Networking Experiences in
Different Cities (U.S.)
I arrived in the Bay area on April 21st, 1981. I had the names of two contacts when I arrived and by the time I left on June 9th, I had a typed list of a little bit over a hundred. A persistent networker follows up every lead and if the current host doesn't mind our friendly networker making a few telephone calls (just a few?, uhmmm ... ), he can generally make a number of appointments. The Bay Area was loaded with networkers, coming out of the wood-work you might say. I feel the Bay Area is very conducive to this sport because SFers seem to be more open to new and crazy ideas, projects or activities. Very grass roots orientated. It seemed much easier to find places to stay at than in Los Angeles. As cities start to form these collective networks and start networking with other cities, hospitality will become more and more important. It's essential and I know! During the entire West Coast trip, I slept in every conceivable position and place. On the floor, in a sleeping bag, on a couch that was too small, on foam, beds without box springs, in a bus, outside, etc ... A humbling experience but all good networkers who go on faith probably go this route somewhere. All I can say is it sure is different, helps build inner strength and character.
After two week of daily appointments, I received an inner message to call a meeting and try to bring all of these networkers together, coordinate a solid movement. I was very surprised to be given such a message. When I came to San Francisco, it was just my intention to meet others and participate in local events. Shows you how much I know. Just another example of flowing and having no expectations, taking one day at a time. Besides, my inner guidance had not failed me before, so I went ahead with the idea.
Now mind you, this type of meeting was not an original notion in any way. I had been told there had been several networking meetings before, including one with 70 people. After an ,initial period of great excitement, the efforts just died. So naturally, I was asked how this meeting would be different. Secondly, I discovered afterwards, two other people had received a similar inner suggestion and one of them would have requested this get-together if I had not followed through. In the first meeting of the four I was to help organize, there were 35-40 people. It was basicly an opportunity for networkers to become acquainted. There was a general discussion about different factors influencing the New Age and why any type of collective networking effort had not succeeded, thus far. A directory of people in attendance was created and three messages were agreed by all:
The meeting ended with the group doing a chant of 'OM' and a meditation. Oh yes, a lot of hugging too! However, no definite plan of action was resolved.
- 1. Unity, a total sharing of our resources for the common good of all concerned.
- 2. The ability to listen to our inner self for guidance in our work.
- 3. The common desire to create a world of peace, brotherhood and harmony (the appearance of the Aquarian Age).
The next meeting was concerned with the formulation of a direct plan to implement a well coordinated collective network. Although only eight people were in attendance, we were able to come up with some guidelines. All were committed to this project in someway. The following suggestions were announced (a sample for others to consider):
Following this meeting, the plan became slightly more refined. The computer system became a two part system. The first part would be a computer bulletin board (just like a regular bulletin board, loaded with different messages but would be contained within a computer). This would be a place where one could send out information about services offered, services requested, networking information, activities or just any type of announcements. There are already a large number of computer bulletin boards available all over the country, for free. All one needs is a telephone, modem (that connects the telephone line to your computer terminal) and a terminal. I had an opportunity to use a bulletin board called the Conference Tree created by Dean Gengle and John James using an Apple mini-computer. At the last meeting I called for computer orientated individuals, Dean offered the Conference Tree as a networking tool for the collective efforts.
- 1. Create one or more information centers as focusing points for Bay Area individuals, groups, networks and events. One of these centers should be designated as the main center to link all centers and networks together. At each center there will be a computer linkup to a master directory of names and activities. The computer provides termendous storage capacity and a quick retrival of information. Access to this directory data bank will be via telephone. Either the person requesting information will own their own computer terminal and access the computer directly or, a person can call a referral center which either has this terminal access or hosts the computer. We see four locations for these sites - Marin County, San Francisco, Oakland-Berkeley and San Leandro-Haywood. (Author's note: The Bay Area is quite large, Marin is north of SF via the Golden Gate; Oakland-Berkeley is across the bay of SF and north; and San Leandro-Haywood is across the bay and south)
- 2. The establishment of communal houses where people may live the Aquarian Age Philosophies of brotherhood and harmony. (This was suggested to provide a visible example for others and some of the networkers will discussing living together in a communal house and basing one of the information networking centers in this house)
- 3. The creation of sub-networks. Each sub-network is based on a specific area of interest (i.e. - Holistic Health, Food & Nutrition Philosophy/Religion, UFOs, New Age Musics the Arts, etc ...). There are literally hundreds of subject areas people may wish to connect on. This would give a better opportunity for people of like mind to meet and could probably result in more productive meetings than a general networking meeting that includes people of such great diversified interests. Each sub-network could have their own meetings and a general Bay Area collective network meeting could be held once a month where representatives from each sub-network could share ideas and what their group is doing.
- 4. The creation of a newsletter, calendar of events and a recorded tape message containing the day's activities.
- 5. A Central Funding Source for all collective network functions. All members may petition for funds.
The second part of the preposed computer system was to create a directory of names on the computer organized by what is called a database. A database is a series of programs that help to organize information and provide a fast efficient way to retrieve it. For example, a database can be implemented by keywords or words that describe what a person or group is about. If you wanted a list of all the people on the computer interested in Holistic Health, you make the request, and the computer checks each person to see if they have this keyword or descriptor. If they do, it would print out their name, address and phone number. As you can see the computer can be a very powerful tool. Also, we felt it was important to have some type of computer system so we could demonstrate its capabilities to non-computer people. Many people know nothing about these strange black boxes (although this is changing very quickly these days, the home computer is going to conquer the world!) and consequently are distrustful of them. I can assure you, having been a professional computer programmer for three years, that there is nothing mysterious about computers. People built them and people program them. They are becoming easier and easier to learn how to use them.
Above, it may sound like all of the networkers were computer people. This was not true. There were actually two groups involved with the networking process, the one above and the non-computer group. This second group had some suggestions how to facilitate the networking process in other ways.
First, the local networkers could pool their list of contacts to provide the information for the computer system. Next, it was agreed to try to write a statement of purpose which explained what the networking process was and how it could help the community. Copies of this statement of purpose could be passed out at future meetings, to friends or if any of the members of the collective network attended special events. Even to the media if appropiate.
Also, there was discussion of doing some fund raisers. Perhaps doing a fund raiser selling different types of food, which the members would provide and then taking the money of the first fund raiser and do a second, a celebration for World Peace with New Age music. The biggest problem of any grass roots venture is trying to have the funds to do the proper advertising and support any further activities. Obviously money would be needed to back any type of information center. Conversely it was discussed to try to find people who had computer equipment already, who might be willing to share rather than try to buy a computer which would cost a few thousand dollars. Then perhaps later, once the network is self-sufficient, a computer could be purchased. Again the idea of sharing and cooperation.
As of April, 1982, there are two networking projects in San Francisco. One is an outgrowth of the computer meeting mentioned above. The group is called the Bay Area Regional Collective Network (BARCOLNET) and is headed. by Mark James (address in Part VI). Mark found several people to contribute money to buy a computer and is in the process of setting the system up to provide services for the community. The other group is led by Stevanne Auerbach and they also have a computer and large directory of names. If I mention someone's name and do not list an address, please consult the networking list. So, if anyone is interested in getting in touch with networking activity in San Francisco, these would be the key contacts.
Question: "What if we can't afford a computer, what else can we do and still have a collective network?" Well, I found two other simple systems in San Francisco which could be easily implemented. Bill Hill is a collector of information or an info-nut. His home is filled with books and periodicals, a termendous library. He also has his own computer which he uses to help maintain and order all this information. Whenever he attends any type of gathering, he asks people to fill out a slip of paper (usually 2" X 7") with: name, address, phone number, best time to call and their message (could be hand written, things they are interested in, people they would like to meet, a picture or diagram). This way, each person conveys their own unique message and there is no translation problem later (example - not writing down the right words given over the phone or not being able to read someone's handwriting and transcribing it incorrectly). He takes five of these slips, pastes them on a sheet of paper and photocopies it, presto - instant directory. So the cost of the directory is very minute. Write to Bill for more information or samples.
The other system was developed. by Rick McNern called the Info Tree. Rick received permission from various stores or local establishments to place upfront, a ringed notebook that contains various sections such as: 'Service Offered', 'Services Needed', 'Community Activities', 'Open Ended Messages' and a section for posters to be inserted. Each section contains blank pages divided into ten equally space squares. You place your individual message in the appropiate section in one of these squares, Then after a period of time, the pages are taken out, photocopied and sold.
The last method I would like to mention is located right next to my home town. The Learning Exchange, 939 Hinman, Evanston, IL 60202, has a telephone referral system using paper files. People are grouped by the area of interest they indicate. They have volunteers answer the phone and there is a yearly membership fee ($25 or $30). I was informed there are other cities which have a similar system, the Atlanta Network is one. The Learning Exchange has a wide range of interests. People offer their services for free, on an exchange basis or fee scale. (whew, what a section, let's check out Los Angeles now!!!)
This was my first networking stop in California. I began this section with a summary of San Francisco because most of my networking training and most interesting experinces occured there. My stay was from April 3rd - April 21st and June 10th - June 27th.
On the first visit I tried to compile a list of New Age and Spiritual individuals and groups (similar to what I had been doing in Chicago). After eight typed pages, I gave up on that project. Los Angeles has tons of organizations and people. I quickly refocused my energies to find the local networkers and networks since they would be more familiar with this information. I could get in touch with specific contacts rather than general.
After four days of following various leads, I found Glen Bradley of the La Light Directory, a local networker. He gave me the addresses and phone numbers of two networks, the Meta-Network, organized by John Holmdahl and Unity & Diversity Council, Leland Stewart was the president. The Meta- network was interested in social transformation and included people from the New Age community, business, politics, health, etc ... John worked closely with Marilyn Ferguson, author of the book, "The Aquarian Conspiracy" Unity & Diversity Council is an international network of spiritual groups that has an international conference once a year. When I met with Leland, he was talking to a visitor from England, Graham Wilson of the Body-Mind- Spirit network from London. So I had a chance to hook up with a foreign network. They were discussing plans for the Body-Mind-Spirit conference that was held in Los Angeles, this past January, 1982. Later on I contacted with Joseph Lampl, who was trying to start a New Age network and struggling. They had no name but may have a newsletter at this time as Joseph had just acquired a printing press back then.
In the beginning of my stay, Randy's car was available at times for rides. After he left, buses and walking were the mode of transportation. I realized how spoiled I had become by living in Chicago. Our mass transportation system has trains that reach all parts of the city and is fairly quick. Those LA residents though, sure do like their cars! Hospitality was difficult at times. I had to do more digging than in San Francisco. Between my brother, his friend Leesa and my friend Scott Anderson, I managed till I left for SF.
My second visit to the city of the Angels was just as provocative. Thanks to the hospitality of Kathy Gildred of Canyon Lights, I had a chance to spend time on Topanga Canyon Mountain again. The whole mountain is very beautiful, scenic and a high energy vortex. Through my friends in San Francisco, it was easier to find places to stay as they supplied a few new names.
But the most remarkable feat of magic, was walking into the offices of Expansion Magazine and being given unlimited use of an office, type writer, telephone ( a networker's best friend) and photo-copy machine. Why you never saw such a busy bee. In addition to the articles I wrote, I gave Carole Dean, owner of Expansion, a copy of all my network contacts which they used to mail copies of the publication to.
Another interesting experience was investigating the land of computer bulletin boards in Los Angeles. Thanks to the assistance of Samuel Ready, member of Unity and Diversity Council, I had the proper equipment to get on these boards. Five bulletin boards were awarded messages from yours truly. I was trying to find other computer people who might be interested in the two part computer system outlined in the San Francisco report. Michael Lilienfeld was interested in using a computer system for networking and also, so is the Meta-network. The problem was lack of funds (the old killer) or just no available computers through the people interested in networking. There was even an opportunity to give an informal talk on networking and UFOs in Santa Monica, at the home of Marian Wagner. She has one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen, plants from all over the world!
Now I would like to digress a moment from networking to briefly mention some other areas which came to my attention. I became very involved with the Big Mountain Crisis in Arizona. The Native American Indians on that reservation were being forced to relocate due to the rich deposits of uranium and coal. From the Expansion office, I was able to make copies of the background information and flyers for the public event that was held at the end of June, 1981. Also, send this material to radio stations that had talk shows. Chapter '8' discusses this issue in greater detail.
Through the warm hospitality of Carole Dean and sister, Susie Bradley, I had an opportunity to rest in Oxnard, California, for a few days. Oxnard is 50 miles north of Los Angeles and on the Pacific coastline. For the first time I saw what an offshore oil rig looks like. Susie stated that when they drill for oil, at times the ground will shake. In addition, the arm forces, centered in a navy base nearby, are doing under-water testing of bombs (nuclear?). A large number of military ships sail this region. For a time, it was impossible to catch fish because the bombs were killing all life in the waters. These bombs have been known to cause the earth to shake too. Both situation greatly alarmed me because these are the type of things that could set off the California fault line. It was another example of the government's (and big business) disrespect for the environment and selfish interest in the result of their military tests (discovery of large amount of oil for huge profits) than the consequences of their actions (like an earthquake). This attitude is clearly demonstrated with the Big Mountain Indians as well.
Now, to summarize and update: Los Angeles has a great deal of spiritual and New Age activity. Many well-known Aquarian speakers visit the area. There are all kinds of conferences going on yearly. According to my friend Scott Anderson, the Body-Mind-Spirit conference was very successful and instilled a new enthusiasm for networking. The last couple of synergy meetings (synergy - a new word being used to describe the intergrating energies of networking) have been quite productive.
Also there are several local directories: La Light Directory, The Whole Person (calendar of events), New Age Source (New Age articles and calendar) and the Bodhi Tree Directory. Just prior to the opening of the Second Special Session on Disarmament at the UN, June 6th, 1982, the LA folks are having Peace Sunday at the Rose Bowl, in conjunction. The focus of Peace Sunday will be a celebration through song. Unity and Diversity Council will be present to give its support.
Christie Rinehart, a traveling networker, and her friend Harold Vogt have a newsletter called Idealogue. A place where people can freely share different ideas and pool resources. From these dialogues is the hope to give a better understand of the networking process. Christie was one of the key contacts on my first visit as through a sharing of her own experiences, I was greatly inspired. She shared a great deal of networking contacts especially in San Francisco, many people who I eventually met. Julie Parker has suggested a project called "Transformation on Wheels", another vehicle to promote networking. Each Saturday, a different holistic-orientated group would open up their center for others to investigate. A tour would be offered of their facilities, a dinner, time for personal contacts and questions and an organized event in the evening. A great way for different organizations to meet each other. Unity and Diversity is very interested and Scott tells me that possibly by mid-October (1982), the wheels will be flying.
Lastly, San Francisco and Los Angeles have some very strong connections. Sort of like a close brother and sister team. Most of the networkers in each city know their counterparts. I am sure this bond has strengthened the networking efforts in both cities. There is a very good chance that these cities could provide the first really visible example of inter-city networking.
On my return trip to Chicago from Los Angeles, I had a chance to spend two days in the Mile High City. My first connection was with the Denver Open Network (now called Network Research), operated by Leaf Smith, and Pat Wagner. In their office, besides a large map of the United States showing all of their national contacts, they have a computer terminal connected to a computer system that has the data base directory we discussed before. The system uses keyword search to find the particular people/groups that fulfill the request of the user.
Why right off the computer Pat gave me a list of other networkers around the country, many who I have either met or correspond with now. Since they were the first computerized networking system to be operational, they have had, a ton of calls and have a stack of unanswered letters a mile high. They requested, if anyone would like information how to set-up an open network or desire to tap onto their system for contacts, to send $2 or more to help cover postage and s stem use. At this time, they charged a $30/hr counseling fee and $30/year for unlimited system use. Since they are overwhelmed with work, they hope people will understand if they can't spend too much time on the phone answering questions. So why not help out this valuable service with your support?
Through the Open Network, I was able to contact Howard and Cathy Roske of the Choice Network. Choice Networking and Communication Center is an information and human resource bank. They were interested in using a computer to store their networking contacts but I am not sure if they were able to gain one yet. They-do have a directory of local groups and in December of '81, put on a Peace Conference in John Lennon's name. Choice is now focusing on projects that will help the community and is one of the other key networking contacts.
In Boulder, there is a New Age directory called Nexus which follows the format of the first New Age directory started in San Francisco, Common Ground. In addition to Network Research, I found three other groups either using or considering computer systems for networking. A computer haven if you ask me.
Two other contacts are the Colorado Holistic Health Network and Pam Bertin. The Colorado Holistic Health Network is a network of holistic people in Boulder and Denver. They have a monthly newsletter and their own holistic directory,. Sarah McGurn is a contact person. Pam is a New Age person. She can help with hospitality and knows quite a number of New Age people in the region. Denver does have a great number of health orientated groups as shown through Nexus. Also, the energy of Denver is more conservative than in California yet I didn't perceive too much tension. It was kind of a flowing feeling, people weren't rushing around too much except perhaps the downtown area. Denver is not that large compared to a Los Angeles or Chicago. The strangest thing I saw was people crossing streets diagonally, downtown. The stop lights have the appropiate arrow.
SAN DIEGO, SEDONA-AZ,
ALBUQUERQUE-NM & KANSAS CITY-MO
(Summer of '81)
SAN DIEGO: I could only afford to stay for one day and didn't have very much success in connecting with anyone. During my second trip to Los Angeles, I was given a list of contacts which are included in the networking list at the end of the chapter. According to Lyara of Golden Rays, Glendale, AZ, who is also a networker and passed through San Diego on her networking circuit during the summer (about the same time of my travels), the city has a lot of New Age activity and networking. Probably a good contact would be Barbara Pannaman at Resources, the local New Age directory.
SEDONA: Sedona is a very high energy center. My visit here was mostly for spiritual reasons. I was told by Christie Rinehart that the city formed spontaneously. All of sudden people just moved there. There was no plan for these people to meet. I stopped in on Rainbow Ray Focus, a New Age center that has a newsletter which channels for the Ascended Masters (such as Sananda, Archangel Gabriel,Hilarion, El Morya, etc).. I received a copy of Lyara's networking newsletter here. I was told, a man by the name of Daniel was interested in coordinating some type of networking project in Sedona. You can contact him by writing to: Rainbow Ray Focus, Attn: Peter, P.O. Drawer 1188, Sedona, AZ 86336. I have not heard of any specific activity at the time of the printing of this book, but if you are passing through, you might wish to check it out.
ALBUQUERQUE: Rick Cramer of OM Centre, supplier of New Age books and products, is the networker I met here. He was attempting to create a local collective network but the going was very slow, not too many people willing to volunteer time. They did receive some assistance from Gordon Davidson and Corine McLaughlin, founders of the Sirius Community in Massachusetts and traveling networkers. They passed through town in the early part of the year ('81). Also Gordon and Corine had lived in Findhorn for awhile. Mr. Cramer also has available a local newsletter and has a directory of New Mexico groups. Since I haven't heard from Rick in almost a year, it is possible the situation has changed.
KANSAS CITY: The New Age movement is doing quite well in Kansas City. The two key contacts I am aware of are, Norwood Yamini and Elaine Young. When I passed-through, Norwood and I had a chance to spend some time together. He told me about happenings in his city and I shared some information about the places I had seen. Norwood is a New Age physician as well as a networker. He had been trying to put together a directory and had visited many of the local groups. As you will see in Chapter a few of the health products listed were introduced by Norwood. He personally recommended Aikido as a good self-discipline set of exercises that incorporate spiritual philosophies and balance with nature. Norwood offered his humble abode as a place to stay. Very nice person.
Elaine Young is involved with the Outreach Group (tries to connect and inform different groups about each other) of the Emissaries of Light. When I arrived in Kansas City, I gave her a call but she was not in. I left my address and since that time we have corresponded. She is very interested in the New Age and is one of the promoters of networking in the city. I had a chance to speak with her on the phone and she informed me that they now had a directory of groups.. The Heartland Council is the name of the local networking group and they print a network newspaper that contains a calendar of local events. Elaine would be a good person to contact about hospitality and meeting local people.
CHICAGO-IL, DETROIT/ANN ARBOR-MICH,
IOWA CITY-IO, MADISON-WI & MILWAUKEE-WI
(JULY 1981 - APRIL 1982)
CHICAGO: Chicago has a great deal of New Age/Spiritual people. All religions and philosophies are represented in the town I was born and lived most of my life. The energy of the city is one of conservatism. Any projects that are undertaken, are done slowly and. taken one step at a time. The most accepted portion of the New Age has been holistic health. There are many centers that offer spiritual training throughout the city and in the suburbs. Some people have called Chicago the heart chakra of the United States. There is definitely a spiritual energy vortex here as there are many reports of ghosts and paranormal phenomena and the Indian energies can be sensed. But, by the law of balance, as much positive forces are here, there is much confusion as well. Especially the South Side of the city, there is much poverty and desperation. Chicago is a site picked by many groups to hold national and international conferences. I have heard others say that the Lake (Lake Michigan) may be a site for the UFOs to pick people up (See personal experiences in chapter '3') and that there may be a pyramid under the water, probably buried.
Now that you have a flavoring of my home for 27 years, let's look at some of the networking activity. Our first networking meeting was on July 19th, 1981. One of our hopes is to create a New Age center where classes can be held, lectures, a shelter for the needy, Aquarian Age restaurant and entertainment and, a center for networking activity. A location to hold the information system. To the date of this printing, we have not been able to find such a center basically due to lack of funds and not enough volunteers. There were several meetings after this one but we have no networking projects at the time. Just many groups doing their own things and a few groups who are working together and communicating.
Our network mostly exists through word of mouth and individuals working together. The main organization which is focusing on networking related activities for the New Age is the Aquarian Fellowship. They print a bi-monthly newsletter containing articles by local people and a calendar. They sponsor a creativity workshop the first Monday of each month and are having spontaneous celebrations and sharing every Sunday night. The most successful event the Aquarian Fellowship held was on February 7th, 1982. The gathering was called, "Building Aquarian Community", featured some speakers, spontaneous group discussions, Sufi dancing and singing and a chance for 65 people to connect. The Aquarian Fellowship has begun a directory of names for networking but it is in the ground floor state. Joe November and Wally Kuenhle are the key contacts.
Chicago has several publication that are used as networking tools. New Age Chicago is the local directory. It also contains a calendar of local events. The Discovery Center is the owner of New Age Chicago and offers many classes and workshops for the New Age. In March of 1982, nine different New Age directories from around the country met in Chicago and formed the Community Resources Publishers Association. All in All, 16-20 directories/newsletters will be represented. A networking of New Age directories will be a new exciting step to connect these various organizations who have served as information networking centers for the respective host cities.
The Chicago Reader is a weekly publication that allows one to place an unedited ad of twenty five words or less, for free. The Reader (as it is called, also Los Angeles and San Diego have their own versions) has a 103,000 distribution and besides ads contains articles on local happenings, rates movies, talks about different theatrical plays, lists all types of places where musicians and other entertainers perform and, most importantly, is an outlet for the local New Age groups to let others know about their activities.
The Heartland Journal is another source of networking. Local groups have ads and sometimes the journal will list local health and peace groups. It has articles on different health or whole living subjects. The Heartland Cafe, the publishers of this monthly (?) newsletter, is a natural food restaurant and is highly recommended for any who may be passing through.
As far as some of the other spiritual/Aquarian groups, let's see. The Human Unity Council is a confederation of different individuals and groups. They support activities that promote Unity and there are many such councils world-wide. Currently they are involved with the Planetary Initiative, a long range project to promote planetary peace and the Foundation of Universal Unity, which was created after the 7th Annual Human Unity Conference in British Columbia, summer of 1981. They just recently sponsored a holistic conference. Robin Reily of the Emissaries of Light is the main contact. Also, hospitality is possible at the two Emissary centers in the area. The Sufis are very active. They have three local groups and offer classes, workshops and spiritual celebration. See Chapter 5, Part IV for a sample of their philosophy. Moheadin Hull and his wife Farishta are spiritual leaders who can be contacted. They can offer hospitality on their farm in the northwest suburbs and Moheadin (or Muhy) is a networker as well.
The Spiritual Advisory Council has one or two local conferences in Chicago. Ruth Burger, 1701 Lake, Suite 130, Glenview, IL 60025 is the local rep. Some of the people they have brought in to speak include Dick Sutphen, Sun Bear, Joe Jochmans and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. We have local groups in Theosophy (the national headquarters are not far in Wheaton, IL), A.R.E. (Edgar Cayce), three Unity Churches and the Church of Religious Science (both churches teach metaphysical concepts). The Circle of Light and Universal Perspectives are two spiritual groups located in the Western Suburbs that are quite interesting. You will find many Eastern orientated groups, Oriental, Hindu or Buddhists. So, whatever you are looking for, it is here. My dream would be to see more of these groups work together, of course.
And finally, Mary Stalides, program director at the Winnetka Community House, is interested in trying to form a network of holistic health. She owns a Health Center which she has thought about turning into a Holistic Center, but this would be in the future. They hope to create a directory of groups and try to bring these people together. Mary would be a good contact for health. Jose Duque and his wife, have already started a holistic center on the south side of Chicago. I do not have any information how to contact them, suggest one talk to Mary S. So, there are many interesting groups and individuals in Chicago. Only thing I will warn you about is the wind especially by the Lake.
DETROIT/ANN ARBOR: My interest to visit Southeastern Michigan stemmed from my correspondences with Dan Butts of Pleasant Ridge, Mich., a key networker. I obtained Dan's name and address from the Denver Open Network and we started to trade information. I was amazed at all the New Age activity and networking that was occuring. So, the next to last weekend in February, accompanied by Mary Stalides and her friend Linda, we traveled East to investigate.
Our visits to Ann Arbor were very.interesting. Ann Arbor is very health - natural food orientated. Why do you know that one block in the city, near downtown, had three co-ops right next to each other? Their is a New Age publication in Ann Arbor called Pathways. They had financial problems and had to discontinue the publication. Also, they changed their name to the Ann Arbor Planet and probably by now, have another type of newsletter available. There is another group called the Wholistic Health Council, which is a network of holistic people in Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan is located in the city too. Many of the local networkers and New Age people use the facilities for meetings, lectures or workshops.
One of Dan's best friends, also a member of the Wholistic Health Council lives in Ann Arbor, Phil Lipson. He is a networker and can help with hospitality but we were not able to meet with him. The three key people we met in Ann Arbor were Dennis Marchese of Earth Wisdom Music (networker for New Age Music, his company is mail order); Paul Samarco, a new age networker and contact person (We met a spiritual group he is affiliated with and he also has been organizing workshops for the Lorian Society); and lastly, Nancy White, New Age person into holistic health. Nancy is also a good contact person and s helped setup different workshops on various topics in holistic health like polarity. The people in Ann Arbor were very friendly and the town seemed to be built around the University. Definitely had the energy of a normal midwest town based on farming.
After about half a year of correspondences, Dan and I finally got a chance to meet in person. If you want to find out the latest scoop in Detroit, he is your man. We met Dan at the Mayflower bookstore, a local metaphysical /New Age store, containing all kinds of books, incense, crystals, chains and a good spot to collect literature from the various spiritual groups. While we are speaking about bookstores, the other one to check out is Middle Earth Books. Paul Hudson is the owner, spoke to him on the phone and found him very friendly. Also, I am told he is a good contact person. We stayed at Dan's home for a bit and he gave me a copy of the directory of the Michigan Holistic Health Assoc., of which he is one of the coordinators. There were over 100 different groups or individuals listed from all over the state. Another project that Dan had worked on was the creation of the 'New Age Directory', which he sent me a copy of in the mail. A beautiful directory containing all kinds of people, very thorough. Dan told me they had created 2,500 copies and in a few weeks were already out of them. They had received a tremendous response and were already considering a second, edition, very much expanded.
Other people who contributed to the directory included the Human Unity Council of Detroit, Phil Lipson, Johnnie Light (now somewhere in Calif.) and Cindy Saul, editor of Phenome News, the New Age directory of Detroit. Speaking of Cindy, I had wanted to meet with her and she must have received my message because she came to the very natural food restaurant Dan took us for something to drink. She would also be a good contact person for Detroit, very New Age.
The night we stayed in the suburbs of Detroit, Dan had arranged for us to stay with Michael Witty, a professor at the University of Detroit and fellow networker. Dan and Mike are the best of friends. Many of the current networking projects are being spearhead by this team. Anyway, it was kind of funny because Mike found a notice somewhere about the networking I was doing, so we began to correspond. Well, after Mike got my reply, he talked to Dan about this networker he knew in Chicago. He was quite surprised when Dan told him, that he & I had been writing for six months. It just go to show you how small a world we live in and that in the trade of networking, the right people guided to each other. Some of the local projects Mike and Dan are doing include trying to start a monthly magazine called the Detroit Futures Magazine that would focus on Health and New Age. Give local people a chance to contribute articles and keep the people updated to what is happening. They are very interesting in using cable-TV to show programs on the New Age or holistic health. Also if any key speakers come in. They are making contacts among business men and politicians in regards to networking. You see, due to the struggling auto industry, many people are unemployed. So, these people are looking at alternatives to try to help the economy. They are becoming interested in the philosophies of the New Age and networking. As a matter of fact, we had a chance to sit in on a radio interview that Mike and Dan did on Networking. The radio DJ/interviewer had read the book, "The Aquarian Conspiracy" by Marilyn Ferguson and was interested in the concept of networking. Now, I have not been in touch with Dan too much since February, but Detroit is one place where networking is doing well.
Another key center in Detroit is the Unity Church. Besides the normal classes and religious services, it is the site for the Holistic Living Institute. A networking center that sponsors many holistic workshops and lectures. As a matter of fact, in May and June, Ram Dass and Marilyn Ferguson were coming to speak. It is a good place to collect literature from various groups and put out messages. Speaking of lecturers, I talked with Dan and Mike about the possibility of Chicago and Detroit sharing some speakers. They were interested and I gave them the address of the Aquarian Fellowship in Chicago which is also interested in providing this service. This is one part of networking that could really promote the New Age.
Summary (Michigan): Detroit and Ann Arbor are both loaded with New Age groups. Just about anything you would look for can be found there. Chicago and Detroit are similar in many ways. Networking is becoming a very powerful force and tool. But, I recommend you give-yourself a good week to investigate these cities, not the 2-1/2 days I spent.
MADISON: My sister goes to school here, so I have visited a few times. The local Sufi group is a good contact. They publish the newsletter called Heartnotes and if you write to them ahead of time, there is a possibility for hospitality. Mu'min Buell is interested in networking and would be a good contact. The networking publication in town is called "Attunement". Ravi Dykema is one of the supporters of the newsletter. The Peace Project is their attempt to create a networking director on a computer. According to Marc Stone (4513 Rahel St., Madison 53716; (608)221-9626) who used to be involved with the project, they haven't been able to find a computer and are looking into time sharing systems. Marc is another good contact person and could put someone up for a few nights. He saids the Lorian Society has many members in Madison including one of the founders and well-known New Age speaker, David Spangler. Through my conversation with Marc, I would say he is the best person to contact as far as meeting other New Age people. The other two possible contacts would be Pete & Chris Sotos, members of the Cooperative Communities of America, a network of people who can host travelers and,, Nottingham Co-op, another possible place to crash. Oh yes, Circle Network News is another network in Madison. It is a small community of people interested in Wicca, Native American Ways, Shamanism and Nature Religions.
IOWA CITY: Iowa City has an incredible number of New Age people. The main focus of their activity is through the New Age School run by Ron and Mona Scolastico. They are moving to Texas in the near future to be with their spiritual teacher, Carla Gordan. The two other people who are members of the board, who will be taking over are Marcia Wegman and David Overstreet- The New Age School does not have its own building or center, when classes or lectures are held, one of the other local facilities are used. Every Friday night, Marica leads an Open Forum where different New Age topics are covered. My visit to the city included an opportunity to give a talk at the Friday night meeting. I found the people to be extremely warm and loving and they talked me into staying five extra days. Of course, Iowa City is the site for the University of Iowa, so there is a lot of intellectual studies persued.
On the networking scene, in early February, 1982, they had heir first networking meeting. 45 people were in attendance representing about 15 different groups. From this meeting, a newsletter was developed called 'Common Vision'. It includes articles as well as directory listings on local groups/individuals. Some of the groups represented at the meeting included the Rosicrucians, Inner Peace Movement, A.R.E., Sparks Crystal and a Spiritual Healing Group. David and Marcia are also very involved with the networking and are the best contacts. Barbara 'Ha' Boyle, or better known as the Crystal Lady, has many New Age or spiritual contacts. Also, she can answer any questions on crystals you may have. Iowa City is a very nice place to visit. I fell in love with it and my new family. They told me, once you visit or live there and you leave, you always come back. Most of the people I met were creative artists in one way or another. So, here's looking at you Iowa City!!!
MILWAUKEE: Another large city like Chicago or Detroit with a lot of activity. The main two networking contacts I found were Elizabeth Hunter and Bob Watzke from the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship. Ms. Hunter has a computer with a few thousand names of groups and individual stored within. Unfortunately, she was out of town when I visited so I do not have any details to her system. Mr. Watzke told me that they have begun networking meetings where different people have a chance to meet. I was not clear if these meetings were just for members of the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship or included other groups as well. So, he would be a good contact to get in touch with other spiritually orientated people. New Age Chicago has begun publication of New Age Wisconsin which is centered in Milwaukee. So, they now have a New Age directory. Eleanor Swoboda and Martin Anderson are members of the Coptic Fellowship. These are two other people who have some contacts in the area. There are two metaphysical;/spiritual bookstores, Aum Books (1804 E. North Ave., Milwaukee 53202; (414)224-9570) and Sanctum Regnum (615 N. Milwaukee, Milwaukee 53202; (414)272-1818 ).
Helen Borth at Ray Holistic Service is a good contact for Holistic Health. She does Reiki healing and her center is open for New Age classes. Lee Jewel is a lecturer on UFOs and parapsychology. He has a good size library and over the many years of study and giving talks, has a good size list of local contacts in these fields. Unity Church West is a site for many metaphysical and spiritual classes, workshops and lectures. Lester McClelland is the pastor and can give some help in meeting local people. Thus you see Milwaukee has its fair share of New Age groups and people but I couldn't find any concrete networking. The groups seemed to be doing their own things. Perhaps the computer system of Ms. Hunter will help to integrate the city better.
Suggestions on Being
a (Good?) Networker
The Potential of Networking
Attn: Joshua "Illinois" Shapiro
Bloomington, IL, USA
FAX: (206) 350-4985 CrystalSkullExplorers@gmail.com
Last Modified by Illinois: 5/05/2008