United States Department of Agriculture
Bradford Ranger District
Star Route #1, Box 88
Bradford, Pennsylvania 16701
(814) 362-4613

Forest Service
Caring for the Land and Serving People
Subject: Rainbow Family Gathering

To: The Record

DATE:October 30,1996

Reply to: 2700

During the 1996 Regional Rainbow Gathering, William Baxter of Hedgesville, West Virginia and Joseph MacCrimmon Arcata, CA. were cited for failure to obtain a non-commercial group use permit. Several times they have questioned why they were issued the violation notice and not other members of the Family. We chose to issue violations to individuals recognized as leaders within the group.

For the record, they stated to me that they were not leaders, but equal to all other Family members, and were representing themselves as individuals. However, there were some clear indicators that Bill and Joseph were recognized as leaders for this Gathering.

1. When Goebl, Dunshie, Burd and I first encountered the group on 8/22/96, I engaged the first Rainbows I saw with conversation in order to ascertain who was in charge. It was then that a person later identified as Joseph MacCrimmon yelled out "May I help you?" We proceeded to talk with Joseph and he said that "Bill Baxter is in charge. He's not here right now, but we expect him to come back from down below, shortly." Bill did join us about five minutes later. From that time forward, Bill and Joseph became our contact persons and, in my opinion, spoke on behalf of the group and implemented agreed upon procedures.

2. Bill Baxter's phone was given through the Internet on the Rainbow Home Page as a number to call about information relating to the Gathering. The answering machine gave the Gathering location.

3. On August 24th and 25th Lenore and I met with Bill and Joseph in order to secure a signature on the permit application and permit. On both occasions other family members joined the discussion. It was my impression from peoples expressions, body language, tone of voice, deference to Bill and Joseph in discussions and other group dynamics that Bill and Joseph were clearly the acknowledged leaders of the group.

4. One day I was walking into the Gathering site with Joseph McCrimmon. He told me that it was common for senior Family members to meet around Thanksgiving at an agreed upon location to discuss how the Family year went. He told me that he (Joseph) and Bill Baxter are among the people that do this. This suggests a Leadership role within the Family.

5. One day I was having a discussion with Bill Baxter. He mentioned that he was a "folkalizer" (not sure of spelling). In the context that the word was used, I understood him to be a leader within the Rainbow Family.

Stamped Received by Public Defender's Office

October 20, 1997

One day Joseph MacCrimmon told me he was "kind of a transplant" from California. As I recall, he told me he had come east to help organize events and had just stayed on. He implied to me that he was still helping organize events in the East when asked to do so. However, didn't have as much authority" because he was outside of his home region.

On several occasions Joseph mentioned a "file" that he maintained containing legal documents. He also mentioned several times that he needed to be in touch with his "legal people" regarding our discussions relating to the permit. He also had in his possession a file of documents relating to Rainbow activities. All this suggesting that Joseph had a larger role than simply "Gathering participant". The Family is very good at distributing and sharing responsibilities within the Gathering area. Joseph's responsibilities seemed to be of a higher order).

Staff reported to me that on several occasions Joseph and Bill sought them out when they entered the Gathering site. This suggests that Joseph and Bill were coming forward on behalf of the Family with regard to Gathering operations.

Because of the above, I had a fairly high confidence level that I was engaging the recognized leadership for this particular Gathering.


Bradford District Ranger