William Pierce’s Original Prospectus for the Cosmotheist Community
This document was written by Dr. Pierce in 1985 to inform and inspire certain select National Alliance members to think about moving to West Virginia to become a part of the Cosmotheist Church Community.
by Dr. William L. Pierce
HISTORY: The Cosmotheist Community began in 1974 as a religious discussion group which met weekly in the homes of interested persons in the Washington, D.C., area. These persons shared a concern for the fundamental values and goals — or lack thereof — on which the directions being taken by modern, American society depend. They felt that materialism, egoism, and a lack of any sense of responsibility to the future had become so widespread and so deeply entrenched that the spiritual and moral basis of Western civilization was being eroded dangerously.
In their meetings they explored the causes of this spiritual illness: the urbanization which has been growing rapidly since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, with the consequent breaking of the bonds between people and land; the historical failure of Christianity to take the physical basis of man’s existence into consideration along with the spiritual basis and to build a community of blood as well as faith; the spread of democracy as a political doctrine, with the consequent decline in quality and responsibility of the leadership of the nations of the West, especially the United States. Underlying these trends they saw the common problem of wrong values, a problem made more intractable by an unnatural life-style.
The members of the discussion group formalized their association in February 1977 by organizing themselves as a church and adopting the name “Cosmotheist Community” (later changed to “Cosmotheist Community Church”). The Church’s first publication, The Path, a statement of fundamental doctrine, appeared in the same year, and was followed by On Living Things in 1979 and On Society in 1984. Even before their formal organization they adopted as their symbol the Life Rune (also known as the Man Rune) from the Norse futhark (i.e., alphabet), with its meaning of creation, rebirth, and renewal.
The Cosmotheist doctrine has been expressed in part by many men. The great British playwright, George Bernard Shaw, was a Cosmotheist, and he spoke through such characters of his as Don Juan (in Man and Superman), who declared man’s purpose to be the service of the Life Force in its eternal quest to know itself. The German giant of philosophy, Frederich Nietzsche, also was a Cosmotheist. His character Zarathustra expressed Don Juan’s truth in different words; he saw man’s purpose as preparing the way for a higher, more conscious, more nearly godlike man. And the English poet William Wadsworth was giving expression to his Cosmotheist awareness of divinity when he wrote: “And I have felt/A presence that disturbs me with the joy/Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime/Of something far more deeply interfused,/Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,/And the round ocean and the living air,/And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:/A motion and a spirit that impels/All thinking things, all objects of all thought,/And rolls through all things.” Another English poet, Alexander Pope, summed up the Cosmotheist view very concisely in the words: “All are but parts of one stupendous whole/Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.” The Cosmotheist doctrine may be epitomized very briefly in the following statements:
- There is only one reality, and it is the Whole — the purposeful, self-creating, self-evolving Cosmos, which has both material and spiritual aspects, inseparably conjoined. Thus, Creation and Creator, Cosmos and Theos, Whole and God, are but different names for the same reality.
- Man is part of the Whole, and his consciousness is one manifestation of a universal, immanent consciousness.
- Man’s ordained or natural purpose is the same as the Creator’s purpose, which is self-realization.
- Man properly serves his ordained purpose by striving toward ever higher ever more conscious levels of existence, both biologically and spiritually. His ordained task is to advance, generation by generation, along the Creator’s path of evolving self-consciousness. In the past he advanced blindly, driven by the immanent urge toward self-realization, self-completion. Now he must guide his advancement.
This doctrine imposes obligations on those who accept it. Since man is not only an agent, but also a part of the Creator, he is obliged to conduct himself accordingly. Since his purpose is service of the Creator’s purpose, he is obliged to prepare himself to render service as effectively as possible. Effective service depends on knowledge, consciousness, and discipline. Each man and each woman has the obligation to know his identity and his purpose and to elevate that knowledge, through purposeful living, to an ever-present consciousness; furthermore, he has the obligation to be strong and fully in control of himself, so that he can apply his knowledge unfalteringly in his service.
Knowledge can be gained by diligent study almost anywhere, but consciousness is dependent on life-style and environment. And discipline is the product of lifelong training. The members of the church realized the impracticability of attempting to discharge their obligations in a satisfactory manner while living in an environment determined by values opposed to their own. They also recognized the formidable obstacles to raising children properly in such an environment. With these problems in mind, in 1978 they began a building fund for the purpose of acquiring land where an environment more congenial to their needs could be established.
In October 1984 the Church purchased a 360-acre site on a mountainside in east-central West Virginia. The site was virtually in a natural state, with only one 100-year old farmhouse on it and no utilities. At the time of the purchase, one family moved into the farmhouse and began the preparatory work for bringing other families and single people onto the land. Wells were drilled, septic tanks dug, power and telephone cables brought in, and an internal road improved. A bathroom was added to the farmhouse, and mobile homes were brought in for additional dwelling space. A second family settled on the land in mid-1985, and a large building was erected to serve as a church/community center, with a central area for meetings and religious services, a 7,000-volume reference library, shops, offices, and room for classrooms and other facilities. At this time the construction of the interior of the building, the improvement of dwelling units, and the development of other community facilities are ongoing projects.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE: The most immediate need of the community is for suitable members to become members. The basic building unit of the community is the nuclear family, and so couples and a sexually balanced mix of single men and women are being sought. The aim is to integrate four or five new couples into the community each year, with an ultimate limit of perhaps 50 families (200-300 people, including children).
One of the most important functions of the community will be the education of its children. Classroom training will cover not only the traditional subject matter (language, sciences, mathematics, history, geography, music, art, and literature), but will focus on those areas of knowledge required as a basis for a strong sense of identity, and this training will be supplemented with instruction in ethics and religion designed to develop in each child a Cosmotheist way of thinking and viewing the world, and to guide him toward a purposeful adult life as a member of the community. Training outside the classroom to build consciousness, character, and self-discipline in each child will be at least as important as his formal instruction and will determine the nature of most of his waking activity each day, in both play and work.
The development and refinement of the community’s educational facilities will proceed apace with its growth in numbers. The same is true of the development of other aspects of the community, such as its self-sufficiency. At this time most of the community’s food is purchased outside the community, as also are its electrical energy, much of its fuel, and nearly all of its building materials. The production of nearly all of the community’s food on its own land is a goal which should be reached within the next two or three years. The achievement of energy independence through the use of wind power and available organic fuel on the land, together with advanced energy-efficient materials and techniques for the construction of dwellings and other buildings, should come within a few more years.
COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND OPERATION: Persons who become members of the community are expected to be full-time members, without outside commitments or activities. The community will be self-supporting through tax-exempt donations and through the mail-order sale of books and other materials to the public. Income will be sufficient to provide a living allowance for each member, but there will be no room for luxuries, and no comparison can be made with customary salaries or expenses on the outside. Every adult member will be integrated into the economy of the community, by participation in the community’s income-producing activity, its food-producing activity, its educational or construction activity, or a combination of these.
Although several aspects of the community’s life — those named in the preceding paragraph and its religious activity — are communal by choice or by necessity, the individual family remains the basic community unit, and each family or single unit is accorded as large a degree of privacy as is consistent with community goals. The individual must accept the responsibility for those functions which properly fall within the household sphere, including the provision of meals, the maintenance of dwelling facilities, and child care.
The most essential attribute of the community is its purposeful, religious nature. It does not exist primarily for the sake of its members, but to serve the Creator’s purpose. Therefore, the comments on privacy above notwithstanding, each member of the community is required to subordinate certain personal prerogatives to the community purpose. Commitment to the community’s goals, obedience to its rules, and adherence to its doctrine are obligations for every member. Thus, for example, every member is expected to accept without reservation the community’s rule against the use of intoxicating or addictive substances, including alcohol and tobacco. And every parent is expected to yield to the community’s authority in matters relating to the education and character building of his children.
PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS: Productive work is considered a primary virtue in the community. And as a practical matter, the community will be able to maintain its existence only by demanding a large effort from each member. That is especially the case during this early period of community development, when there is more work than can be handled by the few members available to do it. But hard work and a relatively demanding schedule are things which members should consider permanent features of their lives in the community. The current work schedule is six 11-hour workdays per week, with one day per week reserved for family activity, household maintenance, and similar private activity; and for community religious services and other religious activity. (Much of the work of female members with husbands or husbands and children to care for will necessarily be in their homes, although at least some community work will be expected from every able-bodied female.)
The community is a social one, with a large degree of communication and collaboration among members. At the same time, however, while it remains small there will not be as many opportunities for large-scale social intercourse as exist outside the community. Thus, members should be neither excessively individualistic, making collaboration with other members difficult, nor overly dependent on having large numbers of other people around them in order to be happy. The ideal member should have a good blend of self-reliance and altruism. He should be capable of functioning well by himself and also be flexible enough to work with others.
Two features of the community which may place special demands on some new members are its isolation and its austerity. The isolation is deliberate, so that the community can most easily remain free of the opposed values which are prevalent outside and develop its own values and life-style with the least interference. Thus, members should not be dependent on recreational or other facilities outside the community which will lead to a lot of coming and going. A trip into town for supplies every ten days or two weeks is reasonable; three times a week is not.
The austerity, although unavoidable at this time, also will be deliberate in the future. It accords better with the community’s nature and purpose than does luxury. Although the community always will endeavor to have the best tools available and to use them to perform its work efficiently, it will not put a premium on physical comfort for its own sake or on reducing physical exertion to a minimum. Manual labor is an activity which should benefit every member, and discomfort in moderation is not necessarily to be shunned. Parsimony in the use of resources, whether personal or community, should be the rule rather than conspicuous consumption.
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Source: Cosmotheist Community Church