In 1981, the same year Ronald Reagan ascended to the presidency, a secret meeting was held at a hideaway in the Colorado Rockies. Present were 22 young and wealthy individuals who shared a common concern about the conservative turn the country had taken and a common commitment to try to do something about it. As this somewhat mystical group sat in a circle meditating about how best to engage in effective social action, a doughnut-shaped cloud appeared overhead. Taking this as a sign of sorts, the group dubbed itself “The Doughnuts.” The idea they hit upon was to pool their resources and direct them at what they saw as socially and politically desirable programs. Described by one magazine as “a loose-limbed freemasonry of wealthy young idealists trying to heal the wounds of affluenza,” the group continued to meet once or twice a year through the 1980s.1