Death Camp

Death Camp was a birth family of husband, wife, and at least three children who came to gatherings from 2006 to 2010. (The father had additional kids with a different woman, and sometimes they also attended.) The mother was a victim of violence at a regional gathering, and she developed a hatred of hippies. She encouraged the kids to do pranks on other gatherers; some of their alleged acts include going up to passersby on trails and hitting them with sticks, aiming squirt guns that had been filled with urine, and throwing firecrackers in people’s tents as they were sleeping. Her aim was to provoke the hippies into hateful and even violent reactions and expose their hypocrisy when they went on about peace and love.

Any attempts to discipline the kids or reason with them would get replies of “we don’t care about your Rainbow rules”, and attempts at retaliation would make them single you out for future attacks. They attracted some hangers on who were not members of this genetic family, and sometimes other children would act like there had been war declared and engage in skirmishes with them. They were the subject of many Shanti Sena councils held in their absence, and the same dilemma always emerged as in the cases of A-Camp and Trading Circle – some wanted to physically eject them, but others wanted to find a way to heal them with Rainbow love.

At the 2010 annual in Pennsylvania they came into the Silent Meditation on the 4th talking loudly and playing a tambourine, which prompted several people who were sitting to get up and form a circle around them and try to shush them, but they responded with remarks like, “You’re a bunch of Nazi punks” and “You’re all a bunch of child molesters.” Other people started protesting the attempts to silence them, saying, “Let the children speak”. Finally there was a complete circle around them and someone started an Om. One of the kids said to another, “You’re being Omed over”, and she responded by saying, “This is getting too weird for me”, and she walked out of the circle, followed by all the rest.

They came back to the main meadow a second time, and one of the children had a trombone and was making blasts on it. Another threw a smoke bomb on the ground that started a little clump of dry grass on fire which was quickly stomped out. Several people got up and a mob of people formed around them, and the girl who had thrown the bomb was herself thrown to the ground and people piled on top of her. Thruout they cried out mockingly things like, “Get your hands off me!”, and, “You call yourselves peaceful. You’re really a bunch of violent punks.” Another Om started up, and people got up from sitting and started holding hands in concentric circles, starting the big Om perhaps prematurely. The trombone was severely damaged in the melee.

There was a long Shanti Sena council near Info that afternoon that for the first time included them, and the mother had lots of things to say about this. “I think this shows what kind of monsters you really are. You talk about peace and non-violence, but here you go attacking little girls.” As she spoke further, it became more and more apparent that she had decided to use her children to deliberately provoke some kind of violent reaction to prove what she thought about the hypocrisy of hippies, and she was acting very smug in having succeeded. The kids said things like, “We’re just doing this to see if we can get a reaction out of you. If you don’t give us one, we’ll get bored and stop.” Someone from the circle said., “So what is the solution?”, one of the kids said again, “Just ignore us and don’t give us a reaction” The mother said, “Come to our camp and talk with us an get to know us. You’ll find out that a lot of the stories people tell about us aren’t true.” (And indeed Fat Kids had managed to achieve a state of being not attacked by them, and some in that kitchen empathized with their anti-Rainbow establishment feelings.)

There was contrition among some of the other people in the circle, and a few went so far as to apologize for the severity of the reaction. One person produced a bicycle horn in the shape of a hunting horn, with the rubber squeezer missing, and gave it to the kids to make up for the destruction of the trombone.

The mother and father ran into marital difficulties and the family broke up soon after, and they have not appeared at gatherings as a unit since 2010.

September 14th, 2016 by John Anderson