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The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair

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More than 10,000 schools are on hired premises, and many of these
are absolutely destitute of hygienic conditions. There are
schools mixed up with hospitals, with cemeteries, with slaughter
houses, with stables. One school forms the entrance to a
cemetery, and the corpses are placed on the master's table while
the last responses are being said. There is a school into which
the children cannot enter until the animals have been sent out to
pasture. Some are so small that as soon as the warm weather
begins the boys faint for want of air and ventilation. One school
is a manure-heap in process of fermentation, and one of the local
authorities has said that in this way the children are warmer in
winter. One school in Cataluna adjoins the prison. Another, in
Andalusia, is turned into an enclosure for the bulls when there
is a bull-fight in the town.

These conditions excited the indignation of a Spanish educator by
the name of Francesco Ferrer. He founded what he called a "modern
school", in which the pupils should be taught science and common
sense. He drew, of course, the bitter hatred of the Catholic
hierarchy, which saw in the spread of his principles the end of
their mastery of the people. When the Barcelona insurrection took
place, they had Ferrer seized upon a charge of having been its
instigator; they had him tried in secret before a military
tribunal, convicted upon forged documents, and shot beneath the
walls of the fortress of Montjuich. The case was thoroughly
investigated by William Archer, one of England's leading critics,
a man of scrupulous rectitude of mind. His conclusion is that
Ferrer was absolutely innocent of the charges against him, and
that his execution was the result of a clerical plot. Of Ferrer's
character Archer writes:

Fragmentary though they be, the utterances which I have quoted
form a pretty complete revelation. From first to last we see in
him an ardent, uncompromising, incorruptible idealist. His ideals
are narrow, and his devotion to them fanatical; but it is devoid,
if not of egoism, at any rate of self-interest and self-seeking.
As he shrank from applying the money entrusted him to ends of
personal luxury, so also he shrank from making his ideas and
convictions subserve any personal ambition or vanity.

The Menace

There are, of course, many people in America who will not rest
idle while their country falls into the condition of Spain. There
are anti-Catholic propaganda societies, which send out lecturers
to discuss the Church and its records; and this is exasperating
to devout believers, who regard the Church as holy, and any
criticism of it as blasphemy. So we have opportunity to observe
the working out of the doctrine that the Church is superior to
the civil law.

On June 12th, 1913, there came to the little town of Oelwein,
Iowa, a former priest of the Catholic Church, named Jeremiah J.
Crowley, to deliver a lecture exposing the Papal propaganda. The
Catholics of the town made efforts to intimidate the owner of the
place in which the lecture was to be given; the priest of the
town, Father O'Connor, preached a sermon furiously denouncing the
lecturer; and after the lecture the unfortunate Crowley was
surrounded by a mob of men, women and boys, and although he was
six feet three in size, he was beaten almost to death. At the
trial which followed it developed that Father O'Connor and also
his brother, a judge on the Superior Bench, were accessories
before the fact.

Nor is this a solitary instance. The Catholic military societies,
with their uniforms and their armories, are not maintained for
nothing. As Archbishop Quigley declared before the German
Catholic Central Verein:

We have well ordered and efficient organizations, all at the beck
and nod of the hierarchy and ready to do what the church
authorities tell them to do. With these bodies of loyal Catholics
ready to step into the breach at any time and present an unbroken
front to the enemy we may feel secure.

And so, on the evening of April 15th, 1914, a group of Catholics
entered the Pierce Hotel in Denver, Colorado, overpowered a
police guard and seized the Rev. Otis L. Spurgeon, an
anti-Catholic lecturer. They bound and gagged him, took him to a
lonely woods, and beat him to insensibility. The same thing
happened to the Rev. Augustus Barnett, at Buffalo; the Rev.
William Black was killed at Marshall, Texas. In each case the
assailants avowed themselves Knights of Columbus, and efforts to
punish them failed, because no jury can be got to convict a
Catholic, fighting for his Pope against a godless state. The most
pious Leo XIII has laid down:

It is an impious deed to break the laws of Jesus Christ for the
purpose of obeying the magistrates, or to transgress the law of
the Church under the pretext of observing the civil law.

There are papers published to warn Americans against the plotting
of this political Church. One of them, "The Menace," has a
circulation of more than a million; and naturally the Knights of
Slavery do not enjoy reading it. Year after year they have
marshalled their power to have this paper barred from the
mails--so far, in vain. They caused an obscenity prosecution,
which failed; so finally the press rooms of the paper were blown
up with dynamite. At the present time there is a "Catholic Truth
Society" with a publication called "Truth", to oppose the
anti-Catholic campaign; and that is all right, of course--except
when the agents who collect the two-dollar subscriptions to this
publication make use of Untruth in their labors--promising
absolution and salvation to the families, dead and living, of
those who "come across" with subscriptions. In the "Bulletin of
the American Federation of Catholic Societies" for September,
1915, I find a record of the ceaseless plotting to bar criticism
of the Catholic Church from the mails. Fitzgerald, a Tammany
Catholic congressman, proposes a bill in Washington; and Judge
St. Paul, of New Orleans, a member of the Federation's "law
committee", points out the difficulties in the way of such
legislation. You cannot pass a law against ridiculing religion,
because the Catholics want to ridicule Christian Science,
Mormonism, and the "Holy Ghost and Us" Society! The Judge thinks
the purpose of the Papal plotters will be accomplished if they
can slip into the present law the words "scurrilous and
slanderous"; he hopes that this much can be done without the
American people catching on!

You read these things for the first time, perhaps, and you want
to start an American "Kultur-kampf." I make haste, therefore, to
restate the main thesis of this book. It is not the New
Inquisition which is our enemy today; it is hereditary Privilege.
It is not Superstition, but Big Business which makes use of
Superstition as a wolf makes use of sheep's clothing.

You remember how, when Americans first awakened to the universal
corruption of our politics, we used to attribute it to the
"ignorant foreign vote." Turn to Lecky's "Democracy and Liberty"
and you will see how reformers twenty years ago explained our
political depravity. But we probed deeper, and discovered that
the purely American communities, such as Rhode Island, were the
most corrupt of all. It dawned upon us that wherever there was a
political boss paying bribes on election day, there was a captain
of industry furnishing the money for the bribes, and taking some
public privilege in return. So we came to realize that political
corruption is merely a by-product of Big Business.

And when we come to probe this problem of the spread of
Supersition in America, this amazing renascence of Romanism in a
democracy, we find precisely the same phenomenon. It is not the
poor foreigner who troubles us. Our human magic would win
him--our easy-going trust, our quiet certainty of liberty, our
open-handed and open-homed and hail-fellow-well-met democracy. We
should break down the Catholic machine, and not all the priests
in the hierarchy could stop us--were it not for the Steel Trust
and the Coal Trust and the Beef Trust, the Liquor Trust and the
Traction Trust and the Money Trust--those masters of America who
do not want citizens, free and intelligent and self-governing,
but who want the slave-hordes as they come, ignorant, inert,
physically, mentally and morally helpless!

No, do not let yourself be lured into a Kultur-kampf. It is not
the pennies of the servant-girls which build the towering
cathedrals; it is not the two-dollar contributions for the
salvation of souls which support the Catholic Truth Society and
the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Name Society and the Mary
Sodality and the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and
all the rest of the machinery of the Papal propaganda. These
help, of course; but the main sources of growth are, first, the
subsidies of industrial exploiters, the majority of whom are
non-Catholic, and second, the privilege of public plunder granted
as payment for votes by politicians who are creatures and puppets
of Big Business.

King Coal

The proof of these statements is written all over the industrial
life of America. I will stop long enough to present an account of
one industry, asking the reader to accept my statement that if
space permitted I could present the same sort of proof for a
dozen other industries which I have studied--the steel-mills of
Western Pennsylvania, the meat-factories of Chicago, the
glass-works of Southern Jersey, the silk-mills of Paterson, the
cotton-mills of North Carolina, the woolen-mills of
Massachusetts, the lumber-camps of Louisiana, the copper-mines of
Michigan, the sweat-shops of New York.

In a lonely part of the Rocky Mountains lies a group of
enormously valuable coal-mines owned by the Rockefellers and
other Protestant exploiters. The men who work these mines, some
twelve or fifteen thousand in number, come from all the nations
of Europe and Asia, and their fate is that of the average
wage-slave. I do not ask anyone to take my word, but present
sworn testimony, taken by the United States Commission on
Industrial Relations in 1914. Here is the way the Italian miners
live, as described in a doctor's report:

Houses up the canyon, so-called, of which eight are habitable,
and forty-six simply awful; they are disreputably disgraceful. I
have had to remove a mother in labor from one part of the shack
to another to keep dry.

And here is the testimony of the Rev. Eugene S. Gaddis, former
superintendent of the Sociological Department of the Colorado
Fuel and Iron Company:

The C. F. & I. Company now own and rent hovels, shacks and
dug-outs that are unfit for the habitation of human beings and
are little removed from the pig-sty make of dwellings. And the
people in them live on the very level of a pig-sty. Frequently
the population is so congested that whole families are crowded
into one room; eight persons in one small room was reported
during the year.

And here is what this same clergyman has to say about the bosses
whom the Rockefellers employ:

The camp superintendents as a whole impressed me as most uncouth,
ignorant, immoral, and in many instances, the most brutal set of
men that I have ever met. Blasphemous bullies.

Sometimes the miner grows tired of being robbed of his weights,
and applies for the protection which the law of the state allows
him. What happens then?

"When a man asked for a checkweighman, in the language of the
super he was getting too smart."

"And he got what?"

"He got it in the neck, generally."

And when these wage-slaves, goaded beyond endurance, went on
strike, in the words of the Commission's report:

Five strikers, one boy, and thirteen women and children in the
strikers' tent colony were shot to death by militiamen and guards
employed by the coal companies, or suffocated and burned to death
when these militiamen and guards set fire to the tents in which
they made their homes.

And now, what is the position of education in such camps? The
Rev. James McDonald, a Methodist preacher, testified that the
school building was dilapidated and unfit. One year there were
four teachers, the next three, and the next only two. The teacher
of the primary grade had a hundred and twenty children enrolled,
ninety per cent of whom could not speak a word of English.

Every little bench was seated with two or three. It was
over-crowded entirely, and she could hardly get walking room
around there.

And as to the political use made of this deliberately cultivated
ignorance, former United States Senator Patterson testified that
the companies controlled all elections and all nominations:

Election returns from the two or three counties in which the
large companies operate show that in the precincts in which the
mining camps are located the returns are nearly unanimous in
favor of the men or measures approved by the companies,
regardless of party.

And now comes the all-important question. What of the Catholic
Church and these evils? The majority of these mine-slaves are
Catholics, it is this Church which is charged with their
protection. There are priests in every town, and in nearly every
camp. And do we find them lifting their voices in behalf of the
miners, protesting against the starving and torturing of thirty
or forty thousand human beings? Do we find Catholic papers
printing accounts of the Ludlow massacre? Do we find Catholic
journalists on the scene reporting it, Catholic lawyers defending
the strikers, Catholic novelists writing books about their
troubles? We do not!

Through the long agony of the fourteen months strike, I know of
just one Catholic priest, Father Le Fevre, who had a word to say
for the strikers. One of the first stories I heard when I reached
the strike-field was of a priest who had preached on the text
that "Idleness is the root of all evil," and had been reported as
a "scab" and made to shut up. "Who made him?" I asked, naively,
thinking of his church superiors. My informant, a union miner,
laughed. "We made him!" he said.

I talked with another priest who was prudently saving souls and
could not be interested in questions of worldly greed. Max
Eastman, reporting the strike in the "Masses", tells of an
interview with a Catholic sister.

"Has the Church done anything to try to help these people, or to
bring about peace?" we asked. "I consider it the most useless
thing in the world to attempt it," she replied.

The investigating committee of Congress came to the scene, and
several clergymen of the Protestant Church appeared and bore
testimony to the outrages which were being committed against the
strikers; but of all the Catholic priests in the district not one
appeared--not one! Several Protestant clergymen testified that
they had been driven from the coal-camps--not because they
favored the unions, but because the companies objected to having
their workers educated at all; but no one ever heard of the
Catholic Church having trouble with the operators. To make sure
on this point I wrote to a former clergyman of Trinidad who
watched the whole strike, and is now a first lieutenant in the
First New Mexico Infantry. He answered:

The Catholic Church seemed to get along with the companies very
cordially. The Church was permitted in all the camps. The
impression was abroad that this was due to favoritism. I honor
what good the Church does, but I know of no instance, during the
Colorado coal-strike or at any other time or place, when the
Catholic Church has taken any special interest in the cause of
the laboring men. Many Catholics, especially the men, quit the
church during the coal-strike.

The Unholy Alliance

Everywhere throughout America today the ultimate source of all
power, political, social, and religious, is economic
exploitation. To all other powers and all other organizations it
speaks in these words: "Help us, and you will thrive; oppose us,
and you will be destroyed." It has spoken to the Catholic Church,
for sixteen hundred years the friend and servant of every ruling
class; and the Church has hastened to fit itself into the
situation, continuing its pastoral role as shepherd to the
wage-slave vote.

In New York and Boston and Chicago the Church is "Democratic"; so
in the Blaine campaign it was possible for a Republican clergyman
to describe the issue as "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion." But the
Holy Office was shrewd and socially ambitious, and the Grand Old
Party was desperately in need of votes, so under the regime of
Mark Hanna, the President-Maker, there began a rapprochement
between Big Business and the New Inquisition. Under Hanna the
Catholic Church got representation in the Cabinet; under him the
Cardinal's Mass became a government institution, a Catholic
College came to the fore in Washington, and Catholic prelates
were introduced in the role of eminent publicists, their
reactionary opinions on important questions being quoted with
grave solemnity by a prostitute press. It was Mark Hanna himself
who founded the National Civic Federation, upon whose executive
committee Catholic cardinals and archbishops might work hand in
glove with Catholic labor-leaders for the chloroforming of the
American working-class. Hanna's biographer naively calls
attention to the President-maker's popularity among Catholics,
high and low, and the support they gave him. "Archbishop Ireland
was in frequent correspondence with him, and used his influence
in Mr. Hanna's behalf."

And this tradition, begun under Hanna, was continued under
Roosevelt, and reached its finest flower in the days of Taft, the
most pliant tool of the forces of evil who has occupied the White
House since the days of the Slave Power. President Taft was
himself a Unitarian; yet it was under his administration that the
Catholic Church achieved one of its dearest ambitions, and broke
into the Supreme Court. Why not? We can imagine the powers of the
time in conference. It is desired to pack the Court against the
possibility of progress; it is desired to find men who will stand
like a rock against change--and who better than those who have
been trained from childhood in the idea of a divine sanction for
doctrine and morals? After all, what is it that Hereditary
Privilege wants in America? A Roman Catholic code of property
rights, with a supreme tribunal to play the part of an infallible

Under this Taft administration the country was governed by the
strangest legislative alliance our history ever saw; a
combination of the Old Guard of the Republican Party with the
leaders of the Tammany Democracy of New York. "Bloody shirt"
Foraker, senator from Ohio, voting with the sons of those Irish
Catholic mob-leaders whom the Federal troops shot down in the
draft-riots! By this unholy combination a pledge to reduce the
tariff was carried out by a bill which greatly increased its
burdens; by this combination the public lands and resources of
the country were fed to a gang of vultures by a thievish
Secretary of the Interior. And of course under such an
administration the cause of "Religion" made tremendous strides.
Catholic officials were appointed to public office, Catholic
ecclesiastics were accorded public honors, and Catholic favor
became a means to political advancement. You might see a
hard-swearing old political pirate like "Uncle Joe" Cannon,
taking his cigar out of the corner of his blasphemous mouth and
betaking himself to the "Cardinal's Day Mass", to bend his stiff
knees and bow his hoary unrepentant head before a jeweled prelate
on a throne. You might see an emissary of the United States
government proceeding to Rome, prostrating himself before the
Pope, and paying over seven million dollars of our taxes for
lands which the filthy and sensual friars of the Philippine
Islands had filched from the wretched serfs of that country and
which the wretched serfs had won back by their blood in a

Secret Service

This Taft administration, urged on by the Catholic intrigue, made
the most determined efforts to prevent the spread of radical
thought. Because the popular magazines were opposing the
plundering of the country, a bill was introduced into Congress to
put them out of business by a prohibitive postal tax; the
President himself devoted all his power to forcing the passage of
this bill. At the same time the Socialist press was handicapped
by every sort of persecution. I was at that time in intimate
touch with the "Appeal to Reason", and I know that scarcely a
month passed that the Post Office Department did not invent some
new "regulation" especially designed to limit its circulation. I
recall one occasion when I met the editor on his way to
Washington with a trunkful of letters from subscribers who
complained that their postmasters refused to deliver the paper to
them; and later on this same editor was prosecuted by a Catholic
Attorney General and sentenced to prison for seeking to awaken
the people concerning the Moyer-Haywood case.

From my personal knowledge I can say that under the
administration of President Taft the Roman Catholic Church and
the Secret Service of the Federal Government worked hand in hand
for the undermining of the radical movement in America. Catholic
lecturers toured the country, pouring into the ears of the public
vile slanders about the private morality of Socialists; while at
the same time government detectives, paid out of public funds,
spent their time seeking evidence for these Catholic lecturers to
use. I know one man, a radical labor-leader, whose morals
happened to approach those of the average capitalist politician,
and who was prevented by threats of exposure and scandal from
accepting the Socialist nomination for President. I know a dozen
others who were shadowed and spied upon; I know one
case--myself--a man who was asking a divorce from his wife, and
whose mail was opened for months.

This subject is one on which I naturally speak with extreme
reluctance. I will only say that my opponent in the suit made no
charge of misconduct against me; but those in control of our
political police evidently thought it likely that a man who was
not living with his wife might have something to hide; so for
months my every move was watched and all my mail intercepted. In
such a case one might at first suspect one's private opponent;
but it soon became evident that this net was cast too wide for
any private agency. Not merely was my own mail opened, but the
mail of all my relatives and friends--people residing in places
as far apart as California and Florida. I recall the bland smile
of a government official to whom I complained about this matter:
"If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear." My answer
was that a study of many labor cases had taught me the methods of
the agent provocateur. He is quite willing to take real evidence
if he can find it; but if not, he has familiarized himself with
the affairs of his victim, and can make evidence which will be
convincing when exploited by the yellow press. In my own case,
the matter was not brought to a test, for I went abroad to live;
when I made my next attack on Big Business, the Taft
administration had been repudiated at the polls, and the Secret
Service of the government was no longer at the disposal of the
Catholic machine.

Tax Exemption

Today the Catholic Church is firmly established and everywhere
recognized as one of the main pillars of American capitalism. It
has some fifteen thousand churches, fourteen million
communicants, and property valued at half a billion dollars. Upon
this property it pays no taxes, municipal, state or national;
which means, quite obviously, that you and I, who do not go to
church, but who do pay taxes, furnish the public costs of
Catholicism. We pay to have streets paved and lighted and cleaned
in front of Catholic churches; we pay to have thieves kept away
from them, fires put out in them, records preserved for them--all
the services of civilization given to them gratis, and this in a
land whose constitution provides that Congress (which includes
all state and municipal legislative bodies) "shall make no law
respecting a religious establishment." When war is declared, and
our sons are drafted to defend the country, all Catholic monks
and friars, priests and dignitaries are exempted. They are
"ministers of religion"; whereas we Socialists may not even have
the status of "conscientious objectors." We do not teach
"religion"; we only teach justice and humanity, decency and

In defense of this tax-exemption graft, the stock answer is that
the property is being used for purposes of "education" or
"charity". It is a school, in which children are being taught
that "liberty of conscience is a most pestiferous error, from
which arises revolution, corruption, contempt of sacred things,
holy institutions, and laws." (Pius IX). It is a "House of
Refuge", to which wayward girls are committed by Catholic
magistrates, and in which they are worked twelve hours a day in a
laundry or a clothing sweat-shop. Or it is a "parish-house", in
which a celibate priest lives under the care of an attractive
young "house-keeper". Or it is a nunnery, in which young girls
are held against their will and fed upon the scraps from their
sisters' plates to teach them humility, and taught to lie before
the altar, prostrate in the form of a cross, while their
"Superiors" walk upon their bodies to impress the religious
virtues. "I was a teacher in the Catholic schools up to a very
recent period," writes the woman friend who tells me of these
customs, "and I know about the whole awful system which endeavors
to throttle every genuine impulse of the human will."

Concerning a large part of this church property, the claim of
"religious" use has not even the shadow of justification. In
every large city of America you will find acres of land owned by
the Catholic machine, and supposed to be the future site of some
institution; but as time goes on and property values increase,
the church decides to build on a cheaper site, and proceeds to
cash in the profits of its investment, precisely as does any
other real estate speculator. Everywhere you turn in the history
of Romanism you find it at this same game, doing business under
the cloak of philanthropy and in the holy name of Christ. Read
the letter which the Catholic Bishop of Mexico sent to the Pope
in 1647, complaining of the Jesuit fathers and their boundless
graft. In McCabe's "Candid History of the Jesuits" appears a

A remarkable account is given of the worldly property of the
fathers. They hold, it seems, the greater part of the wealth of
Mexico. Two of their colleges own 300,000 sheep, besides cattle
and other property. They own six large sugar refineries, worth
from half a million to a million crowns each, and making an
annual profit of 100,000 crowns each, while all the other monks
and clergy of Mexico together own only three small refineries.
They have immense farms, rich silver mines, large shops and
butcheries, and do a vast trade. Yet they continually intrigue
for legacies--a woman has recently left them 70,000 crowns--and
they refuse to pay the appointed tithe on them. It is piquant to
add to this authoritative description that the Jesuit
congregation at Rome were still periodically forbidding the
fathers to engage in commerce, and Jesuit writers still gravely
maintain that the society never engaged in commerce. It should be
added that the missionaries were still heavily subsidized by the
King of Spain, that there were (the Bishop says) only five or six
Jesuits to each of their establishments, and that they conducted
only ten colleges.

"Holy History"

And if you think this tax-exemption privilege should be taken
away from the church grafters, let me suggest a course of
procedure. Write a letter about it to your daily newspaper; and
if the letter is not published, go and see the editor and ask
why; so you will learn something about the partnership between
Superstition and Big Business!

It is not too much to say that today no daily newspaper in any
large American city dares to attack the emoluments of the
Catholic Church, or to advocate restrictions upon the
ecclesiastical machine. As I write, they are making a new
Catholic bishop in Los Angeles, and all the newspapers of that
graft-ridden city herald it as an important social event. Each
paper has the picture of the new prelate, with his shepherd's
crook upraised, his empty face crowned with a rhomboidal fool's
cap, and enough upholstery on him to outfit a grand opera
company. The Los Angeles "Examiner", the only paper in the city
with a pretense to radicalism, turns loose its star-writer--one
of those journalist virtuosos who will describe you a Wild West
"rodeo" one day, and a society elopement the next, and a G. O. P.
convention the next; and always with his picture, one inch
square, at the head of his effusion. He takes in the Catholic
festivity; and does it phaze him? It does not! He is a newspaper
man, and if his city editor sent him to hell, he would take the
assignment and write like the devil. To read him now you might
think he had been reared in a convent; his soul is uplifted, and
he bursts forth in pure spontaneous ecstacy:

Solemnly magnificent, every brilliant detail symbolically
picturing the holy history of the Roman Catholic Church in the
inexorable progress of its immense structure, which rises from
the rock of Peter, with its beacons of faith and devotion
piercing the fog of doubt and fear which surround the world and
the worldly, was the ceremony yesterday at the Cathedral of St.
Vibiana, whereby Bishop John J. Cantwell was installed in his
diocese of Monterey and Los Angeles.

And then, a month later, comes another occasion of state--the
Twenty-third Annual-Banquet of the Merchants' and Manufacturers'
Association of Los Angeles. I should have to write a little essay
to make clear the sociological significance of that function;
explaining first, a nation-wide organization which has been
proven by congressional investigation and by the publication of
its secret documents to be a machine for the corruption of our
political life; and then exhibiting our "City of the Angels",
from which all Angels have long since fled; a city in the first
crude stage of land speculation, without order, dignity or charm;
a city of real estate agents, who exist by selling climate to new
arrivals from the East; a city whose intellectual life is
"boosting", whose standards of truth are those of the
horse-trade. Its newspapers publish a table of temperatures,
showing the daily contrast between Southern California and the
East. This device is effective in the winter-time; but last June,
when for five days and nights the temperature was over 110, and
several times 114--the Los Angeles space was left empty!

In the same way, there is a rule that our earthquake shocks are
never mentioned, unless they destroy whole towns. On the
afternoon of Jan. 26th, 1918, a cyclone hit Pasadena, of violence
sufficient to lift a barn over a church-steeple and deposit it in
the pastor's front yard. That evening a friend of mine in Los
Angeles called up the office of the "Times" to make inquiry; and
although they are only thirteen miles away, and have a branch
office and a special correspondent in Pasadena, the answer was
that they had heard nothing about the cyclone! And next morning I
made a careful search of their columns. On the front page I read:
"Fourth Blizzard of Season Raging in East"; also: "Another
Earthquake in Guatemala". But not a line about the Pasadena
cyclone That there was plenty of space in that issue, you may
judge from the fact that there were twenty headlines like the
following--many of them representing full page and half page
illustrated "write-ups":

Where Spring is January; Wealth Waits in California; The Bright
Side of Sunshine Land; Come to California: Southland's Arms
Outstretched in Cordial Invitation to the East; Flower Stands
Make Gay City Streets; Southland Climate Big Manufacturing
Factor; Joy of Life Demonstrated in Los Angeles' Beautiful Homes;
Nymphs Knit and Bathe at Ocean's Sunny Beach; etc.

Now we are in the War and our business is booming, we are making
money hand over fist. It is all the more delightful, because we
are putting our souls into it, we are lending our money to the
government and saving the world for Democracy! Our labor
unionists have been driven to other cities, and our Mexican
agitators and I. W. W.'s are in jail; so, in the gilt ball-room
of our palatial six-dollar-a-day hotel the four hundred masters
of our prosperity meet to pat themselves on the back, and they
invite the new Catholic bishop to come and confer the grace of
God upon their eating.

The Bishop comes; and I take up the "Times"--the labor-hating,
labor-baiting, fire-and-slaughter-breathing "Times"--and here is
the episcopal picture on the front page, the arms stretched four
columns wide in oratorical beneficence. How the shepherd of Jesus
does love the Merchants and Manufacturers! How his eloquence is
poured out upon them! "You represent, gentlemen, the largest and
the most civilizing secular body in the country. You are the
pioneers of American civilization..... I am glad to be among you;
glad that my lines have fallen in this glorious land by the
sunset sea, and honored to meet in intimate acquaintance the big
men who have raised here in a few years a city of metropolitan

And then, bearing in mind his responsibilities as guardian of
Exploitation, the Bishop goes on to tell them about the coming
class-war. "On the one side a statesman preaching patience and
respect for vested rights, strict observance of public faith; on
the other a demagog speaking about the tyranny of capitalists and
usurers." And then, of course, the inevitable religious tag: "How
will men obey you, if they believe not in God, who is the author
of all authority?" At which, according to the "Times", "prolonged
applause and cheers" from the Merchants and Manufacturers! The
editor of the "Times" goes back to his office, and inspired by
this episcopal eloquence writes a "leader" with the statement
that: "We have no proletariat in America!"

Das Centrum

In order to see clearly the ultimate purpose of this Unholy
Alliance, this union of Superstition and the Merchants' and
Manufacturers' Association, we have to go to Europe, where the
arrangement has been working for a thousand years. In Europe
to-day we see the whole world in conflict with a band of
criminals who have been able to master the minds and lives of a
hundred million highly civilized people. As I write, the Junker
aristocracy is at bay, and soon to have its throat cut; but there
comes a Holy Father to its rescue, with the cross of Jesus
uplifted, and a series of pleas for mercy, written in Vienna,
edited in Berlin, and sent out from Rome. The Holy Father loves
all mankind with a tender and touching love; his heart bleeds at
the sight of bloodshed and suffering, and he pleads the sacred
cause of peace on earth and good-will toward men.

But what was the Holy Father doing through the forty-three years
that the Potsdam gang were preparing for their assault on the
world? How was the Holy Father manifesting his love of peace and
good will? He is, you understand, the "sole, last, supreme judge
of what is right and wrong," and his followers obey him with the
utmost promptness and devotion--they express themselves as
"prostrate at his feet." And when the masters of Prussia came to
him and said: "Give us the power to turn this nation into the
world's greatest military empire"--what did the Roman Church
answer? Did it speak boldly for the gentle Jesus, and the cause
of peace on earth and good-will towards men? No, it did not. To
Bismarck in Germany it said, precisely as it said to Mark Hanna
in America: "Give us honors and prestige; give us power over the
minds of the young, so that we may plunder the poor and build our
cathedrals and feed fat our greed; and in return we will furnish
you with votes, so that you may rule the state and do what you

You think there is exaggeration in that statement? Why, we know
the very names of the prelates with whom the master-cynic of the
Junkerthum made his "deal." He had tried the method of the
Kultur-kampf, and had failed; but before he repealed the
anti-Catholic laws, he made sure that the Church had learned its
lesson, and would nevermore oppose the Prussian ruling caste. We
know how this bargain was carried out; we have the record of the
Centrum, the Catholic party of Germany, whose hundred deputies
were the solid rock upon which the military regime of Prussia was
erected. Not a battle-ship nor a Zeppelin was built for which the
Black Terror did not vote the funds; not a school-child was
beaten in Posen or Alsace that the New Inquisition did not shout
its "Hoch!" The writer sat in the visitors' gallery of the
Reichstag when the Socialists were protesting against the
torturing of miserable Herreros in Africa, and he heard the
deputies of the Holy Father's political party screaming their
rage like jaguars in a jungle night. All over Europe the Catholic
Church organized fake labor unions, the "yellows," as they were
called, to scab upon the workers and undermine the revolutionary
movement. The Holy Father himself issued precise instructions for
the management of these agencies of betrayal. Hear the most pious
and benevolent Leo XIII:

"They must pay special and principal attention to piety and
morality, and their internal discipline must be directed
precisely by these considerations; otherwise they entirely lose
their special character, and come to be very little better than
those societies which take no account of Religion at all."

It is so hard, you see, to keep a man thinking about piety and
morality while he is starving! I am quoting from the Encyclical
Letter on "The Condition of Labor," issued in 1891, and addressed
"to our Venerable Brethren, all Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops
and Bishops of the Catholic World in Grace and Communion with the
Apostolic See." The purpose of the letter is "to refute false
teaching," and the substance of its message is:

This great labor question cannot be solved except by assuming as
a principle that private property must be held sacred and

And again, the purpose of churches proclaimed in language as
frank as any used in the present book:

The chief thing to be secured is the safe-guarding, by legal
enactment and policy, of private property. Most of all it is
essential in these times of covetous greed, to keep the multitude
within the line of duty; for if all may justly strive to benefit
their condition, yet neither justice nor the common good allows
any one to seize that which belongs to another, or, under the
pretext of futile and ridiculous equality, to lay hands on other
peoples' fortunes.

And this, you understand, in lands where rapine and conquest,
class-tyranny and priestly domination have been the custom since
the dawn of history; in which no property-right can possibly
trace back to any other basis than force. In Austria, for
example--Austria, the leader and guardian of the Holy
Alliance--Austria, which had no Reformation, no Revolution, no
Kultur-kampf--Austria, in which the income of the Catholic
Primate is $625,000 a year! In other words, Austria is still to a
large extent a "Priestly Empire;" and it was Austria which began
the war--began it in a religious quarrel, with a Slav people
which does not acknowledge the Holy Father as the ruler of the
world, but persists in adhering to the Eastern Church. So of
course to-day, when Austria is learning the bitter lesson that
they who draw the sword shall perish by the sword, the heart of
the Holy Father is wrung with grief, and he sends out these
eloquent peace-notes, written in Vienna and edited in Berlin. And
at the same time his private chaplain is convicted and sentenced
to prison for life as Austria's Master-Spy in Rome!

It is a curious thing to observe--the natural instinct which, all
over the world, draws Superstition and Exploitation together.
This war, which is hailed as a war against autocracy, might
almost as accurately be described as a war against the clerical
system. Wherever in the world you find the Papal power strong,
there you find sympathy with the Prussian infamy and there you
find German intrigue. In Spain, for example; in Ireland and
Quebec, and in the Argentine. The treatment of Belgium was a
little too raw--too many priests were shot at the outset, and so
Cardinal Mercier denounces the Germans; but you notice that he
pleads in vain with the Vatican, which stands firm by its beloved
Austria, and against the godless kingdom of Italy. The Kaiser
allows the hope of restoration of the temporal power at the peace
settlement; and meantime the law forbidding the presence of the
Jesuits in Germany has been repealed, and all over the world the
propagandists of this order are working for the Kaiser. Sir Roger
Casement was raised a Catholic, and so also "Jim" Larkin, the
Irish labor-leader who is touring America denouncing the Allies.
The Catholic Bishop of Melbourne opposed and beat conscription in
Australia, and it was Catholic propaganda of treachery among the
ignorant peasant-soldiers from Sicily which caused the breaking
of the Italian line at Tolmino. So deeply has this instinct
worked that, in the fall of 1917 while the Socialist party in New
York was campaigning for immediate peace, the Catholic Irish
suddenly forgot their ancient horrors. The Catholic "Freeman's
Journal" published nine articles favoring Socialism in a single
issue; while even "The Tablet," the diocesan paper, began to
discover that the Socialists were not such bad fellows after all.
The same "Tablet" which a few years ago allowed Father Belford to
declare that Socialists were mad dogs who should be "stopped with
a bullet"!

Note to second edition: Since the above was written, the war
fervor has swept America, including even the rank and file of the
Catholics, and what has here been said might seem unfair to
persons who have forgotten the attitude of the Church during the
early part of the conflict, and the struggle it cost to bring the
hierarchy into line. It is one of the ironies of history that the
most reactionary organization in the world should be lending its
aid to the destruction of the second most reactionary. When the
Catholic Church marches forth to war for Democracy, it is not
drawing America down into the pit, but is letting America pull it
out of the pit--at least for a time, and the spectacle is one in
which all lovers of progress will rejoice.


The Church of the Slavers

See, underneath the Crown of Thorn,
The eye-balls fierce, the features grim!
And merrily from night to morn
We chaunt his praise and worship him--
Great Christus-Jingo, at whose feet
Christian and Jew and Atheist meet!

A wondrous god! most fit for those
Who cheat on 'Change, then creep to prayer;
Blood on his heavenly altar flows,
Hell's burning incense fills the air,
And Death attests in street and lane
The hideous glory of his reign.

Face of Caesar

The thesis of this book is the effect of fixed dogma in producing
mental paralysis, and the use of this mental paralysis by
Economic Exploitation. From that standpoint the various
Protestant sects are better than the Catholic, but not much
better. The Catholics stand upon Tradition, the Protestants upon
an Inspired Word; but since this Word is the entire literary
product, history and biography, science and legislation, poetry,
drama and fiction of a whole people for something like a thousand
years, it is possible by judicious selection of texts to prove
anything you wish to prove and to justify anything you wish to
do. The "Holy Book" being full of polygamy, slavery, rape and
wholesale murder, committed by priests and rulers under the
direct orders of God, it was a very simple matter for the
Protestant Slavers to construct a Bible defense of their system.

They get poor Jesus because he was given to irony, that most
dangerous form of utterance. If he could come back to life, and
see what men have done with his little joke about the face of
Caesar on the Roman coin, I think he would drop dead. As for
Paul, he was a Roman bureaucrat, with no nonsense in his make-up;
when he ordered, "Servants obey your masters," he meant exactly
what he said. The Roman official stamp which he put upon the
gospel of Jesus has been the salvation of the Slavers from the
Reformation on.

In the time of Martin Luther, the peasants of Germany were
suffering the most atrocious and awful misery; Luther himself
knew about it, he had denounced the princely robbers and the
priestly land-exploiters with that picturesque violence of which
he was a master. But nothing had been done about it, nothing ever
is done about it--until at last the miserable peasants attempted
to organize and win their own rights. Their demands do not seem
to us so very criminal as we read them today; the privilege of
electing their own pastors, the abolition of villeinage, the
right to hunt and fish and cut wood in the forest, the reduction
of exorbitant rents, extra payment for extra labor, and--that
universal cry of peasant communes whether in Russia, England,
Mexico or sixteenth century Germany--the restoration to the
village of lands taken by fraud. But Luther would hear nothing of
slaves asserting their own rights, and took refuge in the Pauline
sociology: If they really wished to follow Christ, they would
drop the sword and resort to prayer; the gospel has to do with
spiritual, not temporal, affairs; earthly society cannot exist
without inequalities, etc.

And when the peasants went on in spite of this, he turned upon
them and denounced them to the princes; he issued proclamations
which might have been the instructions of Mr. John Wanamaker to
the police-force of his "City of Brotherly Love": "One cannot
answer a rebel with reason, but the best answer is to hit him
with the fist until blood flows from the nose." He issued a
letter: "Against the Murderous and Thieving Mob of Peasants,"
which might have come from the Reverend Woelfkin, Fifth Avenue
Pastor of Standard Oil: "The ass needs to be beaten, and the
populace needs to be controlled with a strong hand. God knew this
well, and therefore he gave the rulers, not a fox's tail, but a
sword." He implored these rulers, after the fashion of Methodist
Chancellor Day of the University of Syracuse: "Do not be troubled
about the severity of their repression, for it will save many
souls." With such pious exhortations in their ears the princes
set to work, and slaughtered a hundred thousand of the miserable
wretches; they completely aborted the social hopes of the
Reformation, and cast humanity into the pit of wage-slavery and
militarism for four centuries. As a church scholar, Prof.
Rauschenbusch, puts it:

The glorious years of the Lutheran Reformation were from 1517 to
1525, when the whole nation was in commotion, and a great
revolutionary tidal wave seemed to be sweeping every class and
every higher interest one step nearer to its ideal of life. . . .
The Lutheran Reformation had been most truly religious and
creative when it embraced the whole of human life and enlisted
the enthusiasm of all ideal men and movements. When it became
"religious" in the narrow sense, it grew scholastic and spiny,
quarrelsome, and impotent to awaken high enthusiasm and noble

Deutschland ueber Alles

As a result of Luther's treason to humanity, his church became
the state church of Prussia, and Bible-worship and Devil-terror
played their part, along with the Mass and the Confessional, in
building up the Junker dream. A court official--the
Oberhofprediger--was set up, and from that time on the
Hohenzollerns were the most pious criminals in Europe. Frederick
the Great, the ancestral genius, was an atheist and a scoffer,
but he believed devoutly in religion for his subjects. He said:
"If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in
the ranks." And Carlyle, instinctive friend of autocrats, tells
with jocular approval how he kept them from thinking:

He recognizes the uses of Religion; takes a good deal of pains
with his Preaching Clergy; will suggest texts to them; and for
the rest expects to be obeyed by them, as by his Sergeants and
Corporals. Indeed, the reverend men feel themselves to be a body
of Spiritual Sergeants, Corporals, and Captains, to whom
obedience is the rule, and discontent a thing not to be indulged
in by any means.

So the soldiers stayed in the ranks, and Frederick raided Silesia
and Poland. His successors ordered all the Protestant sects into
one, so that they might be more easily controlled; from which
time the Lutheran Church has been a department of the Prussian
state, in some cases a branch of the municipal authority.

In 1848, when the people of various German states demanded their
liberty, it was an ultra-pious king of Prussia who sent his
troops and shot them down--precisely as Luther had advised to
shoot down the peasants. At this time the future maker of the
German Empire rose in the Landtag and made his bow before the
world; a young Prussian land-magnate, Otto von Bismarck by name,
he shook his fist in the face of the new German liberalism, and
incidentally of the new German infidelity:

Christianity is the solid basis of Prussia; and no state erected
upon any other foundation can permanently exist.

The present Hohenzollern has diligently maintained this tradition
of his line. It was his custom to tour the Empire in a train of
blue and white cars, carrying as many costumes as any stage
favorite, most of them military; with him on the train went the
Prussian god, and there was scarcely a performance at which this
god did not appear, also in military costume. After the failure
of the "Kultur-kampf," the official Lutheran religion was ordered
to make friends with its ancient enemy, the Catholic Church. Said
the Kaiser:

I make no difference between the adherents of the Catholic and
Protestant creeds. Let them both stand upon the foundation of
Christianity, and they are both bound to be true citizens and
obedient subjects. Then the German people will be the rock of
granite upon which our Lord God can build and complete his work
of Kultur in the world.

And here is the oath required of the Catholic clergy, upon their
admission to equality of trustworthiness with their Protestant

I will be submissive, faithful and obedient to his Royal
Majesty,--and his lawful successors in the government,--as my
most gracious King and Sovereign; promote his welfare according
to my ability; prevent injury and detriment to him; and
particularly endeavor carefully to cultivate in the minds of the
people under my care a sense of reverence and fidelity towards
the King, love for the Fatherland, obedience to the laws, and all
those virtues which in a Christian denote a good citizen; and I
will not suffer any man to teach or act in a contrary spirit. In
particular I vow that I will not support any society or
association, either at home or abroad, which might endanger the
public security, and will inform His Majesty of any proposal
made, either in my diocese or elsewhere, which might prove
injurious to the State.

And later on this heaven-guided ruler conceived the scheme of a
Berlin-Bagdad railway, for which he needed one religion more; he
paid a visit to Constantinople, and made another debut and
produced another god--with the result that millions of Turks are
fighting under the belief that the Kaiser is a convert to the
faith of Mohammed!

Der Tag.

All this was, of course, in preparation for the great event to
which all good Germans looked forward--to which all German
officers drank their toasts at banquets--the Day.

This glorious day came, and the field-gray armies marched forth,
and the Pauline-Lutheran God marched with them. The Kaiser, as
usual, acted as spokesman:

Remember that the German people are the chosen of God. On me, the
German emperor, the spirit of God has descended. I am His sword,
His weapon and His viceregent. Woe to the disobedient and death
to cowards and unbelievers.

As to the Prussian state religion, its attitude to the war is set
forth in a little book written by a high clerical personage, the
Herr Consistorialrat Dietrich Vorwerk, containing prayers and
hymns for the soldiers, and for the congregations at home. Here
is an appeal to the Lord God of Battles:

Though the warrior's bread be scanty, do Thou work daily death
and tenfold woe unto the enemy. Forgive in merciful
long-suffering each bullet and each blow which misses its mark.
Lead us not into the temptation of letting our wrath be too tame
in carrying out Thy divine judgment. Deliver us and our ally from
the Infernal Enemy and his servants on earth. Thine is the
kingdom, the German land; may we, by the aid of Thy steel-clad
hand, achieve the fame and the glory.

It is this Herr Consistorialrat who has perpetrated the great
masterpiece of humor of the war--the hymn in which he appeals to
that God who keeps guard over Cherubim, Seraphim, and Zeppelins.
You have to say over the German form of these words in order to
get the effect of their delicious melody--"Cherubinen,
Seraphinen, Zeppelinen!" And lest you think that this too-musical
clergyman is a rara avis, turn to the little book which has been
published in English under the same title as Herr Vorwerk's
"Hurrah and Hallelujah." Here is the Reverend S. Lehmann:

Germany is the center of God's plans for the world. Germany's
fight against the whole world is in reality the battle of the
spirit against the whole world's infamy, falsehood and devilish

And here is Pastor K. Koenig:

It was God's will that we should win the war.

And Pastor J. Rump:

Our defeat would mean the defeat of His Son in humanity. We fight
for the cause of Jesus within mankind.

And here is an eminent theological professor:

The deepest and most thought-inspiring result of the war is the
German God. Not the national God such as the lower nations
worship, but "our God," who is not ashamed of belonging to us,
the peculiar acquirement of our heart.

King Cotton

It is a cheap way to gain applause in these days, to denounce the
Prussian system; my only purpose is to show that Bible-worship,
precisely as saint-worship or totem-worship, delivers the
worshipper up to the Slavers. This truth has held in America,
precisely as in Prussia. During the middle of the last century
there was fought out a mighty issue in our free republic; and
what was the part played in this struggle by the Bible-cults?
Hear the testimony of William Lloyd Garrison: "American
Christianity is the main pillar of American slavery." Hear Parker
Pillsbury: "We had almost to abolish the Church before we could
reach the dreadful institution at all."

In the year 1818 the Presbyterian General Assembly, which
represented the churches of the South as well as of the North,
passed by a unanimous vote a resolution to the effect that
"Slavery is utterly inconsistent with the law of God, which
requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves." But in a
generation the views of the entire South, including the
Presbyterian Church, had changed entirely. What was the reason?
Had the "law of God" been altered? Had some new "revelation" been
handed down? Nothing of the kind; it was merely that a Yankee by
the name of Eli Whitney had perfected a machine to take the seeds
out of short staple cotton. The cotton crop of the South
increased from four thousand bales in 1791 to four hundred and
fifty thousand in 1820 and five million, four hundred thousand in

There was a new monarch, King Cotton, and his empire depended
upon slaves. According to the custom of monarchs since the dawn
of history, he hired the ministers of God to teach that what he
wanted was right and holy. From one end of the South to the other
the pulpits rang with the text: "Cursed be Canaan; a servant to
servants shall he be to his brethren." The learned Bishop
Hopkins, in his "Bible View of Slavery", gave the standard
interpretation of this text:

The Almighty, forseeing the total degredation of the Negro race,
ordained them to servitude or slavery under the descendants of
Shem and Japheth, doubtless because he judged it to be their
fittest condition.

I might fill the balance of this volume with citations from
defenses of the "peculiar institution" in the name of Jesus
Christ--and not only from the South, but from the North. For it
must be understood that leading families of Massachusetts and New
York owed their power to Slavery; their fathers had brought
molasses from New Orleans and made it into rum, and taken it to
the coast of Africa to be exchanged for slaves for the Southern
planters. And after this trade was outlawed, the slave-grown
cotton had still to be shipped to the North and spun; so the
traders of the North must have divine sanction for the Fugitive
Slave law. Here is the Bishop of Vermont declaring: "The slavery
of the negro race appears to me to be fully authorized both in
the Old and New Testaments." Here in the "True Presbyterian", of
New York, giving the decision of a clerical man of the world:
"There is no debasement in it. It might have existed in Paradise,
and it may continue through the Millenium."

And when the slave-holding oligarchy of the South rose in arms
against those who presumed to interfere with this divine
institution, the men of God of the South called down blessings
upon their armies in words which, with the proper change of
names, might have been spoken in Berlin in August, 1914. Thus Dr.
Thornwell, one of the leading Presbyterian divines of the South:
"The triumph of Lincoln's principles is the death-knell of
slavery...... Let us crush the serpent in the egg." And the
Reverend Dr. Smythe of Charleston: "The war is a war against
slavery, and is therefore treasonable rebellion against the Word,
Providence and Government of God." I read in the papers, as I am
writing, how the clergy of Germany are thundering against
President Wilson's declaration that that country must become
democratic. Here is a manifesto of the German Evangelical League,
made public on the four hundredth anniversary of the Reformation:

We especially warn against the heresy, promulgated from America,
that Christianity enjoins democratic institutions, and that they
are an essential condition of the kingdom of God on earth.

In exactly the same way the religious bodies of the entire South
united in an address to Christians throughout the world, early in
the year 1863:

The recent proclamation of the President of the United States,
seeking the emancipation of the slaves of the South, is in our
judgment occasion of solemn protest on the part of the people of

Witches and Women

To whatever part of the world you travel, to whatever page of
history you turn, you find the endowed and established clergy
using the word of God in defense of whatever form of
slave-driving may then be popular and profitable. Two or three
hundred years ago it was the custom of Protestant divines in
England and America to burn poor old women as witches; only a
hundred and fifty years ago we find John Wesley, founder of
Methodism, declaring that "the giving up of witchcraft is in
effect the giving up of the Bible." And if you investigate this
witch-burning, you will find that it is only one aspect of a blot
upon civilization, the Christian Mysogyny. You see, there were
two Hebrew legends--one that woman was made out of a man's rib,
and the other that she ate an apple; therefore in modern England
a wife must be content with a legal status lower than a domestic

Perhaps the most comical of the clerical claims is this--that
Christianity has promoted chivalry and respect for womanhood. In
ancient Greece and Rome the woman was the equal and helpmate of
man; we read in Tacitus about the splendid women of the Germans,
who took part in public councils, and even fought in battles. Two
thousand years before the Christian era we are told by Maspero
that the Egyptian woman was the mistress of her house; she could
inherit equally with her brothers, and had full control of her
property. We are told by Paturet that she was "juridically the
equal of man, having the same rights and being treated in the
same fashion." But in present-day England, under the common law,
woman can hold no office of trust or power, and her husband has
the sole custody of her person, and of her children while minors.
He can steal her children, rob her of her clothing, and beat her
with a stick provided it is no thicker than his thumb. While I
was in London the highest court handed down a decision on the law
which does not permit a woman to divorce her husband for
infidelity, unless it has been accompanied by cruelty; a man had
brought his mistress into his home and--compelled his wife to
work for and wait upon her, and the decision was that this was
not cruelty in the meaning of the law!

And if you say that this enslavement of Woman has nothing to do
with religion--that ancient Hebrew fables do not control modern
English customs--then listen to the Vicar of Crantock, preaching
at St. Crantock's, London, Aug. 27th, 1905, and explaining why
women must cover their heads in church:

(1) Man's priority of creation. Adam was first formed, then Eve.

(2) The manner of creation. The man is not of the woman, but the
woman of the man.

(3) The purport of creation. The man was not created for the
woman, but the woman for the man.

(4) Results in creation. The man is the image of the glory of
God, but woman is the glory of man.

(5) Woman's priority in the fall. Adam was not deceived; but the
woman, being deceived, was in the transgression.

(6) The marriage relation. As the Church is subject to Christ, so
let the wives be to their husbands.

(7) The headship of man and woman. The head of every man is
Christ, but the head of the woman is man.

I say there is no modern evil which cannot be justified by these
ancient texts; and there is nowhere in Christendom a clergy which
cannot be persuaded to cite them at the demand of ruling classes.
In the city where I write, three clergymen are being sent to jail
for six months for protesting against the use of the name of
Jesus in the wholesale slaughter of men. Now, I am backing this
war. I know that it has to be fought, and I want to see it fought
as hard as possible; but I want to leave Jesus out of it, for I
know that Jesus did not believe in war, and never could have been
brought to support a war. I object to clerical cant on the
subject; and I note that an eminent theological authority,
"Billy" Sunday, appears to agree with me; for I find him on the
front page of my morning paper, assailing the three pacifist
clergymen, and making his appeal not to Jesus, but to the
blood-thirsty tribal diety of the ancient Hebrews:

I suppose they think they know more than God Almighty, who
commanded the sun to stand still while Joshua won the battle for
the Lord; more than the God who made Samson strong so he could
slay thousands of his nation's enemies in a righteous cause.

Right you are, Billy! And if the capitalist system continues to
develop unchecked, we shall some day see it dawn upon the masters
of the world how wasteful it is to permit the superannuated
workers to perish by slow starvation. So much more sensible to
make use of them! So we shall have a Bible defense of
cannibalism; we shall hear our evangelists quoting Leviticus:
"They shall eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters." Or
perhaps some of our leisure-class ladies might make the discovery
that the flesh of working-class babies is relished by pomeranians
and poodles. If so, the Billy Sundays of the twenty-first century
may discover the text: "Happy shall be he that taketh and dasheth
thy little ones against the stones."

Moth and Rust

It is especially interesting to notice what happens when the
Bible texts work against the interests of the Slavers and their
clerical retainers. Then they are null and void--and no matter
how precise and explicit and unmistakable they may be! Take for
example the Sabbath injunction: "Six days shalt thou labor and do
all that thou hast to do." Karl Marx records of the pious England
of his time that

Occasionally in rural districts a day-labourer is condemned to
imprisonment for desecrating the Sabbath by working in his front
garden. The same labourer is punished for breach of contract if
he remains away from his metal, paper or glass works on the
Sunday, even if it be from a religious whim. The orthodox
Parliament will hear nothing of Sabbath-breaking if it occurs in
the process of expanding capital.

Or consider the attitude of the Church in the matter of usury.
Throughout ancient Hebrew history the money-lender was an
outcast; both the law and the prophets denounced him without
mercy, and it was made perfectly clear that what was meant was,
not the taking of high interest, but the taking of any interest
whatsoever. The early church fathers were explicit, and the
Catholic Church for a thousand years consigned money-lenders
unhesitatingly to hell. But then came the modern commercial
system, and the money-lenders became the masters of the world!
There is no more amusing illustration of the perversion of human
thought than the efforts of the Jesuit casuists to escape from
the dilemma into which their Heavenly Guides had trapped them.

Here, for example is Alphonso Ligouri, a Spanish Jesuit of the
eighteenth century, a doctor of the Church, now worshipped as St.
Alphonsus, presenting a long and elaborate theory of "mental
usury"; concluding that, if the borrower pay interest of his own
free will, the lender may keep it. In answer to the question
whether the lender may keep what the borrower pays, not out of
gratitude, but out of fear that otherwise loans will be refused
to him in future, Ligouri says that "to be usury, it must be paid
by reason of a contract, or as justly due; payment by reason of
such a fear does not cause interest to be paid as an actual
price," Again the great saint and doctor tells us that "it is not
usury to exact something in return for the danger and expense of
regaining the principal!" Could the house of J. P. Morgan and
Company ask more of their ecclesiastical department?

The reader may think that such sophistications are now out of
date; but he will find precisely the same knavery in the efforts
of present-day Slavers to fit Jesus Christ into the system of
competitive commercialism. Jesus, as we have pointed out, was a
carpenter's son, a thoroughly class-conscious proletarian. He
denounced the exploiters of his own time with ferocious
bitterness, he drove the money-changers out of the temple with
whips, and he finally died the death of a common criminal. If he
had forseen the whole modern cycle of capitalism and
wage-slavery, he could hardly have been more precise in his
exortations to his followers to stand apart from it. But did all
this avail him? Not in the least!

I place upon the witness-stand an exponent of Bible-Christianity
whom all readers of our newspapers know well: a scholar of
learning, a publicist of renown; once pastor of the most famous
church in Brooklyn; now editor of our most influential religious
weekly; a liberal both in theology and politics; a modernist, an
advocate of what he calls industrial democracy. His name is Lyman
Abbott, and he is writing under his own signature in his own
magazine, his subject being "The Ethical Teachings of Jesus".
Several times I have tried to persuade people that the words I am
about to quote were actually written and published by this
eminent doctor of divinity, and people have almost refused to
believe me. Therefore I specify that the article may be found in
the "Outlook", the bound volumes of which are in all large
libraries: volume 94, page 576. The words are as follows, the
bold face being Dr. Abbott's, not mine:

My radical friend declares that the teachings of Jesus are not
practicable, that we cannot carry them out in life, and that we
do not pretend to do so. Jesus, he reminds us, said, 'Lay not up
for yourself treasures upon earth;' and Christians do universally
lay up for themselves treasures upon earth; every man that owns a
house and lot, or a share of stock in a corporation, or a life
insurance policy, or money in a savings bank, has laid up for
himself treasure upon earth. But Jesus did not say, "Lay not up
for yourselves treasures upon earth." He said, "Lay not up for
yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt
and where thieves break through and steal." And no sensible
American does. Moth and rust do not get at Mr. Rockefeller's oil
wells, nor at the Sugar Trust's sugar, and thieves do not often
break through and steal a railway or an insurance company or a
savings bank. What Jesus condemned was hoarding wealth.

Strange as it may sound to some of the readers of this book, I
count myself among the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. His
example has meant more to me than that of any other man, and all
the experiences of my revolutionary life have brought me nearer
to him. Living in the great Metropolis of Mammon, I have felt the
power of Privilege, its scourge upon my back, its crown of thorns
upon my head. When I read that article in the "Outlook", I felt
just as Jesus himself would have felt; and I sat down and wrote a

To Lyman Abbott

This discovery of a new method of interpreting the Bible is one
of such very great interest and importance that I cannot forbear
to ask space to comment upon it. May I suggest that Dr. Abbott
elaborate this exceedingly fruitful idea, and write us another
article upon the extent to which the teachings of the Inspired
Word are modified by modern conditions, by the progress of
invention and the scientific arts? The point of view which Dr.
Abbott takes is one which had never occurred to me before, and I
had therefore been completely mistaken as to the attitude of
Jesus on the question. Also I have, like Dr. Abbott, many radical
friends who are still laboring under error.

Jesus goes on to bid his hearers: "Consider the lilies of the
field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin." What
an apt simile is this for the "great mass of American wealth," in
Dr. Abbott's portrayal of it! "It is serving the community," he
tells us; "it is building a railway to open a new country to
settlement by the homeless; it is operating a railway to carry
grain from the harvests of the West to the unfed millions of the
East," etc. Incidentally, it is piling up dividends for its pious
owners; and so everybody is happy--and Jesus, if he should come
back to earth, could never know that he had left the abodes of
bliss above.

Truly, there should be a new school of Bible interpretation
founded upon this brilliant idea. Jesus says, "Therefore when
thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may
have glory of men." Verily not; for of what avail are trumpets,
compared with the millions of copies of newspapers which daily go
forth to tell of Mr. Rockefeller's benefactions? How transitory
are they, compared with the graven marble or granite which Mr.
Carnegie sets upon the front of each of his libraries!

There is the paragraph, "Neither shalt thou swear by thy head,
because thou canst not make one hair white or black." I have
several among my friends who are Quakers; presumably Dr. Abbott
has also; and he should not fail to point out to them the changes
which scientific discovery has wrought in the significance of
this command against swearing. We can now make our hair either
white or black, or a combination of both. We can make it a
brilliant peroxide golden; we could, if pushed to an extreme,
make it purple or green. So we are clearly entitled to swear all
we please by our head.

Nor should we forget to examine other portions of the Bible
according to this method. "Look not upon the wine when it is
red," we are told. Thanks to the activities of that Capitalism
which Dr. Abbott praises so eloquently, we now make our beverages
in the chemical laboratory, and their color is a matter of
choice. Also, it should be pointed out that we have a number of
pleasant drinks which are not wine at all--"high-balls" and "gin
rickeys" and "peppered punches"; also vermouthe and creme de
menthe and absinthe, which I believe, are green in hue, and
therefore entirely safe.

Then there are the Ten Commandments. "Thou shalt not make unto
thee any graven image." See how completely our understanding of
this command is changed, so soon as we realize that we are free
to make images of molten metal! And that we may with impunity bow
down to them and worship them and serve them--even, for instance,
a Golden Calf!

"The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou
shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy
manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the
stranger that is within thy gates." This, again, it will be
noted, is open to new interpretations. It specifies maidservants,
but does not prevent one's employing as many married women as he
pleases. It also says nothing about the various kinds of
labor-saving machinery which we have now taught to work for
us--sail-boats, naptha launches, yachts, automobiles, and private
cars--all of which may be busily occupied during the seventh day
of the week. The men who run these machines--the guides, boatmen,
stokers, pilots, chauffeurs, and engineers--would all indignantly
resent being regarded as "servants", and so they do not come
under the prohibition any more than the machines.

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet
thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor
his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." I read
this paragraph over for the first time in quite a while, and I
came with a jolt to its last words. I had been intending to point
out that it said nothing about a neighbor's automobile, nor a
neighbor's oil wells, sugar trusts, insurance companies and
savings banks. The last words, however, stop one off abruptly.
One is almost tempted to imagine that the Divine Intelligence
must have foreseen Dr. Abbott's ingenious method of
interpretation, and taken this precaution against him. And this
was a great surprise to me--for, truly, I had not supposed it
possible that such an interpretation could have been foreseen,
even by Omniscience itself. I will conclude this communication by
venturing the assertion that it could not have been foreseen by
any other person or thing, in the heavens above, on the earth
beneath, or the waters under the earth. Dr. Abbott may accept my
congratulations upon having achieved the most ingenious and
masterful exhibition of casuistical legerdemain that it has ever
been my fortune to encounter in my readings in the literatures of
some thirty centuries and seven different languages.

And I will also add that I respectfully challenge Dr. Abbott to
publish this letter. And I announce to him in advance that if he
refuses to publish it, I will cause it to be published upon the
first page of the "Appeal to Reason", where it will be read by
some five hundred thousand Socialists, and by them set before
several million followers of Jesus Christ, the world's first and
greatest revolutionist, whom Dr. Lyman Abbott has traduced and
betrayed by the most amazing piece of theological knavery that it
has ever been my fortune to encounter.

The Octopus

Dr. Lyman Abbott published this letter! In his editorial comment
thereon he said that he did not know which of two biblical
injunctions to follow: "Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest thou be thought like unto him"; or "Answer a fool according
to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit". I replied by
pointing out a third text which the Reverend Doctor had possibly
overlooked: "He that calleth his neighbor a fool shall be in
danger of hell-fire." But the Reverend Doctor took refuge in his
dignity, and I bided my time and waited for that revenge which
comes sooner or later to us muck-rakers. In this case it came
speedily. The story is such a perfect illustration of the
functions of religion as oil to the machinery of graft that I ask
the reader's permission to recite it at length.

For a couple of decades the political and financial life of New
England has been dominated by a gigantic aggregation of capital,
the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. It is a "Morgan"
concern; its popular name, "The New Haven", stands for all the
railroads of six states, nearly all the trolley-lines and
steamship-lines, and a group of the most powerful banks of Boston
and New York. It is controlled by a little group of insiders, who
followed the custom of rail-road-wrecking familiar to students of
American industrial life: buying up new lines, capitalizing them
at fabulous sums, and unloading them on the investing public;
paying dividends out of capital, "passing" dividends as a means
of stock manipulation, accumulating surpluses and cutting
"melons" for the insiders, while at the same time crushing labor
unions, squeezing wages, and permitting rolling-stock and
equipment to go to wreck.

All these facts were perfectly well known in Wall Street, and
could not have escaped the knowledge of any magazine editor
dealing with current events. In eight years the "New Haven" had
increased its capitalization 1501 per cent; and what that meant,
any office boy in "the Street" could have told. What attitude
should a magazine editor take to the matter?

At that time there were still two or three free magazines in
America. One of them was Hampton's, and the story of its wrecking
by the New Haven criminals will some day serve in school
text-books as the classic illustration of that financial piracy
which brought on the American social revolution. Ben Hampton had
bought the old derelict "Broadway Magazine", with twelve thousand
subscribers, and in four years, by the simple process of straight
truth-telling, had built up for it a circulation of 440,000. In
two years more he would have had a million; but in May, 1911, he
announced a series of articles dealing with the New Haven

The articles, written by Charles Edward Russell, were so exact
that they read today like the reports of the Interstate Commerce
Commission, dated three years later. A representative of the New
Haven called upon the editor of Hampton's with a proof of the
first article--obtained from the printer by bribery--and was
invited to specify the statements to which he took exception; in
the presence of witnesses he went over the article line by line,
and specified two minor errors, which were at once corrected. At
the end of the conference he announced that if the articles were
published, Hampton's Magazine would be "on the rocks in ninety

Which threat was carried out to the letter. First came a campaign
among the advertisers of the magazine, which lost an income of
thousands of dollars a month, almost over night. And then came a
campaign among the banks--the magazine could not get credit.
Anyone familiar with the publishing business will understand that
a magazine which is growing rapidly has to have advances to meet
each month's business. Hampton undertook to raise the money by
selling stock; whereupon a spy was introduced into his office as
bookkeeper, his list of subscribers was stolen, and a campaign
was begun to destroy their confidence.

It happened that I was in Hampton's office in the summer of 1911,
when the crisis came. Money had to be had to pay for a huge new
edition; and upon a property worth two millions of dollars, with
endorsements worth as much again, it was impossible to borrow
thirty thousand dollars in the city of New York. Bankers,
personal friends of the publisher, stated quite openly that word
had gone out that any one who loaned money to him would be
"broken". I myself sent telegrams to everyone I knew who might by
any chance be able to help; but there was no help, and Hampton
retired without a dollar to his name, and the magazine was sold
under the hammer to a concern which immediately wrecked it and
discontinued publication.

The Industrial Shelley

Such was the fate of an editor who opposed the "New Haven". And
now, what of those editors who supported it? Turn to "The
Outlook, a Weekly Journal of Current Events," edited by Lyman
Abbott--the issue of Dec. 25th, nineteen hundred and nine years
after Christ came down to bring peace on earth and good-will
toward Wall Street. You will there find an article by Sylvester
Baxter entitled "The Upbuilding of a Great Railroad." It is the
familiar "slush" article which we professional writers learn to
know at a glance. "Prodigious", Mr. Baxter tells us, has been the
progress of the New Haven; this was "a masterstroke", that was
"characteristically sagacious". The road had made "prodigious
expenditures", and to a noble end: "Transportation efficiency
epitomizes the broad aim that animated these expenditures and
other constructive activities." There are photographs of bridges
and stations--"vast terminal improvements", "a masterpiece of
modern engineering", "the highest, greatest and most
architectural of bridges". Of the official under whom these
miracles were being wrought--President Mellen--we read:
"Nervously organized, of delicate sensibility, impulsive in
utterance, yet with an extraordinarily convincing power for
vividly logical presentation." An industrial Shelley, or a
Milton, you perceive; and all this prodigious genius poured out
for the general welfare! "To study out the sort of transportation
service best adapted to these ends, and then to provide it in the
most efficient form possible, that is the life-task that
President Mellen has set himself."

There was no less than sixteen pages of these raptures--quite a
section of a small magazine like the "Outlook". "The New Haven
ramifies to every spot where industry flourishes, where business
thrives." "As a purveyor of transportation it supplies the public
with just the sort desired." "Here we have the new efficiency in
a nutshell." In short, here we have what Dr. Lyman Abbott means
when he glorifies "the great mass of American wealth". "It is
serving the community; it is building a railway to open a new
country to settlement by the homeless; it is operating a railway
to carry grain from the harvests of the West to the unfed
millions of the East," etc. The unfed millions--my typewriter
started to write "underfed millions"--are humbly grateful for
these services, and hasten to buy copies of the pious weekly
which tells about them.

The "Outlook" runs a column of "current events" in which it tells
what is happening in the world; and sometimes it is compelled to
tell of happenings against the interests of "the great mass of
American wealth". The cynical reader will find amusement in
following its narrative of the affairs of the New Haven during
the five years subsequent to the publication of the Baxter

First came the collapse of the road's service; a series of
accidents so frightful that they roused even clergymen and
chambers of commerce to protest. A number of the "Outlook's"
subscribers are New Haven "commuters", and the magazine could not
fail to refer to their troubles. In the issue of Jan. 4th, 1913,
three years and ten days after the Baxter rhapsody, we read:

The most numerous accidents on a single road since the last
fiscal year have been, we believe, those on the New Haven. In the
opinion of the Connecticut Commission, the Westport wreck would
not have occurred if the railway company had followed the
recommendation of the Chief Inspector of Safety Appliances of the
Interstate Commerce Commission in its report on a similar
accident at Bridgeport a year ago.

And by June 28th, matters had gone farther yet; we find the
"Outlook" reporting:

Within a few hours of the collision at Stamford, the wrecked
Pullman car was taken away and burned. Is this criminal
destruction of evidence?

This collapse of the railroad service started a clamor for
investigation by the Interstate Commerce Commission, which of
course brought terror to the bosoms of the plunderers. On Dec.
20, 1913, we find the "Outlook" "putting the soft pedal" on the
public indignation. "It must not be forgotten that such a road as
the New Haven is, in fact if not in terms, a National possession,
and as it goes down or up, public interests go down or up with
it," But in spite of all pious admonitions, the Interstate
Commerce Commission yielded to the public clamor, and an
investigation was made--revealing such conditions of rottenness
as to shock even the clerical retainers of Privilege. "Securities
were inflated, debt was heaped upon debt", reports the horrified
"Outlook"; and when its hero, Mr. Mellen--its industrial Shelley,
"nervously organized, of delicate sensibility"--admitted that he
had no authority as to the finances of the road and no
understanding of them, but had taken all his orders from Morgan,
the "Outlook" remarks, deeply wounded: "A pitiable position for
the president of a great railway to assume." A little later, when
things got hotter yet, we read:

In the search for truth the Commissioners had to overcome many
obstacles, such as the burning of books, letters and documents,
and the obstinacy of witnesses, who declined to testify until
criminal proceedings were begun. The New Haven system has more
than three hundred subsidiary corporations in a web of entangling
alliances, many of which were seemingly planned, created and
manipulated by lawyers expressly retained for the purpose of
concealment or deception.

But do you imagine even that would sicken the pious jackals of
their offal? If so, you do not know the sturdiness of the pious
stomach. A compromise was patched up between the government and
the thieves who were too big to be prosecuted; this bargain was
not kept by the thieves, and President Wilson declared in a
public statement that the New Haven administration had "broken an
agreement deliberately and solemnly entered into," in a manner to
the President "inexplicable and entirely without justification."
Which, of course, seemed to the "Outlook" dreadfully impolite
language to be used concerning a "National possession"; it
hastened to rebuke President Wilson, whose statement was "too
severe and drastic."

A new compromise was made between the government and the thieves
who were too big to be prosecuted, and the stealing went on. Now,
as I work over this book, the President takes the railroads for
war use, and reads to Congress a message proposing that the
securities based upon the New Haven swindles, together with all
the mass of other railroad swindles, shall be sanctified and
secured by dividends paid out of the Public purse. New Haven
securities take a big jump; and the "Outlook", needless to say,
is enthusiastic for the President's policy. Here is a chance for
the big thieves to baptize themselves--or shall we say to have
the water in their stocks made "holy"? Says our pious editor, for
the government to take property without full compensation "would
be contrary to the whole spirit of America."

The Outlook for Graft

Anyone familiar with the magazine world will understand that such
crooked work as this, continued over a long period, is not done
for nothing. Any magazine writer would know, the instant he saw
the Baxter article, that Baxter was paid by the New Haven, and
that the "Outlook" also was paid by the New Haven. Generally he
has no way of proving such facts, and has to sit in silence; but
when his board bill falls due and his landlady is persistent, he
experiences a direct and earnest hatred of the crooks of
journalism who thrive at his expense. If he is a Socialist, he
looks forward to the day when he may sit on a Publications' Graft
Commission, with access to all magazine books which have not yet
been burned!

In the case of the New Haven, we know a part of the price--thanks
to the labors of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Needless to
say, you will not find the facts recorded in the columns of the
Outlook; you might have read it line by line from the palmy days
of Mellen to our own, and you would have got no hint of what the
Commission revealed about magazine and newspaper graft. Nor would
you have got much more from the great metropolitan dailies, which
systematically "played down" the expose, omitting all the really
damaging details. You would have to go to the reports of the
Commission--or to the files of "Pearson's Magazine", which is out
of print and not found in libraries!

According to the New Haven's books, and by the admission of its
own officials, the road was spending more than four hundred
thousand dollars a year to influence newspapers and magazines in
favor of its policies. (President Mellen stated that this was
relatively less than any other railroad in the country was
spending). There was a professor of the Harvard Law School, going
about lecturing to boards of trade, urging in the name of
economic science the repeal of laws against railroad
monopolies--and being paid for his speeches out of railroad
funds! There was a swarm of newspaper reporters, writing on
railroad affairs for the leading papers of New England, and
getting twenty-fivedollars weekly, or two or three hundred on
special occasions. Sums had been paid directly to more than a
thousand newspapers--$3,000 to the Boston "Republic", and when
the question was asked "Why?" the answer was, "That is Mayor
Fitzgerald's paper." Even the ultra-respectable "Evening
Transcript", organ of the Brahmins of culture, was down for $144
for typing, mimeographing and sending out "dope" to the country
press. There was an item of $381 for 15,000 "Prayers"; and when
asked about that President Mellen explained that it referred to a
pamphlet called "Prayers from the Hills", embodying the yearnings
of the back-country people for trolley-franchises to be issued to
the New Haven. Asked why the pamphlet was called "Prayers", Mr.
Mellen explained that "there was lots of biblical language in

And now we come to the "Outlook"; after five years of waiting, we
catch our pious editors with the goods on them! There appears on
the pay-roll of the New Haven, as one of its regular
press-agents, getting sums like $500 now and then--would you
think it possible?--Sylvester Baxter! And worse yet, there
appears an item of $938.64 to the "Outlook", for a total of 9,716
copies of its issue of Dec. 25th, nineteen hundred and nine years
after Christ came to bring peace on earth and good will towards
Wall Street!

The writer makes a specialty of fair play, even when dealing with
those who have never practiced it towards him. He wrote a letter
to the editor of the "Outlook", asking what the magazine might
have to say upon this matter. The reply, signed by Lawrence F.
Abbott, President of the "Outlook" Company, was that the
"Outlook" did not know that Mr. Baxter had any salaried
connection with the New Haven, and that they had paid him for the
article at the usual rates. Against this statement must be set
one made under oath by the official of the New Haven who had the
disbursing of the corruption fund--that the various papers which
used the railroad material paid nothing for it, and "they all
knew where it came from." Mr. Lawrence Abbott states that "the
New Haven Railroad bought copies of the 'Outlook' without any
previous understanding or arrangement as anybody is entitled to
buy copies of the 'Outlook'." I might point out that this does
not really say as much as it seems to; for the President of every
magazine company in America knows without any previous
understanding or arrangement that any time he cares to print an
article such as Mr. Baxter's, dealing with the affairs of a great
corporation, he can sell ten thousand copies to that corporation.
The late unlamented Elbert Hubbard wrote a defense of the
Rockefeller slaughter of coal-miners, published it in "The Fra,"
and came down to New York and unloaded several tons at 26
Broadway; he did the same thing in the case of the copper strike
in Michigan, and again in the case of "The Jungle"--and all this
without the slightest claim to divine inspiration or authority!

Mr. Abbott answers another question: "We certainly did not return
the amount to the railroad company." Well, a sturdy conscience
must be a comfort to its possessor. The President of the
"Outlook" is in the position of a pawnbroker caught with stolen
goods in his establishment. He had no idea they were stolen; and
we might believe it, if the thief were obscure. But when the
thief is the most notorious in the city--when his picture has
been in the paper a thousand times? And when the thief swears
that the broker knew him? And when the broker's shop is full of
other suspicious goods? Why did the "Outlook" practically take
back Mr. Spahr's revelations concerning the Powder barony of
Delaware? Why did it support so vigorously the Standard Oil
ticket for the control of the Mutual Life Insurance Company--and
with James Stillman, one of the heads of Standard Oil, president
of Standard Oil's big bank in New York, secretly one of its
biggest stockholders!

Also, why does the magazine refuse to give its readers a chance
to judge its conduct? Why is it that a search of its columns
reveals no mention of the revelations concerning Mr. Baxter--not
even any mention of the $400,000 slush fund of its paragon, of
transportation virtues? I asked that question in my letter, and
the president of the "Outlook" Company for some reason failed to
notice it. I wrote a second time, courteously reminding him of
the omission; and also of another, equally significant--he had
not informed me whether any of the editors of the "Outlook", or
the officers or directors of the Company, were stockholders in
the New Haven. His final reply was that the questions seem to him
"wholly unimportant"; he does not know whether the "Outlook"
published anything about the Baxter revelations, nor does he know
whether any of the editors or officers or directors of the
"Outlook" Company are or ever have been stockholders of the New
York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company. The fact "would
not in the slightest degree affect either favorably or
unfavorably our editorial treatment of that corporation."
Caesar's wife, it appears is above suspicion--even when she is
caught in a brothel!

Clerical Camouflage

I have seen a photograph from "Somewhere in France", showing a
wayside shrine with a statue of the Virgin Mary, innocent and
loving, with her babe in her arms. If you were a hostile aviator,
you might sail over and take pictures to your heart's content,
and you would see nothing but a saintly image; you would have to
be on the enemy's side, and behind the lines, to make the
discovery that under the image had been dug a hole for a
machine-gun. When I saw that picture, I thought to myself--there
is capitalist Religion!

You see, if cannon and machine-guns are out in the open, they are
almost instantly spotted and put out of action; and so with
magazines like "Leslie's Weekly", or "Munsey's", or the "North
American Review", which are frankly and wholly in the interest of
Big Business. If an editor wishes really to be effective in
holding back progress, he must protect himself with a camouflage
of piety and philanthropy, he must have at his tongue's end the
phrases of brotherhood and justice, he must be liberal and
progressive, going a certain cautious distance with the
reformers, indulging in carefully measured fair play--giving a
dime with one hand, while taking back a dollar with the other!

Let us have an illustration of this clerical camouflage. Here are
the wives and children of the Colorado coal-miners being shot and
burned in their beds by Rockefeller gun-men, and the press of the
entire country in a conspiracy of silence concerning the matter.
In the effort to break down this conspiracy, Bouck White,
Congregational clergyman, author of "The Call of the Carpenter",
goes to the Fifth Avenue Church of Standard Oil and makes a
protest in the name of Jesus. I do not wish to make extreme
statements, but I have read history pretty thoroughly, and I
really do not know where in nineteen hundred years you can find
an action more completely in the spirit and manner of Jesus than
that of Bouck White. The only difference was that whereas Jesus
took a real whip and lashed the money-changers, White politely
asked the pastor to discuss with him the question whether or not
Jesus condemned the holding of wealth. He even took the
precaution to write a letter to the clergyman announcing in
advance what he intended to do! And how did the clergyman prepare
for him? With the sword of truth and the armor of the spirit?
No--but with two or three dozen strong-arm men, who flung
themselves upon the Socialist author and hurled him out of the
church. So violent were they that several of White's friends,
also one or two casual spectators, were moved to protest; what
happened then, let us read in the New York "Sun", the most
bitterly hostile to radicalism of all the metropolitan
newspapers. Says the "Sun's" report:

A police billy came crunching against the bones of Lopez's legs.
It struck him as hard as a man could swing it eight times. A fist
planted on Lopez's jaw knocked out two teeth. His lip was torn
open. A blow in the eye made it swell and blacken instantly. A
minute later Lopez was leaning against the church with blood
running to the doorsill.

And now, what has the clerical camouflage to say on this
proceeding? Does it approve it? Oh no! It was "a mistake", the
"Outlook" protests; it intensifies the hatred which these
extremists feel for the church. The proper course would have been
to turn the disturber aside with a soft answer; to give him some
place, say in a park, where he could talk his head off to people
of his own sort, while good and decent Christians continued to
worship by themselves in peace, and to have the children of their
mine-slaves shot and burned in their beds. Says our pious editor:

The true way to repress cranks is not to suppress them; it is to
give them an opportunity to air their theories before any who
wish to learn, while forbidding them to compel those to listen
who do not wish to do so.

Or take another case. Twelve years ago the writer made an effort
to interest the American people in the conditions of labor in
their packing-plants. It happened that incidentally I gave some
facts about the bedevilment of the public's meat-supply, and the
public really did care about that. As I phrased it at the time, I
aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the
stomach. There was a terrible clamor, and Congress was forced to
pass a bill to remedy the evils. As a matter of fact this bill
was a farce, but the public was satisfied, and soon forgot the
matter entirely. The point to be noted here is that so far as
concerned the atrocious miseries of the working-people, it was
not necessary even to pretend to do anything. The slaves of
Packingtown went on living and working as they were described as
doing in "The Jungle", and nobody gave a further thought to them.
Only the other day I read in my paper--while we are all making
sacrifices in a "War for Democracy"--that Armour and Company had
paid a dividend of twenty-one per cent, and Swift and Company a
dividend of thirty-five per cent.

This prosperity they owe in good part to their clerical
camouflage. Listen to our pious "Outlook", engaged in
countermining "The Jungle". The "Outlook" has no doubt that there
are genuine evils in the packing-plants; the conditions of the
workers ought of course to be improved; BUT--

To disgust the reader by dragging him through every conceivable
horror, physical and moral, to depict with lurid excitement and
with offensive minuteness the life in jail and brothel--all this
is to overreach the object .... Even things actually terrible may
become distorted when a writer screams them out in a sensational
way and in a high pitched key...... More convincing if it were
less hysterical.

Don't you see what these clerical crooks are for?

The Jungle

A four years' war was fought in America, a million men were
killed and half a continent was devastated, in order to abolish
chattel slavery and put wage slavery in its place. I have made a
thorough study of both these industrial systems, and I freely
admit that there is one respect in which the lot of the wage
slave is better than that of the chattel slave. The wage slave is
free to think; and by squeezing a few drops of blood from his
starving body, he may possess himself of machinery for the
distribution of his ideas. Taking his chances of the policeman's
club and the jail, he may found revolutionary organizations, and
so he has the candle of hope to light him to his death-bed. But
excepting this consideration, and taking the circumstances of the
wage slave from the material point of view alone, I hold it
beyond question that the average lot of the chattel slave of 1860
was preferable to that of the modern slave of the Beef Trust, the
Steel Trust, or the Coal Trust. It was the Southern master's real
concern, his business interest, that the chattel slave should be
kept physically sound; but it is nobody's business to care
anything about the wage slave. The children of the chattel slave
were valuable property, and so they got plenty to eat, and a
happy outdoor life, and medical attention if they fell ill. But
the children of the sweat-shop or the cotton-mill or the
canning-factory are raised in a city slum, and never know what it
is to have enough to eat, never know a feeling of security or

We are weary in our cradles
From our mother's toil untold;
We are born to hoarded weariness
As some to hoarded gold.

The system of competitive commercialism, of large-scale
capitalist industry in its final flowering! I quote from "The

Here in this city tonight, ten thousand women are shut up in foul
pens, and driven by hunger to sell their bodies to live. Tonight
in Chicago there are ten thousand men, homeless and wretched,
willing to work and begging for a chance, yet starving, and
fronting with terror the awful winter cold! Tonight in Chicago
there are a hundred thousand children wearing out their strength
and blasting their lives in the effort to earn their bread! There
are a hundred thousand mothers who are living in misery and
squalor, struggling to earn enough to feed their little ones!
There are a hundred thousand old people, cast off and helpless,
waiting for death to take them from their torments! There are a
million people, men and women and children, who share the curse
of the wage-slave; who toil every hour they can stand and see,
for just enough to keep them alive; who are condemned till the
end of their days to monotony and weariness, to hunger and
misery, to heat and cold, to dirt and disease, to ignorance and
drunkenness and vice! And then turn over the page with me, and
gaze upon the other side of the picture. There are a
thousand--ten thousand, maybe--who are the masters of these
slaves, who own their toil. They do nothing to earn what they
receive, they do not even have to ask for it---it comes to them
of itself, their only care is to dispose of it. They live in
palaces, they riot in luxury and extravagance--such as no words
can describe, as makes the imagination reel and stagger, makes
the soul grow sick and faint. They spend hundreds of dollars for
a pair of shoes, a handkerchief, a garter; they spend millions
for horses and automobiles and yachts, for palaces and banquets,
for little shiny stones with which to deck their bodies. Their
life is a contest among themselves for supremacy in ostentation
and recklessness, in the destroying of useful and necessary
things, in the wasting of the labor and the lives of their
fellow-creatures, the toil and anguish of the nations, the sweat
and tears and blood of the human race! It is all theirs--it comes
to them; just as all the springs pour into streamlets, and the
streamlets into rivers, and the rivers into the ocean--so,
automatically and inevitably, all the wealth of society comes to
them. The farmer tills the soil, the miner digs in the earth, the
weaver tends the loom, the mason carves the stone, the clever man
invents, the shrewd man directs, the wise man studies, the
inspired man sings--and all the results, the products of the
labor of brain and muscle, are gathered into one stupendous
stream and poured into their laps!

This is the system. It is the crown and culmination of all the
wrongs of the ages; and in proportion to the magnitude of its
exploitation, is the hypocrisy and knavery of the clerical
camouflage which has been organized in its behalf. Beyond all
question, the supreme irony of history is the use which has been
made of Jesus of Nazareth as the Head God of this blood-thirsty
system; it is a cruelty beyond all language, a blasphemy beyond
the power of art to express. Read the man's words, furious as
those of any modern agitator that I have heard in twenty years of
revolutionary experience: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on
earth!--Sell that ye have and give alms!--Blessed are ye poor,
for yours is the kingdom of Heaven!--Woe unto you that are rich,

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