Alternative Living Commune

Does anyone have any experience with New Age/Hippie Communes in their village? There’s a group of 6-7 families offering to buy an extremely inexpensive €25k duplexed (two), 2-bedroom houses here for the purpose of establishing an alternative living arrangement. They want to live in the building, share cooking, childcare, meals, have a meeting center, start an inexpensive hostel, while they build mud and straw houses, start a boulangerie, open a shop, bla bla. One family is currently here living in their caravan and promoting the solidity and benefits of their venture within the village.
Coming from California, I am skeptical. I’ve seen my share of communes, cults, and other miscellaneous forms of New Age/alternative living communities.
I know there is nothing I can do about this situation, it’s not my decision and I have no say in the maire’s vision for this village.
This village has about 250 residents It’s quiet, no school, no shops, no amenities. We like this. 6-7 families could very well expand into something much larger and this quiet village turned into something unrecognizable.
Does anyone have any experience with groups like this in France? Are there benefits I’m not seeing? Nobody wants to see a sweet village die and fall into ruin, but would this hasten the demise or contribute positively to growth? These people don’t seem to have the ability or desire to be a part of traditional society but instead, want to form their own.
Tell me, am I just getting old and losing my ability to think outside the box?
Thank you!!!

I wouldn’t think it a good idea at a time of global pandemic to begin with

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Are these people French?
If so they presumabky know the rules they will have to comply with and are not as feckless as you think.
Anyone who plans to set up a hostel and a shop and build residential accommodation needs to have their head screwed on well.

Have you been to your Mairie, or had a word with any of your local counsellors that you might know?
I would find out what the local people think of this proposed scheme, or whether or not it has any official blessing or not.
You village is about the same size as ours and we always welcome people who can make a contribution.


Whilst I may not like the concept personally, the French national motto surely is in contention here:

and if the organisers respect the laws of France and the planning permissions (for any buildings.businesses etc) are put in place then I doubt there is much there can be done by dissenters/objectors.

I’ve visited several places with ‘alternative’ groups and they generally seem to have greater respect for the environment and heritage, and contribute more than many so-called locals. Often I’ve found that’s where you can get decent bread, perhaps even a cup of coffee, and they put on all sorts of animations that are welcomed (if mot always hugely professional).

We are around same size village, and recently the riding school was taken over by a young couple who are apparently qualified and experienced. It is now a mess, they are not managing to make a living so the animals look awful and people call the SPA regularly. They keep starting new projects to make money and abandoning them, so half finished building everywhere. Which is my way of saying that things can seem fine and turn our to be a pita, and equally odd ideas can be hugely successful and keep a village alive.


This statement might be open to the interpretation of unwarranted assumptions: about the intentions and motives of the newcomers, unless you have spoken with them and done so with an open mind.

What, to your way of thinking, is “a traditional society”, and on what warrants is your own view of that legitimate in an ever-changing world?


This is not at all uncommon here in Brittany Patricia, and is regarded very positively. The best known is Trémargat, which was an almost deserted village until revived by lots of alternative-lifestylers who have made of it a wonderful example (see links below) - we go to the lauded restaurant there, where for lunch on Monday you pay whatever you like!

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The fronts for this organization don’t have a proverbial pot to piss in and have lived in their caravan for the past six years. I think they see this village as complacent where they can come and squeeze six families into 4 bedrooms and live out their utopian fantasy without causing a problem for the old residents who have lived and cared for this village for years. But that’s just my skepticism coming out. Maybe they will be quiet and non-obtrusive, respect their long term resident neighbors, find some land on which to plant their garden, find some property to create a shop selling je ne sais pas, bake bread out of their headquarters and make a truly positive impact on the community. Or maybe these are just pipe dreams with emphasis on the word pipe. :joy::joy::joy:

I thought of that as well…

Exactly. Question is, do they?

Yes they are French. Haven’t spoken to the Maire but I haven’t talked to anyone who is in love with idea of turning this village into a hippie haven. We are talking about people who do not want to merge into village life, they like living off the grid, and want to do it their way.

Agreed. It’s going to work out the way it’s going to work out and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

That’s hardly scepticism by any definition. Sceptics don’t takes sides on issues. What you evidence reads like bigotry. Or nimbyism. Do you actually know what your elderly neighbours think of the newcomers, or do you stereotype them as well?


Why not speak with your Maire to find out what the future holds… :thinking:


Yes we chat with them every morning. They don’t have a toilet so they use the public one across the street. It’s not that we have a problem with their ideology, we just don’t share it and like the village the way it is. But the times they are a changin´ I guess.

That’s more like it, @Mantragirl! And about time too. With a handle like yours, I guessed you had a more “spiritual side”! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::hugs:


Yes, everybody talks to everybody. It’s a small place. It’s not some poor, decaying village in need of rescue, it’s pretty, well-maintained, quiet. If liking your life as-is, enjoying your community and the people with whom you share it means you are bigoted for resisting major changes that may impact the quality of life, then ok, I will own that label.


Good idea.

Peter, I am a native Californian old Haight-Ashbury hippie, and have been there done that and seen it all so maybe that’s part of my problem. Lol!!! Came close to being imprisoned by followers of the Rev Sun Yung Moon (sp?), had a friend who was shot in Guyana (lived) reporting for the SF Examiner on Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, was literally routinely accosted and harassed by Hare Krishnas until they mellowed out, went to the Catskills to stay at the Siddha Yoga Ashram until that utopic vision crumbled, and have seen many forms of alternative living, communes, whatever you want to call them, so yes, I am extremely skeptical and sense there is more to this project than meets the eye. Hidden agenda if you will. But I do appreciate the info on the cool village in Côtes-d’Armor! It would be nice to visit.