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Nick Allen of wrote “by handling this story so intelligently and by opening its heart to a very complicated idea of good and evil, Wild Wild Country has a profound, mesmerizing power itself”.

Remarkable, remarkable story. Even those of us who recall this happening, won’t remember it as comprehensively as it is presented here. Outstanding production. Highly recommended.

As you watch this tale unfold episode to episode you will at first find yourself swerving back and forth between two sides of an argument. Or question if neither has any argument at all here. 

You will recognize familiar bigotries, age old fears, insecurities and threats of provincial mindsets. You will witness unseemly power grabs, brazen law breaking, arrogant manipulation, and exploitation of innocents. You will question motives of everyone and anyone from start to finish. 

From one interview, one discovery, one observance to the next, you will be forced to reckon with opposing states of mind that often live side by side. The belief in nirvana and heavenly prophets, at almost delusional levels, and the rejection of both in our more earthbound states. 

There are clear legal arguments  presented here with no rational defense against the laws that were broken. It is this reality that undermines the higher thoughts one could have about the honest pursuit of spiritual elevation and community with the lower thoughts of exploitation and power over others. Probably the saddest form of these human transgressions occurs in spiritual communities. 

Still, as you watch the interviews and hear certain words, you will alternate your judgements of both sides with disdain and repulsion. You will call out both sides for disgraceful behavior.

There is always a difference between spiritual leaders of vision and those who would follow them. Perception, interpretation, are all subject to differences within the latter group.

In some cases, the communal visions of followers and later messengers diverge so much from the original ideas that what was once a basic lifestyle choice to peacefully share with others instead becomes a perversion of power co-opted to serve those whose personal needs get in the way. 

Other times, the visionaries and practitioners are so alike that the only real difference between the two is nothing more than the chance outcome of one becoming a leader through no deliberate intention, and the other simply listening to them with reverence. Neither owns more integrity simply by their position.

The idea of spiritual enlightenment, community and sharing remains a personal goal to lots of people. How they try to get there is a matter of who’s selling it and when, but it remains a high ticket item. Such is, in fact, all religion, all spiritualism. Because of that, every proposition, every promise, every sermon, will, and should always, be questioned.

At the end of it all, after you hear all the arguments, all the philosophies, all the justifications, all the facts. After you take all of this in, you will find your place. It may be the opposite place you thought you’d be in the beginning. No matter where you do land, it will be unsettled. It will be conflicted.


“The unknown is what we fear.”– Local Resident

‘The truth lies within.” – Philip Toelkes