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garyww
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10 Jan 2009, 7:31 pm

This is a carry-over from the AS-Society thread and intended to be an expansion on the idea of developing an individual independent life even if you are autistic by living what many call an alternative lifestyle. The old 'Turn-On. Tune-In, and Drop Out' has a new meaning today.
Here's just one interesting link and I personally found the statistics to be amazing.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/200 ... unes_N.htm


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morriganinoregon
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10 Jan 2009, 8:11 pm

of course, the grand daddy of 'em all

http://www.thefarm.org/



Kangoogle
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10 Jan 2009, 8:39 pm

Seems like an interesting idea - I take it the problem would be getting a group together that actually seriously wants to this and can get the resources needed.



ike
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11 Jan 2009, 1:58 am

Kangoogle wrote:
Seems like an interesting idea - I take it the problem would be getting a group together that actually seriously wants to this and can get the resources needed.


Yeah, there are a lot of those logistical problems, but there are also a lot of examples of communities that have been successful in the long term.

I've been interested in communities for a long time... hadn't been able to make it happen for me because of logistical problems of my own.

Here's one that I like -- unfortunately they seem to have taken most of their website down for now... but they've been around a long time and as I understand it they are continuing to thrive.

http://zendik.org/


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millie
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13 Jan 2009, 2:02 am

i would live there. i live in an area of austrlia which is the alternative centre of the nation. M.O's abound (multiple occupancies) and all sorts of communities and communes.

but the problem is - who is going to pay the bills and get it together to buy the food and do the maintenance?

i know i would love to . i also know i would bury myself in my speical interst and you would all think i was a totally selfish weirdo. but it could be fun while it lasted....



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16 Jan 2009, 9:57 pm

zendiks are scary. they prey on young runaways and i've heard all sorts of unsavory things about them. and their art... i've had a few of their magazines and heard a few of their cds. there is no worse music than zendik music, and their magazines are so dark. it's propaganda for disaffected youth.

of course, that was all back in the day when wulf was still alive, and arol was doing her horrible community access cable tv show. i have no idea what they're up to now, but i wouldn't trust them. i am still kind of curious tho... one of their 'road warriors' once invited me to a weekend of music that they called 'plywoodstock'. since i didn't have a car they would pick me up in the van and take me back when it was done. i wonder what it would have been like if i'd gone...

i lived in one intentional community for 3 days. wouldn't recommend it. and i doubt most of them are much better. lots of extreme and dysfunctional personalities to navigate around, and way too much work for the rewards it brings.


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ike
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16 Jan 2009, 11:03 pm

adverb wrote:
zendiks are scary. they prey on young runaways and i've heard all sorts of unsavory things about them. and their art... i've had a few of their magazines and heard a few of their cds. there is no worse music than zendik music, and their magazines are so dark. it's propaganda for disaffected youth.


Sounds like a lot of anti-community propaganda to me... there's a lot of hearsay about communities in general... Got any specific examples?


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17 Jan 2009, 12:04 am

have you ever read their magazines, or listened to their music? scary. if you're serious or curious about zendik, do some research. here's a good starting point, pretty much all of the first page are interesting reads that shed some light on zendik life, and i'm sure lots beyond that - http://www.google.com/search?q=zendik+cult . it's especially interesting that a former member is paying for google adwords for those keywords to advertise her livejournal.


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arielhawksquill
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17 Jan 2009, 9:38 am

The Federation of Egalitarian Communities is an umbrella organization for intentional communities--there is a lot of good info on their website about how to form and run one, news and announcments from their various member communes, and advertisements for groups seeking members.

http://www.thefec.org/


I looked very closely into joining one of their oldest and biggest members, Twin Oaks, because I knew it was formed based on the book "Walden Two" which outlined a type of living situation I admired.



ike
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17 Jan 2009, 1:31 pm

adverb wrote:
have you ever read their magazines, or listened to their music? scary. if you're serious or curious about zendik, do some research. here's a good starting point, pretty much all of the first page are interesting reads that shed some light on zendik life, and i'm sure lots beyond that - http://www.google.com/search?q=zendik+cult . it's especially interesting that a former member is paying for google adwords for those keywords to advertise her livejournal.


Thanks adverb.

Our information about Zendik in general has been pretty superficial in the last decade that we've been interested in communities, primarily because we've never found a community that we had the ability to consider joining. This goes back to separation from my wife, child support and unethical practices of the state/court (related to child support). So as long as communal living was impossible for us, we didn't start making any plans and mostly focused our attention on more pressing issues like work.

The reason I asked is because my experience has been mostly that when people bash things it's because they're just forwarding unsubstantiated rumors... and that of course if the thing they're bashing is something that's developed a poor reputation in general, that makes the forwarding of unsubstantiated rumors even more likely. I've talked to a lot of people over the years who upon hearing "we're interested in intentional communities" immediately respond with "oh no, you don't want to join a cult! Why would you want to go and join a cult?!" So when I hear people bashing intentional communities either in general or specifically, I'm careful not to take it at face value. In some cases these comments are perfectly valid - more often in my experience they've been totally disconnected from reality.

I find myself also frequently dispelling disparaging myths about some of the technology I work with. Similar sort of stuff going on there, just in a different context.


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Tim_Tex
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19 Jan 2009, 11:13 am

I don't know if I would like living in a commune.



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31 Jan 2009, 4:37 pm

The whole idea creeps me out because as that old saying goes about too good to be true. Not to mention the recent shows on I think it was Discovery or maybe Nat Geo about cult communes where the women were all required to have sex with the leader or any man that demanded it. Anytime there is a group apart from society the first thing they seem to do is use drugs and the second thing is use their physical strength and power as men to get what they want from women and even young girls. That's why I would never join a commune. Not even the lesbian commune in the Superstition Mountains as I don't want some nasty old woman forcing me to have sex either.

I think those of us that aren't able to intimidate others should stay away from controlled communities. Even the AS men should be careful as I see them being easily controlled. Giving power over yourself to others is dangerous.

Its a nice idea, but few people are that trustworthy. I'd say you're more likely to run into criminals in those places. Law abiding citizens can usually make a happy life for themselves even within society. You can always stay at home and do your own thing.



garyww
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31 Jan 2009, 4:51 pm

There are several levels of intentional communities but I have yet to see one that is 'controlled' in any form except cults as noted but bear in mind that many cults are not communal so the two things do not go hand in hand. For Americans an intentional community is very akin to the old co-ops that most towns in the midwest are still operated under as 'unincorporated' towns that are co-ops. Nothing wrong with them at all.


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pezar
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31 Jan 2009, 11:30 pm

As aspies, we are solitary creatures. I know that I would suck at any sort of communal living, even something as simple as the military. I don't think that Callista haunts this forum, she has hinted in the past that she was at one point sucked into a communal cult, and ended up with pretty severe psychological trauma bordering on PTSD as a result. Maybe somebody could get her to come here and open up. What I think would be interesting would be an individual cult, a free floating philosophy that a person practices on their own. The original Buddhism may have been similar to that.

It seems to me that most cults either start out as or become all about sexual experimentation, with the usually male guru declaring himself the sole owner of the charms of the women, or him along with a small circle of elite males, and then he/they proceed to force themselves on the women, setting up a power dynamic similar to say the Bosnian war where mass rape was used as a tool of control and humiliation. Going as far back as the 1830s and the first American communes, that has been the rule. Drugs entered into the picture in the 1960s. Patty Hearst described in her book about being in the Symbionese Liberation Army how she was repeatedly raped, usually by cult leader DeFreeze aka Cinque Mtume, as a way of breaking her down.

We may be coming into a new era of communal cults, with people wanting to escape the decay and chaos of the cities and forms of communal effort being necessary for survival like in the 1930s. Interestingly, the 30s saw few communal cults, with a couple exceptions like Father Divine on Long Island. Most people were drawn to Divine's shop because they were hungry and Divine offered huge feasts, all you can eat. He would pile table after table high with food, luring in New York's legions of jobless and starving, who were then plied to sign up. The end of the Depression meant the end of the Father Divine cult, by and large, although a handful of faithful stayed on until Divine died in 1965. It's possible that we could see similar "cults of plenty" today, sort of Prosperity Gospel in reverse, instead of making tons of money to give to the preacher the preacher feeds and houses you in return for undying devotion.



garyww
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01 Feb 2009, 1:19 am

Again keep in mind that cults and intentional communities are two very different things and an individual in no way looses their identity in a deliberate community any more than in any other regualr community.


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02 Feb 2009, 2:01 pm

Someone posted the link about "The Farm" community. If you read some of their articles they speak about six-marriages and that women are expected to sleep with more than one man. Also the dictate that men do physical labor and women have to make babies and cook and clean for all the men. Also everyone is expected to be vegetarian. Nothing was said about free choice to do as one believes as far as whether they want to have sex or not, who they want to have it with and what kind of work they want to do. They can call themselves enlightened but they are no more than communists in my opinion because all they do is control people. However the whole idea behind communes will not work unless some leader controls all the others, otherwise people would just sit back and do nothing all day.