As happened with many things associated with Kerry Thornley, he put his own
brand in Kerista. According to a member of Thornley's "Kerista group," his
wasn't a community but more of a gathering of swingers. We have information
both from Thornley and the "official" Kerista group.
"Kerista was a new religion that was started in New York City in 1956 by
John Peltz "Bro Jud" Presmont. Throughout much of its history, Kerista
was centered on the ideals of polyfidelity and creation of intentional
communities. Kerista underwent several incarnations that later became
known as the "Old Tribe," which was associated with a fairly large, but
fluid membership. What was called the "New Tribe," a period of more
stable membership and ideology, began in 1971 based in the Haight
Ashbury district of San Francisco."
Keristans coined the terms polyfidelity (a form of polyamory where all
members are considered equal partners and agree to be sexually active
only with other members of the group) and. compersion (a state of
empathetic happiness and joy experienced when an individual's current
or former romantic partner experiences happiness and joy through an
outside source, including, but not limited to, another romantic interest.)
Members and associates produced a great number of zines; and were
nominated for an Emmy Award and won a Nobel Prize.
But as often happened with Thornley, he had his own touch on the
concept. According to friends, Kerry's version was more of a "free love"