A comparison of the Mormons and the “Perfectionists,” a new sect in New York that is also known as the Oneida Association. The Oneida founder justifies polygamy as “a means of grace and help to holiness.” Passages from the New York Observer describe their practices. Unlike the Mormons, they have no designated husbands or wives, and because there are no laws, there are no transgressions. The women cut off their hair and wear pantaloons because they “are far more free and comfortable . . . [and] the men think that it improves their looks.” Oneida’s Annual Report claims that “variety is . . . as beautiful and useful in love as in eating and drinking.” The success of the “Perfectionists” is attributed to society’s failure to enforce laws against such behaviors practiced by groups like the Mormons.
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