Federation of Damanhur
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|Type||New Religious Movement|
|Headquarters||Vidracco, Piedmont, Italy.|
The Federation of Damanhur, often called simply Damanhur, is a commune, ecovillage, and spiritual community situated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy about 30 miles (50 km) north of the city of Turin. It is located in the foothills of the Alps in the Chiusella Valley, bordering on the Gran Paradiso National Park. The community has its own constitution and currency, the Credito.
It was founded in 1975 by Oberto Airaudi with around 24 followers, and by 2000 the number had grown to 800. The group holds a mix of New Age and neopagan beliefs. They gained fame in 1992 through the disclosure of their secret excavation of an extensive underground temple, the Temples of Humankind, which was begun in 1978 under complete secrecy. The Italian authorities ordered construction work to stop because it had been constructed without planning approval, although artwork could continue. Retroactive permission was subsequently granted.
Damanhur's supporters claim the growth and activity of the community has revitalized the local area.
Life at Damanhur
The constitution began with 3 bodies of Damanhur: The School of Meditation (ritual tradition) Social (social theory, social realization) and The Game of Life (experimentation and dynamics, life as a game, change). A fourth body was recently added, Technarcate (individual inner refinement).
Citizens participate in one of 4 levels, depending on their desired involvement: A, B, C, or D. Class A citizens share all resources and live on site full-time. Class B citizens contribute to financial goals and live on site a minimum of 3 days a week. Class C and D citizens live anywhere. (page 102, Merrifield, 2006) Class A & B citizens participate fully in The School of Meditation, Social, and the Game of Life. Class C citizens participate fully in The School of Meditation.
Citizens participate in one of several ways, depending on their personal nature. Ways include the Way of the Oracle, the Way of the Monk, the Way of the Knight, the Way of Health, the Way of the Word, the Way of Art & Work, and many others. Most citizens live in houses of 10-20 people each, federated together into the Federation of Damanhur.
Marriage works on a renewal basis, for a period of so many years before renewal. Conception is timed for auspicious birthdays of children.
- Courteney, Hazel (2007-11-22). "Eighth wonder of the world? The stunning temples secretly carved out below ground by 'paranormal' eccentric". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Merrifield, Jeff (1998). Damanhur: The Real Dream. London: Thorsons. ISBN 0722534965. OCLC 647069892.
- Merrifield, Jeff (2006). Damanhur: The Story of the Extraordinary Italian Artistic Community. Santa Cruz: Hanford Mead Publishers. ISBN 1592750109. OCLC 63116828.
- Ananas, Esperide (2006). Damanhur: Temples of Humankind. New York: CoSM Press. ISBN 1556435770. OCLC 62172760.
- Robertson, Ross (April 2007). "Atlantis in the Mountains of Italy". What Is Enlightenment?. No. 36. pp. 94–110.