HISTORY and TIMES of THE KINGDOM
Mrs. Eliza LegerLewiston Saturday Journal, December 3, 1904
The Dramatic Tale of Mrs. Eliza R. Leger,
for Six Years a Victim of Shiloh's Wiles.
AWFUL ORDEALS - BEING "STONED."
Seven Hours on the Floor of the Highfield
House, in Liverpool, England - The
Working of the System.
------------------In the series of articles which the Lewiston Journal has been privileged to give relative to occurrences at Shiloh the principal of fact brought out has been that of the authority of Mr. Sandford.
The authority has been shown by the different witnesses, whose recitals and whose letters we have published, to be one of appalling fear, a domination that brooks no interference. This week, we pass to a discussion of the effect of Sandfordism upon those who represent it authoritatively elsewhere than at Shiloh and in Mr. Sandford's absence.
In short, the system itself is built upon the supreme dictation of one man, whose lieutenants follow him blindly, sinking their own personality in the desire to be like their master. Thus, men naturally mild, gentle, humane, after being put through the discipline of Mr. Sandford, follow as closely as possible in Mr. Sandford's footsteps and adopt his methods. Thus in many instances they perform acts of discipline with a purpose of pure obedience that absolves them from personal responsibility and throws the blame of the hard, cold, cruel and inhuman treatment of others back upon the system and on Mr. Sandford himself. This phase of the subject has not been dwelt upon hitherto but it was introduced indirectly in the startling letters from the U.S. Consul at Jerusalem, which the Lewiston Journal published a few weeks ago. It has also been brought out most dramatically in the trials of Mr. Sandford at Auburn for manslaughter and for cruelty to his son. In the trials it was shown that the acts of Mr. Sandford's followers were performed in full appreciation of obedience to his authority to so great an extent as quite to absolve in many instances these deluded followers from personal responsibility.
In writing on this subject this week, Rev. N. H. Harriman of Roxbury, Mass. characterizes in a most telling manner the personal nature of Mr. Sandford's ministers, among whom are Ralph Gleason, Willard Gleason, A. A. Whittaker, Messrs. Perry, Higgins and Holland, each of whom he credits with being by nature mild, gentle and humane, yet so changed by the discipline of Sandfordism as to follow blindly in the lead of Mr. Sandford and the System, as to make them at times perform acts for the glory of this mistaken cause, from which were they out from under the spell they would shrink in horror and disgust.
Two instances of this are given and in their relation it should be said that so far as possible the writer absolves Mr. Holland from the responsibility of the same and places it upon the System which required from him the same absolute obedience that the commanding general of an army would demand from his subordinated, or that military discipline would exact from the humblest soldier.
This is the fruit of the system.
Here are two instances related by Mr. Harriman.
TWENTY DAYS IN HELL.
The following recital is by the victim herself, Mrs. Eliza R. Leger, for six years or more a victim of Sandford's wiles, a mature woman and an evangelist of no mean reputation in New England before joining Shiloh's leader.
She escaped with her reason from the ordeal that she here recites, but only as by a miracle. Her husband, who had left Sandford shortly before, has the comfort of believing that the messages of cheer that he sent her during this time were used by God to keep her from being driven into madness.
She has also escaped from her long slavery. She lost thirty pounds in weight during the twenty days. She was in England at the time, and her tormentor was the same man as in the previous incident. She is now in America, and engaged again in successful evangelistic work, a wiser woman, with a chastened spirit and wealth of experience that will no doubt make her future work the best of her life.
The setting of her story is this: for a trivial offense she had been "stoned."
This, in Shiloh parlance, means that all the household had been called upon to assault her with any and all the accusations that they could find or imagine against her, - every one cast his stone at her. For seven hours she lay on the floor of the Highfield House in Liverpool, while the whole family of forty or more, by command of Holland, took part in the stoning.
Around the room, about her prostrate form, they walked, stamping, screaming, pointing at her and putting into their accusations all the vehemence and uncompromising anger that they imagined would be appropriate if they were actually hurling stones at her to kill her. During the process, some one mercifully threw a shawl over her as she lay there helpless under the shower of missiles. She says now that the dust of their stamping nearly suffocated her, while the injustice of some of their accusations almost broke her heart.
After the seven hours of stoning, she was sent to her room. This was on Feb. 3, 1903. Of the next nearly four weeks she tells the story from jottings in her diary made at the time, the only companion of her awful sufferings, resorted to as a safeguard against insanity. Following is her account with footnotes by myself:
Remained that night and next day in fasting and prayer. About 5 P.M. Feb. 5, Mr. Holland entered my room and said in excited tones: "Two women in this house are at the point of death, and you are not feeling the situation."I could hear the awful groans of Miss Russell, in an adjoining room. Miss McKay entered my room greatly excited, and stamped her feet at me crying: "Unearth! Some things in your life you have never confessed! Away back! Open up! Open up! Mr. Sandford lies at the point of death.
[Mr.Sandford was in Shiloh: and the source of these inspirations may be guessed when it is known that he had not been sick at all, and was not at this time. Yet such wild imaginings were taken and are generally at Shiloh, as real prophetic inspirations, There women are regarded as "prophetesses."They have large place in the system. Mrs. Leger, as a result of this fierce attack of this Cassandra, had to confess to Holland things in her past life that lay far back even of her conversion, things that no man has any right to hear from a woman. This the the "free"system of Shiloh.]
Miss MacDonald sends for me. I find her on the floor in her room. Miss McKay and Mr. and Mrs. Holland are there. Miss MacDonald calls me to her side and says: "Mrs. Leger, do you know you are lost?"
Mr. Holland said: "God just asked her to go down to hell and get you: she says it is awful."
Miss MacDonald put her hand on me and said: "Poor child you are lost and you do not know it. God has turned away His face from you. Oh, Mr. Holland, take her away!"Mr. Holland said: "Mrs. Leger, you can leave the room."
The moans and groans continue in the adjoining room. They call them "burdens of the Holy Ghost."A few weeks after this, Miss Russell, one of those who had the "burdens"of which Mr. Holland said that two women were dying, was accused and dealt with by Mr. Holland for "Witchcraft."
In a few minutes after reaching my room almost wild with terror as a lost soul from whom God had turned away His face, Mr. Holland entered and said: "Mrs. Leger, I now separate you from the movement, the church and school: a lost soul in the hands of the devil!"- and left the room. (2)
My screams and my terror I was sure would bring some of the household of fifty persons. Alas! No one came. I might have been in a dungeon, so far as any ray of help or pity were concerned. No one but God knows the horror of the night and the next morning. (3)
The power Mr. Holland held over me was understood to be that of Mr. Sandford, for he said: "I am Mr. Sandford to you, and you are to regard me as you would him. As I said, I believed, was made to believe, what he said, - made to believe that I was a lost soul in the hands of the devil.
Friday, Feb. 6, the Comforter came. My soul never knew such inward peace - "a river that could not be passed over."Saturday, Feb. 7, Mr. Holland enters my room and says roughly: "Mr. Sutherland is dead at Shiloh, and you acting like the devil."I turned by back upon all my previous peace! Agony! (4)
Sunday, 8th. - No hope! Clinging like a drowning man to every straw!
Monday, 9th. - Mr. Holland enters my room saying: "Mrs. Leger, there is not a ray of hope for you. You have dropped out from the thought of the people at the church as if you were in the heart of China."This was not true; for when I got out again he once said: "They crowd around you, and don't have wit enough to see God is doing something."This is the same people that he said had forgotten me.
Wednesday, 11. - At midnight, in black darkness and despair, I knocked at Mr. Whitaker's door and asked him if I must give up my baptism, which Mr. Sandford had said would save us from everything except being Judases, and I was not that. He said he had been busy and had not had much thought of my case. I tried to convey to him my awful horror of the eternal loss of my soul. He seemed cool about it. No help, no comfort! I went back to my room and passed an almost sleepless night, too afraid to sleep; yet from sheer exhaustion I would drop off, only to wake with a start of terror, the cold sweat breaking out all over me.
I know I cannot endure much more. I find my strength going, and a horrible dread coming over me of dying among these dear ones who would feel polluted in their holy purity to touch my body after my poor lost soul has left it. I tried, when morning came, to make a few preparations for what I feared was death, - dressed so they need not change my clothing, arranged a few things in my room; but soon found I must give it up, my strength was going so fast.
I pass hours trying to be willing to die; but oh! my soul! eternity! A lost soul in the hands of the devil! How can I endure it! It seemed as if every demon in hell was holding high carnival over me, and I could feel the awful hate of Satan himself. The work they delighted in was to torture my spirit. They reveled in what was taking place in that room.
Then Mr. Whittaker enters the room and sharply rebukes me for calling him and Mr. Holland my "shepherds."He said: "Your shepherds! No more your shepherds than the devil's! We have no time to spend on goats. Your soul is no more valuable than any one else's. You are hunting around for something for yourself. Take God's part against yourself. Tell Him that if He can get more glory by your going to hell, you are willing. I see no more hope for you than for the devil himself. You may get a little something if you take God's part, for there are thirty-fold in hell as well as on earth. God's judgments are right. "True and right are thy judgments, O Lord.' "Depart from me ye cursed,' - "Whose damnation is just.' His judgments on you plainly indicate His will."- And he left me.
I then rose and wrote down the following words in my diary: "If You can get more glory out of my going to hell, I say: "Thy will be done." Instantly, yes in one second, rest came! The awful terror lifted! A stillness pervaded my whole being! I was almost beside myself with joy! I rose from the floor and swung around the room in ecstasy! I wept tears of joy! Such peace! Such rest! I then ate some food.
At this moment Mr. Holland entered the room. I said: "Oh, Mr. Holland, I have such joy!"
He replied: "I see no hope for you."
But in spite of what he said the peace continued. For three days it lasted. I saw no one from Wednesday to Friday night. I then felt I ought to go and tell Mr. Holland that I still had rest in spite of what he had said. I did. I told him of the stillness that possessed my soul. He listened, and said: "It is another angel of light business,"meaning that I was deceived.
I returned to my room believing him. I spent the night in great distress, greater in degree than any night before. Oh, the agony! My limbs trembled! dampness came out over my forehead! I felt that I was certainly doomed! "A lost sinner in hell!"Another sleepless night, starting up in wild horror!
Saturday, the 14, 8:30 P.M. - Mr. Holland called me to go in before a picked company of workers and tell them my experiences, which I did. Sunday, 15th. - Mr. Holland called, just before going to Zion to preach, saying he felt I had not taken his word and believed I was lost; that I was counting on a way out; that there was nothing I could do but take my sentence; that my conscience was seared. An awful day and night!
Tuesday Mr. Holland called again and asked: "Are you loving the will of God?"I answered: "I am helpless."Thursday he called: asked if I was loving God's judgment; said: "You have never taken what I said, nor Mr. Sandford either; and if you are doing so now, it is the first time."
Friday, the 20th. - Mr. Holland called; said: "Are you getting down to business, where you love God's judgments? Do you believe what I say? The whole trouble is right there from the beginning."He then confirmed what Mr. Whittaker had said, and declared that there were thirty- fold, sixty-fold, and a hundred-fold sufferings in hell. He then repeated what he had said so many times, that I was a lost soul in the devil's islands, going to hell. - and left me.
Saturday, the 21st. - An awful night! Sunday, 22d.- A day of great restlessness! Rainy, dreary without; hell within! No human being I could speak to . Monday, 23d. - Mr. Holland called, I dare not analyze my feelings at this visit.
Wednesday, the 25th. - Mr. Holland called. I told him I felt I could not hold on much longer, that I did not want them to be at the expense of a funeral, money was so scarce and they had so little for food.
That evening he sent for me to come to his office. There he told me God had said: "Restore."(Foot Note 5)
Thursday, Feb. 26th. - Allowed to go down stairs, after a period of twenty-three days, and into prayers with the family. I am reminded by Mr. Holland that my restoration "must be very gradual,"like Mr. Harriman's. (Foot Note 6)
Sunday, 28th. - Reaction. In great physical pain and suffering. Mr. Holland says it is "the strain."In bed two days.
Wednesday, March 4th. - Awful letter from Shiloh. Mr. Sandford says that there is but one man in the universe besides himself who is safe to follow, and that man is Mr. Holland. The letter also says that little John is through his fast, and that his fast has saved the movement and the world.
Friday, March 6th. - Awful days at Shiloh! Small-pox, diphtheria, mumps, etc.!
March 6th to 14th. Whole camp cleansed. A wholesale examination of the whole company, to keep pace with the new order of things at Shiloh, where everything has been turned upside down, the school dismissed and every one must come up to absolute righteousness. Here at the Highfield House, not a soul escapes. Nearly every one is found to have something the matter. Some are said to have never been converted. Others are said to be demon-possessed. All have to "go through,"some with great torture.
I have passed through so much that I am spared further examination. MY nerves are so weak that I ask permission to leave the room when the groanings and burdens come on in prayer. I am allowed to leave. I flee! I escape! Up in my room I hear Miss Mckay's voice! Oh, how weird and awful! Is there no end to this struggle to get right before God?
MRS. M. A. LEGER.
F.N. 2. - The real moving cause of Mr. Holland's extraordinary assumption of apostolic power, in his pretense of delivering this soul to Satan, may be inferred by this fact, that he did not think of it till suggested by a woman. My wife testifies that Miss Russell, after Holland had sent Mrs. Leger out, asked him if he had separated her from the movement, and he said he had not thought of it. He went at once and did it. Any one who knows Holland can guess how hard he was trying to be like Sandford in this. Here is where all the mischief lies.
F.N.3. - After separating her, Mr. Holland came down and said: "You hear these cries."They are the cries of a soul in hell." Later, Holland changed his mind about the "burdens" of these women which he had been following, and said: "I tell you now, I am not going to be run by a pack of women. You can have all the burdens you please, but I will not do one thing unless God gives me light."It is a fact, and very significant that the "burdens" immediately ceased and the house was quieter than it had been for months. But this did not help the poor woman who was being tortured because these women had had "burdens" and Mr. Holland had followed them.
F.N. 4. - Holland here seeks to connect Sutherland's death with Mrs. Leger's supposed condition. This is peculiarly Shiloh-ish, using this to further frighten his victims into that state of abjectness that is termed "getting through." This suggestion that she is responsible for Sutherland's death is wide of the mark, however, if Sandford is to be believed, for he has been for nearly two weeks at this time saying that God had struck Sutherland dead for "rebellion" to "his chosen king, David."
F.N.5. - The narrative adds nothing about this restoration. But to us in Jerusalem, Holland writes about it, and says that he prayed for her and told her she was restored. He admits, rather naively, that he had no special evidence of it, but he knew it was done, for God had told him to "restore." This throws a flood of light on these horrible transactions that are based on supposed "messages." Mrs. Leger testifies that she experienced no change, save the relief of being told that God had received her back, which was of course very great. The curse was artificial, based solely on the word of a man: so, too, was the restoration. This illustrates Sandfordism.
It is also to be noted that Holland does not get his message to restore, till he finds himself likely to have a dead woman on his hands. Those who know how these things are done, will understand how narrowly he had watched his victim during these days of horror, and had driven the knife deeper and deeper, at every visit, seeking for something in the poor woman of which she was incapable. He was trying to produce remorse for sins that God had not convicted her of, - a characteristic trick of Shiloh.
F.N. 6. - And yet, he had just restored her, the night before. This reference is to myself, and in it Holland is imitating his chief, who, after "Mr. Harriman" had once "rebelled" and been subdued, announced to the school that Higgins had received a "message" about me, "very gradual;" which message Sandford proceeded to interpret as meaning that if I ever got back my lost honors and prerogatives it must be a "very gradual" restoration. Thus he "restores" without restoring.
In accordance with this caution in my case, I never, till I arrived at Jerusalem, was fully restored, and then it was not "ordained." Sandford, had de-ordained me on one occasion; and while he believed, and I believed, that I was fully subdued, he never quite got courage to fully trust my "reasoning head" as he termed my habit of speaking out when I saw things that were not right. Mrs. Leger always had this same habit, and had never been so pulverized, - though I have seen her suffer unspeakable humiliations at Shiloh, - that she could be quite counted on never to speak out again against "authority."
WHIPPING A SMALL BOY.This little fellow was Cecil Stanmore, who in July, 1902, at six years of age, started with the "Second Jerusalem Party"for England, whence they were to go to Jerusalem, Sandford said, and relieve the First Jerusalem party. Cecil was to go to play with John Sandford who was there with his mother, and they were thus to fulfil that prophecy of "the restoration"that "the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing the streets thereof."- Zech. viii:9. The "girls" were to be represented by Holland's little girl, who was in the party.
Neither Mr. Holland, his wife, little girl, Cecil, nor any other of the party reached Jerusalem, though Holland and his wife were to go there and spend the rest of their lives there, at least Sandford made them believe that they were. The party got no further than England, and it was there that these things occurred that I am to relate.
Little Cecil left behind all his relatives. He was a tiny bit of a boy, had been very sick at Shiloh, in 1900, was not at all robust, and with father, mother, brothers and sisters left behind, there ought to have been special tenderness shown him. But Shiloh knows no tenderness, when discipline is needed.
Cecil had told a lie, and had been ordered to report to Holland for a whipping. He could not, he was so afraid. For three days he suffered the torture of dreading to go. Then Mrs. Holland said she felt he was having his own way, and she did not like it; he must be made to mind.
I am giving an account substantially in the language of my own wife who had charge of the home there under Mrs. Holland, and had therefore to handle the case.
He had been kept on bread and water during the three days of his disobedience, because "that was the way John Sandford had been treated"for a similar offence. Since it did not make him willing to go and be whipped after a three days' trial, he must be taken to Mr. Holland, which was done.
Mr. Holland said he must be whipped once every day for three days, to make up for the three days he had refused to mind, and he was kept on bread and water during the three days also. Each day he was taken to one of the out buildings and whipped with a stick or rod.
Once, as he returned across the court yard from one of these whippings, he was very pale; and as he caught sight of some of the household looking at him he smiled, a thing that seemed at the time very strange for a child who had been punished. The fact is, the whole thing was artificial and horrible to the child - he did not understand it. How could he, only seven years old?
Later it became known about the house that he had a weak heart, and that it was dangerous to his life to be suddenly startled or frightened or violently agitated. After that he was treated with kindness and never allowed to get excited - treatment that should have been his from the first. I do not believe Mr. Holland knew of this heart weakness when he whipped him.
Think of a little seven-year-old tot, with heart so weak that he was in danger of death if over-excited, struggling in the grip of a strong man so violently that he had hard work to hold him, while he beat him with a rod, doing this three days in succession, the child kept on bread and water all the time and three days previous to the punishment!
The day after the third whipping of Cecil, food was taken up to him by my wife. The way that he received it is proof that he had not been stubborn or willful. He looked at it in amazement and asked: "Is that for me?"Poor child! Well he might wonder at it, after his long fast! Being told that it was for him he asked: "Did Mr. Holland say I could have it?"He was told he did, looked very pleased and said: "I guess that means I am going to be a better boy."
My wife adds: "His body was so covered with black and blue marks that I could not bathe him. I let him do it himself. I think it remained covered fully two weeks. The tender parts of the body were swollen, and the natural processes hurt him. It was cold in his room and the wooden shutters were closed so he could not see over them during the six days of his discipline. He sat in his chair, with overcoat on most of the time. He NEVER MADE ONE WORD OF COMPLAINT, except when he said once, when . . . . . : "it hurts me."
Cecil returned home with the party that arrived August 11, and I suppose all his sufferings are forgotten in being with his mother and the rest of the family. But if that mother is still "loyal" to Shiloh and Sandford, what I have here written would have no weight with her either in convincing her that the system is dangerous.
This is the pity of it. This system is like the case of Juggernaut, and beneath its wheels our children are sacrificed. How many of the best have gone, and how many more are being prepared for the slaughter?
AND THE ADULT PORTION OF THE COMMUNITY ARE AS HELPLESS AS THE CHILDREN.
Cecil Stanmore escaped; but older children of heart-broken parents are lying in untimely graves because of this system; and other parents are living in the shadow of constant dread lest theirs will be the next to be sacrificed.
Lewiston Saturday Journal, December 10, 1904
Mr. Sandford's Letter to Mrs. M. E. Leger.
Another Interesting Chapter in the Series
of Articles Against the Sandford System
A Unique Epistle.
--------------A letter by Rev. F. W. Sandford to Mrs. Eliza Emerson Leger is given to the public in the following connection.
This letter which was written a little over a year ago is unique in tone and in suggestion, for it infers that Mr. Sandford would have Mrs. Leger separated in spirit at least from her husband.
This letter is given herewith in connection with a letter from Mrs. Leger and a letter from her husband. The one serving to introduce it, the other commenting upon it.
If the story of the people who have been at Shiloh is to get publicity in any form, it may as well be complete. Many who have broken with Mr. Sandford are seeking to get their cases before the public in some form or other, and it is not unnatural that they should like to be heard. Mrs. Leger told the story of her twenty days in hell in last Saturday's Journal. To-day without any interpretation upon our part, we publish these three letters the chief of which is Mr. Sandford's letter to Mr. Leger's wife; a letter which Mr. Leger and others declare affords a perfect example of Rev. Mr. Sandford's (--------------) style and his methods of reasoning with the recalcitrant.
The letters are as follows: -
MRS. LEGER'S LETTER.
Editors of the Lewiston Journal: -
In giving to the public this letter from Mr. Sandford, I do it for the help and deliverance of those who may be contemplating going to Shiloh, and in the hope of reaching my sisters, several of whom are now in that work with members of their families, also many who are dear to me who are there more or less through my influence. I also hope that it may bring Mr. Sandford himself, and those who are closest to him, to see the snare that causes hard speeches, rough, coarse language and rougher treatment to be passed over and called the example and language of Christ.
After receiving this letter and reading it, the conviction came to me: "This man whom I am following is not right."It made me recoil many times before when I had seen him in the same light, but when I never dared to call things by their right names. But now his words gave me courage. He said in the letter: "I would not be too sure I was at the mercy of any human being."That was just what I was to him, and had been for a long time, and thought I had to be. He meant this to be applied to my husband, but the Holy Spirit applied it to my slavery to him, and his words seemed to break the spell.
He also said: "You have a constitutional right guaranteed to you in the United States, and that is the privilege of serving God according to the dictates of your own conscience."He meant this to rouse me to declare myself independent of my husband; but again the Holy Spirit applied it to my relations to him. And when I read: "I should exercise my liberty with no uncertain sound,"this, together with my bitter experience in Liverpool which you have published, and those of others, especially the Jerusalem party, gave me courage to dare to hope that there might be liberty for me. His request, also, that I destroy the letter after I had read and digested it, made me sure that something was wrong.
Soon after, I started for America, in response to my husband's request to come to him, and soon after reaching America I got my liberty: AND IT IS AS SWEET AS IF I HAD BEEN A CAPTIVE IN A DUNGEON.
The hypnotic spell began to break as soon as I dared decide that something was wrong with this man. I say "hypnotic"for I know that is a part of the dreadful, subtle snare that some have broken away from, but that holds so many still under its power. THERE IS NO WAY OUT OF IT ONLY AS SOME PROVIDENCE STRIKES HARD ENOUGH TO AROUSE THE DELUDED SOUL TO ACTION.
Mr. Sandford holds this power over those about him. Once I heard him say, as he heard some absent ones having turned away from the movement: "Must I always have to be with them to hold them in this work?Ó
Oh, for the deliverance of the poor, suffering, honest-hearted victims of this man's power.
Yours for righteousness,
ELIZA EMERSON LEGER.
Lynn, Mass., Dec. 3, 1904.
MR. SANDFORD'S LETTER.
Sept. 9, 1903, Elim.
Dear Sister Leger: -
Your letter of August 5 received and appreciated. I had been feeling a great sympathy for you, and when I began to wonder whether you would turn with the one who has turned, and as I have seen others do, I somehow found myself unable to feel that you would turn and become a traitoress, though I knew you had often failed. I have suffered with you over it, and am suffering with you over it; and if it will be a comfort to you to know that I feel my heart going out in real Christ helpfulness and tenderness for you in this time of need, then you have that comfort.
For one thing, I would never consent to be nosed around by the devil in any traitor on earth. I should hold my position as a child of God, as a daughter of the Almighty, as a loyal subject of the Davidic kingdom, and fight with every power I had every suggestion, whether in the form of serpentine cunning or in the form of lion-like roar, every form of influence that could be brought to bear upon me to swerve me a hair's breadth from loyalty to the man of God now writing to you, and to this movement which God himself has originated.
I should have no uncertain sound whatever let the fire be as hot as it will. I would make it as hot from God's cannon as it can possibly come from Satan's cannon. You have a constitutional right guaranteed you in the United States, and that is the privilege of serving God according to the dictates of your own conscience. I should exercise my liberty with no uncertain sound.
The act of your husband is so dastardly, so utterly dishonorable (for he asked permission to visit his relatives, and went away without so much as a word or a sign or the slightest intimation of anything wrong, and he has never come back and never written any reason for not coming back). The act of your husband has been so utterly unscriptural that there is not the slightest reason that he should have the slightest consideration.
You have some rights yourself as a prophetess, as an evangelist, as a Christian worker of lengthy experience, and as a woman of God. I should not allow one of these rights trampled upon nor destroyed by the wolf in the one who may attempt to control you unscripturally. It is a good chance to live out that tract on woman, but it is also a good chance for the god in you to hurl defiance at all the contemptible curs that Satan can let loose.
I have never felt to write any other woman as I feel to write you. There is a burning indignation in my soul at the contemptible meanness that has been shown, and probably will be attempted upon you; and as far as I am concerned, while I desire to see you meek and modest, I also feel like asking you to be almighty and terrible to every yellow cur that shows itself around your family home. Hallelujah! I would make it as hot for Satan as Hell in him will seek to make it hot for you if you stand true. This is the indignation I feel in my soul. The other side of it is that I am holding up the Lamb of God for your family, and hoping that the devilishness in your husband may be eradicated, even if God has to strike in judgment to bring him to his senses.
You remember in that room in Pasdam-mim, when I said there were three people in that room that did not have on the wedding garment? These three have been raging like wild beasts against this movement. It shows me that those who break away from me are weak-kneed, unsettled, dissatisfied, restless, and on the border of caving in when they seem to be the very worst. May this encourage your heart and help you to keep up a bold front no matter how wolfish things may appear in your own home.
I somehow feel you belong in the work as a special piece of the machinery, and I believe a fearful woe will fall upon whoever attempts to steal you out of the place where God has located you. I would not be the man to attempt that thing for a million dollars a second. I believe that the judgment blow of the Almighty God will lay your husband out in death if he plays on that subject too far.
I wish to assure you that you shall have all there is in my heart of faith, of courage, of sympathy, of Christian love, of Christ's own compassion, of boundless confidence, holy enthusiasm, and of world-wide victory - all is yours. You can count on it through the blackness and through the light; and as far as that is concerned, Sister Leger, I feel as if Hell were dismayed already as I dictate this letter. I feel a contempt for all Hell can do. The great God inside of you, the great God inside the ruler God has placed over you, is well able to handle all your adversaries.
I have felt Satan will attempt to crush you by giving you orders as to where you shall go and as to what you shall do. I would not be too sure that I was at the mercy of any human being, for God Almighty has rights with you as a prophetess, and those rights are to be respected as truly as any man has a right to you as a husband.
The Bible says resist the devil, and you have a right to do it. I should not let the devil nose me round one inch. I should rebuke the devil in plain English, whenever I felt God wanted me to do so. I should hold my head up and let my eyes flash and my lips utter whatever God wanted said as His mouthpiece.
I am with you and I will back you up against all Hell. Be of good courage. You shall not suffer and you shall not fall. The Son of God has some rights in you Himself. He has bought you and paid for you, and neither man nor devil has a right to steal you.
Yours triumphantly, yours on top, yours victorious, yours fighting, yours more than conqueror, yours with a crown on his head, yours riding a white charger, yours with a bow in his hand, yours with sharp arrow, and yours to the end.
P.S. - After you have thoroughly digested this I would advise you to destroy it; for I would not like anybody to read it but yourself.
MR. LEGER'S LETTER
To the Lewiston Journal, Gentlemen:
I have read with a great deal of interest the very strong articles that have been appearing in your paper on Shiloh. They cannot fail to do much good, for people need to know the inside of that place and how Mr. Sandford gets and holds his victims.
The account of my wife's suffering in Liverpool, that the Rev. N. H. Harriman sent you and that you published last week, has introduced us to the public, and we are sending you the enclosed letter from Mr. Sandford himself because we feel that this is the time to do so. We gave Mr. Harriman the account he has sent you, more than a year ago, soon after Mrs. Leger got free, leaving it to him to judge when to use it. Since he has used it, we send this to add to it.
Of course it is not easy to tell the public in this way that we were foolish enough to be caught by Mr. Sandford; for there will be more or less misunderstanding, and some will criticize us and ask why we did not leave when we saw so many things that were wrong, and how we could be caught by him in the first place. I will say a few words about this.
The fact that we were both interested in the "higher lines"of Christian life and wanted God's best made us an easy prey to be captured by Sandford. He claimed to have the only true faith, founded on the word of God. His tremendous amount of scripture quotation to prove his claims, together with long seasons of prayer and fasting, this is the greatest snare, as so one naturally would surmise his wresting the scripture as a means to an end. But alas, it is too true, as a certain minister from Texas once said who had been at Shiloh: "Shiloh does not know how to practice the Bible", while that is the very thing Mr. Sandford boasts that Shiloh does. He preys upon people who hate shams and hypocrisy and makes them believe that Shiloh is the only place on earth where they practice the Bible in its entirety, and in it all Shiloh has the biggest sham and the worst hypocrisy in the world I think. This is how we got in, as everybody does.
And about staying in after one sees wrong things, I will say here that when one is once under the spell of Mr. Sandford he suffers a great deal and wonders if things are right, but does not dare to speak out his mind for fear he might be wrong; and "distrusting the general on the field", as Sandford once said to one who spoke out, is a very serious thing, and the result that would follow such "reasoning" as he calls it, every student dreads, as it means being sent to hell and most likely stand a very small chance of ever being saved, and Sandford holds the keys to the next world. You are not allowed to talk about your doubts and fears to any one but the ministers - and they are such spiritual tyrants that it takes a great deal of courage to divulge anything serious even to them.
The penances imposed on his subjects are sometimes a dismissal in disgrace and perhaps under a curse from the school, or taken and put to some menial work, or be made to occupy some wretched room, or be deposed from the right to do Christian work for months - anything to make you suffer when he is not pleased. He openly declares he likes to see people suffer, as it brings something into their lives he delights to see; the process is what Shiloh calls being "put through." It unmans and bewilders those who have a fear of "failing God," as you have to "take their eyes" for everything you don't understand. The fact is, you must let the leaders do all your thinking for you if you would be a true Sandfordite.
The worst of it is you are so bewildered that you don't realize the bondage you are in and how enormous and fanatical these things are, as you must not allow yourself to think otherwise than that it must be right, because Mr. Sandford says so. This implicit trust and obedience makes all Shilohites "of one mind," and that Mr. Sandford's, which is the desideratum and culmination of all the teachings of Shiloh. The only way to escape this is to leave there; then you dare to see things as they are.
As to this letter we are sending, I have previously referred to it in your paper and some have greatly desired to see it. It cannot fail to show the true character of Sandford as a false prophet. It ought to be read in the light of Sandford's teachings about the "headship" of the man over the woman. He writes the letter to try and turn my wife from me and keep her true to him after I had left him. He trusted in his power over her to frighten her into staying with him, and also to make her destroy the letter. He tells her to destroy it after she has thoroughly digested it. I think the public will digest it, and I am glad to give them a chance.
Before I had seen this letter, after leaving the work, I had decided to not say much about Sandford; but when I saw it I rose up with indignation at such an insult. It took every bit of respect out of me that I had ever had for his work. Then I went to Shiloh for my printing outfit, my lawful possessions, and after a hard battle with Shiloh I got it; one man telling me I would burn in hell for it like a piece of paper he burned in the flame of the lamp.
This whole letter will show anyone who can see anything, that Sandford will not stand it to have a husband be the real "head: of his wife. Mr. Sanford is the head of every woman in the movement, without regard to the husband.
He teaches that the wife shall obey her husband "in everything"; but readers will see that while he teaches that, he teaches in the letter the exact opposite. The whole letter is to make my wife disobey me. He refers to the tract on "Woman,"which my wife wrote, and which he changed and corrected, putting in his own teachings in his way. I know this, for I printed it. Here is one of the passages he put in: "I would have you know that the head of the woman is the man" I Cor. 9: . Spiritual women say, "God must be first. We ought to obey God rather than man."Then he adds this comment: "You cannot, however, obey God except as you surrender to His will already expressed as to your attitude in relation to man. He is never first while you assert your will and reasonings and thus become a silly Eve playing into the hands of the devil to again bring down the headship of man in his own family. In giving occasion, through your disobedience, for the Word of God to be blasphemed (Titus ii:5), and through a disorderly home, you present to the world a monstrosity, a two-headed person in charge, or a woman the head of the man, and the man subject to the woman, - God's order reversed, angels astonished, the church shamed, hell rejoicing."
Another thing about the letter. See the language he uses about me to my wife. He claims to be "Elijah the Restorer" and that he is to restore families. It don't seem to me that "nosed around by the devil in any traitor on earth," referring to me, would tend to unite my wife to me very much, nor "so utterly dishonorable" nor "wolf," nor "contemptible cur," nor any of the other nice words he refers to me.
Imagine sending such a letter to a wife who is not allowed to do her own thinking, but is taught to "obey rulers" so fully that Mr. Gleason once said publicly that he would obey Sandford if he took him to hell, in teaching us submission to this self-styled "King David", "Elijah", "Branch", "Melchizedec", apostle-prophet-king-priest. Does this letter of Sandford's breathe out the spirit of Christ, or follow the command to "restore such a one in the spirit of meekness?"
And then the "P.S.!" After writing such a letter to a wife, advising her to disobey her husband, think of this suggesting, - which in this case was as good as commanding - to her to destroy it after she had digested it, for he would not like anybody else to read it! Think of that! What does that show about the man? I will see to its being digested before it is destroyed, and with the full consent of my wife, as her letter shows. It is not often that this shrewd man sends out a true picture of himself, and I am glad to pass it along for some people to read who think they know F. W. Sanford. I think it will interest some to get the benefit of an "authoritative" portrait of him as he is, painted by himself. The world never sees him as he is.
And there is another fact that shows Rev. Mr. Sandford's method, and how it works. If my wife had not got free, this letter would have been to her a very message from God and its coarseness and vulgarity and trickery would have been to her plain and faithful language that proved the true heart of "the prophet." The very hideousness of this picture of the man would thus be beautiful to her. Thus "all is grist that comes to his mill."
20 Rogers Ave., Lynn, Mass.,Dec 6, 1904