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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: KristineB ()
Date: June 20, 2012 08:38AM


You said in your post that "it was beginning to move away from original purpose". I got to thinking as I was reading your post and I was wondering, what was the original purpose? Just knowing that might help me understand why I was sent there. I have always wondered what I did wrong to be sent there. An answer to this question might help me understand.


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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: troskowick ()
Date: June 20, 2012 08:14PM

We began this as a place where you could live and follow a spiritual life...Like Tasssahara Zen Center. We started the school to help kids, as well as taking in kids who were troubled from Santa Cruz County. For the first 3 years we followed these principles. It began to change when it became more a following of Arthur rather than finding your own path. There is nothing you did to be "sent there." I am sure that whom ever sent you thought it was like it was in the beginning. Never blame yourself...

[Moderator note: You cannot post contact information at this message board. Read the rules you agreed to before posting here.]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2012 11:29PM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: KristineB ()
Date: June 22, 2012 02:11AM


Thank You for responding to my post. It seems as though the Moderator may have cut off some of your response, however, I appreciate your kind words. This is something that has bothered me for years. Since I was only 8 years-old at the time, I only remember bits and pieces. Any information I can get, no matter how small, may help me come to terms with my memories. My Mother was a "hippie" and I was sent to many different places of which I have very little memory. I always have felt as if I was sent there only to be kept out of the way. I wonder if you have any recollection of the small children being taken to the barn to watch the slaughtering of the pigs and if so, what was the purpose of that. The screaming of the pigs is something that haunts me to this day. I am not sure what the moderator means about contact information, but Thank You again Kristine

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: martinezdude ()
Date: June 24, 2012 10:16AM

I remember your brother Robert but can't recall Ronnie and I was in the lower part of Bagavan (sp) house, I had mother Sarah's son Phillip and another student by the name of Randy as my roomates at one time also I had others over my stay and remember most.
Dianna was Phillips sister and I think the teacher you may mentioned was Saundra I'm thinking but she was an out-sider and commuted from somewhere else to the school.
I was went to various Symphany's and a trip to Mexico and another to Alaska (loved both places). Kristine I remember only bits and pieces to that song "Change Can Come" but I remember we sang other songs as well, mostly folk songs and by the way I was terrible on the piano and couldn't carry a tune if my life depended on it. Some of the adults from then I remember are : Johanna, Thomas, Joshua, Lilian, Alan, Neil, Terrance, Russel, Marguaret, Iris (from Switzerland), and tons of the students.
My father had a small airplane and photographs were taken from the air of the school and a brochure was made and I kept a copy and still have it. Some of the students are in it, I also have a few other pictures of various students and some of when we went to Synanon. It's curious that your mother would have an issue with you trying to re-connect with past people you spent time and connected with as a adolecent. Both my parents have passed on and I found some old statements from the school sent to my mother after her passing. Let me know if any of this rings a bell or have any questions and I will try and respond asap.
Robert/ Martinezdude

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: KristineB ()
Date: June 25, 2012 10:09AM


Your memory seems so much clearer than mine. I was only 8 years-old when I was there. How old were you? Dianna was my best friend, but I never knew she had a brother. It was a long time before I even knew Sarah was her Mother. Sarah wouldn't talk about it. My oldest brother Ronnie may have gone by the name Ron and he became close with a girl named Tina. For some reason I went by the name Renee during that time. Dianna and I shared a room with a girl named Sophie who was in a wheelchair and another girl who I do not remember. I do believe you are right that the teachers name was Saundra. Do you remember the "spider hunt, the hill we used to slide down that I think was covered with what seemed like broken shell, the butchering of the Pigs or the squares made of sticks and twine built on the grass that Dianna and I had to stay in and pull weeds? The other kids called them the pig pens. The only kids that had to do that were Dianna and myself, I am not sure. I know it is a lot to ask, but I was wondering if there is anyway that I could somehow see the brochure and the photo's you have. Maybe scanned and e-mailed. I need to learn as much as I can and actual photo's would help me so much. I was not aware that there were trips to AK or Mexico. The only trip I went on was to a symphony, when I threw up on my brother (I still get car sick). Until you mentioned her, I hadn't remembered Iris, but I have a vague memory of her. I remember very few of the adults you mentioned and the ones I do remember, the memories aren't very clear except Lilian. She is the one who cut my hair. It was down to my knees and she cut it above my ears. It seemed to me at the time that she did it because she was angry. She was the laundry lady and she cut my hair in the laundry room. Do you recall an older woman who's name was Barrell? I also have memories of Arthur and of course Sarah. Like you, I did not always stay in the same house. Sarah was my house mother at one time. Do you remember the name's of any of the other buildings? I have memories of the breezeway where we used to gather on Saturdays to get our chore assignments. Do you still have any contact with anyone from there? There was a boy named Jody Overlander and one named Julian I often wonder about them along with Dianna. Do you recall them?

Most importantly:
Did you have a positive experience at The Circle School? My Dad told me that it was some kind of satanic cult but that he didn't know anymore than that. Although I have no memory of anything like that, I wondered why they closed up and disappeared, taking my older brother with them.
I really hope that there is someway I could see the brochure and photo's you have. Maybe on email, facebook, or even photocopies through the regular mail. You have no idea what it would mean to me. I have nothing but fuzzy, broken memories.
Thank You so much for responding to me.

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: Circle Choir ()
Date: January 13, 2015 02:07PM


I used to be a volunteer music teacher at the Circle School. I used to drive there and back from Berkeley on weekends. They were very kind to me shared their meals. I have no negative feelings about them at all. As I recall, they had to move because the county was building a dam which was going to flood their property.

We had a "Circle Choir" in which we all stood in a big circle. We had 43 in our circle:

Nick, Roger, Alyce, Gretly, Phillip, Clarence, Katherine, Iris, Eilleen, Bryan, Grady, Renee, Stephen, Allen, Barbra, Jim G., Raymond, Abbie, Margaret, Michael V., Jonathan, Mother Sarah, Robert M, Brian, Roya, Jody, George, Randy, Marilyn, Ron H. Sophie, Heinrich, Mathew, Anthony, Kevin, Mark, Lillian, Jonas, Janice, Joseph, Ron G., Chris, David.

From what I saw, the children were in a loving environment. Although I wasn't there long, I felt privileged that they let me into their big family on weekends.

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: snowboy ()
Date: January 14, 2015 07:01AM

Well, I just stumbled upon this site, Very interesting memoroies.

I was there in 1977. Yes,a long time ago, But the memories are fresh, I'd say it was a "good" place, but there were some disquieting things about it,

First the good. I was from very urban northern NJ and suddenly I was doing things like milking cows, digging potatoes out of the ground and cleaning up after chickens. That was all positive.

But there were some odd things. I learned after a while that people's names were changed. I arrived to visit a friend of mine named Mike, but was told that his name was now Neal. So, I knew a number of people whose names have been mentioned her, but I do not know if they were their real names or given names. (My name is Fred and it was not changed; I was always considered a visitor, and not a resident)

Also, men and women, boys and girls,were separated, They lived in different cabins if you will. That was true even for those who were married and had children.

After a while, I became uneasy, because too many of the residents, if you will, seemed to consider Arthur as some type of god-like figure, That I did not go for.
But still, this place was certainly not a "satanic cult," as has been mentioned here.

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: chlew ()
Date: January 30, 2015 04:40PM

Hi I'm researching cults for my epq and am looking at how being in a cult changes the members psychology through brainwashing etc. If anyone would feel comfortable answering a few questions please follow this link to my survey, its not spam and there's only 10 questions, thank you very much.

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 15, 2015 04:59AM

Take care of yourself. Always look after your own safety and wherever possible check the background of anyone you meet with.

Meet in a public place and let someone at home know where you are going and when you plan to return.

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Re: Christ Circle, Boulder Creek, CA, early to mid-1970's
Posted by: Traijan ()
Date: January 13, 2016 02:17AM

I attended CCS in 77-78 and all I have is really bad memories about the place, my timeline is fuzzy at this point but I'll try to recollect as best as I can the events that occurred while I was there.

I started out as a student on their main boulder creek campus. I don't remember any of the teachers names, and little more that the "barn" and dining hall and one classroom.

I only remember the barn because a fellow student raped me upstairs in the barn. I only remember the dining hall because I used to go to the building on the outside of the dining hall by myself and play a Styx record on the record player to try to calm myself from every day life at the circle. I only remember the classroom because I had to attend daily.

When I started there they were in Boulder creek, CA. soon enough they were running away from the law. Something about the land that they owned around Kings Creek being wanted by the city/governement as it was going to be flooded when they built a dam and the "school" refusing to sell the land so the government went after them to try to close down the school so they could confiscate the land.

Reasonable soon after this, CCS went on the run and we were at the beach in small cabins, this was a bit after I had been sent to school there, maybe a year. At that point my parents told them that they MUST inform the every time that they shifted locations as the "school" had said that they were going on field trips with all students (the reality was that they were trying to keep one step ahead of the law) and by this point my mother wanted to get me out of the school. The only way that she got me out was that my biological father had passed away in 78 and she told them that I needed to be at the reading of the will or I would forfeit anything left to me. To which they agreed to let me go home. When I arrived home my mother asked me if I wanted to return to "school" to which I replied "hell no!" I never did return.

Prior to that though, I remember somebody (a faculty member) telling me to go and dig a hole to bury a dead animal. I got on the backhoe and dug a hole big enough to bury a cow. Turned out they beat a dog to death with a plumbers wrench to the head and needed to bury it.

I remember "running away" with a fellow student named Aaron (from Nevada) when we went on a school wide hike up the creek. Aaron and I were coming up the rear and turned around and started to walk down the creek thinking that it would eventually take us down to the main road. Sure enough we ended up down at the main road where we stuck out out thumbs to try to hitch a ride. Unfortunately they were also conducting some ind of outing outside the campus and a van came along from the school and caught us.

The 2nd time that Aaron and I tried to run away, the school was already at Synanon, I took the van keys and he took a teachers wallet and we set off in the schools van. We made it all the way to Reno Nevada. We stayed in an apartment buildings laundry room to keep warm around the water heater. He called an x-girlfriend to bring us clothes as we had both secured jobs with a place called "froggies lunchbox" and had agreed to meet with his X behind some church. We arrived and waited and his X showed up, then he saw somebody familiar jogging around the corner, then he saw a Lincoln car coming around the corner and he took off running. The car pulled up next to me with a screetch of it's tires and the man driving told me "don't you fucking move" and I didn't. It turned out that his X had otified his parents and the man in the car was his dad and the person jogging was his mother.

Long story short, we totaled the van, got caught by his parents and they sent us back to CCS which was staying at Synanon who were extremely pissed off at us for taking and totaling the van. For this the punishment (as usual) was to cut off all of our hair. This was a punishment they learned from being at Synanon. It was at this point that I went home due to my father passing away in 1978

There was one spot that was rather nice, it was a ranch somewhere near Humboldt, CA (I think). If it hadn't been for them taking a hot fireplace poker and burning the tops of my hands (as a form of punishment) I would have enjoyed it there. Still to this day when it gets really cold out the scars / melted flesh areas/ show up on the backs of my hands.

I also remember a time that they beat one kid senseless. Beat him so bad that he was comatose and refused to take him for medical care. They could not get him to come out of this comatose state until they attached him to the back of the tractor (the part that drags the road to smooth it and can be raised and lowered at will) and hung him over the gully near to the boulder creek property and bounced it up and down repeatedly until he "snapped out of it".

Yes, I remember all the bad things about CCS, and if I had the opportunity now, I'd take Arthur to court and sue his ass off, or at worse case take his life. He was and still remains the embodiment of all that is evil in this world to me, if he's not already dead, I wish he'd be dead and go straight to Hell where he belongs.

There is much more that I remember from that "school" and perhaps one day I'll write it down, but being that I'm on a hotel at the moment on my laptop it's hard for me to write and the only thing that got me writing theis at all was that we recently moved to Monterey area and while driving around saw a sign for Boulder Creek and it got me remembering all the bad times at th school and everywhere they went while trying to run away from the law.

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