Kerista Commune
We didn't save the world. We didn't even try. We talked about it sometimes.

1. the commune that invented the words 'polyfidelity' & 'compersion'
based in the Haight-Ashbury of San Francisco from 1971-1991 (New Tribe)

polyfidelity n.fidelitous to many partners
compersion n. the opposite of jealousy, positive feelings
about your partner's other intimacies

2. the 60's free-love movement with houses in NY, SF, LA and Berkeley
and outposts in Belize and Roatan (Old Tribe).

Kerista Menu


Dau passed...

Leonard 'Dau' Freitag
Pied Piper

May 20, 1941 - June 11, 2017

Old Triber Dau passed in Garberville at home in June 2017. A lifetime musician on drums and wind, especaily saxophone, Dau wanted to play music every minute of every day. He had been living in a senior retirement home run by a friend and was well-known in the area for funny letters-to-the-editor and playing music every chance he got, usually flute or penny whistle. Dau was a nice man. Dau met Jud in Greenwich Village in the 60's. The voices had told Jud that the 'Pied Piper' would bring in the Keristans, and Dau would play sax through the streets of New York and San Francisco and bring the dancing hippies into Kerista. After marriages, children, and time in the Bay Area he moved to Garberville to live close to his best friends Rom and Natascha. Dau's Facebook. Dau attended Jud's funeral and spoke kindly of Jud, though privately bitter at how Jud had treated him.

Qes passed...

Paula 'Qes' Mitchell
Den Mother

March 22, 1938 - October 6, 2011

Qes was a member of Kerista from the Old Tribe, always knew a little about a lot - and was a consistent supporter of Jud and his various projects. Qes hosted a 'halfway house' for Keristans coming in/out of the commune at her apartment in the Mission, and was almost always cheerful and upbeat in her thinking and ideas. She was a devoted single mother and den-mother to Keristans, and was one of the few people who had constant walk-in privileges to our residences and businesses, and could weather any gestalt-circus we generated. More importantly, she shopped for food during the Abacus maelstrom, allowing us to survive those years without rickets or scurvy. Typically, she softened the harsh Kerista vibe and could usually understand both sides of gestalts. Qes was also present in the Old Tribe and offered the New Tribe some institutional memory that Jud tended to ignore or obscure.

Jud passed...

'Bro Jud' Presmont

Jan 9, 1923 - Dec 13, 2009
John Peltz Presmont passed from this life
on Sunday Dec 13, 2009, in San Francisco, CA.

'He was in nursing home care at the VA after falling and breaking his femur when he went to visit his girlfriend Kay in the hospital a few months ago. After Kay died suddenly about a month ago, Jud's health began to fail and they were just about to transfer him into hospice care. He had various problems with his breathing and oxygen saturation and so this morning he was unresponsive, began to breathe slowly, then calmly and quietly took his last breath...' - geo

Bro Jud (originally Jacob Luvich?) was Kerista's voluble cult leader and a dominant figure in many lives for many years. He was most recently in failing health. Without Jud - we ex-Keristans would have never met each other (including my meeting my wife!) - and while I have been more angry than sympathetic with Jud since the breakup of the commune, Let me give the man his due:

He was bright and engaging in a warm personal way, highly charming, insightful and charismatic. At his best, Jud could be open and sensitive to all classes of people, and he was psychologically astute about others. He read widely, but tended to take what he could use. His interests were eclectic and he liked to synthesize diverse ideas into his own 'theory' that he could explain for hours but could not be understood. He had many raps. You cannot read Keristan literature or watch Jud without noticing his amazing raps. Whether you agreed with him or not, Jud was always vocal and confident. Bro Jud *loved* to rap, more than anything else (and we were a sex cult!)

He was Brooklyn-born and raised by an aunt, a decorated soldier in the Phillipines in the 40's, a New York bar-owner & bohemian in the 50's, and a hippie in Dominica, Honduras and San Francisco. The 12th incarnation of Kerista in San Francisco lasted from 1971 to 1991. After Kerista dissolved, Jud continued to speak and do public broadcast and was a regular in the SF scene.

You wouldn't find him working - but you would find him talking loud - often to women - trying to catch a buzz or find an audience, with some hippie-commune-utopian rap about how:

you can change the world by changing your mind.

Rest in Peace, Brother Jud.
You changed our minds.

Eve is working on scanning some pictures of Jud.

I will print anyone's comments about Jud:
memories, experiences, good and bad.

You have my permission to express your opinions about Kerista here.
Write your story and send it to

Recent stuffs!

Michael Cummings 01/18 Best Academic Criticism of Kerista -Tale of Two Communes - 1996
Carole Cusack 8/17 World Religions and Spirituality - Kerista Commune - Jan 2017
AnnaLee 5/16 Test Tube Lovers by AnnaLee Newitz - other magazine 2005
MantoMan 5/16 Sex on the Half-Baked Shell - Man to Man January '67
Dau 10/15 History of the Communal Utopian Spiritual Movement '84
Luv 3/15 The Dark Side of Community - Hidden Limits to Lasting Groups '96
Kip 3/15 Building a Commune in SF - Mother Earth News '74
Jud 2/15 Jud busted for weed in NYC '64... again
Jud 2/15 Jud lives on ... at the Museum of Utopian Art blog
Tru 9/13 Tru Reason (s) - ... No More Settle for Less Than Purity ...
Kip 5/12 Jud's Dominican heroics - helped burning men during Carnival '63
Jenny 4/12 Jud's video from hospital - Love Energy - K13
Randy B 1/12 Randy B reminisces fondly of Bro Jud - In memorium
Kip 6/11 Etymology source for compersion? (Levi Strauss' comperage)
Ska 10/10 Ska says she had larger issues than jealousy ...
Ora 10/10 Ora says Hi and SHE started Abacus Housecleaning!
Kelly 9/10 Kelly C wants to hear from ex-Ks about 'No Jealousy': did we lie?
Yo 1/10 Yo says Hi & Old Tribe Rule: 'People don't belong to people'
Kap 1/10 Kap says Hi & founded Abacus Housecleaning with Buf
Jud 8/29/08 YouTube - Planet Glee with Bro Jud 1 - (Jud starts ~5:45)
Jud 8/29/08 YouTube - Planet Glee with Bro Jud 2 - (all)
Jud 10/17/58 Police Nab 7 (Jake!) during Interracial Free-Love Frolic in NYC!
Jeb 12/2008 Jebby says Hi and she joined before Keg
Kerry 01/22/07 Good Article about 60's Old Tribe in Southern California
Roger 11/23/05 My brief encounter with Kerista - An Outsider's Account

circa 1971 - Jebby Way Jud Eve Keg

Quick Overview
Early History
Commune Timeline
Police Harass Nude Hippies in Harlem - 1958
Old Tribe Kerista Membership Card - 1965
Robert Anton Wilson on Kerista - 1965
The 26 Standards - 1979
The Phil Donahue Show - 1980
The 84 Standards - 1983
Far Out West Comics!
Keristan Glossary
'Abacus Method' to 'Lovjoy'
'Medium Gestalt' to 'Polyfidelity'
The Nine P's of Great Cunnilingus - 1991
Eve's Polyfidelity Article
The Sleeping Schedule
Keristan Phrases & Insults - w/ translations
Ex-Keristans List and Speak
Non-Keristans Speak
Literary References Speak
'What Happened to Kerista?' by Eve - 1993
'The Dark Side of Community?' by Luv - 1996
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