And the Rainbows Shall Cometh to Montana

by lizard

Tomorrow is June. That means in just over a month, thousands of folks will gather somewhere on public lands to project their good vibes for world peace in a ceremony that culminates on the 4th of July. The name of the group that puts on these national gatherings is The Rainbow Family of Living Light.

Today there’s an article about one of the scouting camps. There is still no definitive information on a finalized location, but there’s this:

Cairns said the Rainbow Family has other scouting groups in Montana, but she didn’t know where. The scouters will take their findings back to a loose-knit council; one of the Rainbow Family’s websites says the council will convene June 7 to 9 to make a decision on where to camp in Montana for about a week.

One unidentified Rainbow blogger said they’re looking in the Yaak and the Crazy Mountains.

Another article worth reading is an Indy feature from 13 years ago, written by Ken Picard accompanied by photos from Chard Harder. The piece is titled From Babylon to Wisdom.

Hopefully everything goes smoothly. An influx of this size can be a strain on local resources, and like any large group of people, there will always be a small percentage that don’t adhere to the proclaimed values of the majority.

That said, if you come in peace, I ain’t got no beef, ’cause respect is a two way street.


  1. JC

    Too bad the Indy archived article doesn’t have the photos that Chad Harder took. But my friend Beedge from Hearing Voices did a radio show for PRI on the 2000 Montana Gathering (and yes I did get interviewed, but it got cut in the final edit… but I digress), and it has a lot of interesting tidbits and some of Harder’s photos.

    And less I be remiss: an influx of rainbows from the gathering contributed to igniting Missoula’s police riots of the summer of 2000 as the fires raged in the mountains, when the Hell’s Angels roared through town and the police state couldn’t touch them, instead taking their frustrations out on those left behind on the streets of Mizzou…

  2. Oh, the concern for the forest when “outsiders” occasionally camp on their public land.

    Raise the issue of Tester’s clearcutting bill, which mandates nuking tens of thousands of acres and bulldozing hundreds of miles of new logging roads for a handful of subsidized “jobs,” and you can hear crickets in the Lee Inc. “newsrooms.” Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

    I bet an objective cost/benefit analysis would favor the campers.

    • JC

      Yeah, hippies don’t deserve 1st amendment rights, just tea baggers.

      And I hope i chased the scouts out of the Taylor Fork with some stories of what grizzlies are known to do to sloppy campers up there. ;-)

      An as to a cost/benefit analysis, most local communities freak at the thought of all those people. Then when they get a clue, and stock up on enough of the right provisions for thousands (tp, candy bars, cigarettes, water, etc.), they can have their best year ever, in a few days.

      • Steve W

        I’m hoping to attend this year. It’s been a while but I’ve met some really interesting and wonderful people at gatherings past. It’s like going home.

    • It’s worth remembering that back in 2000, (as Gov. Marc Racicot declared a state of emergency in advance of the Rainbow Gathering outside of Jackson, MT on the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest) that John Gatchell with the Montana Wilderness Association made media statements along the lines that the Rainbow Gathering was going to destroy some of the best elk habitat in Montana and have long-term negative consequences on the ecology of the area.

      What’s funny, is that not only did all that elk habitat destruction not take place back in 2000, but here we are now, in 2013, and the same John Gatchell of the same Montana Wilderness Association are spending millions in Pew Foundation money lobbying Congress and running high-priced ads all around the state calling for 100,000 acres (156 square miles) of mandated logging on the Beavheard-Deerlodge and Kootenai National Forests. In addition, Gatchell/MWA are calling for Wilderness Study Areas, that were protected in the late 70’s by Lee Metcalf, to be opened up for development, including logging, building of “temporary” logging roads, and made into essentially what amount to motorized playgrounds for ATV’s.

      People should really wise up to what the Montana Wilderness Association is doing in Montana, all to appease their ‘timber partners’ and politicians….while tossing America’s public lands legacy under the bus. Up on the Rocky Mountain Front, they get $10,000 a year in donations from David Letterman, and then MWA says nothing when Letterman illegally closes off a public road that would provide the only trailhead access to the proposed Deep Creek Wilderness on the Front.

      Yep, if you think the Rainbow Family is the biggest threat to our public lands legacy in Montana…think again.

  3. the subservience of john gatchell and the MWA to the political agenda of politicians who throw them chicken bones is embarrassing to watch. I have no strong opinion about the Rainbow Gathering except a libertarian one- as long as they don’t hurt anyone else or the ecosystem freedom to assemble must be protected.

    our civil rights are threatened every day by a sinister corporate and political alliance hellbent on limiting our freedom. the freedom to assemble on our public lands is paramount to any imagined threats manufactured by people who fear those who are different.




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