A bizarre group of nearly 300 men, women, and children, all draft dodgers and offspring of draft dodgers from the 60’s, has been discovered living deep in the Mongolian bush.
And they spend time each day praying to deer statues.
They also seek to find the truth about life from deer by meditating each day while imagining deer images.
But, most of all, they glorify deer in their art by painting deer pictures, making deer sculptures, and crafting deer jewelry.
“We came here as a way of protesting the war, and as a way of not having to serve in the military,” says Ray Politesch, a former student at a U.S. university.
“But now we love it and don’t want to leave, even if amnesty is available. We’re raising our children here, and we’ve buried our dead here. This is our home.”
The population of the deer-loving commune has grown nearly four hundred percent in its twenty-one years.
The patch of land out in the forest was originally settled by 75 rebellious college students. Two have died, and the rest have stayed in the group. No one has returned to the U.S. Most of the women have had several children, and there have been fifty-three grandchildren born.
“Deer are at the center of our lives,” Politesch says. “When things get rough, we think about the beauty of the deer. That’s where we get our strength and our hope. It helps.
“If it weren’t for deer, our group, and the families within our group, would not be nearly as strong. The beautiful grace of the deer gives us all something to turn to.”
An Australian reporter happened upon the group during a hunting expedition and was so fascinated that he spent several days living and talking with them.
In many ways, he said, it was like a trip back to the 60’s. Even though their lives off the land are very primitive in some aspects, the members still wear long hair, patchy jeans, and beads. “Groovy” is one of the most widely used words in the cult