Strange “Encounters”: Meher Baba and Dick Nixon
Nixon Receives Baba’s Universal Message—and Gives It Back!
Wendy Haynes Connor told this anecdote to Louise Trask, who kindly shared it with me. It takes place at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where Jane Haynes, Wendy’s mother, had initiated the idea of presenting Baba’s pictures and literature at a Baba booth (see Kitty Davy’s account in The Awakener magazine, vol. 10, no. 3 , p. 1). Louise notes that during this time former Vice-President Richard Nixon was a senior partner at a law firm in New York.
The scan of the Universal Message signed by Nixon is courtesy of Charles Haynes. —K.C.B.
There was a huge crowd the day Richard Nixon came to the 1964 World’s Fair. Mother and I were leaving the Pavilion of American Interiors, having just finished our shift at the Baba booth, when we found ourselves in the midst of hundreds of people. Mother knew that Nixon was coming and was ready with a copy of Baba’s Universal Message. Suddenly, there was a surge forward and “somehow” Nixon appeared right in front of us. Mother saw that he was signing autographs, and as soon as Nixon drew near enough, she thrust the brochure into his hand—and, immediately, with barely a glance, Nixon quickly signed “Dick Nixon” right above the words “Meher Baba’s” and handed the brochure back to Jane!
And speaking of Nixon . . .
“God Picks the Winners and the Losers”
Excerpt from an Internet post by Tony Paterniti, 12 November 2000; reprinted in Love Street Lamp Post, Jan.-Mar. 2001, p. 19.
. . . A few months before dropping His body, Baba called Harry [Kenmore] for a visit with Him in India in November 1968. It was during the Nixon-Humphrey election—”which in itself was a sign that my presence wasn’t essential to the election!” Harry told us in his usual blunt, emphatic and humorous way.
Harry describes being with Baba in Mandali Hall one morning before Election Day. Baba is asking him about this and that, they’re chatting, Baba calling Harry His son and Harry, as usual, calling Baba his “Pops.” At some point, Harry, who favored Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon, says:
“So, Baba, it looks like Humphrey’s going to win the election.”
Baba promptly replies: “That’s by your will, isn’t it?”
Baba says no more about it. When the morning session ends, He returns to His room and Harry is outside Mandali Hall, talking with Eruch and the others, when he learns that Baba had told them as early as March of 1968, before the Conventions, that “Nixon must come into the White House.”
“So it was decided!” Harry exclaimed. “Nixon must come into the White House. God picks the winners and the losers. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the vote of the population! He can just change the numbers on the machines! Did he change the numbers on the Nixon-Humphrey election? The guy won by less than half of a percent” [or something like that. —T.P.].
“Of course, this doesn’t mean that you tell people not to go out and vote. But as a follower of Avatar Meher Baba, know that God picks the winners and the losers.”