The Washington Herald, Sunday, December 25, 1910
CURES EFFECTED BY ABSENT HEALER
Belgian ex-Miner Soon Gets a Large Following.
Faith is only requirement
No Collections Taken, but Subscriptions for Maintenance of Church Accepted-Antoine, the "Good Father", Has Not Spoken to Any One for More Than Six Months.
London, Dec. 24. - Some mention was made recently of Antonionism, the new religion, founded in Belgium by an ex-miner named Antoine.
Antoine, the "Good Father", or the "Parent One", as his followers call him, is a man of sixty-five, with flowing white locks and a patriarchal beard. His followers now number 160,000, of whom 300, including his wife, the "Good Mother", are adepts.
Antoine's home is at Jemeppe-lez-Liege. Hidden in a block of similar small houses, the prophet's dwelling is only conspicious bu the spire of his church, which adjoins it. The door of the church is also the door of the ouse and bears a notice : "Ring vell at night fot M. Antoine".
Uses Telephone Only.
For three years Antoine has not left his house or garden. He lives entirely on vegetables, which he prepares himself. He sleeps little, resting for only two hours during the night, the greater part of which he spends walking in his little garden, which has electric lamps fitted up all around the walls. He never reads anything; he will not see newspaper men and only holds communication with the outside world by means of the telephone.
He confines his healing to ceremonies in the church where the services are of the simplest description. They take place at 10 o'clock a. m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, At 9 o'clock a. m. the congregation assembles, and an adept, M. Deregnancourt, the publisher of the sect's literature, takes his place at a desk under a raised platform. There is complete silence for half an hour, then M. Deregnancourt announces that operations will take place at certain hours on certain days, and that all who wish to be cured must have perfect faith.
He then continues sitting perfectly still, not a muscle moving, and his watery blue eyes fixed in an unblinking stare straight before him. At the stroke of 10 every one rises and the "Parent One" enters by a side door and slowly walks up the steps to the rostrum.
Service of Two Minutes.
Wearing a black cassock and with his gray hair falling around his shoulders, Antoine faces the congregation for a full minute without moving or uttering a sound. He then lifts his right hand toward them and holds it thus extended for another minute. That is all. Those two minutes make the service. The "Good Father" walks slowly out, the adept remarks "Every one whose faith is strong enough must be cured", and the church empties silently. No collection is made but subscriptions are taken for maintenance of the church, which Antoine himself built himself with a legacy of $4,000.
For six months Antoine has not spoken a word to any one. People come at all
hours with all sorts of ailments and appeals. Antoine effects his cures now by deput. His wife, or some other adepts, stands in front of the applicant, and turning her eyes upward slowly waves her hand in the air, which means that
she is invoking Antoine, "the healer".
Cures Effected by Faith.
The patient or the patient's deputy then departs. The cure is effected, or if it is not then there a lack of faith. There is nothing to pay. The badge of the sect is "The tree of the knowledge of the sight of evil", represented by a white tree on a black background.
One of Antoine's chief disciples is an American woman, Mrs Guillaume, who came over to be treated by him for chalky rheumatism, which compelled her to walk on crutches. She says she is now practically cured, and has herself become an adept with power to heal by faith.
Antoine's power of second sight, says Mrs. Guillaume extends to America, for he told her that her husband had hurt his back in New York, and a week later a letter came from her daughter confirming it, and adding that he had quickly got better. This, too, was in accord with what Antoine had told her, for he had said that she need not worry about her husband, as he was "in fluidic communion" with him, and that he would soon be better.
The Washington Herald, Sunday, December 25, 1910 (page 5)
source : chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
Tags : Amérique, père, épreuve, adepte
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