International Review of Modern Sociology, Vol. 6 No.1, Spring 1976
In Hutterite colonies, various spiritual, traditional, contractual, and representational premises lead to the conversion of power into authority and a peculiar kind of communal energy which is the source of collective and Eaton, Joseph W, 1952 "Controlled acculturation: a survival technique of the Hutterites." American Sociological Review, 17: 131-340. individual power. Personal attributes both spiritual and, functional, of different members of the community are recognized. For a Hutterite, that recognition is above all in bued with a sense of the holy although it is not, by any means, devoid of material pragmatism. The outcome of this balance is an authoritative hierarchy, which strives to maintain the balance. It draws its justification and justice from a well preserved and well respected traditional past which may be rooted in history, beyond the Hutterite people, deep in the early fusions of Germanic culture and the Christian faith.

A social scientist's interest in effective and successful decision making within a communal setting arises from two broad queries: (1) does the commune have an egalitarian and leveled off pattern of decision making by the whole body, and (2) if the commune has a tacit or explicit decision making hierarchy, does that reality not contradict the egalitarian spirit of the commune?

Decision making implies choice and determination, suggesting that the choice maker is faced with alternatives. Alternatives are stimulants for the sensory perceptions, but they also call for diffusion and dispersion of attention, and may lead to anxiety.

For the individual, choice making permits control, consciousness, and the sensation of power, giving security to the decision maker. But it also creates responsibility for him (he may blame himself for having made the wrong decision). The less an individual has decision making possibilities or feels he has them, or if he abdicates them, the more he becomes part of a bigger whole (environment or scheme) which makes decisions for him.

As individual decision making potentials may and do create power contradictions and conflicts, decision making becomes a necessity for social organization. Social decision making may itself be a manifestation of the choice making potentials of some individuals or certain social segments which impose their own conception of social organization on others. That would be a direct power based social order: decision making by fiat. But social order by fiat has to impose itself; it may be resented ¬and resisted even by those members of the society who would rather not go through the anxiety of choice ¬making. Besides, powerful segments within the social context may and will come into conflict. These sociopolitical fermentations and dynamics will bring about authority patterns, i.e., norms of behavior, rules of conduct, and regulatory institutions within whose realm power complexes exercise their power. In other words, competing, conflicting, and compromising powers legitimize the modalities of the exercise of power in their overlapping areas into authority.

Legitimization turns power (which has to impose itself) into authority (which has the consent and acceptance of those who submit to it). The legitimizing dimension is drawn from and reflects the cultural and ideological pattern of a society. It can be spiritual, traditional, contractual, or representational and is usu¬ally a combination of these, with emphasis on one or some aspects. The divine right of kings from China to Europe had strong spiritual emphasis, Germanic electoral monarchies had traditional undertones, and modern bureaucratic and technocratic democracies have contractual and representational overtones. The authority pattern provides a decision making hierarchy within which those who would rather avoid the anxiety of decision making usually the great silent majority provide a base on which the contesting and compromising power complexes exercise power. Even representational democracies turn their electoral processes into legitimizing rituals. According to one poll taken a few days before the 1974 U.S. Congressional elections, only 14 per cent of those interviewed knew the names of their candidates, but some 54 per cent of them were going to vote 1 The citizen is exhorted to vote (that legitimizes the authority) but not necessarily to participate in the political process.

How does decision making fit into an egalitarian communal pattern? The question is asked because its "egalitarian" and "communal" characteristics seem, at first sight, to conflict with some of the attributes of decision making outlined above. Communal arrangements dilute the in¬dividual and social decision making processes into collective decision ma= king. But, as we said, social decision¬ making is needed because individual and segmental decision making potentials collide. Where, then, does the power lie?

The egalitarian proposition would lead to the assumption that communal decision making powers are evenly distributed among the members of the commune. That not only negates the existence of a decision making hierarchy and an authority pattern, but also disregards the tendencies of some (and indeed, by observations made, the greater number of people) to avoid the anxiety of decision making, as well as the drive of others who seek and have potentials for social decision making. Or could it be that the egalitarian attribute of communal living is evinced when the community secures equality in economic production and distribution while at the same time installing an authority pattern to implement the egalitarian philosophy and policy? That, of course, would not be totally egalitarian. Besides, what would keep the decision making hierarchy from using its position to wield power and make itself more equal than others?  Modern attempts to implement communal egalitarian philosophies have shown symptoms of these shortcomings. Why have the Hutterites survived such sociopolitical vicissitudes for more than four centuries? Is it that their communal setting envelops hidden power and authority patterns?

The study of decision making patterns among the Hutterites can gain clarity if we briefly go over the circumstances within which their movement was born and the factors which catalyzed the Hutterites together as a people. The scene was early sixteenth century Europe. The church of Rome was discredited in its spiritual leadership and was trying to recover from the scandalous reign of Pope Alexander, whose ruthless and ambitious son Caesar Borgia had served as a model for Machiavelli. Christian princes who had learned the sophistications of Italian diplomacy and politics did not hesitate to use them. Although the Ottomans' presence in central Europe was threatening the very existence of European social and cultural structures, Francis I compacted with Suleiman I against Charles V. The perennial muddle of the spiritual and the secular left room for doubt, but also maneuver, by the different power complexes. The princes coveted the lands of the church while the growing bourgeoisie longed for liberation from Christian restrictions on business activities. In their conflicts and competitions, the antagonists critically pointed at each other's basic flaws and faults. For practical purposes of social organization and power politics, however, at given times and on broader or narrower issues, the contesting quarters eventually compromised. For example, Luther condemned the peasants' revolt, while Zwingli compromised with the civil lords of Zurich.

In some social crises, certain individuals and groups (usually few), after gaining consciousness of the faults and flaws of contesting powers or interests, draw rational and ideal conclusions and remain at that extreme, not accepting social and political rationales which, by accommodation, permit faults and flaws to survive. Thus, while in the broad sociopolitical arena contesting power complexes manage to compromise; these minorities get caught in the crossfire. (In contemporary politics, the Trotskyite radicals draw attacks from the right wing and Communists alike.)

In the Anabaptist movements of the sixteenth century, the sect that was later identified as Hutterian offered three major solutions to the main flaws of the contesting power complexes: adult baptism in order to render the Christian a responsible participant in his religion, checking on the corruption of the church; pacifism as the actualization of the Christian love of mankind which, when universalized, would end aggressions and ambitions of the warring princes; and communal living and community of property which, as the fulfillment of Christian brotherhood, would bring men truly together both spiritually and materially and thwart the greed and profiteering of the bourgeoisie. The Hutterian solutions were, of course, radical, and the small number of people who set up communities to practice them suffered persecution by those in power.

In the long run, radicals who do not manage to take over are eventually diffused in the sociopolitical mainstream, foundering under persecution and discrimination, and/or succumbing to vices which they may have wanted to exterminate radically but which are in fact human realities. The Hutterians suffered crises of diffusion and dangers of extinction due to these factors, but survived them. The particular circumstances and characteristics made them survive these crises that streamlined their communal life and provided the basic concepts for their organizational and decision making processes [2]. The emergence of Jakob Flutter as a leader in the 1520s and 1530s was providential at a time of crisis. Hutter's leadership helped the Hutterites (who were henceforth identified by his name) to ride over the authoritarian exercise of power by Widemann, the Ananias behaviors of Reublin and Schulzinger, and the particularize of Zaunring [3]. But Hutter was more than an effective social organizer. He believed in his providential mission and, through his drive, fervor, and martyrdom, instilled in his followers the belief that they were God's chosen people who by their spiritual discipline would persevere "against all obstacles until their vindication at the second advent of Christ [4].

What is more important, however, is that Hutter was not a Savonarola exhorting the Florentines to piety and austerity. There were certain factors in the characteristics and background of the people who had congregated as Hutterians which made their spiritual and social organization possible. The bulk of them came from Germanic peoples of the Tyrolian Alps and Central Europe. Broadly speaking, they were of Gothic stock. Their conversion to Christianity was more recent than the more accessible and Latinized Germanic people of western European plains. One may suspect that whatever early exposure they had to Christianity through their Gothic culture may have been tainted by the Arian creed (denying the consubstantiality of the Trinity) which Ulfilas introduced among his people by inventing the Gothic alphabet and translating the Bible in the fourth century. This fact is significant in the combination of the Germanic culture and Christian religion in general, as traces of Arianism run through the fibres of such reformatory concepts as communion. Anabaptism itself was not unrelated to the Germanic culture. Was it not true that in the German feudal tradition, when a vassal passed away his progeniture would claim his domain by pledging allegiance to the King on attaining maturity? The kingdom of Christ also needed adherents who would assume responsibility therefore, adult baptism.

The Hutterian congregation, then, had a Germanic cultural backbone. Although people of many professions and social status joined it, the great majority of its members came from a rural background hardy, with a practical outlook to nature and a sense of the holy. Christianity was for them not a ritual but the truth of their faith and they, in the words of flutter, were "saints, chosen and elect." To re enact the community of Christ in Jerusalem, however, they found parallels in their own culture which they could apply and support on scriptural authority. It is this entwining of Christian spirituality and communal practicality which is the source of the decision making process in the Hutterian culture and makes it unique.

Peter Rideman, who assumed leadership soon after Hutter, formulated the basic concepts of Hutterian faith and communal organization which remain unaltered as the Hutterian way of life today. What is striking is its pivotal premise of the surrender of the individual will to the faith, whose abstraction is actualized by the community which is church and commune in one, the Gemein [5]. This in turn takes upon itself to educate, indoctrinate, and communalize (in contradistinction to "socialize") its members so that they can assume responsibility towards their Gemein (church/commune) spiritually and practically and thus surrender their will to their faith. Although this seems to be a closed circuit, a closer look will show that it draws its legitimacy from beyond, because once the individual has surrendered his will to his faith, what he does and decides is an expression of his faith coming from God and not his own will. That does not, however, mean superstitious fatalism. Let us not forget that through his baptism, the Hutterite has accepted responsibility.

Theoretical analyses have often concluded that successful anarchical and totalitarian models become alike because anarchy is achieved where the members of society have internalized the totality of the social norms so well that no external coercive body is necessary, and the goal of the totalitarian system is to indoctrinate its subjects so totally that the use of its coercive power, insofar as the behavior of its subjects is concerned, will eventually become unnecessary. Without any of the derogatory connotations which these terms carry, the theory of the similarity of anarchical and totalitarian patterns finds confirmation in the Hutterian order. But as long as the goal and the legitimizing factor of the indoctrination / internalization process remains the responsibility of the Hutterite member to the beyond, it ceases to resemble the secularmaterialistic anarchist and totalitarian models.

The surrender of individual will to faith, and its responsible submission to the Gemein partially indicates the Hutterian way of regulating the decision making potentials of individuals. The factor of self denial would reduce the tendencies of the individual to use his decision making potentials for self gratification, and his acceptance of responsibility would alleviate his inclination to avoid decisions. That, of course, leaves us with the question of collective decision making. After all, it is not an amorphous Gemein that indoctrinates its members. There must be some decision making process. And there is. But again, it is how that process intertwines the spiritual with the practical, recruiting individual decision making potentials to implement it, which makes the Hutterite way unique.

The Hutterites' solution to the problem of succession in their spiritual leadership and communal economic organization reflects the long electoral tradition of their people, although its justification goes beyond simple representation. While the Bible is strong on kingship and patriarchal hegemony, its references to the electoral process are rather scant. The Biblical hierarchy of elections is downwards rather than upwards. And the top of the downward process often gets lost in the divine realm. Concerning elections, Rideman notably refers to the appointment of Mathias and then his election by lot, [6] and the choice of Stephen and six others by the multitude, as the apostles prayed. The Hutterites incorporated these concepts of prayer and lot in their "democratic" electoral process and thereby changed the nature of their representation. The change is not merely ritual but essential. [7]

For the Hutterites, voting is not supposed to be a personal act. As they surrender their will to their faith, so do they, through prayer, "wait upon the Lord to see whom he chooses and showed them." And if more than one is revealed, the will of God shall be expressed by lot. The rule of the majority prevails, but it is not the Rousseauean General Will, it is the manifestation of God's will. In the words of Rideman “ ... the Lord hath shown us him, therefore we accept the fear of God as a gift and present from God." [8] This quotation concerns, more particularly, the election of the spiritual leaders of the Gemein. With some references to Biblical generalities, Rideman also refers to other helpers, who at the outset of Hutterian history are little distinct from the spiritual leaders, but who in the actual Hutterian practicalities evolved into the executives and managers of the Gemein economy.

The organization and assignment of tasks for communal economics also bear imprints of the Hutterian people's original Germanic culture, as evidenced in parallels found in other communal experiments of the time such as the Mennonites. But strong Biblical inspiration marked the Hutterians through the centuries, immunizing them from the social evolution and revolutions which went on around them. It permitted them to elaborate and intertwine with their democratic practices a pattern of patriarchal hegemony and hierarchization based on distinctions of baptism, sex, and age.

The surrender of the will to the faith, and the acceptance of responsibility to the Gemein takes place, of course, at baptism. Further, Rideman, on the authority of the Bible, [9] establishes that "since woman was taken from man, and not man from woman, man hath lordship but woman weakness, humility, and submission, therefore she should be under the yoke of man and obedient to him." [10]

It is, then, the baptized males who become the responsible body of the Gemein and through prayer and God's counsel elect leaders and decide on the affairs of the Gemein and the issues which are submitted by the leaders to their vote. But while the Gemein is a self governing body, it is continuity with strong traditional emphasis on its spiritual goal and mission. In so far as it is traditional, which implies little change from generation to generation; it should revere and draw on experience and wisdom gained through age. Accordingly, we find an age hierarchy within the Hutterite decision making process which is reflected in the membership of elders in the Gemeinde Council as well as consideration of age as one of the factors in the election and promotion to managerial and executive positions. We are thus presented with further decision making bodies and levels which need scrutiny. To do so, we should translate the spiritual, representational, and traditional patterns into their contemporary communal organization. I borrow here Bennett's excellent diagram for this purpose. [11]

Formal Organization of
          Hutterian Colony

This diagram is self-explanatory and shows the relative nature and level of the decision-making process in a Hutterian Gemein.

The above diagram is complemented by the picture of the loose confederation which has emerged at present due to the proliferation of the Hutterian Gemein across the United States and Canada. While the approximately 400 Hutterite immigrants who settled in three colonies in America in the nineteenth century have grown to 22,000 souls in over 200 colonies, no significant power leut, Lehrerleut, and Schmiedeleut) have branched out distinct from one another. Each, as a Leut (people), has a Leut! Council of Ministers which elects an Altester (the Eldest) as Vorsteher (president) and meets on occasion to pass Ordnungen (ordinance) which may be regarded as the Leut's "constitution."[12] The Vorsteher can have a committee of advisors, usually composed of some ministers, and make recommendations, but he has no formal authority. However, while the Gemein remains an autonomous body, a tacit patriarchal overseeing is exercised by the body of the spiritual leaders over the Leut, Among the Schmie-deleut of the United States, for example, the election of a new minister in a Gemein is announced before- hand to all the other sister colonies. The day before the election the members of the council of the Gemein nominate candidates by secret bal- lot. On the election day the attending ministers from other colonies open the ballots and establish a slate of candidates. They then supervise the elections and also cast their votes together with the voting members (baptized males) of the Gemein. Although the final outcome is often decided by lot, the patriarchal impact of the ministers from other colonies, who may outnumber the voting members of the colony it- self, is obvious. Note also that the nomination of candidates was done only by the council members of the Gemein and not by the whole voting body-another instance of patriarchal hierarchy.

So far, our model depicts a hierarchi zed community within which the hierarchy implements an egalitarian policy. The question then arises as to why the hierarchy has not embarked on an empire-building spree. The simple answer to this would be, of course, the spiritual commitment of every and all members of the Gemein including the leaders. However, the Hutterites and particularly their leaders, are the first to admit that man is fallible and that simple religious commitment may not be good enough for successful communal life. It must be reinforced by appropriate conditioning and favorable conditions.

Very early in their experience the Hutterites instituted a strict educational pattern which molds their children in the Hutterian way of life from a tender age. They quote Proverbs 22: 6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." The Hutterite learns that he is fortunate to be born as one of God's elect and lead the Hutterian way of life which guarantees salvation. That way of life should be austere, which may be difficult to endure when compared to the tempting life led by those outside the Hutterian Gemein. This indoctrination, which is later followed by group pressure along the same lines, does in fact formulate favorable conditions for the survival of the Gemein.

One of these conditions, which is also a prerequisite for successful education and indoctrination, is relative isolation of the Gemein from the outside world. It not only immunizes the Gemein but reduces the adaptability of its members to the outside, thus deterring defections. Communal living implies confinement. Most of the utopians built their communities on an island. Confinement is needed not only for immunity from the alien outside world, but should, in the sense of self-containment, be largely practiced among sister communities. For it is when entities become interdependent that they need regulatory authorities beyond their confines, and the more intricate and involved their interdependence becomes, the more the authoritative hierarchy spirals upwards. Self-containment then requires a high degree of self- sufficiency which can, of course, bring a high degree of security to the members of the community. But it also calls for austerity, another crucial condition for the success of an egalitarian community. Self-containment implies austerity because usually the more complicated and luxurious an economy becomes, the more dependent it becomes on the outside. The community, then, should tend towards limiting its needs, i.e., the needs of its members. Thus, both spiritually and practically, austerity remains the guideline of the Hutterites.

While austerity is inculcated into the individual through indoctrination and is well internalized, it is not in itself a sufficient guarantor against deviation. My interviews confirmed the findings of other researchers about the existence of latent and potential drives in many Hutterians for more worldly satisfactions of comfort and pride. The success of Hutterites in maintaining austerity is mainly attributable to the fact that it is built into their way of life and communal evolution-in particular as regards the Hutterian approaches to procreation and colony division

Hutterians believe in simple, faithful, and natural marital relationships which produce many children. They have one of the highest birth rates in the world. Many children means many mouths to feed and keeps the Hutterians busy at agricultural production. The high birth rate, however, contributes not only to the fast growth of population in a Gemein in general, but also increases manpower, which eventually increases the Gemeinde output and wealth. It will also require creation of new jobs for the growing manpower and consequently more complicated economic and communal organization, which would reduce the face-to-face effectiveness of the communal arrangements. The Hutterian solution to these problems is to split a Gemein before it reaches the critical size.

The Gemein starts thinking about splitting, depending on the different Leu! and their location, when its numbers grow between 100 and 150. Splitting has the effect of leveling off the growth. It makes Hutterian Gemein proliferate horizontally and avoids their development into vertical cumulative economies. Therefore, there are few accumulated resources which could be used, or which would tempt the authority hierarchy, as a power base. Besides, the size, having been kept small, maintains the face-to-face relation- ships which make impersonal, powerful structures hard to establish and, facilitates communal control. The small size also permits a diffusion of responsibilities so that most of the eligible adult males are eventually assigned some managerial and executive positions. It is interesting to note that, as Hostetler reported, of the few Hutterian defectors to the outside, many were men whose expectations for being given a responsible task in the colony were frustrated.

Belief and austerity are effective Hutterian bases for the cohesion and perpetuation of their community life. As our discussion of their implications reveals, they are not abstractions but practical means of con- trolling man's individual and segmental tendencies towards power. The inspiration the Hutterites finally receive from God in their prayers is based on the realities that surround them. They generally shun the ambitious man but they also avoid voting for the inefficient man. God's revelation is most often a practical consideration. In one colony which I visited, the hog man was found not competent for the job. When the goose man's job became available, God showed the majority of the voters to vote the hog man into the goose man's job (a less important position), and choose in his place a man they found to be more capable as a hog man. In this we can discern a contractual dimension involved in the assignment of managerial decision makers. The man should do his job. The small Gemein, in its informal day-to-day, face-to-face relationship sifts much of God's will for practical living. And as the few men who were not given a responsible position and defected to the outside were ineffective in the first place, more often than not they return to the security of the Gemein, which, after all, is the major concrete factor in the Hutterians' life on this earth. A young Hutterite confided to Bennett: "Well, it's a pretty good life, you know .... You always come back. Where else can you get a good deal like this for a lifetime. [13]

There are also segmental tendencies of men towards power. The man who does not get into an executive or managerial position may be the victim of factionalism along family lines. The Hutterites do not discourage but encourage family ties, which are particularly useful for informal help recruitment within and among the Gemeinde. But they can also become sources of segmental hegemony. There again the Gemein presure towards spiritual conformity and the internalized values provide a check, while the horizontal division of the colony and creation of opportunities for democratic diffusion of tasks provide an outlet for them.

Schematically, we are thus presented with a pattern of authority which combines totalitarian indoctrination and internalization-characteristics of the theories of anarchy with a democratic diffusion of responsibilities and tasks within and among the Gemein (Figure 2).

Authority Pattern

This pattern engenders then the scheme for the members of the Gemein (Figure 3).

Membership in
          Hutterian Gemein

The statistics that have been gathered on the number of defections and mental health of the Hutterites show the great integrative effectiveness of their culture. More pertinent to our study, however, is the nature of their corrective and punitive procedures and measures.

Delinquency, though with much lower frequency than outside, does exist in the Hutterian Gemein. Man is fallible; Hutterians know it and experience it. But the way they handle it is unique. When a minor deviant act is committed for example, pilferage by an adolescent-s-either the father and the family are called upon to put things right or, more often, the delinquent is admonished by the German teacher or the minister. More serious illegal acts are brought before the Council, which is the supreme judicial body. Punishments, which escalate according to the severity of the act, include public confession and request for pardon before the Assembly, or a period of solitude for the delinquent decreed by the Council. The delinquent is not put in a prison, but during his solitude he is required not to eat in the communal dining room but alone, not to sleep in his family home but somewhere else, alone. Communications between him and the Gemein members, including his own family and even his wife, are severed. He does his job. Sometimes he gets a job which isolates him. He comes to the religious service but does not enter the church room, remaining in the vestibule. The highest punishment is excommunication. The guilty party is not at peace with the Gemein. All shun him, and nobody has anything to do with him at all. The Hutterite script read on the occasion says, "Because you have despised God, and because you have put yourself outside of the community .... " The time it takes for a Gemein to consider return of the excommunicate depends on the Council's judgment of his repentance.

The Hutterites do not have policemen, fines, or jails in our conventional sense. But their punishments, from the point of view of a Hutterite, must be terrible. By Marxian Communist standards the Hutterites seem to have attained the stage where coercive authority has withered away (though they do spank their adolescents for misdemeanors). The Hutterian Gemein is one living body which corrects itself where it finds itself ailing. In that sense the community primes even the family patterns within it. If it is found out, even after years, that the spouse of a delinquent who had been put in isolation had contact and intercourse with him or her during the period of isolation, both of them are punished.

This preponderance of the whole Gemein resembles primeval tribal patterns. It is interesting to note that in the elaboration of their scientific communism, Marx and Engels referred to primitive communism as the earlier form of social organization (a fact recorded in human history from China to the West). That communism, however, was not free from supernatural beliefs, and it held together because of its subsistence level of economy and austerity. According to Marxian/Engelian scientific socialism, man's social organization, passing through different stages of evolution in the means of production and revolution in the relations of production, will attain freedom from religion (because it is no longer needed as the opium of the down- trodden people) and an abundant community where each will work according to his capacity and receive according to his need. Curiously enough, however, the communal experience which has survived nearly five centuries of Western civilization's passage through the rise of the bourgeoisie, the industrial revolution, capitalism, war, and imperialism, is the one based on spiritual commitment to a dogma and limitation of needs by austerity. The case of a dogma-free atheistic and abundant communism has yet to be made.


Allard, William A.
     1970 "The Hutterites: plain people of the West." National Geogra-phic 138: 98-125.

Bennett, John W.
     1967 Hutterian Brethren: The Agricultural Economy and Social Organization of a Communal People. Stanford, California: Stanford      University Press.

Conkin, Paul K.
     1964 Two Paths to Utopia: The Hutterites and the Llano Colony. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.

Deets, Lee E.
     1939 The Hutterites: A Study in Social Cohesion. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: the author.

Eaton, Joseph W,
     1952 "Controlled acculturation: a survival technique of the Hutterites." American Sociological Review, 17: 131-340.

Elton, Geoffrey R.
     1966 Reformation Europe: 1517- (1963) 1559. New York: Harper and Row.

Friedmann, Robert
     1961 Hutterite Studies. Goshen, Indiana: Mennonite Historical Society.

Gross, Paul S.
     1965 The Hutterite Way: The Inside Story of the Life, Customs, Religion and Traditions of the Hutterites. Saskatoon, Canada:      Freeman Publishing Company,

Horsch, John
     1931 The Hutterite Brethren, 1528- 1931: A Story of Martyrdom and Loyalty. Goshen, Indiana: Mennonite Historical Society.

Hostetler, John A., and Gertrude Enders Huntington
     1967 The Hutterites in North America New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Kaplan, Bert, and Thomas F. Plaut
     1956 Personality in a Communal Society. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Publication.

Knill, William D.
     1967 "Cultural transmission in a closed society: the Hutterites." Paper presented to the Centennial Conference on the History of the      Canadian West, Banff.

Palmer, Howard
     1971 "The Hutterite land expansion controversy in Alberta." Western Canadian Journal of Anthropology 2 : 18-46.

Pascal, R.
     1936 "Communism in the Middle Ages and the Reformation: Waldenses and Anabaptists." In John Lewis (ed.), Christianity and the      Social Revolution. New York: Scribner.

Peters, Victor
     1965 All Things Common: The Hutterite Way of Life. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Rideman, Peter
     1950 Account of Our Religion, Doctrine and Faith (1565), translated by K. Hasenberg. London: Hodden and Stoughton; Rifton,      New York: Plough Publishing Company. Rountzounis, John, Betsy Cohen, and Arlene Joy
     1968 "Pockets of high fertility in the United States." Population Bulletin 24 No.2 (November). Sorokin, Pitirim A.
     1954 "Techniques of Contemporary Free Brotherhoods: The Hutterites of the United States." In his The Way of Power and Love:      Types, Factors and Techniques of Moral Transformation. Boston: Beacon Press.

Williams, George W.
     1962 The Radical Reformation. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Westminster Press.

Zablocki, Benjamin D.
     The Joyful Community. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books.

N. B. For further bibliographical resources the reader is encouraged to consult Peters (1965), Bennett (1967), and Hostetler (1974).


[1] This paper was published in the International Review of Modern Sociology, Spring 1976, Vol. 6 , pp. 41 55. The study is based on first hand interviews and visits to Hutterite colonies combined with the analysis of available literature on Hutterites. Special thanks are due to Dr Victor Peters, my colleague, with whom I made field trips in the summer of 1974 and whose wealth of knowledge on the Hutterites was a great asset to my study.

[2] See notably Bennett, 1967, pp. 50 51.

[3] Williams, 1962, p. 423.

[4] Hostetler, 1974, pp. 19 20. This early Hutterian crisis, interestingly enough, was not unlike some of the crises of recent communal experiments by the Society of Brethren, the Arnoldleut, reported by Zablocki, 1971.

[5] Victor Peters elaborates this in Chapter V of his All Things Common entitled "The Community Congregation." In order to emphasize its significance here and for the sake of brevity, I shall refer to it henceforth as the Gemein.

[6] Acts 1: 21 26; Rideman, 1565, p. 80.

[7] Acts 6: 1- 6; Rideman p.81

[8] Rideman, loc. cit.

[9] Genesis 2: 22; I Corinthians 11: 3 9.

[10] Rideman, p. 98.

[11] Bennett, p. 144. Use of the chart is with the permission of the author and the publisher.

[12] Peters, p. 165; Bennett, p. 153.

[13] Bennett, p. 129