For twenty-three years the Rainbow Family of Living Light had gathered, in large numbers in a National Forest for the expressed purpose of "praying for peace on earth and the healing of the planet." Now the Forest Service has promulgated "proactive" regulations (effective September 29, 1995) to render this harmless religious observence a "crime".

Since 1988, when the Forest Service first purposed such a regulation, people who preceive a vital spiritual link in assembling in the wilderness, have been divided into two camps. One camp argued that the Constitution protects "We the People" rights to gather on "We the People Land." The other camp held that the government has reduced the Constitution to nothing more than a pretext of civilization, and argued that it is time to start seriously considering how to avoid the logical extension of the Forest Service rules, i.e., the criminalization of free assembly.

A society which does not honor freedom of thought (belief), expression, and assembly is totalitarian. The underlying principles of totalitarian states are sweeping. Consider the Koresh massacre. For fifty one days the FBI arrested any media person who came within two miles. Each morning Special FBI Agent Bob Ricks held a press conference to assure the world that David Koresh was irrational. The FBI blasted the Koresh people with amazing stereo equipment and flooded them with blazing lights. Then, fearing the bright lights and loud music might cause psychological damage to "the children," the FBI rammed main battle tanks into the Koresh compound "poking holes" and spraying "non-flammable" teargas inside. "The next logical step." Agent Ricks said.

Coincidently -- Agent Ricks, Attorney General Reno, and President Clinton tell us -- the Koresh people chose that moment to commit suicide by setting their house on fire. So, we must conclude, nothing was wrong and the government only wanted to save the children.

Imagine, now that the "Rainbow Gathering" has become a "crime," but, the People gather anyway. Given an outlaw Gathering, what's poor Uncle Sam supposed to do? Most economical solution might be to just surround the Gathering with a chainlink fence. These CFR regulations, which carry a maximum penalty of six months in prison and $500 fine, are called "citation offenses," and provide that when an agent accuses a person of a violation, the accused may post a $50 bond. Anybody who wanted to get past the Rainbow fence could just put up 50 bucks and make it back to Babylon.

To facilitate due process the Feds could just bring a gigantic T.V. screen down to the Main Circle, set up two-way video and audio equipment, and offer to hold court -- like those closed circuit courts they've already got going in Florida and some other places.

Anybody who wanted could go to the video court and plead the First Amendment, or try to cut a deal with the magistrate for an intermediate sentence, trade time served for community service, or something. On the other extreme, anybody who wanted to hang out for six months could just hang tight, The federales could send in supplies. After six months, sooner if they want, they could take down the fence and everybody could go their way. Of course, at smaller gatherings, a hundred or so folks, the feds might think it was more economical just to round everybody up and farm them out to surrounding county jails.

After Waco, one of the first things U.S. Attorney Reno suggested was looking at new laws and regulations to control cults. Waco was what they call a "proactive" enforcement approach. The ATF has been referred to as a "cult." Literally, it can be said, proactive enforcement shock troops have engaged in bloody rituals.

This rule is proactive. Now that the "We the People" camp and the "Wake-up the Government is Trying to Criminalize Thought" camp can get past academic debate, we shall see if there is some method of solving the problems attendent to proactive enforcement..

In service to understanding,

D.C. Scribe

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