Besides being the German word for "place", this is the name of an "alternative community" in Illinois, about 2 hours south of Chicago. Founded at the end of the 1960s, and originally based on the philosophy expressed in the book The Ultimate Frontier, it has since become just another alternative community, trying embarrassedly to forget its roots.

Originally, many inhabitants of Stelle believed that a poleshift would occur on May 5, 2000 due to the alignment of the planets. This number dwindled faster and faster as the date approached.

The author of The Ultimate Frontier was one Richard Kienenger, who used the pen name Eklal Kueshana. He was discredited in the mid-1970s, probably primarily due to problems with abusing the power inhererent in his status as the spiritual founder of Stelle, concretely abusing it to get sex. He moved off to found a sister community, Adelphi, in Texas, which never took off as well as Stelle.

It was probably this early loss of the founder's prestige that prevented Stelle from having the sociological traits of a cult, including, for example, an end-of-the-world mass suicide ritual. However, even if Kienenger had retained his prestige and been the mass-suicide sort, he would not have been acting in accord with his own group's philosophy: the general plan was to take off in airships (dirigibles) somewhat before the expected catastrophe, and remain in the air several weeks until the dust settled.

I almost ended up living in Stelle from age 5 to age 18. My father has lived there and nearby for 15 years; I lived nearby for 1 year.

(This expanded node replaces the original two nodes for this subject, which read "Harmless" and "Mostly Harmless," respectively.)

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