By Anna Von Reitz
When I was young circumstances were often difficult. My Father was a German in the midst of Post-World War II America, and even though he fought on the side of the Allies and considered himself an American through-and-through, not everyone else saw it the same way.
Many people just looked at his name and his all-too obviously German face and did things like spit at him. And at me. Or, slam me into a set of lockers so hard my shoulder was damaged for life. Or trip me going down stairs. Or, or, or. The whole family suffered from this enduring prejudice.
My Father couldn't get a decent job, even though he was highly skilled and well-educated. For twenty years after the war, he patiently dug ditches and shoveled cow manure and split wood to stay warm, while his former Air Force buddies landed cushy University jobs or built successful businesses.
Sometimes, especially when I was hurt by all of this, his patience grew thin. Sometimes, he had to go down in the basement and just punch a punching bag until he was exhausted.
How do you fight something as insidious as racial prejudice? Something unseen? An evil that hides in people's minds, and bears fruit in unexpected ways and odd places? Buying a loaf of bread? Going to the movies? Why shouldn't anyone be able to do things like that in a "free" country?
So when my African American and Hispanic and Asian and American Indian friends complain to me, assuming that, of course, I am a nice little white girl who never suffered from racial prejudice ---and think that I don't know what they are talking about---- oh, yes, I do. So did my parents and my older sister, too.
It was the same way for us, in the wake of World War II.
Still, we didn't change our names. We didn't apologize to anyone. We just "embraced the place" God put us and stayed the course, stayed on the High Road, and took joy in those small daily triumphs that come to people who try to do what is right. We made friends. We survived. So what if I wore old clothes or drove a car that was fifteen years old?
Today, I am not afraid of poverty, because I have been poor. Today, I place no value on a person's clothes or circumstance. Today, as a result of those rough beginnings, I have a different set of values, knowledge, and experiences than I would have gained in a "better world".
The irony is, that that world of prejudice and meanness, those years of hard-scrabble, made me a stronger, wiser, more discerning person. I am grateful for it now, because I see the fruits of what we went through.
In the same way, our Assemblies are going through a hard transition from war to peace. There are many people who are frightened and confused, many detractors, many who have unreasoning prejudices and pure, dumb ignorance that have to be dealt with.
And this is all taking place against a backdrop of entrenched institutionalized deceit and corruption.
A difficult situation? You bet.
But the fruit is coming, and the time when you see through to the end, when you realize what you have gained from going through the refining fires.
My Ex-O, Harold, and I had a breakfast meeting a couple days ago. He's a very experienced man with a history of managing large corporate endeavors.
He wagged his head at me and said, "There's positional leadership and situational leadership, and they (the Assemblies) need to understand that."
Most of us are far more familiar with Positional Leadership. Someone came down and smote Joe Blow with a Magic Wand and Fairy Dust and made him The Leader. Maybe it was a rigged ballot box, or because he had a "special relationship" with the former boss's daughter. Maybe he just slogged his way up the food chain by accident, but there he is: The Leader, for better or worse, and everyone has to do what he says, because, well, he's The Leader.
Been there and done that.
But there is also Situational Leadership, where everyone is equal and striving toward a goal. That's what happens when one guy reaches out to save a drowning swimmer and another guy reaches out to save the first would-be rescuer, and pretty soon you have a whole chain of people pulling against the rip tide.
Situational Leadership comes about in unsettled times, times of emergency, times when you just have to work together to get things done --- no hierarchy, no "social order", no caste, no class, no advanced degrees required. It happens on a much more basic level, something that is almost instinctive, where suddenly everyone steps back and each one of us just "knows" what we can best contribute. So we do. And it all works out.
Joe takes the wheel. John holds the door. Stan loans a computer. Roy drives the truck. May Ellen brings the coffee. Jim makes the sandwiches. Pablo brings the folding table. Marc loans space in his garage. And before you know it, what needs to happen, happens.
Why? Because at some deeper under-the-skin level, we all know who we are and what we have to contribute, and when push-comes-to-shove, we step forward and we do what has to be done.
That's Situational Leadership, and if you think about it, it makes perfect sense that that is the kind of leadership our Assemblies, which operate as Committees of the Whole, have inherited. Our American Government was formed on an emergency basis. There was no time or place for an entrenched and formal hierarchy to form or to act.
Then, as now, there weren't a lot of offices to fill and job descriptions set in cement, only jobs to do somehow and little or nothing to do them with. Our ancestors faced exactly the same dilemma and used the same tools, guided by Situational Leadership.
In the military and in the corporations, people advance by criticizing and undermining competitors. Poking fingers and tattle-taling are often rewarded. Making oneself appear to be better by tearing down someone else is the order of the day. Gossiping around the water cooler and snarking about every fault and foible is traditional.
But in our Assemblies, it's exactly the opposite.
When we see someone failing for lack of skills, we rush in to fill the gap and help them. When we perceive a brother falling by the wayside, we pick up his pack and get him back on his feet. When things start to go off-track, we check our compasses --- we don't blame other people because they are lost.
Here, in our Assemblies, the people who "rise to the top" do so, because they put themselves into the gaps and make things work.
My Mother, if she were here, would tell you, "Embrace the space God gave you on this Earth."
Take it, own it, lumps and all. Be your own heroes. Don't wait for someone else. Just the fact that you are here is all you need to know. Go forth, and conquer all the obstacles, all the ignorance, all the questions, all the lacks. Do it together on an "emergency basis" and do the best you can.
We're not here to blame each other. We are here to save America.
We can always correct mistakes. The one mistake we can't correct is never getting started, never doing anything for fear of not having an official stamp of approval, or not signing in the right color of ink.
Most of the Revolutionary War was fought by men who didn't own a uniform.
Remember that and remember them. Take the message to heart.
This is your country, and these are your countrymen. That's your Main Street. It doesn't belong to the Chinese or the Pope or the Queen or the Lord Mayor. It's your responsibility.
If the THING in Washington, DC, is off-track or the State-of-State Governor is doing the wrong thing, it's up to you to get organized and take the reins back and settle things. Why? Because it's your country and you have the Public Duty.
As new people come into the Assemblies --- and they are doing so in droves right now --- they are going to come in expecting an authoritarian structure to guide them. That's all they are familiar with. Ask them to recall an emergency in their own lives, a time when they simply had to do what had to be done, without waiting for the Firemen or the Police to arrive--- a time when it was just "you, me, and the gate post".
Then nod sagely and say, "Well, yup. That's where we are now. We have a Coordinator who can get answers to questions, we have a Chairman who can conduct meetings and get business done, but this is a Committee of the Whole, one big committee with sub-committees that work on special projects. We all work together and support each other to restore our government, bring Americans home to their native jurisdiction, and enforce the Constitutions and the Public Law. There's no big pecking order, everyone just weighs in, contributes what they can, and we go from there. Any questions?"
The Newbies may stare at you like you are a Talking Horse. You may have to repeat this exercise several times. You may even meet people who have never been in an emergency situation where they had to take charge of things and deal with them. If so, share a few stories so they get the idea.
Maybe have a once-a-week half hour Orientation Meeting for new people.
Another common misunderstanding of Newbies is that they are fighting against "the government" ---- which they identify as any authority whatsoever. Years of abuse by the Territorial Government or the Municipal GOVERNMENT has fostered a hatred of all government and these wild-eyed anarchists arrive in our Assemblies with the idea that we either join their campaign to wreck vengeance on the perpetrators or we are part of the problem.
The point is that we are not the perpetrators, but an entirely different government--- a lawful, reasonable, peaceable government that is formed to protect people and their property assets from predatory commercial corporations and foreign powers.
We already have the lawful means to solve our own problems.
We have the ability to form our own courts and invoke Ex Parte Milligan. We have access to the Public Law of this country. And we have the means to enforce it.
Revolution isn't necessary; we already did that.
We simply need to learn who we are and stand in our own power and enforce our own jurisdiction and our own Public Law in order to sort everything out.
The sooner we do what we need to do, the sooner that the whole world can get back on course.
If you have would-be anarchists coming into your Assemblies, form a committee and as a small group, take them aside and have the necessary discussion: "We can't afford disruption. This is an urgent situation. We need you to get on board and help, and if you feel that you can't do that, for whatever reason, we need you to leave and go about your own business. We aren't denying that you are an American or depriving you of anything, but there is serious business to be attended to, and your personal grievances have to wait."
Most people, at least those who aren't foreign infiltrators, or psychotic, can grasp the fact that the needs of the many do outweigh the needs of the one.
No matter how compelling or awful an individual situation may be at this moment, we cannot allow brushfires to slow down or sidetrack the effort to stop the arsonists.
We have provided the Criminal Incident Report Forms and a process to prosecute them both in public and in private, but disruption of Assembly functions and brow-beating and blaming and "drama" can't be allowed.
We are not at fault for these circumstances. We didn't create them. We don't condone them. But to effectively and permanently stop them, for everyone concerned, we have to keep our eyes on the prize, form our own courts, and keep moving forward.
God bless and speed your efforts, give wings to your feet, and gladness to your hearts. We are making great progress and each and every day brings new opportunities and new horizons into view.