The Ending of the Era of the Great Founders of WCPA
Dr. Reinhart Ruge passed away peacefully in his beloved Tepotzlan, Mexico, on March 9, 2016. It is
with deep regret and great fondness for his memory that I wish to write these few words in his honor.
The World Constitution and Parliament Association was founded by Philip and Margaret Isely in
1958 with the goal of orchestrating the writing of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth and
bringing our agonized planet toward a lawful and just order of peace and sustainability. They soon
recruited like-minded people from around the world: leaders and thinkers who understood the
tremendous significance of this endeavor to create a decent world system for all humankind.
One of the earliest leaders to join this visionary project was Reinhart Ruge who, early on, became
Co-President of WCPA with A. B. Patel, who was then General Secretary of World Union, the like-minded
organization founded by Sri Aurobindo and based in Pondicherry, India. After the passing of Patel,
Reinhart was joined as Co-President by Dr. Terence P. Amerasinghe, international lawyer from Colombo,
Sri Lanka, who served WCPA and the people of Earth as Co-President and then as President of WCPA
until his death in 2007. After the untimely passing of Margaret Isely in 1996, Philip Isley continued to
lead WCPA as Secretary-General until his retirement in 2003. He passed away in 2012.
In one of my phone conversations with Reinhart, who by then had retired from active WCPA work
to become its “Honorary President for Life,” we together recognized that he would be the last survivor
of the three great original leaders of this movement. Even after his request to retire from active
leadership of WCPA that he made at the 6th session of the Provisional World Parliament in Bangkok in
2003, I regularly spoke with him on the phone about our work and often sought his advice. With the
passing of Reinhart, WCPA has moved into a new era. Its historical roots have become textbook history,
and its contemporary work has moved into new dimensions with new personalities from around the
Like Isely and Amerasinghe, Reinhart had been deeply affected by the massive devastation of World
War II and wanted to help the world convert from a war system to a peace system that could prevent
the self-extermination of human beings. He began corresponding with Philip Isely in Denver Colorado in
the early 1960s. The plan to begin writing a Constitution for the Earth at that time involved coming
together in an international meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland, and Wolfach, Germany, in 1968, which
Reinhart attended. The meeting had a lasting impact on all who participated. As Reinhart writes in his
autobiography Profiles of Lord Reinhart:
It was an extraordinary meeting from its conception. Never before in the history of mankind had this happened. How could people from so many continents, countries, religions, languages and the like come together on their own, and express that they wanted to have a better world by deciding upon a democratic world government. It sounded like heresy. When I told my father-in-law, a very educated and honest Dutch lawyer, he just shook his head. He said, “But this is against the law, you cannot do it.” So this means we cannot do it, will never do it, and have to wait till the world falls to pieces with its present structure. But the World Constitution and Parliament Association is acting, and is doing it, and has prepared for a new world without war, or if we would prefer to disappear from the surface of this planet, which will most likely happen soon under our current conditions. (423)
This passage reflects the good common sense and visionary intelligence of Reinhart. To him, as for Isely and
Amerasinghe and so many others, the project of creating an Earth Constitution and establishing a democratic
peace system for the Earth was simply plain practical thinking. For the first time in history, people were actually taking the initiative to consciously protect future generations and create a decent world for all God’s children. At this first Constituent Assembly, Reinhart was elected Chairman of the drafting committee of 25 persons and helped lead work on the Constitution for nearly 10 years until a serviceable draft was ready to present at the second Constituent Assembly in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1977. As Reinhart put it in his autobiography: “Wolfach was the real beginning of the attempt to create a stable world, which would save future generations from war and misery” (305). Reinhart (right) with India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Terence Amerasinghe (center).
I first came to know Reinhart well immediately following the fourth session of the Provisional World
Parliament that took place in Barcelona, Spain, in 1996. I had rented a car prior to the Parliament and the
proposal was made after the Parliament to drive north through Spain, France, and Belgium, to Holland where
Reinhart wished to visit his former wife and other friends. We drove together with Yogi Shanti, the spiritual
advisor to WCPA, one of Yogi’s disciples (a lawyer from Philadelphia) and an itinerant holy man and drifter called Sharon Das. There is a photo of Reinhart, Yogi Shanti, and Philip Isely at the high table of this session of
Parliament on my website at http://www.radford.edu/~gmartin/spain%20barcelona.htm.
Being new to WCPA, I was impressed with its internationally travelled, experienced, and knowledgeable
leaders at the forth session of the Parliament, who included Dr. Terence Amerasinghe and Reinhart. Reinhart
spoke the languages of each of these countries that we drove through. He arranged wonderful places for us to
stay (for free) due to his many connections with world federalists and internationalist peoples of all sorts. That trip introduced me to the society of truly “world citizens,” people of great culture and global perspectives, devoted in a variety of ways to making our world into a decent peace system for all its children. Reinhart was our guide and host wherever we went, a personality transcending every culture and nationalism yet very comfortable within them all.
From that time on as a member of the Executive Council of WCPA, I was regularly in touch with Reinhart, as
I was also with Philip Isely and Terence Amerasinghe. There would be meetings at World Headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and then the 5th session of the Provisional World Parliament in Malta in 2001. As noted above, Reinhart retired in Bangkok at the sixth session of the parliament to become Honorary President for Life, where I became Secretary-General and Terence became President of WCPA. Upon Terence’s death in 2007, I became President and Dr. Eugenia Almand became Secretary-General. From 2003 on, I would regularly call Reinhart at his estate in Tepotzlan to discuss WCPA activities and hear his thoughts on how to proceed.
He was a person of extraordinary life-long accomplishments. He interacted with kings, presidents, and prime
ministers with the grace and culture of someone born for leadership and vision. His commitment and vision were presented in ways that were not threatening to them but appealed to their idealism and hope. He spoke languages fluently and travelled the world effortlessly in the service of humanity and a decent future for our
precious planet Earth. For me it what a great honor to know and work with him.
In 2005, Reinhart hosted an Institute on World Problems seminar in Tepotzlan that included Eugenia,
Terence, his wonderful daughter, Tiahoga Ruge, and her husband, Fernando Ortiz Monasterio, both of whom I
met there for the first time. It became clear to me why Reinhart loved this valley, this family, and his life in this extraordinary, international Mexican community. Reinhart introduced me to a local religious artist from whom I purchased a large charcoal drawing of St. Frances that now hangs on the wall in our New York State home. Each time I look at this drawing, I think of Reinhart and his extraordinary life. He lived a life in the service of humanity and the vision of world peace. He was a great leader and a great friend. He will be sorely missed, and he will never be forgotten.