Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
December 1, 2003
Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lakeedun.com
Don't Forget To Sauna!
Yes folks. It's that time of year again! SAUNA TIME!! This year by popular request, the sauna will be stoking every Saturday 8-10 PM. That's 2000 to 2200 hours for you military types.
I can't imagine anything more fun, not to mention intellectually stimulating, than meeting with naturist friends while doing something good for your mental and physical health. Who can beat that combination? Good folks, good fun, good conversation - anyone want to bring some good food to make it complete?
Our Finnish friends are to be complemented on this marvelous invention. In fact, do a Google search to learn more about the traditions of the sauna. We at Lake Edun may well be the leading carriers of the cultural heritage of Finland in Kansas. (Who would have known?) If you know a Finn, invite them along. Thank them in person for this contribution to world civilization.
From The Mail Bag
Dear Lake Edun,
I'm sorry I haven't been around much this past month or two. In early October, I had to take my father in for a checkup. They had me send him to St. Frances hospital. He was not feeling so good. Oct.27, at 9:20 on Monday morning, he had past away. I guess he missed momma.
So, Please understand why I haven't been in touch. I do miss the activities w/Lakeedun, so please let everyone know that I will see them soon.
- God Bless and take care suziq
If It's Saturday, It's Sauna-day
by Jon Love
As you know, the cold season is well underway. You can't let it get you down though, because it's still hot down here at Lake Edun every Saturday night (except when a party is planned).
Webb, Letty and I will rotate weekends so there will be a sauna every week! We both hope to see new and old faces come out to enjoy the wonderful times that we all have here in the sauna. When you get hot enough, you can take a cold, hair-raising, adrenaline pumping, invigorating dip in the lake.
Items We Need
LEF Christmas/Holiday Party
By Dee Merrifield
Mark Saturday, Dec.13 on your calendar, now. Bruce and JoAnn have graciously agreed, once again, to host our annual Lake Edun holiday party. If you were there 2 years ago, you already know that they live in a beautifully restored 100-year old home in the historic Scaritt Renaissance district of Northeast Kansas City, Missouri. It has been featured on the Kansas City Historic Homes tour.
There is a board meeting from 4-6 prior to the party, and the party is slated to start at 7:00 p.m. It is open to all members of the Lake Edun Foundation and also members of Heartland Naturists. Please do not bring guests, but do bring a gift costing $5 or less, if you wish to participate in the gift exchange and a covered dish for pot luck.
Because their house is located on a corner and has huge windows, this will be a 'clothed' party. That did not stop us from having a GREAT time at the last party. I think everyone who was there would agree.
Included in this newsletter, members will find the address and specific directions to the party. It was also enclosed in November's mailing.
Gardening Next Year
by Jon Love
We are very excited about next year. We will expand a lot more agriculturally and hopefully, everyone can participate. Here is what we plan to do. As part of their membership, each member will have a garden plot. It will be up to you to pick your plot. We will have a special day for that.
You may plant any legal crop you wish. As a part of your membership, we will provide the plot and water. Since we completed the irrigation system on the West side this year, plenty of water is available. You must provide everything else, including seed, and the caring.
Our caretakers will help you get started, but the caring is up to each Eduner. I will have further articles about the details of this project. It will be fun to see what everyone plants and whose garden plots produce the most crops.
Activities designated HN are sponsored by Heartland Naturists
Dec 6; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Dec 13; Sat; 4-6; Board of Directors Meeting
Dec 13; Sat; 7 pm; Christmas Party in Kansas City
Dec 20; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Dec 27; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Jan 3; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Jan 10; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors Meeting
Jan 10; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Jan 17; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Jan 24; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Jan 31; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Did You Know?
Eric Balfour, star of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is comfortable taking his clothes off in most situations - because he spent much of his growing years at a nudist colony.
The 26-year-old actor's mother worked on a nudist camp in California and, as a result, much of Balfour's time was spent free of clothing.
He says, "When I was younger we hung out at this place a lot in Big Sur, up near San Francisco. The only way I could rebel was to try to put clothes on, but my mom would lie to me and say she lost my bathing suit to get me to go in the pool naked."
Group Wants Nudist Colony On Campus
Recently, psychology researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have been studying ways people brain storm. So they would have a group to actually study, they constituted a panel and charged them with the task of finding ways to improve the campus. It was evidently a great group for they made two suggestions: install a roller coaster to make it easier to get from one class to the next, and create a nudist colony on campus. Sounds good to me! They have not yet presented their ideas to the administration.
Its Now Official In Rio
Rio, a city known for carnival parades that feature nearly naked shimmying women, is set to get its first nude beach.
A final court ruling in a nearly decade-long legal battle ended with a victory for people who like to sun bathe in the buff when a Brazilian court gave the green light to the establishment of a nudist beach in Abrico in western Rio de Janeiro, news reports reported recently.
In justifying the ruling, the court cited a recent newspaper poll in which 53 percent of the people asked supported the idea of a nude beach in Rio de Janeiro.
The city's environmental secretary approved the creation of a nude beach in 1994, but opponents managed to block it in court. Even topless sunbathing remained taboo at famous beaches in Ipanema and Copacabana.
To draw attention to the ban, three years ago a woman removed her bikini top while sunbathing and was arrested for "creating a public nuisance". The event received page-one coverage in newspapers.
By Paul & Astrid
My wife and I, entering our fifties, hadn't really ever discussed public nudity, though the thought had always intrigued me. One of my college friends and his new bride spent their honeymoon at a nudist camp, which I thought was kind of wacky at the time but always tweaked my curiosity. Then, after I graduated from college, I worked the dead man shift at a factory while I interviewed for teaching jobs during the day. Several of my coworkers and myself would go to an area country club in the wee hours of the morning, hop the fence and skinny dip till almost daylight. All these memories had stayed with me over the years.
After many wedding anniversaries and to celebrate our oldest son finishing graduate school, we decided it was time to do something big for our 27th anniversary and settled on a trip to Hawaii. I had been to the island of Oahu several times during my days with the Air Force so my wife and I decided to include Maui in our travel itinerary.
I jumped on board the Internet to make reservations and do some research on things to do so we wouldn't waste time on our arrival. During this research I came upon a site for the clothing optional "Little Beach" on Maui. The idea seemed almost too good to pass up, but I never thought my wife would go for it. I called her into the room to look at the site and to my surprise she thought the idea was pretty cool. She even said that since we were turning fifty that year we ought to do something wild and crazy for a change. I must admit I thought when push came to shove my wife would never do it, but figured if she chickened out the beach was clothing optional so she could elect to just stay in her swimsuit.
The day came and we finally arrived in Maui. Spent the first few days having a good time and doing several tourist things. With only two days left the decision was made that the next morning was Little Beach day. We purchased a cheap styrofoam cooler big enough to hold six bottles of water and some snacks as we had read that the beach was remote. Fortunately, we had also read a trip report from a couple around our age who recommended wearing some sort of tennis shoes as you have to climb over an old lava flow to get to Little Beach.
We got to the area around ten in the morning, crossed over the textile 'Big Beach', which I might add is quite beautiful in its own right and climbed to the top of the lava flow and for the first time, looked over Little Beach. It was beautifully remote and at the risk of sounding corny, almost paradise. Made our way down to the beach, which actually at that time of the day was quite empty, and laid out our towels. I immediately discarded my swimsuit and timidly proceeded to lay on my stomach and check out the surroundings, while my wife only took off her top. After awhile I gathered enough courage to walk to the water and have a great time in the surf. I was able to coax my wife to get her toes wet, she's not a good swimmer, but she wouldn't discard her bottoms.
The beach slowly began to fill up with people, some nude some not. We began to realize that there were unofficially designated areas, such as the gay area, the druggie area, and the family area. Having arrived early in the day we found ourselves in the drug area, but the people were still friendly and stayed to themselves.
We went back to the hotel and that night decided to give Little Beach another shot the next day before leaving for Oahu. The morning arrived and once again we crossed Big Beach and the lava flow to Little Beach. This time my wife was out of her swimsuit before me. We both went to the water and my wife even went in to her waist. Unfortunately, a wave caught her by surprise and knocked off her prescription sunglasses. Unable to see very well she returned to the towels while I searched up and down the beach hoping to find her glasses. I was just about to give up when this nude couple approached me and said that it looked like I was looking for something. I told them what had happened and they said they had found them further down the beach. I thanked them very much as the vacation would not have been much fun without the glasses.
Later that day a beach walker stopped by our towels and introduced himself and we proceeded to have a nice chat about Little Beach. We thought he was a local then he told us that he and his wife winter in Vancouver where he plays in a band at a ski resort and in the summers they come to Maui. He gave us several ideas on where to stay the next time we came to Maui so that we would be closer to Little Beach and not pay as much. After he left my wife and I laughed at our first conversation with a totally nude person and how it seemed so natural, no pun intended.
Arriving back in Nebraska and having enjoyed the nude experience at Little Beach, I began to search the Internet for possibilities closer to home. That's when I came across Lake Edun in Topeka, KS. Once again I called my wife into the room to check out their site. This time she thought I was going a little too far and was off my rocker. "What if we run into someone we know?" to which I said what were the chances and besides who cares. She finally agreed to go but only if we stayed in a motel, no camping. Needless to say we found Lake Edun to be very nice and the people very friendly. What's really nice about the lake is that you can choose how much interaction with others you want by where you put down your stuff. You can choose to be on the beach or more isolated.
We also expanded our nude experience this summer when we went to Florida to visit my sister and our oldest son who now works in Miami with a stay at Haulover Beach in Miami and later on a stay at Caliente Resort near Tampa. Both are wonderful places.
Before this piece gets too long, we are now members of the AANR and hope to become members of Lake Edun this coming year. As I'm sure you all will agree swimming is so much more fun without those clinging wet textiles. Hope to meet more Lake Eduners this summer. Thanks Mike and Eileen for asking for some input on our Nude Experiences for the Bare Facts.
Diving into Your Soul:
A Look into Christian Naturism
By D. L. C.
This topic of public nudity is one that when you start to talk about it, people have a handful of responses: shock, embarrassment, or thinking that the person has lost their "marbles." I set out to uncover why people have these reactions. Despite public nudity not being approved by the majority in society, especially among religious groups, there is a developing trend in which nudity is becoming slightly more accepted and understood by people of religious faith. This paper is an attempt to understand why this increase in acceptance is occurring.
There are two kinds of nudity that I have discovered. The first is exhibitionism as it's better known, which has tragically usurped the second form which is naturism. The differences between these two are huge in the eyes of the practitioners of naturism, but in the eyes of many of the public they are the same. Exhibitionists are people that do something for a reaction, and don't live a nudist lifestyle. Examples of this include streakers running on the football field during half time; or the "flasher" who comes out in public to shock unsuspecting witnesses for sexual gratification. Naturism on the other hand rejects shocking, or imposing themselves on others. A key belief that naturists do hold is that nudity and sex are not automatically connected. This central understanding is crucial to understanding what Naturism is advocating. Naturists do believe that the human form in its "birthday suit," including all its parts and functions, is inherently good, and is how God intended us to live (Chris Jewell).
The idea of nudity is not a new mode of dress. Artists for centuries have drawn, painted, or sculpted the human form in the nude. An anonymous artist wrote, "Praise to the woman who took her clothes off so others could see god in the flesh (Famous)." There are numerous paintings of Mary and the Holy Babe. Catholics have been admiring these pictures for years, including the "immodest" ones that show the full breast of Mary. Despite this, how many times have you been at an art exhibit where a child is present, when suddenly the child stops dead in their tracks. There in front of them is a sculpture of a naked man and woman doing nothing bad, but then they exclaim with surprise in their voice, "Look! That man and woman have no clothes on!"
What explains this reaction? Why has society become so geared against nudity? It would seem that many have become so unfamiliar with the human body, possibly even feeling shame at seeing it, that even an inanimate representation causes alarm! Where does the shame come from? Naturism tries to break down these negative thoughts, viewing them as false, and seeks to replace them with admiration for the beautiful human body.
Societies of the past and present have had the perception of nudity as being unnatural, and naturally evil. There is the notion that nudity is inherently immoral, and that to be nude, except in rare and controlled circumstances, is an act of immorality. But, what's immoral about it? It's just out bodies. How can our bodies that we are born with, that we carry around with us throughout our lives, be immoral? I've found that many believe, as the logic goes, nudity is sexual, and that the mere sight of a nude body is "automatically" sexually stimulating. This association is then coupled with the belief that we shouldn't be sexually stimulated except by certain people under certain circumstances. This forms the basis for believing that nudity is immoral and a nude body shouldn't be seen. Thanks Hugh Hefner and all others that market nudity for sex and profit who have helped forge this linkage in people's minds! However, there are others that share in the devaluing of the naked human body. A notable example of this mode of thought can be found in the beliefs of Victorian England. For centuries British women wore dresses and gowns that showed cleavage and more parts of the body. However, when Queen Victoria took the throne all this changed. Women's neck lines came up and around the neck, dresses were lengthened and sleeves had to be long. The Victorian woman was laden by layers of cloth. To show a naked ankle was a SIN. Women were held responsible for driving men wild. (History of sex)
Others have argued that nudity isn't decent. Decency is a mental construct about behavior, based on prevailing cultural norms, and has nothing to do with nudity in and of itself. To call nudity "indecent" arises from the assumption that the only reason someone would be naked would be for "indecent" intentions. This is a patently false assumption. There are many reasons why someone might prefer to be nude. To assume a single, ugly motivation for nudity, is itself an ugly thing to do. The positive words modesty and decency have been corrupted by today's society to mean shame over one's body. Nudity is labeled immodest and indecent only because society said it should be that way. In different cultures, different things are labeled immodest. It's purely a function of culture. It is rank ethnocentrism to suggest that your culture's definition of modesty is the only one that's acceptable.
Within cultures where nudity has been accepted, such as among remote South American Indian tribes, nudity is modest. Historically this has been true in Europe. Ancient Celtic tribe's people and Greek warriors for example, frequently went nude, even in combat! It is a choice of a society to accept or reject nudity. We here in the USA generally reject it. Therefore, nudity in the minds of many is bad. It has been said that modesty in dress is a lazy form of morality in that "…someone can pass themselves off as a 'decent' person merely by wearing conservative clothes, while inside of their heads they are a raging pervert. People who choose to be nudists are often labeled as perverts, but their motives are very innocent. It's the people who can't see human bodies without thinking pervert that are the ones with their mind in the gutter…" (Is nudity inherently evil?).
The principals that naturists live by are ones that I now see make sense. Instead of rejecting nudity, I now wonder why people believe that our bodies are so bad the way they are. When I started research for this paper, I thought that nudists were people who needed to check into a mental health facility, because why would they want to go naked when there are perfectly good clothes around? Now I have a better understanding of their point of view, and that they make legitimate arguments for choosing not to wear clothing. The basis for Christian naturists arguments for being naked are from the Bible. However, I thought I would leave these aside in order to examine the other arguments
for the growing number of nudists among Christians of all denominations. But, I will briefly note that the main argument to my surprise wasn't that Adam and Eve walked around naked, but that nothing wrong could be found in the Bible with walking around the way that we are created.
Jewell, Chris. "The Difference." E-mail to the author, 13 Oct. 2003.
"The History of Sex." Discovery health. Narrated by Darryl Hannah; New York. May 1999.
"Famous nude remarks." <http://www.clothesfree.com/quotes.html>.(2003) 13 Oct. 2003
The ubiquitous world wide wearing of clothing is what we are all accustomed to. No doubt about that. There are many practical reasons for clothing from ceremonial, to fashionable, to essential. At the same time, humans have been found wearing little, sometimes no clothing in regions as varied as the tropics to near the Antarctic. We all know about the casual lack of dress among the peoples of the equatorial Pacific islands. But, imagine the surprise of Charles Darwin finding the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego (at the extreme southern tip of Argentina) walking around nude in snow and sub freezing temperatures! Clearly, humans can survive across many climate extremes bare skinned. Yet today, we also find an almost absolute insistence that clothing be worn at all times, under nearly all circumstances, nearly everywhere around the globe. It has reached the status of a taboo to be seen in public without clothing. What accounts for this circumstance?
I learned many years ago an interesting saying to the effect that, "What we are now, is because of what we were then." Which is to say, we are a product of our life experiences. The same can be said for taking a historical perspective to learn something about why we believe and behave the way we do as a culture. Naturally, there do not appear any simple answers for this question, shrouded as it is in time and unreflective practice. There are multiple strands of beliefs from multiple times and regions that appear to have merged to bring us to the cultural practices for clothing that we now observe. This is an attempt, certainly inadequate, to trace some of these influences. (Please bear with some history that might seem tedious. Trust me, it all fits together.)
Vern and Bonnie Bullough in their book, Sexual Attitudes: Myths and Realities (pp. 11-27), find the key to understanding Western hostility toward sex in Greek dualistic thought. Greeks saw the world as two opposing forces, described as the spiritual and the material, or the higher and the lower, or the soul and the body. These views represent philosopher's attempts to understand the nature of reality. It was their belief the soul was undergoing punishment by being incarcerated in a human body. To achieve salvation meant allowing the soul to escape domination of the flesh. In their view sex was bad because sexual activity represented the assertion of bodily needs over the spiritual. Further, begetting children continued the imprisonment of future souls. The origin of these ideas goes back to myth and legend, possibly to the earliest Indo-European peoples populating an area of the earth form Europe to India.
The dualistic concept became fixed in the Greek-speaking world through the Orphic religion and the cult of the god Dionysus. These beliefs enjoyed great popularity and exercised significant influence on the Pythagoreans and Plato, as well as on the later Greek mystical writers.
Pythagoras, sixth century B.C.E., taught that people should not be the slaves of their bodies, but should improve and save their souls by escaping the domination of the flesh. Sexual consummation was considered the primal pandering to our evil passions and had to be repudiated. Pythagoras didn't advocate total abstinence, but some of his followers did. It is thus speculated that sexual asceticism originated in Greece, and was carried by this Greek thinking to its extreme limits.
The most influential transmitter of dualistic ideas was Plato (427-347 B.C.E.). Plato taught there are two universal principles, Ideas and Matter. Ideas are eternal and perfect. Matter is only an imperfect imitation of the Idea. Plato taught that the soul was superior in nature to the body. He also conceived of love in dualistic terms, with the higher, nonphysical love being the way to true happiness, relegating sexual desire to the lowest element of the psyche or soul. Centuries later, Christian theologians adopted many of the Platonic concepts, making Plato a dominant force in early Christian theology.
There were a number of other Greek philosophers, many starting with assumptions different from Plato's, seemed to assume that the true state of goodness was one devoid of physical, sexual activity. Such was the teaching of Democritus (fifth century B.C.E.), and Epicurus (fourth century B.C.E.), his disciple, and founder of the Epicurean school. Epicurus was even more specific in his condemnation of sexual intercourse. The Epicurean school continued to exercise influence in Rome into the current era.
Stoicism, founded by Zeno (340-265 B.C.E.), and continuing into the current era, didn't teach that sex was bad in itself. For the Stoics, the only justification for marriage was to propagate the race. However, sexual intercourse for pleasure, even within marriage, was reprehensible.
This now brings our brief inquiry to the first century B.C.E., where the center of philosophical speculation in the Graeco-Roman world had moved to Alexandria, Egypt. Particularly influential on Christian writers was Philo, an Alexandrian Jew born near the end of the first century B.C.E. He taught that it is essential to procreate, but he also followed the Graeco-Roman philosophic tradition that sexual intercourse could only be justified when there was hope of offspring. Following Plato, Philo viewed sex in dualistic terms. The highest nature of man was asexual, while the irrational part of the soul containing the categories of male and female existed in the realm of the sexual. Other influential thinkers followed this general tendency to see sex, and by extension the body in very negative terms.
Gnosticism was another dualistic religious movement that had its origins many years before the beginning of Christianity. The chief concern of Gnosticism was the reconciliation of the existence of evil with God who is good. Later forms of Gnosticism adopted parts of Christian teaching, and became a major competitor to Christianity in the first three centuries of the current era. Gnostic borrowing of Plato's concepts of the Idea and the nature of the physical world are striking. Indeed, Christian Gnosticism has continued as a strain of thought even after its demise, but more about this later (Christie-Murray, 1990, pp. 21-32).
Finally, bridging the gap between these ancient belief systems and our Western world are the towering figures of Church Fathers, and theologians, Tertullian, Jerome, and Augustine of Hippo. These three, with St. Paul were to leave the most lasting impression on all subsequent Christian ideas about sex. Jerome considered sexual intercourse as unclean, Tertullian as shameful, and Augustine that it was fundamentally disgusting (Tannahill, 1980, p. 141).
Augustine (354-430) was the father of that which was characteristic of mediaeval Roman Catholicism. During the years leading up to his conversion to Christianity, Augustine's spiritual quest first led him to the syncretistic, dualistic system known as Manichaeism in which he remained for nine years. Near the end of this period, Augustine came in contact with Neo-Platonism which had profound impact, and would always color his teachings (Walker, 1959, p. 160-61).
Of particular interest is Augustine's understanding of the nature of man. Man's fall in the garden was the pivotal event, transforming man who was created good, into a fallen creature whose soul died, since it was forsaken of God. The body, no longer controlled by the soul, then came under the dominion of "concupiscence," of which the most characteristic manifestation is lust. This lost state is transmitted to the whole human race since all are born of "concupiscence" (Walker, 1959, pp. 164-65). Tannahill adds that in the fall, Adam and Eve became conscious of new and selfish impulses over which they had no control. Further, they became aware and ashamed of their nakedness. Augustine interpreted this to mean their disobedience to God was reflected in sudden and willful activity on the part of their genitals. Their inability to govern this new phenomenon led them to sew fig leaves together to conceal what were now called pudenda (from the Latin pudere, "to be ashamed"). For Augustine, the body was no more than a flawed vessel for the mind and spirit. In these beliefs, Augustine was in keeping with the intellectual climate of the times (1980, pp. 141-43). It is noted by Riane Eisler that especially from the time of Augustine the Christian idea that the human body, human sexuality, and particularly the body of woman, is corrupt - even demonic - begins to take hold (1996, pp. 22-23). Probably, Augustine's views regarding sex were influenced by Manichean beliefs that not only overt acts of sex are sinful, but also the impulse. For him, celibacy was the highest good. With Augustine, the basic sexual attitudes of the Christian Church were set (Bullough and Bullough, 1995, pp. 22-23).
Much could be added to this outline, but it would largely only amplify what has already been discussed. I would hope that from what has been presented the depth and scope of the hostility toward the human body can be better understood. This hostility goes back well over 2500 years. It is to be noted that not only is the body and sex suspect, but very importantly, women as a gender have been demeaned from antiquity. These three are entwined, and to talk about one necessarily involves the other two. It seems to me, that with the historic blaming of women for diverting men with sex from focusing on the wellbeing of their spiritual selves, keeping the body covered was a means to reduce sex inducing lust. The inadequacy of clothing to accomplish this task seems painfully obvious to me. Yet, people cling to this woefully inadequate guardian against lust with fierce tenacity. This all is not simply a product of the Puritans, America, or the so called RRR. As Christie-Murray states,
"Much Puritanism in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox history has been founded on the belief that matter, the physical, the body and its appetites, are fundamentally evil. Such belief is Gnostic, contrary to the faith which is a basic tenet of both Judaism and Christianity that when God created his physical universe, he looked upon his work and saw 'it was very good' " (1990, p. 31).
This is our history, our intellectual heritage. We may reject the beliefs of those that came before us, but we can not escape the impact they have had on us. With the character in the Bloom County cartoon we have to say, "We have met the enemy, and it is us." Our challenge then is to dispute these ideas with education, patience, and the integrity of living up to nudist/naturist ideals about the wholesomeness of the human body in all its parts and functions.
Bullough, Vern L., and Bullough, Bonnie 1995 SexualAttitudes: Myths & Realities. Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books.
Christy-Murray, David 1990 A History of History. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Eisler, Riane 1996 Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and thePolitics of the Body. San Francisco, Harper San Francisco.
Tannahill, Reay 1980 Sex in History. London, Hamish Hamilton.
Walker, Williston 1959 A History of the Christian Church.New York, Charles Scribner's Sons.