Game of Gods:

The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment


By Carl Teichrib


* The following is an excerpt from the first pages of chapter ten.


Chapter 10

Building Cosmopolis


The city is the place where man is all-powerful, where he establishes his own justice, opposed to God’s will. – Jacques Ellul.[1]


Civilization is absolutely invincible once it realizes the secret of its own unity. – Benjamin Kidd.[2]

   It was my fourth drive around the poorly lit neighborhood, and I was baffled. This was where elite world thinkers were meeting, in an old residential section on the north side of Chicago? All I could see were aged homes, brick-clad apartments, and townhouses. Address numbers were practically invisible in the autumn darkness, and I was coming up – once again – to what was supposed to be the location for a Global Peoples Assembly.

   I had to be lost.

   The date was November 7, 1997, and when it came to big cities I possessed a country-boy naivety. To someone who had grown up on a grain farm in the Canadian prairies, Chicago felt like another planet, and earlier that evening my inexperience had shone through.

   Needing to book a room for the night, I found, a dozen or so blocks from my meeting destination, a 1950ish looking motel. A bed is a bed, right?

   “How many hours do you want?” asked the elderly female receptionist, barely looking up from the boredom of her newspaper.

   This should have been my first clue.

   “All night,” I answered, passing the money for the posted rate of a single bed. Scowling at the cash in her hands, the lady piped-up: “Well, how many are going to be using the room?”

   Dumbstruck, I stumbled out an apologetic, “Just me.”

   “Oh…” with a little smile her eyes came up to meet mine. “You want it for sleeping!” Later in the evening I discovered that “sleeping” was not a priority in my chosen establishment.

   Dropping off my luggage in a small, grimy room, I left to find the Global Assembly. After driving in circles for twenty minutes, I parked my car and nervously walked up the steps of an empty looking brick building, the only one that seemed plausible in relationship to the directions on my map. There, in the shadows of the door awning, I found the address number and a taped piece of paper with simple type.

   Walking in, I was welcomed to “DreamHouse.”


Big City Dreaming

   Sometimes expectations and reality pleasantly align. Not in this case.

   Knowing that representatives from world government advocacy groups would be meeting to formulate a Global Peoples Assembly, variously framed as a World Citizens Assembly or Peoples Assembly – a “peoples world parliament” – I was expecting the event to be held in a modern conference facility. I also anticipated a substantial number of attendees, better allowing myself to blend in. Instead, the meeting was in a disused Salvation Army chapel being converted into an arts theater. Fewer than twenty people were in the building, and practically everyone knew each other.

   I stuck out like a country-boy who had just wandered into a hooker hotel.

   The next day Lucile Green, the quintessential networker, acknowledged our small group: “We have here a few important people, this is an important event, and we could change the world.”

   People of importance were in the room. Tom Hudgens and Robert Stuart from the Association to Unite the Democracies were speakers that morning. Hudgens and Stuart’s group had played a historical role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, especially its Parliamentary Assembly.[3] Nari Safavi was present. Safavi had sat on the national board of the World Federalist Association, the largest pro-world government lobby group in the United States, and was then the president of the Chicago branch.[4] Years later I would run into Safavi at a Chicago Council on Foreign Relations event. I found him to be winsome and engaging.

   But arguably the most important person was Lucile Green herself, with world government accolades beyond anyone else’s in the room.[5] Years before, Green founded the World Citizens Assembly in San Francisco which issued the Declaration of Interdependence.[6] For this she received the Gandhi Medal. Now it was her Action Coalition For Global Change (ACGC) at the forefront of the Global Assembly movement.

   Originally organized as a support body for San Francisco’s United Nations 50th anniversary in 1995, ACGC at the same time initiated a “model United Peoples Assembly” to demonstrate how such an organ could meet the UN mandate of “We The Peoples.” During the 50th, her model Assembly presented their resolutions to the UN Secretary-General as a validating gesture. By 1996 her group had put together an advisory council to move this forward. Robert Muller was honorary chairman of the Council, and members included Tim Barner from the World Federalist Association, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ervin Laszlo, and Canadian parliamentarian Douglas Roche. It was hoped a permanent body could be established in New York during the year 2000, thereby creating a new international order.

   Green became the face of the Global Assembly movement.

   Like James Garrison,[7] Green was born to Christian missionaries in China. As a young lady she studied Chinese philosophy at the university level, and later received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She quickly gravitated to the world peace movement and worked to incorporate her adopted Eastern worldview into it. Whether Green and Garrison knew each other I cannot say. Their networks certainly overlapped.

   For decades she had been advocating a merger of the “new consciousness” with the drive for world government; a blending of East and West. In a 1980 speech she gave the following advice,

Building deeper channels between the New Age groups that proclaim a wholistic or global perspective, and all those political action groups working for a democratic, federal world government. It is especially important, I think, for the spiritually aware to become politically astute, so that politics is not confined to flat, two-dimensional issues but reflects the full height and depth of human potential.[8]

   Moving this forward, the purpose of our meeting in Chicago was to strategize an international, city-based movement that would ultimately culminate in a robust world order. Only a few month’s prior, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announced that a “Companion People’s Assembly” would convene alongside major events in the year 2000. World Federalists believed that the proper response to this invitation was to frame a Global Assembly, and to present it as an action point during the UN Millennium gatherings. It was an open door to launch the next evolution of global governance.

   Chicago’s meeting was part of that process. Similar campaigns were also coming to life in Boston, Los Angeles, Wellington, New Delhi, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Madrid, London, and Bombay. A few weeks before the Chicago event, 10,000 people took part in a walk from Perugia to Assissi, Italy, in support of a Peoples Assembly. Greetings were sent from the Italian organizers to DreamHouse.

   Our group recognized that as mega-cities are hubs of immense political power and economic energy, often having more practical maneuverability than nations, these centers could rightly be considered Global Cities and leveraged as such. A list of 94 metro regions ranked by population was handed to us, along with a proposal to identify and target the world’s top 1000 urban concentrations. It was explained that if these centers would send delegates to an annual, global town hall meeting on pressing issues – population control, environmental sustainability, terrorism – this campaign could then be steered into becoming a real “world parliament.”[9] Mayors, or city-elected “world citizens” would thus form the nucleus of a Global People’s Assembly, offering direct democracy to the international community. The only thing needed, it was explained, was twenty-five Global Cities committing to the project and the ball would roll. Cities could rule the world.

   Consideration was given to the logistics of such an endeavor. How would electoral delegates be nominated? Would they need to provide “evidence of global world citizenship”? How would constituencies be assembled? What function and purpose would the Global Assembly serve? Suggestions included fostering a “new global ethics” and becoming a “legislative body parallel to the UN General Assembly.” How would the world body be financed? Ideas included “direct taxation on the world’s people,” “fees for use of our Common Heritage, including oceans, air, water,” and a tax on international currency exchanges.[10]

   My time at DreamHouse revealed two things: First, the push for world federalism was real and active. This was not a conspiracy in the classic, Hollywood movie style with shadowy men in smoke filled rooms. Rather, it was the continuation of a big idea involving motivated people with fixed goals, and it was open for observation. Second, I learned how out-of-place I was. During lunch, Green and Robert Stuart pulled me aside for questioning, insinuating I was an infiltrator. Stumbling for words, I explained I was attending to learn more about the globalization process.

   They were right, and I was not wrong.

 Game of Gods is available on Amazon.


[1] Jacques Ellul, The Meaning of the City (Wipf and Stock, 1970/2003), p. 93.

[2] Benjamin Kidd, The Science of Power (Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1919, eighth edition), p.295. Kidd was a British sociologist and social evolutionary who was influenced, in part, by the Social Gospel movement of the 1890s. See D.P. Crook, Benjamin Kidd: Portrait of a Social Darwinist (Cambridge University Press, 1984).

[3] Joseph Preston Baratta, The Politics of World Federation: Volume 2, From World Federalism to Global Governance (Praeger, 2004), pp.522-526. The Association to Unite the Democracies was also known as Federal Union, and was birthed through the work of Clarence Streit and his idea to politically unite the European and North American democracies. Historic personalities included Robert Schumann, Owen J. Roberts, Paul Henri-Spaak, James W. Wadsworth, Lester Pearson, and George Marshall.

[4] The World Federalist Association is now known as Citizens For Global Solutions.

[5] Lucile W. Green passed away in 2004. She was an early member and Vice President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association, founder of the World Citizens Assembly, member of the World Future Society and the American Humanist Association, founder and co-chair of the World Government Organization Coalition, member of the coordinating committee of Women For Peace, involved with the Population and Ecology Commission of the World Constitutional Convention, a founding board member of the World Federalists of Northern California (now named the Democratic World Federalists), leading figure in the Action Coalition for Global Change, worked with the CAMDUN process, and founder of the Citizens for a United Nations People’s Assembly, which held a panel discussion during the 60th Anniversary of the UN in 2005. She was connected to the Club of Budapest and a host of other groups.

[6] Although the 1975 World Citizens Assembly was the launching pad for the Global Assembly idea, the broader concept is older. In 1947, a conference took place at the New School of Social Research in New York City to consider the formation of an Emergency World People’s Congress. Delegates from 35 organizations attended, and it was agreed that the upcoming People’s Congress would be built around a union of non-governmental organizations to bring “about adequate world organization, of, by, and for all the people of the earth.” Report of the Joint Organizing Conference of the Advisory Board, Organizing Committee and Council of Co-operating Organizations for the Emergency World People’s Congress, May 17-18, 1947, presided by Dr. Kirtley F. Mather, report on file.

[7] See chapter 6.

[8] Lucile W. Green, Journey to a Governed World: Thru 50 Years in the Peace Movement (The Uniquest Foundation, 1991/1992), p.46. Given at the Festival of the International Cooperation Council, 1980.

[9] Lucile W. Green, A Modest Proposal: City-Centered People’s Assemblies as First Step to a Global People’s Assembly (Action Coalition for Global Change, 1997). On file.

[10] Questionnaire presented at the Chicago meeting: Discussion on Organizing a Permanent Global Peoples Assembly and Establishing a Legitimate Peoples Agenda. On file.

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