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Officials warning residents about ‘Rainbow Family’ gathering, LDS church moving children from area

Posted at 9:56 PM, Jun 17, 2014

HEBER CITY, Utah -- It's a bit hard to see any semblance of a rainbow through a blizzard in June, but 20 miles east of Heber City it’s starting to get a little more colorful.

"You're a rainbow family. He's a rainbow family. People in the White House are a rainbow family,” said Novel, who arrived at the site on Tuesday afternoon.

Novel is one of thousands who consider themselves part of the Rainbow Family of Living Light, a group that gathers annually in effort to spread peace and harmony.

“It’s about world peace,” Novel said. “But I personally believe it's like a very excellent place to meet people, to network, to become the true you.”

It’s a diverse group that will grow from just a few dozen to up to 20,000 in the coming weeks.

Together, they create a community on U.S. Forest Service land, where “family members” from all around the country share in the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning.

"All of us humans on this earth, all creatures, not even just humans, all the light beings, we all come from the same source. We need to band together,” said Code-E.

But the process of banding together hasn’t always been so peaceful at other events held around the country, according to Wasatch County Manager Michael Davis.

“They proclaim world peace, but there are people who associate with the group that don’t necessarily conform with laws,” Davis said.

Because of the proximity of the camp site to Heber City, Davis fears some of the festivities and problems from the event will spill into town.

“Panhandling, aggressive panhandling, shoplifting, nudity, those types of things that aren’t according to our laws here in Heber City and Wasatch County,” Davis said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is taking precautions just in case.

Officials said the Lindon stake girls' camp has been moved from the Aspen Lake campsite.

Another group has been moved from the Lake Creek camp as well.

But the U.S. Forest Service has a different take on the event.

“They're not dangerous. They're not going to cause any problems in the woods that we're aware of. They're just going to be living a different lifestyle than most people around here are used to,” said David Whittekiend, Forest Supervisor for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache Forests.

According to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, police did respond to the campsite for a death of a woman on Sunday.

Authorities said the cause of death is still unknown.

They are currently awaiting autopsy results.