NEW AGE THOUGHT IN GLASTONBURY

Return to the main index for GLASTONBURY, NURELWEB , or CHRISTIAN TRAVELERS GUIDES

PART THREE: THE DYNAMICS OF CONVERSION

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From:

Some Aspects of the Contemporary Search for an Alternative Society, [In Glastonbury, England, 1967-1971]

By Irving Hexham, Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Bristol, 1981

COPYRIGHT 1971

N.B. When this thesis was written University of Bristol M.A. Theses were limited to a mere 10,000 words.

The following thesis was written under the supervision of F.B. Welbourn.


To go back to SECTION TWO


SECTION THREE

To an outsider the beliefs of the freaks seem unbelievable and bizarre. This raises the questions: from where do they get their ideas and why do they believe them? These questions are difficult to answer.

Should a freak be asked why he believes a certain thing he will usually answer by asking why shouldn't he believe it? He will then go on to say where he got the idea from and imply that because his source of information is a trustworthy one then he has every right to accept the belief. In the case of a visitor his 60urce of information is usually a settler. When the settler is asked about it he will usually appeal to a "spiritual" who, when questioned, often cites some "trusted" authority as the source of the belief. This authority is usually a book or someone who has written a book [1].

This chain of belief seems simple but is complicated by a number of factors. The most obvious is that the freak may simply say that he has had an experience which resulted in his acceptance of the belief. The appeal to direct experience can occur at any stage in the procedure. If it does not occur an appeal to the final authority could be made at any stage. These appeals shorten the chain considerably. But, they do not alter its fundamental nature because even when an appeal is made to a direct experience, upon examination this experience can be seen to depend for its interpretation upon the general pattern of freak beliefs [2]

The origins of the general pattern of freak beliefs are to be found in a number of writings. Freaks acknowledge this although they are not always aware of all the sources of their own beliefs. The majority of freaks admit to getting their ideas from the underground press and from what will be called secondary theory sources. A few are aware of the existence of primary theory sources but none seem to realize the extent to which the secondary sources depend upon these primary sources [3]

In addition, to these primary and secondary theory, or synthesizing, sources there are an infinite number of story sources which provide the raw material for the theorizing sources. These stories consist of religious epics, legends, fairy and folk tales, history and accounts of experiences which cannot be regarded as "normal."

Both primary and secondary theorizing sources draw directly upon these stories for inspiration. This means that in the secondary source the same story may be interpreted with the aid of a theory which was originally constructed from that story. This leads to circular reasoning because the stories are then cited to prove the truth of the theories which in turn grew out of the stories themselves. Thus the theories used to interpret the stories are actually based on the stories they are said to explain.

The primary sources present various theories which are taken up and developed in the secondary sources. These secondary sources then often merge theories from different primary sources to create new theories. Generally speaking the primary sources were all written before 1950 and the secondary sources since [4].

Primary sources include the works of Annie Bessant, H.P. Blavasky, F.Bligh Bond, J. Churchwarden, Dion Fortune, C.J. Jung, Kit Maltwood, W. Reich, I. Velikovsky and A. Watkins. Secondary sources are a legion but the principal ones are books by John Michell and Lopsang Rampa . The "Mystical Scene Magazine.Gandalf's Garden" played a very important role in popularizing the ideas presented in all these sources during 1968-1969. They have also been popularized in other "underground" papers. Almost any good story provides material which can be used by these theorizing sources to elaborate their ideas.

The underground press has given wide coverage to mythological histories and interpretations using these theories. The most popular stories concern King Arthur and other tales from Celtic mythology [5]

The formation of the freak world-view is the result of a complex inter-relationship between all of these sources and the existential experience of the freaks. Although there is an ultimate dependence upon -written sources there is a rich oral tradition among the freaks which contains the material found in the written sources. The effect of all this is that any strange experiences which a freak has are interpreted in the light of the understanding of reality which he has gained from the theories contained in these sources. In the course of transmission personal experiences become sources of oral tradition and in effect are assimilated into the story sources.

The existence of stories about the experiences of other freaks allows a freak to accept his or her own experience and understand it in terms of the experiences of others. In this way a process of reinterpretation builds up which depends upon the experiences of freaks and the understanding placed upon them by the secondary theorizing sources. Thus the secondary theorizing sources offer the freaks a way of understanding their own experiences while the experiences become evidence for the truth of the theories [6].

The question now arises why this tradition of received interpretation comes to be accepted at all? Once it has been accepted it clearly becomes self-authenticating. But why should freaks consider these theories in the first place?

The answer seems to be that these ideas are presented to the freaks by people who are prepared to be friendly towards them and who take their attitude to life seriously. This acceptance of ideas from friends underlies the whole freak movement. Freaks believe because other freaks believe and they get their beliefs from whoever is willing to talk to them [7].

A person usually becomes a freak gradually. Often the process begins by innocently growing one's hair long. But this act of independence is frequently objected to by parents and/or schoolteachers. The initial step towards becoming a freak need not be the growing of long hair. But it often is, and whatever the initial act, the results which follow from it quickly assume a recognizable pattern.

The first objection leads to other objections and criticisms, often in connection with choice of friends, and these create a distance between the potential freak and the objectors. As the objections increase so does the self-consciousness of the embryo freak. He or she now begins to associate with other "objectionable" people with whom she or he shares common problems, and they also begin to wear freaky clothes. This last act puts a stamp upon him or her as a freak in the eyes of "normal" society which the new freak soon learns to call "straight society" because of the "oppressive" outlook of it's members. The freak now recognizes that they are "different" and that straight society regards them as being different [8]

Because they are readily recognized as a "hippie" the freak finds that they are labeled wherever they go. Shopkeepers begin to object to their presence. People stare at them in the street and newspapers write stories about folk like them giving them a reputation for being unreliable.

The police regard them with suspicion and suspect them of trading in drugs which in their eyes make them potential criminals. It now becomes difficult to get a job while parents and the social security are reluctant to give them any money. This shortage of funds reduces their ability to buy clothes and they tend to buy second-hand ones. All their clothes now become definitely odd and their difficulties in getting a job are increased. At some point the person who is becoming a freak leaves school or college and drops out. Usually this begins by going to London where they come into contact with the wider freak world or "scene" as it is known among freaks [9].

When the person concerned first finds that people are discriminating against them they also find companionship in established freak circles. Through these he or she is introduced to the underground press and to freak ideas.

In this situation they learn to understand society's apparent rejection of them in terms of the freak beliefs about the corrupt nature of modern society and its immanent collapse. They are also introduced to a whole series of supporting beliefs which are a given part of freak life.

These beliefs, which have been outlined in Section Two, are supposed to be believed by all freaks. They are held quite uncritically and are never discussed in the sense of being questioned.

But all freaks expect other freaks to know something about them and to believe them. At the same time these beliefs are rejected by straight society, the society which has rejected the freak. For this reason such ideas become eminently acceptable to the freaks because they offer a theoretical justification for their "rejection of straight society". Thus what began as the rejection of the freak by society becomes in the freak's mind the rejection of society by freaks [10].

The use of acid and other drugs by freaks is similarly associated with the rejection of both the drugs and the freaks by straight society. Once a freak finds himself or herself outside normal society she or he finds that they are expected to take drugs both by the society which has rejected them and by members of the new society which they are entering as a freak. The drug experience makes them aware of life in a new way and through it they become receptive to new ideas of a "religious" nature. This adds a new mystical dimension to life which seems to confirm the ideas which are being presented to them [11].

In all of these ways the freak finds that the gap between those people who will accept them and those who reject them increases. this creates a predisposition to accept the views of people who are friendly towards them, and to reject the materialistic and basically rational outlook of their critics. What is normally regarded as a "rational attitude "is rejected by freaks because they see people claiming to be "rational" acting in very "irrational" ways towards them. This rejection of normal rationality creates an affinity between freaks and other people who criticize "rationality." Therefore, when these people are friendly to freaks are inclined to accept the things which they tell them. In this way freaks are led to accept occult and other offbeat ideas [12].

Once occult beliefs have been partially accepted an elaborate system of defensive and confirmatory beliefs exists to support them. These beliefs concern the neurotic and repressive nature of "straight society" which it is alleged "persecutes" freaks and all who do not accept its warped standards. Thus all true seekers after reality are persecuted. these would include great religious leaders like Christ and the Buddha as well as "open minded" folk like Bligh Bond and Wilhelm Reich. Freaks claim that these people are attacked by members of straight society because their "discoveries" unmask the unreality of straight society.

In this way people whose views are found to be suspect by normal standards of judgement are readily accepted by the freaks. At the same time any criticism of these beliefs by straights is taken as a proof of the truth of their beliefs. Criticism of freak beliefs and their way of life strengthens their resolve to continue in their rejection of normal society [13].

Evidence supporting the view that this complex inter-reaction does in fact exist car. be found by considering the effect which a prolonged stay in Glastonbury has upon many freaks. Many people comment on the fact that the freaks who stay for any length of time in Glastonbury change. The freaks explain this in terms of the effect which Glastonbury has upon people implying some kind of "spiritual" influence. But these changes which occur can be understood in another way [14]

The Spirituals, in their desire to disassociate themselves from the "undesirable elements" among the freaks, make a distinction between the "real" pilgrims and the hangers on. This distinction, although never expressed as such, becomes a distinction between the settlers and the visitors. There are also many townspeople who make a similar distinction and in doing so state their sympathy for the Settlers. The effect of this distinction is that the settlers find themselves much more welcome in the town than the visitors.

This simple explanation for this is that because they remain for a period of time in the town the Settlers become known to the locals and strike up acquaintances with them. As a result some locals try to help the

Settlers [15].

The effect of this semi-acceptance by the locals causes the Settlers to change their own attitudes. When they get into trouble, as they have over parking their caravans on the public highway, they begin to blame the Visitors for their problems. This rift between the settlers and visitors is increased when friendly townspeople pass onto the settlers their own prejudices about the "hippies" whom they are careful to point out are the Visitors [16].

A process of assimilation is at work in which the Settlers are slowly being absorbed by the local community. As they find that they are becoming accepted they in turn begin to make themselves acceptable. They find work locally and through their work increase their contact with the locals. At first their acceptance of people who are not freaks extends only to the Spirituals. but as they become more known and get to know more people their tolerance of straights is increased. During this process they begin to express the view that just as not all straights are "straight", so also not all freaks are true "freaks". With the passage of time this realization develops into the understanding that not all freaks are "really spiritual" and eventually into the decision that some are just not nice. Equally they begin to realize that some quite unspiritual people are "beautiful" [17].

In this whole development there is clearly a crisis of identity. An old identity as a "freak" is being exchanged for a new identity as a Glastonian. Sometimes this change of identity occurs in a relatively short time but usually it extends over a number of years. Generalizing from the Glastonbury situation it seems that places like Glastonbury serve the function of enabling freaks to readjust to the society that they have attempted to reject [18].

This observation throws some light on the nature of the youthful counter-culture as a whole. Although claiming to reject "straight society" it is clear that the freaks are as much the rejected as the rejecters. It is also clear that the majority never really succeed in getting free from the restraints which society imposes upon them. What they do is to live for a while on the fringe of society before they are eventually reabsorbed into a role which society finds socially acceptable and designates for them. This means that the people who say that the freaks are simply going through a stage in "growing-up" are right. Yet the nature of this stage must be carefully understood.

The time which they spend as freaks seems to correspond to what in unitary societies are periods of initiation similar to what van Gennep calls the rites of passage. The difference between these instances is that in a unitary society the rites of passage are recognized by the society as being socially necessary, while in our society most people regard the act of becoming a freak socially unnecessary [19].

In many unitary societies the transition from childhood to adulthood is clearly marked by a recognized ritual process. Our own society has similar rituals but because its pluralistic nature they apply only to certain members of society. Thus apprenticeships and university courses can be seen to function as initiation rituals. The majority of freaks come from those sections of society where there is no recognized process of transition from the world of the child to that of the adult. During their late teens they enter a period of life in which they are no longer recognized by society as children yet despite this they are not credited with being fully adult. Lacking the transitional role of apprentice or student freaks create for themselves their own role in their identity as a freak. They feel the liminal nature of their existence and reflects it in their own self-identity which is shown in their desire to be known as freaks. They are freaks because they are without a recognized role in society. Therefore, in recognizing their position as freaks they create their own role [20].

For a while freaks live in communities where there is a lack of a structure which is accepted by the other members of British society. In this situation they create their own structure which in relation to the structure of straight society appears to be an anti-structure. Personal relationships are put before social obligations as a living community replaces what was an oppressive organization. This situation allows high mobility and instant friendships. Wherever they go freaks find friends who welcome them and make them feel at home. But these friendships are not lasting and involve no obligations. As they grow older marriage children necessitate a reduction in their mobility and the development of a more settled life. The possessions which their new situation requires further increase their dependence upon a stable situation. Instant friendships become less important than reliable neighbors. The need for a structured existence replaces the advantages of the freak community. The number of other observations may be made about the freak lifestyle as it exhibited by those living in Glastonbury [21]

As has been shown their great interest in the past provides a basis for their hope in the future, which is an antidote to the basic despair which characterizes one aspect of their existence. Fears about the present are removed by beliefs about past and future. Thus an existential reliance upon living in an eternal NOW is replaced by eschatological hope created through soteriological history. This apparent change of attitude is not essentially different from the attitude which it seems to replace, because living for the moment has simply been changed for living in a past and/or future moment. In each case the real problems of the present are avoided [22].

This avoidance of present problems is reflected in the lack of confidence which the freaks have in modern science. For. Them science as it is practiced today has been discredited. Modern science produced the atomic bomb and is producing an ecological disaster. Because of this they no longer believe that science can solve all of mankind's problems. The once popular faith in the all embracing abilities of scientists has been replaced by doubt. But this rejection of science is not a total one. An essential faith in the omnipotence of science remains. This is a result of the idolization of science in their education and the popular press. This faith has been shaken but not destroyed. Instead of rejecting a false idea of science they substitute a faith in "ancient science" and "lost knowledge" for their lack of faith in modern science.

In this way the role of the church as the arbiter of reality has been replaced in the popular mind by science. When it is realized that scientists do not perform this function then their science is rejected as false and a new idol is found. This seeking for meaning displays a desire for certainty and authority which will remove the doubts and fears of normal existence [23].

Freak spirituality may be seen as the reassertion of piety in daily life. One of the failures of "science" as the arbiter of reality for the masses was that while they believed science had "proved religion to be wrong" it had not provided an outlet for their feelings of devotion. The "discovery" of a new science which incorporates a devotional aspect meets this need. Thus while it may be correct to define religion as a way of life and to say that properly understood eating dinner is a "religious act", it is necessary to recognize that prayer and meditation are acts of piety which satisfy basic human needs.

The freak phenomena demonstrate the impossibility of eradicating an important element in human make-up from the life of the people. Once one aspect of life is neglected in this way a reaction follows which elevates the neglected aspect above all other aspects of life. This can be seen in the uncritical way in which freaks accept all claims about religious experience. Until recently scientific analysis seemed to have outlawed such experiences. But among the freaks spiritual experiences have returned devoid of all critical analysis [24]

In conclusion it may be said that the freak movement as it is manifested in Glastonbury is an expression of the religious commitments of the freaks. Their whole lifestyle is intimately bound up with their beliefs which it serves to create and maintain. Their lifestyle is, therefore, an expression of their implicit religion. But, the question remains whether their implicit commitments are likely to become institutionalized creating an explicit expression of their beliefs? [25].

Institutionalization does in fact seem to be occurring. But, it is not in the form of an explicit freak religion. Instead as the freaks begin to be absorbed by normal society they form, associations with religious groups that express some elements of the freak lifestyle but which belong to established religious traditions and have a clearly defined structure. The freak belief system, as outlined in section two, exists in a pure form only while freaks continue to find their primary allegiances with other freaks. In such as situation their beliefs form an essential part of the transition period which the people who are the subject of this study are passing through. But these beliefs do not seem to strongly influence them once they acquire a role in normal society. When they drift back toward acceptance by normal society they become more critical of their own beliefs and appear to drop many of them. Yet in doing so they still retain some fringe beliefs which have acquired a semi-institutionalized form.

In time all of their distinctive beliefs may be abandoned. But, this cannot be determined within the scope of the present study. What has been shown is the complex inter-relationship between the lifestyle of the freaks, their beliefs, and the reactions of other members of society [26].

 

 

NOTES TO SECTION THREE

  1. The alleged anti-authoritarianism of the young is, it would seem, overrated. The question is not no authority but which authority? David Riesman's comments on what he calls "other-directed" personalities, coincide with many of my observations on the freaks. His analysis of the similarities between "other-directed" and "tradition-directed" societies also has a bearing on my work. Roszak seems to be wrong in his discussion of "objective consciousness", at least as far as the British "scene" is concerned. He says that the interest in magical beliefs, etc., among the freaks is an expression of their opposition to the "culture of experts". In fact, experts remain but are different to those accepted by the rest of society. Among freaks I found a great respect for "the scholar", in the abstract. But, established scholars were generally distrusted. There is an ideal of education. But, modern education, as it is found in straight society, is regarded as being barren and unconcerned with the real issues of life. Books, particularly old ones, are given an almost magical status and taken as the final authority on most things. In all of this there is a nostalgia for the past. See Melley, 1970, p. 235; Riesman, 1950, pp. 32 ff; Berger and Luckmann, 1967, pp. 158 ff; Roszak, 1970, p. 263 ff; Hoggart, 1957, p. 84; Schon, 1970, pp.28 ff; Mary Douglas, "Schon's Utopia," The Listener, 3.6.1971, p. 710 f.
  2. e.g. When Dion Fortune and her followers Saw light6 over the Tor they understood them to be "occult" phenomena. out the freaks interpret them within their tradition as "flying saucers". One settler told me how she had experienced several strange things while living in Glastonbury whioh she did not "understand" until she chanced to read Tudor-Pole's books. See Fortune, 1934~ p. 60.
  3. Thus many believe that John Michell and his associates are developing the work of past scholars but while they read Michell they would not look at the original sources. The exception to this seems to be the writings of Bligh Bond which are frequently read by all the freaks who go to Glastonbury. The settlers tend to be more interested in the primary sources than the visitors. Popular newspapers like The News of the World and the Daily Mirror have a surprisingly big influence among the freaks. quite a number told me that they first heard about Glastonbury through the reports in the News of the World about the "drug scene there". See The People, 17.9.67. The News of The World, 24.1.71. Hogart, 1957, PP. 331 ff.
  4. The influence of science fiction stories would be worth investigating in this connection especially tho6e by Arthur C. Clark and H.P. Lovecraft. Most of the settlers have a good collection of books containing legends and fairy stories. Almost all freaks own a copy of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. An example of circular argument found among freaks and spirituals would be in the literature they read about Atlantis. In this secondary sources regularly quote primary sources to prove the existence of Atlantis At the same time the existence of Atlantis is used to prove the authenticity of the primary sources. See de Camp 1970; Tudor-Pole 1968, Fortune 1934, IT etc.
  5. All these stories circulate orally as well as in written sources. During this last year there has been an increasing number of articles about such stories in the underground press. See IT, 98-100, 104-106, 1971, and Friendz 12.10.71.
  6. See Berger and Luckmann, 1967, pp. 113 ff; Mannheim 1952 p. 40.
  7. See Berger and Luckmann 1967, pp. 172 ff; Riesman, 1950, pp. 34 and 90 ff.
  8. A number of people described how their schoolteachers had objected to their long hair and then accused them of taking "drugs" when in fact they were not. These actions led them to drop-out. See Cohen, 1971, pp. 33 ff.
  9. Many shops in Glastonbury have signs reading "No Hippies Served". This process of rejection was often commented on by freaks and perhaps underlies the statement by one freak when he said "Just because we dress differently it doesn't mean we are different". Many freaks rely on their parents for money but find it hard to make ends meet. See Cohen, 1971, pp. 44 ff; Crick and Robson, 1970, p. 72; New Society, 29.4,71. "The Floating Village".
  10. Freaks often admit to believing things because they are rejected by "straight society". This was also indicated to me in conversations with Andrew Kerr and John Michell. In trying to enter the freak world the initial obstacle is in realize that you are entering a new symbolic universe which is accepted as a given by all freaks. This is analogous to the task of the anthropologist in trying to understand the worldview of a "primitive society". See Marwick, 1970, p. 31 f; Evans-Pritchard, 1937, pp. 541 ff; Berger and Luckmann, 1967, pp. 171 ff.
  11. Most freaks seem to have begun to use drugs because their friends did so. The use of drugs is frequently defended by the freaks through appeals to the effects which their drugs have upon them: i.e. passivity and a spiritual longing, with the use of drugs by "straights". Straights use drugs to avoid reality i.e by using alcohol and sleeping pills, etc. They also use drugs which tend to make them violent and hateful. See Cohen, 1971, pp. 47 ff. McGrath and Scarpitti, 1970, pp. 124 ff, pp. 137 ff; Bristol Evening News, 11.10.71.
  12. This rejection of rationality is easy to understand when the utterly irrational reaction of some people in Glastonbury to the freaks is considered. I was amazed by the irrational hatred exhibited by some apparently well educated and otherwise intelligent people. See CSG "Vigilante idea dropped". 18.6.71; Paloczi-Horvath, 1971 p. 328; Schofield, 1971, p. 7 f.; Roszak, 1970, p. 81 ff.
  13. In this they seem similar to many fundamentalist sects who keep up their membership by constantly affirming the difference between the "saved" and "the world" and reminding their members that the world seeks to destroy them. See Leary, 1970, pp. 247 ff; Michell, 1969; Crick and Robson, 1970, p. 74.; Berger, 1967, pp. 169 ff; van Til 1963; and Carnell, 1961, pp. 113 ff.
  14. Some freaks seem to regard the fact that "people change here" as part of the attraction of Glastonbury. They themselves comment quite naturally and almost as though it was to be expected, that over a period of years freaks become less freakish, shorten the length of their hair and eventually cease to be freaks. See Appendix I p. a25 f; Mgrath and Scarpitti 1970, p. 124.
  15. See CSG, "Letters," 23.7.71~ 7.5.71~ 9.4.71. Berger and Luckmann, 1967 pp, 176 ff.
  16. During the period prior to the Glastonbury Fair a number of settlers were camped on Cinnamon Lane, where they were joined by a large number of visitors. After a short while the settlers moved their caravans to another site away from the visitors.
  17. Various settlers expressed these sentiments to me.
  18. It may also be true that joining a semi-institutionalized religious group functions in a similar way. Thus groups like the Spiritual Regeneration Movement and Samye Ling Tibetan Center also enables freaks to readjust to society's norms. For some idea of how many such groups exist see Strachan, 1970; See also Welbourn, 1965, pp. 7 ff, and 191 ff.
  19. The difference between rites of passage as described by Turner and the experience of the freaks is that in "primitive societies" rites of passage are socially imposed and accepted as not only normal but necessary for the correct funotioning of the society. But in our society being a freak is regarded as abnormal and antisocial. See van Gennep, 1960; and Turner, 1969, p. 112.
  20. There seems to be an essential difference between British and American youth. Although "hippies" and other American groups look like freaks they do not fit my observations. The literature about them also indicates big differences between them and our own freaks. Even the terminology differs an American freak being someone who is violent. See McGarth and Scarpitti, 1970, p. 141; Rexroth, 1970, p. 108; Goodman, 1961, p. 166.
  21. See Turner, 1969, p. 112, 131 ff, and 177 f.
  22. It is also true that freak beliefs provide an answer to the threat of chaos and death. A number of freaks told me that before they were freaks they often wondered about the meaning of life and were afraid of dying. See Berger and Luckmann, 1967, pp. 119 ff.
  23. John Michell, and others, told me that they came to acquire "freak" beliefs through an interest in flying saucers. The tension which is exhibited in the freak's view of science is discussed in terms of a genera1 tension within "western philosophy" by Herman Dooyeweerd who designates it as the "theme of nature and freedom." The freaks exhibit what he calls the "freedom motive" in modern thought through their rejection of modern science which seems to them to represent the threat of determinism. See Roszak, 1970, pp. 205 ff; Dooyeweerd, 1965, pp. 45 ff; Berger and Luckmann, 1967, pp. 122 ff.
  24. Rushdoony and Keel both compare reports about flying saucers with visions of saints in previous centuries. The similarity between these phenomena is also drawn upon by John Michell and others in the creation of their cosmologies. Julian Huxley and some other "humanists" have called for the creation of a "new religion" which would allow for the expression of piety. This idea is developed in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World and has a long history. The problem of knowing what is meant by "religion" is a difficult one. I use it to refer to a person’s basic commitments which consciously or unconsciously mould her or his entire life and reserve the term "piety" for acts which are normally referred to as religion like worship, prayer and mystical experiences. See Huxley, 1964, pp. 87 ff; Blackham, 1963, p. 50 ff; Dooyeweerd 1953, pp. 45 ff; Welbourn, 1969; and Smart, 1969.
  25. Roszak calls Ginsberg's poem Howl "the foundation document of the counter-culture". This poem was written by Ginsberg who was influenced by William Blake's works when he wrote it. Blake had many mystical experiences in Glastonbury which permeate his work. Thus in a strange way Glastonbury has influenced the entire counter-culture from its origin. See Roszak, 1970, p. 67 and 127; Welbourn, 1965, pp. 152 ff; McIntyre, 1967, pp. 24 ff; Goodman, 1961, p. 91; and Passmore, 1970, pp. 315 ff.
  26. Older freaks often say "I used to believe that but ..." The groups which freaks join initially are found in Strachan, 1970. There is an interest among some freaks in Glastonbury in attending church and a couple of settlers have begun to go regularly to the local Anglican Church. They have also asked the local vicar to allow them to organize a pantomime at Christmas. Quite a number of freaks told me that they "find the eastern thing, too difficult". They have also shown great interest in the American Jesus People Movement and appear to accept the Jesus People as true freaks. My observations of the development of freak religion seem to confirm, Turner's suggestion that "Some religions resemble the liminality of status elevation ... (while) ... Other religious movements, ... exhibit many of the attributes of ... status reversal." See Turner, 1969, p. 188 f.