Victory For A New World Of Understanding for Humanity
Note: this document was written in June 2009 following the important breakthrough for our project of the Sydney Morning Herald publicly apologising to the WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT, then called the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood (FHA). The complete documentation of the milestones in our 16-year stunning victory over persecution—basically over the inevitable resistance to having the issue of the human condition addressed—are documented on our page.
The following apology to the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood (FHA)—now known as the World Transformation Movement (WTM)—was published in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on the 6 June 2009:
‘On 22 April 1995, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article by Reverend Doctor David Millikan which implied that the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood placed demands on its members which tore families apart. The Herald withdraws such inference and apologises to the Foundation for the harm caused by the publication.’
This apology is a great milestone in the FHA’s efforts to defy and defeat a 20 year campaign of persecution that has been waged against the critically important understanding of the human condition that the FHA was established to promote and defend.
This campaign of persecution—essentially an all-out attempt to destroy the FHA and decimate the reputations of its directors and —was taken into the public arena in 1995 by a Reverend of the Uniting Church who produced an ABC-TV Four Corners program and a feature article in the weekend edition of the Sydney Morning Herald about the FHA and its work.
The major events in our struggle to ‘clear our name’ in the 14 years since a campaign of persecution went public in 1995 are briefly summarised in the following advertisement, placed by the FHA, which appeared prominently as a 11cm by 17cm advertisement on page 4 of the Weekend Edition of The Australian newspaper on Saturday 13 June 2009.
As mentioned in the advertisement there is still an appeal to be heard, and the process of seeking redress through the courts hasn’t been entirely redemptive, but what has been achieved is that the two publications have now been profoundly discredited.
With regard to the legal process having not been entirely redemptive, while it is infinitely preferable to the way heretics in science have been treated historically, such as Giordano Bruno being burnt at the stake for upholding Copernican theory, it is not by any means a perfect system of redress and justice. One day we will be able to tell the full story about our experiences but it will suffice for the present to say that in our experience the legal system has become so incredibly adversarial that the full truth of a particular matter is extremely difficult to bring to the surface in a trial.
Despite these aspects the important point is that we have reached a watershed moment in righting this very serious wrong. The significance of this achievement cannot be overstated.
The FHA’s ‘key held aloft’ logo symbolises the purpose of the FHA. The discovery of the cause for humans’ capacity for good and evil is the key that ameliorates that troubled condition and our task in the FHA has been to hold that key aloft, promote and defend that key understanding. Since understanding of the human condition is what enables humanity to mature from insecure adolescence to secure adulthood our task has been to lay the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood.
As the underlying issue in all human affairs the human condition had to be faced and understood for there to be a future for the human race. However, by its very nature the human condition is such a contentious subject that emerging understanding of it was always likely to have to endure and ultimately defeat an initial undemocratic onslaught of misrepresentation and smear—and that is exactly what has happened.
All of the giant strides in humanity’s journey of demystification—our species’ conscious thinking self’s responsibility to replace mystery, superstition and dogma with knowledge—met so much resistance that in each instance the insights were lucky to survive. Science historian Thomas Kuhn emphasised this point about there being no guarantee new ideas in science will survive prejudice when he wrote, ‘In science…ideas do not change simply because new facts win out over outmoded ones…Since the facts can’t speak for themselves, it is their human advocates who win or lose the day’ (Shirley C. Strum, Almost Human, 1987—Strum’s references are to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, second edn, 1970). Similarly, in his essay On Liberty—a document recognised as one of the philosophical pillars of western civilisation—John Stuart Mill emphasised the extreme danger of oppression of thought, saying, ‘the dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes. History teems with instances of truth put down by persecution. If not suppressed for ever, it may be thrown back for centuries.’ (American state papers; On liberty; Representative government; Utilitarianism, 1952).
The great danger has been that while all ground-breaking new ideas are typically resisted by the established order of the day, no new idea was going to be as resisted as understanding of the human condition. This is because the subject of the human condition strikes at the very heart of the issue of our insecure human natures; it faces us squarely with the very subject of our insecurity, the subject that makes us want to stay in the secure shadows of the old order and not move forward. The issue of the human condition is the issue of ‘self’, the most difficult of all subjects for us humans to go near.
Clearly therefore to defend the ideas that the FHA was established to do was going to be an incredibly difficult task, but also one the FHA couldn’t afford to fail in. It certainly has proved to be a nightmare undertaking, but thank heavens we have prevailed. It has taken absolutely all of the character, courage and all-out commitment of the 50 members of the FHA to endure and finally overcome these many, many years of horrible persecution and vilification. It really has been a case of an ant having to stop an elephant, but we small band of 50 people, and most of us were only in our late teens and early twenties when we began this immense undertaking, have done it. While the world doesn’t know it—at least not yet—we know what we have achieved.
Even though we have understood how critical it was that we defend these ideas, from the beginning everyone else was telling us to take the easy way out—‘why waste your energy and money’, ‘there are always going to be those who hate what you are doing’, ‘you can’t defeat these people’, ‘forgive and forget, we’ll understand’, ‘just get on with your important work’ etc etc. We very much empathise with a scene in Inherit the Wind—a movie about the so-called Monkey Trial in Tennessee, USA in 1925, where a school master named John Scopes was prosecuted for promoting Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection—where Scopes’ attorney said to Scopes: ‘I know what you are going through. It’s the loneliest feeling in the world. It’s like walking down an empty street listening to your own footsteps. But all you have to do is to knock on any door and say “if you’ll let me in I’ll live the way you want me to live and I’ll think the way you want me to think” and all the blinds will go up and all the doors will open and you will never be lonely ever again.’
Again we would like to emphasise that the whole future of human endeavour rests on keeping inquiry free from oppression with another quote from John Stuart Mill’s great essay On Liberty: ‘We have now recognised the necessity to the mental well-being of mankind (on which all their other well-being depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion’, summarising that ‘the price paid for intellectual pacification, is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind’.
Given the immense responsibility and difficulty of our task, we are obviously extremely relieved that it has been successfully completed and that we can move on with the next stage of our project of promoting the fabulous future that these understandings of the human condition make possible for the human race.