Re: [sixties-l] Fwd: Green Like Me

From: monkerud (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 00:21:38 CUT

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    >One candidate is Stephen Gaskin, founder of a famous Tennessee commune,
    The Farm. His 10-point platform sometimes sounds like it could have been
    drafted by Ross Perot, if Ross were in the habit of swallowing mushrooms
    rather than looking like one: One plank, for instance, says we should
    "fix" the veterans benefit system, without elaborating as to why and how
    it can be repaired. Gaskin also endorses the Equal Rights Amendment
    (while ignoring the pressing matters of Seabrook, OPEC, and Patty
    Hearst), and says we should establish Universal Health Care and "argue
    about the money later." (If President Gaskin decides to send men to
    Mars, he'll probably decide to argue about the technology later.)<

    An interesting development, I'm afraid, that shows just how far from
    reality the Green Party resides. I'm just doing some interviews with people
    from the farm and one thing that strikes me is the huge contrast from Black
    Bear and the digger communes in Northern California who accepted no gurus,
    allowed no other person to tell them what to do, and would not have become
    followers to anyone. In order to live at the Farm, one had to "accept"
    Steve Gaskin as one's "spiritual teacher." Steven and his "clique" as I've
    heard it described, determined what the community would do and if you
    didn't "follow" Stephen, you were frozen out. And don't forget Stephen's
    wife, Ina Mae (sp?), who has become a midwife guru when the prevaling
    attitudes at the Farm was for women to obey the men and stay pregnant. Most
    women had four to five babies, I've been told.

    During the heyday of the Farm, my understanding, from the interviews I've
    had, is that Steven "ruled the roost." A self styled "guru," it appears
    they had an outreach program that sent people to other countries to help
    them work collectively to solve community programs such as economics,
    water, build houses etc.

    But you're getting this third hand from me as I've recorded people's
    stories at the Farm. I'd be interested to hear more from anyone who lived

    (Separate personal messages to me if you're in Northern California and are
    available to be interviewed -- subject communes from the 60s, what people
    learned, how the commune informed who they are today and what they took
    from the experience, personal stories).

    best, Don Monkerud

    Don Monkerud (PDF download)

    Black Bear Mining & Publishing Company
    2220 Pleasant Valley Road
    Aptos, CA 95003
    FAX 831-724-1893

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