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Peace Alliance (Vandverse)

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 This article is a B-class article. It is written to a good standard. This article is part of Vandverse.
Peace Alliance
Peace sign.svg
Peace Sign
Formation 1970

Pro-peace politics
Civil Rights Movement
New Communalism
Cooperative union
Religious freedom

Headquarters San Francisco, CA

The Peace Alliance is a California-based cooperative of counter-cultural social, political, and religious groups, comprised of a voluntary council. Initially founded in 1970, the organization was created to create a network for utopian communes being formed from the Hippie Movement, in order share resources and ideas, and organize acts of peaceful resistance as part of the civil rights and anti-war movement. Early proponents or members of the organization included Timothy Leary and Charles Manson.

In the 21st century the organization has gained a reputation as a catchall for new age movements, particularly "UFO religions", as movements such as Raëlism became major members. New religious movements form a plurality in the organization's membership, although notable groups such as Scientology refuse to cooperate with the Peace Alliance and remain independent. During this time the organization came to be supported by eccentric billionaire philanthropists or converts, such as Jocelyn Wildenstein the "Catwoman" and inventor and eugenicist Robert Klark Graham of the Repository for Germinal Choice. Collectively the organization would also become infamous for its doomsday prepping, and the creation of isolated bunker communities, primarily in the Southwest.

As the organization was originally comprised of independent-mined, antiestablishmentarian movements, the Peace Alliance lacks any authoritarian control over its members. Its leadership is made up by a small, open forum, consisting of volunteers from the various subgroups. The majority of early commune members followed an anarchist form of government or a form of direct democracy, leading to various means of building the Peace Alliance's council. Additionally many communities abstain from participation in any form of government, or choose to only observe council happenings. Although later iterations of the organization's council shifted more toward democracy, actions such as lobbying or campaigning are discouraged and not practiced.



The Icarians were a French-based utopian socialist movement, established by the followers of politician, journalist, and author Étienne Cabet. In an attempt to put his economic and social theories into practice, Cabet led his followers to the United States of America in 1840, where the Icarians established a series of egalitarian communes in the states of Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and California. In 1849 the Icarians founded a colony in northwestern Los Angeles County in Placerita Canyon. Although initially experiencing hardship that nearly caused the colony to collapse, the discovery of gold on the colony's property helped to propel the Icarian population and its economic prospects. Later a colony would also be founded Sonoma County, known as Speranza.

Llano Commune

In 1910 Socialist leaders in Southern California became interested in the creation of a Socialist commune, with the goal of creating a community that demonstrated Socialist ideals to the general public. The project was endorsed by Job Harriman of the Socialist Labor Party, as well as Socialist newspaper editor and union organizer Daniel De Leon. In 1911 the Socialist candidate Job Harriman was elected mayor of Los Angeles over Democrat incumbent George Alexander, and his vision for a Socialist commune was now backed by the resources of his office.

Several prominent Southern Californian supporters were solicited for financial and practical support and a 9,000-acre (3,600 ha) site was located about 45 miles (72 km) north of Los Angeles in the Antelope Valley. A purchase option was taken on the land, which had the benefit of having earlier been partially developed by a colony of temperance advocates. Assets of the Mescal Water and Land Company, including water rights and bonds sold for $150,000 to finance the earlier colonization effort, were purchased by Harriman and his associates for a small fraction of their original value. A new 9-member board of directors was appointed and sale of stock was begun in the fall of 1911 with a view to financing a new socialist community on the existing colony's site.

By the end of the year stock in the colony began to be sold, and an application process began to evaluate potential settlers. Applicants for membership were required to be idealistic, industrious, and sober. To ensure standards were met, applicants needed three references, written ideally by a local union president or secretary. Questions testing an applicant’s dedication to socialism were also part of the entrance procedure. In addition to the appeal of building a new socialist society, colonists were drawn to Llano by promises of a high standard of living, including guaranteed employment, high wages, and work place benefits. However, initially the commune was only able to guarantee that colonists' needs were met in exchange for their labor. Socialist newspapers also praised the colony highly, and other publications reported on the site out of curiosity, leading to many being attracted to the site.

The valley in which the colony was located was bordered by the San Bernardino Mountains to the east and contained sites for fruit orchards, alfalfa fields, and vegetable production, while two creeks provided water for the land. Additionally the colony successfully obtained a permit to build a dam from the California Commissioner of Corporations, greatly increasing the community's water supply. As mayor, Harriman poured funds into the development of the colony, hoping to create a modern and well designed city. The city's street layout would be designed by architect Alice Constance Austin, who envisioned "feminist" houses, which sought to reduce domestic work done by women. Although much of the city was still under construction, by 1912 the city boasted a population of 1,000 inhabitants.

The community continued to grow in the following years, although America's involvement in World War One stalled its growth, as many left for war-time jobs elsewhere, or were drafted in the war, despite the community promoting conscientious objection for its members.

Nature Boys

In the early 20th century proponents of the German Lebensreform movement arrived in the United States, with many settling in Southern California. Santa Barbara's first health food store would be opened in 1934 by Hermann Sexauer, a proponent of pacifism, raw veganism, and non-conformist lifestyle. In turn, young Americans adopted the beliefs and practices of the new immigrants. One group, called the Nature Boys, who included William Pester, took to the California desert, raised organic food, and espoused a back-to-nature lifestyle. Eden Ahbez, a member of this group, wrote a hit song, "Nature Boy'", which was recorded in 1947 by Nat King Cole, popularizing the homegrown back-to-nature movement to mainstream America. Eventually, a few of these Nature Boys, including the famous Gypsy Boots, made their way to Northern California in 1967, just in time for the Summer of Love in San Francisco.

Hippie Movement

Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters

The Merry Pranksters were a group who originally formed around American novelist Ken Kesey, considered one of the most prominent figures in the psychedelic movement, and often lived communally at his homes in California and Oregon. Notable members include Kesey's best friend Ken Babbs, Neal Cassady, Mountain Girl (born Carolyn Adams but best known as Mrs. Jerry Garcia), Wavy Gravy, Paul Krassner, Stewart Brand, Del Close, Paul Foster, George Walker, and others. Their early escapades were chronicled by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters are remembered chiefly for the sociological significance of a lengthy roadtrip they took in 1964, traveling across the United States in a psychedelically painted school bus enigmatically labeled Further, and for the "Acid Tests". Kesey believed that psychedelics were best used as a tool for transforming society as a whole, and believed that if a sufficient percentage of the population had the psychedelic experience then revolutionary social and political changes would occur. Therefore, they made LSD available to anyone interested in partaking - most famously through the "electric kool-aid" made available at a series of "Acid Tests"; musical and multi-media events where participants were given "acid", the street name for LSD. The tests were held at various venues in California, and were sometimes advertised with colorful crayoned signs asking "Can you pass the acid test?" The first Acid Test was held in Palo Alto, California in November 1965. The young psychedelic music band the Grateful Dead became frequenters of these events to provide musical accompaniment.

Red Dog Experience

The Red Dog Saloon was a bar and music venue located in the isolated, old-time mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. In April 1963, Chandler A. Laughlin III established a kind of tribal, family identity among approximately 50 people who attended a traditional, all-night peyote ceremony which combined a psychedelic experience with traditional Native American spiritual values.

During the summer of 1965, Laughlin recruited much of the original talent that led to a unique amalgam of traditional folk music and the developing psychedelic rock scene. He and his cohorts created what became known as The Red Dog Experience, featuring previously unknown musical acts - Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Charlatans, Grateful Dead and others. There was no clear delineation between "performers" and "audience" and the music, psychedelic experimentation, unique sense of personal style, and Bill Ham's first primitive light shows combined to create a new sense of community.


Some of the earliest San Francisco hippies were former students at San Francisco State College (later renamed San Francisco State University) who were intrigued by the developing psychedelic hippie music scene and left school after they started taking psychedelic drugs. These students joined the bands they loved and began living communally in the large, inexpensive Victorian apartments in the Haight. Young Americans around the country began moving to San Francisco, and by June 1966, around 15,000 hippies had moved into the Haight. The Charlatans, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Grateful Dead all moved to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood during this period.

Hippie action in the Haight centered on the Diggers, a guerrilla street theatre group that combined spontaneous street theatre, anarchistic action, and art happenings in their agenda to create a "free city". By late 1966, the Diggers opened stores which simply gave away their stock; provided free food, medical care, transport and temporary housing; they also organized free music concerts and works of political art. An organization known as the Haight Ashbury Switchboard was formed that supported the Diggers, and acted as a meeting place for like-minded people.

New Communalism

Following the Summer of Love in 1967, thousands of hippies left San Francisco, and a large minority of them headed "back to the land". These hippies created the largest number of intentional communities or communes in the history of the United States, forming alternative, egalitarian farms and homesteads in California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee and other states. According to Timothy Miller, communes were organized in many different ways, some along religious, political, and even sexual orientation. Poet and writer Judson Jerome, who studied the American commune movement, estimates that by the early 1970s, about 750,000 people lived in more than ten thousand communes across the United States.

One prominent community was Strawberry Fields, started by former Boston stockbroker and later probation officer Gridley Wright. Named after the song by the Beatles, the site occupied forty four acres of land in Decker Canyon, in the arid hills above Malibu, California. Nine adults and six children made up the original community, housed in two old houses and a barn, but the community quickly grew in number. It was a stopping off place for Timothy Leary as well as other well known figures in the psychedelic movement. Annie and the Family were one of the original families to take up residence there; they later went on to take part in the magical mystery tour and to live in a number of other communes in Europe. Timothy Leary would eventually sponsor his own communes in Laguna Beach, with the help of Peggy, Billy, and Tommy Hitchcock, heirs to the Mellon fortune.

Early Organizations

A number of political and religious organizations arose in the late 1960s, which would later develop into the Peace Alliance.

Brotherhood of Eternal Love

he Brotherhood of Eternal Love was an organization of drug users and distributors that operated from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s in Orange County, California; they were dubbed the Hippie Mafia. They produced and distributed drugs in hopes of starting a "psychedelic revolution" in the United States.The organization was started by John Griggs as a commune, but by 1969, had turned to the manufacture of LSD and the importing of hashish. Profits made from their operations would often be used to finance other political organizations throughout the region.

League for Spiritual Discovery

On 19 September 1966, Leary reorganized the IFIF/Castalia Foundation under the nomenclature of the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religion with LSD as its holy sacrament, in part as an unsuccessful attempt to maintain legal status for the use of LSD and other psychedelics for the religion's adherents, based on a "freedom of religion" argument. Leary incorporated the League for Spiritual Discovery as a religious organization in New York State, and their belief structure was based on Leary's mantra: "drop out, turn on, tune in." (The Brotherhood of Eternal Love subsequently considered Leary their spiritual leader, but The Brotherhood did not develop out of International Federation for Internal Freedom.) Nicholas Sand, the clandestine chemist for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, followed Leary to Millbrook and joined the League for Spiritual Discovery. Sand was designated the "alchemist" of the new religion.

At the end of 1966, Nina Graboi, a friend and colleague of Leary's who had spent time with him at Millbrook, became the director of the Center for the League of Spiritual Discovery in Greenwich Village. The Center opened in March 1967. Leary and Alpert gave free weekly talks at the center, and other guest speakers included Ralph Metzner and Allen Ginsberg. Leary's papers at the New York Public Library include complete records of the International Federation for Internal Freedom (IFIF), the Castalia Foundation, and the League for Spiritual Discovery. During late 1966 and early 1967, Leary toured college campuses presenting a multimedia performance entitled "The Death of the Mind", attempting an artistic replication of the LSD experience. Leary was invited to attend the 14 January 1967 Human Be-In by Michael Bowen, the primary organizer of the event,[89] a gathering of 30,000 hippies in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. In speaking to the group, Leary coined the famous phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out."

Peace and Freedom Party

In 1966 the Peace and Freedom Party was founded, based on the ideals of the civil rights and anti-war movements occurring across the country. During the Election of 1968 they received over 120,000 votes in California, leading to the party gaining ballot status in that state. The party would also become a major factor in the 1970 California gubernatorial election.

Youth International

The Youth International Party, or Yippies, who were seen as an offshoot of the hippie movements parodying as a political party, came to national attention during their celebration of the 1968 spring equinox, when some 3,000 of them took over Grand Central Station in New York — eventually resulting in 61 arrests. The Yippies, especially their leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, became notorious for their theatrics, such as trying to levitate the Pentagon at the October 1967 war protest, and such slogans as "Rise up and abandon the creeping meatball!" Their stated intention to protest the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August, including nominating their own candidate, "Lyndon Pigasus Pig" (an actual pig), was also widely publicized in the media at this time.


The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), commonly known as the Weather Underground, was a radical left militant organization active in the late 1960s and 1970s. The Weather Underground was classified by the FBI as "domestic terrorist group." With revolutionary positions characterized by black power and opposition to the Vietnam War, the group conducted a campaign of bombings through the mid-1970s. The "Days of Rage", their first public demonstration on October 8, 1969, was a riot in Chicago timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1970 the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government, under the name "Weather Underground Organization".



Hippie Era

Ufologist Era

Desert Era

In the 21st century the thinking of the Peace Alliance became dominated by rising tensions internationally. A large portion of the group's members took part in political activism against American internationalism and nuclear proliferation, while supporting actions against climate change, such as the Green New Deal.

Elsewhere, many members of the group favored the implementation of precautions in case of doomsday. Claude Vorilhon, otherwise known as Raël, advocated for the creation of several compounds outside Los Angeles, in addition to the Raëlist headquarters already operating in Palm Springs, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. One such compound would be created in Valyermo, located southeast of Palmdale, while another was constructed in Piñon Hills further to the east.