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You are invited to participate in the discussion of the wide range of topics covered  in this online Village Forum. Feel free to add your own comments and suggestions in the input form boxes below. The moderator will enter your posting within 24 hours.

If you wish to make a longer, in-depth comment, write a short summary to be placed here, and we will link to a separate page further elucidating your reply.  You may also choose to send your posting by e-mail, allowing use of your mailing program features. Please indicate to which discussion group you are directing your comments.  If you wish, a compilation of all your comments to NLV or there material you wish to publish, can be saved to your own pages, a Homesite within New Liberty Village, upon request.

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Note: This is an open forum.  Any viewpoints expressed are not necessarily the views of the managers of New Liberty Village website, or those of other participants.  We encourage a diversity of opinions on most any subject matter. We think we learn more this way.

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August 5, 2001

IAM a 29 yr. survivor of the HIV LIE, doing the primal living thing, one thing I have noticed is words and how we use them,  I have been moving Primal for a few years, found 41,700 acres of land that we are moving to build a long life center (monastery) Village of fellow people  of heart and thought.  ONE of the main issue is word use from our IAM forces, also be-ing Native american helped in this understanding .  Every thing that grandmother earth, and grandfather sky has to given to us is NEW and FRESH. the WORD DIET means death in waiting in suffering ,verse NU-TRITION.  Just a thought I wanted to share with your tribe, clan, village or pack.  We are also part of a LARGE grant for global reforestation.

If interested in how to make your project FAR more self sustainable please check us out , ,and
Http:// .  THERE truly is a global movement to change
PA`dre 2Tails

May 8, 2001

My Gaian Dream

A community of like-minded individuals should be able to find a way to exist so as to put minimal strain on the earth and environment, thereby enriching their lives, and simultaneously demonstrating to the world the viability of increasing self-sufficiency within communities. Though the idea of community living is an old one, there are certain realities of 21st century life which must be incorporated, and so increase the chances of sustainability.  A community can act and work together to achieve many things which are beneficial to the group, and individuals. An important principle for the group would be to recognize the load we place on the earth, and do what is possible to lighten that load. Striving for a life of balance, recycling all recyclables, and replacing manufactured products with viable natural substitutes would be a good starting place.

So, I envision a community that has acres planted in truck garden, with preservation methods used to store that which isn't consumed at the time of harvest.  Such a community would want to use the renewable energy resources at hand, i.e. solar, wind, and hydropower, with a goal of eventually taking itself off the "grid". Since it's highly unlikely that the community could provide all the resources that would be necessary for life, some, if not most, of the communitarians may find themselves holding jobs off the "farm", if only to earn money for things needed and not produced by the community. 

Jobs might be full time or part time, or seasonal, but the objective would be to have cash resources in reserve for externally produced goods.  
paper production from recycled paper …art paper?
fresh vegetable, fruit, herb sales
solar, geo, and hydro installs

are all revenue generating possibilities within the grasp of most folk, and cottage type industries which should be possible as home based businesses, on the farm.  The idea is to strive to achieve self sufficiency as a community -- there is probably an optimum size group, but I like the model of an "extended family home place", multiple bedrooms, and large family type living spaces  .. old country farm houses come to mind.

February 17, 2001

John Lamar []
Liberty house?

I just read an article about your liberty house on the web, from 1998, can
you update me on where to get more info? Are any built? Thanks.


Building a full scale model of the 'Liberty house' is still on my "most desired things to do before I kick off" list. I have built it many times in my mind, and there, it works and looks great!

There is no reason it will not work, and the possibilities of shape and design are unlimited, so it depends on the imagination and the time the builder wishes to put into it's construction. I wish I could send pictures of a completed house, and all the statistics concerning it's performance, along with plans and instructions on how to build it. Someday soon I hope. I'll put it up on this site. My life circumstances have not yet allowed me to complete a model.

One day my frustration built to such a point I took a shovel to our sandy-loam field in Northern Neck Virginia. I hand-formed a twenty-foot hemisphere using the 5'deep trench method as shown in my animation at .

I knew our high water-table would preclude using it for a full-time living area, but I wanted to get a feel for how difficult it would be to sculpt the earth in the shapes I wanted. In three, four-hour working periods, there stood a smooth, 20' hemisphere, 10' high, with the 5' cap rising above grade.  In that 12-hour time I had also used a post-hole digger to dig out trenches to be filled with concrete, forming the walls for the south-facing greenhouse. It was ready to be minimally reinforced with rebar, poured with a 2 1/2 inch layer of concrete for the shell, then reve the earth underneath It had gone so well, I'd decided I'd go ahead and complete it for summer cold storage, or a guest room, then my wife and I got a call to care for some grandkids for awhile. We check out the place every so often, and the dirt-dome still looks awesome. I've even wondered if the roots of the voluntary Virginia Creeper vines that now covers it would support earth without the concrete! Might hollow it out someday just to see. This might give you some idea how my mind, and even serendipity works, or doesn't. (grin).

My brother in Oregon is a licensed architect, and I may soon be able to work with him on a full sized model; where or when, I am not yet sure. There are so many advantages to such a structure, I won't attempt to begin listing them here. I have come across another man who has used earth in similar ways to mold a small building in Texas. I first heard the idea from my brother who told me about Paolo Soleri's use of this method in construction his Arizona desert community, Arcosanti They built a large building they use for their pottery shop, I believe, mounding earth, covering it with concrete, and then removing it.

I intend to use the James-Hait PAHS method of insulation and moisture proofing. He had a web-site which I can't seem to  find tonight and publishes a great book called Passive Annular Heat Storage, sold from the site. His idea was to form an insulating umbrella over the entire structure, extended beyond it's perimeter 20', forming a huge heat storage bank in the soil underneath it. The 'umbrella' itself is itself then covered with earth. This method avoids the need for the careful and expensive insulation and waterproofing required for most under-ground and earth-bermed structures. Applying insulation directly on the walls defeats the heat storage capability of earth. The un-insulated walls allow for free absorption of heat energy through the walls in the summer time, and releases it back into the interior in the colder months. No other heating or cooling is then supposed to be required to maintain a 68-72 degree ambiance all year round, in the coldest of winters or the warmest of summers. Sounded good to me. August, 1976 Popular Science Magazine has an article by Hait on this method, if you want to research it further without ordering the book.

If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to share what I think, and if you happen to try any of the ideas out yourself, be sure to let me know your results. Maybe I'd even help you build it. Sure would like to see one standing in real-time, real-space. Please keep in touch.

Gerald Brittell (aka Jerry B)
New Liberty Village

January 26, 2001

We are looking for support and to attract members
To visit our site-link:

January 18, 2001
leigh stapleton-ward,
Getting people involved

My intention to get as many people as I can to think about their involvement in their community. 
I want people to make their voices heard in order to make a sustainable future for us all.
This may well be a pipe dream, but I'm working on it.
If you have experience in community development in any shape or form please visit my site, put forward your views or help me with my research.

I want to make a difference, please help me.

January 13, 2001
Interview possibility

Hello. I am doing some research in collaboration with a webzine.  We are studying utopian ideals. We were wondering if you would have someone who lives within your community who would like to share her insights and experiences with us. We ask this politely and humbly and in the spirit of respect. We simply feel that our research would not be complete without the input of someone (perhaps female) who walks this particular talk. Thanks-   Sue



Unfortunately, New Liberty Village is at this time only an online community, and has not yet made it to the 'Real' world.  There may well be, however, visitors participating in an intentional community that might be interested in responding to your query.  I would be interested in purveying your webzine if you can share the URL.  The topic of Utopian ideals is very much within the scope of topics for this web site, and my own personal interests. Thank  you for your interest

Gerald Brittell, web manager

December 4,2000
cory whitney []
Subject: Sauna

Hey all,

I am writing to represent an anxious work crew at a Vermont college.
We here at Sterling College have burnt down 4 saunas in the last 30 years
and would like to build something that will not burn down. Actually if we
want a sauna it must be fire proof.
As Sterling is running a deficit at this point (we only have 70 students)
we have little to no funds for this project.
Any kind of feedback for our plight would be very much appreciated.
Thank you, Cory Whitney


December 03, 2000
Jerry B


I wish that I had a working model of what I have often considered building: a sculpted Finnish sauna,  using the earth to reverse-mold a dome of the appropriate size. The benches, the fire pit, practically everything could be easily shaped in the compact, undisturbed soil, then  cobbled with a thin layer of concrete, say two inches thick. The earth then removed from underneath the shell after it has set.  If desirable, the dirt could then be placed over the structure, and landscaped and planted with grass. 

The sauna could be built completely above grade, partially above grade, or completely underground.  About the only cost would be for a few bags of concrete, and sand.  American Indians, I understand, made small sweat lodges in a hole dug in the ground, covered with a hide, but this would be much more permanent.  

Aesthetically speaking , the shape could be sculpted practically anyway one's imagination and time allows. The structure would be fireproof, and require no maintenance. It would also make a great storm shelter, although I have heard of few tornadoes in Vermont (g).  Never know in these days.  Openings could be molded into the shell for ventilation and light, and covered with glass or operable vent covers.  I can't foresee any difficulties or problems with this, for a sauna.  If you haven't seen my rough drawings and animation for the Liberty House design, check out  then go to 'More details'.  If you try these methods, I would like very much to hear how it turns out.  Maybe you can build a gymnasium for the school while you are at it (g)  I would like to hear more about your college, when you have the time.   Does it have a web page?  Jerry B

November 15,2000

Hey now,
How are you and where are you? Nothing new has been happenin' on the site (in the way of obvious visitors) lately. I dropped a line not to long ago and got nothing as a result to let me know that it did or did not go through...  .  .  .Ted

Hey Ted,

Somehow the form for this and other discussion groups became inoperative, no telling how long ago. I thought it was pretty quiet.  Good to hear from you again. I've been on a new mailing list, the Dreaming Project. Are you a dreamer? Course, every one is.  Check it out :  if you feel so inclined.   Later,  Jerry B

October 4, 2000

Hello :-)

My Daughter (Alicia) is doing a project at school and needs information about sunflowers, her project is due by Friday 6th October, I hate to ask but could you please send her any information you may have via my email address.

Thanking you in advance

Alicia's Mum

September 18, 2000

Being single

I found your site from Kevin and Donna's link and I found them from the book "Choosing Simplicity".  I have recently gained the courage to make major changes in my life by simplifying. I am a devout vegetarian (for both health and love of animals). I feel comfortable in my skin for the first time in my life but also am experiencing a deep loneliness because I don't seem to be connecting with people who share these values. My comfort lies in the fact that I feel my calling is living among the lost souls and serving as an example of peace and health. I don't try to convert them. I don't preach (unless asked). I just serve as an example. I am 48 years old. My sons are grown and gone and I have the freedom to downsize. I am looking for a small farm so I can grow my own food. I keep busy by working full time and working on my master's in public health. I love your site but after reading Terry's article under your Family section, that deep loneliness set in again.  Living simply is wonderful. Being earth-sensitive is the only way but doing it all alone is just the pits. I don't mean to turn your site into a singles forum but is there a way you could possibly direct other people experiencing this "simplicity loneliness" to each other? 

Sepember 18, 2000
Jerry B,
Being single

Several years ago now, when I first began this experiment on online community, I had hopes there would be enough interest and participation to carry over into real life projects, providing a forum for networking of individuals interested in beginning actual communities or villages modeled something on the order of New Liberty Village. Though there appear to be between ten to twenty 'hits' to the site each day, as you can see, comments and contributions have been far between.  I very much appreciate your post, and would give just about anything to be able to say we could help you with your quest for companionship in living this worthy, and necessary life style, you chose. 

Here's a thought.  You perhaps have noticed my offer to provide free page or pages for those who have ideas of how to make things better. If you see a place for a 'for free' personals 'office' in the village, I'll work with you in setting it up any way I can.  As an example, Kevin's and Donnas earthstar pages began this way, and they continue to update it by forwarding me articles, which I enter into Earthstar. I do this because I enjoy offering the opportunity for free expression, the information that I gain for myself, and the community that develops overtime.  If ever the need arises, I will ask for volunteers to help keep up with the service, and arrange for more free cyber 'space'.

 I could add a building icon  to the home page image, follow any suggestion you might make, and you may participate in the concern to any degree of involvement you wish. If you have some ideas of how you would like it to appear, have a name for it, some images, I will gladly put it together and have it up and running in short order.  If you do not have any such interest, I think it is a very worthy idea, I may do it entirely on my own. , and it at first, it might just be a separate discussion "personals forum " like other discussion groups within the site.  Of course confidentiality and privacy issues would have to be worked out.  Each participant would of course have to be responsible for their own 'real world' relationships and correspondence.  I can make no promises how active it might be, or even any guarantees how long the service may be available, but if something should arise that eventuated in closing the site, I would help reestablish it somewhere else on the Internet.  Anyway, just an idea. Thanks for your interest in NLV and we hope you visit often.  If you have not already done so, I have an idea that Donna and Kevin would appreciate contact with you from earthstar Thanks ,  Jerry B

August 6,2000
Rune Bergmann,,
When can we start?

I have not had the chance to read ALL the pages yet, but after the two first pages I had to stop and make a link from my links page. Short of time I will have to come back for more tomorrow, and I look forward to it!

My question for now is, when and where can we start the digging? Your ideas for underground dwellings are very much the same as my own visions.

May you never thirst, Rune!

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July 2, 2000
Ian White

Interesting: I'm looking for adult alternatives, particularly ideas linking advanced technology with more agrarian lifestyle. So much 'liberty' I've seen = 'liberty to make piles of dough & tough if you don't want to or can't" How about freedom FROM reliance on monetary trade etc.  Same applies to lifestyle activists: so it's OK today for a man to admit wearing a dress, he's gay; nobody assumes that of a woman in jeans. Be a lot freer to be able to wear the dress without ANY assumptions, to be oneself, unconditioned by prejudice based on what you do once.  So much 'freedom' turns out to mean freedom to admit to the same old stereotypes, not to escape them. (Or, "God made us all free, so follow God's Law (our version of course) and you're FREE - and if you don't you must be an ENEMY OF FREEDOM" with all that implies.

I'm hiring this machine, so don't have a lot of time to trawl around.

Calling from Ireland (not my original home - that's Jersey off the coast of France, trying to be Europe's Hong Kong financewise.

Disillusioned with how hippy dreams became (literally) pipe dreams and dictatorial groups.

Incidentally: Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Mars' trilogy set a few years from now addresses possible alternative cultures, some better than others, and how they might make a loose federation.

March 29, 2000
thia lynne

Dear Jerry,

I offer a token to you and all of us at New Liberty. I would be honored if you would put it on your web site on the "I believe..." page. Because, dreamers are few and far between, and we must have encouragement, even if it is only from each other. "Where Have All the Dreamers Gone?"   Thia Lynn


Let me be the first to welcome you to the NLV community forum. I am very much looking forward to viewing and contemplating your dreams of all types.  I will do my best to help you to express them and see them come true along with the rest of the villagers, in any way we can.  Thank you very much for your contributions which I will continue to place in the site as you post them to me.  BTW, thanks for turning me on to the Firetalk voice chat program.  I recommend it to everyone. This entire web site is now Firetalk, enabled, which means anyone using Firetalk can simply open the site and speak into the microphone and chat with anyone who happens to be visiting the site. Or text chat using the keyboard. Now that is incredible, I think.   Jerry B

March 19, 2000
thia lynne
I just discovered your website

I was doing a few random searches and found your website. I am an aspiring writer. I dream of other worlds and possible changes to our own. I see great potential in our species, and the hearts and minds of our people. I enjoy being creative and following the little thoughts that come to mind from sights and sounds out there. Whether it is pulling out a picture or shape out of a blank page or mound of clay, or expressing my moods and thoughts by pulling together the wealth of my experiences and imaginings into words to share with the rest of the world.

I am intrigued by the images that flow in my mind of restoring and creating places in areas deemed insufficient to live in throughout the world. Whether it is a community in abandoned flood planes, cities in the desert or under the seas, or bases on other worlds that can grow into thriving towns and cities, while maintaining and creating places for indigenous animal and plant life. The theory and creative search for the possibilities present a challenge I find hard to resist.

When I found this website, I found the idea inspiring, and just had to write to you. I want to participate. I intend to continue exploring the site. So far, I have barely skimmed the surface. It was enough to pique my interest, and I think I'm hooked.

I also would like to ask a question, though the answer may already be in your pages; Do you or your members use Firetalk for discussions? I downloaded that program some time ago, and find it a wonderful forum in which to meet others. I do not work for them, I assure you, but am more than satisfied with the experiences I have had on there. It is a means for simultaneous voice and text conversations and you and your members might also find it helpful in creating an environment where everyone can share their common interests. It is possible to have a private

forum there, where only those you invite into the individual room can join the conversation. I highly recommend that you and the other members take some time to look into it. If your system is compatible (ie. have a full duplex soundcard, and mic or headset mic, and such minimum requirements that they require) it can be well worth it to you as well. Just a suggestion. It too is free. ( I think.)

I intend to tell my family and friends who I think might find this interesting, about your site. Unfortunately, I have few people around me who share these interests. I thought myself a rarity, in finding these things so enjoyable. I am excited at the prospect that perhaps I have found people who share my interests and I can discuss my ideas with. I look forward to participating in this forum, and welcome discussions with others.

I do not yet have my webpages up and running. I am working on a couple of projects, and unfortunately, I have a lot more to learn and work out before I can add a page here. Eventually, I would gladly add a page, should you feel it appropriate for publication here, on your site. I hope to hear from you, and gladly offer my services for whatever I can help with, as an employee full time, or simply as a voluntary contributor of whatever I can do.

I look forward to hearing from you and your members, and reading the rest of your website. Good luck with this endeavor. Respectfully, T.L.Parker

March 19, 2000
Jerry B

Hello TL Parker,

Your introduction intrigues and encourages me greatly. Perhaps we all can pool some energies and come up with something unique on the Internet, and who knows what might fall out in the "Real" world, some day. I am much interested in seeing, and publishing the page or pages that you would create.  I will do whatever I can to help you express whatever it is you would have to say or picture.

The site, as it is, is more or less an outline, with little content. I had hoped it could stand as a blank page that visitors would be encouraged to use, to share their perspectives, and come up with new and better ways of doing things and living life together. I have just begun the process of pulling my own material into my own separate pages, one homestead among others. If it were to take off, I am entertaining novel ways for interaction between participants and/or viewpoints. I am very open to any suggestions you might have, and constructive criticisms of anything you might already find. I am strictly learning as I go, trying to discern the dynamics of Internet community and interaction, as well as learn the techniques and design of web pages. I hope anyone catching a glimpse of what I am after perceives that the site is malleable, and will feel free to make efforts to shape it, along side my own clumsy manipulations. If the concept ever develops into what it could be, it would indeed require volunteers to keep up with the postings, and eventual activities. I have even seen it as it's own server, a free host among others which have been so successful, with great differences in format and purpose, of course. I tend to grandiose thought at times, but our pipe-dreams are made for popping, with material creations standing in their stead. And things can happen just that fast, when their time has come.

So please, go for it, if you have anything at all you wish to add. And if you come up against anything that would incline you to hesitate, please tell it to me straight out.

Concerning Firetalk: I will check it out. I have used ICQ, and once proffered it as a means for chatting, but there seemed to be little interest. Only two persons ever logged on. At first glance, my web site may seem to be more active than it actually is. The postings on the forms, or private e-mail are few and far between. After examining, I decided to give their free mailing list and chat room programs a try. That was three months ago. One woman has subscribed and posted a couple notes. You might want to check out the Chat Room  page on the site.

With maybe twenty hits per day, occasionally someone like yourself expresses interest, and I am then encouraged to keep on with it.  I continue to edit and make changes, and adding content little by little as time allows. My initial enthusiasm for the potential such a forum could reach still glows underneath all the dead-wood and false starts, and I have the feeling it may well flare up yet. Within the last few days, several very interesting persons have expressed interest in contributing to the endeavor, and only time will tell. 

From what you have already written, I am looking forward to seeing your imaginations and your creation of Who You Are, and what you would like to see manifested in and upon the earth about you.  So continue to let your imagination fly free.   Any time it is easier for you to send private e-mail, you now have my address. Jerry B , web manager New Liberty Village

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February 21, 2000


I really don't get it. Why is freedom so undoubtedly accepted as top of the list? The thing that should be and can't do without. It's time we stop this romantic foolish talks. Time to stop telling stories and leave this demagogy. Before freedom there is strength and willingness to take responsibilities of our decisions, choices we make and actions we take. Or simply stop bullshitting ourselves, that we are reasonable. Freedom is not a good thing, taken as a pure substance. There is no one man! Every single human being is a social animal, and now we want to set him free of his society. Leave him to go where he wants to. And bomb the poor thing with everyday ads, commercials. What if he doesn't  want to be free. As it is for most of the people (including myself) it's too hard for one person to make decisions. Impossible. Most  people are unwilling to make such decisions, because it's too damn responsible. Then why giving "freedom'?  Freedom from what - from the place they love, from the family they have, from their friends and the love they feel? 

Modern society wants from everybody to forget about the others and care only for themselves. We go after some desperate words of lonely scholars, who don't know anything about people, and we still believe that we've found the core of everything.  But you say - I need to rest from this asylum - cities, people. That's right. But in most of the cases we do not go somewhere out of it alone. We need a human soul, we need our tribe, our fireplace, we need to feel that are part of something. Men and women are not born to live alone. They don't need to be free just for freedom's sake.

And another thing - RIGHTS, equal rights. This is another poem that has nothing to do with the real world. There should not be equal rights. Everybody should know where is his place and live with it. There is no equality, people. There never was, never will be.  People are the same, but not equal. This is not natural. Not everybody can be king, or king's wife, or writer, or musician, or who knows what.  Equalizing is a stupid thing.  And the most sad thing is when saying - equal rights, we think of how we shall be rich as Rockefeller.  Everybody should know his rights and stop fighting for equality. There always will be differences.  Beautiful words we are saying, but these are stories for children.  It makes it easier to paint the world and live in it,  but it won't change the world.  It is not a thing about justice.  It's about the way it is.

I'm not sure if I expressed the storm in my mind with several sentences. I guess I'm no good at it, but I tried.

Thanx for reading this!

February 24, 2000
Jerry B.
reply to Freedom?


I highly value your comments, for the intensity of feeling and conviction, and the points you make. Your viewpoints differ from mine, that is the nature of being human, and being individuals. We, now, gratefully so, have the freedom to express our thoughts on the Internet, and the freedom to think what ever we wish, and reach our own conclusions. This to me, as I am sure it is to you, is very important. I very much value this type of discourse, and hope to continue it. To be able to do so, even across oceans is a remarkable, unexpected development in forming world community beyond our families, and various clans and tribes. In a very real sense, our families and neighborhoods are growing, though day to day contact with flesh and spirit is for certain crucial and fulfilling in ways electronic communications are not.  Nothing will take the place of responsibility and the importance of family and community. 

In the arena of individual life, Freedom is indeed imperative and sacrosanct.  In the arena of political, public, decision making, Equality is and should be the by-word, and  is absolutely important. The concept freedom has little meaning when applied to relationships between persons, just as Equality ceases to exist when one is examining the world of ideas, individual talents, aspirations, and choice, and cultural expression.  So in some sense, I agree with some of what you say. Unless one takes the care and thought to understand the nature of freedom and equality and where they apply, used as generalities, neither word is an ideal or ultimate goal, and they are just about meaningless.  On the other hand, discerned and differentiated aright, they provide the highest of standards and are absolutely essential.  For further comment, go to my 
Reply to Velko.Dinov.

February 29, 2000
A reply to Velko,

I don't know if you were serious in your statements, I suppose you may not be about mine.

Hey now,

Freedom to make the choice to be responsible may be a use in freedom. Granted in the US people work to hard to be free to be tired and sleep. The people from other countries think that people here have to work too hard and too much. I also think that the title freedom here is a loss of freedom because this is not a democracy, it is a republic. This is why the use of the word demagogy was quite descriptive of the system in the US and other "democratic' systems. At least in the sense of emotive rallying to gain power and to get paid off to make the choices they do. This is EQUALLY (pardon the pun) true in places without 'freedom'. 'Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely' Therefore, I do not agree that the concept of 'freedom' is necessarily a demagogy.

If there was a return to the tribal life with smaller communities, maybe people would be happier with the decreased level of freedoms. Freedoms to feel forced to leave their family and friends, as you stated, would not be as necessary - breaking down the web. Then again the only way to get there is to have less people. Maybe we could draw straws and the one's with the shorter straws do the Kevorkian thing. No, I forgot that you don't believe in equal rights, maybe the idea would be more nationalist/fascist. . those without freedoms and rights get chosen to be killed?

As I stated, the adage about Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You stated its not about justice. It's about the way it is.

I believe that we must downsize our population to last on this planet, or we are in a race to escape the envelope of it before we rip it off. This may also be the case in the future if you want to 'go out of the asylum' - alone or otherwise.

Perhaps culturing strength and willingness to make decisions is what we need to do, maybe by returning to tribal life or sanitariums. Maybe we will have no choice if there if a world choastrophy. Maybe we can go back to the idea of killing a bunch of us. Or maybe we can ready ourselves to leave this rock. But of the critisms that you have made, I didn't seem to see any better/valid solution or conclusion to the 'place we are', than any of the foolish or romantic talks or poems so critisized as such. The forum isuseful as a place to have a 'family' and/or friends so I am defensive of it. My apologies if my expression is not as polite as the reply of the manager of this site. 

Another reason that freedom should not exist: The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. Most peoples' egos don't digest truth very well, so freedom is not desired, ignorance is bliss. This is the same as the statement that people don't want to make decisions. Cattle, or sheep even better. This takes us back to - maybe the 'free' will to be unwilling to make decisions - straw drawers, I believe. Kinda a paradox, ehh? Ted

February 18. 2000
Jerry B,
Earth Sheltered Building

A Greenbuilding Mailing List member wrote:

Other than building underground there is not much one can do to avoid destruction if a tornado hits directly on most any conventional building.


One of the only pure plays on high probability tornado survivability is underground or fully earth-sheltered construction. There still is an earth shelter construction movement, however such building has not been shown to be cost-effective against conventional construction unless one assumes a tornado or other heavy weather event "will hit" during the building lifetime. We like to use 50 years for such life cycle assessments, but there are other factors.

I believe we have already been given, in great abundance, what we need to build our shelters and protect ourselves from the elements. No new Edison is required. There are now extant simple, ample ways to avoid the added costs that standard underground/earth bermed structures impose on persons who see the obvious advantages of earth sheltering one's habitat instead of exposing it to wind, fire, water, earthquakes, and the sun. Edison himself turned his attention from electronics to building concrete structures in his latter days. He saw the need for new directions in building.  I think the knowledge and techniques staring us in the face, are just too simple, and inexpensive, for our present commercial mind-sets. Otherwise, it wouldn't have taken so long for them to be noticed.

Use of rounded and free-form shapes eliminates the need for added structural materials to support the mass of earth surrounding earth-sheltered homes or buildings. Irregular shapes can be formed by sculpting the earth with infinite variety of design, and then spraying gunite or pouring concrete over reverse earthen molds to make a thin monolithic shell. Remove the earth and place it around the structure after it sets, and we are well on the way to having a secure, energy independent, and inexpensive shelter.

Costly and complicated insulation and waterproofing can be avoided by applying one layer of waterproofing film directly over the shell, covering it with earth, and then placing an insulating/moisture proofing umbrella over the entire structure, extended 20 feet beyond it's perimeter in all directions. The massive heat storage capacity of dirt, sand and clay is common knowledge. Much of the cost of underground building is now directed to hamper the earth's ability to draw heat into it's mass.  Insulating barriers are placed everywhere to prevent conduction of heat into it's depths. A simple, opposite tact can be taken.

It takes six months for heat to penetrate 20 feet into the earth. If the loss of this warmth into the cooler atmosphere is prevented by such an insulating umbrella, and the earth is kept dry, the expanse of soil, in all directions, becomes a gigantic heat sink, or bank. In the summer time, the unappreciated warmth from the interior of the building is deposited into the bank. When the temperature within the building falls lower than the surrounding protected earth, the warmth is withdrawn back into the interior of the structure. The resulting constant FREE, 65 to 68 degree temperature year round allows for fine tuning in either direction, according to need. The demand for all manner of furnaces, air conditioners, and high-tech tradesmen and manufactures will certainly decline. Rest assured, more sustainable endeavors will be found for human time, talent and energies. Maybe the earth and it's creatures will allow us to stay, after all.

Presently, Portland cement is very energy intensive to mine, manufacture, and transport. This method of building requires much less concrete than today's rectangular underground building practices. The long durability, and the low maintenance requirements for such structures quickly compensates for, and outweighs, the required investment. Other methods and materials may soon be used to support the soils weight. I believe plain sand (silica), will soon be used as the basic building material, melted in place with the sun.  Glass houses will become common, with an infinite variety of design and function, blending into the environment, protected from wind, fire, and the other elements by the earth.

No prophetic powers are required to make such a prediction, just some thought and the will to apply it, to do it. The habitats of mankind can again blend into the environment, and if weather patterns continue to change; the winds howl and the earth shakes, we will be glad we rediscovered the protection the earth affords. Sun tubes and strategically placed windows will soon dispel the "cave" perception of earth sheltered structures. It will, one day, all seem so obvious. IMO Jerry B

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February 10, 2000
Kevin and Donna,
Orange-maple cinnamon carrots .. yum!

Hi all,
Boy do we have a great salad recipe to share. We call it Orange-maple cinnamon carrots..
Here's all you do!
3 or 4 medium sized carrots (organic, of course)
1 table spoon grade B maple syrup
juice of one orange
dash of Cinnamon
3 tablespoons raisin
dash of Celtic sea salt.
Grate the carrot and mix the other ingredients and toss together. Then serve over sprouts, buckwheat greens or fresh, organic lettuce. This is a wonderful, quick, tasty salad.. It also goes great with sprouted Essene bread... enjoy.

For more info on raw recipes check out out the EarthStar Site attached to the New Liberty site. May you all be well and peaceful and happy! Kevin and Donna

January 25, 2000
Jerry B
The Local Store

I have entertained the notion of a Coop, or an Association-type store (new words needed) that sells only locally produced products of all kinds. It could start small. It could eventually arrange for training for persons looking for work, sponsor space for workshops, arrange for financing for means-of-production, and branch out into different economic directions. Maybe call it The Local Store. The Store could provide (sell?) detailed plans and instructions, maybe even materials, for products that could be produced at home.

Many items could be sold on a consignment basis, everybody getting their due, according to what they put into the product and transaction. It would provide impetuous for local exchange, allow for independent living, and provide for control in terms of sustainability ... only Green products would be supported.

The important thing would be that each person would remain his own boss, no person working under another; though associated in a joint venture in which each person had real say, if they so chose. It would be industry, expertise, skill and knowledge determining one's position and earnings. One could invest as little time and effort as one chose. If a homesteader was relatively self-sufficient, but needed a market for some product that could bring in needed cash, they would have it. Every thing voluntary. They would, or would not, take their things in according to choice.

From the consumer point of view, the products would be bought knowing that they were helping support local persons they might even know. They would have knowledge of the conditions under which the products were made. Food items would be fresh and healthy, carrying the vibes of the locality, not California or Florida. Consumers could also sign in for group bulk purchases and other consumer perks.

I think I remember along time ago your saying you were turned off by associations? Are we talking the same word? What was your experience if I may ask? To me, this Local Store idea incorporates the ideals of independence, freedom, entrepreneuralship, the best elements of both capitalism and socialism. What's wrong with the idea? Pie-in-the-sky? Of course it is until it is done.   Jerry B

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January 22. 2000
Mike & Tammy,,
low cost housing 

Kevin and Donna,

Your web page [EarthStar] is great.  It gives me new hope.  I own a few acres of land in the Missouri Ozarks and have been looking to build a low cost home between the rent we pay now and all the other bills it leaves us.  With very little to save, we have been able to scrape together a couple thousand, but when looking at material costs, and the fact that we have only minimal construction experience, we have been discouraged. Your web page has given us new hope. Did you use any green lumber to build?  I know using green lumber would cut our costs by at least 1/3.  I  would like to know what other people's experience was building with less than dry wood.  Please let us know, 
Mike & Tammy

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January 10, 2000
Kevin and Donna

Hi Everyone,
Things are going very well. We've had some nice rain and now the temp is in the lower 70's with lows in the mid 40's. I am still unemployed but loving it very much. I have been receiving phone calls for possible drafting assignments but still not ready to go back to work.

We were invited to an Eck Coffee chat meeting on sat and met some people that seem more like us, so it looks like we will be sharing some of our information with others, especially the sprouting and baby greens. Also Donna and I will be sharing our Bi-Rhythmi work with a couple of people and that may generate some acquaintances for us as well. It gets lonely sometimes out in the wilderness, so it is nice to have some human contact and fresh ideas about spiritual things. Also I discovered a local Buddhist meditation group at the Unitarian Church in Baton Rouge and have attended the Sangha a couple of times already.

The sprouted bread recipe (Essene Bread) we've been working on has finally become consistent and tasty:
Sprout 3 cups of organic soft white wheat and 1/2 cup organic green lentils in a bowl overnight. Then rinse twice daily for two days.  Put the sprouted grain and lentils in a food processor with a table spoon of Celtic salt and a tablespoon of diastatic malt sugar. Add one cup of water and blend till you have a stiff dough.

Lay out a baking sheet and use a wide mouth mason jar lid (the ring part) as a mould. Put one tablespoon of organic rolled oats in the ring and spoon some of the dough into the ring. The rolled oats will keep the bread from sticking so you don't have to use heated oil or grease on the pans. Also the ring shapes the bread into round pieces like little wafers. When you fill up the baking sheet, bake at a low temp (250 degrees or less) for about 50 minutes. When this simple bread is fresh it is wonderful. It only keeps fresh for about two or three days in the refrigerator.

Okay and now.. how to make the diastatic malt sugar.
Sprout a cup of wheat berries for two days, then place them on an iron skillet and roast over night in the oven (at a low temp, under 150 degrees.) Then when it is hard and dry grind them into powder and you will have a natural, sweet substitute at home. The finely ground and toasted sprouted wheat berries, baked in a slow, low temp oven transforms the starch in the whole grain to maltose and dextrin, yeast foods which promote the fermentation process. Keep the malt sugar in the refrigerator and it should stay fresh for about a month. From the Great Heart, Kevin and Donna

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December 28, 1999
Gene Gerue  
How do we take back our country?

..... Vote with your dollars. Educate yourself on which manufacturers and service providers operate with moral principles you admire. Buy their products. Boycott products of the others. If we buy the product of an unethical company, we empower them with dollars, some of which they use to buy politicians. If TJ were alive today, he might follow his "eternal vigilance" admonition with something that includes the need for each citizen to make educated choices between smart and dumb purchases. If we will not make the effort, we will continue to lose freedom. Power seems always to corrupt. History indicates that revolutions of one face or another are cyclical. Successive power mongers become ever more clever. Today they are adept at keeping the masses contented. Those with full bellies rarely go to battle--or take the time to become educated consumers. Here is a post recently received from a friend:

Gene, thanx for the reports from Seattle. That was weird about the fellow paid to be a protestor...huh? I don't really know what to make of it all...The world's various economies, local, regional, global, are most like giant monster collective human stomachs...they really don't pay a lot of attention to politics, law, ethics, morality...just rumble, grind, eat, shit etc. away, eating up the Earth and crapping out toxic sludges of one kind or another in monstrous volumes...Despite all the noise, I fear the WTO is contrived to be the biggest megagut of them all. All encouragements and appreciations to the gutsy protestors, but we may jump around and stamp our feet, but as long as we buy any of the stuff, it/megagut will just rumble along as usual, only getting better and better at its moronic job till all is eaten, digested, and piled up in the steaming heaps that are the object of all terminal entropies. Fundamental, systemic, ecologically based changes of the very processes of economics themselves are all that can make a difference. And good luck to us all, for, alas, there ain't much money in it, and, as per the program, it seems that for all but a few percents, it's money uber alles. el davo 

And so, again, vote with your dollars. And remember, the money you do not spend on necessaries because you produce them is the best money of all. The best purchase is the one not made. The second best purchase is the one made with full knowledge of the true cost. with permission from Gene GeRue Author: How To Find Your Ideal Country Home     As posted to the Homestead mailing list.

"Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency." (Quentin Crisp)

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December 26, 1999
subject: Babble, Babble

Having the intentional community requires some degree of like-mindedness or the cohesiveness, which on the same token makes to limit the size. I've been to one here that Bo Lozoff was living in before he started the current community of his own planning (and fame). Part of the issue of this community by-laws is there is a rule of not allowing guns in the community. Some people would have a problem with such a rule. I do. I appreciate the ideal...

The amount of finance available and the amount necessary is definitely going to govern the growth and process in building such a community, so i believe. Land for the community in a trust fund would be a practical 'score' to prevent the sale of the property or foreclosure for that matter.  We've (loosely used term) looked at issues of finance in community members and the right to a voice in the 'community'. Not having a surplus - nor even adequate capital has provided inspiration. A central perk site and building a concrete shelter with all the amenities required for emergency shelter for the community seems a must. Then individuals (households) can build their own shelters as they see fit. Yurts and tepees seem to be popular - in some cases as all that is necessary for some peoples ideas of simplicity.  In other cases as interim shelters until log cabins or stone structures are built.

I've explored the ideas of have and have nots. People with sums of money-say ten grand, could make a down front investment to build at the ground floor to have a voice. People without money of that kind could donate a minimum amount of time (labor skills, tools, etc) for their voice. People in the past always helped their neighbors build and/or repair each others dwellings. . .

Issues have been weather patterns i.e. flood zones - now or possible in future, fault lines (there is a lot of instability along much of the east coast that is not considered because of inactivity for so long) - there are many showing signs of re-activity, types of possible food in the area, etc.  Another is great land next to a 'created' lake that is so polluted people are warned against eating fish out of or even swimming in. Found great spots for good prices downwind from a medical waste incinerator and near the fall zone of nuclear plants or spent fuel-rod storage spots.

I do not know if this input is useful or not. If so, I'd enjoy touching base and babbling some more. For now, I feel as though I've rambled enough. TED

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December 21,1999

Hey now,
i just spent a few hours in here - wanting to address one thing or another, place after the other. Waited until the rounds have been made. Happy entry to the third year there. Should i enter comments in each person/subject/place on just go on? Well,----------- i'm not sure how the library is being designed.

Kevin and Donna mentioned the BELL as something located through the biogenic society. That is true and credit be due a lot of information they espout seems to be from Edmond Bordeaux Szekely's stuff. His daughter does not use computers so can not be contacted that way. i'll not post the address here. One can get the address from Joanne's site(s). The information that she has compiled is incredible in as far as the amount of leg work she has done. It is:   There are links galore from there as well! The permaculture people in Australia and New Zealand that focus on biogenics were influenced by E.B.Szekely as was a lot of groups of one kind or another around the world. He spoke 14 languages, translated Sumerian, started the first Golden Door, wrote eighty some books on everything from TRUE intentional community and individual sustainability on down the line. Oddly enough only a few libraries in this country (US) have any copies though the books are in English (as well as French, Spanish, Japanese, and so on. His books seem simple and short but packed with knowledge and insight for the serious student.

The amount of study that has been done (theory and practice) by your group seem to range from rigorous attentative to catch as catch can. i grew most of my own food organically by the time i was twenty-five. A book that was of import to my success was called Carrots Love Tomatoes - dealing with companion gardening issues (such as stuff like the dandelion roots to produce space for earthworms - the French intensive gardening-or double digging as someone called it in your site - the use of morning glory to draw bugs away from the veggies - etc). i long for the return to such peace and reverence with the garden.

i will have a page in operation soon since i seem to have become more active in 'the world' than i wished to be -soon. Have helped organize a few communal environs as well. Have a degree in criminal justice and philosophy, interned at police department, riot control and body guard courses. . etc. Teach martial arts and yoga. Interned with Physical therapist for a decade. Am alternative medicine practitioner with Duke (herbalogist, massage 'therapy'). Have managed a community center for six years come April 2000. Worked with children in hospital as well as public schools, do currently at a friends school. Will try to start hospice training when i find time. Am on the staff at the Durham food co-op and was just lucky enough to get elected to the board there (joke- i was tryng to dodge it at the last second by not filling out application). There is balance issue between corporate business and idealistic-want to be progressive-while not noticing that the paradigm has shifted the other direction from the outdated ideas that are about to cause the structure of such 'radicalness' to sink.

i could babble forever and say little about nothing probably. is a great place to check out unless the McKeena stuff scares people. Another inspirational piece of 'media' is to check out Hakim Bey's TAZ. Like i just wrote i'd love to check out "what's goin' on" there. i've been immersed in attempting to eventually developing a nearly self-sufficient community as a harbor for inner city youth that have been 'in trouble' to have place to retreat to to escape their environ and rebuild their schemas by learning skills. The gnostics, essenes, benedictians, pythagoreans, zorastorians, hunzas, mayans, carpathians peoples and so on have been a great source of inspiration for all this. i have been neglecting myself way too much however and 'defiance of logic has harsh consequences'. More from here soon maybe. Peace,TED

December 27, 1999
subject: Hakkim Bey

I don't believe I made it clear that the Hakkim Bey work I was writing to you about was the cassette/CD type of inspiration. The piece was called TAZ and is in written/book form. I am usually a proponent of reading a book rather than a movie or such as a type of media-ation. The spoken word - in this case - is an exception for the ability to absorb and grasp the concepts that are laid out. The reading of it is just too heavy, trust me - I tried. If you haven't discovered it yet, be aware that the approach will seem quite radical and may need to be listened to a couple of times without judgement in order to appreciate it - in MY OPINION.  Peace, TED

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December 27, 1999
Jerry B
subject: Edmond Bordeaux Szekely

Perhaps you could answer a question for me. Did Edmond Szekely purport that Jesus actually said the things that he writes as coming from his mouth? Or does he make clear anywhere these are things that he imagines Jesus would have said? I remember that when reading his Essene Gospel of Peace, I think it was, there was an extensive quote attributed to Jesus about love, almost a word for word quote from Paul's famous letter about love. There is a different level of significance to me whether a work is based on fact or is fiction, or someone's impressions. Not that both cannot be valuable, but I like to know. For example Casteneda's works would have different significance to me if I knew the incidents and words attributed to Don Juan actually occurred, and were not artistic license. I'd REALLY like to know about it  if Jesus' word's about eating flesh and killing animals were actually said by him. How does one distinguish truth and fiction in Szekey's work if he makes false claims as to who said what? This question certainly must have been addressed by him. Do you know where?   Jerry B

December 29, 1999
subject: Paul's Letter

As shattering as it would be to some people's faith - Bordeaux purports that all of which was written as gospels were not really from were they were stated. He outlines how documents were doctored and/or destroyed, given different authors and so forth. To say that Paul's letter was the original writing or version is difficult to reach for. That this letter was a rewritten/translation that was placed as being from his hand is a better explanation.

The book by Cicero that convinced Augustine to turn to Christianity was destroyed by the 'church' for gosh sake. . .The book that was written by Szekely that outlined much of the church-shattering information is The Essene Origins of Christianity previously known as How The Great Pan Died. That there were two 'Jesus' characters - one pious and as teacher of right living, the other a rebellious character that preached overthrow of the state by violence if possible is outlined. The two had their lives historically intertwined by that entity that became known as the church - that was none the less the apocalyptic Jews that gained the foothold in a movement that had no real 'leaders'. A few centuries of propaganda stating persecution of Christians by the Roman state that didn't happen, and by placing Jewish rebels that were persecuted as Christians influenced the view of history forever. Then leading the 'barbarians' in to overthrow Rome with the 'Church' being one of the few places not destroyed meant that there would be one voice to prevent common folk from learning to read or even have a copy of the bible in the centuries that followed. Dates of writings on Jesus that were made by historians weren't even placed during the life time of many of the historians.

Szekely did his homework so well that reading the stuff requires a stack of reference material just to keep up with who he was talking about and why; it did me.
As I had mentioned before, the books from IBS-International Biogenic Society are worthy of study and further the Socratic method. I thank you Jerry for your interest in this perplexing arena and for getting me espousing words. I had planned to refrain from doing so for a while. . . . . . .Peace, TED

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August 24, 1999
Neighbors are the beginning of community
Gene Gerue: /

...People wounded by negative experiences or information--common city conditions--need new understandings if they are to enjoy country life. Maybe that's a book. We have here spent many hours on the value of community. Just talk? The beginning of local community is the individual, the family, the nearest family, and the next nearest after that. Until we respect ourselves, our family members, our neighbors, our community members, we aren't living, we're just surviving. Until we practice a golden rule we will impair ourselves and others and we will feed lawyers, courts, coroners. Until we govern ourselves we will be governed by ever more laws.

Until we live from a position of love rather than fear our human world has no better future. It is much easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. At one time or another each of us has met someone with whom it appears it is impossible to enjoy mutual respect. Life ain't easy. But it is worth trying to improve.

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?

with permission from Gene GeRue, author: How To Find Your Ideal Country Home

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August 24, 1999
Social Evolution

Jim Stark,

Human 1 (our caveman ancestors) somehow "morphed" into Human 2 (Homo sapiens). We can now become "Human 3," and change the world profoundly by doing so. A new economic model needs to be considered.

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August 19, 1999
Monsanto and the UN

Jerry B:

The fact that most of the media is now owned lock, stock, and barrel by Mega-Corporation bed-fellows does not bode well for majority opinion making, but hopefully over-seas reaction will encourage us to think for ourselves.  Jerry B

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August 20, 1999
Gene Gerue

Yes, I am personally encouraged that various Europeans are giving strong resistance to GE products. At this point I really don't care if their motivation is to retain economic autonomy or if they perceive that the U.S.A. food system is badly out of the control of consumers or if they just want food they can feel good about--probably all three.

We have been abysmally complacent, have allowed power mongers to gain so much control that they now threaten to control our vital necessities, to provide those necessities as they see fit, and of course to charge what they will. We are a young nation and as a social group we are naive. Europeans have lived through many versions of what we now face and so better understand the ramifications of government power and collusion with wealth. Judging by today's television programming, commercials, and the best-seller lists, it appears to me that the average American is shallow, self-absorbed, and not well-informed, hence easily manipulated.

The Sept/Oct 1998 issue of The Ecologist is the only publication I know of that has provided in-depth reporting on the evils of Monsanto, including the U.S. taxpayer-funded Terminator Technology. It is appalling that U.S. publications have provided no meaningful exposure of what appear to be huge efforts to gain control of vital supplies--seeds, food, pharmaceuticals--all for the purpose of huge profit, mindless of ecological or human consequences. BTW, The Ecologist is available on microfilm from University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb St., Ann Arbor, MI. The Ecologist editorial offices are at Unit 18, Chelsea Wharf, 15 Lots Road, London SW10 0QJ. E-mail addy is Pass it on.   Gene Gerue author of How to Find Your Ideal Country Home

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August 4. 1999
August 4. 1999
August 4. 1999
Subject: Viability

It would seem to me that a town like this with such strong social ties would have to start out small. Then grow bit by bit with the ground work being laid along the way. These ideas are so "different" from the status quo that you might actually have to attract people. Other wise your town would stay static with the few people living there. The problem is to balance producing capabilities with the demand of the community. Still you would have to start from scratch! Then let people know what your doing. Sort of like those planned communities in Florida..i.e. Sea Side.

Just thought I'd point things out that would stare you in the face anyways.  Urse

August 4, 1999
Jerry B

I think you are right. In my imagination, (and I will have to show it clearer by sticking in a few McDonalds, Safeways etc) the persons who are beginning to see things differently, and starting up associative economic ventures, are still part of the larger community who still do things the old ways. I guess they also have available the regular means of supply, but should the grocery stores and other vulnerable standard business ventures fail, they will be in better position to survive an economic collapse, disruptions from nature, whatever, hopefully serving as models for the population at large.  Their own gardens and joint ventures producing helpful survival tools will put them in better stead than those performing jobs that do not directly provide these things, but items or services often unconnected to local life. A few persons in the middle of regular circumstances, meeting together, thinking out better ways, starting from scratch, experimenting and laying the groundwork for something bigger as it grows might well attract a lot of attention when finding alternatives obviously become a very serious matter.

Of course off, in the distance, in the future, is the New New Liberty Village, a plot of land where interested persons can really structure things the way they want, and manifest some novel, worthwhile innovations to make a new world for themselves. Do you have ideas to share about what we might do? This beginning on-line community is in something of the same boat ... although apparently hundreds of persons have visited the site, only a few are interested enough to add any input. Anyway you see to change the site, or add to our bank of ideas?  I would like to hear about Sea Side in Florida, and will do a search on it. Thank you for your comments.  Jerry B

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August 4. 1999
August 4. 1999
Subject: Viability

I Just realized that I never said thank you.

If I'm correct in thinking that the web-manager is also the creator of this little on-line village. You've givin me hope for a better future. If the web-manager isn't then would you please do me the favor of saying thank you to him. I'm only 18 and I am looking forward to creating something to the effect of New Liberty Village. This life thats been set up for me won't make me happy, just like what I am doing now isn't making me happy. (being forced into a mold). But one step at a time. You've given me a frame work and some Great ideas! As long as you keep growing, I'll keep coming back. Take care, Till Then.

August 6, 1999
Jerry B

Your note of appreciation means a great deal to me. You are correct that I am the originator of New Liberty Village. I wondered when I began, if persons, who might not otherwise,  share their own dreams (and frustrations) if given the opportunity in such a cyber village. Having the chance to express what has become important to me definitely released some tension, and I thought others, actually more than have, would volunteer their own ideas and experience. I certainly knew I didn't have all the answers, and there seemed so few viable alternatives being presented. 

Though I am now much older than you, (59) I think I feel the same yearning for fuller expression of my life and being, in down-to-earth ways; still a searing fire which present social forms would put out, definitely not encourage. The nine-to-five, cradle-to-retirement paths laid out never encompassed my aspirations and hopes. This site, and the Village, is really still an open canvas, and with such encouragement as yours,  I will assume there are those who are getting some hints at what I have so rudimentarily suggested, and await  the day when you and others paint your strokes, either here, or on your own, further filling in the picture of what this world could become! There is a true basis for having a sense of purpose, and joy for meeting the new day! Thank you so much, Urse )

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July 31,1999
Subject: Taking Stock of NLV
Jerry B

After spending a lot of time on a major move, I am ready to again devote more energy to the site.  I want any visitor that happens by to know that if he or she has any ideas about life-style, social invention, alternative building and tools, gardening, health and diet ... any better way, please feel free to convey them to us ( is one way).  I will try to see that they get published in New Liberty Village in the form they wish. I figure there must be many persons that have not yet taken the time to develop web publishing skills, or even writing skills, and would like to see and share their ideas and experiences on the web.   I am sure that much valuable information goes unshared simply because not everyone feels he or she has the ability to write a polished article or comment, or can themselves design a web page. This site's purpose is to provide this opportunity. While not a  professional writer, or web designer, myself, I'll do what I can to help, and as the demand increases, seek volunteers, as needed, to help edit visitors' input, or design pages, as requested.

So if you want to tell us about what you have learned and done, or would like to do, please add it to the fledgling bank of information called New Liberty Village. Try it out.  I will attempt to follow your suggestions as to where and how you want your material to appear. The address (URL) of the specific page upon which your comment or articles appear can, of course, be given to whomever you will.

As an example, Kevin and Donna heard of New Liberty Village through a search engine, and in this discussion group, first told us about their life style and the real-life home they were building. They took us up on the offer to publish in NLV, for free, what they submitted to me, and the result is . They sent photographs and articles they had written (and still do), and occasionally contribute to this discussion group, as you see.  It is my hope that a variety of persons with their own ideas of how to live, how to build, how to educate, how to get and stay healthy, etc. will add their two cents worth.   It is hoped that soon the site will be a place that those looking for better ways can come to;  freely taking what suggestions they wish to take, deciding what works for them, and what does not.  I want to emphasize, I have, as editor, no program to push, no desire to impose any of my own ideas or behavior, but am myself seeking the information I am providing space for, for my own use in my own life. Uniformity of thought is the  last thing I'd desire for the site! Sincerity and good will are the only requirements, aside from assuring the site remains strictly non-commercial, educational, and fun, for  the contributors, the visitors and me!

I hope soon to be able to change the format so my own ideas and points of view are separate from the main body of the site, placing them within my own pages, like any one else's.   I do not want anyone to have to carry the onus of my own beliefs, or think they have to see things as I do, to participate.  Visitors hopefully feel  free to express their own point of view, even if obviously opposed to my own.  There has been too much ambiguity about this to date, I realize.

I expect it to take sometime for the site to gain trust in the eyes of it's visitors and potential posters. What directions will it take in the future? How will their postings be used? Is this a community of persons they'd want their name to be associated with?   What's really in it for the originator of the site? Will their expression endanger them in any way,  take up too much time, or otherwise be an imposition? All valid questions, only time will answer these questions for new visitors.  I appreciate the courage shown by those who have already participated in this new forum, and will continue to try be worthy of the trust placed in me as editor!  Jerry B

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May 31, 1999
Rick and Grace,
Sustainable Housing Okla Tornado

There are a number of people in Oklahoma interested in alternative housing, especially straw bale, since wheat is in abundance. I am trying to create an outreach to find homeless tornado victims who would be interested in building alternative housing, and perhaps a foreman, architect, and volunteers. Also, people who could donate materials. We need to do this as a start in Oklahoma.

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May 7, 1999
Kevin Johnson  ''

Here is a great story my friend sent me. It's so true: 

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor." The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"   To which the American replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, senor?" The American laughed and said that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.

"Millions, senor? Then what?" The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos." kevin

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May 3, 1999
Creating a Sustainable World

Hi, beautiful place here. I wish everywhere was like this. I would like you all to visit my new website:

It focuses on developing an ever-improving list of low-tech sustainable ideas thru global collaboration. To help individuals and groups make themselves and their neighborhoods self-sustainable before 2000, it's possible, possibly. At least, its worth trying. Global collaboration is the key, and I hope you will learn the joy of global collaboration for a sustainable world! I live in San Francisco and now I need to figure out how to make my own home a model for low-tech sustainability. I am a technology challenged person, but I want to get past that. Hope this interests you and we connect. Love, Tom O (bagelhole1)

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April 1,1999
To: ''
Subject: Friends

Recently I heard a neat story about the importance of kindness and tolerance in friendship. It seems there was a small boy that had a bad temper. So his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day, the little kid drove 37 nails into the fence. Over time, the number of nails dwindled down, and the boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than it was to drive those nails into the fence.

Eventually the day came when he didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father wisely suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

As the days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his dad that all the nails were gone, the man took his son by the hand, led him to the fence and praised his accomplishment. "You have done very well, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. "When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, but no matter how many times you say you are sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

This story really makes me realize how valuable and rare friends are, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to be the best you can be. They are willing to lend an ear, share a word of praise, and open their hearts to us. We should all try to show our friends and family how much we care about them.  Kevin J

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January 30, 1999
Kevin & Donna,
Cost of Living Simply

Dear Friends,
Often we are asked to respond to questions concerning our annual budget, to explain the cost of living the primal lifestyle in the light of today's economic situation.  I don't think it is possible to give an exact, actual figure in dollars because, as we go along, there are always uncertainties that arise, unforeseen expenses that blow every budget.  But I can say this,
the more we "improvise and adapt" our lifestyle, going from the level of "want" to a greater emphasis on "need", we continuously discover how little money it actually takes per year to live.  In other words, the process of moving toward higher levels of voluntary creative simplicity has enabled us to see how important it is to do this:  Get wants and needs to be the same...or at least get as close to that as possible.  It's not a matter of "how much money does it take to live simply", but rather, how much is enough.  I think it's an ongoing, living process, one that is bound to fluctuate depending upon individual needs and circumstances.   That is why Donna and I emphasize the development of life-skills that promote self reliance and independence, such things as, growing indoor greens, eating raw foods, learning how to build things, working with wood, fixing roofs, prudent money management, fixing tires, on and on... learning how to be a jack of all trades... This moves one in the direction of self sufficiency, i.e., primary reinforcement.

But to answer the question directly, I can say this.  The original cost of the land (2 1/2 acres), the bathhouse, cistern and the B.E.L.L. was $22,150. I still pay medical insurance for my three kids and child support.  Our grocery bill is about $180 per month, the electric bill is around $9.00 or $10.00 per month, we catch rainwater exclusively so there is no water bill, auto insurance is about $600 a year, we pay no rental costs, gasoline and maintenance on the truck averages about $190 a month, propane is about $120 a year.  Since we cook very little (using an alcohol stove) fuel is about
$20.00 a year to cook! So figuring all this, the cost of our living expenses, including the child support  and entertainment, a little eating out every once in a while or taking the kids to a movie, Christmas and birthday's and a little maintenance on the B.E.L.L. or around the land, our annual expenses come to around $17,500 per year.   And I plan to lower that
over the next few years! All in all, this has allowed me the opportunity to only have to work about 6 to 8 months out of the year, accomplish everything I want and still save money for retirement.

I really hope that answers the question.  Thank you all for writing.

Kevin & Donna

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January 19, 1999
subject: Social Invention Site
Nicholas Albery

Noting your interest in social inventions, I thought you might be interested
in making a link to our site, run by the Institute for Social Inventions.
The site is the Global Ideas Bank and has several encyclopedias worth of
social inventions which the public can vote on. It is accessed about 3
million times a year.
With best wishes, Nicholas Albery <>
The Institute for Social Inventions   |  Tel +44 [0]181 208 2853
*also* The Natural Death Centre       |  Fax +44 [0]181 452 6434
20 Heber Road, London NW2 6AA, UK
ISI/Global Ideas Bank is at
NDC/Funerals info:

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December25. 1998
Kevin & Donna,,
Voluntary Creative Simplicity & the BELL

Hi, just a short note about what we are doing. When we met in 1992, Donna and I were looking for another way to live, outside of the entanglement and consumerist society.   Since then we've made incredible progress and feel motivated to share our discoveries. In reading about earth-friendly alternatives we came across the idea of a simple dwelling called the B.E.L.L. (biogenic ecodesic living lighthouse).  It is a 309 sq ft 8-sided, circular dwelling that contains 22 windows all the way around. Construction cost less than $5000. It facilitates a healthy lifestyle in communion with nature, and minimizes fuel and utility costs. One can actually live in a BELL without the need of electricity, or at least, rely on a PV system only. Heat is by wood stove. The major advantage is the use of space and the ability to grow indoor greens, such as wheat grass, buckwheat and sunflower, because of the abundance of fresh air and light. The indoor greens make up 50% of our diet, thereby reducing our food bill significantly. We are able to minimize the need for a large kitchen and garden, are able to catch rainwater, which also reduced our need for installing a well or relying on city/rural water hookup. We are hoping others are interested in this unique life-generating lifestyle that promotes ecological and environmental responsibility.

December 25,1998
Re: Voluntary Creative Simplicity & the BELL
Jerry B
ICQ chat, number 22180390 

Kevin and Donna,

Merry Christmas! Every statement you made about your BELL house; heating with wood, growing indoor greens, your diet, your rainwater catch system, etc. has filled me with questions. Of what materials is the house built? Did you build it yourself? With that many windows, is loss of heat a problem? What part of the country do you live? You must be familiar with the writings of Ann Wigmore concerning wheat grass, sprouts and other live foods? My wife and I want to know more about your diet. How has your diet helped you? How much detail are you willing to share? Could you kindly send us any other comments or articles? If you can send drawings and plans, or photo's we will publish them here in this site. When we begin building the new online community, we can include your type of house, and if you wish, will devote a separate web page to it. Sure hope to hear more!   Jerry B

December 27, 1998
Re: Voluntary Creative Simplicity & the BELL
Kevin & Donna,,

Hi Jerry,    We were very glad to find your response concerning our work toward creating a more sustainable lifestyle.  We tried to be very brief with our post, but had no idea anyone would actually be interested.  In answer to your questions: Donna and I live in Louisiana.  We have 2 1/2 acres in the country.  We built the BELL ourselves, having very little construction skills.  We used standard building material (2x4, 2x6, etc) and saved a lot of money using rough sawn boards from a local sawmill.  The BELL is very rustic and cute.  We purchased double insulated 2x3 windows and installed 3 windows on each side, except for the side with the door, which only contains one window.  What we wanted to do was create a dwelling that could be lived in without the need for electricity if and when it might become necessary. The design can easily be adapted to different climates. The purpose of the windows is to provide natural heating and cooling, but it is necessary to have a small wood stove or propane heater. At present, our electric bill seldom exceeds $10.00 per month. The original source of the information about the BELL was written by Edmond Szekely, who translated the Essene Gospels and wrote extensively about the Essenes and their way of life. He found the design from a group of people living an Essene-type life in Europe during the 1920's.  His construction ideas were applicable for living in Canada.  We found all of this the most hopeful, practical and uplifting information we've ever come across.  We would love to send you a photo of the BELL, but we are still finishing up on the construction.  So give us a little while.

    We have read Ann Wigmore and studied sprouting and fruitarianism from people like Viktorus Kulvinskas, Morris Krok and many others in the raw foodist community.  But what we wanted to do, is put together a realistic, useful way of eating that would facilitate easy, simple living in the BELL; obviously, that doesn't include eating a standard, predominately, cooked diet.  We still eat some cooked food because we enjoy it, but it is very basic - such as brown basmati rice, sprouted beans, simple soups, etc.  And this is mostly done with a sun oven.  The only kind of stove we use now is a trangia alcohol stove, which can be used inside.  We feel that eating a small amount of cooked, and growing indoor greens, sprouted grasses and raw fruits and vegetables is a happy medium between the extremes of meat and dairy consumption and total raw-foodism.  What we are doing is probably more acceptable to more people who are looking for real, practical and workable solutions to many of the problems of ill-health, high cost of groceries, medical bills, cooking preparation time, etc.  We have worked on this stuff for six years now.

In the beginning we were trying to eat de-hydrated veggies and cook on an open fire in a hole in the ground.  Consequently, we became fat, tired, sickly and exhausted all the time.  Furthermore, Donna's 27 year condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome became worse.  We had to find something else to do.  Cooking food like the old time homesteaders was too wasteful of water and too time consuming.  Since then, with the new way of diet, which we call natural nutrition, we have lost weight (I lost 55 pounds) and Donna has become completely well.  You should see her work on the land now!  And we don't have to spend more than about 15 minutes a day preparing food.  What a relief.  Furthermore, it gets easier and easier to practice fasting, meditation, yoga, etc.

Donna and I are finishing up a small book about our experiences.  We are providing construction detailed drawings on the BELL., and instructions on the natural diet, including information on growing indoor greens, sprouts and foods than can easily stored in case there are times of natural disaster or food shortages.  We discuss the mistakes we've made and our discoveries along the way.  We tried to keep it very concise, practical and bottom line..  The book is entitled "Primal Conscious Living."  At present the book is finished, we just need to complete the drawings, which will take about 2 or 3 more weeks.  We want to submit it to Chelsea Green Publisher's, but if they are not interested, we'll just print copies ourselves and make it available to whoever finds it interesting.  Since we've worked out all this ahead of time, we're not trying to make money off a book in order to go off and do it.

Hope I've answered all your questions.  What you suggested about a spot on the web sounds exciting.  We don't know much about computers so we'd need your help.  Thanks for your interest. Kevin and Donna

January 22, 1999
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Further information about EarthStar and Primal Conscious Living can now be found at Kevin's and Donna's new NLV Home Site
, EarthStar. Plans for their real-life home, The B.E.L.L., and other topics, are included.  It appears that the B.E.L.L. will be one of the first structures to be built in the New New Liberty Village community! Any one else have ideas and plans for alternative housing to share, and other life-style suggestions?

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December 20, 1998
(subject)  religion in the history of west. urban design
(NAME)  Yonca,,
I am not sure whether this is the right place but I am looking for the role of religion and dictatorial rulers in the history of western urban design, that is how they effect the development of cities in the history of the western world.
If anyone has any information or can direct me to a useful source I would be most appreciative. Thank you.

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July 3, 1998
subject:  it is about time

Like i said in i think the cafe to Al, this is way cool. I have had a vision like this for almost 30 years. i am pleased to find you. i hope i can be of help if only for new ideas. i know that there are people out there in the real world getting communities going because i have been reading about them for a long while now. i own some land here and plan on building a home for me and my daughter as soon as my divorce is final (blink). i have 3 friends that seem to share my vision of having a home with only foot access to the home, parking at the entrance, etc. i will be the gatekeeper so to speak. i am calling this place Panther Gulch because many years ago i saw a black panther run across the bottom of this gulch and now that i own the land i feel it should have an appropriate name. there is a spring on this property right at the entrance to the property and i feel like i am the protector of at least a very small piece of waterway, that eventually runs into the Buffalo River, one of the 10 most cleanest rivers in the usa. after growing up next to one of the ten dirtiest the Passaic River in New Jersey this is my slice of heaven!!!  Natalia

name:  natalia
subject:  dang i have been looking for like minded people and  maybe i found them??!!
this is the best. i have had a vision like this for probably almost 30 years. i am a mom and grandma 47 years young. i will soon be building some kind of home for me and my daughter. actually someone else will do the actual construction as i am a klutz with heavy tools. i have a problem here where i live with men who have a real stupid outlook about women who know what they want so don't quite know how to go about finding a builder that will be an honest kind of person, any suggestions? Natalia

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June6, 1998
subject:  world needs us

I think the world needs us, but not how we have been to the world. Our attitudes have to change in order the make it a pleasant place for all of us. People litter all the time saying that a few pieces of garbage just going around wont hurt anyone. That is true, but since a lot of people think this, then a lot of people do this. Eventually it builds up to great depths. It is so easy to just recycle and to put things in the right places, but almost everyone is to lazy to do so. If you keep doing this, eventually we are all going to die because of litter. litter builds up and makes the air dirty, than plants and animals wont be able to breath and will die, which will leave us without any food to eat. We will starve to death. It is happening as you read this, so when you have something to throw away, please, put it in the right place. Kids do this all the time, but not there parents. The parents need to set a good example for us kids. thank you.   Sarah Klein age 12

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May 3,1998
name:  Jerry Collette
subject:  economics

Saw your post about this site on the bdnow email group. I liked what you said about being something different than the capitalist/socialist dichotomy, but if you're selling your results for money, it's still capitalistic. I believe that to get beyond that, we have to totally transcend the greed based economy and come from pure service. At that point, there will be no need for money, accounts, or anything like that. It will be a big shift, but it is just what the world needs. I pray for the day it happens and hope to see it in my life.     Yours in Service,  Jerry
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April 26, 1998
name:  Geci
subject:  Theories of Planning
I am an architect and urban planning grad student and am interested in doing a week-long study on limits, advantages, and
overlaps of utopian and reformist thinking. I am interested in collecting any opinions, real-life historical/current examples to
look into, or anything else that I may follow up on. I hope to submit the resultant paper to this site as an article, and will give credit to any responses that I am able to use. Please respond via e-mail. Thanks!   Geci

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April 26, 1998
James Avery
subject:  Your ideals in real life.
 I am doing a dissertation on two places which I believe are trying - in some respects - to follow the ideals you are espousing:
Poundbury Village in England, commissioned by Prince Charles, and Disney's Celebration. Both are very community focused - but then you may well argue Celebration, being an example of complete corporate control is much worse than any 'normal' village.

Any pointers to other 'real life' settlements could always help\in my research, I'd be glad to debate the issue over e-mail with anyone who wants to. James Avery, University of Edinburgh Dept of Architecture.

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subject:  general
Feb. 19,1998
It's all very well having this quaint little site, but can a sense of reality be injected into it ; like what if an alcoholic moved into the area with his anti-social kids; what if a drug dealer moved in? I would like to see a site that could deal with scenarios like these. I would be able to offer or pose many problems based on actual occurrences.

If your site is able to offer through its many contributors constructive information on such like please E-mail me.      almac

Feb.21, 1998
Jerry B:
re: general

Our imaginary community does not exclude certain persons from moving into it. So such persons as you speak of do move into New Liberty Village. Like other communities, we have laws, one being a law that makes it illegal and subject to prosecution to sell controlled substances to minors. These laws are derived from a true democratic forum and vote process that, to an unusual degree, represents the views of our citizens. Lengthy and lively debate stands behind each  limit placed on individual freedom when others are affected by our behavior. A drug dealer, if caught, would come before our magistrate, if it were determined there was sufficient cause, he could be held over in jail until the person accused selected a judge and jury from a list of available citizens who have volunteered for a set time for their particular duty. Sentencing and treatment of the person will be based on thorough consideration of the individual person, his needs and motives in relationship to the communities needs and offerings. Once a lawbreaker has been arraigned, persons and peers from the "private" sector, not government employees, decide the actions and immediate fate of the one who has broken social regulations. The government, the Human rights group only makes the arrangements for the activities to be carried out, and if need be, even incarcerate individuals till the private individual citizens meet together and come to settlements and arrangements with the accused.

Being in the formative stage, many of our citizens are meeting once a week in the community center, debating and deliberating a whole list of issues, included whether, and in what form, drugs should be legalized or not. The difference in our town is that the vote of each persons of voting age has equal power and voice of every other person, each person determining how he or she himself would expect to be treated, not some wealthy vested interest or powerful government committee or organization. We are surprised how educated and concerned the general public is on such matters, and are able to see in clear relief how often the present laws of the land do not always reflect the majority view, such as on drug regulation. When one out of 135 males are incarcerated in prisons in the United States, it should be evident that revaluation of our legal system and more basic, the ramifications of our society at large, must soon occur. Some pretty basic things obviously are amiss.

Laws and group enforcement are the last recourse only when one's behavior has disrupted other's well being to the point
something must be done to change the situation. If adequate opportunities are allowed growing persons at an early enough age, and these persons know in actuality that he or she can determine his or her own life, they are much more likely tol choose activities that give him or her a feeling of confidence , self-esteem, and a sense of purpose. Having experienced the joys of accomplishment, waking up in the morning with a number of things to do that one looks forward to with major parts of one's being, knowing that neighbors and friends are immediately available in intimate ways, one's desires and needs for the types of sensations and awareness that drugs and alcohol provide for are certainly lessoned or never arise.

When the feeling of backbone, confidence, and strength comes from within ones own being, rather than loaned by some outer substance, the implications for a society and it's individuals are great indeed! Psychological or spiritual muscles are developed that offer one the chance to respond in a variety of ways. Someone who hasn't developed these stengths are limited to narrow choices. Our village, by providing that individual attention is available to learn appropriate and desirable occupations and vocations as one reaches the age one explores ones interests and particular talents, results in far fewer frustrated and bored young people. Those that have not found a chance to respond, or learned how, never develop the ability to respond, or responsibility. Unused muscles grow weaker, especially if vehicles such as drugs or alcohol are relied on to do the work and replace personal exercise of choice and a wide variety of stimulating, confidence building, rather than destructive, experiences.

Because our movement is towards decentralization into smaller communities, local economy, and strong interpersonal bonds derived from our free economic associations, a new and vital sense of community is present few of us had experienced before. We each see clearer what our part is in the overall scheme of our joint daily life. When one of us seems bent on self destructive or group destructive behavior, more persons learn of it and are affected by it than in the anonymous roles we played before. Our peer pressures and "gang" activities have a different set of values and ambitions. We have more opportunities to get "high" on life. When one begins to show signs of distress or discouragement, someone is more likely to notice. If a teenager comes before the attention of the courts here, a whole bevy of local citizens is called upon to involve themselves in the individuals life, people in our town who have volunteered for such "duties" just because they find it gratifying to help out someone in need. A young person will spend little time behind bars or in isolation. Rehabilitation simply becomes getting into life, discovering what one really thrives on, and making the most of opportunities provided in the community. When individuality is at stake, our free Individual/cultural/spiritual Life is the realm that interfaces on a person to person basis. As our village develops, more concrete examples can be given.  We are not utopian, nor do we unrealistically limit our citizenship only to perfected or conforming persons! Jerry B

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Alternative Earth-friendly Housing
Nov. 28, 1997
I live at City of the Sun Foundation near Columbus, New Mexico.  We, as members are vastly distinct personalities, but many wish to build sustainable alternative homes, or just explore what can be built.  Would like to communicate with like-minded builders.  We are in touch with the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces, and also with Alternative Construction Workshops at Kingston, New Mexico, some of which links back to the Nader Khalili workshops in Hesperia, California.  Many people need and can benefit from alternative homes, composting toilets, solar energy.  Thanks, Maya

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Nov. 28, 1997

Is the Foundation you are a member of a type of intentional community? You mention the Nader Khalili workshops. I just recently visited his Cal-Earth web-site, and was introduced to their use of earth bags in construction. Do you know anyone who has attended the workshops in California, or are actually building earth-bag dwellings to live in, in New Mexico? Do the Alternative Construction Workshops have a web-site? I am interested in learning more about this method, which uses any available soil or sand to fill bags, and barb-wire to keep them in place. I was very impressed with the appearance of their structures. I wonder if they ever berm or cover the structures with earth, and how difficult it is to line the inside surfaces. Do you intend to build a house yourself?

I recently have came across another related site you may be interested in,  hhtp://  especially their work with CEB, (Compressed Earth Blocks), another new concept to me. I want to further explore and experiment with this method when the weather clears. Your New Mexico sands should make good reverse forms for shoring either compressed block or sprayed or poured concrete domes. Jerry B.

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November 4. 1997

A Typical town?
Some of my confusion, I guess, is that I don't see New Liberty Village as anything radically different than a nice small town, not all that different from hundreds (thousands?) of small towns around the United States. It is a rather 'progressive' town with strong environmental concerns, and a strong business association. The things that people do in NLV can be done (are being done) anywhere. Small businesses often operate like the ones in NLV. People start new businesses (like the cafe) every day with money from investors or a bank loan. Many people negotiate the terms of their employment and are more like partners than employees. Many people freelance their own work and have short term or long term contracts to provide services.

It would be nice if more towns emphasized locally-produced goods like NLV does, but that has more to do with what the people of the village want to buy and if it is produced locally for the right price. Supermarkets around here, for example, will buy local produce, but only if the producer can supply enough of it for the full season (reasonable enough--they sell a lot and don't want to have to scramble around finding more if they run out). Farm markets, on the other hand, will buy small lots of almost anything small farmers can produce. They LOVE to get locally-produced goods, but couldn't get enough and had to buy from outside the area this year.

Perhaps I haven't spent enough time in NLV to see the subtle ways that it is different. What about the tax structure? Do you have property taxes? (Did I miss the area that discusses taxes?). Many of the political positions in our township are practically volunteer--a token salary and usually only one candidate running. Still there are a lot of hidden agendas--'they' (a small group) are currently trying to change the zoning of my township to not allow certain kinds of businesses in the township ('they' are not clear exactly which kind of business they don't like, and won't admit to backing a write-in vote for their candidate). I've seen fundamental religious groups slowly take over school boards then try to change the structure of the schools. I don't know how this pertains to NLV, but there is always SOMEONE trying to impose their ideas on everyone else, and I'm sure NLV is no different in that respect.

I'll have to watch the progress of NLV; it looks like a nice place to live. But I think it is possible to live the 'New Liberty lifestyle' in many places that already exist. I can garden, farm, start a business, work part-time or full-time in any job for which I have the skills. Or not work at all if I don't need the money. How I live is already pretty much up to me.

Sorry if this is a little dis-jointed. It's been raining for days and the kids and dogs have too much energy and are using it to destroy the house!  A visitor
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