Kerista was a new religion that was started in New York City in 1956 by Bro Jud Presmont. Throughout much of its history, Kerista was centered on the ideals of polygamy (called "serial non-monogamy") and creation of intentional communities.


From 1971 until 1991, the community was centered at the Kerista Commune (not a single physical building), founded in San Francisco, California. The Keristans practiced group marriage and maintained a very high profile which included publication of a popular free newspaper and several national media appearances.

Kerista also produced zines that included drawings and comics drawn by Even Eve (also known Eve Furchgott, the daughter of the Nobel Prize winner Robert Furchgott), one of the earliest and core members. Some concerned day-to-day life, others presented a lighthearted polytheistic mythology which revolved around a pantheon of benevolent and technologically adept goddesses and gods. Kerista adopted singer Joan Jett as the "Matron Saint" of their community. Features presented in the zine included articles and essays concerning life within the community and concerning World Plan to establish a functional Utopian society on a larger scale.

The Keristans shared income and could choose whether or not to have outside paying jobs or work within the community (which operated several small businesses). "Hunter-gatherers", with paying work outside Kerista would financially support the endeavors of Keristans which included both a legally incorporated church and an educational non-profit organization.

The official website lists thirty-three people as having, at one time or another, joined Kerista at various times during the community's history. In 1979 and 1980, two female members gave birth. In 1983, the adult male Keristans had vasectomies as a means to deal with birth control in the group, emphasize non-breeding new members, and address global population issues. All male applicants subsequently had the requirement of having a vasectomy within a set period of time after joining the community. In 1991, the community experienced a major split, the founder going on to create The World Academy of Keristan Education. The terms polyfidelity and compersion were coined at the Kerista Commune.

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