Category Archives: martin luther king

You Get What You Give


Ego believes that by giving one loses what is given. That is why ego is so quick to pass judgment and offer guilt. The reasoning goes that when guilt is dealt it passes from the accuser to the accused. Ego believes that making others guilty cleanses one of one’s own guilt. It projects hate in an effort to purge hate.

At bottom the ego’s motivation is based on fear. Fear of judgment, guilt, shame, blame – all forms of attack. The ego’s automatic form of defense is attack. It reasons that the more it attacks the less liable to attack it becomes.  What it gives, it loses.

But a clear, objective look will reveal that the ego’s law is reversed. In reality, one gets what one gives. The more one attacks the more attack one attracts. The more guilt one dishes the more guilt one takes on. The more one judges the more shall one be judged.

This vicious cycle can be revealed and reversed. If one can manage to separate from the ego sufficiently to view it objectively, fear is manifest. And in the process fear is evaporated. What makes that exposure possible is fear’s opposite. In its presence fear cannot co-exist, just as darkness cannot co-exist in the presence of light. Its fundamental law is the precise opposite of the ego’s ‘you lose what you give.’

For some moments disregard the ego’s impulse to project guilt and replace it with an effort to extend love. Begin with contemplation of objects of love that are easy for you – your child, your sibling, your best friend, your spouse, etc. Then make a conscious effort to extend it even to those whom you believe you hate.  Go easy at first. Extend it to someone or something you have been more neutral about. Then extend it to someone or something you have loved but you haven’t been feeling so loving about lately. Just as ego’s attacks attract attacks, you will find that love’s extension attracts love.

At any time while you extend love you are liable to get an impulse to attack – an urge to attack anything, even an attack thought at yourself. There is your opportunity to have an objective look at ego. And by simply recognizing it as such, as something separate and apart from you, and carrying on with extending love you are on the road to reversing the ego’s vicious cycle.

Because the ego and ego—driven societal information channels have so cleverly co-opted the concept of love for attack purposes and justification, a point of clarification is offered. Martin Luther King provided clarity on the subject in A Stride Toward Freedom (May 1958):

“In speaking of love at this point, we are not referring to some sentimental or affectionate emotion. It would be nonsense to urge men to love their oppressors in an affectionate sense. Love in this connection means understanding, redemptive good will. When we speak of loving those who oppose us, we refer to neither eros nor philia; we speak of a love which is expressed in the Greek word agape. Agape means understanding, redeeming  good will for all men. It is an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative. It is not set in motion by any quality or function of its object. It is the love of God operating in the human heart.

“Agape is disinterested love. It is a love in which the individual seeks not his own good, but the good of his neighbor (1 Cor. 10:24). Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. It is entirely “neighbor-regarding concern for others,” which discovers the neighbor in every man it meets. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friends and enemy; it is directed toward both. If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.

“Another basic point about agape is that it springs from the need of the other person – his need for belonging to the best of the human family. The Samaratin who helped the Jew on the Jericho Road was “good” because he responded to the human need that he was presented with. God’s love is eternal and fails not because man needs his love. Saint Paul assures us that the loving act of redemption was done “while we were yet sinners” – that is, at the point of our greatest need for love. Since the white man’s personality is greatly distorted by segregation, and his soul is greatly scarred, he needs the love of the Negro. The Negro must love the white man, because the white man needs his love to remove his tensions, insecurities, and fears.”

If you practice this, at some point love’s law will become apparent, you get what you give. And you will find that you have that much more to give.

Do Not Support An Evil Government

Excerpt from Chapter nine of The Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know:

The Reformation

      Reformation ends not in contemplation, but in action.

–  George Gillespie

According to L. Ron Hubbard:

Unscrupulous and evil men and groups can usurp the power of government and use it to their own ends. Government organized and conducted solely for self-interested individuals and groups gives society a short life span. This imperils the survival of everyone in the land; it even imperils those who attempt it. History is full of such governmental deaths. Opposition to such governments usually just brings on more violence.

But one can raise his voice in caution when such abuses are abroad. And one need not actively support such a government; doing nothing illegal, it is yet possible, by simply withdrawing one’s cooperation, to bring about an eventual reform. Even as this is being written, there are several governments in the world that are failing only because their people express their silent disagreement by simply not cooperating. These governments are at risk: any untimely wind of mischance could blow them over.

LRH’s words reflect the philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, spelled out a little more than one hundred years earlier in his seminal essay, Civil Disobedience:

It is not a man’s duty as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradications of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.

Sixty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King described the essence of how he helped stem a centuries-old, nationwide pattern of abuse, expanding on Thoreau’s message in Stride toward Freedom:

Something began to say to me, ‘He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.  He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.’  When oppressed people willingly accept their oppression they only serve to give the oppressor a convenient justification for his acts.  Often the oppressor goes along unaware of the evil involved in his oppression so long as the oppressed accepts it.  So in order to be true to one’s conscience and true to God, a righteous man has no alternative but to refuse to cooperate with an evil system.  This I felt was the nature of our action.  From this moment on I conceived of our movement as an act of massive non-cooperation.

As we have seen, David Miscavige is using the energy of Scientologists, in the form of their dollars, to actively oppress Scientologists. Without the continuing, active support of Scientologists, Miscavige would be powerless to perpetuate his abuses.

David Miscavige himself is acutely aware of the power that each and every Scientologist wields over him. In a 1998 interview with the St. Petersburg Times, he defined “power” as follows: “I’ll tell you what power is. Power in my estimation is if people will listen to you. That’s it.”

So the first thing to do is to cease following and contributing to the anti-Scientology oppressions of David Miscavige, as executed through Scientology Inc.

Some are initially unwilling to so withdraw support from the oppressor. They believe that if they do, they will have forsaken their religion and any chance of higher levels of awareness through application of Scientology. Those who think that way are simply misinformed. Virtually all Scientology technology – from the bottom of the Bridge to its highest reaches, is available outside of Scientology Inc.  There are dozens of independent practitioners of Scientology around the globe. There is a growing movement of Independent Scientologists. You can review a list of hundreds of them, along with their Scientology credentials by going online, visiting and clicking on the “Indie 500” link.  Virtually everyone on that list has attempted many remedies, aimed at making Scientology Inc. change its ways. Most have finally concluded that the best way to reform Scientology is to do as Ron said, and break the oppressive monopoly by going right ahead and applying Scientology in the manner they see fit…

The Fairmans vs. Scientology Rights Violators

I have obtained a copy of Michael, Sky and Joy Graysen Fairman’s lawsuit against Corporate Scientologists who have violated their civil and human rights quite apparently on orders from David Miscavige’s Scientology Corporation.

Read the lawsuit here: FAIRMAN COMPLAINT

Michael and Joy are adhering to their lawyer’s counsel not to comment on the suit publicly.   But, if one reads the lawsuit in full there really should be no questions remaining.

Thank you to Michael, Sky, and Joy for stepping up with strong backs despite Corporate Scientology’s attempts to ride them.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

– Martin Luther King Jr 

Strength, Courage and Wisdom

Church of Scientology members would do well to read the writings of Martin Luther King. In the following one sentence King pithily describes the danger of what they have become individually and collectively:

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

That people would continue to forfeit their homes, their retirement funds, and their children’s educations in order to line the pockets of a head of a cult who spends that money consistently, and now very overtly, for the purposes of destroying the constitutional rights, the livelihood, and the very life of anyone with the fortitude to step out of cult lock-step is anathema to the very principles Scientology is built upon (not to mention America, and Western Civilization).  The church’s “creed” for example:

We of the church believe…

That all men have inaliable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others…

And that no agency, less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.

Last week the representatives of the 619 people of Ingleside on the Bay Texas, on their own origination and determinism, sought to protect those very rights in their own community:

also see New York Village Voice coverage:

The Miscavige Cult’s response to this article which was published yesterday was chilling:

1) the cult’s PI Ralph S Gomez stalked my wife and I all day long with three cult members in tow. Seven separate incidents, including the photographing of us at our home and Gomez slowly following us by car during our evening walk.

2) Cult PI Gomez and cult member Joanne Wheaton toured a home across the street from us expressing the intention to purchase it.  Once again, under false pretenses.

3)  Cult PI Ralph S Gomez foreshadowed a Miscavige cult legal threat to the city.  While denying his affiliation with the cult to many citizens over the past weeks, and lying about his identity and affiliations, Gomez wanted to know whether the ordinance was directed at he and his cohorts because of their “religion.”

This coming Tuesday at 7 p.m. the town council will consider the Cult’s application for a 5-day permit to shoot a “documentary” in Ingleside on the Bay.  Notwithstanding the fact they have spent ten weeks disturbing Ingleside on the Bay using the cover of “just filming a documentary.”  The Cult has applied for the permit under the name Squirrel Busters productions notwithstanding Gomez’ and Wheaton’s exchange last week with an Ingleside Police Officer memorialized in the officer’s report as follows:

I asked Wheaton where she worked, and she confirmed that she and Gomez worked for Squirrel Busters.  At that time, I asked Wheaton and Gomez both if they had any business cards for the company, and they both replied no.  I asked who the producer was, who the filmographer was, and who the company is owned by.  Neither Wheaton, nor Gomez could answer my questions, and continued to tell me they are filming a documentary on Mr. Mark Rathbun, and have simple questions that they want to answer, and until Rathbun does, they will continue to follow him.  I asked Wheaton and Gomez if they would have the common courtesy to allow Rathbun privacy while eating dinner, and they both replied, not until we get answers.  Neither Wheaton, nor Gomez produced any identity cards that state they work for Squirrel Busters Productions…

A number of good citizens of Ingleside and Ingleside on the Bay have emailed me since I posted my Open Letter to them on this blog,

They have asked what they might be able to do to help.  While none of you have any duty or obligation to do a darned thing about all this, if you feel you and your community are in any way being disturbed, abused, or gamed by the Los Angeles based cult of Scientology (aka Squirrel Busters, aka Falcon Investigations) you might want to weigh in on the cult’s permit application at IOB City Hall Tuesday 5 July at 7 p.m.

Thank you all for your continuing strength, courage and wisdom.

What is Freedom?

Reading some MLK this morning, which has become my habit on the day designated to acknowledge the man and his work, I came across some material you might find useful.

Martin Luther King arrested

On the mechanics of suppression and how it denies an individual the power of choice, MLK from What Is Freedom?, The Ethical Demands for Integration:

What is Freedom?  It is, first, the capacity to deliberate or weigh alternatives. “Shall I be a teacher or a lawyer?”  “Shall I vote for this candidate or the other candidate?” “Shall I be a Democrat, Republican or Socialist?”   Second, freedom expresses itself in decision.  The word decision like the word incision involves the image of cutting. Incision means to cut in, decision means to cut off . When I make a decision I cut off alternatives and make a choice.  The existentialists say we must choose, that we are choosing animals; and if we do not choose we sink into thinghood and the mass mind. A third expression of freedom is responsibility.  This is the obligation of the person to respond if he is questioned about his decisions.  No one else can respond for him.  He alone must respond, for his acts are determineed by the centered totality of his being.

From this analysis we can clearly see the evilness of segregation.  It cuts off one’s capacity to deliberate, decide and respond.  The absence of freedom is the imposition of restraint on my deliberation as to what I shall do, where I shall live, how much I shall earn, the kind of tasks I shall pursue.  I am robbed of the basic quality of man-ness. When I cannot choose what I shall do or where I shall live or how I shall survive, it means in fact that someone or some system has already made these a priori decision for me, and I am reduced to an animal. I do not live; I merely exist. The only resemblances I have to real life are the motor responses and functions that are akin to humankind. I cannot adequately assume responsibility as a person because I have been made a party to a decision in which I played no part in making.

Now to be sure, this is hyperbole in some degree but only to underscore what actually happens when a man is robbed of his freedom. The very nature of his life is altered and his being cannot make the full circle of personhood because that which is basic to the character of life itself has been diminished.”

On confronting the evil of suppression, MLK from Stride Toward Freedom:

As I thought further I came to see that what we were really doing was withdrawing our cooperation from an evil system, rather than merely withdrawing our economic support from the bus company. The bus company, being an external expression of the system, would naturally suffer, but the basic aim was to refuse to cooperate with evil. At this point I began to think about Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience.  I remembered how, as a college student, I had been moved when I first read this work. I became convinced that what we were preparing to do in Montgomery was related to what Thoreau had expressed. We were simply saying to the white community, “We can no longer lend our cooperation to an evil system.”

Something began to say to me, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate  it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”   When oppressed people willingly accept their oppression  they only serve  to give the oppressor a convenient justification for his acts.  Often the oppressor goes along unaware of the evil involved in his oppression so long as the oppressed accepts it. So in ordered to be true to one’s conscience and true to God, a righteous man has no alternative but to refuse to cooperate with an evil system.  This I felt was the nature of our action…”

Finally, while reading the following passage,  it occurred to me that we are blessed to have a number of Mother Pollards among us.  Why it tends  to be women who demonstrate this intuitive strength, I do not know.  But, it does so happen to be that way.  This is in acknowledgment to each of you; and no doubt you will know who you are when you read it. MLK from The Strength of Love:

One of the most dedicated participants in the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama was an elderly Negro whom we affectionately called Mother Pollard. Although poverty stricken and uneducated, she was amazingly intelligent and possessed a deep understanding of the meaning of the movement.  After having walked for several weeks, she was asked if she were tired. With ungrammatical profundity, she answered, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.”

On a particular Monday evening, following a tension-packed week which included being arrested and receiving numerous threatening telephone calls, I spoke at a mass meeting.  I attempted to convey an overt impression of strength and courage, although inwardly depressed and fear-stricken. At the end of the meeting, Mother Pollard came to the front of the church and said, “Come here, son.”  I  immediately went to her and hugged her affectionately. “Something is wrong with you,” she said. “You didn’t talk strong tonight.”  Seeking further to disguise my fears, I retorted, “Oh, no, Mother Pollard, nothing is wrong. I am feeling as fine as ever.”  But her insight was discerning. “Now you can’t fool me,” she said.  “I knows something is wrong. Is it that we ain’t doing things to please you?  Or is it that the white folks is bothering you?”  Before I could respond, she looked directly into my eyes and said, “I don told you we is with you all the way.”  Then her face became radiant and she said in words of quiet certainty, “But even if we ain’t with you, God’s gonna take care of you.”  As she spoke these consoling words, everything in me quivered and quickened with the pulsing tremor of raw energy.

Since that dreary night in 1956, Mother Pollard has passed on to glory and I have known very few quiet days. I have been tortured without and tormented within by the raging fires of tribulation. I have been forced to muster what strength and courage I have to withstand howling winds of pain and jostling storms of adversity. But as the years have unfolded the eloquently simple words of Mother Pollard have come back again and again to give light and peace and guidance to my troubled soul.  “God’s gonna take care of you.”

This faith transforms the whirlwind of despair into a warm and reviving breeze of hope.  The words of a motto which a generation ago were commonly found on the walls in the homes of devout persons need to be etched on our hearts:

                    Fear knocked at the door.

                   Faith answered.

                  There was no one there.


My respects to Malcolm X


May 19th is the birthday of Malcolm X. The life of Brother Malcolm has had a profound effect upon me personally. His autobiography chronicles obvious parallels to our struggle in his discovery that a sect leader had severely corrupted the religion he had devoted his life to defending, and his journey to discover that that religion stood for love rather than hate.

On another level Malcolm did what we are trying to do for our fellows. That is, to straighten up their spines. To make them walk tall in spite of generations of propaganda telling them they should not.

 The following passage from The Judas Factor by Karl Evanz recounts how Malcolm even gave  Reverend Martin Luther King a spinal adjustment at a time when he needed it:

 …Malcolm was in the visitor’s gallery in the Senate building in Washington, D.C., listening to the heated debate on the proposed Civil Rights Act of 1964. When he returned to the gallery on March 27, he saw three rows in front of him the man he publicly ridiculed but privately admired: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The two men who together symbolized the political conscience of Black America, acknowledged each other by simply nodding with a smile.

 (blogger note: the “debate” was in fact a warm up for a  filibuster being organized by Southern Senators in an effort to kill the legislation; a problem Dr. King apparently had no answer for)

 Afterward, as Dr. King, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and their entourage walked down the steps from the gallery, they noticed Malcolm X was only a few feet in front of them. King had been tremendously impressed by Malcolm X’s recent public statements urging African Americans to vote; the statements implied that Malcolm X believed that democracy could work to the advantage of America’s disenfranchised minorities.

 But the SCLC president (King) was probably dismayed by the proviso Malcolm X added to his endorsement of voting, which was that African Americans should combat violence with violence when necessary for self-defense.

 The crowd came to a standstill at the bottom of the stairs, and Dr. King and Malcolm X were suddenly standing side-by-side. An Associated Press reporter, stunned by the sight of America’s two foremost black activists conversing – in public no less – asked them if they’d agree to a brief interview. Both readily complied.

the critical moment captured

The reporter asked them whether they had reached any agreements in principle on the direction the civil rights movement should take, and whether Malcolm X considered the Civil Rights Bill important.

 “I’m here to remind the white man of the alternative to Dr. King,” Malcolm X said, flashing his trademark Cheshire cat grin. “If the white man rejects the proposed Civil Rights Bill which Dr. King supports, members of the doctor’s organization – and hopefully Dr. King himself – will hopefully coalesce with the Muslim Mosque, Incorporated, in order to effect an end to the racial, social and economic oppression of the black man here in America.”

 “How long do you expect the debate to continue?” the reporter asked, facing Dr. King. “A month would be long enough,” King answered sternly. “A creative direct action program will start if they are still talking about the bill after the first week in May.”

 What would happen, the reporter wanted to know, if the debate continued beyond that point?

At first,” King replied, “we would seek to persuade with our words –” King paused for effect, and said, “then our deeds.”

 The words had an ominous ring, considering that Malcolm X, the man the press often referred to as the ‘angriest Negro in America,’ was standing beside the man known as America’s ‘apostle of nonviolence.’

 Then, as if to remove any doubt about the import of his statement, Dr. King made a prediction. “If this bill is not passed,” he warned, “our nation is in for a dark night of social disruption.”

 As King and Malcolm X smiled approvingly at each other, with Abernathy standing in the background, photographers captured on film a moment in African American history that FBI Director Hoover interpreted as an act of treason.

(Blogger’s note: Shortly thereafter, President Johnson – the pragmatic Texan he was – began twisting Senators’ arms in private to end the filibuster and pass the legislation. The rest is known history.)

Finally, in honor of Malcolm’s legacy here is the final 8 1/2 minutes of Spike Lee’s film ‘X’, which includes the beautiful eulogy delivered at Malcolm’s funeral by Ossie Davis. 

Jesus Christ and the Resurrection

On Easter Sunday Christians acknowledge the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

While I am not a Christian, I drew quite a bit of inspiration from reading historical accounts of the life of Jesus. I also regained faith in humanity by witnessing  seflless acts of kindness and care by stangers during my darkest days of groping through the valley of the shadow of death. They were what I consider real Christians, mostly common folk who to some degree or another tried to emulate the example of Christ.  In honor of Jesus the man, I want to share some passages from one  historical text I read, Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization, Part III, Caeser and Christ:

He taught with the simplicity required by his audiences, with interesting stories that insinuated his lessons into the understanding, with pungent aphorisms rather than with reasoned argument, and with similes and metaphors as brilliant as any in literature.  The parable form that he used was customary in the East, and some of his fetching analogies had come down to him, perhaps unconsciously, from the prophets, the psalmists, and the rabbis; nevertheless, the directness of his speech, the vivid colors of his imagery, the warm sincerity of his nature lifted his utterances to the most inspired poetry. Some of his sayings are obscure, some seem at first sight unjust, some are sharp with sarcasm and bitterness; nearly all of them are models of brevity, clarity, and force…

…What did he mean by the Kingdom?  A supernatural heaven?  Apparently not, for the apostles and the early Christians unanimously expected an earthly kingdom. This was the Jewish tradition that Christ inherited; and he taught his followers to pray to the Father, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Only after that hope had faded did the Gospel of John make Jesus say, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”  Did he mean a spiritual condition, or a material utopia? At times he spoke of the Kingdom as a state of soul reached by the pure and sinless – “the Kingdom of God is within you”…

…Christ obviously scorned the man whose chief purpose in life is to amass money and luxuries. He promised hunger and woe to the rich and filled, and comforted the poor with Beatitudes that pledged them the Kingdom…

…The revolution he sought was a far deeper one, without which reforms could only be superficial and transitory. If he could cleanse the human heart of selfish desire, cruelty, and lust, utopia would come of itself, and all those institutions that rise out of human greed and violence, and the consequent need for law, would disappear. Since this would be the profoundest of all revolutions, beside which all others would be mere coups d’etat of class ousting class and exploiting in its turn, Christ was in this spiritual sense the greatest revolutionary in history…

…It was an ethic limited in purpose but universal in its scope, for it applied the conception of brotherhood and the Golden Rule to foreigners and enemies as well as neighbors and friends. It visioned a time when men would worship God not in temples but ‘in spirit and truth’ in every deed rather than in passing words…

…He brought religion back from ritual to righteousness and condemned conspicuous prayers, showy charities, and ornate funerals…

Whether or not you believe in his sanctity, or even in his existence, the lessons of Jesus as researched and written by Durant certainly seem applicable to the world and situation we face today.

This Easter happens to fall on the anniversary date of the Resurrection of another man we’ve regularly acknowledged on this blog, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King.

I’d like to acknowledge Easter Sunday/Resurrection Day with Rev King’s favorite Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, encouraging us to do what all teachers and seekers of spiritual betterment preach:





Martin Luther King – paying our respects

Friday the 15th was the birthday of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King.  Monday is a national holiday celebrating his life. Some of DM’s henchmen on the anonymous fringes have had some rather hateful things to say about my repeated references to and respect for King. I am not sure whether everybody understands why I regularly quote him.  I think if you look at what we posted earlier this week about Friendship and the ensuing discussion we had about ARC and love, and compare it to the following short essay by Rev King you’ll begin to get the idea.

There is much to learn from the man and his work. There are many parallels between what he helped accomplish and what we are attempting to bring about .

On an emotional level, I think U2 captured King’s spirit very well in their song Pride (in the name of love):



Didn't you think they were enemies? The haters only led us to believe that.

Now is the time to step up.

By this time in November the playing field is going to look entirely different. The amount of people looking for answers and direction is going to exponentially increase between now and then. The creation of communities is vital for the benefit of your friends and loved ones who are going to be confused and in some ways at a loss.

DM’s minions are stepping up on me pursuant to their boss’ inability to evaluate. It is all “over there”, being created by the “kingpin.” Kingpin must go down. Even the choice of moniker is telling. From the dark depths of a criminal mind DM wants to believe we are some hierarchical mafia outfit with similar intentions and motivations to his own. If only one missile really lands on target, it is back to business as usual so he thinks.

The beauty of community, as opposed to strict hierarchy, is that anyone, me included, can go down and it doesn’t put a dent in the cause. And wrong target as an SP will, DM is banking on taking me out. It will only get more intensely wrong targeted over the next few weeks. Of that I am certain.

There are whispering campaigns (right out of PR Series 18) starting up in our midst date coincident with talk of forming communities. I am going to quote again a short passage from Malcolm X on the subject of such Black propaganda camaigns as it is more relevant today than ever:

“One of the best ways to safeguard yourself from being deceived is always to form the habit of looking at things for yourself, listening to things for yourself, thinking for yourself, before you try and come to any judgment. Never base your impression on someone on what someone else has said. Or upon what someone else has written. Or what you read about someone that somebody else has written. Or upon what you read about someone that somebody else wrote. Never base your judgment on things like that. Especially in this kind of country and in this kind of society which has mastered the art of very deceitfuly painting people whom they don’t like in an image that they know you won’t like. So you end up hating your friends and loving their enemies.”

It is interesting that many Americans have come to dismiss wise words like these as having come from an “extremist.” Well, that is the term DM is now having applied to me. He’s got me up on his Religious Freedom Watch – thinly veiled front group – as an “extremist.” I’ve tried to contact Joel Phillips – the Kool-Aid drinker who operates the site – but he, like Miscavige, is avoiding me like the plague. Apparently, it is bunker mentality time.

But since he has settled on the term “extremist” after such brilliant lines as “lunatic”, “caveman”, and “thug with an e-meter” got no traction, let’s look a little more closely at the sobriquet. I am sure others doing their part will also soon be so labeled. So, what about this new label? Is it something we should defend against, something we should resist? Just what is an extremist? I found this passage from Martin Luther King’s Letter from an Alabama Jail Cell which had an impact on how I view this latest attack:

“…I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channelized through the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. Now this approach is being dismissed as extremist. I must admit that I was initially disappointed in being so categorized.

“But as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist in love — ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.’ Was not Amos an extremist for justice – ‘Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ — ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ Was not Martin Luther an extremist – ‘Here I stand; I can do none other so help me God.’ Was not John Bunyan an extremist — ‘I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.’ Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist – ‘This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.’ Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ So the question is not whether we will be extremists but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice – or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?”

In my view the answers to both of the good Reverend’s two final rhetorical questions, in our case, are the latter. What do you think?

Some thoughts to reflect upon on Sunday

“…And there is, deep down within all of us, an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct – a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life…

“…And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. Now the other problem is when you don’t harness the drum major instinct, this uncontrolled aspect of it, is that it leads to snobbish exclusivism. Now you know, this is the danger  of social clubs, and fraternities. I’m in a fraternity; I’m in two or three. For sororities, and all of these, I’m not talking against them, I’m saying it’s the danger. The danger is that they can become forces of classism and exclusivism where somehow you get a degree of satisfaction because you are in something exclusive, and that’s fulfilling something, you know. And I’m in this fraternity, and it’s the best fraternity in the world and everybody can’t get in this fraternity. So it ends up, you know, a very exclusive kind of thing.

“And you know, that can happen with the church. I’ve known churches get in that bind sometimes. I’ve been to churches you know, and they say ‘we have so many doctors and so many school teachers, and so many lawyers, and so many businessmen in our church.’ And that’s fine, because doctors need to go to church, and lawyers, and businessmen, teachers — they ought to be in church. But they say that, even the preacher will go on through it, they say that as if the other people don’t count. And the church is the one place where a doctor ought to forget that he’s a doctor. The church is the one place where a Ph.D. ought forget that he’s a doctor. The church is the one place that a schoolteacher ought to forget the degree she has behind her name. The church is the one place where the lawyer ought to forget that he’s a lawyer. And any church that violates the ‘whosoever will, let him come’ doctrine is a dead, cold church,and nothing but a little social club with a thin veneer of religiosity…

“…And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important –wonderful. If you want to be recognized — wonderful. If you want to be great — wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest amongst you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it – by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant…”

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

excerpts from a sermon given from the pulpit of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, 4 February 1968