‘The Group’: LDS Hippie Culture and Drug Recovery

‘The Group’: LDS Hippie Culture and Drug Recovery In the hippie culture of the sixties and early seventies, the LDS Church’s staunchly conservative stance seemed anathemic to a philosophy of drug use as the way to enlightenment. Yet among a small group of recovering drug addicts, the theology of Mormonism was reinvented and reinvigorated to encompass their specialized struggles. The Group started as an informal organization, partially the brainchild of Gerald and Carol Lynn Pearson, but was soon so successful that it was incorporated into local Church structure. Examining the stories, both of success and failure, within the Group is both enlightening and heartbreaking, not just for the sake of humanism but in order to observe how each generation reinvents Mormonism for its times.

Spencer Ellsworth