(Editor’s note: This article was originally on the Libertynet website.)
The Righteous Government Department of FATHER DIVINE’S Peace Mission bases its plan for universalizing prosperity upon the Fundamental Principle Personified in FATHER DIVINE, that has made millions prosperous. It has taken HIS followers off the relief rolls and made them independent, thus saving the government millions of dollars. Not one of HIS true followers would accept of relief in any form, or even so much as go on the relief rolls in order to get a job. We demand the abandonment of the government regulation requiring the people of America to declare themselves destitute and go on the relief rolls in order to get jobs.
The Divine Plan calls for equal distribution of opportunity, and giving every man a chance to be independent – but not so much charity. In the experience of millions who have accepted FATHER DIVINE, all economic and unemployment problems have been salved, and they are actually enjoying the ideal conditions others are striving for. HE has made it possible for those who are cooperative and meek, especially in this country, to live well on five dollars a week or less. HE has further supplied them with part- time jobs at least, to earn an independent living, while causing them to desire to serve their fellowmen in all their waking hours.
CHANCE TO BE INDEPENDENT
Speaking of HIS Personal Activities in New York, FATHER said:
I have been feeding the unemployed in a number around about from two thousand five hundred to three thousand a day, but this is not MY great aim in life. This is not the greatest expression. The great expression according to MY version, is to help you to be independent. I will cut out so much feeding of the unemployed as I have been. I have opened ways and means whereby you can get jobs, whereby you can be independent, self-supporting and self-respecting. That is what I AM desiring to see you all do and be.
“Therefore I have made the way possible for the last three years or more, in the City of New York and elsewhere, that you might be able to get by at from four to five dollars a week and be independent. If you come here, or go any place and get a meal for ten or fifteen cents, you do not have to feel as a beggar.
“You can feel independent, for that is the price, or those are the prices for the meals in all of our Connections, not only here in New York City, but all the way across the country in all of the places – fifteen cents is the maximum fee for a meal. I wish to further announce . . . hereafter our barber shops will not charge but ten cents for a haircut for men, and five cents for a shave . . . . We shall make similar cuts in the dress shops in proportion, and in the grocery stores, and other expressions of our industries.”
Naturally the cost of these facilities is greater than the income from them, and no man could continue indefinitely to carry them on, but as they are the gift of GOD to mankind, they are amply provided for. FATHER DIVINE takes no collections, accepts no donations or financial support whatsoever, and has never been known to do so. On the contrary, HE is constantly giving.
FREE EMPLOYMENT BUREAU
Another of HIS Personal Activities for the benefit of the masses has been a free employment agency. After Operating HIS own private agency free for many years, HE recently opened up a public agency to get at the intolerable conditions in the employment field. Regarding these conditions, HE recently spoke as follows:
“I call your attention to an incident just happening now here in your midst which I AM in, and that is this: I took over and opened up the Busy Bee Employment Agency. The law has been for years that the employees and the employers are supposed to pay ten percent to the agency . . . but I learned since I have been in it, that the employers will not pay a penny. They have been forcing the employees to pay their ten percent and the employers not paying anything. It is indeed Wonderful! But I will not have it that way longer.
“That is one of the outrages that has been manifested or concealed here . . . where they would force the employees to pay their fees, but would not force the employers, who have millions, to pay a fee. Many of the employees did not have bread to eat, neither a place to sleep, seeking work to be honest, competent and true, and yet if they got a chance to get a position, they could not have it unless they paid their fees; yet the millionaire that was hiring them as the employer – they would not charge him a penny. It is indeed Wonderful!
“In every little simple expression, you can see the outward expression of the oppression of those who are as the hireling and the fatherless, the poor and the needy, the laboring class of people. It is indeed Wonderful! As I said some time ago, . . . I will get you positions if you are competent. If you have good references, I will get you positions, free of charge. I will let you go free -the employee but the employers can pay their fee.”
PLANKS FOR ECONOMIC SECTION
1. Legislation prohibiting employment agencies from collecting fees or remuneration in any form from employees, but authorizing them to collect the present legal fees in full from the employers; also the establishment of a minimum wage scale, prohibiting agencies from sending out workers for less than their respective minimum rates.
2. Government control of all idle plants and machinery, tools and equipment, where owners are unwilling to operate them at full capacity; such facilities to be made available to workers on a cooperative, non-profit basis under supervision of government experts, with temporary provision for materials; workers to be paid a living wage until income exceeds expenses; then the wage scale to be increased and maintained at as high a rate as conditions permit. The owners would have the privilege of operating the plants at any time they are willing and able to operate them at full capacity, until some arrangement is made for change of ownership.
3. Immediate abandonment of the government regulation requiring individuals to be on the relief rolls in order to get work on relief projects.
4. Immediate provision, under government supervision, of work on useful projects, for every unemployed worker according to his qualifications, with suitable pay for amount of work accomplished. (expenditures for many such projects, such as high speed tunnels, express highways, or whatsoever it might be, could quickly be regained by tolls, as in the case of the Holland Tunnel in New York City.)
5. Immediate abandonment by all states and countries, of government crop control, destruction of food stuffs and other products, and the establishment of an efficient and equitable distribution system. (The spectacle of hungry people in a land of plenty is worse than uncivilized.)
6. Laws to be altered so that equal opportunity is allowed to all, that every worker be allowed access to the land, to the tools and materials needed for the carrying out of his individual talent, for the welfare of himself and of society.
7. Abolition of all tariff schedules and obstacles to free trade among the nations. Trade among all the peoples of the earth should be left as free as is now the trade among the various states of the American Union.
8. Legislation limiting the amount of profit to be made on any article or product, but leaving the individual free to sell it for as little as he chooses.
9. Government to print its own money, and make it illegal to hoard it. Government to redeem all its bonded debts and to lend the money to the cooperative non-profit enterprises; abolish all interest and make it a criminal offense to take usury or interest, or to receive dividends that exceed 3.5 percent, or money without labor performed or practical service rendered.
10. Government ownership and operation of the financial system .
11. Legislation making it a criminal offense for any individual to spend money except for necessities of life, while he owes a just debt to any other individual or organization. (The followers of FATHER DIVINE will not owe another, and will not buy on the installment plan.)
12. Immediate destruction of all counterfeit money by those who have acquired it, rather than attempting to pass it on; and a change in the currency to eliminate all counterfeits in circulation. (The followers of FATHER DIVINE destroy all counterfeit money they find in circulation, at their own expense, rather than pass it on to another.)
FATHER said in a recent message:
“Now in reference to counterfeit money; whensoever one has a counterfeit dollar, a counterfeit fifty-dollar bill, or counterfeit of any denomination of a bill or money, it matters not what it is, if it would be a thousand dollars, if you find out that it is counterfeit, this counterfeit expression should be destroyed. If someone else happens to pass a counterfeit dollar and you are convinced that it is counterfeit, you should destroy it, for it is false; therefore, you should destroy the false.”
It is not claimed that the recommendations contained in this Platform will solve every economic problem of the world at large, but the Fundamental Principle will. In FATHER DIVINE is found the solution of every problem that may arise. Neither is it claimed that legislation alone can solve the problem, but as we have already stated, Righteousness, Justice and Truth must be legalized, and all unrighteousness, injustice and untruth outlawed.
The Principles advocated are just a few of those that FATHER DIVINE has established in the lives of millions. They have changed underworld characters into upright citizens. They have, changed dishonesty and good-for-nothingness into honesty, competence and truth; making millions prosperous and independent of relief, causing them to return stolen goods and pay old bills they never intended to pay. Thus, FATHER has saved the government, public utilities, companies, department stores, and business as a whole, millions of dollars annually, and caused millions to seek justice through Righteousness, when they might have sought it in unrighteousness, through force of arms. seek a better education, that you might be qualified to pass the literacy test.