Is it even possible to build a community?
A friend of mine, a member of the Yonderfamily community where I invested 15 years of my life and all the money, materials I could lay my hands on, contacted me recently talking about building a new community.
She says it doesn’t look like Yonder is ever going to get his head on straight, ask everyone to go back to their homes.
All the members were thrown out when Yonder decided that he could replace us with more trusting people from the internet. A clear case of a bird in the hand, and a soup bone in your mouth.
the parable of the pork chop
There’s a story we’ve all heard.
About the dog that had just swiped a pork chop from the grill next door.
As the dog ran past the swimming pool, it saw another dog with another pork chop.
First dog tried to get the second dog’s pork chop, ended up with no pork chop, the one it had ended up in the bottom of the swimming pool.
Yonder knows that story, and it was plain foolishness for him to think that he could throw us all out of our homes and get new members by advertising on-line.
So, this friend of mine thinks that getting involved in a new community makes sense, and asked my help.
I’ve lost too much already. I tell her that it was a horrible mistake that the members failed to rebuke Yonder when he hatched his plan to rob everyone. She talks about not striving after lost causes.
When do you give up the fight?
Lost causes? Failing to fight for what is right means giving people permission to harm us. The fight for what is right is the important thing.
In the news recently are some people refusing to be told that growing vegetables is against the law.
I’d call these people heros. When fighting for the right to replace their turf, they didn’t just give up on their rights as a lost cause, they fought the good fight, and refused to be pushed around.
The Law May Take Action if We Don’t
When the sheriff eventually took Yonder to court, (and got him banished from the area), my friend actually wrote a letter of support for Yonder! Yonder was deserving of our rebuke, yet he’d managed to so thoroughly brain-wash people that they were defending him in spite of all the harm that he’d done to us and those we cared about.
Sadly, I don’t seem to be able to convince the members of my community that defending Yonder is hurting him. Yonder has no reason to turn over a new leaf, as long as he’s able to con people into continuing to defend his terrible actions. There’s a phenomenon known as ‘enabling’ which actually prevents people from improving their lives, and keeps them harming the rest of us.
It doesn’t seem any great stretch of the imagination to picture getting sucked into another bad community, wasting my time and resources improving someone else’s property, only to see everyone thrown out, again. And nobody doing anything to protest, again.
I don’t care to be a part of that scenario. When nobody else stood up and demanded that Yonder stop what he was doing, it was a huge shock. When the people at the fic refused to contact Yonder to ask him what he was doing, it was another shock. When contacting rainbow focalizers was another dead end, it started to feel like there was something terrifically wrong with the entire community concept.
I’ve tried posting at various forums, like growfood.org, and the hip forums, only to see Yonder threaten them. I posted my experiences on my own blogs and websites, and Yonder threatened my site hosts and got all of my pleas for help taken off-line!
When reading these threats that Yonder sent everywhere, you’re going to notice how he tries to have it both ways.
Not only does he claim that my complaints are untrue, he claims that it’s against the law for me to produce evidence of my experience, and he then claims that discussing his threats is illegal!
Hard to believe that people bought into his nonsense.
it’s hard to get your experience publicized when you are being censored.
Getting Help from the Community Resources
I find it incredible that all the community resources offered zero help when I contacted them about this, repeatedly.
It seems obvious to contact Yonder and let him know that they’d been hearing bad reports about his community. They should have presented him with a list of ideas for keeping the community afloat, and avoid negative results.
A Long History
Alternative communities have been around since before the country was established, we know the causes of dissolution. It should be no problem to compile a list of things guaranteed to destroy a community, and post this said list somewhere that communities in trouble could be referred.
Yonder had a listing at the fic, a simple warning that his ad was going to be suspended until the problems were sorted out seems like the obvious first place to start, and instead of doing anything, they allowed him to keep his listing active while he threw all the permanent members out of the homes they built.
Eventually Yonder took down his ad, after the judge threw him out of the county.
Does anyone think this is the best way to build a positive reputation for the community movement?
Yonder is pretending that no-one was thrown out!
I was thrown out, paper was signed at the court house!
When I’ve contacted other community sites, they talk about getting it in writing.
What good does anybody think getting it in writing is going to do them if they are dealing with someone that can deny something down at the court-house? Someone that will lie to the judge?
Yonder told us all that he would put it in writing that we were all buying in, I’m not sure how many people took him up on that, paper doesn’t survive the elements very well when you’re sleeping on the ground. I remember Woody telling us that he’d gotten his ownership on paper. It didn’t help him when he got evicted.
If someone is lying to you, getting it on paper isn’t going to be helpful! The only possible help is by getting the problem publicized, and getting all the community resources involved.
Why won’t any of the community resources take an interest in this problem?
When serious members are taken advantage of, and can’t get a warning out to other interested people, that can only result in less hard-working community assets.
ALL the rest of the communities will be complaining about their caliber of visitors.
When hard-working people can not get a fair hearing, there’s little reason for them to keep trying to live in community.