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Monday, 8 November 2004

The Haven, Channel 4

What to say if you liked it
A fascinating insight into the Findhorn Community in Scotland, home for those seeking an alternative to consumerism and some sluttishly compliant trees to hug. (Also known as "the leading edge spiritual demonstrational places on the planet")

What to say if you disliked it
A boring visit to Butlins for the bonkers. If this is Haven, send us to Hell.

What was good about it?
• The well-faked joy and apprecation of the visitors who'd paid £330 a week to stay in the commune and ended up washing the loos for the residents
• The lovely attitude towards plants – "When you go to pick a flower, it's nice to ask the flower permission to pick it. It's a respect thing. Sometimes it will flutter in the wind to let you know it's OK"
• The lovely attitude towards vegetables – "I tune into the vegetables and ask if they want to be eaten. I obviously don't ask every carrot if it wants to be eaten though."
• The lovely attitude towards trees – "I can tell a tree about my sadness without any danger of being misunderstood. My spine resonates with the trees. I can feel my treeness"
• The overbearing guru from India was given the cold shoulder when he tried to get the commune members to adopt him as their spiritual chief
• The laughable attempt to create a new logo – more than a year had been spent on the task, even though the selection committee all meditated like mad and called on their spirit guides to help them come up with a decision
• The scene when mad Micaela (she communicates with mermaids, you know) managed to get a shirtless young man to rub up against her as some sort of bonding exercise

What was bad about it?
• It should have been an authored documentary, not just observational. Louis Theroux or Jon Ronson could have had great fun deflating the delusions of the new agey folk
• Too many batty old ladies
• Too many men with long, grey hair (we particularly disliked the one who bashed a drum and screamed a lot)
• Too much sad lunacy eg wiggling fingers to show appreciation, dancing while the omlettes got cold, twirling ribbons etc

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