Thursday, July 27, 2006

IN MEMORIAM Maryann Mahaffey

IN MEMORIAM: Maryann Mahaffey – 1925-2006

I awoke to breaking news this morning that old political acquaintance, former Detroit City Council President, Maryann Mahaffey died lovingly surrounded by her husband, Hy Dooha and daughter Susan. Her United Methodist Church pastor was also at her bedside. Her last of many lifetime battles was against leukemia. She was a political liberal. Ann Coulter would probably (and inaccurately) call her “Godless.” I found myself personally saying the most intense deep prayers for her soul. Maryann Mahaffey was there personally for me at a most crucial incubator time of my work against the New Age Movement and I what I have personally battled for the past 25 years. For that, I have always been personally grateful, even though Maryann Mahaffey and I had significant differences over many issues. As do so many Detroiters, I deeply mourn her passing.

I moved to Detroit in the early fall of 1965, not knowing a soul apart from my husband. I applied for admission to Wayne State University and after successfully battling to gain residential rate status, I was accepted and began evening classes in January 1966. My son, Stephen came along in August, 1967. Like so many of my age and generation, I was affected by the turbulence of our times. The Detroit riots began on July 23, 1967, a little more than two weeks before my son’s expected birth. From our northwest Detroit home’s neighborhood, I could hear gunfire coming from other sections of Detroit under both siege and fire. Many of my generation were dying in the Vietnam war. My personal commitment to political action began when I heard national Democratic Chairman, John Bailey, say “like it or not, Lyndon Johnson will be renominated and re-elected as President of the United States.” Outraged by the implication, I watched for somebody to stand up to that unilateral declaration. The only voice then speaking was an unlikely soft-spoken Democratic United States senator from Minnesota, Eugene McCarthy. When I saw a McCarthy for President sign on a storefront headquarters in Northwest Detroit in early 1968, I was one of the first to volunteer. Other young mothers had also volunteered and I suggested that we find a qualified child care worker to watch our children safely in the building as we did our political things upstairs. This happened and this was my experience with what was to become several years of near total political involvement as I simultaneously mothered my son, attended college, worked for the legislature and eventually went to and finished law school, graduating in May, 1975.

One of the most interesting and impressive people I met through that time – certainly the most intense, was a woman named Maryann Mahaffey. I also got to know her husband, Hy Dooha. Maryann was a Professor of Social Work at Wayne State University when I got to know her. I was a young and intense person with political aspirations. I did not know about the New Age Movement in those early days and did not discover its existence until 1981, approximately 14 years after I first met Maryann Mahaffey at various Democratic Party functions in the Detroit metropolitan area.

My deepest feelings about Maryann Mahaffey stems not from my political involvement where I deeply respected her, although not always agreeing with her. It is fair to say that she was probably far to my political left. Many in her crowd were also deeply anti-clerical. I do not believe that was true of Maryann.

I discovered the New Age Movement in 1981, approximately 1 ½ years after husband Barry lost his legs in a traumatic injury. Maryann Mahaffey as had so many other gracious Detroiters offered me their kindest sympathies at the time. Former governor, John Swainson, himself a wartime amputee came to Henry Ford Hospital (where Maryann Mahaffey died this morning) to visit.

When I discovered the New Age Movement and immediately realized its prophetic and biblical implications, I took the information unsuccessfully to my then pastor, Joseph Stowell, who would eventually head Moody Bible Institute for many years. I must bluntly say the information got out no thanks to him. I finally thought to myself, “my clients pay me for advice – they will listen.” My client base got a one by one education on the New Age Movement. – so did my political acquaintances. One startled lapsed Catholic went to report what he learned to a childhood friend who had become a priest. That priest came to see me (Fr. Eduard Perrone) and this resulted in what eventually led to Pope John Paul II speaking out against the New Age Movement in 1993. It also led, in part, to materials being received by conservative Catholics in the Seattle area that were passed on to then Cardinal Ratzinger which would lead to Matthew Fox’s investigation, silencing, and eventual ex-communication.

When I discovered this material, I had been steadily rising in political and legal circles. I was on the chairs to become President of the National Association of Women Lawyers. I served terms as secretary and treasurer. Its other officers and many members were also educated by yours truly on the New Age Movement and its ramifications. I discovered the New Age Movement during my term as treasurer and resigned from the organization when my work against the New Age Movement took on national dimensions. I remember sitting there as I horrifiedly realized the implications and knowing I could not conscientiously remain silent mumbling to myself, “professional suicide, political suicide – professional suicide, political suicide.” Were it not for the biblical Daniel prophecy about those with insight being in the plural, I would not have had the courage to go forward. That read, “those with insight among the people shall give understanding to the many.”

My support often came from where I least expected it. So did my opposition. I had not discussed the New Age Movement with Maryann Mahaffey, but word of my new advocacy quickly made gossip rounds in Detroit political circles. I received a telephone call from Lowell Cauffiel, a then Detroit radio personality who later became better known as an author. He said my name had come up in a discussion he had with a young Detroit lawyer (one formerly caught up in the New Age Movement who gave me my first Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh book), Maryann Mahaffey and two or three others. Somebody there quipped, “Connie must have ran off and joined Jehovah’s Witneses." Lowell Cauffiel told me that immediately Maryann Mahaffey immediately and strongly came to my defense. She strongly lectured all, “listen, I have known Connie for many years. I have never known her to go off half-cocked about something she didn’t absolutely know what she’s talking about. I hate to say it, but if Connie says it’s happening, it’s happening.”

Because of that statement by Maryann Mahaffey, my work was not marginalized and trivialized by Detroit media at a very crucial incubator stage of it. There were others who would play vital roles, but what Maryann Mahaffey did was absolutely crucial. She would later have her chief of staff, a Jewish woman, contact me for a full briefing on both Curtis Sliwa’s “Guardian Angels” and the New Age Movement. I laid out everything for her in several intense working sessions at the conclusion of which she (the aide) said, “this is the most insidious and evil material I have ever seen. I am going to shake your hand right now. You will take much abuse for this, but I want you to know I thank you for it.”

Within a couple of weeks after that I was invited to Detroit’s City County Building’s Council Chambers to brief the combined staffs of Detroit Councilwoman Maryann Mahaffey, Detroit Councilman Nicholas Hood, and Detroit Councilman John People’s staff.” The large audience intently listened with many relevant questions, as I showed them the numerous collected materials on both the political and anti-religious aims of the New Age Movement. Again, it was crucial support at a very early incubator stage of what was to become my long struggle to expose the New Age Movement by whatever moniker it chose to currently use to the public.

After taking my stand against the New Age Movement, I was no longer active in political causes. I was solidly on the road between 1982 and 1989. I returned to the active practice of law near the end of 1988 and by 1989 had rehung my shingle as a lawyer. Although between that and my continuing research on New Age Movement issues, I had no time for political activism, I would occasionally see my political friends. One was Detroit City Clerk James Bradley. I was his family’s personal attorney. I first met him when he was in the legislature and I worked for the Michigan House of Representatives. A long time public servant, James Bradley died in the fall of 1997. I was honored to be asked by his family to be one of the eulogizing speakers at his very large and public funeral. Mr. Bradley was a believer.

The funeral was packed. Many who’s who of Michigan political and civic life were present. I was sitting somewhere in the middle of the room. I saw then Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer walk in. I then saw Detroit City Council President Maryann Mahaffey walk in, her broken arm in a sling. I saw her looking here and there and then to my utter surprise she walked over to me personally. “Connie, I’ve been looking all over for you,” said Maryann Mahaffey. “You are to sit between Mayor Archer and me.”

When I gave my personal eulogy about Mr. Bradley, I said that the greatest thing about him was not his civic involvement, he knew Jesus.

It is not uncommon to see believers and non-believers alike at political funerals. I plan, God willing, to be at Maryann Mahaffey’s memorial service. I could not look into anyone’s mind and know what they are thinking as I gave my own clear personal Christian testimony. In the years I have seen her since, Maryann Mahaffey was always seemed very happy to see me. To my knowledge, she never said an unkind word – unlike many of those in the evangelical world who tried their very best to stifle and contain my work.

I went to Maryann Mahaffey’s Cobo Hall tribute luncheon on March 24th of this year. Many old friends far to my political left were there. To my pleasant surprise, Maryann Mahaffey’s personal Methodist pastor gave the invocation. I noticed that Maryann Mahaffey’s head appeared deeply and intently bowed in what appeared to be very personal prayer.

Maryann Mahaffey to my personal knowledge had views significantly to my political left. She was intensely and passionately for “the little person.” She did with vigour feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit those in prison.” After watching her so obviously intent in personal prayer at that luncheon I am convinced that she did love the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind as well. I said my deepest and most intense personal prayers this morning for God’s taking of her body and soul. She was there for me by her kind and supporting words at a crucial, incubator stage of my work which may have otherwise been hopelessly marginalized at its very start.

Maryann Mahaffey, rest in peace and may God go with you. I love you.


CONSTANCE E. CUMBEY
July 27, 2006
Comments:
Dear Connie,

I am moved by your heart felt pain. I've once heard that it is the liberals who have compassion and the conservatives who have common sense. I see you at the place where the two meet. I praise the Lord for you! God bless you big sister.

RichInMedford
 
Constance;
Thankyou for this recounting of your friend Maryanne. I think the whole liberal / conservative dichotomy, or any others for that matter have no place among Christians. Christ's highest aspiriation for his followers was "that they may be one" as He and his Father are one. As Creator and Savior of the all humanity, the teachings of Jesus comprise the only fully true and completely valid philosophy for the human race to live by. "Thou shalt live by EVERY word of God."
Jesus clearly taught that forgiveness of and love for thy neighbor as thyself is paramount, and in fact is absolutely required by God for salvation. "If you do not forgive others, neither then will (God) forgive you. (Forgiving others is not based on 'work', but on beleiving in Chirst blood shed for remission of sins.) It seems that what God really wants is for mankind, and most particularly those who claim his name, to love one another.
Jesus said, "AS I have loved you, love one another." This is the new commandment that fulfills all other commandments. It is the 'fruit' God desires us to bear, it is the outworking of the Holy Spirit from within.

I am sure Maryanne could never have supported the carnage being done to Lebanon, a land filled with many Christian believers, whose lives and homes are being destroyed by those persuing a godless vendatta to destroy. Not only do they utterly reject Jesus and the New Covenant, but they completey violate the old commandments of the covenant they claim. That covenant of justice before mercy, commanded all justice be limited to "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" This law would prevent escalations of violence beyond all proportions. But they do not even follow their own laws.

Do we believe in Christ? Or do we believe in vicious killing?
 
Constance,

I just now realized you posted a comment on my blog site. I've kind of neglected my site. I just re-did the settings on my site so anyone can post a comment. I actually work in Portage and went to high school there as well. I now live in Battle Creek.. Sorry it took so long for me to respond. I am deeply moved and saddened by your loss.

God bless!
 
Way to turn this into an anti-semite hate piece, friend. Good job.
 
From the first moment I heard you speak on a recorded radio show back in the 80's, I knew that you were a watchman of God, Constance. Hooray for Maryann for recognizing your amazing gifts and mission as well!! Hooray for God for giving Detroit--and the world--such a one as Maryann!!
 
Dearest Connie,


For any of your detractors from
whatever their point of view(s),
if they are honest with themselves and/or others, *this* post should
once and for all time prove the
true essence and pure quality of
your innermost, beauitful being as those of us who know you well will always attest, Maryann Mahaffery
being just one among many of us
whose life also has been blessed
by our Savior, Christ Jesus, in
knowing you and the countless
other souls whose lives you have
touched, who have yet to met and
get to really know you.

You and Maryann's family and
friends are in thoughts and
prayers, Connie, and are so sorry
for this loss in all of your lives
as well as for all of those her
life on this earth she blessed...
"...the least of these, you've
done it unto me". May all take
comfort that she will receive her
highest rewards ever, bestowed
upon her by none other than the
King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Very Sincerely,
Longtime Texas Friend
 
I liked your article, I will share your article to everyone!!




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