Lafayette Morehouse

Lafayette, California, United States

  • Last updated: February 28, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: September 16, 2010

Mission Statement

Pleasurable Group Living

Community Description

A Life of More

Lafayette Morehouse has been a successful group living experiment for 48 years. The cornerstone of our philosophy and lifestyle is the concept of perfection. The working premise is that people and situations are right the way they are and include the potential for change. We think that life is to be enjoyed and that can best be done by people doing what they want to do in a way that pleasures the people around them. We think “fun is the goal and love is the way.” We call this Responsible Hedonism.

Since 1968, the community has studied pleasurable group living and all that entails, such as communication, relationships and sensuality. We explore how to have pleasurable relationships that endure because they are so gratifying. We consider ourselves social researchers and present the findings of our lifestyles research to the public in the form of courses in the areas mentioned above and more. Since a group may be as few as two people, our information can be quite useful to anyone – whether they are single, in a coupled relationship, a family, or any other sized group. We start from the point of view that what you have is good and nothing has to be fixed. We then, offer an array of additional viewpoints and tools to add to those you’ve already assembled to achieve your goals. All our information is descriptive rather than prescriptive.

Vic Baranco conceived the Morehouse lifestyle as one in which people could live together pleasurably without doing anything they didn’t want to do while serving the world unselfishly and profiting by it. Since Vic’s death in 2002, his widow and constant companion of 27 years, Cindy Baranco, has led the group, continuing and forwarding our social research while adding a feminine voice.


  • Type(s): Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience
  • Location: Suburban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 23 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 5
  • Land owned by: The Community


  • Adult Members: 75
  • Child Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 75
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: No
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    People often attend Mark Groups or come to a party as an initial introduction to our community. Taking Basic Sensuality is critical to understanding the More Philosophy and the way we operate. Some people then get to know us better by taking residential courses such as Work/Study or Window Into Morehouse. If someone actually wants to live with us, they take the two- week course, Evaluacy – a Lafayette Morehouse Guided Tour. At the completion of that course, the student and community agree on living together or not.


  • Decision Making: One No-vote
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    One no-vote by any community member stops any proposed new action from taking place. Communication is key.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments:

    • Partial Share of Income: Income derived from courses and communal endeavors go to support the community at large. Some members have additional outside income, but few people work outside our home.

    • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0 We have the rule: Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Everyone contributes in the ways they most enjoy.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Hot tub or hot springs, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month for community as a whole, but many shared meals within individual houses or subgroups.

    • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), with provisions at all communal meals for vegans and vegetarians.

    • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: People may eat however they individually choose and our supported in their choices.

    • Alcohol Use: Consumed or not as people choose.

    • Tobacco Use: Not allowed in any of the residences and very few residents smoke tobacco in any form.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual


relationships, responsible hedonism, suburban, happiness