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Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities

Life Magazine

“The Commune Comes to America,”Life, July 18, 1969.

The anonymous writer of this article features only The Family but refers to the “pioneer spirit” of hippie communes on the “frontier” of American late-‘Sixties utopian ventures.


A plot of woodland, 240 acres or rural Oregon, was chosen by Bob Carey, a one-time rider of Ken Kesey’s psychedelic bus, as the home of “The Family,” a religious back-to-nature commune established in 1968. Members, chiefly in their thirties or younger, came from such walks of life as computer programmer, welder, banker, and teacher. Most of the adults found their way to dropping out through dropping acid, but by the time of The Family’s foundation, they had turned to farming, meditating on Bible teachings, and fasting for mental cleansing.

A hexagonal lodge served as common room, kitchen, and refectory. Individual families (group marriage “hadn’t worked out”) lived in tents or tepees. The creations of potters and leather-crafters provided some income but a two-acre garden was the main source of food.

The commune’s credo: “Getting out of the cities isn’t hard, only concrete is. Get it together. This means on your own, all alone, or with a few of your friends. Buy land. Don’t rent. Money manifests. Trust. Plant a garden, create a center. Come together.”