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47 – The Oneida Community Part I: Free Love and Bible Communism

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Have you ever wondered where your forks come from? Ever suspect they might come from a polyamorous, religious utopian commune in the mid 1800’s? Or that your silverware might be the remaining legacy of hundred of self-described “Bible Communists” and their weird attempt at a nineteenth century Methodist sexual revolution through something called “complex marriage”? Probably not, right? Well if you’ve ever used Oneida silverware, that’s exactly where tit came from. In Part I we look at the early life of John Humphrey Noyes, and how a bad breakup led him to starting a utopian community of “Perfectionists” which tried to bring about heaven on earth through intentionally-loveless polygamy, early eugenics experiments, lots and lots of really weird Methodist sex. This series is is going to be a weird journey through many unexpected places, but somehow it ends with silverware. And it’s really gross, to be perfectly honest. 

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