Perhaps it’s easier to summarily dismiss the experiences where Tammy was judged and her work went unappreciated. It’s easy to understand how in the 60’s this was all just too strange. Remember, this was before all the studies on meditation, kinesiology, and psychological/neurological connections. Tammy had experienced the truth of these things years before all of us taking them for granted, today. And the language that she explained her work with was a communication of the heart; people had unusual reactions to her, all the way from sexual arousal to fear and loathing. Tammy didn’t use the language of academia, and she didn’t understand it.
The Teachers College set up pilotgroups for teaching observation: a group of behavior disordered teens, a group of handicapped pre-teens, and a third group of adults. The results were phenomenal in just one or two sessions. For the professors observing, it looked like Tammy’s charisma was doing miracles with the classes: The boys behaved, listened, asked questions, and a girl who had never been able to move her right arm, lifted and moved it, inspired and shining with the message, “I am beautiful.” The professors told Tammy that she was phenomenal, a first in the world, and that her teaching was “irreplicable”.
Repeating the “compliments” to all her potential funders, she did not realize that the word “irreplicable” was a death knell to her project. No one will ever fund a project whose good results cannot be replicated with anyone but she! The Teachers College was saying that no other teacher but the charming and charismatic Tammy could have achieved good results doing the same work that she did with the same people. There was so much emotion and sensitivity in the way she worked, understanding what was needed in communicating with each different individual in her class, they enjoyed watching a good teacher work, but discounted the subject matter as being superfluous to the results! No one else could do what Tammy did with those kids and adults…
At least they could not see how.
With her money running out, Tammy moved from the YWCA rooms to a Fraternity House at Georgetown University, with a job as House Mother. Summer was coming soon and the Fraternity would be locked up; where was she to go? Desperation fueled eloquence as she presented her case to the Pentagon, writing letters requesting a meeting to discuss her project and its potential in creating peace.
The day of the meeting, Tammy stepped on the bus which she’d taken many times on her way to the Congress. She greeted the driver, who she knew by now, and moved to the back of the bus for an empty seat. A few stops down, there was a change of drivers, and a well-built stranger took over the wheel, after pleasantries were exchanged. As they neared the capital, the bus slowly emptied stop by stop until she was the only passenger.
“Here’s your stop!” the driver called back to her, pulling over to a bus bench by the side of the roadway.
“But I have a meeting at the Pentagon this morning at 7:30AM!” she blustered.
The driver turned around to look at her, “Mam, this is the last stop for this bus today. Just wait here a few minutes and another bus will be by to pick you up.”
“How can you do this!” she was hysterical. “I’ve ridden this bus a hundred times and there’s no stop here. There’s never been a bench here.”
The driver gave her a broad smile, “Don’t worry, mam, he’ll be right here.” He took her briefcase, and helped her down the stairs, handing her back the briefcase as she turned back to glare at him.
Poor Tammy was sure this was a total disaster for her most important meeting with General X, in charge of the Pacification Program at the Defense Dept. She slammed herself down onto the bench with disgust, dropping the briefcase at her feet.
To her dismay, seemingly out of nowhere, a man walked over and sat down beside her. “How do you do,” he said. “General X has sent me to talk with you, as he’s been called out of town today. Perhaps you can tell me a little about your project?”
They talked for perhaps a half hour. She explained the plan for a World Premier Production that would involve the governments of Israel and Egypt, Switzerland, Japan and indeed the whole world. She would be training master teachers to teach in their own languages, and to do Productions that would communicate in all languages simultaneously, a universal language of actual meaning. The project would cost just 6 million, and produce so much more: an end to the incredible waste of war.
He asked questions. She answered. She described the neurological activity that happens when the body’s movement joins with the power of The Word. The Bible says: “In the beginning was The Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” the mind’s conception of communication, the desire to reach out to others- The Word became the actual connecting bridge…
Words now become us. She talked about the power of affirmations made real and physical, for all to see. A body language that is conscious, clear, and must needs be honest.
He thanked her and said he would be in touch, and walked off, as the bus approached from the left.
Two weeks later my mother was exhausted, she had to leave the Fraternity, and she was out of money. No one had called her, and the General would not answer her follow up calls, despite myriad messages she’d left him. Her one major Congressional connection, Rep. Ogden Reid of New York, had told her to stay away from him, as his wife was jealous… She was devastated no doubt, but couldn’t allow herself to be discouraged. Tammy always trusted in God that she would succeed somehow, against all odds.
It was not to be, however. Though she worked and wrote, composed music, and artworks – did films and countless letters and meetings with some representatives, the United States government would not ever fund her work, and may have actually thrown bricks in the works to make sure that she would never be taken seriously. Peace was not good business for the United States Government, or the rest of the world’s governments as it turns out.