East Wind

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 Mountain Home, AR 

Size: 70-80 members
Accomodations: You will be given a space in our multi-bed or bunk visitor rooms.
Cost: $6-8 - $2/day, up to $20
Dates: aug 15-18


related pages: East Wind/First Impressions

Blog posts

National Geographic article about East Wind - Quinn (my membership team contact) seemed to think that the NG article was a load of shit, painting the place as a Maoist-based commune. I think the article shows a fairly representative view of the place, not at all a smear piece.


Three-week visits available. visitation info

next step: To request a visit, please, if you haven't already, send us a letter about yourself, your talents, your work and living situations. Describe why communal living interests you and how you found out about East Wind. Include your questions and concerns about us, our philosophy, rules, facilities, etc. Indicate when you would like to visit and for how long. If you're considering membership, let us know. We'll write back with any questions we may have or to tell you that you may visit.

Contact Log

Hi, I heard about East Wind from my friend Kelly McDaniel, with whom I worked at a tech company in Austin. He recommended it to me when I told him about the trip I'm planning next year. In 2006, my partner April and I will be traveling around the U.S. visiting sustainable communities, and we'd love to visit East Wind. We're both very interested in living closer to the Earth in a community environment. The East Wind community sounded interesting because of the successes you've had with egalitarian living and the informal atmosphere that Kelly described. We would love to work with you for a short while to learn about your experience and help by contributing our efforts to your community.

Each of us wrote up a "sustainability resume" which includes information about our talents and experience, personal philosophy, and living situations. They are attached. Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to know about us.

If possible, we would love to visit for a few weeks sometime in the May-July time period.

Cheers, Benjamin included attachments: April's resume and Benjamin's resume --Benjamin 21:01, 4 Dec 2005 (PST)

        • e-mailed again on 22 apr 2006:

Hello! I and my partner April are interested in visiting East Wind! We are on a tour through the U.S. of sustainable/ecological/communities and have visited Lost Valley in Oregon and are currently at Dancing Rabbit in Missouri. We would like to arrange a three-week visit so that we can learn more about East Wind first hand, and hopefully have an opportunity to interact and work with you guys on a personal basis. I am especially interested in the egalitarian aspect of East Wind. I was wondering what your visitor periods were for 2006.

Thank you, Benjamin

        • e-mailed to visit@... on 9 May 2006

Hello! I and my partner April are interested in visiting East Wind! We are on a tour through the U.S. of sustainable/ecological/communities and have visited Lost Valley in Oregon and are currently at Dancing Rabbit in Missouri. We would like to arrange a three-week visit so that we can learn more about East Wind first hand, and hopefully have an opportunity to interact and work with you guys on a personal basis. I am especially interested in the egalitarian aspect of East Wind. I was wondering what your visitor periods were for 2006. I have tried e-mailing membership@eastwind.org, as requested on your website, but have not yet received a response. Cecil suggested I try this address.

Thank you, Benjamin

        • received reply on 10 May 2006

Perhaps a week visit before we commit to a visitor period? how does that sound? you can give me a call. xxx-xxx-xxxx (saved in e-mail)


        • replied on 10 May 2006

Quinn, I wonder how the scheduling would work if we came for a week and then decided on a visitor period. Would we need to leave and come back for a specific visitor period? Or would we simply extend our stay for another two weeks? When would the initial 1-week visit occur? Thanks, Benjamin

        • called around 2 Jun 2006

spoke w/ Ben - too late for the June visitor period, maybe I could come in August? visitor periods start on first monday of every month.

        • called 7 Jul 2006

Quinn said I should send an introductory visitor letter to membership@eastwind.org, and come up with some questions for him for the phone interview. Sent Benjamin's resume with added section: COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE

  • Lost Valley Educational Center, Dexter, OR ( www.lostvalley.org ) - Stayed for two weeks as a work-trader, participated in Heart of Now workshop, performed various tasks including land management, maintenance, child care, cooking/cleaning.
  • Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Rutledge, MO ( www.dancingrabbit.org) - Stayed for three weeks as part of the visitor program, participated in workshops, lectures and work parties including cob construction, garden work, cooking/cleaning.

Potential interview questions for him:

  • How many members come for each visitor period?
  • what should I bring/what are the accomodations? shelter, food, etc?
  • dates? overlaps w/ communities conference - ?
  • membership process beyond visitor period?
  • current growth rate & size / desired growth rate & size

--Benjamin 21:05, 7 July 2006 (PDT)

10 Jul 2006 - Quinn replied with:

A letter, Benjamin, make it a love letter if you must, but please write me a letter and not a resume.


10 Jul 2006 - replied with this letter:

Quinn, I think I understand. I'm asking you to invite me into your home and I send you a business document instead of a personal request. I'm sorry.

Here is my story.

I was raised in a good family. My parents are both still alive and I keep in touch with them regularly. Although they divorced, they always assured me (and my sister) that it was not our fault and that they still loved both of us very much. They have always been loving and supportive of what I wanted to do. I feel like I didn't go through as much of a "rebellious" period in my adolescence as some of my friends because my parents always seemed so reasonable. But more than a child of my parents, I am a child of our culture. I worked through my schooling like a good child, attending a private preparatory school in Dallas, TX and then a math and science academy for 2 years in Denton, TX. I got my diploma and went off to college, because that is just the way life works. I studied for a while longer and got my Bachelor's degree. I never liked school, but did my best, because "kids go to school in the same way that adults go to work." Unpleasant though it was, I felt that was my job and I must do it. When I got out of school, I got a regular job, eventually finding one that even had benefits! I was happy for a little while, after I got that first "real" job. I remember thinking- I had a great girlfriend, a great job, great friends and roommates, and I knew what I was doing in life.

I had previously read Daniel Quinn's _Ishmael_ and it affected me profoundly. I had always examined my own thinking and perspectives, but this work allowed me a new perspective which was orders away from what I had previously considered. I started attending a local discussion group in Austin, TX to talk with other fans of Quinn's work. We shared stories with each other of the craziness and horrors of society, the unfairness and the stupidity. We also shared stories of renewal, community gardens, ecovillages and transformation. We talked about the industrial "education" system and unschooling. We talked about money and gift economies. We talked about peak oil, sustainable development and communities. We talked about global warming. We talked. We talked. Each day I felt the hollowness of that life. I want so much more.

I often thought about that time when I had been happiest - about the difference in circumstances. Surely my job made a big difference - that small enthusiastic company I had been hired into was bought out by a corporation. Promises made, promises broken. I saw my friends getting laid off or quitting left and right. I felt like I was in a war field. How does one stop an abusive relationship? One does not, can not reason with one's abuser. One simply walks away. This was how I felt about that company, and to a degree, about our wider culture. The structures of this society allow such atrocities to occur in our names. Exploitation, war, control. And we all support it, without knowing at all, or maybe not wanting to know. This was the real reason I was not happy. I was no longer content to have only my own good things (*my* job, *my* partner, *my* home), knowing their price.

So I started looking for an alternative. I talked more, I searched more. I decided to pay off all my debt (credit cards and student loans) so that I could once again feel freedom in my life. No responsibilities (financial at least) to anyone else. My life is mine. I didn't know exactly what I wanted, but I knew that it did not mean living in a city and selling the hours of my life. I learned about intentional communities and ecovillages, permaculture, Tom Brown Jr.'s experience of living with nature, the secret life of plants, the very real power of our intentions, consensus process, personal evolution, herbal medicine. The lifestyle that makes the most sense to me is a group of people living together, working together to satisfy their needs. If I am going to live in a community, I should know what it's like and what some of the challenges are. Who better to learn from than those who are already living it? I started talking with my friends - sharing my plans and ideas. Slowly, recommendations for communities trickled in. Places people had heard of, or places their friends had been to. I began researching, looking up websites, placing pins on a map. I first heard about East Wind from my friend Kelly McDaniel (with whom I worked at the small company-turned-corporation). He knows Anna Young and has visited East Wind. Knowing me and my personality, he thought we would be a good match. Of all the friends I had at that company, Kelly is the only one left still working there, but he's the kind of guy who makes his own place in the universe.

I'll be the first to admit I have no "solutions." I have ideas. I have passion. I have a willingness to experiment. I have love. Connection is what I want. Connection to the food I eat, to the land with which I live, to my family and friends, human and non-human. Though I may not be able to turn the tide, I can create waves. Intention is the first step.

Namaste, Benjamin Bradley

recevied reply from Quinn 14 Jul 2006:
So, you think you want to come in for a few days during your travels?


sent response 14 Jul 2006:
I was hoping to attend the three-week visitor period in August. I find that I can learn so much more about the character of a community if I'm there for more than a couple of days. At this point, I'm also considering membership in each community I visit, so the extended stay lets me get a feel for not only how the community runs, but get to know some of the members as well. However, I understand that space is limited, so if you cannot accomodate me for a longer length of time, I'd love to visit for as long as I can.


received reply 17 Jul 2006:

3 or 4 days will be plenty of time for both partys to know if there is any
reason to go on. let me know when you are thinking about coming in/ and how?


called a couple times, could not get ahold of Quinn or Ben, spoke to Amber who has overseen our correspondence and thought it sounded fine if I wanted to stay for a full 3-week visitor period (which they are still doing). she will have Ben or Quinn call me back if she sees them.
wrote to Quinn:
I don't know if there are any other people coming for the August visitor period, or if you have any specially-scheduled activities for that time period, but I would like to visit East Wind with the intention of continuing for that time. Assuming the visitor period starts on August 7th (the first Monday of the month), I can either arrive around the 7th, or a little earlier around the 3rd, and then if things are not working out after a few days, I can continue on my journey.
I will be arriving by car, coming from the Mt. Ida/Hot Springs AR area, and am open to sharing rides if necessary.

Please let me know what sounds best for you.


received reply jul 21:

At this time we only have the ability to accomidate you for the 15th - 18th
of August.  Unfortunately, we are unable to include you in the August
visitor period.

Thank you for your interest.
Cortney Ives
Membership Team

replied with confirmation / ask for directions 25 Jul 2006:
Ok, sounds good. How do I get to you?


received reply from Quinn Aug 1 asking how I'm traveling. called back Aug 4th:
  • from mountain home
  • hwy 201 north - changes to "J" in MO
  • dead-ends at hwy 160. - rt (east) - go for 1.3 mi.
  • rt onto CR 540 (possibly 530 - stay with 1.3 mi) (dirt) - stay to right for any forks ~ 3 miles. "am I on the right road) go 1/2 mile - at end of road (will see the office before the end of the road, which is the sweat lodge).
    • Quinn in office 9-1 on tuesday the 15th