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At one point in the 1970s 900 people were engaged with a therapeutic community in Toronto. Living together and sharing emotional problems the participants helped to create an institution owning houses farms and buildings. Therafields the largest urban commune in Canada was created by Lea Hindley-Smith a woman from England with no formal training in therapy. But she exuded an astounding charisma and developed ardent followers. Initially students and faculty from St. Michael's College University of Toronto were drawn to her and gradually the word spread that this woman had enormous power to listen and to heal. Carpenters poets teachers lost souls — they all found a home in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood. And according to one of her followers at the time Lea “was a gifted healer a real estate entrepreneur — and as it turned out a woman stalked by madness.” When the real estate market turned sour in the late 1970s the financial structure began to crumble. At the same time Hindley-Smith's health started to fail and by the early 1980s the movement had collapsed. Here Grant Goodbrand reveals the behind-the-scenes story of Therafields.
- ECW Press, October 2010
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