College of Complexes
The College of Complexes is a loosely based organization committed to free speech, and those interested in continuing adult education, focusing on social issues and current events. The name is derived from "a psychiatric term for repressed ideas that compel expression." The underlying purpose is to solve all the world's problems.
This organization was founded in Chicago on January 6, 1951, by Myron Reed "Slim" Brundage, at 1651 North Wells St in Old Town. The organization changed locations on several occasions. Through the 1950s into the 1960s the Chicago Police Department's red squad unit visited them several times because of College of Complexes's anti-Cold War stance.
The College of Complexes claims to be a "Playground for People Who Think," and seeks "to disquiet the minds of the people." The primary function of this group is to organize weekly free speech forums where speakers, representing diverse points of view, will make a presentation. Following the speech, audience members are invited to make "remarks and/or rebuttals," and each is allowed a maximum of 5 minutes to respond. Order is maintained at meetings by adherence to the college's only, and long-standing rule, of listening to "One Fool at a Time."
The diverse topics covered in this forum have included: "Universal Law and the Code of Humanity", "Why I Refuse to Confirm or Deny Anything", "A Revolutionary Party for a Reactionary Period", "The Persistence of Nationalism", "Evolving Concept of Wilderness", "The Manifesto of Resistance", "How to Become a Millionaire in a Few Days", "How to Photograph a Spirit", "Time - Defining the Nonspacial Continuum", "Archeology and Life in an Eco-Village", "Institutionalized Salvation Belief Systems", "Astrology / Horoscope of the United States", "Lessons of the Russian Revolution", "Why Peace is Neither Necessary Nor Desirable", "Hidden Themes of the Bible", "Living in Marijuana Consciousness", and "The Conspiracy Against Reality".
The college has issued a "Statement of Free Speech" which maintains that: "Our constitution and laws encourage the freest possible exchange of opinions, ideas, and information. In part, that recognizes our worth and dignity as human beings. To forbid us to speak our minds demeans us and makes us more like slaves or robots than citizens of a free country. But as important as freedom of expression is for us as individuals, it is perhaps more important to society at large."
Currently, the College of Complexes holds these forums at the Hilltop Restaurant, 2800 W. Foster (at California), in Chicago, IL, on Saturday evenings, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. All meetings are open to the public, and no membership is maintained. The college is volunteer operated. Anyone wishing to speak may do so by contacting the Program Coordinator.
Over 150+ programs have been videotaped, and an archive termed a "Lecture Library" is maintained at the website.
Several satellite campuses have been opened in other cities from time to time, with one presently meeting in Dallas, TX.
- "Power is in the Streets". newberry.org. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Sawyers, June Skinner. Chicago Portraits: New Edition. Northwestern University Press. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0810126494. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
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