I guess if you're going to start a crazy cult, it should at least be green, right?

The Shambhala-Shasta Anastasia Eco-Settlement Project is an ambitious plan to develop 466 acres of scrub land in northern California into an eco/spiritual paradise. The project is centered around a series of books called "Ringing Cedars" which was first written in Russian in the mid 90's before being translated into English starting in 2004. The books follow the story of a man and his beautiful forest woman named Anastasia, who can communicate with animals using her mind, is clairvoyant, and a virgin to boot.

The books were written by Vladimir Megre, a guy who just so happened to control large swaths of Siberian cedar, a tree that plays a major role in the Ringing Cedars books. He sells small slices of cedar trees along with other cedar related swag though websites that also hawk his books.

He's a smart entrepreneur with savvy marketing skills, but he trips over into creepyland by claiming that his story is true, that he was the man who met Anastasia and that the cedar trees (again, which he controls) and Anastasia actually have magical powers, including being able to encode his books with "an energy" to make its readers feel better and buy more copies.

People believe all sorts of crazy things, I guess this one isn't THAT far out of bounds of human beliefs.

Swing over to the Shambhala-Shasta Anastasia Eco-Settlement Project website to find out how you too can live the life of a rugged eco settler spiritual warrior. Even their housing lots are crazy- they are circular, no doubt to better commune with the earth spirits who disdain right angles.

Sign me up.

Via [Boing Boing]

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