ON SECURING PEACE, HEALTH AND ECONOMIC STABILITY THROUGHOUT THE
November 29, 2005
An Open Letter
To all potential leaders
Secular, private or elected
Dear Concerned Citizen:
To be perceived a great leader requires marketing; to be known
as a great leader requires timeless acts of clarity and justice.
I am a humble man; a Buddhist priest, visual artist, and teacher.
I have dedicated my entire life to the study of great leaders, in
thought, and the "human condition" since the age of seven.
If you are interested to know more in detail about my life experience,
I would like to entertain the possibility of our meeting, perhaps
when you have some quiet time for conversation. I merely want to
convey that my words are born of many years.
So as not to consume a great deal of your time, I will attempt
to state my points in brief and offer support latter. Please do
not take this form disparagingly, for I respect your position greatly.
As you have demonstrated, I believe you to understand that the responsibilities
of your office and, by extension, these United States, is to be
the foremost in the governance of human life. For this ideal, words
like freedom, mean nothing unless actualized in the systems of governance
providing economic stability, open speech and dialogue, protection
from invasion and most importantly, personal expression balanced
with personal practices. But what more can be said of this rhetoric?
Could not the people who terrorize the world claim these very words
as their aim? Truthfully, yes, they could. The problem therefore
is not "freedom". The problem therefore is not governance.
The problem of fact is the holding and expression of mistaken beliefs.
This may seem an oversimplification, but please read on.
I propose to you, that you can make a place for yourself in the
history of the world as a great leader whose courage and insight
changed the course of mankind. At present, the reputation of the
U.S. President is one of a man whose entire record is based on re-action.
The reputation of Congress seems to be to banter without result.
This, of course, is due to the President's "at will" reactions
going unchecked. I propose you shed this veil, and discover your
true identity as a great leader of action! The actions I humbly
suggest are quit simply the actions necessary to circumvent the
mistaken beliefs of ancient melodramas and undereducated fodder,
and put the world, this nation, and all others by example, on the
path to social and economic health.
Remove all religion from the agenda. Religion or spirituality is
a personal practice! It should not enjoy parity with corporate or
any other commercial scheme. Further, Religious organizations operating,
as resource or publishing concerns should be treated exactly as
those endeavors are in "secular" print or publishing businesses.
There is absolutely no reason why these organizations should qualify
as "non-profit" 501C corporations. Requirements of Not-For-Profit
status should be amended to include private schools, which do much
more to affect the public trust, and disallow any organization whose
purpose is to disseminate or preach or teach the agenda of ancient
or "Nouveau" spiritual doctrines, texts, or religious
tracts. As stated, these are simply bookstores. All religious rites
can be and should be performed at home by individuals, families,
and small groups, not different from Tupperware parties or Amway
In the case of Iraq, education, free of dogma, must lead the people
to the creation of civil governance. This country can lead by example
by clearing up its most muddled issues in this regard. Privatize
Spirituality. Change the tax law to approve a percentage of
personal expenditure on specific religious or spiritual expenses
much as the childcare provisions do. Then abolish all other manifestation
of tax "breaks" concerning religion. Remove and ban all
reference to religion/spirituality in all Law or Federal governance.
For the office of President to end speeches to the citizenry with
a "god bless" is abhorrent misuse of power and an affront
to the very birthrights of this nation!
Proper, undiluted, clear, and freedom embracing governance can
only occur through the guarantee of respect and protection of human
individual existence without fear of trespass. The government needs
to get out of peoples private lives, like family court, et al, and
privatize that realm as well. So long as government chooses to meander
into the dynamics of "family", individuals will play the
government gambit to bankruptcy both economically and spiritually.
Let, no force, the people to resolve their matters amongst themselves.
The state of "law" in this country and others has gone
completely insane due to the failing of this precept. Law does not
belong in the household. Again, this is a situation born of mistaken
beliefs. The bible and other such texts were created in fact to
train people into more manageable masses as the populations of the
world grew. Just as the practice of "bloodletting" and
phrenology were once used as medical treatments. The world has not
only outgrown these modalities, but indeed suffers great physiological,
economic, and spiritual well-being due to these ancient practices.
It is as ridiculous as it would be to walk into a huge hospital
with bed after bed, with people being drained of their blood to
heal their illnesses from AIDS to Strepp Throat.
The following actions must be taken in order to provide the citizens
of the world the freedom, real "Freedom" to live their
lives as they choose with respect to their beliefs:
- Remove all tax advantages and provisions for Religious organizations.
They are no different from secular corporations.
- Remove all Federal and state "Holidays" which
are tied to or in any way represent religious observances.
- Write explicit legislation that no religious icons or propaganda
will be accepted or promoted in the "Public domain"
including all buildings and public areas, broadcast or televised,
distributed door to door or by mail, electronic or on media. The
Internet is an exception when and only when it replaces or works
in conjunction with actual entities as a stand-alone address or
- Remove all not-for-profit status provisions and modify non-profit
legislation to specifically prevent religiously based organizations
from attaining non-profit status.
- Make tax provisions for individuals only, to accrue tax
exemptions for a percentage of their individual expenses related
specifically to their practice of their religious rites (i.e.
altars, incense, crucifix, books, etc
- Remove religious rhetoric from ALL legal and public proceedings
(i.e. swearing in ceremonies or in courts of law shall be conducted
on the basis of law and the observances of the constitution of
the country, no more bibles!)
- All public schools should provide education based solely
on scientific and secular performance and needs. No amount of
theological information or beliefs can be tolerated in primary
public education. The discussion and investigation of "beliefs",
especially in regard to "religious" sects or writings,
can and should only be the purview of private schools or in classes
within the "Humanities" of secular education at the
secondary and tertiary levels, labeled clearly as such and only
as option to other modalities in public institutions, never as
a sole requisite without at least one other optional program.
The only exception again, is a private institution that makes
clear its position and choice of doctrine before enrollment.
When it comes to the issue of governance of a group, there can
be no belief systems at play other than clear and concise rules
of law and society based on reason and common sense. There can only
be apriorae, in the form of a simple and clearly adopted set of
concepts without burdensome specificity, to be interpreted in specific
situations, not by law, but democratic consensual acceptance amongst
those at hand who choose to participate, regardless of status or
position. This is true democracy, and has never existed in modern
For instance, if on the occasion of creating policy on some specific
issue regarding invading a country to institute social reform and
stabilization through education, a website would be created to offer
all available knowledge regarding the time, cost, risk, and reasoning
for such an action, and a term of time be broadcast on television
and the web for the citizenry to review, analyze and respond with
online voting from home or library or other centers. The public
would be firstly more involved in the "We the people
aspect of government, secondly more apt to resolve their position
via dialogue and lobbying on a small and personal scale at the hearts
of the population all across the country rather than in only the
hallowed halls of Washington DC, and therefore the responsibility
of a vote collected in this manner would reflect on the populace
as government. The cost of publicity management and propaganda would
surely become more manageable as the policing of information would
be the primary concern. But this is a larger, more complex vision.
The immediate concern for the survival of the world is to Privatize
Spirituality. The only "laws" governing this should be
to protect individuals from actions against them for exercising
the rituals of their practices within reason (i.e. sacred days of
observance not counted as unexcused absences from work, et al).
You must remove the interplay of religious ideologies from the
realm of governance. You can begin the process in this country.
You can set the roadmap for the education of good governance as
Aristotle did. You could set this country on a course of true greatness
as a true leader of human "rights" not laws! Theocracy
is a personal matter. Just as the Amish in this country live their
beliefs without infringement on others, so too should all other
belief systems. Those, which can intermingle without conflict, simply
show themselves to be more humanistic and respectful. Those, which
choose war and destruction as their mode of engagement, prove themselves
to be irresponsible and inhumane. This is the only place where governance
belongs, to govern the interplay of the people. Those who choose
destruction must be re-educated and their mistaken beliefs broken.
Say it explicitly. There is no longer any justification on this
fragile and small planet for the random acts of fanatics without
respect for the sanctity of human life! It is exactly the same as
with individual behaviors of murder and violations against others.
In the courts it is matter of intent and further, the degree of
intent. Organized belief systems should be treated in exactly the
same manner. Should they transgress the charter of personal beliefs
and behavior to infringe upon the free existence of others, it is
absolutely no different that the infringement of private domain
in the case of a trespassing.
Many great leaders have addressed this issue of governance and
Mistaken beliefs, including Aristotle and one that comes particularly
to mind, Nichiren, a Buddhist Priest of the 13th century whose treatise
the, "Risho an Koku Ron" details the invasions and even
natural disasters befalling the country of Japan, and more to come
in his predictions, which actually happened, due to the adherence
of mistaken beliefs of the highly influenced Shogunate government
by the Nembutsu sect at the time. I know that you too are a leader
of potential greatness. I know too that you are a person of strong
beliefs. I know too, that for you to become a truly great leader
of man, you must hold your religious predilections privately and
create a truly free governance of man on moral and ethical grounds
with strict humanist goals grounded on earth and common sense.
With my great respect,
Sifu, Sylvain Chamberland
Threefold Lotus Buddhist Priest
P.O. BOX 3832 o TUPELO, MISSISSIPPIo 38803-3832