosis on July 11, 2004.

-- Laurance S. Rockefeller, by Wikipedia

Joshua Mailman

Joshua Mailman, by http://www.undueinfluence.com

The Progressive Movement's Wildcard Moneyman, son of a wealthy New York businessman, has personally founded or funded more social-responsibility business initiatives and pious grantmaking foundations than anyone, paralleling the money-funneling accomplishment of his colleague Drummond Pike of the Tides Family of Organizations.

Joshua Lawrence Mailman

Sole Trustee, Joshua L Mailman Charitable Trust
Vice President, Joseph L Mailman Foundation, Inc
Founder, Mailman Institute (Tides Center Project)
President, Sirius Business Corporation.
Co-founder, Threshold Foundation
Co-founder, Social Venture Network
Co-founder, Network for Social Change UK
Co-founder, Business for Social Responsibility
Co-founder, Social Venture Network Europe
Co-founder, Social Venture Network/Asia
Co-founder, Grameen Telecom (Bangladesh)
Co-founder, Forum Empresa (South America)
Founding investor, Global Telesystems Group
Founding investor, Stirling Energy Systems
Founding investor, Shaman Pharmaceuticals
Founding investor, Wcities.com
Founding investor, Perks4u.com (now Motivano)
Founding investor, Webmiles.com (out of business)
Founding investor, deNovis (out of business)
Founding investor, Earthstone International
Founding investor, Juniper Partners
Founding investor, Calvert Social Venture Partners (now Calvert Investments)
Investor, Energia Global (acquired by Enel Green Power)
Investor, Seeds of Change
Founding shareholder, Stoneyfield Farms
Founding shareholder, Utne Reader
Trustee, Sigrid Rausing Trust (London)
Trustee and Patron, Living Earth Foundation (UK)
President, Sierra Madre Alliance Inc
Director, Joseph L Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Director, ABC Home and Planet Foundation
Director, Afropop Worldwide
Director, Fund for Global Human Rights
Director, Human Rights Watch
Director, Witness
Director, World Music Productions
Former Director, International Rivers Network
Founding Donor, Alternative Education Resource Organization
Donor, Social Investment Forum
Donor, Rocky Mountain Institute
Donor, Green Map Systems
Donor, Institute for Multitrack Diplomacy
Donor, Global Partners Working Group
Donor, Americans for Peace Now
Donor, Chiapas Media Project
Donor, Internews Network
Donor, American Indian Forum 2001 at Cornell University
Member, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities (a project of Center for American Progress)
Advisory Committee Member, Ecologic Development Fund
Advisory Board Member, Donor, CorpWatch
Advisory Board Member, Reebok Human Rights Award
Advisor, Pema Fund (San Francisco)
Investment Advisor, NextPoint Partners
Convener, a 1981 meeting in Estes Park, Colorado that created the group of wealthy heirs and notables called "The Doughnuts"

Joshua Lawrence Mailman

Doughnuts, Not Nuts With Dough

Joshua Mailman is most notable for convening the group of wealthy heirs known as The Doughnuts, who morphed into the Threshold Foundation, which spread the gospel that giving money was a spiritual activity, and generated hundreds of new "socially responsible" businesses and non-profits. Mailman was born in New York City, New York in 1954. He has an older sister, Jody Wolfe, who lives in Florida, and had an older brother (b. 1953), Joseph S. Mailman, who died in 1989.

Joshua's father was Joseph L. Mailman (1901-1990), businessman and philanthropist. Joseph and his brother Abraham (d. 1980) began their careers in the razor blade industry and expanded to form one of America's earliest conglomerates in the 1930s. They later acquired substantial interests in a number of American and Canadian companies, including Air Express International, Diamond T Motors, Gulfstream Land and Development and Republic Aviation, which supported both brothers' generous philanthropy through their Mailman Foundation (1943). Joseph Mailman served on the Gulfstream Board of Directors with Samuel Bronfman of the Seagram empire.

Joshua's mother, Phyllis Day Scheffreen Mailman, was the daughter of Irene and Abraham Lincoln Scheffreen, and has been a talented manager of her husband's assets and a leader in philanthropy since his death. She oversaw a $33 million donation from the Mailman Foundation to Columbia University for the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, of which Joshua is a Director.

Joshua attended Collegiate High School, New York City (1968-1972) and Middlebury College, Vermont (1973-1977), where he earned a B.A. degree.

It is significant that Stephen C. Rockefeller (Nelson's son), was Professor of Religion at Middlebury during Joshua's years there. Prof. Rockefeller taught that the environment has a spiritual aspect (he edited the 1991 book Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment is a Religious Issue), which became one of Mailman's core beliefs.

Joshua's future was clouded September 7, 1976 by his arrest in a "healing" session at the "Institute of Fundamentals" in Lincoln, Vermont, involving LSD, marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Arrested with him were three "healers" and five other participants, one a fellow Middlebury student. Police dropped drug use charges and nothing serious came of the incident for the participants, but the story shows that 22-year-old Joshua was a child of the 1970s in seeking expanded consciousness. More importantly, it shows that he was also an offspring of the civil rights and anti-war movements, and the growing anti-apartheid movement of the time: he rejected the Timothy Leary "tune in, turn on, drop out" agenda in favor of seeking healing power - the Institute's three "healers" were Mexican nationals, two of whom claimed to be doctors, possibly curanderos (folk healers) or even brujos (shamanic sorcerers).

Two years later, James George, Canadian Ambassador, High Commissioner to India, and Buddhist devotee, retired at the age of 60 and co-founded the Threshold Foundation in London, evidently with Joshua Mailman. State corporate records show that the "Threshold Foundation USA" was incorporated in New York on August 17, 1979, presumably as the American counterpart, and presumably by 25-year-old Joshua Mailman (no registered agent was listed). The corporation was renamed simply the Threshold Foundation in 1984, the year it became a Tides Foundation project clearly connected to Mailman, and it was registered in California in 1986 as a corporation of New York origin. Thus, the true ancestry of the now-well-known Threshold Foundation is considerably more complicated than their official history indicates, and provides a more explanatory view into Joshua Mailman's personal development.

The Threshold Foundation remained under the direction of James George in London from 1978 to 1982 and was primarily concerned with promoting alternative healing methods, primarily herbal medicine, with a heavy emphasis on Yoga therapy and Buddhist and Taoist practices. But James George also played a leading role in getting the International Whaling Commission to adopt a moratorium on high seas whaling and to ban all whaling in the Indian Ocean and the Antarctic. In 1981, the Threshold Foundation published a study promoting natural medicine written by two noted British Ph.D.s, Stephen Fulder (biochemistry and chemical pharmacology) and Robin Monro (biochemistry), The Status of Complimentary Medicine in the United Kingdom.

The convergence of healing, the environment and philanthropy as a spiritual activity had shaped young Joshua Mailman's future by the time he was 25 years old.

In May of 1981, Joshua Mailman took part in New York City's first All-Species Day Parade and Festival on Fifth Avenue. He told New York Times reporter Laurie Johnston, ''The earth, the air, the water, the creepy-crawlies, the ones that fly in the sky, the two-legged ones, all life is sacred and the more we forget that, the more all life is threatened.'' He was wearing a woolly, horned head buffalo suit. Their parade ended at Central Park's bandshell with music, dance and a Creature Congress.

The Doughnuts: Later in 1981, Joshua Mailman convened a secret meeting in Estes Park Colorado, bringing together a semi-mystical New Age group of 22 wealthy young heirs who called themselves "The Doughnuts." They named themselves after a circular cloud that appeared over the meditation circle they had formed in their outdoor council, where they contemplated "the sacredness of the earth as a living organism" and their duty to save it and its indigenous peoples through joint use of their inherited wealth.

Mailman's original semi-mystical purpose was reflected in a later statement: "To fund programs that support the transformation, growth, and healing of individuals, families, and communities; projects that recognize the sacredness of the earth as a living organism, and that address issues affecting the natural environment and all species."

By 1981, the philosophy of the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - that mankind was the axis of evolution into higher consciousness - had opened the way for British scientist James Lovelock and his Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the Earth functions as a kind of superorganism. The two ideas that the earth is a living organism and that large scale group consciousness has effects in the physical world (currently being researched as part of the Princeton Global Consciousness Project) undergirded Mailman's determination to fund many small consciousness-altering projects to generate large scale changes for the better in the natural and social world. This was the basic premise of the 1982 incarnation of the Threshold Foundation.

In early 1982 Mailman co-opted the Threshold Foundation name and funding away from the London institution for the use of his informal gathering of wealthy "Doughnuts." Each "Doughnut" was committed to donate a large amount annually, and sworn to absolute secrecy about their commitment to lofty quasi-religious goals, the projects they funded, and their personal identities.

Only slowly did their existence surface and the identities of major players become public. Even today, outsiders cannot confidently identify more than about a dozen of the 22 original Estes Park Doughnuts.

Which brings up the question, "How do we know this imminent James George and the London Threshold Foundation were precursors of Joshua Mailman's Threshold Foundation?" The answer to that one is quite certain. James George was one of the original Doughnuts, was a member of their highest-level "Circle Committee," and wrote a complaining letter to his colleagues in the Doughnuts Newsletter, Spring 1984 that makes it perfectly clear:

Before Threshold migrated from England to America, we had been more effective in fostering a dialogue between "alternative" therapies and the medical profession. The present Research Council for Complimentary Medicine and the British Foundation for Natural Therapies in London are spin-offs of the ground-breaking Threshold Study of the Status of Complimentary Medicine in the U.K. by Fulder and Monro, 1981.

In America, although individual Doughnuts have been deeply involved, only one of the forty Threshold projects (Gesundheit) has addressed this concern.

After Threshold: One of Mailman’s most successful subsequent creations has been the Social Venture Network, co-founded in 1987 with Wayne Silby of the Calvert Group. SVN fills a unique niche among progressive investment activists, uniting some 250 members over time in building eco-friendly, socially responsible businesses.

Mr. Mailman claims that all his adult life, his urge was "to not hold on to money, but instead to practice the habit of letting it go out and letting it flow!"

Donna Karan & Stephan Weiss

Jonathan & Diana Rose

Jonathan F.P. Rose, President

Jonathan F.P. Rose’s business, public policy and not-for-profit work all focus on creating a more environmentally, socially and economically responsible world. In 1989, Mr. Rose founded Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, consulting and investment firm, as a leading green urban solutions provider. The firm currently manages over $1.5 billion of work, much of it in close collaboration with not-for-profits, towns and cities.

The company’s mission is to repair the fabric of communities. The firm draws on its human capital, financial depth and real estate expertise to create highly integrated solutions to real estate challenges. The firm’s work touches many aspects of community health; working with cities and not-for-profits to build not only housing, but also civic, cultural, educational and infrastructure open space.

A thought leader in the Smart Growth, national infrastructure, green building, and affordable housing movements, Mr. Rose is a frequent speaker and writer. His work has received widespread media attention from CNN to The New York Times and was recently profiled in e², a PBS series on sustainable development.

The firm’s innovative development, planning, investment, new construction, conversion and historic preservation work has won awards from a wide range of notable organizations including: the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Global Green USA, the Urban Land Institute, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects.

Mr. Rose is the chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Blue Ribbon Sustainability Commission, which developed the nation’s first green transit plan. He is a Trustee of several organizations including: the Urban Land Institute (where he co-chairs its Climate and Energy Committee); the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Enterprise Community Partners (with whose Green Communities program he is deeply engaged). He also serves on the leadership councils of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Architecture, and chairs the Trust for Public Land’s National Real Estate Council.

Mr. Rose also serves on the Board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the American Museum of Natural History, and is a co-founder of the Garrison Institute with his wife, Diana Rose, where he leads the Climate, Mind and Behavior program.

Mr. Rose graduated from Yale University in 1974 with a B.A. in Psychology, and received a Masters in Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980.

J-- onathan F.P. Rose, by http://www.rose-network.com

Richard Madlener

The Rotarian
September 2000
Rotarians' International Fellowship of Ballroom Dancing
Contact: Richard A. Madlener, P.O. Box 9884, McLean, VA 22102 U.S.A.; tel: 703/821-8122; email: madlener@ix.net-com.com

Rotary Club of Dunn Loring
Editor: Madlener, Richard
Date: 2010

Bokara Legendre

Bokara Legendre -- Board of Directors, The Paris Review


Gertrude Sanford Legendre (1902-2000) was an American socialite who served as a spy during World War II. She was also a noted explorer, big-game hunter, environmentalist, and owner of Medway plantation in South Carolina.

Early life

Born in Aiken, South Carolina, she was the daughter of New York rug magnate and member of the United States House of Representatives from New York's 20th congressional district, John Sanford (1851), and the granddaughter of Stephen Sanford (1826–1913) who was an American businessman and president and CEO of the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Company. He also served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York's 18th congressional district and Sarah Jane Cochrane (1830–1901).

She was also the daughter of Ethel Sanford, the daughter of Gertrude Ellen Dupuy and the Hon. Henry Shelton Sanford, an accomplished diplomat and successful businessman and the founder of Sanford, Florida.

She was educated at the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, and made her debut after her graduation in 1920.

During WWII, Legendre worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), essentially as a spy. She was the first American woman captured on the western front in France by the Germans. Legendre was held as a prisoner of war for six months and then escaped into Switzerland.

She spent 1923 to 1929 travelling the world as a big-game hunter in South Africa, Canada, and Alaska.

Shortly after exploring Abyssinia for the American Museum of Natural History as part of the Sanford-Legendre Abyssinia Expedition, Gertrude Sanford married the expedition's co-leader Sidney J. Legendre on 17 September 1929; he died in 1948. They had two daughters, Bokara and Landine. Landine was married to Peter Manigault, chairman of The Evening Post Publishing Company in Charleston, South Carolina.

Katharine Hepburn’s character of Linda Seton in the 1938 version of Holiday was loosely based on her. She lived to be 97 and wrote two autobiographies, one in 1948 and another in 1987. Regarding the trajectory of her life, she once said, "I don't contemplate life. I live it."

-- Gertrude Sanford Legendre, by Wikipedia


Kristayani & Jerry Jones

Friends of Esalen

Oregon Community Foundation (From Haystack Rock to Steens Mountain, the Shakespeare Festival to the Pendleton Round-Up, the local library to the neighborhood senior center, The Oregon Community Foundation is part of your community.)

Nancy Ward & Grant Abert

Susan Falk

Adam Lewis

Wendy vanden Heuvel

William Jacobus vanden Heuvel (born April 14, 1930) is an attorney, former diplomat, businessman and author.

He is the father of Katrina vanden Heuvel, longtime editor of The Nation magazine and Wendy vanden Heuvel from his marriage to author/editor Jean Stein, the wealthy daughter of Jules C. Stein, founder of MCA.

Vanden Heuvel was born in Rochester, New York and attended public schools in New York. He is a graduate of Deep Springs College and Cornell University. At Cornell Law School, he was editor-in-chief of Cornell's law review. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1952. He joined the law firm of Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine as an Associate in 1952, his first law firm.

Career background

As an early protégé of Office of Strategic Services founder William Joseph Donovan, vanden Heuvel served at the U.S. embassy (1953–1954) in Bangkok, Thailand as Donovan's Executive Assistant. Afterward, in 1958, vanden Heuvel served as Counsel to New York State Governor Averell Harriman.

He became U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's assistant in 1962 and was involved in Kennedy's 1964 and 1968 political campaigns. As special assistant to Attorney General Kennedy, vanden Heuvel played the key role in court orchestrating the desegregation of the Prince Edward County school system in Virginia. This action expanded the scope of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.

In 1965 he joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, as Senior Partner, where he practiced international and corporate law. He is currently Senior Counsel to the firm.

In the 1970s, vanden Heuvel, as Chairman of the New York City Board of Corrections led a campaign to investigate conditions in the city’s prison system. He has had a lifelong involvement in the reform of the criminal justice system.

He served as Ambassador to the European office of the United Nations in Geneva (1977–79) and United States Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations (1979–1981) during the Jimmy Carter Administration.

Vanden Heuvel has held directorships in a number of public companies. They include: the U.S. Banknote Corporation, Time Warner, Inc., and the North Aegean Petroleum company, and others. Since 1984 he has been a Senior Advisor to the investment banking firm Allen & Company.

Currently he is Chairman of the American Austrian Foundation and Co-chairman of the Council of American Ambassadors. Since 1984 vanden Heuvel has been Chairman of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Governor and former Chairman of the United Nations Association, and has written extensively on the United Nations and American foreign policy. He is also a member of Collegium International, an organazation of leaders with political, scientific, and ethical expertise whose goal is to provide new approaches in overcoming the obstacles in the way of a peaceful, socially just and an economically sustainable world. He served as an honorary chairman of The OSS Society.

-- William vanden Heuvel, by Wikipedia

Wendy Grace & Michael Honack

Arimathea Fund of the Tides Foundation -- Michael Honack and Wendy Grace

Joseph of Arimathea, by Wikipedia:

The holy and righteous Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy member of the Jewish Sanhedrin and a secret follower of Christ (Matt. 27:25; John 19:38). His feast day is July 31. He is also commemorated on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers—the second Sunday after Pascha.

Along with St. Nicodemus, St. Joseph removed Christ's body from the Cross, prepared it for burial, and placed it in his own sepulchre. Jewish spies found out about this and told their authorities, who imprisoned St. Joseph. However, the resurrected Christ appeared to St. Joseph in prison and convinced him of his Resurrection. Some time later the Jews released St. Joseph from prison and banished him from Jerusalem. He then traveled throughout the whole world preaching the Gospel, eventually sowing the seeds of salvation in Britain, where he reposed peacefully in the Lord.


34 Years of Tides, by http://www.tides.org

Since 1976, Tides has worked with individuals and institutions committed to positive social change.

Tides was started out of a need to facilitate the giving of an anonymous couple in New Mexico. They wanted to support grassroots community groups and environmental organizations, and Drummond Pike created Tides Foundation to channel their grants. In 1979, there emerged another need that we responded to: helping new projects get started.

Through the 1980s, Tides grew slowly as we defined our role as a values based infrastructure for progressive nonprofit work. We define "progressive" as creating a positive impact on people's lives in ways that honor and promote human rights, justice, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

The 1990’s was a time of exponential growth for Tides as new Tides organizations were added. In 1996, the Projects Program that nurtured new activities became Tides Center, a nonprofit organization independent from Tides Foundation. In the same year, we opened the Thoreau Center for Sustainability - a twelve building complex in San Francisco's Presidio National Park dedicated to nonprofits concerned about social and environmental sustainability. In 1999, we founded Groundspring.org to facilitate online giving to progressive groups. We also collaborated in the launching of Tides Canada Foundation.

In the new millennium, our real estate endeavors - like the creation of Thoreau Center - evolved into a program called Tides Shared Spaces which creates, operates and promotes sustainable workspace for nonprofits. In 2005, Groundspring.org merged with Network for Good to form the largest nonprofit provider of Internet-based fundraising and donor management tools.

In the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006, Tides Center was fiscal sponsor to 677 projects with combined revenues of $522.4 million, and has worked with well over 800 projects since the first days as the Projects Program. Tides Foundation has had 30 years of visionary philanthropy for progressive social change. Since 2000, it has granted more than $400 million to progressive nonprofit organizations. Our growth is a testament to the joint commitment among our partners and staff to supporting positive social change domestically and globally. It is truly a privilege to do this work.

Why "Tides?"

There are a number of reasons why the word "tides" is an appropriate metaphor for our work. Tides are a clean, efficient and sustainable source of energy. Tides connect us around the world. And tides are constantly changing the landscape around us.

The "Tides" name comes from a Bay Area independent bookstore that once served as a meeting place for readers, writers and activists. While honoring the progressive community which founded Tides, the name also suggests the remarkable power derived from people and ideas coming together at the right time, in the right place.

Roger & Margot Milliken

Roger Milliken, Jr. was named chairman of The Nature Conservancy's board of directors in October 2008. Milliken has served on the Conservancy’s board of directors since 2000 and as the chair of its conservation committee from 2005-2008.

Milliken is also a trustee for The Nature Conservancy in Maine, a position he also held from 1996-2005. As a trustee for Maine, he co-chaired the successful For Maine Forever Campaign, which featured the protection of 185,000 acres along the St. John River. He also co-chaired the Katahdin Forest Campaign, which protected 295,000 acres.

Grounded in Forests

Milliken is president of the Baskahegan Company, which owns and manages 100,000 acres of forestland in eastern Maine. Baskahegan is a recognized leader in Maine’s forest products industry, known for its commitment to managing for timber while respecting the dynamics of natural systems. Baskahegan’s forest has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council since 2004.

Milliken also chairs the advisory board of the Manomet Forest Conservation Program and is an advisor to the Open Space Institute’s Northern Forest Protection Fund, a $12-million fund dedicated to conservation in the northern forests of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. From 1995 to 2004, he served on the board of the Land for Maine’s Future program for nine years, where he chaired the program's appraisal review committee.

From 1994 to 1999, Milliken co-founded and later chaired the Maine Forest Biodiversity Project, a 100+ person collaborative with representatives from the forest industry, academic community, environmental activists, sportsmen, conservationists and small landowners. The MFBP built understanding and commitment among these stakeholders to protect Maine’s natural communities. The participants later supported successful legislation to establish 100,000 acres of ecological reserve on state lands.

From 1986 to 1996, Milliken was the director of the Maine Forest Products Council (MFPC), which represents all facets of Maine’s forest industry-loggers, landowners, sawmills and paper mills. He chaired the MFPC from 1993-1995, where he built understanding between Maine’s forest products and environmental communities. His leadership resulted in the bipartisan passage of Maine’s Landmark Forest Practices Act.

Personal Information

Milliken is a 1975 graduate of Harvard University, where he received a B.A. cum laude in English. He also did graduate work in Sanskrit and Buddhist studies at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Since 1992, Milliken has participated in and led wilderness rites of passage in the high desert of eastern California. He is author of “Forest for the Trees,” a privately published history of the Baskahegan watershed from pre-settlement times through 1982. He is currently writing a book about his lifelong exploration of right relationship with land.

He serves as a director of Milliken Enterprises, Inc. and Merimil Holdings LLC.

Milliken is married to Margot Wallach Milliken and is the father of two children, Max and Tara.

Peter Lewis

Peter B. Lewis is the current Chairman (and former CEO) of the Progressive Insurance Company, which was co-founded in 1937 by his father, Joseph Lewis. According to Forbes magazine, Peter Lewis today possesses a fortune worth an estimated $1.1 billion. A strong supporter of the Democratic Party and its agendas, Lewis first became active in politics when he served as the Ohio finance chairman for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign. "I did it essentially because I hated Richard Nixon," Lewis recounts. Over the years, Lewis has used his immense wealth to fund a host of leftist political campaigns, organizations, and causes.

Lewis was born in 1933 and graduated from Princeton University in 1955. A decade later, he took the reins of Progressive Insurance. Overseeing 100 employees and $6 million in revenues when he began, Lewis eventually grew the company to the point where it employed 14,000 people and boasted sales in excess of $4.8 billion annually. Progressive is now the third largest auto insurance company in the U.S.

Lewis is particularly interested in promoting the legalization of marijuana. In 1998 he was a signatory to a public letter addressed to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, declaring that "the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." Said the letter:

"Every decade the United Nations adopts new international conventions, focused largely on criminalization and punishment, that restrict the ability of individual nations to devise effective solutions to local drug problems. Every year governments enact more punitive and costly drug control measures. Every day politicians endorse harsher new drug war strategies....

"In many parts of the world, drug war politics impede public health efforts to stem the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases. Human rights are violated, environmental assaults perpetrated and prisons inundated with hundreds of thousands of drug law violators. Scarce resources better expended on health, education and economic development are squandered on ever more expensive interdiction efforts. Realistic proposals to reduce drug-related crime, disease and death are abandoned in favor of rhetorical proposals to create drug-free societies."

Other signatories to the aforementioned letter included Tammy Baldwin, Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Jr., Walter Cronkite, Morton H. Halperin, Kweisi Mfume, George Soros, and Cornel West.

Between 1991 and 2003, Lewis contributed $5 million to the American Civil Liberties Union's drug-policy litigation project, which challenges current laws dealing with drug testing in schools and the medicinal use of marijuana. He also made large donations to drug-legalization initiatives in Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts.

According to the anti-drug group, National Families in Action, Lewis has "contributed heavily to the destruction of thousands of America's children" by promoting the notion that marijuana possesses medicinal benefits and by telling youngsters that "pot is OK."

In 1999, Hoover's Handbook of American Business described Lewis in print as "a functioning pot-head." In 2000, Lewis was arrested after customs agents found 1.7 ounces of marijuana and two ounces of hashish in his luggage at an airport in New Zealand. The charges were dropped when the billionaire, who said he was carrying the drugs for "medicinal purposes," agreed to make a donation to a drug-rehabilitation center.

The reclusive Lewis does not grant interviews to the press and is rarely photographed. According to a Jane Mayer article in the New Yorker, Lewis "spent much of 2004 discreetly directing millions of dollars to liberal groups allied with the Democratic Party ... while cruising the Mediterranean Sea on his two-hundred-and-fifty foot yacht, Lone Ranger."

During the 2004 election cycle, Lewis was the second leading donor to the non-party organizations known as "527s" -- named after a section of the U.S. tax code that permitted unlimited "soft money" donations to groups pledging to use the funds not for the "express advocacy" of any particular political candidate, but rather for "voter education," "issue-oriented" political advertising, and other nebulous enterprises. Lewis donated nearly $23 million to such organizations in 2004, including $16 million to the Joint Victory Campaign, $2.9 million to America Coming Together, and $2.5 million to Move On.Org.

In 2004 Lewis estimated that he had thus far given away some $250 million during his lifetime, nearly half of it ($117 million) to his alma mater, Princeton University.

Along with George Soros, Lewis is a key financial supporter of Democracy Alliance and Media Matters for America.

Lewis retired as the CEO of Progressive Insurance in 2000, but he remains the company's Chairman of the Board.

In February 2008, Lewis contributed money to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He is also a close friend of Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy.

Lewis' home in Coconut Grove, Florida is decorated with numerous Andy Warhol paintings of the late Communist dictator Mao Zedong.

Selma Brackman

Selma Brackman, founded the War &Peace Foundation in 1981 with her husband, media critic, Arthur Brackman. She is now the Director and President of The War & Peace Foundation, a United Nations NGO organization which produces six Digests per year with writings from the world's most accomplished scholars and commentators.

Ms. Brackman has lectured extensively at several major New York City Universities on Disarmament, Child Soldiers, the Patriot Act, Poverty, and on the History of War. She has also spoken in numerous community forums including The Tibet House.

She was a keynote speaker in the Montreal 2001: Children and World Poverty

Ms. Brackman is an active board member of several prominent organizations including, Professionals for Social Responsibility, NGO Committee on Disarmament, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and The World Federalists.

She has been a Trustee and Delegate for the World Constitution and Parliament Association and a member of Women's international League for Peace and Freedom. 1971- Board Member: Council for the Department of Peace... all the while being a mother of five children.

Selma Brackman's accomplishments include:

•Organized the 1968 Peace Worker Women's Strike for Peace
•1971 Director of the First International Exhibit for Peace
•1969 Organized the National Teach-In on World Community at Columbia University
•1970-Organized Coalition Against Pollution; Center for Energy, in Vermont
•Previous Co-Editor of Man and Editor of Propaganda Analysis newsletter

-- Selma Brackman, by http://www.warpeace.org

Helen Cooluris [Helen M. Cooluris Family Trust]

Jessica Brackman

Jessica Brackman was CEO of FPG International, a leading stock photography agency recognized for its creative innovation, commitment to social issues and unique corporate culture. During her tenure there, she became involved Social Venture Network and served on the board of the Aperture Foundation, a not-for-profit photography institute and book publisher. After retiring from FPG, Jessica co-produced a film documentary about the spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, entitled Fierce Grace. Currently she serves on the board of the Tibet Fund, an organization founded under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to provide humanitarian aid to the Tibetan community in exile. Most recently she participated with Melcher Media on the production of Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth and authored the book’s Resource Section: What You Personally Can Do to Help Solve the Climate Crisis. Presently, she is working with Melcher Media to develop illustrated books that address pressing social, political and environmental issues.

Robert E. & Jacquelyn H. Pogue

Locked out: the fall of massive resistance. Robert E. and Jacquelyn H. Pogue ; Robins Foundation ; City of Norfolk ; a production of The Community Idea Stations in partnership with University of Virginia Center for Politics ; WCVE Richmond ; WHTJ Charlottesville ; executive producer, John H. Felton ; producer and director, Mason W. Mills.

The Glad Foundation

EIN: 23-7123061
Fiscal Year Ending: April 30, 2007
Total Assets: $30,921 (from Apr 30, 2007 Form 990PF)
Total Grants Awarded: $1,072,116
Approved for Future Payment: $0

New Tudor Foundation

Name: New Tudor Foundation
Address: PO BOX 9350
BOSTON, MA 02114-0043
Web site: no data
Type: Private non-operating foundation
IRS registration data
IRS district of jurisdiction: New England
Federal EIN: 04-3125604
Ruling date: Sep 1, 1991
Classified by IRS as: Charitable Organization

New Tudor Foundation
264 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002
Phone 413-256-0349 | Fax 413-256-3536 |
Finances for tax year ending 12/31/2001
Total Assets $2,447,180.00
Grants Awarded $0.00
Officers and Other Supporters:
Name Position
Alan Rabinowitz Trustee (Director of Science and Exploration, the Wildlife conservation Society; author, Chasing the Dragon’s Tail: The struggle to Save Thailand’s Wild Cats and Jaguar: One man’s Struggle to Establish the World’s First Jaguar Preserve)
Andrea Rabinowitz Trustee (Retired License Clinical Social Worker; board member, A Territory Resource)

Top Grants Made

Funding To Activist Groups Total Donated Time Frame
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy $75,000.00 1999 – 1999
Tides Foundation & Tides Center $20,000.00 2003 – 2003


Grants distributed by this organization for year 2003
Number of grants: 14
Total amount: $ 122,000
Average grant: $ 8,714
Recipient geography: California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, Washington
Grant recipient (recipient location) - grant amount

Human Services Council Of Mid-fairfield Inc. (Norwalk, Connecticut) - $ 15,000

New Futures (Burien, Washington) - $ 10,000

Eeco Farm, Ltd (East Hampton, New York) - $ 10,000

Peace For The Streets For Kids From The Streets (Seattle, Washington) - $ 10,000

Tides Center (San Francisco, California) - $ 10,000

Refuah Institute (Brooklyn, New York) - $ 10,000

Partnership For A Sustainable Methow (Twisp, Washington) - $ 9,000

Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition (Seattle, Washington) - $ 9,000

Anti-defamation League (New York, New York) - $ 8,000

Nature Conservancy, Inc (Arlington, Virginia) - $ 7,000

Seattle Symphony (Seattle, Washington) - $ 7,000

Power Of Hope (Bellingham, Washington) - $ 7,000

Center For Social Justice (Seattle, Washington) - $ 5,000

Passages Northwest (Seattle, Washington) - $ 5,000


September 11, 1984, The New York Times

Clara G. Rabinowitz, 91, Dies; Director of Tudor Foundation

Clara Greenhut Rabinowitz, who was active in Jewish social service and philanthropic organizations, died yesterday at Norwalk (Conn.) Hospital. She was 91 years old and lived in Westport, Conn.

Mrs. Rabinowitz, the daughter of Benedict J. Greenhut, who owned the former Greenhut-Siegel-Cooper department store in Manhattan, was a director of Tudor Foundation, a family philanthropy, at her death.

She had been active in the Women's City Club of New York, the New York Service for the Handicapped, the New York section of the National Council for Jewish Women, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and the Sisterhood of Temple Emanu-El.

Mrs. Rabinowitz, the widow of Aaron Rabinowitz, a New York real estate executive, is survived by a daughter, Susan R. Malloy, of Westport; a son, Alan, of Seattle; a brother, Joseph B. Greenhut, of Stroudsburg, Pa.; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

World Gratitude Day Foundation

Threshold Foundation

Threshold Board of Directors
Michele Grennon, President
Sophia Bowart, Treasurer
Gita Drury, Vice President
Craig Harwood
David Hills
Drummond Pike
Mary Rower
Sam Utne
Laura Wasserman

Threshold Past & Present
Threshold’s first gathering was called in 1981 by a man in his twenties who had recently inherited considerable wealth. He hoped to create a support organization and a dynamic forum for people with significant financial means. He imagined periodic gatherings of friends, who enjoyed being together, who were interested in progressive social change, who dared to speak openly about their money and privilege, and who were united by a core humanistic or spiritual belief in the inter-connectedness of all life.

What began as a small group of wealthy activists engaging in an open inquiry about how best to be of service, evolved over the years into a fusion of philanthropic institute, family, and long-running "moveable feast" of shared work and experience.

Threshold today has two integrally linked components: A community network of 250+ individuals and a progressive grant-making foundation. Threshold members and former members may be found on the boards of many of the nation’s most important social change and environmental non-profits, at the helm of major socially responsible companies, leading many family foundations and in the centers of spiritual and human potential study throughout the world. Threshold has served as a quiet catalyst to the social change movement, by seeding thousands of non-profits and by supporting the evolution of many sister donor organizations and socially responsible business networks throughout the world.

-- Threshold Foundation, by http://www.thresholdfoundation.org

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

The Foundation Mission

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is rooted in the Jewish tradition and committed to democratic values and social justice, including fairness, diversity, and community. We seek to build a socially and economically just society that values and protects the ecological balance for future generations; promotes humane health care; and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities.

The Foundation owes its existence and inspiration to Nathan Cummings, who rose from impoverished beginnings to become the founder and guiding force of the Sara Lee Corporation. He inherited a spirit of sharing and a sense of community from his immigrant parents and transmitted these values to his children and grandchildren, who now contribute their time and energy to the Foundation.

-- The Nathan Cummings Foundation, by http://www.nathancummings.org

Pacific Northwest Foundation

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Foundation.

Our mission is to research, analyze, publish and develop materials addressing the capacity of alternative healthcare to effectively alleviate physical and emotional maladies.

We believe that quality information is essential for improved health. To that end, we aspire to be a visible, valued, and trusted source of complementary health information. Additionally, we hope to help foster excellence in the field of complementary health sciences. By promoting achievement and leadership among professionals, we strive to enhance the quality of healthcare, education and research throughout the world.

-- Pacific Northwest Foundation, by http://www.pnf.org

and 108 other angels

Special Thanks to
The Omega Institute
Amertat Cohn
Grace Slick
George Harrison
Marlene Roeder
Jo Anne Baughan
Peter Heil
Timothy Leary
Neem Karoli Baba
Albert Hoffman
Maynard Ferguson
Edna Fuerth Lemle
Thomas Hitchcock
Peggy Hitchcock
Roy Villa Fiores
Frank Barron
Rebecca Brackman
Irwin Young
Deborah Brackman
Bill Nisselson
Jacob Brackman
Anna Gross
Mirra Bank
Tim Spitzer
Mark Polyocan
Riverside Books
Ram Dass Tape Library
St. Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Stephan Rechtschaffen
Marin Community Center
Five Branches Institute, Santa Cruz, CA
First Unitarian Universalist Church, SF
Neem Karoli Baba Ashram & Hanuman Temple
(Taos, NM and Kainchi, India)

Appearances by
Dr. Larry Brilliant
Wavy Gravy
Shana Roth
Caryl Sircus
Steve & Anita Isser
William Alpert
Dr. Ralph Metzner
Dr. Huston Smith
Rosemary Woodruff Leary
Bhagavan Das
Carolyn Ruth Chan
Lynne Oberlander
Krishna Das
K.K. Sah
Dr. Ming Qing Chu
Mark Matousek
Robert McDermott
Abby Reyes

This film is dedicated to my teachers.

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