June 2017



Join The Conversation

Secular Conversations —(public welcome) freethinkers participate in respectful dialogue sharing ideas and opinions on a variety of subjects. Videos, essays, participant and guest speakers provide topics at 2:00 pm on the third Saturday each month at Cypress Hall, 8413 SW 80th Street Ocala.

This Month

June 17th 2017:  Commemorating Juneteenth:

“Amazing grace,” one of America’s most recognized musical pieces, was written by Sir John Newton, a slave captain. He participated in many abhorrent evils and vicious brutalities inflicted upon Africans aboard slave ships. Many years and voyages later, he was moved to write, “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” To understand the violence of many inner cities today, we must begin with understanding the condition and confinement of slave ships which kept human persons penned in, struggling to breath, for water and light.

Leroy Chandler’s historical analysis of the slave ship is key to understanding the conditions of America’s inner cities today. He has spent years acquiring material of the African-American experience with his “museum on wheels” in Marion County. More importantly, is his studied reflection of the material connecting the past of slave ships to inner cities today. A scholarly “tour de force” Newton had a conversion of his complicity in inhumanity, “at which my heart now shudders.” Can Americans have a conversion of heart and mind for complicity in maintaining the confinement of too many persons, penned in America’s inner cities?

Leroy Chandler will take us on a voyage of discovery, enlightenment, and hopefully conversion of heart and mind. Come aboard, and begin the perilous journey to change the course of history. We are the captains of our destiny.

Next Few Months

July 15th 2017:  Nuclear Power…A Blessing or a Curse.

Instructor: Bob Zannelli

Should the US shy away from the use of nuclear energy to meet power generation needs? Are the risks of nuclear energy being evaluated rationally? Using videos produced by The Teaching Company, we will learn, at a basic laymen’s level, about radiation and nuclear fission and take an unbiased look at the pros and cons of nuclear energy. Questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed.

Bob Zannelli earned enough credits for  Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology and Nuclear Engineering Technology from the University of New York Regents College.

After six years in the Navy as a nuclear power plant operator, Bob spent 27 years at various nuclear power facilities.  His responsibilities were in start-up engineering and engineering support, focused mainly in the area of instrumentation, control and safety systems  included new installation, design review, developing operating procedures and establishing certification standards and programs for nuclear technicians.

As an avocation, he collaborated with the physicist Dr. Gerald Fitzpatrick on three papers on the puzzle of  Fermion Families in particle physics  and with Dr. Victor Stenger (along with other members of Dr. Stenger’s “physics gang” on eight books and two papers, fine tuning questions in cosmology and the defense of New Atheism.

August 19th: Marijuana-Science or Fiction

 While our history with cannabis has been known since the beginning of civilization, amazingly there are many myths and misconceptions about its effects on our body.

At a time when Cannabis products have been approved in several states and recently in Florida for either medical or recreational purposes, our communities need to understand the possible benefits and risks of its use. For this lecture, I have done a comprehensive review of the literature, from historical features of the plant and the data regarding its potential medical benefits, to its short and long term side effects.


Dr. Gaudier is neurologist practicing in Ocala for 25 years. He studied medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and then move to the states for his Neurology training in Alabama, before establishing his practice in Marion County.  He is former president of the Marion County Medical Society, former member of the hospice board and among other positions was chairman of the hospital ethics committee.  He is known for his interest in education and has lectured extensively on topics of history, science, medicine and neurology.



Secular Friends at Home

Small Group Gatherings for Members Only
Fourth Tuesday in 2017
Host locations are now being accepted
from HNCFL Members who wish to host either
a 12:00 p.m. Lunch or a 6:00 p.m. Dinner
on, June 27, or July 25.
Host in your home or favorite restaurant.
You make the meal arrangements.
Four to eight other Members sign up to join you.
Good food and conversation builds friendships.
Click HERE for more details about hosting.
Click HERE if you want to be a Host.

Secular Tables

HNCFL members and friends come together to enjoy conversation over lunch. Held monthly on the first Wednesday at 11:30 AM at a variety of restaurants. We welcome suggestions and input regarding where you would like to meet.

Seating is not prearranged nor tables pushed together preferring instead to have smaller groups at separate tables for easier communication.

On June 7 at 11:30 Secular tables meets at 

Chefs of Napoli IV 
Located in: Heath Brook Commons
5400 SW College Rd, Ocala, Fl 34474
Phone: (352) 857-8111
On July 5 at 11:30 Secular tables meets at
Braised Onion
754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala, Fl 34470
Phone: (352) 620-9255
 754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala, FL 34470
Please respond to hncf2015@aol.com
You Don’t Want to Miss

In Reason We Trust



76th Annual AHA Conference

June 8-11, 2017

Charleston, SC

Informative sessions on humanist philosophy, science, social justice, the First Amendment, and more.Expert speakers and guests. Check it out conference.americanhumanist.org



June 5th through July 28th

R.A.M.A.L. Educational & Social Services strives to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most by “Reaching, Aiming, Motivating and Leading.” Our mission is to provide information, training, and life coaching to empower, inspire and motivate individuals to improve their lives and the community in which they live.

Mission Statement

To provide information, training, and life coaching which will empower, inspire, and motivate individuals to improve their lives and the community in which they live.

The summer enrichment camp will be held at the Marion County Boys and Girls Club.

We need individuals for tutoring, mentoring, special skills (i. e., art, arts. & crafts, computer, financial literacy, etc.).

Remember, we are open for suggestions of something you can offer which is not listed. Ask yourself, “What can I offer that would be fun, or informational, or educational? What can I offer which will enrich the life of an at risk student? Educational? Fun games? Writing – poetry, stories? Crafts? Grooming? Jewelry making or other craft? Chess? Computer skills? Music? These suggestions are not all-inclusive. Offer an idea or a suggestion and it will be explored to see if the program can support it.

Thank you!!

The RAMAL curriculum for the Summer will consist of:

1. Math – 1 certified teacher

2. Reading – 1 certified teacher

3. Life Skills (financial literacy, self-esteem, character development)

4. Computer Literacy

5. Health & Fitness

6. Art

RSVP: humanistsncfl@gmail.com


This is a new section of the newsletter. Any member may submit comments, ideas, thoughts, that relate to our organization. The following is an article from Emmett Coyne on his reflections of our latest Secular Conversations meeting.


Afterwords – May 20th meeting – Journey to Humanism
Four panelists shared their spiritual journey to Humanism. Seems something normal to do.  But it is reflective of the evolution of human consciousness to share one’s deepest personal dimension of the self. 
St. Augustine’s Confessions was a landmark record in human history for a person to share a personal belief journey. But it has been a slow evolution. People haven’t always, and still don’t, feel comfortable in sharing before a group, especially, their inner maturation. 
The dominant group belief has suppressed personal dissent and inquiry.  A blessing of a pluralistic democracy is the freedom to speak more honestly without being altogether shunned or marginalized, to find fellow pilgrims. It’s been a long, tough historical slog to today.
Revealing one’s deepest self, soul before an audience has shades of Protestantism which often encouraged members to witness before the congregation. It can be a cathartic, liberating effect for the person to express one’s belief in personal words (though some seem to follow a script, a form at times). The group finds reinforcement and solidarity with the witness and one another.
An evangelical pastor claimed “God has no grandchildren.” One’s belief, to be authentic, needs to be one’s own, not something handed down by another and not accepted uncritically. Oscar Wilde phrased it in another way: “Most people are other people.  Their thoughts  are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”  William Deresiewicz notes “political correctness expects us to plot our experience on the grid of identity, to interpret it in terms of our location at the intersection of a limited number of recognized categories. But identity should not precede experience; it should proceed from it.” Ultimately, our experiences mold our singularity. The panelists underscored personal experiences led to their identity as humanists.
While we like to point out to children that no two snowflakes and fingerprints are alike, we rarely mention the uniqueness of each person’s mind in the same breath. (Alas, the mind seems to be more easily cloned than a snowflake, a fingerprint!) Liberated from the correctness of social, cultural and religious influences, personal identify emerges when we own our experiences and process them.  This seems to be more universally embraced from when Augustine first confessed his personal belief journey in writing. Confessional spiritual literature has become a niche for writers compelled to share their belief journey.  The 2011 work by Stephen Batchelor “Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist” is part of the thread that can be traced back to Augustine.
Most persons aren’t going to write a “magnus opus” about their spiritual journey but 
more persons are willing to sharing with others their questioning.  It is another step to share before a group.  Not everyone is comfortable in doing such.  Providing a public venue is critical in allowing those willing to share their belief journey.  It creates an atmosphere where such sharing becomes normal and the ripple effect encourages others to take the plunge.
Before Maslow’s self-actualization model, Roberto Assagioli developed “Psychosynthesis.”  It was the earliest forerunners of both humanistic psychology and transpersonal psychology. Part of Assagioli’s effort, as I read him, was his enabling personal spiritual liberation while Freud focused on sexual liberation.  Assagioli was not, however, primarily dealing with therapy for dysfunctional patients.  Assagioli asserted that “the direct experience of the self, of pure self-awareness… – is true.”  Spiritual goals of “self-realization” and the “inter-individual psychosynthesis” – of ‘social integration…the harmonious integration of the individual into ever larger groups up to the “one humanity”‘– were central to Assagioli’s theory.”
The May 20th panelists may be pace setters locally and to be commended for their cameo presentations. Hopefully, the May meeting will be a regular feature as it provides and encourages a venue for the whole person, unsuppressed, liberated and celebrated.
Emmett Coyne

Other News



There is a new PO Box to use as the mailing address for the HNCFL. Just be extra careful with all those 2s and 7s.



The U.S. Constitution provides protection for disagreeing with leaders and policies. INDIVISIBLE is an online guide developed by former progressive congressional staffers who “believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda but a resistance built-in the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.” This short guide offers proven strategies for action and making your voice heard. Google INDIVISIBLE to read this free guide. Groups have formed in Stone Creek, OTOW, Dunnellon and Ocala.

Have a smart-phone or tablet? Text RESIST to 50409. You will receive a message from RESISTBOT who will invite you to identify your concerns and what you want your leaders in DC to know. It will then send your comments to their offices. It is the least one can do.

Social Media


MEETUP:  Ocala/Marion Co Freethinkers, Humanists, Agnostics site is available to everyone online.  You can find them HERE.

Facebook:  Humanists of North Central Florida Community needs LIKES.  

The HNCFL directory (password protected) is available on our website.

Help Wanted!

Facebook Manager

  • Manage Page Roles and Settings
  • Edit the Page
  • Create and Delete Posts
  • Respond to and Delete Comments

Newsletter Editor/Publisher

  • Collect monthly Humanist items of interest
  • Edit as appropriate
  • Peer review by board of directors before publishing
  • Publish the newsletter on a monthly basis

RSVP: humanistsncfl@gmail.com






Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More

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Posted in HNCFL Newsletters
2 comments on “June 2017
  1. Anonymous says:

    Just noticed that this newsletter says “HNCFL PO BOX – There is a new PO Box to use as the mailing address for the HNCFL. Just be extra careful with all those 2s and 7s.” But I did not see the actual address anywhere. Shouldn’t we post it someplace? Bert


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