The post that follows was written by Bernard’s daughter, Cerise Poolman – all of the members of Desteni living on the Farm stand by these words.
Bernard Poolman is known as many things:
A guru, a cult leader, an anarchist,
A communist, a socialist,
A freedom fighter, a freedom writer,
An activist, a practivist,
A visionary, a loon
All these labels mean nothing. To me, he was Bernard, my dad, the most honest and self sacrificing person I have ever known. Now he is dead, and the world is poorer for it.
He may have had radical ideas, but isn’t that exactly what we need? We don’t seem to have come very far with “in the box” ideas. Look around, the Earth is being poisoned, people live in poverty, our children are crazy murderers, our religious leaders cannot be trusted with young children, our political leaders cannot be trusted with anything and our economists are simply making things up as they go along. We all buy into the propaganda that makes the world seem beautiful “just the way it is” – Bernard did not.
Does that make him crazy by definition? Yes, if the definition of insanity is something that is apart from the norm. He questioned the inequality in the world and challenged us for not questioning it too – maybe this is why so many people hate him – they do not want to see themselves as ignorant, as idle bystanders watching atrocities and genocide unfold before their very eyes. It is easier seeing ourselves the way people are portrayed in the media, as innocent, as deserving.
Bernard was one man who made a difference in the lives of many – there are few people who can claim the same for themselves. There are those who point fingers and use nasty words to try and twist the message that Bernard was repeating over and over – what does this make them, I wonder? The message that Bernard kept saying was that of Jesus: Love thy neighbour as thyself, do unto another as you would like to be done unto you. What does this make of the naysayers, the cult preachers, the vigilant protectors of “human rights and liberties” – that they call this message, and its sender “evil”?
Many accused him of being a cult leader, even though he said time and again: “I am not a leader, I am just a man, I am your equal and you are mine.” He was accused of being evil for recognising that our world, our society, our very selves are tainted – and that we have deliberately continued on as if we are angels. He was accused of brainwashing, for questioning the things we so blindly accept as being “Normal” and “acceptable” – such as poverty, crime, exploitation, rape, murder, unhappy marriages, psychological disorders, economic theories, wars, the creation of weapons, the minimum wage being far from sufficient to survive on.
You may ask “what now?” to us loony cultists trying to make the world a better place. My answer: we continue. We have laid down a good, strong foundation of principles and assistive tools to support ourselves with. Bernard contributed many ideas which we then developed into tools, such as DIP Pro and DIP Lite – but each of us has walked our own process – and we did not do it for him, we did it for ourselves and for all life on Earth. They say you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink – Bernard showed us where the water is, but each of us made our own choice to stand and live the principles of Desteni, Equal Money, Living Income Guaranteed etc.
We must now prove to the world that Bernard was no “guru” – that we are entirely capable of standing without him, and growing ourselves and the group.