The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 24, 1968 · Page 26
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 26

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 24, 1968
Page 26
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Page 26 article text (OCR)

Bl 4 Pal m Bfath Post-TImei, Smdsy, Kef. II, 1968 'Coconut Power BringsPeace To One Tiny Section Of Vietnam .... i . - J pwP ijiiimiiiii i, I ii I hi .' jf'l"ji if ,.mj,ui iniimi ..i i, wmii imii 1. en mm n.w ti .fj iiijj. ! 1 11 mij ;-,V4 - f ij.v j.; U t UEiu i I f ! : ; :s , 1 r - i j '. t. i ', If ...;,:., . . . Ho.'").!'"'-"'' . ,".,,.. ( " ""'ifWjJ li' T j . i V , f 4 eg'--hMtHm. (3S i in iiiiiiiik nA - Imniniinm imiiiii L 1 PHliNG HOANG ISLAND, only war ta their adult days. .Vietnam (AP) In a Coney For soma young men, it of Island atmosphere of vicious fen a haven from the draft, looking dragons, bright col- This objection to the war, ored lights, and noisy loud- however, is based on philo- speakers, "Coconut Power" ophical objections beyond nas orougm peace 10 a tiny mat oj the simple Saigon draft namese leaden Ho Chi Minn, the National Liberation Front's Nguyen Huu Tho, and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu and Vice-President Nguyen Cao Ky agree to sit down with him and talk peace. Peace will come soon, he says, but war will break out again unless the Vietnamese solve their own problems free of outside influence. tides in the war. They claim from three million to four million followers most through loose association with other peace-minded organizations. The Dao Dua converses with visitors through a young "interpreter," one of his disciples, who reads his hand signals and expressions. The disciples say he is determined to maintain silence until the four leading Viet part of South Vietnam. dodger. Followers Of The Coconut Priest Join In On-The-Hour Prayer Session One young man, formerly an elementary school principal in nearby Ben Tre, which was heavily damaged during the Viet Cong'i Tet offensive, commented: "I was tired of all the killing the killing of one Vietnamese by another. I want to be away from both sides and a soldier for The scene is a lush Mekong Delta island, where a Utopian community has been forged by the teachings of a long-haired, speechless priest reputed to have eaten nothing but coconuts for 20years. Peace thrives on this island, two-thirds of a mile long. An unwritten agreement between the Vietnamese government HC y-' C CARPETS FOUR.. .CHOOSE The bond of the community and the Viet Cong keeps it a sanctuary. It is a self-con, is a modern interpretation of tained society never far from me old Chinese metaphysical philosophy of Taoism. It is a the sounds of war. I Sears ONE FOR EVERY ROOM AND SAVE EVEN MORE To the one side is Kien Hoa Province famous for its lovely girls, its deadly Viet Cong, and its bumper crops of coconuts. To the other is the huge American base of Dong Tarn, headquarters of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division. Exploding mortar rounds send geysers of delta mud into the air as they smash into a far river bank while jets fly over lazily, making their bombing runs on Viet Cong-held coconut groves two miles away. At first glance, the 2,000 followers of the "coconut priest" look like Vietnam's contribution to the world's hippie population. Living in simple thatch huts on stilts, they wear rusty-colored pajama-like clothing and cover their uncut hair with pointed tur-hdiis. Most of the men have wispy beards. The young have the iong-haired look but they wear no beads or jewelry and do not smoke, drink or demonstrate. Only two rules exist in the island community: no killing and no meat. Persons of any religious or political persuasion are allowed to settle here. It is a refuge for elderly men and women seeking a last time of tranquility and the middle-aged tired of knowing Unexpected Order TEL AVTV (AP) - The Israel Export Institute printing center is pondering an order from an unexpected source for two books, "Workers Education in Israel" and "Communal Education in the Kibbutz." It reported the books were asked for by the research cen-1 ter of the Palestine Liberation Organization, a militant anti-Israeli Arab group based in Lebanon. philosophy of inaction, centering on self and letting the world just happen around yon. It's called Dao here. The priest is a pleasant, elf-like man in tattered robes, bearded and barefooted. Hunched over, he stands 4tt feet tall and wears his rope of long hair wound around his head like a derby hat. He moves among his congregation in a large, circular praying area studded with ornate columns of dragons and lotus flowers, or receives guests in his stucco grotto. The Dao Dua, as he is known by his followers, is virtually ignored by most of them and wishes to be looked on more as a scholar than as an object of worship. His native province of Kien Hoa is known for its tion of coconuts and he long ago adopted the simple fruit as his movement's symbol. Strangely, his small island has no coconut trees. They are all imported from the "outside world." After abandoning a career as a chemical engineer after years of study in France, 60-year-old Nguyen Thanh Nam, the coconut monk, became a full-time pacifist. When the Indochina war broke out in late 1945, he ceased speaking. Expressing the Taoist axiom of "speaking by iwfc -speaking," he maintained silence until 1958. In the 10 years from 1958 to just after the Tet offensive this year, be actively preached peace, often coupled with silent protest in public places. This simple call for peace gives the Dao Dua's movement a mass peasant appeal and therefore a political role in the present phase of the Vietnam war. The followers of the priest speak hopefully of a broadly based Gandhi-like movement which will use nonviolent means to resist both b.,tjJii,.aa ,ViSlii)M(WMliWi''M)iltoWieIMe IH' t -Try iYr'';iJ ' "-' f " ; t:. '. fA,l!'V.i ?ii, a A iv3 1 - I A- "try , h 'V i t i l tctfk Y ! A r ' wk lfl k 4 f ' ii , . x LA -V Vi v r -Ar J!J - r' K..- - v . 1 Here's Proof . . . Nylon Pile 0 Fabulous Indoor-Outdoor MAKES in (unONHOtu it ' Carpeting Is Worry-Free Carpeting Is Reasonable BVRIHW'S IHi-lAG F HI YG MICHVF 1?T? 99 Refui.Pi to shrink or mildew, cleans with a vacuum cleaner or a hoe. Perfect for Florida roomi, kitcheni, patioi and pooltide area. 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