Unity Under Attack

Stephen Wing ((no email))
Mon, 14 Jun 1993 22:14:49 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Family of the Kentucky "Turtle Island gathering":
This is a plea for unity in the Year of the Regulations. It may be app
ropriate for our huge, unmanageable Gathering to split into two, three, or four
. I worry that it may not be timely for us to do that this year. (I worry som
etimes.) I also am sad that we cannot come to a consensus to split, rather tha
n splitting for lack of a consensus. (It's okay, I've survived a broken heart
before.) Whatever it is, it is.
It is not, however, a contest to see who can be most stubborn but a con
test to see who can be the least stubborn. I did plead with the Alabama folks
(through their principle spokesperson) that the quickest way to cut through the
confusion and get together was for them to head for Kentucky. Whatever their
reasons, they are staying.
I was one of a circle of 25 or so on the last day of Spring Council who
consensed to entrust and empower the Scouts to go on and finish the job they h
ad spent a long winter and spring atQ Badjer, Art & Quill, to be specificQ and
choose the site. I spoke for it, in fact, so the council could get on to busin
ess we could not so conveniently delegate to a well-qualified subcommittee. So
I feel doubly bound by that consensus.
I also know and trust these scouts; I have seen their work. I know the
rumors say some "high holies" have manipulated the process in the past to take
the Gathering where they want it, and some suspect them of doing it again. Po
ssibly. But I have been to those Gatherings and I respect the scouts I'm told
did that work. As for political manipulation, going to those Gatherings convin
ced me that we were where the Spirit wanted us to be. Any manipulators who thi
nk they're in control are themselves being used to a higher purpose.
As I understand it, this is not the Alabama regional site of last fall
- this is a nearby area that had so much private land checkering it on the maps
that the Scouts hadn't gone to look at it, till they found out that the FS had
purchased most of the private land since the maps were printed. So they hadn'
t looked at it before Spring Council.
Scouting the entire Southeast for a Gathering site was a huge job and I
find it pretty tiresome for a lot of people who have not done all that work to
be deciding where the Gathering is. Whoever proposed the consensus for "some
where in the Southeast" apparently did not listen to Water or myself in the Vis
ion Council. The South is very densely populated, clearcut, contaminated, mil
itarized, etc. and I knew how difficult it was going to be to find a site.
All that's the past now, though; are we really saying that the place we
pick for this potentially last Rainbow Gathering of all time is more important
than saving our Right to Gather for our children and children's children? The
re's still time to unify and save Kentucky for another yearQ or Alabama, if I h
ad my personal choice. But my personal choice must give way to the consensus,
or all my yammering about council and consensus for the last 6 years will be me
All we need is a simple way to toss a coin and be together. I have bee
n part of Thanksgiving, Scout and Spring Councils for this Gathering, and for m
e the oracle is clear. Our consensus. Did you not hear about the Spring Counc
il in time to be there, or were you, too, trusting us to do the job? Disrespec
ting that consensus means you disrespect everyone who gave their consent in our
circle; you distrust our judgement if not our intentions. This applies to eve
ryone across the country who feels that their opinion outweighs the consensus o
f the Family Council. The way to change the consensus is to be there, stand up
and pull a Zeus if necessary. Anything else amounts either to lying about the
consensus, or lying about our respect for consensus in this Family.
Please help convince people that a unified Gathering is more important
than anybody's pride. I don't care who's doing the most lying and manipulating
, but the tradition is that the decision is made on the land, not the phone. L
et's salvage that tradition, and next year the folks that don't trust us this y
ear can be there themselves to make sure. Otherwise we'll have the office taki
ng a phone poll and awarding the Gathering to the majority party . . .
This is the closest I've ever been to an "Annual" Gathering as it unfol
ds. From what I've seen, the "high holies" are honest and hardworkingQ if some
times also opinionated, rude, loud, cynical, etc. It seems their reputation fo
r the latter has drowned out their reputation for the former. This year I thin
k they are not doing anything particularly conspiratorial; they clearly care ab
out the Family and know what they are doing. But the joke's on them; because o
f the rude, loud, cynical and opinionated reputation they have in the Family (e
xaggerated like all reputations), a lot of the younger Family refuse to believe
If they have taken liberties with democratic process, so have the Kentu
cky folks by ignoring our consensus at Spring Council. Let's call it a draw.
Now, do we want two Gatherings, two Circles on the Fourth, two Legaliaison Coun
cils, two Vision Councils, two decisions for next year's Gathering? I don't; I
want consensus, peace and unity. But I give it up to the Great Spirit to deci
de. Maybe splitting up is better. New regulations may soon split us anyway in
to people who do and don't want to sign permits, etc. That is a major part of
the NFS's objective I am sure. Maybe it would backfire on them. This year, it
would be good to council together on our response.
I'll miss you if you're at "the other gathering." And I love you all,
whatever you decide. Namast - Stephen Wing

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