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Appendix: Interviews Interview with Richard Graham, July 24, 1998 Q: How did Dandelion Community compare to the fictional Walden Two when you first visited in 1976? What was your first impression? A: I got there, and it was one building, the farmhouse. [laughs] Just one building, you know, and Walden Two was like, four hundred acres and children everywhere. My first impression was: small. But when I was there, people were so excited about what their vision was and I got along with the people so well that I thought I would fit in after the second day. Q: While you were living at Dandelion, how did you try to apply behaviorist principles? A: Well, there was the behavior code, the attempt to bring about changes in our behavior in a positive way. Q: Who wrote the behavior code? A: The original behavior code was a general one, and that was adopted from Twin Oaks. But then I went to Los Horcones to see what they were doing, and their behavior code is real specific, and after I got back, we decided to break down our behavior code into more specific items as well. Q: And didn’t you also become behavior manager after coming back from Los Horcones in 1977? A:Yes,but it was never like a big the-behavior-manager-knows-all-and-seesall . [laughs] 171 3/29/05 4:03:24 PM 172 . appendix Q: Was there ever anybody else who was behavior manager at Dandelion? I sort of got the sense that it was mainly your interest, and people were okay with you trying to bring more behaviorism to Dandelion. A:Yeah,I’d say that’s true.I made myself behavior manager when I got there, and it was kind of like—not a joke, but it wasn’t like a serious managership like kitchen. [pauses] You know, all we had was Skinner’s book and what Twin Oaks had done. I hadn’t heard of Los Horcones until I’d lived at Dandelion for a while. I mean, we were like pioneers, trying to figure out, “What are we doing here?” We wanted to do something with language, create a positive verbal environment and such. But after I came back from Los Horcones ,I had a much better idea what might help the community.And I think the community was receptive, or at least open, to seeing what we could do to improve the environment. Q:What was your vision for Dandelion in 1977,when you returned from Los Horcones, and what were the other people at Dandelion hoping for? A: I think our vision was pretty similar—mine, Gordon’s, Brian’s. See, we were still pretty new.We had set up this egalitarian, behaviorist community, and we were using Walden Two as a model and what we had seen happening at Twin Oaks. And it was filled with a pioneering spirit. “Let’s try this, see if that works. What would a behaviorist do in this situation? How do we deal with children?” There were a lot of things where we had the knowledge, but trying it in real life...[pauses] It was still experimental, I’d say. We didn’t have any definite answers. I’m still not sure whether I have any answers, and I’m a rational guy. Q: You just said you were trying to build a community that was egalitarian and behaviorist. In the communities movement, those two terms seem to go together, like Walden Two communities were about being egalitarian. Do you think that’s the case? A: Right. Yeah, that’s interesting. This is a really interesting question. See, what originally brought me to community was applied behavior analysis. I wanted to see if I could change my own racist and sexist and capitalist behavior . I tried it at home with my parents, but they didn’t know what I was talking about. But Dandelion was really trying to do that. The other part, the egalitarianism, I liked that, too. It wasn’t for years since I left Dandelion that I realized why equality was so important to me. Q: Do you think that equality is an important aspect of Walden Two the novel? Or was it mainly an important aspect of the Walden Two communities ? 172 3/29/05 4:03:25 PM appendix . 173 A: [pauses] That’s a...


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