In a rare moment of free time I stumbled across the website of Damanhur, a planned eco-society physically located in Italy but with branches in other (mostly European) nations. The Federation of Damanhur is dedicated to the spiritual, artistic and social development of humankind. It is probably most famous for the hand-carved temples deep within a mountainous location in northern Italy. The Temples of Humankind are, from web pictures anyway, quite stunning, often earning the hackneyed accolade of the “eighth wonder of the world.” The temples are dedicated to Gaia, the earth, and humanity (often, unfortunately, its greatest enemy). The Temples contain a hall of waters, hall of earth, hall of mirrors, hall of metals, hall of spheres, a labyrinth, and the Blue Temple. Begun in 1978 as the vision of Oberto Airaudi, a tunnel was excavated and the temples were carved from the rock. A moving account of how government officials, determined to shut down this clandestine operation only to emerge from the temples emphatically stating that they must be preserved, came to the aid of the Damanhurians is presented on their website.

Like other utopian movements, the Damanhur society seeks a better world. Their vision of a planet in sync with rather than warred upon by humans is compelling. Their achievements are admirable. Still, it remains a sad commentary on the world that greed and capitalism have constructed. Every day self-satisfied faces of wealthy politicians glare out from the newspaper or Internet declaring that they know a better way. The evidence of our world belies their claims. Damanhur and other similar societies only thrive when they are small. Once paradise opens its doors, entrepreneurs enter.

The religion of Damanhur is far from orthodox. It is, however, peaceful and sensitive to the connection that binds all of earth’s inhabitants together. The society promotes education – a simple commitment that seems beyond the will or ability of many state governments in this wealthy, fully industrialized and technologized society. I wish the Damanhurians well. They have constructed a beautiful world for themselves. If they fare better than most utopian societies, perhaps they can continue to be a light for a world that sees only veins of potential bankable wealth inside mountains.

Temples of Humankind

7 thoughts on “Utopia

  1. Henk van der Gaast

    I generally write three when replying to the models you show up in your posts.

    They all get deleted as it appears we have similar themes going on in our heads at the time of your (or my) writing.

    We live in a world that can only be described as a conglomerate of utopias and a desire for a real utopia that wouldn’t be a utopia at all. It all depends on who you ask, the utopier or the utopiee or the damned committees that support either.

    No matter which utopia manual you would refer to, the express desire of the body are always reviewed by a committee. A utopia by consensus is no utopia at all.

    The only utopian consensus decision I have ever agreed with in Australia is to make every toilet bowl intensely fluorescent pink so we dumb Australians know where the damn thing is on a nasty weekend night.

    Apparently the pattern of puppies and piglets (mandatory AS/NZS 1900 toilet design) on the seats is now offensive to our new Australians.

    Can this really be a utopia?

    bet you 300:1 it is (I’ll open with 2 pebbles and a piece of green lint)


  2. The truth is out there …but ..it seems not everywhere…So you stumbled upon the website of Damanhur and you obviously believed it ….

    Let me tell you …there are people out there who have fled from this ‘Utopia’ in desperation…families bankrupted…women sexually abused …minds manipulated to the point of suicidal despair…debts, debts and more debts …all to maintain a charismatic leader in a billionaire life style.

    WAKE – UP …. Sheeple …Damanhur is a CULT …it is under investigation for medical FRAUD by the Italian MILITARY POLICE FRAUD SQUAD…their therapy centre has been sequestered and close down…Tax Evasion……abusive working practices …Damanhurians forced to work long hours for little or no pay…sure, it is a Utopia….a utopian NIGHTMARE!
    Do your homework before you promote groups like this …you are not doing the young and vulnerable any favours by encouraging interest in places like Damanhur.
    If you want to the real and documented story read this site:
    it tells the TRUTH about Damanhur by people who have LIVED it and not just stumbled across its disgusting propaganda…

    Have a good day


    • Steve Wiggins

      DIO Editor,

      Thank you for your comments — I welcome all points of view. A point of order, however; I do not promote this or any other group (beyond my daughter’s Robotics Club). I merely point out and let others make their own decisions. I appreciate the information that you have provided.


  3. Henk van der Gaast

    I think that had the last respondend been a consistent reader he would have noticed your continual cultism-idealism-utopian links. For me it was implied that Steve had just brought up another example of the myriad of thinly veiled and possibly cruel oligarchies called.. cults.

    Cults will always persist whilst people are too damn lazy to get the facts and derive things for themselves.

    When the children of concrete and steel meet the cult of personality and ugly head is always reared up..

    Damn fine band of musicians they!! Truly, a very rare example of rock and roll musicianship.

    Back to my cave..


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