Rainbow Family gathering prompts concerns, action from police, LDS Church

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  • AlanGee North Salt Lake, UT
    July 4, 2014 3:21 a.m.

    I am not a hippie. I live in Utah, active LDS, RM, etc and I went to "The Gathering" so let me tell you about it.

    I was embarrassed by the way the police treated them. They're about 42 miles (90 minutes) East of Heber. They're not trolling the parks of Heber!

    I saw about 20 police officers. They were frisking people, citing people for not having a dog on a leash (in BFE National Forrest), having a license plate light out, searching cars, etc. Either the cops are trying to cash flow this event like champs via citations or it's wholesale overreach by the police. The people didn't want the cops there. If you believe the other reports, the hippies were such a problem in town that the police should have been there...but they weren't They were 90 minutes outside of town in the middle of nowhere.

    It's a hippie gathering so of course there is going to be drug use. So listing the arrests doesn't accurately reflect on what is really going on. People smoke weed in the woods a lot and the cops never know/care.

    Live and let live. Who cares?

  • CMO Beaver Beaver, UT
    June 19, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    come to the Filmore Beaver area all you hippie folks, you will love it, especially our DQ.. best in Utah!

  • Socal Coug San Diego, CA
    June 19, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    20,000 people...is there security? Do they have rules for this 'gathering'? A group of people together, whether it's General Conference or a Metallica concert, they'll have security. Otherwise there's bound to be chaos.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    June 19, 2014 5:10 a.m.


    "Any self-respecting, earth-loving, tree-hugging, hippy with an ounce of honesty would never drive an internal-combustion engine vehicle hundreds of miles to participate in such a trivial, self-indulgent activity..."

    "...These people lecture us about how we are destroying the environment, but seem to be some of the worst offenders."

    So true.

  • Pac 12 Fever Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2014 4:50 p.m.


    Yea- I bet you will be the first up there to clean up all the human waste and Other problems.

    Easy to approve from behind your computer 100 miles away and it doesn't affect you. Think of them in your yard puffing away- naked- dropping thier waste everywhere and not paying any tickets or fines. Bet you would welcome that! Not!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    Re: "How could this be any different than the average "Father & Son" outing. Seriously"....

    Seriously... you see no difference??

    Maybe the drug abuse (which is expected, not just for some, but for all attending the outing). Do they do that at the average father & son outing in your area of Harwich, MA... they don't at the father & son outings out here.

    The rapes, murders, Overdose deaths, assaults, shoplifting associated with this group... not so much with the average father & son outing.

    I think you are WAY off base with your saying it's just like the average father & son outing.... they obviously are WAY different. The size of the groups are also not similar (when was the last time you saw 20,000 people at a father & son outing)???

    The noise is about the only way they are even remotely similar.

    "How could this be any different than the average "Father & Son" outing"... you seriously see no difference???

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Re: "trying to find out what it is that the LDS church was warning their people of"...

    Google it and do some research on the problems in the past.

    Hint... There's been rapes, deaths, rampant drug abuse is expected (by everyone involved). That may be part of what the LDS church has been warned about.


    In past camps the size of the group quickly overwhelms National Forest Service facilities and ecological damage to vegetation trampled in the area that takes years to recover (if it ever recovers).

    The Forest Service has had to bury their mini onsite garbage dumps after they leave (they don't believe in sanitary facilities). The human waste left behind is disgusting (they don't use existing facilities.. just go wherever you want.

    The hippie aspect is fine. The crime aspect, the sanitation, and the ecological damage they traditionally do to the area... not so good.

    They also have a tradition of going into nearby towns and harassing the people with aggressive panhandling to get food for the camp, shoplifting, and overwhelming local hospitals and leaving the bills unpaid.

    There's plenty to be warned about...

  • hexrain folkston, GA
    June 18, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    I seem to recall another group in history that traveled around the country trying to find a place to practice their beliefs, and were persecuted wherever they went. They tried to settle in many states and the local population kept kicking them out because they had strange religious practices that protestants didn't agree with. They even took many partners at once!

    First one to guess who I am referring to gets a cookie!

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    June 18, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    @Jo1952 Thanks for the heads up on finding the page outlining the origins and philosophies of this group in their own words. Eeek! I feel sorry for the local law enforcement and residnets.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 18, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    My family warned me of the Mormon church when I moved to Utah 30 years ago. Criminal statistics the police provided to promote fear about rainbow hippies seems as ridiculous as my families unfounded concerns years ago. I fear netheir hippies nor mormons and we should welcome both and encourage them to co-exist in our mountains this Summer.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 18, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    How could this be any different than the average "Father & Son" outing. Seriously. You don't see police show up to ticket littering, noise, old men dying during a rough game of horse shoes, etc. etc. What a bunch of worry warts Wasatch County has become.

  • Silvex Salt Lake, UT
    June 18, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    What a bunch of hypocrites. Any self-respecting, earth-loving, tree-hugging, hippy with an ounce of honesty would never drive an internal-combustion engine vehicle hundreds of miles to participate in such a trivial, self-indulgent activity (especially older vans and buses built on 1970s emission's technology). Do they really believe in anthropogenic global warming or not? Are they not concerned about thousands of people trampling all over the forests crypto-biotic crust? Do they not care about destroying thousands of native plants and grasses? Are they totally callous to the disruption to the natural migration and mating patterns of native fauna that the presence of thousands of dope-smoking, drum-beating, outdoor-defecating, hippies will have? These people lecture us about how we are destroying the environment, but seem to be some of the worst offenders. Obviously a case of do as I say, not as I do.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    June 18, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    I believe the Church made the right decision and that is to protect the young girls who are at camp. I wouldn't want my daughter or granddaughter to be exposed to their language, behavior. I'm sure there are some who are civil but it only takes one to ruin this special time for these girls and because many are not exposed to people with these habits and out of control behavior. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the right decision.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 17, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Well it is common sense to move a girls camp. The Rainbow group will party it up. Everyone will have their rights. If the Rainbow group breaks the law I'm sure there will be more than a few arrests for marijuana and other recreational drugs. It's really happening. And I'm glad that group exists, how boring would it be if we were all the same.

  • SamL Stansbury Park, UT
    June 17, 2014 8:36 p.m.

    I work for public health. I was working in Utah in 2003, the last time the Rainbow Family was here. Individually, Rainbow Family participants are not a problem and are nice people. From the public health perspective, the problem with them, is the size of the gathering (we call it a mass gathering). The gathering will not have the facilities, equipment, or training to be able to ensure safe food, safe water, good hygiene, waste management, garbage management and pest control. All of those sanitation issues can pose large threats not only to the group, but supporting communities that are in contact with the group. The Rainbow Family tenants include a free sexual lifestyle. Safe sex is not well practiced. Finally, because they are not acclimatized, they are much more susceptible to fast spreads of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. That is my public health perspective. I suspect the police and others have similar concerns in their areas of expertise. Hope this helps answer some of the questions some of you have posed.

  • Pac 12 Fever Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    geez---I just googled Rainbow Family and clicked on the images...2013.

    Are you folks kidding me? You would roll the dice and let your 13 year old girl "be exposed to real life"...you are crazy? I guess thats why society has problems. This is an adult event with drugs, nudity, etc. Funny thing is they bring thier kids to it. I wouldnt be caught near that place. But to each his own, but when it affects a daughter of mine I wouldnt send her and since I have to pay extra taxes to help monitor and arrest the vandalizing, law breaking, nude lewdness hippies I do have a problem. Not all are bad obviously-but facts are facts look at the recent history. Enough.

  • Whatever512 Lindon, UT
    June 17, 2014 7:49 p.m.

    Nice to hear the group will clean up the site before leaving. Other states reported unspeakable filth and abandoned cars being left for someone else to worry about. Interesting that Montana and the USFS had to shell out over $800,000 for their gathering last year. That's after deducting the .02% tax revenue the group added to the economy. They reported over 800 citations were written. Another warning was to be prepared for random man caused wildfires fires at their gathering site. Recently reported, the site from two years ago in Idaho still hasn't recovered from the damage they caused. I hope the group will live up to their claims to take good care this beautiful mountain location. If this group, as has been claimed, consists of employed people who "bring money into the area", why was there a report from a diner in the area that they've had people from this group dumpster diving for food? And why are there warnings of agressive panhandling? Another interesting thing, Utah is having to hire special law enforcement trained to deal with this group. It will be interesting indeed, to watch and see what happens.

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    June 17, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    It is really nice that there are some who want to build society, where there is a place for work and play when the time arrives. Those who do work and provide taxes to build parks, maintain camping grounds and take financial risks by creating jobs and food for people, are just stops along the line for many of these people. For example, the bus they rode in was built by people with jobs; the food they eat provided by those who have jobs, the roads they ride on the same, and all that provides them the opportunity to ride around and sing Kumbaya around the campfire at night, smoke pot and what else, in areas which provide trash cans, that they probably don't use, while someone is employed to pick it up for them.

    What a great place, America.

  • rbnprov heber, wasatch, UT
    June 17, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    Thousands more. They have "camps" for medical aid, but not all of the people use those camps. They go to the hospital and then skip out on the bill. That makes the citizens of the town they are staying in have to pay more because the costs are raised. They leave a great environmental impact as well. Not all of the participants practice appropriate camping, sanitation and garbage disposal methods or fire codes for camping. Research it. i am not a huge fan of the government either, but the Rainbow gathering is not as innocent as it started out. And introducing that many people to a community at once is going to be shortages on food and other repercussions. And technically their event is suppose to last for seven days, but some of the people come up early to panhandle and gather the money to pay for supplies and get things ready. Most of the people are suppose to be here for 2 months.

  • rbnprov heber, wasatch, UT
    June 17, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    Within the Rainbow Gathering there are different tribes and camps. Most of the tribes are nice and everything, but there are a few tribes and camps are there for the sex, drugs and drinking. They panhandle like crazy. It already has begun. And a lot of them aren't poor or homeless. Some of them are very wealthy. And they just pretend to be "hippie" at these monthly/yearly gatherings. It is good to be weary of strangers. Some of them are aggressive and bully and harass. And if you research the impact they have had wherever they go, they do bring added sales to the town they purchase their supplies in. However, they cause more damage then the the revenue they bring in.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 5:27 p.m.

    Good call. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • markb Craig, CO
    June 17, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    I got to witness this gathering when they came to Routt County Colorado in 2006. Their activities are far from harmless. The shoplifting was an issue, but others would deliberately damage packaging on products in the store and then retrieve them from the garbage when the store employees discarded them, especially meats. I personally witnessed this more than once. The area they occupied during their stay was absolutely FILTHY when they left. Garbage, dirty diapers, used needles, broken camping gear, mattresses, etc. were strewn everywhere. When they finally began to leave, a few didn't have the money to pay for gas. A woman stood on the corner by their old bus with a sign that said "give us money and we will leave". Needless to say, they got their money pretty quick. Good riddance to them and I hope they never come back.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    June 17, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    Like Occupy Wall Street, a handful of people had a way of disgracing the entire group. Even so, the church will naturally try to avoid possible conflicts; especially when unpleasant situations occurred before.

    Currently in this country we are being confronted on a regular basis by groups of people who insist that they are spreading love and peace, and bring along with them violence and aggression.

    You can also be sure that if the church's Helping Hands with yellow shirts groups contained even the smallest element of vandalism and theft that the group would be dismantled. Those tainting the image of this rainbow group may be the smallest percentage, but it smears the name just as much.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    June 17, 2014 4:43 p.m.


    thanks for explaining things in ways that this article did not. Now things make sense.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 17, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    sounds like hippie stuff from the 1960's

  • Seriously people Columbus, NE, NE
    June 17, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    There has been a serious dearth of actual experience with Rainbow Family gatherings in these comments, so let me elaborate for everyone. I have worked for the Forest Service in two districts that have had these gatherings before.
    All the warnings to local businesses and relocating the girl's camps are justified. Because these gatherings are so loosely organized and attended by so many hygienically diverse people there are real health and safety hazards. I have seen beautiful meadows reduced to muddy trash pits by the time they leave. There are rarely adequate toilet and washing facilities, there aren't separate food prep areas, etc.
    This is without discussing the other fire and safety hazards, drug use, and other mischief that occurs.
    Hopefully this one will be different but I doubt it.

  • rik-nell San Mateo, CA
    June 17, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    We had several organizations encouraging peace and harmony like this when I was a teen. Some encouraged the teens to leave high school and follow them. It was distressing to the entire community that youth did leave their homes and follow. I understand the community worry as was likewise experienced in California years ago.

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    June 17, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    I am sure that the Stake President, Bishops and Parents didn't want their kids to see the nudity, behavior and actions of this group, who's teachings are inconsistent with what the LDS teach and actions are. This groups reputation precedes itself - thus the warnings and action.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    June 17, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    If you think the criticism directed towards the church for moving the girls camp is harsh, imagine what it would be from the same commentators if they failed to move the camp and something serious happened. The church didn't ask for anyone to publicize the move of the camp. They are doing what they think is prudent under the circumstances and it is as simple as that. Those that criticize are basically those who constantly look for something to criticize and given today's technology and environment where everyone can anonymously Monday morning quarterback - I don't see that changing anytime soon. P.S. 18 arrests and hundreds of complaints for a group that size is A LOT. That means there were probably hundreds of incidents that should have warranted an arrest and/or complaint but the perpetrator wasn't caught or it wasn't reported. I'd move the camp too. By the way, if a group of 20 Rainbow type hippies were camping and 25,000 Mormons moved in on top of them to also camp, my money is on the Rainbow group would move too.

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    June 17, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    I've been around a similar gathering in another state... the LDS church was smart to move their camps!

    Those of you who view this group as a positive deal... take a closer look into their shadows!

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    June 17, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    The LDS property is where we camp year after year. There is little up there, minimal fencing, so I applaud the Church for moving/canceling the camps. If they went ahead with the youth camps I'd think long and hard about sending my child up there at the same time as so many other people.

  • VariedHue Logan, UT
    June 17, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    Hey people, if you can leave a comment you can certainly go to google and search for Rainbow Family. I did and it looks like a bunch of people born about 30 years too late.

  • ExDixieIte Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 3:16 p.m.


    1961 8-door panel van. Finding parts can sometimes be a challenge. The main source for parts is Clark's Corvair. Also you can sub other parts. For example, instead of buying Corvair springs for $210 a pair, get springs for a 68 Mustang V8 for $110 a pair.

    Corvairs are quirky but fun.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    June 17, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    "Look up Montana's experience 2013. Five Reasons To Be Concerned ..."

    I did, and you know what I found out? There were 2 arrests. I also found out that the annual gathering is shrinking in size where in the early 2000s it was 20,000 people, it is now really only about 10,000 people. Realistically, it's unlikely Utah will see 20,000 people.

    The local news at the time also reported that alcohol was generally taboo amongst the group, that they set up community kitchens where people were freely invited to share and eat at no cost. They also reported that the area was left in relatively good condition and that members of the group stayed behind for weeks, on a volunteer basis, to rehabilitate the site under Forest Service direction.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 17, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    Irrespective of their politics or stated aims this is a small city of 20,000 people magically appearing next to the camp where your daughters are going to be. It just makes sense to be cautious. Are all a danger to the girls? Of course not. But it is wise to assume that not all who travel with the group are harmless.

  • Big Joe V Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    June 17, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    This is similar to any anti establishment group coming to a small town to party. Remember the movie "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando? Why don't they go to Park City to express their liberal lifestyles. They could perform and panhandle there and pay for the trip.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    June 17, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    If a picture is worth 1000 words, then Google Images speaks VOLUMES when you type in "Rainbow Family." (WARNING: Not suitable for minors).

    Absolutely, there is cause for concern. And this article has portrayed the group in the kindest way possible.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    June 17, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    The counterculture can only exist as a parasite on the responsible culture.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    June 17, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    exdixieite: you own a corvair van?! where do you find parts for it. I have one here and would like to know?

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    June 17, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    Most are harmless. A significant portion is trouble. They are all takers. They float babbling about peace, but are not responsible adults. I've seen them in calif mant times. I am sure one of the camp activities will include working on their " will work for food." Signs and "need gas"

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 17, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    When thousands of LDS and others go to a small town resort they are temporarily exponentially increasing the number of people that town can handle. Imagine the police issuing a citation because a ward building that normally serves 300 suddenly is overflowing for two months with 500 in attendance. Some of those cars at the family reunions are overflowing with people as well who flew in from out of town. Doesn't Park City see an increase in crime during the peak seasons too? At least most the things mentioned aren't violent. Just unpleasant. If they want to cancel camp because it's just too crowded that would make more sense.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 17, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    @HaHaHaHa, you refer to a group of us regular posters who "seek out, embrace, support and participate in the perverse, the off-beat, and the freaky strange kookiness of others."

    May I respectfully remind you that the doctrines of the LDS church, indeed, of Christianity in general, strike some people as off-beat, freaky, strange, and a bit kooky.

  • Ciao Mike West Valley City, UT
    June 17, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    If you google search "Rainbow Family" or visit their web page you'll see lots of pictures of public nudity similar to old pictures of Woodstock. Free love doesn't offend me, but I wouldn't want my daughters to have to drive through that to get to girl's camp.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    June 17, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    The simple overloading of the environment associated with 20,000 people would give me a reason to change my "camp". Ulterior motives do not need to be sought.

    I do wonder at the apprehension of law enforcement described here. This group does not seem to be a threat by their stated goals or reasons for being or gathering. It reminds me of the old days on the haight-ashbury and those "peaceful" motorcycle rides with the Angels. It is true the Rainbow family are almost universally into altered states of consciousness and most if not all use one chemical or another to achieve those altered states.

  • stevan madrigal murray, UT
    June 17, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    Well, Tad - it looks like the editorial reading public has given your copy some comment.
    No need to pile on.

  • hexrain folkston, GA
    June 17, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    To wrap up. Yes there is an element of actual crime associated with us, the majority of people in attendance as well as myself are just as frustrated by the bad apples as the local population. My advice is to keep in mind that we will only be around for a couple of months, and as long as the Federal agents don't kick us out prematurely we will clean up and things will once again return to normal.

  • hexrain folkston, GA
    June 17, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Plus a majority of people who will arrive are employed and are taking a vacation, so they are not reliant on panhandling. They are in fact bringing more income to the local community, not leeching it away as some may assume.

    As for arrests, very little serious crimes occur at a gathering as compared to the normal crime rate in a given population of people. Someone gave the figure of 218 arrests and tickets. The 200 tickets were probably for "Dog off leash" or "Gathering of more than 75 people without a permit" the latter of the two is a charge that has been fabricated specifically to try and stymie gatherings, and based on the 1st amendment, is unconstitutional. That is where the aspect of this being a protest arises.

  • hexrain folkston, GA
    June 17, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    I have attended gatherings for 10 years now. Some things the community in and around the gathering should know.

    Most of the Rainbow Family are peaceful people, even if they come off a bit harsh sometimes. Yes we are both protesting for our right to gather and praying for peace. However some people are just there to party. Many children attend the gatherings as well, and are watched over and protected just like they would be in any family and "normal" living situation.

    That being said, we have no leader who dictates behavior, or holds any power to enforce things internally. It is up to each person to be respectful of the land and the communities that we are in proximity to and gather on. Yes there is a lot of panhandling that will inevitably occur. Yes there will be shoplifting. In a group of 20,000-40,000 people there are going to be dishonest thieves. On the bright side (and looking up some youtube videos will confirm this.) businesses see a large increase with the arrival of the Rainbow family. We may panhandle, but most of that money goes back into the community.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 17, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    I agree with Quaker. This is more of a National Parks problem than anything, and overreacting is poor form.

    Having said that, I probably would have moved the Youth conferences, too.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 17, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    Interesting how so many responders, to this story, have such an inability to figure it out. As dumb as our society has become, most of us still have the ability to figure out that 2+2=4. We don't always have to be told the end result or have it spelled out for us. I know we have a regular group of DN posters, who think they are so much more tolerant and enlightened when they seek out, embrace, support and participate in the perverse, the off-beat, and the freaky strange kookiness of others. Good for you, but try to be a little more enlightened by understanding that the rest of us, may want to avoid that at all cost, or at least take preliminary precautions. Especially with a stewardship over so many kids who face life challenges and have parents that we need to answer too.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 17, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    Xenophobic much? Need I remind anyone that Sodom and Gomorrah were burned to the ground for being selfish and inhospitable to visitors?

    A quick glance at Wikipedia ("Rainbow Gathering") tells me that these gatherings in the US are always held in National Forest areas, that the group espouses environmental and utopian ideals, and that they call the rest of us and our civilization, "Babylon," disapproving of our industrial society and living style. Sounds like they're as contemptuous of you guys as vice versa. Being held in National Forests means that the US Parks Department is the agency in charge of permits, safety and supervision. And, as these gatherings are always in National Forests, the Parks people presumably remember who they're dealing with when they issue the permits. If they're not worried, I'm not sure anyone else should be.

    But, don't let that stop you.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    June 17, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    Google Rainbow family and click on images and you will see exactly why the LDS Church did what they did.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Hippie and innocent young girls at camp? You people see no potential problem except the LDS Church is protecting their youth while at the same time you jump on the Church when a youth is abused or hurt for NOT protecting their youth?

    You critics of the LDS Church love to have it both ways, don't you.

  • Shaking my head Layton, UT
    June 17, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    These folks have caused PROBLEMS in Montana over the years. They are loiterers who do nothing productive but vandalize the local area.

  • jo1952 Redmond, WA
    June 17, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    For all of those who think it's silly to be worried about exposing your daughters to 20,000 people, where mind altering drugs are encouraged, there is alcolohol misuse, history of rapes and other violent acts. Everybody is invited, nobody is kept out. It is a very unsafe environment.

    I read an article by one of their group that talks about what goes on there. Unfortunately, I tried to post the URL but my comment was rejected with it. However, if you do a search for the article using this string, the-rainbow-family-and-how-it-grew you'll find it.

    It's common sense to stay out of dangerous situations. Don't tempt the devil.

  • ndn65 Santa Clara Pueblo, NM
    June 17, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    having witnessed a rainbow gathering here in NM a few years ago, and attending a public meeting ,we were told that the group didnt secure the proper permits to gather on national forest land. I believe its the rainbow philosophy ,as I was told by a member,that their right to gather is protected by US law.This brings the question of are they gathering illegally? As a US taxpayer I know I would have to secure proper permits necessary to "gather". They have no set group of leaders, so there is no responsibilty if something happens.eg. drug arrests,littering,aggressive panhandling,public nudity,,the list goes on and on. From what I saw there were numerous laws being broken on public land. Im all for free speech, but we ALL must abide by the rules set forth by our USA goverment, and local and state laws.

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    the peace and harmony include but are not limited to nudity, drug use, assaults along their way. they are modern day hippies where they feel that normal relationships and the government are unhealthy.

    Because of their behavoirs of the past this is why the church was quick to move the young women to either another campsite or send them hom

  • Mikeylikesit Davis, UT
    June 17, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Ms Divine: Some things are common sense or do we need to have our hands held?

    Therein rests a growing problem today, what we do and how we affect the lives of others is just not "my problem". So if the LDS Church did not move the girls and one incident occured then I suppose they would be raked over the coals by same, saying they should have reacted to the perceived threat.
    ExDix: Maybe consider; to Wasatch County this doubling of their population and impact on their services is a problem and that 18 arrests and HUNDREDS of citations,(none of which are paid or addressed) is problem for the infrastructure? What part of the costs are YOU going to bear?

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 17, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    I thought the hippie movement died out in the sixties.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 17, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    This is a counter-culture group that has been around for forty years. Its a peaceful gathering but its also very loosely structured. With 20,000 people flooding in, and little attempt at self-policing, incidents like those described in the article sometimes happen. I think the precautions being taken are prudent. There is also an ongoing discussion concerning whether these type of groups pour more money into the local economy than they cost in additional public services.

  • hilary nottingham, 00
    June 17, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    do these Rainbow people travel all over America, or do they just gather in Utah? Ive never heard of them before but wonder why they have targeted the area.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    June 17, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    Here's some math: For all of 2010, there were 117 incidents of crime in Heber City per 100,000. You take this group's last year's 18 arrests alone and that is 90 incidents per 100,000. In one week alone! That's a dramatic jump, not even including the citations and warnings this group received. The city officials and everyone nearby SHOULD be concerned.

    There are those of you that the church can do no good. If the church did not take precautions, then you would be criticizing them for that. Besides, this is not the General Authorities but the local church leaders taking the precautions. Undoubtedly, they have been consulting with the local police.

    Defending hippies are we? This is culture that brought us degraded morals concerning sex, the drug culture, and acceptance of Marxist/socialist/communist ideals cannot be defended. In any of the mentioned areas, it has only brought us something far, far from peace and in many cases, heightened violence and misery.

  • Whatever512 Lindon, UT
    June 17, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Seems to me they closed the camp after learning about what happened at the Rainbow Family gathering last year. How much will the peace loving Rainbow Family cost Utah tax payers this time? Look up Montana's experience 2013. Five Reasons To Be Concerned ...

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2014 10:31 a.m.


    I have been to numerous events with thousands of people with no arrests and no tickets. I would bet most cities of 20,000 do not have 18 people arrested per week. Likewise, I bet they are not issuing hundreds of tickets.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 17, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    I would have liked to see things from the rainbow family perspective. This article felt very one sided and didn't do a good job of explaining things from their perspective.

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    @Uncle Rico: 18 arrests and hundreds of tickets and citations among 20,000 people still a drop in the bucket. I bet there are more arrests, tickets and citations for sporting events involving 20,000 sport fans. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is far more violence in sporting related events than hippy gatherings, yet this newspaper makes it sound like they are such a threat.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    "18 arrests and hundreds of tickets and citations" out of 20,000 people gathered.

    Some are saying that is not a big deal. O.K. At general conference one session has 20,000 people gather. How many arrests and tickets are issued at an average session?

  • Sampson Hurricane, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    I am amazed at all the comments from people who did not witness the last gathering of the Rainbow Family in 2003.

    While it is true that most of the 20,000 who landed in Wasatch County in 2003 were peaceful, does no one understand that Heber City is not built to accommodate 20,000 extra bodies? Imagine 20,000 campers all looking for somewhere to put up a tent in the surrounding BLM and private lands. This is primarily an unorganized gathering of people from Europe and North America. They simply overwhelm the area. While there were many issues in 2003, I recall the trashed areas that remained.

    In most cases, organized groups get permits and plan accordingly--they are the ones who order the portable toilets, arrange activities, and make sure they leave the area as well as they found it. Unorganized groups like this one in 2003 did not.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    June 17, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    @RBB Locales that host US military bases around the world exhibit higher crime rates in the near vicinity than in towns further away, including assaults, public drunkenness, domestic violence and prostitution. I suspect those are also environments you wouldn't want your "daughter's" around. Are you sure you're not just responding to some prejudicial stereotypes that were planted in you at an earlier age, and have now been reinforced by this article?

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    The Rainbow Family returns to our part of the world. Hold on to your hats people. This is a regular gathering of a very large number of people. In the past, places like the US Forest Service has had to spend a large amount of money and a few years to return the land to what it was before the Rainbow Family showed up. (Yes, they did have a permit and some stayed behind to clean up the grounds, but with the size of the group and the actions of some of the group, they always leave a mess behind.) Some OD on drugs, some vandalize and steal, some trespass on others land and damage it, some violent, some are lewd, but a lot are there to enjoy the outdoors. They have rights to gather, especially on federal lands, but they abuse the rights of others with their activities.

    This is not new, this happens on a regular basis. Sometimes it goes off well, but most of the gatherings leave the locals with a bad taste of today's hippies.

  • Kay Hunt Celebration, FL
    June 17, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    I went out to the internet to find out more about this group. It seems that they are a non-violent group that is left over from the time of Woodstock and etc. The group claims to discourage alcohol. Since 20K people doubles the amount of people that could be the reason for being cautious. Sending Girl's Camp home seems a bit extreme if nothing has happened. But maybe it was done in order something not to happen. The crime rate seems rather small for such a large group. They come together to pray for world peace. It also appears that they leave the camp grounds in good order more times than not and in their trip to Utah in 2003 it was stated that they left no trash behind. Of course as with all groups there are a few bad apples. I felt the news article was trying to stir up trouble. Lock up your wives and kids our of fear of things different.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 17, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Hey DN, if I were to say something as negative as the poster above did about hippies, you wouldn't allow the post.

    I live in a very rural area where we have Amish, old hippies, young ones and all manner of red necks, retired suburbanites, entrepreneurs, etc. It's called diversity and I get more support/acceptance as a Mormon from my hippie brothers and sisters than I do from the far right church goers.

    "Hippies" are like everyone else and are subject to all the frailties of human nature that others are...including the members of my faith.

    While I understand the need for caution related to the visiting "tribe," that speaks more to the division of personal beliefs regarding same-gender marriage than it does about the politics of the people. I firmly support the leaders of my faith, but I'd much rather be among a gathering of "hippies" than a group like the ones who camped out at Clive Bundy's.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    @ ExDixieIte

    18 arrests and hundreds of tickets and citations... do the math again buddy.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    Yeah, I'm more confused after reading the story than before. Other than a vague reference to shoplifting and nudity, I'm not sure what threat this group poses or even what they are. Were they close to the girls' camps, and was there a danger of kidnappings or something? This story is in sore need of some facts.

  • Goddess Divine Orem, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    They should have someone come to greet them and welcome them when they arrive, then they should be told they are not allowed to liter anywhere or rob people, especially since they preach no violence. They should be told a head of time that if they cause trouble they are not going to be welcomed in the future. If they are told in advance they should be smart to behave, if not, then they should get an official letter from the sheriff's office telling them that they are not allowed to come back for a certain amount of time unless they behave. I am not sure if this has been done already. Maybe they did and it did not work. I hope the people in town are nice to them too.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 17, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Everyone knows that for the other 51 weeks of the year, there were no burglaries. None whatsoever.


  • ExDixieIte Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Oops. I said that my math skills aren't the greatest and proved it. Actually not, I thought the van was a '63, not a '65. Mods, can you edit my post to make it a 49 year old van, not a 51?

  • ExDixieIte Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    So out of 20,000 people there were 18 arrests. So my math skills aren't the greatest but if I'm correct that works out to about 9/100 of one percent of the group that was arrested. That doesn't sound like much of a threat. I wonder how many arrests there are at the average outdoor concert? I agree that this article could have done a better job explaining why there is a perception that the Rainbow Family is considered a threat and why the LDS church felt it necessary to move the girls camp. By the way, I own a 1961 Chevy Corvair van. If the D-News did an article on me would they point that out as well? For 51 years old, it looks like the owners have done a great job keeping it up. That almost sounds like - heaven forbid - responsibility?

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    June 17, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    I probably learned more about this group from some of the reader comments than from the actual article itself. From what I read, they seem reminiscent of the "occupy groups" who were supposedly for social justice etc. Isn't it ironic that a group that claims to promote peace and harmony also involves nudity and shoplifting? Just like the "occupy" groups trashed their areas, and were involved in assaults and rapes etc. Now, I'm all for peace and harmony; don't get me wrong. But the hippie method to achieving harmony doesn't always work as planned. Just like the communist method to increasing living standards didn't work out as planned. Just like the Obamacare method of keeping your doctor, lowering costs, and covering everyone didn't work out as they planned.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    The person who wrote this story and the person who assigned the story and didn't check to make sure there were facts need to be talked to about their writing. I feel like there is so much that was left out. Ifeel like the author was trying to make people get angry at the Church for not having tolerence... when in fact it was the police warning people to be very careful. The Church ust followed the guidance of the police dept. As stated there has been burglary, and aggressive behavior, so I can see why the police ere warning people in the area.

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    The hippies will be driving down the road next to the girls camp! Oh no! Lock up your daughters!

    (Next, we'll be hearing that some of the folks on that road are carrying concealed firearms.....)

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    June 17, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    This article makes the Rainbow Family sound like a bunch of predators. Was that the intent?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 17, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    There’s something strangely familiar about this story…

    A group of hippie looking folks proclaiming peace and harmony show up in a city. The state authorities don’t want any trouble and pledge to keep the peace. Local church leaders get nervous and vow to “closely monitor the situation.”

    Sure I’ve heard this before and have the vaguest memory of things not ending well for the hippie leader. Oh well, I’m sure as long as they don’t start calling people hypocrites and blind letter (vs. spirit) of the law followers, this should passover without a hitch.

  • dearnhard Clearfield, UT
    June 17, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    From what I have heard the camps were moved because of active protests by the Rainbow Family - that they (The Rainbow family members) had actually gone to the camp. Did this author attempt to contact anybody actually involved? I agree with the comments above - I started looking for "the real story" with why the camps were moved and what had happened, but didn't find any answers in this article.

    June 17, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    Folks -

    Last time this group gathered in Utah, there were 18 arrests and hundreds of citations issued. Cabins in the area were vandalized, property destroyed or stolen.

    I am sure that most of those gathering are peaceful and do not pose a problem, but there are a few "bad apples"...

    The Church is taking precautions, not against "hippies", but to protect the young girls who attend the youth camps. Given that there is a possiblity of harm to the young women at the camps, I applaud the Church for this action. Safety is the top priority.

    It is almost comical the way some grope for ways to attack the LDS Church. Law enforcement in the area have been warning businesses for days about the gathering. Why is that not a problem, but the Church relocating camps full of young girls is?

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    TimBehrend, why is it unjustified negativity? Lewdness, aggressive panhandling and shoplifting all sound like justified negativity. 18 arrests and hundreds of tickets and warning sounds like an environment I would not want my daughter's around. People have the right to do their own thing as long as they do not violate the law. That being said, I do not want to be around the hippie culture and would not want anyone in my family in close proximity to their event.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 17, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    Who is the rainbow family and why are they a threat?

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    June 17, 2014 6:10 a.m.

    Why did they decide of all places to do this in Utah? Can't they just attend burning man in Utah? Or the country fair in Veneta Oregon?

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    June 17, 2014 5:58 a.m.

    This article leaves me confused as to why teens are being sent home from camp during a week that coincides with a big 'hippie' get together. Also wonder about the relevance of a photo depicting a family that "were headed to the Rainbow festival" almost a year ago. Why was it included? Should we find the people in the photo unpleasant because of the age of their vehicle? Were they among the small number of shoplifters out of the 20 thousand people who attended a previous year's event? The only thing not confusing about the article is its unjustified negativity towards the gathering.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    June 17, 2014 5:08 a.m.

    I'm still unclear after reading the article who the Rainbow group is and why they pose a threat. This was a poorly organized story too - focusing on the perceived threat of the group and not first explaining why. Who are they? Where are they from? What is their purpose and activities? Why Utah? Why is it a surprise that they are there?

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    June 17, 2014 4:10 a.m.

    Essentially, hippies are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Some things never change, I guess.

  • nanax8 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 12:40 a.m.

    I looked thru the pics of different gatherings of the Tribe to try to find out what it is that the LDS church was warning their people of. The group seemed very peaceful & while not exactly dressing in the norm, more like the hippies of when I was a little girl, there wasn't anything frightening about them. We come across all kinds of people in life & the Young Women who were out there weren't little. They are old enough to know what their parents and their religion believes to be right & wrong. They are exposed to some pretty scary & weird things at school. Instead of running, I would have liked to have seen extra adults come on their camping trip with them so they get to experience what their mothers did before them. I'm not LDS but firmly believe in tradition, the power of family & that we do need to get along, no matter our beliefs. Their is a lesson in every day & the Jesus I love, loves these people as much as he loves me.