Philo writes that the Therapeutae especially considered but looked on slavery “to be a thing absolutely and wholly contrary to nature, for nature has created all men free” (De Vita Contemplativa 70).
According to Ross Arctor on Libcom:
"They lived in Alexandria, each member in a separate hut, with a tiny chapel for prayer, something like the arrangement of the medieval Carthusians, and met at sunrise and sunset for community prayer, and once a day for a common meal. The most ascetic members ate only every other day, and a few only once a week. On the Sabbath, they met for more extended religious service, which included a sermon. On the major Jewish holidays, especially Pentecost, they began at sunset on the eve of the Holy Days with an ascetic but ceremonial feast, a sermon, prayers, and the antiphonal chanting of psalms and singing of hymns (between the separated men and women), and choral dancing in imitation of Moses and Miriam at the Red Sea. Facing the sunrise they prayed that the Light of Truth might illumine their minds and then returned to their solitary cells for study and contemplation."
Marxist theorist Karl Kautsky is critical of the Therapeutae:
"It is quite possible that Alexandrian Jews brought the notions of the Therapeutae to Palestine and thereby influenced Essenianism. And yet the two are fundamentally different. The Therapeutae live in contemplative idleness on others’ labor, the Essenes work diligently and earn so much that they not only support themselves but have a surplus to share with the needy. Both reject private property, but the Therapeutae have nothing at all to do with the goods of the world. They hate work as much as pleasure, they renounce means of production as they do means of consumption, and hence distribute their property among friends and relatives. The Essenes labor, and for that they need means of production; accordingly their members do not distribute what they own among friends, but collect them in a fund for common use."
The movement's name comes from a name for traditionalist Buddhists, according to an argument summarized on Wikipedia:
"Linguist Zacharias P. Thundy suggests that the word "Therapeutae" is only a Hellenistic corruption of "Theravada", the Indian Pali word for traditional Buddhists. Others suggest it would come more specifically from "Theraputta", the name applied to those of the Theravada school."
- David Graeber, Debt, .
- Graeber, Debt, https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/david-graeber-debt#fn553.