American Notes: Closed Communes

Part of the hippie ethic that evolved during the '60s was a communal warmth, the idea of an open and sharing brotherhood. But sometimes there just isn't enough to share. The 2,500 hippies who live in 16 pastoral communes around Taos, N. Mex., have begun slamming doors on newcomers. "When a transient arrives looking for a place to crash," says one communard, "we send him to a motel. We aren't even telling him how to get to the communes."

Already the communes are in sullen —and occasionally violent—conflict with the Taosenos. The prospect...

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