Rainbow Family Attracts All Kinds 

Rainbow Family Attracts All Kinds 
Posted by CN Staff on June 29, 2003 at 08:45:48 PT
By Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune 
Source: Salt Lake Tribune 
Near Lyman Lake, Uinta Mountains -- Think of Woodstock without the music. Now think of Woodstock without the music, but with plenty of cold mud and swarms of mosquitoes.   Welcome home, brother and sister. Your Rainbow Family loves you. Every summer for the past 32 years, people from across the nation have assembled in a forest somewhere to fill their spiritual cups -- together.
Neither the heat and flies of Michigan last summer nor the mud and mosquitoes of Utah's Uinta Mountains this year can stand in their way. In the end, the elements are mere trifles for these free spirits.   Sometimes derided as dirty, sticky-fingered hippies, the Rainbows actually come from all walks of life. At this year's gathering 15 miles up the North Slope Road off Mirror Lake Highway in northeastern Utah, you can find lawyers, emergency medical technicians, professional counselors, schoolteachers and others who lead -- at least outwardly -- regular lives.   Along with them are vagabonds, musicians, artists, alcoholic drifters and a lot of young people searching earnestly for meaning. The Rainbow Family gathering is a snapshot of the counterculture and its yearning for values outside those of pop culture and capitalism trumpeted by the mass media. Call it a convention of the unconventional.   Among the roughly 3,000 who have gathered so far (thousands more are expected by Friday) is a man from Berkeley, Calif., calling himself James In The Rain. He sits cross-legged under a large straw hat and waits calmly for a ride up the road to the meadow, where a giant prayer circle on the morning of the Fourth of July will cap the celebration. He has been attending these gatherings since the inaugural get-together in 1972.   "I came to feel better about myself and about all Americans and all people. When you are here, you lose your fear and anger and gain trust and hope in people."   Spirituality and love are the buzz here, and the late 1960s are in the air. Walking into the Rainbow forest, people are greeted with hugs and salutations such as, "welcome home, brother," and "lovin' you, sister." It is a reunion for people who recognize one another as kindred spirits, says a man who wants to be called Preacha Bill, a licensed practical nurse from Boulder, Colo.   "I was disassociated from my biological family in 1979," explains the blond curly headed Bill with a big grin. "But my friends introduced me to another family. I don't see them but once a year, but they are my family."   Bill is among the Rainbows who operate the gathering's medical service. Others build bridges across streams. Some dig latrines. Culinary-oriented Rainbows set up communal kitchens, where anyone with a bowl can eat, whether or not they can make a donation. Still others head up the "Shanti Sena" security patrol, whose job it is to keep the peace as much as it is to warn others of approaching Forest Service law officers.   "We are supposed to be building a model peace community in nature," explains Betsy Jacques, a Florida environmental science high school teacher who has been attending Rainbow Family gatherings for decades.   "I really came as a sister to the family to bring my knowledge and expertise to teach the community how to protect its wilderness."   Adorned in a blue sweat shirt, Jacques sits beneath a colorful umbrella near Mirror Lake Highway holding a placard decrying the large number of dogs at this year's gathering. "For years and years we asked people to leave their dogs at home. But now it's like bring your pit bulls and let them fight."   Utopia is indeed difficult to create.   Malcolm Jowers -- the Forest Service's special incident commander whom many Rainbows see as evil incarnate -- is serious when he says Rainbows and everyone else will abide by forest regulations. "Law and order will not be negotiated."   Jowers, however, qualifies the nagging reports that Rainbows leave refuse. He concedes that when the family leaves, the meadows will be clean -- including dog poop. Through the years, Rainbows have learned to comply with forest regulations by digging proper latrines and garbage pits. All cans and paper must be carried out.   Rainbows are sensitive to allegations that they left garbage in Boise County, Idaho, in 2001 and insist it's just not true. Older members teach younger ones the skills necessary to live in the forest without harming it, says Barry Sacharow, a 48-year-old Hollywood, Fla., man who makes his living doing "a little of this and a little of that."   "Many people come well-prepared," he says. "There are an equal number who come only with the shirt on their back. But they find here people who are willing to help them and do it in a loving way."   Non-Rainbows may feel a twinge of cynicism as they near the gathering, passing A (alcohol) Camp, where the drinkers congregate. Most Rainbows shun alcohol. Nonetheless, their welcoming attitude allows for drinkers whose spirituality seems to flow from a bottle and whose camp appears less than pristine.   But as the four-mile trek to the ceremonial meadow progresses, the atmosphere changes. There is a bartering mall, where crystals, jewelry, tobacco and other items can be traded. Farther up the trail, muddied by foot traffic across the damp meadow, various camps appear, bearing names such as Meditation Camp, Krishna Camp, Jerusalem Camp and one called Inn Decision. These groups often are defined by their kitchens -- although not every camp has one -- that take monikers such as Lovin' Oven, Christian Kitchen and Madame Frogs' Tea Kitchen.   Along the trail, family members can be found reading, sewing, strumming guitars, slapping drums or just hanging out. The snowcapped Uinta Mountains tower in a bright, blue sky over alpine meadows. Bare-chested young women and men lounge in the grass smoking marijuana, while other more serious types philosophize in discussion groups. Were it not for the mud and mosquitoes, it might well be paradise.   Greg Sherrill, a 47-year-old California man, describes himself as a "folkalizer" -- one who facilitates such discussions. "It can be folk realizer," he explains of his self-appointed calling, "or focus realizer, when the group dynamic is brought out."   Sherrill usually makes his home in a 35-foot recreational vehicle that he plies up and down the Golden State. "There are many elements that comprise the peace and healing movement," he notes. "Organic farming, spirituality and political free speech."   These are things clean-cut Salt Lakers Rosie Jones, 22, and Cory Haroldsen, 23, are about to learn. And probably a lot more.   "We just decided to swing up and see what it's all about," Jones says. "They have been really welcoming."   The scene is an eye-opener, Haroldsen adds. "This is different than anything I've ever experienced. It's interesting."   Certainly the Rainbow gathering is a phenomenon. Or, as a floral-shirted 24-year-old man calling himself Krispy explains it: "I truly believe each person has their own color. Some people are purple and blue. And some are red and yellow. And when we all come together, it's something powerful."  Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)Author: Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tribune Published: June 29, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Salt Lake TribuneContact: letters sltrib.comWebsite: Related Article & Web Site:Rainbow Family of Living Light Staying-Power
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 30, 2003 at 08:42:30 PT
Just a Note
I've been looking for news to post but I haven't found any so far. I will keep looking. It will probably stay very slow until after the 4th of July when everyone gets back to work. 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 29, 2003 at 18:07:18 PT
freedom fighter
I saw that article. What are they so afraid of? They must stop over reacting to every thing they don't agree with. I might not believe a persons behavior is what I feel is acceptable but I do not believe that a law should be made to lock a person up because they don't think like me and that is where power can cause serious harm to individuals rights in our every growing and changing diverse world.
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Comment #7 posted by freedom fighter on June 29, 2003 at 15:31:35 PT
Ban this and that! Crazy but true!
WASHINGTON - The Senate majority leader said Sunday he supported a proposed constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriage in the United States.  Sen. Bill Frist (news, bio, voting record), R-Tenn., said the Supreme Court's decision last week on gay sex threatens to make the American home a place where criminality is condoned............"And I'm thinking of — whether it's prostitution or illegal commercial drug activity in the home — ... to have the courts come in, in this zone of privacy, and begin to define it gives me some concern." .......Snipped
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Comment #6 posted by freedom fighter on June 29, 2003 at 12:37:15 PT
You lucky dog! I sure wish I had the ticket.. Sigh!Saw the Dead at Telluride, a memory that I will never forget..I am sure you will have a great time.Take care bro..pazff
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 29, 2003 at 11:07:32 PT
I Hope Everyone Is Enjoying The Summer of 2003
Hi Everyone,The news is slow and I've had time to think about different issues. This time of year is slow because people are enjoying the summer and aren't writing as much. The concert with the Rolling Stones will be one of the largest events in the history of rock and roll I think. History is being made right before our eyes. It's a remarkable time to have all this information at our fingertips. I reflect over the last year and when I think about all that has happened in the world and in reform circles it is almost mind boggling to me. The summer of 2003 has electricity. I don't know why but I know a lot of it is because of what's happening in Canada. We've seen war. We've read about Ed Rosenthal. We've followed what happened in Tulia. We've seen defeat but we've seen victory. Remember the victory for Maryland. It isn't perfect but it is much better then before and the Governor endorsed it completely. I could go on and on but I won't. Please everyone enjoy this time because history is happening and the cries of freedom are being heard.
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Comment #4 posted by TroutMask on June 29, 2003 at 10:16:37 PT
FYI: Red Rocks
Whenever there is a show at Red Rocks with a following like Phish, The Dead, etc., they check tickets for everyone in the car before you can even get close to the lots. But with a huge week-long bunch of shows like this, it's more than likely that Red Rocks and the entire town of Morrison and local environs will be overrun as hasn't happen since the last Phish shows there. If things get out of hand, The (Grateful) Dead will once again join the ranks of the groups banned from Red Rocks, with Phish. Long story short: Coming to Red Rocks without a ticket isn't wise and could jeopardize The Dead's ability to ever play there again. I'll be there for the first 3 nights with a ticket.-TM
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Comment #3 posted by Truth on June 29, 2003 at 09:53:39 PT
With The Dead playing Red Rocks in Denver on July 6,7,8, 10 and 11th I know where a good chunk of those Rainbows will be headed after the fourth, should be a very colorful event.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 29, 2003 at 09:13:23 PT
News Article from Snipped Source
Mark Berkson: Lots of Smoke But No FirePublished June 28, 2003The June 21 Star Tribune article "Marijuana use tied to 54% of men arrested in [Hennepin] county," was highly irresponsible, both in its headline and its content, and contributes to an atmosphere of ignorance regarding the cannabis plant. There is no evidence that marijuana use was "tied" to these arrests. Rather, the men were first arrested, and then marijuana was found in their bloodstream. The statement of Lt. Dan Grout, who concluded, "obviously [the men's] lifestyle of using marijuana had an effect on their being arrested," is simply an example of the kind of stereotyping all too common when dealing with cannabis in America. When the article states that Hennepin County has "a marijuana problem," it provides absolutely no evidence that marijuana use is responsible for any problems at all, thus presenting the author's own biased assumption as fact. One reason that so many people tested positive for marijuana is that large numbers of Americans enjoy marijuana. More than 83 million have smoked or eaten it. If a random group of law-abiding citizens had been tested, a decent percentage would have marijuana in their bloodstream, which would tell you nothing about these people other than that they use marijuana. To suggest any link with crime is to use innuendo rather than reason, particularly misleading in this case given how long marijuana stays in the blood (and thus could have nothing to do with the acts for which they were arrested) and that -- unlike alcohol -- marijuana is not tied to violence and aggression. Mark Berkson, an assistant professor of religion at Hamline University, teaches a course entitled "Just Say Know: Drugs and Drug Policy in America."Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 29, 2003 at 09:06:18 PT
Dateline NBC Special
GHB Addiction show on Dateline June 29, 2003Details:SUNDAY, JUNE 297:00 P.M. ET A family’s struggles are dramatically captured on video. A son videotapes his own father, hopelessly addicted to drugs in an attempt to get him to quit. Josh Mankiewicz reports on whether his desperate actions will work. Check your local listings at
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