Version 1 – August 2014
Rainbow Crystal Land (RCL) envisions a global self-sufficient network of open and ownerless lands housing sustainable communities of free and equal individuals living in peace and harmony with the earth. RCL is an organically living and growing common vision shared by thousands of people around the world; it is not an organization or a set of rules and there is no central leadership. RCL is a social movement offering a complete alternative living solution for everyone. There are many similar visions, communities and networks out there - RCL competes with no one and co-operates with everyone.
RCL is unique because:
- We intend to free lands from ownership.
- Our communities are open to all.
- Our structure is completely horizontal and decentralized.
- We give equal value to nomads and people who prefer to stay.
- We intend not to use money as a means of exchange inside and between our communities and to create a culture of sharing.
We are you.
We are what each one of us makes of it.
We are an organically growing social movement without leadership.
We are everyone who believes that we must change the way we interact with the global system of politics and capitalism and come together to create an alternative living solution that satisfies human needs without damaging the earth. We live self-determined lives within inclusive communities that value freedom and equality. We are peaceful activists on both the physical and metaphysical planes – we achieve independence and care for our planet by responsibly producing and freely sharing our food, energy and other resources, and we create peace on earth through the cultivation of inner peace and the evolution of consciousness. We are the change we want to see in the world. We see the oneness of existence and use our lives to serve ourselves, humanity, Mother Earth and all beings.
Our core values stem from our non-commercial rainbow gatherings – temporary autonomous zones in nature where people from all walks of life come together to share and to live in peace and harmony. The name “Rainbow Crystal Land” suggests that just as a crystal can contain a rainbow inside itself. The values of rainbow gatherings can be applied to the land and permanent communities.
Beyond that, we are not associated with any particular event or group of people. We are all the colours of the rainbow together in harmony - diversity and unity are not mutually exclusive. We are at the forefront of the revolution which shouts from the rooftops: “We are one!”
Introducing the Vision
Even if we prefer to talk about positive, creative action rather than focussing on negativity, no explanation of the RCL vision would be complete without stating the obvious fact that our planet is going through devastating, man-made changes that threaten life on earth. 1.5 acres of rainforest is being cut down every second; agriculture pumps poison into our food, the soil and the water; our oceans, overfished and full of plastic, are dying; the air is polluted, the climate changing, the polar ice melting, the next nuclear disaster waiting to happen – in short, scientists describe our era as the greatest “mass extinction event” on earth since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
This situation is fuelled by a dysfunctional, unethical, unjust and outdated global political, social and economic system of human organization, based on increasing consumption and economic growth on a planet with limited resources. Capitalism is a mathematical equation which doesn’t add up; the system is consuming itself in the name of profit.
Human beings are increasingly separating themselves from nature and therefore also from their own true nature. We fail to understand planet earth as a complete ecological system and our place within it.
Our current global living solution is grossly unsustainable and drastic changes will take place whether we like it or not.
Much human energy is wasted on activities which only serve to perpetuate the system. Many people seek their freedom from the oppression of this system by succeeding within it, materialistically speaking, and therefore fuelling a vicious circle. The people of the world are ready for true change but most of us cannot even imagine an alternative answer to the vital questions of how we will feed ourselves, receive healthcare and raise our children.
Many of us hope for political solutions to these problems but nation states act only in self-interest in a global struggle for resources and power; the only global solution offered by politics seems to be war.
The answer lies within each and every one of us. We are waking up to our individual and collective responsibility. Many now see themselves within a greater context and are prepared to use their lives for the benefit of all. We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
We are creating a visible alternative living solution of true freedom, dignity and equality and a life in peace with ourselves, each other and Mother Earth. Our world is based on openness and inclusiveness, tolerance, non-commercialism and sharing. It’s about the freedom of each and the unity of all; it’s the literal belief that we are all brothers and sisters. We have to transform our current fear of lack into a widespread trust in abundance if we want to change the direction in which humanity is heading.
We peacefully distance ourselves from the destructive and exploitative parts of the system by manifesting a legally protected independence, yet we consciously interact with the system, even through capitalist means, when this makes the most sense. Rather than cutting ourselves off completely, we stay connected in order to influence our surroundings, in anticipation of the day “capitalism” becomes “shareism” and all becomes one. We focus on creating the reality of our dreams rather than fighting against what we don’t like. We grow our own food and create our own energy; we maintain our health by drinking clean water, breathing fresh air and living in a holistic way where everything that enters our bodies is treated as medicine; our children grow up in communities where living is learning… We fulfil our basic needs by living in oneness with nature.
To do this we need access to lands and the legal protection to remain there. But we don’t believe in land ownership and borders; the land does not belong to humans, humans belong to the land. We want to free lands from human exploitation and return them to their rightful owner – Mother Earth – and take on roles as guardian communities.
There are many similar visions, lands, communities and networks already in existence in the world, but as most insist on private ownership and hierarchical decision-making they often feel isolated and, while blocking the perceived negative energies they seek to avoid, they also fail to attract the energy they hope to receive.
People need more land and the land needs more people to create abundance in sustainable communities – RCL is aiming to bring them together in a tightly integrated network whose openness ensures a free flow of energy, people and donations and whose non-hierarchical structure truly empower individuals and communities through a real sense of belonging.
An old Native American prophecy, also reflected in many other indigenous cultures around the world, states that
“when the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the Warriors of the Rainbow.”
The rainbow family – an unorganised and leaderless group of people from all corners of the world and all walks of life who gathers in open, temporary communities in nature following a “leave no trace” policy – has been in existence for more than 40 years. The vision of RCL was born from the wishes of the rainbow family to make their gatherings permanent and sustainable.
At a large global gathering in Palenque, Mexico, at the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012, talking circles to agree on a common vision for a network of permanent communities following the ideology of rainbow gatherings was attended by hundreds of people from around the world. The outcome, after a week of discussions, was the Rainbow Crystal Land Declaration of Common Intention (DCI) version 1, the start of a Scouting Mission for land in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the establishment of the first RCL community in Costa Rica in March 2013. The DCI was amended and expanded into a version 2 in Costa Rica and at the world rainbow gathering on Vancouver Island, Canada, in September 2013, and the Costa Rica community gave birth to the Scouting Mission in the Andes in March 2014. The Hungarian national rainbow gathering in July 2014 gave birth to a community which currently seeks RCL status. After a legal review by professional lawyers, version 3 of the DCI is awaiting final consensus from the RCL in Costa Rica in August 2014.
Rainbow Crystal Land Declaration of Common Intention
Part I: VISION
- We acknowledge that Mother Earth is free of ownership and borders and we peacefully work to return her to this natural state.
- We envision a global garden of abundance in which all beings live together in harmony.
- To fulfill this vision we co-create a worldwide self-sufficient network of open, sustainable communities which protect and rehabilitate our ecosystems while producing food and other resources.
- Caravans link the communities and help spread energy and products.
- Within the carrying capacity of local ecosystems, the network provides safe homes for individuals whether they be sedentary or nomadic.
- Free and equal individuals live together in communities based on inclusiveness, acceptance, care and healing, peaceful conflict resolution, sharing and co-operation and the evolution of consciousness.
- We interact in egalitarian circles wherein communal decisions are made by consensus.
- The community is the guardian of the land, all structures and resources.
- We believe in gift economy and we accept donations. We believe in a world where we all share our surpluses without expecting a return. We want to be as free from the energy of commercialism as possible.
- We show deep love, respect and humility in our interaction with ourselves, our neighbours, Mother Earth and all beings.
- Individual communities enjoy autonomy within the framework of our Declaration of Common Intention.
- We call our homes Rainbow Crystal Land because as a crystal can contain the rainbow, the lands can contain the spirit of rainbow gatherings.
- We are one.
Part II: ORGANIZATION
In the RCL Network we make decisions by unanimous consensus of all current RCL residents (meaning anyone currently present) in face-to-face circles and never on the internet, although we use our RCL Common Website as a tool to make proposals and to collect the face-to-face consensuses. There are four types of consensus:
Founding Consensus: Made by the RCL circle accepting a new RCL or Scouting Mission, a Founding Consensus is a condition for the donation of an RCL or the fundamental vision of a Scouting Mission and is changeable only in special unforeseeable circumstances through a Global Consensus.
Community Consensus: A communal decision on a matter relating only to that RCL Community made by all current residents in the RCL.
Organization Consensus: A communal decision on a matter relating only to an RCL Organization, made by all current residents of all RCLs held in Trusteeship / Ownership by that RCL Organization. An RCL will automatically “stand aside” to allow the agreement of others to proceed if it fails to respond to a proposed Organization Consensus within three weeks.
Global Consensus: A communal decision on a matter relating to the whole RCL Network, such as changes to the DCI, made by all current residents of all RCLs everywhere through a collection of Community Consensuses. A Global Consensus can be proposed by any face-to-face RCL Vision Council which can be held anywhere, anytime by anyone. A proposal will become a Global Consensus Request once it has reached Community Consensus in any RCL and has been published on our RCL Common Website by that RCL’s Internet Focalizer. All RCLs are themselves responsible for obtaining information about Global Consensus Requests. All RCLs have two moon cycles to respond to a Global Consensus Request but will be granted an extension of an additional moon cycle if requested. All RCLs automatically “stand aside” if they fail to respond within this time limit. The Community Consensuses will be collected on our RCL Common Website. Global Consensus is reached after two moon cycles if all RCLs are in agreement.
An RCL is a piece of land hosting a permanent community aiming for sustainable living, fulfilling or soon to fulfil our legal ideals for land ownership as closely as possible. A new RCL is accepted into the RCL Network through Community Consensus in a circle with at least ten people or the majority of the community residents present in a current RCL, according to the guidelines set out in “Appendix A – Accepting A New RCL”.
All land-use projects or projects involving the structural change of the RCL require Community Consensus. The ownership of all structures and resources on RCLs are communal but the usage may be private depending on community agreements.
RCL Organizations may have to be created to fulfil our ideals concerning land ownership. An RCL Organization is set up according to the guidelines in “Appendix B – Land Ownership” and is accepted into the RCL Network through Community Consensus in a circle with at least ten people or the majority of the community residents present in any other RCL than the one about to be owned by the RCL Organization in question.
Each RCL can through Community Consensus elect an Observer who will have access to all information, activity and accounts in all RCL Communities and RCL Organizations.
No one receives a salary for their work for RCL Communities or RCL Organizations. We do not borrow money. Land, structures or other resources held in common Trusteeship / Ownership cannot be used as security for loans.
A Scouting Mission is a group searching for a suitable land to receive as a donation or to purchase. A Scouting Mission must be accepted through Community Consensus in a circle with at least ten people or the majority of the community residents present in a current RCL. Direct donations to the Scouting Mission should be channelled through an RCL Organization and funds should only be released once an Observer has authorized the sale price.
The world rainbow gathering can host Global RCL Vision Councils but any proposal must go through a Community Consensus in an RCL to become a Global Consensus Request. An announced RCL Vision Council with at least ten people present at a world rainbow gathering has the power to accept new RCLs and new Scouting Missions.
Within the framework of our Declarations of Common Intention and national and local laws, every RCL Community enjoys both freedom and responsibility. Individuals enter RCLs at their own risk and they are responsible for their own unlawful acts. Consenso Fundador
We use the internet freely and openly but every person has the right not to be on the internet through any kind of media. Our RCL Common Website is a communal project which facilitates communication, the transparency of RCL Organizations, the receiving of donations and the making of Organization and Global Consensuses.
Appendix A: Accepting A New RCL
Our vision is the creation of sustainable permanent communities in a self-sufficient network, so how a new land can produce food and other resources must be considered before being accepted into the RCL Network. Other types of homes or lands, such as city houses or apartments, boats, land-preservation projects without human habitation or unproductive lands serving as nothing more than camp sites should not be awarded full status as independent RCLs but can be included into the RCL Network as a “sub-RCL” by being owned by another RCL’s Organization and managed by that RCL community.
Here are some points to bear in mind for the RCL circle which has the power to accept a new RCL into the RCL Network, although some of these points might be concluded by the new RCL Community itself.
- A clear understanding of RCL. What does “open and ownerless” mean to them? Does the donor want special rights to the RCL?
- Motivation and clear vision.
- A clear commitment and specific plan to complete the legal transfer of ownership to an RCL Organization.
- A request for a Founding Consensus – is it reasonable and in line with our vision?
- Existence of drinking water.
- Will there be a permanent community? If not, can it be a “sub-RCL” managed by another RCL?
- Clarity on the current, pre-donation status of ownership.
- Will the RCL be owned or held in trust? By a new or existing RCL Organization? Is the existing RCL Organization open for new RCLs? If new, who will focalize setting it up?
- Clarity on governmental restrictions on land-use or special responsibilities. Do we need building permission to construct structures?
- No outstanding debt and clarity on all applicable taxes and other fees. Does another RCL take responsibility for the fees if only a “sub-RCL”?
- Are there any national or local laws that might conflict with our vision?
- Motivated group of people.
- The availability of long-term residents.
- The availability of resources and money.
- What is the common vision of the community? What is the focus, aim and driving force?
- How will sustainability be achieved?
- What is the role of this community within the RCL Network?
Appendix B: Land Ownership
- We wish to declare the lands we inhabit as ownerless in a legally acceptable way. Our RCL Communities assume guardianship of the lands and peacefully seek full political autonomy.
- Until 1. has been achieved, we see common ownership by local RCL Organizations that give us the legal right to stay on the land as a temporary solution. An RCL Organization will hold land and permanent structures in perpetual, irrevocable Trusteeship (preferred) or outright Ownership on behalf of the rainbow family (meaning all human beings), Mother Earth and all beings.
Each RCL Community must find solutions within the local legal system to set up RCL Organizations that operate as closely as possible to these ideals:
- The Organization must be recognized by the local legal system.
- Everyone present on the land have equal rights and responsibilities.
- Decisions are made by consensus of the community.
- The Organization does not borrow money.
The Declaration of Common Intention in plain English
This document or constitution is a valuable tool that enables us to stay connected and follow the same path, and to open up and communicate the vision accurately to the world. Still, the DCI is only a document that reflects the true vision that lives and grows in our hearts, not the other way around. Whilst being an open framework that will change as our network grows, rather than being a set of strict rules, the DCI also contains certain radical founding principles that shouldn’t be watered out.
The DCI is divided into four parts. Part I describes our general vision and values.
Our long-term vision is of a global garden of abundance where everything we need is freely available and therefore all borders, land ownership and systems of control or organisation, including RCL, become unnecessary and simply disappear.
To do so, we will start by creating pockets of free lands wherever we can and welcome people to come and create communities that live and work there. We don’t primarily work for money; instead we will cultivate the land in a responsible way and harvest everything we need from nature – food, water, energy, building materials and other resources. A harmonious co-existence between humans and nature in a complete ecological system where all the parts benefit, flourish and persist through time is what we mean by sustainability. We have to find a balance between protecting and rehabilitating the natural ecosystems and using the land to fulfil our needs.
It would be difficult for each community to produce everything it needs in isolation, both in terms of limitations of human energy and what can be cultivated in a certain climate zone. But a worldwide network of such lands that freely share their products with each other can achieve self-sufficiency. Caravans - ideally powered by renewable energy sources, such as bicycles, horses or sailboats – can spread the food, seeds, knowledge, human energy and other products throughout the network.
While our communities are open to everyone who hears the calling of our common vision, it is more important to be sustainable than to be open. This is where the central idea of “carrying capacity” comes in - any piece of land has a limit of how many humans it can sustain, as is the case with all species on earth. In nature, the maximum density of animals is set naturally according to the food supply and the social structure of the animals. With human beings it really is much the same thing, but this limit can be set by the community inhabiting the land. This is simply an ecological limit demanded by Mother Earth which applies to all humans equally. If we go over this limit, we must either make use of unsustainable agricultural techniques (such as chemicals) to increase food production, or use money to bring in food from the outside, both of which are outside of our vision. If we are too many people on a piece of land, we must create Scouting Missions to find new lands and create new communities. We also subscribe to the idea of “social sustainability” - there is a limit to the amount of people who can live harmoniously and cooperate effectively within a system of consensus-making on a day-to-day basis.
So our RCL communities are open to all within the limits of sustainability; we do not discriminate against anyone because of gender, age, race, nationality, religion, culture, beliefs, sexual orientation, etc. The people living in the communities are free and equal; we include, share, cooperate and solve conflicts peacefully; and we show deep respect for all creatures.
“Equality” can have many meanings; one of them is that we see everyone who is present in an RCL as a community member; never, for example, as a “tourist” or a “customer”. While greater respect might naturally and organically be shown to a person of greater integrity and with greater experience, we see ourselves as having equal value irrespective of how much time we have spent on a particular piece of land. Our communities welcome all who share our fundamental intentions and wish to live in and contribute to a community; we welcome visitors, nomads and those who wish to spend a long period of time or stay permanently alike. Everyone in our communities has the right to take part in all decisions. No one else can decide something for you if you don’t agree. The community decides communally how the land, buildings and resources will be used. “Openness” doesn’t mean that external forces can exploit and remove the resources of the land without the permission of the community living there.
We know we have to use money to bring food and resources in from the outside world, at least in the beginning, but in the future we believe that money will not be needed anymore, that we will share whatever we don’t need without expecting anything in return. Little by little we will stop using money or any other form of exchange within RCLs, between RCLs and with our neighbours.
Part II of the DCI is more complicated because it deals with the practical organization of the RCL communities.
It firstly deals with our decision-making processes. The basic principle is that everyone who would be affected by a decision must be given a chance to participate in the decision-making and have their concerns taken into account. A consensus is reached when all concerns have been responded to and everyone is satisfied by the decision. A natural, unspoken consensus can exist in the general vibration of a group or it can be formalised in a talking circle where everyone is given the right to speak without being interrupted.
As such, everyone currently present in an RCL Community makes decisions on matters related to that community and that land; we call it Community Consensus. If a group of RCLs is owned by an RCL Organization (more on that later), everyone currently present in all those RCLs must be given the opportunity to participate in decisions dealing with the running of the Organization by making Organization Consensuses. Finally, decisions relating to the whole RCL Network, such as changes to the DCI or the allocation of global resources, must be taken by everyone currently present in all RCLs everywhere in what we call a Global Consensus. Finally, the donation of a land to the RCL Network may come with a condition, such as “never cut down this forest”. The RCL Community considering the acceptance of the land must judge if such a condition follows the vision of RCL and, if so, turn the condition into a Founding Consensus for the new land. Such a consensus is only changeable in special, unforeseeable circumstances through a Global Consensus.
A Founding Consensus can also be used to give an RCL community a fundamental common intention beyond that of the RCL Network in general, such as a certain spiritual practice or the focus of communal energy towards a common project, be it cooperation with local indigenous tribes or the creation of a circus.
We make consensuses in face-to-face circles, never on the internet. But we may use our Common Website (www.rainbowcrystalland.org) as a tool to collect all the decisions of the various RCL Communities into a Global Consensus (and possibly an Organization Consensus if there is a big distance between the RCLs owned by an RCL Organization). Any RCL Community can make a Community Consensus to put a Global Consensus Request on our Common Website and all the other RCLs must consider this request and through their own Community Consensus either agree with or block the request. All the Community Consensuses on the same matter will be collected on the website and if everyone is in agreement, a Global Consensus is reached. If such a consensus is not easily reached and the internet becomes a discussion forum to reach the decision, a more suitable way would be to make a Global Consensus for a time and a place, anywhere in the world, to hold a face-to-face circle with the power to independently reach a Global Consensus.
Our Common Website (with user-selectable privacy levels) is a communal project that will help us to communicate, receive donations and to enable us to be open about what goes on with donations and legal issues. An “Observer” from each RCL Community, selected by Community Consensus, can request such information from other RCLs. But beyond checking for Global Consensus Requests at least every two months, no one is forced to be on the internet. We hope each RCL will at least include the name of the community, a country and the contact email of the community’s Internet Focalizer in order to aid communication and to enable the RCL to participate in Global Consensuses.
We want to grow slowly and make a few communities that really do work instead of a lot that don’t work. We want to help new communities stay true to the common vision and we want to help them get started. We also want to give potential donors the trust that the money they give really goes towards fulfilling our vision and not into someone’s pocket. A new RCL or Scouting Mission looking for new land must therefore be accepted through a Community Consensus in another RCL or at a world rainbow gathering in order to be welcomed into the network. It is possible that some communities out there will exploit the name “RCL” but only those communities accepted by other RCLs through a Community Consensus are guaranteed to follow this vision.
An RCL is defined as a land with a permanent, sustainable community that fulfils our guidelines for legal protection. The land and everything on it, except personal belongings, is under the guardianship of the community, and the usage of the land, buildings and resources is decided through Community Consensuses. No individual will own or be able to sell parts of the land or the structures on it, but the community can give a person the right to use a part of the land for a project or to build a house and to live there if this is judged to be beneficial for the community. You must get the permission of the entire community before you make changes to the land or the structures.
A Scouting Mission can be created through Community Consensus in an RCL or at a world rainbow gathering. A Scouting Mission will search for land to receive as a donation or to purchase. We don’t wish to fuel the neo-colonial system of land-grabbing from locals and natives by throwing money at them; we instead wish to secure lands for the benefit of all, we want locals to share their lands for reasons beyond financial gain, and we wish to create communities that are as open to locals as to anyone else.
Part II of the DCI also points out that each community and each individual inside a community are responsible for themselves. You enter RCLs at your own risk and you have to be personally responsible for all your actions, and especially if you choose to break the local law. If you hurt yourself, there will be no one to sue.
Appendix A of the DCI is a checklist of things to keep in mind when an RCL Community considers accepting another RCL into the network; such as the donor’s understanding of RCL, clarity on legalities, the existence of drinking water and if there’s a group of people ready and willing to go and work and create a community.
Appendix B deals with the legalities surrounding land ownership. This Appendix can be referred to when setting up an RCL Organization and when an RCL considers accepting a new RCL Organization into the RCL Network - just like accepting a new RCL, a new RCL Organization must also be accepted into the network through a Community Consensus in another RCL. Finding legal solutions is just as much a process of evolution as any other aspect of the RCL Network.
As free human beings living in self-organizing communities, we do not need a legal structure internally for ourselves. We choose respect and trust over control, politics and bureaucracy.
While our long-term aim is to create a world in which law and bureaucracy is obsolete, we have to interact with the legal system in order to have the protection we need to create abundant communities in peace. We can’t simply declare land as “free” and expect the legal system to recognize it. This system needs a name on a land registry document.
Registering the land in the name of one or more elected individuals from the community is of course an easy way out but this is a solution we seek to avoid for a very good reason – it will create a legal hierarchy of rights and responsibilities that might disturb the natural flow of the community. The individual(s) will be given legal rights that can be abused to the detriment of the community, and likewise, the individual(s) will carry legal responsibilities on their shoulders that could be abused by the community. It would be very unfair for one or more individuals to be legally responsible for everything that happens in an open community.
We must protect our own right to be on the land, an owner from responsibility and the land from exploitation.
Our ultimate ideal is to peacefully achieve full political autonomy within liberated lands that are accepted and protected as such by the external legal system. This will no doubt be very difficult. One possible way to do so, if a very dedicated lawyer feels such a calling, could be to achieve a status as an indigenous tribe in the UN which in turn might give us rights to establish autonomous indigenous reserves within nation states.
The temporary solution is to find ways to give us some kind of legal protection to stay on the land forever, to ensure equal rights and responsibilities for everyone present and to maintain our ideal of decision-making by consensus of the community. While we do not need to be the owners of the land, the most likely legal scenario will be some kind of common land ownership through a legally recognized organization.
Our ideals will guide our RCLs to find suitable legal solutions for themselves according to the widely differing legal systems in the different nation states of the world. Each RCL must explore the local legal system (and its loopholes!) to find a solution that comes as close to our ideals as possible.
The answer might be an NGO, a non-profit organization, a trust, cooperative, legally recognized social movement or even a religion. If the RCL Organization must have a director or board of directors, could the Organization’s internal bylaws limit their powers? Could everyone on the land automatically become members of the Organization and could the Organization’s decision-making process be defined as consensus of its members? Or could everyone present in an RCL become a director? Could an individual owner simply sign some kind of parallel legal contract that limits both their rights and responsibilities? The owner might even be an external organization as long as our ideals are maintained. We obviously need to enlist the help of lawyers who can think outside of the box! Our DCI and the explanation you’re currently reading would be valuable tools to aid the lawyers in their understanding of what we are seeking.
We prefer trusteeship over outright ownership in countries which acknowledge trust law, but we in any case want to legally state that we are the guardians of the land on behalf of all of humanity, Mother Earth and all beings.
By saying that no one should receive a salary or profit financially, we mean that the RCL Organization should be non-profit and reinvest all profits in the community and that no individual should have a legal entitlement to a salary through the RCL Organization. This should curb corruption and induce trust in donors. It does not, however, limit the community’s way to handle money any way it wishes through consensus on the community level. Although we in the end wish to be free from all kinds of commercialism, a community may use an RCL Organization to generate a communal income as long as no individual has a legal entitlement to any part of that income or the potential profit. The RCL Community runs the RCL Organization, not the other way around.
Finally, we do not wish to borrow money on a community or organization level for several reasons - we don’t want to participate in an exploitative and enslaving financial system, the responsibility for such a loan might be confused in an RCL, and being in debt will force the community to focus on generating money. We only accept unconditional donations.
RCL in Practice
Firstly, we need donations of land. RCL only works if a land is donated completely unconditionally. A land owner must be prepared to legally sign over the land to an RCL Organization. If a land owner wants special rights to the land, it would be better if he or she divides the land, retains a private part of the land and unconditionally donates another. Land can also be found or purchased through a Scouting Mission. The legal process involved in receiving a donation of land and finding a suitable solution for ownership is an important part of the work of the community living in the RCL and is beyond what we expect from the donor.
An RCL might be situated on any piece of land that can support permanent, sustainable living. Although the main kitchen of some rainbow gatherings traditionally is vegan, the only way for communities in the far north and south of the planet to sustain themselves might be through hunting and fishing. Irrespective of an RCL community’s wishes and chosen living solution, we believe that all animals are to be treated with respect and humility.
The easier the access to the RCL, the lower the threshold of motivation needed for people to arrive. Wild, remote lands may therefore work particularly well as RCLs. This will help to ensure that people come to RCLs for the right reasons and therefore create stronger communities. RCLs close to towns, travellers’ trails and tourist attractions may more easily be overwhelmed by the energy of those who seek to take advantage of what the RCL has to offer and may therefore have to operate with a stricter control of the openness of the community, such as an enforced carrying capacity, a minimum period of stay, a certain proportional composition of visitors versus permanent residents, etc.
We want a large proportion of each RCL to be set aside for the maintenance or rehabilitation of the natural ecosystems and original vegetation of the land.
Lands that can’t support sustainable living or lands earmarked for protection without human interference can also be included in the RCL Network as “Sub-RCLs”; they might be owned by an RCL Organization and managed by a nearby RCL Community. Even city houses could be linked to RCLs in this way; they might become cultural centres and places where nearby RCLs can offer the overflow of its abundance as free meals to the city population.
Secondly, we need people to find common visions and come together to create sustainable communities where everyone feels welcome, valued and empowered. The communities are “open” – what does that mean?
It means that there’s a sign saying “welcome home” at the entrance to the community, not “go away”. It means that we welcome all who wish to live in community, without discrimination but within the natural limits of sustainability.
We are all of equal worth. Exclusion is never a complete, long-term solution to any problem. Any solution for the world must include everyone. We are all the colours of the rainbow. We are the full range of diversity yet we are one. Some people fear the issues that openness can bring to communities yet we see that being closed does not truly solve these issues but instead create other ones. When open communities don’t work it is because the community is not strong enough, not because of the openness. Open communities that do work are potentially much stronger than hierarchical communities. With strong, continuous, shared intentions and visions, an open intentional community will benefit from being open and the world will benefit from the community. While our DCI offers a general intention for a network of communities, each community will benefit from having their own specific intentions and specific roles within the network.
We hope that each RCL will enjoy a beneficial mix of vibrant energy and a helping hand from short-term visitors, stability and the ability to focalize projects from long-term visitors, and vital continuity and vision-carrying efforts from permanent residents. It is absolutely essential that the longer-term community members operate a strong welcome centre for new arrivals in order to harmonize energies, synchronize efforts and to activate transient energies for the benefit of the land and the community. Regular talking circles on both practical and personal levels are of equal importance.
On a practical level, we hope that each RCL will at the very least be able to offer new arrivals a welcome and a tour, a place to pitch a tent and some communal meals. Whilst the expectation of some kind of community involvement from new arrivals is obvious, we also have to allow people to land and find their feet. This might not happen overnight. We are moving from a system of rules and “being forced to do things we don’t really want to do in order to support ourselves and our families” to a new way of willingly contributing our energies to communities for the greater good, and while we have to accept that we are all at different stages of this process of inner transformation we also have to actively work to find balance on this level.
It is vital that RCL Communities attract permanent residents. How? It could be draining to live permanently in an open community. The answer is probably the same as to the question of how an open community can deal with transient and inharmonious energy.
Our vision and our DCI offer a few protection mechanisms
“Carrying capacity” – a limit to the maximum number of residents can be imposed.
“All land-use projects or projects involving the structural change of the RCL require Community Consensus” – no one can make an important decision without your consent.
“The ownership of all structures and resources on RCLs are communal but the usage may be private depending on community agreements” – privacy is possible! You may ask your community to let you build a permanent house and to have the right to use it privately. The community will approve if it judges this to be beneficial for the community. The community must carefully consider such an agreement of privacy. Communities could lose a lot of strength if they are full of empty houses – we are not building holiday homes! A house-builder must accept not to own the house and that the house will be used for communal purposes when the builder is not present. What happens when the builder leaves the community for an indeterminate amount of time and then returns is for each community to consider. The builder shouldn’t expect to be able to move straight back in if someone else is living in the house unless this has been clarified with the community. We also believe that an RCL wouldn’t follow our vision if it divides the whole land into private-usage pockets and fills the carrying capacity with permanent residents, which in effect puts an end to its openness.
“…every person has the right not to be on the internet through any kind of media” – RCL guarantees personal freedom from the internet and, for example, that exact directions to your land and community will not be posted publicly unless the community so wishes. You are in control of your community’s privacy on our Common Website.
“respect and humility in our interactions” and we focus on “the evolution of consciousness”. Open communities require open hearts to function. We take an active part in the personal development of everyone. An open heart means direct, open communication. Loving and respectful interactions might sometimes mean gentle, compassionate nurturing, care and encouragement and at other times the most effective healing may be brought about by brutally honest, ego-breaking communication. We resolve conflicts before they become energy blocks that affect the entire community. Heart-sharing and emotional release circles have proven very effective in freeing blocks and harmonizing personal relationships. This is a never-ending process. As a final resort, anyone is free to ask a destructive individual to leave the community, seek learning elsewhere and return when they are ready.
We have to show deep respect and humility towards existing communities, guardians, cultures and land-management projects even if a piece of land is “free” and a community is “open”. A level of cooperation that values giving at least as much as taking is fundamental to RCL philosophy. Organic growth and common sense is more important than blind adherence to guidelines in a document. In the end, RCL offers freedom for communities to interpret the DCI guidelines in the way that works best for them!
Another aspect of utmost practical importance is our relationship with locals and neighbors. We are not here to repeat the European mistakes of the last five hundred years. The locals are our teachers, not our subjects. They have probably lived on the land for generations and their knowledge and co-operation can make or break an RCL. We value indigenous knowledge and ways of living and offer our support to indigenous people around the world. When we offer to share our last piece of bread with our neighbors we can establish a culture of unconditional giving and a deep sense of unity beyond the imaginary borders of our RCLs. We are distancing ourselves from the artificial man-made systems of greed and exploitation but we are facing the real world and the real people within it with open hearts.
Finally, while we make no rules on the network level, we want to make everyone aware that RCL Communities might choose to follow such rainbow gathering traditions as the limited use of alcohol and chemical drugs, the freedom from the vibration of electronics in communal areas, and the emphasis on great sensitivity when taking photos or filming. Always ask for permission! Some RCL Communities may also intend to limit the use of plants of power to certain times and certain ways.
How To Join
So you want to live in community, grow your own food, find peace, learn new skills, meet lots of new people and become part of a worldwide family, maybe build your house in an RCL some day? You might have to make some sacrifices but you’ll certainly reap many benefits. Whether you’re passing through on your travels or want to find a place to live for the rest of your life, your energy is wanted and needed. On our Common RCL Website you’ll find a database of RCL Communities already in existence and Scouting Missions to find new ones around the world. Read about them to find a place that tickles your fancy, contact them through their Internet Focalizer… or just turn up!
Every RCL has a “carrying capacity”, meaning a maximum number of people the land and community can sustainably support. If we exceed that limit, we will be forced to either rely on capitalist mechanisms to sustain ourselves or to engage in non-sustainable food production methods, such as the use of chemicals, which is detrimental to both the health of humans and animals and to the quality of soil and water. Sustainability is therefore a key aspect of our vision and we are responsible as a worldwide family to respect the carrying capacities of our RCLs.
On the other hand, a carrying capacity is a flexible limit that can’t easily be expressed as a figure. It is up to each individual RCL Community to deal with this issue in the best possible way. We hope every new arrival will always be welcomed in for at least a limited amount of time. We hope RCLs respond to overpopulation as an opportunity rather than a problem - the response from a community to such a scenario will hopefully be to find more land rather than kicking anyone out!
Some RCLs may choose not to have an internet presence at all – though we hope at the very least every RCL will list their country and the contact email of their Internet Focalizer on our website. This does not mean that you’re not welcome to join them! It just means that you’ll have to search harder, follow word-of-mouth and magic. Many RCLs will only give you an approximate location, but don’t let that stop you – you’ll find it if you are meant to be there! Some advice for living in an RCL, especially if it’s your first time:
- Announcing our arrival, getting shown around and meeting all the other community members would help newcomers integrate more easily into the community.
- Shitting only in designated areas maintains the health of the land and the community, as does maintaining impeccable hygiene when handling food.
- The talking circle is the primary forum of the community, everyone’s participation is highly encouraged.
- Even if it seems like a contradiction, it is wise to be self-sufficient as we can’t take for granted what the community will be able to provide for us.
- Bringing a waterproof tent and / or tarp is a necessity in case there is no other shelter available. You can only look after your community if you can first look after yourself by staying dry, warm and healthy.
- Disinfecting cuts will help prevent infections. Drinking live water might introduce your stomach to a different bacteria-flora which may cause temporary stomach upsets. Treating yourself for communicable diseases and parasites, such as lice and staphylococcus, before you arrive is a great way to show love to your fellow community members.
- Items that could come in handy include a plate, spoon, torch, knife, etc.
- The community would function well if we all come with the attitude of wanting to give more than we take. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, constructing… the tasks in an RCL are endless and your energy is very welcome.
- Individuals with initiative are a very valuable resource for a community but synchronizing our efforts according to a common land-management vision is of equal importance. All land-use projects require the consensus of the community. It is wise to only start projects that you know you will be able to finish before you leave, and that you know the community will be able to maintain after your departure.
- If you don’t know how to do something, it is better to ask before you do it. The community is there to help.
- It is likely that at least some of the food the community consumes has to be bought with money from the outside. At least some of this money comes from the community’s “magic hat” (communal money pot) which depends on voluntary contributions from the community’s members.
- Our communities aim to produce as little trash as possible and to be responsible for whatever trash we produce. You can help by bringing as little trash as possible to the land and to carry out whatever you bring with you.
- Some RCLs wish to be free from alcohol and chemical drugs.
- The use of electronics in communal areas changes the natural vibration. Filming or photographing requires extreme sensitivity. It is respectful to ask people for their permission to be filmed or photographed.
- Our communities function better if they are full of open-hearted, humble people who try to connect with the others and take responsibility for their own personal development. Everyone sometimes needs help to be fully aware of the impact of their actions. We aim to solve all inter-personal issues before they become energy blocks that affect the whole community. We accept that sometimes love it tough.
- We want our communities to be sacred spaces where we are all free to be ourselves and realize ourselves, where we dance, sing, play, laugh, cry, love and do whatever we need to do in order to be happy.
- The longer you stay in an RCL, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll be able to contribute by putting that learning into practice. Too much transient energy can drain a community.
- We all need to be conscious of what information about the community we share with others. Not every community wants the whole world to know where they are, even if they are open to everyone who arrives. Every community has a different need for privacy – we strongly encourage those needs to be respected.
While lands and human energy are the most important building blocks of RCL, donations of money are also essential in order to free our communities from the need to generate an income and instead focus on creating gardens of abundance on our lands! We believe in direct donations where the donors themselves choose which project or community to support – there is no central RCL money pot. A list of RCL Communities and Scouting Missions that have been officially accepted into our network through a process of communal decision-making can be found on our Common RCL Website. Each project has a communally elected and trusted focalizer that will receive your money and make sure it is spent in the best possible way. The community decides how the money is to be spent. Except for possible bank charges, your entire donation will be spent to fulfill the RCL vision.
If a rainbow gathering is a school to awaken our inner knowledge of how to live in nature without leaving a trace, RCL awakens us to fulfill our basic needs in harmonious co-existence with the earth, or to “leave a sustainable trace”.
The RCL vision demands hard work from dedicated individuals and communities. We enter these lands with an awareness of the social work involved – harmonizing open communities is a continuous process. We must be willing to pour our blood, sweat and tears into the soil. Creating abundance and self-sufficiency takes many years of hard work but this is a small price to pay for the privilege of being involved in such a process, of caring for nature and our fellow human beings and manifesting peace on earth. Our efforts will in the end be rewarded by nature when she does most of the work for us and we will be free to simply exist in peaceful, thriving, vibrant, harmonious communities where our time is spent on personal development, fostering meaningful relationships, learning, sharing and expressing ourselves through art.
All that’s needed is for people to take that step into the unknown and to truly live this vision.
Welcome to our common spiritual quest. Welcome home!