Click to watch: “How I Went From Being an Anarchist to a Quaker”

How I Went From Being an Anarchist to a Quaker

Interview 8 Comments

Quaker Ben Pink Dandelion joined Friends because they were working for peace and shared values with anarchists. Then he had a spiritual awakening.

Comments 8

  1. RUSSELL MCLERNON

    City & State
    COOKSTOWN
    The only thing wrong with this video is that it is so short. I found it fascinating. I would like to have heard more of this journey. I am not a Quaker though I have had a great interest in Friends for years. I am familiar with Ben Pink Dandelion through his various writings.

  2. Mika Goldin

    We all came to Quakerism from different paths. There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them . . .how has being a Quaker changed him, how has he made a change in the world? Not sure why this is on Quaker Speak, but happy for him that he found us. . .

  3. Merrikay Boylan

    City & State
    Folsom, CA
    I don’t know either Mika but it’s the first one that’s gotten me to click.

  4. mariellen gilpin

    City & State
    Champaign IL
    Please, please, if you’re lurking out there, Ben, share with us the spiritual experience on that Greyhound busride. I’ve had more than one long conversation with God during a cross-country journey. Something about the freedom from interruptions, and maybe the vehicle is such a good sound chamber that it makes it easier to hear that still small voice. C’mon, Ben, share your story with us!!
    Blessings,
    Mariellen Gilpin, editor,
    What Canst Thou Say? — a journal for Quakers who have mystical experiences

  5. Paul Davies

    City & State
    Norwich
    Unclear Ben. What does ‘We were being “talked through” in Quaker meeting’ mean? do you mean their was a Spirit in business meeting not present in anarcho circles? I always felt that anarchism had a strong spirit of love and peace, expressed in unique ways. Quakers tend to be less angry, or certainly angry in different ways…. the similarities are close, but yes, its more difficult to connect with ‘the Spirit’ within anarchic communities when you are surrounded by an anti brigade. That’s not absolutely conducive to harmony, but it does produce its own imaginative processes that are certainly rooted in love, caring and in peace. Anarchism also has less formal processes and group hierarchy.

  6. Mark Gailey

    City & State
    Central Kentucky
    Since anarchism gives allowance for guided rules, but merely rejects a hierarchy of ‘rulers’, the question of ‘talked through’ brings the query challenge that perhaps rulers are applied at a subtle or hidden level.
    I think that is not the case. But it is a consideration at each locality as to that being a possible embedding or infiltration. Many interests could apply attempted influence. As archony, the polar opposite to anarchy, governments are well known for embedding spies and provocateurs in many movements, particularly those forwarding peace agendas.

    I don’t see a conflict between anarchism and Quakerism, and so the title here begs that differentiation. This really speaks to the process of consensus being one of mature cooperation and open discourse.

  7. Nept551

    I traveled in the opposite direction, from Quakerism to anarchism. Ben’s description of anarchism is shallow. As an anarchist, I live by the Non-Aggression Principle: that the initiation of force towards persons or property is immoral and wrong. Hence, anarchism is about freedom from involuntary relationships, freedom from theft by the government, freedom from aggression within our families of origin. Quakers don’t take a stand against such aggression. That’s what he calls working within the system – not living by principles and being too polite to take a moral stand. Moral relativists perpetuate evil and call it a virtue. And the me-ism of Quaker beliefs is superstition and irrationality.

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