Photo Credit:
Vermont commune / Photo credit: Rebecca Lepkoff collection of the Vermont Historical Society

When presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was young and still had all his hair, he was kicked out of a hippie commune in Vermont in 1971 because he was “sitting around and talking” politics instead of working, according to a new book that’s mostly about the kids who did all the working.

We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America,” by Kate Daloz, scheduled to be released April 26, tells the story of Loraine, Craig, Pancake, Hershe, and a dozen of their friends, who came into possession of 116 acres, Myrtle Hill Farm, in northeast Vermont, and decided to “grow their own food, build their own shelter, and create an enlightened community. They had little idea that at the same moment, all over the country, a million other young people were making the same move—back to the land.”

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Daloz grew up next door to the hippie farm about which she reports, in a geodesic dome (a spherical or hemispherical thin-shell structure that was popular in the 1960s).

Bernie Sanders, 30, came to Myrtle Hill in the summer of 1971, at about the same time he became active in the socialist Liberty Union Party. He was there in the middle of researching an article on natural childbirth for Movement, Liberty Union’s newspaper. According to Deloz, “Many elements of Western medicine came under suspicion during this period, but none more so than modern obstetrics.”

Other than working on his article, which involved interviewing a pregnant member of the commune, Sanders spent his time at Myrtle Hill in “endless political discussion,” Deloz reports. This did not go over well with the rest of the hippies, who were working the land the way folks used to do in Colonial Vermont, which meant enduring long hours of backbreaking labor. According to Daloz, one of the commune members, Craig, “resented feeling like he had to pull others out of Bernie’s orbit if any work was going to get accomplished that day.”

In the end, Sanders was told he was no longer welcome. “When Bernie had stayed for Myrtle’s allotted three days, Craig politely requested that he move on,” Daloz reports.

The topics Bernie liked to discuss with the real workers, included, according to Deloz, “a kibbutz-style school for commune children; the possibility of a coming violent revolution; and the pros and cons of group marriage.” So he picked up a thing or two back in 1963, in kibbutz Sha’arei Ha’amakim not far from Haifa.

The Myrtle Hill commune broke up in the 1980s, a victim of the War on Drugs. They grew marijuana on the grounds, to supplement their income, and law enforcement raided them. According to police reports, they found a quarter million dollars of marijuana and “a bullet-proof vest, a machete, a gas mask, and a fully loaded Uzi.” So some Israeli flavor lingered even after Bernie had been ousted.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. “There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”
    Ayn Rand

    To his millennials, he’s the new Uncle Sam San. “Sandermoneyus”, “Sanderspendforus”, “Sanderific”. Yes, free, free, free! Charge the tab to hard working Jews and all who came here so many decades ago with dimes in their pockets and made it by the conviction that family is number one, as well as the family’s future.

    My grandfather did it [1912]. Now his great grandchildren are professionals paying taxes to support utter failures who blame every thing on others while it was their own matriarchs and patriarchs that failed them. That’s the truth, and they can’t handle that. So they reach out to an IDIOT with false promises. them and him!

  2. So, after Bernie did go to Israel to work on a kibbutz in order to help Israel, now this Jewish publication is printing an article designed to discredit and belittle him. I find it outrageous that American Jewish voters have not supported their own in any way, and even try to tear him down. I have no respect for that.

  3. Did you read the article? Where did you find any reference to bernie "WORKING" there??? He was kicked off for being lazy — means none productive member of that community…. He continued to prove it in USA – he is "only talking" member of our society now.

  4. He was there for THREE days and researching the entire time. People are ridiculous. He was a writer at the time and was there doing research. Do you really believe he intended to join the commune and live there permanently? Common sense people!

  5. Evdokia Siberian He did join a kibbutz in Israel in 1963 to help out. Yes I read the article and know it referred to a commune in Vermont. My comment was on the fact that the Jewish Press gleefully jumped on this story about the commune to discredit Bernie. It is wrong to turn on your own and in particular to try to ruin him when he has reached the hightest position a Jew has every done in American politics. And Lois, how many Jews in Israel are religious? Not too many, and not too many from what I see here in the US. He identifies as a Jew and lost most of his father's family in the holocaust. He was raised a Jew and today he exhibits all the moral teachings of Judaism. Shame on all of the American Jews who want to disavow him. And the Pope? What has that go to do with him being Jewish? The Pope happens to hold many of the same views as Bernie, on economy and stewardship of the earth. I hope you are not saying he can't be Jewish because the Pope recognized him for his views. I think it's shameful the way the Jewish community has turned on him. Shameful

  6. Sanders who cannot shout a full sentence without accusing others of taking money from special interests, the discovery that he financially benefits from nuclear toxic waste dumping should be hypocritical. Jane Sanders conveniently sat on the Board of Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority as the Sanders profited from purposefully dumping Vermont radiation on a Latino community. Bernie influence peddles using his wife as a surrogate as she belongs to quite a few board of directors, a way to funnel money to politicians. That's just one tax return, what is Bernie hiding in all those other returns he will not release?
    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2016/4/18/tax-return-confirms-sanders-financial-stake-in-toxic-nuclear-dump

  7. Rosemary Russo , nothing to do with being Jewish or not. The article is simply describes him as a lazy bum who spent his time mingling around while others were working: "he was kicked out of a hippie commune in Vermont in 1971 because he was “sitting around and talking” politics instead of working".
    I think that's not political statement – it just what Sanders was and still is! And most people who know him described him exactly this way. He did not change. And he did not achieve highest position and never will, considering that he is supported by people who have nothing to loose… His ideas are not new. Socialism failed everywhere and America is not place where he should experiment with his demagogic dreams.

  8. Kiersten Quick , exactly. I read it and that's what it said: "he was kicked out of a hippie commune in Vermont in 1971 because he was “sitting around and talking” politics instead of working"…. nothing to do with the place, religion or any other conditions. He was just LAZY BUM. And he still is.

  9. Rosemary Russo Jane Sanders also sat on a college board of directors and got paid huge money as the college failed. oard of directors is a way that politicians influence peddle for moeny. Bernie uses his wife as a surrogste to collect corporate money.

  10. Rosemary Russo , he is also taking money from democratic Super PAC to pay for his campaign…. guess who is donating there? So, would it be right to say that Sanders is using Big Banks money? I think so! The hypocrisy is obvious when he is not even a democrat.

  11. Kiersten Quick I'll help you out! "It was once communism. Today it's socialism. Call it whatever you want," Ely says. "It's a number of people who want to live together. And want to share everything together. We think that you have to take care of the weak (community members). The strong can deal with themselves."
    In those days, work for overseas volunteers consisted of picking fruit. Evenings were filled with community gatherings. http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/politics/bernie-sanders-kibbutz-volunteer-israel/

  12. Does any of this really matter? His campaign is over and the one note man will be history. He has never been liked and he lost all cred when he decided to listen to million dollar a month s who use shift tactics and hate to destroy a party, D's he has hated all of his life. Please, can he just go away?

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