Proud Member

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 meetings.

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:

  1. Remove all tax advantages and provisions for Religious organizations. They are no different from secular corporations.
  2. Remove all Federal and state "Holidays" which are tied to or in any way represent religious observances.
  3. 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 URL.
  4. Remove all not-for-profit status provisions and modify non-profit legislation to specifically prevent religiously based organizations from attaining non-profit status.
  5. 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…).
  6. 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!)
  7. 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 America.

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

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