John Noyes and the Oneida

John Noyes and his reformer ideas

What was John Noyes trying to do?

John Noyes was trying to reform religion and relationship, and he believed in perfectionism, as well as complex marriage. Perfectionism was the belief that any individual could become free of sin through religious conversion and willpower. Complex marriage was the idea that every man was every woman’s husband, and that every woman was every man’s wife, technically eradicating marriage, and allowing cheating.

John Noyes and the Oneida failed in their idea of complex marriage, being that once Noyes was chased by the law Noyes decided to abandon the whole thing.(

John Noyes Quote

Primary Source

"We come now to ascertain more definitely the precise position of Christ and Paul with respect to all social relations, that of marriage included. It is plain that the constitutional principle on which they stood, toward which they were leading the church, and which they expected would expand and occupy the whole field of the future, was declared in the saying of Christ, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage." Now, whatever may be the exact meaning of the state designated by the term "resurrection," it was undeniably the condition towards which Paul was urging his course, the condition towards which he ever pointed the church as the goal immediately before them." - John Noyes (

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