Stephen Gaskin (born February 16, 1935) is a counterculture hippie icon best known for his presence in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the 1960s and for co-founding "The Farm", a famous spiritual intentional community in Summertown, Tennessee. He was a Green Party presidential primary candidate in 2000 on a platform which included campaign finance reform, universal health care, and decriminalization of marijuana. He is the author of over a dozen books, a father, a grandfather, a teacher, a musician (drummer), a semantic rapper, a public speaker, a political activist, a philanthropic organizer, and a self-proclaimed professional hippie.
Gaskin was born in Denver, Colorado and served in the US Marine Corps from 1952 to 1955. In the 1960s, he moved to San Francisco and taught English, creative writing, and general semantics at San Francisco State College, where he was a student of S. I. Hayakawa.
Stephen Gaskin's writing class evolved into an open discussion group known as Monday Night Class, which involved up to 1500 students. The Monday Night Class was held in an auditorium on the Great Highway on the land side of Ocean Beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in the Outer Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. Stephen Gaskin spoke about his experiences with psychedelic drugs and paranormal experiences, as well as lecturing on the importance of ecological awareness. This popular weekly gathering was attended by hippies from all over the San Francisco Bay Area during the years 1969 and 1970. Stephen became known as San Francisco's acid guru.
In 1970, Gaskin was part of a caravan of 60 vehicles that crossed the United States to settle 60 miles south-west of Nashville, Tennessee, forming a community called "The Farm", which the Wall Street Journal came to call "the General Motors of American Communes". This community was "a platform from which to launch efforts to improve the lot of poor and indigenous peoples, whales, and old growth trees" For example, raising 1,200 earthquake-resistant homes in Guatemala as well as several public buildings and water lines to 5 villages, sending independent dosimetry teams after the Three Mile Island accident and the Chernobyl disaster, or giving the Rainbow Warrior equipment to escape from a Spanish harbor.
He went to prison in 1974 for marijuana possession, as members of the community had, against his recommendation, planted several marijuana plants on the property. He served one year of a three-year sentence. While in prison, a class action suit on his behalf returned voting rights to more than a quarter of a million convicts.
In Volume One: Sunday Morning Services on the Farm and earlier talks, Stephen Gaskin produced a substantial body of spiritual teaching. His ideas are now contained in books and tapes of the Sunday Morning Services which were published by the Book Publishing Company on The Farm. They speak of magic, energy and life in community as well as of service to humanity.
Gaskin was recipient of the first Right Livelihood Award in 1980 and an inductee into the Counterculture Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded the Golden Bolt Award by The Farm Motor Pool (for helping buy a lemon semi), and won the Guru-Off (without even entering), racking up 77 points to Krishnamurti’s 73. 
Gaskin works as an international activist and speaker, and he continues to write. His topics range from advice on all aspects of communal life and farming to CB radio, the counter-culture, spirituality, drug law reform, and social and spiritual issues. He was a drummer in The Farm Band, an early Jam Band which toured in the seventies and eighties. His most recent books are revised and annotated versions of Monday Night Class and The Caravan.
- 1964 – Forty Miles of Bad Road OCLC 6235330 fiction, typed manuscript, A creative work submitted to San Francisco State College in partial fulfillment for the degree Master of Arts, 68 pages, copy available at the San Francisco State University Library.
- 1970 – Monday Night Class (Book Farm/Bookworks)
- 1972 – The Caravan (Random House)
- 1974 – Hey Beatnik!: This is the Farm Book (The Book Publishing Co.) OCLC 1309762 This book was printed on low quality paper which deteriorated rapidly. A few copies are in library inventories.
- 1976 – The Big Dummy's Guide to CB Radio (The Book Publishing Company) ISBN 0-913990-04-3 ASIN B000BO893A
- 1977 – Volume One: Sunday Morning Services on The Farm
- 1978 – This Season's People: A Book of Spiritual Teachings (Book Publishing Company) ISBN 0-913990-05-1
- 1979 – Mind at Play (The Book Publishing Co.) ISBN 0-913990-24-8
- 1980 - Amazing dope tales and Haight Ashbury flashbacks (Book publishing company) ASIN B000HU525Q
- 1986 – Rendered Infamous: A Book of Political Reality (Greenwood Pub Group) (Hardcover) ISBN 0-89789-099-X
- 1990 – Haight Ashbury Flashbacks (Ronin Publishing; 2nd edition) ISBN 0-914171-30-5
- 1998 – Cannabis Spirituality: Including 13 Guidelines for Sanity and Safety ([High Times] Press; 1st ed edition) ISBN 0-9647858-6-2
- 1999 – Amazing Dope Tales (Ronin Publishing (CA); 3rd edition) ISBN 1-57951-010-8
- 2000 – An Outlaw in My Heart: A Political Activist's User's Manual (Camino Books) ISBN 0-940159-64-3
- 2005 – Monday Night Class (Book Publishing Company (TN); Revised edition) ISBN 1-57067-181-8
- The Hidden Holocaust: Stephen Gaskin Reveals What's Really Going On in Guatemala
- Stephen Speaks to San Francisco
- Plenty International
- Ina May Gaskin
- Counterculture of the 1960s
- Alternative lifestyle
- Meunier, Rachel (1994). Communal Living in the Late 60s and Early 70s. The Farm, Summertown, Tennessee.
- Stephen Gaskin for President Synthesis/Regeneration 22 (Spring 2000)
- Bates, Albert (1993) J. Edgar Hoover and The Farm International Communal Studies Conference on Culture, Thought and Living in Community. New Harmony, Indiana,
- Stephen Gaskin. Website
- Farber, Philip H., Interview of Stephen Gaskin in Paradigm Shift, October 1998.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stephen Gaskin.|
- The Farm's website with more information on Stephen Gaskin
- Works by or about Stephen Gaskin in libraries (WorldCat catalog)