The Peregrine Foundation

The Peregrine Foundation derives its name both from the Latin peregrinatus, 'wanderer' or 'pilgrim,' and from the feisty little falcon that is recovering successfully from near-extinction. The persistent urge of humankind to create a more just and equitable society has expressed itself in a remarkable variety of utopian experiments and social groupings. In many instances these sects, cults and intentional communities have functioned as valuable test sites for the evolution of new forms of human interaction and expression.
American individualism expresses this urge, having evolved out of an motley mixture of idealistic, liberty-seeking colonists. On a smaller scale, many religious sects have enriched the national culture. Of these, the Mormons, the Amish, the Oneida Community, the Shakers and Amana are perhaps the most well-known historically. Their legacy may be found in the hundreds of intentional communities, mostly of humanistic persuasion, that exist today. Each one of these attempts in its own individual manner to express its unique vision for humankind. For this reason, The Peregrine Foundation encourages the nurturance of intentional communities that respect the civil rights of their members.
There also exist destructive groups in whom the utopian urge is exploited by the leadership. Jonestown, Waco and The Temple of the Sun cults demonstrated to a horrified world just how absolute can be the power that a psychotic leader wields. Mind control, psychological and physical abuse often are used to enslave the members and deny them their inalienable rights as human beings. Exiting members may suffer from confusion and developmental lags. Some become severely depressed and even suicidal.
The Peregrine Foundation seeks to assist individuals hurt by their association with totalistic groups by providing referrals and support networks via newsletters and various gatherings whereby ex-members may share information. We also educate the general public regarding intentional communities, utopian sects, cults and millennialist organizations. We encourage their study by students and scholars.
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