The author who took a potshot at Mary Baker Eddy!

BBC Radio 4’s “Book of the Week” is currently featuring “The woman who shot Mussolini”, by Frances Stonor Saunders, which has also garnered many reviews in the UK national press.  The woman in question – aristocrat Violet Gibson – apparently flirted with Christian Science briefly on her way to engaging with Theosophy until she finally settled in as a Roman Catholic.  According to the book about Violet, as read on the BBC, the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy ‘…claimed to have the power of healing, called divine Science, though she never provided any proof of it’.

This sweeping statement can be deemed accurate only if you discount the real-life experiences of those gaining complete freedom from serious physical complaints through spiritual regeneration and instead consider that the sole valid “proof” of a claim is verification by double-blind laboratory tests, or their ilk. Those might have a place in testing out material theories, but they are limited in their ability to throw light on the transforming power of a God who is infinite love, and whether or not that divine Love can make a practical difference in our individual and community experiences.

In regard to the latter, it would be hard to name anyone since Jesus and his immediate followers who has provided as much tangible evidence as Mary Baker Eddy of the existence of God and of the practicality of God’s love in healing results.  To catch a glimpse of the breadth of what she accomplished in this regard, an open-minded person might want to read the biography “Christian Healer (an amplified edition)” – which details every documented healing that resulted from Mrs. Eddy’s Christian prayers and spiritual demonstration of divine reality.  (This is available from Christian Science Reading Rooms or from  the shop )

The author also described Christian Science as ‘Mary Baker Eddy’s cult’ which is an unnecessary – and inaccurate – use of a pejorative term.  I have been a Christian Scientist for almost three decades and have been blessed to meet some of the most intelligent, creative and civic-minded thinkers on this planet through my membership in the Church of Christ, Scientist.  No cult worth its salt would wish to have such independently minded people in their midst!

The author concludes that Violet received ‘no health benefits’ from CS and ‘found CS insufferable’.  These comments may well be historic fact, and are believable.  Christian Science – like any serious theology – makes moral, ethical and spiritual demands on those seeking to engage with it which not everyone is ready to embrace.

It is interesting to note that in the recent past the BBC also broadcast a play about Violet Gibson, whose sister Frances – The Hon.Frances Horsbrugh-Porter – became a much loved Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Dublin.  This means that she followed in Mary Baker Eddy’s footsteps of proving the timeless promise of Jesus that “He who believes in me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14:12).  That is, she proved the reality and practicality of God’s presence, power and love through a decades-long practice of Christian Science healing and taught classes on practising Christian Science to those wishing to learn how to better apply its ideas in their own lives.  Her granddaughter is still a Christian Scientist today.


Categories: Mary Baker Eddy

Author:Tony Lobl

I write and speak on spirituality from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I am also an Associate Editor for the Christian Science periodicals. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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2 Comments on “The author who took a potshot at Mary Baker Eddy!”

  1. Elaine Crookston
    March 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    This is a most wonderful and clarifiying response to a closed minded report.

  2. April 8, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    I’ve been looking around and really am impressed by the great content material here. I work the nightshift at my job and it really gets boring. I have been coming right here for the previous couple nights and reading. I just needed to let you know that I have been enjoying what I have seen and I look forward to reading more.

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