THOMAS

Peace Park Vigiler and Antinuclear Activist

Doubting Thomas' "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 28-year colleague, Concepcion Picciotto, continues to vigil in Lafayette Park with photos of victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, with the help of friends.

In his honor, Thomas' wife, Ellen, who worked with Thomas in 1993 to put "Proposition One" on the ballot in Washington, DC in 1993, launched the "Proposition One In 2010 Campaign , traveling with a crew of four around the country in 2009 and 2010 to connect with other activists who work for nuclear disarmament and conversion of the war machines to provide for human needs, hoping for voter initiatives on the ballot wherever possible.

There will be a celebration of Thomas' life and work in Lafayette Park on March 20, 2011, beginning at noon Sunday. Bring drums, photos, stories, songs, ideas for a better world. Please rsvp Ellen Thomas if you plan to come.



1601 Pennsyslvania Ave
1.
January 23, 2009, the day William ("Doubting") Thomas died
2.
27 Years Why?!?! Proposition One
(Prop 1)
3. Lifelong Vigil for Wisdom & Honesty
4.
5.

Rise and Fall of Freedom

6. Manifesto of Independence
7.
8.
Vision: From WarMaking to PeaceMaking
9. Philosophical Essays
10.
Other Philosophical Writings

 

 


Thomas - In Peace Park


After Wandering in the Desert, on June 3, 1981, William Thomas sat down on the White House sidewalk with a small cardboard sign, "WANTED: WISDOM & HONESTY," and a flier. He was quickly arrested, the first of many attempts to displace him. He kept coming back; 25 Years Defending what's Constitutionally Right.

Thomas' fast ended, but he remained to establish a fulltime, unpaid continuous forum in front of the White House. Thomas' message, "WANTED, WISDOM & HONESTY," has stood north of the White House day and night since 1981, except for a three-month period in 1988 when Thomas was sent to prison by U.S. Judges Flannery and Richey, who wanted to "deter others from adopting your lifestyle." He has patiently outlasted most of the police, the media, and even the eager regulation writers, who originally attempted to remove Thomas. Unlike 1981, it appears for now that the White House accepts the presence of the vigil. However, that is subject to change at any moment.

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

common

understanding with

people. Two

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

Thomas
PO Box 27217
Washington DC 20038 USA
202-682-4282
et@prop1.org

http://prop1.org


Thomas's Biblical
"Wandering in the Desert"

From the MUST READ:
Life, Liberty, and the Hot Pursuit

Life, Liberty, and the Hot Pursuit, ..
.....Forward, ...
...FORWARD...
...INDEX,...
...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...

...Often interpretations of certain biblical writers seemed to complicate the simple truth of Jesus' words. Paul wrote, "The love of money is the root of evil." ... If Paul was correct, Hellanback concluded, the hatred of money would be the root of much good. He was forced to reassess the delivery process of his daily bread. If money WAS the root of, if not all, at least a great deal of evil, and people needed money to live, it seemed evil must be necessary to live, and Jesus must be talking nonsense in opposition to the truth of the world monetary system. ..

And what about fear? It began to seem that every night the TV brought new tales of murder and mayhem. On the international scene there were regular stories painting Arabs as a cruel, bloodthirsty, inhuman tribe of terrorists.

On all fronts "security" was constantly being "beefed up." On all fronts the violence escalated.
Was the answer: "Love your enemy" because "If you don't love your neighbor, whom you have seen, you can not love God, whom you have not seen?" Or was it: "Enhanced Firepower" because "In God we trust; all others pay cash"?

....If Jesus could be taken literally then there should be no reason to fear for his food, clothing, shelter, or the cruelty of Arabs. If Hellanback understood Jesus correctly not only would he survive the walk, but he'd also be in an ideal position to study the Great Pyramid firsthand rather than through the writings of others...

[...IN PARTING...]...For days into months he continued thinking of an experiential test by which to try the conflicting "truths" of Jesus versus the moneychangers. Finally, an idea solidified. He would try to walk across North Africa, to Cairo, without money, and see if God did, in fact, provide. From his information the area was hostile, its inhabitants barbaric, which would make it an acid test...
...IN THE HANDS OF THE MAN FROM GALILEE...
...IN THE ROAD TO TANGIERS....

...IN THE HASHISH MOUNTAINS....
......INFORMATION IN PRACTICE, IN WAITING....
...IN THE WORST POSSIBLE PLACE...
...IN THE GREAT PYRAMID...
...IN THE SINAI...
...INCARCERATED...
...IN THE SINAI AGAIN....

...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...
...INSECURITY...
...INJUSTICE...
...MINISTRY OF...
...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?"....

...IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST...
...IN SANITY...
...IN A STRANGE LAND...
...IN THE MIND...


MANIFESTO OF INDEPENDENCE:
A FAST FOR LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

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.

Your friend,
Thomas
June 3, 1981


 
Above excerpts are from the
MUST READ:
Life, Liberty, and the Hot Pursuit
.Essays | CLUES | History | Proposition One | Peaceful Energy or Snakeoil? | Conversion
Life, Liberty, and the Hot Pursuit