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"There is no nonsense so transparent, no crotchet so ridiculous, no system so unreasonable, that it can not find advocates and disciples." *

The foregoing statement is doubtless true, and we might say, therefore, John Alexander Dowie, the Apostle of Divine Healing, and prophet of a restoration gospel, found his followers, and made advocates for his doctrines. But it is necessary to ascertain just what are the characteristics which led this peculiar people to adopt the views of this peculiar man, or rather what are the reasons why people of these peculiar characteristics, if they are peculiar or unusual, were led to accept the dictatorship of Mr. Dowie, which dictatorship he has veiled under certain supposed scriptural offices and functions, such as Messenger of the Covenant, Prophet, Restorer and Apostle.

We have noticed that the ground had been prepared previous to his coming, and that belief in divine healing was no new thing under the sun. We have seen also that many of the ideas which he advanced, had advocates, more or less bold and aggressive, among the churches, to which Mr. Dowie has always appealed for a hearing. We have noticed that a large number of people, especially those holding these views, were, or were ready to be, out of conceit with the churches.

We now examine some first-hand testimony as to just what sort of folk these people are who have come under the paternal sway of Mr. Dowie, since it was he and not some other,


* E. P. Whipple, Essay, "Croakers," Vol. 11, p. 86.




at least for the time, who caught their attention and enlisted them in his tithe-paying C. C. A. C. in Zion. *





Personal letters from members of Zion:

"I was born and raised a Lutheran. Sunday before Christmas in 1896, I repented and confessed my sins and gave my heart to God and God gave me the witness in my spirit that I was a child of God. I began studying my Bible and looking round for a living church to join, I went to all the denominations; I studied their doctrines beside the Bible, but none of them came up to the standard of the Bible. First Sunday of April, 1897, I went and heard Mr. Dowie preach. I saw and understood he was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. I fell in love with him. ... I subscribed for the Leaves of Healing and studied them beside the Bible and I was blessed in spirit soul and body. I do believe in all Mr. Dowie claims to be. As Messenger of the Covenant, see Mal. 3:1-6. As Elijah the Restorer, see Matt. 17:10-13. Matt. 11:14. Mal. 4:5-6.  As the Prophet foretold by Moses see Acts 3:22-25. Will send you Leaves of Healing and various tracts. ... I will pray for you."

"We, that is my husband and myself were members of the Evangelical Association when we heard of the work Dr. Dowie was doing, and so I went first to hear him and found it was Bible truth that he was preaching, salvation, healing and holy living, all taught so plainly. How new it seemed that people were being healed and still it is just what Jesus did when here on earth. ... We commenced to get answers to prayer


* The very fact, admitted by Mr. Dowie, and witnessed by all the Zion people I have known, that the large majority of his people have come out of the denominations, would in itself at least suggest these people to be unstable, and accessible to any religious leader of strong enough personality. Many who have been in sympathy with the teachings of Zion in general, have remained in the churches, because of other ties and the inertia of religious life, and failure to fully sympathize with all the claims of Mr. Dowie, or a strong revulsion against being called a fanatic or schismatic, which attitude Mr. Dowie in person, or by his literature or his representatives could not overcome.




in our home. Christ seemed more real to us and of course that well of water had to flow. I could not keep it to myself - commenced to tell it to others and so our minister wanted me to be quiet and not talk to others about it nor read the Leaves of Healing and not to go to Zion meetings any more, but I was starving in the church and my husband got interested also and loved to read the literature and hear Mr. Dowie, so he finally left the church and joined Zion."

"One does not have to believe in Dr. Dowie as Prophet and Apostle before he can be healed. When the heart is right we receive the healing through faith in Jesus, but it is a fact that those who receive divine healing soon come into the C. C. C., because the pastors can not teach it and remain in the church, and the members can not testify concerning it.

It is very plain to me that Dr. Dowie under God has restored to the church this great and important part of the gospel. God answered his prayers and thousands have been blessed and healed, because of his faithful ministry.

My brother, I will ask you to read prayerfully the Leaves of Healing and the result will be a more abundant life in you, a more effective ministry for the Master and greater blessing to those who come under your ministry."

These letters certainly indicate a high degree of suggestibility in the writers. To be able to believe the claims of Mr. Dowie, simply because he announces himself the fulfiller of the prophecy contained in certain Biblical terms, when he personally has not been the instrument of their healing, would make them susceptible to like submission and faith in any other "healer" and audacious preacher if he had crossed the path of their life as did the founder of Zion, and there are, or have been, many such characters.

"My reason for uniting with the C. C. C. in Zion were many, but principally to become identified with a church the highest officials of which were determined to enforce rigidly the requirements of the higher Christian life in the every day




walk of the members. I had been a Methodist minister, and a careful student of the life and sermons of Wesley, who when he died left a church that was wholly unlike the Methodism I saw around me. If the Methodists of today had been living the life Wesley taught them, I should never have thought of leaving them, neither I may add would the C. C. C. have been founded as Dr. Dowie would have been a Methodist. But I was wholly out of harmony with the ways of life the officiary of the M. E. church stood for, compromising, halfhearted, luke-warm, so when my wife having been given up to die by the doctors hearing of Dr. Dowie and sending him for prayers, was healed, we were ready to lay down our ministry and go to Chicago and stay twelve months to make sure that the C. C. C. is actually Apostolic, as well as its power, and that there was no objection to its doctrines or government. I found its doctrines to be those I had become so familiar with from Wesley and loved so well ... and that the gospel truths were wrought out into the lives of the people in a practical way, causing them to clean up their lives, and be saved and healed."

"I was afraid some one would laugh at me should they know I belonged to ‘Dowie’ and as I am in earnest, I knew it would not do to be ashamed of Christ, or Dr. Dowie rather - so fifty pamphlets were given me to hand around our office and tell all the other employees in a bold and fearless manner of my intention to live a different life. ... But tell me where are these things taught as they are in Zion? ... When I started to drift away as a backslider, I found a good many in the Baptist Church with me and I am glad I am in a church where you must live a godly life or get out. ... I simply believe that Zion preaches, teaches and lives the gospel as God wants."

"I have belonged to the close communion Baptist Church. I left them because I did not think it right to commune the way they did leave out christians in other denominations. Then I joined the Presbyterian and when I moved from the




east to the west I took a letter from that church and never joined another until I joined the Christian Catholic. I was lead to that through reading the Leaves of Healing and comparing them with the Word of God, I saw that the full gospel was being preached and carried out in Zion."

In these letters the idea of the spiritual character of Zion has been the form the suggestion to join took with people who confess their disaffection for the "churches." "We have the primitive gospel," is a statement, an idea, that works mightily in the people out of conceit, for one reason or another, with their churches. In spite of facts which a critical examination would reveal, they are ready to break with the past for an untried institution, taking it at its own valuation, not once realizing what it would mean did everyone take the same step. Apart from any question as to whether their objections to the existing conditions in the churches are well founded, and granting that they are, the move was the result of suggestion furnished in every copy of the Leaves of Healing and in well nigh every Zion meeting that here we have the real and full gospel which the churches are failing to see.

"I went to Zion to get healing for my son who is yet unhealed; but my husband believed it to he a clean city, free from temptation and a good place to educate the children and to invest money."

"I was a member of the Baptist church at the time the members of the C. C. C. had cottage meetings at my house an a lady was there that had Ben Blind an Restored to sight an I became very much interested in the teaching and Now can say that god realy does heal his people. I have Ben healed of tobacco habit an of stomach troubles ... Now concerning Dr. Dowie's claims, Being in the spirit and Power of Elijah Yes I believe that it is true as that name Elijah in its true meaning is (God the strong lord) ... John the Baptist also come in the spirit an power of Elijah But John diden't know it himselft But Dr. Dowie don't heal eny one or he don't claim to But only teaches the full gospel salvation




healing and clean an holy living and prays for the people ... You know we have trine Baptism Matt. 28:19 baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy ghost. Notice that word (and) as it means and injunction and causes it all to be triune in its true meaning same as if you had three cups of dye Black and Blue and Red and you had a handkerchief could you dip it in all three of them cups at one dipping (no) it would hafter be dippted three times once in each one - yet there is but one Baptism because it is all in the triune god all as one. ... I hope you will be able to understand as I have done the best I could to explain and will do enything I can to help you in this work But my Brother you will find when you Begin to Preach the full gospel which means salvation healy holy and clean living you will be hated by the unrighteous men and hypocrites because of the truth."

This last is a sample of the childlike imitativeness of many of the people of Zion who painfully try to reproduce the arguments they have heard or read for giving up the churches. It is a primitive trait, putting the person at the mercy of whoever may be his or her teachers at the time. Although from an unlearned man it has the spirit of absolute sincerity, and shows the kind of stuff of which martyrs are made.

"This is one of the reasons that I joined the C. C. C. because the full Gospel was preached and practiced; of salvation healing and holy living the same as our Lord taught us when on earth. Read Matthew 28:20."

"I receive great blessing at one time then not understunding it as I ought to do and not wholly relying on God I went back to medicines and continued sick getting worse right along. ... In the meantime a lady told me of the work Dr. Dowie was doing in Chicago and my already knowing God could heal I began looking to God to lead me and give me the faith and light I needed. I wrote Dr. Dowie - an hour was set for prayer during which I felt the power of God like electricity, and the peace of God come into my heart. ... As




to trying to find out by what means Dr. Dowie accomplishes the healing of sickness I do not see why one should be exercised over such a thing as that when God said through Jesus,  Mk. 16:17, 18, 'Those that believe should lay hands on the sick and they should recover'. ... I do not feel that it is right to be critical toward Dr. Dowie nor anyone who preaches the whole truth as he does, for we are not criticising him so much as it is God we are criticising for God worketh in him to will and to do of his own good pleasure. I truly believe Dr. Dowie is doing God's work as he feels God wants him to do and you or I or anyone who yields ourselves wholly to God to do what he wants us to do ... being perfectly obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to God's revealed will in his word can be a power for God."

One of the most intelligent of my correspondents judged by the composition of a long letter is a man who accidentally received a bullet in the right hand and who tells how he prayed and the pain ceased and swelling disappeared. "The swelling gradually went down until the third week when by pressing with the finger and thumb the bullet could be located. As time went on scores of friends seriously advised the services of a surgeon warning me of the danger of gangrene and consequent necessity of amputation. Nothing moved me. I felt that I could not dare insult my Father by having recourse to the unsanctified methods of surgical butchery, for I had the assurance that he who raised Jesus from the dead and rolled the sealed stone from the tomb, could roll that bullet from its lodgment. ... Early the next spring the bullet began to move upwards toward the fleshy side of the hand where in a few weeks the butt end of the bullet was pressing continually outward until a small protuberance was observed which as time went on grew to be much larger. On the top of the projection was noticed a small scale which soon pared off like paper. followed by others. In a few weeks more one of these paper-like pieces came away leaving an opening that exposed the bullet. This little aperture gradually distended itself




until Friday night at 11 p. m., May 19, 1899, the bullet fell from my hand to the floor, released without the loss of a drop of blood. ... I picked it up and thanked God." This man joined Zion in 1902 after having been a member of the Presbyterian Church twenty-six years. He says further, "I thank God for the faithful ministry of John Alexander Dowie, which comprises the preaching of the full gospel of 'Repentance, Restitution, Faith in God, Obedience, Righteousness, Salvation for Spirit, Soul and Body - a Triune God, Triune Man, Triune Baptism, Restitution of all Things, Ruling of God's people for the extension of the Kingdom of God and the elevation of man.' ... There is a peace trust and joy come into my life as I never had while I was yet with the denominations. ... I firmly believe in all Dr. Dowie's claims. I believed him to be a prophet in the spirit and power of Elijah long before he made his declaration. I believe him to be the Messenger of the Covenant, 'Elijah the Restorer.'... Before the second coming of Christ, the 'Messenger' must first come. ... To announce that coming and to gather as an unmistakable object lesson those who shall be 'counted worthy to escape the things coming upon the earth,' the Lord sends one man, who in the Spirit's power smites evil wherever he finds it, however entrenched by long usage, whenever it may have gained an entrance  - one who makes every path 'straight' that he finds 'crooked.' Mal. 3 and 4 delineates his work. We are perfectly willing to examine in the light of Scripture the claims of any other 'Elijah,' and when the preponderance of evidence is in his favor, to accept him as the genuine 'Restorer.'"

Here is a man under the obsession of the powerful fear that he will offend and insult his Father by resorting to surgical aid, but who nevertheless is willing to accept as the genuine Restorer him who can furnish the strongest suggestion, (to talk of evidence is out of the question) that he is the supposed and expected Restorer. This is just the sort of man, though of more than one talent, who could be predicted to fall under the sway of an aggressive and positive religious character




such as Mr. Dowie, because of the state of preparedness of his mind, the result of an unhistorical attitude toward the Bible, and such as he furnishes material for a fairly competent set of officers for the organization that naturally grows up around his Restorer. *

These excerpts from letters of Zion people indicate the sincerity of the writers which is a characteristic of the rank and file of Mr. Dowie's people, hardly to be questioned by anyone. Every letter I have received, and every personal conversation with these people, leads me to feel that whatever else may be characteristic of them they are honest in their convictions, and for the time believe implicitly in him and in Zion. Indeed many of them are of the stuff that martyrs come from and have literally forsaken all and followed the lead of Mr. Dowie into Zion. In many cases they have disposed of property at a sacrifice, have made splendid gifts to various phases of the work, and willingly tithe, giving a tenth of all their increase to the Lord, but send it to him through Mr. Dowie.

The manager of the Lace Industry in Zion, ** still (April 25, 1905,) drawing salary on account of a contract with Mr. Dowie, although dismissed from his place as manager, writes me:

"About the people - the class. Mostly the common people, (he is an Englishman) not particularly bright as a rule. Mostly very sincere and not at all grounded in Scripture. There are exceptions of course, but few. Most of them come from other churches. I did, captured by the idealistic condition portrayed by Dowie in Leaves of Healing. ... Denominations all kinds, Lutheran, Catholic, Baptists, Methodists, and some good people too earnest, sincere and eager to lift the world, a people who are willing to be led and who will work. ... His elders and assistants -one or two capables


* A later letter from this man reiterates his absolute confidence in Mr.Dowie as prophet and apostle even after the revolt in Zion City. He was not living in that city and was not as near to Mr. Dowie as the revolters.


** See Note, p. 3, Introduction.




and the rest nowhere, usually failures from other denominations - one man is here ... who was once in Methodist Episcopal conference South, but if he is a sample I don't wonder they were glad to get rid of him although I am a Methodist. A good few are here who couldn't succeed any where else. He has six good men - ministers. Voliva in Australia, Mason and Piper, New England States; Hammond and Cossum, Chicago; Braisefield and Excell ... Bryant in Africa; he's a good fellow. I should say none of these men understand the business methods of Zion, they preach and trust the Doctor's policy. Dowie would discharge any of them tomorrow if he dreampt they were not loyal or didn't accept him for Elijah, or back him up in all he did. ... Many of his people get disgusted and leave. Some would like to but can't because all they have is tied up in land or home, and they have to wait favorable opportunity. ... The best cure for people is to let them come here and find out for themselves - a great many won't believe what you tell them."

Another very enlightening line of evidence is that of the testimony of pastors who have had members leave to join Zion, or who have come in contact with Zion people in their church work.

"Concerning Faith Healers (Dowieites), will say that eight years' experience in New York city with opportunity to observe the work of A. B. Simpson and extreme radical literalists in Scripture interpretation, also meeting here in the west all sorts of extremists, leads me to have charity with a large element of pity for those who are taken in their confidence and involved toils. We can not doubt their sincerity, but need not accept their mode of interpretation. Frenzied hermeneutics would be a fair classification of their irrational application of scripture truth to human life. Good people too only sometimes so good they have not time to be good for anything. You will not select your most valuable christian workers from among them. ... I know of churches that have passed through a long siege of revolt, discussion and dissension, ...




that can say with David, 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted, for before I was afflicted I went astray.' I am sure that a good Baptist church will stand until the day of Judgment. It is the day of no judgment that I fear the most."

The Secretary of the Ohio Baptist State Convention writes:  "We have had one minister go from us to that faith (Dowieism), and he has come back again. He was not a man of very much balance. He had a very limited education, and is not very well grounded in any faith. It would not surprise me to hear that he had gone to any kind of belief that happened to come to his attention. I have never seen or known of any of Dowie's followers who was noted for any great mental powers. It is my opinion that they are a class of people who have let one phase of their religious nature become abnormally developed and, so to speak, diseased."

The same officer for Nebraska writes:

"We have not had very much of Dowieism among the Baptist churches of Nebraska. I don't believe that more than a hundred of our people throughout the state have embraced to any considerable extent the teachings of Mr. Dowie. There are a few who are always gadding about for some new thing and if the Devil himself were to come here and canvass for a following these self-same people would be ready to listen to him. ... Regarding the few followers of Mr. Dowie in this state I have met, I would say that they strike me as mentally unsound. Most of them seem to be sincere, but they are blinded by their own pretentions."

The testimony from other states is substantially the same, and so far as it bears upon the class of people from which Mr. Dowie has largely drawn, is fully corroborated by my own experience. Literalists, craving authority such as Mr. Dowie has provided for, to keep them from being turbulent, but absolutely incapable of passing judgment upon that authority, save as it comes in conflict with their passions and selfish interests, when they feel free to cast it off. This would be the




mental history in brief of a great many of the most ardent Zionites, and they furnish good material for the making of a religious psychological crowd, when the right man of powerful personality draws them to himself, by preaching their crotchets or giving them a religious novelty of sufficient interest to enlist them for the time.

The constant cry of these people is that we ought to believe the simple statements of Scripture - not to reason about them at all; but as a matter of fact Mr. Dowie has constantly fed his people a show of wisdom in reference to Greek and Hebrew words, and there is not one of his followers but believes him, in Theology and Bible knowledge, the superior of any theological professor or Doctor of Divinity that you might name to them. Then, too, they like to tell you of the number of college graduates and the like among their officers. Even a mob wants to pride itself upon knowing a few things and glorifies its leader or leaders to the extreme, since that reflects credit upon themselves.

"I had four members who went off to follow Mr. Dowie; several that leaned that way. Their sincerity I could not question. It seemed to me a sort of infatuation. They were not persons of mental acuteness. They were almost wholly of the class who regarded learning rather as a hindrance than a help to godliness."

"I have had some association with those who have gone into Dowieism. I have in mind four instances. One of a young woman, honest but uneducated, who at the importunity of friends, on whom she was somewhat dependent, accompanied them to Zion City. Shortly afterwards she wrote me for a letter of dismission that she might unite with Dowie's church. The wording and general manner of the letter convinced me that she was writing at the dictation of another person. So I allowed the matter to rest for awhile. Two weeks later I received another letter withdrawing her request. Another instance was the young woman's sister. She was a woman of limited intelligence, highly emotional nature, and questionable character.




She had got out of harmony with the church of which she was considered a member, and took up Dowieism in a spirit of self-justification or of revenge or both. I am acquainted with two Baptist ministers who have become Dowieites. The course of one man was as follows: Presbyterian, Baptist, Christian Alliance, Divine Healing, Dowieism, and is now a Baptist again. The fourth instance is a Baptist minister who held a pastorate at P.--. He was of middle age and was looked upon as a man of more than usual strength. ... To his brethren it looked as tho a feeling of soreness at not finding a congenial pastorate had something to do with his change of affiliations tho it may not have had."

"I have known a number who either are or have been his (Dowie's) followers. With two exceptions I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. None of them have been above the average in culture or intellect. Not one of them has been in the true sense of the words learned in the Scriptures. Nearly all of them have been before their contact with his teachings of the histerico-pious type of religionists. Some of them were tinctured with a pharisaic spirit."

"Have met some of them (Dowieites). Believe them to be sincere, can not but respect them for their sincerity. Believe them people who are usually easily led and carried away by religious fanaticism of any kind. Think them mentally as acute as the ordinary run of people."

"I understand that six or eight of the most spiritual and conscientious members left and went over to Dowie a year or so before we came here. ... I could not question the sincerity of the followers of Dowie whom I have known, and while they seemed mentally sound on every other subject, religiously they seemed to be blind to everything that did not favor Dowieism."

"My own experience with people who hold such views tenaciously would be that as a rule they are one-sided, and can thus be of little use except in this one matter. ... Their allegiance to the matter will be short-lived and they will in




turn then become indifferent to the many other great and perhaps greater things of life."

"One was a Dowieite by force of circumstances and ignorance of the churches. She has had unusual spiritual experiences, like visions, etc., but we think she isn't quite right. Acts very queerly sometimes. ... Have known an old couple who were Dowieites. Splendid people, honest, sincere - not intellectually acute; also their daughter and grandaughter who were educated and intelligent. ... Also a Doctor of Divinity and wife, who were ardent believers; but a visit to Dowie for healing for the wife cured them of it. It is notable that Dowie's followers all seem to be attracted by the healing, not by any spiritual truth - a selfish consideration mainly."

"I have met many followers of Dowie and believe as a rule they are sincere in their beliefs, but I have met very few who seem to possess a strong character and very few who think, only as Dowie says they must. Whether this is the result of lack of mental acuteness or not I am not prepared to say. A majority, however, impress me with the fact that they are overzealous in trying to be true to Christ and know very little of the word of God, hence were led astray by apparent use of the word."

"The Dowieites I have known are naturally eccentric and opinionated. I can not say they are very greatly lacking in intelligence. Those I happen to know personally keep the Sabbath to the letter and in other respects live by rule. I know of no blemish on their character."

"The followers of Dowie that I have met seem to me to be sincere. They certainly had mental acuteness equal to the average. ... They are exceedingly dogmatic, but they seem to be at peace. They are ardent workers for the principles they have adopted."

"Their sincerity in my mind is unquestionable except in occasional instances. Yet as to their mental acumen, I have felt that they were rather deficient. They are people generally




controlled by one idea, or have become subservient to one person."

"Have met a few who have been followers of Dowie and have been impressed with their sincerity, but they were glad to free themselves from these influences when once their eyes were opened."

"Most of them honest people; but terribly cranky, if you step on their toes. They have a hobby and ride it to death. Orthodox but uncharitable."

"I have known some of them at least, well. They are mostly or entirely made up of the poorer people and those of slight education and vacillating character.  For the most part they are people who are of fair moral character tho some conspicuous lapses have occurred. Many have given up property and associations to follow Dowie. ... I think most of these people are sincere at least at first. Some have 'apostated.' They are not mentally well balanced in my judgment as evidenced by things I have known of many of them outside of this particular vagary."

"The number of Dowieites that I have met have surely been sincere but with a sincerity due to an apparent ignorance."

Testimony of this sort might be multiplied indefinitely, but from what we have before us and from what our preceding chapters show, we are able to come to some fairly definite conclusions.

(1) Mr. Dowie's people all believe in divine healing in direct answer to prayer apart from any means, usually employed for the alleviation of pain and cure of disease. They are in most cases consistent in adhering to this principle and practice. The large majority have been led to follow him through this belief, having been healed, really or supposedly, themselves, or having been influenced by friends who were healed.

Under this head would of course come that large number of persons who for purely selfish ends, for example, the healing




and help for the body they hoped to receive, have left a church less promising and have sought  Mr. Dowie and Zion. An elder in Zion writes me, "I will say in brief that a comparison with the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ would show you, as it would all wise men, at a glance, that the conditions will be the same here in their degree as they were with Jesus in his day and with his earthly followers. Loaves and fishes? Yes! Flight and confusion when he was gone? Yes. These are simple principles of human life. Mixed motives, selfish motives and all sorts, but the grandest following any man ever had followed the Christ. And the principle is the same here. The grandest set of Christians ever gathered on God's earth are here and I have tested them every way." *

(2) These people have come to regard Mr. Dowie as an extraordinary person, as an agent of God's healing of the body; and whatever may be the terminology the use about God doing the healing, Mr. Dowie simply presenting God's teaching, they instinctively feel him to be possessed of extraordinary power in prayer and to be the efficient visible cause of multitudes of recoveries. "God used him" they say. They have come from the other denominations largely perhaps as many as three-fourths of them. **


* This was written while he was in full loyalty to Mr. Dowie.


** Personal letter to me from one of the more intelligent, but nevertheless "docile" followers of Mr. Dowie:

"I believe you err in the words,  'the interpretation Zion commands.' I have no consciousness of any command either in language or by inference, to accept any given interpretation. Indeed great liberty is allowed. Overseer Excell, for instance, is a Sabbath keeper. He will not work on Saturday. He also considers it wrong to eat any meat. Not twenty thousand of our people have been baptized by the baptism Dr. Dowie declares is the sole one. Yet without any command almost everyone in Zion thinks it the part of wisdom to take the Doctor's interpretation without question or hesitation.

You inquire about the people of Zion as I know them. Zion is made up of the fairly educated, moderately circumstanced, middle class. There are of course many who were formerly trash, and many who come from the learned and professional classes. But the numbers of each of these extremes are not so large a percentage of the whole membership nearly, as the total number in these classes in the world is to the whole population. It is still true that the common people hear him gladly. The people were formerly of every possible religious type. I believe, however, Methodism and Roman Catholicism have the first rank in having furnished members for Zion.

I do not believe that Dr. Dowie's ministry will result in a general quickening of the Denominations. I look for the reverse. Indeed I look upon Zion as one of the causes of the evident retrogression in the spiritual power of the Denominations. That last sentence does not suit me, now that it is down. I substitute 'occasions' for 'causes.'

I am always ready to reply carefully to such intelligent questions as you put. I thank you for your good opinion of me, saying I am able to express myself intelligently. It is unquestionably and unfortunately a somewhat rare capability.

Praying earnestly God's blessing upon you, and inquiring of you as a minister once inquired of me, 'Why not forsake the old rotting hulk wherein you have sailed so long, and get into the crew of that beautiful war ship, the C. C. A. C. in Zion.'"




(3) They are for the most part absolutely sincere and to the extent of their ability loyal to their leader who stands in the place of God and God's will to them. They have in full faith accepted his claims and willingly address him as the "First Apostle." *

(4) There has been considerable lapsing because of unstableness on the part of some of the people, and some desertions because of unwillingness to fully admit all Zion's requirement and teachings; some exclusions because of insubordination, or breach of the rigid Zion discipline. These have not materially affected the faith and devotion of those who remain. Many of the seceders were the most ardent supporters and advocates of the movement and its teaching while in fellowship with Zion.

(5) These people come almost entirely from what might be called the lower bourgeois or middle class, either poor or possessed


* The events which led to widespread desertion occurred after this was written. It was a true statement of the situation at the time, and the desertions illustrate a trait they exhibit, discussed later.




of limited means; on or below the average of intelligence; below the average in general culture; of little or no critical faculty in the scientific use of the term. I say this for reasons that are general: The tone of their letters to me, the composition and contents, inability to analyze their own experiences, their perfect naivete in many instances. In conversation and by observation in Zion City and Zion homes I find this to be true. The letters quoted from pastors as testimony either are neutral on this matter or bear out this view.

In corroboration also comes the testimony of some who have lived in Zion. A lady who spent two years there told me that few indeed of those coming to the city could do more than buy a home, and the majority could not do that. Those coming from a distance, Australia or Europe, or the far west of the United States, as a large company of them did about the time she was leaving, had spent all they possessed in making the journey and were relying upon the work they were to secure in Zion immediately for a livelihood.

(6) They are literalists in Bible interpretation and incapable, tho they had the inclination, of making a balanced, historical exegesis of a Scripture passage; but open to ready conviction through a crude proof text argument, to almost any belief, but especially to the ones lying nearest to their personal interest, that is to divine healing and the like. This even holds good of the officers of Zion who are alien and hostile to all of the modern historical and scientific spirit.

(7) They are very religious - indeed making religion a burden through its exactions - but of righteous purpose and endeavor. They would make religion the chief business of life, almost the exclusive business, and only seem happy when in a meeting where practically the same things are said over and over, if couched in religious phraseology. Their very diversions in Zion City have a religious flavor, and the love of the spectacular which is present in nearly all simple folk is gratified by a rather gorgeous ritual, processions, gowns, and robes. The names of the streets and avenues, the Elijah




Hospice, Shiloh House and a multitude of other things conspire to give all of life a religious surrounding and atmosphere, and this seems to be just the thing for people who regard all the rest of the world under the dominion of the Devil. The better portion of them have readily accepted the teaching on holy living, involving repentance, restitution, forsaking of evil habits and an ordering of the life according to the Bible, or rather Zion's moral code purporting to be drawn from the Bible.

(8) They are of a class easily led, in fact crave a guidance that is real and tangible. They want to feel that God is real to them, but find his will expressed in their leaders and superiors in the church to whom they are taught to give implicit obedience, which is done except in isolated cases of disaffection and insubordination which are summarily dealt with.

A prominent editor says: "They are as inferior physically as mentally. Hardly without exception they are weak-framed, dull-witted creatures of the sort who crave a master as a dog does ... a band of human misfits that would follow any leader who cared to shout orders to them."

This is largely a true estimate, for they are morbidly given to thinking of their ailments, even when planning and praying to be rid of them. They are not the sort to do independent thinking, and as a matter of fact no book or even tract or anything of note has been published by any of Mr. Dowie's followers in the fifteen years of his more public work. These people are not the kind to take the initiative, nor would Mr. Dowie tolerate any rival theory or belief, although one of the propositions upon which the organization was formed was "liberty in non-essentials."

Such an organization and discipline as Mr. Dowie has built up and maintained would not, and has not attracted men of independent judgment or native ability. They must be slavishly loyal to their leader as a condition of remaining in Zion. *


* This might seem to need qualification as Mr. Voliva appears to be an exception. If he is an exception, he is apparently a deceiver, as his protestations of loyalty at the time Mr. Dowie was taken sick were loudest of all. Before coming to America from Australia the same devotion and loyalty were subserviently reiterated.




The attacks upon Mr. Dowie by his officers after the revolt was an accomplished fact reveals what sort of men they are. Sunday, April 22, 1906, in Central Zion Tabernacle, Chicago, an Overseer charged Mr. Dowie with embezzling charity funds, citing the case of the money raised in 1902 for the Martinique disaster sufferers which never reached them. That he remained silent until Overseer Voliva had made the revolt assured, incriminates him and shows incidentally that Zion officers have been under the absolute sway of Mr. Dowie.

(9) Partly because the foregoing statements are true with respect to Mr. Dowie's followers, and for further reasons which we will try to show, they are seen to be people who not only aim, however sincerely, to reproduce primitive Christianity, but are people who reveal primitive traits of character. * Mr. Dowie himself is a sample. Testimonies are abundant to show that he possesses a kindliness of disposition at various times, and not infrequent are, his humorous sallies, and attempts at being "funny;" but the primitive traits of anger and intense excitement are ever ready to show themselves. His violent outbursts without any apparently sufficient provocation are numerous, and have been witnessed by nearly everyone who has attended one of his services.

We cannot feel that all this is simulated either, or done simply for effect, for once we saw him when some children were playing outside the tabernacle in Zion City during service, give angry orders that they be stopped immediately. A few moments later as nothing had been done, he stormed at the Zion guards sitting near the front, angrily reprimanding


* A primitive person is one who is physically active, highly emotional and with feeble reasoning powers - a child of conjecture and imagination - a type which ranges from ideo-motor  to ideo-emotional - Cf. Davenport,  Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals, p. 13.




them publicly, for not obeying and looking after those children. They, like a well disciplined squad of soldiery, double-quicked to the valiant service of silencing three or four youngsters. Mr. Dowie fairly snorted around for a few moments, and then resumed his harangue upon Secretism. At another time in a public meeting he scolded almost beyond endurance, a frail woman, with a babe that occasionally gave a cry. In a prayer we heard him make, in dealing with the denominations, he fairly lost his temper in telling the Lord the frightful wickedness of the miserable Episcopalians. By a process of auto-suggestion he worked himself into a passion in this prayer until words failed him to express the intense feeling that was upon him. Mr. Dowie reminds one forcibly of the most uncanny character of that large group of extremists of the Great Awakening in New England, "Rev. Mr. Davenport," * who lacked the brains and balance of Edwards and whose furious bursts of abuse and derision when opposed if ever so mildly, make him a character very difficult of analysis. The passional and emotional often had the upper hand in his soul, and they certainly do in his modern counterpart, the Founder of Zion, and vilifier of all who oppose him.

But our present discussion has to do not so much with Mr. Dowie, as with his followers. The very fact that they renounce all drugs and doctors would for many be evidence for classing them as a primitive people. But this point is open for discussion, as many persons clearly abreast of the present age in attainments and culture, renounce the use of drugs and seldom deem it wise to summon a physician. However, as Dr. Buckley says: "It is the fact that faith-healers of this type claim that to obtain healing from God they must refuse the use of the natural means which he has provided, which shows them to be superstitious, and imprints upon their foreheads the name fanatic." **


* Cf. Davenport. Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals, p. 118 ff.


** Pamphlet. Dowie Analyzed and Classified.




There is or seems to be on the part of all believers in this theory of healing, a dense ignorance of human nature and its inherent powers of self-recuperation, which bring multitudes back from the very brink of death. This indicates that they are wholly or in part given to attributing unusual cures of apparently hopeless cases to a miraculous intervention of God, and this was the way primitive superstitious people accounted for anything unusual. "What seems to them mysterious and even miraculous is regarded by those who have made a scientific study of human nature as liable to occur at any time."

Their belief in demon-possession is another evidence of their being primitive. Without discussing the facts of which this is only one interpretation, * we might remark that what is known as demon-possession, or the facts which are thus interpreted are found almost exclusively among primitive peoples.  Phenomena of this sort do appear in the midst of civilized nations and communities" but there are special reasons for this in a particular local atmosphere, or environing causes.

Dr. Nevius in "Demon Possession and Allied Themes" takes the very same view as does Mr. Dowie and his followers, that is, "that as yet no theory has been advanced which so well accords with the facts as the simple and unquestioning conclusion so universally held by the Christians of Shantung, viz: that evil spirits do in many instances possess or control the mind and will of human beings."  This belief of course is the one which follows a literal interpretation of the New Testament without historical considerations of current belief and temporary thought-form. We maintain therefore that to account for such phenomena by referring them to demon possession, is a mark of that primitive mind, or a primitive survival which finds it easy to believe in witches, voodoos, ghosts and the like. Mr. Dowie's people do so account for all obsessions and even class other phenomena in the same category, vaguely believing that a something called a devil


* See Discussion, Doctrines of Zion.




possesses the man or woman given over to a Godless life or unclean habits. *

The vast majority of Christians it is true do believe in actual demon-possession in Bible times, because of a literal interpretation of the Bible, or rather a reverence for the authority of the Bible, which takes in a belief in the correctness of all the ideas of the writer and the ideas of his age which he shares and reflects, but to their credit be it said, they do not any longer believe it to be a thing of the present, having come to be modern and sufficiently permeated by the scientific spirit and method as to be released from this primitive belief and fear, except perhaps those of nervous or morbid condition, and the sort who are found in Zion. Many Zionites are characterized by a strong imagination of the primitive sort. They fill the gaps between perception or experience, not by logical interpretation, but a crude imagination. ** Here is a sample. A woman, the wife of one of Zion's Elders, told me personally that upon one occasion her husband came home from meeting and found her choked up with a sore throat until it was difficult for her to breathe. He turned to God and prayed earnestly for her relief, and at once she felt, as it were, something touching her throat, and that the feeling of tightness and distress passed on down through her body and out at her feet. "Now what was that?" she said, "It was the Holy Spirit that touched me and sent away that distress and sickness."

This is not an isolated experience, for time and again these people have said to me, "I just felt the sickness and pain leaving me," or similar expressions. In conversation with an elder, he said that he "believed in a God who actually comes down and helps people," meaning by this in his fuller explanation, that God actually places his touch upon people to heal in answer to prayer. They objectify subjective experience in true primitive style. This will account in part for the wonderful tenacity with which they hold to the belief in


* They loosely refer to the tobacco habit as the tobacco demon.


** Cf. Davenport, op. Cit, p. 14 ff.




divine healing, for whatever they conceive vividly with the imagination, they believe with all the soul. * In spite of Mr. Dowie or any of the healers declaring that it is God and not they who have done the healing, they are positively regarded by the healed as having unusual access to God in prayer, and whatever doctrines they preach are accepted by the healed who are convinced of their recovery through this divine agent. Hence it is that many of Mr. Dowie's followers have taken this view of him - "I could believe he is anything he claims to be, as God works so mightily through him." **

Thus it is that while they give a semblance of a Scripture argument for their faith in him as a Prophet and Apostle, it really rests upon a conviction born of an experience a vivid primitive imagination has made possible, that this man is verily God's Prophet. Against such there is no argument save time's own disillusionment, and it is painful to see how Scripture goes by the board when an unkindness, or a revelation of falseness too great to be ignored, sweeps away this erstwhile faith and simple trust, because the facts are seen to be against it. ***


* Ct. Davenport, op. cit. p. 16, ff.


** The person who actually said these words never was a resident of Zion City, and is now extremely hostile to Mr. Dowie. She was healed by him of partial insanity, or better, extreme nervous prostration.


*** Mr. C. J. Barnard once of Oak Park, Chicago, Presbyterian Church, gives the following recital of his experience with Mr. Dowie: "Six years ago my daughter was twelve years old. She was a sweet child and my wife and I were devoted to her. She became afflicted with curvature of the spine. It progressed in spite of physicians until her head was drawn far back and she was in constant agony. We called in many doctors and surgeons, among the latter consulting the most eminent in the country and were told by all that there was no hope for her. If she lived she would be a cripple all her life. Any father and mother can understand our grief when we were told that. We determined to move heaven and earth to have her cured. ... At last we heard of some one who had been cured by Dr. Dowie. We determined to listen to him. We did so and after long study of the Bible became convinced that it was right and that God was willing to heal all who believed in Jesus. We believed: so did our daughter. We went to Dr. Dowie and he laid hands on her and prayed. Instantly her pain departed from her and to this day has not returned. Her back became straight, and she is today a healthy, happy and entirely well young woman and the joy of our hearts. Understanding that is it any wonder to you that we follow Dr. Dowie with undying love and obey his wishes even before they are uttered, if we can guess them." (Century 42, 1902, P 941). Deacon Peckham had the same experience only it was Mrs. Peckham who was healed. Deacon Barnard became Mr. Dowie's efficient financial manager, and without knowing the details of the business of Zion City, we feel sure that to him in large part is due the credit of managing affairs so as to keep things going in spite of  Mr. Dowie's unwise measures. He found in February, 1905, that matters were being conducted by Mr. Dowie in such a way that he could see nothing but financial ruin awaiting the organization, and he resigned and quietly withdrew.




Mr. Davenport argues that nervous instability is the chief of a group of primitive characteristics which has as its inevitable accompaniment, impulsiveness, a remarkable imitativeness and suggestibility, and great lack of inhibitive control. He says, "In spite of this extraordinary susceptibility, there is probably less insanity than among civilized peoples. ... The primitive man is led to action by impulse rather than by motives carefully reflected upon. "

If it can be shown that Mr. Dowie's people have in the main acted, or customarily act, by impulse rather than by motives carefully reflected upon, if they show a high degree of imitativeness and suggestibility, they are clearly proved to be primitive in their mental characteristics, and under proper conditions would exhibit the reflex accompaniments, such as trances, dreams, visions, rapid imitations, involuntary tremblings, violent spasmodic actions and uncontrollable fear.

The trait of imitativeness is seen in almost every letter a member of Zion has written to me. They reproduce Mr. Dowie's "God's Way of Healing" and the stereotyped expressions one hears in their leader's public utterances. In no case has a letter from anyone not an officer revealed any originality even of arrangement of argument, or independent attitude toward any idea or belief or Scripture text.




An interesting and illuminating incident occurred once in our Young People's prayer meeting. Three Zion people were present and by coincidence the topic was "The Great Physician." The statement of Jesus "They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance," was read, and in comment upon it we said that here at least Jesus does not disparage the physician, using his ministry to the sick as a figure for the greater work that was His own in ministering to the moral and spiritual life of man. Jesus addressed himself primarily to the inner life, and it was his mission to restore the spirit of man to fellowship with God the Father. When the discussion was opened to all present, a Deacon of Zion, a large good-natured weak-faced man arose and following Mr. Dowie's discussion " Satan the Defiler, Jesus the Healer," which he evidently had outlined in his Bible, said in substance: "Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the Devil, 1 John 3:8. Now turn to Acts 10:38, 'and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil.' Now turn to Luke 13:16." As he read the passage he inserted purposely the word "God" for "Satan," making it read, "whom God has bound, lo these eighteen years." "Is that right?" he said; but no one even lisped a syllable although everyone was giving strict attention. He was in a different atmosphere from a Zion meeting. There, whether the audience had been large or small, a chorus of "no's" would have responded, and to his further question, "who did bind her then?" "Satan," would have been the instant reply. Again and again do Zion people betray themselves by an imitation of Mr. Dowie's method or his phraseology. One can in a short conversation with one of them class him as a follower of Mr. Dowie without his name being mentioned or any reference to Zion being made. *



Some of you are very offensive.

I shall talk plainly,

You hinder Zion.

You think that you can ape and imitate the General Overseer, but you

can not do it.

That is impossible.

There is only one man like me in the world, and that is myself.

I am thankful to God that you will never have any success in trying to imitate me.

I do not want anyone else to bear the burdens I have borne.

I do not want anyone else to pass through the afflictions through which I have passed.

I do not want anyone else to win the successes I have won at the price I have paid; and yet I am not sorry for any price I have paid for them, or for any path I have had to tread.

You must understand that you can not under any circumstances be the General Overseer.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but the General Overseer does not appreciate your imitations of him.

They are very poor imitations.

There are some Elders, indeed some Deacons, as well as others that want to be like the General Overseer in talking.

Do you not know that you irritate, rather than help, because you are affecting something that does not belong to you?

There is only one man, as far as I know, that has my commission, and that is myself.

This warning does not apply to the people in general, because they do not attempt to imitate me. - Leaves of Healing, Vol. 15, No. 16, p. 502.




The smaller meetings of Zion people, for example, cottage meetings, a number of which we have attended, are merely repetitions of Mr. Dowie's ideas and utterances of the larger meetings, threshed over and over until one would think the people would weary to hear them; but to all appearances they come as novelties and elicit the same sort of responses.

In a morning meeting in Elijah Hospice, September 25, 1903, among other things the leader said, "There are many truths revealed to the General Overseer, but we are not ready to receive them - the Elijah question for example. Let us keep our mouths shut until we know. Criticism becomes a loop-hole for the Devil. Rise above criticism. If you do whatever he commands you'll have the blessing." This was




the general thread of the leader's talk, but not one dared assert the right of private judgment during the open discussion which followed, and taking the leader's suggestion they reiterated the thought of submission.

I cannot but interpret the foregoing attitude of these people as indicating an element of fear mingled with imitativeness. It is scarcely explained on the principle of policy. True that may be and doubtless is an explanation in part of the great deference shown the General Overseer's ideas and expressions. The people of the rank and file were certainly afraid that anything but submission to Mr. Dowie would incur the Divine displeasure, and they were really afraid of him. This and the imitativeness make the impulse to gang action very strong and suppress individual initiative in Zion until it has nearly reached the vanishing point.

There are many persons with more or less education in full touch with the modern world-culture, who, under certain circumstances, are for a time reduced to a primitive mental and nervous condition by the application of the influence of a psychological crowd, and those of high suggestibility will manifest the primitive traits in great strength, under high excitement and in such a gathering. Under such conditions the latter class will be governed by their feelings chiefly and their actions will in general be impulsive rather than deliberative, and the former are liable to revert to this primitive type. The individual power of inhibition will be very greatly modified or even swallowed up in the mass movement or feeling and the audience will have become a psychological crowd.

The reflexes which are likely to accompany the bringing of highly suggestible people together in a crowd will depend largely upon the character of the leadership and the emotions that are appealed to. In the old time revival where the terrors of hell were dwelt upon agonizing groans and prostrating fear with convulsions were not infrequent. Visions of glory, "Hallelujahs." and expressions of excessive joy are the accompaniment of the camp-meeting revival of the present




South, whereas the Kentucky Revival of 1800 witnessed tremblings, shrieking, the "jerks" and other reflex phenomena. *

It is clear that Mr. Dowie has sought to suppress and has suppressed much of the excessive emotionalism that would naturally be expected in his larger public meetings, and Zion has never been friendly to those who are in the habit of "seeing things." The expression of feeling in his meetings has been carefully directed toward the quieter voicing of approval or disapproval by "yes," or "no" or "that's so" and the like. Applause is quite frequent; and laughter sometimes vociferous, is heard in Zion meetings. However, reflex phenomena do occur, and it is not unusual that someone has to be quieted in a public meeting. During the last week of February, 1906, when Overseer Voliva was in charge of Zion City, he is reported to have "caused a number of the  'citizens' who have been receiving 'messages' and seeing visions to meet him in his office, and there ridiculed them until he was satisfied that his words had had the desired effect. 'There will be no more of such nonsense,' he said."

That so little is said of dreams and visions is due to the surrounding atmosphere in the churches which has discredited all such 'revelations,' and the opposition and disapproval of the leaders to which reference has been made. For the same reason trances are not frequent, at least are not reported. There are many Zion people though who attach great significance to premonitions, dreams and presentiments; and who, past questions, would under the same sort of preaching and atmosphere as the earlier revivals had, manifest the same reflexes with greater frequency.

(10) Mr. Dowie's people furnish an excellent illustration of a psychological crowd, in popular parlance, a mob.

It is true that some have never been fully assimilated to the Zion idea and teaching, nor to absolute loyalty to Mr. Dowie, but these only constitute a fringe, as it were, of that large 


* Cf. Davenport, op. cit. p. 216 ff.




inner mass who have been ganged around the person of the "Apostle," and the ideas and institutions of Zion, and have been molded into a psychological crowd.

A crowd is one of the simplest forms of social organism, being not an aggregate of individuals merely, but a new and distinct body with a life of its own, and traits and attributes peculiar to itself, acting upon emotions belonging strictly to the collective body. "Mobs are of several kinds, as the street mob, political mob, the lynching mob, the religious mob, the reading mob, etc. ... The street mob is the normal type; it displays in simplest forms the eager emotion, the imperfect comprehension, the irrational action that mark the mob." * Of course the street mob is likely to be short lived, as the core around which it organizes itself is not a permanent thing, but rather fleeting in its nature. The lynch mob likewise, has only a brief existence, but such mobs have been known to maintain their existence for days and even weeks, though the different component parts were following their usual vocations or engaged in a more or less diligent search for the object of their fury. As long as the controlling purpose or idea has not been changed by the death of their victim, it simply led an intermittent life, ready to be realized in action. The political mob may live, practically through a campaign, or simply till the echoes of a "spell-binder's" voice has died away, and the component parts have dispersed. A religious mob will probably be longer lived, perhaps because of the inherent conservatism of religious ideas, or because of the need for greater time to realize its aims and carry out the plans or purposes of its leaders. Hence its unity will be oftener broken, and the coming and going almost incessant, as its core ideas lose their grip on some of the old or attract new disciples. The inner batch remains sufficiently unified to be a quiescent mob ever ready to respond to the leaders' touch. It has been thus with Zion. 


* Article, "Mob Spirit in Literature." - Mr. Sedgwick. Atlantic Monthly, July, 1905.




Mr. Sedgwick * indicates what traits seem to him to be essential to constitute a mob. We reproduce his thought. (a) Numbers are essential. "There must be a great congregation, so that individuals may act and react upon one another. The greater the sum of these interactions, the more coherent, the more sensitive, the more compact, the more mobile the body becomes. Where the number of persons is very great the new organism wholly dominates the individual members; when the number is small, the mob is of low vitality, torpid, flaccid, and exercises only a shadowy control over its members who retain practically all their independence as individuals."

(b) The composition of a mob is immaterial. It may be composed of all classes and conditions, all businesses and callings, diverse in training, education and sex. "They may be mild mannered or harsh, equable or capricious, sour or jovial; once united in a mob they strip themselves of those traits and acquire instincts and inhibitions, sensibility to stimuli, and tendencies to action to which as individuals they were strangers."

(c) There must be mutual relations and common interests - a point of contact each with the others. The necessary condition of meeting upon a common plane is not physical but psychical. Physical contact is an aid in the case of a street mob to give psychical contact, but this may be communicated at a distance, by any means capable of conveying emotions while they are still warm. Literature is serviceable to this end.

(d) The chemical union, the crystallization of the mob, depends on two things, a proper condition of receptivity, and a power of suggestion mutually acting on each other. It is akin to the process of hypnotism. "The miraculous cures at Lourdes, Ste. Anne de Beaupre are analogous: the patient is thoroughly receptive, he is specially conscious of the sense of numbers, that he is not an isolated cripple come to be cured, but a constituent part of a miraculous circuit of


* Article cited.




true believers, sensible to the thrills of life from some great and mysterious source. He is physically alone but psychically one of many and reacts to the sense of numbers."

(e) Rudimentary intellectual life, with no reasoning or critical faculty. Perhaps to say a primitive condition of mental and emotional life is most manifest in mobs, would be a more comprehensive statement. "Reflex action answers to peripheral stimulus, there is no pondering, no consideration, no choice of acts." There are many minor traits such as tendency to exaggeration, to excesses, to destruction of existing institutions and customs; intolerance, dictatorialness, and considerable conservatism at times, manifested by crowds. But all of these would probably come under the designation, primitive.

With this outline analysis of mobs in mind we make our interpretation of the entire movement known as the C. C. A. C. in Zion.

Most of the characteristics exhibited by a mob are latent in all human beings, and it is a comparatively small minority with sufficiently strong inhibitory powers to be incapable of ever being one of the component parts of a mob.

The Baptist denomination, for example, is not a psychological mob, but it could be transformed into one, at least a large majority of its people could, on any issue of enough importance to awaken the gang spirit of defense or aggression. True the disintegrating influences on denominational compactness of the modern spirit of unity and interdenominational co-operation and fellowship, would make an occasion less likely and a fusion more difficult.

The Abolitionist Party, although numbering in its ranks many highly educated, noble men, had all the marks of a psychological mob in the broadest sense of the terms, and whenever a section of the party came together in a convention or gathering of any sort it was capable of all the excesses and extremes of emotional outburst and frenzied action of a psychological mob.




The inherent capacity is in all men practically. A given body of ideas, especially in their newness, real or apparent, however disseminated, constitute a rallying point or basis of mob movement and action. When in actual proximity men of these ideas and passions can be molded by a strong leader almost to his will, by a skillful use of images, words and formulas, appealing to their common interests, desires and tendencies.

From our chapters on Point of Contact, Propaganda, Divine Healing, and Doctrines of Zion; indeed from all that has gone before, we see the remote causes and proper conditions for making Mr. Dowie's people capable of being molded into a psychological mob or crowd by such a man as he, or any other leader for that matter, who would use these ideas and methods. These people, naturally possessing the primitive traits necessary to the formation of a crowd, possessed also the attitude toward God, and the Bible, which made fertile ground where the peculiar ideas of Zion could germinate as if by spontaneity and divine implanting. And it is always the points of peculiarity which find emphasis in a group, and which the leader puts forward as a rallying center and impulse toward social action. *

Mr. Dowie's people are a crowd in the wider sense of being ganged permanently by certain ideas and a strong leader. They become when massed in one large meeting, the intenser form of crowd and are easily swayed in the direction of their controlling ideas and emotions such as, for example, "it is God's will," "it is right," "the Kingdom of God demands it," or any form of religious appeal which brings immediate action without time for reflection or criticism. LeBon says, "The outburst and putting in practice of certain ideas among crowds presents at times a startling suddenness. This is only a superficial effect, behind which must be sought a preliminary and preparatory action of long duration. The immediate


* Ct. Article on Conformity and Heresy, by George H. Vincent. Methodist Review, January and February. 1906.




factors are those which coming on the top of this long preparatory working in whose absence they would remain without  effect, serve as the source of active persuasion on crowds: that is, they are the factors which cause the idea to take shape and set it loose with all its consequences."

It might seem, and would doubtless be argued by the new regime in Zion, that all this is not to the point as the people are now completely free from the domination of Mr. Dowie and have abandoned many of his notions. But the transfer of loyalty is just what best illustrates the foregoing quotation from LeBon, and incidentally furnishes illustration for other features of crowd action.

It is conceded that Mr. Dowie's tyranny and mismanagement had caused dissatisfaction on the part of individuals here and there for the past few years, but at no time up to his departure from Zion City in December, 1905, would it have been possible for any dissenting voice to be tolerated in the large assembly of Zion people, even though a clear case of oppression could be made out against the head of Zion. Not only would the absolutism of Mr. Dowie make that impossible, but the sanction of the officers now in revolt, would have been unanimous for any kind of tyrannous suppression of individual rights. Without a hearing or a chance for protest, the rigid discipline would be enforced with the "amen" of every one of those who now charge Mr. Dowie with usurpation and wrong doing. But the people fail to realize this. Their critical faculty has slept through the entire revolt and the only expression of dissatisfaction has been at the suggestion of the leaders who have used the emotions of the people to break Mr. Dowie's hold.

Moreover, the people themselves saw, time after time, what they now interpret as tyranny, and gave no dissenting voice; but rather with a chorus of approvals, sanctioned Mr. Dowie's every step, and made possible the very wrong doing that they now condemn. It will not suffice to say that they feared to do otherwise, for on the part of those who really




felt otherwise than as they expressed themselves, there is moral blameworthiness and guilt; and if they gave assent uncritically, becoming a part of a crowd of oppressors, my point is made without further ado.

But let us go further. This dissatisfaction with Mr. Dowie's mismanagement was growing among the people, fanned by the testimony of those who had been his victims of oppression, or who, because of failure to give full assent to his doings, were summarily dealt with, (and these are the people who really deserve the credit for the revolt, not the officers) and it had reached almost to the exploding point, simply needing a voicer to let it loose with all its power as a special expression, not of individual feeling and conviction based upon reflection and judgment, but of crowd emotion and gang action. Circumstances provided a leader, as they did also the opportune time, for this supreme expression of crowd feeling which would dethrone from the place of absolute authority and power, the man who had gathered them and led them step by step uncritically as a crowd, into actions and beliefs which would be renounced with the renunciation of his supreme leadership.

April first, in the early morning meeting, after the transfer had been made the preceding day, of all the Zion properties, hints of extravagance and mismanagement were made, and by indirection the condition of receptivity on the part of the people for the idea of complete revolt, was primed. We have said that it had been prepared by the growing dissatisfaction. It was now about ripe for the clever touch of a crowd leader. The morning meeting created a buzzing and a stir, and an attitude of expectancy. Everybody who could do so attended the afternoon meeting. Mr. Voliva read in a monotone, without inflection sufficient to indicate his own feeling, the eight hundred and three word telegram which he had received from Mr. Dowie directing the removal of Alexander Granger from all his offices, and commanding many things contrary to the plans and policy already entered upon by Mr. Voliva.




All was quiet and suspense. Then followed a signal act of revolt against Mr. Dowie's authority in the reinstatement of Mr. Speicher who had been removed by Mr. Dowie, to his office and standing in the church. The prolonged applause of the people of whom a large majority were ready to renounce allegiance to the "First Apostle," was as hearty and emotional as the applause they had given, over and over again, to their former chief.

Mr. Voliva had struck the proper psychological moment, and not by facts which would enlighten the understanding, but by an act of direct revolt, and then by innuendoes and intimations as to the immorality of the absent "apostle," the new leader broke the hold of the old. That which had been slumbering and waiting to find expression had burst forth into action, and the crowd had changed its loyalty in a few moments, from an old to a new leader.

Three weeks later, the people were again stampeded into renouncing their Restoration Vow which had bound them to Mr. Dowie. In Chicago at the Central Zion Tabernacle Overseer Piper declared this vow similar to the Mormon vow and thought it treasonable to the United States. Those who subscribed to it he said, did not realize what they were doing, (doesn't this look like crowd action?) but followed Dowie blindly in this as in everything else. "How many of you Restorationists are willing to stand up now before God and repudiate this infamous vow?" About five hundred sprang to their feet with cries of, "We repudiate it. Before God we repudiate it." While this was going on in Chicago, Overseer Voliva was giving a similar talk to 5,000 people in Zion City, breaking the hold of Mr. Dowie, and tightening the hold of the new regime upon the people, by appeals to their passions. Now what made the vow, which all had taken uncritically at the suggestion or command of Mr. Dowie, unrighteous on April 22, that had been righteous under Mr. Dowie's regime? Simply the suggestion of Mr. Voliva or of Mr. Piper that it was so. Where slept the good judgment




and moral insight of the individual Restorationist when Mr. Dowie got him to take the vow? Where but in the bosom of an unreflective crowd!

We attended one of the large midweek meetings in Zion City held in the Tabernacle, April 24, and had opportunity to witness the expressions of feeling on the part of the Zion people at what might he termed the point of recovery. Up to this time the talk and actions of the leaders had been destructive, with a view to confirming the revolt. But a crowd, no more than an individual, will not thrive long upon negations. Two dominant words were sounded in the open testimony meeting in which a large number took part, and a tone of hopefulness pervaded the entire session. These two words were, bondage and freedom. The old regime and Mr. Dowie were represented by bondage; the new by freedom. These words early in the revolt were put forth by the leaders as full of suggestion and import. They have been words to conjure with, and the Zion people have persuaded themselves, or been persuaded, that they represent the facts. But on this same occasion Mr. Voliva said: "We want to get such an atmosphere here in Zion City that a person must do right or get out." Hearty "amens" from the people showed them to be still under the delusion that absolutism means freedom, for Mr. Dowie has said the same thing many times.  "Right" means now with them what it has ever meant; - to do as those in authority command, - and it matters little whether the absolutism be of an individual or a Cabinet. Just how the people of Zion can persuade themselves that the instruments of Mr. Dowie's tyranny, the revolting officers, will suddenly become men of kindly and just disposition, and meet out impartial justice to the people under their authority, is impossible to explain, except upon the hypothesis we have adopted.

To summarize. Mr. Dowie and his divine healing ideas and restoration notions, has been the potent magnet that has swept over the churches, especially of Chicago and the middle west, and by his aggressive propaganda he has drawn the




Zion people to him. Le Bon says:* "In point of fact, all the world's masters, all the founders of religions Of empires, the apostles of all beliefs, eminent statesmen, and in a more modest sphere, the mere chiefs of small groups of men, have always been unconscious psychologists, possessed of an instinctive and often very sure knowledge of the character of crowds, and it is their accurate knowledge of this character that has enabled them to so easily establish the mastery."

I am inclined to think it has been Mr. Dowie's daring and the nature of his teaching that has been his chief strength, as he has made many blunders that most leaders would avoid. Yet as a promoter and master of the crasser forms of appeal, he is not often equaled. The great congregation into which his people have loved to come, because he has sought to make it attractive, has been the place for fostering and fanning to a flame, the loyalty and devotion of the people, and intensifying the gang spirit. Before this greater gathering, he has been the one supreme, outstanding figure. Dissenting voices have never been allowed. Mr. Dowie has been too practical for that. Deliberation has never been friendly to his plans. Action - immediate response - has been the key to his control. He has made much of the air of mystery and forth coming revelations of great things to be done, and in a time of langour has appealed to the spirit which takes pride in a mild sort of martyrdom, a spirit prevalent in every religious struggle group.

Curious outsiders (save in places where Zion people have been in a hopeless minority as in the New York visitation), have kept silence and witnessed the unanimity of responses as he has had his people "vote" on this or that proposition, not daring to raise a contrary voice. I have heard them assent (officers not excepted) to statements in full chorus of responses, which a moment's reflection would discover to be false, or at least gross exaggerations. This statement of mine is confirmed by the fact that now their leaders are picking


* Op. Cit., p. 20.




out some of these statements and showing them to have been false.

So strong has been the hold of Mr. Dowie upon many of his people that the new leaders were loath to have any considerable number of them meet him upon his expected re-entry into Zion City April 10.

If ever a struggle group has shown itself possessed of the proper conditions of receptivity for almost any forward movement, or change along the line of tendencies, it has been Zion. The element of social contagion has been exhibited at the organization, the apostolic annunciation, the New York visitation, and the revolt, and in a multitude of minor cases.

The pity is that these people of high morals, for the most part, of deep sincerity, and capable of noble enthusiasms and loyalties, have not been led by those who were determined to deal honestly with them, and who would scorn to exaggerate and deceive, but calmly reason and persuade. But had this been the case we probably never would have had a C. C. A. C. in Zion, as logical reasoning and persuasion seldom creates prophets and apostles until some years after their death, nor does it feed the emotional needs of a people in a religious struggle group.



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