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I think the point of the article is that it's not as bad, or their word, "Dickensian," as people think. The article is missing some hard numbers: how many are choosing the lifestyle? How many of those that do are engaging in criminal / disruptive activity?

It's pretty cool you got to check out a commune in Lake county.

> It's pretty cool you got to check out a commune in Lake county.

It was a little creepy, to be honest. They have pictorial banners up in the woods, without any words. I was only allowed into the bookshop, and every single book and CD was by the commune leader. Every single one.

Edit: I'll add some detail here since people seem to be interested. Lake County is a very, very remote area a few hours north of San Francisco. The commune has been functional since the 60s, sucking up its members' wealth in exchange for living under the direction of a charismatic leader. While a generation lived under this leader's direction, their children suffered the brunt of the eccentricity and thoughtlessness that the era inculcated. The one incident that I recall hearing about is when several children (including the person I was dating) in the 8-12 age range were randomly ordered to live with different parents on a whim, and the families complied. A significant fraction of the kids of that generation are somewhat screwed up, with causes ranging from heroin addiction to the effects of sexual abuse as children. It put a very dark tint on the rainbow of the 60s for me.

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