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Woman leaves conservative Eastside home to join the Rainbow Family

This story originally aired on December 8, 2018.   

Mary McIntyre was rasied in Bellevue in a conservative Christian home, and attended a conservative Christian school. There was no shortage of rules and expectations. While Mary loved her family, something was always telling her when she was growing up that this wasn't exactly the life for her.

College wasn't much different. She attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, which also is known to be pretty conservative. But one night in downtown Santa Barbara, Mary met a few young adults who were part of the Rainbow Family. The Rainbow Family is a sort of hippie, counter-culture community that started in the 70s, and travels all over the country. 

"It's a bit like the Burning Man idea, except that it's definitely (focused) on living and learning about survival."

Mary walked a few of them to the train station where they were going to hop a train to Arizona, and realized she would much rather be doing that than going to Westmont. 

Mary decided to quit school and join the Rainbow Family. In this story, we hear about her experiences, and how she found the perfect balance between her old life in the Northwest and her life with the Rainbow Family when she returned to Seattle. 

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.
Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.