United Religions Initiative - URI, Interfaith "Illumination" Via Silicon Valley Nano-Bio?

I have been mapping a variety of interfaith groups with the understanding that institutions of faith will be drawn into the data surveillance regime via P3 partnerships and dashboarded “evidence-based” services for the poor, as well as for education and reskilling.

Since remote haptic work and telemedical intervention (eventually via frequency) by its nature must be global, there is an imperative to get the leadership of all world religions on board. I think, too, this is part of the narrow-minded, rigid “social justice” narrative being spun, which actually advances domination culture rather than charity and goodwill.

Back when I was first doing education research, I had looked into Bill Gate’s funding of interfaith efforts as we have a group like that in Philadelphia. There were ties to the Bay Area, maybe Oakland, that I need to revisit. It seems to me perhaps it was this URI program, since the office are at the Presidio not far from the WEF Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Long Now Foundation.

A key early funder was William “Bill” Bowes who was a Stanford/Harvard MBA investment banker involved in early tech start ups. He was also an independent angel investor and was a lead in getting Amgen started, one of the earliest biotech companies, It has a huge campus in Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles, not far from Hertzberg’s district. Between LA and Santa Barbara the nano-tech, theoretical physics hub.

I have uploaded a link to a book “False Dawn,” about the intended creation of a one-world religion. It seems to be well sourced. I don’t agree with all of framing of the author, yet the background on this group and its funders and overall intent around neutralizing natural life is important. Right now I am working my way through chapter two on the history.

This group is closely aligned with the United Nations - Dee Hock the Visa guy developed the charter for a decentralized organization. They talk about “cooperation circles,” which is very much in line with the “Chaordic Age” and emergent phenomenon at the threshold between order and chaos.


Important to note that URI was spearheaded with the UN by Reverend William Swing, the Episcopal Bishop of California. He was originally from West Virginia, but educated at the University of San Francisco (Jesuit) and later at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology which is affiliated with Stanford and Stanford Medical School and emphasizes scientific research in addition to therapeutic practice.

Swing was active in West Virginia in the 1960s when Jay Rockefeller was getting his political start. Swing went to San Francisco in 1979. He was active in AIDS/ HIV ministry, which connects with Bay Area bio-tech solutionism.

"On the subject of inclusion, URI participants come not only from the world’s organized religions, but also embrace all well-meaning individuals who want the world to be a better place. Swing describes URI’s cooperation circles as working rather than debating societies, citing examples from developing water supplies and helping provide flood relief to community art projects. URI is recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO) and has established partnerships with several UN agencies. It’s an integral part of bridge building between people and cultures around the world.

Prior to shelter-in-place orders, URI presented a conference at Stanford University titled Accelerate Peace (substitute “World Homeostat” for “Peace”) and gathered participants from around the world to hear more than 50 speakers from six continents. The broad range of presenters, including UN Under-Secretary-General H. E. Adama Dieng and Bishop Swing’s interview with former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, reflect URI’s inclusive culture. At the festive close of the two-day conference, the Hon. George Shultz and Dame Charlotte Maillard Shultz were acknowledged for their ongoing support of URI from its founding."

George Shultz is part of Berggruen’s Institute.

Starting on page 58:

Other funders listed in the book include:

Donors to the URI have included the following foundations and organizations:
• Aes Corporation9
• Ale Petrol Company10
• Bank of New York and the George Link Jr. Foundation11
• Barbara and Carl D. Arnold Jr. Foundation12
• Alben F. and Clara G. Bates Foundation13
• William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation1
• Cabell and Shirley Brand Charitable Trust2
• Camp Younts Foundation3
• Stacey B. Case Living Trust4
• Charity Enablers Foundation5
• Christopher Columbus Foundation6
• Community 2000 Charitable Trust7
• Community Foundation of Monterey County8
• Community Foundation of Silicon Valley9
• Community Wholistic Growth Center, Inc.10
• Copen Family Foundation11
• Cow Hollow Foundation12
• Nathan Cummings Foundation13
• Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.14
• Leonard and Shirley Ely Pass-Through Fund15
• Farrell Family Fund16
• Firedoll Foundation17
• Fraternite Notre Dame, Inc.18
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—which gave $1 million in early 2003 to the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, a URI Cooperation Circle19
• Fred Gellert Family Foundation1
• Global Peace Foundation2
• Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund3
• Greenville Foundation of Northern California4
• Edward E. Hills Fund5
• George Hornstein Family Foundation6
• David Hyatt Memorial Philanthropic Fund for Interfaith Understanding7
• Ik Onkar Peace Foundation8
• International Education and Resource Network (I*EARN)9
• William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Fund10
• Koret Foundation11
• Kramer Family Foundation12
• George Link, Jr. Foundation, Inc.13
• James J. Ludwig and Eileen D. Ludwig Foundation14
Lucis Trust World Service Fund15
• Joseph L. and Sarah S. Marcum Foundation16
• McBean Family Foundation17
• McCune Foundation18
• Meadows Charitable Trust19
• Richard King Mellon Foundation20
• Menke Foundation1
• Emil Mosbacher Jr. Foundation2
• Outrageous Foundation3
• Joe and Lois Perkins Foundation4
• Perkins-Prothro Foundation5
• David and Laura Perry Philanthropic Fund6
• Philanthropic Collaborative, Inc.7
• Iva and Jerome Preston Charitable Trust8
• San Francisco Foundation9
• Shafran Family Foundation10
• Sierra Club11
• Sierra Health Foundation12
• James R. and Donna H. Simanton Foundation13
Soros Foundation14
Rudolf Steiner Foundation15
• Strong Foundation for Environmental Values16
• Surdna Fund17
• Tara Center18
John Templeton Foundation’s Local Societies Initiative19
• Tides Foundation20
• Kieschnick Family Fund of the Tides Foundation1
• Tara Fund of the Tides Foundation2
• Work-in-Progress Fund of the Tides Foundation3
• Travelers Foundation4
• Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation5
• United States Institute of Peace6
• Weiser Family Foundation7
• Worldwide Education and Research Institute 8

Since April 1996, URI summit meetings and regional workshops have been run using the consensus building principles of “Appreciative Inquiry” (AI), the management technique developed by Dr. David L. Cooperrider, co-chair of the Center for Social Innovation in Global Management (SIGMA), and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Case Western Reserve University School of Management.4 In 2002, Donald Frew stated that Cooperrider and AI remain “very important” for the organization.5

Case Western = Cleveland (Rockefeller + Julius Stulman)

In The Coming United Religions (a history of the URI as of 1998), Bishop Swing (Episcopal, San Francisco) confirmed the critical role that Cooperrider’s management consultants have played in the movement. With the involvement of the SIGMA team starting in 1996, Bishop Swing said, Our destiny changed dramatically. . . . In many ways they transformed us and continue to do so. No help was more important to us than the quality of spiritually alert people that SIGMA brought to our tables. This was the first clue that if there is to be a United Religions, the original impetus and expertise will have to come from fields other than religion. Left to their own devices, religions will not meet each other. But given outside assistance from multiple disciplines which are already functioning on a global basis and have learned to work around and beyond existing roadblocks, religions can move toward common ground.3

(Pay attention to this part - think about Dee Hock and Celo’s promises for “beautiful money.” @leo

The “common ground,” discovered with “outside assistance from multiple disciplines,” will be defined on the world’s terms, will use the world’s money, and will reflect the world’s priorities.

In addition to the URI, other users of AI have included the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, the Environmental Law Institute, Lutheran World Relief, the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, the Salesian Society, the Salvation Army World Service Office, Save The Children, the United Nations Development Program, the US Agency for International Development, the US Department of Agriculture, the US Peace Corps, and World Vision Relief and Development,4 GTE/Verizon, Motorola, BP America, Touche Ross, Seattle Group Health Cooperative, Imagine Chicago, United Way of America, Hunter Douglas, SmithKline Beecham, New York Power Authority, Sandia National Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Philadelphia Electric Company, Motorola/Teledesic, the Vermont state government,5 and the US Navy.6
According to Cooperrider, SIGMA has “probably generated more funding for Weatherhead than any other research project in its history,” including a grant of $6.5 million from the US Agency for International Development “to help establish a center for management and leadership development for international nonprofit organizations.”7
(The Weatherhead School of Management is the business school at Case Western Reserve University, where Cooperrider teaches.)

Appreciative Inquiry (I think the use of AI as the acronym here is intentional imprinting @stephers and @jenlake) is rife within the Catholic Church. Susan Star Paddock, author of Appreciative Inquiry in the Catholic Church,1 says, "Where AI is being used it’s really bringing the Church to life, but many Catholics who stumble on it by accident don’t know about the others who are trying it.

For example, in the Diocese of Cleveland Bishop Pilla has a whole initiative called Vibrant Parish Life that fully incorporates AI. AI is the planning methodology at Catholic Relief Services (leader in social impact finance), is used in spiritual retreats, leadership development of new priests, ecumenical outreach, transitions, marital and family ministries, and stewardship development. It is the primary philosophy taught at Benedictine University School of Organization Development.
Numerous religious communities are using AI and my book includes interviews with Benedictines, Dominicans, Vincentians, Sisters of Mercy and many others.2 Cooperrider is one of the co-founders of the Taos Institute,3 which was established in 1991 on the belief that Social constructionist dialogues— (this is Piaget, remember Piaget worked with Mandelbrot on how to shape human behavior) of cutting edge significance within the social sciences and humanities— concern the processes by which humans generate meaning together." (think social contagion)

This is REALLY important - fractals and shaping of social behaviors towards collective consciousness. Why they are after the children - why the huge push for universal pre-k and Montessori model learning agents to train the AI and implement gamified feedback loops.

"Our focus is on how social groups create and sustain beliefs in the real, the rational, and the GOOD (who decides?). We recognize that as people create meaning together, so do they sow the seeds of action. (to me this is transmedia storytelling @stephers)

Meaning and action are entwined. As we generate meaning together we create
the future.4 The Institute has “held international conferences in Taos, as well as provided consultation grounded in social constructionist theory to individuals and organizations and access to social constructionist literature.”5 Gervase Bushe, a professor of organizational development who is friendly to AI, offers this synopsis of Appreciative Inquiry and social constructionism: Appreciative inquiry, however, is a product of the socio-rationalist paradigm . . . which treats social and psychological reality as a product of the moment, open to continuous reconstruction. Cooperrider and Srivastva argue that there is nothing inherently real about any particular social form, no transcultural, everlasting, valid principles of social organization to be uncovered. . . . Socio rationalists argue that the theories we hold, our beliefs about social systems, have a powerful effect on the nature of social ‘reality.’

Not only do we see what we believe, but the very act of believing it creates it. . . . Conscious evolution of positive imagery, therefore, is a viable option for changing the social system as a whole.6 URI activist Paul Chaffee says, “Appreciative Inquiry is an expression of postmodern social constructionism. As such it is preoccupied with language, learning, relationship, and generativity in living systems—and spends little if any time with ‘objective reality’ or ‘absolutes,’ including ultimate truth or the ‘right’ way to do something.”1 Thus, AI incorporates the notions that tradition is of little lasting value, commonly perceived reality is an illusion, morality is relative, we can collectively create new realities, and that acting upon all of this nonsense represents “conscious evolution.”2



I recall Amgen from my deep dive in 2020-21 into Andrew Hessel. Let’s just say I became quite pre-occupied with his synbio initiatives; thus, highlighting him in a few of my blog posts.

Here are a few links describing Hessel and his synbio obsession:

He joined the Amgen Institute, a 120 person research facility located in Toronto, Canada, as a bioinformaticist and manager. Working as a bridge between the Institute, Amgen Canada, and Amgen Inc. (Thousand Oaks, CA), he facilitated dozens of advanced research projects involving microarrays, genetic sequence analysis, and data mining.

Following is Hessel’s Linkedin profile:


Research Operations Manager

> Amgen Institute

Dates Employed Aug 1995 – Jun 2002

Employment Duration 6 yrs 11 mos

Coordinated operations for 120 person research institute in Toronto, Canada, while also providing computation and bioinformatic support of state of the art biological research.

In relation to Amgen . . . and perhaps how Hessel, in particular, may possibly tie into the notions of interfaith illumination, cooperation circles, chaordic organization, and conscious evolution . . . Following are some excerpts from his February 2022 The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology (co-author Amy Webb):

p. 9

We must determine how to make this technology equitable and accessible to all, but a division is inevitable, because not everyone will trust science or have access to the very latest tools. For that reason, we will need to prepare for difficult societal issues, such as how to manage a genetic divide. Part of this divide will be between people with enhanced genetic codes – who may have special abilities, or upon whom special privileges may be bestowed – and people who have never had their codes manipulated.

p. 68-69

Nearly every culture answers questions about life’s origins with a set of characters and a story. In Greek mythology, there was Chaos – a nothingness . . . In Christian stories, God created a desolate, formless space, then light, the sky, land, animals, and finally, Adam and Eve, who were granted dominion over all living things and became parents of the human race . . .

The Scottish philosopher David Hume observed that our universal creation myths exist because we need stories of cause and effect to make sense of the world around us, and because society functions better when rules have context. What happens now, as synthetic biology breaks our paradigms, forces us to reconsider the rules and challenges our origin stories? The future of life is being imagined, designed, and manufactured by scientists today in hundreds of laboratories – including one where a beloved researcher asks us to reconcile our beliefs about science and faith.

(Note: Hessel was referring to George Church above – a beloved researcher)

p. 85

We can intelligently design the next phase of our evolution – in fact, soon we may have no choice – but only if we are willing to reconsider our long-standing ideas about creation and creator. Today, some religious scholars and faith communities believe that synthetic biology (as well as other sciences and technologies) are examples of growth and human progress, and that God’s mission involves the transformation and renewal of creation. Working against illness, hunger, and death are important values across numerous religions. Synthetic biology is a natural expression of that progress . . .

If we . . . approach alternative futures objectively rather than emotionally, we can make space for both God and genome alterations. If we, like Church, allow our minds to wander productively, a new world awaits. One marked by a new bioeconomy, innovative scientific solutions to thorny problems, and countless clever ways in which we can categorically improve – even save – life as we know it.

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Thank you. TBH when I see how all of this is embedded in Toronto I can’t help but think about McGill’s role in MK Ultra experiments. Gamified bio-computation is huge. I wish more people could see it.