Many people have asked me, "How did you get the idea for writing Healing Our World?" I didn't get the idea at all —instead the idea got me!
In the summer of 1986, I was reading diligently about the foreign policy of the United States in an attempt to understand it better. As a libertarian, I believed that taxation was wrong. Nevertheless, I thought that taxes could do some good if they were used well, especially to help the poor at home or abroad.
As I read more about the interferences of the United States in the affairs of other countries, I could see that our tax-based foreign aid did much more harm than good. Even food sent overseas to feed the starving rarely made it to those in need. Instead, those in power in the impoverished nations managed to keep most of the aid for themselves. Indeed, nations getting the most from the U.S. were the most likely to practice human rights violations, such as torturing, and killing those who didn't want to give up their freedom.
The poor of these nations would have been better off if we had done nothing at all. By giving their governments our tax dollars these governments were empowered to deal harshly with their "subjects" and continue wars with neighboring nations. Since war and fighting destroy wealth and prevent its creation, we simply made the poor poorer. Our help was actually a hindrance.
Suddenly, a great understanding swept over me. Tax-supported relief would always be destructive, because it started out as destructive. Taxes are levied and extracted by those who are willing to forcibly take what belongs to another. Even if the ends tax-takers sought were constructive, the means they were using were destructive. The means would ultimately pollute the ends.
For example, taxes are distributed by the same people who think it's right to take them. Of course they give these taxes to other governments and dictators of like mind! The foreign aid would almost invariably be used to subjugate the citizens of the receiving country. The mindset of those using force as a means would be reflected in the ends.
If ends and means are related, then unprovoked acts of violence against others could only beget violence. We reap as we sow. If we harm others, it will be reflected back to us. Those who are willing to use force to bend others to their will, will find themselves enslaved in turn. Aggression becomes a lose-lose game, while respecting the rights of others makes everyone a winner.
The laws of a democratic country reflect the summation of each person's desire to control. If I want to control in one area, I will most likely grant you the right of control in another to gain your acceptance of my dominance. Thus, if I vote for a tax to help the poor, I have no moral or legal basis for preventing you from voting for a tax to bail out businesses. If I don't fight against you trying to spend my money, I lose. If I fight you, it consumes my resources and I lose. The same goes for you. It's a lose-lose situation.
From these insights, came a marvelous and uplifting discovery — world peace and prosperity is not only possible, it's inevitable.
People support aggression-through-government only because they think they win that way. Once they learn that they really lose, they will automatically stop aggressive behavior. Peace and prosperity will ensue. If people could really win with aggression, peace would be impossible, for it would be in everyone's best interest to disregard the rights of others.
These ideas were imbedded in many of the world's philosophies, including Christianity, the New Age movement, rationalists, etc. The reflection of these truths had been glimpsed by many others, but no one had tied them all together.
The next several days after the understanding, I was in a state of bliss. World-wide peace and plenty became a realistic possibility instead of an impossible dream. How wonderful!
I wanted to share the good news with the entire world, but wasn't quite sure how to do it. I called my sister Martie and tried to explain it to her. Because we were so close, she knew exactly what I was trying to say. However, my understanding wasn't in English. It was difficult to put into words the ideas that pulled so much together.
Over the next five years, I sent Martie drafts of Healing. She would send them back marked up with ideas and corrections. She told me when the tone was wrong or the logic flow confusing. Her computer programming background helped to create a systematic presentation.
Every spare moment was spent on creating Healing. As my understanding grew, so did the scope of the project. The ideas I wrote about had been glimpsed by sages throughout the ages — rather than cite them, I used their quotes as sidebars. Examples of how liberty works to create a win-win world resulted in over five hundred references. Working full-time at the demanding job of research scientist meant that I needed every evening and weekend moment over the five years of writing to complete Healing. I cloistered myself from the rest of the world. I had thought I could finish Healing in a single year, but Martie's encouragement kept me going when it seemed impossible to push myself so hard.
"You were born to write this book," she would often remind me. "When I look back on our childhood, I can see how your life has lead you to this marvelous vision and the ability to share it."
Finally, when we were together at Christmas in 1991, Martie handed me back the final draft. "It's finished, Mary," she told me. "I can't find anything more to fix or change." We celebrated as best we could — Martie was having trouble eating our favorite spicy foods. We thought perhaps she had the stomach flu.
I decided to self-publish Healing in order to have it ready for the 1992 elections. I picked up the first copies and brought them to the Michigan Libertarian Party convention in the spring of 1992. While there, I got word that Martie had checked into the hospital. Her persistent "stomach flu" had been diagnosed as an ulcer. When she began vomiting up all she could eat, she had more tests run. Martie had a growth in her upper intestine, right below her stomach. Surgery was indicated.
I left the convention and flew to Martie's bedside with copies of Healing. Over the next few days, I was glad I had brought a whole carton with me — Martie kept selling them to the patients and staff faster than I could bring them to her. During the surgery, the doctors removed the tumor from her intestine, thinking that they had gotten it all. Martie went to our brother's house in Dallas for a prolonged recovery. Her operation had been extensive and she had a difficult time regaining her weight and strength.
Meanwhile, Healing got rave reviews. Endorsements came from Andre Marrou, Dr. Ron Paul, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, Frances Kendall and Leon Louw. Visions Magazine claimed that Healing might be "the most important book of the decade." The first printing was rapidly sold out and so I prepared for the second one.
Martie was thrilled to hear the wonderful news about Healing. Unfortunately, her health problems had become serious. She had developed large tumors on both ovaries by November of 1992. Knowing that the cancer had spread aggressively, I asked her to leave San Diego and join me in Kalamazoo, Michigan when I could care for her.
During her next surgery, the doctors found that the cancer had spread throughout her abdomen. Martie tried many alternative therapies, but decided against aggressive chemotherapy which would have been painful and did not have a good record against her type of cancer. Soon she began vomiting up her meals as the cancer blocked her bowels. When she became unable to keep down even liquids, she asked me to take her to Dr. Kevorkian.
Dr. Kevorkian, a Michigan physician, had been helping people with debilitating illnesses by providing them with the means to end their lives. The Michigan legislature had been attempting to try him as a murderer and imprison him without success. With some difficulty, we arranged for his help.
Martie asked me to use her savings to promote Healing. Several Eastern Europeans had approached me about translating and publishing Healing in their nations — but seed capital was necessary. I asked Martie if she would like to fund these endeavors as her legacy to the world.
Martie's face lit up and a gigantic smile glowed from her starvation- thinned face. "Yes, Mary, yes!" she exclaimed, "I would like that very much!" Because of Martie, Healing Our World has been translated, published and distributed in Russian, Lithuanian, and Romanian through the same ISIL contacts that Ken Schoolland used for the Adventures of Jonathan Gullible (see the June/July 1995 issue of Freedom Network News). The Serbian translation is underway as well.
Martie went to Dr. Kevorkian and became his fourteenth patient on February 18, 1993. She was two weeks away from her forty-first birthday. My sisters, myself, and two friends held her hands as she breathed the carbon monoxide that gave her a peaceful end.
I often wonder if Martie was right when she said that I was born to write Healing. If so, perhaps she was born to help me. Without her support and guidance, Healing Our World might never have been. D
Mary Ruwart is author of the acclaimed book Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle. A frequent speaker at conferences, she is a prominent force in the Libertarian Party, and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty. She holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics, has worked as a Professor of Surgery, and until recently served as a senior research scientist at Upjohn. She has been honored in Who's Who and Outstanding American Men and Women of Science.
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