Antoinisme - a new sect (Fortnightly review)
Antoinisme – A New Sect
M. Louis Timmermans contributes to the Belgian Catholic review, La Cité Chrétienne (No. 124) an article on “Antoinisme,” which he calls “une religion burlesque.”
Antoinism is a new sect, established by Louis Antoine, a metal worker, born at Flémalle-Grande in 1846, and later a resident of Jemeppe. After frequenting Spiritistic séances, he finally became president of a sect and a healer, who at first prescribed a certain liqueur Coune, but, after being tried for illegally practicing medicine, substituted plain water, to which, as he asserted, he had communicated a magnetic fluid. Later he used magnetized paper in working his alleged cures. His fame grew and he soon posed as a prophet and religious founder. From 1905 to 1910 he wrote and published four books, which are even more obscure and incomprehensible than our own Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health.
Louis Antoine, whom his followers fondly called “Le Bon Père,” died in 1912, at the age of 66. Before his death he communicated his powers to his wife, Jeanne Catherine Collon.
M. Timmermans deals in two separate sections of his paper with the philosophy and the theology of Antoine, who seems to have many followers, especially in Belgium and Holland. The author shows from Le Couronnement de l’Oeuvre Révélée, the most important of Antoine’s books, published in 1910, that the new system, if so it may be called, is based on three fundamental ideas, namely, a pantheistic conception of God, the unreality of the material world, and the existence of two egos in every man, a “moi conscient” and a “moi intelligent,” which pass through a series of reincarnations.
Antoine’s religious system is based upon “an absolute and unshakable certainty”, which is that Louis Antoine is God and entitled to divine honors. He arrived at this conviction gradually by means of private revelations, which he did not, however, impose as dogmas upon his followers, for, as M. Timmermans remarks, “Le Bon Père knew how to be tolerant and prudent” where the promotion of his pet schemes was concerned. He denied the existence of moral evil and advised his adherents to follow their natural inclinations. “Sequere naturam,” was one of his chief ethical maxims.
Since Antoine’s death his cult has become accentuated and a “liturgy" has been built up in conformity with his teachings. At their meetings the Antoinists wear special costumes, which are said to have been revealed by “Le Bon Père.” Their leading emblem is the “tree of the view of evil,” which is to remind the adepts that their main task is to cleanse themselves from evil, the existence of which Antoine so strenuously denied. There are many such flagrant contradictions in the system of “Le Bon Père.”
As to motives of credibility, Antoinisme has absolutely none whatever; every feature of it is “grotesque, vulgar, absurd, odious.” The spread of unbelief is the principal reason for the growth of this burlesque religion, which can be successfully combatted only by the inculcation of the Christian truths and principles of life.
Those interested in the tenets and activities of this new sect are referred to M. Timmermans’ article, from which we have derived the above-quoted data, and to the following brochures: Het Antoinisme, zijn ontstaan, eijn ziekenbehandeling, zijn godsdienst en zijn eeredienst, by Pastoor Verlinden, Antwerp, 1929; Antoine le guerisseur, sa thérapeutique, sa philosophie, by Canon Leroux, Bruxelles, 1924; and Révélations sur Antoine le guerisseur, by Kervijn, Bruxelles, 1911.
Fortnightly review, April 1932,
Vol. XXXIX, N°. 4, pp.86-87
St. Louis, Missouri
Source : https://archive.org/details/fortnightlyrevie3839unse/page/86
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