Although the Hutterites fear evil in the outside world, they must struggle daily with the greed that surfaces within. Just because possessions must be left at the colony’s door does not mean the ark remains free from contamination. A Hutterite leader noted already in 1650: “Men hang on to property like caterpillars to a cabbage leaf.” The same elder charged that Christians who cling to possessions are like “moles and foxes that undermine the communal plantation.” The lure of property has continued over the generations. Despite persistent teaching, colony leaders must be on the lookout for “caterpillars” and “moles” in their midst who are tempted to trade colony property for a personal treasure — a camera, a radio, or even a Playboy magazine. Contraband of one sort or another can be found in the hidden crevices of most colonies.

— Donald Kraybill and Carl Bowman, On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish and Brethren

Agrarian religious communes or industrial communism; caterpillars and moles or wreckers and saboteurs; the same old story in radically different settings; private property always barring the way to utopia. It tickles me to imagine a Hutterite version of Soviet-style propaganda posters denouncing the cosmopolitan insects and capitalist varmints who undermine the colony from within.