The community here does have a strong shared belief in innate human goodness, this is what binds us together as a community. We see one another’s inherent goodness and worth, we celebrate it, we reject the cruelty and passivity of the world we all left behind, and we pose no threat to anybody.
The minute I begin to tell anyone that I live in a chosen community with a chosen familial group and we share common beliefs about the world around us, they begin to question my safety and sanity. I know it sounds like a cult. I’ve studied all of the cults, all of the cult leaders, all of the different world religions. I understand the difference between cult and religion just as I recognize the difference between community and cult.
We have a weekly mutual worship session – we’re split into groups and discuss our lives with a therapeutic sense. The purpose of these groups is to have friends and neighbors validate our concerns that we would be afraid to even voice in a less evolved group. It is also a way to heighten the sense of community and dependency of the community members. It is important to us to remember that people need us as much as we need people. For this reason, it is very uncommon that someone leaves the group.
We get the occasional tourists in town on the wine trip who don’t feel comfortable visiting or paying for goods at what they consider a cult. Once anyone is convinced you’re in a cult, anything you say sounds to them like gaslight scripted jargon. But most are more than happy to throw their money at us!
This hipster homemade trend works very much in our favor.