Sunday, 21 February 2010
My Life in Orange by Tim Guest
However, although this was interesting, what I enjoyed most was the story of the steady decline of the commune. Told mainly through the author's research after his life there has ended, but with frequent interspersed memories about what he remembers and how this affected him, what obviously started out as a simple philosophical experiment almost, soon degenerated into a controlling manipulative cultish type movement. That's a really bad word to use as it has so many negative connotations, but when it degenerates into poisoning, false positive AIDS tests, and even attempted murder there really isn't much else to describe it as. Control and manipulation was used on any member that was seen to be getting to powerful, or possibly too independent, and the author's mother was the victim of this, and although never asked to leave (the ultimate disgrace), she was stripped of all her responsibility and separated from her son.
I'm glad I read this. I would like to find out more about the movement itself, so I think searching out some books on this might be next on my list, and there is helpfully a list in the back of the book.