Something that hasn't been really mentioned here


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I first met the folks in Kerista Commune in early 1982-and Kerista Commune was an important part of my social life for a number of years(if I wasn't going to rap groups or parties at the commune, I was often hanging out with folks that I met there).

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned on this page is quite how big a shadow Kerista Commune cast over the Bay Area counter culture. Kerista Commune had a very intensive outreach program-and unlike some of the other Bay area communities wasn't intensely commercial.

The commune was very particular in who they were looking for-which meant in practice that a _lot_ of folks either read the newspaper and other literature or attended rap groups. Even in the days of the "old tribe" there were some Kerista "imitators"(at least one even called itself by the same name!).

Prior to meeting the folks in Kerista, I had been involved in some of the alternative sexuality activities that were part of the Bay Area "scene" at the time. When it started to become obvious that AIDS was a communicable STD, Kerista Commune started to appear to some of us as utter geniuses of social organization.

To really accurately portray the history of Kerista Commune, I think someone might want to do some kind of estimate of how many folks attended rap groups at one time or another and/or were part of the extended social community at one time or another. I think the number would be surprisingly large.

One thing that I'm personally left with when I think of the folks I met through Kerista Commune: compared to other alternative communities, there was a suprisingly large portion of people that really did significant things that walked through the doors. Every now and then I still run into something that somebody wrote and notice that I know that person through Kerista Commune.


One thing I want to say, even with my current understanding of all the flaws of Kerista, I'm not aware of any social or religious community in the Bay Area that was active at the time I was that that was significantly less flawed overall. I made some good friends there that I kept in touch with for quite some time-and I do appreciate that(and the work it took you and others to make that happen).

I tend to see the issues that arose in Kerista as being largely issues of the times that the act of creating a community intensified-more than the issues of any one person-or the collection of people there.