RE: Image fear/stereotypes
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 14:59:01 -0700 (MST)
Judy I think you missed my point. The key point was the "stop listening"
part. Lots of people, including me, have no interest in living in a commune,
but I think in order to ever be a successful cohouser you need to keep on
listening, even when you disagree. If you are so inflexible that you stop
listening because you project commune onto Cohousing, you most likely would
never make it through the first cohousing meeting, much less ever live in
such a place.

In the outreach work I do I have met  a few folks that project all kinds of
things onto cohousing, and don't bother to even listen while I explain that
their fantasies are all wrong. They walk away convinced that they know what
they know and don't listen to any other perspective. These folks would
never, ever make it in a cohousing community, THANK GOD!  The world to these
folks is flat, and no amount of evidence will ever convince them otherwise.

For example, I know a lady who smokes 2 packs a day and has had three
cancers. She is convinced that the whole cigarette/cancer connection is a
liberal plot constructed by liberal lawyers to bilk the stupid people. She
has had more than 20 doctors because as soon as one tells her to stop
smoking he reveals himself as part of the liberal conspiracy. I am not
making this up. She really believes this. She holds down a job, pays taxes
and goes to church. So her insanity is not dangerous, except of course to

So my point was, its a waste of your time to even talk with folks like this
about cohousing. Best to stick to safe topics like the weather.

Lots of cohousers know about communes, the fact that they kept  listening
while someone explained cohousing shows that they have at least that much
going for them.


-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Judy Baxter
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 10:43 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Image fear/stereotypes

From: Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing, Minneapolis, MN

I agree with Rob, *and* disagree.

<In my experienced opinion, people who are so afraid of communes that they
stop listening, will NEVER be involved in any cohousing project anyway. So
worrying about them is a waste of your time.
Rob Sandelin
I see a continuum of intentional communities - with cohousing towards the
*individualistic  end*, i.e. private, self sufficient homes, a 'non-ideology
ideology (good point, whoever said that) .

My impression is that the word "commune", mostly inaccurately, evokes images
of more sharing, less privacy, sometimes required meal attendance, +
(sometimes) the Woodstock images and statements about sex and drugs that Fox
network prefaced to their story about us.  I don't think you have to be
"afraid" of communes to prefer a different kind of community, and you may
be attracted to cohousing and not to your concept of a commune.  So, I don't
think we should panic about the "c-word", but pay attention to the message
Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community,(MoCoCo) Twin Cities Area,
where, after 8 years in residence, we are finally ready to take on re-doing
porch  into a 4 season large space for play, dance, . . .
A studio size home may be for sale in future, we don't know when
 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 952-930-7554
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