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What the @#%! Happened to Stewart Springs? Cont'd

Continuation of 12-part sussing by former insider, analysis and (semi) informed rant on how the springs came to be in current dire straits -- and how it might be redeemed through the intentional focus of enough true-blue fans. 

(Article began here)

Part 7

Dead man walking;

Making Springs unbareable (reprise)

There's another issue that greatly complicated operations in the recent past, one which residual energies continue affecting the present, until it's (hopefully) finally banished.

As mentioned, the late co-managing husband, Ted Duncan, had been diagnosed with late-stage liver disease. What many maybe didn't realize is that the diagnosis was made around the same exact time the couple secured their 10-year contract in 2006.

Aside from former profit-maxing mandate and their conventional lifestyle druthers -- at jarring odds with the cooperative, semi-bohemian, down-home tradition of the place -- with both he and senior-managing wife dealing with critical health issues (she herself underwent an hysterectomy), an already sad situation was greatly exacerbated. It seemed almost impossible to run the place with the dedicated focus and lighthearted spirit that befits any genuine healing spa when death was knocking at the door of management.

In a way, the place became his own semi-private hospice. 

Naturally one can't be on the ball and at ease, helping others relax and keep staff mellow, with such calamities in the air.  

Facilitating spa-ing nude --  free-spirited practice epitomizing a full-tilt embrace of life's simple goodness, patrons taking simple delight in mini-vacation from an overdressed world in the healing arms of nature, amping up the palliative benefit of the spa regimen -- wasn't something anyone freaking out over a looming medical death sentence could get too enthused about. 

It's a pity former 'owner' John Foggy didn't see they perhaps weren't best managerial fit given the circumstances. But possibly the dire condition wasn't yet diagnosed at their hiring, or it was kept secret after diagnosis, whether made before or after hiring, for fear of losing/not gaining position if known to him.

In any event, one was left to wonder why they didn't claim medical hardship at some point and get out of the 10-year  contract so he could enjoy his remaining time without needless aggravation of running what at times could be an incredibly demanding operation even in the best of health, and the legal steward find healthier (and, ideally, more progressive-minded) management. An early Paul Simon lyric came to mind: "...and all your wealth can't buy you health."

Maybe he was hopeful the waters would, more than slow the inevitable, somehow effect a full recovery that conventional pill and procedure medicine couldn't. Or at least keep the inevitable at bay. And so he clung to the co-manager position like his life depended on it, as in a way it did. Perhaps he'd hoped to die working in the saddle, if only to cover the soaring health insurance premiums and leave his partner better provided for. Again, one can only wonder if he indeed secured the position only after getting the terminal diagnosis and having 24-hour access to purifying waters was worlds more important than any modest joint salaries and free lodging that the position provided.

(see review posted by Ted -- signed T.D. -- for Springs, second one down, wherein he posed as a visitor to enable posting a personal testimony of the healing waters)

Project Cover-up:

Let's Make Place Unbareable!

Affecting shock over a supposed deck incident, the former manager, no doubt if true  then reported to prospective new 'owners' how the place was becoming a hotbed of moral degradation she was hard-pressed to get a handle on, despite her most valiant efforts: "We've got Trouble! I say right here in River City! With a capital 'T', that rhymes with 'B', that stands for Bare!"

It was surely hurting business, repelling droves of more respectable, family-value visitors -- that is, better-heeled, more refined, properly body-alienated, conventional-thinking travelers and vacationers, seekers of charming, quaint rural resorts; clothes-minded dabblers of therapeutic mineral springs, various new age disciplines and perhaps undiscriminating, freespending culture vultures in general...

...deeper-pocketed visitors who -- while no doubt loving the grounds and maybe thrilling to the prospect of indulging in the time-honored, royal decadent delight of "taking the waters" -- had precious little understanding or appreciation how any real, down-to-earth springs resort worth its salt (or silica), dedicated to deep cleansing and purification and rejuvenation, realized that needless body covering all too easily interfered with optimal relaxation, enjoyment, and palliative benefit...and so clothing was optional and simple mindful nudity permitted.

And even some state-siders, both local and traveling, were also put off by the nudity, what with its potential power to variously distract, arouse, and/or disgust -- plus, of course, confuse kids' body-shame and false-modesty societal brainwashing, making dutifully conformist parents uncomfortable -- alas, fully understandable for the way the c/o scene was essentially left in free-fall. No mindful guardrails were ever put in place. The policy, unsupported by a mostly bohemian-indifferent management, left the scene wide open for abusive, lower-consciousness behavior to crop up amid the daily visitor mix. 

(For an egregious, mind-boggling example, see Famous Last Words - scroll to item headed"......" in third article)

But how far does one go to accommodate what many were convinced was, in fact, an over-influential minority at the expense of a significant, now-alienated fan base that deeply valued the open-minded Euro style option -- or was at least okay with it, given people behaved?

Again, one might've cynically viewed the oppressive change as reflecting the determination of both old and new managements to purge the place of bohemian-friendly visitors, so offensive to rigid morality mindsets and conventional lifestyle druthers.

Many had been dismissed, stereotyped, even vilified, as low-spending, wild hippies, mostly locals, hurting business by scaring off more respectable, deeper-pocketed, perma-dressed visitors, unable or unwilling to cope with seeing the essential human form in everyday life...being painfully reminded of their own lifelong-programmed body alienation...visitors who, like contented spies, were content staying undercover, thank you very much  --and wished to hell everyone else was, too.


Fifty years ago that might've been the case. No more. With each passing year, alternate culture lifestyle values are becoming more and more ingrained in the life-affirming segment of the global mainstream culture.

Over time, radical body freedom --  along with yoga, conscious plant-based diet, cannabis and magic mushroom medicine, transcendental meditation, recycling and pre-cycling, clean energy, tiny homes and appropriate lifestyle and livelihood -- has spread FAR past the mere 'lunatic fringe' of mainstream awareness.

Those enthused by such things, or open to learning about them, had often formed the predominant patronage of the Springs, thus allowing the place to become the thriving success it was...treasured as a nominally bohemian healing and rejuvenating refuge, well-ensconced in nature yet easy to reach for being only a few miles off the interstate highway.

^ Grand nude anti-war protest statement at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, 2003

Part 8

Gone with the wind?

Banning simple nudity, along with emptying the altar in the spring-source gazebo and ending the time-honored sacred sweatlodge and bathhouse spa service, could, again, well prove a series of fatal, fumbling, futile, self-defeating missteps. Ones generating such a sea of ill will it would surely doom whatever re-purposing plans are afoot from ever succeeding, having the seeds of their own ultimate self-destruction baked in...

...that is, short of having millions more to float it without being dependent on

< Ashland, Oregon, 2003, impending Iraq war protest in Lithia Park 

operation's former reportedly quarter-million/year net -- again, a sum largely garnered from former loyal repeat visitor base. And the new 'stewardship' perhaps not giving a flying leap 

what a legion of now-alienated patrons think...that is, beyond whatever bad press they might generate. And so obtuse, they can actually enjoy 'owning' their little paradise, convinced they're helping make the world a better place by 'saving' the springs from the heathen rabble so that more respectable, select people can enjoy and benefit it now and then and thus help defray costs of running their own private, pet, fringe-psychology shtick there.

They possibly wondered (or not) why, right after c/o ban took affect, visitor volume fell off the cliff. The place's former thriving locals day became a desolate ghost town overnight. With Sweatlodge removal and word of other misguided actions, like tearing out the tubs, circling the globe, visitorship continued to nosedive, leaving the grounds an empty vestige of its former self, a beloved sanctuary for an ever-growing, natural-healing-minded public.  

Obviously it was no great mystery. For with unfolding their misguided plans, suddenly disenfranchised were a sea of the place's long-supporting devotees -- open-minded visitors, of diverse lifestyles and income levels, a thoroughly diverse sub-group, making shambles of any stereotype how low-spending, wild locals with kinky penchant for running about nekkid were ruining the place for the more respectable and deeper-pocketed  -- and properly body-alienated, or at least so duly resigned to prisons of cloth they had no desire to be freed from them save in private, thank you.

They were, in fact, a rich variety of visitors, ones for whom the option of experiencing the exhilarating freedom and enhanced comfort that simple mindful nudity afforded in the course of spa purification played a crucial role in nurturing a more integrated, awakened, holistic way of living...

...people from all walks of life, some of whom, instead  of doing the spa, came together in the nextdoor sacredsweat lodge to cleanse and heal and grok the spiritual essence of America's prehistoric roots, gaining profound new spiritual awareness and a sense of grounded community.

Obviously, more and more were awakening to an all-inclusive, diverse-lifestyle mingling, as the consciousness of planet kept rising to dramatic new levels, in which people found common ground and came together.

Meanwhile, those yet asleep and bent on garnering evermore material riches while flirting with doing a few ostensibly good works -- almost as if to try filling the gaping spiritual void in their lives -- seemed intent on making life on earth as miserable as possible for others...those refusing to any longer be part of a soul-less culture of mass consumption, mindless power and wealth scrambling and general asleep-at-the-wheel existence.

Can present 'owners' be so determined --  and deep-pocketed -- to weather such a drastic drop in business? And be so indifferent that they just don't care how they've devastated a once-vibrant, mindful, aware global culture of genuine spa fans in the course of unfolding their depressing diversion of the place -- one for seven generations dedicated to the purifying, healing and rejuvenating of greater humanity?

Peace on earth -

what a concept!

What such catering is blind to is the age-old vision many of the realm's more aware

< Longtime spontaneous spring gazebo altar,

now sterile and forlorn 

hold dear: mankind learning to live in harmony with nature and one another. Such age-old envisioning, now perhaps closer than ever to actually manifesting (perhaps not) naturally holds that providing appropriate rural places

like Stewart's -- at which to purify, heal, experience feel-good physical freedom and discover and honor spiritual medicine of First Nations people -- are CRUCIAL to hastening  global transformation that current 'absentee stewardship' claims to be all for.

As said, neither the former 'owner' nor managers ever seemed to resonate with the time-honored regimen of authentic healing mineral springs resorts, allowing people the option of appropriate simple nudity to better purify and heal...though they finally did permit it during last 16 years (and no doubt weathered tiresome jabs about running some kind of weird hippie nudist camp), if only because it proved great for business.

Many fans might hold that whether one has bucks or not or is or isn't into any organized thing isn't important. That spirit is a free gift from a loving Universal Father. Trying to commodify it inevitably leads to things like Jesus driving the money lenders from the temple.

What's important is nurturing places of potentially full-tilt dedication to healing, fostering a universal spiritual awakening of body-mind-spirit -- like Stewart's was (again, last time full bore in the 1970's under the Goodpastures) -- never obsessing over the  bottom line or even thinking of repurposing the place, to the detriment of the healing potential of greater humanity under a simple, forthright public-service mission.

Both spiritual and material prosperity naturally thrive when doing the right thing and putting the horse in FRONT of the cart. 

And because the last managers were seriously side-tracked by life-threatening health issues on top of the ceaseless pressure to maximize profits, Stewart's c/o scene, six years in at their start, seldom achieved  -- short of times when the place spilled over with conscious, like-minded beings -- more than the faintest semblance of integrity and relaxed and safe so mindfully, low-keyly nurtured at every other popular, long-established rural c/o springs in the wider region.

Instead, former managers coasted, gritting their teeth, suffering the place's modest body freedom, so shockingly distasteful... (Along with, eventually, the sweatlodge. Writer remembers around 2001 the old manager, Mary H., saying Foggy told her he sometimes would've liked to see it gone.)

So they let c/o scene erode through lackluster, reactionary ("No yoga in sauna" sign), at times outright asleep-at-the-wheel operation.

Such a quaint

charming resort!

Since lodging bookings could sometimes bring in more money than the spa's limited water supply and bathhouse hours allowed, the place was touted more as charming resort nestled in nature than the unassuming, sacred healing spa retreat it was...beyond paying hollow lip service in blurbs, like "Indulge your Soul." As a result, increasingly attracted were overnight visitors with little to no appreciation of the place's deeper historic and prehistoric focus on purifying and healing -- eventually including, so obvious now, the latest 'ownership'. Any such appreciation took a back seat to intent -- 'owner's' prerogative -- to pursue decidedly un-public-minded uses.

Let's commodify everything!

A healthful spa experience, original reason for the operation starting ages ago, was soon relegated to being more of a mere extra feature, a quaint novelty, a purely optional, decadent indulgence. With visitors no better attuned to the process, soaking all too easily became little more than a superficial,  mostly ineffectual flirtation with purifying and healing. Sometimes soakers on Instagram bragged to enviable friends stuck at home how they'd ventured into the wilds and were that very moment "taking the waters", ala European royalty of olde.

Former management no doubt fumed overtime for hands being tied to scrap the clothing-optional policy...before the surviving one finally did on leaving. For it had long been part and parcel of earlier ambitious progressive management changes under late Mary H. (assisted by writer) that at the turn of millennium helped spur visitor volume through the roof.

This was the bottom line for 'owner' John Foggy, who, redeeming virtue, was from liberal-minded San Francisco and became okay with simple nudity, realizing it appeared good for business (and possibly sensing he was earning serious points among some for being alternative-culture friendly).

One didn't mess with success if wanting to keep in good graces with the boss. So the indifferent-to-hostile management endured the c/o situation, even while dreaming of one day ending the scourge ruining enjoyment of the place for more respectable (i.e. wealthier), perma-dressed people.

Though only achieved on the way out by her working with incoming new 'owners', the policy change must've provided some measure of satisfaction. "Thought you'd be able to go naked there forever, did you? Think again, my pretties...hee-hee-hee-hee!"

Part 9

Trying to co-opt sacred

land for gain or private use

always ends badly

If the new, nowhere to be seen stewards wanted the place to evolve and thrive as an exceptional, all-inclusive, culturally diverse, spiritually-focused healing resort,

it behooved them to become sensitive to the place's far-flung, once-loyal visitor base and appreciate how deeply it had embraced the progressive c/o policy and the bathhouse soaks, the old gazebo's love-offering altar and the venerable weekly sweat lodge ceremonies.

They ignored all this at their peril...and are now reaping a their thorn-choked harvest.

Big duh elephant

in the room

Mountains of business goodwill built over generations was destroyed, along with place's treasured bohemian spirit.

All because they didn't get the Big Duh. Or found it a big yawn, being preoccupied with private-minded re-purposing intent all along.

Such thinking was indifferent to an obvious fact: those into alternative-culture and open-minded, bohemian-friendly ways are always attracted to natural mineral springs retreats dedicated to natural, alternative healing.

Again, the former, aware visitorship was so large and longstanding that disenfranchising them all but guaranteed their misguided, inappropriate efforts will fail in the long run from lack of support and endless bad publicity and condemnation by global spring aficionados (not to mention increased stress on Gaia).

Meanwhile, the former, dreary, unbridled focus of money-hungry, power-jonesin', fly-by-seat-of-pants ownership/management seems to be continuing, in a sorry-ass new variation, all under the banner of an ostensibly benevolent, nonprofit organization locked into a new twist on clinical psychotherapy.

Though maybe not meaning to or, more likely, accepting the consequences of their actions as doable, it oppresses what clamors to be a positive light-healing realm, a place unfettered by ANY profit motivation or private-minded concerns that put one's own specialized agenda ahead of serving the greater good of humanity... the tragic cost of place losing its innate spirit, its profound ability to heal humanity buy working  with nature.

By the new 'ownership' imposing its conservative lifestyle values and repurposing intent on the place, it (again) loses sight of Stewart's historic dedication to serve and affordably heal all.

Universal spirituality outshines dogma-cluttered religion any day of the week -- especially the kind serving to rationalize and mask its uncharitable, private-minded actions.

The Springs founders' daughter, Katy Stewart Lloyd, in the late 1940s refused to sell the place to old moneybags George Vanderbilt; she knew he'd promptly shut place to public (in his case without even a veneer of benevolent intent, but wanting to turn the place into an exclusive playground for the rich and famous of his circle). see history

As time always demonstrates, trying to co-opt sacred land to make a buck and/or co-opt for diversionary private use, in the  process shutting out everyday people seeking purification, healing, and rejuvenation, always ends badly.

Again, the now-abandoned hope of the writer was that they'd become aware of mindful nudity's easy and effective ability to amp both the place's healing power and visitor volume -- a win-win situation...

...that they would then naturally give the green light again and re-activate clothing-optional on a new, well thought-out and maintained level after trading notes with region's successful c/o rural resort managements...establishing a healing climate any open-minded visitor could and appreciate and respect management would be comfortable with.

Dream on, McDuff.

Tragically, years of what countless, now -estranged fans of place felt was an inappropriate profit preoccupation by the former 'owner', having set a rigid focus with management doing his bidding, has continued under a depressing new variation. The nonprofit parent group has been essentially turning the place upside down and inside out to try to serve as a retreat and bureaucratic world headquarters and teaching workshop for its private gig in the lucrative shrink field, while hoping to keep luring (now) lodging-only, group retreat/event traffic to subsidize operation and ownership costs a trifle.

Stature of flood-damaged, one-winged angel, long on the creek isle below the bathhouse, could not fly. It perfectly reflected the state of the place's earlier. profit-driven  management.

Meanwhile, though having lost serious momentum, the place straggles on, still coasting on historic reputation and knowing it's an 'owners market'. Now it's shut down and dismantled the bathhouse, subverting 145 years of tradition, having zero interest in any longer offering affordable, quality retreat for spa-savvy, growth-minded beings on life-affirming paths...those who automatically gravitate to nature's special healing realms. like flowers to sunshine, and whose patronage made the place the roaring success it was, benefiting greater humanity.

Past as Present

Former late co-manager Ted D.'s slowly dying over a ten year period incalculably exacerbated the situation, derailing its chance to evolve into any more gracious, clear-thinking, free-flowing operation -- even had the absent 'owner' and the rest of management been open to it, which they weren't -- weakening the place's longtime altruistic dedication, to the point that outside parties -- either sensing it or being oblivious to it -- became interested in snapping it up for their own, woefully inappropriate purposes.

As mentioned elsewhere, the former inertia of the place continues to affect the present operation so long as the new operation coasts on pattern of opaque, control-freak, money-money-money, shallow-courtesy management approach, rather than break out in the can-do cooperative, nonprofit spirit of healing, working hand-in-hand with visitors on a joy-of-service basis that honors nature's sacred realm. (Million to one odds that present, absentee stewards could ever make such a dramatic transformation barring the miracle of their hearts melting.) 

Making what grounds improvements past managers did, while laudable, never made up for the lack of heart and altruistic sharing spirit. Instead, ceaseless pressure to increase profits, plus medical freak-out and resulting intolerant authoritarian stances to cope, made visitors feel like they were somehow imposing on them -- even as they forked over their hard-earned cash.

After having heard such wonderful things about place and anticipating a relaxing healing visit in tranquil solitude of nature under kind stewardship, wistful hopes were often dashed to hell and gone on arrival. Countless such fond dreams were rudely shattered over time.

What had obviously escaped the former's notice -- while preoccupied upgrading the material side of the place, hoping to attract a more upscale, often mineral-springs-culture indifferent mindset -- is how an on-the-ball, genuinely gracious, can-do management energy, or lack thereof, would always make or break every even remotely spiritually conscious visitor's experience -- regardless of the state of amenities beyond basic creature comforts, like adequate room heat and plumbing.

Part 10

Back to the Future

or Hooray for the Riff-raff

As shunning Stewart Springs gains momentum, through word of mouth, social media, spiritually-oriented groups cancelling workshops, and visitor volume plummets, current and would-be supporters of Pneuma will at some point realize the self-defeating karma that Foundation members created for themselves. "Operation Refine and Homogenize Culture to Support Our Shtick" will likely never gain the critical traction needed for the place to even begin to pay for itself in the long run... or be privately enjoyed by 'owners' and their networks with any abiding peace of mind...

...especially if depending on high visitor volume and booked group retreats/events/workshops to make some appreciable dent in the place's ongoing costs. (As mentioned elsewhere, operation must clear some $77. every day of the year just to cover county property taxes on the for-profit operation it is legally.)

'Owners', finally tiring of hemorrhaging investment capital and/or any possible tax write-off exceeding the point of being worthwhile, will then likely throw in towel. They'll concede they were clueless in how to steward the beloved and unique northern California healing spa operation or think they could possibly get away with detouring seven generations of healing service tradition just to suit their own private designs.

They'll maybe realize how they were fatally misled by the example of past absentee 'owners' and management's profit-jonesin' preoccupation...and in fantasyland for thinking that merely shoveling a pile of cash entitled them to steal the place away from the operation so drastically at odds with the former budding, universal, open-circuit energies of the public-spirited that had been fitfully re-activating the founder's original public-service mission and the sacred native use before that.

Again, seeing the light, they'll relocate to more suitable headquarters, selling the Springs land -- at a reasonable price -- to new, appropriate stewards who get it in their sleep...thereby redeeming themselves by in so doing enabling the restoration of that once and future cornucopia of purifying, healing and rejuvenating that is Stewart Mineral Springs.

With a management that instinctively realizes the crucial importance of making the place a legal nonprofit in order to provide a crucial affordable relaxed healing atmosphere, they'd promptly re-instate clothing-optional policy on a new, more mindful level...

...and invite Karuk sweat lodge to return, if they're so inclined...

...steward(s) who -- after in-depth research, with the help of any so-inclined legal-minded friends of the Springs -- would in time, after hammering out a detailed vision for the place's future operation, file paperwork and set up place in perpetuity as a nonprofit organization. One dedicated to the public well-being and enlightenment. (As reportedly Oregon's Jackson Wellsprings did, 100 years ago as of 2023.)

Envision such a good-karma future stewardship. Thousands of empowered creator beings who we are, or are on the road to becoming -- focusing on such a special common goal with laser intensity can manifest such a seeming miracle.

Envision a perfect, thriving Springs...under enlightened new nonprofit ownership...even now hovering over the current tragic scene, ready to descend and hit the ground running.

Place in the sun,

mon, to sun me buns

To hammer out a new viable c/o policy, future managers and/or staff of future stewards need only go on a grand fact-finding tour to various regional c/o spring resorts, experiencing and witnessing firsthand their integrated c/o scenes and spa layouts to get inspired, doable brainstorms...

...picking the brains of management to discover how they work to keep the high-octane energies that public nudity can release on the more chill, respectable side; how they balance policy with concerns of visiting families. (Southern Oregon's Jackson Hot Springs, for instance, allows c/o only after nightfall, for adults only, the rest of the time requiring minimal cover-up, thus accommodating both families, everyday mineral spring goers and freebody enthusiasts who in daytime visits have resigned selves to the restriction and getting tan lines.)

In time Stewart then might at long last join the sisterhood of the wider region's progressive mineral spring resorts.*

* During the Foggy sisters' management days, around 2006 the management of historic Wilbur Hot Springs, some 200 miles away,reached out to Stewart's with an invitation to join an existing reciprocal free-pass trade arrangement between the staffs of Wilbur, Orr and Harbin Springs when visiting each other's places. Stewart's, forever feeling like an orphan, couldn't appreciate the significance of an offer to join the sisterhood of regional spring resorts. As far as the writer knew, management never even responded.

A future stewardship will intuitively appreciate how the human body can be seen either as either sacred or profane, depending on one's awareness level. Mindfulness of management, following the lead of a new stewardship setting the tone, makes all the difference: between the sometimes tawdry scene that the Springs at its worst became and one that's respectable, genuinely healing, and life-transforming.

Becoming a  simple mindful c/o sanctuary can go a long ways towards normalizing the sight of the essential human body.

Part 11

Of free spirit

or Old dreams die hard

As disastrous actions mounted, shattering hopes of all who wished only good things for the place with the change in stewardship, banning c/o shocked countless on an unspeakably deep level  -- as did kicking out the sweatlodge -- almost akin to a death in the family.

The new mandatory cover-up policy left this suggestible writer's first view of new, dutifully wrapped bathhouse visitors in late 2016 with the surreally bleak impression that patrons were wearing mourning apparel in bereavement over the option to spa nude meeting a sudden demise. The mind boggled.

The cherished, bohemian-friendly healing realm had become imprisoned in outdated, oppressive, guilt-based morality and false modesty (til shutting down the bathhouse outright made it all moot).

Bourgeois mediocrity was at last getting sweet revenge.

The place was now held hostage by forces not understanding -- perhaps not caring -- how mandatory clothing (and removal of the sacred sweatlodge) absolutely defeated the deepest purpose and gift of the realm, severely crimping the place as a genuine healing retreat center for ALL people.

It might as well have been mourning clothes indeed for the way the simple-nudity ban mandated body shame...spelling death to fostering enlightened body acceptance so crucial to the place's deeper ability to profoundly purify, transform and rejuvenate.

Can genie ever be put back in bottle?

Not with conscious body freedom in appropriate places being accepted and embraced by more and more all the time. (Everyone, after all, is a natural-born freebody, before inhibitive social conditioning takes its toll).

Only in some impossible alternate universe can the genie ever be put back in bottle without the Springs losing an incalculable measure of its magical transformative healing power.

Writer, after long holding out hopes of new stewards eventually coming around, was radicalized at long last and regretfully joined the groundswell of former Stewart Springs devotees shunning the place, stunned, infuriated and brokenhearted over the utter betrayal of the long-venerated realm's healing tradition and public-minded dedication.

Droves of people now refuse to aid and abet the current self-interested forces, trusting they will in time see the light...meanwhile failing miserably in their misguided effort to wrest the sacred healing realm from the public -- but (hopefully) being aware and conscious enough that, duly chagrined, they'll come to their senses and work to find an appropriate stewardship to take over and thus redeem their now-tattered honor... thus ultimately gaining positive legacy in the realm's ongoing history.

Recap on possible intents

Writer is now far out of loop and as much in dark as most everyone else on current property holders exact intention (assuming they actually have one and aren't just playing it by ear, as in "Let's try this awhile and see how it flies..."). I can only analyze situation and report on things as filtered through Pneuma's website, my own intimate knowledge of place's operation in the recent past and, for what it's worth, intuition.

Again, the two main contenders of absentee steward's long-range intent are:

1. Privatize the place for own Pneuma group's exclusive use, general public no longer welcome. Gates slam shut and new signs growl Keep Out.

(If true, lotsa luck finding one shred of peace of mind for having enacted such community-insensitive cultural destruction, believing the end justifies the means, creating a veritable Mount Everest of bad karma for alienating legions of place's former supporters around the world.)

2. Keeping it open to the public on group basis to subsidize costs while shifting focus of place to primarily serve as Pneuma retreat center, classroom and world headquarters, pushing own shtick with workshops advancing academic/training agenda, leaving little to no room for the former, open-spirited, culturally diverse and enlightened enjoyment of what facilities remain after so shockingly scrapping spa service; yet dependent in symbiotic union on select, legacy-indifferent group bookings to help defray substantial 'ownership' and operational costs.

If the latter's the case, casting a laser on how the de facto hostile takeover disenfranchised and disrupted the conscious lifestyle of myriad of place's longtime supporters -- and prevents a sea of would-be newcomers from turning on to it for optimal, affordable healing experiences as it did tens of thousands over decades past -- might forever put a crimp in place's ever taking off in whatever misguided direction it hopes to go.

viva la causa

The second possibility, though depressing enough, holds more encouragement. Operation, barring amazing change of heart by 'owners', might fail in due course from growing de facto boycott by a critical mass of the global fanbase and accompanying social-media condemnation jinxing ever gaining viable traction and, equally important, community acceptance.

If so, again, eventually they'll give up, realizing they'd be worlds happier and productive somewhere else, no sea of people painting them as villains for stealing the public's treasured retreat handicapping efforts to do good according to their own lights.

They'll take one big deep collective sigh, chalk it up to experience and move on, land (and operation) put back on the market for a hopefully hand-in-glove benefactor to redeem, along with the re-activated volunteer, hired, and work-trade help of community at large helping to take place over the top again, inspired more than ever by the long held group vision of making the place a nonprofit healing community center.

Assuming this is case, every devotee of place can work, as many already are, on manifesting new appropriate stewardship through meditative visualization of a positive future for Stewart's

Given enough Springs true-blue devotees, it would simply be a matter of concentrating group-focused energy, bending time to manifest the desired future. See it as already here in glorious, fine-tuned  technicolor detail, hovering overhead, ready to descend and activate at the perfect moment.

The place might then at long last join Breitenbush, Orr, Wilbur, Sierra, Jackson Wellsprings and Harbin as thriving West Coast mineral spring resort sanctuaries, light-years away from Babylon's lingering, and now-intensifying, darkness.

Stewart Mineral Springs might then, four decades after the last relatively mellow, down-home owner operation by the Goodpastures in 1970's (
see History), at long last shake off its

terminally dysfunctional past. It would make a truly bold new with free-flowing, dyed-in-the-wool, super-grounded, can-do spirit the place so naturally inspires in conscious management. One making the realm paradise both for locals and legions of growth-minded, freer thinking travelers worldwide.

The first baby step is imagining a future legal stewardship, management, staff and visitors in harmony with the realm, with simple body freedom returning on a mindful level along with the venerable Karuk sweat lodge (again, if members are open to it) -- once again honoring and celebrating the universal spirit of the place to affordably purify, heal, and rejuvenate todo el mundo.

Imagine the combined energies of the place's myriad fans causing current misguided stewards to receive and accept a giant reality check and thus ultimately save Stewart Mineral Springs, liberating it for a thriving sea of rural mineral spring resort aficionados and natural healing proponents around the world.

Envision a 'miracle'

Writer's no mover and shaker, just a recluse living in the woodlands with a dream of rescuing a place he happily dedicated 20 years of his life to (and forever suffering  smirks for being thought delusional, thinking the place my own for sharing a name). A vision of resurrecting the founding couple's lost dream...and, as much as modern times allow, the spirit of the super-natural healing ground of native cultures before them.

I haven't any networking skills to speak of, including Facebook. Only this one dedicated site, kind encouragement of others to tell it like it is -- and a long-abiding conviction that Stewart Springs is maybe meant to play an important role in now-unfolding world transformation IF enough conscious beings who love and treasure the place INSIST on it.

If the current errant stewards wake up to the realization that letting go is the best thing they could possibly do for a place they too love in their own way, and transfer it into appropriate hands, then the great medicine wheel of Stewart Mineral Springs might once more majestically turn.

Waiting for Godot? Ghost dancing? Dreaming the impossible dream? Maybe, maybe not...

...the simple truth ism it's whatever enough conscious beings want and focus on manifesting.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Part 12

Mercury retrograde

is our friend here

Even though the last 'owner' held the place for 34 years, two of the six previous post-Stewart family stewardships only lasted a short while. This one appears possibly on track to becoming the third.    see history

Why? The property legally changed hands during a Mercury retrograde period. According to time-proven astrological influences, on the subtle plane this can bode for potential chaos, confusion, and great uncertainty for any new 'owner' of an existing operation if at the time of legal change energies are un-centered and not in their fullest integrity -- which, according to an insider eyewitness report, they weren't. Not by a long shot.

When they got together at the grounds restaurant to celebrate sealing the steal -- er, deal -- the vibe reportedly was one of mad scrambling discord, according to the person serving them...perhaps not too unlike corporate raiders after pulling a bold hostile takeover and drunk on the audacity of the act and enormity of the haul, left squabbling over how to divvy the spoils, oblivious or indifferent to how their misguided privatizing schemes would trigger devastating heartbreak and lifestyle disruption for thousands of longtime Stewart Springs fans regionally, nationally, and around the world.

So this periodic apparent backward-motion influence in the heavens might serve us well indeed. In time it could cinch the abject failure of the current diversionary efforts. 

Since intent vibration at the start of any new enterprise stays with it throughout, the seeds of its ultimate self-destruction were planted at its very start.

Most unfortunate for them, most fortunate for us.

Meanwhile, envision the PERFECT future stewardship manifesting at the perfect moment -- maybe even see it as already here hovering over the realm... place at long last redeemed by an enlightened stewardship. See it in fine-tuned, people-friendly detail, ready to descend and hit the ground running,

Remember, contained within the Chinese character for 'crisis' is the word 'opportunity'. 

The same is true if their intent is only to repurpose place, general public essentially subsidizing their quasi-new-age shtick, continuing to price-out and lifestyle-out myriad once-dedicated fans, place's former lifeblood who recognized and honored the sacred realm and reason its unassuming namesake started his operation some 145 years ago: to simply and affordably the wider public to purify, heal and recharge amid the glad tidings of nature...

...not for the place to become some bland, quasi-prestigious resort, visitors having only the vaguest notion of -- sometimes, even remotest interest in -- the spa's time-honored dedication to radical cleansing of body, mind and spirit, like any genuine mineral springs spa. Or an even worse fate, as time is showing.

But if dread privatization is the ultimate goal, then, after spreading word and appealing to the higher natures of all concerned, one can trust in a just and merciful universe to show the absentee stewards the utter folly and unconscionable selfishness in thinking they could ever shut such a priceless treasure, beloved by countless; how nothing meaningful or honorable could ever come from such action -- one all but bereft of mindful integrity and ultimately self-defeating if, as mission statement implies, they're really wanting to help heal and uplift the planet.

Whatever their actual intent is, unless they melt their hearts on the fullest realization that they hold a sacred trust to safeguard the Springs for the sake of ALL humanity -- rich and poor, sick and well, young and old, gay and straight, bohemian and convention-locked, locals and world travelers -- and return the realm to serving as  an open-circuit, progressive-minded, affordable healing retreat...

They owe it to all --not least of all themselves -- to redeem a now-frayed integrity and transfer the legal stewardship -- at a reasonable price -- to parties that WILL, and relocate to a more appropriate headquarters -- a happier place, blissfully free of the current abysmal, gnawing bad karma plaguing any efforts to do actual good with their aim to facilitate people learning to actualize Greater Self.

Bestir the imagination and envision a thriving, affordable healing refuge for growth-minded people everywhere, one under a future, in-sync, nonprofit stewardship working hand in hand with the Mt. Shasta region's conscious community and in tandem with growth-minded people everywhere.

Myriad fans are positive the place deserves no less.

Blessed be


see New Day Dawning

also new intro to Rants & Raves

Writer served as SMS work-trade assistant manager and grounds keeper 2000-2002 under Mary H while living on grounds, and built and maintained the bathhouse cold plunge for 14 years. He has self-published books on body acceptance and body freedom, inspired by his own experiences at Stewart's.

More on recent issues (pre-virus) here (op ed) and here (rants & raves cont'd; scroll towards end for historic/metaphysical overview; also sidebar in history

All Things Stewart Springs

 Exploring & Defending the 

Once & Future Magic Realm