Response to Rainbow Hawk

Stephen R. Johgart (
Mon, 13 Apr 1992 20:18:41 -0700 (PDT)

I wrote this letter to Rainbow Hawk in response to his letter. I think it is
relevant to the whole discussion here. Note that I wrote it before reading
any of the recent (in the last month) postings, including the proposal for
an after-Gathering council--so consider this my vote in favor!!



I had the opportunity to read your open letter, and wish to respond. Your
letter was quite eloquent, and expressed a deep respect for the traditions
of the Rainbow Family. Unfortunately, despite that, I find myself in
serious disagreement with much of what you say; I think you misread the
intent and spirit of many who plan to make Colorado home for the first week
in July, and of others in the family who are folkalizing (yes, I know it
isn't the traditional spelling...) Colorado.

My strongest disagreement with your letter is in your complaint about the
"Rainbow Bridge" suggestion. I think you totally misread the intent of that
statement (although I was not a part of the decision, so I am inferring). I
know no one in the Family who is arrogant enough to think the Rainbow
Family has much to teach the Native Peoples. Clearly the Rainbow Family is
in its adolescence. Perhaps we think we know more than we do and pretend to
a wisdom beyond our age, but there is no question we have much to learn
from and little to offer to those who have come to their wisdom and spirit
through the centuries. I believe the Rainbow Bridge was intended not as a
bridge across which to take our knowledge in teaching, but rather a bridge
across which to carry our ignorance in search of greater truth.

I also question the "consensus" that supposedly established South Dakota as
the Gathering site. It is clear to me that there is a serious problem with
referring to a decision by attrition, at least to the extent that the South
Dakota decision was achieved, as consensus representing the spirit of the
Family Circle. Such a decision clearly disenfranchises many who care a
whole lot and who put a lot of love and energy into trying to make the
circle whole--only those few who have enough stamina and few enough other
commitments are around after that much time. I also have heard from several
folks who sincerely thought consensus had been reached for
Colorado--apparently enough time went by after consensus call that a number
of people left the Vision Council thinking consensus had been reached, and
began spreading the word. It is clear to me that no consensus was reached
for anywhere, since it seems obvious from the subsequent controversy that
neither "consensus" reflects a united vision of the Family. My feeling is
that, in the future, if no consensus is reached by, say, sunset on the 8th,
council should be suspended, and a decision be made for a later date to
continue the process, far enough in advance (perhaps Thanksgiving) and in a
central enough location that those who really care to be there can arrange
to be there. I do not like the consensus-minus-one (or two, or three) idea
at all.

To accuse unnamed would-be elders for undermining South Dakota is unfair to
many people who are trying to bring about a beautiful homecoming in
Colorado. Consensus was unanimous at the Michigan Autumn Equinox Regional
that our sense was for Colorado to be our home in 1992; this was not a
decision coerced by anybody. Those I have heard from who are going home to
Colorado have been to many Gatherings, or have been to only a few. They
have been active in the Family, or they have never attended a Rainbow event
before. They are focused, and they are scattered; humble or arrogant,
foolish or wise. They are us, just as you are us, and they are family just
as those who are going home to South Dakota are family.

When it is stated that the Lakota have invited us, I wonder: have they been
told of A-Camp, which will go through several hundred kegs of beer before
the Gathering even begins? Have they been told of the young people
wandering the paths with "Dose Me" signs around their necks? Are they aware
that although thousands come in reverence for the land and the Spirit,
thousands of others come for a huge party? Is the Family really ready for
the power of the Black Hills? It seems to me that the solution this year is
a good one--it would seem that those of you committed to the Black Hills
will have a marvelous spiritual circle, and will bring a great power and
wisdom from your Gathering to the Family circle when we again come
together. At the same time, those of us headed for Colorado will not only
have our own spiritual circles, we will also have a fine 21st birthday
party without disrupting the focus of the Black Hills circle, and help
shepherd the disruptive elements of the Family in the bargain; perhaps in
another year or two the Family will have grown in spirit enough to make the
Black Hills home for all.

I agree that there has been some arrogance and bad raps from a few of the
Colorado crowd, as apparently was manifested in "HO!". There has certainly
been the same from a few in the Black Hills crowd--witness for example the
bogus All Ways Free which was mailed out (the All Ways Free council is
separate from the Rainbow Family Tribal Council, and reached clear
consensus that the focus of All Ways Free would be in Oregon this year--and
I congratulate the AWF folks for maintaining a calm sense of balance in
their winter issue). I see no point in playing politics--I was going to say
"by either side" but there is no need even for sides. Without a true
consensus, we are all doing the best we can to keep the dream alive, and we
are all on the same side, even if we are headed for different homes. My
sense is that the vast majority of the Family have chosen to head for
Colorado; that is what I have heard from the many folks I have talked to and
corresponded with, and that is what I am telling those who ask, but it is
not out of any sense of disrespect for you who are not going to Colorado. I
think you will have a really wonderful circle, and I wish you love.

Peace, Namaste,


Back to the Top Level: