Reconciliation Museum or Revolutionary Monastery or Retreat Motel
A semi-monastic experience for those who need it, a simple act of hospitality for travelers, and education for humanity's sake.
Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) has been organizing and mobilizing people of various faith traditions for 35 years to offer spiritually-based witness for peace and justice in the desert bioregion north of Las Vegas. At the turn of the century NDE’s Council began considering ways to take the witness into the next millennium, i.e. “how can we initiate a Guardianship Project (ala Joanna Macy) that will help humans live peacefully with this desert into the future, free from nuclear weapons and war-making?” Meanwhile, the Western Shoshone National Council (with the leadership of Corbin Harney) endorsed grassroots prayer-activism by non-natives around the nuclear testing site. Also in those decades the Temple of Sekhmet (under the sponsorship of Genevieve Vaughn) was created in Cactus Springs, NV to practice Goddess Spirituality in tandem with the activism to abolish the scourge of nuclear weapons.
NDE has always been organized in service of the transformative power of nonviolence to save societies and the environment. In the late 20th century (1982 to 2007) NDE focused prayer-actions in Nye County, regarding nuclear weapons. Then our NDE focus expanded, due to the 21st century threat to the desert psyche—remote-control war in Clark County.
We now have an opportunity for NDE folks, Shoshone folks, Goddess Temple folks and other activist groups to augment our spheres of influence and fulfill the needs of future beings through a singular tactic. We can achieve four serious functions and three other functions simultaneously. These seven services are...
1. EDUCATIONAL MUSEUM to decry the disturbing lie: nuclear weapons and superior terrorism of remote-controlled killing machines are good for our country.
2. RETREATS to enhance partner groups’ work of spiritual care for a wounded world. This is more extensive hospitality than the above “rest stop” function, and can be 2-7 nights long.
3. HOSPITALITY to meet the basic need of travelers for a refreshing, inspirational rest stop.
4. REGULAR MONASTIC PRAYER to keep highly disciplined spiritual practices of multiple traditions intact as the foundation upon which above and below services will exist.
5. A place for MUSIC FESTIVALS and ART FAIRS for goodness’ sake.
6. A REST-STOP for travelers to refresh themselves while being challenged with accurate information about the abuses of the desert bioregion.
A CENTER, a.k.a. a BRIDGE between the war-makers and the peace-makers.
MORE DETAILS ON HISTORY:
In addition to the prospect of a Guardianship Project, the NDE Council at the turn of the century felt that a small, educational hospitality center (ala mini-museum) is needed to help local travelers understand the reality of nuclear weapons testing and the problem of nuclear waste. Americans (including war-makers and peace-makers) need a spiritually safe place to seek soul-healing in the face of our tax-funded monumental terrorist institutions of nuclearism and drone warfare. One of the gifts NDE offers our country is the ability to just stand there. We shall not be moved. Another charism of NDE is catalyzing synergism. In 1989 NDE helped midwife Pace e Bene into existence, and in the early ‘90s Healing Global Wounds held their first meeting at the Francis & Clare Compound, because NDE offered a reliable, spiritually sound ground. Longstanding justice and peace activists nationwide can point to formative experiences in the Nevada Desert. Perhaps a new entity might now come into existence, with NDE’s help?
One proposal a decade ago was for NDE to rent land belonging to the Corporation for Newe Sogobia on the south side of US Highway 95 in Cactus Springs for a nascent Guardianship Project with a visitor center and museum. Another potential site that NDE considered was the Atomic Veterans land (5 miles south of US 95, accessible only by dirt road). If using the south side of US 95 at Cactus Springs, NDE would be a tenant of the rightful Shoshone/Newe owners, alongside of the Temple of Sekhmet. That idea makes sense as long as our intersecting movements have limited access to land. Since the karaoke bar on the north side of Cactus Springs shut down a decade ago, and because the Indian Springs hotel was swallowed by Creech, a new strategy emerges this year; legal access to northern Cactus Springs.
WHY DO THIS?
The hard core value of the new entity being created is DEEP RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE AND SPIRITUALITY. This is the opposite value of the military-industrial-nuclear-violence society.
Let’s start a monastic hospitality center, which, in this early phase is called DARM (Desert Activist RECONCILIATION MUSEUM or REVOLUTIONARY MONASTERY or RETREAT MOTEL). Regardless of the name the seminal idea has come into being: growing this idea into fruition is now on the table. A potential Mission Statement draft is below.
The DARM will develop fully with a business plan during the Summer of 2017. A new nonprofit legal entity will raise and spend up to $6 Million over the next four years to make the DARM real.
The initial laborers have been pulled in from the pool of nuclear abolitionists and anti-war folks already active in Nevada/Newe Sogobia. With this core group of long-term, dedicated, interfaith activists for justice and peace, we will build a polyfunctional DARM for a 30-year run.
We honor our ancestors by ceremonially remembering both their purposes of taking care of their future families and societies and their pains of enduring an unjust world.
In this bioregion we continue their work for justice and peace by educating the public on the violent hazards of the military and nuclear weapons industry of the United States.
We care for each unique person who visits the DARM by providing inspiration through spiritual exercises which include meditation, ritual, prayer services, artistic and musical participatory events, and a place to rest.