“Once upon a time, there was a story. But no one to tell it.”
—A. D. Y. HOWLE
19 minute short in which six children of hippies now in their 30s and 40s answer 12 questions.
“My Life in Orange” by Tim Guest (2004)
Granta Books Tim Guest’s amazing story of what it was like growing up in the communes of Bhagwan: At the age of six, Tim Guest was taken by his mother to a commune modeled on the teachings of the notorious Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Bhagwan preached an eclectic doctrine of Eastern mysticism, chaotic therapy, and sexual freedom, and enjoyed inhaling laughing gas, preaching from a dentist's chair, and collecting Rolls Royces.
“The Love Israel Family; urban commune, rural commune.” Charles P. LeWarne (2009)
Historical account focusing on aspects of the commune related to its move from the city to the Country but mostly focusing on its existence in the city. Winner of the Malstrom Award of the League of Snohomish County Historical Organizations.
In The Love Israel Family, Charles LeWarne tells the compelling story of this group of idealistic seekers whose quest for a communal life grounded in love, service, and obedience to a charismatic leader foundered when that leader's power distanced him from his followers. LeWarne followed the Family for years, attending its celebrations and interviewing the faithful and the disaffected alike. He tells the Family's story with both sympathy and balance, describing daily life in the urban and later the rural commune and explaining the Family's deeply felt spiritual beliefs. The Love Israel Family is an important chapter in the history of communal experiments in the United States.
“The Love Family: Its Formative Years” by Rob W. Balch
Pages 63-94 in Sects, Cults, & Spiritual Communities: A Sociolological Analysis. Edited by William W. Zellner and Marc Petrowsky
Sects, Cults, & Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis is a compilation of articles written by different authors who are experts in the groups they present. The groups included in this study are: Heaven’s Gate, Jesus People USA, the Love Family, The Farm, Amish Women, Scientology, El Niño Fidencio, Santería, and Freedom Park. Rob Balch’s article about the Love Family is his analysis of the group, based on his interviews of members and his fieldwork, which included multiple visits to the group. He also wrote another interesting piece called, Charisma and Corruption in the Love Family: Toward a Theory of Corruption in Charismatic Cults, in Religion and the Social Order (1995) pp. 155-179.
“Beloved Son; A Story of the Jesus Cults” by Steve Allen
The noted entertainer details the circumstances of his son’s sudden joining of a religious enclave, the reasons involved, and the effects on his family and discusses the wider social context of cults and their converts.
“The Hippie Ghetto: The natural history of a subculture” by William L. Partridge (1973)
This is an anthropological case study of the subculture of a hippie ghetto. William Partridge, an instructor of social sciences at the University of Florida, spent over a year as a participant observer in the ghetto, then returned to check his earlier observations.
“Growing Up Hippie” by Anastasia Galadriel Machacek (2012)
Growing Up Hippie is a personal memoir of a young girl named Anastasia who was born and raised during the early hippie era. Packed full of fascinating and unusual childhood events, her story very candidly portrays the unconventional and controversial lifestyle of the early hippie culture. Anastasia gives a voice to a generation who are the offspring from the first wave of hippies. A tell-all story of what life was like being a hippie kid. From living in communes to experiencing the spiritual New Age, her story will captivate you. Aside from personal experiences, this book sheds light on the hippie culture itself. Based on her own interpretation, Anastasia weaves a colorful narration of her take on hippie life and the foundation of the hippie culture.
“It Takes a Cult” Director Eric Johannsen (2009)
Director Johannsen, shows amazing video footage of life inside the Love Israel community. He opens his film at a reunion of young people brought up in the commune. They, along with the older members, talk openly about Love Israel and his special abilities, about chauvinism, multiple relationships, money, poverty, spiritual visions, social shunning, brainwashing, hierarchy, selfishness, drug problems, and bankruptcy. Johannsen brings an insider's view of what drew the clan together, about the love they shared, and how acceptance into a community is what they all craved, and in most cases, found. —Santiago Films
Timothy Miller, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas at Lawrence has been involved in the Communal Studies Association (US) and Utopian Studies Society (Europe), and is past president of the International Communal Studies Association (Israel). He has a particular interest in intentional communities and new religious movements. He is the author of The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond (1999); America’s Alternative Religions (1995); and The Hippies and American Values (1991) among other books.