Dream of: 25 May 1997 "Dressed In Church-Clothes"

I was walking through the woods of the Gallia County Farm, about two kilometers from the Farmhouse, on top of a ridge where an old road, now overgrown, once led to the neighboring farm. Now the neighboring farm, like most of the land which surrounded the Farm, was national forest owned by the federal government. Over time, the Farm had become a private island in the middle of the surrounding federal forest. Up here, I could get away from everybody and everything. I knew the land well and had even built a sturdy, one-room, log cabin near here back in 1979 and the Cabin was still standing and in good shape. Hardly anybody knew it was there.

Thus I was startled to suddenly come across two men in my path. They were probably in their 50s, and although they were neatly dressed, I immediately became concerned when I saw that at least one of them was carrying a rifle. My fears proved well-founded, because the man with the gun raised it and pointed it at me. I was too fast for him, however, and before he could react, I managed to move in on him and wrest his gun away. Now the tables turned, I held the rifle in my hand and pointed it back at the man.

Uncertain whether the rifle was loaded, I cracked the barrel, looked inside and saw the shell. I made an angry comment to the man about how he had actually been pointing a loaded gun at me. I continued to point the gun first at one man, then at the other, worried that I only had one shell and that if they both rushed me at the same time, I could only shoot one of them. But my main worry was that I would be unable to shoot at all, that the gun might have a safety switch which I hadn't turned off. I anxiously looked at both sides of the gun; indeed; several buttons were on each side. One man was watching me – he probably perceived my problem. But even as I stood there, my problems compounded themselves as I saw more people, obviously connected to the two men, approaching us along the path.

Soon nine or ten more people had joined us. They were both men and women, all dressed up as if they were going to church. The men were wearing suits and the women long dresses. Sensing that they presented no real danger to me, I lowered my gun, and we all began walking along the wooded path together. We were headed along the ridge in the direction of the large treeless hill which rises behind the Farmhouse. As we walked along the forest trail, I began to have an idea who these people were.

It had previously come to my attention that a group of people had started building a structure up on the treeless hill behind the Farmhouse. I had never come in contact with the people before, but now that I saw them, it appeared that they were a religious group, and as we walked, I asked one of them, "Are you a cult?"

The person fended away my question and replied that it depended what I meant by the word "cult." Actually I was not entirely sure what I did mean by the word. I knew quite a few Amish families had been moving into the farms of Gallia County. The Amish seemed strange to me, but I was uncertain they would be classified as a cult. And these people seemed even less strange than the Amish. So it was difficult to say whether they belonged to a cult.

As I continued to think, we reached the top of the bald hill and walked into the building which these people had constructed. I didn't have a firm picture of what the building looked like on the outside, but imagined it was a work in process and still in rough shape. However the room into which I was taken was quite spacious with a large picture window on one side which looked down on the Farmhouse below. The view was splendid; as I looked out over the Farmhouse in the valley, I remembered I had been thinking of building a house on the Farm, and I had already decided that this was the best place for it. I even spoke to the gathered assemblage, who had taken seats around a long rectangular table, and told them I had surveyed the entire Farm, and this was the best place for a house.

Of course I at once knew trouble was brewing. If I wanted to build a house up there, this structure would have to be torn down. Or at least these people would have to leave and I would have to incorporate the building into my new home. Thus it was immediately clear that these people must be confronted and told that they must leave.

A meeting of sorts seemed to have already started, and the topic appeared to be the question of whether these people could stay there or whether they must leave. I was not surprised when my father and my sister walked into the room and took seats at the table. It seemed perfectly natural that they should be involved in this meeting.

As the discussion began, my father spoke up, attempting to get more information about the group, and approaching them in a friendly manner. However, it seemed to me that my father was not obtaining any concrete answers from the group, that they were avoiding his questions.

My sister began speaking, but she also didn't get to the point. Instead, she began talking about spiritual matters, apparently trying to understand what the people believed in and how their beliefs compared with hers. She seemed to be having some success in understanding them, but still the people weren't as forthcoming as one would hope.

I was becoming increasingly impatient, and I wanted my turn. When I saw a break in my sister's discussion, I stood up and quickly began talking. I wasted no time. I told them they were all trespassers and it was necessary that they immediately vacate the premises. I saw no reason to delay. They had come onto my father's land without permission and now they were nothing more than trespassers, even if they had already built this building. They must leave at once.

A woman spoke up and said that because they were living there, they were entitled to 30 days notice. I replied, "That doesn't mean shit."

I continued to explain that under the law they would only be entitled to notice if they were paying rent or had a rental agreement with my father. But they hadn't paid any rent – without permission they had simply come onto the land and settled in. They were nothing more than trespassers and would be treated as such. I had no qualms about what I was saying. My only concern was to have the people removed from the land as quickly as possible.

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