Marlboro College

The Marlboro College campus.

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MARLBORO — On Jan. 21, a quit claim deed was filed with the Marlboro Town Clerk’s Office, transferring ownership of the campus formerly known as Marlboro College from Democracy Builders, which purchased the campus less than a year ago, to Type 1 Civilization Academy Marlboro Campus LLC.

“The title has been transferred,” said Adrian Stein, the principal of Type 1, on Thursday. “All of the deeds have been recorded. The property is owned by Type 1.”

Some people got news of the transfer during an invitation-only phone call with Democracy Builders on Feb. 1. Listeners learned Democracy Builders and its Degrees of Freedom program were soon to be tenants with a 15-year lease.

However, in an email to the Marlboro community on Thursday, the Degrees of Freedom leadership team stated the deal is not final, despite what was reported previously.

“To be clear this transaction was not, and is still not, final, which unfortunately conflicts with the way it has been represented,” wrote Karen Reece, VP of talent, Chandell Stone, CEO, and Seth Andrew, chairman.

“There are aspects of the relationship with Democracy Builders that will have to be negotiated and worked out,” responded Stein on Thursday. “This will be an ongoing process.”

Stein, who lives in Toronto, can’t travel to the United States at this time. However, he told the Reformer, he expects to take over the management of the property within the next two weeks.

Type 1 is paying Democracy Builders $9.4 million for the campus, states a notice of non-objection from the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. The total includes $2.5 million in cash, $2.5 million in escrowed pre-paid rent, $2.5 million as a mortgage-backed structured donation, $416,000 in rent abatement, and $1.5 million in Type 1’s assumption of certain lease obligations to the Marlboro Music Festival.

Less than a year ago, Democracy Builders took possession of the campus for $1,725,000 in cash and debt, one day before Marlboro College finalized its merger with Emerson College in Boston.

Stein said Type 1 hopes to transform Potash Hill into an intellectual hub for the Eastern Seaboard, a vision he believes honors the tradition of intellectual freedom and democratization fostered at Marlboro College for 74 years.

“We see some of the top people in the world coming to the mountain,” said Stein. “Just like with the top musicians in the world who come every summer [for the Marlboro Music Festival] we see a comparable pilgrimage is going to take place in the intellectual realm, a new algorithmic enterprise space.”

To kick off activities on the campus, Type 1 is launching this fall, “chronotanium120,” a new cryptocurrency.

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“By the end of this year, we will be able to comfortably and safely invite a significant number of people to the campus,” he said.

Stein, who described himself as “an entrepreneur involved in very significant tech-related projects,” said that while Type 1 will support the mission of Degrees of Freedom, it has a bigger vision that is independent of Democracy Builders.

In the fall of 2022 the plan is to host a global conference, “Humankind 2022: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Human Prosperity and Survival.”

”We are profoundly concerned with broad, complicated issues on a civilizational scale — issues affecting all of mankind and the world,” said Stein.

In describing the vision for the campus, Stein peppered his responses with phrases such as Kardashev Scale, machine learning, digital revolution and decentralized modalities. He mentioned men like Seymour Papert, John von Neumann, Neil Gershenfeld and Vaclav Smil.

”Our whole philosophy, the epistemological ground on which we stand, is that true creation lies within the individual, and within the individual’s own understanding of his own delimited circumstances; it is here where creation takes place,” said Stein.

”We are launching a social network in support of this,” he added, with the campus on Potash Hill being its international hub and three fabrication facilities, which he dubs “Von Neumann Facilities,” around the world, one in the Northeast United States, one in Europe and one in Israel. Each facility will be on the scale of a modern semiconductor fabrication plant, said Stein.

According to the notice of non-objection, the two organizations will be developing a “joint venture” that will support the long-term presence of Democracy Builders in Marlboro.

”We’re interested in the same kids,” said Stein. “We believe in the inherent and in-born capacities of all people when provided with the sufficient means and opportunities. I believe our programs are indeed compatible and that we share common ground.”

In the email to the community, Degree of Freedom’s leadership team stated its two programs, Freedom Year and Liberation Launch, will enrich the community with diversity, young people, and technology. The team also said they would be “privately sharing exciting ideas and developments” every six to eight weeks through invitation-only forums.

”We are a fast-moving, constantly evolving, and entrepreneurial organization, and will endeavor to share our unpolished proposals and plans to our passionate and engaged community,” stated Reece, Stone and Andrew.

The email also notes that while Democracy Builders is “actively seeking additional philanthropic partners,” Degrees of Freedom and the Marlboro Music Festival “will remain the primary users of campus for the foreseeable future.”

Bob Audette can be contacted at raudette@reformer.com.