The Freak Revolution Manifesto


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The Freak Revolution Manifesto tells the story of why there is so much hurt and sadness in the world, and what we intend to do about it.

This Manifesto is the heart and soul of the Freak Revolution. We poured ourselves into it. We wrote, tweaked, adjusted, agonized, and rephrased ’til we got it just right.

In it, we answer all the questions we’ve gotten so far about the Freak Revolution; why we’re doing this, what it means, what we want to accomplish, how we intend to accomplish it. Really, it’s about you; how you can improve your life and the lives of others, how you can find and create connection, and most importantly, how you can change the world.

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The Freak Revolution Manifesto

  2. Freak, (n). Alternative. Misfit. Outcast. Visionary. World-changer. Revolution, (n). A drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving. 2 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  3. The Freak Revolution Manifesto Text copyright © 2009 Pace and Kyeli Smith Illustrations copyright © 2009 Martin Whitmore Some rights reserved. This work is released under the Creative Commons Attribution License (by). This license allows you to freely copy, distribute, transmit, modify, and adapt this work as long as you credit Pace and Kyeli Smith and/or Martin Whitmore, but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work. See for details. Design by Megan Elizabeth Morris ( 3 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  4. to Chris Guillebeau Thank you for inspiring us and many others. 4 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  5. A CAll to Arms HeArt middle of the night. He wants goes downstairs, intending to to be a good husband but he answer some emails, but ends A young boy gets called names doesn’t really know what that is. up weeping at the kitchen table, by his classmates. His eyes fill His wife says she’ll leave him if BlackBerry in one hand and up with tears, and they tease he doesn’t start spending more scotch in the other. him for being a wimp. He wipes time with the kids, and God off the tears, narrows his eyes, knows, he wants to. But the When did we lose touch with and locks a part of himself away. whole of Western society tells each other? When did we lose him he’s a failure if he doesn’t touch with our hearts? When A teenager dies, beaten to death work hard and bring home a did we lose touch with the awe because she’s gay. paycheck, and he’s scared he’ll and beauty of life? lose his job any day now even A single mother picks her son When did we forget our souls? with the extra hours he’s putting and daughter up from day care. in. He wants his kids to be able The kids screech and hit each This is not the way we were to pick him out of a line-up, he meant to live. other. She screams at them to wants his wife to actually want stop, nearly wrecking the car. to have sex with him again, he wants his father to still be alive A man tosses and turns, so he could get some advice and sleepless and terrified, in the a hug. He gets out of bed and Listen to your heart. This is not the way we were meant to live.
  6. The world could use a little work, don’t you think? Doesn’t it feel like muted streaks of grey, like all our drums are silent? Listen. Those drums aren’t silent. They beat. They strain to be heard. You’re not meant to live this way, in a virtual cage with clocks that demand your attention from birth to death and no time to breathe or dance or sing. You’re meant to be a rainbow in your very own color scheme. You’re meant to be a raging river, a shining star, a perfect piece of the Universe, breathing in connection and breathing out harmony. What happened? What’s wrong? What’s missing? And even more importantly, how can we heal? How can we heal ourselves, heal each other, and heal the world? We’ve searched our hearts and our souls for the answers to those questions. In this manifesto, we’ll share what we discovered with you.
  7. About us Who are you people, anyway? Hi! We’re Pace and Kyeli. We’re both freaks: Pace is a poly bisexual lesbian kinky pagan transgender unschooler gamer geek, and Kyeli is a lesbian poly unschooler geeky edgewalker witch. One afternoon, we were blindsided by the overwhelming desire to take what we love and find a way to make it into a living. Pace loves to explain things and Kyeli loves to tell stories, so together we created our business, started our blog, wrote a book, and got ridiculously excited about helping people. Then we found an amazing thing: the more we grew, the more we learned, and the more we changed ourselves, the more we wanted to change the world. We took our knowledge and our passions, mushed everything together, and started the Freak Revolution. We’re now helping freaky people change the world by teaching connection, personal growth, communication, and empowerment. We hope you join us - we can’t do it alone. 7 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  8. tAble of Contents PArt I: W HAt ’s Wrong WItH tHe World? PArt II: HoW We CAn HeAl What’s Wrong with the World? A Revolution of Ideas This is Your Paradigm PArt III: reAl lIfe Connect with Yourself The Control Paradigm World-CHAngers Connect with Each Other The Connection Paradigm World-Changers Come in All Connect with the World What’s Wrong with the World, Sizes Reprise Connect with the Infinite Freaky Revolutionaries Wish #3: A Paradigm Shift Disconnect from the Control Paradigm ACknoWledgments resourCes
  9. Part I: What’s Wrong WIth the World?
  10. W HAt ’s Wrong WItH Who is responsible for these tHe World? things? What is wrong with the world? Here are some common answers To break it down: to this question: Here are some common answers: • criminals are responsible for • “Greedy capitalists are violence responsible for pollution, • politicians are responsible for because they’re the ones who war • violence build the smoke-belching factories that ruin the • criminals or politicians are environment.” responsible for crime • war • “Criminals are responsible for • politicians, or the poor crime.” themselves are responsible for • crime • “Politicians are responsible for poverty • poverty failing to make or enforce laws to control crime.” • capitalists are responsible for pollution • pollution • “Poor people are too lazy and deserve to be poverty-stricken.” • capitalists or politicians are responsible for greed • greed • “Poverty is caused by • intolerant and prejudiced politicians and will be solved if people are responsible for hate • hate we elect different politicians.” • “The hate in the world comes from intolerant and prejudiced people.” 10 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  11. Wish #1: Get Rid of All the Jerks magic wish comes true. All the to our perfect world? bad people are magically rolled Imagine that you have a magic up in a katamari or something, The world today is a giant bad- lamp, and you’ve got three wishes and the world is now populated people-making factory, so taking to change the world. How about entirely with good people. out all the bad people doesn’t solve this for Wish #1: Just get rid of the problem, because it’ll just all the jerks who are messing it up Everyone’s happy! Yay! Everything make more. for the rest of us! Get rid of all the is peaceful and happy and perfect! criminals, all the bad politicians It worked! The problem with getting rid of (not the good ones that you the jerks is that we’re living in a agree with, of course), all the lazy But then... good people start giant jerk-creating factory. people, all the greedy people, all turning bad. the prejudiced people, and all the intolerant people (well, at least the Good people turn to crime. ones who disagree with you). Good people start to hate. Good people become violent. That’ll fix the world’s problems, Good politicians become bad right? politicians. Let’s imagine the world after our What’s wrong? What happened 11 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  12. millions of people lose their jobs, but you fix that problem by taxing the rich to give to the poor, spreading wealth out more evenly. This increases greed, because the rich become resentful and the poor expect even more. Wish #2: Everybody Wants to be World Leader, with a promise You fight crime and violence by Rule the World to end violence, war, crime, creating a worldwide police force poverty, pollution, greed, and hate. with ubiquitous surveillance. But What’s left after you get rid of all the bad people? Well, there’s our that actually increases violence, Okay, so poof! You’re the World culture and our social systems. because now the police force must Leader. Not just a world leader, That’s got to be where the Jerk use violence to subdue dangerous but The World Leader. The only Factory is. It’s got to be our criminals and freedom fighters one. culture or our social systems that who oppose the new role of the turn all these good people bad. You make laws to protect the police and their loss of privacy. So what if you get to be World environment and shut down A country invades a bordering Leader and reform all those companies that disobey the laws. country; what do you do? How broken systems? Then you’d be This increases poverty because can you stop a war without able to fix all the things that are wrong with the world, right? Get out your magic lamp and make your second wish. Wish to 12 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  13. waging war yourself? How do you maintain world wasn’t with the people themselves, peace? How do you maintain and it wasn’t with the culture or You’ve solved some of the ethical business practices? How do social systems. So what does that symptoms of what was wrong with you maintain any social system? leave? Nothing? Or maybe an the world, but you haven’t fixed invisible something... the underlying problems. You set By control. out to dismantle the Jerk Factory, but all you did was set up a bunch But you can’t fix the world by Why Do We Have to Work? of Jerk Traps. You set out to controlling it. What’s wrong with the world? It’s reform the culture, but you created something so subtle, something a culture of fear. The problem runs deeper than social systems. But where else we take so much for granted, that could it be? it has become invisible to us. To You became the problem. You ?? see this invisible thing, we’ll need turned into the very thing you’re trying to prevent. You prevented ? to open our minds and question Wish #3 some very basic assumptions we’ve war by waging war. You prevented ? been making our entire lives. Let’s poverty by taking from those with Wish #1 was “Get rid of all the pick one and start there. Take a abundance. You made such heavy- jerks.” That failed. Wish #2 was deep breath; here we go. handed laws to prevent crime “Make me world dictator.” That that the laws themselves became failed, too. You still have Wish #3 People generally work 30-50 crimes against your people. You - what are you going to wish for hours a week. Why? couldn’t allow freedom, because now? freedom begets the problems Most people hate their jobs. you’re trying to solve. And you We’ll tell you what we would wish Even if they claim to like their certainly failed to put an end to for. But first, we’ll need to look at job, they’d still prefer to work hate, because your people not only something invisible. less and spend more time with still hate each other, they now also their families or with some other hate you. The problem with the world activity they enjoy. But we “have” 13 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  14. to work, so we force ourselves into Even if this life isn’t the life you • Is progress good? job-boxes that don’t fit our souls, would choose, why don’t we even • Is it a good idea to build a with our every move watched, see it as an option? fence around my farm to keep our freedoms revoked, and our the predators out? personalities masked - and we muffle any internal voices that tHIs Is Your • If humanity had no overseeing question whether this is the way it authority, would there be lots of has to be. PArAdIgm crime and violence? This is one example of the Is this the way it has to be? Since you’re reading this dominant paradigm. A paradigm manifesto, you probably have a is the set of basic assumptions Well, we need money, right? We more open mind toward these people make about what’s need money to buy food and questions. But if you asked a possible, what’s allowed, and shelter and other necessities, and random Joe or Jane on the street, what’s reasonable. Think of it money doesn’t grow on trees. you’d get a bunch of “Well, duh”s as a worldview, or a set of ideas and funny looks. But wait a second. Food does grow about how things are “supposed on trees. And trees are shelter. to be.” You know the expression The thing about paradigms is that Why do we have to work so hard “thinking outside the box”? they’re self-fulfilling prophecies. to buy things that grow freely out Paradigm is the biggest box They reinforce and perpetuate of the ground? you can imagine. It’s the set of themselves. In the dominant questions to which everyone paradigm, the answer to these Imagine a world where food and would answer “Well, duh” or “Of questions is yes. But the only shelter are freely available from course that’s the way things are, reason the answer is yes is because the Earth, and work is an optional what are you, stupid?” Questions of the dominant paradigm. If we activity to earn money for luxuries. like: lived in a different paradigm – if That would certainly cut down on • Do you need to make money people believed differently – the rent and grocery bills, wouldn’t it? to live comfortably? answers might change. It’s like a 14 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  15. big group of people all leaning aspects of life. Businesses seek children. Political groups fight on each other. They’re stable, and to dominate the market and for their rights. Scientists seek to they don’t fall down, but they’re crush the competition. Farmers harness Nature. What is a harness? not supported by anything but seek to isolate their crops from It’s a device you put on an animal themselves. If a bunch of people outside influences and engineer to better control it. All these words stood straight up all at once, the their genes for maximum yield. are control words. Many of these structure would collapse and a Governments seek power over words have positive connotations, new one would take its place. And their people. Jealous lovers seek but if you take a closer look at anyone still leaning would fall to control their mates. Marketers them you’ll see that they are all down. seek to convince others to buy rooted in the control paradigm. their products. Bosses seek to manage their resources, thereby tHe Control keeping control of those under them. Parents discipline their PArAdIgm The dominant paradigm in the world today is the control paradigm. All major cultures contain pervasive assumptions of control which affect all The control paradigm tells us what to do to survive. But what if we want to live? 15 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  16. tHe ConneCtIon PArAdIgm The control paradigm is so pervasive that it’s hard to see around the blinders of its assumptions. But let’s imagine for a while and see where we can go. Imagine a world like this: Businesses care about their customers and want to help them. Farmers grow food in harmony with the ecosystem. Governments seek to aid their people. Lovers love their mates. Marketers seek permission to offer their products to those who might be helped by them. Workers seek to support their co-workers. Parents nurture their children. These words are connection words. This is what a connection paradigm world would look like. To create this world, all we need to do is each take a few tiny steps toward it. Each step helps make the world a better place. Each step moves us further from the loneliness of control and closer to the warmth of connection. The connection paradigm brings connection with others and connection with ourselves. Isolation is the whip of the control paradigm; we are more easily controlled when we are alone. But it’s gone too far. We are lonely. Our hearts cry out for connection, but the control paradigm binds us too tightly. We have even disconnected from ourselves. We numb our minds with TV, video games, and drugs to drown out the cries of our starving hearts. We’ve forgotten what it feels like to live in connection. We’ve lost touch with our hearts, with our souls, and with each other. We’re stuck in the control paradigm because we don’t know a better way to be.
  17. W HAt ’s Wrong WItH tHe World, rePrIse If we now look at things from a paradigm perspective, we end up with very different answers to the question “What’s wrong with the world?” Here are some answers from members of the Freak Revolution: “People seem to be living as though they are asleep...walking along the well-worn path of all the people who went before them, without taking the time to lift their heads, look around, and see that they have the power to change course.” - Victoria Brouhard ( “A lack of love, honesty, and compassion due to overwhelming unfounded fear and terrible communication.” - Kate “Lots of things are wrong with the world, but what is most wrong with it is that it is unfit for genius. The world default should be ‘Thou shalt kick ass and chew bubblegum’, instead of ‘Keep yer head down lest it be chopped off.’” - Jenny Berger “Too many inflexible and damaging stories, too many people who believe that culture is some sort of monolithic entity that doesn’t include them and that they, therefore, have no ability or responsibility to change.” - KN Gier “The illusion that we aren’t all in this together, the illusion that hides that we’re all human together.” - Richard Clark 17 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  18. “I think we just don’t know how to understand each other anymore, and a lot of us don’t even try. I think that we keep back far too much trust, because most people seem to be untrustworthy. I think that we keep our love back, and only love those we feel are acceptable. I think we have stopped seeing the world as beautiful, and can only see what’s bad and dirty and wrong, because that’s what gets all the focus.” - Rachael E. C. Acklin ( “If I could drum one thing, just one thing, into the head of every person on earth, it would be this: THERE IS NO ONE TRUE WAY. No one true religion, no one true philosophy, no one true relationship style, body size, sexual technique, computer operating system, educational method, pepper-to-garlic ratio. There might be one true way for you, personally and individually, but that’s as subject to change as you are. To say and act otherwise is to cram yourself into a little box that doesn’t fit, making yourself and everyone around you miserable.” - Heather Freeman ( “I think it largely boils down to too many people ‘needing’ to be right. All at the same time. (Another word for this is ‘control’.)” - Christy ( 18 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  19. WISH #3: A PARADIGM SHIFT Our third wish, if you haven’t figured it out yet, would be to shift the paradigm from a control paradigm to a connection paradigm. But we didn’t wait for a magic lamp. We started a revolution.
  20. Part II: hoW We Can heal
  21. A revolutIon of a violent uprising? Were any governments overthrown? IdeAs Were any anti-art monarchs When you hear the word assassinated? No. The creation “revolution”, what do you think and transmission of revolutionary of? Something bloody and ideas fueled the revolution. The violent? People standing on ideas swept through the dominant soapboxes and screaming at a paradigm, causing changes that crowd? A line of angry people continue to ripple through our with picket signs? lives. That’s not the kind of revolution A revolution of ideas has two we’re creating. We’re creating a steps: practice and share. revolution of ideas. A world in which everyone talks The Freak Revolution isn’t like about connection but doesn’t the American Revolution or the practice connection doesn’t sound French Revolution. The Freak like a great world to be in, does it? Revolution is like the Industrial So let’s put it into practice: Revolution, like the Renaissance. Just ideas. World-changing ideas. Connect with yourself, connect No guns. with others, connect with the It has happened before, and world, connect with the Infinite. No violent uprisings. it can happen again. Think about the Renaissance. When No protest rallies. the Renaissance swept Europe and then the world, was there No bullshit. 21 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  22. ConneCt WItH Yourself Ever Met a Miserable World-Changer? Imagine someone who has changed the world for the better. It doesn’t matter if they’re real or made- up, just form a clear picture of what they look like and how they act. Imagine the two of you having lunch together. How would it feel? Go on, it’ll just take a few seconds. We’ll wait. Everyone we’ve ever asked to do this imagines a happy person. Not just surface-level happy, but deeply joyful and at peace with life, the universe, and everything. (If the person you imagined wasn’t happy, congratulations. You’re a freak; join the revolution.) Have you ever met a miserable world-changer? It just doesn’t happen. Unhappy people aren’t effective. Miserable people don’t achieve big goals. Gloomy people don’t have the motivation to stick with anything long enough to make a real difference. So if you want to change the world, first get happy! Here are some great first steps to becoming happier... 22 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  23. 1. Dream big. Listen. What Or, if you’re reading this Dream big. It will help you be would you do if you had no in digital form, say it happy by expanding your limits. obstacles? What does your out loud. Writing things heart long for? What do you down and speaking 2. Experiment. Pay close most want to experience before them aloud gives them attention to your mood at your time runs out? power. Writing something different times of the day, when down focuses your subconscious you’re doing various activities, and Don’t get bogged down by “can’t”s mind on making it happen. when different events happen. or “shouldn’t”s. Let your dreams You’ll discover solutions and Try new things: try a different fly free. opportunities you would have sleep schedule for a month or otherwise missed. two, try different social activities, Now write it down right here: try different leisure activities, try a different soap, try different hobbies, try different diets, try different ways of dressing, try spending time with different groups of friends. Shake things up! Get out of the ruts you’re in that you don’t even see. Keep a journal of how you feel, and write in it at least once a day. After you’ve experimented for a while, go back and look in your journal for patterns. When are you happy? When are you unhappy? 23 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  24. Then do more of what makes you ways to make the negative things happy and less of what makes you more positive the next time they unhappy. happen, and then spend some time focusing on the positive. If you try this experiment, I guarantee you’ll be surprised. People are surprisingly bad at predicting what will actually make them happy, but your journal Personal Empowerment People are not born won’t lie. empowered or unempowered. In addition to being happy, It’s something that you can 3. Read a book or a blog another trait that world- learn and practice. There is no about happiness. You can find changers share is being some recommendations in the gaping chasm between you empowered. People who Resources section at the end. and any world-changer you change the world are movers admire; you can do anything and shakers. They stand in 4. Make friends with more happy they have done. Begin with a people and spend less time with their own power, they face bunch of little baby steps, and unhappy people. Happiness their fears, and they get things you’ll get there. begets happiness, and the more done. happiness you surround yourself with, the happier you’ll be, and the more happiness you’ll have to Here are some of those baby steps share with others! to increase your personal power... 5. Focus on the positive. Make a nightly routine to reflect on your experiences of the day. Think of 24 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  25. 1. Treat yourself at least as well else is a good first step toward Resources section at the end. as you’d treat anyone else. If you reclaiming that power. catch yourself thinking things 4. Take yourself out on a date. about yourself like “I can’t do 2. Practice saying no. For just one Most of us spend lots of time anything right”, “I’m just a waste week, say “no” to every request with everyone but ourselves. of oxygen”, “I’m ugly”, “I’ll never for a personal favor, unless it’s Even when we’re alone, we’re accomplish that”, or “I suck”, go of life-threatening importance. not spending quality time with to a mirror. Imagine that your When anyone asks you for a favor ourselves; we’re working, watching reflection is another person, and (other than, of course, “Could you TV, reading - absorbing instead imagine saying each of these please save my life?”), say no. This of being. Taking yourself out on things to the other person. will prove to you that the world a date - just you, no one else, is a “You never do anything right.” won’t end if you say no, and will two-fold blessing. It gives you the “You’re just a waste of oxygen.” teach you on a visceral level that chance to spend good quality time “You’re ugly.” “You’ll never your personal power belongs to with yourself, as well as giving accomplish that.” “You suck.” If you and not others. If this sounds you a chance to do exactly what these statements would be mean terrifying, it’s probably the right you want to do, just for yourself. and abusive if you said them to thing for you to try. You can do it Spending quality time with someone else, and if you wouldn’t - it’s just one week! yourself gives you the opportunity be okay with someone else saying to get to know yourself better - them to you, then why are you 3. Read a book about and self-knowledge empowers okay with you saying them to you? productivity. “Productivity” you. sounds boring and dull, and Each time you say mean or many books on productivity are 5. Eliminate the word “should” negative things about yourself, in fact boring and dull, but some from your vocabulary. This you decrease your personal power, are really about understanding will help you become keenly because some part of you believes yourself, your patterns, and aware of each time you give up what you say. Treating yourself at your motivations. You can find your personal power. Here’s an least as well as you’d treat anyone some recommendations in the example: one day, you might say to 25 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  26. yourself, on your own, too. Soon you won’t I do matter.” And when those even miss it - we didn’t use the opinions are honored by others, “I want to sleep in, but I should word “should” anywhere in this we get the message that others get up because I have to go to manifesto except in quotes, and value us and respect us. work today.” we bet you didn’t miss it, eh? Much of this happens under the That sneaky “should” is actually 6. Practice having a strong surface, which is why it works robbing you of your personal opinion. When you find yourself even if you think it’s silly. power! How would it feel if about to say, “Oh, I don’t care, instead you said this: we can do whatever you want,” “I want to sleep in, but I also want instead pick something - ConneCt WItH eACH randomly if you have to - and say to keep my job, so I’ll choose to go “I’d like to do this.” Practice this otHer to work today because I want that for just one week and you’ll be more than I want to sleep in.” amazed at what happens. It may Diversify Your Monkeysphere seem silly and pointless, especially Doesn’t that feel far more if you’re just choosing randomly One of the most powerful tools empowering? Instead of instead of actually expressing a for changing the world is the presenting yourself as a hapless real opinion, but it makes a huge, monkeysphere. Robin Dunbar, victim of fate, you’re acting as the even transformative difference. an anthropologist, found that captain of your own destiny. You the size of primates’ brains is are the one making the choices, When we say that we don’t have directly related to the size of you are the one choosing to do an opinion, we’re telling ourselves the social groups they form what makes you most happy. that our opinions don’t matter, (their “monkeysphere”). Based which in turn tells us that we don’t on the size of a human’s brain, It’s easier to eliminate “should” if matter. When we state a strong our number is about 150. This you have a partner to catch you opinion, even if it’s random, we’re means that, though we might when you slip, but you can do it telling ourselves, “I’m important. meet thousands of people over 26 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  27. the course of our lives, we’re hard-wired brother is gay” or “I have a friend who is a to connect with only 150 people at lesbian.” As soon as a gay person is inside your a time. Those 150 are the people in monkeysphere, the issue of gay rights becomes our monkeysphere. Anyone outside personal rather than political - and that’s of our monkeysphere is an abstract when real change begins. concept, not a real live human we can empathize with or care about. If you diversify your monkeysphere and encourage others to do the same, we can This can heal war, racism, and heal these control-paradigm ills and create a prejudice. You won’t want to bomb connection paradigm. someone who’s in your monkeysphere. You won’t want to take away someone’s rights if Make friends with people from different cultures, they’re someone you care about. You won’t hurt connect with people who live differently. Be kind someone for being who they are if they’re your friend. to people you disagree with. Be yourself, and as others get to know you, they’ll be diversifying their Look at the gay rights movement. A paradigm shift monkeyspheres, too. is happening as more and more people can say, “My Be yourself. Connect with others. Change the world. 27 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  28. Communicate Openly and buckle down and get a reality that.” We take away our own Honestly check. power by focusing on the qualities of others instead of focusing on Miscommunication muddies our But if you can push past that our own gifts. connections. Learning to clear fear (of being hurt, of ridicule, of the waters of communication being seen, of losing friends) to Reflect on your own strengths helps you connect more smoothly open up and share your authentic and weaknesses. Look at the and easily. We don’t often think self, you’ll find that connection people in your life and look for about communication - we usually will flow. Everyone hungers their strengths and weaknesses. take it for granted - but you can for connection. Our culture Watch how they incorporate their improve it like any other skill. encourages isolation, which strengths into their lives. See how And here’s a secret: learning leads us to buy in to systems of they deal with their weaknesses. communication also helps you control. To escape control, we Some of them will be strong in learn personal growth, so you must connect. If we unlock the areas where you have difficulties, get extra bonus connection with boxes that hide our hearts and and others will have weaknesses yourself as you practice connecting share ourselves openly and truly, where you feel capable. This gives with others! we’ll find that we’re not alone you opportunities to learn and at all. We’ll find heartsisters and to teach, to communicate and to We could write an entire book heartbrothers everywhere we turn. connect. about communication (and in fact, we did), but for now let’s focus on “You always talk about having the two most important things: Make Personal Growth a Group difficulties keeping track of time, openness and honesty. The control Project but you’re never late for anything! paradigm teaches us to keep our How do you do that?” People often compliment one hearts in locked boxes. We learn another, saying “I love how you that our souls and our dreams “You talk about your terrible are so optimistic (or happy, or aren’t important - that we’re naïve temper, but you’re the sweetest courageous),” and yet in the same idealist dreamers who need to girl I know. May I ask how you breath say “I could never be like 28 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  29. manage your anger?” amazing! I can’t wait to see share yours with them, and you’ll you achieve all these wonderful both help each other. “You always make room to help things!” me when I need it; how can I help Don’t maintain friendships with you?” Since you’re still reading, you’re eye-rollers because you think you probably passionate about making can help them or fix them. You Help others grow and learn, and the world a better place. Imagine can help much more effectively seek out new ways to learn from sharing this manifesto with each when you’re buoyed up by them. of your friends. Would they roll encouragement than when you’re their eyes and say “Those are some drained by cynicism. It’s difficult pretty big ideas, but it’ll never and painful to cut ties with Find Fabulous Friends work”? Or would they be moved friends who drain you, and it’s While you’re engaged with the to tears, jump up and down also scary to reach out and make long, challenging, and rewarding excitedly, and ask “Where can I new friends who support you, but work of changing the world, you’ll sign up?” it’s worth it. need some good friends sharing the journey with you. You need more of the up-and- Powerful world-changers down-jumpers in your life, and surround themselves with other You’ll need friends who will lift fewer of the eye-rollers. The eye- powerful world-changers. you up (and whom you can lift rollers are poisonous and will sap up in return), not people who will your energy and motivation. The bring you down. Imagine telling up-and-down-jumpers will share each of your friends about your their enthusiasm with you, you’ll lifelong goals and dreams. How would each of them respond? Would they say “That’s sounds nice, but it’s pretty impractical”? Or would they say “That’s 29 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  30. ConneCt WItH tHe We teach. We paint. We act. We Maybe an hour for a first draft? become public speakers. We make Then do that a hundred times and World movies. We sculpt. We make music. you have 40,000 words - the first That’s all there is to it. Connect We write books, we write blogs, and draft of your first novel. If you spent with yourself and share your true we write manifestos. just one hour a day working on your heart with others, and the world book, you could be finished with We create art that awakens the mind, the first draft in three and a half will change. The control paradigm moves the heart, and stirs the soul. months, edit it for a few months, will shatter in the face of our combined authentic connection, then self-publish using print-on- In today’s world, anyone can demand technology. You could and our future will be up to us, not be famous! Anyone can create anyone else. write, edit, and publish your book in something great that moves less than a year from today! millions of people. Take a book, for Some of us, however, are called instance. How long would it take to connect with more than 150 you to write 400 words? (That’s people. We can’t do that by about one page of this manifesto.) making thousands of friends because they won’t all fit inside our monkeyspheres, so we find other ways. What’s stopping you? What else could you do? 30 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  31. ConneCt WItH tHe But even then, even in the darkest And in experiencing oneness, nights and the heaviest rains, we we’ve come full circle, back to InfInIte feel it. connecting with yourself. It’s Bring yourself to stillness. Listen. an upward spiral. Connect with We’re deeply connected on a yourself, connect with others, Be calm. Open your heart, connect spiritual level, underneath the connect with the world, connect with your soul. noise of control, the blanket of with the Infinite, connect with There’s a deeper call, underneath fear, and the illusion of isolation. yourself... the outer drive to connect with We may have lost the ability to others. There’s a reason our souls sense it directly, but deep down, Embark on the journey with love hunger for connection, why we in our hearts and in our souls, we and openness, and let your heart balk and chafe under such heavy remember. lead the way. chains of control. By journeying on any spiritual We are connected. path, we seek and find reconnection. Soul-connection We are all one. and spirituality - with or without religion - lead us to the experience We close ourselves off. We shut of oneness. ourselves down and disconnect. We’re raised in a turbulent sea of fear and control, and our tiny little soul boats can’t even see each other’s sails for the storm.
  32. dIsConneCt from spirituality, public school that screen, poisoning your heart. The teaches kids to conform and obey, media focuses on tragedy, glorifies tHe Control the food industry that disconnects disaster, and encourages us to live PArAdIgm us from nature, control-based in terror. Fear your neighbors, fear copyright laws, the societal norms your officials, fear your family, fear We talk a lot about connection, that tell us who we can and can’t your life. and since we want to shift into be. Say no. Opt out. Opting out of a connection paradigm, that’s even one of these systems changes Being pummeled with bad news unsurprising. But there’s also the world by showing others that all the time damages us, even power in disconnection, and you they have a choice, too. when we don’t notice it. How can have the power to disconnect we live with hope, how can we from the control paradigm. Choose to live your life differently, dance through life with joyous and you start a revolution simply steps when we’re bombarded with We’re taught that the world works by being yourself. fear? Steeping ourselves in this in certain ways, and that to be negativity keeps us from focusing part of the “real world”, we have on the positive. no choice but to participate, to Opt Out of the News play the same games everyone else What can you do? You can You turn the news on. Murder in plays. opt out of the news; there’s no your neighborhood, theft in your city, crime all around you - all of requirement to watch or listen. This is a lie. You can choose to opt You’ll be far better off without which you are powerless to do out. it - and when something actually anything about. People objectified, developing complexes that will important happens, you’ll still Television that numbs our minds, know. People will talk about it and news that tells us to live in fear, haunt them for the rest of their lives, passing them on to you at it will seep through, and then you the 9-to-5 job culture that stifles can choose to either take heed or us, politics that disempower no additional charge. Officials full of lies spouting through the ignore. us, religions that put chains on 32 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  33. Sloughing off the news enables forget the pain in our lives for just Turn off the TV and connect with you to take control of your life and a little while, flipping channels your life. You only get the one. your emotions on a level unknown as a form of self-medication and to most people. Once the constant tuning out. Opt Out of the Job Culture bombardment of negativity is muted, you’ll be empowered to But what if, instead, you filled that Before you know how to read or focus on the things that really time with activities that enriched tie your shoes, you’re off to school. matter to you. you, educated you - things that You spend 13 years, day in and day genuinely entertained you and out, doing what others tell you to nourished you? do, being shoved into boxes and Opt Out of TV molds. You get out of school, get a How would you fill the empty What could you do with an extra job, and spend the next fifty years, hours? hour a week? An extra hour a day? What could change in your life? Writing that elusive novel. Starting a business. Singing. TV bombards us with negativity Playing with your children. - and not just the news. Spending time with your lover Commercials create needs we or your friends. Spending time didn’t previously have. The media with yourself. Having deep sets physical and emotional conversations that spur epiphanies standards most of us can’t ever day in and day out, doing what and growth. Long-neglected reach, creating a rift between others tell you to do, being shoved hobbies. That project you never who we are and who we feel we into boxes and molds. Eventually seem to have time for, that relative have to be. Unable to meet these you retire, and then and only then you keep wishing you knew better. impossible standards, we end can you enjoy life. When you’re Those dusty books on the shelf. up spiraling into depression and 65. Your soul. hopelessness. We wind up sitting in front of the TV hoping to Fuck that. 33 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  34. You can follow your dreams and allow that? No, of course not. So listen to your heart - starting now. why would you let a total stranger You can start your own company, write the laws that rule your life? own your own business, do what you love and love what you do. What if we could change the You can travel the world with only world into a world that doesn’t a backpack. You don’t need higher need politics? education, formal education, or a degree. You don’t need huge start- If we all lived in community and up capital or years of experience or connection with one another and thousands of followers or anyone’s with ourselves, we could certainly approval but your own. You can come up with a better solution find a way to make it work on than this. your own terms. Why do a bunch of old men get to dictate my life from on high? If everyone opted out of politics, Think outside the box. The box is They don’t know me and I don’t who would run the country? Who getting full, anyway. know them. They don’t have my would run the world? best interests at heart - they can’t! They aren’t in my generation or We would. Together. Opt Out of Politics my social group; we have nothing Politics is a game within a game, in common. Why are they all within the current paradigm. authorized to kill or wage war on It’s not the only way to get things my behalf? I don’t want that. done, but it is the only way most people know. We get stuck in the Imagine a total stranger running familiarity of what we know, even up to you and asking if they if it’s broken. could take care of your baby, your mother, your sibling. Would you 34 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  35. Opt Out of Religion your eyes, and look inward. Breathe. Feel your connection to the Divine. At the heart of religion, we find It’s there, waiting for you to pay spirituality. If religion blocks you attention to it, to open your heart from spirituality, it’s possible to and your soul. sneak past religion to reach the sacred treasure that it guards. Can you hear it? Spirituality is your personal, individual experience with the Divine. Step-by-step instructions are not available. No one can dictate ‘til their spirits fade. They are your spirituality to you. No one can forced to sit at desks, be quiet, do as tell you what you will find when you they’re told regardless of personal look inside your heart. Opt Out of Public School boundaries, learn as they’re taught We’re born full of joy and wonder. regardless of abilities or learning When religious leaders teach you As babies, we seek learning as our styles, 8-10 hours a day for at that the only way to connect with highest form of pleasure; we delight least 13 years. They’re medicated the Divine is through their religion, in everything we take in. We devour if they have trouble sitting still all they’re lying. That’s control. They’re the world with our senses, tasting day. They’re subjected to cult-like trying to take away your power, your and touching, inhaling and poking behavior and dog-eat-dog groups, birthright to be connected with the and prodding. But before we know cutthroat competitiveness, teachers Divine. They’re telling you that you it, our babies are school-aged. Enter who abuse power, peers who abuse aren’t qualified to listen to your own public school. each other, unrealistic expectations, heart. and demented role models. There’s Public school takes our bright, no tolerance for difference, no room They’re wrong. creative children and slowly for personal expression. encloses them in ill-fitting molds Sit down in a quiet place, close 35 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  36. Is it any wonder our kids suffer we’re ridiculed and our choices are shipped to us. from depression, addiction, and disrespected. suicidal tendencies? You can opt out of the food Many of us have “hereditary” industry. You can be an omnivore, You don’t need a degree or higher diseases, conditions passed on vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, or education to do a better job through our parents from their raw. You can slow down. You can schooling your own kids than the parents on up. But if we look at prepare your own food. You can public schools. Kids are eager to our diets, we might see something take time to think about what learn, easy to teach, and usually interesting. If I eat what my you put into your body and how desperate to spend more time with parents eat, the chances of me it affects you. You can drive down their parents. We have options; we having the same health issues the street, passing by restaurant don’t have to ever send our kids my parents have is considerably after restaurant, thinking to to public schools. We can take higher - and even higher still if yourself, “That one’s not for me. them out if they’re my lifestyle is similar. We often That one’s not for me.” already in. They’re don’t even think about the food our children. It’s we eat. We eat by default, we eat Other Opt-Out Options our responsibility for emotional reasons, we eat as to protect them and a social activity. We eat without Opt Out of the Economy guide them to the considering our choices. best of our ability. You can opt out of the economy. The food industry is a control You can barter. You can participate paradigm system. We are far in a gift economy. You can join Opt Out of the Food Industry removed, in physical distance and or create a close-knit community emotional distance, from the food that takes care of its members When we’re little, we eat what we eat. We lose our connection to without the need for money. we’re fed. Few of us have any say in our diets ‘til we’re pre-teens or the earth; we have no connection with the plants and animals that Opt Out of the Grid older. Often, if we stray too far from the diets of our families, were processed, packaged, and You can opt out of your country’s 36 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  37. electrical power grid. You Opt Out of Societal Norms Society tells you there’s something can reduce or eliminate your wrong with you if you’re an adult Society tells you to fit in and not dependence on electricity. You can who doesn’t experience romantic rock the boat. use more solar or wind power. feelings or sexual desire. Society tells you to be Opt Out of Copyright Society tells you to speak when heterosexual. you’re spoken to, go out of your Copyright laws are restrictive Society tells you that you can be way to avoid offending others, and and control-based. You can either male or female. There is dress appropriately. choose to share your work more freely by putting your work in no third option and you cannot Society tells you to put your head the public domain or by using a change from one to the other. down, be quiet, and obey the rules. Creative Commons license. For example, this manifesto is released Society tells you to have only one under the Creative Commons romantic or sexual partner at a “by” license, which means that time. everyone can distribute it freely, modify it, create derivative works based on it (e.g. translations), even sell copies of it, as long as they Fuck society. credit the original authors. Be creative! Be different. Be a freak. Be yourself. What other control paradigm systems do you see around you? What can you do to opt out? 37 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  38. Part III: real lIfe World-Changers
  39. World-CHAngers moving book or a life-changing number of people - thousands, presentation creates a one-way millions, even billions - you can Come In All sIzes indirect connection. With these do it. For this revolution to succeed, we indirect experiences, you feel a connection between yourself and The teacher who stands on a need two types of world-changers: the author, speaker, or teacher, but podium in front of hundreds • A few people spreading they don’t have a deep connection of students and talks about her revolutionary ideas to large with you in return. transition from male to female, groups the blogger who blogs openly Personal experiences create a small about his two wives and their • A lot of people spreading number of deep connections. happily open marriage and well- revolutionary ideas to small Indirect experiences create a large adjusted kids, the author who groups number of one-way connections. writes about her abusive past Take a deep breath. Take a and her journey to recovery, the The control paradigm tells us that singer who comes out as gay, moment to think about the we are tiny insignificant cogs in the actor who talks about being events that have changed your a big whirring machine where no vegan - all of these people are life or your worldview in a big one cares and no one will ever world-changers. They’re opting way. What caused them? A notice us. That is a terrible lie. We out of control paradigm systems. conversation you had? A book you are brightly shining stars caught They’re living their lives openly, read? An experience you shared in a murky fog. All we need is authentically, and in alignment with a friend? A speaker who the courage to shine and the with their hearts. They share by moved you? A class you attended? knowledge that we can. connecting with others, loudly and The events that change our lives indirectly. In so doing, they spread If you feel called to shine, the revolutionary idea that you can are either personal or indirect. SHINE! choose to live your own way. A long, intense conversation with a friend creates a two-way If you feel called to reach a large personal connection. A deeply If you feel called to reach a 39 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  40. small number of people more and personally. In so doing, they When you live the change you personally, you can do it. spread the revolutionary idea that want to see, when you follow your you can choose to live your own way. dreams, you don’t need to pass The mom who stays home to pamphlets around or shout on unschool her kids, the man who Gandhi had it half right when he soapboxes or march around with loves bowling with his friends said, “Be the change you want signs. Those are control paradigm and is openly gay, the third- to see in the world.” The second tactics - yelling at people to try to gendered person who takes care half is “connect with others.” If you force them to change. of stray dogs and is the sweetest go off and live on a mountaintop soul you’ve ever met, the raw and never talk to anyone - even if All you need to do is be your foodist who has a home garden you’re being the change you want authentic self and connect and invites her friends over for to see in the world - you’re not with others. That’s the kind of potlucks - all of these people are changing the world. But if you revolution we can get behind, the world-changers. They’re opting come down from time to time kind of revolution we’re building. out of control paradigm systems. and connect with people so they Welcome. They’re living their lives openly, know you’re living your perfect life authentically, and in alignment on a mountaintop, and if you tell with their hearts. They share by them that they can follow their own connecting with others, quietly dreams and live their own perfect lives, too? That’s revolutionary. 40 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  41. freAkY revolutIonArIes Here are the stories of some freaky revolutionaries of various sizes, shapes, and flavors. Christi Sanchez Kira ( Christi chose to opt out of the public school system and unschools her two Kira is a vegetarian geek, little girls. She spends her days playing actor, and musician. She with her girls and helping them follow studies Buddhism and Feri, their dreams. She believes that learning and is a priestess and teacher happens naturally and relishes her job as to her neopagan community. She cooks, sews, a tour guide to their journey. knits, and is a budding gardener. Leonie Allan Megan Elizabeth Morris ( ( Leonie is a Goddess Guide. She uses Megan is an idea generator. oracle cards, art, and creativity to help She’s a brilliant mastermind people find and connect with their own bent on brainstorming and unique spirituality and remember the making colorful mind maps and using her Divine within themselves. endless energy and boundless enthusiasm to encourage people to succeed wildly and think outside of boxes. 41 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  42. Johnny B. Truant Pam Slim ( ( Johnny is a sweet and funny guy Pam is a deeply spiritual person, who opted out of the news many a martial artist, and the mother years ago and is much happier for of three kids. She helps people it. He helps small business owners escape from corporate jobs and learn how to do technical stuff and follow the calling of their hearts. makes people laugh. Seth Godin Naomi Dunford ( ( Seth brought the connection Naomi is a funny, intelligent, paradigm to marketing. Before and snarky marketing expert and Seth, the dominant marketing homeschooler with a shaved head and paradigm was interruption a foul mouth. She helps people build marketing (control your customers), but he is passionate businesses that change the world, one ittybiz shifting it toward permission marketing (connect at a time. with your customers). What's your story? How will you change the world? 42 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  43. ACknoWledgments These are the people who helped us along the tumultuous path of writing this manifesto. We are deeply grateful! • Megan Elizabeth Morris for this delicious design, and Martin Whitmore for this amazing artwork • Kira, Amanda Braman-Ray, Tanya Martin-McClellan, and Ratha Grimes for editing • Nathalie Lussier, Kate, Naomi Dunford, and Marissa Bracke for their contributions to the first draft • Victoria, Kate, Jenny, KN, Richard, Rachael, Heather, and Christy for graciously allowing us to quote them and for saying such inspiring things in the first place • All the members of the Freak Revolution for being awesome and for being yourselves 43 The Freak Revolution Manifesto
  44. resourCes We maintain a list of recommended books, blogs, links, and what-to-do-next steps at If this manifesto has touched you or inspired you, please leave us a comment there. It would mean a lot to us. With love, Pace & Kyeli 44 The Freak Revolution Manifesto