September 27, 1974

Dear Friends:


Six months have passed since April 1, and lately I have been feeling the need to communicate my reality of where we have come, where we are now, and where we are going as I see it today. We are now a group of more than two hundred and the chances to sit and talk and laugh with each of you are growing rarer. Already I find I am forgetting a name on occasion. For a long while, I have known this time was coming, and we have all worked hard for it. And yet, I miss the “good old days” with their seeming abundance of “free” time. Since we now seem to be in a new time and new season, it seems appropriate for me to develop a new way to communicate which can reach all of you. Perhaps this new way will be through letters.


When The Stelle Group was small, we talked together often. We got to know each other and saw each other’s dreams. We communicated often although we did not always agree. The smallness of the Group and the hugeness of our Task promoted a closeness, a tolerance, and a willingness to strive to build together—and best of all we began to trust each other. Many of us learned that if we were willing to keep talking long enough, we would always reach agreement, for our goal was the same. We were gathering here and joining together to carry out one phase of the Great Plan of the Brotherhoods while climbing our own personal path toward Mastership.


For myself, I learned how very differently you saw things than I did. How different our approaches are sometimes! I had been taught that all men were alike—that they all had the same basic needs. This is true, of course, but we surely have traveled individual paths and are delightfully different. At first, as I became aware of our differences, I was quite uneasy. How could so many opposites work together? But now I have seen us build together the start of a city, and I understand why opposites attract. We need each other. We are learning to pool our strengths to accomplish a great task. And we are learning to emulate those strengths we see in others to become great Egos.


Recently I have heard feedback that there is a negative undercurrent in the Group which be­speaks an uneasiness. It seems to include things like, “Oh, another policy statement from ‘them.’” “It seems like some people can speak up and say what they want to, but not everyone can.” “Look at Jack and Jill. They didn’t like RC, and they were disassociated.” “Why isn’t everyone given help or advance warnings before they are disassociated?” “Gail sure has favorites.” “We need more time to study, and if they were really teaching us how to precipitate and the other things, we wouldn’t have to work so hard.”


All right. Let’s look at all those “new” policies. As I reviewed my list of communications to the membership in the last six months, I found three which I thought perhaps could be felt to be an infringement on an individual’s rights. They were the “Visitors and Guests Statement,” the “Rework and Restitution Policy,” and the statement on “Privacy of the Family.” The first two of these are not new but have been written down for the first time. In regard to the first, it has always been said that Stelle was to be a closed community with limited access, and many of us have struggled with leaving our families and friends behind who did not decide to join with us. In regard to rework, Richard taught this principle to those working in Stelle Woodworking Company when it began. Rework and restitution has long been a policy within Stelle Construction Company because it was fair and karmicly sound. The privacy of the family, however, was new to the extent that Richard had never commented on it outside of Trustee meetings to my knowledge. Personally, I feel that this is a very sound and necessary concept based on my own experience. We have much work to do in the next twenty-five years in the area of developing strong homes and family units, and it is well to practice those concepts which will make our work as easy as possible.

And what of the other communications you have found in your boxes as notices or new sheets for the Membership Manual? Their purposes have been to communicate as much information as possible to the membership as rapidly as possible and to remind you at times of where we are supposed to be heading.


The other day I was thinking of the number of new members we have here now who have never met Richard or who barely knew him. The ideas he expressed at a general meeting a year ago are long forgotten by most of us. At least twenty-five percent of The Stelle Group participants are unaware of his amplifications of the philosophy in The Ultimate Frontier and his plans for how to carry out our task. This percentage will climb unless the Membership Manual is expanded to contain these ideas. Over the next few weeks and perhaps months you will be receiving additional sheets for the Manual. We can no longer rely on verbal communi­cation to pass along these ideas, for it is too inefficient and limits our growth. To the extent that we work with one another and see clearly the Dream, to that extent we can bring the Dream into reality.


If you find a notice in your box which seems self-evident to you, please realize that it may not be self-evident to others. Generally, no reminders or explanations of the Membership Manual materials are written and distributed unless a number of persons do not seem to be applying a concept. I must assume that when a participant is not applying such a concept, it is because he does not understand or has forgotten it, for surely if he did not agree with the idea, then he would have communicated about it and not just ignored it. There will always be room here for differences of opinion, but let’s all try to pull together. We do not have enough time for a game of tug-of-war.


Now about this idea that I have favorites or that some can speak up safely while it is dangerous for others. What can I say except to ask those of you who felt that way whether that is what you would do if you were in my place? Would you accept someone as a participant only to disassociate him if he were different than you? And if so, why accept him in the first place? When a person is accepted as a participant in The Stelle Group, it is based on the opinion that he has the potential to reach First Degree in this lifetime and that he will add his dreams, experiences, and energies to ours in order that the Task will be accomplished.


As I have pointed out earlier, I have grown accustomed to our differences. I have learned that we can disagree and still be friends. I feel quite fortunate to consider each of you a friend.


Some of you I have gotten to know better than others, and often that has happened because you have questioned or told me when you thought I was out of line. You have given me a chance to grow by broadening my perspectives and by forcing me to re-evaluate my ideas. I must admit I did not always like it, but I can say that I appreciate it now. And to some of you, I would like to say, “Thanks,” for you have not simply disagreed but have come up with a suggestion of a better way.


Disassociating a participant is the most difficult job I have ever had to do. I have never gotten used to it, and I do not think I ever will. Let me assure you that a decision to disassociate a person will not be based on the idea that the person does not agree with me. I have pledged to work with the Brotherhoods in carrying out this phase of the Great Plan and to do whatever was asked of me in that respect. Little did I dream that I should ever have to decide who could work here and who could not. But since April that responsibility has been mine, and I find it very heavy. These decisions must be made in light of what is for the greatest good of all concerned as far as I can see. Already I have known the pain which comes when what seems to be for the greatest good is not the way I personally wish it could be. I will try to make wise decisions and sincerely pray that they are not influenced by my personal prejudices.

In answer to the question, “Why aren’t people given help or advance warnings before they are disassociated?” let me say this. I will help as much as I can, as I am sure you would. But how can you help another if he does not ask for it? And even then, you can only listen and sometimes give advice. You cannot do it for him. Each of us must do his own growing. We must take our Wills and align them with Christ’s. The Brotherhoods will not change the Plan for us, but we may go with Them.


Often reasons are not given why a person’s participation is terminated. If one person in a family was not growing sufficiently here, how could you single him out to the others as the one who is having the problem? Or to say to a person, “You have to change your conscious­ness”; does that really help? Most of us know our weak spots and see our faults all too well. We do not need another pointing them out to us. In addition, many times I do not know why a person is having a problem. I just know that he is not making it here, and I am not about to walk where angels fear to tread. Sometimes I feel terribly close to that area in this job anyway, but 1 will avoid it if I can.


Finally, let us look at the statement that “We need more time to study, and if they were teaching us how to really precipitate and the other things, we would not have to work so hard.” Do you need more time to study or more self-discipline to practice and test what you have learned? Egoic advancement does not come from gathering more information, but from increasing our knowledge and wisdom. You can think about it all you want on the Astral Plane between incarnations; but since you are here, don’t you suppose you planned to do as much as possible? Probably this is a good time to change an old concept. Let’s make it doing and thinking—not doing or thinking. We are a Mind using a physical vehicle, and we are capable of using both at the same time.


As far as there being more information that you need in order to grow, I doubt it. None of us even needed The Ultimate Frontier so that we could learn how to grow. Christ had already shown us the way. We needed The Ultimate Frontier to remind us of our purpose for this incarnation and to help us find each other but not to teach us new Truths. When I was studying with the Fellowship, Dr. Stelle had set up two courses—the initial course and the advanced training. For the initial course, you were to study each of twelve lessons for approximately six weeks and to answer questions at the end of the lessons. For the advanced course, you were required to study and put into practice the same lessons for six months each. There was no new material. Upon reaching First Degree, there will no doubt be some new data and, of course, harder and deeper questions to answer. But until then we have the information we need.


As I said before, these questions and doubts of each other and ourselves seem to be re­flecting a general uneasiness. Perhaps we should explore why this uneasiness may be happen­ing to us again. I am reminded of an observation I made when Dawn was small. Every time she was close to learning something new, she became fussy and irritable. That week or two before she could see, before she could sit up, before she could crawl, etc., seemed to be very trying for her and me. It was almost as if she sensed that she was ready to take the next step, but she did not know how. Are we perhaps ready for a new step too? I think so.


We must now develop a sense of closeness with each other which does not depend on spend­ing time together talking and laughing. We must practice the Golden Rule in our thoughts toward others as well as in our deeds. In the past, we learned to love and trust each other because we knew each other. Now we must learn to love and trust even those whom we do not know. Would you make a mistake or say something to hurt another’s feelings on purpose? Well, then, neither would your neighbor. I am not perfect, and I assume you are not either. That is why we are here, isn’t it? But I am trying to grow, and I assume that you are, too. In that, I put my trust. The time has come when it is necessary to expect the best from and assume the best about another. If we do not become a family, can we become a nation? As Ruth said to Naomi. so each of us said when we chose to come here: “. . . thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God.”

I think 1 have covered those three areas which were the reasons for this letter. You have looked at my reality of where we have come from, where we are, and where I dream we are going. Before I close, though, I would like to add that my door is always open. Many years ago, Richard and I assigned priorities to our responsibilities. The first priority was to the members who are here. The second priority was to those who were applying for membership. and the third was to those others who were questioning and seeking. These priorities have not changed. However. I do operate on the assumption that all is well with you. By that I mean that you are assuming responsibility for your own growth and that if you need to talk to me to question our directions. to gather new information, or just to say hello, you will do just that. And I will do the same.


In closing, I would like to state it is truly a privilege to have so many friends. I appreciate your help and the strength you add, and I am glad we are working together again.





Gail Kieninger