Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
November 1, 2001
Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lakeedun.com
Chili Cook-off and Work Day
Wonderful Fall weather set the stage for a productive work day followed by a sauna and a delicious chili cook-off.
Big Mike, Mike C., Bret and Paul made progress on several projects to prepare for the winter and set the stage for next season. The first order of business was to bring in the floating docks and put away some of our boats. Bret, the polar bare, made the supreme sacrifice and unhooked the docks from their anchors. The rest of us chickens, bravely paddled the docks to shore.
Then we focused our attention on the peninsula where some muskrats or other critters had burrowed their den. Judging from the size of it, it was more like a hotel. We filled as much as we could with rock to minimize the effects when it weathers and collapses. Next on the work list was the first low crossing on the north trail. We laid a culvert and began to cover it with dirt. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to complete this project before Spring.
Saunas at Lake Edun are always fun and this was certainly no exception. Some even felt compelled to jump into the lake. It's good to share a sauna with good friends.
Although the judge for the Chili Cook-off was called away for personal matters, there were 4-5 entries, all of which received excellent reports. Some said Big Mike's chicken gumbo may have been a contender for first place except that it wasn't chili. (Duh!). In the absence of an "official" judge, many believed Heather's unusual entry would have been a contender, or perhaps Bobby's. Everyone seemed to flow freely between those two and submissions from Cookie and ptMike.
Thanks to all Eduners who helped make this a productive and fun day!
Members of the Lake Edun Foundation met for their fifth Annual Meeting on October 27. It began with a lively discussion of activities for the past year. Under Eldon's leadership, we had some excellent functions and made significant progress enhancing our family atmosphere.
This was followed by a discussion about plans for next year and beyond. Those present learned about the importance of showing strong support for LEF at this critical juncture. Feedback from the members present will be helpful to the new Board of Directors in formulating plans for the future.
Finally, we held elections to the Board of Directors. Ten Eduners were elected to our governing body. They will hold their first, organizational meeting on November 10. If there is anything you would like to Board to consider for next year's program, let us know.
Thanks to everyone who took part in our Annual Meeting. And a particular thank-you to the 10 who volunteered to serve on the Board for the next year.
Halloween Party Was Relaxing
Dave opened his home and extended his hospitality for our fifth annual Halloween Party. Dave's unique home is legendary and his hospitality is awesome.
The celebration commenced at the conclusion of our business meeting. Members munched on pot luck contributions from most in attendance and enjoyed exploring the seemingly secret places in Dave's home. Before leaving, most guests took at least one turn in Dave's wonderful hot tub. Thank you Dave for being such a great friend to Edun and a generous host.
Be sure to check the calendar to the right and mark these events on your schedule. The outgoing Board insured we had some great events planned until the end of the year.
December offers two events: a party at Marge's and our own LEF party. More information on these will appear in December's Bare Facts. But, mark your calendar today and be prepared!
Four saunas are scheduled in the next two months. Be sure to attend at least one. Bring a friend to the sauna on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Many of us will have guests in town. It is an excellent way to share the holiday good-will with people who are special to you.
Remember LEF For Year-End Giving
As the year draws to a close, many are considering gifts to causes they believe in. Keep LEF and the Naturist Action Committee in mind when you plan your year-end giving. Both of these allow you to make tax-deductible contributions to help further the cause of naturism. LEF does so on the local level; NAC provides representation on the national level. Both are worthy of the support of all of us.
Many employers match charitable contributions their staff make. If yours has such a program, make a note of that fact when you send in your check. It is a painless way for you to double or triple your donation. Donations to either organization may be sent to our PO Box.
In the next year, LEF will be facing great challenges; NAC faces challenges constantly and is always prepared to assist. Please send your most generous contribution!
Nov 10; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors meeting
Nov 10; Sat; 12:30-4; Work Day
Nov 10; Sat; 4-6; Sauna
Nov 16; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim; Elite Aquatics
Nov 24; Sat; 7-9; Sauna - Bring a friend.
Dec 7; Fri; 7-9; Sauna
Dec 8; Sat; Christmas Party @ Marges in KC with HN
Dec 28; Fri; 7-9; Sauna
Dec 29; Sat; Winter Party
June 21-23; Return to Edun/10
All Eduners should take time to express their appreciation to Eldon for the time and effort he put forth in the past year as President. Under his guiding leadership, we continued the efforts to make LEF activities even more family-friendly. And all this Lake Edun work was done while he conducted a personal medical battle and worked to settle a knotty estate.
If you see Eldon, say "thanks!" If you don't, send him a card at our PO Box or an email to email@example.com.
Nudity & Christianity
I recently had the opportunity to visit Lake Edun, while visiting my elderly mother, and enjoyed visiting with you and a couple of other people who were around. My thanks to Dee, who showed me a good place to set up my tent, and who was helpful in showing a visitor like me around. Having grown up in Topeka, I know (or knew) some of the same people as she does.
Because of the conversation we had at the Barn that evening, which included a couple of other people, you asked if I might take a look at the article in your March issue on religion and perhaps make a comment or two. (I am a minister in the United Church of Christ.)
I did look up the article on your web site, and find that there is nothing specific that I can add. The writer of that article did a thorough job of discussing the issues of sexuality and nudity from a certain Christian perspective, and I doubt if I could do better. He certainly reached the same conclusion I might have reached.
One problem with stating "the Christian perspective", however, is that there IS no single Christian perspective. I come from a denomination and a tradition, for example, which tolerates a wide diversity of perspectives, but which leans towards a more "liberal" or "progressive" stance on many issues. While there are many people in my denomination who would approach scripture as the writer of that article does ("the final authority", etc.) there are many others who would not.
It is also true that in my denomination, no one speaks for anyone else on matters of theology or conscience. So I must say that I'm speaking only for myself here. I will state at the outset, therefore, that I consider the Bible to be an extremely valuable resource in my faith development, but it is not "the final authority". For me, God is the final authority. The Bible is one of the ways I can know God, but is not the only way. Even the Bible does not claim that! Christian piety makes that claim, but the Bible does not. (Some might quote 2nd Timothy 3:16 here: "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching . . ." etc. But remember, the scripture the writer of 2nd Timothy is referring to is what Christians call the Old Testament. The New Testament didn't exist yet!)
Before I go barreling off into arcane theological arguments here, let me just say in summary that there are many good, active, thoughtful, prayerful Christians for whom biblical authority is not a significant issue. The issue is one's personal relationship to God, and how that is reflected by how we live with others and how we live as citizens of God's creation.
Having said that, I want to respond to the question put by one of your members the night of our discussion: "How do I talk to Christians who say that nudity is a sin?" One way might indeed be along the lines of the thoughtful article in your March "Bare Facts". As I said that night, however, one might wish to take the effort to probe a bit further. Sometimes human beings fall back on our religious beliefs to justify our emotional reactions. In other words, the idea of public nudity triggers a fear response in someone, so in order to protect themselves emotionally from this, they declare that it is a sin, because somewhere in their faith formation someone told them this. They may in fact be curious about naturism, and they may even be feeling guilty because of their curiosity. Or they are simply avoiding the issue by falling back on a pat response.
So one might ask, "Why do you think it's a sin? Where did you learn that?" Or one can mention the presence of many Christians and Christian ministers in naturism and nudism, and suggest that maybe there is another viewpoint worth looking at.
For me, the fact that I'm a Christian does not alter my interest in naturism. I don't usually fall back on scripture to justify myself, so in this case the bottom line for me personally is summarized well by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:35ff: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, . . . nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord".
In other words, God is with us in all things. If I am not always aware of that, it is not God's fault. Why would God not be with us, just because we have taken off our clothing in the presence of others? Therefore, if there is sin, it makes no difference what I'm wearing at the time. "The dominion of God is within us (or 'among us')". (Luke 17:21.)
Enough for now. Keep up the dialog, and the instructive articles on other subjects as well.
- Dick Weaver
Help Out At Work Day
We only have one scheduled work day left this year. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can finalize the winter preparations. If you are available on November 10, please join us to complete our winter preparations.
For those interested, periodically through the winter we organize small groups to so special projects that are more easily accomplished during the winter months when the bugs and foliage are dormant. We try to schedule these when the weather is mild and we can combine it with fun! If you are interested in assisting, please let us know so we can contact you when the weather is cooperating.
Some Eduners may wish to have small projects they can complete on their own and on their own schedule. We have several candidates. If you are interested in working on your own, let us know.
Indecency, vulgarity, obsenity - these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed. - Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth
Update At Gaea
As many of our members probably know already, Camp Gaea's application to renew their Conditional Use Permit was denied by their County Commissioners. Camp Gaea is located in Leavenworth County. It principally supports alternate lifestyles. While nudity is not its theme, nudity is tolerated at much of the facility. From comments made, their application was denied because of the nudity and also because of their support for Pagan and gay activities.
It appears to this observer that opponents to clothing-free recreation in the state are gearing up for a well coordinated assault on our freedom to associate and raise our families as we believe best. After Gaea, we should expect them to renew their opposition to Lake Edun and then turn their attention to Prairie Haven and Sandy Lane.
Now is the time for everyone who is concerned about the freedoms we take for granted to show their support. It is easy to become focused on petty issues we might wish were different. However, if we allow ourselves to become sidetracked by these we may end up alone in our own homes like the Boat-ist (see Bare Facts 11-00).
From The Mail Bag
Dear Lake Edun;
Thank you for sending me the latest copy of Bare Facts. Enjoyed reading about your Labor Day weekend. Maybe I shouldn't have labored.
Return to Edun/9 was my first visit and I want to thank you for your hospitality. Everyone was so warm and wonderful. It was great meeting new people. Lake Edun is only the second camp I ever visited. The other camp was huge with a large swimming pool, cabins, gazebo, covered picnic area, etc. Still what remains the same are the people. I'm discovering naturists are the most friendly folk on Earth.
Good Morning Nudists!
Thank you again for your newsletter. It's always welcome and refreshing. In the article "Where Was God?" Mr. Bitters starts off saying that many (most) people keep asking - WHY?
About 6 years ago, my wife (the most precious & perfect wife any man ever had) passed away. Totally unexpectedly - no signs or warnings. In extreme grief, I went around "banging my head against the walls," shaking my fist at God, asking - demanding to know WHY?
One day I was talking to an old man (I used to play music with him). He'd lost his wife and a daughter. He said - "sometimes, there ain't no WHY."
A beer commercial recently said, "Why ask why?" The infamous bumper sticker says "**it happens". Sometimes bad (tragic) things happen - they just happen, and if we go looking for answers - where (sometimes) there aren't any, we'll all end up crazier than we already are.
Maybe this is hard to accept, but maybe its good advice - not just for the Sept. 11, tragedies, but other life-dilemmas. And maybe I'm wrong - I remember once before in about 1971 I was wrong, so it could happen again.
Thank you for the Bare Facts
- Fred Garner, GA
Volunteers Make It Happen
If our volunteer for this month is not known by everyone, it isn't for lack of involvement. Our volunteer this month gets around in both her work and play: She is involved! And, if she happens to come across an item we need (see related article: Items We Need) she brings it out. Even better, if she sees something she thinks might be useful, she brings that out, also.
But, that's not all. Our volunteer this month has introduced many of her friends to naturism and most are greatful for the introduction. When not introducing her own friends our special place, she can be counted upon to show it off to visitors.
Our volunteer this month serves actively on our Board of Directors and can be counted on for a well-considered opinion. She contributes articles to Bare Facts nearly every issue and is working to set up some coffee-house talks in the Spring. She also arranged her work schedule to help staff Return to Edun/9.
We appreciate the cheery disposition and all-round good-natured personality of this month's volunteer of the month. Thanks, Dee!
Copied From A Recent HN Notes
"Joining and maintaining membership does several things. First the funds support the club's work. Nothing's free and nearly every event is subsidized by the club to some extent. Secondly, it provides tangible evidence that members are willing to commit something material to nude recreation here in the Kansas City area. We need both, the money and the show of support. So if you've been our guest please consider joining the group. If you're a former member consider renewing your membership. In some ways we're too easy - we have no quotas and don't require guests to join after attending a certain number of functions. We like it that way but we also need to convert more guests into members and we need our members to renew and maintain their membership."
These thoughts are even more true for Lake Edun, particularly at this critical time. Many members are concerned about our legal status fifteen months from now. If everyone withdraws their support at this very important time, your worst fears will be realized due to lack of support.
The Board is committed to providing a safe enjoyable site for clothing-free recreation. With your help and support, we will realize that goal.
Items We Need
Circular saw & blades 2-way radios
Save your aluminum; Bring it to the Lake
The Naturalist Naturist
By Biology Bill
When you read this, we will have recently showed off our finest (un)costumes for Halloween. However, at this time of year the plant world at large is also showing off its fancy seasonal costumes. I remember reading that the city of Baldwin recently put on their regionally known Maple Leaf Festival, where they organize a big event around the colorful leaves common on trees in the autumn. Well, maybe the name of that festival requires a little deception, since maple trees are not really native to this part of Kansas (except for box elders, whose leaves don't look like the classic maple leaf), but that's okay. It's a great example of the kind of fall color that we all enjoy.
The leaves of trees (and most other plants) normally look green as a result of the way plants collect energy for themselves. Leaves have a special chemical system that allows them to efficiently collect the energy from sunlight, which is part of the process called photosynthesis. Leaves don't simply collect energy from any light beam, however. They require a specific type of light; otherwise the chemical process won't work. Remember how a beam of light separates into colors when it moves through a prism? Each color represents light with a specific amount of energy; violet has a high amount of energy (which is why ultraviolet light damages skin and causes sunburns), and red has a comparatively low amount of energy. When leaves soak up their preferred types of light to gain energy for the plant, what is left behind is a mixture that includes green light. Once some other colors are removed from the original rainbow, the green is not absorbed and bounces off leaves to our eyes. That's why leaves look green to us, because they soak up some other colors and what's left over looks green.
For the entire growing season, plants usually look green because they are soaking up light, trying to gain energy so they can grow. Most trees don't want to have leaves in the winter, however, because snow and ice can collect on leaves and eventually make branches so heavy that they break. Additionally, the tissues on leaves are fairly delicate, and don't survive being frozen well. Thus, most plants (except for conifers, which have evolved a special kind of frost-proof leaf) drop their leaves in the autumn.
Trees don't like to simply drop their leaves at the first sign of cold, because they have expended a large amount of energy in growing and operating them. Thus, before the leaves drop off the tree tries to withdraw as much goodness as possible, to store it in the roots over the winter. Much of the specialized photosynthetic material is removed from autumn leaves, and because the old leaves have stopped collecting sun's energy the light that bounces off leaves includes more than just green, and the plants stop looking green to us. Depending on exactly what other compounds are present in the leaves (this varies by species), the non-light gathering leaves may look brown, yellow, or maybe bright red. Most trees native to this region turn yellow (for instance, cottonwoods) or brown (oaks, dogwoods), but other trees turn bright red (such as maples). This, among other reasons, have caused maples to be planted commonly in towns, although you won't typically find them growing in natural woodlots.
In parts of the world where species turn a wide range of colors, the views from scenic vistas can be spectacular, for instance in the northeastern United States where the tourism industry gets as much business as they do in the summer catering to the "leaf-peepers" who drive through the countryside looking at the fall colors.
Although trees get most of the press for changing colors, all plants change as they stop photosynthesizing for the season. In my own studies, I have noticed that well-managed native prairies are truly beautiful in the fall, because the high plant diversity engenders a lot of different hues of red, orange, rust and brown, mixed together with some yellow and green from species that are still operating. This affect doesn't come from pastures replanted with fescue or brome, in part because all the plants there are the same, and it is the mixture of colors that pleases the eye. So, unless a killing freeze comes in the next few days, try to get out and watch the colors change. If you live around the Kansas-Missouri state line, check out the trees. But if you live around western Topeka or into the Flint Hills, check out the prairie. Autumn is a beautiful time to live in Kansas, and you should be sure to take advantage of it.
Random Thoughts & Reflections
With a new Board of Directors taking office, we will have many opportunities for members to volunteer on committees. These include Publicity, Education & Outreach, Social, Facilities, Member Relations, Conservation and, of course, Return to Edun. If you are called to assist, please offer your support; if there is something you particularly enjoy doing, let us know. We need the creative insights all Eduners can offer.
With cold weather approaching, it is difficult to plan activities at our special place in advance. However, there may be days with good weather when we can meet for ice skating or other activities. If you would like to be on an email list for these, let us know.
If you are walking around our special place on a warm afternoon, keep in mind that much of our vegetative barrier has lost its leaves and it may be possible to see you from the road. Please take the necessary steps to be appropriately modest.
Sure! It might sound strange; maybe a bit dangerous; definitely "over the top", even stupid. But, people do it all over the world. And, this winter we will be doing it at Lake Edun.
In the Spring, we will give certificates and recognition to members of the Lake Edun Polar Bares. To become a member of this elite group, you must go into our lake up to your neck for four of the five months between November and March. Of course the best opportunity to do this is when a sauna is scheduled, but it could be anytime as long as the act (insanity) is witnessed.
It will be interesting to see how many Eduners we have who earn the rank of "Polar Bare".
Naked Beneath Your Clothing
By John Veltheim parama.com/naked.htm
[A continuation. Additional installments will appear in the future.]
A Case History
Janice and her husband Gary stumbled along the seemingly endless pathway towards that beach. Her heart was pounding, she felt nauseous, on the verge of blacking out. Fear, guilt, and panic overwhelmed her and yet there was somehow a deeper intuitive feeling that this 'remedy' prescribed by her doctor was the one that would work.
The prescription was for her and husband, Gary to walk to this nudist beach, undress and spend at least one hour naked mingling with the other nudists. Janice could then come home when she wanted. Why was something so simple engulfing her with such strong emotional reactions?
At 33 years of age, Janice and Gary were both moderately successful professionals with a good home, no children and an unhappy marriage. Janice was always very ill to the point that it was threatening her ability to work. She had daily tension headaches, asthma, back pain, stomach cramps and nausea after eating and her reproductive cycle was in chaos. Alcohol relieved the pain but not the depressions. She was truly living the 'dark side' of her life and had few friends to talk to.
After many specialists and tests, she decided to visit a highly recommended doctor who practiced alternative medicine. After the consultation, Dr. Bill decided to physically examine her and left her with instructions to change down to panties and bra. He returned to find that Janice had removed her dress but still had four petty coats, tights, and the reversible gown supplied in the changing room on. When Dr. Bill suggested that he will need to see more of her body to conduct a physical examination the reactive, almost hostile, answer was that nobody got to see her body.
Further questioning revealed that even Gary was denied that privilege. On the very few occasions they made love (her words - "had a naughty") she kept her nightie and bedclothes on, the light off, and the nightie was lifted just far enough for the act to be done.
Janice was easy to talk to and intelligent. It became obvious through discussion with Janice and Gary that the negative aspects of nudity, clothing, and body image were a major block in her life. She was desperate to get better and had Gary's total support. Her therapeutic choice was between many long drawn out therapy sessions that often become bogged down in cerebral dialectics or her other choice - cold turkey.
Janice and Gary struggled on until they reached the beach. At this point they could see about two hundred naked people. The worst part was that many of them were actually playing beach games. At least half were happy, laughing children. Janice was unable to undo the buttons on her dress. Gary had to undress her. Four petty coats, tights and all! Janice later said that she honestly thought she was going to have a heart attack. Gary stripped, with some difficulty, and they started to walk (because they could not have stood still without passing out).
Forty-five minutes later Janice and Gary were playing beach volleyball with a group of naked people. They stayed the whole day, went back the next day, and are now regular visitors. Since that day Janice has not had a severe headache or backache. All aspects of her health have improved dramatically. Her marriage is strong, sex life prolific (making up for lost time) and her career is flourishing. Her description later was that she suddenly felt released within her body, and was finally in touch with her true life force. For the first time in her life she was a sensual being without feeling guilty!
Janice's case was an extreme example of what so many people are going through with the distorted conditioning our society gave them as children. We are taught that the human body is shameful. We are then conditioned to use our clothing as a mask to hide behind. Continued use of this mask, eventually leads to identification with it. We really believe we are the mask. Instead of clothing being something we use for protection, for fun, to tease and adorn our bodies, we often use it to try and fool others into believing that we are something that we are not and then believe in the sham ourselves! This artificiality is recognized intuitively and we feel stifled by the falseness of life. Legally, we can't remove the clothing mask so we look for other outlets through illness, neurosis, and sensate indulgences.
The tragic aspect of this scenario is that people are also denying their sensuality. Sensuality is the primary energic force that 'moves and shakes' the body. The chi (ki, prana) that people hear about in acupuncture and martial arts is simply another manifestation of sensuality. A healthy flow of sensuality determines the general health, vitality, sexuality, and feelings of well-being. Although it ultimately goes deeper than that, the naked body is a metaphor for our sensuality. Nudity symbolizes freedom, openness and sensuality better than any other cognitive process.
People don't have to be naked to reap the benefits of being naked. There are constant situations where it is impossible to be naked because of weather, social, and legal restrictions. We can, however, be 'naked beneath our clothing.'
Being naked beneath our clothing goes way beyond the scope of sensuality. It is an attitude to life. A constant reminder that life flows far better when we open up to it mentally, emotionally, and energically.
There is a constant energy exchange going on between people. In 'healthy' individuals there is a give and take mechanism where our own unique energy flows out to the people around us, and then we, in turn, absorb the energy of others. This is very necessary for balancing the body's energy systems because of the variety of energy we can absorb. In much the same way, it is unhealthy to live on a mono food diet.
People who are shut down, and closed off to the world, short circuit the system and energically isolate themselves from the world. Their energy system stagnates and starts to manifest 'dis-ease' within the system. Admittedly, there are many other reasons for 'dis-ease' but this one should not be ignored. Even if people don't take it that far and just concentrate on the obvious energic/interactive starvation in our relationships, they will find dramatic decreases in our quality of life, personal growth and sense of well-being.
We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins. - George Bernard Shaw