A Documented Record of the Foundations of the
                       Christian Religion

                         Joseph Wheless

     Lately Major, Judge Advocate, U.S.A.; Associate Editor
         (in section of comparative Law) of American Bar
          Association Journal; Life Member of American
                       Law Institute; etc.
                          ****    ****

                    In grateful appreciation

                        Henry L. Mencken
              Dean of American Letters and Critics
                     Theologian Emeritus of
                     a Treaties on the Gods

                          Published by
                          Moscow, Idaho

                         Copyright 1930
                          ****    ****

                    THE DISEASE AND THE CURE

                         "ALL TRUTH is safe, and nothing else is
                    safe; and he who keeps back the truth, or
                    withholds it from men, from motives of ex-
                    pediency, is either a coward or a criminal, or
                                                  MAX MULLER,
                                   The Science of Religion, p. 11.

                    "The time has come for honest men to denounce
                          false teachers and attack false gods."
                                                  Luther Burbank

     MAN IS A RELIGIOUS ANIMAL -- is incurably religious," are
commonplaces of clerical rhetoric. The priestly "Doctors of
Divinity" who unctuously utter these pious -- and apocryphal --
platitudes -- fathered by the wish, -- urge the incurable state of 
mind -- the religious neurosis of their patients in proof of the 

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divinely ordered nature of the malady, as patent of the necessity
and importance of their "sacred science" of soul-cure, and the
divine warrant for their continuance in perpetuity in their
practice upon otherwise damned humanity.

     It is the ghostly Doctors themselves, however, who by their
quackeries have created the fiction of the disease, and who
purposely keep the patient opiated and on the crutches of Faith, in
order to "make their calling and election sure," and to perpetuate
their thralling dominion over the mind and money of man. The first
recorded priestly ban -- by threat and fear of death -- was on
Nature's own Golden Specific for superstition and priestcraft, --
the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: "Thou shalt not eat of it: for
in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen.
ii, 17.) A warden with a flaming sword was posted to guard the
Tree: sword, and rack, and stake, civil and political outlawry,
social and business ostracism and loss of living, odious Odium
Theologicum and foul calumny, have ever since been -- so far as
possible yet are the consecrated weapons of priestcraft to keep
mankind ignorant and obedient to the priests. "No beast in nature
is so implacable as an offended saint," is axiomatic of those who
prate of loving their enemies. As Jurgen picturesquely says: "The
largest lake in Hell is formed by the blood which the followers of
the 'Prince of Peace' have shed in advancing his cause," -- and
their selfish own, -- as we shall abundantly see in the following

                    FAITH IN A FATAL DECLINE

     Howbeit, their pulpits and their press are lugubriously vocal
with Jeremiads bewailing the ever-swelling tide of Unbelief in the
land, -- throughout Christendom. The Church statistics, notoriously
padded after the Biblical model of the Censuses in the Wilderness,
can claim at most some forty-odd millions of adherents -- many of
them by lip-service and non-paying (therefore negligible), and
others many non-distinguished for piety or common honesty -- out of
the hundred and twenty-odd millions of our American population. The
Reverend Rector of Trinity Church in New York City -- (one of the
wealthiest dead-hand tax-free land monopolists in America) -- thus
bewails: "In America we are dealing with a country, the majority of
whose inhabitants are pagans. ... Only forty percent of the
population acknowledges affiliation with any Church." (N. Y. Times,
March 15, 1930.) The ex-Secretary of the Home Missions Council of
one of the great Churches bemoans: "There has been a tremendous
revolution in the history of the Church. ... The country church is
waning and dying. ... The revolution under our eyes is found in the
mode of thinking of the whole country." (N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 1930).
An effective cause is found in the recent survey report of the
Federal Council of Churches, to be in "the acceptance of a
scientific view of life ... general questioning of formerly revered
authority ... with absolute religious and ethical authority
dethroned. ... Women have made no comparable advance in
participation in church affairs. ... It can hardly be said that the
church is an influential factor in the lives of the working
classes." (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Jan. 31, 1930.) A curious
confession of likely cause and effect, -- in the mental calibre of
the credent -- is stated by the Reverend publicity counsel of a
[viii] national Church: "All sermons should be keyed to the 

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mentality of a fifteen-year-old youth. ... Half the people of the
United States have the mentality of a fifteen-year-old youth. Most 
church-goers enjoyed the 'children's sermon' more than the one on
religious philosophy. ... The average man can carry only one idea 
at a time." (Herald-Tribune, Jan. 28, 1930.) -- Verily, "Of such is
the Kingdom of Heaven."

     All Fools' Day seems to be a sort of New Year's for
ecclesiastical statistics and general stock-taking of the faithful:
annually at that time the very religious Christian Herald publishes
its collect of figures on Church membership; the Catholic Directory
emits its own; and the generality of Divines gives voice to holy
Lamentations and pious warnings to the Church and to the ungodly.
From this year's extensive crop a little sheaf is added, the matter
being important to our purposes, and curiously instructive as
depicting the accelerated downward tobogganing of the Faith, The
Report of the Christian Herald discloses: "The total of
communicants last year (1929) was 50,006,566," of which number it
assigns a total of 18,051,680 to the fourteen sects of Catholic
dis-Unity (Herald-Tribune, April 26, 1930); though the figures of
the Catholic Directory are 20,178,202. (Ib. April. 16, 1930). Under
the alarming caption -- "Warns Protestant Church it is Lagging,"
the Report of the Director of the Church Survey bemoans: "The
Protestant Church in America is not keeping pace with the
population. ... American Protestantism increased from 7 in each 100
of the population in 1800 to 24 in each 100 of the population of
1900. During the past thirty years Protestantism has not increased
its ratio of the population as much as one member more per
hundred." -- This is a very notable disclosure: that for a whole
century the very vocal and intolerant Protestant population of this
country has varied between 7% and 24% of the total population, and
is today less than 25%: -- yet this petty minority dingdongs that
this is a "Christian country," and imposes its ludicrous medieval
"Blue Laws" and tyrannous proscriptions -- as will be noted -- upon
the great anti-clerical majority of the people. And further
striking figures follow from the same source: "A study made in 1912
-- [i.e. before Woman Suffrage], -- "exclusively in cities, found
two-thirds of the Protestant city membership consisted of [ix]
women. ... There has been a steady proportionate decrease of
interest in religion among women of the United States. ... It was
also found [in this present Survey] that only 18 percent of the
country population is in Church membership, although it is
customary to think of country people as highly religious. -- [They,
too, are becoming more educated.] In New York City, the Church
population is reported equally divided among Protestants, Roman
Catholics and Jews. Only about eight percent of the population are
members of the Protestant churches," -- thus only some 24% of the
people of New York City among all three much-divided sects. (N.Y.
Times, May 5, 1930.) In a recent abusive set of letters by three
True Believers of the same family name (one a Rev.), addressed to
the Editor of a Metropolitan paper for writing sanely about the
Tabooed Subject of Birth Control, this was denounced as an "insult
to over 2,000,000" Faithful in this City. (Herald-Tribune, April
12, 1930.) But the Faithful boast of their 444 churches in Greater
New York: if each had the exaggerated membership of 1,000, -- let
the reader do his own figuring and note the result. And foreign
immigration of the Faithful has been sadly curtailed of late by

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     The true significance to the Church of the great slump in its
membership -- and hence revenues, is crudely "given away" by the 
Very Rev. Episcopal Bishop of Long Island, lamenting like
conditions in his Diocese: "The growth of population during the
last decade on Long Island has been a challenge to the Church. ...
The Episcopal Bishop of the diocese advocated [in a public address]
a drive to bring into the church the wealthy residents of Long
Island." (Herald-Tribune, May 6, 1930.) The Most Rev. Episcopal
superior of the last-lamenting has made a famous discovery, and
with oracular gravity which evokes a smile he assigns its cause:
"There are no great poets, painters, writers, nor musicians --
[only great Manikins of Bishops] -- today, and the cause of this
artistic deficiency can be found in the moderns' total disregard
for religion." (Episc. Bishop of Manhattan: Herald-Tribune, April.
21, 1930.) And the Highly Rev. Bishop of the National Capital thus
portentously, and truly, glooms: "There is an organized movement,
world-wide in scope, to unsettle Christian ideals and Christian
institutions, both in Russia and elsewhere" (Ib. May 13, 1930); --
which, judging by the age-old gigantic failure of both -- as herein
we shall see, -- is not so much to be wondered.

     So far as Russia is concerned -- (and the fact and the reason
for it apply as well to every other "Christian" country), -- the
reason is truly stated by the pious Editor of Atlantis in a
Jeremiad of confession before the Institute of Citizenship just
held in Atlanta: "For a thousand years, ever since Russia became a
Christian country, and more especially in the last 200 years, when
the Czar became the official head of the Church, the State religion
in Russia was one of the means whereby the Russian people were
oppressed, exploited and kept in ignorance. The Russian people had
a score to settle with the Church after the revolution, and they
took full advantage of it" (N.Y. Times, April 8, 1930), a like
chance for which all Christendom is looking. The very religious
Editor continues to confess: "It is useless to deny that the
Church, in most instances, has lost its hold upon vast majorities
of the people." (Ibid.) At the Christian Herald Institute of
Religion held this year at Buck Hill Falls, Pa., a perfect
symposium of Jeremiads bewailed Faith on the Toboggan: "Unless
emphasis on elaborate creeds does not cease, we will deliver
ourselves into the hands of the Humanists for the defeat which we
deserve." ... "The Church is simply going to pieces in the small
towns of the Middle West. ... The paganization of rural America is
going on so fast that if we wait for even the union of closely
allied denominations to be accomplished, it will mean ruination."
... "The greatest difficulty in effecting mergers of churches lies
in personalities and prejudices." (Herald-Tribune, May 15, 1930.)
Thus today, after nearly two thousand years of the "Sweetness and
light" of our Divine Christian religion, "personalities and
prejudices" among those taught to love even their enemies persist
and keep the Fold of Christ divided into mutually-hating Flocks;
precisely so that the olden Pagan sneer at the early Christians is
perfectly befitting their successors today: "There is no wild beast
so ferocious as Christians who differ concerning their faith."
(Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, ii, 31.)

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     To conclude this review of pregnant figures and confessions,
two luminous revelations are in one day made of cause and effect. 
Says the eminent Rev. President of the National Bible Institute:
"... because the Bible has ceased to have authority either in the
pulpit or in the pew. Decline in church attendance and decrease in
church membership are almost invariably traceable to unbelief in
the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible," -- Due to
increasing knowledge of its true character, as herein revealed.
(Herald-Tribune, May 26, 1930.) And the ghastly irony and joke of
the whole huge bankruptcy of Faith is thus exposed by the egregious
Pastor of a Brooklyn Baptist Flock, who images the Missionary
"selling" the Faith to the benighted Heathen: "'I have a religion
here that will do you poor heathen a lot of good. Of course it
hasn't succeeded very well at home, but we are sure it will do you
a lot of good.'" (Ibid.) It's just like God told the Jews: You
shan't sell the dead carcasses found by the way to the Chosen; "but
thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he
may eat it; or thou mayst sell it unto an alien"! (Deut. xiv, 21.)
So the dead cats of Faith are flung out of the sanctuary as unfit
for the Knowing, but are peddled to the ignorant heathen for
whatever the refuse may bring of clerical revenue.

     Like conditions exist in all priest-ridden lands. The Rt. Rev.
Archbishop of Canterbury in his call for the decennial Lambeth
Conference for 1930, at which over sixty of the Episcopal bishops
of this country are to attend, sounds a fateful monition: "The new
knowledge of the Bible and still more of the universe in which we
live still confuses and bewilders the beliefs of many of our clergy
and people. There are tendencies in the life of our Church which
suggest the prevalence of forms of belief ... which almost exclude
belief in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit." (Herald-Tribune,
March 12, 1930.) Wails the Rev. Pyke to the annual Assembly of the
National Council of Evangelical Churches of England: "A large part
of England has lapsed into semi-heathenism; ... our half-filled
churches." (Herald-Tribune, April 20, 1930.) Such creed-searchings
and churchly lamentations over their moribund condition may be
multiplied into volumes.

     Some potent cure thus seems to be at work. This curative
specific is simply increasing popular knowledge: "Know the truth
and the truth shall make you free," is the Golden Recipe for the
religious disorder. What Cicero said of the Pythian Oracles may as
truly be applied to every form of priestcraft: "When men began to
be less credulous, their power vanished."

     Day by day, as knowledge increaseth and spreads amongst the
people in the pews as well as among the parsons, does it become
more difficult and embarrassing for the pulpiteers to "put over"
their tales of myth and magic to the hearers of the Word. Even the
clergy are becoming awakened to the stinging truth aimed at priests
and the priest-taught by Prof. Shotwell: "Where we can understand,
it is a moral crime to cherish the ununderstood," and are beginning
to feel the humiliation of their false Position. A noted clerical
educator, Dr. Reinold Niebuhr, professor of Christian Ethics in
that hotbed of every heresy, the Union Theological Seminary, in his
textbook suggestively entitled 'Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed
Cynic,' makes this confession of recognized Dishonesty in the mass 

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of clerical teaching and preaching: "As a teacher your only
interest is to discover the truth. 'As a preacher you must conserve
other interest besides the truth.' It is your business to deal
circumspectly with the whole religious inheritance lest the virtues
[?] which are involved in the older traditions perish through your
iconoclasm. That is a formidable task and a harassing one; for one
can never be quite sure where pedagogical caution ends AND
DISHONESTY BEGINS"! (Quoted by Alva Johnston in N.Y. Herald-
Tribune, March 8, 1930.)

     The great Church Father, Bishop St. Augustine (of whom more
hereafter), was wise to the psychology of -- at least -- Pagan
religion -- the mode of its incipience and the manner of its age-
long persistence. The priests and the priest-taught, he tells,
instilled the virus of superstition into their victims when "small
and weak," when they knew not to resist or healthily to react
against the contaminating inoculation; "then, afterwards, it was
necessary that succeeding generations should preserve the
traditions of their ancestors, drinking in this superstition with
their mother's milk." (Augustine, City of God, xxii, 6.) Thinks one
that this cunning modus operandi is confined only to Pagan
priestcrafts and superstitions?

     If, instead of the saintly Doctors of Hebrew-Christian
Divinity, injecting their saving "opiate of the people" into the
cradled babes of Christ, it were the abhorred Doctors of Mohammedan
or Mormon Divinity who got to the cradles first, -- those infant
souls would all but surely be lost to the Christ, and in their
God's tender mercy, as assured by the sainted Augustine, would
spend eternity crawling on the candent floors of Hell, playing with
the "worm that never dies": hardly from the cradle to the grave
could all the Christian purges for Sin and pills for Salvation of
Soul, later administered, serve for effective catharsis of the
venom of those Christianly-hated "superstitions, drunk in with
their mother's milk."

     This truth is strikingly stated in an eloquent period by
Ingersoll, and stunningly confirmed and confessed by the syndicated
Prophet of Protestantism below to be quoted. The former opens his
classic Why I Am an Agnostic, with these trenchant words:

     "For the most part we inherit our opinions. We are the heirs
of habits and mental customs. Our beliefs, like the fashions of our
garments, depend on where we were born. We are molded and fashioned
by our surroundings. Environment is a sculptor -- a painter.

     "If we had been born in Constantinople, the most of us would
have said: 'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his
prophet.' If our parents had lived on the banks of the Ganges, we
would have been worshippers of Siva, longing for the heaven of

     "As a rule, children love their parents, believe what they
teach, and take great pride in saying that the religion of mother
is good enough for them. ...

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     "The Scotch are Calvinists because their fathers were. The
Irish are Catholics because their fathers were. The English are
Episcopalians because their fathers were, and the Americans are
divided into a hundred sects because their fathers were. ...
Children are sometimes superior to their parents, modify their
ideas, change their customs, and arrive at different conclusions."

     The truth thus uttered by the great Agnostic finds its
confirmation curiously wrung from the lips of the Bellwether of
would-be "reconciliationists" of primitive Superstition and modern
Science. In a metropolitan newspaper carrying his syndicated "Daily
Counsel" to the lovelorn and the misty-minded, a Virginia Believer
puts to him challengingly the question direct: "Do you mean to
imply that belief is largely a matter of environment, and if so,
would you not have been as firm a follower of Mahomet as you are of
Christ if you had been born of Mahometan parentage and brought up
in that faith?" For once there was no chance for Conmanian
suppleness of evasion, so the blunt and confusing truth is forced:
Yes! "It is fairly certain that, had I been cradled in Mohametans
[sic] I should now have been turning toward Mecca at the appointed
hours"! (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Oct. 29, 1929.) Thus the champion
special pleader for the fast fading faith of Christ confesses away
the divinely self-evident "truth" of his Christian faith, admits
that it is the result not of independent thought and convincing
proofs to his mind, but the inheritance of the cradle and the
nursery, -- that that towering intellect would today be bearing
witness to the "revealed truth" of a false God and religion, if he
had chanced to be "born that way"! Allah would to him -- and to
millions -- be true and living God and Jehovah a crude barbarian
myth, but for the accident of birth and teaching, -- a reversal of
the whole scheme of salvation! Thus the Cradle determines the
Creed; it is the virus of the superstition-germ first injected
which infects the credulity-center of the brain and colors too-oft
through life the whole concept of "religious truth" in the mind of
the patient.

     The psychology of the priestly maxim -- "Disce primum quod
credendum est -- Learn first what is to be believed," and the
persistent virulence of the virus thus injected, is aptly signified
by the Rev. Wenner, 83-year old Bellwether of Lutheranism in
America, and for 61 years pastor of one of its oldest sheep-folds
in New York City: "I do not think that time has produced many
changes in the attitude of Lutheran worshippers, -- because of the
stable nature of the religious education we give the youth of our
sect. From the age of six onward we instruct them in the tenets of
our faith, and they usually abide." (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Oct. 10,

     The predilect precept of the Doctors of every brand of
Divinely forever is: "Catch 'em in the cradle, and get 'em
inoculated before they know." In the bib and rattle period, the
childish brain is a soft, clean surface, "soft as wax to be molded
into vice," as His Holiness says: helpless it receives and retains
whatever is first impressed or imposed upon it: true religion or
false, Christ or Crishna or Santa Claus, Holy Ghost or the ghosts
of Afric superstition. "Give us a child until it is seven, and
we've got it cinched for life," is the ghoulish axiom of all the 

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Faiths: "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the
Kingdom of Heaven," -- as of the heathen Nirvana. How godly a work
is it to sear the thoughtless child mind with the brand of Faith;
how infamous and damnable to offer to the "immature" and inept
youth in college freedom from the stigma of credulity! How crude
and cruel for the Chinese to bind and cripple for life the feet of
their girl children; how fiendish the custom of sundry savage
tribes, ignorant of the "Light of the World," to clamp the infant
heads between boards so as to produce the hideous deformity of
skull so aesthetically popular among them; but how pleasing to gods
and priests to fetter the child mind in the bonds of Faith, and so
to dwarf and deaden the mind's most precious faculty -- Reason! "To
succeed," eloquently said Ingersoll, "the theologians invade the
cradle, the nursery. In the brain of innocence they plant the seeds
of superstition. They pollute the minds and imaginations of
children. They frighten the happy with threats of pain -- they
soothe the wretched with gilded lies. ... All of these comforting
and reasonable things are taught by the ministers in their pulpits
-- by teachers in Sunday schools and by parents at home. The
children are victims. They are assaulted in the cradle -- in their
mother's arms. Then, the school-master carries on the war against
their natural sense, and all the books they read are filled with
the same impossible truths. The poor children are helpless. The
atmosphere they breathe is filled with lies -- lies that mingled
with their blood." This unholy cradle-robbing goes on with vehement
zest. The Churches, the Federal Council of Churches, the Vicar of
God and his adjutants, all ply amain the arts of enslaving the babe
in the cradle, the child in the school. In the Encyclical of
December 31, 1929, the right of the Church to the child is
proclaimed as above that of parents and State; the secular public
schools are damned, and the prole of the Faithful are forbidden to
attend and mingle with the "irreligious" State pupils: "the
frequenting of non-Catholic schools, namely, those which are open
to Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is forbidden to Catholic
children," as such a school is not "a fit place for Catholic
students," who must be baited with "the supernatural." (Current
History, March 1930, p. 1091, passim.) Yet the banned and cursed
Public Schools of New York City, forbidden to the Faithful child,
the ecclesiastical' City government fills with Faithful teachers
for the purpose of "boot-legging" the forbidden supernaturalism
into them; a work so wide-spread and active, that the Cardinal
Archbishop of the City, addressing over 2000 of the Catholic
Teachers Association, "praises their work of teaching faith in City
Institutions." (N.Y. Times, Nov. 25, 1928.) And every rationalist
effort to counteract such illegal propaganda and to free the
schools from the pernicious influences of superstition, is
denounced and opposed by the Bible bootleggers of every brand of
Faith; and in the brave instance of Russia, a medieval orgy of
prayer-assault on High Heaven is made, to counsel God what he ought
to do to the Russians for their "godless" efforts to save the
children of that Church-cursed land from the superstitions of

     In an ironical letter to the English press, in which he
"enters the lists against the British critics of Moscow's anti-
clerical policy," George Bernard Shaw, writing under a transparent
Russian pseudonym, says: "In Russia we take religious questions 

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very seriously. We protect our children very carefully against
proselytizers of our fantastic sects until they are old enough to
make up their own minds. To us, it is inconceivable that a
government would tolerate the inculcation upon helpless children of
beliefs that will not stand the most strenuous scientific
examination or in which the teachers themselves do not honestly
believe. ... We cannot understand why the so-called Articles of
Religion, which have been described. by one of the most learned and
intellectually gifted of your churchmen as capable of being
professed only by 'fools, bigots or liars,' are deliberately taught
as divine truths in your schools. ... Russia is setting an example
of intellectual and moral integrity to the whole world, while
England is filling its temples with traders, persecuting its
clergy, and bringing up children to be scoffers to whom religion
means nothing but hypocrisy and humbug." (Herald-Tribune, April 7,

     Thus the Church enchains the Reason. The proudest boast today
of the Church for its ex-Pagan Saint Augustine, is that: "as soon
as a contradiction -- [between his "philosophy" and his religious
doctrines] -- arises, he never hesitates to subordinate his
philosophy to religion, reason to faith"! (Cath. Encyc. ii, 86.) So
this great ex-Pagan Saint of the Church surrenders his reason to
faith, and avers: "I would not believe the Gospels to be true,
unless the authority of the Catholic Church constrained me"!
(Augustine, De Genesi.)

     Ingersoll, in one of his glowing, devastating periods of
oratory, said: "Somebody ought to tell the truth about the Bible!"
That I have already essayed quite comprehensively to do. In my
recent work, Is It God's Word? (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York,
1926, 2nd and 3rd Editions), I devote some five hundred pages to
"An Exposition of the Fables and Mythology of the Bible and of the
Impostures of Theology," as my thesis is defined in my sub-title.
"A farrago of palpable nonsense," in the words of the Dean of
American critics, is about all that remains of Holy Writ as the
pretended "Word of God," as the result of that searching analysis.

     That study was limited, in most part, to the sacred texts for
the internal evidences, which themselves so abundantly afford, of
their own falsity and primitive-minded fatuity. On the other phase
of inquiry I there limited myself to the suggestive remark: "The
gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their
pretended dates" (p. 279; cf. p. 400), purposing then to complement
the work by this sequel or companion volume, treating the frauds
and forgeries of religion and the Church.

     Taking up now more particularly the second phase of my
subject, I here propose to treat of the inveterate forgeries,
frauds, impostures, and mendacities of Priestcraft and its
Theology. I shall be explicit and plain spoken, and unmistakably
state my purpose and my proofs. For nearly two thousand years the
priestcraft of Christendom, for purposes of domination by fear and
greedy exploitation through imposture upon credulity, has consigned
to earthly fire and sword, and to eternal damnation all who dared
to dissent or to protest; the priestly word "miscreant," 

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misbeliever, has become the synonym for everything foul and
criminal in human nature. The day of reckoning and of repudiation
is at hand; Priestcraft has here its destroying answer, in very
plain and unafraid words.

     This book is a grave indictment, impossible to be made or to
be credited unless supported at every point by incontrovertible
facts. These I promise to produce and array in due and devastating

                         THE INDICTMENT

     I charge, and purpose to prove, from unimpeachable texts and
historical records, and by authoritative clerical confessions,
beyond the possibility of denial, evasion, or refutation:

     1. That the Bible, in its every Book, and in the strictest
legal and moral sense, is a huge forgery.

     2. That every Book of the New Testament is a forgery of the
Christian Church; and every significant passage in those Books, on
which the fabric of the Church and its principal Dogmas are
founded, is a further and conscious later forgery, wrought with
definite fraudulent intent.

     3. Especially, and specifically, that the "famous Petrine
text" -- "Upon this Rock I will build my church" -- the cornerstone
of the gigantic fabric of imposture, -- and the other, "Go, teach
all nations," -- were never uttered by the Jew Jesus, but are
palpable and easily proven late Church forgeries.

     4. That the Christian Church, from its inception in the first
little Jewish-Christian religious societies until it reached the
apex of its temporal glory and moral degradation, was a vast and
tireless Forgery-mill.

     5. That the Church was founded upon, and through the Dark Ages
of Faith has battened on -- (yet languishes decadently upon) --
monumental and petty forgeries and pious frauds, possible only
because of its own shameless mendacity and through the crass
ignorance and superstition of the sodden masses of its deluded
votaries, purposely kept in that base condition for purposes of
ecclesiastical graft and aggrandizement through conscious and most
unconscionable imposture.

     6. That every conceivable form of religious lie, fraud and
imposture has ever been the work of Priests; and through all the
history of the Christian Church, as through all human history, has
been -- and, so far as they have not been shamed out of it by
skeptical ridicule and exposure, yet is, the age-long stock in
trade and sole means of existence of the priests and ministers of
all the religions.

     7. That the clerical mind, which "reasons in chains," is, from
its vicious and vacuous "education," and the special selfish
interests of the priestly class, incapable either of the perception
or the utterance of truth, in matters where the interests of 
priestcraft are concerned.

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     As the Catholic-Protestant-Skeptic Bayle, of seventeenth
century fame, said: "I am most truly a Protestant; for I protest
indifferently against all systems and all sects" of religious

     My accusal, therefore, is not limited in purpose, scope or
effect to any one Church or sect, but is aimed alike at all of the
discordant factions of ancient Jewish and more modern Christian
faith. For, as has been well said, "Faith is not knowledge, no more
than that three is four, but eminently contained in it; so that he
that knows, believes, and something more; but he that believes many
times does not know -- nay, if he doth barely and merely believe,
he doth never know." The same critical cleric at another place
said: "Still less was it ever intended that men should so
prostitute their reason, as to believe with infallible faith what
they are unable to prove with infallible arguments."
(Chillingworth, Religion of Protestants, pp. 66, 412.) With
infallible facts I purpose to blast the false pretenses of Priest-
forged Faith.

     It is matter of fact, that for some 1500 years of this Era
there was but one "True Church" of Christ; and that Church claims
with conscious pride the origin and authorship of all the New
Testament Books, out of its own Holy bosom, by its own canonized
Saints. The New Testament Books are, therefore, distinctively
Catholic documents. That Church, therefore, -- if these its
credentials and documents are forgeries, -- as from its own records
I shall prove -- itself forged all the Books of the New Testament
and all the documents of religious dogma and propaganda the forgery
of which shall be proved in this book, and did itself perpetrate
all the pious frauds herein revealed, and is their chief
beneficiary. All the other Christian sects, however, are sprung or
severed from the original One True Church; -- "all other forms of
the Christian religion . . . originated by secession from the True
Church, ... and their founders ... were externally members of the
Church." (CE. vii, 367.) All these Protestant sects, therefore,
with full knowledge of the guilty facts and partakers in the
frauds, found their claim to Divinity -- and priestly emoluments --
upon and through those tainted titles, and thus yet fully share the
guilt as accomplices after the fact. The "Reformed" Sects, on
breaking away from the old Monopoly of Forgery, appropriated the
least clumsy and more plausible of the pious Counterfeit of
Christianity, and for the centuries since have industriously and
knowingly been engaged in passing the stolen counterfeit upon their
own unsuspecting flocks; they are therefore equally guilty with the
original Forgers of the Faith.

                   OUTLINE OF CASE AND PROOFS

     The proofs of my indictment are marvelously easy. They are to
be found in amplest retore of history and accredited ecclesiastic
authorities, and in abounding incautious admissions made by the
Recredited spokesmen of the Accused: upon these I shall freely and
fully draw for complete proofs of my every specification. These
damning things of the Church, scattered through many clerical
volumes and concealed in many archives, are not well known to the
pious or preoccupied layman. My task is simply to bring together 

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the documentary proofs and expose them before the astonished eves
of the modern reader; that is the prime merit of my work. To
accomplish this purpose with unimpeachable certitude, I need and
make no apology for the liberal use of quotation marks in
presenting the ensuing startling array of accusations and
confessions; to be followed by the plenary proofs.

     As in the judicial process, I shall, before proceeding to the
concrete proofs, define first the crime charged, and outline the
scope of the evidence to be presented. I shall first make a prima
facie justification of the charges, by citing a few generalities of
confession of guilt, with corroborations by weighty supporting
authorities, and thus create the proper "atmosphere" for the
appreciation of the facts. Then shall come the shaming proofs in
astounding detail.

                         FORGERY DEFINED

     Forgery, in legal and moral sense, is the utterance or
publication, with intent to deceive or defraud, or to gain some
advantage, of a false document, put out by one person in the name
of and as the genuine work of another, who did not execute it, or
the subsequent alteration of a genuine document by one who did not
execute the original. This species of falsification extends alike
to all classes of writings, promissory notes, the coin or currency
of the realm, to any legal or private document, or to a book. All
are counterfeit or forged if not authentic and untampered.

     A definition by a high ecclesiastical authority may
appropriately be cited, as it thoroughly defines the chronic
clerical crime. The Catholic Encyclopedia thus defines the crime:

     "Forgery (Lat. falsum) differs very slightly from fraud. It
consists in the deliberate untruthfulness of an assertion, or in
the deceitful presentation of an object, and is based on an
intention to deceive and to injure while using the externals of
honesty. Forgery is truly a falsehood and is a fraud, but it is
something more. ... A category consists in making use of such
forgery, and is equivalent to forgery proper. ... The Canonical
legislation [dealt principally with] the production of absolutely
false documents and the alteration of authentic ... for the sake of
certain advantages. ...

     "Canon law connects forgery and the use of forged documents,
on the presumption that he who would make use of such documents
must be either the author or instigator of the forgery. In canon
law forgery consists not only in the fabrication or substitution of
an entirely false document, but even by partial substitution, or by
any alteration affecting the sense and bearing of an authentic
document or any substantial point, such as names, dates, signature,
seal, favor granted, by erasure, by scratching out or writing one
word over another, and the like." (Catholic Encyclopedia, vi, 135,

     Under every phase and phrase of this its own clerics legal
definition, the Church is guilty, -- is most guilty.

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     A "beginning of miracles" of confession of ecclesiastical
guilt of forgery of Church documents is made in the same above
article by the Encyclopedia, -- very many others will follow in due
course from the same source:

     "Substitution of false documents and tampering with genuine
ones was quite a trade in the Middle Ages. Innocent III (1198)
points out nine species of forgery [of ecclesiastical records]
which had come under his notice." (CE. vi, 136.)

     But such frauds of the Church were not confined to the Middle
Ages; they begin even with the beginning of the Church and infest
every period of its history for fifteen hundred years and defile
nearly every document, both of "Scriptures" and of Church
aggrandizement. As truly said by Collins, in his celebrated
Discourse of Free Thinking:

     "In short, these frauds are very common in all books which are
published by priests or priestly men. ... For it is certain they
may plead the authority of the Fathers for Forgery, Corruption and
mangling of Authors, with more reason than for any of their
Articles of Faith." (p. 96.)

     Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, the great "Father of Church
History" (324 A.D.) whom Niebuhr terms "a very dishonest writer,"
-- of which we shall see many notable instances, -- says this: "But
it is not our place to describe the sad misfortunes which finally
came upon [the Christians], as we do not think it proper, moreover,
to, record their divisions and unnatural conduct to each other
before the persecution -- [by Diocletian, 305 A.D.]. Wherefore we
have decided to relate nothing concerning them except things in
which we can vindicate the Divine judgment. ... But we shall
introduce into this history in general only those events which may
be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."
(Ecclesiastical History, viii, 2; N&PNF. i, 323-324.)

     Eusebius himself fraudulently "subscribed to the [Trinitarian]
Creed formed by the Council of Nicra, but making no secret, in the
letter which he wrote to his own Church, of the non-natural sense
in which he accepted it." (Cath. Encyc. v, 619.) As St. Jerome
says, "Eusebius is the most open champion of the Arian heresy,"
which denies the Trinity. (Jerome, Epist. 84, 2; N&PNF. vi, 176.)
Bishop Eusebius, as we shall see, was one of the most prolific
forgers and liars of his age of the Church, and a great romancer;
in his hair-raising histories of the holy Martyrs, he assures us
"that on some occasions the bodies of the martyrs who had been
devoured by wild beasts, upon the beasts being strangled, were
found alive in their stomachs, even after having been fully
digested"! (quoted, Gibbon, History, Ch. 37; Lardner, iv, p. 91;
Diegesis, p. 272). To such an extent had the "pious frauds of the
theologians been thus early systematized and raised to the dignity
of a regular doctrine," that Bishop Eusebius, "in one of the most
learned and elaborate works that antiquity has left us, the Thirty-
second Chapter of the Twelfth Book of his Evangelical Preparation,
bears for its title this scandalous proposition: 'How it may be
Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the
Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived'" -- (quoting the Greek 
title; Gibbon, Vindication, p. 76).

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     St. John Chrysostom, the "'Golden Mouthed," in his work 'On
the Priesthood,' has a curious panegyric on the clerical habit of
telling lies -- "Great is the force of deceit! provided it is not
excited by a treacherous intention."' (Comm. on I Cor. ix, 19;
Diegesis, p. 309.) Chrysostom was one of the Greek Fathers of the
Church, concerning whom Dr. (later Cardinal) Newman thus
apologetically spoke: "The Greek Fathers thought that, when there
was a justa causa, an untruth need not be a lie. ... Now, as to the
just cause, ... the Greek Fathers make them such as these self-
defense, charity, zeal for God's honor, and the like." (Newman,
Apology for His Life, Appendix G, p. 345-6.) He says nothing of his
favorites, the Latin Fathers; but we shall hear them described, and
amply see them at work lying in their zeal for God's honor, and to
their own dishonor.

     The Great Latin Father St. Jerome (c. 340-420), who made the
celebrated Vulgate Version of the Bible, and wrote books of the
most marvelous Saint-tales and martyr-yarns, thus describes the
approved methods of Christian propaganda, of the Fathers, Greek and
Latin alike, against the Pagans:

     "To confute the opposer, now this argument is adduced and now
that. One argues as one pleases, saying one thing while one means
another. ... Origen, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinaris write at
great length against Celsus and Porphyry. Consider how subtle are
the arguments, how insidious the engines with which they overthrow
what the spirit of the devil has wrought. Sometimes, it is true,
they are compelled to say not what they think but what is needful.

     "I say nothing of the Latin authors, of Tertullian, Cyprian,
Minutius, Victorianus, Lactantius, Hilary, lest I should appear not
so much to be defending myself as to be assailing others. I will
only mention the APOSTLE PAUL. ... He, then, if anyone, ought to be
calumniated; we should speak thus to him: 'The proofs which you
have used against the Jews and against other heretics bear a
different meaning in their own contexts to that which they bear in
your Epistles. We see passages taken captive by your pen and
pressed into service to win you a victory, which in volumes from
which they are taken have no controversial bearing at all ... the
line so often adopted by strong men in controversy -- of justifying
the means by the result." (Jerome, Epist. to Pammachus, xlviii, 13;
N&PNF. vi, 72-73; See post, p. 230.)

     Of Eusebius and the others he again says, that they "presume
at the price of their soul to assert dogmatically whatever first
comes into their head." (Jerome, Epist. li, 7; id. p. 88.) And
again, of the incentive offered by the gullible ignorance of the
Faithful, for the glib mendacities of the priests: "There is
nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd or
an uneducated congregation." (Epist. lii, 8; p. 93.) Father
Jerome's own high regard for truth and his zeal in propaganda of
fables for edification of the ignorant ex-pagan Christians is
illustrated in numberless instances. He tells us of the river
Ganges in India, which "has its source in Paradise"; that in India
"are also mountains of gold, which however men cannot approach by
reason of the griffins, dragons, and huge monsters which haunt 

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them; for such are the guardians which avarice needs for its
treasures." (Epist. cxxv, 6; N&PNF. vi, 245.) He reaches the climax
in his famous Lives of sundry Saints. He relates with all fervor
the marvelous experiences of the "blessed hermit Paulus," who was
113 years of age, and for sixty years had lived in a hole in the
ground in the remotest recesses of the desert; his nearest neighbor
was St. Anthony, who was only ninety and lived in another hole four
days' journey away. The existence and whereabouts of Paulus being
revealed to Anthony in a vision, he set out afoot to visit the holy
Paulus. On the way, "all at once he beholds a creature of mingled
shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippo-centaur,"
with whom be holds friendly converse. Later "he sees a mannikin
with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goat's
feet," this being one of the desert tribe "whom the Gentiles
worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi," and whose
strange, language Anthony was rejoiced to find that he could
understand, as they reasoned together about the salvation of the
Lord. "Let no one scruple to believe this incident," pleads Father
Jerome'; "its truth is supported by" one of these creatures that,
was captured and brought alive to Alexandria and sent embalmed to
the emperor at Antioch. Finally holy Anthony reached the retreat of
the blessed Paulus, and was welcomed. As they talked, a raven flew
down and laid a whole loaf of bread at their feet. "Sec," said
Paulus, "the Lord truly loving, truly merciful, has sent us a meal.
For the last sixty years I have always received half a loaf; but at
your coming the Lord has doubled his soldier's rations." During the
visit Paulus died; Anthony "saw Paulus in robes of snowy white
ascending on high among a band of angels, and the choirs of
prophets and apostles." Anthony dragged the body out to bury it,
but was without means to dig a grave; as he was lamenting this
unhappy circumstance, "behold, two lions from the recesses of the
desert with manes flying on their necks came rushing along; they
came straight to the corpse of the blessed old man," fawned on it,
roared in mourning, then with their paws dug a grave just wide and
deep enough to bold the corpse; came over and licked the hands and
feet of Anthony, and ambled away. (Jerome, Life of Paulus the First
Hermit, N&PNF. vi, 299 seq.)

     So gross and prevalent was the clerical habit of pious lies
and pretenses "to the glory of God," that St. Augustine, about 395
A.D., wrote a reproving treatise to the Clergy, De Mendacio (On
Lying), which he found necessary to supplement in 420 with another
book, Contra Mendacium (Against Lying). This work, says Bishop
Wordsworth, "is a protest against these 'pious frauds' which have
brought discredit and damage on the cause of the Gospel, and have
created prejudice against it, from the days of Augustine to our own
times." (A Church History, iv, 93, 94.) While Augustine disapproves
of downright lying even to trap heretics, -- a practice seemingly
much in vogue among the good Christians: "It is more pernicious for
Catholics to lie that they may catch heretics, than for heretics to
lie that they may not be found out by Catholics" (Against Lying,
ch. 5; N&PNF. iii, 483); yet this Saint heartily approves and
argues in support of the chronic clerical characteristics of
suppressio veri, of suppression or concealment of the truth for the
sake of Christian "edification," a device for the encouragement of
credulity among the Faithful which has run riot through the
centuries and flourishes today among the priests and the ignorant 

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pious: "It is lawful, then, either to him that discourses,
disputes, and preaches of things eternal, or to him that narrates
or speaks of things temporal pertaining to edification of religion
or piety, to conceal at fitting times whatever seems fit to be
concealed; but to tell a lie is never lawful, therefore neither to
conceal by telling a lie." (Augustine, On Lying, ch. 19; N&PNF.
iii, 466.) The great Bishop did not, however, it seems, read his
own code when it came to preaching unto edification, for in one of
his own sermons he thus relates a very notable experience: "I was
already Bishop of Hippo, when I went into Ethiopia with some
servants of Christ there to preach the Gospel. In this country we
saw many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in
their breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people
who had but one eye in their foreheads." (Augustine, Sermon 37;
quoted in Taylor, Syntagma, p. 52; Diegesis, p. 271; Doane, Bible
Myths, p. 437.) To the mind's eye the wonderful spectacle is
represented, as the great Saint preached the word of God to these
accphalous faithful: we see the whole congregation of devout and
intelligent Christians, without heads, watching attentively without
eyes, listening intently without ears, and understanding perfectly
without brains, the spirited and spiritual harangue of the eloquent
and veracious St. Augustine. And every hearer of the Sermon in
which he told about it, believed in furness of faith and infantile
credulity every word of the noble Bishop of Hippo, giving thanks to
God that the words of life and salvation had been by him carried to
so remarkable a tribe of God's curious children.

     Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), in one momentary lapse in
his own arduous labors of propagating "lies to the glory of God,"
made the pious gesture, "God does not need our lies"; but His
Church evidently did, for the pious work went lyingly on; a work
given immense impetus by His Holiness Gregory himself, in his
mendacious Dialogues and other papal output, -- with little
abatement unto this day.

     A further admission of the inveteracy of ecclesiastical
forgery and fraud may be cited from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Speaking deprecatingly of the "incredible liberty of discussion"
which to the shock and scandal of the pious prelates "prevailed in
Rome under the spell of the Renaissance," -- when men's minds were
beginning to awaken from the intellectual and moral stupor of the
Dark Ages of Faith, the Catholic thesaurus of archaic superstition
and "Catholic Truth," admits:

     "This toleration of evil [sic; i.e.: -- the free discussion of
Church doctrines and documents] -- bore one good consequence: it
allowed historical criticism to begin fair. There was need for a
revision which is not yet complete, ranging over all that has been
handed down from the Middle Ages under the style and title of the
Fathers, the Councils, the Roman and other official, archives. In
all these departments forgery and interpolations as well as
ignorance had wrought mischief on a great scale." (CE. xii, 768.)

     To these preliminary confessions of the guilty Church may be
added the corroborating testimony of several eminently accredited
historical authorities.

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     Middleton, in his epochal Free Inquiry into the lying habits
and miracles of the Churchmen, says: "Many spurious books were
forged in the earliest times of the Church, in the name of Christ
and his apostles, which passed upon all the Fathers as genuine and
divine through several successive ages." (Middleton, Free Inquiry,
Int. Disc. p. xcii; London, 1749.)

     The same author, whose book set England ringing with its
exposures of the lies and fraudulent miracles of the Church, makes
this acute and accurate summing up of his evidences:

     "It will not appear strange to those who have given any
attention to the history of mankind, which will always suggest this
sad reflection:' That the greatest zealots in religion, or the
leaders of sects and parties, whatever purity or principles they
pretend to have seldom scrupled to make use of a commodious lie for
the advancement of what they, call the truth. And with regard to
these very Fathers, there is not one of them, as an eminent writer
of ecclesiastical history declares, who made any scruple in those
ages of using the hyperbolical style to advance the honor of God
and the salvation of men." (Free Inq. p. 83; citing Jo., Hist.
Eccles. p. 681.)

     Lecky, the distinguished author of the History of European
Morals, devotes much research into what he describes as "the
deliberate and apparently perfectly unscrupulous forgery, of a
whole literature, destined to further the propagation either of
Christianity as a whole, or of some particular class of tenets."
(Lecky, Hist. of European Morals, vol. i, p. 375.)

     In his very notable History of Rationalism speaking of that
Christian "epoch when faith and facts did not cultivate  an
acquaintance," the same author, Lecky, thus describes the state of
intellectual and moral obliquity into which the Church had forced
even the ablest classes of society:

     "During that gloomy period the only scholars in Europe were
priest and monks, who conscientiously believed that no amount of
falsehood was reprehensible which conduced to the edification of
the people. ... All their writings, and more especially their
histories, became tissues of the wildest fables, so grotesque and
at the same time so audacious, that they were the wonder of
succeeding ages, And the very men who scattered these fictions
broadcast over Christendom, taught at the same time that credulity
was a virtue and skepticism a crime." (Lecky, Hist. of Rationalism,
i, 896.)

     In the same work last quoted, Lecky again, speaking of what he
terms "the pious frauds of theologians," which, he shows were
"systematized and raised to the dignity of a regular doctrine,"
says of the pious Fathers:

     "The Fathers laid down as a distinct proposition that pious
frauds were justifiable and even laudable, and if they had not laid
this down they would nevertheless have practiced them as a
necessary consequence of their doctrine of exclusive salvation.
Immediately all ecclesiastical literature became tainted with a 

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spirit of the most unblushing mendacity. Heathenism was to be
combatted, and therefore prophecies of Christ by Orpheus and the
Sibyls -- were forged, lying wonders were multiplied. ... Heretics
were to be convinced, and therefore interpolations of old writings
or complete forgeries were habitually opposed to the forged
Gospels. ... The tendency ... triumphed wherever the supreme
importance of dogmas was held. Generation after generation it
became more universal; it continued till the very sense of truth
and the very love of truth seemed blotted out from the minds of
men." (Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, i, 396-7.)

     There is thus disclosed a very sharp and shaming contrast
between the precept of the Lord Buddha: "Thou shalt not attempt,
either by words or action, to lead others to believe that which is
not true," and the confessed debasing principle of the Church, that
the maintenance of its creed -- (even by the methods of fraud,
forgery and imposture above hinted and to be evidenced) -- is
superior to the principles of morality:

     "To undo the creed is to undo the Church. The integrity of the
rule of faith is more essential to the cohesion of a religious
society than the strict practice of its moral precepts"! (CE. vii,

     With its consciousness of the shifty and shady practices of
it's "sacred" profession, the Christian priestcraft differs not
from the Pagan in the sneer of Cicero: "Cato mirari se aiebat, quod
non rideret haruspex, cum haruspicem vidisset, -- Cato used to
wonder how one of our priests can forbear laughing when he sees
another." (Quoted Opera, Ed. Gron., p. 3806.) We shall see all too
well that the Pagan estimate holds good for the Christian; that, as
said by the "universal scholar" Grotius: "Ecclesiastical history
consists of nothing but the wickedness of the governing clergy, --
Qui legit historiam Ecclesiasticam, quid legit nisi Episcoporum
vicia?" (Epistolae, p. 7, col. 1).

     The universality of the frauds and impostures of the Church,
above barely hinted at, and the contaminating influence of such
example, are by now sufficiently evident; they will be seen to
taint and corrupt every phase of the Church and of the
ecclesiastical propaganda of the Faith. As is well said by
Middleton in commenting on these and like pious practices of the
Holy Church: "And no man surely can doubt, but that those, who
would either forge, or make use of forged books, would, in the same
cause, and for the same ends, make use of forged miracles" (A Free
Inquiry, Introd. Discourse, p. lxxxvii); -- as well as of forged
Gospels, Epistles, Creeds, Saint-tales -- vast extensions of pious
frauds of which we shall see a plethora of examples.

     The proofs here to be arrayed for conviction are drawn from
original sources, chiefly those inexhaustible mines of priestly
perversions of fact and truth, the labored and ludicrous volumes of
the "Fathers of the Church," and its most accredited modern
American spokesman, the Catholic Encyclopedia. Hence it cannot be
justly complained that this presentation of facts of Church history
is unfair or untrue; all but every fact of secular and of Church
history herein recounted to the shame and guilt of Holy Church is 

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taken verbatim from the Church's own histories and historians.
These clerical works of confession and confusion are for the most
part three ponderous sets of volumes; they are readily accessible
for verification of my recitals, and for further instances, in good
libraries and bookshops; the libraries of the Union Theological
Seminary and of Columbia University, in New York City, were the
places of the finds here recorded. Cited so often, space will be
saved for more valuable uses by citing by their initials, -- which
will become very familiar -- my chief ecclesiastical authorities,

     The Ante-Niceite Fathers, cited as ANF.; A Collection of the
extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity down to the
Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D. American Reprint, eight
volumes. The Christian Literature Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y.,

     The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, cited as N&PNF.; First and
Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.

     The Catholic Encyclopedia, cited as CE.; fifteen volumes and
index, published under the Imprimatur of Archbishop Farley; New
York, Robert Appleton Co., 1907-9.

     The Encyclopedia Biblica, cited as EB., four volumes; Adam &
Charles Black, London, 1899; American Reprint, The Macmillan Co.,
New York, 1914.

     The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous
volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice, and to spare,
to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion.
We shall see.


     The land, the religious world, even today is ringing with the
furious din of religious intolerance, bigotry and persecution;
pestiferous medieval laws are imposed to stop the voice of Science
teaching truths which impugn the ignorant myths of Bible and
Theology. Tennessee and several States of the Union have passed
laws making criminal the teaching of scientific facts which
contradict "the story of the divine creation of man as taught in
the Bible," and like Hillbilly legislation is sought in all the
States. The True Church lays down this amazing limitation on
learning: "When a clearly defined dogma contradicts a scientific
assertion, the latter has to be revised,"! (CE. xiii, 607.) The
civilized portion of the world has just been shocked at the
potential judicial murder and outrage sanctioned by law in North
Carolina, as likewise in a number of other States, making outlaws
of honest persons who, as parties in interest or witnesses in
actions civil and criminal, refuse to take the ridiculous and
degrading Form of Oath "upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God,
in token of his engagement to speak the truth, as he hopes to be
saved in the way and method of salvation pointed out in that
blessed volume, and in further token that, if he should swerve from
the truth, he may be justly deprived of all the blessings of the
Gospel, and be made liable to that vengeance which he has
imprecated on his own head." (Consol. Stat. N.C., 1919, sec. 3189.)

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     Under this infamous statute, in the late so-called Gastonia,
N.C. murder trial, the wife of one of the defendants, who had
testified that her husband was not present and had no part in the
shooting, was challenged as a witness and impeached, her testimony
discredited, and her husband convicted for want of her evidently
candid testimony: but true or not, the principle of infamy is the
same -- a citizen on trial for his liberty was refused the benefit
of evidence under this damnable statute, and he and his wife made
outlaws -- refused "the equal protection of the law"! In Maryland,
later in the same year 1929, a chicken-thief, caught in the act of
robbery by the owner, was discharged in court because the owner of
the property, a Freethinker, was not permitted under the infamous
similar statute of that godly State to give testimony in court
against the criminal: the case would have been the same, if the
life or liberty of the Infidel citizen had been at stake, -- he was
an outlaw denied the "equal protection of the law"! The benighted
State of Arkansas -- ("Now laugh!") -- declares infamously in its
Constitution: "No person who denies the being of a God shall hold
any office in the civil government of this State, nor be competent
to testify as a witness in any court"! (Const. Ark., Art. XIX, sec.
26.) Under this accursed act of outlawry, Charles Lee Smith, of New
York City, a native of Arkansas, went to his home city of Little
Rock in the Fall of 1928 to oppose the degrading proposition
proposed as a law in a popular initiative election, forbidding the
teaching of Evolution in the State-supported schools and
universities; he made some remarks reflecting upon the personal
integrity of the Almighty, as well as denying his existence; twice
was he arrested, thrown into jail, convicted, and was denied the
right to testify as a witness in his own behalf; he is today on
bail to answer to the decision of the Supreme Court of that State,
an outlaw, denied the "equal protection of the law" of the land!
The hypocrisy and self-stultification imposed by such detestable
laws, is finely illustrated: At the recent annual meeting of the
American Law Institute, I denounced this Article to a leader of the
Arkansas Bar, and appealed to him to "start something" to get rid
of it. He shrugged his shoulders, smiled in sympathy, and said: "It
is in the Constitution, and too difficult to get it out." Then,
dropping into Spanish, so that others at the table might not
understand, he added: "Yo no creo nada, -- y no digo nada -- I
believe nothing -- and I say nothing"! While these infamies are
inflicted upon the citizens of this country by law imposed by a
bigoted and ignorant minority of superstitious parsons and their
docile dupes; -- aye, even if imposed by an overwhelming majority,
or by authentic decree of God himself, -- the free and fearless
defiers of Church and despisers of its Superstition will fight it
on to the death, till every trace of these infamies is purged out
of the statute books of these sovereign States! This is due and
solemn notice and defiance to the intolerant religious oppressors
and their deluded dupes.

     Medieval laws against the fictitious crime of "Blasphemy"
survive in a dozen American States, protecting by law the Christian
superstition of the old Hebrew God. A model of them all is this
infamous enactment of the Church-ridden Massachusetts: "Whoever
wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or
contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final
judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching 

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Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost -- [the whole Divine Family], -- or
by cursing or contumeliously reprioaching or exposing to contempt
or ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures
shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one
year or by fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may
also be bound to good behavior." (Gen. Laws Mass., 1921; Chap. 272,
sec. 36.) Expressed contempt is held in lighter pecuniary
estimation in the Yankee "Nutmeg State," the fine being only
$100.00, plus the year in gaol. (Gen. Stat. Conn., 1918, sec.
6395.) In both States, under these infamous laws, persons have been
indicted, tried and convicted within the past two years! Throughout
the Union are odious religious statutes, "Blue Laws" and Sunday
Laws, penalizing innocuous diversions and activities of the people
on days of religious Voodoo: Sunday, as we shall see, being a
plagiarization from the religion of Mithras, and created a secular
holiday -- not a religious Holy Day -- by law of the Pagan
Constantine. Such laws sometimes prove troublesome to the pious
Puritans themselves; an amusing instance of their boomerang effect
being now chronicled to the annoyed and sneering world. Some "400"
of the True Believers of the "Holy Name Society" of St. Peter's
R.C, Church of New Brunswick, in the saintly State of New Jersey,
including several City "Fathers" stuck their legs under the loaded
tables of the local hostlery for a "Holy Communion Breakfast" the
past Sunday; as they began to eat they discovered to their pious
dismay that there was no bread on the tables, although the
reservation had long before been made, with particular stress on a
special brand of rolls, made only in the godless town of Newark.
Consternation reigned, with much confusion and hurried telephoning
by the management. In the midst of it came a 'phone call from the
driver of the roll-delivery truck, from the local Hoosgow: "I've
been arrested for the violation of section 316 of the Laws of 1798,
which prohibits the delivery of bread and rolls on the Sabbath and
also forbids a man to kiss his wife on that day"! Some of the
sachems called the chief of police and angrily demanded that this
holy law be violated by delivering the blessed rolls; the driver
was arraigned before the Recorder, who "released him with a
warning," and he consummated the violation by delivering the
forbidden rolls to the angry Holy Namers. (Herald-Tribune, May 14,

     Now, throughout the State, and in far off Ohio, at the
instigation of the parsons, these pestiferous pious laws are being
forced into enforcement, headlined -- "Blue Law Net Busy in
Jersey," and recorded: "hundreds of names and addresses were in the
possession of the police today because their owners played golf,
tennis or radios, bought or sold gasoline, cigarettes or groceries,
or operated trolley cars, busses or trains in this capital city (of
Trenton) on the Sabbath," with much more of detail; and in the same
column, a dispatch from Dover, Ohio, that the police used tear-gas
bombs to dislodge the operator from the projection-box of a local
"movie" theater, who, with the owner and four employees, was
"arrested for violation of the Sunday closing law"! (N.Y. Sun, May
26, 1930.) And all this medieval absurdity of repressive penal
legislation to enforce obsolete religious observance by
disbelievers, in a land whose every constitution proclaims the
complete separation of State and Church! But for the defiance of
fearless heroes of Rationalism who have through the ages contended,

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and suffered martyrdom by rack and stake in defense of human
liberty, rack and stake and fiendish torture would yet be the
penalty, rather than fine and jail, for violators of the odious
proscriptions of Church and Church-minded, Church-driven,
politicians. To know fully the insidious and intensive efforts
being made throughout our country by the dupes of priestcraft to
undermine and destroy the liberties and rights of free men in the
interest of canting religious Pharisaism, bent on rule and ruin,
every true friend of freedom and enemy of the Church, should read
intently and keep ever at hand for an arsenal of defense, Maynard
Shipley's stirring book, The War on Modern Science; A Short History
of the Fundamentalist Attacks on Evolution and Modernism -- (Knopf,
1929), -- which to rend doth "make the angry passions rise" in
righteous wrath against these pious conspirators against American
liberties and the innate rights of man. The Church, too, through
the ages has been and yet nefariously is "in polities," seeking to
dictate and dominate and impose its malign superstitions by law:
witness the two last presidential campaigns, and the pernicious
activities of the Methodist Board of Intolerance, Meddling and
Public Nuisance, as now being revealed by the Lobbying
Investigation Committee of the United States Senate, whereby it is
shown seeking to ruborn and subordinate all to its intolerant
superstitious dominance. In most European countries the True Church
maintains its blatant "Catholic Party" in the elections and in the
parliaments; here it operations are via the "grape-vine" route,"
but effective, as through the corrupt machinations of St. Tammany;
while the Methodist Party and the Baptist Party, and their allies
the Ku Klux Klan pursue the same evil ends through vocal
frightening of cheap politicians and of large sections of the
people and press. The very pious Editor of the Christian Herald has
just published a book on "The Church in Politics," in which with
cynical frankness he asserts its right and discloses its odious

     These odious things are all the work and blighting effects of
the unholy 'Odium Theologicum' of Priestcraft, poisoning men's
minds with the rancor of obsolete superstitious beliefs.

     Remove the cause, the cure is automatically and quickly
effected. To contribute to the speedier consummation of this
supreme boon is the motive and justification of this book. It gives
to the unctuous quack "Doctors of Divinity" a copious dose out of
their own nauseous Pharmacopaeia of Priestly Mendacity. As it takes
its deadly effect upon themselves, haply their "incurably
religious" duped patients may begin to evidence hopeful symptoms of
a wholesome, speedy and complete cure from their priest-made

     "Fraud," says Ingersoll, "is hateful to its victims." The
compelling proofs of duplicitous fraud of priestcraft and Church
exposed in this book must convince even the most credulous and
devout Believer, that the system of "revealed religion" which he
"drew in with his mother's milk" and has in innocent ignorance
suffered in his system ever since, is simply a veneered Paganism,
unrevealed and untrue; is a huge scheme of priestly imposture to
exploit the credulous and to live in power and wealth at his
expense. Luther hit the bull's-eye of the System -- before he 

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established another to pass the same old counterfeit: The Church
exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying
money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of
years. This is the sovereign remedy. Let him that hath ears to
hear, hear; and govern himself accordingly. Every awakened Believer
must feel outraged in his dignity and self-respect, and in disgust
must repudiate the Creed and its impostors.

     When a notorious Criminal is arraigned at the bar of Justice
and put to trial for deeds of crime and shame, it is his crimes,
his criminal career and record, which are the subject of inquiry ,
-- which are exposed and denounced -- for conviction. No weight in
attenuation is accorded to sundry sporadic instances -- (if any) --
between crimes or as cloaks for crime -- of his canting piety and
gestures of benevolence towards his victims, the dupes of his
duplicity. Thus the Church and its Creed are here arraigned on
their record of Crime, -- "extenuating naught, naught setting down
in malice"; -- simply exposing truly its own convicting record and
confessions of its criminality, for condign judgment upon it.

     Goliath of Gath was a very big Giant; but a small pebble,
artfully slung, brought him to a sudden and violent collapse, a
huge corpse. This TNT. bomb of a book, loaded with barbed facts, is
flung full in facie ecclesiae -- into the face of the Forgery-
founded Church and all her discordant broods. The "gates of hell"
will be exploded!

          But yesteryear the Church of God in might
          Has stood against the world; now lies she here,
          And none so poor to do her reverence!

                                                  JOSEPH WHELESS

New York City
780 Riverside Drive
June 1, 1930


Foreword:                                         vii


II:  HEBREW HOLY FORGERIES                        45



V:   THE "GOSPEL" FORGERIES                       172

VI:  THE CHURCH FORGERY MILL                      238


     INDEX                              Follows page 400

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                         You are reading
                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY
                         Joseph Wheliss


     In order to better understand the text, it is necessary to
know the abreviated referances that Mr. Wheliss uses throughout the
text.  If you are interested in knowing the source material it is
adviseable to take note of these oft-used references now. EFF

           Abbreviations for most often used sources:

     The libraries of the Union Theological Seminary and of
Columbia University, in New York City, were the places of the finds
here recorded. Cited so often, space will be saved for more
valuable uses by citing by their initials, -- which will become
very familiar -- my chief ecclesiastical authorities, towit:

ANF.;     The Ante-Nicene Fathers, cited as ANF.; A Collection of
          the extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity
          down to the Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D.
          American Reprint, eight volumes. The Christian Literature
          Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y., 1885. [xxx]

N&PNF.;   The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, cited as N&PNF.;
          First and Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.

CE.;      The Catholic Encyclopedia, cited as CE.; fifteen volumes
          and index, published under the Imprimatur of Archbishop
          Farley; New York, Robert Appleton Co., 1907-9.

EB.,      The Encyclopedia Biblica, cited as EB., four volumes;
          Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899; American Reprint, The
          Macmillan Co., New York, 1914.

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