NBC Evening News for Sunday, Aug 12, 1973
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(Studio) Tennessee communal farm featured. Religious aspect noted.
REPORTER: Garrick Utley
(Lewis Cnty., Tennessee) Steven, head of 600 member commune, considers marijuana sacrament for religious experience. [STEVEN - claims his teachings respect and follow Christianity and Buddhism.] Tennessee courts rule marijuana illegal drug, and Steven and followers appeal marijuana conviction. Steven seeks Supreme Court ok on drug for religious use. [STEVEN - believes self telepathic and can help persons find existence link.] Steven began teachings in California. His religion blends E. and West religions into 1. Decided to move to Tennessee. Followers such as James and Claire followed Steven to Tennessee. [JAMES - claims Tennessee move to form religious community.] [CLAIRE - notes IRS classifies community as family monastery.] Alcohol, tobacco smoking, meat forbidden. Community to be self-sustaining in few years Neighbors accept community when long-hairs build hses., harvest crops. Steven travels with band to recruit others for Tennessee farm. Farm regulated, community peace noted. [STEVEN - claims sanity merits neighbors' ok.]
REPORTER: Steve Delaney