by Edith Kermit Roosevelt

The New Hampshire Sunday Times News

October 21, 1962

from ConspiracyArchive Website


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?



"A Room of Quiet"
The Meditation Room
United Nations Headquarters

from UN Website

In the original plan for the new Headquarters, a tiny room had been provided as a place dedicated to silence, where people could withdraw into themselves, regardless of their faith, creed or religion, but Dag Hammarskjöld wanted something more dignified. In his efforts he was supported by a group, composed of Christians, Jews, and Moslems, the "Friends of the UN Meditation Room", who combined their efforts and provided the money for a room worthy of a world organization.

The work on the room began, and Mr. Hammarskjöld personally planned and supervised in every detail the creation of the "Meditation Room".

Meditation Room,
United Nations Headquarters

Abstract mural in the Meditation
Room by painter Bo Beskow

An example of his interest is reflected in this exchange of correspondence in Swedish regarding the design of the fabric to be used for the carpeting. The letter by Dag Hammarskjöld is translated.

Journalist Pauline Frederick gave another example of this interest in an interview for the UN Oral History Collection.

"He was instrumental in creating what he called the Meditation Room. He said that "This House" - which he referred to the UN frequently... - This house must have one room dedicated to silence... I remember very distinctly one night, when I heard that he had been working most of the night, and about two o'clock in the morning, he called some of his aides in, and they assumed that there had been some bad news from one of the fronts where the United Nations Emergency Forces were then located, but he said, "I want to go down to the Meditation Room."


And he took them down to the Meditation Room, and it was about, as I said, two o'clock in the morning, and there he spent considerable time directing the painters to put just the precise coat of paint on the walls of that Meditation Room, so the light would be just as he wanted it. So he had a very close feeling about the spiritual. And he felt that it should be the center of the United Nations. He had a special crew of painters working on the Meditation Room that evening.


He said, "We want to bring back, in this room, the stillness which we have lost in our streets, and in our conference rooms, and to bring it back in a setting in which no noise would impinge on our imagination."

He banned chairs and replaced them with benches; in the center of the room he placed a six-and-half-ton rectangular block of iron ore, polished on the top and illuminated from above by a single spotlight. This block, which was a gift of the King of Sweden and a Swedish mining company, was the only symbol in the Room. Mr. Hammarskjöld described it as "...a meeting of the light, of the sky, and the earth... it is the altar to the God of all.... we want this massive altar to give the impression of something more than temporary...".

In addition, an abstract mural, a composition of interlocking geometric patterns which is supposed to evoke a feeling of the essential oneness of God, was ordered by Dag Hammarskjöld from his artist friend Bo Beskow.

The room was re-opened in 1957. Dag Hammarskjöld wrote the following text to be distributed to the visitors of the room:

"We all have within us a center of stillness surrounded by silence.

This house, dedicated to work and debate in the service of peace, should have one room dedicated to silence in the outward sense and stillness in the inner sense.

It has been the aim to create in this small room a place where the doors may be open to the infinite lands of thought and prayer.

People of many faiths will meet here, and for that reason none of the symbols to which we are accustomed in our meditation could be used.

However, there are simple things which speak to us all with the same language. We have sought for such things and we believe that we have found them in the shaft of light striking the shimmering surface of solid rock.

So, in the middle of the room we see a symbol of how, daily, the light of the skies gives life to the earth on which we stand, a symbol to many of us of how the light of the spirit gives life to matter.

But the stone in the middle of the room has more to tell us. We may see it as an altar, empty not because there is no God, not because it is an altar to an unknown god, but because it is dedicated to the God whom man worships under many names and in many forms.

The stone in the middle of the room reminds us also of the firm and permanent in a world of movement and change. The block of iron ore has the weight and solidity of the everlasting. It is a reminder of that cornerstone of endurance and faith on which all human endeavour must be based.

The material of the stone leads our thoughts to the necessity for choice between destruction and construction, between war and peace. Of iron man has forged his swords, of iron he has also made his ploughshares. Of iron he has constructed tanks, but of iron he has likewise built homes for man. The block of iron ore is part of the wealth we have inherited on this earth of ours. How are we to use it?

The shaft of light strikes the stone in a room of utter simplicity. There are no other symbols, there is nothing to distract our attention or to break in on the stillness within ourselves. When our eyes travel from these symbols to the front wall, they meet a simple pattern opening up the room to the harmony, freedom and balance of space.

There is an ancient saying that the sense of a vessel is not in its shell but in the void. So it is with this room. It is for those who come here to fill the void with what they find in their center of stillness."