The Rainbow Family’s Footprint in Our National Forests

6 07 2009

RainbowFootprint

It seems odd that the few news story we’ve hear about the annual Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico have been positive. The opinions of Rainbow family members have been presented as if they were unchallenged facts. This makes us suspicious, so we decided to look into the possible impact of the Rainbow Gathering all by ourselves without any help from the Rainbow family. We don’t know why the alternative, environmentally conscious media chose not to do the same.

The question we want to address is:

What happens to the environment when over 10,000 people gather in OUR National Forest all at once?

We’re not interested in legalistic rhetoric or about whether or not they need a permit or emotional arguments about how well-intentioned they all are. We just want to investigate the environmental impact of such a gathering. We just want the facts.

We start with 2 basic truths about the gathering.

Each person attending a Rainbow Gathering consumes.

Each one of them produces waste products.

Let’s look at those waste products one by one:

2009NewMexicoGathering

HUMAN FECES

RainbowShitter01_2001_Idaho

Unlike any other group with a non-commercial use permit, the Rainbows are allowed to dig slit trench latrines on Federal lands. Last week, the Rainbows were projecting 6,000 – 15,000 people, so let’s go with a nice round number like 10,000.

The average person on a high fiber diet produces 350 grams of stool per day.

10,000 people x 350 grams of stool x 6 days = 21,00000 grams or 21 metric tons or 23.14 tons of feces buried in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Flies and other insects walk upon the decaying feces, laying eggs to multiply their numbers. These same insects will then alight upon your people, animals and any food out in the open, thereby spreading disease organisms quite some distance from the latrines.

If it rains, and the weather report for this weekend gives a 40% chance of precipitation, the rainwater will carry a slurry of improperly disposed of human feces into groundwater, surface puddles, ponds, lakes and streams. This slurry will be laced with disease organisms that were in the feces to begin with or formed once it had been deposited. Other visitors to the National forest and animals can then come in contact with or drink this polluted water.

URINE

There are no port-o-potties at the rainbow gathering, so all the urine from all the people goes on the land or into the water.

Let’s calculate this:

The average person produces  800 to 2000 milliliters per day milliliters of urine per day.

10,000 people X  1400 ml X 6 days = 84,000,000 milliliters or  84,000 liters of urine or 22,222 gallons deposited in our National Forest to run into rivers and streams.

This introduces excess sodium, potassium nitrogen plus trace chemicals from anti-depressants, prescriptions drugs and hormones from birth control pills into a fragile wilderness.

TRASH

RainbowTrash2008

According to the Annenberg Foundation, the average American generates four pounds of solid trash per day. (Vegetarians are going generate more solid waste – vegetable and fruit peels etc.)

10,000 people X  4 lbs  X 6 days =   240,000 pounds of trash that’s  120 TONS OF TRASH

Rainbow Trash 2008

Rainbow Trash 2008

TRAILS

Rainbowtrails

Every year, the Rainbows construct several miles of trails at their gathering site. The large amount of foot traffic inevitably compacts the soil. The compacted soil from the miles and miles of Rainbow trails damage sensitive ecosystems. There are also make-shift parking lots all over the gathering site. Vehicles compact the soil to an even greater extent.

Rainbows average 6 miles of compacted soil per gatheringRainbowParkingLot2008NPR

Rainbows also cut down trees to build structures such as ovens and “sweat lodges”.  Last year they dug very

deep fire pits after they promised the Forest Service that they wouldn’t.

RainbowOvens04TAMPONS

You’re supposed to change them every 2-3 hours so the average woman uses 8-12 /day average of 10 per day of her cycle. There’s a 1/12 chance of a woman of childbearing age being on her cycle so let’s estimate 315 menstruating women attending the gathering.

Let’s estimate

315 menstruating women X 6 days X 10 tampons /day =  18,900 tampons

Most tampons and sanitary napkins contain polyester and other synthetic fibers that do not bio-degrade. They are thrown into latrines, along with plastic applicators and buried with cigarette ash.

DIAPERS

Newborns use anywhere from 8-15 a day at first. A one year old uses 5-6 diapers a day on average.

Let’s estimate

80 Babies X  8 diapers per day X 6 days = 3840 diapers

Disposable diapers contain chemicals derived from petroleum that do not biodegrade.

Soiled Toilet paper

The average person uses 8.6 sheets of toilet paper per day.

There are roughly 243 sheets on a toilet paper roll.

10,000 people X 8.6 sheets per day X 6 days = 516,666 sheets of toilet paper or 2 123 rolls. 1 roll of toilet paper weighs 227 grams so the Rainbows will deposit slightly over 1/2 TON of soiled toilet paper buried in our National Forest.

Toothpaste

An average person would use 3 oz of toothpaste in a week, brushing his/her teeth 3-4 times a day. You don’t swallow toothpaste, you have to spit it out somewhere. Let’s say the Rainbows use 2 ounces per week.

10,000 people X 2 ounces of toothpaste per 6 days = 120,000 ounces or of toothpaste or 937.5 gallons of used toothpaste.

Not everybody can afford 100% natural toothpaste. Many people will bring commercial toothpastes, or “natural” toothpaste that actually contain, fluoride, sodium laurel sulphate, Calcium carbonate sorbitol and glycerol decyl polyglucose  carboxymethyl silica, xylitol, thaumatin, zinc oxide and artificial flavorings.  All can upset the environmental balance or the areas where they are spit.

DISH SOAP

10,000 people have to eat and the dishes, cups pots and pans they eat out of have to be washed.  That means that gallons of grey water containing the chemicals from dish and body soap will be discharged into the watershed. The cheap soap that Rainbows are likely to be able to afford contains phosphorus and other chemicals that are bad for the water systems. Since the Rainbows do not carry out their grey water, they will be leaving these chemical behind in our National Forests.

10,000 people x 2 oz ounces of soap per day x 6 days = 120000 oz of soap or 937.5 gallons of soap dissolved in grey water discharged into the watershed.

The phosphorus in dish soap is harmful to fish and other wildlife. That’s why the government that (the one that the Rainbows have so much hostility towards) is trying to regulate it. In water, phosphorus behaves as a fertilizer, accelerating plant and algae growth. When plants and algae die, bacteria consume oxygen that is dissolved in the water. When this happens, less oxygen is available for fish and aquatic life that need oxygen to survive.

Surfactants and detergents are common contaminants of surface water due to their common usage in every type of washing and cleaning operation. Modern detergents contain more than surfactants. Cleaning products may also contain enzymes to degrade protein-based stains, bleaches to de-color stains and add power to cleaning agents, and blue dyes to counter yellowing. Detergent surfactants are made from a variety of petrochemicals (derived from petroleum) and/or oleochemicals (derived from fats and oils). The presence of detergent surfactants in creeks and streams lowers the amount of oxygen available to fish.

Chemicals in soap, even soap from the food co-op wash away with the water

BLEACH

BLEACHRainbowShitter

You can’t have all those open trench latrines without using gallons and gallons of bleach. If they meet even minimum health code standard, the Rainbows can’t help but discharge harmful chemicals into the watershed. That is, if they maintain conditions that are sanitary for all those people.

10,000 people X 8 oz of bleach per day x 6 days = 480000 oz of bleach or 3,750

gallons of bleach dumped on the land and into the nearest watershed.

Too much bleach will upset the delicate ph balance and prevent proper breakdown of nutrients and harmful bacteria. Bleach has a pH of about 12.

HUMAN FLUIDS

RainbowEnviroDamageArkansas07_03

Hundreds of people will be bathing and swimming in sensitive creeks and streams. These humans, especially Rainbows, have lots of different fluids and bacteria on their bodies. This much human activity will alter the pH of rainwater and waterways substantially. It’s just common sense; a little human activity alters the environment a little bit, but a lot of human activity alters the environment a great deal.

AMONIA

The ammonia (excess Nitrogen) in the urine of people peeing in creeks and streams can upset the ph balance and harm fish. (You know all those stoned and/or drunk people are not going to get out of the water to pee.)

Ammonia has a ph of about 11. Ammonia is excreted by animals and produced during decomposition of plants and animals. Its natural breakdown thus returns nitrogen to the aquatic system. It is rapidly oxidized in natural water systems by special bacterial groups that produce the ions of nitrite (NO 2 ), nitrate (NO 3 ), and ammonia nitrogen (NH 3 – N), which are then used by plants; therefore ammonia is an additional source of nitrogen as a nutrient which may contribute to the expanded growth of undesirable algae and other forms of plant growth that overload the natural system and cause eutrophication. The unionized form of ammonia (NH 3 ) is the preferred nitrogen-containing nutrient for plant growth and is also one of the most important pollutants because it is relatively common, but can be toxic to animals, causing lower reproduction and growth, or death to fish and other aquatic life. Altering the ph of an aquatic system

Cigarette butts

RainbowCigaretteButts2008

Rainbows are known for having a higher than average rate of smoking.

As reported in 2004, the average is 16.8 cigarettes per day (18.1 for men & 15.3 for women). About 20.9% of U.S. adults are smokers, but again percentage of smokers is going to be higher among rainbows.

So conservatively,

4000 smokers X  16.8 cigarettes smoked per day X 6 days =  403,200 cigarette

butts or 151.2 pounds of cigarette butts extinguished on “mother earth.”

Cigarette butts are the most common form of plastic litter in the United States. This figure does not include the weight of the tobacco still attached to the cigarette filter. All forms of commercial tobacco contain additives which include toxic chemicals. Read the fine print on the packages. While unused cigarette filters are toxic too, but at concentrations very much higher than used filters,  toxic chemicals can still leach out of even unused cigarette filters. 95% of cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic that is extremely slow to degrade. The Rainbows do not require that gathers field-strip their cigarettes and carry out the filters. This is especially true in the area designated as “A-camp.”

RainbowCigaretteButts01

According to Kathleen Register, founder and executive director of Clean Virginia WaterwaysCigarette butts’ effects on the pH of freshwater. To determine if the presence of cigarette butts in freshwater changes the pH of the water. pH is an important factor to aquatic animals, and can affect the toxicity of pollutants. For this experiment, one cigarette butt (the filter plus 28 mm of remnant tobacco) was soaked for one hour in 100 ml of spring water at room temperature. The pH of the water was measured before and after the one-hour soak using a Hach brand pH tester that had been calibrated just prior to the test.”

The American Spirit tobacco that so many Rainbows use, is not “natural” or “purer” tobacco as so many Rainbows believe. American Spirit  is owned by and manufactured by R.J. Reynolds. They contain all the toxic chemicals that regular cigarettes contain.

RainbowCigarettebutts02

Even if the Rainbows were just using pure tobacco, the practice would be hazardous to the environment. Studies conducted by Clean Virginia Waterways show that the chemicals in cigarette butts easily leach out of the butts, and are deadly to water fleas (a small but important animal that lives in most freshwater lakes and streams as well as the ocean). The evidence indicates that the toxic chemicals leached from discarded cigarette butts present a biohazard to the water flea at concentrations of more than 0.125 butts per liter, or about one butt per two gallons of water. The leachate from the remnant tobacco portion of a cigarette butt is deadlier at smaller concentrations than are the chemicals that leach out of the filter portion of a butt.

Introduction of foreign species.

Every year, the Forest service finds pot plants growing throughout the area where the Rainbows gather. The seeds of non-native watermelons thrown into compost pits germinate and start growing in places where watermelons don’t belong. Countless other foreign species will be introduced into this fragile environment through garbage buried in shallow compost pits.

Animal Feces

The Rainbows do not believe in lease laws and allow their pets to roam freely. This practice contributes to tons of animal feces deposited in the environment.

1000 loose dogs x 275 grams of stool per day x 6 days = 1650000 grams or 1.82 tons of animal feces

Burning trash

When the Rainbows can’t come up with enough money to pay for dump fees, which happens often, they simply burn the trash on the land. This is not only unlawful, but releases toxins into the air. Rainbows claim to sort their recyclables into “7 Chakres” , but if a recycling center is not close to the wilderness area, it usually just gets taken to the nearest dump to add to existing waste problems.

FOREST FIRES

Last year in Wyoming, several wildfires were started in the area of the gathering by discarded cigarettes. Hopefully, the rain will lessen the danger of forest fires to the forest, but the rain will wash toxic chemicals into the water more effectively.

Add all these factors together, human feces, animal feces from pet dogs, urine, toxic chemicals from cigarette butts, chemicals from all the bleach, soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc, diapers, tampons, toilet paper, tin cans, plastic bottles and oil from vehicles in disrepair left behind.  Remember, all these toxic substances are going to be deposited in YOUR NATIONAL FOREST over a period of 6 days! Not over a long time when the environment might have a chance to deal with such an influx of toxins, but over a period of 6 days!

So let’s add it all up:

23.14 tons of feces

22,222 gallons of urine (82.74 tons)

120 TONS OF TRASH

6 miles of compacted soil

18,900 tampons (0.87 ton)

3840 diapers (0.48 ton)

1/2 TON of soiled toilet paper

937.5 gallons of used toothpaste (3.26 tons)

937.5 gallons of soap (3.26 tons)

3,750 gallons of bleach (13.03 tons)

151.2 pounds of cigarette butts (0.06 ton)

1.82 tons of animal feces

Over 6 days, the Rainbows will deposit around 249.16 tons of waste in the Santa Fe National Forest.

That’s almost 250 TONS of WASTE just to pray for peace?????

Is all this harm to the environment really worth getting this many people together for a few minutes?

That is indisputably a huge footprint.

Thinking about the seventh generation, the footprint of the Rainbow Gathering this year may even outlive some of the Rainbow Family members.

We can only conclude, that the Rainbow Gathering is NOT a sustainable practice and should be discontinued for the good of our National forests.


Let’s do another thought experiment.

Let’s assume that the Rainbow Family really loves the planet as much as it professes.

If this is true, doesn’t it just make more sense for them to stay home and pray for peace?

If you love the earth, why go to an unspoiled section enmass  and crap on it?

Why should our National Forests be so negatively impacted for an action that most religious people believe can be done anywhere at anytime?

Why do 10,000 people need to squat on public lands for 6 days in order to pray for peace for a few minutes at noon on the 4th of July?

Why not tell people to stay where they are and coordinate massive prayers over the internet?

Why not pray in an environment that can sustainably contain thousands of people?

If that environment doesn’t exist, then what is the Rainbow family doing to create it?

Why dig even one trench in our beautiful New Mexico wilderness?

TAKE ACTION

If these figures make you think the gathering is a bad idea, there are actions you can take.

Sign this petition

(www.ipetitions.com/petition/stoprainbowdisrespectin2009)

If you want to make sure that all this waste is removed from our National Forests and the creeks and streams are fully rehabilitated, you’ll have to make your voice heard.

Contact your elected officials

Insist that the Rainbow family take full responsibility for cleaning up their mess.

Twitter Barak Obama:

http://twitter.com/WhiteHouse

Ask that he hold the Rainbow Family accountable for TOTAL rehabilitation of the Rainbow Gathering site by FEDERAL standards, NOT by the standards of the Rainbow Family.

Contact the Forest Service and support them in doing everything to protect OUR National forests in New Mexico:

Paragraph #9 of the Permit Form, allegedly signed by a Rainbow reads as follows:

“The holder shall be liable for any injury, loss, damage, including fire
suppression costs and environmental harm or injury to natural
resources, that arises in connection with the use and occupancy
authorized by this permit.”

Write the Forest Service and see that the Rainbow Family is held to the terms of the permit.

Attention Mr. Lujan

United States Forest Southwestern Region.

Department of Service Regional Office Agriculture

333 Broadway SE

Albuquerque, NM  87102

FAX (505) 842 3800

V/TTY (505) 842-3292

Residents of New Mexico:

Contact your elected officials

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Capitol Building 4th Floor Suite 400

Santa Fe, NM 87503

Telephone: (575) 476-2200

Fax: (575) 476-2226

Contact the Governor using this email form

http://www.governor.state.nm.us/email.php?mm=6&type=opinion

http://www.governor.state.nm.us/emailchoice.php?mm=6

Contact New Mexico Elected Officials (87013 zip code)

Use this New Mexico phone book

District 65 Representative James Roger Madalena

Co-Chair of Indian Affairs Committee

373 Buffalo Hill Road

Jemez Pueblo, NM 87024

Capitol Phone:

986-4417

Office Phone:

(575)867-3351

Home Phone:

(575) 834-7005

LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES FOR SANDOVAL COUNTY

Lynda Lovejoy

Member Indian Affairs and Indian and Cultural Affairs Committee

District 22 Senator Lynda M. Lovejoy

Box 705

Crownpoint, NM 87313

Capitol Phone:

986-4310

Office Phone:

(505) 352-0967

Home Phone:

(505) 786-7498

E-mail: lynda.lovejoy@nmlegis.gov

New Mexicans, write your State representatives:

Use this contact form

New Mexico Congressman

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov

SenatorTom Udall (D) tomudall@tomudall.senate.gov

http://tomudall.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm

120 S Federal Place

Suite 302

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone (505) 988-6511

Fax (505) 988-6514

Senator Martin Heinrich (D)

https://forms.house.gov/heinrich/contact-form.shtml

20 First Plaza NW, Suite 603
Albuquerque, NM  87102
Phone: (505) 346-6781
Fax: (505) 346-6723

Congressman Harry Teague (D)

https://forms.house.gov/teague/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm

Congressman Ben R. Lujan (D)

https://forms.house.gov/lujan/contact-form.shtml

Ask the right questions to the right people.

For some reason, both the main stream media and the alternative media is reluctant to look into the true environmental impact of the annual Rainbow Family gatherings on our public lands. The facts have been presented above. You can decide for yourself if this gathering is sustainable. If any other group impacted our federal lands like this, what do you think would happen?

You can contact the alternative media and insist that the cover the gatherings objectively with the interests of environmental scientists in mind.

Question them about their position on dumping tons of feces on public lands. Question them about why they take the Rainbows word that they will clean up the area and that all that feces wont’ affect the wildlife in the area.

What do the Native Americans think of this use of their land? Were tribal leaders even consulted on the location of the site this year?

Why has there not been a single critical article written about the gathering?

This site was inspired by the National Geographic documentary,

Human Footprint.

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/human_footprint

and the hypocrisy of the Rainbow Family of Living Light.


JOIN US IN DISCUSSING ACTIVISM

Send us an email at sustainable.thought.box@gmail.com

Of if you attend NMSU:

We meet every Friday at noon  in the Corbett Center

(look for a group of intelligent people wearing green)

Sources of information:

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our figures yourself.

Tufts University study of fecal fat and stool size

http://www.tufts.edu/med/nutrition-infection/tnc-cdaar/protocols/Fecal-Fat-Test.pdf

Online Medical Encyclopedia – study of the average urine produced per day

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003425.htm

NSDUH Report on smoking

http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k3/cigs/cigs.htm

A study done by Charmin Toilet Paper determined that an American uses 57 sheets of toilet paper per day.

http://encyclopedia.toiletpaperworld.com/fun-facts/toilet-paper-facts/

Phosphorus in dish soap harmful to water

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/nonpoint/phosphorus/PhosphorusBan.html

Cigarette Butts as Litter—Toxic as Well as Ugly

By Kathleen M. Register

http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/ciglitterarticle.htm

Facts about Cigarette butt litter

http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/cigarettelitterhome.html

NPR photos of Rainbow family latrines, compost pits and trash

http://www.npr.org/blogs/bryantpark/bpp_slideshows/2008/rfg/publish_to_web/index.html

Sensitive Eco-systems in the Cuba Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest

http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/wildlife/index.html

Sensitive Plants

Sensitive Animals

Articles critical of the Rainbows

I Speak of Dreams

Rainbow Family a Public Nuisance

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2004/07/rainbow_family_.html

The Rainbow Gathering lacks one color — green

Writers on the Range – by Sharon Salisbury O’Toole

High Country News March 9, 2008

http://www.hcn.org/wotr/16403

News Articles

Wildfire burning near Rainbow Gathering

By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

July 8, 2008

“A campfire near the site of this year’s Rainbow Gathering got out of control Monday afternoon and enveloped in flame roughly 3 acres of Bureau of Land Management property near Bridger-Teton National Forest.”

The fire prompted U.S. Forest Service personnel to evacuate two camps of Rainbow Family members near Bear Trap Meadows in the Big Sandy area about 31-miles southeast of Boulder.
“This is the second fire to burn in the area since the Rainbow Family began gathering at Big Sandy. On June 23, fire personnel extinguished a quarter-acre blaze near the Dutch Joe Guard Station in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The cause of that fire is still under investigation. The June 23 blaze marked the first forest fire in the region for the 2008 fire season.”

We used Wikipedia and other reference sites to determines average usage of tampons, diapers and toiletries, rates of smoking, average stool size etc.

Statistics on shampoo soap and toothpaste use came from information online provided by frequent airline travelers trying to calculate how much liquid toiletries they need to pack for a short trip.

An excellent, although biased book, on Rainbow Cultural Appropriation of Native American Spirituality is Chapter 7, “Fakelore ‘, in Michael I. Niman’s book, People of the Rainbow: A Nomadic Utopia. You can still buy it on Amazon.


LINKS TO OTHER NEW MEXICO ENVIRONMENTALIST PAGES

Any of these fine organizations can guide you in learning how to protect New Mexico’s fragile environment.

League of Conservation voters

http://www.lcv.org/

Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund

http://cvnmactionfund.org/

Forest Guardians

http://www.wildearthguardians.org/

Native Plant Society of New Mexico

http://npsnm.unm.edu/

Nature Conservancy for New Mexico

http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/newmexico/

New Mexico Center for Environmental Law

http://www.nmenvirolaw.org/

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

http://www.nmwild.org/

This website was created for purely educational purposes. It shows the impact of the Rainbow Gathering on the environment and exposes the hypocrisy of the Rainbow Family.

Nothing is for sale on this website.

FAIR USE NOTICE:

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, and so on. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000107—-000-.html Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,</a> the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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2 responses

16 07 2013
joann mitchell

The rainbows are still trickling out of Montana. They have been here about a month. They were aggressive panhandlers. Local grocer had to hire security guards.they left behind pets ,county is responsible for now. One physically accosted me in the drive in lane of MacDonalds insisting I order food for her.They urinated in our public and private green areas. This is a small sample of their behaviour. Add to that all of the above documented damages incurred in their gathering. They are a blight on nature. I am a retired 80 yr old woman . I never got a welfare check,food stamps, subsidized rent. I worked for 40 plus yrs. Now our rural county towns are having to pay an additional 2mill levy to pay for the latest assault on our national forest. I think the internet idea is a good one. All rainbows stay where you are Google your prayer for peace. You would probably get millions to join you and save our precious forests . Obviously your prayers for peace got clouded over by the smoke from your pot pipes as you certainly haven’t achieved world peace.That’s all from a woman who is fed up with the rainbow hypocrisy.A rainbow is a naturally beautiful.thing. I never saw one beautiful thing connected to the”rainbows”.. DID YOU?

14 06 2015
Douglas Humetewa

Thank You for this! Here’s a long post I posted on the Zeitgeist forum warning people that the Rainbow’s Origin story of the Hopi Prophesies is fakelore. They are a dangerous cult. No legitimate Native Nation has any respect for them.

The Rainbow tribe has been described most charitably as a public nuisance. It is, in fact, a DANGEROUS CULT. Lies promoted by the Rainbow Family are very DESTRUCTIVE to indigenous people, whose perspectives have not been considered in this forum. The term “constructive” usually means in line with your indoctrination into whiteness.

One of the main features of a cult is trying to control the language that people can use.

A favorite tactic of cult apologists are to re-define the term cult so that their cult falls outside of the definition.
You don’t have to physically disconnect from friends and family to be in a dangerous cult.
The process can be done internally.
You can still function in society and be completely controlled by a cult.
No one sets out to join a cult and no one who is currently in a cult will admit to it.
All cult leaders deny that they are running cults.
You never hear anyone coming out in public and saying, Hey, I’m a cult leader.

The characteristics of the Rainbow Family that lead me to conclude that they are a dangerous cult are as follows:

Members are kept from getting information that the leaders don’t want them to have.

The ideology is based on a foundation of lies, white supremacist fantasy and Christian apocalyptic prophesies.

The leaders engage in black and white thinking and create enemies for the cult to demonize and attack.

There are two standards of ethics, one for in group members and one for out group members.

Members a substantial amount of time on the internet attacking critics and justifying their unjustifiable activities.

I know people who have been hacked, attacked, smeared and “fair gamed” by Rainbow Family leadership.

I know of websites and discussion forums that have been taken down for no other reason than they criticized the Rainbow Family.

The Rainbows take a page from the Scientologist “fair game” policy in making false copyright claims and initiating S.L.A.P.P. suits in order to silence all criticism against them.

The Rainbows have NO respect for the civil liberties of anyone who does not accept their propaganda unconditionally without questioning it. There is no place for dissent in the Rainbow family.

Barry Adams, Aron Kay, Garrick Beck, Fred Nemo, Barry Sarchow, Martin Cheney, Rob Savoy
Karin Zirk, and the rest of the Rainbow leadership do NOT under any circumstances represent the Hopi people or our spiritual beliefs and practices. They are deliberately misrepresenting our prophesies for they own political ends and are about as far away from being Hopi as a person can be. There’s no prophesy about them in ours or any other indigenous tradition. They’re all just bunch of narcissists, full of their own delusions of grandeur who simply don’t care that they are lying about the Hopi culture or that they are damaging the Hopi people by continuing to spread these lies about our prophesies. They commit this offense against us because they have been indoctrinated all their lives to see themselves as superior to the Hopi by virtue of the power and privilege their white skin affords them.

Anyone who is genuinely interested in finding out the truth about the Rainbow Family can check them out. If you haven’t been brainwashed by the cult, the first thing you should notice is that it is highly unusual that there is virtually NO criticism of the Rainbow Family on the internet. This is something that just doesn’t happen with a legitimate group. Every legitimate group has its critics and answers criticism honestly. So you should be able to find a diversity of opinion on the group. This is not so with the Rainbows. Virtually everything written about the Rainbow Family comes directly from the Rainbow family and can be traced back to a few individuals putting out propaganda from one source. The family control information about them as a cult controls information about itself.

Not having access to dissenting opinions, most white people have completely swallowed the Rainbow party line. Even the so-called alternative press merely repeats what it is told about the Family.

Like all cults, the Rainbows always defend themselves dishonestly and always conveniently omit that their strongest critic is and has always been the Native American people. There is no group so hated in Indian Country than the New Agers who mimic our spiritual practices and mock our traditions. Among those New Age frauds, the most despised is the Rainbow Family of Living light. It’s not about selling our spirituality to the highest bidder; it’s about their extreme arrogance and white supremacist ideology. Every single bit of their self-promoting delusion about being the fulfillment of the Hopi prophesies is a complete fabrication. The leadership is fully cognizant of this, but they continue to promote their self-serving propaganda, with the full knowledge that every word of it is a lie. Real Indians understand this as one more insidious crimes of the Colonists and one more step towards the complete annihilation of our spiritual practices.

In case you just hatched from an egg, it’s RACIST for privileged white folks to go around claiming that they’re the “New White Indians” and the fulfillment of indigenous people’s prophesies. The Rainbows make the same mistake all the missionaries of the past have in assuming that all Native spiritual practices are alike and that it is appropriate to go around proselytizing a homogenous “Native American” religion to every white person who wants to gain control over us. Anyone who knows the first thing about us knows that our religions are private. We don’t talk about them in public. We don’t offer workshops on how to do sacred ceremonies and everyone who does this is a fraud.

Like all white people have always done for centuries, the Rainbows claim that their “good hearts” and “good intentions” should excuse their revisionist history and their outright lies about who they really are. The Rainbow Family of Living Light has always ignored, trivialized and disrespected the legitimate tribal leaders who have confronted them on their disrespect and refused to be subservient to their desire to know everything about us. They deal with our leadership in the exact same way that their shameful ancestors dealt with them – with dishonesty and arrogance.

If you can read big words, check out Michael I. Niman’s books, People of the Rainbow: A Nomadic Utopia (9780870499890). Niman himself, is a brainwashed Rainbow cult member, but he somehow managed to escape the “drum trance” long enough to think for himself and complete his dissertation. Most of the book is just a mindless repetition of the Rainbow party line, but Chapter 7, Fakelore attempts to expose the lies on which the Rainbow philosophy is built. Inman manages to quote several indigenous scholars and the fraudulent Ward Churchill tries explains the racism, arrogance and hypocrisy of the “Rainbow tribe”. Inman reveals his whiteness when he favors the words of a Whiteman, Ward Churchill, over the many indigenous women who have written eloquently on the subject of cultural imperialism by white “progressives”. However, it’s the only criticism written by a white man and most white people can’t overcome their racism long enough to listen to indigenous women.

I have spoken to indigenous leaders who know the true nature of the Rainbow family and I can tell you that what really happened back in the 1970s when the Rainbow lie was born. There were a bunch of young white males who wanted an excuse to do a lot of drugs and have a lot of sex and they knew the best way to do that was to invent a religion that was beyond the reach of the authorities. Instead of approaching tribal spiritual leader in a respectful manner and listening to their ideas, the Rainbows went directly to the library and found books written by white Christians like themselves that told them what they wanted to hear – that they were really Gods to the inferior savages. This was around the time that Carlos Castaneda’s literary hoax was also gaining popularity with white people who knew nothing about NDNS and wanted to find any excuse to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs. Also, the distorted, warped white supremacist writing of McFadden was becoming popular with whites. McFadden lifted his work from Christian evangelicals who wanted to convert NDNS to Christianity. He discovered an invented a story about a “Great White Brother” who would wear a red shirt, carry the lost stones of the Hopi prophesy. This story didn’t come from the Hopi; it was taken directly from Nazi occult beliefs that were popular in Germany in the 1930s. Research the Thule society and you’ll find the real roots of the Rainbow Family’s “Hopi prophesy”.

Obsessed with the Christian evangelical lie, the cult’s leader, Barry “Plunker” Adams started going from tribe to tribe carrying around something that looked like chunks of concrete and wearing a red shirt. The truth is that Adams was strongly rebuked by every legitimate spiritual leader he approached. He was told that he were too indoctrinated as a white Christians to even begin to understand indigenous spiritual practices and told to go back to his own communities and work on his many short comings. He was instructed to develop humility. Like all white people, he refused to listen and chose to lie about his interactions with legitimate NDNS. He continued to go from tribe to tribe, determined to find some oppressed and powerless NDN who defer to his superior white intelligence and validate his fabricated Hopi prophesy. He enraged and upset a lot of people, but he never found anyone who would support his delusions. He went back to the group and started putting out literature using the name of Thomas Banyaca, one of the four men chosen by the traditional Hopi leaders to carry the message of the Hopi people to support his new libertine religion. (Just about everything you read on the internet about Thomas Banyaca about the Hopi prophesies is complete and total bullshit most of it is just a repetition of Adam’s lies.)

Upon hearing of this, Thomas Banyaca became enraged when he heard that Barry was using his name to justify his delusions of grandeur. He publicly told the Rainbow Family to stop promoting their lies about the Hopi prophesy. He even had a website put up warning white people not to believe the Rainbows lies about the Hopi prophesy. The Rainbows had it shut down for “hate speech”. Up until the day he died on February 6, 1999 Banyaca insisted that he never met or spoke with Barry Adams, that there was no such prophesy of a Great White brother who would take over for the Hopi and that the Rainbows must stop spreading this false prophesy.
Like all white people before them, the Rainbows ignored the words of real NDNS and created a fantasy NDN in their heads who would be completely subservient to their white supremacist ideology. To this day, the Rainbow Family does everything in its power to keep the public from learning the truth about its origins.

Your newsgroup will probably be attacked by the family for this post.

White people only believe the words of white people, so the lie that was repeated often enough has become the truth to the predominantly white Rainbows and their willfully ignorant apologists.

Their single issue is being able to camp in the National Forest without getting a permit. They waste the ACUL’s resources defending this ridiculous action and they continue to ignore indigenous people rights not to have them on tribally controlled land guaranteed by treaty and by NAGPRA.

If you are really so concerned with “carrying capacity”, you will object to so many people inhabiting such a small area.
The only Rainbow criticism that remains on the internet is Liz Ditz’s blog.
http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2004/07/rainbow_family_.html

Not to speak out against the Rainbow Gathering is pure hypocrisy on your part.

The Rainbows have come into conflict with several tribes, the most notable is the Paiute, but the Rainbows have had horrible relations with every tribal leader they’ve had to deal with over their sacrilege. The Ojibwe Nations voted unanimously to keep them off of tribal lands, but the Rainbows ignored their vote. Tribes in California, the Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council and the Pitt River tribe, tribes in North Carolina and the Wyoming Shoshone have been trying to stop Rainbow gatherings on their land for decades, but you will never hear the tribal perspective presented by the white dominated alternative press. The Rainbows didn’t even bother to consult the many concerned New Mexican tribes this year before they invaded the Santa Fe National forest and deposited their shit in archeological sites.

The Rainbows family has a long shameful history of ignoring laws intended to protect the rights of Indigenous people. They use the same tactic every year to stop any input from legitimate tribal leaders. First, the seed camp shows up wherever they want and set up camp in mid June when they KNOW it’s too late to stop the gathering. Then, the leadership refuses to inform the Forest Service so they can inform the legitimate tribal leaders that there will be people on lands they may control. They deliberately don’t give the forest service enough time to contact legitimate tribal leaders so they can’t determine if they’ll be violating NAGPRA. They arrogantly demand that tribal leaders tell them where their sacred grounds are located. When they find sacred grounds, they go out and find their own false tribal leaders to say whatever the Rainbows want them to say. They dig up indigenous bones, shit all over them and leave their filth in OUR sacred lands all so they can have a big selfish naked pot party in the woods. When tribal elders visit the gathering, Rainbow taunt them and insult them. The Rainbows justify all this as exercising their religious freedom rights, but they have never shown any concern for the religious freedom of the true and legitimate guardians of this land.

Most of the Rainbows who really push this event just a bunch of dirty old men, who are really motivated by the opportunity to have sex with the gullible young white women who come to the gathering seeking drugs. The people attracted to the event are increasingly mentally unbalanced, violent drug addicted WHITE people who either can’t or won’t contribute in any real way to society. The Rainbow Family does nothing about the social injustices that are creating these type of followers. All they care about is winning a meaningless battle with the forest service, getting their way and having a big party without being accountable for destroying the environment around them. They preach about sustainability, but can’t even manage it for 6 days. They rely on their hypocrisy being overlooked if they mouth a few vague environmental platitudes. They do nothing to help anyone else and they can’t even build a small permanent sustainable community. They have made an art form out of selfishness and white entitlement. The Rainbow Family never did anything but fight for its right to play Indian and party.

I’m not surprised that some people feel “symbiotic” to the Rainbow family – whatever that is.
Many of the people attracted to ZM are a lot like the Rainbow Family. They share the same colonial mentality and the same delusions about being the world’s “Great White” environmental saviors.

It’s the same immature narcissism you see among young white libertarian men. It’s the same arrogance we’re come to expect from whites.

Perhaps the problem you’re having with people of color accepting your group is that your great grand Pooh-ba’s emotional and intellectual development stopped when he was 14 years old, like so whites many who are attracted to utopian fantasies.

I’ve been reading the posts in this group for a long time and I can see how those with a New Age agenda are trying to dominate and control everyone else. This group clearly has the potential to become a dangerous cult.

There are too many people associated with this group who are as delusional, dishonest and disrespectful as the Rainbow Family. You all just keep making the same mistake over and over again. And that is why you will fail, not because you’re too intellectually and spiritually advanced for us ignorant savages who distrust your motives. You all need to check yourselves.
You need to re-think your ridiculous plan and re-group and listen to people who don’t share your white Christian indoctrination. White utopian communities always fail because the people in them don’t have the courage to confront their indoctrination and colonialism and chose instead to escape into fantasy. I see this group as nothing but an extension of colonialism. White people who know what’s best for the rest of the world going out and promoting their ideology with missionary zeal. This is nothing new or revolutionary. It’s just the same arrogance and white supremacy I’ve come to expect from you. You don’t know how to listen. You never have in the past and there’s no reason to believe this generation will be any different. Your utopian vision is just another form of manifest destiny.

I’m sure you’ll censor and attack my words, so I’m posting it in places where you’ll never see it. Places where indigenous people gather.

My hope is that just one of you who reads this post has the courage and honesty to confront your shadows and start the honest self-reflection on your colonial mentality that is the first step to really changing white imperialism. If you want to eliminate colonialism, start with your own heads. Stop your own cultural imperialism. Stop pretending to be Indian. Stop playing with our sacred ceremonies

“The American Indian Movement was dedicated to resolve, change and educate
America out of its ignorance.” — Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman

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