Re: virus: Psychological Profile of Hall

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Thu 31 Oct 2002 - 04:14:28 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Standard definition"

    On Wednesday, October 30, 2002, at 05:34 , wrote:

    > You mean the Shakers died out rather than reproduce

    As was related to me from my visits to Shaker villages, many Shakers simply left, and reproduced outside of 'Shakerdom'. The ones that remained did not reproduce, and, in some instances, immigrants were content to stay. There was no interior reproduction of Shakers.

    Some people came to the Shakers not because of their reproductive beliefs, but because of their austere and idiosyncratic woodworking styles. This is really the only remaining vestige of Shaker life, and it is a quite strong one, almost legendary.

    > (according to you) the prohibition against engaging in sexual behavior
    > was not taught to new members by existent ones, accepted by the
    > neophytes, and subsequently retained in their memory?

    Again, I have not make my meaning clear, alas. Of course this prohibition was _taught_, and probably remembered, as we all remember it now, although we do not act upon it, thinking it foolish. Whether or not neophytes accepted this prohibition, well, how to know? The ones who wanted to reproduce, or found themselves incapable of not reproducing, left, and reproduced as non-Shakers. (Not one of your non-behaviors....) The ones that stayed lived out their lives as Shakers. To be a Shaker is to die a Shaker. There are no neophyte Shakers to ask this acceptance of. Even the condition of celibacy of adherents is losing force among many religious heirarchies, and was a stricture of relative few to begin with.

    But there are many aspects of Shaker life that have lived on, although their austerity and elegant wood techniques were shared in varied ways by many utopian experiments and cabinetmakers.

    Shakers made some assumption that there was an attractiveness to their lifestyle that would attract the wandering, but they were mistaken. Market forces? Simple unnaturalness? I'm sure much can be said about the reasons there are no Shakers anymore, but, the simple fact that attrition was built-in had to be a big part of it. Didn't much matter what one accepted- if one reproduced, one was no longer a Shaker. Just as I'm no longer a non-voter.


    - Wade

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