Anyone Have Ideas on Intentional Communities? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Now that the initial rollover threat has passed and it wasn't (yet?) TEOTWAWKI, there is a bit of time before the anticipated possible problems from cascading effects hit society. Oil, stock market, embeddeds, supply chain, etc.

What have you done about researching intentional communities of likeminded people? Have you found any communities that are sane and sound? If so, where? Do you intend to work towards building such a community yourself? If so, what are your criteria for participants?

It would be interesting to see how people are now viewing this possibility. I, for one, am very open to discussion on this matter. We spoke so often on TB2000 about the need for community to survive a real crisis that I'd like to see if any of us are carrying this out in the aftermath.

-- Elaine Seavey (, January 17, 2000


Elaine, good point. I live in a rural farm community, neighbors are friendly but distant as well (ie; pretty superficial discussions, nothing intrusive), however, they have in the past during power outages and storms, river floods etc, pulled together, checked on each other and shared whatever they had with others. Not much was ever spoken of about Y2K or the possibilities, but the community has quietly prepared.

I have seen over 50 homes convert to propane or have it as an alternate, barns are kept full of food for livestock (usually kind of a JIT situation for them around here, not anymore). New water towers and windmills are seen throughout the valley. These are just the visible, drive by and look stuff, so I know that myself and my neighbors are quietly creating the community we will need. I wish they were more open to discussing it, I have brought it up a few times but the subject is changed immediately though politely. I don't quite understand, but will work with them in whatever way they find most comfortable.

I can't imagine this is the only community like this, anyone else?

-- Sammie (, January 17, 2000.

Sammie-- How long have you lived in this community? or rural area?

-- Pam (, January 17, 2000.

I'm glad you brought this up, Elaine! I've know LOTS of people who lived in "intentional communities", only we called them "communes", here in Oregon. One of my ex girlfriends lived in one, and I still know several folks still living in some communes after over thirty years. All are rural, and have various reasons for their existence.

A few of them are gay or lesbian communes, which were started for mutual support of these rather unpopular lifestyles. A few were started as "alternatives" to the corporate structured, consumeristic societies. Some were just a way that groups of people used to pool their resources to puchase land, which none of them felt capable of doing individually.

Most of the communes I am familiar with have broken up, eventually. For various reasons, most all of which relate to power (political, not electrical), ego, lack of communication, personal growth, etc. What has generally happened is that the cleverest, or the most cunning, or the most stubborn, or the most egotistical, or the most patient person, or couple, has outlasted everyone else, and ends up as the sole owner of the whole place. Usually there are lots of hard feelings, often VERY hard feelings, complete with lawsuits, threats of violence, etc. All this from groups who often declared their lifelong love and fidelity to each other!

For this reason, I advise anyone going into a situation like this to look WAY OUT into the future, to see where they will stand if things don't work out as they hope they will, and probably ASSUME they will.

Many of these communes, but not all of them, failed to plan for their ultimate dissolution. Even those that DID do some planning experience varios levels of anger and frustration by many of the participants.

One major problem seems to be the fact that when a person decides to "move on", he may expect to be paid for the value of his share of the commune. This will often be perceived by those remaining at a different level than the person who's leaving--this seems to be human nature.

Those staying on may be unable to pay the one who's leaving what the property is worth, due to appreciation.

Some communes have tried to solve this problem by allowing the one who's leaving to sell their share of the commune to a new person. But then, those remaining often decide the don't care much for the person who is about to be their new "partner".

You get the drift. I am no expert on communes, but have know LOTS of folks who have had lots of problems. And a smaller number who have had (and continue to have ) very positive experiences.

The common denominator seems to be the problem of what to do when somebody "wants out".

Several of my friends, my wife, and I have talked about forming a commune in the future. It will be called "Purple Haze Retirement Center", will be located in Latin America, and will be jointly owned by five or ten couples.

We haven't worked out all the details (by a long shot :), but one idea which we are pretty much in agreement on is that NO ONE CAN EVER SELL OUT. If someone thinks they don't want to risk the money to be a part of this community, they shouldn't buy in. Because, tho they'll be lifetime members, they can't sell out, and there will be no new members without a 100% yes vote of existing members!

The reason for this is to prevent the type of hard feelings and possible legal conflicts I mentioned above.

I'd appreciate any comments from you guys on this. Thanks

-- jumpoff joe a.k.a. Al K. Lloyd (, January 17, 2000.

Elaine, Do some research into Amish and conservative Mennonite communities. Although these aren't typically thought of when one considers intentional communities, these groups really are good at helping their memebers to live together with a reasonable degree of harmony. One of the best books I've read is "Amish Society", by John A. Hostettler. He's a former Amishman himself, (I think he's now a Mennonite), and writes with the insider's knowledge of a lot of the issues that pertain to intentional communities.

-- Ann M. (, January 18, 2000.

There is a magazine ("Communities") that is advertised in Home Power and Countryside magazines on the subject. I know people in a few intentional commmunities, and one of them has been around over 20 years, but is now having problems and I know that some families are leaving. It can be a very complicated situation.

-- Jim (, January 18, 2000.

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