July 3, 2022

"The [Rainbow] gathering is organized around large camps and communal kitchens that serve coffee, tea and food. No money is exchanged."

"At a trading post, kids and adults bartered for jewelry, stones, glass pipes and Snickers. A painted rainbow was being erected over the 'Granola Funk' stage in the meadow, where a musical, a gong show and other performances would take place. At the Christian-themed Jesus Kitchen, one attendee said the nondenominational gatherings had made him a believer. 'I’d never seen Christians do it the way these guys do it,' said Gavin Boyd, 25, a carpenter from Fort Collins, Colo. It was, he said, less orthodoxy and more spirituality."

This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of the first Rainbow Gathering.

Most of the WaPo article is about the locals worrying about the environmental impact of the gathering and the group's basically good reputation for sanitation and cleanup. There was a little something about politics:
[I]n a nation that often seems to be divided in two, the Rainbow Gathering’s half-century assembly told a story of many Americas.... Attendees skew left but probably also include a few “Trumpsters” and QAnon devotees, said one longtime camper. The era’s political divisions, in any case, did not dominate conversations. 
“You have the whole continuum of people,” said Ray, 70, who on Friday was pulling a 100-pound cart of supplies up the 1.5-mile trail from a parking area to what is known as the Main Meadow, site of communal dinners and the event’s pinnacle, a July Fourth silent peace prayer and meditation....
“There’s also politics here. The right of the people of America, United States, to gather peacefully — that’s supposed to be a right — on the people’s land… To practice spiritual belief, freedom of religion,” said Ray, a retired health-care worker from southern Oregon. “To assert those rights at a time when, in my view, fascism’s grip is getting tighter and tighter and tighter.”
Here's the group's webpage. And here's their video:


Meade overheard that and said "Sounds like something from 'South Park'... Tegridy Farms."

Here's the Wikipedia page, "Rainbow Family":
Rainbow Gatherings emphasize a spiritual focus towards peace, love, and unity. Those who attend Rainbow Gatherings usually share an interest in intentional communities, ecology, New Age spirituality, and entheogens. Attendees refer to one another as "brother", "sister", or the gender neutral term, "sibling". Attendance is open to all interested parties, and decisions are reached through group meetings leading to some form of group consensus. Adherents call the camp "Rainbowland" and refer to the world outside of gatherings as "Babylon". The exchange of money is frowned upon, and barter is stressed as an alternative.... 
Participants make the claim that they are the "largest non-organization of non-members in the world." In addition to referring to itself as a non-organization, the group's "non-members" also even playfully call the group a "disorganization."

Hippie humor. It never changes. 

This use of the rainbow predates the LBGTQ use of the rainbow, which began in 1978. But it doesn't predate the Rainbow People's Party, AKA the White Panther Party, which began in 1968 in Ann Arbor. And it doesn't predate the Rainbow Coalition, which began in 1969 in Chicago. And it doesn't predate Rainbow/PUSH, the Jesse Jackson group, which began in 1971.


Anthony said...

46 years ago today (or this weekend) my family was celebrating the Bicentennial by watching the Parade of Tall Ships on TV and steaming paint from the kitchen walls. . . .

Narayanan said...

"The Rainbow Family comes to Colorado, bringing peace, love and anxiety" (WaPo).
is this a correct reading ?

peace and love === provided by "The Rainbow Family

anxiety ==== felt and fed by (WaPo).

Ignorance is Bliss said...

No money is exchanged. At a trading post, kids and adults bartered for jewelry, stones, glass pipes and Snickers.

Tax Evasion.

Narr said...

Not to my tastes, but isn't this a great country?

Need to put my flag out. Thanks for the reminder.

gilbar said...

you know, If We Could ALL Just Get Along.. There'd Be NO Conflict!*

IWCAJGA..TBNC* Heard this (the first time) at Freak Week, in (about) 1989; i laughed then/i laugh now

n.n said...

The Rainbow spectrum of black and brown exclusion, and the antagonistic, violent diffusion of color. Who conceives, births, and nurtures this peculiar symbolism? That said, diversity [dogma] breeds adversity.

Buckwheathikes said...

[I]n a nation that often seems to be divided in two ...


"You people are a bunch of racist white Supremecists and this country was founded on slavery by horrible white men, and it's institutional racism. Can't be fixed until all white people are gone for good." - Democrats

"Gee, I wonder why it is that our nation often seems to be so divided." - Also Democrats

Buckwheathikes said...

It also doesn't predate The People's Temple, a hippie organization formed in San Francisco by James Warren Jones.

Marc in Eugene said...

I've never understood why there is such a market for those pipes. Every single week that I go to Saturday Market downtown there is a long line of shoppers and potential shoppers at the pipe-sellers' booths; do they become unusable with age? are their users intentionally breaking them at a certain point in order to feel justified in buying new ones?

And of course, the rainbow list might be extended back in time: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is then first (arcum meum ponam in nubibus, et erit signum fœderis inter me et inter terram, Gen 9,13).

Larry said...

I've known and enjoyed Rainbow people. As a rule, however, I give them a miss. Little too close to Deadheads, not a bad bunch either but not my ilk.

Closest I came to one of their gatherings was in McCall, Idaho. Rainbows had had a gathering the year before and contrary to current belief their hygiene had been a significant problem.

Most of the people I knew in McCall at that time were long haired, reefer smoking ski bums who'd been absorbed by the ethos of rural America. They had morphed into reefer smoking, beer drinking, horse-shoe pitching folks who were working mighty hard to create a secure future.

They thought the Rainbows silly and a small nuisance. This was about 40 years ago.

Tina Trent said...

Are you kidding? Apparently not.

Rainbow sends in advance crews to shoplift all that "free food." They stole hundreds of thousands of dollars of food from our local Krogers, Wal-Mart's Ingles and small stores last year. The advance teams poke holes in meat packages and tear open boxes in the stores, forcing managers to discard them. Then they remove the food from the dumpsters.

Scores of junkies descended on Dahlonega, shoplifting and harassing real tourists. The town lost substantial money. There were multiple overdoses, sexual assaults, and one woman was murdered. Additional policing, overdose, and court costs cost the poor town substantially.

The Rainbow leadership refuses to pay the not insubstantial federal parking and camping fees, going on 30 years now. No consequences. Some stay for months. Their reputation for burying their latrines is partially earned, but many don't use them, and they wreak tens of thousands of dollars of damage at each camp site. It took six months to restore our park to sanitary conditions. The feds refuse to enforce laws against them, including charging the fees. If we refused to pay, we would be kicked out or arrested. Our principled sheriff flew to Washington to testify against their stealing campsites, many of which had been legitimately purchased by decent people who lost them. Others could not use our parks for weeks. The feds only response was to send in 50 agents to deal with some of the illegal havoc, pimping, and drug dealing. So we paid for that too. Local law enforcement arrested scores of criminals, many with violent and sexual records. I have the list if you'd like to see who these people really are.

Why don't you know this? Why not do rudimentary reading before pontificating about things utterly besides the point? Why be naive?

Eleanor said...

Does it predate this? "Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”

What are all of these groups going to do if God decides to take his rainbow back?

Buckwheathikes said...

"The gathering is organized around large camps and communal kitchens that serve coffee, tea and food."

So, free food. Right?

Where do you suppose they get all that free coffee, tea and food that nobody exchanges any money for? Did they grow that coffee? Or did they import it from brown people who toiled in a field? Do they grow their own teas? Or import it from Indians who make pennies a day?

"I've never seen Christians do it like this. Less accountability and more weed." - FTFY

A bunch of people getting together to mooch on stolen goods, smoke weed, and bang each other sounds ... well, it sounds like it stinks of dank weed, BO and patchouli.

Misinforminimalism said...

The use of the rainbow flag by LGBTQ did not begin in 1978, because LGBTQ did not exist in 1978. Hell, LGBT only became a thing in the late 80s.

Beasts of England said...

’…bartered for jewelry, stones, glass pipes and Snickers.’

Glass pipes and Snickers bars? Far out, man, er, siblings!

Gabriel said...

Rainbow Gatherings are also known for sexual assaults. I knew someone raped at one, granted it was 30 years ago and maybe they cleaned up their act since then, but judging by the uncritical press they receive I doubt it.

farmgirl said...



mikee said...

Jewelry? Sounds OK. Bet the piercings are epic.
Stones? You mean crystals with magical mystical healing powers, right?
Glass pipes? Oh yeah, because pot is legal.
Snickers? Well, after you get high you might get hangry.

Give me a real farmer's market with food for sale.

gilbar said...

What are all of these groups going to do if God decides to take his rainbow back?

i LIKE seeing the GOD's rainbow up in the sky.. i'm going to be sad when GOD quits showing it

Mary Martha said...

Sure it's all 'peace and love'... tell that to my friend who was 'raised' in the world of Rainbow gatherings.

While her parents were off selling and doing drugs she was sexually abused as a child many times by many people all in the name of 'free love'.

Nobody on earth hates hippies more than their own neglected children.

Biff said...

I miss the days when a rainbow was just a rainbow to most people.

Josephbleau said...

A Mighty Wind's a blowin, crost the land and cross the sea. A mighty wind's a blowin. It's blowing you and me!

How Far Out, can one place beeee eeeee eee, Caan onne place Beeeee!

Josephbleau said...

A Mighty Wind's a blowin, crost the land and cross the sea. A mighty wind's a blowin. It's blowing you and me!

How Far Out, can one place beeee eeeee eee, Caan onne place Beeeee!

Cappy said...


Tomcc said...

Tina Trent: Wow! When I was much younger, I had the notion that journalists would frequently present both positive and negative viewpoints within their stories. Perhaps I mis-remember, but it does seem like it's all one narrative these days.
"Ray" refers to "fascism's grip" I wonder if he perceives it as coming from the right or the left?