hygienic darkroom retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham


2020 November 11



A - Would you like to help solve the crisis?
B - Yes. What will we do?
A - We will become the kind of people who can solve it.
B - What kind is that?
A - Super powerful people. Super power generates enormous personal presence and influence. It disarms adversaries. It is irresistable. It inspires hope, imagination, and initiative in witnesses.

Under its influence, people remember themselves. Conventional life suddenly seems strange to them. They immediately change course toward sanity and freedom. They start doing what they already know about. They ask how we did it.

Politicians and the ultra-rich share this response. Super power dwarfs theirs. They are desperate for an alternative to despotism. They need assurance of their safety. Most of them would gladly relinquish the burden of enslaving billions of people.

Power is the condition of freedom. A powerful person is free. He also radiates an atmosphere of freedom. People relax in it. They feel safe and energized. They feel that anything is possible. Once freed, people can begin restoring themselves en masse. B - How do we get such power?
A - By recovering it. This power is natural to us. We lost it.
B - How did we lose it?
A - Through mass major trauma. A global cataclysm thousands of years ago caused it. The extent of the destruction left our ancestors no chance to heal. Their trauma came down to us through hundreds of generations.
B - How do we heal?
A - As organisms, we are self-healing, given the proper conditions. The primary condition of healing is profound rest.
B - What is profound rest?
A - It lasts longer than daily rest and has perfected conditions. B - How do we do it?
A - The most profound rest occurs in total darkness. Combined with other conditions of rest, it is called a hygienic darkroom retreat. We will study my book about it, build perfect darkrooms, and learn to support each other’s retreats. Then our diplomatic mission—and the world’s liberation—will begin. B - Are you saying all we have to do is rest in darkness and thousands of years of suffering will evaporate?
A - Yes. Just as power is natural, so is trauma. It results from the collisions of a material universe. So nature, in its perfection, provides the conditions for healing from it, primarily darkness. It is that simple.

Freedom is also natural. We are already as free as we are capable of being. We will simply recover our original capacity for it.

Nothing spreads faster among people than the influence of super powerful people. Five or ten of us, each 10 times more powerful than Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr, can quickly reverse the crisis. First results will appear in three months and newsworthy ones in a year. We’ll finish in 3-5 years. In a decade, all this will seem like a distant dream.
B - Where can I get your book? A - At darkroomretreat.com B - How do we build perfect darkrooms? A - By becoming the kind of people able to build them. We’ll start with an imperfect one. We’ll build it inside the best shelter available to us. Experienced retreaters will support retreats for novices and train them as supporters. Total capacity in the team will increase. We will This will enable us to improve

I will have more questions, but I must think about it. I will talk to you again soon.

[to be continued]


Let’s enact the above scene, end the crisis, and restore humanity to sanity. It will take a team of 12 and $30k (4 people and $6k to start). It will becomes self-supporting within a year.

  • organization
    • you arrange funding, locations, suppliers, security, logistics, legal
    • I handle instruction, design, construction, and operation
    • we:
      • plan the work
      • begin documenting and developing the process with Lean and online open source tools
      • assemble a team: building, web/creative, legal (youarelaw.org), secretary (writing of manual), treasury, ?
  • retreat
    • I begin conferring with team remotely
      • about project
      • darkness: theory, protocol, design
    • team reads my book
    • you:
      • scout three locations for darkroom #1
      • research where to scout for darkroom #2
      • arrange a month’s shelter and transport for me
    • I:
      • rendevous with team within six weeks
      • darkroom #1
        • select house from scouted locations
        • darken it with team
        • support team’s first retreats
        • train team as supporter
      • continue instruction and training in hygiene, Lean, open source documenters.
      • darkroom #2
        • scout locations
          • for medium retreats (3-8 weeks)
          • in new buildings
          • round, 3-6m diameter/7-30m2
          • space for 16 of them in two clusters: staff and guests
        • build
          • darkroom and 3 huts with team
          • support medium retreats
          • train further
  • influence
    • organic
      • do what you’ve seen in darkness to do
      • weekly group reports
      • be an ambassador: meet influencers of all classes worldwide
      • avoid becoming tools of reinvented elites
      • help others to the darkroom; find the ten who will turn the tide
    • politics
      • Individualist Party: for a distributed state
        • defines non-binding legal precepts based on natural law
        • precepts provide basis of contracts (custom laws), and private defense and adjudication services
        • primarily focuses on private actors, not centralized politics: a distributed state will obsolete the centralized one
        • members who focus on centralized state will have an inverted strategy: not to win but to expose what is happening through satire (like Yes Men) and show the alternative
        • runs volunteer embassy to support missions to meet influential outsiders
      • distributed state
        • individuals legislate for themselves by applying precepts in private contracts
        • a contract specifies which defenders and judges will enforce it
        • legislature, executive, and judiciary are thus distributed throughout society at the individual level
      • openly conspiracist*
      • legal aid**
      • references
        • Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand
        • Market for Liberty, Morris and Linda Tannehill
        • Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein
        • *Our Universal Journey, George Kavassilas
        • *Total Onslaught, Walter Veith (video series)
        • **YouAreLaw.org, TJ Marrs
    • Human Conditions Co
      • raises money through darkroomretreat.com/presale
      • rents/buys and takes over darkroom operation
      • expands prototype facility to 6 darkrooms, 16 buildings total, then multiplies
      • performs all functions: R&D, instruction, services, manufacturing



The following is an example budget purely in terms of money. Comparable offers of other values considered. At minimum, I’d like to decently survive the crisis while being useful in reversing it.

$a $b item
6000   fee to begin
~24000   project
  ~300 my lodging and transport, first month there
  ~700 darkroom #1 (rent + <400 for modifications)
  11000 salary (11 months@1000)
  ~9000 darkroom #2 ($6k) and huts (3@$1k)
  ~3000 influence mission seed fund
~30000   total
  • mission becomes self-supporting from:
    • donations
      • political
      • productivity of participants increases
    • royalties from spin-offs like Human Conditions
  • ending crisis is phase one
  • phase 2
    • supports Individualist Party to deepen social sanity worldwide
    • forms Freedom Skunk Works to stay at the bleeding edge of social renewal
    • extends diplomacy to space and other species and dimensions
    • ?

Give talks :20 presentation :20 questions :20 break :40 organize darkroom - build darkroom at house of cool person who would let others use theirs (and get paid) - build multiple darkrooms - rent house

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