The New Cult in Washington

– Edith Kermit Roosevelt, The New Hampshire Sunday Times
, April 1, 1962 (© Edith Kermit Roosevelt Syndicate)

From Robert Keith Spenser’s The Cult of the All-Seeing Eye, pp. 43-46.

Temple of Understanding 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
, » 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

Eleanor Roosevelt, the United Lodge of
, New York City, and others.

The futuristic building, characterized as a « spiritual
 » 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

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

“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

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
 » 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.

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

– Edith Kermit Roosevelt, The New Hampshire Sunday Times
, October 21, 1962 (© Edith Kermit Roosevelt

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

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

“We are sending an idea to create a global symbol of the

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

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

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:

  1. 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. »
  2. 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?

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