After leaving Illinois and arriving at a campground outside Tulsa, Te and Do thought it seemed wise to break up into a number of smaller groups, not only because of the interruption of the authorities, but also because the numbers were getting too big for the campgrounds to handle.
Certain ones who seemed to have a grasp of the information were sent out to hold their own meetings across the country. A system of communication was set up in order for Te and Do to be kept somewhat informed. Statement I had grown to include Statements II and III, plus a prospective candidate letter. Students were sent out in partnerships of two, or three if an odd number made it necessary. Each group had its own "purser" who kept track of funds and doled them out according to need, in an effort to maintain some kind of order and fairness.
Over the next few months, too many things happened to mention but a few of them. The National Enquirer interviewed Te and Do, and the New York Times, "Sunday Magazine" did a cover story on them. Te and Do's message was the same as Jesus' message; telling about what the true Kingdom of Heaven is, and how individuals who want to be candidates for its membership must overcome all of their human addictions, drop their human ways, and look to a member of that Kingdom for all of their needs. Do realized more and more that Te was definitely a more advanced (older) member of the Next Level than was he.
Periodically, almost magically, the group was able to rendezvous with their teachers. By now the ones who had stuck it out through difficult, humbling lessons were a wide variety of people; a nurse, a doctor's wife, a rancher, a real estate broker, an actor, an artist, a film editor, a technical writer, a computer programmer, a bartender, an environmentalist, and many college and post-grad students. Because of the requirements of membership, some who joined the group as couples now became friends and fellow students. When some fell away, occasionally they felt bitterness, because of their choice to rebuild "burnt bridges."
One of the hardest things that Te and Do had to do concerned the "demonstration" (referred to in Statement 1). The students had been told that while they were out holding meetings they would hear of the demonstration, and that would be the signal to stop holding meetings and come running. It was rumored for a while that the demonstration was going to happen in San Francisco. Te and Do were in Las Vegas when the TV network news programs all broke the story about the two. Now because of the kind of publicity that had come out across the country, climaxed by the networks, Te and Do felt that further meetings were pretty hopeless and people had already made up their minds about how ridiculous this all was. Te and Do felt that the demonstration was still the one thing that could change that. However, they grieved literally for days, feeling like they had been shot down by the media and the mission was dead.
They received instruction to not walk into a physical demonstration but rather to know that the "killing in the street" of the two witnesses had occurred at the hands of the media. However, they felt like this was a cop-out or a "chickening out" interpretation of the one act that was the basis of their whole following. so with much embarrassment, they called their students together, convinced that without a physical demonstration, their students would have every right to call them charlatans. Much to their surprise the students, almost without exception, accepted the interpretation and said, "OK then, where do we go from here?" Te and Do still felt that to continue was probably one of their greatest tests. Nevertheless, they got up, kicked the dust off their tired feet, and continued with the instruction to hold meetings a while longer. They then became more organized in their groups and more systematic with their communication between cities. All in all, the meetings continued for a little over ten months.
At a meeting in a Manhattan, Kansas college auditorium (April 21, 1976), Te announced that the 'Harvest' is closed -- there will be no more meetings." since that time, no new students have been admitted to the class.
The students were called together a few months later in Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming, to receive instruction about what was next. There were close to a hundred who showed up. Te and Do announced that it had been rumored that some were still occasionally indulging in pot and sex. Everyone was asked to go off by themselves for a few hours and make up their mind as to whether they were just caught up in the fun of a "movement" or if they were serious. For now the real "classroom" was to begin, and it was not for those who felt they wanted to hold on to human ways. Te and Do preached long and hard about what it meant to rid oneself of self, and what would be required of those who continued. Within the next few days, the class dropped to fewer than 80. This was in early July, and by October when the snows ran them out of Medicine Bow, the class had dwindled to fewer than 70.
For the next two years, the class spent summers in the Rocky Mountains in campgrounds and on ranches, and the winters in the Sun Belt, also in campgrounds and on ranches. They experimented in all kinds of disciplines, such as wearing hoods to learn about the "conning" ways of their visual personalities, and making 12-minute checks -- each person physically going to a given spot every 12 minutes to concentrate on his or her desire to serve. They were given new names with three letters in the first syllable and a common two-syllable second part.
Later, after their numbers had diminished significantly they moved into houses -- sometimes large houses, sometimes a number of smaller houses -- usually moving every six months to a year. For a time they lived on the trust fund of one of the students, but for the most part supported themselves by, as many as needed to, taking jobs outside the classroom. At present, members of the class are living in small groups of varying numbers in six different states and in ten different houses or apartments. (Editor's Note: This was before the tragedy that occurred later on)
All in all, the students have been in the classroom 12 years now, and their numbers are down to a few dozen. Time and again they were encouraged by Te and Do to leave the classroom if they had the least desire for anything in the world or if the classroom wasn't what they knew they wanted. They visited families occasionally, to assure them that they were doing what they wanted to do, and were in no way being "duped." They had plenty of reading material, watched TV, attended movies, visited churches, and attended lectures whenever they were interesting.
The important thing is not where they have been or for how long, but what they have learned or awakened to know. Over the years, not only Te and Do, but their students as well, tried again and again to refute this information. They tried to ignore it and to deny it; they even tried to play out what they would do if they went back into the world, but they kept coming back to the fact that this knowledge and concept was the only thing that made sense to them. It would have been a lot easier to just walk away than to do all that was required. There are even some who are now out of the class, who had been in the class for some time, who still believe this information to be true.
To be continued tomorrow