The nation breathed a sigh of relief Thursday upon learning that 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas had been found in northern California after disappearing with her former teacher and suspected pedophile 50-year-old Tad Cummins five weeks ago.
According to WKRN, the two were found in the Cecilville, Calif. area near the Oregon border.
Related story: Strange Details Emerge After Elizabeth Thomas Found Safe
WKRN says its ABC-affiliate KDRV-TV out of Medford, Ore. has confirmed that the commune Elizabeth was rescued from is the well-documented Black Bear Ranch, a “free love” counterculture commune birthed out of the 1960s hippie movement.
The Black Bear Ranch commune, developed out of a ghost town, sits in a remote, forested region of the mountains north of Cecilville and is accessed via a long, windy dirt road.
Upon its founding, the commune evoked the spirit of Che Guevara, according to “Modern American Communes: A Dictionary” and maintained contact with Hells Angels and Black Power groups, according to “Free Land, Free Love: Tales of a Wilderness Commune.”
Black Bear Ranch was the subject of a 2005 film called “Commune.” At least 40 people were in the commune in 2013.
Tad and Elizabeth’s presence in that commune, or any other, brings up the possibility of legal action against anyone who knew who they were there and intentionally did not inform authorities.
Authorities have not revealed which commune they were at yet nor how long the two were there.
According to Black Bear Ranch’s website, visitors would generally not be allowed to stay for more than a couple days without permission because the commune states it’s “not an open-door community.”
The process of becoming a long-time resident requires a three-fourth consensus from residents.
What do you think of this?