In June 1988, at the Eastern Assembly at Camp Akiba in Pennsylvania, leaders from FKK and ASA met to form the Naturist/Nudist Leadership Council. Freely based on the defunct NLC, NNLC planned to concentrate on legal challenges and lobbying efforts. Membership would be open to individuals rather than to organizations. To NNLC’s edge, it had the backing of both FKK and ASA. Never before had these two organizations worked this closely together on a project of this magnitude and significance. Likely the most important accomplishment of NNLC was its sponsorship of the February 25, 1989 Legal Conference on Nude Recreation held at the Dulles Airport Holiday Inn in northern Virginia. Proposed initially by Robert Ellis Smith of Rhode Island, the conference let NNLC and attorneys involved in nudity cases the chance to to share guidance and to plan combined strategies for defending naturist independence across North America. NNLC struggled yet, to turn itself into a cohesive and powerful political force. Its leadership construction never quite solidified and financing was always a problem. Without adequate funds, NNLC was unable to meet its aims of building court challenges to anti-nudity policies or of getting lobbyists when needed.

ACFRI

The Organization For Clothing Free Rights was formed at the Eastern Assembly in June 1989, again with I was raised in a quite traditional Jewish foundation. We were supposed to dress modestly of fulfilling legal challenges. Replacing the NNLC, ACFRI was deemed “all-inclusive.” ACFRI expected to identify unique, winnable legal cases that would have a positive effect on clothes-free living. In addition, it planned to become more powerful in public relations and in controlling how the media and therefore the general citizenry would perceive clothing-free rights. In many people’s thoughts yet, the most practical function of ACFRI was that, for some time, it bridged the gap between FKK and the ASA. In the late 1980s the ASA stayed securely aligned with the specific interests of its allied nudist clubs. It understood its role to be an umbrella organization that would protect and nurture the business interests of ASA clubs (and not necessarily the many non-ASA clubs, and certainly not the free beaches). FKK had emerged as the only effective voice for clothes-optional use of public lands. Although ASA at the time asserted it could take care of everyone’s demands who wished to enjoy social nudity, that target was obviously not within the organization’s skill or want. FKK on the other hand, did want to make nudism inclusive but wasn’t in a position to offer that sort of legal help or company advice to the landed clubs that ASA was experienced in supplying. ACFRI, consequently, was assumed to be link for the two organizations, with I just returned from a fantastic week at Club Orient on St.

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Martin. The first morning I was there to neither.

ACFRI was to be a membership-based and membership-restricted group. It expected to get its funds from leading contributors and individual memberships. Its first nine member board was selected from experienced naturist leaders across the US and Canada. They contained Lee Baxandall, Toni Egbert, Lee Beverage, Larry Landrum, George McCormick, David Southall, Turner Stokes, Judy Williams and Walt Zadanoff. So far in the development of unified, or at least unifying, naturist/fkk coordination, FKK and Lee Baxandall had been playing double functions. On the one hand Baxandall used FKK to press for an powerful force to meet anti-nudity challenges, and he definitely desired to have a directing hand in each of their manifestations. At the same time he expected to see a capable group of grassroots-oriented naturists come and take the reins themselves. FKK continuingly supplied a comfortable place in its assemblies for formative assemblies, and CWS was consistently accessible to report on the groups’ efforts and successes.

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