Peace Park Vigiler and Antinuclear Activist
William "Doubting" Thomas's "Free Philosophical Forum" stood outside the White House 24 hours a day from June 3, 1981 until August 5, 2008. Thomas died on January 23, 2009. Thomas's faithful colleague, Concepcion Picciotto, continues to vigil in Lafayette Park with photos of Thomas and of victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, with the help of friends.
A "William Thomas Memorial" facebook page has been set up for people who remember and admired Thomas to post photos and memories.
Thomas produced or was featured in several films. Posted on YouTube:"Thomas Farewell" - There was a celebration of Thomas' life and work on February 7, 2009. A lovely film was produced with messages of love and hope from many amazing friends and family, too many of whom are also gone.
In 1999, Thomas produced "Proposition One: Peace Through Reason" about the whys and hows of the successful DC Voter Initiative 37 campaign and resulting bill in Congress calling for global abolition of nuclear weapons and conversion of the arms industries to provide for human needs such as health care, education, environmental restoration, and clean, renewable, non-nuclear energy.
"The Ground War At Home" is about what happened to Thomas and other vigilers and drummers outside the White House during the 40 days and nights of the first Gulf War in 1991. This was broadcast on Public Access Television all over the country.
After Thomas's death, and in his honor, Thomas' wife of 25 years, Ellen, launched the "Proposition One In 2010 Campaign," traveling with a crew of four (including Thomas's dog Sophia) around the country in 2009 and 2010 to connect with other activists who work for nuclear weapons abolition. On that tour they spoke about putting voter initiatives on the ballot if politicians aren't responsive to their constituents' requests to co-sponsor the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act."
In 2016, Ellen is traveling again, this time with Carol Urner of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, once again promoting Proposition One. Contact Ellen if you would like to learn more.
Here are links to some of Thomas's writings. James McGinley did the graphics.
|January 23, 2009, the day William ("Doubting") Thomas died|
|27 Years Why?!?! Proposition One
|3.||Lifelong Vigil for Wisdom & Honesty|
|6.||Manifesto of Independence|
|Vision: From WarMaking to PeaceMaking|
|Other Philosophical Writings|
|1601 Pennsyslvania Ave|
Meanwhile, Thomas co-founded Proposition One Committee, to
promote "Reason and Sanity and an End to War in illustration of the ideals of non-violence." The greatest success so far, besides the continuing vigil outside the White House, is legislation which has been introduced multiple times into Congress since its win at the ballot in September, 1993:
the "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act." Most
importantly, the concepts of Proposition One - global nuclear disarmament, convert the war machines - are universally
appreciated by colleagues and visitors from around the planet.
The award-winning Proposition One website is an archive of news and activities. Thomas uses every medium available to help come to
documentaries, "The Ground War At Home" in 1991 (about the Gulf War) and "Proposition One: Peace Through Reason" in 1994 (updated each session, until 2007, now HR-1826), have been broadcast on public access television in Washington DC and elsewhere, and are available for activists who email, write, or call
PO Box 27217
Washington DC 20038 USA
"Wandering in the Desert"
From the MUST READ:
Life, Liberty, and the Hot Pursuit
Life, Liberty, and the Hot Pursuit, ..
...IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE ...
...IN THE BEGINNING...
IN SEARCH OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH...
...Back home from L.A. Hellanback's habits changed. Time formerly spent in bars was passed at home reading the Bible...
...IN THE ZIONIST STATE......"Terrorism is usually considered to be an illegal act. But what are laws? A large part of the law books are but a disguise for a terrorist rule. Those in power can enact any law they want; anyone breaking those laws is 'a terrorist.' The true terrorist sits behind his papers, behind the laws he made." Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Lochamey Herut Yisrael....
Hellanback was taken to a military camp, searched, and questioned. After eight hours he was driven by jeep through the Gaza Strip, guarded by four Palestinian policemen.
"All desert before the Israelis arrived," the ranking policeman gestured like a tour guide at the orchards as they passed. "They have made the deserts bloom."
"What did you do before the Israelis came?" Hellanback asked.
"I was a policeman," answered the man.
Nothing's changed but the signature on his paycheck, Hellanback thought to himself.
The towns they passed through were teeming with uniformed men toting automatic weapons. Half-tracks and trucks bristling with troops rumbled through the streets, and tanks squatted malevolently at strategic locations...
...IN GOD WE TRUST...
...IN HER MAJESTY'S SECRET CIRCUS....
...Governments hadn't impressed him as being motivated by reason. He had little idea what his journey held in store, maybe a lifetime in prison. But that would be a communist, Turkish, Syrian, or Israeli prison. He expected no difficulties in the "free world," where a person doesn't need papers to prove his existence is valid.
Thomas was standing on a corner in Dover looking at the white cliffs and the port when the bobby approached.
"Good afternoon, sir. May I see your identification papers please?" the constable asked. His nametag read "Timms."
"I don't have any papers," Thomas said.
"No, no. Identification papers," the policeman insisted. "You know, passport ... passaporte."
"Yes, I understand. I don't have any papers."
"No, no, you don't understand. Papers. Everyone must have papers."
"Why?" Thomas asked.
"So we can tell who you are."
"That's no problem. I can tell you who I am. My name is William Thomas, a stateless person with no political or religious beliefs which would threaten anyone's person or property."
"I'll have to take you to the station."
"No you won't," Thomas said. The bobby took a quick step backward, startled. "I give you my permission to search me and to search my sleeping bag. If, after having done so, you have no reason to suspect that I threaten the security of any person or property then you can and should let me go."
The constable saw things differently. At the station Thomas showed police officials his baptismal certificate, but they also wanted to know his place of birth and the day he entered Great Britain, information which Thomas refused to provide.
First the policemen threatened Thomas, promising to put him in jail. "Remember that last bloke we found without papers? How long's he been nicked now? Years, ain't it?"....
The purpose of my life is to acquire wisdom and attain moral perfection.
I live as a penniless wanderer and a pilgrim.
Wisdom compels me to recognize that moral perfection is impossible for a member of an amoral nation-state.
In the course of wandering the world I discovered the role the United States plays in destroying the Earth and exploiting its inhabitants. I learned I could not attain moral perfection while availing myself of benefits gained through the sufferings of others. So I exercised the freedom to personally determine what I would be: I ceased to be an American citizen and destroyed my American passport.
Consequently, I was "deported" from England to this country against my will and in violation of law. On October 2, 1980 I was forcefully removed from an airplane at the JFK International Airport and compelled to enter the United States despite my vigorous objection.
I now demand that the United States government return me to Great Britain so I can resume my pilgrimage.
I intend to fast until the American government recognizes the ideals from which it draws its authority and allows me to live my life as I see fit. This is not an act of self destruction but an effort to persuade this nation to return to the principles of the Declaration of Independence upon which it was founded.
Given the option of living my life in decadent luxury at the expense of my fellow creatures, or voluntarily laying it down in the service of Truth, Justice and Freedom, I would choose the latter. I entreat those who understand my words to confront the evils of the nation-state by gathering at the White House to pray for Reason and Sanity and an End to War in illustration of the ideals of non-violence.
June 3, 1981