Re: guidlines on consensus acceptance of new members
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 04:57:25 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 28, 2006, at 9:37 PM, Tree Bressen wrote:

Almost all groups created on the cohousing model use
self-selection. Coming from the earlier intentional communities movement
where a lot of emphasis is placed on screening incoming members

On the topic of screening members:

I have long wanted to participate in a list for intentional communities that would reflect the breadth of community, rather than a narrow list like Cohousing-L. Cohousing-L is such a wonderful resource with open sharing people, wouldn't it be great to have an email list open to all intentional communities so they could share. So when a list was announced in the last Fellowship for Intentional Communities newsletter, I immediately joined.

The rules for participation on the list tell the story about why there are so few intentional communities and no list on which they share information. The rules grew and grew over the first month so that I finally sent a message that I knew would get me evicted. The list of rules:

Memberships are only approved after a member sends an introduction to the list saying that they are indeed serious about starting a community.

This rule quickly morphed into _everyone_ on the list voting on each new list members.

If you didn't vote on the new member, you were in violation of the rules.

Every member has to post at least once a week or you would be deleted. The moderators deleted very quickly (like less than a month?) the people who had posted introductions but had not posted after that.

Lurkers were not allowed because lurkers are hangers-on who take without giving.

After cohousing, it was a very strange set of rules. And, of course, I said so, and am no more on the list. But I thought this might present a good comparison of the different mind-set of cohousers compared to other intentional communities.

I also join lists of forming communities of all kinds and am struck that those who are interested in ecovillages, go very quickly to teaching or demonstration farming or land conservation projects of various kinds rather than thinking of getting homes built first.

Very interesting world out there.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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