AUTHOR’S SAGA

A New York New Haven & Hartford train was hurtling through deep countryside while a passenger car driven by Eddie was approaching a thickly treed unmarked crossing in the woods, where the train hit the car and killed Eddie.  That crash had enormous consequences, leading right to this website. Eddie was my mother’s brother. In memory of him and the consequences of his death I always use my full middle name in writing and related professional work.

Uncle Eddie left a widow, my Aunt Gertrude, and a two-year-old son, my cousin David, one year older than I. Aunt Gertrude had great difficulty over many years in getting any compensation from the NYNH&H Railroad corporation. In her bitterness, she became fiercely anti-capitalist and joined the ‘fellow travelers,’ as communists and communist sympathizers were called in those days in the United States. My black-haired, black-eyed, white-skinned, brilliant, beautiful mother, who had been born in White Russia, now Belarus, was intensely anti-communist, and especially anti-Stalinist, and never forgave the ‘Reds’ for slaughtering the whole Romanov family in that awful basement. My father, a bon-vivant businessman, stayed out of it. Born in New York City, being blonde and blue-eyed with a Germanic name, and remembering German having been spoken in his home when he was a child (he was orphaned at 10 and taken in elsewhere), he assumed that he was German, and looked down on my mother as a mere slav. Postwar emigres all agreed that he was really Russian; the Germanic name and language were ruses to escape, travel, and make it to America. My mother had a great laugh.

Occasionally, Aunt Gertrude would come to dinner without David, and my father would manage to be elsewhere, but I as a child would sit through those extroardinary dinners. For Mom and Aunt Gertrude would argue ferociously about Communism. And I, although a mere child, realized that they were really arguing about ideas. This made a deep and lifelong impression on me. It marked the beginning of this enterprise.

This was reflected in my relationship with my beloved cousin, for although we were both only children who wanted to be brothers, we were serious adversaries. We became highly versed in political affairs of the United States and the Soviet Union, and about communism versus our American Republic, and the inevitable war between the two countries and their allies. When David visited our house on Park Avenue the two of us would careen through the lobby halls, out into the street, and back in again, fighting all the way. One tenant, who occasionally witnessed that, thought we were great, spunky kids, and would occasionally leave two tickets for a forthcoming New York Giants football home game for the Seadler boy and his friend. For, he was big jolly Tim Mara, owner of the team. I got to know his son Wellington, too. For Dave and me, riding the subway to the Polo Grounds, rooting for our team, and riding back, was political truce time. Back to being just two kids, instead of prototype warriors of the coming war. The deaths of Tim and Wellington Mara were very personal to me. To this day I’m a staunch Giant fan.

Life was not all war, scuffles, school and football. On Sundays I was dragged across the Avenue to Saint Ignatius Loyola Church. Those were moments where I not only enjoyed the pomp and circumstance, the ‘smells and bells,’ but also got special attention in an otherwise lonely world where my parents were out partying and traveling amidst the propeller-set of their busy socialite lives. But after services, on the wide long steps down to the sidewalk were priests speaking harshly and handing out pamphlets. They were, as Mom explained one day in response to my query, Coughlinites, members of Father Charles Coughlin’s movement, down from Canada, handing out copies of ‘Social Justice,’ a vicious anti-Semitic rag. I felt that the church shouldn’t allow that on its steps. Mom explained that there was a lot of anti-Semitism in the church. So I strongly averred that I didn’t want to go there anymore, and Mom accepted that. Dad didn’t go; he was what today we call a ‘secular humanist.’ During my teens, Aunt Ida of the French side of our family, the Johannets, was a good friend of the famous Bishop Fulton J Sheen, and urged me to meet with him, for he would bind me back into the fold. Despite that break, I have stayed on the fringes and kept ties with the Jesuits for intellectual reasons.

Our family circle was widely multi-ethnic: Russians and Irish, mostly, but much else, and about equal among Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Our cooks were always Negroes, and I developed strong bonds with them. Mom and Dad were rabid Joe Louis fans, and frequented Harlem nightclubs. My nurses were all German Catholic.

My parents were beautiful dancers, especially rhumba, for they had been to Cuba several times and become afficianados. As I had in my early twenties. That included not only Marti y Belona’s famous dance hall in Old Habana (during Batista’s regime), where I met Marta Reyes, a gorgeous part Chinese Cuban and my flaming paramour, but also the Palladium in New York City when it was a raw Latino dance hall (it got fancied up when it became famous) featuring Machito, Arsenio Rodriguez, and many others. Sometimes Dad would take me to El Morocco. During my early married days in Fort Madison along the Mississippi in Iowa I hung out at the LULAC Club (League of United Latin American Citizens) at the Mexican end of town, instead of at the Country Club, where executives were supposed to be. The LULAC was entirely Mexican, and there I learned to dance the corrida, and won a Mexican Independence Day Fiesta corrida contest with exotically beautiful Tinie Mendez. Nevertheless, I still prefer slow and sensuous classical Afro-Cuban, especially the guajira, guajira son, and son montuno.

Now, back to school. Inasmuch as I had done well in class work, had skipped grades, and done well on an IQ test, the school authorities convinced my parents to allow them to send me to a school with RA (Rapid Advance) classes, which they did, and where I did 7th and 8th years in one year. However, the school was all boys in a very rough area, sort of a ‘blackboard jungle.’ When the guys learned that I lived on Park Avenue my life became a hell of beatings. I knew nothing about how to fight. Mom beseached Dad to take me out of there before they kill me. Dad refused, saying that it was part of my education. Inasmuch as I survived, he was right.

I became friends with a fellow named Frank Diamond, and we decided to have what you might call a cultural exchange. I would visit his home and then he would visit mine. Frank lived in a ‘railroad apartment.’ That is, all rooms were in a line, like cars in a train. His kid sister, about 12, was sick and home in bed. Large cockroaches crawled all over the wall beside her and over her blanket. Frank said, yes, they have rats, too. The apartment was very cold in the winter and steamy hot in the summer. Then Frank visited me, and was as stunned about the opulence of our apartment and life on Park Avenue as I had been about the poverty of his life and apartment on the East Side. I never got over the exchange. My mother, who had been quite poor, told me that George Bernard Shaw said that there is only one crime: poverty. But in my young mind I had already linked poverty with war.

The War increasingly overshadowed my childhood. Dad became friends with a group of Canadian Black Watch soldiers, and had them up to our place when they were in town. They drank well and sang well, risque songs in Celtic, of which I still remember one refrain. Boy Stephen looked up to and adored those jolly giants. I knew something of the horrors of war from Dad’s big book of photos from World War I, but I was unprepared for that awful day when my mother came into my room, solemly held my hands, and gently informed me that all of those fellows had been killed in a raid; I think it was the Dieppe raid. I cried, and still tear up when I think of it. For some curious reason I have never gotten over that. God how I hated war.

It was the worst of times. The world was going up in flames of hate, driven by the whirlwinds of bigotry, racism, and other malignances. It was the Era of the Third Reich, of Naziism in the heart of Christendom, of Stalin’s Reign of Terror savaging the Soviet Union, of Fascism in Italy driving its aggressions in Africa, of Fascism in Spain driving brutal civil war, of Shinto-Tanakaism (my term) driving Japan as it slashed, slaughtered and raped its way through Manchuria, China, Burma, India and Pacific islands, of pandemic bigotry, racism, cross-burnings and lynchings in the United States, and of World War. As a child I had sensed that it would roll on evermore, and began conceiving this work to combat it. Fortunately so, for we are still enthralled by the worst of the past.

When I got to Columbia College of Columbia University I majored in Physics and minored in Mathematics and Philosophy, because Mathematics and Physics were the foundation of all natural science, all natural philosophy, all true knowledge of the universe, and Philosophy is Love of Wisdom. Sir James Jeans had written Physics and Philosophy, and Sir Bertrand Russell had written Philosophy and Politics. Join them at their intersection, and we have Physics, Philosophy and Politics — the Essential Triumvirate of Societal Wisdom.  But there is also of much false Wisdom, which I needed to know about in order to work meaningfully in political philosophy. For, I saw political philosophy as the foundation of all benign and malignant human movements, especially the malignant movements such as Communism, Nazism and Fascism, and bigotry and racism. (I had not yet learned the word ‘ideology.’) And already I was working towards some new principles, methods, science to fight the malignant political philosophies. Despite the likelihood of simply being killed in the War, I took heavy course loads in order to get out of school and on with real life. For Physical Education I took only combat courses: boxing and wrestling.

A few weeks after my 18th birtday I was in uniform, in the artillery in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, getting trained on 105mm howitzers, bazookas, grenades, 30 and 50 caliber machine guns, running obstacle courses and live battle courses, setting up radios, reading maps, and doing long forced marches with heavy packs under searing sun on treeless plains. However, my dogtags had ‘NR’ in the religion space, meaning No Religion. For that I was relentlessly persecuted by the righteous religionist non-coms, with copious guard duty, latrine orderly, and KP with strong GI soap until my fingers split open like over-cooked hot dogs. In the barracks three punks, Wasnieski, Rucki and Rocky Roth, continually harassed a small Jewish recruit, and I being 6’1″ tall and fight trained, stood in for him in what became extremely vicious barracks fights. Yet I ended up in non-combat work — where I could see many badly wounded GIs. It got to me. I applied for combat duty, and received my orders. Then, at the last minute they were cancelled.

I was directed to meet with a Major in a shack with a rickety wooden desk and a couple of rickety wooden chairs. “At ease. Sit down corporal.” He explained that such a cancellation merited more than just a piece of paper. He had some papers on the desk in front him, and further explained that my record showed that I had been in many fights back at Fort Sill, and therefore am considered a hot headed, unstable battle risk, not worth the risk for what little good I might do. I was furious and fought back, asserting that people would not accept blocking a soldier from combat because he had a record of combat.

The Major expected a fight and switched to Plan B. He reached into a drawer and pulled out some more papers, and waved them at me. “We have more on you, corporal. Back at base in your barracks you had books on physics, math, philosophy, world affairs and such. You strongly believed that the U.S. would get into a war with the Soviet Union after this one is over, and you were working on a new defense system that would undermine them by negating their political philosophy, the pro-violence part. You talked about all of that openly. Well, we officers agree with you and want you to continue that work — for the riest of your life. So, we’re saving your life so you can. If you refuse this offer, we can get you dishonorably discharged or court-martialed into prison for a limited term. That way you will still be alive, and with your drive you will continue that vital work no matter what. Your company XO knows of this cancellation but not why. You are not to discuss this discussion with anyone.” He had hit a big nerve; it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I accepted. We both rose. We both saluted. He held out his hand and we shook. “Best of luck, soldier.” Once outside, I walked, stunned, into the future.  Consistent with all of that was the fact that I had done well enough on the Army AGCT test to apply for Officers Candidate School, but chose not to:  This was not my war; the next one was.

When the world looked very dark my mother sometimes quoted the motto of the Christopher Society (no longer in existence): “Tis better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.” Now I would be able to live on to light many candles.

The dinners with my mother and Aunt Gertrude had led to that meeting. That meeting has led to this website.

After the war I returned to Columbia College on the GI Bill, and completed College in three rather four years. Then after some graduate courses in Atomic and Nuclear Physics I went out into the world to do what I had to do. While waiting for security clearance for a government job and therefore unable to take some other job, I floated a bit and joined a West Side gang led by Bunny Villa. I have often wondered what we fought about; how did it fit into my work. A few fights later I went out for the Golden Gloves. In a prelim fight I beat the hell out of Norman Towne, 6 foot 6, 220 pounds of solid black muscle. My PAL (Police Athletic League) coach Richie Limbandi called me into his office later, and rather than congratulate me, looked me hard in the eye and asked, “Who are you trying to kill? I want you out of here. You’re a Park Avenue kid, an engineer, an angry youth and I want you out of here. You don’t belong here. Get out.” I wouldn’t quit. A few days later he told me that PAL scouts had spotted a helluva fighter at Department of Parks and he refused to let me come up against him. I must come down out of Unlimited weight class quick. Gave me a tough diet. I got flu and couldn’t run in Central Park in the snow any more. And fighting with flu can get you killed. I was out. That fighter was Floyd Patterson, who later became World Heavyweight Champion. Thanks to Richie I’m still alive to write this website. But, who knows. I mighta done to Patterson what I did to Towne.

Later on I fitted that fight game into my work, into my scheme. There was an amateur fight culture, fully developed, with strict rules, ethics, and legal. At the core of every ‘culture’ is cult, that is, a belief system with related behaviors and symbols. The Golden Gloves was a culture of voluntary individual combat for prizes. That was vastly different from the world of mass combat for malignant purposes, in particular, war. And that remained my target.

From here on we must skip and sketch mercilessly in order to keep this within tolerable length.  More details are available in Marquis Who’sWho in the World, in America, in Science and Engineering, in Finance and Business, and in American Education. At the end of some of those biographical sketches is an italicized paragraph:

In retrospect, a single predominant thread has woven through my life since childhood: to gain such learning and skills as to revolutionize mankind’s thinking, slay the dragons of racism, religionism, ethnicism, and other ideologies of malevolence, oppression, and war, and bring true peace for the first time. To accomplish that mission I have developed a comprehensive framework, the new field of ideologics, and comprehensive works presenting and employing that framework,  beginning with the book, Principia Ideologica: A Treatise on Combatting Human Malignance.

Everything in this saga, from childhood through prep school, through college and graduate work, through jobs and all else has been in that context.  The new field is pronounced eye’ dee oh low’ jiks, because its etymology stems from Logos, not logic. That derives from John 1.1 in the New Testament, viz., “In the beginning was the Word…” In the original Greek ‘Word’ is Logos, meaning Idea or the expression of Idea. That, in turn, reflected ancient mythology that the World was created out of Idea, which existed first.  That, in turn, expressed ancient wisdom on the importance of Idea in human affairs.  From here on in this ‘about’ we will note only certain highlights.

A most profound and major highlight occurred in my Washington D.C. phase, where by day I worked for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and once a week in the evenings studied quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology at The George Washington University under the late great George Gamow, the primary original author of the Big Bang Theory of the the origin of our universe. Homework consumed the other evenings.  (He commuted to Washington from Los Alamos.) The theory has subsequently been greatly extended, enhanced, advanced, tested and verified by many other physical cosmologists. For one of the courses (I forget which one) the final exam was to present an approved topic to the class of select seven or eight students and Prof. Gamow at the blackboard, and then withstand questions and attacks by the students and Gamow.  I chose as my topic the reverse process from the famous conversion of matter into energy that underlay nuclear power and the atomic and nuclear bombs: the conversion of energy into matter.  It proved to be far harder than I had anticipated, but it went well and I got an A for the course.  Those courses enormously deepened and advanced my knowledge and understanding of the nature of nature and the cosmos and of knowledge itself, which would become of essential value 40 years later when I would undertake the extremely difficult six-year-long task of writing PRINCIPIA IDEOLOGICA, especially its Part V. The Ascent of Intellect and Part VII, The Quest. It was during the Washington phase that I learned the word ‘ideology’ from my friend (to this day), physicist and historian, Arnold Kramish.

It was also during the Washington phase that I was informed that cousin David and Aunt Gertrude had ‘fled’ to Eastern Europe. David settled in East Germany, married a German girl whose father had served time in a camp for having participated in anti-Hitler activities, and had several children. He also earned two doctorates in the hard (mathematical)sciences, and became a member of the East German Academy of Sciences. He also became one of Fidel Castro’s favorite visiting lecturers.  Dave and I debated the violence core of Marxism, as created by Marx and Engels, that is, the Dialectics of Dialectical Materialism, which legitimated and even required Communist force and violence in domestic and foreign affairs. We debated by mail, in great depth, at the level physical chemistry, debating, for instance, the time scale of changes of state, and whether these constituted what are called ‘leaps’ in Dialectics, which calls for sudden, not evolutionary or gradual, changes in the states of society, that is, calls for revolutions.  I photographed some of our letters and published the pages in my tract DEFENSES OF PEACE, which I would write in Fort Madison, Iowa, as narrated below. Those exchanges constituted early stages of what would become ‘Reductive Nullification’ in Ideologic Defense Systems. David died of a massive stroke in the 1970s. His children, now grown, will have nothing to do with me. The ‘Cold War’ has continuosly and harmfully impacted my entire life, from childhood until now and beyond. For my entire life I have known and felt the power and cruelties of malignant ideology — the same ideology — that was concocted in the mid 19th century and lives on. Hence my commitment. 

Years after Washington a cluster of highlights occurred in Fort Madison, Iowa. I had been recruited via Booz Allen Hamilton to participate in the reorganization of the W A Sheaffer Pen Company. (The Alexander Hamilton Institute had recruited me from an engineering list, sent me a provocative pamphlet, “What Kind of Executive Does an Engineer Make?”, induced me to take a two-year business course, and got me started.) In due course I filled three executive positions simultaneously. What they were is not important. What is important is that that comprised the base upon which I became Advertising and Promotion Manager of the Top Ten Tri-State Rodeo there, whence I learned much about a rough and raw side of life. And taught World Politics at Iowa State Penitentiary, an adaptation of a course I had given in the East, including at Time Inc and Sarah Lawrence College, under the aegis of the American Foundation for Political Education, which had been founded by the University of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.  The course became a very popular winner, and the prison psychologist, Dr Nardini, called me in to inform me that the course had broken down the criminal subculture of the participants, thereby facilitating his work in building the inmates back up into socially viable citizens. This was enormously welcome news, with great import for the Mission, the Enterprise.

More important, still, was the writing that I undertook. The house, with the usual bustle of wife and little kids at home was not conducive to difficult creative writing.  So a local comrade, Gordon Lane, let me put up an umbrella tent on a high promontory of his farm that overlooked the valley, the Mississippi River, and far Eastward over the woodlands of Illinois. I furnished it with a small wooden table and wooden chair, and hung a propane lantern from the inner spokes.  In winter the tent was bitter cold and in summer blistering hot. Storms would occasionally tear the tent down, but I would bend the twisted aluminum struts back into shape with pliars, reinforce them with wire, and sew up the ripped canvass with shoemaker’s needle and thread. In good weather I would just sit outside, stare into the inspiring vista, and think. Then sharpen my wooden pencils with a knife and continue writing in a plain spiral notebook.  What ultimately emerged was a tract entitled DEFENSES OF PEACE, a title that came from the famous phrase in the Charter of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization):  “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” In my thesis, the operative warful contents in the minds of men are ideologies, and we must therefore focus on dealing with malignant ideologies.  My secretary at the company typed up the finished manuscript, ran it off on one of the company thermo-something machines, stapled its 45 pages in two Parts and a Footnote, and  I mailed copies to key personnages here and abroad (1963).  

Defenses of Peace became an instant success here and abroad, led to speaking engagements and writing requests, and launched the enterprise.  I adapted it into a series of five evening broadcasts over local radio station KXGI, and it was repeated by popular request. Years later when I was setting up an office in town, the telephone installer asked, “Aren’t you the fella that gave that series of broadcast a few years ago?” “Yes,” I replied, “What a memory.” “Well,” he continued, “my church, the Santa Fe Methodist Church, borrowed the tapes for our adult discussion groups. Still have them.” That was heartening, because the broadcasts did not talk down from the complex and elevated discourse of the original tract, yet were accessible and of interest to “jus’ folks.”

When Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council he issued a famous Encyclical entitled Pacem In Terris (Peace on Earth).  A major International Convocation on Pacem In Terris was convened in New York City, which although in the spirit of the Encyclical was entirely secular, sponsored by Time Inc among others. Content was conceived, directed and organized by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in California, headed by Dr Robert Maynard Hutchins, former Chancellor of the University of Chicago. I was invited. John Sheaffer, the youngest of the Sheaffer two brothers in Sheaffer Pen’s management, and to whom I reported, refused to let me attend. Couldn’t spare me, he said. Anti-Catholic bigotry was considered by some to be the subtext. I resigned on principle, and went. It was a major event, and provided a wealth of experience, conversations, materials, notes, and contacts for the Mission. When I returned to Fort Madison I found that John had begun a series of vengeances, and my mainline business career was over. I set up my own consulting business, managed for a few years, and then we returned to New York.  That Convocation became known as Pacem I, for two more were convened in subsequent years, in Geneva and Washington DC.

During all previous work I had deliberately avoided one of the primary causes of oppression and war throughout history: religion. Too hot a topic, which might undermine establishment of this difficult new field at its birth. Get it started first. Now, in the 21st century, in World War IV, religion is the problem, and must be treated. Any malignant ideology, whether secular, religious, or religio-secular, must be defended against, and treated by Ideologic Defense Systems. Therefore, in the past decade I have begun to treat Islamic Jihad, using Ideologic’s Reductive Nullification. However, the usual Ideologic subtleties of epistemology and the nature and validity of knowledge, ideas and ideology are not needed. It is merely necessary to show and publicize that there is no divinity to that Jihad. Massive classical Koranic scholarship has already been done for that, especially that of Sir William Muir in the latter 19th century, based in Scotland, the world center for Islamic studies. I had merely to select and quote. The result is the De-Sanctification of Jihad.  This is in keeping with the Muslim secularization movement, and with ex-Muslim websites warning Westerners of the true nature, invalidity, and menace of Islam, such as the website at islam-watch.org. This new focus of Ideologic Defense Systems is urgent in view of Jihadic nuclear bomb menace to the U.S. Homeland.  Application of IDS to this new War is provided on Pages 7A. ENDING ISLAMIC JIHAD, 7B. NULLIFYING ISLAMIC JIHAD and 7C. CREATING THE KORAN.

In the process, Ideologic Defenses of Peace will have begun to be built, upon  sufficient completion of which Mankind will enjoy genuine Peace for the first time.

 

 

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