Views From Within

Internet Political Prophecies And Subversive Material For Cool People

Rainbow Gathering 2007 Ends: The Aftermath

Posted by jeremiasx on July 17, 2007

My feet are sore, I have poison ivy, and my shoes are nearly worn through after the numerous trips I made up and down the hill to the various areas of the Gathering I visited. (They were another quality product brought to me by the magic of Wal-Mart, Hecho in China of course.)

Don’t bemoan my personal situation though…the truth of the matter is that I was not any more of a Gonzo journalist than any of our local reporters who visited and covered the event. I only drove out there four or five times, never camped overnight, and wasn’t interested in infiltrating any “secret inner circles” of Rainbow hierarchy (of which there are none, presumably, since it has no official hierarchy other than communally accepted elders, of which there are no elections or ritual installations of the same to speak of.) I wasn’t there on the behest of any interest group whatsoever, regardless of what some paranoid souls probably surmised, as I’m guessing a few did due to their paranoid reactions to my presence. I probably stuck out. I didn’t really dress any differently than I do in my everyday life…I can’t really ascertain the same for all the other Rainbows…some of them dress the same everyday, some just on weekends (judging by their luxury cars and SUVs), and some probably as part of their “job.” (Ooh now I get to play my conspiracy nut card…not really…it’s generally believed that many LEO’s are undercover posing as Rainbows for the normal purposes of routine undercover work and I surmise less forthcoming COINTELPRO-style operations as well, undoubtedly.) It’s well known by EVERYONE now that the Law Enforcement Officers involved with this “special ed” team that the Forestry Service has assembled are majority asshats. Video evidence.

SAY…speaking of ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT…how much impact do MULTIPLE SUV’s DRIVING THROUGH THE RIVER have? I wonder. Let’s take a look at a USFS trail during the gathering…notice anything “unnatural” after these SUVs went up and down the road in the main gathering area which was blocked off to private vehicles, ostensibly for the preservation of nature?

forest-road.jpg

Hehehe…either way, I wasn’t dressing to impress or try to be anything other than what I am, which is me. HOWEVER you want to dress yourself (or maybe even your woefully subserviant partner or child), if you really dig it, it’s you being you. I’m just saying not everyone is so lofty as to express anything other than a mindless devotion to “fill-in-the-blank style/trend/fashion.” There are such creatures. If it were not so, there would be no market for Club Gitmo T-shirts or retro Debbie Gibson CRAP. Hot Topic would probably go the way of the dodo bird. I might miss it…nah.

Anyhow, enough about my opinion of people who try to be outlandishly different from society by looking outlandishly similar to each other for the sake of the same. I’m losing your interest, perhaps…so back to our story.

I’d heard so many things about the festival from locals and from the internet…very little of the negative hype the government has thrown at the Rainbows stood up to even moderate scrutiny and their reaction to this annual event defies logic whilst taking a piss on reason and duly decimating whatever general concept of Liberty one might assume was left in the world…then shredding general decency as an extra bonus…needless to say myself and MANY OTHER locals are in various stages of disgust with the federal, state, and even LOCAL COUNTY police response due either to the harassment we received ourselves or the harassment, incarceration, and abuse we witnessed the Rainbows receiving. Oh…by the way…we WON’T FORGET IT come election day, either.

So regardless of the hype I wanted to do a cool, level-headed and thorough follow-up on the Gathering and I thought I’d address a few of the issues surrounding the event and see whether there was any truth to them…you know, see for myself instead of just mindlessly accepting what others had said. I started at the Fallsville Store.

fallsville-store.jpg

Elizabeth Moak was helping a new summer hire with a few of the ins and outs of the business during the 3pm rush hour in Fallsville (there were several customers buying gas and sundries including myself and apparently some of those “Rainbow Folk”) and I felt it prescient to the discussion to ask her about all the alleged theft at the store by many and various local figures. Turns out, nothing was stolen from the Fallsville Store, according to Ms. Moak…and she doesn’t know that any local gardens were verified to have been raided by would-be “Peter Rabbit Rainbows” either…apparently there is a trend in these rumors where they are ALWAYS second-hand, and usually begin with “well so-and-so said that…” She chalked it up to a lot of rumors and fearful fear-mongering and said her experiences have been pretty GOOD with the Rainbows and called many of them “adorable characters.” I agree.

I left the store and turned my attention to the Gathering area itself, for surely in the dark forests there lay certain “eco-Armageddon” just waiting to be laid bare for my discovery if some local accounts and interstate blog comments were to be believed. (Yes, that’s a swipe at some of the comments made on my PAST posts, and it’s well-deserved.)

I encountered the same monstrous pile of garbage that the local reporter did except for one difference. It was at the TOP of the forest service road by the highway instead of at the BOTTOM in the valley just past “A-Camp.” Quite a relocation effort, considering the modest group of men involved. Here’s what was left of the “front page photo” pile of trash.

trash-pile-redux.jpg

Don’t be mistaken about it: this is a MASSIVE clean-up and restoration effort being led by a team of roughly 25-50 good-hearted Rainbows who have stayed behind to do the

rainbows-recycling.jpg

yeoman’s work of removing and then SORTING and RECYCLING all the refuse…and currently trying to find the most environmentally safe and economically viable means of DISPOSING of it. (Any churches willing to donate a dumpster? The county and the forest would APPRECIATE it…will you complain about the mountain of trash or help to be rid of it?)

Anyhow after a short time there I met Richard, a former taxi driver from New York who made coming specifically for the clean-up effort his goal for this year’s Gathering…along with attempting reconciliation between the tribe at large and the Lecotah Sioux Nation over some strange “sweat lodge” beef…I’m not sure what the details are but apparently even methodologies and esoteric considerations as they might relate to spiritual medicine, as well as their methods of administration and eligible participants, can be the topic of hot debate between light workers and peace pros and even indigenous tribes of Native Americans…curious, eh? Here are the remains of the sweat lodge. Unfortunately I did not attend, though I look forward to being there personally in the future. Time makes many demands, though, as you might expect.

Far out and away from the virtually non-existent Montana Mud (which I observed to be the main area of congregation during my previous visits)

montana-mud-camp.jpg

we scaled the mountain to the “Fat Kids Camp” which I quickly found out is not named on behalf of your averagely obese American, and I probably lost a few pounds hiking up there. It’s named for the idea of “living fat” which means to basically have the maximum luxuries of home available to increase the comfort level in the outdoor kitchen /camping setting…they had basically re-molded the Earth completely to suit their purposes…large stone kitchen megaliths and flagstone stairways abounded and all of these are sworn by the wrecking crew to be brought down as soon as the last campers make their weary exit. On the way out there is a food/supply drop area as a midpoint for the exiting campers to hide if the rain comes during their exodus. It’s rained a lot during the Gathering. We love the rain this time of year. Here’s a picture of Richard on the “altar” (firepit) and of their nifty zip-line which was used to transport cooking supplies and food.

richard-on-altar.jpg

fat-kids-zip-line.jpg

We made our way back across the river and I snapped some more shots of a nifty stone bridge and a few more empty camps…

stone-bridge.jpg

there was a pile of unclaimed camping supplies we encountered which Richard said probably wouldn’t be there much longer near the Arkansas camp, which was still inhabited but reasonably clean…

arkansas-camp-remains.jpg

Heading back up the hill we encountered “Handy Dan” and his rest stop where we saw him trying to help one of the cleaning crew fix a flat tire with his vehicle’s air compressor…

handy-dans-rest-area.jpg

Before we left I took the opportunity to interview a nice middle-aged couple who were strictly on FS 1463 to do a little tourism and fishing. They were from Hot Springs, and were in visiting in the hopes of catching some fish and soaking in all that nature had to offer. I asked them if they were aware that thousands of people had just been camping in the exact spot they were currently fishing. They said flatly, “Really? No. We didn’t notice.” That pretty well sums it up for me, personally. Oh…they also caught fish. Kudos.

So back up the hill and I dropped off Richard and took on “Sammy,” a young man from Texas who had come up to check out his first Gathering but ended up spending most of it in the Newton County jail. Although he didn’t really speak poorly of any particular officers, he said the initial arrest incident seemed like “a crock of shit” and after a series of charges ranging from public intox to obstruction of justice the LEO’s had managed to work up a $1200 bill (fine) for this young kid who thought he was coming to have a good time. He got poison ivy too, but never got anything other than a bleach rag for it at the local poke. His case was much more severe than mine…and mine is driving me crazy even now with plenty of calamine and alcohol to bathe it with. Connect the dots on that one. Anyhow, he was done with Newton County though he looked forward to going to the next Gathering, possibly a regional or the next national. I dropped him off close to the county line. I hope he caught a ride from there. I’ve done enough hitch-hiking myself in the past…I help when I can.

Anyhow…to summarize. The event is largely what you would have imagined it to be, and if you ever go it could be your reality, too…but for now just know that it’s over and it will happen again and no matter how much money our government wastes trying to hassle these folks they aren’t going to quit and they aren’t going to buy a piece of paper that says they have the right to do so. They (and I, and millions of other sane Americans) believe that we already have a “permit” to Gather and Remain peaceably as often as we wishand with as many people as we’d like…it’s called the Constitution.

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17 Responses to “Rainbow Gathering 2007 Ends: The Aftermath”

  1. swan said

    Wow – that’s great. Thanks for this thoughtful followup. We love you! . . . . swan . . . .

  2. Woodstock said

    Not bad at all for a hillbilly journalist! Too bad most of the mainstream media wouldn’t dare to speak truth to power. -w-

  3. jeremiasx said

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. Very nicely said. I was there for four days, most of it was trying to get over the mud that was there.

    Mr. Nature Boy I am Not!

    Over and all I enjoyed this second Gathering I attended. The fuzz do tend to be a bit of bullies to happy-go-lucky types, but hey, what else they gonna do?

    On another note, could you email me at pathways@awesomenet.net, would be interested in your writings on this years Gathering for my second promotional issue of my publication. I wanted to write something yet I have a lot on my plate and I actually wanted a local point of view. If you read this contact me.

    Thanks again for your writings. Will be looking in from time to time on them

    Peace,

    Mark
    alongyourpath.net

  5. Cave Woman said

    Thank you for putting up some truth to the widespread bull shit I’ve been seeing. I wouldn’t agree that the Gathering is “what you would have imagined it to be”. There really are no words to capture the magic of the event, but I would agree that the cops caused more trouble than anything else and I couldn’t find a situation in which they actually alleviated an issue, of which there were plenty. But thank you.

  6. Wild Chyld said

    That is good that you cronicled the gathering to dispel any rumors. Too bad the feddies were so hard on us. They have to have someone to scapegoat for a couple hundred years of raping our National heritage.
    PEACE!

  7. nonna mouse said

    how were the cops this year? what about roadblocks, K9’s, and cameras to log your face in government databases? you couldn’t get away from them last year in CO.

    my first year, WV, they got a permit and there wasn’t a crazy roadblock handing out trespassing tickets. i didn’t go this year because i didn’t want the legal hastle of being identified as a terrorist and having my face put on a computer database.

  8. yO YO said

    I’ve been to a couple of gatherings, well, living next to hippies and hearing stories, it feels like ‘quite a few’. I know a lot of internet-connected hippies going to Gatherings are reading this post and reply, on Karens’/sukajons’ email list and all. Kudo’s to the two of you for keeping us peacenics informed.

    It seems People going to the gathering have their own way of life. However, when they arrive at the gathering, or before, they decide on a peaceful means to derive pleasure from all which is around them. Gone are the hypnotic war-tones of north america, and in come native and nature-based reasoning, listening, for example, to the wind, and the stars, and the trees. Perhaps for many Gatherers this is a way of life.

    The reaction from law enforcement, controllers, is severe. They want nothing more than to push disinformation. They are very much Nazis who lost the war, and are still sore about it today. Maybe the out-of-touch ‘church-goer’ or corporate worshiper types who like conformity and would consider police officer so-and-so to be their friend, maybe help spread these rumors about ‘dirty hippies’, negative? Probably a bought and paid for undercover disinformation campaign. Very amatuer by the sound of it, however, effective. As it doesn’t take much to pull one over on the idiots.

    Regards to all. I stopped going years ago. What the gathering teaches is something to keep in one’s heart and mind, always. No LEO can get in there, unless allowed.

  9. patfromlogan said

    Nice article. I spent a week in Arkansas, then drove back to Utah, with a more than full car. The LEOs even pissed off the locals that I talked with. Crazy. I spent most of my time with the “Instant Soup” kitchen. 100% organic vegan soup and it’s a mellow friendly kitchen. It was interesting a couple nights after the 4th when a couple ‘old timers” played music and more “old timers” showed up and had a good time. I was serving food and kept the kitchen open all night, with the help of that beautiful hippie girl, Kai, Kyle, and a few others. We were kind of at the end of a trail/road and various Arkansas people showed up all night long. One couple came in and offered us whiskey. We said we don’t drink in this camp and after about a half hour they grabbed our hands and told us how thankful they were that we, “clued them in about what Rainbow was about.” It was our pleasure….

  10. You are theifs of the worst kind. said

    Your “tribe” is a shame to the rest of us, “white people” You are consuming native american spirituality and your plastic shaman should be ashamed of them selves for exploiting the very people they claim to respect.What your community seeks is only imagined a world conjured up by promises of advertised products, there is no honor in pretending to be something you are not. If you want to honor native ways then let them alone and let them have their religion without a bunch of directionless people trying to copy them for lack of their own convictions. Shame on you.

  11. revaloo chenire said

    in response to “you are theifs”……….we arent trying to emulate anything….we are seeking spirit in the ways we are called… WHO ARE YOU????????to say taht you have any more rights,,,,or say so as to how we practice our religons…..most religons have parallels……and to take aspects of each should be acceptable, after all most of us were born on this planet, so that makes ALL of us native…..big smoke looks after us all as he does the wind in the trees and the water in the streams……and who put you in charge of judging any of us…..we are accepted by many tribes……we are a tribe, one welcoming ALL with our differences, and similarities………that is THE ONLY THING that will make the tree of life blossom and bear fruit once again……most tribes have prophecies mentioning us…..and in the words of the hopi i will close “there will come a time….when the mother is crying, and the animals are dying……….along will come a people who care…..and they will be known as the warriors of the rainbow” so put that in your pipe and smoke it——and go ask you grandmother or grandfather for a story on these matters……aho mitakye ouysin p.s. nice article, even the “fashion statements”:)

  12. chase said

    I haven’t been to a gathering in 10 years ,since i was 16. brings back strong feeling about life. I miss the drum circles. not worrying about whats going to come in the mail. The power of a 3 course meal for 500. Not trying to remember to hold the door open….because they are gone. And the beautiful girl with hairy legs and red eyes ,i yearn to return. With my family. Walking the path of dreams………

    http://www.myspace.com/chasenew —–chasenew82@yahoo.com

  13. I personally love retro anything including retro fashion. Thanks for the post.

  14. Space said

    It is so encouraging reading what you have observed of the Rainbows, and though as being a ‘Rainbow’ I understand their need not to be objectified, they are by the corporate-media-hungry-government, and get a very bad rap. As I have been to numerous nationals, I am heading to this years in Wyoming. As it is I am also a student studying social science/cultural anthropology, I am interested in doing field observation, etc… and hopefully to be able to turn it into an independent study for my degree. Anyway I have found this piece quite nice. Namaste’ Space Sista

  15. Homebrew said

    I live on highway 21, just down the hill from the site. I know the forset service roads pretty well, and slipped in the back way, avoiding most of the hassles. I hiked from about 2 miles upstream from the crossing in your video.
    I heard all the horrer stories, and me alot of cool people.

    As a small buisness owner, I enjoyed serving them, and wish that the family would come back some time. I was even able to barter with a few of them, and have some cool stuff, to go with the memories.

    Thanks for covering the event.

    Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)

  16. Ray said

    I’m surprised they let you photography the garbage at all. Taking pix of what the drainbows actually leave behind is like trying to photograph the caskets of the dead soldiers coming back. I used to be a drainbo so I know you put a lot of spin on your story. Too bad you didn’t have the courage to really investigate the impact of 25,000 white middle class trust-fund hippies walkiing all over the “mother earth” they claim to love. How many pounds of human shit and grey water and chemicals and trash and rotten food was left behind. And for what? These freaks won’t end the war by trashing our national forests. These environments are fragile. Just because it looks cleaned up to you doesn’t mean there wasn’t a devastating environmental impact of having all those spoiled white kids on the land. Why not really investigate and report honestly on the damage they’ve done to past locations. I think the gathering should be stopped and all the dread locked brats should go out and work to get Obama elected. You also forgot to mention that the drainbos censor anyone who is critical of their little cultural appropriation gatherings, that Native Americans are pissed off at them for doing sweat lodges and that when you don’t agree with their propaganda 100%, there’s very little difference between a drainbo and a $cientologist. The happy, happy picture you painted is not reality. The movement is a total perversion of what it was supposed to be. It’s time for it to end.

  17. Tim said

    To all you folks that might think what rainbowers do is ‘stealing culture’ or cheap imitation of someone else’s beliefs. Do you think native american rituals practiced today are handled the same way they were in the ‘old days’? Wrong. Most of it is a re-creation of things that were lost when the native americans were mostly killed off and herded into small sections of land. I go to sweat lodge sessions sometimes. I’m white. The sweat lodge I got to sits on native american reservation land, and it’s run by people with deep native american roots. They allow women into the sweat at the same time as the men, although both groups are still segregated inside the lodge; The men on one side and the women on the other. Do you think that’s the way it used to be done in the ‘old days’? Hell no it wasn’t! But that doesn’t change the spirituality of the ritual in the slightest, unless there happens to be some rigid rule in your head that you can’t get around.

    The first time I went, the native american lady who was driving us to the lodge had heard from my brother that I was into this New Age stuff, and if I was going to be OHHHMMMM’ing in the sweat lodge. She wondered because she didn’t think this new age OHHHMMM’ing had any place in a traditional sweat lodge. Aside from the fact that having men and women both in the lodge at the same time is far from traditional, how exactly is an OHM(yeah if i spelled it wrong sorry) something new? Tibetan monks anyone? 1000’s of years of history, if I’m not wrong at least as old as native american culture, anyone? I thought it was a very hypocritical thing to say and think. The point I’m trying to make is, there is no ‘valid’ this or that. At some point in time, some fucker MADE IT ALL UP. The important thing is at any function like this is to have an open mind and heart. It’s all what you make of it, and it’s dangerous (see current state of the world) to believe so blindly in ANYTHING that you can’t question whether it’s a good idea or not anymore.

    My 2 zuzus

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