Book: “Up-Wingers: A Futurist Manifesto”

Up-Wingers: A Futurist Manifesto


A lost, shining example of 70’s socio-futurist wondering, Upwingers is a stirring manifesto. Real proclamations are hard to find in this day and age of sound bites and half-hearted cynicism. See why the Village Voice called F.M. Esfandiary “a man so rational, so articulately confident, that he emanates a kind of ultimate optimism–the triumph over alienation and irrationality.” He deals in possibilities; he makes the unknown his favorite subject and with Upwingers, he makes the future a revolutionary rendezvous

About the author

Profile Image for FM-2030.


9 books25 followersFollow

FM-2030 (October 15, 1930 in Brussels – July 8, 2000 in New York) was an author, teacher, transhumanist philosopher, futurist and consultant.[1] FM-2030 was born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary (Persian: فریدون اسفندیاری‎).

He became notable as a transhumanist with the book Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, published in 1989. In addition, he wrote a number of works of fiction under his original name F.M. Esfandiary.

The son of an Iranian diplomat, he travelled widely as a child,living in 17 countries by age 11, then, as a young man, he represented Iran as a basketball player in the 1948 Olympic Games[2] and served on the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine from 1952 to 1954.


Phylogenetic Egos


By Mike Zonta, H.W., M.

In Prosperos classes we’re taught about ontogenetic and phylogenetic information. Ontogenetic information is stuff we ;pick up from birth on. You could say it’s our many ego identities. Things we pick from here and there that compose what we call our identity.

Phylogenetic information is information imprinted in us from a biological perspective. Our DNA. We usually think of our bodies as something separate from who we are because we usually have little control over them.

Without our bodies … Well, they’re pretty important to get us from one place to the other, for example.

So it’s easy to understand how ontogenetic information, which is basically stuff we made up about ourselves or accepted as true ’cause somebody else made up something about us …

We call this the ego self. Or the ego state. We really have many ego selves.

But phylogenetic information can be looked at in the same way, you know. Somewhere along the line our body’s cells figured out how to create a heart or a pair of legs and they passed this information on from one generation to the next.

Since we are all the beneficiaries of this information, we don’t question it too much. But that doesn’t make this information sacrosanct, just like our egos are not sacrosanct.

We need our egos just to get across the street, not only psychologically, but physically as well.

So we might as well refer to phylogenetic information as phylogenetic egos. Like our ontogenetic egos, they can be improved upon or even transcended.

This might be an ego-deflating concept to our trillions of cells, but it’s an inflating and exciting concept for those of us who want to transcend our ego-based identities.

For a list of Prosperos classes, go to:\

Joseph Goldstein says there is no “self”

“All things arise when the appropriate conditions are present, and all things pass away as conditions change. Behind the process, there is no “self” who is running the show.”

Joseph Goldstein (b.1944)
American Writer and Teacher

The Media Still Doesn’t Grasp the Danger of Trump

He tells the world he intends to be an authoritarian. So why won’t journalists repeat it?

James Risen

May 25 2024 (

Former President Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in New York. (Michael M. Santiago/Pool Photo via AP)
Former President Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court on May 21, 2024, in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Pool Photo via APAP

DONALD TRUMP REPRESENTS an existential threat to democracy in the United States. If he is elected president, he will try to become a dictator.

That warning must be repeated, over and over again, so Americans don’t forget it in November.

But that’s not the daily news that you will read or hear in the American press today. Instead, it’s mostly coverage of polls favorable to Trump and cute scene-setting stories about the carnival-like atmosphere at his crazed rallies, where his massive cult following is on display.

That daily coverage ignores the five-alarm fire burning up the 2024 election. The mainstream political press is effectively ignoring the coming national apocalypse. How can that be? How can they once again screw up covering Trump?

After all, Trump isn’t hiding his lust for dictatorial power. He admits it publicly. In December, when his Fox News lackey, Sean Hannity, gave him an opportunity to dispel fears that he wanted dictatorial power, Trump instead offered a rare truth. “Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight, you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?” Hannity asked. “Except for day one,” Trump replied.

Trump is planning a second term that is nothing more than a revenge tour: Deploy the Insurrection Act to crush dissent, turn the Justice Department into a personal weapon to imprison government officials who previously investigated or prosecuted him, persecute former aides who turned against him, pardon himself and his lieutenants, and loot the government to enrich himself and his flailing businesses.

In case anybody has missed his autocratic plans, Trump promoted a video this week about “the creation of a unified Reich” if he is elected.

Even this social media callout to Hitler generated a generally tepid response from the press, like one from an ABC reporter who only dared to say that it was “not normal” for presidential candidates to share “references to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.”

TRUMP IS A fascist. But the mainstream political press doesn’t want to say it. They want to act like 2024 is just another election year.

With their obsession with horse-race coverage, political reporters tend to judge what Trump says or does by whether his words and actions will help him politically. By doing so, the press is saying that Trump’s racism, corruption, criminality, and insane abuses of power matter only so far as his electability.

There are exceptions: major news organizations, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, have done some important stories about Trump’s dictatorial plans for a second term. But those investigative stories are drowned out by the chorus of horse-race stories — sometimes published on the same days and by the same news organizations behind more substantial coverage.

The media is sleepwalking.

I’ve often wondered how the press, both in Germany and around the world, failed to see Hitler for the monster that he was before he gained power. After Trump, I think I understand.


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Hitler took advantage of the incremental nature of daily journalism. For years, his rise in Germany was not taken seriously in the United States, and that period of American inattention and isolationism enabled Hitler to become a much greater global threat. The American press played a significant and ugly role in downplaying the threat Hitler posed to the Western world.

American journalists initially viewed Hitler as little more than a German version of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who they saw as a blustering demagogue, yet also a leader who had helped save Italy from the economic chaos of the post-World War I era.

The New York Times credited Mussolini “with returning turbulent Italy to what it called normalcy,” according to a study of the press coverage of Hitler and Mussolini in Smithsonian Magazine in 2016.

When Hitler first burst into German political life, the American press sought to downplay his importance by treating him as a joke; the Smithsonian notes how Newsweek called him a “nonsensical” screecher of “wild words” and that his appearance suggested “Charlie Chaplin.”

Over time, American journalists’ views of Hitler began to shift, but mostly just to show greater respect for his skills as a charismatic public speaker and a successful demagogue. Ultimately, through more than a decade in German politics before he came to power, Hitler was normalized by American reporters. The press became numb to the outrageous things he said and wrote and did. He kept saying the same things for years; he laid out many of his plans and intentions in “Mein Kampf” in 1925, eight years before he came to power. By the time of the crucial 1932 German elections and Hitler’s subsequent rise to power in 1933, his rabid antisemitism and his lust for power were treated as old news.

The American press is making the same mistake today.

EVER SINCE TRUMP announced he was running for president in 2015, reporters have alternated between depicting him as a goof who couldn’t be taken seriously and showing respect for his skills as a demagogue.

Two impeachments, four criminal indictments, and one insurrection later, Trump is normal now, at least as far as the political press corps is concerned. The January 6 insurrection, in which Trump tried to illegally hold on to power, is old news. Just like Hitler’s 1923 Beer Hall Putsch was old news by the 1932 German elections.

This leads to more coverage of Trump’s poll numbers than his criminality or the threat he poses to the United States.

After Trump’s chaotic four years in office, too many journalists think that everything about Trump’s insane record has already been reported and written. This leads to more coverage of his poll numbers than his criminality or the threat he poses to the United States.

Mainstream journalists are increasingly open about their refusal to cover the campaign in crisis terms. In a recent interview, New York Times executive editor Joe Kahn bristled at the notion that the Times needs to recognize the threat that Trump poses to the republic. He claimed that would just be doing the bidding of the Biden campaign and would turn the Times into a state propaganda organ like “Xinhua News Agency or Pravda.”

Kahn’s defensive crouch is symptomatic of the press today. After years of losing to social media companies in the fight for advertising and attention and fending off a constant barrage of attacks from right-wing critics who seek to discredit their journalism, major news organizations have become increasingly insular. A sudden surge in readership and viewership during the Trump administration has waned, while a drive to make newsrooms more diverse by hiring a wave of young progressive journalists has left older white editors embittered that the new generation has dared to challenge the status quo.

News organizations have always been hostile to outside scrutiny, but their hypocrisy about transparency and openness have reached new heights. Earlier this year the Times launched an ill-conceived leak investigation of its own staff to find out who talked to The Intercept for a story, while more recently the Washington Post has sought to downplay evidence that its new publisher, Will Lewis, was involved in a scheme to conceal evidence about phone hacking of British royals and celebrities while he was an executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in London. Semafor reported this week that an editor at the Post ordered the staff not to promote on its newsletters one of the Post’s own stories that included new allegations about Lewis from a lawsuit filed by Prince Harry in London.

Expect little accountability for these actions; the Post got rid of its ombudsman in 2013, and the Times got rid of its last public editor in 2017. Both the Times and the Washington Post have media reporters, but they rarely write about their own newsrooms and instead spend most of their time punching down on smaller news organizations.

Last year, CNN went through an internal crisis as well, after its new owners sought to force the newsroom to bend more toward Trump. That controversy ultimately led to the firing of CNN’s chief, but it is not clear whether the new ownership group still plans to push for more Trump-friendly coverage.

These efforts to build protective bubbles around their organizations at a time of unprecedented volatility in the news business seem to be at the heart of the refusal by the mainstream press to get out in front of the voters and take a stand on Trump.

In fact, many in the news business would secretly be thrilled by Trump’s return to the White House, particularly old, white pundits and commentators who claim to be liberal but quietly believe that “cancel culture” is a bigger threat than Trump. Many corporate executives in the news business would likewise be happy to see a return to Trump-era revenues.

But the basic reason the press isn’t sounding the alarm about the threat Trump poses to American democracy is much more banal. It’s about the structure of journalism. Read Our Complete CoverageAll the President’s Crimes

Just like Hitler before him, Trump is benefiting from the fact that journalism is an incremental, daily business. Every day, reporters have to find something new to write or broadcast. Trump keeps saying dangerous and crazy things, but that’s not new. He’s said it all before. His impeachments and the January 6 insurrection happened years ago. True, he has been indicted four times and now faces up to four criminal trials, but that’s already been reported. What’s new today?

For political reporters covering the campaign, that means usually treating Trump’s authoritarian promises as “B-matter.” That’s an old newspaper phrase that refers to the background information that reporters gather about a story’s subject. B-matter is usually exiled to the bottom of an article — if not cut entirely to save space or time.

But the horrifying truth is that when Trump’s dictatorial ambitions are left on the cutting room floor as B-matter, America is in trouble.Share


James X


Native American Children Endured Years of Sexual Abuse, In the Name of God

The Washington Post

Native American Children Endured Years of Sexual Abuse, In the Name of GodFor decades, Catholic priests, brothers and sisters raped or molested Native American children who were taken from their homes by the U.S. government. (photo: Washington Post)

30 may 24 (

For decades, Catholic priests, brothers and sisters raped or molested Native American children who were taken from their homes by the U.S. government and forced to live at remote boarding schools, a Post investigation found.

Clarita Vargas was 8 when she was forced to live at St. Mary’s Mission, a Catholic-run Indian boarding school in Omak, Wash., that was created under a U.S. government policy to strip Native American children of their identities. A priest took her and other girls to his office to watch a TV movie, then groped and fondled her as she sat on his lap — the beginning of three years of sexual abuse, she said.

“It haunted me my entire life,” said Vargas, now 64.

Jay, a 70-year-old member of the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes whose surname is not being used to protect his privacy, was sent to St. Paul Mission and Boarding School in Hays, Mont. When he was 11, Jay said, a Jesuit brother raped him in a shack next to the pine grove where the priests cut down Christmas trees.

“He said if I ever told anybody that I would go to hell,” Jay recalled.

Geraldine Charbonneau Dubourt was one of nine sisters who said they were sexually or physically abused by priests at an Indian boarding school in Marty, S.D. She said that she was 16 when a Catholic priest repeatedly raped her in a church basement and that a doctor and several Catholic sisters later forced her to undergo an abortion.

“If somebody says you get over the abuse, trust me, you don’t get over it,” said Dubourt, 75.

These firsthand accounts and other evidence documented by The Washington Post reveal the brutality and sexual abuse inflicted upon children who were taken from their families under a systematic effort by the federal government to destroy Native American culture, assimilate children into White society and seize tribal lands.

From 1819 to 1969, tens of thousands of children were sent to more than 500 boarding schools across the country, the majority run or funded by the U.S. government. Children were stripped of their names, their long hair was cut, and they were beaten for speaking their languages, leaving deep emotional scars on Native American families and communities. By 1900, 1 out of 5 Native American school-age children attended a boarding school. At least 80 of the schools were operated by the Catholic Church or its religious affiliates.

The Post investigation reveals a portrait of pervasive sexual abuse endured by Native American children at Catholic-run schools in remote regions of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, including Alaska.

At least 122 priests, sisters and brothers assigned to 22 boarding schools since the 1890s were later accused of sexually abusing Native American children under their care, The Post found. Most of the documented abuse occurred in the 1950s and 1960s and involved more than 1,000 children.

“A national crime scene” is how Deborah Parker, a citizen of the Tulalip Tribes and the chief executive of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, described the network of church-run Indian boarding schools.

“They committed crimes under the cloak,” said Parker, whose grandmother and other family members were sent to boarding schools. “They did it in the name of God.”

To investigate, The Post examined the work histories of priests named on lists, disclosed by Catholic entities, as having faced a “credible claim of sexual abuse.” Using those lists from dioceses and religious orders, The Post then identified which abusers worked at Indian boarding schools. Reporters also reviewed lawsuits, sworn affidavits, oral histories and thousands of boarding school records, and conducted interviews with former students.

The Post’s findings come at a time when the country’s first Native American cabinet secretary, Deb Haaland — whose own relatives were sent to boarding schools — is scrutinizing the history of the schools that were operated or supported by the U.S. Interior Department, the agency she now leads.

As with past government inquiries into the boarding schools, Haaland’s investigation has not delved into the sexual abuse of Native American children at church-run schools. A 2022 report by her department blamed the U.S. government for the boarding school system and cited the “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse” of the children. But the report did not detail the schools where sexual abuse happened, the number of children raped or molested, or the names of priests and other religious members who abused them.

“We care deeply about this issue, but it’s outside the scope of what we sought to do with the investigative reports,” said an Interior Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly. The official said the department did not seek records from the Catholic Church because its investigation was focused solely on the U.S. government’s role and reviewed only federal government documents.

Experts say The Post’s findings are a window into the widespread sexual abuse at Indian boarding schools. But the extent of the abuse was probably far worse, because the lists of accused priests are inconsistent and incomplete, and many survivors have not come forward. Others are aging and in poor health, or, like their abusers, have died.

The chances to document their testimonies are disappearing.

“I’ve been waiting 67 years to tell this story,” said Jim LaBelle, 77, an Iñupiaq from Fairbanks, Alaska, who spent six years at the Wrangell Institute, a government-run school in the state, 700 miles from his home. He was forbidden to use his Alaska Native name. From the time he was 8, he was instead identified by number, a new one assigned each year.

The abuse of Native American children predated by decades the revelations that priests at Catholic churches had sexually abused thousands of minors in the United States and other countries. Those scandals of the early 2000s gave Native Americans the courage to come forward with their own stories of abuse and seek accountability through lawsuits.

“It showed that people could stand up against a powerful entity like the church and that people could be held accountable,” said Vito de la Cruz, a Native American and Chicano lawyer who has represented boarding school survivors.

An attempt to sue the federal government failed, but some survivors of sexual abuse have successfully sued Catholic dioceses and religious orders and received settlements.

Unlike children abused by priests at churches in Boston and other big cities while they were living at home, Native American children were put into the care of alleged abusers at remote boarding schools, sometimes hundreds of miles from home.

Chart showing the appointments over time of priests credibly accused of sexual assault at 18 schools.

Eighteen of the 22 schools examined by The Post employed at least one credibly accused priest, sister or brother for 91 consecutive years. At these schools, successive generations of students continuously lived among predators.

“They can scream for help, but no one’s going to hear them or believe them. It’s a perpetrator’s wonderland,” said Patrick J. Wall, a former Catholic priest who once worked for the church as a self-described “fixer” settling child sexual abuse cases. He has since worked with lawyers representing Native American boarding school survivors.

The U.S. government’s efforts to address its legacy of boarding schools lag far behind those of Canada, where survivors were paid billions in compensation and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 declared the schools a form of “cultural genocide.”

Pope Francis traveled to Canada in 2022 to apologize for the church’s role in the “cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time.” But the pope has remained silent about the abuse at Catholic-run Indian boarding schools in the United States, which had received little scrutiny until the Interior Department’s report.

Cardinal Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, known as the apostolic nuncio, did not respond to an email or call for comment.

The church has addressed abuse by priests in U.S. parishes, but has said little about the molestation of children in Indian boarding schools. And although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has grappled in recent years with the legacy of the church-run schools, it has not issued a formal apology.

“The church wounded my spirit, took away my soul and robbed me of my childhood.”

Asked by The Post if the group was considering one, spokesperson Chieko Noguchi said it is “committed to fostering dialogue and engaging in other efforts to reconcile involvement in the boarding school period in the United States.”

“The Catholic Church recognizes and acknowledges that the history that is brought to light regarding the boarding school period of American history may cause deep sorrow in the Native and Indigenous communities, but we also prayerfully hope it may bring real and honest dialogue and lead towards a path of healing and reconciliation with the impacted communities,” Noguchi said.

The Rev. Mike Carson, assistant director for the subcommittee on Native American affairs with the bishops conference, addressed the church’s role in boarding schools last year in a webinar.

“Once abuse surfaced, the schools need[ed] to be closed and investigated. That did not happen for the most part,” Carson said. “Once the federal government required only English to be taught in the Catholic boarding schools, the answer should be no, because it violates our faith and should be a line that should not be crossed.”

Carson acknowledged the sexual and physical abuse of children in the Catholic-run schools and called for more scrutiny of what occurred, but also noted a likely dearth of records.

The Post reached out to Carson, who referred inquiries to the bishops conference.

The Interior Department’s report did not explore the role of the Catholic Church in the schools, except to say the U.S. government paid the church and other religious institutions to run many of the schools.

“I don’t look at it as we’re out to criticize the Catholic Church as much as bring this period of history into the consciousness of the American people,” Haaland told The Post in an interview. “It happened to Native Americans, but the history belongs to everyone who’s an American.”

Boarding school survivors have praised Haaland’s efforts, but say they still want apologies from the president and the pope.

How we reported this series

Reporters Sari Horwitz, Dana Hedgpeth and Scott Higham and photojournalist Salwan Georges spent a year traveling to eight states. They spent time on reservations and interviewed more than two dozen Indian boarding school survivors who were sexually and physically abused as children.

Reporters attended one of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s “The Road to Healing” events on the Tulalip Tribes’ reservation in Washington state, where they met with and listened to survivors. Reporters also visited the American Indian Records Repository, located about 100 feet underground in limestone caves in Lenexa, Kan.

Two years ago, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest and largest organization of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, asked for an apology from the pope — and for the church to disclose internal records on abusers.

“The Catholic Church holds important records about Federal Indian boarding schools that can help bring the truth to light. We cannot hold abusers accountable, seek redress for harm, or reconcile with the Church, government institutions, and, in some cases, our own communities and families, until we know the full, unadulterated truth — truth the Catholic Church is actively withholding,” wrote Fawn Sharp, a citizen of the Quinault Nation and the NCAI’s president at the time.

In March, Parker, of the boarding school healing coalition, met at the White House with Tom Perez, a senior adviser and assistant to President Biden, and asked for a presidential apology for the widespread mistreatment and abuse that Native American children suffered at boarding schools.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Advocates have not pushed for reparations from the U.S. government. Parker said doing so now is a “non-starter” because they first want Congress to create a truth and healing commission to uncover the horrors of the schools and the country’s assimilation policy.

“Unfortunately, many, many leaders in this country don’t even know what a U.S. Indian boarding school was,” Parker said. “And that’s the first step.”

St. Mary’s Mission

Colville Reservation, Wash.

‘Movie nights’

Near the cliffs overlooking the Okanogan River, not far from a sprawling apple orchard in north-central Washington, the Catholic Church established St. Mary’s Mission School in 1886.

St. Mary’s, on the Colville Reservation, was created by federal policy that tasked people of “good moral character” with introducing Native American children to the “habits and arts of civilization” under the Civilization Fund Act of 1819. For Catholic missionaries and other religious groups, the schools were an opportunity to profit from contracts with the federal government and transform children the church saw as heathens into God-fearing disciples of Christianity.

Generations of children attended St. Mary’s before it was turned over to local tribes in 1973. Decades later, one former student’s stories of predatory behavior by a priest set off an avalanche of similar claims about priests at St. Mary’s — and at many other schools.

The account of Katherine Mendez, who was sent to the school in 1966, didn’t become public until 2007, when her nephew, Ken Bear Chief, a paralegal, told his boss that his Aunt Kathy had been molested as a child at St. Mary’s.

Blaine Tamaki, a trial lawyer in Washington state who knew little about Indian boarding schools, interviewed Mendez, then in her early 50s. Mendez, who was from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, told him that shortly after she arrived at the school at age 11, one of the senior Jesuit priests — John J. Morse — began to prey upon her.

Mendez said Morse often ordered her to his office, sometimes to be disciplined. She said he insisted she sit on his lap, spanked her bare bottom and penetrated her with his fingers. He told her not to say a word about it if she ever wanted to go home again and see her mother, she said.

Mendez thought she was the only one. She wasn’t.

The abuse of children at St. Mary’s spanned more than two decades: Starting in 1948 and for 26 consecutive years, priests or brothers molested children at the school, according to The Post’s analysis. This was the longest uninterrupted stretch of abuse documented at any of the 22 schools. It is unclear whether church officials were aware of the abuse at St. Mary’s at the time.

Other survivors began to share their stories with Bear Chief — who was from the Nez Perce, Nooksack and Gros Ventre tribes — and the lawyers. One of those survivors was Clarita Vargas. She, too, had kept her secret about Morse for decades.

“The church wounded my spirit, took away my soul and robbed me of my childhood,” said Vargas, of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington. “It was the federal government that promoted the boarding school policy and the church was its arm. I blame them both.”

Vargas said Morse began to abuse her at St. Mary’s Mission in 1968. He told her that if she refused, she would not go to heaven. Sometimes, she said, Morse locked her in a rat-infested cellar.

Morse invited her and several girls to his office most Sunday nights, she said. He gave them hot cocoa, chocolate chip cookies or chocolate bars, and let them watch television. He would lean back in his recliner and place the girls one at a time on his lap, rubbing their backs until he ejaculated, Vargas said.

Tamaki and his lawyers heard repeatedly from other survivors about the “movie nights” that Morse hosted in his office. At Christmas, he gave the children candy canes. “They related the same exact story,” he said.

Some of the survivors said that as children they had tried to tell adults but were rebuffed or not believed. “It was almost like you were accusing God of abusing you if you reported it, because these priests were held up in such high esteem by everyone, second only to God,” said Bryan Smith, Tamaki’s law partner.

Tamaki’s investigation gathered evidence that Morse had molested 60 boys and girls, ages 5 to 15. The lawyers also identified about a dozen more priests at St. Mary’s who abused children from the 1940s into the 1970s.

The case grew to include about 500 former students at a dozen schools in remote Alaskan villages and on Northwest tribal lands in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The 500 survivors sued the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, formerly known as the Northwest Jesuits.

“There was a pattern and practice at these schools that were basically unsupervised, isolated outposts,” Tamaki said.

The Northwest Jesuits initially denied the allegations. In a 2007 deposition, Morse denied sexually abusing children.

“You’re aware that women now say they feel they were sexually molested by you by sitting on your lap?” a lawyer asked Morse.

“Yeah, and that did not happen,” Morse replied. “There was no molesting while they were sitting there.” Morse died in Spokane in 2015 at age 85.

In February 2009, the Northwest Jesuits filed for bankruptcy. The legal move stopped depositions and some disclosure of church records about individual priests, and prevented a trial, a tactic experts said the church has used many times.

The Jesuits agreed to pay $166 million in 2011 to about 500 survivors as part of a bankruptcy settlement. It is the fourth-largest sexual abuse settlement by Catholic entities to date, according to Terence McKiernan, founder of, a watchdog group that tracks sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church. Survivors received on average $332,000 each, depending on the severity of abuse, said their lawyers.

As part of the settlement, the Jesuits agreed to make public a list of priests who had been accused of sexually assaulting children.

Two researchers, Jack Downey of the University of Rochester and Kathleen Holscher of the University of New Mexico, later used that list and other Jesuit lists to map the priests’ assignments. They found 47 priests accused of abuse who had been assigned to Catholic missions in Native American communities. The Post’s investigation, which reviewed their data and other records, identified the boarding schools where those priests worked and found 75 additional abusers.

“If something like that happened to them, they’d take it to the grave.”

The settlement also required the Jesuits to issue written apologies to the survivors.

“On behalf of the Oregon Province, I want to express our most sincere sorrow for the pain and hurt caused by the actions of a few men who did not live up to their vows,” the Very Rev. Patrick Lee, the senior official of the Oregon Province, wrote of the 64 credibly accused men on the list. “We will continue to pray for all those who are hurting and hope that today’s announcement brings all involved one-step closer to the lasting healing they so richly deserve.”

For many of the survivors, it wasn’t about the money. “It was the acknowledgment they were wronged,” said de la Cruz, the lawyer who represented many of the survivors and is Yaqui. “Finally somebody said, ‘Yes, you’re right. The things that you buried deep inside your psyche and your soul were more our fault.’”

After the settlement, Mendez spoke to reporters.

“When I came forward and saw that others did too, it was as if the blanket that had hidden our secret was pulled off and we could move into the light again,” she said. Mendez died last year.

Vargas now lives about 40 minutes from her old boarding school. For a long time, she blocked out the abuse. But she had difficulty trusting anyone and found it hard to build relationships. As an adult, she never wanted to eat chocolate because that is what the abusive priest used to give the children.

When Vargas eventually told her story to one of the lawyers, she said she felt embarrassed and guilty.

“I shouldn’t have felt ashamed by it, but I was,” Vargas told The Post.

St. Paul Mission and Boarding School

Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Mont.

The allegations of sexual abuse that started with Mendez in Omak led lawyers to discover long-hidden abuse at another school, St. Paul Mission and Boarding School, on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, 40 miles from the Canadian border in Hays, Mont.

“It was a dumping ground for predatory priests,” said de la Cruz.

St. Paul, surrounded by grassy plains at the foot of the Little Rocky Mountains, was established in 1889 and was among the first schools funded by the federal government. Both the Jesuits and the Ursuline Sisters, a Catholic order of women, worked there. St. Paul was troubled from the early days, according to descendants of survivors and a collection of about 10,000 pages of letters, diaries, memos, government reports and oral histories reviewed by The Post. Conditions at the overcrowded school were deplorable: poor plumbing, little heat, and horsemeat for food. Abuse was rampant.

The stories of the abuse that children endured at St. Paul and other schools were often passed down orally in Native American families.

George Chandler, a Gros Ventre man born in 1922, said in an oral history about his time as a student at St. Paul that “they would stuff flashlight batteries” in the children’s mouths to punish them. “They would jam it there and hit them like that and make their mouth bleed,” Chandler recounted. “If you cried, they would hit you all the harder. If one didn’t hurt you enough, they would stuff two in there.”

Warren Morin, 60, a member of the Gros Ventre tribe, told The Post that his grandfather told him harrowing stories about St. Paul and said he and the other boys and girls there “lived in hell.” But Morin said his grandfather never said anything to him about sexual abuse.

“If something like that happened to them, they’d take it to the grave,” Morin said.

Survivors of sexual abuse at St. Paul began to share their painful stories as lawyers came to their reservation to investigate.

One of the survivors, the 70-year-old man named Jay, recounted in an interview with The Post how two priests, a brother and a sister sexually abused him at St. Paul. He was 6 when the abuse began in 1959, and it continued until he was 12.

Jay said Sister Sigfrieda Hettinger would tell him to stand before a statue of the Virgin Mary. She would order him to take down his pants and then would perform oral sex. He said she repeated the act with other children.

“We were little kids,” said Jay, a tall, slender man with closely cropped dark hair who still finds it hard to talk about what happened to him so many years ago.

“We didn’t know what to think,” he said. “She would touch us all over and put our face to her breasts. Before she would do these things, she’d make a sign of the cross.”

Hettinger, who worked at St. Paul from 1958 to 1966, denied in a 2015 deposition that she or anyone else at the school sexually abused children.

“I loved them all,” Hettinger said. “I never hurt them at all. I never touched them at all.”

“During the entire period of time, did you ever observe any child being sexually abused by anyone?” a lawyer asked her.

“No, no,” she said.

She died the next year at age 87 in Milwaukee.

At least 19 priests, brothers and sisters were accused of sexually abusing 21 Native American children at St. Paul, primarily in the 1950s and 1960s, according to The Post’s analysis and court records.

One of the Jesuit priests who were accused of preying on children at St. Paul was the Rev. Edmund J. Robinson. From the 1950s through the early 1980s, church officials had moved him from boarding school to boarding school, according to church and court records, lawsuits and an article in the Great Falls Tribune.

Map showing the appointments of Father Edmund Robinson at Native American boarding schools and other schools or churches.

That was the church’s pattern for many predatory priests, according to former church insiders and attorneys for the survivors. “It was remove, hide, shuffle,” said one of those lawyers, Dan Fasy.

Robinson, known as “Father Eddy,” started his career in the mid-1950s at St. Paul. Shortly after he arrived, he allegedly sexually abused a child. He then went to a Jesuit priests’ training college but returned to St. Paul, where he was later accused of sexually assaulting two more children. He was then moved to another boarding school, St. Ignatius Mission — 400 miles away in Montana — where he allegedly sexually abused a 5-year-old.

Robinson had been replaced at St. Paul by the Rev. Arnold Custer — who was also later accused of sexually abusing a child, according to court documents, local media reports, and watchdog groups that monitor predatory priests. Custer has since died.

In 1984, letters between church authorities showed that Robinson was being treated at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, N.M., a facility for troubled priests, according to church and court records.

In New Mexico, Robinson said that he realized “something was wrong within him and that he must do something about it,” according to a November 1984 mental health evaluation obtained by The Post. One of the men involved in Robinson’s “spiritual direction” at Servants of the Paraclete was later accused of sexually abusing multiple children, records show. The center discharged Robinson the next year and he served at several other Catholic parishes until the early 1990s.

During his time as a priest, Robinson was accused of sexually abusing nine boys and girls at several boarding schools, records show. Robinson spent more than two decades working at Indian boarding schools, and served at St. Paul Mission on three separate occasions.

In 2018, the Jesuits West Province included Robinson’s name on a publicly released list of credibly accused priests.

Robinson had died in 2014 after spending the last years of his life at the Regis Community in Spokane, Wash. — like other Jesuits accused of sexually assaulting minors, according to the Jesuits West list of credibly accused priests, court documents, interviews with lawyers and local media reports.

In 2021, the Jesuit Conference released a statement about Indian boarding schools, saying, “We regret our participation in the separation of families and the suppression of Native languages, cultures and sacred ways of life.” Two years later, Jesuits West launched a website to address the role of the Jesuits in operating Indian boarding schools.

St. Paul’s and St. Francis Indian mission schools

Yankton Sioux Reservation and Rosebud Reservation in S.D.

One by one, starting in the 1950s, Geraldine Charbonneau Dubourt and her eight sisters from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa were sent more than 400 miles away from their North Dakota home to St. Paul’s Indian Mission School in Marty, S.D., on the Yankton Sioux Reservation.

Dubourt, who attended St. Paul’s from 1955 to 1967, said that starting when she was 6, a priest fondled her on the playground, according to an affidavit. When she was a teenager, a different priest repeatedly raped her, she said. One of Dubourt’s sisters said that when she was 9, she was raped by a priest on a kitchen table. A third sister said that a priest “would take me down to the basement and have me perform oral sex on him.” He also showed her an area where coffins were stored. “One time he put me inside a coffin and I thought I would die,” she said in an affidavit.

In 2008, the nine siblings sued 12 priests, sisters and school workers over alleged abuse, in a case that became known as “The Nine Little Girls” and was covered by the Indian Country press, including by Native News Online. They also sued the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls and three religious groups.

The Sioux Falls Diocese and the religious organizations denied wrongdoing and said they had no responsibility for the priests, sisters and school employees, who have all since died. The diocese did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2010, shortly before the case was set to go to trial, the South Dakota legislature passed a law that prohibits victims of alleged sexual abuse who are 40 or older from suing institutions.

While many states have extended deadlines for filing sexual abuse lawsuits, South Dakota — which had 35 Indian boarding schools — is one state that took action to make it nearly impossible for aging survivors to seek justice, according to Marci A. Hamilton, an expert on child sex abuse statutes of limitation and the founder and CEO of Child USA, a nonprofit group working to end child abuse.

“What’s unbelievable is that since 2002, we’ve had 293 laws passed in the United States that extend the statute of limitations” for sexual abuse victims, Hamilton said. But “this law rolls it back rather than making it more generous.”

Steve Smith, a South Dakota lawyer who represented a Catholic congregation that ran an Indian boarding school in the state, wrote the legislation that changed the statute of limitations. The boarding school that his client ran had faced numerous lawsuits filed by former students who said they were sexually abused there. Protecting the congregation from further litigation was a motivating factor, Smith told The Post.

series of court rulings eventually led to the dismissal of the suit brought by the Charbonneau sisters, along with lawsuits by more than 100 other survivors.

“If somebody says you get over the abuse, trust me, you don’t get over it.”

“The passage of the legislation was the catalyst for the sisters’ case and numerous other cases being shut down statewide,” said Gregory A. Yates, the lawyer who represented the South Dakota survivors. “The effect was to revictimize these survivors of childhood sexual abuse.”

Smith said in an interview that he “absolutely” believes that the nine sisters were molested at St. Paul’s.

“There is no doubt in my mind in just listening to them that they are sincere in their story,” Smith said. But he said that individual abusers should be held responsible — not churches or religious institutions.

Dubourt, with long gray hair, is now in poor health. She is still passionate about wanting accountability from the church and the state for what happened to her as a child. For nearly a decade, she and her sisters dressed in long Native American ribbon skirts and protested at the South Dakota Capitol, in Pierre, to try to get the law changed.

“If we die, we’ll go away,” Dubourt told The Post. “Other than that, we are not going away.” Three of her sisters have died.

Dubourt said she and her sisters still carry the abuse they suffered as children at St. Paul’s Indian Mission School.

“You just set it on the back burner for a minute so you can survive,” she said.

South Dakota’s law would have prevented the aging survivors of sexual abuse at another school, St. Francis Indian Mission School, from suing the church. But lawyers found “smoking gun” letters in church files that showed that church officials had “covered up” evidence of abuse, Yates said. The letters allowed the lawyers to successfully argue under a different statute that a Catholic order had fraudulently concealed evidence of sexual abuse, he said.

The lawyers discovered the letters in 2011 after two women who had attended St. Francis, on the Rosebud Reservation, said they were abused, Yates said. The letters revealed that priests knew that a colleague, Brother Francis Chapman, known as “Chappy,” was molesting children.

“Chappy had his problems — drinking to excess, fooling around with little girls — he had them down the basement of our building in the dark, where we found a pair of panties torn,” a priest named Richard T. Jones wrote to a fellow cleric in 1968.

Jones, who has since died, wrote that a person working at the mission didn’t want Chapman around children, but made no mention of action being taken.

Three years later, the Rev. Bernard D. Fagan, a superior at the St. Francis school, wrote to a church official that Chapman was involved in another incident “similar to those of the past.” Fagan said they decided to “counsel with him rather strongly in the hope that future incidents would be avoided.”

Fagan himself later admitted in a 1994 letter to a Diocese of Rapid City official that he sexually abused 12 Native American girls.

In 2015, the two former St. Francis students who sued received confidential settlements for abuse they suffered from Chapman, Yates said.

Both Chapman and Fagan have since died. In 2019, both were identified by the Rapid City Diocese as priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

“Let us all pray for reparation for the sins and failings of those who abused their power and authority which led to the injury of others, especially our children,” the Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss, then the bishop of Rapid City, wrote in disclosing their names.

Chapman was one of 10 alleged abusers at the school, The Post’s analysis shows. Starting in 1942 with his employment and for the next 61 years, the school continuously employed at least one priest or brother accused of sexually assaulting or raping children.

The Road to Healing

On a recent afternoon at the Interior Department’s headquarters, Secretary Haaland pointed to framed photos of her parents and grandparents in her office, which is decorated with Native American paintings, pottery and blankets.

Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe of New Mexico and a Catholic, said that when her grandmother was little, she and other children were rounded up by a priest in their village and put on a train to a boarding school in Santa Fe, about 100 miles from her home. Her great-grandfather was sent more than 1,000 miles to one of the nation’s first federal boarding schools, in Carlisle, Pa., where the founder’s philosophy was: “Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”

“They were stolen,” she said.

When Haaland was still a member of Congress in 2020, she introduced legislation to create the first commission in U.S. history to investigate and document America’s Indian boarding schools.

The legislation was reintroduced last year in the Senate and this year in the House — but has not reached the floor for a vote in either chamber. The commission would have subpoena power, which could be used to compel the Catholic Church and other religious institutions that ran the schools to disclose their internal documents about boarding schools, experts said.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has not taken a position on the legislation, said Noguchi, the group’s spokesperson.

After the 2021 discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Canada, Haaland, by this time Biden’s interior secretary, launched her investigation into U.S. Indian boarding schools.

Canada was a role model for such an effort, advocates said.

The Canadian government had created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the prime minister issued a formal apology in 2008 after settling a massive class-action suit brought by school survivors. Seven years later, the commission reported that about half of the 78,748 survivors who filed claims said they were sexually or seriously physically abused. Nearly half of the 146 schools were run by Catholic organizations, according to the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

But the U.S. government inquiry isn’t as far-reaching as that of Canada, which spent about $6 billion Canadian on its boarding school investigation, including compensation to survivors. The U.S. Congress has appropriated $21 million over the last three years for the Interior Department’s ongoing inquiry.

During that time, Haaland’s team has been sifting through tens of millions of pages of U.S. government records to piece together the history of boarding schools for a series of reports. The records, many on fragile onion skin paper, include attendance reports, contracts and correspondence. Documents are scattered across the country at the National Archives, universities, tribal offices and local historical societies. Nearly 100 feet underground in limestone caves in Lenexa, Kan., thousands of boxes of additional records on Native Americans and their education are stored in a temperature-controlled federal repository.

A 1928 investigation commissioned by the federal government called the Meriam Report chastised the schools for the mistreatment and malnourishment of students. A 1969 congressional inquiry condemned the schools for trying to destroy Native American culture, laying the groundwork for ending the government’s assimilation policy in the boarding school system. But neither investigation mentioned sexual abuse, and archived documents from the 1969 report contain no evidence that the matter was ever examined.

The Interior Department’s 2022 report, written by Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newlanda citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe), said Native American boys experienced more physical and sexual abuse in the schools than girls. But it does not go further, and Interior officials said the abuse was rarely — if ever — recorded in government files.

“I doubt that you could find a lot of Catholic records or federal government records about abuse and neglect toward the students,” Haaland said.

Interior’s report, instead, focused on the history of the boarding school era and how it targeted Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children. It was the first government effort to count the schools and list their locations. The report also revealed that at least 500 boys and girls died at the schools — and that the number could “be in the thousands or tens of thousands.” Many were buried in unmarked graves at schools, the report said.

“This has never been about religion. It’s been about people abusing children.”

As part of her effort, Haaland traveled to 12 places across the country, from Oklahoma to Alaska, on what she called “The Road to Healing” tour. For up to eight hours a day, she listened to stories of physical and sexual abuse told by survivors and their descendants. Survivor stories are being compiled by the healing coalition and the Interior Department into an oral history project that may be displayed by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

For many, Haaland’s listening sessions were the first chance to confront the government and say out loud what happened to them.

One afternoon in April 2023, hundreds of survivors packed into a cavernous hall supported by giant cedar columns on the Tulalip Tribes’ reservation in Washington state. After an opening ceremony of Native American drumming and singing, Haaland and Newland took their seats at the front. One by one, elderly boarding school survivors stood to tell their stories.

Nancy Shippentower of the Puyallup Tribe said her husband had been sexually abused at a boarding school in Oregon when he was little. “He said that he was an altar boy and he was raped by the priests,” she said. “He was sexually abused by the nuns. And his hands were beat black and blue.”

When Matthew War Bonnet, 78, of the Sicangu Lakota tribe, stood up and began to speak, a hush fell over the room.

At age 6, War Bonnet had been sent to the St. Francis Mission Indian School in Rosebud, S.D. War Bonnet said he and other children were beaten so badly that they were often sent to the infirmary for treatment.

War Bonnet held up replicas of a rope and a strap used to lash children as punishment. The rope was four strands tied together. They called it the “Jesus rope,” War Bonnet said.

The strap carried strands of razor-sharp metal strips.

“This strap taught me not to feel,” said War Bonnet, his voice cracking.

A year later, in her Washington office, Haaland singled out his testimony among the hundreds of accounts she had heard. Tears filled her eyes.

“It’s a terrible, horrific, devastating history,” Haaland said. “You name the worst thing that you could imagine happening to people and it happened to Indigenous people right here in this country.”


The Post identified Catholic priests, sisters and brothers who were accused of sexual abuse and worked at Indian boarding schools by reviewing their employment histories.

To establish school locations, The Post relied on data provided by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, or NABS, and the U.S. Interior Department, identifying 523 schools.

The Catholic Church ran or was affiliated with 82 boarding schools, according to NABS and other boarding school documents. Reporters identified the dioceses and religious orders for 72 schools based on information from Catholic Truth … Healing, a group of archivists and historians who conduct boarding school research.

While the Catholic Church operated the most schools of any religious group, some schools were run by Presbyterians, Quakers, Methodists and other groups. By the 1980s, most of the boarding schools had closed or been turned over to the tribes or successor organizations to run.

Reporters focused on schools operated by the Catholic Church because of the availability of records and lawsuits by former students alleging sexual abuse. These records include lists of priests and members of religious orders who have been publicly identified by their dioceses or orders as being accused of “credible” or “established” claims of sexual abuse.

There is no standard for inclusion on these lists. In some cases, the allegations have been investigated by dioceses or provinces and determined to have merit; in others, the claims could not be investigated because too much time had passed or the alleged abuser had died.

The Jesuits West Province, for example, say its list includes members “against whom a credible claim of sexual abuse of a minor (under the age of 18) or a vulnerable adult has been made.” It notes that inclusion “does not imply that the claims are true and correct or that the accused individual has been found guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims.” It says anyone named on a list has been removed from the ministry.

Experts caution that the lists are incomplete: Most disclose only clergy members and those who served after the 1950s. Some of the lists fail to include any information about where people worked, the dates of employment or the years of abuse.

The Post compiled more than a dozen lists of priests, brothers and sisters accused of sexual abuse and built a data set of the names of more than 5,000 churches, missions and schools to which they had been assigned. Reporters then searched the data set and identified Indian boarding schools based on their name and location.

From the diocesan lists, reporters identified 64 priests, 20 sisters and 11 brothers who worked at 17 schools, most of them in Montana, South Dakota and Alaska. Some had been assigned to a school as early as the 1890s, and one had worked as recently as 2003 at an institution that assumed control of a boarding school.

The Post also identified two priests, one brother and an additional school by reviewing ProPublica’s data set of members of the Catholic Church accused of sexual misconduct. Through lawsuits, reporters found 24 additional priests, brothers and sisters who worked at four other boarding schools.

To calculate consecutive years of employment and abuse reported at individual schools, The Post included only individuals for whom specific years of work and abuse were known.

The Post used data from to fill in missing assignment histories. For 20 people, there were no assignment dates. The Post was unable to identify when 13 individuals worked at four schools because of missing employment dates.


Why scientists say we need to send clocks to the moon — soon

Jackie Wattles, CNN

Fri, May 31, 2024 (

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Perhaps the greatest, mind-bending quirk of our universe is the inherent trouble with timekeeping: Seconds tick by ever so slightly faster atop a mountain than they do in the valleys of Earth.

For practical purposes, most people don’t have to worry about those differences.

But a renewed space race has the United States and its allies, as well as China, dashing to create permanent settlements on the moon, and that has brought the idiosyncrasies of time, once again, to the forefront.

On the lunar surface, a single Earth day would be roughly 56 microseconds shorter than on our home planet — a tiny number that can lead to significant inconsistencies over time.

NASA and its international partners are currently grappling with this conundrum.

Scientists aren’t just looking to create a new “time zone” on the moon, as some headlines have suggested, said Cheryl Gramling, the lunar position, navigation, and timing and standards lead at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Rather, the space agency and its partners are looking to create an entirely new “time scale,” or system of measurement that accounts for that fact that seconds tick by faster on the moon, Gramling noted.

NASA is working with its international partners to come up with a method for tracking time on the moon, seen here from Kars, Turkey, on May 18. - Omer Tarsuslu/Anadolu/Getty Images
NASA is working with its international partners to come up with a method for tracking time on the moon, seen here from Kars, Turkey, on May 18. – Omer Tarsuslu/Anadolu/Getty Images

The agency’s goal is to work with international partners to set up a new method of tracking time, specifically for the moon, that space-faring nations agree to observe.

A recent memo from the White House also directed NASA to map out its plans for this new time scale by December 31, calling it “foundational” to renewed US efforts to explore the lunar surface. The memo also asks that NASA implement such a system by the end of 2026, the same year the space agency is aiming to return astronauts to the moon for the first time in five decades.

For the world’s timekeepers, the coming months could be crucial for figuring out how to accurately keep lunar time — and reach agreements on how, when and where to put clocks on the moon.

Such a framework will be crucial for humans visiting our closest celestial neighbor, Gramling told CNN.

Astronauts on the moon, for example, are going to leave their habitats to explore the surface and carry out science investigations, she said. They’re also going to be communicating with one another or driving their moon buggies while on the lunar surface.

“When they’re navigating relative to the moon,” Gramling said, “time needs to be relative to the moon.”

A brief history of Earth time

Simple sundials or stone formations, which track shadows as the sun passes overhead, mark a day’s progression just as the shifting phases of the moon can log the passing of a month on Earth. Those natural timekeepers have kept humans on schedule for millennia.

But perhaps since mechanical clocks gained traction in the early 14th century, clockmakers have grown ever more persnickety about precision.

Exacting the measurement of seconds also grew more complicated in the early 1900s, thanks to Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist who rocked the scientific community with his theories of special and general relativity.

Shown here is the old marble sundial at Palace Paco de Sao Miguel in Evora, Portugal. Sundials have kept humans on schedule for millennia. - Geography Photos/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Shown here is the old marble sundial at Palace Paco de Sao Miguel in Evora, Portugal. Sundials have kept humans on schedule for millennia. – Geography Photos/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

“Darn that Einstein guy — he came up with general relativity, and many strange things come out of it,” said Dr. Bruce Betts, chief scientist at The Planetary Society, a nonprofit space interest group. “One of them is that gravity slows time down.”

General relativity is complicated, but in broad terms, it’s a framework that explains how gravity affects space and time.

Imagine that our solar system is a piece of fabric suspended in the air. That fabric is space and time itself, which — under Einstein’s theories — are inextricably linked. And every celestial body within the solar system, from the sun to the planets, is like a heavy ball sitting atop the fabric. The heavier the ball, the deeper the divot it creates, warping space and time.

Even the idea of an earthly “second” is a humanmade concept that’s tricky to measure. And it was Einstein’s theory of general relativity that explained why time passes slightly more slowly at lower elevations — because gravity has a stronger effect closer to a massive object (such as our home planet).

Scientists have found a modern solution to all the complications of relativity for timekeeping on Earth: To account for imperceptible differences, they have set up a few hundred atomic clocks at various locations across the globe. Atomic clocks are ultra-precise instruments that use the vibration of atoms to measure the passage of time, and those clocks — in line with Einstein’s theories — tick slower the closer to Earth’s surface they sit.

The readings from atomic clocks around the world can be averaged for a broad but accurate as possible sense of time for planet Earth as a whole, giving us Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC. Still, occasionally “leap seconds” are factored in to keep UTC in line with slight changes in Earth’s speed of rotation.

This methodical keeping of time helps make the modern world go round — metaphorically speaking, said Kevin Coggins, deputy associate administrator and program manager for NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program.

“If you’ve researched time on the Earth, you realize it is the critical enabler for everything: the economy, food security, trading, the financial community, even oil exploration. They use precise clocks,” Coggins said. “It’s in everything that matters in modern society.”

German-born physicist Albert Einstein, pictured here in 1939, developed the theories of special and general relativity. - MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images
German-born physicist Albert Einstein, pictured here in 1939, developed the theories of special and general relativity. – MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Space, time: The continual question

If time moves differently on the peaks of mountains than the shores of the ocean, you can imagine that things get even more bizarre the farther away from Earth you travel.

To add more complication: Time also passes slower the faster a person or spacecraft is moving, according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

Astronauts on the International Space Station, for example, are lucky, said Dr. Bijunath Patla, a theoretical physicist with the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, in a phone interview. Though the space station orbits about 200 miles (322 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, it also travels at high speeds — looping the planet 16 times per day — so the effects of relativity somewhat cancel each other out, Patla said. For that reason, astronauts on the orbiting laboratory can easily use Earth time to stay on schedule.

For other missions — it’s not so simple.

Fortunately, scientists already have decades of experience contending with the complexities.

Spacecraft, for example, are equipped with their own clocks called oscillators, Gramling said.

“They maintain their own time,” Gramling said. “And most of our operations for spacecraft — even spacecraft that are all the way out at Pluto, or the Kuiper Belt, like New Horizons — (rely on) ground stations that are back on Earth. So everything they’re doing has to correlate with UTC.”

Astronauts at the International Space Station can use Earth time to stay on schedule.. - NASA
Astronauts at the International Space Station can use Earth time to stay on schedule.. – NASA

But those spacecraft also rely on their own kept time, Gramling said. Vehicles exploring deep into the solar system, for example, have to know — based on their own time scale — when they are approaching a planet in case the spacecraft needs to use that planetary body for navigational purposes, she added.

For 50 years, scientists have also been able to observe atomic clocks that are tucked aboard GPS satellites, which orbit Earth about 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) away — or about one-nineteenth the distance between our planet and the moon.

Studying those clocks has given scientists a great starting point to begin extrapolating further as they set out to establish a new time scale for the moon, Patla said.

“We can easily compare (GPS) clocks to clocks on the ground,” Patla said, adding that scientists have found a way to gently slow GPS clocks down, making them tick more in-line with Earth-bound clocks. “Obviously, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s easier than making a mess.”

For the moon, however, scientists likely won’t seek to slow clocks down. They hope to accurately measure lunar time as it is — while also ensuring it can be related back to Earth time, according to Patla, who recently co-authored a paper detailing a framework for lunar time.

The study, for the record, also attempted to pinpoint exactly how far apart moon and Earth time are, as estimates have wavered between 56 and 59 microseconds per day.

Clocks on the moon’s equator would tick 56.02 microseconds faster per day than clocks at the Earth’s equator, according to the paper.

Lunar clockwork

What scientists know for certain is that they need to get precision timekeeping instruments to the moon.

Exactly who pays for lunar clocks, which type of clocks will go, and where they’ll be positioned are all questions that remain up in the air, Gramling said.

“We have to work all of this out,” she said. “I don’t think we know yet. I think it will be an amalgamation of several different things.”

Atomic clocks, Gramling noted, are great for long-term stability, and crystal oscillators have an advantage for short-term stability.

“You never trust one clock,” Gramling added. “And you never trust two clocks.”

Clocks of various types could be placed inside satellites that orbit the moon or perhaps at the precise locations on the lunar surface that astronauts will one day visit.

As for price, an atomic clock worthy of space travel could cost around a few million dollars, according Gramling, with crystal oscillators coming in substantially cheaper.

But, Patla said, you get what you pay for.

“The very cheap oscillators may be off by milliseconds or even 10s of milliseconds,” he added. “And that is important because for navigation purposes — we need to have the clocks synchronized to 10s of nanoseconds.”

A network of clocks on the moon could work in concert to inform the new lunar time scale, just as atomic clocks do for UTC on Earth.

(There will not, Gramling added, be different time zones on the moon. “There have been conversations about creating different zones, with the answer: ‘No,’” she said. “But that could change in the future.”)

The atomic clock CS2 is seen at the Physical Technical Institute PTB, the German National Metrology Institute, in northern Germany on April 11, 2008. Atomic clocks are ultra-precise instruments that use the vibration of atoms to measure the passage of time. - Focke Strangmann/AP
The atomic clock CS2 is seen at the Physical Technical Institute PTB, the German National Metrology Institute, in northern Germany on April 11, 2008. Atomic clocks are ultra-precise instruments that use the vibration of atoms to measure the passage of time. – Focke Strangmann/AP

The new time scale would underpin an entire lunar network, which NASA and its allies have dubbed LunaNet.

“You can think of LunaNet like the internet — or the internet and a global navigation satellite system all combined,” Gramling said. It’s “a framework of standards that contributors to LunaNet (such as NASA or the European Space Agency) would follow.”

“And you can think of the contributors maybe as your internet service provider,” Gramling added.

Creating such a framework means bringing a lot of people across the world to the table. So far, Gramling said, conversations with US partners have been “very, very positive.”

It’s not clear whether NASA and its partners on this effort, which include the European Space Agency, will get a buy-in from nations that aren’t among US allies, such as China. Gramling noted those conversations would be held through international standard-setting bodies, such as the International Astronomical Union.

‘A whole different mindset’

Accurate clockwork is one matter. But how future astronauts living and working on the lunar surface will experience time is a different question entirely.

On Earth, our sense of one day is governed by the fact that the planet completes one rotation every 24 hours, giving most locations a consistent cycle of daylight and darkened nights. On the moon, however, the equator receives roughly 14 days of sunlight followed by 14 days of darkness.

“It’s just a very, very different concept” on the moon, Betts said. “And (NASA is) talking about landing astronauts in the very interesting south polar region (of the moon), where you have permanently lit and permanently shadowed areas. So, that’s a whole other set of confusion.”

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view of Malapert Massif on March 3, 2023. The lunar mountain is a potential landing site for Artemis III, a NASA mission that could launch as soon as 2026 and put astronauts on the moon for the first time in decades. - NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view of Malapert Massif on March 3, 2023. The lunar mountain is a potential landing site for Artemis III, a NASA mission that could launch as soon as 2026 and put astronauts on the moon for the first time in decades. – NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

“It’ll be challenging” for those astronauts, Betts added. “It’s so different than Earth, and it’s just a whole different mindset.”

That will be true no matter what time is displayed on the astronauts’ watches.

Still, precision timekeeping matters — not just for the sake of scientifically understanding the passage of time on the moon but also for setting up all the infrastructure necessary to carry out missions.

The beauty of creating a time scale from scratch, Gramling said, is that scientists can take everything they have learned about timekeeping on Earth and apply it to a new system on the moon.

And if scientists can get it right on the moon, she added, they can get it right later down the road if NASA fulfills its goal of sending astronauts deeper into the solar system.

“We are very much looking at executing this on the moon, learning what we can learn,” Gramling said, “so that we are prepared to do the same thing on Mars or other future bodies.”

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(Contributed by Janet Cornwell, H.W., m.)


Tarot Card for May 31: Adjustment


Justice (or Adjustment) is numbered eight in some decks and eleven in others. We see a female figure, holding the scales to represent the balance between good and evil, right and wrong within our lives. She also holds the sword which knights us or which claims retribution.Justice is the supreme Judge. Here we see the effects of Karma, the idea that everything we do today has either a positive or negative effect upon our future. Every dark thought or deed weighs against us, balanced out (hopefully) by every good deed and loving thought.We can be angels and we can be demons, it is our choice. We shape our futures by what we do and think now. If we stop blaming other people, or forces, if things go wrong then we take control of our own lives. Justice shows us that the natural cycles of the Universe will reflect back upon us exactly what we expect – so expect joy and happiness!

Weekly Invitational Translation

Translation is a 5-step process of “straight thinking in the abstract” comparing and contrasting what you think is the truth with what you can syllogistically and axiomatically prove is the truth.

The claims in a Translation may seem outrageous, but they are always (or should always be) based on self-evident syllogistic reasoning. Here is one Translation from this week. 

1)  Truth is that which is so.  That which is not truth is not so.  Therefore Truth is all that is.  Truth being all is therefore total, therefore whole, therefore complete, therefore full, therefore otherless, therefore one, therefore united, therefore harmonious, therefore orderly.  Truth being true is therefore real, therefore actual, therefore right, therefore correct, therefore flawless, therefore perfect.  I think therefore I am.  Since I am and since Truth is all that is, therefore, I, being, am Truth.  Since I, being, am Truth, therefore I, being have all the attributes of Truth.  Therefore I, being, am total, whole, complete, full, otherless, one, united, harmonious, orderly, real, actual, right, correct, flawless, perfect.  Since I am mind/consciousness, and since I, being am Truth, there Truth is Mind/Consciousness.  (Two things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.)

2)    My body seems to have a mind of its own.

body:  body of work, totality of something
mind:  consciousness, awareness, think, remember, memory, mindfulness
memory:  memoir

3)    Truth being Consciousness/Mind and Truth being one, therefore Consciousness/Mind is one.  Since Mind is one, it can’t also be many separate, different minds called people or animals or plants, etc..  Therefore Mind is one indistinguishable, inseparable entity  inclusive of all being.  Since Truth is one, there can be no separation between mind and body, therefore there is only one Body which is equivalent to one Mind.

4)    Consciousness/Mind is one. 
        Mind is one indistinguishable, inseparable entity  inclusive of all being. 
        There is only one Body which is equivalent to one Mind.

5)    Body is Mind and Mind is Body, world without end (and without beginning), amen.

For information about Translation or other Prosperos classes go to:

Heather Williams speaks on Sunday, June 2

Remembering Your Innate Self

Sunday, June 2, 2024

11:00 AM  12:00 PM

Heather Williams, H.W., M.

“I wonder if you are as curious as I am – about the rapidly advancing technology today?”                                                                                 


Heather Williams, H.W., M.

Despite the level of technological connectivity we experience on a daily basis, we may feel a certain disconnectedness from others and even from ourselves. We may wonder How do I know what’s worth pursuing or devoting my precious time to? How can I have more control over where I focus my attention?

 Click Here for Further Information 

11:00 am Pacific/Noon Mountain/1:00 Central/2:00 Eastern

Zoom Link to meeting:   

These talks are presented by contribution:

Contribution — The Prosperos Everyone is welcome!