I have a bit more perspective to share on my experience with all the experiences I had in my time in that community in Acapulco. I realize now I need to start taking notes while watching for the things that stand out to me because as I see these things visually in front of me I am also seeing things that I forgot over the years.
One of these things I refer to is in the first episode there’s a clip where they show the Anarchast episode with Jeff Berwick and the Freemans from when they first moved to Acapulco. I remember seeing that and thinking “Man, how fucking cool. We have got to meet them.”
And all this happened in a tiny motel room we had together when we got out of jail. I checked the date on the release date of that very first episode where they were featured and it was September 15, 2015, right around the time I got out of jail. We were watching videos of Jeffs trying to decide what to do with ourselves if we weren’t going to allow the state to put us back into custody for not testing negative for weed after only a few weeks. We saw his view and thought, why not Acapulco? He mentioned something about a community forming in one of his videos we’d watched in that time and we decided to look for content about the people there.
Now the only thing we could find about this community at the time was that video from the Freemans perspective about how and why we came. We watched the whole thing and thought “how fucking cool, maybe there’s something really cool happening down there with that community.”
The Freemans were a huge part of why we went, not that we ever got to know them to be able to share that. Now the story goes from their side that they let us in specifically but as the email in the show (that I forwarded to Todd and Kim) shows, the permission actually came from Jeff. We really decided to make our entrance with the rest of the community in person.
And when we got there at the conference we did try to introduce ourselves to both Lisa and Nathan separately. And were blown off by both. They likely do not remember this as they were likely busy. But in the days after that as we got to know the community they all kept saying “You have got to get to know the Freemans”.
So we tried. Repeatedly at a few community gatherings. In those days they had them at this one restaurant which I forget the name of but it closed down about a year later after a robbery. And Im not sure I will ever know why but the times we tried talking to Lisa and Nathan either together or separately, we were blown off. After talking to a few people about it, it might have something to do with our obvious lack of money, love for weed (we were both wearing our favorite cannabis shirts that day) or even John’s dreadlocks.
Combine that with also being disappointed by a few big name speakers Im embarrassed to list now, we were somewhat jaded about the event and the people who seemed to be at the top of it afterwards. Those posts on Facebook happened about a week after the event was done. They also happened after a rather heated Facebook post in which John, using my Facebook, responded to a post Lisa made that was something along the lines of “You can’t be an anarchist and still eat meat.” That wasn’t included in the show either.
Now to touch on the subject of things not included in the show, I have no bad feelings about that because its simply impossible to fit every detail of 6 years and multiple life story lines into 6 hours, unless Kim and Todd figured out some sort of weird TV wormhole. Its why I am writing this series, and will continue to do so because my whole goal here is to rethink my way through what happened down there. The stuff mentioned in this post is new perspective to even me.
A note on the Freemans. While I think we weren’t necessarily meant to be friends, I don’t hate them. The reality is I don’t hate anyone and its because of my empathy and the fact that I can indeed see things from all sides, or I at least try to. But I do have negative feelings there, mostly disappointment, sadness and a touch of anger.
But it helps to realize where those feelings came from. We expected a lot from them after seeing that video, at least to be able to have a conversation and share experiences and that literally never happened.
Recently (thanks to BFF and sister from another mister Cat Bonandin) I read the book The Four Agreements, which is actually written by a Mexican. I’ll put a link below to the YouTube audio book version of it because I think EVERYONE should read that book.
I bring it up because perhaps had John and I read that before moving to Acapulco, we wouldn’t have taken the Freemans shrugging us off so personally like we did. But like I said we had high hopes. These were OUR people as we saw it, the only community of its kind in the whole world at the time. We didn’t expect any of the things that happened as a result of it. And our feelings over the years were snowballing disappointments.
And looking back we actually made Anarchaforko as a way to bridge that gap. The way we saw it, all we had done was complain without offering any solutions. Because of those complaints though, people, especially customers of Anarchapulco felt comfortable sharing their criticisms and complaints with us. And we compiled them into the event that became Anarchaforko.
But it was never out of spite, as said in this last episode by Lisa, who definitely took it personally. The reality was we wanted to eventually work in tandem with Anarchapulco, providing what their customers and attendees were clearly craving right along side the event. If it was out of spite, we’d probably held our event on the same dates, forcing people to choose, which we didn’t do on purpose.
However all considered I can see why it was thought of as spiteful. The things shared on this post here, these truths being remembered were even then muddled by feelings of sadness and disappointment and a little bit anger. Now Im not sure that we were really meant to be friends with the Freemans, because when I really think about what I know about them from those who are close to them, we are very different people with very different values. And I’m really not sure I can ever forgive them for the way they kicked me while I was down, emotionally speaking and within the community in the weeks following the murder and likely in the show episodes to follow.
For people who didn’t know us at all, they sure claim to have a lot of information on who we were and what we were doing, but if there’s one thing that I know is true, things are not always what they seem. I am foreshadowing a bit here, I get that.
But that doesn’t mean they weren’t part of our inspiration for being there in the first place.