Why Did AANR Remove Lupin Lodge?
The Story of AANR and Lupin Lodge Clothing Optional Resort
AANR Removes Lupin From Its Network of Nudist Clubs – the question is – WHY?!?!?
As some might know, YNA has been on the receiving end of many malicious and unsubstantiated allegations in the past. This has taught me NOT to believe everything I hear and to take with a grain of salt what other people (even organizations) claim. So when it came to issue of Lupin Lodge’s AANR charter being revoked, I had to try and find out for myself what really happened.
For the benefit of those who have not followed the chain of events that lead to Lupin Lodge’s AANR charter being revoked, I will try and do my best to explain what happened in the most straightforward way. I took extra time to try and confirm the information and I want to thank all those who have been so gracious with their time and willingness to answer my never-ending barrage of questions.
For those who are unfamiliar with Lupin, they have a TON of land. They are very accepting of people and host events by all kinds of groups (such as Burning Man and the now infamous “Fox Hunt” group).
During May 6 through May 8 of 2010, a fetish group that puts on “Human Fox Hunts” booked Lupin Lodge as their venue. This was the first of two such events.
On Feb 9th of 2011, a blog post surfaced (“What’s really going on at Lupin Lodge?“). The fallout from that event, and subsequent blog post, triggered a chain of events that ultimately resulted in Lupin Lodge’s removal from AANR (the AANR stands for “American Association for nude Recreation”).
Last month, Felicity and I decided to visit Lupin Lodge to talk to the owners directly. We also spoke with people from AANR, TNS, members of Lupin, bloggers and other people who were willing to help us sort through and make sense of everything that happened.
We learned that Glyn (the owner) has twin 12 year old girls who live on the grounds. When asked about any overt sexual activities being carried out in the open, Glyn turned serious and with a blank look on his face said: “I have 2 teenage girls who live here. Do you think I would subject them to anything like that?” I must say that I was taken aback by his response and by the seriousness with which he said it.
I should also note here that the owners claim that the event took place far away. They said it was done without many of the members even knowing, which is very possible and probable.
In an effort to understand what happened, I have been corresponding with Cindy Gregory, the resident staff member at Lupin. She has been extremely gracious and answered every single question I had (and there were many). She was also kind enough to send me the letter she wrote, which Glyn read to the AANR board in 2011 (prior to the board’s decision to remove Lupin from AANR’s network). The letter can be read in its entirety here: Cindy Gregory’s Letter To The American Association For Nude Recreation.
I also reached out to a journalist – Tracy Clark-Flory — who attended the event and later published an article about it on Salon.com. I wanted to get the inside scoop from someone who was there and actually saw the events that transpired (please note that in her article she never actually mentioned Lupin, so I asked her flat out where it took place).
Here is my Q&A:
Q. Did the event you wrote about take place at Lupin Lodge?
A. Indeed, it was at Lupin Lodge.
Q. Did you see any overt sexual activity that took place out in the open?
A. I didn’t witness any sexual acts.
Q. How did you hear about the event?
A. I can’t remember how I heard about the event, but I was invited after getting in touch with one of the organizers.
Q. Were the participants walking around in full view of the Lupin members, while dressed in their costumes?
A. I’m not sure whether people were walking around in their costumes in front of children.
Q. Do you feel that it is inappropriate exposing children to such costumes & would you say that it might be deemed as extreme?
A. I don’t have any particular opinion on whether or not it would appropriate for children to see such costumes — I leave that up to individual parents. But it certainly wasn’t anything more extreme than costumes you would see at the Folsom Street Fair [a big San Francisco leather event], which allows children.
Q. Did the event participants and Lupin members interact with each other during or after the event?
A. I didn’t see any interaction between the participants and the club members.
The decision to remove Lupin as an “official” AANR club has been a point of contention within the Naturist and Nudist communities. But what exactly happened that lead to the removal of this club and did they do anything worse than what you’d find at any other fully sanctioned AANR nudist clubs?
So I decided to reach out to a good friend and YNA supporter – Tom Mullhall. For those who might not know, Tom is the owner of the Tera Cotta Inn in Palm Springs, CA. He is also the chairman of AANR PR committee and this is what he said:
“AANR is made up of regions. Lupin and California are in the AANR West Region. The AANR West Board of Directors did not request that Lupin no longer be affiliated with AANR. I have personally known Glyn Stout of Lupin for almost 20 years. He runs a fine establishment. I highly recommend nudists to visit Lupin when they are in the area.”
Since AANR West did not want Lupin removed and as far as I know, no official vote had been cast, this leads us to assume that some sort of “executive order” had been made. Since I was unable find any official statement and got no official response, my guess as to why they removed them would be just that – a guess!
The “Fox Hunt” did in fact take place on their grounds, this we know. I have been told by AANR members that Lupin advertised it and as a result – courted these groups. This would have been the game-changer in my view but after speaking with AANR officials, endlessly searching the web and reaching out to countless people, I could not find any proof of that they had advertised it the way some claimed. I would like to note that the people who made these allegations would not respond to my follow-up attempts to learn more (these types of crazy accusations followed by complete unresponsiveness, is an upsetting MO in the Nudist / Naturist community).
I then reached out to Nicky Hoffman who runs The Naturist Society and produces N magazine. I wanted to know why TNS decided to keep supporting Lupin while AANR deemed them “unworthy” of their support.
Here was her answer:
“Lupin rents their property out to many different sorts of groups. They do no advertising for these groups and are closed to the public when these groups take over the resort. Glyn showed me the area that this particular group used, and it is on the public land adjacent to the Lupin property. When the group was finished with their activity on this adjacent property they returned to the resort and had complete use of the clubhouse and one of the larger yurts.
Lupin is a privately owned property and is doing what they can to survive and grow. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Glyn and Lori Kay Stout and know that they would never do anything to hurt naturism or The Naturist Society.”
So this got me thinking about nudist and naturist resorts and behavior etiquette in general. I personally am not interested in such sexual escapades; but I understand that some people are. Is having a sexually motivated private event, in a secluded private area of a nudist club, grounds for cutting ties? Does this mean that every nudist club that has any kind of sexual activity on its grounds is breaking the moral nudist code? If so then I wonder who decided that the activities at Lupin had crossed the line that other clubs haven’t.
I feel that the answer to these questions is at the core of this issue. There are official AANR clubs that openly publicize on their own websites (and as a result – promote) events such as leather and lace as well as lingerie parties. Are such club-promoted parties, which take place in the open and are obviously meant to titillate, considered healthy, positive and accepted forms of expression? If so, how are leather, lace and lingerie parties different from other forms of costumes? To put this bluntly, why is a person dressed in an animal costume so much more disturbing to AANR than a nudist dressed in leather BDSM attire?
It is also important to note that there are some AANR clubs that are known swinger-magnets and serve as meeting places where swingers get together and party. There are even websites and forums dedicated to these swingers meet-ups.
Recently, an in-depth 3 part blog about one woman’s visit to Sunny Rest nudist resort in PA surfaced, and here is one short excerpt that makes an interesting point:
“We learned earlier today from Irv, the 88-year-old owner, that many of the resort’s nudists engage in swinging — like the majority, as in 60%.”
(Her full post can be viewed here.)
What does this say about AANR’s choice to host their recent AANR-East convention there? Some might argue that the “credible voice for nude recreation” includes swingers (since they do like to take part in nude recreation – albeit, in a sexual nature). But if that is the case, then why kick out Lupin and support Sunny Rest? How about the clubs we have visited where sex parties took place in tents and within earshot of kids and regular campers? Why are these clubs embraced while Lupin is admonished?
I spoke to many people before writing this piece. During the course of my “investigation” I remembered a story that one friend had told me a couple of months ago. She said that while visiting an AANR club (in the capacity of her AANR position) she decided to take a walk on one of the paths through the woods. As she was walking alone, she happened upon a small group of people who decided it was a good place for a nature sex session. The people saw her and rather than try and hide their behavior, they invited her to join in. Needless to say, she was quite shocked by their behavior as well as the invite. This is one of the clubs that has become a well-known swinger’s haven and point of contact.
So, this begs the question… why would AANR remove a club like Lupin for hosting (not promoting) a private event and then turn a blind eye to others?
Let me be very clear as I don’t want this article to be taken the wrong way.
I don’t have an issue with lifestyle groups, nudist resorts and so forth. I do have an issue with misinformation or disinformation that creates unnecessary drama and without official statements or reasons given to mitigate it.
Unfortunately, the nudist world is anything but transparent (quite the dichotomy). Answers are seldom given and information is treated like national security and only those with the proper security clearance are privy to the facts.
I get criticized for using a pen name, but I do not hide. I stand behind what I say and do, 100%. I also am not afraid to admit when I am wrong – something that is truly lacking in nudie leaders today.
I wrote about nudist organizations a while back. I outlined their goals and mission statements and asked people, especially due paying members to hold us all up to higher standards (YNA included). By paying dues, people are in essence casting their vote and showing support. But few are the people who actually call up, email or engage the organizations that they chose to finance. I, for one, don’t believe in joining any organization just because I want to use the facilities of a club – that is a waste of money (and I would rather pay more to club than to an organization I don’t support. At least that way, my money will go towards improving the facilities instead of going towards a political statement). But that is my personal choice – I vote with my money and actions as do all of us.
So in closing, I would like to say that from what I have seen (after visiting Lupin) and after speaking with countless people over the last month, I have no qualms with supporting Lupin Lodge. I will go one step further and say that their modern approach and use of technology is quite refreshing. They even use twitter – and use it well!
I would love to have Young Naturist events at Lupin and if we ever are able to establish a point person in the area, Lupin would be an awesome place to work with! To all the members of YNA you can consider this an official statement of support and an encouragement to visit with your kids, family or just on your own. They are wonderful people, have amazing facilities, beautiful nature trails and lots of fun activities. They also will be accepting YNA memberships and extending discounts to our members. So if you become a member, please show them your card when visiting.
Why Did AANR Remove Lupin Lodge was published by – Young Naturists And Young Nudists America YNA