Earl Wing Anderson was born 4 March 1890 in Bloomington, Illinois. His parents, also both from the Midwest, had married around 1886, when Charles was about 24 and Margaret 25. In November of that year, Margaret gave birth to Russell. Charles was a commercial traveler, selling paper. It seems to have been a lucrative enough job. By 1910, they were in Champaign and had mortgage out on a house. Both boys—aged 23 and 20—were at school; neither working. Likely, Earl attended the University of Illinois: I saw a brief reference in one yearbook to someone who could have been him. I don’t know his major, but he was associated with a Masonic group on campus.
By 1930, he was in Los Angeles, and single. That’s where the 1930 census captured him. According to that record, he was living in an apartment—paying $41.50 a month—and he owned a radio, which suggested that he had some money. He was working as a writer for a publishing company. Which one I do not know. It was in Los Angeles that he found a second wife, marrying a woman named Lilian some time in this decade. She was from Washington, five years his senior, also a college graduate. It was also in Los Angeles, around 1933 or 1934, he found his second love, and what would become the center of his life: OAHSPE, a new Bible. But the 1940 census gave no indication of what was to come. The Andersons were still in Los Angeles, then, in a house they owned. Earl was working as a projectionist, making a little more than $3,700 per year; Lilian was a teacher pulling in over $3,100. They owned a house.
The decade between the mid-1930s and the mid-1940s were a big transition for Anderson. Not only had he married and found his life’s philosophy, he had lost the rest of his nuclear family: his mother died in 1937, aged 76, and Russell in 1941, only fifty four—young like his dad. The 1941 census has him taking over the Kosmon Press, which had existed prior to him, putting out OAHSPE. He founded a group of OAHSPE disciples, called the Essenes of Kosmon, and in May 1942 they were advertising in the “Salt Lake City Tribune” for a 100 acre ranch on which they could build a farm and a children’s home, the center of their intentional community. According to his draft card, Anderson was short and stocky, at 5’ 6” and 160 pounds. (There was no mention of his blinded right eye.) Eventually, they found a spot there and, in addition, established a correspondence school, or at least hoped to do so: the same newspaper, dated 10 September 1944, had a “Wing Anderson” advertising for an office manager to run the day-to-day operations of a correspondence school.
OAHSPE was, in many ways, the culmination of nineteenth-century American metaphysical ferment that brought us New Thought, Mormonism, Theosophy, and related ideas. Supposedly channeled from spirits by a New York dentist named John Ballou Newbrough, OAHSPE built on (some might say borrowed heavily from) the works of Andrew Jackson Davis and Theosophy as well as emerging out of the spiritualist milieux. The book is long—over 900 pages—complex, boring, and confusing, even to sympathizers. OAHPSE purports to tell a secret history of the world, the stages of mankind, the bureaucratic organization of heaven’s many gods, and prophesize a coming glory age, begun in 1848 that would soon reach its zenith (not unlike the ideas of another Theosophical maverick, Rudolf Steiner, who foresaw the return of Christ in the middle of the 20th century). The word OAHSPE was a translation from a lost language, meaning Earth, Sky, Spirit.
In the late 1880s, Newbrough, family, friends, and fellow-travelers set out to create a Utopian community based on the principles of OAHSPE in New Mexico. One of the goals was to adopt orphaned children and raise them for the new spiritual times. Influenza killed Newborough in 1891, though, and the community fell apart, disclosed a decade later, the orphans sent to foster homes and orphanages. A few followers remained, though. They called themselves Faithists, because they believed not in the lower deities, but in the one great God of all. Faithists established themselves in Denver, London, and Los Angeles. (They also found support from the American Society for Psychical Research; Hereward Carrington, the later Fortean, was associated with the ASPR at just about this time—that is to say, the early 1900s.) How Anderson became involved with the Kosmon Church of Cosmic Science (as it was styled) is unknown. His early history os too scanty beyond basic biographical facts to reveal anything about his religious or political impulses. That he did join, though, and become such an ardent adherent suggests he was searching for something outside of the Christian mainstream.
According to Jim Dennon, who has done extensive, meticulous research on the history of OAHSPE, Anderson purchased the copyright to the new bible, as well as many unbound copies of a later edition—there’s an 1882 and an 1891, edition; Anderson worked with the 1891 edition—from Newborough’s daughter, and the got the Denver Faithists to stop publishing their own version of the Bible, altered though it was, called “Romance of the Red Earth, A Biography of the Earth.” He published an edition of OAHSPE in 1935, and would continue to release new editions for many decades. In addition, he published supporting material. In 1939 came a pamphlet, “The Next Nine Years: An Analysis and Prophecy”; the following year saw “Seven Years that Change the World, 1941-1948,”; then in 1941, “Peace and Plenty for You: Revealing a New Vision of Life of Abundance for You”; there was 1944’s “War’s End”; and “Prophetic Years, 1947-1953.”
These books collected prophecies, not only by Newborough but by others that promised a coming apocalypse and subsequent Golden Age; the fulfillment of the current Kosmon, around 1980. Like his idol, Newborough, Anderson brought together a tremendous number of ideas in these mostly small books, numerology and cycles and poetry, which served to prove that capitalism was going to fall into fascism—already Roosevelt was a dictator and California fascist—but that conditions were working to overcome this state. The presidential rule of 20s guaranteed Roosevelt would die in office. A new democracy would emerge, one based on communism—though not Soviet style communism. Anderson’s view was more left-libertarian, a soft kind of anarchism, in which federated groups helped each other out of loving-kindness. He did not hold a grudge against those with different views—even Hitler was explicable. There were many Gods in the Heavens, Newborough taught, and people could be confused by the lesser deities—Hitler was in the trail of a demon, an agent of Hell—but everyone would end up in the same place eventually, just taking their own path, longer or shorter. The Faithists, with their knowledge of an ultimate God, were getting there more quickly. They recognized the horrors of capitalism, the need for it to be overthrown. They knew what to do.
And that was to begin a new intentional community, where orphans could again be raised in preparation for the coming spiritual age. (The Denver Faithists raised many orphans in the 1910s and 1920s.) Thus, the need to move to Utah, where land could be had, where the Faithists would be free free from the fascism of California, and where they could start a children’s home. There may have been other reasons for choosing Utah, too, such as its proximity to Colorado and perhaps even the strength of the LDS church, which in some ways was a cousin to the Faithist movement. Anderson and Lilian established the “Essenes of Kosmon” in North Salt Lake in 1944. Essenes was a term from Newborough, referring to a mystery cult that emerges at the beginning of each three-thousand year cycle (or Kosmon), passing spiritual wisdom onto a new generation as the old nations around them burn. Members have included Brahma, Confucius, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Anderson saw himself among history’s elect.
Utah, though, would not allow for the Essenes to adopt children. Anderson thus moved the community to Montrose, Colorado. According to Dennon, the same problem recurred, although the Andersons themselves adopted two sons, Karl and Thor. Rituals and liturgies for life passages were developed, such as for birth, marriage, and death. The periodical which had started in Utah, “The Kosmon Pioneer” (later “Pioneer Bulletin”) continued to be churned out from Montrose. (These are collected at New Mexico State University, but I have not seen them.) They were strict vegetarians, strict pacifists, and militantly opposed to capitalism. According to Dennon, Anderson closed the community in 1957. After that, Anderson seems to have moved around a bit—at least according to Max Freedom Long’s account of their correspondence—returning to LA, visiting England, seeking out healers in Oregon for a badly broken leg.
Obviously, this story opens all kinds of ethical questions, most of which I am sidestepping. Adopting orphans to raise for the purpose of creating a new culture . . . well, it sleeves me out. I am withholding judgment, though, because I have not dug into the primary materials at New Mexico State, which no doubt adds nuance to the whole story. This history is not of the Esssenes, or even OAHPSE—though the book will be discussed more—and so I don’t think it is incumbent upon me to do the archival research necessary to tackle the way children were being used in spiritual warfare. Someday, if the Essenes are ever written about fully, the ethics of their ideas will need to be measured.
Meanwhile, Kosmon Press continued to work, putting out another of Anderson’s books in 1948 called “Health, Wealth and Happiness While You Sleep” (which I believe is small snippets from OAHSPE) and, the same year, fellow Fortean Max Freedom Long’s “The Science of Miracles.” (Long remembered that with “lurid” advertising, the press moved over 50,000 copies.) Anderson also wrote on OAHSPE for N. Meade Layne’s “Round Robin”—another Fortean connection—twice in 1953 and the Press put out small pamphlets. Chapter six of Layne’s “The Ether Ship Mystery and Its Solution,” which explained flying saucers as visitors from other dimensions, not other worlds, traveling through the ether by changing their density, was devoted to notices of flying ships in OAHSPE. He would not speculate whether the flying saucers of the 1940s were the same, or how they were related, though.
I do not know what happened to Lilian or the boys. According to Dennon, Anderson died in 1970 in Fallon, Nevada. He was buried in Illinois, with his parents.
Wing Anderson—and OAHSPE—both have extensive Fortean connections, although the center of gravity for both the Essenes and their holy text was well outside the Fortean community: their main interests were elsewhere and otherwise, even if Anderson respected Fort as a heterodox thinker and Forteans as challenging the same social structure that he was hoping would be replaced. I don’t know when Anderson first read Fort, or how he came to associate himself with the Society. But he was being mentioned by January 1947 (Doubt 16). He subsequently appeared in nine more issues, through 1957, the bulk of them coming in the late 1940s. He was also associated with other Forteans outside of the confines of the Society.
The most famous connection came after the death of Thayer and the Fortean Society. OAHSPE found its way to the pulp publisher Ray Palmer in 1945. Palmer was an interesting character, walking the line between science fiction as handmaiden of science and science fiction as mysticism. He promoted the Shaver Mystery in the mid-1940s, which irritated many fans for being obvious fantasy, but bumped up the circulation of the nearly moribund magazine he had taken over, Amazing Stories. Palmer found in OAHSPE proof that Shaver’s belief in subterranean civilizations controlling human history were true; and he thought that Shaver’s ideas confirmed OAHSPE. He took to promoting the book in his spin-off magazine, Fate, a Fortean periodical that was supposed to offer _true_ weird tales, rather than fictional ones, and selling it through his bookstore in Evanston, Illinois. Thanks to Palmer, it would have been almost literally impossible for someone of a Fortean bent in the 1940s and 1950s to be unaware of OAHSPE.
The connection between Palmer and OAHSPE has drawn a fair amount of attention, at least for a subject as fringe as this one. Palmer’s various biographers—Jim Wentworth, Palmer himself, Fred Nadis, Richard Toronto—have considered the relationship, giving it varying amounts of weight. Martin Gardner, the skeptic—who nonetheless had a good grasp of Fort—saw Palmer’s embrace of the spiritualistic bible as evidence of his credulity. Jeffrey Kripal, by contrast, a historian of religion, saw the movement of OAHSPE from metaphysical communities to the pulp world proof of his contention that the religious impulse in America was often deflected into popular culture, particularly those genres loosely grouped under the umbrella fantastic: weird, fantasy, science fiction, comics. Kripal is right on this contention, I think, more so than Gardner—though there’s little doubt Palmer was credulous, even as he was also a trickster in the mold of P. T. Barnum, playing both sides of mid-twentieth century America’s cultural tensions—but Kripal’s “Mutants and Mystics” garbles the time line.
Intrigued—enthralled—by Newborough’s book, Palmer wrote of it often in Fate and set out to study it. He also wanted to find the original edition: the one from 1882, not the 1891 edition that Anderson put out. He finally did in 1960. (Kripal has him discovering that Anderson was dead in 1960 and taking up the publication of the book.) He started putting out this earlier edition, always promoting it—even though Richard Shaver himself, father of the Shaver mystery, didn’t find much in the book. The green cover gave Palmer’s OAHSPE its nickname, “The Green Edition” (also known as the Palmer version). Later editions included an index as well as notes. So close was Palmer to OAHSPE that he has largely crowded Wing Anderson out of the historical record. Not that Anderson is gone completely, but that the story—when and where it’s told—skips quickly from Newborough to Palmer with only a brief mention of Anderson.
Nor is Anderson remembered much as a Fortean, though he does seem to have solid Fortean sympathies. Not all Forteans reciprocated, though. There’re only a few comments about OAHSPE in Doubt, for example. And N. Meade Layne, a Fortean who still devoted space to it in the book that laid out his main thesis on flying saucers, distanced himself from OAHSPE. His review (in this case of a smaller version of OAHSPE put out by Anderson) shows his sense of humor, and also the confusion Forteans felt confronting the tome. It appeared in Round Robin 2.2 (November 1946):
“OAHSPE - AND MR ANDERSON'S TESTAMENT
Testament for the New World - Being seven books containing essential spiritual wisdom from Oahspe. Kosmon Press, Los Angeles, 1945.
This book bears the copyright imprint of Wing Anderson, well-known purveyor of prophecies. Our guess is, in another year or so, he'll have the King James Version in the bag too - "quotation allowed for review purposes only." We're going to copyright Candide, the Decammeron, Holy Night, and the Rape of Lucrece. But anyhow, here's a review copy and we refuse to review it.
We will say, however, that Mr Anderson has written seven pages of very readable preface, about Dr. John Ballou Newbrough, and added a much needed glossary. In between these two one finds 315 pages from the first five books of Oahspe. In the old 1910 English edition these occupy 78 pages, but that's double column fine print, whereas the Testament is well set up and easy to read.
Maybe that's enough, but it still leaves 697 pages of small print unaccounted for, including the very remarkable Book of Cosmogony, and also omits 90 pages of most extraordinary plates and diagrams. A great pity to leave these out, but Mr Anderson's full version includes them - and one has to leave something out, in dealing with a literary behemoth of this sort.
78 : 315 = 913 : X. X = 3667. Q.E.D.
One reason we can't, don't and won't review this Testament is that we don't understand Oahspe - neither the text, nor the plates, nor the diagrams, nor the Angel Communicator, nor Dr Newbrough, or even Mr Anderson. But we have been impressed and perplexed by Oahspe for years. We bought our copy for five cents from a smart college professor who had not been impressed at all - and if we had held off he might have given us a dime to carry it away. Then we got hold of a full page write-up by Whit Wellman, in some Hearst newspaper, and were injudicious enough to read it, and so fell into the tentacles of this enormous literary squid, where we are still struggling.
But we do not speak disrespectfully or even lightly of this book. It's the most formidable literesque production of the last sixty-five years. We find beauty and power and wisdom in it, and can see how the poet or imaginative scientist may find a lift of cloud-capped heights about him. The trouble is, these magnificent perspectives don't integrate. We're too small for the book; it doesn't click with what we know, or think we know, or have been taught to believe. And "we" probably means nine out of ten, ninety-nine out of a hundred even of its devotees.
There's a story originating in spiritualist circles, some seance or other, that the Communicator of the Oahspe text was a powerful Angel, Luciferian, ambitious to establish for himself a great following on earth and not too particular how he did it. We neither share nor condemn this opinion. But certainly it is written with an air of supreme authority. And it is not the kind of book that any human being ever composed in a year, or, to tell, truth, in many years. And if this Angel were in fact some personalization of sub- or super-consciousness, the mystery grows no less and the achievement remains quite as remarkable.
What we want to say about Oahspe is that there's nothing to say - that is, nothing really intelligent, intelligible, useful to the understanding of this phenomenon. We might call it, pro tempore, a poem, an Art-work, a transcendental epic, a cosmic scripture, which like all Art and all scriptures gives back to us what we bring, yields what we are capable of finding - or it is like a mirror, or fragment of the mirror which is the infinite memory of Nature. Or better perhaps, it is a vast and cloudy canvas, or dim gigantic cinema, whereon the shapes of two hundred and forty centuries pass and repass as in an apocalyptic dream. Are these shapes "real"? But how can anyone judge, and who can define reality? Arts and sciences, philosophies and languages, sunken continents and vanished races, the panorama of infinite space, of galaxies and nebulae and the far journeying of our earth on her star-strewn track, and a spate of cryptic symbols, and hints of ten thousand mysteries, of times both past and future - all these are in Oahspe. And therefore, if criticism means evaluation, it is not a book that can be criticised. One does not criticise mountains, or the ocean, or sunset clouds, or even lusus naturae, strange happenings and visions of the night. There are, at rare intervals, phenomena of analogous kind in the world of written words. Whoever can speak, can utter certain foolish words about them, but the significance of them, like the significance of a mountain, a dream, or the sheen of a gnat's wing in noonday sun, evades the clutch of human understanding.
We have turned our text into a pretext - Mr Anderson's Testament into an Oahspe discussion. But then, this Testament is Oahspe - that is, a tidbit or nibble or first bite at it. If he put it all in, he would have 3687 pages instead of 315. That's something his readers ought to know - and which he doesn't tell them.
We speak of the magnificence of Oahspe, and in the same breath say that many think it is the world's dullest book. You have to have an Oahspe type of mind to do anything with it. We have run on and on about it, because it is one of those phenomena of human expression which no glib psychologist has ever yet said anything intelligible about. We don't "believe" it or disbelieve it; we contemplate it as one would a hippogrif, leviathan, or dragon. It's simply there, and we don't know any answers to Why, What, or How - and so have taken a near two pages to make proof of our ignorance.”
Thayer’s Fortean Society sold OAHSPE, but he was less than enthusiastic about it. (His notes about its advertising plans constitute the entirety of Doubt’s references to the new age bible.) With the first publication of Palmer’s Fate, Thayer remarked (Doubt 21, June 1948) that the back page offered Anderson’s OAHSPE for sale. He also noted that the editorial—written by Palmer under his pseudonym Robert N. Webster—took a “high moral tone” and hoped “the magazine lives up to it.” In an earlier issue, Thayer commented upon some of Anderson’s books of prophecy (based on OAHSPE), which he thought a better approach to getting out the Faithists’s message than the bulky nineteenth-century tome. From Doubt 18 (July 1947):
“Against the sounding board of OAHPSE, ‘the New Bible,’ now published by MFS Wing Anderson, that ‘’C’ Chief American Essenes of Kosmon’ has composed a book called Prophetic Years 1947-1953. It is a successful effort to carry this mail-order religion to that group among us who must watch the dollars. This is not an entirely new wrinkle. Christianity itself made its strongest appeal to the slave class of Rome, and the income of its professors today, even in the face of obvious decline, remains no less than prodigious. By making common-cause with the purse-troubled rather than with the soul-cankered, Prophet Anderson gives his prognostications the immediate practicality of a bowl of vegetable soup. For instance, the ‘Scarlet Colored (or Covered) Beast’ of which we must most beware (unless, indeed, it is already too late) is that group of International Bankers who did so well for themselves at Bretton Woods. The Society supplies Prophetic Years for $3.00 . . . Oahpse for $5.00.”
Which leaves references in five other “Doubt"s to give some additional indication of how Anderson fit into the Fortean community. His first contribution was a clipping in Doubt 16 (January 1947). The clipping regarded a weird cloud that hovered over Paris for some three weeks. French scientists attributed it to the recent atomic tests on the Bikini Atoll. Three other consistent Fortean contributors of the time also sent in clippings on the matter—Henry Hoernlein, Walter Kerr, and Bart Reagan. There is a possibility that the Anderson to whom Thayer gave credit for the clipping was not Earl Wing Anderson, since the credit only went to “Anderson.” It seems that in official documents, Anderson usually used his given first name. In publishing matters, he was usually either Wing Anderson or E. Wing Anderson—and Thayer knew him by the first of those. However, it was also Thayer’s habit to give credit by last name only, which leaves some room for misattribution. Especially since there was another Anderson in the Society, often referred to as E. S. Anderson, but possibly accounting for some of those references merely credited to Anderson. I do not know anything about E. S. Anderson beyond his bare existence.
An Anderson appeared in the next issue, Doubt 17, from March of 1946. He sent in a clipping that Thayer combined with others under the heading Ballisterics—which was his neologism for people shot by bullets with no apparent source. In this case, an eight-year-old boy riding his bike in Rockford, Illinois, was hit by a .22 calibre. Casting some doubt (ahem!) on whether that Anderson was _our_ Anderson, the next appearance, in the next issue (Doubt 17, July 1947) was credited to Wing Anderson.. But it did deal with a mainstream Fortean issue: an anchor chain that was knotted while the Navy vessel to which is was attached was anchored. It had to be undone by acetylene torches. (Frederick Hehr also sent in a clipping on this story.)
Unsurprisingly, Anderson seems to have been interested in flying saucers. About the first clipping, attribution is clear: “W. Anderson” is with sending in material on flying saucers—his name is in a list of credits and not tagged to a particular clipping—on aerial phenomena in Doubt 19 (October 1947)—which was Thayer’s all-flying saucer issue. In the next issue (Doubt 20, March 1948), Thayer gave a brief mention of people who had sent in additional information on flying saucers, crediting “Anderson.” n the next issue, Doubt 20 (early 1948). As it happened, E. S. Anderson also got credit in that issue—for a story about an Indiana man-beast—but the Anderson connected to flying saucers had no first initial, leaving open the possibility that there was a third correspondent with that surname. “W. Anderson” was given general credit again in Doubt 36 (January 1952). By that time, the post office had started charging more for postcards, and Thayer decided he would not send return receipts for clippings and, as well, group most of the credits into long lists of names.
Before that change came two more credits to Anderson—no first initial—both in the same issue, Doubt 25. Maybe this was Wing, maybe it wasn’t. The first clipping dealt with nylons mysteriously disappearing from the legs of women—in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the clipping. Thayer had other reports from Chicago, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Brooklyn. The other dealt with a statue in Syracuse, New York. According to a woman who had kissed it—and her friends—the statue began to cry at the touch of her lips. Thayer grouped these two stories along with a host of others under the title “His Wonders to Perform,” mocking the idea that God intervened in our world with miracles. What kind of miracles were these? How trivial.
The final mention (Doubt 54, June 1957), which came the year that Anderson closed down his community in Montrose, Colorado, is no doubt from Wing. “Worshipful Brother Wing,” as Thayer zestfully referred to him, sent in bits of a letter he had received from a correspondent in Mexico which claimed that everything gave off auras—not radioactive emissions—that were more elemental to form than atoms. Thayer went on to note: “Wing is himself pushing research into the effect upon milk production of playing music to the cows. He has dairies cooperating all over the world, and if any of you lads want to help, we have some circulars for you.” Which offers some insight into the kind of work being done by the Essenes of Kosmon. It is not a surprise that this was Anderson’s last contribution, given the end of his utopian experiment and the shuttering of the Fortean Society two years later with Thayer’s death.
These contributions suggest—given the caveats about the names—that Wing Anderson had interest in common Fortean phenomena. Perhaps—probably—he gave these mystical interpretations in line with his Faithist beliefs. That suggests that there was an overlap between interest in OAHSPE and Forteanism, though the two were also very different. Indeed, the more the Fortean community is investigated, the more complex its sociology: because Anderson had contacts with other Forteans outside the confines of the Fortean Society, others who had their own very different agendas. The two obvious examples are N. Meade Layne—who was confounded by OAHSPE—and Max Freedom Long—whom Anderson published, even as he thought that Long’s interest in Huna (or Hawaiian magic) was mere Kindergarten play compared to the advanced degree given by a study of OAHSPE. He was in contact with Palmer, too, of course, both sharing an abiding devotion to Newborough’s book.
Anderson also would have seen in the Fortean Society, and Thayer, a fellow traveller on the social and political road, bot inclined to left-libertarianism and socialistic anarchy. (Although note that the Fortean Society attracted its share of reactionaries.) Anderson’s “Seven Years that Change the World: 1941-1948” used a tactic that Thayer did, too, admitting that he might be labelled a Red because in America at the time everything bad was considered as supporting Soviet Communism. Thayer took to blaming reds for everything himself, though he did so ironically—like the #ThanksObama hashtag one sees today. Nonetheless, the book offered a searing indictment of American capitalism, the inequalities it produces, the suffering and exploitation, which resonated with Thayer’s own critique of big business. Not that Anderson wanted to combat capitalism with regulations—in the manner of liberals or socialists—and Thayer himself, as well as many Forteans, grouched about such regulations.
The Fortean complaint was that there were large, uncontrollable forces defining human life: science, war and the military, big business, the state, the remains of the church. That left no room for individuality. Focusing on unusual phenomena, inexplicable events, anomalies—this was a way of striking a blow for the individual in an increasingly statistical world. Anderson’s hope was the liberated from these new determinisms, humans would find their authentic selves and spontaneously group into communes bound by love—with no need for an overarching government of rules. This view was rooted in a particular view of history, a cyclical one. (Thayer didn’t like cyclical theories.) Again and again over time—every three-thousand years—the world became hardened, sclerotic, and needed to be renewed by those with a spiritual talent, who could tap into the mystical world that surrounded the material one. Anderson hoped to be on the vanguard of that change. His prophecy never came true, at least not while he lived, nor on his time table. There are still Faithists out there, though, scattered communities around the world.