September 26, 2018


JRobinson StoneCirc SR18

Washing the Stones, Stones Intensive 2018 – Photo: J Robinson.

To our members and supporters,  

A number of events have taken place over the last few months which have impacted and concerned the entire Farm and Church community. We've been conservative about rushing to make public statements while complex events continued to unfold, but this has led to a great deal of speculation and rumor filling up the communication void, for which we can only apologize and blame ourselves. We want to briefly let everyone know what happened, albeit limited by privacy and legal matters. More information is available for review at Four Quarters.

1.  A Farm staff member was found to have been dealing and distributing drugs on site. Eight corroborating witnesses have described this behavior, more are coming forward. Our Attorney and local law enforcement have been contacted and are aware of this situation.
    Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to secure physical evidence for an arrest, but the staff member has left 4QF. Said staff member acknowledged the accusations prior to leaving the property, making no effort to defend their actions nor chose to view or respond to the accumulated evidence.
    Several other staff members were caught up in this situation, and have chosen to step out from the farm community. They have been given financial support, and can at some later point come back to work through matters if they wish to.

2. Quite separately, a subset of the Board has been pushing for a restructuring and greater community input, which has led to increasing the Board from 4 to 6 members. We hope and believe this addresses those concerns, but are more than open to feedback from Farm and Church members on this subject.

3.  And happening at the same time, some community members have been quite upset about the Board's decision to accommodate the emergency relocation of the NightMare music festival, on the same weekend as Samhain. Recapping our prior statements on this, this is a one-time schedule conflict which arose on very short notice; we agreed to help out a long-time partner organization in a jam, this is definitely not the model for future events.

4. Rumor and speculation have compounded all of the prior issues. And generated a fourth: during the 8/11 open BoD meeting there were some raised voices over the issues described above. Unfortunately the rumor mill, aided by incomplete information, has spun this up into a completely false description of a physical altercation some described as abuse which was heavily circulated at Stones Rising, and which is simply not true. Nothing of the like occurred, just a passionate discussion.
    As has been said elsewhere, "If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made" - strong opinions are expected when people care deeply. The participants in that discussion were told to sit down and discuss matters calmly, and they did.  If you have questions, please speak to any of us and we can direct you to any number of people who were present at the meeting and can tell you what actually occurred.

At this point the criminal activity has been halted, the BoD has been expanded through community feedback to include more viewpoints, and we hope this corrects some of the false rumors that have been circulating. We reiterate that Four Quarters spiritual events remain our first priority in any scheduling, subsidized by a limited number of large festivals. The Board remains dedicated to our mission as "a place for all paths", a fully functioning Interfaith Earth Religious Sanctuary,  and greatly appreciates the input we have received from Farm and Church members.

The Board of Directors
Four Quarters InterFaith Sanctuary