Thanks Dottie! This is how I am treated after – I SAVED YOU?
I met Dottie through my friend, Michelle, who I met a year earlier. She was a member of The Process. She wore a long black robe with a hood. Her younger friend wore a blue cape, because she was a novice. I fell for the novice, and we became lovers. I would later rescue Michelle from a Mafia chief. But, lets save that story for another day.
Dottie was Michelle’s naive roommate, who had come to Boston from South Carolina. Michelle was concerned for Dottie because she was going to move back to New Orleans, and she was a babe in the woods. On cue, into Dottie’s apartment comes Devil Boy, a weasel like entity that had taken acid and was proud of his witchy powers he had discovered within. To prove to me he had the right stuff, he points his finger at Dottie’s cat, and shot it with a jolt of bad energy. The cat thought she was going to be petted, approached, purring, and now winces after being dosed with bad energy. I was not impressed.
“You’re a little shit, aren’t you? How would you feel if I did that to you?”
I watched Devil Boy wince, he looking in my eyes wondering why I was not afraid of his black magic. We had our Clint Eastwood moment, and he left, never to return. I moved in and became Dotties lover. The cat fell in love with me, and followed me like a little puppy when we went to the park. That’s us up in a tree.
Above is a photo of Girmson the head of the Process, and Mel Lyman wearing shades. Mel married Jessie Benton the daughter of the famous artist, Thomas Hart Benton, Garth Benton’s cousin. The children in the tree are Mel’s children, some born from Benton’s womb. Thanks to my genealogical research, these folks are kin to the Royal Stewarts. Mel claimed he is God, an Avatar, thus, God is my kinfolk.
I watched allot of 911 programs yesterday, everyone of them declaring “America will never be the same.”
They said the same thing about the Charlie Manson murders, and the Jim Jones Jesus cult suicides. Then there is David Koresh and Waco. What these folks have in common is the hatred of Government. Jone’s generals murdered Congressman Ryan, shot him dead with a rifle. Then Reverand Jim brought out the big vats of poisoned Cool-aid. Today, weak willed folks are woofing down that Tea Bag Espresso and carrying guns to rallies. Yeehaw!
Nope! It’s the same ol America, full of religious nuts fleeing real civilization because for the most part, they are insane! Osama Bin Laden was a religious fanatic trained by the U.S. Government to bring down the Evil Empire of Socialist Communalism. When the CIA betrayed him, Bin went after Anne Rand’s hero high atop the Trade Tower. The rest is common American History!
The Lighthouse Ranch was one of the Christian communes I was involved with when I was a new Christian in the Jesus Movement. I lived at a Christian commune called Living Waters in Whitethorn, Calif. for a couple of months. Living Waters was a part of The Lighthouse Ranch. On Sundays we meaning all the members of the different communes met at a church for worship and dinner. Durkin oftened preached or taught the Bible. The commune Living Waters had around a couple hundred people living on a large tract of land. We often would go to Eureka to work or for fellowship.
I remember all the Jesus Freaks around Living Waters coming for weekends of worship, praise and teaching. There would be up to 500 people at these gatherings of Jesus People. I will never forget the worship services of hundreds men, women and children singing in tongues and dancing in the Spirit.
I lived at Living Waters for couple of months and left due to lack of women and food. I still have a small Good News for Modern Man NT I bought around that time. I still miss the spiritual fellowship of those days of long ago. I suppose I am still looking, longing, and searching for the kind of spiritual fellowship I had with Jesus Freaks here among the Dutch Reformed.
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Jim Durkin and Lighthouse Ranch – In the summer of 1970 while Jim Durkin was experiencing dissatisfaction with his ministry, he was approached by several Jesus People looking to begin an evangelistic ministry to the hippies. Though initially hesitant, Durkin allowed the young group access to one of his apartment complexes helping them establish a coffeehouse outreach program. As the ministry blossomed they looked to him for leadership. He acquired an abandoned coast guard station eleven miles outside of Eureka, California allowing the young Christians to use this as their new home.
Corvallis Gazette-Times/August 4, 2005
By Theresa Hogue
More than three decades ago, two women from different backgrounds found themselves searching for a sense of belonging, and both, for a while, thought they’d found it in communal living. What they found instead was that they were immersed in cults, and once in, it was very difficult to leave.
The two women have written memoirs about their lives in communes in the early 1970s as a way to work through their experiences and share them with others. Although they lived in very different communal groups with different principles, they discovered that both had one fundamental similarity — the subordination of women. They’ll discuss their memoirs Friday at Grass Roots Books & Music.
D’arcy Fallon was an Army brat, born in Monterrey, Calif., and raised “all over.” She was baptized Catholic and attended parochial school for a few years, but her parents weren’t strictly religious. Fallon found herself, at 18, traveling and living on the land, celebrating the experimental lifestyle of the 1960s.
“I just really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” Fallon said.
She was hitchhiking near Eureka, Calif., when she was picked up by a member of the Lighthouse Ranch, just outside the city on the beach. She was invited to have dinner at the ranch, which she described as a stunningly beautiful spot on the coast.
Fallon was taken in by the warmth of the members of Lighthouse Ranch, a fundamentalist Christian commune. There, she felt welcomed, and part of something larger. Through the persuasion of commune members, she became “saved,” and accepted Jesus Christ as her savior, a necessity for life at the ranch.
“My parents were really appalled,” she said. “I sent them letters filled with Scripture and they said ‘Omigod, she’s in a cult.’ ”
Fallon tried to assuage their fears, telling them she was there of her own free will, which she was, and that she was happy, which she wasn’t.
Life at the ranch was extremely structured. Women and men were kept separated, and sex was allowed only between married couples. Women were expected to marry within the group and be good wives, submissive and supportive to their husbands. Life was divided between work and worship.
“It was very dramatic,” she said. “Picture yourself living at the edge of the world and you have been called. … It gives your life this aura of drama.”
But after Fallon married another member of the group, she began to have strong doubts. She wanted a “normal” marriage and relationship, but her husband was more interested in belonging to the group than in sharing life with her.
Finally, she and her husband were sent to Brooklyn, N.Y., to do evangelical work, and it was there she finally convinced her husband to leave the group. They fled to his home in Montreal, Canada, and a year later, divorced and went their separate ways.
Now, Fallon describes herself as an agnostic, and finds the support and community she needs from her new husband, son and friends. She has learned in the meantime that she didn’t have to change to be accepted.
“People will accept you the way you are,” she said. “You don’t have to be spiritual.”
Molly Hollenbach also spent much of her youth moving back and forth between Southern California and Michigan. She said moving so frequently made her something of a nomad, and during graduate school she decided to drop out and have “adventures.”
“I was exploring the wide world of the ’60s,” she said.
Fascinated by ideas of personal freedom and political change, she found herself drawn to the World Affairs Conference in Boulder, Colo., where she heard members of a New Mexican commune speaking about their life in Taos.
“They described this wonderful community they called The Family,” Hollenbach said. “It was based on Gestalt therapy.”
Hollenbach was enthralled, and begged members to take her with them when they returned to New Mexico. A short time later, she found herself living in a five-room adobe house with 55 other people.
The tenets of the group forbid drugs, and encouraged face-to-face communication through conflict and group marriage. Members were expected to give up their personal possessions and their names, and revolutionize the world by revolutionizing themselves.
To her surprise, Hollenbach found the group operated on principles that went directly against what she’d learned in the feminist movement. The group leader was an older man named Lord Byron, who demanded sexual access to all female members of the group. Although theoretically all members were equal, Lord Byron was “more equal” than others.
“The first or second day I said, ‘This is really sexist. Women wore skirts and worked in the kitchen.’ ”
But her complaints and criticisms were swiftly silenced by group members, who told her she needed to live the lifestyle before she criticized it.
“They put me down and said, ‘You’ve thought about it, we’ve lived it,’ ” she recalled.
She became more involved in the group, and more confused because the things she felt were wrong were called right by her fellow members. She finally became disillusioned both by the way in which Lord Byron held sway, believing himself the Messiah, and the way she simply didn’t feel right about the way things were going.
“I thought I was crazy,” she said.
Finally, she fled, going to a psychiatrist to find out whether she was sane. Reassured, she moved on with her life, using her experiences within the commune for her master’s thesis. She earned a doctorate degree, taught and then eventually became a journalist.
She didn’t talk about her experiences with The Family for years, but one day, during a writing conference at Fishtrap in Joseph, she began putting her memories onto paper.
“I realized I needed to,” she said.
The most important lesson Hollenbach said she learned from her time with The Family was to become her own person.
“It is very hard for women to assert themselves and say ‘No, this isn’t right for me,'” she said. “It forced me to define myself.”
At a glance
Margaret Hollenbach and D’Arcy Fallon will discuss their experiences in communes in the 1970s at Grass Roots Books & Music at 4 p.m. Friday.
“Lost and Found: My Life in a Group Marriage Commune” by Hollenbach and “So Late, So Soon, A Memoir” by Fallon are both available at the store.
The Process, or in full, The Process Church of the Final Judgment, commonly known by non-members as the Process Church, was a religious group that flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, founded by the English couple Mary Anne and Robert DeGrimston (originally Robert Moor and Mary Anne MacLean). Originally headquartered in London it had developed as a splinter client cult group from Scientology, so that they were declared “suppressive persons” by L. Ron Hubbard in December 1965. In 1966 the members of the group underwent a social implosion and moved to Xtul on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, where they developed “processean” theology (which differs from, and is unrelated to process theology). They later established a base of operations in the United States in New Orleans.
They were often viewed as Satanic on the grounds that they worshipped both Christ and Satan. Their belief is that Satan will become reconciled to Christ, and they will come together at the end of the world to judge humanity, Christ to judge and Satan to execute judgment. Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of the Charles Manson family trial, comments in his book Helter Skelter that there may be evidence Manson borrowed philosophically from the Process Church, and that representatives of the Church visited him in jail after his arrest. According to one of these representatives, the purpose of the visit was to interview Manson about whether he had ever had any contact with Church members or ever received any literature about the Church.
ong the very first members of the Fort Hill Community were three couples: Mel Lyman and Jessie Benton, former wife of David Gude; Mel’s artist friend Eben Given and Sophie Lucero, former wife of Mel Lyman; and David Gude and Faith Franckenstein, daughter of novelist Kay Boyle. (These three marriages, too, have long since dissolved.) Also Faith’s brother, Ian, other friends, some children and one grandmother – Kay Boyle herself.
“It was when my ax-son-in-law David Gude left Vanguard Records that I first heard of Mel Lyman,” Kay recalled as she sat in the living room of the Victorian San Francisco home she has owned for many years. “And then when I went up there in ’66 I met him for the first time. He was, I felt, very insignificant looking and very weak looking. He never at any time tried to talk with me; I was completely ignored by him.
Soon afterward Mel wrote his first book, a rambling, abstract, 80-page riddle called Autobiography of a World Savior, based loosely on the Superman-Krypton plot (“Long long ago in another dimension on another planet I volunteered for an assignment the nature of which I knew little . . .”). Some people, including rock writer Paul Williams, have made their Decision for Mel based on that book alone, even though Mel later described it as a private, tongue-in-cheek joke written for some Scientologist friends of his.
Why, then, the move to Roxbury? For some time Mel had been hanging out with the film freak crowd at Max’s Kansas City, in much the same way he had hung out with Bruce Conner and the others at Leary’s place; in fact, he briefly went with Vivian Kurz, one of Warhol’s lovelies, and Jonas Mekas helped publish his Autobiography. Mel, therefore, was getting itchy to create. He was developing certain theories, some his own, about music and art, and he needed room to work.
In the living room there were red velvet chairs and long-stemmed roses in a vase. A violin hung on the wall. Logs were crackling and popping in the fireplace.
Wearing a white dress that emphasized her tan, Jessie Benton entered and firmly shook my hand. As we all sat down, I asked the group for a history of the Lyman community. When had it begun?
“It started long before this earth was made,” said a blonde woman. “We are a race,” she said.
“A race – like a race of people . . . We’ve always been together. We’re gathered here on earth. And we were somehow – in one way or another – drawn to the same place at the same time. That was in Boston – years and years ago.”
Exactly how many years ago?
“Nineteen sixty-six,” said Jessie Benton solidly from her chair by the wall. She is the daughter of artist Thomas Hart Benton.
Someone remarked that the spreading of Mel Lyman’s communities to different cities was “protective.” When I inquired why there was any need to protect, a mild flurry of cryptic discussion took place among my hosts, then it dissolved quickly into what looked like agreement as they began to nod their heads. A young man said, “Y’know, maybe Melvin can talk to him.”
This was the supreme honor. In came a young woman with long brown hair, held back from her face by a gold headband. Her blue dress was a gossamer and a star was at her throat.
She knelt on the carpet before a rainbow colored ouija board which rested on a white pedestal. The ouija board was to be my hotline to Mel Lyman, and the gossamer-gowned lady in blue was to be my interpreter.
Jessie Benton leaned over beside me, “These answers you should probably write down.”
The gossamer-gowned medium opened her eyes.
“Melvin is here.”
Eve Lyman and Jessie Benton Lyman, both of whom bore Mel’s children, check photos for the next issue of the commune’s U and Imagazine.