City of the Sun "Foundation" is a distinct entity and has no affiliation with

Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

                                                                                                 - from Frank Herbert's Dune        

                                                                                                                                  - David Bradley

    "The vision for a community is not as relevant as that it is shared by all members of the community."       

Schizmogenesis/schismogenesis is an anthropological term created by Gregory Bateson.  It derives from the Greek words:

σχίσμα skhisma "cleft" (borrowed into English as schism, "division into opposing factions"), and γένεσις genesis "generation, creation" (deriving in turn from gignesthai "be born or produced, creation, a coming into being")

Bateson has further described schismogenesis as “progressive differentiation” or “progressive escalation”. In other words, it can be thought of as “progressive dissociation” or “progressive conflict or contradiction”.


In her work Intentional Community:  An Anthropological Perspective, Susan Brown has written:

“Schismogenesis does not describe the decline of all intentional communities.  The term implies a breach between sub-groups within a community, a true falling apart. Some communitarian groups simply seem to fade out of existence.



"They develop a stable structure that lacks only the ability to perpetuate itself. Life may be agreeable or harmonious, but the system is ineffective against threat of attrition by death or defection, usually because it cannot or will not recruit new members."

The question has been asked:   “What causes communities to come to an end, but not through schismogenetic processes?” - ibid

In other words, what elements exist in an otherwise stable structure that prevent perpetuating itself "other than" normal conflicts and divisions among community members?

                                                                                                                    - Heather Galler                         

"In looking at an existing community, don’t be lulled into believing that you will be able to change the community to be more the way you want. Yes, the community will change over time but not necessarily in the way you want."  - Simon Clough

Some of the revealing things you should ask about an Intentional Community are:

 1. What is the procedure for accepting new members?

 2. What are the arrangements for leaving the community?

 3. How would you describe the social structure of the community?

 4. What would you say was the main focus of the community?

 5. What is the community’s legal structure?

 6. How much communal work is expected from members?

 7. What are the unwritten rules of the community?

 8. What is the process of decision making on the community?

 9. How does the community deal with conflict?

10. What is the age distribution of people living on the community? 

                                                                                                                    - Heather Galler                   


Twin Oaks Community was established in 1967, one year before the Founders located the land for City of the Sun Foundation and began the process of establishing COS as a non-profit corporation with a Foundation status.

The topics below involve the most frequently asked questions by people who are interested or applying for membership to Twin Oaks. It covers the bases of many other communities one will find online.

The link provided will give answers/explanations/overviews for the topics.

Becoming a Member ... Leaving or Being Asked to Leave ... Internships ... Basic Values ... Activism ... Income Sharing ... Businesses ... Non-violence ... Eqalitarianism ... Tours ... Visiting ... Sustainability ... Number of Hours of Community Work Expected ... Decision Making ... Religion/Spirituality ... Conflict Resolution, etc.


 For facilitators, the word POISE stands for:

  • Planning:      A good plan helps the facilitator be effective.
  • Observation:  A great facilitator observes the members and applies that information to the plan.
  • Instruction:   Make a group work effectively together, sometimes timely instruction is appropriate.
  • Sensitivity:    Working with moods, emotions, passions of the group 
  • Evaluation:    Learning comes from each facilitation

 Poise: be or cause to be balanced or suspended


"The facilitator has a crucial and demanding role, directing the flow of discussion, resolving roadblocks, summarizing points, and keeping the discussion on track, capturing ideas and digressions, sheparding the emotions of the moment, keeping the spirit positive and productive. Having a well trained, excellent facilitator will create a high quality experience and outcome for your meetings. Putting your meetings in the hands of an untrained facilitator can lead to ineffective and less than satisfying results. You should have at least 2 people in the group who have the commitment and skill to run your meetings. Encourage facilitation training and learning."

Comprehensive details for facilitating and running an effective meeting:

BRAINSTORM:  Produce ideas or ways of solving a problem by holding a spontaneous group discussion; to generate new ideas around a specific area of interest; create numerous ideas and solutions by thinking freely and rapidly; produce ideas and solutions to synthesize for a line of direction.

1.  Having no clear objective - A brainstorm with a vague or unclear purpose will fade out immediately. Establish the objective as a question without detail so that ideas generate the detail.  Generate as many ideas as possible (25 - 75 within set period of time) from the ridiculous to the impossible and distill later.

2.  A homogeneous group will produce "group think" and defeat a brainstorm.  Diversity works best and groups between 6-12 if possible will maintain commitment to the process. An outsider is useful to throw in different ideas and even off-the-wall ideas.

3.  Allowing an inhibitor, a dull person, or a person with a motive for direction will kill a brainstorm.  Use a facilitator that encourages everybody's input.

4.  Allowing early judgement or analysis defeats brainstorming.  The idea is to get as many ideas as possible and have them written down without any criticism whatsoever. (One online suggestion is to issue water guns so that a critical person gets squirted.)

5.  Settling for a few ideas defeats the brainstorming effort.  Do what it takes to generate the energy and creativity to keep at it so there will be enough ideas to work with.

6.  No closure or follow through wastes the time and effort of a brainstorm.  Set a time limit in a meeting for the brainstorming and then a period of time to categorize the ideas into what is promising, interesting, what should be rejected or ideas that should be used in tandem. Everything must be written down and the feasibility of can be implemented agreed upon by participants.

Brainstorming is a high energy process that is fun, productive and leads to tangible results.

With Membership, the Foundation offers land assignments that are ideal for on or off grid lifestyles. Self-sustaining members with skills are sought with an interest in:  Non-GMO gardening, livestock, knowledge of non-profit corporations a plus, maintenance of infrastructure, alternative energy sources and an overall familiarity with intentional community lifestyles and development. People with Tiny Houses or alternative home designs are encouraged. Domestic pets are also welcome; there is a leash policy in effect when away from their home or immediate yard.

For more about membership procedure, go to this link:

For application:

About the Foundation:

If prospective Members are interested in the job market while living at the Foundation, it is wise to think of ways that would work out such as:

computer related jobs ... online business ... cottage industries ... contract work ... sharing economy artistic endeavors ... pensions ... SS ... or by traveling to work.

There is very little work in the area otherwise. Luna County is the poorest county in New Mexico and 12th in the US. Members are required to be self-sufficient.

Is there anybody who could trap the young, orange male cat that is homeless and roaming at the Foundation to take him for neutering?  He is often seen between Helen Weber's, Marvin's and Alima's places; has half a tail from injury.  He is starting to fight now, and it is possible that he is also stirring up the skunks. 

Paws n' Hooves 
Columbus, NM

Date: June 9, 2016

Call 575-544-2209 to sign up your Columbus, NM cat or dog.

Donations are accepted, needed and appreciated for this event!