Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
September 1, 2003
Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.lakeedun.com
Help The Bare Necessities Drive
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Bare Necessities drive. I thought this would be a good/cute theme for Lake Eduners as well as some positive PR. I plan to keep a trunk at the barn until the end of November. So please, if you can when you go to the store, try to remember the less fortunate in our community.
Maybe I should back up and explain what/where this is about. The donations made are going to Doorstep, a non-profit organization in Topeka that assists people with food, clothing, utilities and some medical expenses. I volunteer there a couple days a week and our food pantry is usually pretty low. We also give out hygiene products as well as cleaning supplies. As the sign at the barn says, any and everything is greatly appreciated. Some of the items always needed include: hygiene products, soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste/brushes, disposable razors, etc. As far as food items go, canned fruit, pasta, box meals such as hamburger/tuna helper, jell-o, pudding and powdered milk. Again, anything is greatly appreciated.
The next thing that I'd like to mention is Halloween and Christmas. I would like to know the interest in having a party/dance for both holidays. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, please let me know. Perhaps you know of a band or a place that you would like to try and incorporate into them. I am always open for ideas or suggestions and welcome all of them.
And finally, fund-raising ideas: Again, please let me know if you have any. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch me at the lake or feel free to jot them down and leave them at the barn for me. Thank you!
Limited Hunting Available
Permission is available to a very limited number of Eduners for hunting at our special place during hunting season this year. Of course, hunters must obey all state and local laws. If you are interested, respond by email or to our PO Box. Do not hunt without specific, written permission.
Random Thoughts & Reflections
We have recently learned about a new band. We believe they may be on to something. Shane Gentry and The Nekkid Monday Band. You may do your own research them: www.clothesfree.com/nakedrock.html.
As we come to the end of another great season, we should all take time to remember and thank those who made this a particularly memorable year for each. Perhaps its another member, or the caretakers, or a board member. Please express your thoughts and send them to us. We will forward them on the individual and print some in Bare Facts.
Bagorhir Battle Wet But Fun
Lane and Beth had scheduled a special "battle" using foam padded medieval-style weapons for the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Because of rain, the event was postponed by a day.
After the rules were explained, weapons were distributed and various "fights" commenced. About 10-12 Eduners and guests joined the battles in which people lost arms, legs, and, eventually, their lives (however, no blood was spilled).
Although nude battles are well documented in European history, Beth believes this is the first nude battle re-enactment. By all accounts, it was a great success. Already, there is talk about next year's event. Hopefully the weather will be more cooperative. And, maybe by then, more of the regular battle group will have found the courage to face the prospect of their own public nudity.
Annual Meeting Scheduled
As required in our By-Laws, we have scheduled our annual meeting on October 25, just prior to our Halloween Party. We have this meeting every year to review our operation for the past year and get input from members about what they would like to see in the future. We will also elect a new Board of Directors.
All Eduners should consider a position on our Board. Elsewhere in this issue is a listing of Board responsibilities. Take time to review it and decide how you might make a meaningful contribution to our continued success. It is through the dedication of individuals who assist with their time and energy that we are able to provide a wonderful program and facility for our members to enjoy.
This meeting will mark the end of another great season for the Lake Edun Foundation. Our special place seems to become even more beautiful each year. Please take time to thank all Board members who have contributed to make this a wonderful year.
Activities designated HN are sponsored by Heartland Naturists
Sept 6; Sat; 10-12; Board Meeting
Sept 19; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in Lenexa
Sept 27; Sat; 12-4; Work Day
Sept 27; Sat; 5-7; Pot Luck Supper
Sept 27; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Oct 11; Sat; 12-4; Work Day
Oct 11; Sat; 5-7; Pot Luck Supper
Oct 11; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Oct 17; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in Lenexa
Oct 24; Fri; 8-10; Sauna
Oct 25; Sat; 6:30; Annual Meeting & Election of Board
Oct 25; Sat; 7:00; Halloween Party
Nude Bridge Is Becoming A Landmark
Many cities have must-see landmarks tourists feel compelled to visit in order to make their stay complete. In St. Louis, it's the arch, in San Francisco, its Golden Gate Bridge, in Los Angeles, it's the Hollywood sign. Palm Springs, California has what is becoming a new must-see icon. It is the "nude bridge" connecting the Desert Shadows Nudist Resort to luxury condos across Indian Canyon Drive.
"The amount of media attention we have gotten, in particular the bridge has gotten, has dumbfounded us," says Stephen Payne of Desert Shadows Resort. They host clients from around the world and increasingly, Payne says, they are learning about Desert Shadows because of the bridge.
Guests from as far away as Seattle and Brazil admitted they learned about the resort from news accounts about the bridge. Downtown merchant Tim Metz says everyone wants a peek at it. "People ask about it. They say, 'where's this famous bridge I've been hearing about?
Although they never anticipated the bridge would be a public idea, there's talk now of putting the city's name in lights across the bridge to dress it up, if you will, much like the Hollywood sign.
Elected Officials Misjudge Public Opinion
Recently, the city fathers of Willimanic, CT proposed an ordinance aimed at a proposed strip club. The wording for the ordinance was taken from one already on the books in Erie, PA.
Town Selectmen anticipated strong public support for the indecency ordinance to go along with the public damnation of the strip club application. However, when about 20 residents and some out-of-town nudists turned out to oppose the ordinance, the city fathers quickly changed their tune. When the vote was taken, the measure went down to near-unanimous defeat.
"It's going to become ridiculous," resident Dawn Niles said, "because peoples' concept of what's indecent is going to dictate what's enforced."
"I don't see why we need an ordinance," Willimantic resident Harry Carboni said. "Let the marketplace speak."
If people in the town are really against a strip club, they won't visit it, he said, and it would close down for lack of business.
"How many laws have been passed with good intent? We're almost going back to a Puritanical type of thing in New England where you're trying to be our parents … we don't need more laws. … I don't need government to police my morality," Carboni said.
Items We Need
Religious Mural Causes Controversy
The religious mavens have such problems. On the one hand, they believe all of society's ills would be cured if only the Ten Commandments were displayed on every street corner. One might presume from this they would approve of public display of other scripture or biblical scenes. However, the faithful in Pilot Point, OK have learned, to their dismay, that they must be careful what they wish for.
Wes Miller, owner of the Farmers and Merchants Gallery in downtown Pilot Point contracted with a local artist to paint a mural on the north face of his building. The mural depicts Eve in the Garden of Eden and she is shown in the classic nude pose. Now, the complaints are flying in this conservative stronghold.
Jay Melugin, a Pilot Point city councilman and restaurant owner has called the mural "disgusting" and the city has sent a letter to Mr. Miller giving him until August 20 to remove the mural.
Initially Miller was prepared to cave under the threat of legal action but both the ACLU and the National Coalition Against Censorship have become involved in his support. In a letter to the police chief Mike Carne, the NCAC pointed out that the mural shows a biblical theme and does not appeal to prurient interests, and that in past cases, the Supreme Court has upheld representations of simple nudity as a form of constitutionally protected artistic expression.
Councilman Melugin said the letter holds no merit and went on to say, "The Supreme Court makes a lot of asinine statements."
It is reported that one church woman told Melugin his comments characterizing the mural as disgusting was out of place and he had no business telling women their bodies were disgusting. Editorials in the Denton newspaper, and the local Pilot Point newspaper seem to support the art gallery. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds.
Did You Know?
What is it about the 21-mile stretch of silty grey water that divides England from France? Matthew Webb's 22-hour swim in 1875 is well known. So is Louis Bleriot's first powered flight in 1909. Less famous is the inaugural aerial cross - channel trip, made in 1785 by a Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, and his American sponsor, Dr John Jeffries. Running out of hot air before reaching land they shed their clothes to save weight, bounced over the sea and shocked welcoming crowds by turning up naked.
Interesting Info From Santa Cruz
Nudity, while not common on Santa Cruz beaches, is generally accepted on parts of certain ones, such as Its [Beach]. Locals understand this, [police Lt. Joe] Haebe said. "People that are out of town think the same set of rules applies" in Santa Cruz as it does back home in, oh, say, Kansas or Sunnyvale. "And they get over here," said Haebe, "and they're in for a culture shock on some of the things we take for granted."
Topless 3-Year-Old Makes Waves
A 3-year-old girl recently scandalized officials at a Detroit aquatic park. Karima Sorel forgot the top for her daughter's swim suit. Not wanting to disappoint her anxious 3-year-old, Karima allowed her to swim topless, just like the 3-year-old boys splashing around in the pool. "If I had the top, I would have put it on her," Sorel said.
When park security guards discovered this transgression, they promptly told Sorel that topless toddlers can spark lust in adults who are sexually attracted to children and she had to cover her daughter up. "If there are pedophiles in your park," Sorel responded "please harass them and leave my daughter and me alone."
Park officials claimed they were attempting to maintain a family atmosphere and wanted to enforce rules consistently. Sorel, who has visited beaches in Brazil where swimsuits are a mere accessory, wasn't impressed and wouldn't leave. This set the stage for a stand-off and eventually, the Detroit police were called.
After officers had an opportunity to assess the situation, they informed the park manager Sorel was doing nothing wrong. He apologized to Sorel who commented, "What I'm not understanding is the sexualization of a 3-year-old."
Why Are We Clothing-Free
Some members and supporters have asked why Lake Edun is clothing-free rather than a clothing-optional facility. The following is an abbreviated version of a "to whom it may concern" letter written by Bob B for the May-June issue of the Olive Dell Nudist Ranch in California newsletter. It was reprinted in In the Loop, published by TNS.
I have lived at the Olive Dell Nudist Ranch for some 18 years, and I have never had occasion to feel "out of place" nude at a balmy evening social function before [Saturday, June 28]. In 1988, when our membership was probably triple what it is now, I was president of the membership. In all these years since, I have never before witnessed what I did tonight, nor experienced the feeling of being the only person nude in a textile environment on a perfectly warm and nudist-conducive evening.
Even one of the function's organizers told me he had carried his shorts down to the clubhouse but had felt the subtle pressure to be dressed, which he gave way to.
As a nudist, I experience this as an insidious trend. It is indeed subtle: nothing is said and nothing is spoken, but by behavior we nudists are allowing that certain percentage of non-nudists (or reluctant nudists) to set the tone to their textile ways. The standard at a nudist resort has always been "clothed when necessary (referring to weather conditions), nude when able." That was not the de facto standard in effect at our clubhouse tonight.
Although the clubhouse is presumably "clothing optional," those of us who are real nudists must not allow the reluctant or non-nudists among us to set the tone and the "dress code." The textiles, as we call them, should be the exception at our warm-weather social functions, and not the rule. Certainly wh must not allow them to set the standard as they did tonight.
The prevailing standard at our beloved Olive Dell should be nudity, not textile. The "Textiles" have virtually the whole damned repressive puritan society to run around in and do their thing. We nudists have very few places, and Olive Dell is one of them.
"Creeping textilism," is a subtle poison. And it is not limited to Olive Dell, or even American clubs. TNS' Nicky Hoffman says she has observed it at, of all places, Cap d'Agde in France where the efforts of officials to combat it, even on the beach, seem increasingly ineffective.
BBC Christian Thought For The Day
By Christina Rees
Good morning. Enjoy this moment of relative cool, because, for most of us, over the next few hours the temperature will be climbing again to make today one of the hottest on record. The recent heat-wave has threatened the safety of railway tracks, sent sales of paddling pools skyrocketing and has driven any number of us to strip down to the barest minimum of clothing in a desperate attempt to stay cool.
Good timing then, for Steve Gough, who's discarded all his clothes as he attempts to walk naked from Land's End to John O'Groats. He's not actually trying to beat the heat, but to make a protest about nudity laws. The homemade flag sticking out of his rucksack proclaims 'the freedom to be yourself!" and he insists all he's doing is "showing my body the way God made me."
He's right, of course, but that hasn't stopped him from being arrested ten times or from being beaten up in Cornwall. Putting aside the legal issues of baring all in public, why does the sight of a naked man out on a harmless hike, make some people turn to violence and others snigger or recoil.
Whatever you believe about how we came to be here on planet earth, here we are, all of us, bodies as well as hearts and souls and minds. Our physical nature is basic to and part of what we are as human beings, and is one of the things we all share in common, whether we are at home inside our particular skin or whether we find it painful or distasteful to relate to.
There is something disturbing and distorted about our society's implicit and explicit messages about our unadorned bodies. We have turned them into 'objects of shame, subjects of violence or icons of lust'. We drive them too hard until they break down, or we neglect them until they malfunction. We feed them inappropriate food and overload them with poisons. We sneer and gloat and peek and violate. We glut them with all types of excess and punish and harm them for all sorts of reasons.
What we can't do, it seems, is accept our bodies as precious, the only means by which we engage with other people, the rest
of creation, all of life. As a Christian I believe that God's Spirit is present in our bodies, whatever our size or shape, or
condition. That should affect how I see myself and others. Maybe if we were more comfortable with our own nakedness,
we might see beyond the bits that make us laugh or offend us and start seeing ourselves as worthy of respect, holy;
crowned, as the Psalmist says, "with glory and honour".
An Argument Against Restricting Non-lewd Social Or Public Nudity
By Jeffrey C. Narvil
Although greater specificity and consistency should be adopted both at the state and local levels, the recent initiatives introduced at many statehouses unfortunately add clarity at the expense of restricting personal autonomy. Even if the freedom to practice nudity has not been recognized as a constitutionally protected right, it is nevertheless a personal choice that deserves tolerance absent proof of injury to society or the individual.
This section will argue that more restrictive laws and judicial interpretations governing public, social nudity are unwarranted in light of the harmless nature of exposure to non-sexual nudity. Excluding non-lewd nudity from potential prosecution further protects minority cultural and religious values without unduly imposing upon the rights of others and respects the values of individual and collective expression.
Policies Supporting Prohibition of Public Nudity
The practice of nudity in public or social settings is an individual choice which, like many other choices made by individuals, is perhaps trivial to many and not proven to be of any particular benefit to society at large. Its prohibition has been justified as a means of protecting the public from harm What is the harm sought to be avoided by policy-makers?
Does exposure to nudity harm children or adults? Experts have entered both sides of the debate, usually armed with little more than theoretical or anecdotal support. Social scientists have expressed personal opinions attesting to both the benefits and pitfalls of nudity.
To date there has been no empirical research showing that nudity is harmful either to the individual practicing it or to those who encounter it. Neither is there sufficient evidence to substantiate any psychological advantages of exposure to casual nudity at an early age. However, one long-range study concluded that children who were continuously exposed to nudity were neither more nor less sexually or psychologically maladjusted than the general populace.
If opponents of legalized public, social nudity are unable to muster convincing scientific proof of its harmfulness to those exposed to it, what other incentives might a jurisdiction have for maintaining the laws in their current ambiguous state, or even supporting the more recently proposed stricter language?
Some might suggest that the benefits of indecent exposure statutes outweigh any incidental limitations on personal expression. These benefits might include discouraging general disorderliness, protecting children and bystanders, providing an alternative basis for prosecution when a conviction for a more serious sexual crime is unlikely, relieving the judicial system from having to draw fine line distinctions between lewd and non-lewd behavior and perhaps providing a buffer against the radical antics of the unconventional. The Author finds these rationales unpersuasive.
Where the rationale underlying indecent exposure statutes supports banning nudity as a means of preventing public disturbances, it should be remembered that charges of disorderly conduct could be properly applied under such circumstances. It is worth noting that in most instances where social nudists have been cited and charged there have been no recorded public disturbances. Contrary to some public suspicion, areas designated as clothing-optional have generally been no more susceptible to mayhem or sexual deviance than areas which require clothing.
Another pragmatic justification for maintaining broadly-worded statutes might be to assist prosecutors in securing at least a minor conviction on sex-related charges when evidence for more serious charges is lacking or insufficient. Obviously, the criminalization of almost any harmless conduct or expression could be justified using this rationale.
Do the statutes exist to suppress inclinations toward unlawful sexual deviance? There is currently no indication that public nudity either encourages or is symptomatic of sexual deviance.
There is no reason why outdoor non-sexual nude activities, such as relaxing in a mountain meadow or city park, should be viewed as any more suggestive of lewd or lascivious intent than other nonsexual nude activities, such as those which take place in a doctor's office or in one's own bathroom.
Perhaps it is simply more convenient to outlaw public nudity altogether than to attempt to distinguish lewd exhibition from nonlewd conduct. Yet conduct which arouses a "prurient interest" includes clothed conduct as well, and the judicial system has managed to differentiate whether clothed suspects have acted lewdly or not. How the nudity of the suspect would make such determinations more difficult is unclear; it may in fact facilitate such a determination.
Alternative Explanations for the Criminalization of Public Nudity
If a behavior causes no real harm to others or to society, and its continuing prohibition provides no real advantages to society vis-a-vis law enforcement, to what reason may its historical and contemporary prohibition be attributed? Perhaps social, cultural, or religious attitudes best explain the criminalization of public nudity.
If one accepts that contemporary mainstream American society looks unfavorably on nudity in public and social settings, one should consider that attitudes regarding nudity in the presence of others vary tremendously cross-culturally and have fluctuated even in the European historical experience.
American notions of nudity as inherently indecent are strikingly ethnocentric. Even today, autonomous cultures in South America and New Guinea live in complete nudity. Before the widespread export of Western commercial and religious products on a global scale, many cultures shared conceptions of modesty markedly different from nineteenth-century Westerners, who considered the ankle obscene. In Japan, family and same-sex outdoor bathing remains common. In India, a society relatively less tolerant of nudity than the United States, religious sects which shun clothing are left free to exercise their consciences publicly.
Differing conceptions of modesty are not limited to far-flung corners of the planet. Nudity in a social or public context has received acceptance in Western history. Ancient artwork, athletic events and mixed communal bathing tend to evidence at least some acceptance of the natural human form. In less ancient times, attitudes among Europeans regarding social and public nudity have also varied. More recently, nudity generally has received a more favorable reception in Europe, particularly in Germany, than in the United States.
In Anglo-American culture, notions of modesty and shame in its social history were especially powerful and may have reached an apex during the Victorian era. Although fashion trends point to a marked liberalization of Victorian norms during this century, the religiously-based moral backbone of "indecent" remains in American society today.
Many proponents of measures which discourage tolerance of public nudity consider the practice morally offensive and have not been reluctant to voice the religious foundation for their position.
Alleged Benefits of Nudity
As suggested earlier, some may believe that valid policies exist for maintaining anti-nudity statutes notwithstanding their religious connection. Those who support restrictions for other than moral reasons might inquire into the benefits that would flow from a relaxation of current prohibitions.
To some extent, society has already recognized the advantages of, and sanctioned, non-sexual nudity in the presence of others in certain contexts - single sex bathing, the arts, medical care - where nudity is convenient, but not essential. In most other arguably similar instances, however, it has not been met with approval.
Anecdotal accounts and the testimony of those who participate in social nudity typically cite such emotional or spiritual rewards as communion with nature, heightened honesty and intimacy and escape from normal routines and mindsets. Subjective social benefits often are claimed as well: increased friendliness between people, absence of class distinctions, less sexism, less homophobia, less racism and others.
The benefits of the nude experience, like the idiosyncratic benefits derived from wearing nose rings and driving flashy cars, are difficult to quantify. Because currently there is no scientific evidence to corroborate claims that increased public nudity results in better-adjusted individuals, fewer sex crimes, less pornography, less violence, or more social cohesion, it is at best conjectural to forecast social improvements as a consequence of legalized nudity.
One difficulty with relying on individual benefit is that one person's benefit may be another's loss. For whatever added enjoyment of life one person receives from golfing nude, another may claim that her or his quality of life has been diminished by being forced to see the golfer in the nude. However, this argument is no more persuasive than those levied against being forced to witness unusual hairstyles, unattractive dress, or politically offensive speech. Individual enjoyment of life need not be viewed as a "zero-sum" proposition with only winners and losers. In daily life, everyone necessarily compromises to some extent in order to preserve the social fabric. What compelling need justifies coercing eccentric individuals to compromise their desires where no physical or lasting harm from their behavior can be shown?
Suggested improvements to current indecent exposure statutes
For the reasons discussed in the previous section, state legislatures are urged to amend the current, ambiguous language by providing an explicit confirmation that mere nudity, devoid of otherwise lewd conduct, is not a crime of indecent exposure. Although most statutes require that an exposure be lewd, cases reveal that some state supreme courts are prepared to describe topless sunbathing as "lustful" and "libidinous." A statutory declaration that non-sexually motivated nudity is not per se lewd would resolve what is perhaps the most glaring uncertainty in the existing legislation.
Less certain, but still helpful, would be a modification of the "likely to cause alarm or affront" standard. As discussed above, it is unclear whether this language refers to possibilities or probabilities. By specifying criminal exposures to be those that will "probably" cause affront or alarm, the vacationing family, the Shankara poser, the urban apartment dweller and the camping bather would better be able to assess the legality of their conduct. This type of change in the statutory language would also recognize de facto tolerance of nudity in certain locales without introducing the potential reaction of hypothetical observers.
An even weaker rephrasing of the laws might decriminalize exposure where there is implied consent. A standard resting on consent would not immunize the camper against an unanticipated Boy Scout troop, but it would at least shield her from the prejudices of a zealous ranger when she skinny dips with consenting friends in a remote mountain hot spring.
From The Mail Bag
Dear Lake Edun:
Thanks for the update. We were guests at the Lake last week, and it is truly an amazing setting! And this comes from people who live in Colorado.
I talked with Nancy about doing some music during a gathering at some point in the future. I'll be in Kansas October 7 to perform in Great Bend. It might work out to come over for a weekend show for your members and guests. You can view my website below for more details.
Tourism Buffs Know The Future Is In Nudity
by J.D. Bullington, vice president of government affairs at the Albuquerque, New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry.
So the Sandoval County sheriff has started arresting people at Spence Hot Springs in the Jemez Mountains for skinny dipping. I hope the Tourism Association of New Mexico is watching.
Nude tourism and recreation is taking off. According to a recent CNN/Money Magazine report, there are now 260 clothing-optional resorts in North America - nearly twice the number of 10 years ago. And, according to AANR, the growing nude customer base has pushed nudism in the United States to a $400 million annual business. That's up from $120 million a decade ago. Nudism has experienced tremendous growth in the past four years.
The Sandoval County sheriff's new "zero tolerance" policy might be counter to the national trend.
Do I sense a lost opportunity here? Photographs on the AANR Web site show members enjoying a variety of activities, including water volleyball, horseshoes and hot-air ballooning. Hot-air ballooning? Hmmm, I think we might be onto something. That would spice up the second week in October: "Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the first annual Albuquerque International Nude Balloon Fiesta!"