Hippies ‘Tell It like It Is’
HAVE the hippies found the answers? Has their way of life proved to be the way to happiness? Are their dealings with one another genuinely loving and upbuilding? What are they reaping from the life they have sown?
You will find it of interest to hear what persons who have been hippies say. They can ‘tell it like it is.’ Of course, not all have had the same experiences. However, the following are quite representative of what many have said.
Finding the Answers?
One young woman in the United States entered the hippie movement with the same idealism as others. She wanted answers. Listen to her experience as told to Awake! magazine:
“What we were all really doing at first was trying to find the answers to the staggering problems of life. In this quest I became involved in drugs and sex worship. Later on I became even more involved with the occult, with mysticism and demonism.
“Yet, with all of this, nothing made any sense. Through my so-called ‘guru’ I got more involved in the mystic and occult and drug-taking. I found, however, that it was all getting harder to take. I began to feel such deep depression that I had to control the urge to jump off a bridge more than once.
“Many of my friends were now heroin addicts and alcoholics. One used a dirty needle when taking dope and gangrene set in, with blood poisoning. He almost died. Another finally got a gun and shot himself. He just couldn’t cope with it all, particularly the spiritistic forces working on us.
“This really shook me up. I felt that I couldn’t take this life anymore, as it was definitely not providing the answers I was searching for. I had ‘had it’ with these so-called ‘holy men.’”
No, she did not find the answers for which she was searching. Nor did the hippie way lead to a better life for her. It brought neither happiness nor hope for the future.
A young man from California who was a hippie for years also was looking for the answers and a better way of life. He was ‘fed up’ with the materialism and hypocrisy of society. He says:
“Sure I tried drugs—every one on the market. I let my hair grow down to the middle of my back. I wore gold earrings, a beard—the whole bit.
“There was so much lack of concern by others for young people. Kids today are fed up with the system. That’s why they take drugs—it’s an escape. They see the people around them ruining the earth and the water by polluting if and not caring that they do it. Their hang-up is the hypocrisy of today’s world.”
Yet, after more than five years of living as a hippie, what did he observe among their ranks? He states:
“The hippie is just as hypocritical as the people he criticizes. Materialism is as bad in the hippie movement as it is elsewhere. The hippie talks about love, but he doesn’t mean it or practice it in the Biblical sense. It is mostly sex—in fact, sex worship. They didn’t really care about anybody else.”
A dictionary defines materialism as “the doctrine that self-interest is and ought to be the first law of life.” So it is materialistic, or selfish, to think primarily of one’s own desires.
Do hippies think primarily of their own desires? Well, do they not abandon responsibility to parents and others, regardless of the effect it has? Do they not often selfishly break the hearts of their parents who, with all of their faults, have usually worked hard to rear their children? Do not hippies selfishly indulge themselves to gratify every whim of passion? And nowhere is this selfishness more evident than in their desire for drugs.
From Drugs to Where?
Many hippies have a continual problem trying to get enough drugs. Drugs are expensive. It takes money to buy them.
To get drugs, some hippies resort to begging on the streets. Others acknowledge that they steal to get the money. Some have talked the women with whom they live into engaging in acts of prostitution to make the money. What is the frenzy to acquire drugs, if not rank materialism?
Smoking marijuana is only the first step. Very often it leads to the use of stronger drugs. What does this lead to? Finding answers? Uplift? Happiness? An improved way of life? A writer who posed as a hippie and lived with them wrote about his experience in Look magazine. It is similar to what many hippies and former hippies admit is the truth. He stated of the “pad” where he lived:
“Rick and Kathy’s place was a filthy, litter-strewn, swarming dope fortress that was a great deal less savory and sanitary than a sewer, since people attempted to live in it. Along the hallway when we walked in there were at least a half-dozen hippies lying in various stages of drug stupor. And in the darkened bedrooms, blank-faced males and females sat stupefied on the floors as rock music howled full volume from radios and hundreds of flies churned through layers of sweet-smelling marijuana smoke. . . .
“[One hippie] was so stoned when he arrived that he was talking in a whiny, scary falsetto voice—yet whatever he had been taking still wasn’t enough. Around five a.m., I woke up briefly to catch sight of him . . . shooting sugared water into the veins of his neck, since he had run out of real drugs as well as available places to stick the needle. Each time he injected himself, he would moan, ‘Ooooohhh, oooohhh, this is my thing . . . this is my thing,’ and would ‘freak out’ by rolling around the floor, thrashing and flopping and hooting like an owl.”
Hippies rightly criticize those in society who make money their god, who pursue materialistic things. But the frenzied pursuit of drugs by many hippies is every bit as materialistic, perhaps even more so. And the results?
A doctor at San Francisco’s General Hospital estimated that the hospital admitted fifteen to twenty drug-deranged patients weekly. He said: “Users come in here sleep-deprived, malnourished and often with needle diseases . . . . Many users develop respiratory diseases because of malnutrition.” A California attorney general revealed: “Every 60 hours someone in the Haight-Ashbury district dies tragically because of drugs.”
Even those who escape immediate tragic consequences must yet face the possible long-term effects of taking drugs. One of these effects from LSD has been described as “chromosome breakage” in body cells. It may occur, it is reported, “after only one or two uses . . . . Such breakage, experiments show, could cause subsequent children of the users to be born abnormal, retarded or both.”
Love for one’s fellow human ranks high in hippie philosophy. But what happens in actual practice? Is it really love for one person to supply another with drugs, as hippies do for each other? How many minds are broken and deranged by drugs? How many bodies are shattered and worn down? Methedrine, LSD, peyote, heroin and other drugs are pushed by hippies. But they turn their backs in helplessness or lack of concern when a fellow hippie’s mind begins to turn to jelly from taking them.
Also, what kind of “love” is “free sex”? One girl of sixteen explained that she did not mind giving herself to different men, saying: “It’s quite a common thing.” But what are the by-products of this promiscuous life? In addition to jealousies, bitterness and hatreds aroused among themselves, there comes the disastrous spread of venereal disease. Unscrupulous, selfish characters drift among the hippies looking for “free sex.” They leave a trail of infected persons behind.
Exposing her grave lack of knowledge of the real dangers of venereal disease, one hippie naïvely told a reporter: “It happens. That’s the chance you take with free love. So, you go to a clinic and get rid of it.” Many, to their sorrow, are now finding out that a permanent cure is not that easy.
The American ambassador to Afghanistan, Robert Neumann, said of the hippies in Kabul: “They are destroying themselves in Afghanistan. There is suicide, horrible sanitation, disease. They live in hovels.” Does all of this sound like the product of genuine neighbor love?
‘Like It Is’
Persons may be drawn to the hippie movement in a sincere search for happiness, for answers to life’s problems, for freedom. But the facts argue that what they are finding is far from this. Their search has led to much unhappiness, no answers, and even enslavement—to drugs, one’s own passions, as well as to the hippie ‘Establishment.’
One reporter in Haight-Ashbury said: “Some of the hippies wandering around look more careworn, more concerned, less happy than the stockbrokers on Montgomery Street whom they profess to scorn.” Another said: “The Haight-Ashbury, once the citadel of love, . . . now is a ghost town, a city of fear, of rape, murder, assault, robbery.”
Thus, ‘telling it like it is,’ a reporter said: “Few found what they came for . . . most of them found instead a paradise lost, filled with drugs and dirt and screams of misery.”
No one can blame persons for wanting a better system of things, since this one is in horrible condition. But is the answer a way of life that does not improve matters, often making them worse? The experiences of those who have been hippies and who ‘tell it like it is’ show that the answer must be, No.
But then, what is the answer to life’s problems? Will this corrupt system of things always prevail the way it now does so that young people have little hope for the future? Just where can an honest, sincere person turn for genuine happiness now and a solid hope for the future?