It was February, 1966 when we, (John and Barbara), met in an intense business environment. Five weeks later we decided to marry and compared notes we had made about the world we would have to live in thereafter. We decided there were many things wrong or questionable with that world under close examination. Many others we met in our travels felt the same. So many, in fact, we were convinced to abandon our comfortable, high paid corporate lifestyles and leap off the cliff into unknown waters.
Our backgrounds allowed us the insights into social systems we would need. So we married and began an intense study with respect to what particular forces caused so much dysfunction and unhappiness within our culture. Few would believe then that it resulted from distortions of our sexuality away from the pathways nature prescribed.
With wide ranging professional support, processes were devised to help people free themselves from the shackles imposed on them by a prevailing culture that created and maintained behavior akin to the key control elements involved in slavery. Rampant competition, especially, eroded the qualities leading to mutual cooperation and sense of community among people.
After much consultation with experts in psychology, sociology, and especially religion, we tested limited models of honest sexuality between random people we met through everyday activities. Many of these experts became our lifelong friends.
Buoyed by our findings, we created an isolated environment that came to be known as the Sandstone Retreat.
Sandstone's uniqueness was in our use of experiential learning processes to help people loosen the many dysfunctional cultural demands placed upon them. This was akin to removing the chains from their bondage, allowing their social behavior to expand more towards mutual cooperation and pleasure instead of competition and the painful "confinement of self" assured by government backed religious teachings.
It allowed mature people to use this setting to test and choose new values for themselves virtually free from “conventional” cultural and architectural influence.
SOME OF OUR ADVISORS
Gay Talese - best selling author -- We just received Gay's second release of "Thy Neighbors Wife". We admire his book and respect his style of writing. He has been such a good friend over the years since his extended stay at Sandstone where he found an almost hostile group of residents at times. We want this to be not only a full recognition of his work but also a profound apology for not telling him what we were really doing with Sandstone. If he had ever surmised or asked "why" we would all have been in trouble. In any event it wasn't "Sex In America". Nor was Gay any less than a great writer. We would be pleased to work again with Gay on yet a third release of his already remarkable book. It's time for straight talk.
Lou Mobley -- Exec V.P. I.B.M. Human Development
Thai Buddhist Monks -- Another story entirely. Major spiritual contributors
Sally Binford -- Renowned Anthropologist and Archaeologist
We did not establish Sandstone to make money. Nor did we believe in exploiting people. As a matter of fact, we lost over a half million dollars personally in 1970 monetary values.
Before opening Sandstone Retreat, John and I paid a visit to the Malibu Sheriff’s office to inform them of what we were planning. We asked them if they would visit periodically and protect us. We had a firm policy that no drugs were permitted on the premises and the police coming by just reminded our members…no drugs allowed.
The Sheriff appreciated our openness and honesty. They grew to believe that Sandstone was a caring and compassionate personal growth environment. Many Sunday mornings the officers would stop by for coffee and lounge in the living room chatting with members while doing their weekly paper work.
One morning the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors contacted the Malibu Sheriff’s office and ordered an officer to drive to Sandstone and issue a citation for three or more people appearing nude together. They were challenging our first amendment rights. The self designated pleasure police had struck! There were five supervisors who sat on this board. All suffered from old age. Who were they to control our lives in such an arbitrary manner?
One Sunday morning while the Sheriff was having coffee in our main room, news of the Kent State students being murdered by the National Guard while protesting the Viet Nam war came in. The Sheriff burst into tears and hung his head in sorrow and shame. How had our country gone so wrong?
Rustum Roy -- Rusty has been our friend and unquestionable mentor for more than forty years. We will let Newsweek speak for us now and add more about him in another section. "Newsweek has accurately described him as 'the leading contrarian' among U.S. scientists. The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Technology, and Research gave him its only standing ovation in sixteen years after one of his recent testimonies. Rustum Roy is the only practicing prominent American scientist who has studied and written critically about U.S. science policies from the inside. His criticisms of U.S. policy, regarded as far out a decade ago, are now called "prescient". He calls himself a citizen-scientist trying to be a whole person. He has also been elected as a foreign member of the Swedish, Japanese, Indian, and Russian National Academies, and "knighted" by the Emperor of Japan.
James Prescott -- Jim is also a remarkable person who has almost single-handedly deduced and offered up irrevocable evidence of the root causes of both love and violence in our culture. Jim's work offers a simple option should we wish to change our increasingly bleak and destructive future. It's no wonder he was fired from the highest level of NIH, the agency that commissioned him to do the studies in the first place. Those of us disclosing the real nature of pain and pleasure principles have been treated similarly.
Robert Francoeur -- One of the most remarkable men we have ever met. He holds no less than five high level degrees and remains a Catholic priest. He is also one of the few approved for marriage. Bob is the author of more than sixty books, invariably scholarly. A number of those relate to sexuality and culture and many are used in college level classes. He is a major contributor to the socio-sexual evolution of our society.