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Zion did not spring up by chance along a rolling river or upon a hilltop. The land in which Zion City planted its roots was sought out by a surveying team and then purchased by Dr. John Alexander Dowie for the sole purpose of building a religious utopia. Before the first spade of soil was turned, attention was given to every detail, from utilities to commercial areas and educational institutions and (most importantly) the temple. In less than a decade, Dowie and his followers built a self-sufficient theocracy that sheltered its inhabitants from the outside world. Indeed, Zion boasts a unique history and is a most intriguing study in the successes and failures of a planned city of God.