11:11 THE E.L.F EXPERIMENT: Building a counterculture Utopia in Amsterdam

11:31:00 PM

22 years have past by, 

hundreds of people lived at the Building 

but no one has really written about the experience

outside of the Family,

I have briefly found two articles

in the psychedelic trance scene magazines

explaining the structure of the E.L.F ; 

today I feel the veils are thin enough to share what it was

and how it felt to live at the biggest Artist-conscious 

squat that have ever existed.

What was the E.L.F ? 

The E.L.F ( "elf" means 11 in German and Dutch) was a dream,

 a squatted building, occupied by a group of people 

that were determined to set an initiative, 

an experiment, in positive squatting. 

The place we occupied was a 5 floors, 

200 rooms office building ( ex-Belgian Embassy) 

on the border of Amsterdam Center, 

with elevators, sliding doors, a fancy reception, 

over 20 outlets of power and internet in each room, 

flat roof, a big space on the top floor to throw trance psychedelic  parties. 

It was a very high end building with a very high end purpose.

The E.L.F  was an Art Show in every single corner, 
walls, or windows:

Tibetan Thangkas were hanging on the lobby walls

by the reception of the first floor,

Mayan Glyphs paintings in the Hallways 

and the psychedelic Backdrops in the stairs to the upper floors and

in the walls of the Sky Lab for parties and events.


You could feel how they changed the intensity of their colors,

becoming more alive or neutral depending on 

what was happening around them,

as if they were alive, 

breathing and blending their symbology with the ether,

the Essence of the Building.

The first and second floor were for temporal visitors,
who will pay per day and only could stay at the house

if they were taking any of the workshops for a maximum of 11 days.

The workshops offered were diverse: 

from Glass blowing to Dj, creative writing, painting, 3D designing, 

Sound Healing, fashion design, 

Tattoos, Sacred Floral Art, Feng Shui, Buttho.

The rotation of guests in the House was constant and from all over the World:

Japan, Israel, New Zealand, India, Italy, South Africa….

Djs, musicians, cirques performers, scientists, dancers, writers, philosophers, 

everyone was welcome and supported.

This flow and ebb of people and energies was so rich and attracting, 

that more and more people wanted to experience the E.L.F. 

There was a vegan restaurant in the first floor, 
run by the members or volunteers,

where people paid what they could/want afford 

to into a Magic Hat, 

out of which the shopping was paid for the next day,

the love and creativity on each one of the meals 

was an exploration of different parts of the world,

brought to the table by the international cooks. 

I think I have had some of the most incredible dinners

in my life at the E.L.F,

not only for the magical backdrop created by the lights, art,

music and the exuberant diners, 

but because of the genuine recipes from around the world, 

transmitted through generations and alchemized

in the hands of these Angels, 

brought to the magical and intense vortex of the biggest 

Artist Squat that ever existed. 

A lot of the inspiration behind my recipes 

have the flavor from this time at the E>L>F, 

every night we had the opportunity to experience 

a different vegetarian  country speciality. 

Dinners were a magical moment,

gathering the energy to project into the upcoming events, 

fueling the members with the Prana, the nectar, the Amrit 

of the project energy for a 24 hours of non stop music, 

live performances and open mics. 

The Kitchen was always alive, 

after dinner time you still could find someone 

offering a cup of tea to a brother or sister 

over a profound conversation about the Bardo

or the last technology for mixing and djing.

The breakfast was exclusive for the residents, 

another opportunity to crystalize the common vision of the project;

lavender teas slowly simmering in the stoves, granolas, 

fruit, yoghurts, coffee, breads and jams, 

the sweet flowing wave of the beginning of the day, 

the smell of the different essential oils, 

the yogi tea boiling to be sip at any time.


The 3rd floor was were my room was and where 

the permanent residents and residents’s guest lived,

the heart and brain of the project ( E.L.F  House).

Every single room was a completely different Entity,

expression and mosaic of dreams and music,

music in every corner, all sort of, but mainly psychedelic trance.

A big Mandala was at the end of the corridor on the 3rd floor,

huge, big, powerful Mandala on golden and red.

Every night different members of the House will stop and paint, 

talk to Bob who was the keeper of the communal Art, exploring

into the geometrical sacred healing power of the painting.

As everything else in the House, the  Mandala was a living organism, 

with its own needs of expansion/creation and love, 

as it was getting more and more complex,

the intensity of its frequency was notable from every corner in the house. 

It will sooth you in sovereignty with the broad range of ochres:

amber, gold, siena, mustard and radiant colors;

Invitation for a deep meditation through the intricate geometrical symbolism. 

Sometimes the corridors were empty, as letting them space to rebirth;

on those moments you could feel the Building as a Spaceship, breathing, 

moving and getting its power from the crew;

resonating with them, 

modifying its colors and shape depending on the general mood.


Psychedelic Backdrop

The 4th floor of the building was occupied by the different religions, 

cults and yoga schools in the House:

Buddhism, Kundalini, Hinduism, Osho, Ayahuasca Church 

were the most significant, with their priests or Shamans.

Rituals where organized for big groups of people to gather together, 

sing and talk to spirits. 

Psychedelic Backdrop

The 5th floor was home of the Chai-shop social nexus of the House,

perfect spot to catch the sunset after a delicious dinner,

a giant floor with pillows, tapestries and murals overhead; 

homemade snacks, 

all kind of teas and non-alcoholic elixirs; 

a variety of Charas from India and House grown marihuana,

music : from jazz to dubstep, euro techno to drum and bass or hip-hop.

At the 5th floor was also the Sky-Lab,

a huge space across the Chai Shop surrounded by windows 

and decorated with a variety of psychedelic backdrops,

where 24-hours fat parties were held on regular basis 

to pay the over 10.000 euros a month on bills.

3 months after the opening, 

the owners of the building took the squatters to court. 

The owners won and the squatters were convicted 

to have to leave the building within a month. 

The squatters refused to go and stayed for 2, 5 more years 

before finally being thrown out and the building demolish.

In order to do this possible and stayed that long, 

not only paying the monthly bills was necessary, 

an official body was essentially needed to carry those bills, 

preferably a Foundation: 

a non-profit organization with a good purpose as its official goal,

after many months thinking what this goal should be,

the manifest for the Foundation was created and 22 residents co-signed it.


E. is for Exploration, is why we do it; 

L. is for Love & Light, is what we do it with; 

F. is for filaments and Frequencies, is how we spread it; 

E.L.F. is for Eternal Light Family, which is who we are all part of.

 Goal: The goal of foundation E.L.F is to explore and, where possible, 

to evolve the spreading of the energies of love and light

between living beings through filaments and frequencies.

All over the universe of human reality we can recognize forces

of light and forces of darkness. 

The forces of light are regarded as forces 

that positively stimulate human beings, 

that raise the consciousness and awareness of humans 

to evolve and realize their potential.

In the same perspective, the forces of darkness 

are regarded as forces that negatively stimulate human beings, 

that lower the consciousness and awareness and obstruct evolution, 

preventing human beings from realizing their potential. 

The energies of light are closely connected to the energies of love and courage. 

Like wise, the energies of darkness are closely connected 

with the energies of hate and fear. 

In many places throughout the world, 

groups of individuals are joining forces to work together to attract, 

accumulate and spread the energies of love and light throughout the world. 

E.L.F. seeks to connect people 

that have recognized the forces of light and darkness 

in themselves and the world around them and have chosen to go for the light. 

To maximize the love and the light in everything they do, 

and to minimize the darkness and hate in their lives, 

as well as the lives of other living beings. 

E. L. F. wishes to encourage and stimulate individuals and

groups to get together and,

to explore this so-called light to work with it, 

grow it and to share it with others.

E. L. F.'s mission is to spread the realization 

that the energies of love and light can be utilized by human beings

and that these energies can be generated, transformed and directed. 

That human individuals can show people that they can learn to use these energies

to heal and evolve themselves and others, 

while at the same time, 

diminishing the energies of darkness and hate

which work damages and destroys ourselves and others. 

E.L.F. foundation seeks to form itself as a noncommercial, 

nonpolitical, nonreligious organization. 

A"not for profit foundation". 

Being founded in what is regarded by some as the magical centre of Europe,

the city of Amsterdam, E.L.F. will develop itself as a global organization. 

Activities: E. L. F. will offer its facilities and,

 assist in any activity that is regarded as helpful to realize the goal of the foundation. 

This can mean to (co) organize meetings and workshops; 

to develop research and training programs, 

to do or join Love and/or Light-parties, projects and all kinds of other activities. 

The common characteristic of all these activities

is that they bring more love and light into the lives of people and,

other creatures in this world. 

Participants in the E.L.F foundation are invited and,

encouraged to bring in ideas and proposals.

These suggestions will be taken under consideration 

by the foundation management and the determination 

of which activities are to be supported by E. L. F., 

will be made by the foundation management in close cooperation with its members. 


Dedicated to excellence in auditory stimulation, 

our sound family consists of some of the worlds brightest talent in all fields of musical production 

D.J.s: Trance, Techno, House, Drum'n Bass, Dub, Chill, Trip-hop; 



Our production network caters to the production needs of all, 

servicing all forms of production, event production, film production, 

fashion, accessories, furniture, Music production, Ambient deco & accessories, 

Resource production. 


As a design network we strive for excellence and individuality in design. 

With both our in house artists and global network,

finding gaps in imagination are almost impossible filling our mold is ! 

Fashion, Home decoration, Ambiance design & decoration, 

Web page, Flyers, Posters, Post cards, C.D, 

record, tape covers, restaurant, home, office, Night club.


Our goal is to help raise the spiritual and physical awareness 

in our world through our many workshops an rituals services,

Yoga, Thai chi, capoeira, Massage therapy, Reiki, Angelic light technology, 

Shamanic rituals, Aura & chakra healing, among others.


WE hope to shed light and love to all who join us in our experiment

in the improvement of life, 

Light work-shoppers live and create with us seeing progressive and 

innovative ways to experience and perceive the world 


Dedicated to servicing the community with the essentials of spiritual recreation.


A forum and symposium for all media, 

dedicated to enlightenment and self expression

And so The E>L>F was created, 

what followed after, that was a new-age saga of love and light,

but also hate and darkness and what not….

The E.L.F was running in a non-commercial basis, 

still being able to put money aside to, 

who knows maybe to buy a building in the future 

so they will not be evicted anymore, 

the House attracted people from all over the world and ,

every day gain popularity in the underground scene in Europe, and Worldwide.

The House was completely heated and,

there was always enough money to feed and offer accommodation 

to a group of 20 volunteers that will help keep the space

clean and with a good high energy.

I came to live to the E.L.F in January 1999,

after living in Amsterdam for 4 months 

renting different houses in a variety of neighborhoods,

I used to visit the E.L.F  almost every day after my job 

in one of the most popular Coffeeshops in the center of Amsterdam:

the Green House CoffeeShop, at the Red Light District.

Stayed at the E.L.F  most of the  weekends to attend 

the big parties and House Events.

Many of my friends were already living here or better said, 

I became friend with many of the residents.


I was invited to all the parties to help out with production or PR, 

me working in the center of Amsterdam was a great opportunity

to spread the word of the events happening to all locals and tourists.

After 2 months, two of the permanent residents at the E.LF

invited me to move in permanently.

At the beginning I felt a little overwhelmed, 

I have never been very good with commitments, 

and I knew that moving in

to the E.L.F was a big step into becoming part of a huge project. 

5 months after I moved in, the Foundation was created 

and I was one of the 22 co-signers,

after that. 

I loved the Experiment, truly felt a profound belonging since day one, 

I had just graduated in Political Sciences the year I moved to Amsterdam,

It was my "sabbatical" year, as I explained to my parents, 

a time to travel and explore options and opportunities,

decompress from studies and get new experiences, 

if I hadn't had quite enough already...

Deep rooted in the pacifist movement 

in Spain (Insumision) during my first 2 years of college:

fasting, demonstrating, and executing civil disobedience 

against the imposed military service;

writing manifests inspired by Castaneda,

hand to hand with the Libertarians from Latin America,

American authors like Henry Thoreau and the European 

humanist school.

The E>L>F resonated as a totem for a new founded family,

it represented the highest ideas and dreams I could imagine at 

that time, an utopia of counterculture, living with friends, 

with some of the smartest kids I have ever met, 

Phd's  in Harvard or Yale, 

speaking four of five languages, playing different instruments and

living in a constant flow of creativity, with one common passion: 

sound and music, creation of space through music: psychedelic trance.

Still today when I explain to friends about this passion and,

profound Believe in the healing of this type of music,

they think I lost it completely with so many psychedelics, 

the truth is that I can even read and write while

listening to it, it calms me down when I need to 

or energize me if this is my purpose, 

it is a vehicle to move the energy in the body,

massage the grey matter in the brain and expand the cells in my body.


Trying to explain the E>L>F from inside 

to someone who has not live the experience without 

a visual support it is a difficult endeavor.

I see it as a White Hole that could not be entered from

the outside but that emanates light and energy-matter.

Where the residents as tachyons, 

could communicate backwards in time, sending

signals into one's own past and project into the future, 

as a quantum loop.

E= m2, but what if there is no mass?

if you jiggle an electron, other electrons will sense it,

the vibration of two electrons continues to resonant in the universe,

it doesn’t matter how far is one from each other,

this vibration according to Einstein: 

” is faster than the speed of the light,

and has no time-space coordinate, 

at this point communication with the past is possible

and modification of the paradox acceptable, 

by the only self-consistent trips back in time,

which states that the only solutions to the laws of physics

that can occur locally in the real Universe,

are those which are globally self-consistent.” 

This principle allows one to build a local solution 

to the equations of physics only, 

if that local solution can be extended to a part of a 

(not necessarily unique) global solution,

which is well defined throughout the nonsingular regions 

of the space-time.

The vibration in everyone’s masses in the E>L>F 

through music and dance,

emanated a global resonance that called others 

with the same vibrations around the Globe,

attracting them to the House to gather in one and

only communication line that can only be understood 

and articulated from the inside of the frequency.  

I had the perception that in the House

the coordinates of space-time were modified,

and thoughts were pretty much materialized in one or other way;

the connection between the residents in the house was so deep 

and the vortex of the house so intense, 

that only by thinking on someone 

will probably open the door and get into the room,

it was telekinesis?  self- fulfilling the prophecy? 

The ELF became a Cult,

not only in the psychedelic trance movement in the World,  
but also in the International Underground Scene.

But there is no light without dark, and no good time without the bad,

House Meetings turned into heated discussions many times,

impossible to move forward with new ideas or projects for the


Some people never left the building in months,

which it was very easy considering there was everything you 

need, developing a specific mood and personality;

for everyone who lived and experienced the ELF, 

I think will

agreed with me that it was a transformative experience, 

not only from a sociological point of view, but because

what was created had never existed before and could not be replicated.

At the culmination of the experiment, 

the building was inhabited by over 200 people of 27 different countries, 

living in a global community. 

A trans-cultural unity. 
An alternative to the so-called official society.
Yes It was a Commune, yes there was sex and drugs and
 as any other Human experience 
you could take what was there for you to grow.

“ The Eternal Family of Light has been shattered to pieces....but not destroyed. 

Many of us still continue our missions, but not as a collective no more, 

but now all more separate but many still in touch. 

From Australia, to India, to the US to Brazil and allover Europe, 

we still spread our msg of love and light as much as we can and is possible.....

hoping that maybe someday we'll find a place like this again .“



                                        Vlaardingenlaan 11

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