Many of the "hippies" that joined the family in the late sixties and early seventies were teens and people in their early twenties who were dressing in styles that were "cool" in that day and age and most of us who were high school aged hippie wanna bes OR drill team/cheerleaders tried pot.
It was common in that day and age just as in more recent time the more dangerous extasy or "Ex" is hugely popular as is pot for many and alcohol fo many more. Add to that raves.
Youth do risky things and want to fit in somewhere.
COG also went to university campuses and recruited people that were not "hippie".
I didn't know anyone that was Mansonian. I know that when the murder happened regarding Sharon Tate I was in High school and I considered it horrific and Manson like the serial killer that he was. I didn't see him as a "hippie" but as a psycho.
In any case, any person could get sucked into a cult or abusive relationship. Predators (cult leaders, abusers) look for that one area of vulnerability to tug at to get into lives. For me it was idealism and disappointment with anti-VietNam war demonstrations that seemed futile. I got to thinking that there was no real true freedom. Then BAM..here was a group that had "I know the answer to all your problems.." and "Never Was Much of Anything", "Revolution For Jesus for Love" (before sex had anything to do with it for the average recruit.)It had a cause that meant something and was safe and honest or so i thought.
Truth is, I never would have joined if it had been the sex cult it became in the seventies and eighties. Not because I would have considered myself the Madonna in person, but because of child sexual abuse I experienced.
When youth of today have children that get to be around 18 their kids will be saying, "man our parents were lame weren't they? Going to 'Raves' and waving light wands, getting drunk and partying.."
Back to the hippie days: hard core addicts or users of lighter drugs would do things like make their kittens or puppies or even babies high, but I gotta say, it irked a lot of people I knew. I never saw it happen to babies but am sure it did because I got mad when I saw someone giving "nose hits" to kittens. To a lot of youth those things were NOT COOL.
Fortunately whether cool to someone or not, many youth grew out of that. Just like youth of today will grow out of their time to be wild, for those that are.
The real truth is that ANYONE in this age at ANY AGE is as vulnerable to today's cults as people were when we were youth. Look at Katie Holmes. Tom already has her pregnant.