As will be detailed in a book being researched by Dr. Richard Kaczynski, in the 19th century, the United States was a hot bed of diverse new religious movements that often manifested in communities populated by adherents. Some like the Oneida community in upstate New York were wildly utopian practicing communal living and free love — and making handsome flatware to boot! Others tended toward panicked millenialism, positing imminent End Times. Funny how some things never change! Here’s the account of the movement that set up the community of Celestia, deeded the land they bought to God, and his heir, Jesus. It’s an interesting and, as usual, cautionary tale that members of current new religious movements might find instructive.
Read the piece: http://pabook2.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/Celestia.html.
Thanks to Soror Amy for the tip!