Colonia Industrial/Nueva Jerusalén, 1942–1961
This chapter follows the history of Bautista’s polygamous utopia, Colonia Industrial/Nueva Jerusalén, from the purchase of property in 1942 to Bautista’s death in 1961. The chapter argues that after his excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and his expulsion from the Third Convention in 1937, Bautista’s vision of Mexican chosen-ness accompanied by the responsibility he felt to prepare Mexicans for their millennial duties, catapulted him into the role of a utopian founder. The colony’s establishment involved backbreaking labor and years of austere living. Bautista enforced rules to regulate communalism and to govern the acquisition and behavior of wives, often very young girls. The chapter includes a discussion of Bautista’s theological pillars: polygamy, communalism, and indigenous priesthood. He continued to send missionaries from his colony to proselytize, and he continued to publish tracts and pamphlets he authored until two years before his death in 1961.
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