Roots of The Rainbow Family

ROOTS: The Rainbow Family of Living Light (aka Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes, etc.) didn't really begin at any specific time, and has never really existed as a formal organization. In many ways, it is a fundamental human expression, the tendency of people to gather together in a natural place and express themselves in ways that come naturally to them, to live and let live, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

In the U.S. in the late 1960's and early 70's, a kind of critical mass of consciousness developed. Beyond the media hype of "fading movement", those who were serious in the hippie and anti-war movements were learning what political life was really about, and, most importantly, were learning basic economics and to take care of their own. After some hard lessons at the many mega-events of the time, many were becoming skilled at coping with the care and feeding of tens of thousands of people at a time, and organized themselves into tribes dedicated to that purpose. A diverse and decentralized social fabric began to weave itself from threads of hippie culture, back-to-the-landers, american indian spiritual teachings, pacifist-anarchist traditions, eastern mysticism, and the legacy of depression era hobo street wisdom.

Although this fabric included visionaries, gurus, and people with strong organizing skills, it has not produced a leader/follower decision-making process or hierarchy. Instead, all decision making power is held in a main council, open to all, with all individuals holding equal power, and all decisions made only by unanimous consensus. Although it is frequently a difficult process, it has stood the test of time, and has served the whole quite well. This process makes it essentially impossible for authorities, power-trippers, or hostile elements to intimidate or manipulate individuals to the detriment of the group.