Rites Of Passage must be taught in church or other faith institution. The role of the church is not just to get people into heaven, but also to keep them alive while living on earth. Riverside Church in New York City had a Rites of Passage program for youth transitioning into adults. As a mentor in that program we had the responsibility of bringing reality into the lives of youth and place into their heads, minds and hearts the rules of survival and knowledge. College professors, medical doctors, policemen, businessmen, bankers lawyers, ministers and lay people guided young minds away from paths of destruction and made it possible for them to enjoy a future for which they struggled so hard. The urban schools and urban streets of America requires survival rules and those who break the rules will end up in the American legal system, fighting for the rights to freedom. All schools public or private are under camera observation and supervision. All streets in America are under camera supervision, and all people in America are recorded in some type of face recognition system, suggesting that whether you do good things or bad things, you are on camera.

Did you know that it is dangerous for a poor or minority teenager to confront a policeman on the streets in some neighborhoods. Did you know if you want your son to return home alive you must give him the rites of survival on some American urban streets. The rules of survival on some streets for the oppressed is silence, submission and staying alive. Teach your sons how to stay alive, get back home and let the adult members of the family fight un-winable battles. In Challenging communities, the policeman is not your friend, buddy or member of your gang, he does not know how important and special you are. You will be judged by your behavior and you words in challenging situations. Rites of passage church programs provides opportunities for youth to role play familar situation and to provide immature students with the correct tools for survival. There is no such thing as freedom of speech when you find yourself in a situation with law enforcement.  Close your mouth, keep your hands by yourside and remember all the rules of behavior your parents and teacher tried to teach you. The policeman’s role is to shut down indications of threat, so the quicker you can present the image of a non threatening entity, the quicker you will be released to get home to the safety and security of your parents. Today most youth who are hurt or arrested by policemen are immigrants who incorrectly believe they have a right to speak their peace. Immigrants not only speak with hostile voices, but also they are hand talkers, waving their hands and arms as they speak. Hand waving and arm talking and a fresh mouth trigger signals of danger in policemen. Teach youth how not to set off signals of danger in policemen. Churches can do this in Rites of Passage programs. Do not get American values from the media, the media is usually owned and operated by foreigners and other immigrants and tend to have an incorrect understanding of American culture and mores. American churches and faith based institutions teach American culture, and if your children are not attending church they will not get the valuable Rites of passage messages necessary for survival. If you attend a Bible based church only, you will learn the values of people living thousands of years ago in another time and another place. American churches should relate to the highest American values and requirements, if your church does not, considering changing churches. Churches are not suppose to get you into heaven, remember you have to die to get into heaven, the role of the church is to give God’s rules for living on earth before you get to your final resting place. Find a program based church God will be there, and perhaps you can delay that heavenly trip for your son a little while longer. God is not happy when children are sent up to heaven, not having enjoyed the pleasures of life He has prepared for them here on earth. Do not be so quick to get to heaven or to send your children to heaven, God has a kingdom prepared here on earth, learn about the earthly kingdom by attending earthly churches. Welcome to the Riverside Church, we help you live on earth while preparing you for your eternal rest in the future.


The difference between the social and economic classes is often behaviors. This suggests that behavior determines class stratification. Behavior rules and expectations of society is the responsibility of our education and should be part of a Common Curriculum. The success of the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Jewish Educational Institutions, Muslim Educational Institutions and Historical Black Church Educational Institutions was that they each taught rules of behavior for society.

The United Military Service receives the credit for turning many boys into responsible men able to function and contribute to society. The military use to have a program of turning a boy into a soldier and fighting machine, deprogramming the soldier and returning men back to families and communities. The number of homeless veterans on the streets of America suggests that there has been some change to the policy of deprogramming. Man has always had to fight and go to war to protect his family and country, but was not been emotionally destroyed by the process.

Military service should not cause neurological challenges resulting in dismissal from family settings and homelessness. Some of these behaviors resemble behaviors observed in socially and economically challenged communities, where there is a lack of understanding of positive acceptable human behavior, and individuals respond to emotional hurts by lashing out verbally and physically. Passions are high in challenging neighborhoods and the fight or flight part of the brain is always stimulated. Children in these communities often do not get the adequate amount of sleep required to restore healthy functions to the brain or body. Those who cannot fight or run are often killed in conflict or become collateral damage in the violence of others.

                Individuals that make it to community college or the four – year college experience, learn what has been absent in regular education programs designed for the poor classes, they learn rules of behavior, the rights of passage rules and behaviors required to secure employment and sustain family relations.

                Public schools should reinstate home economics programs including how to care for and set up a home and financially and physically care for the living environment. Employment in the jobs of America and working for the government should be included in educational rites of passage programs.

The misunderstanding of the Bill of Rights contained in the constitution should be reviewed and understood, and the concept of responsible speech and behavior should be taught. The poor are often shot because they present as a threat to law enforcement, and the best and the brightest are not always assigned to work in communities with challenging socio economic issues. Today the poor get the worst teachers, policemen, doctors, lawyers, sales people and businessmen. Con artist seeking to extract the few coins from the unsuspected individual exploits the poor; this cannot be solved, it has been around since biblical times, known as moneychangers and tax collectors, those who oppress the poor. This problem can only be solved through education and escape.

             These problems relate to Americans but they are relevant to any group trying to break out of poverty. Jews, Italians and Irish faced the same problems during the early 20th century. The system is design to prevent any movement out of the selected class. Individuals who attempt to break out of the culture of poverty will face many obstacles, including sabotage from members of their own group and own family. Escape is achieved through education, but the cost is dear in terms of old friends and familiar environment, and there is no going back.

Your church, family and friends will reject you once you break out of the culture of poverty. You demonstrate to them that it can be done and that there is something wrong with them and the way they are living their lives; no one likes to be wrong, and the one who changes will be attacked. If you can stand the rejections, until you find your own group, you will be all right. Poverty is an addiction, and the addiction has built into it variable needed by the individual, you may sabotage your success in order to return to the addiction in times of stress. The closer you get to your goal and out of the poverty trap the more difficult the trip will become, victory does come, and the need to get others out is the most challenging emotion you will experience.

The group caught in poverty will silently celebrate your success, and each success motivates and serves as a guide to the next individual seeking to travel the “underground railroad” to freedom. If you think it is about race, you will lose your way, this is class transformation, and class transformation is worse than racism. It is about trying to preserve power and wealth for a select few. There is plenty for everyone, and that is the secret you will discover when you reach your destination.

The Secrets of Wealth

             Wealth is God in circulation, and the more you give away, the more will be returned to you doubled over. The more people you free to travel the wealth track, the more will be given to you in your task of helping others. The question of what will you do with your education should center on how can you use your experience and education to help others? How can you break down the wall of fear and free others from the oppression and addiction of poverty. How can you prevent the poor from attacking others and taking frustration out on society? How can you teach the poor that the system is designed to draw them into behaviors that will prevent them from entering into the forbidden planet? How can the poor and the oppressed avoid behaviors designed to make them felons and left out of the game of wealth? The answers to these questions can become a motivational goal of life, or you can just decide to be the best person you can be and hope that others will see you and your life as a role model. The choice is yours.

America is a second chance society; it is founded on the principle that everyone should have a chance at success. Education in America is like a conveyor belt; you can jump on at any point and jump off when necessary, and jump on again. Many adults had to stop educational careers because of life emergencies, helping parents, marriage, raising children, or just not ready for the challenges involved in a commitment to self. The College of New Rochelle School of New Resources represents the state of the art program for adult students making the transition into the educational environment. The School of New Resources has designed a program for adults returning to college. It does it better than any institution, and is considered the gold standard in adult education. I taught at the School of New Resources for 28 years and was part of a program making it possible for thousands of Americans to transform their lives. Ideas presented here were tried out in the Experience Learning and Identity successfully taught at this outstanding educational and spiritual institution.

           Breaking out of poverty will be the hardest thing you will ever do in your life; the failure rate is very high and the price expensive in the cost of emotional capital. If you are serious you must be prepared to become an immigrant in a new country. You must follow all of the steps taken by immigrants and prepare your self mentally and physically for a journey that will take a toll on your identity and your health.

Individuals who are motivated to leave the land of their birth have at some time made the decision that they cannot survive in their present surroundings, and for the sake of their own well being and the future they must make extreme sacrifices and changes. Carefully research the area you are intending to immigrate; learn the culture, which include behavior traits and expectations, music, foods, shelter, relationships between men and women, and what is acceptable and expected. Identify the leaders of the area to which you are immigrating, and determine how they can help you adjust to the new environment.

Be prepared to change your clothing and physical look with respect to hairstyle and clothing. The last think you want is to stand out like a sore thumb, therefore do a detailed research on what people look like, express them and behave. Just as you would do when planning a trip to a foreign land, check the weather and decide what to pack for the occasion, and what you may need to purchase letter. Pack your bag with all of your worldly possessions, say goodbye to your family and close friends, and accept the idea that once you immigrate to the new country, you will no longer we welcomed into the inner intimate circle again.

If you are strong enough to endure these challenges, welcome to the world of changing social classes and moving out of the culture of poverty. The doorway out of poverty starts with education. There are really two doors, the first door is education and the second door is religion. These are dangerous exit paths, if you select the wrong path in education, you will fall down a dark hole of despair. If you select the wrong path in religion, you will fall down the same dark hole, you will just be shouting and singing. Public schools serving minority and poor students in New York City are path to dark holes. Churches helping you get into heaven as fast as you can with out experiencing the joys of life are also path to dark holes. You will need both the school and the church for your great escape.


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