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Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
43480 Cedar Ave, Hemet, CA 92544  (909) 927-7678


Harvestime, 1990 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 11

Online Edition

Table of Contents:
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
US Institute of Peace
Volunteers
Mother Teresa
Peacemaker Mediation Project
Middle East Crisis
The Civilized Defense Plan
Peace Pilgrim Talk
Notes from Refugio
Peace Corps Volunteer Conference
Civil Disobedience
Peace Pilgrim Wilderness Retreat
Irish Peacemaker
Community Peace Fellowship
Russian Steps
News from Around the World
The Library Edition

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


(Back to TOC)   Back to Table of Contents

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,  

WE TOOK A TRIP THIS SUMMER with our daughter and family to the backwoods of British Columbia where we first met Peace Pilgrim. We visited our dear old friends and hiked in the mountains we climbed when our children were young. 

A few Quaker families moved to Argenta, B.C., in 1953, the year Peace Pilgrim began her pilgrimage - to simplify our lives and raise our children away from TV and the materialism and militarism of the U.S. during the Joe McCarthy era. There was no electricity or phones. Our children became an important part of our economy. To keep warm and cook our food they cut down trees with their fathers and chopped wood daily. Working in our gardens became essential for our food. The weekly paddle wheel steamer brought supplies and our mail. It was a children's paradise, with a lake to swim in and skate on, mountains to climb, friends all doing the same kind of work and families worshipping, working and playing together. 

Four years later on her one trek across Canada, Peace Pilgrim talked to our Friends meeting on the shores of Kootenay Lake. We kept in touch after that first meeting and she stayed with us when she was in our area. 

When we lived on Shaker Road in Canterbury, New Hampshire, I arranged for Peace Pilgrim to speak in the ancient Shaker Meeting House. She shared her warmly accepted message of peace with Shakers and Quakers. 

She was in Whittier for six weeks in 1978. We had over 100 speaking engagements for her in the Los Angeles area. We had a delightful privilege of hearing her talks after driving her to colleges, a Catholic high School, a radio station, churches, etc. She told new pilgrimage stories as we talked with her in the car and at mealtimes. Sometimes she talked about her early life. Most of the time she spent answering her mail and talking to groups. After a lovely walk together in the hills behind Whittier I introduced her to a small audience with these words: 

Peace Pilgrim is as ordinary as the woman next door
And the man down the street 

She is as bring as the morning star
As available as fresh air on a hill top 

There is a mystery about her however--
She is filled with universal energy
(But you will hear her say it is there for all of us)     -- Ann

  

THE UNITES STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE           (Back to TOC)

In 1985, shuffled in with the billions for tanks and guns, Congress and the President approved seed money for an agency intent on peacemaking: the United States Institute of Peace. 

One of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence is believed to have proposed a U.S. government peace office. George Washington endorsed the idea. (Peace Pilgrim suggested it in 1953.) But it wasn't until 1984, after months of public hearings and sharp debate, that the United States Institute of Peace became a reality. 

The Institute is a clearinghouse, training ground and think tank on the causes and resolution of conflict -- ways to manage conflict, to try to resolve it through negotiation and mediation rather than physical force. The idea is to make both sides come out winners because a loser will ultimately retaliate. 

The U.S. Peace Institute is seen as an investment in the future, a hope that our children and our children's children can settle difference without destroying each other and their world. 

The Peace Institute takes a "win-win" approach toward conflict. The underlying theory is that there are basic human needs that individual human being have, like identity, security and shelter. Conflict results from the repression of these human needs. The Peace Institute operates from a framework that it is possible for both sides to win. 

"The Institute has developed steadily in its first five years of operation into an organization which can be more useful in helping U.S. policy makers and negotiators, as well as the general public, butter understand the implications of this new era in international politics," said the Peace Foundation President Stephen P. Strickland. 

Full funding is necessary to support the new projects that the institute plans to undertake, such as research and study projects and two major conferences the Institute plans to sponsor in early 1991. 

--Adapted from articles in the "Peace Reporter", from the National Peace Institute Foundation, 110 Maryland Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 Tel: (202) 546-9500. 

******** 

Abraham Lincoln was once asked, "Why do you try to make friends of your enemies? You should try to destroy them" "Am I not destroying my enemies," the President asked gently, "When I make them my friends?"

  

Volunteers            (Back to TOC)

Jeff Blom and Bill Stokes lovingly and efficiently took care of the Peace Pilgrim Center while we were gone for two and a half weeks this summer. They worked full time, six days a week, to answer the mail, package and mail the books and water the plants. Jeff lives in a trailer in out backyard and is a full-time volunteer. Bill lives in Hemet and comes every weekday now to enter your requests for books into our computer and then package them. 

This fall we were blessed by the visit of Francesca Uhlenbroek, who was with us for ten days. She was born in Indonesia, reared in Switzerland, became a concert pianist in Paris and has lived in ten countries, including India. She speaks 6 languages and is going over our translations. She helped in many ways, including collating Russian STEPS and getting dinner. Her life is devoted to service. Recently, in Assisi, Italy, she found a blind, handicapped boy, who had buried musical talent, and taught him to play classical music very beautifully on the piano. Francesca writes: 

For 13 years I have been going regularly to India to study and meditate, and it became the greatest priority in my life. In 1974the message of India struck me like lightening---look WITHIN --- everything is there to be found. Essentially, we all are universal beings and the limitations of ego are just an illusion. 

In 1984 I found the Peace Pilgrim book in an Ashram library in the Himalayas! I couldn't believe what I read -- A woman -- not at all young any more -- fearless, penniless, having struggled alone to obey the inner voice calling her to find peace in her heart. With the sole help of her solitary walks in nature, she went through the ordeals of self-correcting disciplines for 15 years. At the same time she was being useful to others through all kinds of voluntary social work. 

After reaching victory over her lower self, she set out on foot for the rest of her life in order to awaken others to the Truth she had realized….Without the backing of religious custom, she lived the life of a sannyasin (an Indian monk) in the purest form -- a life of renunciation and service. 

Wandering monks in India are supplied a daily bowl of food by special kitchens all over India, maintained by contributions of devoted householders. Peace Pilgrim relied on people she encountered to feed her and could do without one or more meals as easily as the Indian monks do. She could sleep anywhere as they do. The ideal of a true Sannyasin is to be homeless and not to have any provisions for the next day… 

But Peace Pilgrim was in the West, and she was a woman! A great new hope came over me. I didn't dread the difficult return to the West so much any more, because she had realized God there after a totally free and solitary search, and she had walked unbended, undistracted for 28 years in a country where vagrancy was illegal. 

Last March I was asked to give a talk to a group of women in a monastery in Bangalore, India, and I told them about Peace Pilgrim. They were deeply moved to hear about her, and it broke many barriers between our Eastern sisters and us! 

Peace Pilgrim has the key word for any seeker of truth, wherever and whenever: PRACTICE, practice what you believe to be good, and to the light that you already have more light will be added. This is what all the true spiritual masters say. Most beloved Peace Pilgrim, glorious and humble, saintly yet always cordial and always accessible to all, without distinction, anywhere….. 

I see here in Hemet such an overwhelming interest and response that it keeps four hard-working, full-time volunteers to meet the demands for her literature. Peace Pilgrim's journeys on earth have been one of the greatest ideas of this century; thanks to her tremendous contribution, verily: May Peace soon prevail on earth. 

++++++++++ 

From India -- Peace Pilgrim, who remained anonymous, is very dear to the hearts of everyone in India into whose heart the radiant message of peace and love has been again pumped in. We feel a strange kinship with the message of this sweet simple soul. We will do our very best to spread her Message of Love into the far corners of this vast country. May her soul glow more and more with the passage of time. She was a woman with a cosmic vision.---G.E. Damodar Row, "Another Pilgrim from India" 

From India -- I would be very much obliged if you would send me a special edition of Peace Pilgrim in English. The one I read was borrowed from the local library and I feel that if I had to read it a hundred times I would still not be satisfied. It has been a wonderful and moving experience to have come across this book. I will treasure this book or any other material I can lay my hands on from the Peace Pilgrim. May you and your fellow workers keep up the good work.----J. Pillay. 

 

MOTHER TERESA           (Back to TOC)

The Catholic Worker, New York -- On day Mother Teresa stopped by Maryhouse to visit Dorothy Day. She was introduced to Lena Rizzo, an elderly homeless person. Mother Teresa reverently clasped her hands together and gently bowed toward Lena -- her white sari bending down with a soft movement of reverence. "Pleased to meet you, Lena," she said softly. Lena looked inquisitively at this unusually attired nun and asked, "Where are ya from?" "Calcutta, India," Mother replied, again with a bow. Puzzled, Lena asked, "How did you get here? Did you come on roller skates or toothpicks?" "No," Mother chuckled, flapped her white sari with both elbows and said, "I flew!" They both laughed. That seemed reasonable to Lena, who was given to some wild flights of imagination. 

 

PEACEMAKER   MEDIATION PROJECT            (Back to TOC)

Steve Brutsche is a lawyer who has requested many Peace Pilgrim books and several hundred STEPS during the last three years. A year ago he requested more books and wrote, "I am using Peace Pilgrim's principles to mediate disputes between parties to lawsuits. I am training other attorneys to do likewise." We asked if he could take time to write about the project for our newsletter. He wrote back, "It is my pleasure and privilege to share my experience with you." Here is his letter: 

I have been practicing civil trial law in Dallas, Texas, for approximately 17 years -- a certified specialist since 1978. The resolution of civil disputes is an adversary system. Attorneys are hired advocates whose sworn duty is to zealously defend their client's positions. The heritage of this system of justice originates in the laws of England. 

The early origins sought to reach truth by combat or by ordeal. Disputants would fight to the death or undergo an ordeal such as a hot coal placed in the hand. The premise of these systems was that "truth" would protect the virtuous and empower the proper parties. 

Our system evolved attempts to make the fight fair. All people are not equal in combat, so we allowed people to hire their champions. This also had the "virtue" of protecting those who had wealth. Again, the objective was to find "truth" through the premise that the virtuous would be protected by divine order. 

The modern trial lawyer is the "champion" selected and hired by the litigant to find "truth." The premise is still that truth will be revealed…and efforts to make the fight more fair continue by having rules of evidence…and by using neutral jurors to be the parties who "decide" the winner and the loser. 

The word "decide" is from the Latin root, cider, which means to "kill." To "decide" is to kill the alternative (Homicide is to kill a human being). Thus, our adversary legal system seeks to resolve disputes by basically the same methodology as trial by combat. However, the legal position of the losing party is killed rather than the body. As you can imagine, this system offers very little joyous satisfaction or ultimate justice to litigants. Polls have shown that about 97% of the parties leaving a courthouse after a trial are unhappy with the process, including the winners. 

As a lawyer, I came to the conviction over a period of time that what I was doing was not serving my clients and that our system was not serving its intended purpose of providing for the prompt, fair and cost effective resolution of disputes. In fact, the system was being used to take advantage of and abuse people. More often than not, cases were resolved, not on the basis of fairness, but on the basis of who had the most money and the best lawyer. 

Believe it or not, the vast majority of attorneys studied the law with the desire to contribute and to make the world a better place. Their idealism has been thwarted by the resignation that all they could do was "win" or make money. 

My inner guide revealed that if I could support lawyers in rediscovering their capacity to serve and their ability to make a difference, they would leap at the opportunity. How true that has been. 

Through our local bar association, we have been training attorneys as mediators for settling civil disputes. In the past year, we have trained almost 100 attorneys and former judges as mediators. In the first six months, approximately 1000 cases in Dallas County were referred for mediation and approximately 80% of them settled voluntarily. 

In mediation, the parties decide whether settlement is in their best interest, not a judge or a jury. To be sure there is adversary conduct in the mediation process in the sense that people argue and state their positions. But the attorney mediators, committed to service and to peacemaking, help the parties vent their frustrations and communicate effectively so that they can find solutions that everyone can live with.  I often state that the difference between mediation and litigation is that in litigation the dispute is resolved by somebody "dying," whereas in mediation the dispute is resolved by everybody finding a solution that they can all live with. 

As part of the training program of these attorney mediators, I turn to the teachings of Peace Pilgrim. One of the principles I teach is the golden rule of dispute resolution, "Have it be your purpose to resolve the dispute rather than to gain an advantage." As part of the training materials for those that have completed the program, I also provide Steps Toward Inner Peace and recommend that if they have further interest they contact the Friends of Peace Pilgrim about the available videos, books and tapes. 

We are educating judges and court clerks in the use of the mediation process and privately training and educating large law firms in mediation. Incidentally, more than 90% of the people that use the mediation process indicate they are satisfied even though they almost never get what they wanted (in order for cases to settle, everybody has to give more than they think they should). This contrasted with the 97% dissatisfaction rate in parties to litigation speaks highly of the process. The Dallas program has become a model for programs in Houston and other cities in Texas. 

******* 

In March a High Level Meeting on Global Interdependence and National Sovereignty was held in Lisbon by the Inter Action Council -- a group of some 30 former heads-of-state headed by Helmut Schmidt of West Germany. The principal background paper selected was Pat Mische's 1988 Moscow address on "Ecological Security and the Need to Reconceptualize Sovereignty".      --from Global Education Associates. 

Pat Mische is co-founder with her husband of the Global Education Associates, an organization that has worked for 17 years on world order alternatives. She met Peace Pilgrim when she was a teenager and wrote that Peace Pilgrim was, "A wonderful human being who started me thinking. She planted some seeds that have grown within me through the years."

 

The Middle East Crisis          (Back to TOC)

The New World Order we all seek is for "Love to Rule the World" --- not military might….Yet, the stand-0ff in the Middle East clearly shows the mentality of both sides to be anything but living. War to many seems inevitable. This would be tragic for the world in ways that we can hardly perceive…Clearly, we know and understand that everyone loses in a war…We all know how ineffective the UN has been in the past. But now with the emergence of President Gorbachev and the new superpower cooperation, we have seen how the UN Security Council can be an effective instrument in policing world problems. A new partnership of nations has emerged, and out of these troubled times, a new world order can emerge. --Karl Sjoberg 

Peace Pilgrim would oppose military actions in the Middle East. Military action would be contrary to her message of "overcoming evil with good" 

We have been guilty of interfering in the internal affairs of many countries. Peace Pilgrim said, "You can only expect to change one nation --- you own. After your nation has changed itself, the example may inspire other nations to change themselves." 

Many more in the Arab countries would hate us if we began killing Arabs under the cover of stopping aggression, when the real purpose is to maintain our supply of cheap oil. An alternative to military actions is described in the following article.--John 

The Civilized defense plan (CDP)          (Back to TOC)

Howard Brembeck, a businessman, developed this plan in consultation with people in many walks of life. It provides for a global agreement to abolish nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction. It forbids armed aggression and outlaws terrorism. 

The agreement would not be imposed on the nations of the world by military superpowers. It would go into effect when accepted by two-thirds of all international commerce in manufactured goods. Support for this law would bring to a nation all the economic, technical, social and other benefits of world trade. Violators would forfeit the benefits of international trade and be subject to complete economic isolation. 

The development of such a system is surely not beyond the capacity of the human mind. The problem is that some of our best minds have been concentrating on the perpetuation of the balance of nuclear terror. They have ignored the fundamental issue of building national security. 

The use of military force has proven to be neither productive nor acceptable. Physical force and power are not the same. There are two kinds of power that are far more persuasive than physical force: Economic power and the power of withholding. Used together, these two forms of power can diminish the threat of global destruction. 

CDP is not an instant cure for the world's security problems. But neither is military action. The CDP approach does require a significant investment of patience and resolve. 

In these times of threatening crisis and breathtaking change, we have been given a chance to achieve one of civilization's oldest and highest aspirations. We can achieve lasting international security based on nonviolent enforcement of the rule of law.--Condensed from literature sent by the Fourth Freedom Forum, 803 North Main St., Goshen, IN 46526. Tel:1-800-233-6786. 

Another excerpt from a Peace Pilgrim talk           (Back to TOC)
at Oak Park, Ill. Unity Church, 1981:
 

Peace Pilgrim: did you ever hear the old saying that one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours afterward?…Go to bed as soon as possible after the sun goes down. Some of the religious orders, even in the winter when there is a long night, get to bed immediately with the setting sun and get up very early in the morning, long before daylight, you see. I tried it myself when I was working at some of the health resorts with people who had problems. I discovered if I could get them to go to bed with the sun and get up early they seemed to feel much better than before. So I would suggest you try it if you have never tried it before. Besides, the dawn is beautiful. Did you ever try spiritual searching at dawn? It is so wonderful. 

I noticed that some of my Muslim friends greeted the dawn. They face east. June was just telling me about a mosque they are building in town. You see, part of it has to face the east because you do always greet the dawn, and you greet it with, "saalam alakum". 

PP: (singing) Salaam, salaam, alakum: you know that?  

From audience: Yeah, Peace be with you. 

PP: It means "peace be with you"? Good! Somebody can speak Arabic. 

From audience: No, it's Jewish… 

PP: Is it Jewish too? No, this is s-a-l-a-a-m. That's "shalom": s-h-a-l-o-m is the Hebrew. But you know, I think it's probably quite similar. Aleichem means 'to be with you'? Is that right? They do something like, (sings) "Salaam, salaam, alakum; peace unto thee, peace to they home, peace to they town, peace to they lamb, peace to the world and everyone." It isn't exactly like that. But anyway, they greet the dawn with some sort of Peace song like that. But I'll think exactly how this is done and maybe I can show it to you sometime. 

Try dawn. Try dawn. Oh, dawn is the best starter; no doubt about that. Can't beat it 

***** 

"Heard about Peace Pilgrim while in Israel. A radical & fantastic lawyer-to-be showed me her copy of the book and we read part of it just outside the walls of Old Jerusalem. So hard to get a balanced Arab/Israeli picture -- who is 'right?'"        --  Melissa Wender, Bronx, NY.

 

ISRAEL --Thanks for sending me your material. Early this year I saw a copy of PEACE PILGRIM in the house of a former American now living in Tel Aviv. I could only glance through it briefly, since a political meeting was going on. A few days later I was sent to military prison because of my refusal to serve in an army of occupation. After my release I had no chance to track down the book until you sent us a copy. I am very glad to read it and introduce it to my political and personal friends. --Adam Keller, editor of "the Other Israel" magazine and author of TERRIBLE DAYS, a sober, down-to-earth analysis of contemporary Israeli society. We sent the book to him at the request of Phil Scalice, Shelton, Washington. 

NOTES FROM REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE           (Back to TOC)

Since early April, I have been living at Refugio del Rio Grande, in the "Valley" in Harlingen, Texas, working as a volunteer under the care of Eugene Friends meeting. 

This is not your typical "shelter" for refugees. It is a fascinating experiment in intercultural community and refugee empowerment. It is a lovely farm, with farm animals and some crops. It is run democratically by the refugees, a sometimes arduous, but creative and appropriate process, empowering people who have been subjected to repression. 

Refugio life is mostly outdoors. Cooking is over a wood fire in a shack. Eating is at picnic tables. "Pilas" in the yard are places where you do your laundry and dishes. There are hammocks under the mesquite trees. Meals are largely beans and rice, cooked in rotation by these mostly male refugees. Guinea hens, geese, a coyote dog, and sometimes little pigs amble through. Slogans painted on the buildings leave no doubt as to the politics of many of these refugees. This feels a lot like Central America, with its own Refugio touch. 

Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and mostly gringo volunteers live, work and play together. Friendships are made, and then there are departures. A refugee leaves, looking sharp in his sombrero, to go home to Guatemala. He will be risking his life to return, but his family wants and needs him there. Another two, having obtained legal papers, leave for Houston and jobs. A volunteer leaves, headed for graduate school. A group of Hondurans arrives in the night. They describe the ride through Mexico, hidden on a freight train. 

…It is a great privilege to be here, living in community with these very special Central Americans, on this especially beautiful farm…We help each other, and help to keep Refugio going. I am here partly as an expression of solidarity with them and to live in community with them. I believe that the only way that we can achieve peace and justice in this world is by working together, by learning to know, understand and appreciate each other, so that a community of love is built, so that we are all empowered in our work for peace and justice. For me, participating in community with these Central American people is a most joyful privilege. --Pat Morton, taken from the Peace Coalition Newsletter, Carbondale, Illinois. 

"The only effective way to halt the illegal flow of desperate people across our southern border is to remove the awful compulsions that drive them. We must stop pouring weapons into Central America, stop promoting its wars, stop sabotaging regional peace initiatives, stop pretending that corrupt oligarchies are nascent democracies. Instead, we must support peace efforts. We must begin to focus major attention on Third World debt and Third World poverty. We must think about giving up the position of economic privilege that we have so long enjoyed in Central America at its people's expense." -- Stephen G. Cary, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the American Friends Service Committee 

 

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Conference           (Back to TOC)

The following is a report about a workshop at the annual conference of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers held this year in Eugene, Oregon. It is taken from the West Cascade monthly newsletter. The names and dates in parentheses indicate the place and date of service of each volunteer. 

James Cloutier's (Kenya, 1964-66) workshop on the Spirituality of Peace was possibly the most important one given. We forget so easily what real peace is… 

Peace. Look in yourself for a minute and see if it's there….James talked about one woman in particular who found it fully and then took to the road for 28 years with nothing more than the clothes on her back in order to spread her peace. She called herself Peace Pilgrim. He showed us a video with some interviews she'd done, and it was empowering to listen to her speak with such distinct joy. She talked about the freedom that comes with simplifying your life to need-level, and about compassion… 

Afterwards, during a discussion, a couple of people shared their experiences of having met and learned from her. And in turn the rest of us learned from them. It was so good to take a break from the constant activity and just sit and rap with a group of people about soul and life-things. 

Peace is spiritual. I'm grateful to James for reminding us of that. And he made sure everyone realized that true inner peace isn't only possible for Mahatma Gandhi figures. Peace Pilgrim was a very ordinary older lady from the U.S. and she reached the highest plane of happiness through the peace that grows out of kindness and caring. It's easy to talk about and write about, but what the workshop taught us was that we have to actually begin watching all our actions and steer them right so that they work for love…                       --Patricia Connolly, (Yemen, 1987-89) 

****** 

Our good friend, Gretel Shanley, who invited us to talk about Peace Pilgrim at the Flutist convention in San Diego, now has a Bed & Breakfast in her own home in beautiful Pennsylvania, three hours from Pittsburgh. STEPS are in strategic places all over the house. Guests are welcome. Classical music coaching is available ---  P.O. Box 222, Tidioute, PA 16351-0222 Tel: (814) 484-7130 

 

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE           (Back to TOC)

On August 7, 1989, five people were arrested for attempting to talk to the workers who build the COMMAND COMMUNICATION CONTROL for nuclear weapons systems at the GTE plant in Westboro, Mass. It is known as the eyes and heart of these guided missiles and is now being programmed to make decisions in the event of a crisis. It is important to understand the terrifying violence and destabilizing effect of this technology on the arms race. But it is also important to realize the "good News" of nonviolent civil disobedience to understand this case. 

Judge Aistin Philbin ruled to allow the defendants to employ the "necessity" defense in their own behalf. This defense must meet four condition: (1) there must be imminent harm that is not debatable or speculative; (2) all legal means must have been tried and have failed; (3) what was done could reasonably be considered successful in abating the harm; (4) the legislature must not have ruled to disallow the case. 

This meant the defendants were allowed to use expert witnesses to establish that these conditions were met. Consider the following: A MIT defense expert maintained there is an imminent danger of nuclear war, and that the GTE technology heightens the danger. An Assumption College civil disobedience expert testified that the defendants acted within the usual standard of civil disobedience. Sister Rena Cagnon testified that these Catholics were consciously following the US Bishops' pastoral letter on peace. Sister Clare Carter, a Buddhist nun, testified about one of the accused who participated in peace walks to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

The prosecutor could not convince the jury that the legal means were not exhausted or that the defendants had no hope of abating this technology's harm. Their verdict was "not guilty." 

My opinion is that it was not the necessity defense that convinced the jury. I believe they responded to a sincere emotional appeal to what is human, moral and Christian. The evidence included pictures the defendants had carried on the GTE property -- pictures of Soviet families and children. I'm sure the jury could see their own families in these pictures. 

All the defendants are dedicated to the poor with Catholic Worker backgrounds, living the works of mercy by giving direct service to street people. I believe the jury experienced a conversion process. After the trial one juror said it was the nonviolence that swayed the jury, who felt "you are not our peers, you're better than us." The defendants' humility made the jury's decision both real and person. --From a recent peace publication. 

***** 

To do wrong is the greatest of evils…If I had either to do or to suffer wrong, I would choose rather to suffer than to do it…One ought not to return a wrong or an injury to any person, whatever the provocation is. ------ Socrates 

 

PEACE PILGRIM WILDERNESS RETREAT          (Back to TOC)

Our First Peace Pilgrim Wilderness Retreats were large successes. We canoed down the Green and Colorado Rivers in southeastern Utah. We saw deer, herons, mountain sheep, beavers and coyotes and had a great experience going down river with wonderful people who are inspired by Peace Pilgrim. 

We are again offering Peace Pilgrim wilderness retreats -- the first from June 30 to July 6, 1991 and the second from July 8th to July 14th. Again Cheryl Canfield, one of the compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book, will lead meditations and discussions on both trips and will share about her extensive experiences with Peace Pilgrim. Food and community gear will be provided. The food will be all vegetarian. 

Each trip down the Green River will be limited to twelve people, with two to a canoe. Because we will be traveling only about 10 miles down river each day and the river flows about three miles an hour (no white water), the trip will not be physically taxing. Those who would like more strenuous activity will have the opportunity to go on hikes and climbs. We will explore side canyons and visit Anasazi Indian ruins. The trip is in the wilderness area, free of the vestiges of modern civilization. The landscape is unique and awe inspiring. The cost will be $225 each. We will meet in Moab, Utah, and be driven to our launch point. Car pools will be arranged where possible and planes and buses can be met nearby. 

If you are interested in participating, write to Jeff at the Peace Pilgrim Center. 

******* 

There were four of us and we were quite hungry. As we approached the Campus Ministry I thought of how delicious the weekly Thursday spaghetti dinner was to be. As usual it was. 

After conversation with friends we expressed our farewell to all. Unknown of the source, a voice within requested that I pick up some of the literature on the way out. I would conclude the voice was that of curiosity about material I believed in. The titles, to name a few were: "New Day! New Year! New You?," "Say it With Love" and "Steps Toward Inner Peace." I had figured that the literature would be a reaffirmation of my own heart. 

Indeed they were. Most glorious was the Steps Toward Inner Peace. Most glorious is Inner Peace. Most important is Inner Peace. To me, the words of Peace Pilgrim are simply that -- words on paper. Yet taken within the experienced over and over, continuously, endlessly, and with a free mind, encompass a new level. 

In any case that is a part of my story. The wondrous thing is that I can just plan it as I go along. I see not too far into the next of tomorrow for the present requires all of my attention ----Michael Moore, Hartford, Connecticut 

 

IRISH PEACEMAKER           (Back to TOC)

At the age of 20, Shane Paul O'Doherty was arrested in Northern Ireland for masterminding a notorious international letter-bomb campaign in which 14 people were injured. He was a member of the Irish Republican Army and was sentenced to prison 15 years ago. Today he is a free man and working virtually non-stop to bring peace to his beleaguered country. 

There are other ex-members of Ulster paramilitaries who have decided to break away from extremist groups. Where O'Doherty is different lies in the completeness of his about-turn, coupled with his courageous commitment to using the full weight of his mounting influence and prodigious speaking talents to publicly push for a negotiated peace settlement. 

Listening to this affable, uncommonly courteous man speak so passionately of his quest to get his countrymen to lay down their arms, it's difficult to imagine that he once channeled this same passion in a very different way. As a terrorist O'Doherty's assigned task was simple: to bomb, booby-trap and burn down without compunction. 

O'Doherty recalls the lure of terrorism. "I grew up in a country that wasn't democratically voted for, but was born out of extreme violence. For 50 years there was massive discrimination and institutionalized violence against our small community. So we were raised as a desperately deprived minority in Northern Ireland. We were treated as second-class citizens by our Protestant pro-British neighbors in almost every sphere of life." 

In the late 1960's, Catholic nationalists began marching for civil rights in Northern Ireland. Correspondingly, the Ulster government was putting out feelers for a rapprochement with its southern Irish counterpart. O'Doherty points out that it was the Protestant loyalists, perceiving a threat to the status quo, who were the first to turn to violence. 

Even while engaged in his bombing campaigns, O'Doherty began to have nagging doubts. He couldn't help but admit to himself that terrorism was at best a clumsy tactic. In his letter bombing, for instance, it was often secretaries or postal workers, rather than the military personnel or politicians to whom he was sending his menacing missives, that unwittingly found themselves on the receiving end. 

But it wasn't until his trial that O'Doherty came full face with an even more startling truth. "And it was only in seeing the parade of innocents coming through the court to testify," he remembers, "the innocents who were injured by the violence of mine, that I suddenly realized my own record of human rights violations. Until then, I had been remote from my violence: You didn't see what the bombs did. From that moment I was severely embarrassed and ashamed that we in the IRA had married our campaign of political change to tactics of violence. And that shame is something that will live with me always." 

O'Doherty credits close scrutiny of Christian doctrine, Quaker literature, and secular tracts on human rights and pacifistic philosophy for convincing him that, in truth, all violence is wrongheaded. "There are very basic Christian arguments for pacifism that the main churches ignore," he cites. "Jesus Christ, for instance, had a sacred cause, an innocent cause…and He wouldn't even allow violence to be used in support of that. I tell people that from all the evidence, armed struggle and the politics of coercion have failed on every side and will continue to fail. Such tactics simply cannot create the groundwork for the peace and unity they are seeking." 

O'Doherty is optimistic that his message will ultimately be heard. He is certain that the time is ripe for people to begin to listen. "The reality is that paramilitaries on both sides are made up of men with flesh and blood, and they are all Irish. They are talking to people like me. There's a great deal of contact going on, and people have learned a lot in recent years about the cost of violence and the horror of it. I do believe in the power of individual effort, of every single contribution to talking our way out of violence. You may not see fruits straight away. You may have to wait three months, or three years -- or 30 years. But I’m convinced that talking actually works." 

----Condensed from Proclaiming Peace -- Lives That Speak published by Wider Quaker Fellowship, 1506 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA. 

 

COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP          (Back to TOC)

In the last paragraph of the STEPS booklet, Peace Pilgrim speaks of the vital importance of grass-roots peace work in this crisis period and the need for a Community Peace Fellowship in every town. 

If you would like to connect with others in your area who are inspired by Peace Pilgrim's message, possibly to start or participate in a Community Peace Fellowship let us know. We will list your name in our newsletter if you send us your phone number and/or address. We will publish only those who ask to be listed. The following are new people who have asked to be included: 

Vic Trouette, 2200 S.Fitch Mt. Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448 Tel: (707) 433-53859 

Vic hopes that a study group may evolve in Sonoma County. 

Lee Lane Tel: (818) 352-3532 in Sunland, California, just called for books and wants to be included in this list. 

Barbara Newby, 4532-167th Ave. S.E., Issaquah, WA 98027 Tel: (206) 641-1988. Barbara is starting a Peace Studies Support Group in the Seattle area and writes, "Peace Pilgrim and other spiritual masters such as Gandhi and Mother Teresa taught good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. By studying their works, devotional meditation on God, and putting these concepts into action, we can begin our journey on the road to the Peace that passeth all understanding."

 

RUSSIAN STEPS          (Back to TOC)

The Russian STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE is available at long last! Since late August over 2000 have been sent to Russia. They have gone to Soviets who had previously requested Peace Pilgrim books and to groups going to Russia: U.S. peace marchers walking with Russians and Citizen Diplomacy groups. We just mailed 336 Russian STEPS to individuals leaving together for the Soviet Union. This group has also taken Russian Bibles to the people hungry for spiritual materials. 

If you know of individuals or organizations with Soviet contacts that might be interested in Russian STEPS, or if you have any other ideas about distributing them, please let us know. Visitors from this country are often given small gifts by Soviet friends, and Russian STEPS can be given in return. If you are going to the Soviet Union, please consider taking them for this purpose. 

Producing Russian STEPS was quite a challenge, taking about two years to accomplish. We were blessed by a number of volunteers. George Dolnikowsky, Professor Emeritus at Juniata College, sent us his handwritten manuscript. After considerable investigation we found a computer program for the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. Gary Kern, a Russian scholar in nearby Riverside, then typed Russian STEPS into the computer. 

It is always best to have a translation reviewed by others. We were able to find several people fluent in Russian, including four Russian professors, who donated their time and skills to editing. 

The next problem was getting it typeset. The best price we could find for typesetting was more expensive than a laser printer, so we decided to buy one and typeset it ourselves. In order to do this we needed book-publishing-quality Cyrillic fonts for our IBM-compatible computer. I could not find any company in the United States that could supply these fonts. Following a lead I found that the European subsidiary of Hewlett Packard in Vienna had what we were looking for. It was not their policy to sell these fonts in the United States, but after making about 10 calls to various people, we finally found an employee who agreed to sell it to us, though reluctantly. 

We are delighted with Russian STEPS. The Peace Pilgrim book has also been translated into Russian, and we are now looking for someone to be responsible for editing the final manuscript that we will then typeset on our new laser printer. We hope to have it in print by Spring, 1991, so visitors can take them to Russia in the summer -- when most travelers go. -- Jeff 

 

News from around the world:         (Back to TOC)

COSTA RICA - This is to thank you for sending the Spanish language copies of STEPS (Pasos). I left half of them with the Friends Meeting in Monte Verde, Costa Rica, and the other half I left at the Peace Center in San Jose. They were most appreciative, as the Center had been getting requests for them. One asked for Pasos the day before I appeared. She said it was like an answer to prayer. 

From New Melleray Abbey Newsletter: 

This Trappist monastery is located near Dubuque, Iowa where Brother Mark typeset STEPS in its present beautiful format and Brother Gus keeps a stack of them for the public. 

ROME - On June 15 African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, a Methodist, had a cordial meeting with Pope John Paul. He blessed Mandela's struggle for racial equality in South Africa 

INDIANA - "Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is one of the great visionaries of our time, an extraordinary person. I told him I would pray for him every day." -- Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, President Emeritus, Notre Dame University 

MINNESOTA - "I wanted to visit an ordinary American family because I like in general to meet people. To sit down in peace and quiet gives me a much greater impression than a film or a book about life in another country. As we meet people, we can look into their eyes and see their inner sincerity. It's very important to me. We are all human being." -- Raisa Gorbachev 

FINDHORN
In June Michael Dawson, a member of the Findhorn Community in Scotland, led a 7-day healing workshop at Las Brisas Retreat Center near our Peace Pilgrim Center. Having read PEACE PILGRIM he was very enthusiastic about her message and came here to pick up books and tapes to take back to Findhorn. A Finnish woman saw one of the videos at Findhorn and later called from Finland for videos, books, and pictures of Peace Pilgrim for a periodical she and her husband publish. 

This is just one example of the many ways Peace Pilgrim's message is spread throughout the world.

 

The Library Edition 

The printer has scheduled the hardcover library edition of our Peace Pilgrim book to be printed on October 18, but they couldn't get the paper that had been promised, because of the paper shortage. So there will be a further delay. Sorry!!

*****

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