Intentional Communities: Some Inside Views

Intentional communities often offer viable alternative lifestyles. In this article, take a look at The Stelle Group, The International Emissary Community and Roandoak of God.

| January/February 1985

 Note from MOTHER: These intentional communities — in which like-minded people pool their knowledge, energies and resources in an endeavor to fulfill their particular needs, desires and dreams — often offer viable alternative lifestyles. But we are not endorsing any particular place. Should cooperative living appeal to you, it's always wise to check out carefully any community before becoming involved. 

The Stelle Group: Stelle, Illinois

If you see your life as an adventure in self development, you may be interested in the a goals and accomplishments of the people of Stelle, Ill. Stelle is presently striving to evolve from a private, intentional community into an ecumenical New Age city, where people can live in harmony with the natural environment, develop more loving relationships with each other, work toward inner spiritual completeness and be responsible for their own lives (rather than yielding that responsibility to "experts" or "gurus").

The Stelle Group is a not-for-profit, philosophical organization based upon "The Ultimate Frontier," by Ekial Kueshana, a book dedicated to improving and maintaining the best of civilization. During the 1960s, we were located in Chicago, but in 1970, we purchased 240 acres of land 90 miles south of the city and began to actualize our plans and preparations. Members donated their time and talents to build streets, sidewalks, homes, a factory and water and sewage treatment facilities. Over the subsequent decade, our model city was further planned and developed by a number of people who recognized the benefits of living in an environment that supports the pursuit of excellence.

In June 1982, in order to facilitate Stelle's growth, we decided to open the community to other individuals and organizations who wanted to share in the self-development and self-sufficiency of life in this model city but who didn't necessarily want to join The Stelle Group. The results have been exciting. More than 50 percent of the Stelle "town" is now made up of nonmembers.

Then, in April 1983, we incorporated a new not-for-profit organization, the Stelle Community Association, to provide municipal services and to serve as a forum for self-government. Stelle residents hold monthly community meetings to discuss issues proposed through a referendum process that any member can initiate; decisions are made by majority vote. The community's day-to-day administrative affairs are managed by an elected board of directors.

Stelle presently consists of 125 residents in 44 homes with varied religious and philosophical beliefs, assorted employment situations and individual dietary preferences. Our community also includes schools, greenhouses, an orchard, a holistic health center, a factory, several privately owned businesses and 200 acres of farmland. All in all, Stelle provides a beautiful, serene environment that excludes many of the negative aspects of contemporary society. There's no prejudice, onsite produced pollution or crime. Even the minor annoyances of noise, traffic congestion and public smoking have been eliminated, and the rare piece of litter is sure to be picked up quickly.

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