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pedantic query - Karezza etc

From: (mordred)
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi
Subject: Re: pedantic query - Karezza etc
Date: 11 Mar 1995 00:38:43 -0800
Organization: Portal Communications (shell)
Lines: 77
Message-ID: <3jrnij$>
References: <3iidkc$> <3ik2o6$>
Reply-To: (Cyronwode)

[from (Cyronwode)]

LeGrand says:

>Greer says that Thomas Lake Harris invented,
>or at least taught, karezza, which as I understand it was taught by
>and named (as well as promoted) by Stockham.  I do not see that
>Harris actually is known to have taught or practiced karezza, though
>he certainly did have sexual/magical/religious interests.
>Could anyone offer any amplification/correction/clarification here?


Thomas Lake Harris was the leader of Fountaingrove community near Santa
Rosa, California. The group was communal, with Harris as the patriarchal
leader, and members raised grapes for wine (a common local agricultral
enterprise to this day. The last member of the group -- and he inherited
the entire place, in a kind of tontin arrangement -- was a
Hawaiian-Japanese "houseboy" Harris had adopted while on a tour of the
Pacific. The last remaining building, the so-called "round barn" (a
dodecagon) was recently refurbished and is now a grossly fancy restaurant
operated by the Sheraton Hotel chian. 

For MUCH more on Harris, read Edward Markham's "California the Wonderful,"
long out of print, published circa WW I or earlier. Harris had just died
and Markham was his literary executor. He wrote a profile biography of
Harris and promised a book collection of Harris' religious works, but i do
not know if it ever saw print. 

Okay, enough prolepsis -- Harris did not practice Karezza by that name nor
did he practice it in form. He, like many others, followed the lead of
Henry Noyes of the Oneida Community and practiced "Male Continence." In
this tantra-like sexual system, female orgasms are allowed and encouraged.

Fountaingrove became a popular place for single and widowed women to visit
while touring California as Harris believed in free love and sexual
satisfaction for women. He was apparently very cultured, charismatic,
well-red, gentle,spiritual, and loving. He delivered inspirational
lectures about the power of love and he did not believe in playing
favourites with his affections. He devoted a lot of his poetic efforts to
his conception of female goddesshood or queenhood. Few have spoken ill of
him over the years. He lived well but simply and seems not to have stolen
his disciples' money or done anything rash. He and the other men at
Fountaingrove simply fucked the brains out of any willing woman who
chanced to visit the place. 

Henry Noyes slightly predated Harris and Stockham and influenced them both
through his writing on "Male Continence" or volitional abstention from
ejaculation. The Oneida Community was known for its metalwork (Oneida is
still a brand name in silverplate, but the company is now under corporate
ownership). Visitors were welcome and could join in any kind of free-love
association with others that was mutually satisfactory. As stated above,
female orgasm was  encouraged under the tantra-like Male Continence
system, which was also touted as a method of birth control.

Alice Bunker Stockham invented, named, and taught Karezza, based in part
on Noyes' Male Continence and in part on Hindu tantra yoga, which she had
studied in India, but with one difference -- she asked that her female
followers also abstain from orgasm. A suffragist and an equalitarian, she
felt that both parties should remain equally balanced in terms of energy
build-up and release. In her work as a gynecologist, she promoted Karezza
as a form of birth control. She advocated the prohibition of alcohol and
the rehabilitation of prostitutes,  and she lectured on eugenics or
"fitness for parenthood." She did not advocate free love as did Noyes and
Harris, strongly preferring monogamous marriage, which she believed would
retain its spiritual aspects over lengthy periods of time if both parties
were continually romantic, poetic, and courtship-minded. 

I hope this helps distinguish among these three folks.

catherine yronwode
(i live about 20 miles from Fountaingrove, by the way...)

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