The New Cult in Washington
From Robert Keith Spenser’s The Cult of the All-Seeing Eye, pp. 43-46.
A temple will be erected in Washington, D. C., for “the citizen of the world” to develop “universal understanding” in place of his “national limitations.”
Planners for this $5 million edifice, called “The Temple of Understanding,” say endorsers include Swami Prabhavananda of the Vedanda Society, Hollywood; Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Socialist leader Norman Thomas, Chester Bowles, special advisor to the President; Swami Bhaskaranand Paramhamsa of “UNISM,” New Delhi, India; Thomas B. Watson, president of International Business Machines; Eleanor Roosevelt, the United Lodge of Theosophists, New York City, and others.
The futuristic building, characterized as a “spiritual UN” will be a “symbol of the brotherhood and sisterhood of mankind,” according to the brochure issued from Temple headquarters, Greenwich, Conn. A wing of this modern-day Tower of Babel will be accorded to each of the six international faiths: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity and Islam.
AMONG OTHER endorsers listed are Jack Benny, Douglas MacArthur II, ambassador to Japan; Max Lerner of the New York Post, Prof. J. B. Rhine of Duke University; Roland Gammon of the Laymen’s Movement and World Parliament of Religions; Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, president of Guatemala; Sir Roy Welensky, prime minister, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; Rev. Fred Jordan, president, International Spiritualists, Norfolk, Va.; Philip S. Linnik, director Universal Brotherhood Center, Glen Cove, Long Island, N. Y.; James A. Linen, president Time-Life Inc., and S. A. Mohamed, cultural attache of the United Arab Republic, Washington, D. C.
A “world publicity campaign” for donations is being launched. The names of the donors are to be enscribed on the stone walks of the temple.
THE SYMBOLISM planned for the building dates back to the black magic practised by the high priests of ancient Egypt. The building will contain a giant eye — a circular pool of water which reflects light beamed onto it by a dome faceted to resemble a many-colored diamond. The Temple brochure states:
“The dome will be illuminated all night in order to indicate, symbolically, that even while the world sleeps, the light of understanding continues to shine.”
WHILE TEMPLE publicists proclaim the idea for the temple arose quite spontaneously out of a talk between two woman friends, shrines for “the brotherhood of man” have been systematically used throughout history to create a mystique of collectivity.
Money was raised to build a similar shrine in London by the occultist, the late Mrs. Annie Besant. A sort of Eleanor Roosevelt of her day, Mrs. Besant worked closely with [Jawaharlal] Nehru and Krishna Menon and was a founder of the Fabian Parliamentary League, a British socialist group in which Sidney Webb, Hubert Land, H. H. Champion and Bernard Shaw were active.
MRS. BESANT’S temple featured six symbolic presentations of the six great international faiths in the lecture hall. Visiting “adepts” contemplated a mural of a six-pointed Theosophical star made of two interlocking triangles connected by a serpent.
This theme is repeated in the “Temple of Understanding.” The brochure informs us that the temple’s six wings “will contain the cultural facets of the ‘diamond of truth.'”
IN NEW YORK the “Friends of the Meditation Room” have long met regularly in the United Nations’ Meditation Room. In the center of this shrine a beam of light plays of polished ore. On April 24, 1957, when the Meditation Room was reopened, the late Dag Hammarskjold, UN Secretary General, described this pagan stone as an altar to universal religion.
“The altar is the symbol of the God of all,” he said.
The Temple of Understanding also will have its meditation room, to be known as the “Hall of Illumination.” There, it is planned that the Illuminati, Masters of Wisdom, Our Leaders of the Temple of Understanding, will train the public in the new humanistic cult.
Meetings, film showings and courses of study in the world’s great religions will be held in the “Hall of Illumination.”
IT IS INTERESTING to note that for some time now a group who call themselves “the New Group of World Servers” have been holding “full moon meditation meetings” at the Carnegie Endowment International Centre in New York. On Dec. 21, 1961, this writer attended one of these meetings where pamphlets were distributed describing “the New World Religion.” One “ World Goodwill” booklet described what some of the backers of “The Temple of Understanding” may have in mind.
“A new type of mystic is coming to be recognized . . . he distinguished by his lack of interest in his own brand of religious beliefs.”
WHERE THE internationalist would-be elite gather to plan and plot world government I heard a determined group of “World Servers” led by Foster Bailey chant in unison their eerie Great Invocation.
“Let purpose guide the little wills of men—
“The purpose which the Masters know and serve.”
Is the real purpose of the world-minded Masters of Unism to guide and control us by pagan rites?
The Temple of Understanding
Unwrapping her gauzy veils a “White Madonna” danced on the podium. She symbolized “Christianity” or the “Mother of the World encompassing forms of the creative feminine spirit which has unfolded over the centuries from Egypt, Babylonia, China and Europe,” said a program distribute at the Temple of Understanding’s benefit dinner.
The dinner, held Oct. 12 at the Waldorf Astoria, featured this dramatic skit on “Christianity” and five other skits on the major faiths to commemorative $5,000,000 Temple to be built on 50 acres by the Potomac River, Washington, D. C.
The Temple brochure describes the edifice as a “Spiritual United Nations” designed to fulfill the rituals of the six major faiths and replace “nationalist limitations” with “universal understanding” for “citizens of the world!”
PUBLICISTS for this tax-exempt “Project Understanding” claim support from the “pennies donated by hairdressers, taxicab drivers and workers all over the world.” But judging from the Temple’s printed list of sponsors it can count on more influential backing. For instance:
John D. Rockefeller IV, Socialist leader Norman Thomas, Rt. Rev. James A. Pike of San Francisco, Cary Grant, Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara, a founding member of the Fund for the Republic’s Center for Democratic Institutions; militant pacifist and Nobel Peace Prize and Nobel Peace Prize winner Philip Noel Baker; Holland D. Roberts of the Academic Freedom Committee, a former head of the Communist party’s California Labor School who was identified as a “party member” at a Jan. 22, 1956 hearing of the Subversive Activities Control Board; U. Alexis Johnson, depute undersecretary of state for political affairs; Sen. Kenneth B. Keating (R-N.Y.), Prof. Pitirim A. Sorokin, director of Harvard University’s Research Center for Creative Altruism and Brooks Hays, special assistant to President Kennedy.
AT THE WALDORF’S Starlight Roof I heard Mrs. Dickerman Hollister, president of the Temple of Understanding (P. O. Box 191, Greenwich, Conn.), address some 500 UN delegates and socialites. In a voice choked with fervor, she said:
“We are sending an idea to create a global symbol of the world.”
Then she struck with a wand an egg held aloft by a child. Out popped a “magic” golden tree with six branches on either side.
THE SYMBOLISM is not surprising in view of the mystic appeal of the internationalist dream. For example, one of the Temple sponsors is Roland Gammond, former director of the Laymen’s Movement, World Parliament of Religions. This international, non-sectarian group of big businessmen, psychiatrists and other professional men meet in the seclusion of Wainwright House, Milton Point, Rye, N. Y., to study scientific mind control.
I secured the texts of some of the Wainwright House seminars which treat of such topics as “clairvoyance,” “automatic writing,” “hallucinations,” “religion as part of an enlarged science” and “the psychic content of the alchemical symbols.”
According to this year’s Sept.-Oct. issue of the Laymen’s Review published at Wainwright House, the Movement “spearheaded” the establishment of the UN Meditations Room which happens to contain some of those “alchemical symbols.”
THE UN MEDITATION Room mural is divided into 72 separate sections—the tetragrammaton or Divine Name of 72 words. It depicts triangles and pyramids representing “the deity” in accordance with the ancient Babylonian symbols. Also a part of this mural is a spiral figure intertwined with a diagonal line which may represent Hermes’ wand, the Cadeuces, traditional symbol of the sex forces or Kundalini.
The mural’s center sphere and outer circle roughly form an eye. The “all seeing eye” of the deity theme is to be repeated in the Temple building by a glass eye faceted like a diamond to reflect the rays of the sun through the six wings.
IT IS INTERESTING to note that the Interparliamentary Union—Temple of Understanding sponsor Sen. Keating is IPU secretary—adopted a few weeks ago as its emblem: “A Temple of Law with six columns for the six continents to show the Universality of the Union.” The IPU, which has been financed in part by the tax-exempt Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, consists of a training corps of legislators who meet regularly with their Communist “counterparts” to set up a world parliamentary government.
WHILE SOME PEOPLE may dismiss these humanistic temples as another example of “goofy” internationalism, apologists for Moscow view them as a serious component in their drive to promote the “Social Gospel.”
TWO TEMPLE sponsors are included in the Senate Internal Security’s “list of the most typical sponsors of front organizations” published April 23, 1956. They are:
- Jerome Davis, New Haven, Conn., educator who heads Promoting Enduring Peace, a group whose literature whose literature is distributed by the Arcane School (operated by the tax-exempt “non-political” Lucis Trust on the 32nd and 33rd floors of 11 W. 42nd St., N. Y.) The international Lucis Trust network, which has substantial financial backing, regularly holds “Full Moon Meditation Meetings” at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to promote UNESCO and the “New World Religion.”
- Prof. Kirtley Mather of the Geologic Museum, Cambridge, Mass., who has served on a four-man panel evaluating “physical research” at Wainwright House.
ANOTHER TEMPLE backer is Rev. Lee H. Ball, executive secretary of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, an organization cited as a front by the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on April 23, 1956. On July 7, 1953, Ben Gitlow, former secretary of the Communist party, testified under oath that Ball was one of “the principle individuals involved in the Communist conspiracy to subvert the church for Communist purposes.”
Shouldn’t they add the hammer and sickle symbol to the second “Meditation Room” slated for the new Washington Temple?
This is the stupidest article ever written. If this is a new cult, it certainly has some interesting backers. Jack Benny died in 1974 and Eleanor Roosevelt died in 1962. Must make for some interesting parties.
Written in 1962. New then and spot on as far as accurate reporting. As far as history, it shows the UN were preoccupied with new age spirituality (and still are if you look close enough). Some of the players and orgs written about maintain influence in esoteric circles.
Hi, how could Edith Kermit Roosevelt have written this article if she died on September 30, 1948 (per wikipedia)? Also do you have any links about this $5million dollar temple? I couldn’t find any info. The only result that came up was some Mormon temple in Rome when I searched for it.
Newspaper columnist and granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt