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The Seed Discussion Forum / The impact of this forum
« on: August 14, 2008, 04:25:04 PM »
I haven't posted on this site in ages, and I have visited only sporadically. Seems like sometimes it's up, sometimes down, and moving to various host locations. I don't know the details.

I had kind of had a 'been there, done that' attitude towards the site. I am turning 50, I have two children, I'm busy, and I work (ironically) about 1/2 mile from the old Cleveland Seed, so I pass it frequently and feel - nothing.

However, I have seen some of the recent posts by people who have just discovered this site, and it reminds me how powerful it is to reconnect. To have the chance to relive old memories and grievances, grind an ax or two and even realize where my original ideas were mistaken. So amazing.

The Seed remains for me a pivotal, formative, powerful experience. I still haven't decided whether it was all good or bad, and the fact is, it was both. No matter what, those memories will live with me forever, and I am sure I will still have dreams in which the Seed plays a role.

So, thanks again to Ginger and Greg and whoever else is helping them maintain this forum, in spite of whether you agree with their views or not - they are letting us air our views here, and, you know what, the truth will out.

Take care and happy discovery for any new Seed Kids that find this site.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Seed Article
« on: January 04, 2007, 03:19:56 PM »
See this for an interesting Seed account:

Same issue has an article on the Troubled Teen industry.

Bonus -it's in The Sun, a great magazine.

Wally G.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Summer Reading List
« on: May 10, 2006, 09:57:00 AM »
What's on your list?

Years ago, I read Alice Miller's 'Drama of the Gifted Child,' thought it was great, along with John Bradshaw, and all of those other 'Inner Child' type people. Wonder how I would feel about them now. Currently reading Jack Kornfield's "A Path With Heart' ... e&n=283155

Very good.

Other books I have enjoyed on this topic are:

'Working Inside Out' Margo Adair ... e&n=283155

For some reason, there are two fiction books that I read over and over that seem to have relevence:

'Washington Square' Henry James
'Body and Soul' Frank Conroy

Also one new one that I think is great:

'The Ha-Ha' Dave King

The Seed Discussion Forum / Dr. Margaret Sanger
« on: April 24, 2006, 08:02:00 PM »
So read this and tell me if you think it's a good thing... ... &Itemid=35

The Seed Discussion Forum / Cleveland Seed Revisited
« on: January 25, 2006, 10:28:00 AM »
Somewhere on Fornits someone had mentioned the address of the Cleveland Seed - 8301 Detroint Avenue. That's where I was admitted to the program in 1979, just prior to the Seed leaving Cleveland and consolidating with the program in Ft. Lauderdale, I believe in Oct. of '79 (I may be wrong about these dates). Anyway, I moved back to Cleveland after I left the Seed in 1986, and I have lived on the near west side of Cleveland for the past 12 years. I drive down Detroit all the time, I had never seen building that called out 'Seed' to me, so I was sure the building had been demolished. There are a lot of vacant lots in this part of Cleveland.

Well, lo and behold, the building is still there. It is currently home for Mental Health Services, and has been altered a lot but not substantially.

I went looking for it the other night. I drove down Detroit, and went right past it. It is an H-shaped brick building, low set. The wings flank the entry ways, front and back. There is not much landscaping left, and of course, the big, ornate Seed sign (yellow on green) is gone. It looks like when it was built, it had a low, heavy roofline, meant to look like an English cottage, but that is gone now, as is the Tudor wookwork in the eaves - replaced by a modern, cheap-looking roof braced by big, iron braces. Ugly.

I went to the back parking lot, which is what I remember. I walked to the rear door, opened and entered into what would have been the rap room - now split up into reception area and offices. Some of the floor tile that I remember - heavy, shiny rustic terracota - is still evident, but a lot of it is covered with institutional grey carpet.

I walked to my left, and there were two cheap doors marked, 'conference room.' They were unlocked, and I walked in - there was the mantelpiece that I remember, with beautiful tiles inset with images of animals or cowboys or something - I have no idea. I only had a moment before security tossed me out, but I asked if I could look at the front entry because - "I had been here when I was a kid." The double terrazzo stairway, a 1950s addition to the building, still was flanked by interior flower beds, whcih in the Seed days, had featured Catholic saints (the building had been an orphanage pre-Seed). The saints are gone, but there were still a few wan looking plants, although the beds are now filled in - I seem to recall they had ivy in them, and maybe plastic flowers or greenary. I don't know.

It's amazing how little of the Seed building I recalled - I rarely saw anything but the inside of the main rap room upstairs and the one in the basement where we did the rules. The only other time I was in any of the other rooms was during my intake, where I was strip searched and interrogated.

I don't ever recall seeing much of the outside of the building. Did I wear a blindfold when I was driven there as a newcomer? I did always have an oldcomer with me, with a heavy arm draped over my shoulders. Usually one on each side.

I had no emotion at all in the building, or very little. I have experienced much more intense feelings and memories through this forum. Faced with the actual building, it just seemed a bit tired and faded, but mostly empty.

Thought those of you who went through the Cleveland Seed might like to hear this.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Addiction to the group, addiction to drugs
« on: December 06, 2005, 10:39:00 AM »
"Recently a great deal of attention has been directed to cases of so-called brainwashing, where young adults or teenagers are taken by a group (usually religious) and converted into automatons: smiling, beatific servants of the order who will do whatever they are bidden. For the young people in these groups (many of whom, incidentally, have histories of unhealthy drug use), the religious order sets up a totally controlled social environment, where not only are all practical matters taken care of, but certitude of thought is also provided. Through worship of a leader and agreement with those around them, the young people lose their uncertainty and anxiety and will sacrifice any other commitments or interests to preserve this state. An interesting sidelight of this form of addiction is that if young people do leave the movement, they tend to become as negative toward the organization as they once were positive and may attack it just as fanatically as they once defended it."

I exerpted this from a longer article on addiction which is really terrific:

The Seed Discussion Forum / Seed Dream
« on: November 28, 2005, 10:12:00 AM »
I wonder how many people still dream about the Seed? I used to quite a bit, but I thought it had stopped. However, just the other day I woke up with a Seed dream fresh on my mind. Here it is:

I was at the Seed on SR 84. Out in the back, where we did the Hokey Pokey, was a landing strip. Art was teaching me how to fly in a small plane. This was great - he was kind, patient and a great teacher. However, the next time I was supposed to fly, the plane was gone and Art was not around, so I waited alone in the small office. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the plane lands, and John P. gets out. He is totally unconcerned that I have been kept waiting. I am sort of pissed off, but he is junior staff, so I hold my tongue. As I head out to the plane I suddenly recall that my flying lessons with Art did not include either taking off or landing, so I can't fly anyway. Dejected, I walk back to the Seed. Then I woke up.

I think this dream is funny, because it shows the type of relationship I wanted from Art - the kind, patient teacher - and instead what I got - someone who wasn't there for me. Also, my jealousy for those more priveleged. Finally, the fact that the Seed taught me to fly, but not on my own, and not how to 'land' or 'take off.' Pretty straight forward metaphors.

Any body else have vivid Seed dreams? And I mean for real...


The Seed Discussion Forum / Dear Art,
« on: September 30, 2005, 12:06:00 PM »
I am posting my own 'Dear Art' letter here, and I hope others will too.

"Dear Art,

Hi, this is Walter. You called me Wally. I was a newcomer in '78 in Cleveland, 19 years old at the time. I was looking for some answers then, since my family seemed so screwed up, and my brother had joined the Seed and came home, seemingly transformed. I went to an Open Meeting and, after talking with Scott B., sat down on the front row. I graduated and ended up staying for 7 years.

I want to tell you that the Seed experience was a complicated one for me. I was young and confused, and it gave me definite answers to so many things. I also really thought the raps were fascinating, how a staff member could weave a spell over the group, and how much we might laugh. Some people were cryers, but not me. Anyway, I came to believe that the Seed was it, or at least that it offered an alternative to what I had found in life so far.

I really wanted adventure, and the Seed promised that we would change the world. I wanted friendship, and I was told I would have friends for life. I wanted examples to follow, and I had Scott, and Ken, and Ginger, and Lybbi, and Phil, and all of the other successful, happy graduates that were leaders.

Frankly, being 'straight' didn't mean much to me, since I hadn't been an addict at all before. I was afraid that I might turn out like others in my family though, who were clearly alcoholics, so I toed the line on that. It seemed like a small price to pay.

I also didn't like all of the rules, being separated from the girls, having to play sports I didn't like, and loosing my 'old druggie friends,' some of whom were really great people and not 'druggies' at all. But I accepted that it was all or nothing, and I did my best to be a good sport. Besides, we were changing the world.

I think one of the big attractions for me at the Seed was you - your own personal charisma. You were a strong male figure and frankly, I was estranged from my dad almost completely. And my mom was mentally ill, so I felt alone in the world and you promised to change that. You were very sure about what was right and wrong, what was masculine and feminine, how to have 'class' and how to live your life. I was hungry for that.

I have to tell you though, that I eventually left the Seed. As a seven year graduate I had begun to feel unhappy, a forbidden emotion at the Seed. I had begun to tire of the power plays in the group, the rigid hierarchy of decisions, and the fact that I felt that I could never break into the inner circle of the group, where I percieved that people lived a much better life than I did - going to school, getting married, having good jobs, etc. I didn't know how to get into this group; I believed you that being humble and serving others was they key, and I did this to the best of my ability. I now believe that the key actually was based on all the things that existed outside of the Seed - looks, charisma, athletic ablility, charm. I was shy and insecure and I was incapable of projecting those things.

Do I blame you? Yes and no. I think addiction is more complicated than the Seed led me to believe. I also feel that the Seed failed me - a lot was promised to me and I really couldn't reach those goals without a lot of non-Seed work and therapy on my part. I also think the Seed set a bad precident, an anti-democratic counterculture that some have called a cult. Me too.

But - I thank you for some great times. I learned to love Frank Sinatra and jazz becuase that was the music you liked. I abstained from sex during my Seed years, and maybe that was a good thing, because I had to mature a little bit and it's easy to hurt yourself and others with this power. I formed great friendships - all with guys of course - that ended when I left. Thanks for helping me learn to love to cook - I was always the chef in our apartment. Because of you, I gained respect for America, for the military, for traditional masculinity, and for sports.

But you know what? You left a lot out of the picture for me. There were so many things I didn't do when I was at the Seed, and I was stunted. But that' not the biggest loss. The biggest loss was that the whole Seed enterprise violated the 'first and most importand rule' - honesty. Everything had to match your will and opinions, and those of staff. Dissent was not tolerated. That is why the Seed failed, in my opinion. I also pretty much lost seven years of my life, and seven years of time with my family, all of which I had to make up.

OK, best to you, I hope you are well.


The Seed Discussion Forum / The Oxford Group
« on: September 16, 2005, 11:14:00 AM »
Origins of AA, and The Seed...

"Although one can find parallels between AA and the Craigie Foundation, AA really owes its existence to the Oxford Movement, founded by Lutheran minister Nathan Buchman. Buchman, in response to what he believed to have been a personal mystical religious experience, started the First Century Christian Fellowship in 1921. The goal of this group was to establish a world culture based on what Buchman considered to be the beliefs and practices of the early Christian church. Buchman tended to see everything in the context of a battle between good and evil. His vision was messianic and he equated his work and goals with God. He believed that any philosophy or ideology, particularly Communism, which disagreed with his vision of a world-wide theocracy, was inspired by Satan. He established the Four Absolutes: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love. He referred to himself as soul surgeon. New members of his group were expected to undergo rigorous self-examination, openly confess their sins and weaknesses, surrender themselves to God, and make restitution to anyone they had harmed in the past. Additionally, they were expected to promote the organization for no fee and fund raising was a key activity of members of the fellowship.

Buchman also promoted the Four Cs: confidence in Buchman the soul surgeon, confession of sins, conviction (or acknowledgement) of ones sins, conversion to the principles of the First Century Christian Fellowship, and continuance of practice of the Fellowship rules. Besides the Four Absolutes and the Four Cs, members were also encouraged to live by specific fellowship slogans, which included give news, not views, win your argument, lose your man, and J.E.S.U.S. just exactly suits us sinners. Buchmans explicitly stated goal was mass conversion that ultimately would lead to humanity being ruled by God-Control.

The First Century Christian Fellowship grew rapidly in the 1920s. Buchman targeted recruitment activities towards men of power and influence and towards college students. He fully expected his followers to adhere to his dictates totally and to accept the veracity of his mystical experiences without question. Not surprisingly, a considerable amount of negative publicity resulted from his methods of recruitment and his group was often called both a cult and Buchmanism.

In 1929, following a series of revivals he held in England, Buchman changed the name of his group to the Oxford Group and the organization continued to flourish under the new name. His hatred of communism allowed him to see fascism as a reasonable alternative and in 1936, he was quoted as saying I thank heaven for a man like Adolph Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism. Think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God? The world needs the dictatorship of the living spirit of God. Hitler is Christianitys defender against Communism. Although he later admitted that he had been duped by Hitler, he did not issue a retraction. Understandably, that interview did irreparable harm to the Oxford Movement and in 1939, Buchman again changed the name of his movement, this time calling it Moral Rearmament. The influence of Moral Rearmament peaked in the 1940s and its membership declined greatly following Buchmans death in 1961.

Although Buchmans movement faded from the public view, its message is very much with us in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous, founded by Mr. Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith. Bill Wilson had been cured of alcoholism by a spiritual revelation he believed he had had while at a drying out clinic. The fact that this revelation may be caused by a combination of belladonna and other drugs given to him as part of the drying out process did not seem to have bothered him. Following this experience, he began a crusade to save other alcoholics through religion. While in Akron, Ohio in 1935, he feared that a relapse was imminent and asked an Akron Protestant minister for the name of someone he could talk to who had also been addicted to alcohol. He was given the name of Dr. Robert Smith. He and Smith met and held what many consider to be the first AA meeting. The two of them attempted to cure other alcoholics with such Oxford Group principles as confession, making amends and turning ones life over to God. They used Oxford Group principles because Dr. Smith was an active Oxford Group member and was using those same principles with his patients at an Akron hospital.

Wilson and Smith considered spiritual faith to be a cornerstone of sobriety and readily subscribed to Buchmans insistence that the individual alcoholic is powerless and must rely on divine intervention to maintain sobriety. It is worth pointing out that Dr. Smith, although a medical doctor and thus presumably well versed in scientific methodology, did not use scientific methods when treating hospitalized alcoholic patients. Rather, he relied strictly on the religious principles of the Oxford Group. Both he and Wilson remained active participants in Buchmans group until 1937.

The principles of AA were unquestionably taken from those of the Oxford Group. Frank Buchmans beliefs in human powerlessness, the necessity of confession of sin, the value of taking a moral inventory of oneself, the value of making amends to others, the necessity of carrying the message to others and redemption through turning ones life over to God were adopted wholesale by Bill Wilson. Wilson simply took those central Buchmanite principles and formatted them into the 12-Step program of recovery (Lemanski, 44).

In A History of Addiction and Recovery in the United States, Mr. Lemanski goes into considerable detail into the development of the addiction treatment industry in the United States and its overwhelming reliance on the 12 Step Model. Particularly, he discusses the 12-step inspired Minnesota Model of inpatient treatment and its absolute failure as a viable treatment method for addiction. Of course, the ultimate question is: Does AA really work? From the standpoint of 12-Step recovery, the scientific data is grim regarding its efficacy. In the 1990s, three meta-analyses of substance abuse treatment were done. These studies indicated that 1. Twelve-step treatment is, as a whole, ineffective; 2. The various components of 12-Step treatment are themselves ineffective; 3. Twelve-step (especially inpatient) treatment is among the most expensive types of treatment; 4. Several cognitive-behavioral treatments are effective. 5. These effective cognitive-behavioral treatments are all either low cost or very low cost. (Lemanski, 120). In other words, despite the fact that over 90% of substance abuse counselling treatment in the United States is based on the twelve-step model, it is not an effective treatment method for substance abuse and addiction.

Mr. Lemanski notes that the success rate for the AA model is about 5% (Lemanski, 102). He points out that many twelve-step recovery centers claim a success rate of 70% and higher but these claims are due to faulty research methodology. For instance, such centers routinely ignore people who drop out of the programs and the studies do not include former patients or clients that the programs have lost track of. Additionally, they use short term sobriety as the criteria for successful outcome  and they dont bother to use comparison or control groups. Despite the low success for AA model recovery, it continues to flourish. Ironically, despite AA being an abstinence model of treatment, Mr. Bill Wilson experimented later in life with mescaline in a futile attempt to re-experience the mystical state he had had while under the influence of the medically administered drugs given to him at the drying out clinic. Mr. Wilson remained addicted to cigarettes his entire adult life and died of emphysema in 1971.

(A somewhat different version of this review appeared in the January-February, 2002 edition of BASIS.)"

- From Bay Area Skeptics website


The Seed Discussion Forum / Further qustions for John U...
« on: September 09, 2005, 10:42:00 AM »
Funny, I just went back on another thread and read JU's posting directed to me, dripping with sarcasm. I guess I must have touched a nerve, John, I'm sorry. I am also glad that you have achieved your goals, and that you are living a good, productive life. I apologise for my own sarcasm, which is a weapon of weakness. My weakness is my anger in reaction to your post, where you flip my own questioning and challenging the Seed back on me - essentially to put me on trial for my Seed years, my relationship with my family, my own integrity, and my present.


I am back on the front row, I guess! Fortunately, I am an adult at this point, and I WILL walk out those doors. At the age of 19, I was in turmoil, looking for someone to tell me, please, what to do with my life. The Seed supplied all of the answers without ambiguity, and I signed on. I won't do so now.

I won't take the bait, John.

All I am doing here is exploring my feelings, both positive and negative, about my 7 year association with now-defunct drug rehab/cult/community of choice, whatever you want to call it. I have legitimate questions about the value of that association for me, the usefulness of that model in current treatment for addiction, and the role of coercion, peer pressure and 'choice' play. I have seen family members struggle with addiction, including my own mom who required a legal and financial guardian and involuntary treatment for alcohol-induced mental and physical breakdown, so I have struggled with these issues in a way that is not merely academic.

I would love it, John, if you would address these issues: when is it OK to compel someone into treatment? What should the nature of that treatment be? And what are the limits to that treatment, if 'tough-love' or whatever is a part of it than how do you eliminate abuses?


The Seed Discussion Forum / Pyramid Scheme of love and attention
« on: August 31, 2005, 09:08:00 PM »
I posted this elsewhere, but I am giving this it's own thread...

I have been to meetings of groups that are pyramid schemes, and also to religious groups, in addition to the Seed. Something that is common for me in these experiences is that there were always people who could testify that they had GOT it, really got it. And they were convincing because - it was true! But, just like a pyramid sales scheme, most of the attention/love/power flows upward, giving some people so much, and leaving precious little for most of the little folks at the bottom who crave it, but can clearly see it exemplified in some in the group. Does this make sense?

So, there are some seedlings that really had so much from the group, but very many who could only taste it a little. I knew some were favored, while I was left with small amounts of attention, with a call to duty and sacrifice. I thought the lack was mine.

So, posting here are some who got so much, some who couldn't achieve that level. And here we are arguing about it because we think our own reality applies to others.

But this is so clear to me right now...I can return to that tantalizing feeling I had in the group that I was so close to achieving happiness and esteem..but I only got enough to keep me hanging on. To those of you who got, I hope I don't seem bitter to you...


The Seed Discussion Forum / Should these types of Programs exist at all?
« on: August 15, 2005, 11:27:00 AM »
I think this deserves it's own thread...

I have to answer the broad question of whether these programs should exist at all. First, let's define 'the program' in very basic terms that both advocates and detractors can agree on:

1. The program exists to change your behaviour and your will, to alter your initial resistance so that you eventually will voluntarily comply with the group.

2. The technique employed is peer pressure, whether flooding you with love, or with sanctions and disapproval.

3. The group has a heirarchy, strict rules, and dissent of any kind is not tolerated.

Advantages to 'the program':

Rapid, seemingly voluntary adherence to the rules; acceptance by the peer group causing an immediate rise in self esteem and group unity;
individual can resist 'temptatitions' offered by the world 'outside' the group, and may end addictions, win a battle, loss weight, or save their soul, depending on the goals of 'the program.'

Disadvantages to 'the program':

The individual must sacrifice self-interest to the interests of the group; the individual must sacrifice full honesty and self-awareness to what is acceptable by the group; over time, the individual may experience stress and be unable to function outside of the group or within the group, and may ultimately reject 'the program.'

Objectively, 'the program' has short-term advantages. On the other hand, over time, a black & white view of the world may be inadequate, and the person will have to modify their views or perhaps reject 'the program' altogether.

Finally, 'the program' is inherently un-democratic, authoritarian, and inflexible. There may be abuses of power, manipulations within the group, and extremism.

Short-term gain, long-term pain.

'The Program' may have useful, short-term utility, but over time, is generally unstable, as the individual begins to need to assert themselves against the group, and flaws within the group begin to emerge, as people inevitably change.

Perhaps I would want 'the program' to operate with my military, where group conformity and rapid response to orders is necessary. Would I want this with a teen? With my religion? With my government? Not me, though I understand that others do.

Walter (I have grown out of Wally Gator)

The Seed Discussion Forum / Physical Contact
« on: June 06, 2005, 05:18:00 PM »
OK, MGG dared me to post on this I will.

Physical contact/sexuality...

Guys and girls strictly segragated...Art made sly sexual jokes (Evie being 'healthy' - large breasted. Seed kids being celibates - whoops, celebrants! etc.) Anyway, we were all sexually pent up. I think guys to some extent and probably girls even more so got some of their sexual energy released thru same sex contact. Not sex, but touching and cuddling if you were a girl, and rough-housing if you were a guy. I wasn't very sophisticated at 19 but I knew some people were gay, even though I hadn't had a lot of knowing contact (any gay kid at my high school would take pains to hide it, except for one or two flamboyant kids who I didn't know at all well, and kind of embarrased me) but I knew there were gay kids at the Seed but it appeared that they were trying to be 'straight' sexually too. It must have been weird. But the straight kids were banned from all contact with the opp. sex except for: A. high status kids, who could date and marry with Art's permission and B. football. Ooh, football! The girls wore skimpy little bikinis which they made themselves. It was torture to see them, and play on the line against them. High status seed kids had other opportunities to hang out with the opp. sex, esp. if you were on staff or jr. staff. For the rest of us: saying 'hi' to the girl who served the warm coollaid and frozen PBJ sandwiches; once in a great while helping some girl carry something in or out of her car or maybe apt.

Masterbation - not supposed to do it, really. But...whoopsie.

And you were supposed to confess 'everything.' I found this to be a horror for me. Especially because you weren't supposed to have your head in the gutter...and because I did...

So yeah, girls and guys did some same sex touching/cuddling/hugging/kissing even, I remember...but no contact with the opp. sex. Lots of guilt, shame, confusion...

Although I have to say that being able to hug another guy w/o shame was a definite plus for me - maybe helped me be less homophobic.

There you go, MGG.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Leaving the Seed
« on: May 25, 2005, 04:05:00 PM »
I thought it might be interesting to post some 'Leaving the Seed' stories. Here's mine:

I was 26 years old. I had just had my 7 year Seed anniversary. I got a card that that said, 'Seven Years is a Long Time. Congratulations, we love you.' (I still have the card). I was living with Cliff, Corky, Brad, Dave - who else? Hard to remember. I had spent a year of so working at a print shop, before that I had worked with Bobby at a lawn service, before that I had taken a year off to 'help out' at the seed, and before that I had worked about 4 years at Broward General. Anyway, I felt that I was going no where. I was doing my best, but my needs, desires, passions, weren't engaged. I loved the people I was with, and I truly wanted to be a part, but I felt increasingly marginal and isolated. This was 1985. I had pushed down my disillusionment with the Seed for a number or years, but on this one occasion I couldn't avoid it. I hung out with one of my house mates until about midnight, watching TV. Went to bed, woke up at 3:00 am and thought, I have to go - now. I loaded up my car with whatever I could grab, eased it out of the drive, and started north. Later, change of heart, tried to call Cliff/The Seed to tell them I'd made a big mistake. Actually fell asleep with the phone in my hand. When I woke up, I knew I was right. I called my family in Ohio, told them I was coming home, ask questions later, got in my car and left the hotel. That was it.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Making Staff
« on: May 20, 2005, 03:40:00 PM »
There we were, a bunch of young, fresh-faced kids. Always aware that we were 'representing the seed,' always aware of the image we projected. Anything but a smile would be frowned upon (pun), anything but a straight-forward look in the eye (only druggies cast their gaze downward). Not afraid of hard work we work forever, we're changing the world! (But to what? We never asked - asking would be treason). Blind faith, blind loyalty, absolute trust in those who 'know better.' Those who had the most street cred, and who had the bestest transformative story, and the ablility to guide (or manipulate) others, might make staff. It helped to be attractive too, never hurts in this world or others. But anyway, making staff was something every good Seedling aspired too.

When good staff went bad - and they did - you might never hear from them again. Ray K. dates Laura? Art no like. So, Ray is persona non grata, and he 'flips,' paints grafitti all over, drives by the seed shouting. Those of us in the loyal camp tried to look the other way, but it's hard to say that someone who yesterday was a revered inner circle confidant is now a crazy loser. This creates conflict within the mind and heart of the seed person, who has to become good at looking the other way.

What is real, what is fake? It's hard to know when you are strucuturing your reaction to the world based upon what you are told to do.

Loyalty that goes beyond what is in your own heart - never again!

Someday a reunion of all former Seedlings - can you see it? What has become of us, a strange bond of strangers, 'Art's Army' gone AWOL.

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