The Anarchists on HBO and The Deep End on Hulu

Sometimes shows can capture what life is like living in a forming community.

HBO has a documentary called The Anarchists about a group of, you guessed it, anarchists organizing a conference and living in Acapulco, Mexico.  This show demonstrates exactly how intentional communities form and die!  Of course there are communities that thrive but this 6 year 6 part documentary shows my experience!!  Luckily, my experience was way less intense and didn’t include murder and death by heartache.

One man said “all these people that  I thought would be the greatest people I”d ever get to know, some of them were flat out assholes”

So he went in with the same naivety I did. I thought since we were trying to do something idealistic our human nature would be different. Ha.  Another person interviewed mentioned how we are animals deep down. They learned that in their tragic story.

Another man, seeing people’s behavior living down there, questioned his belief in anarchy.- Others didn’t like community living and left early on. The whole thing was based on a conference full of drugs and anything goes (comes with the territory of anarchy I suppose). Then greed came into the picture when many became rich early on in the crypto craze.

I would suggest anyone considering cohousing or other intentional communities to watch this documentary.

Another show I just finished is called The Deep End.  It’s a four part docu series about Teal Swan. Someone told me she had a book about healing from trauma so I bought it last year but hadn’t read it. Now I see it as junk science and all made up like the armchair psychology I hear in the Intentional Community unless you are a professional and trained, I don’t want to hear what you think. With that said, feel free to ignore any diagnosis I’ve ever had of others!  

So, Teal Swan says she’s psychic.  SHe has followers. What’s fascinating about this docu series is watching how they feel they are a community and an expert clearly shows that they are more cult-like. Any place that has differences in the inner circle and outside circles, a charismatic leader, and rules to only follow that leader (or group) and stay away from your family and friends is  probably toxic.  I’d watch it around Halloween since it is scary.

P.S. since writing this my dog peed on the Teal Swan book. It was on the floor as I was deciding what to do with it. I usually donate books but once in a blue moon I find a book that I feel like others shouldn’t bother reading. My dog is old and having issues so if something is on the floor, it may become a casualty. She’s not allowed in my room but snuck in and that’s where she did her business.

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
This entry was posted in bad behavior and bullies of any age, group think and cults, living in community, movies about neighbors or community, psychopathy, narcissicism, and personality disorders in cohousing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Anarchists on HBO and The Deep End on Hulu

  1. Maggie McGovern says:

    I love that quote, “some of them were flat out assholes”. Yes yes yes. I found that to be true of too many in cohousing. And worse, people supporting the assholes because they were conflict avoidant and wouldn’t speak up. Horrid. And surprising to me.

    Very interesting on Teal Swan! I’d been recommended to look into her (probably from some hippie acting bully loving cohouser – yes I’m still bitter). But I never did. I want to watch that show now!

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  2. Flower says:

    Teal Swan was the subject of a podcast I listened to about cults in the past few years and there’s so many of them. She fleeces vulnerable people and yes, it is junk science.

    “One man said “all these people that I thought would be the greatest people I”d ever get to know, some of them were flat out assholes”

    I’ve met the same kinds of people, which is why I have such an aversion to groups–not that you cannot run into types in a singular situation. I tend to favor the word and use it liberally, but only around people who I feel safe expressing myself with. It’s so descriptive and gender neutral which is a plus! It’s one of my favorites.

    I can feel triggered hearing the term “hippie” due to negative associations, Hearing it makes my skin crawl. I feel more than annoyed hearing hippie hogshit and all of the “ultra spiritual” BS of the new age cultivists.

  3. CJ says:

    Hippie has a lot of meanings and most have probably been lost to history.

    • Flower says:

      True, but most people associate the term with the counterculture, drug culture and hedonism of the 60s and 70s, allegedly rejecting conventional values. I wouldn’t use the term nonconformist as most did conform to a mindset. I probably wouldn’t use the term free spirit either because the people who I’ve known that use the term are irresponsible and selfish grifters, so I tend to associate it with those collective negative behaviors.

      I like the term bohemian. It has a nice ring to it, but if the person was an artist I’d probably be more specific. Same for a musician or writer. I would probably try to be as specific as possible to clear up any confusion as I’ve encountered a lot of self-important know-it-alls always seeking something to argue about or be “right” at all costs or to blame someone. Then there are those who deliberately seek ways to twist your words. It’s hard to fathom the level of their unhappiness and hatefulness.

      Anyway I tend to agree that some meanings get lost to history. In one of the books I referenced the idea of “selective inattention” was put forth. Sometimes people have their minds already made up and there’s little you can do because they refuse to meet you halfway.

      • CJ says:

        I think your definitions are perfect. And yes, selective inattention. I had a friend from way off in the country who grew up on a farm and she would call her father an “old hippie”. I was so confused since there wasn’t anything counter culture about her. When I asked recently, she explained it came from a song. Now it makes sense and I listened to the song again. I guess it became a nickname even if it didn’t describe her father at all.

      • Flower says:

        I can understand feeling confused by people and their personal definitions. I searched for a song with “old hippie” in the lyrics as I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. Some people focus a lot of song meanings, yet lyrics are often so personal and basically have only meaning, if at all, to the person who wrote the song.

        I knew someone, actually more than one person, who when I would ask for clarification as in sometimes repeating back what she said, she would reply in an angry and strident tone. It was as if she felt that I “should” read her mind. She was not an insightful person nor someone who would take responsibility for her poor communication. I’m far from perfect, although in her case I was attempting to understand and behaving as a friend. I knew she would never take one iota of personal responsibility for her communication, so I didn’t bother to call her out on it. Instead I wound up extricating myself from a relationship that felt very “toxic” as behaviors like that burden a relationship. It also wasn’t one behavioral problem either that spelled the demise.

  4. CJ says:

    That’s a crazy story because one method that intentional communities use is to reflect back what the person is saying to show you are listening and she took it the complete opposite!
    The song is called “Old Hippie” by the Bellamy Brothers. It was a country song. I remember hearing it but thought it was from the 70s however, looking up the lyrics, it says John Lennon died so that’d be the 80s. Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll put in a post called, “Will the real hippie please stand up?”

    • Flower says:

      I found the song. I’d never heard it, but you can still do a post. I never really listened to country music, although I’ve heard of many different artists. I can’t say why as my music tastes are broad, although I do listen to more of it now. In my research someone wrote about all of the hippies in cohousing and it was said in a derogatory way. When people make comments like that it suggests that they are unhappy or disapproving. Then I wonder if it’s difficult for them to leave their situations or what makes them stay.

      Reflecting back what someone says is also a method commonly cited in articles about listening too. I’ve known a lot of people who react as she did–the complete opposite. It can take you by surprise and they all sound the same–inpatient, angry and mad. Some people are contentious no matter what and are poor listeners. The response to any attempt to confront them about their behaviors is commonly gaslighting which is crazy making and toxic. Encountering people like this–I tend to think of them as walking and talking backwards and it is a huge red flag. Which is why NO and BYE are complete sentences.

      I recall attending some women’s group and a woman was sharing her research with the group and it involved communication. I asked a question about what to do in instances where the “technique” didn’t work, because the sexual harassment situation was still very fresh and I was dealing with the fallout. I didn’t explain the situation–just that I had a difficult boss, She just looked at me confused and had no answer. Some of the other participants seemed confused as well. I didn’t return to the group.

      That is one of many contributing reasons as to why I delved into books and don’t bother much with people or self-styled “experts” because they have a hard time admitting that techniques don’t always work or they just don’t know the answer. Maybe they feel embarrassed that they don’t have the answer in a public setting or maybe they feel challenged that you asked a question that they cannot answer. Who knows. It would be helpful if they could admit that the methods are situational and may not work. Few, if any people will ever own up to that. It can be very frustrating. Dr. Simon refers to these types of difficult people (manipulators, covert aggressive personalities, etc.) as character disordered. Another book I found useful was Emotional Unavailability, Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding Its Trap by Bryn C. Collins.

  5. CJ says:

    You are so right. With some people and situations these techniques can’t work. Our issue at the cohousing was big and I thought all along that we should have an expert in that field so the cohousing mediator was pretty useless with their techniques. Plus some in the group, I see now, were too manipulative and narcissitic.

    • Flower says:

      I recall you stated something earlier about the mediator. I think it’s wise to do a lot of background checking on anyone who would claim to be a mediator. And in some situations it will prove useless. All states don’t have similar laws regarding “experts” and especially when it comes to counselors, etc., and I would think mediators may fall into that category. although I don’t really know. I heard that some time ago when I experienced a severe problem with a psychologist/counselor. What a wild situation that was and it would be too difficult to summarize here. I don’t know if the legislation has changed or not, but it is not regulated to the extent and degree that some people may think. I’m not opposed to individual state’s legislation, but in some professions it would be helpful and good to seek some form of standardization. So that means that some people can market themselves as an “expert” without the credentials to back it up. I see the same situation in “natural health”. To complicate matters further there can be a huge gap in one’s skill set as well. Some people will be better than others.

  6. CJ says:

    And the mediators for cohousing and intentional communities are less regulated. I would love for them to have yelp reviews. One other problem in cohousing is that I had no input on what mediator we hired. I did believe their hype since that mediator had a strong presence in the movement but that didn’t mean they had success in all situations.

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