There is a Farland

Today I'm going to do what an author should never do. I'm going to give you a revelatory extract from my novel Going with Gabriel On another day I will tell you why this, why now.

Background: the scientist / street musician Gabriel has been involuntarily 'placed' in Farland 101. The following extract sets out the Rules by which he and all in a Farland have to live their lives. All I would say now is that these Farlands are designed along the lines theorised by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his friend William Wordsworth as 'Pantocracies' to be formed in the then virgin woodlands of North America. (The two poets gained their concept rom the writings of Socrates, the father of democracy.)

Gabriel reads ....we urge you to be happy here. Your fellow Farlanders will do everything reasonably possible to help you to make the very necessary adjustments. The eventual numbers of, and the nature of the population of this particular Farland has been set after considerable research to match the theoretical ability of the available terrain to support it.
We all understand that this level of self-support will take time and great effort to achieve and sustain. It may even never be completely possible, even with the extra support you bring here. We are pioneers and pioneers by definition cannot be sure.
The following are our Rules. They are written in English because English is the chosen lingua franca of Farland 101. These Rules were devised after intense research over many years by the Central Council of The Company. Although they are absolute and apply absolutely to all of us without exception they are subject to (and expected to) change as circumstances change:-

  1. You will not, by any means, seek to disclose to the Outside the existence of this or any other Farland colony and you will assist in the defence of this colony against any Outside intrusion.

  1. You are expected to work at your own best pace during six days in support of yourself and other Farlanders, such work being self-appointed and self-managed. It may be cerebral or physical or both according to your abilities, the state of your general health and the needs and constraints of the colony. On the seventh day (Sunday) you shall not do any work, nor shall you encourage others to work.

  1. There are no idols (‘celebrities’) in the Farland colony, therefore you will not seek special status. Should you be awarded the title of Founder, note that your rank shall be equal to the rank of all other Founders, which is to say the rank of all other Farlanders.

  1. Regardless of origin, original race, or practice of religion, you will honour your fellows so as to ensure to the best of your ability that it goes well in Farland for each of us. Know that each one is here according to their value to the colony as a whole and that the practice of any religion is allowed provided its ethic does not conflict with these rules and that it remains discreet to the individual and that therefore it neither incorporates nor promulgates any actual ‘Church’ as such.
 5.      You will not seek to injure your fellow Farlander and you will not seek to work against him or her. Adversarial debate is allowed, even encouraged, but you will at all times do your utmost to love your neighbour as yourself. The absence of love is an offence to all.

6.      You will not take, by force or by stealth, that which has been allocated to and remains wanted by your fellow. You may apply to the Council for whatever you need, knowing that within the resource available it will be allocated to you. You will neither argue nor debate such allocations or non-allocations. Anything you no longer need you will return to Stores or pass on to a fellow Farlander. (Note that no financial currency as such is used or needed in this or any other Farland.) You will lead the building of your future home but will exchange that home every three years for one built by another, at the direction and the total discretion of the Council and on the basis of random selection.

7.      Without restraint you may form and conduct private, consenting heterosexual relationships, but know that there is and will be no homosexuality in Farland, and no adultery, for all Farlands are heterosexual, monogamous communities.

8.      You may marry by simple declaration before five witnesses. However, understand that the fact of your marriage will be posted and that such a marriage is permanent and unbreakable other than by the death of your partner. Furthermore, marriage is an essential prerequisite should a Farland couple apply to take to themselves and bring up a family.

9.      You have been made aware that you not capable of reproducing yourself by ‘natural’ means. Should you marry and apply to the Founders for a child or children, and thus become a parent, the natural parentage of such ‘offspring’ will remain unknown to you and to them. However, we confirm that the male and the female donor will have been selected Outsiders. Know also that the embryo has been cultivated for the benefit of all Farland communities by the science that is here in Farland 101. You have the right to be proud about that.

10.  There are and shall be no secrets between yourself and any or all other Farlanders other than in matters of personal privacy that affect nobody but yourself and your partner, if appropriate. You may bear witness to the Council but never false witness against any fellow Farlander. If and when you bear witness (or, ‘accuse’) you must make clear before the Founders the distinction between actual fact and your own interpretation of the fact (opinion). Know above all that the telling of lies, whether direct or by implication, is one of the most vexatious of all human habits. In this and all other Farlands it is a serious offence and is punishable as such.


The above are our Farland Rules, equivalent on the Outside to the Law of the land. However there is no jail in Farland for transgressors. There are only two alternative punishments for the contravention of any Rule. The first and most serious is physical expulsion. This is summarily followed by on the spot execution. The second is the time-set marking, by red coloured leg band, of the transgressor. This is intended to leave exposed any transgressor to the community at large. Any third leg banding results in physical expulsion, therefore the immediate demise of the transgressor.

Capital punishment may seem a harsh, even an arbitrary resolution. It is no such thing. We do not want as a Farlander any individual who does not respect our Rules and we will not risk the wellbeing of the whole on the future actions of any individual judged and expelled as a miscreant.

The punishment is decided by the Council of Founders after a trial. This trial will be of no more than one hour’s duration and the period of time between accusation before the Council of Founders and the trial of the accused shall be immediate or in no case delayed for more than three days. The accused will defend himself or herself and the accuser will bear witness, alongside any other corrobarative witnesses.

It is recognised that this system is likely to be less than perfect. Justice is never so, whether it is here or Outside, but here there is no appeal. Note that there are no police in Farland, or if you prefer it, we are all police, all judges, all jurors. OUR DETERMINATION IS TO MINIMISE VEXATIOUS HUMAN CONDUCT in whatever form it occurs.

If you feel like reading the novel Going with Gabriel look for ISBN 978-0-9555193-1-4 or direct from me via 

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