The following comes from a guest writer, “Character Assassinated”, whose blog, visionary4evolution.worpdress.com, where he would have published this, has apparently been hacked and the author can not access it at this time.
(note: This article was written in two drafts, and then was re-typed with limited time constraints. Whatever you get out of it, great.)
The apparent reality of humanity’s grimish predicament was brought home to me, recently, when I attended this year’s national Rainbow Gathering in a mountain range near John Day, Orygn. To begin with, I heard lots of peace-oriented folks complain about the problem of “the agros” (a.k.a. “dirty kids”), and how they didn’t seem to have a clue about how to “stop” the problem of people unsettling their liberal asses in ways that did seem “a little” overboard, even by this streetwise unhoused person. Secondly, the numbers of attendees seemed way way down for a project as long-running as the Rainbow Gathering, as back only ten years they used to have at least 20,000 attendees for the full week, while today, it seems that most come only for the 3rd-5th or thereabouts, and someone at info thought there were only 5,000 attendees this year. So what is going down?
A lot of people pointed to “the dirty kids”, a.k.a. Gutter Punks, and their ilk (heh) as being the reason for the apparent mass exodus away from Rainbow Gatherings. Perhaps those who own the political police know better, and we’ll find out in a future FOIA file. Perhaps these owners of the political police decided that someone had to “up the ante” against a pretty strong community of people that has been able to survive all sorts of bullshit from the feds and local cops for the last 40-some years?
After all, the Rollback dictum (since around 1975) pushes all political police to not to allow meaningful community to even germinate, much less bloom, seeking to block such challenge to the status quo before it can even gather momentum. (source: see the intro to Necessary Illusions, by Noam Chomsky)
Perhaps certain privileges have been allowed since most of the attendees have been kept (?) to remain mostly white folks (i.e. not to just come in and arrest everyone, as I thought might happen in the context of a trump whitehouse). What with the latest evolvement of successful respectful practices between Rainbows and a Burns, OR area Indigenous (Paiute) nation, this would likely be “too much”, and the political police had to “raise the stakes” even more than usual?
So on the one hand, yes, it does seem like the political police, the new COINTEL, the truly fooled and tooled, have “gained” a foothold and are finally “effectively” fucking with the peace-seeking visionaries of the Rainbow project. On the other hand, I do not know for sure what is REALLY happening! (HEY!) So the following is merely my feelings, my intuition, my praxis, and the reality that I’ve been “around the block” a few times. Including being a “vet” of gatherings and Rainbow community since 1991. So I compare the patterns of political-police-seeming activities deployed my way before attending the gathering with my experiences and others’ during the gathering.
Meeting the strategically-challenged head-on
I might have been smarter to have met these folks intellectually (“head-on”), but my intuitive spiritual path led me firmly in the direction of observation ..and listening (but not responding). A kind of passivity and yet not; after all, just my mere presence sent shock waves to those who tried so hard to intimidate me from even going at all! So I met their eyes, but I refused to play into their “playful” and not-so-playful provocations.
Were all the detractors and “agros” politicized police/feds/ corporate agents? Or were they a mix of formal and informal agents (say sex offenders sufficiently maligned so that they would take what jobs they could get?)? Or…perhaps even more insightfully, a mix of the usual covert actors working to “drive a wedge” between and exploit all differences, with a mix of folks with very real symptoms emanating from very real insanities due to experiences in the institutions of Alienation, Inc.?
And what about the Rainbows’ own “Warriors of the Light”? A powerful group on the face of it, and yet, if they believed that they alone Have the Light/truth…would they not be just as bad, at least in the basics, as the fooled/tooled warriors of the State?
Granted, I had entered into this year’s Rainbow community with intrigue surrounding me. Right from the start, when I first made contact with Orygn folks, I let it be known that I am a “constroversial” figure, but I didn’t explain further. One Rainbow elder took me in for over a month without knowing much more than I was homeless and seemed amiable enough. We got to know each other pretty good, but my secret got the best of him in the end, I think, and he kicked me out on a misunderstanding, perhaps tired of my “beating around the bush”.
Well, I told him of the (“devoutly normal”) society as a Nazi society, and in that context have to be very careful who I come OUT to…. So I ended up not coming OUT to him really, but touching on the subject with someone else, instead.
And then I took that mystique with me, going so far as to approach Info/Rumor control camp at the gathering with the truth that I am a walking rumor….and to please ask ME before assuming anything. I never fully explained, but I don’t think I had to (anyway, everyone seemed to learn of my notoriety soon enough –and such does follow me everywhere I go, I find). Notably, I remain within the law on the most pointed parts of this truth (that could get me put away for life), while choosing to try to speak “nonsilently” for sides of truth that are being rendered nonexistent in the ongoing pogrom to wipe people’s memory of the value of informal intergenerational solidarity.
So, yeah, I was already a target, and I knew it. And I also know that to have tried to speak about it at the Gathering was not only strategically foolish but would play into the hands of those who seek to finally crush the Rainbow Gathering spirit. So despite a few provocations, I remained mum. In other ways, such as around my visionary ideas, I spoke freely, yes, and that made all the rest of the bullshit quite worthwhile.
Granted, as I touched on above, way-out-of-balance psychological difficulties also have curiously been allowed to run more and more rampant –most notably around dissident communities or in the downtowns of cities– apparently without meaningful response. For example, if one decides not to trust (or is a survivor of) bio psychiatry, who can they turn to? It seems like groups like Eugene, Orygn’s own www.mindfreedom.org have been successfully maligned, into merely scholarly approaches these days…Oh, there’s the amazing CAHOOTS project (which acts as a 1st-responder group before the cops are called, for street-type issues, see: http://whitebirdclinic.org/cahoots/ ); and my understanding is that they do not force people into the biomedical psychiatric model…instead working to truly (?) help in other ways, such as with the White Bird Clinic.
So what happens? You got more and more people dealing with their difficulties in living via self-taught ways of doing things. Surrounded by more and more people who are being taught to ignore them at all costs.
And at the Rainbow, this all coming “to a head”, where liberal-types (superficially-challenged peace-wagers) get a taste of the truth –that “the crazies” WILL NOT “go silently” as is the Middle Class meta rule pushes for. At Rainbow, at least, they have a chance to get up in the restrictive-protection-oriented liberals’ face!
Of course, the political police certainly seek to exploit this difficulty, and you know they must be deploying some of “the crazies” in varying ways (even if that’s just rounding a bunch of angry crazies up from a large city and bringing them to the gathering and then setting them loose; ed’s note: I personally would like to see someone demystify this better, anyone?).
So to me this state of affairs has an invitation in it that we would not normally see when not at a gathering. The invitation is to really get to work on creatively intelligent ways we may respond.
One Rainbow participant thought that having the gathering last a month might be one approach; because it’s hard to create truly viable alternatives in only the span of a week. Sounds interesting to me!
Also, the late Indigenous champion, John Trudell, really put it in the heart with this: “In the reality of many realities, how we see what we see affects the quality of our reality.”
Think about how most alleged peace-wagers will react to all of this challenge. More and more they will seek “closed doors” and higher and higher expenses in order to keep off-balance intensities OUT. This is “protection via restrictive” means. They will believe they are protecting themselves, but not see that that tactic only seems to work when force is held in reserve.
On the other hand, the Rainbow gift-way teaches me that its heart is more about “protection via mutualist strategies of enrichment” instead of restriction. I think this approach makes much more sense, because of the possibilities that accrue in the context of more human, more authentic, non-adversarial/non-dichtomous responses. Non-adversarial-style responses such as seeing “the crazies” as proverbial “Little Johns” blocking the way of “Robin Hood”. And if we engage in a little physicality (because some people just DO NOT trust anything except such!) with such “Little Johns”, we may well find a whole lot of sanity just underneath all the crazy cammo! What do you think?
So the challenge then becomes with whose ability do we respond? Social science-stuck values that come with our Rollback programming (post-1970s, all got that), or a more anarchistic set of values?
A) When out of seemingly nowhere (or was his HQ “Tea Time” camp?) a short guy sporting a nationalist leather jacket (reading “ENGLAND” on the back) approaches me a little too close-up while I hang out around Eugene Camp (after everyone else has taken down the camp). He is able to get “too close” via the cammo of appearing to be oriented to “NAMASTE” (which I’m not especially conscious of, but which he seemed to think I might be), only to whisper threats, and then knock me with his fist right on my chest. I took it unwaveringly (tho privately I wondered if it was one of those “Kill Bill” (movie) punches where you get two steps and then you die), and as he walked away, I yelled at him that such would not stop me from getting into the middle of fights in the future (which I have a semi-suicidal tendency to do, I find, over and over). Thus I responded in non-sequitor to his non-sequitor (or at least it seemed to me).
(Notably, he apparently did this type of action towards various people, as one person told me of something like that happening to him, and another said that the Tea Time camp guy was “mean”; the context, the Tea Time camp folks blasting various horns thru-out the night, every night, in an apparent intention to keep all the peace-niks and their families as off-balance as possible, and possibly “see their true colors” more readily…?)
B) Meanwhile, on another side of camp, closer to Tipi Village, some “mean woman” (said one female observer) in the Montana Mud kitchen vicinity apparently worked overtime to yell obscenities and be all kinds of agro thru-out the night, much to the chagrin of peace-niks and their families.And yet, on the morning of July 4, right up to noon, there was amazing quiet just like the Rainbow focalizers sought, and even the OM went off pretty well (tho I would like to see at least one inner circle organized so to enhance the sound of the inner circle together with the outer circle!).So it felt like a mystery and maybe a mystery more magick’L than the middle-class-values-planted in ME wants to egoicly admit!Magick’Ly wradical’s wradical even, in the case of what one elder holding space at Tipi Village told me about “the madhouse” of the nextdoor neighbors heavy drinking and such carrying on. Unsettling the peace-niks, for sure.What can we possibly learn from all of this? Well, for one thing, I think more and more people are lacking solidarity experiences in their lives. And another thing, more and more people are being duped into not seeing “crazy behavior” (a.k.a. unreasonable) in its quite sane/reasonable context. Symptoms are not our enemies, they are our friends. To allow free expression of symptoms is a good thing, even tho it smashes up against the Liberal ideal of “a peaceful camping adventure”.
Perpetuating rigid dichotomies only perpetuates rigid dichotomies!
This brings up something I’ve been wanting to share for awhile: Even when such symptoms are perpetuated by folks we assume are Only Oppressive (i.e. covert actors tooled by the State), how do we KNOW that oppressors are not still oppressed (even as they oppress)—by their mindset! The mindset that gets forcefully passed ‘down’ to even them! And which they still Believe in, amongst all others, even as they foolishly work to undermine THEIR OWN INTERESTS.
We do NOT allow people to crush or trample others (except consensually, heh), and yet ALLOW for symptom-exploring and consciousness-raising efforts and ancient solidarity villager recovery! “Good Peasant, Bad Peasant” style and beyond (source: https://visionaryhumanity.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/good-peasant-bad-peasant-some-ideas-for-interacting-with-tyranny/ )! Up to our dared imagination, I think!If this isn’t clear enough for you, that’s your problem. If you can get something out of this, that is my intent.
The bottom line for me in writing this up is to promote that antiauthoritarians realize the value of exploring the daunting challenges being visited on such a long-running antiauthoritarian visionary project like the Rainbow Gatherings.
To conclude, given the vibrancy of the Rainbow spirit, I cannot help but to wonder if all of this controversy isn’t in fact a “grand illusion” or “movie” (the latter used by Rainbow folks in a way I have yet to fully grasp, I think!) that is meant not only to reach caring people’s hearts, but also force them/us to think deeper than we’re programmed to think! I can certainly imagine some kind of meta construct like this, especially amongst such long-time stoners. Getting us to think that they are about to be crushed, as a device (?) to inspire Rainbow newbies (and other somewhat clueless folk like me, heh) to put in their better best!!!!Well, it is possible!In this “yank and splash” (yanking our proverbial neckties, and splashing us with the ice cold water of reality not bullshit) routine (?) we are CHALLENGED in serious ways to PROVE our peace mettel, our alleged great visions!!
Imagine this: Folks like “agros” and other survivor champions of hard-core are sick and tired of bullshit peace so they’re veritably “calling out” all the alleged bliss and testing it.
Programmed in soldier-ese, they’re on the one hand being duped to out-fight an entity (i.e. Alienation, Inc.) that has perfected that kind of stupidity and similar Misery Loves Company.
I say, hear out John Trudell where he speaks of out-thinking those, whom “in their legions, do not have permission to think (only to follow orders),” and how this state of affairs “starts to even out the numbers.”
Grand “movie” illusion or not, any would-be visionary or budding (r)evolutionary, if they’re “Worth Their Salt” should very much experience at least one Rainbow Gathering national in their lifetimes. And if you go armed with serious consciousness, you’ll be that much more capable of finding mutually liberating solutions bringing sure gifts not only to an apparently besieged visionary community, but to yourselves as well!