Turmoil Behind the Scenes at Lightning in a BottleArticle by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus
Sat May 27, 2017 | 03:21 AM
Longtime Lightning in a Bottle devotees may have noticed in the run-up to the festival that the Lucent Temple of Consciousness , the event's immersive space for learning, self-discovery, healing and chilling, was missing from the festival's featured attractions in 2017. In its place is now The Compass.
The Compass will present workshops and teachings from speakers of all over the world just as the Temple did in the past, with a twist. For the first time, the festival is reaching out to collect and connect leaders from various grassroots movements in a conscious effort to lend their platform to social and political causes. It's been ballyhooed as a break from the Temple of Consciousness and a reevaluation of the kinds of ideals and community Lightning in a Bottle intends to support moving forward. This left many wondering: What happened?
Dream Rockwell. Photo by: Daniel Jung for The Do LaB
The Temple of Consciousness was the brainchild of Lightning in a Bottle's co-founder Dream Rockwell and Temple co-curators Pluma and D Miller; together, the trio is called Crystal Ops. Rockwell is also a member of the Lucent Dossier Experience, a regular name on LIB's lineups which is also conspicuously absent this year.
Well, the questions surrounding these omissions were addressed yesterday with a lengthy, bombshell statement that Rockwell posted on Lucent Dossier Experience's website, alongside a history of the birth of LIB in her own words. Below are a few select passages (read the entire statement here):
"I wanted to shed light on the countless inquiries that have been circling me over the last few months: “What happened to the Temple of Consciousness?” “Why aren’t you going?” “Why isn’t Lucent Dossier on the bill?” “What is happening?”
The answers to these questions are extremely difficult for me to address, and I’ve remained quiet for over a year, — but now I feel it is time to tell my story.
The difficult answer is no, the Temple of Consciousness, nor most of my incredible and very dedicated team will be present at LIB this year. My beloved co-curators Pluma and D Miller will not be present. Crystal Ops, as we like to call ourselves, have not been welcomed back because there has been a grave break between the original founders, Josh Flemming, Jesse Flemming and myself.
Just over one year ago I discovered that my trusted partners and dear friends who I cofounded The Do LaB, and created LIB with, secretly dissolved our company The Do Lab, Inc. and set up an identical new company, which they called The Do Lab, LLC, to strip me of my ownership interests. I didn’t agree to this action. They removed the Temple of Consciousness and myself from LIB this year. They replaced it with a much heavily funded replica to the original heart of the festival, the Temple of Consciousness...
As this story unfolds before us, while I continue to pursue my usual speaking engagements and create new endeavors for myself and my family, the brothers (or maybe one of them) have been relentless in sending cease and desist letters, threatening legal action against any company or event that might employ me to speak while/or publicizing my credits as Co-Founder of LIB.
Now that I have eyes to see and ears to hear, I can tell you they are endeavoring to erase my name from The Do LaB history and my title as the Co-Creator and Co-Founder of one of the 7 Top Transformational Festivals in the world (according to Rolling Stone). A that festival is Lightning in a Bottle with it’s equal masculine and feminine influences, conscious culinary, GREENing initiatives, Temple of Consciousness, immersive areas, and more...
This leaves a few crucial questions to be answered: How can any founder...be removed of founderhood?
What is the real difference in “The Do LaB, Inc.” founded in 2005 and “The Do LaB, LLC” founded in 2011 and Do LaB, Inc. founded in 2014 and were all founding partners/owners involved in making these changes?
When will it feel good for a man to stand beside a woman, as equal partners, in business, in creation and for it to make the man feel proud that he is the trusted equal partner of a female?
Difficult questions can be the most important ones to answer. I feel deeply that honesty, respect, and communication should be at the center of all organizations, especially those centered around transformation and growth.
All that said, the situation has completely broken my heart..."
Jesse, Dede, and Josh Flemming. Photo by: Daniel Zetterstrom
The heavy news was met with an equally powerful statement from the Flemming Brothers, LIB's co-founders and Rockwell's former partners. Below are key passages from that statement.
"We are saddened and disappointed to read the message posted by Dream Rockwell née Marcia Webb earlier this week. The long list of disparaging inaccuracies and calculated timing of its release detracts from the the efforts of thousands of doers and creators out here working so hard to build a gathering that raises consciousness, and we must set the record straight.
The reason Dream Rockwell is no longer working with Do LaB or Lightning in a Bottle is because of a lawsuit she has brought against Do LaB and the Flemming brothers in June of 2016 without cause or warning. This lawsuit contains many baseless accusations and inaccurate claims, and set in motion a series of events which forced us to cease working with Dream.
There is some truth to the story as Dream has presented it. She did join the Lightning in a Bottle team in 2004 (5 years after the yearly event started in 1999), and did play a role in adding the Temple of Consciousness to the event’s programming. She also was a founding member of The Do LaB Inc, the same company that founded Lucent Dossier and continued to produce Lightning in a Bottle starting in 2006...
However, the dissolution of The Do LaB, Inc. was not done in secret, as she has claimed. Soon after The Do LaB Inc. was formed, Dream became more focused on working on and leading Lucent Dossier, while the Flemming brothers and an ever-growing team were focused on working on and leading The Do LaB. During this time, Dream formed a new business entity for Lucent Dossier and cut the Flemmings out without their knowledge. Because of these factors, a discussion was had between the Flemming brothers and Dream in 2010 to formally end the existing business structure. Dream kept Lucent Dossier which was already functioning as its own entity while the new The Do LaB, LLC entity was formed under the Flemming brothers’ leadership. Under this structure The Do LaB and Lucent Dossier continued to support each other creatively with Lucent Dossier performing at our events and Dream curating the Temple of Consciousness. During this time, both Dream and Lucent Dossier were paid by the very LLC she claims she was unaware of for 6 years.
After working together under this arrangement for years, we still don’t know what changed or why Dream decided to bring her lawsuit. We have repeatedly offered to sit down together and find a way to continue working together. These invitations have been ignored, and we have had no direct communication with Dream since June of 2016. This of course made it impossible to produce an area of the festival with her and her team and to have Lucent Dossier perform at LIB. Further complicating any possibility of working together, her legal team has sent multiple cease and desist letters to Do LaB attempting to halt production of Lightning in a Bottle as well as attempting to stop publication of Do LaB’s statement on the Flat Earth Panel she conducted at Lightning in a Bottle 2016.
Lightning in a Bottle is more than a festival, it is a community of thousands of amazing people who work incredibly hard to bring something bigger than themselves to life. As LIB is in full swing, we regret having to release this necessary but limited statement, with its focus on just a few people. But the integrity of the festival is inevitably tied to its founders, and we are forced to refute Dream’s inaccurate claims to defend the integrity of the Flemming brothers.
With that said, it has never been our intention to erase Dream Rockwell’s contribution to Do LaB and Lightning in a Bottle, or to remove her from its history. We have avoided any public statement on this matter because of the on-going lawsuit and because we do not intend to have a public argument about the details of the past. We look forward to ending this dispute privately so that we may both move on and mend the inevitable hurt that comes when relationships reach an end. We still love Dream and the wonderful things we were able to create together, and we wish her the best. However, we cannot allow her statement’s calculated manipulation of the facts and disparaging claims to remain unchallenged."
By presenting key points from both sides of the turmoil, we hope to help readers form their own educated opinions about the changes at Lightning in a Bottle.