WHAT SPIRIT? - PART SIX
FRANK SANDFORD AND "SHILOH"
Another formative influence on Sandford were the writings of Charles Totten, a "bible scholar" and professor at Yale, who fervently taught the racist doctrine of British Israelitism (which we are familiar with today through the ravings of the late Herbert W. Armstrong), the belief that the modern day Anglo-Saxons were in reality the "ten lost tribes of Israel" who were subsequently scattered when the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians (IV Kings 17). This teaching may have influenced racist philosophers like Josiah Strong, who considered that it was the destiny of the Anglo-Saxons (as the "stronger race") to subdue the other peoples of the earth and to exercise over them something like a paternalistic "benign slavery". In other words, it was the "anglo-saxons burden", as the chosen race of Jehovah, to lay even heavier burdens upon the non-chosen of the earth. This was only for the latters betterment, of course. By "Anglo-Saxons" were meant, no doubt, the British Empire and its allies among the Yankee imperialists, who could now possess their empire under the aegis of "Biblical Christianity". The looting of their "racially inferior" brethren could now be carried out with a clear conscience, thanks in part to theorists like Totten. Although some will object that this is a reach, to equate colonial exploitation with religious British Israelitism, it would appear that such theories were amenable to such paladins of British world empire as the arch-exploiter and monopolist Cecil Rhodes. These ideas certainly attracted Sandford, and the fact that he hailed from one of the old, moneyed families of the New England "aristocracy" may also have helped him to adopt such ideas. That particular social class is well known for its elitism, its anglophilia, its deviation from religious orthodoxy, as well as its role in colonial exploitation of the "colored peoples of the earth"-whether yellow, brown or black. It is interesting to note here that Totten had a rather syncretistic religious past, before his conversion to so called "British Israelite" Christianity. He was by turns, an Adventist, and a Zionist, which is undoubtedly where one of the inspirations for his lost tribes theory was to originate. He was also apparently a Swedenborgian, a follower of the Swedish spirit- channeler Emmanuel Swedenborg, who, despite his apostasy, probably possessed one of the greatest intellects of all time. Swedenborg was at first an orthodox Lutheran, but he later became a spirit medium, and channeled information from the "angelic spirits" who communicated with him, which he recorded voluminously in numerous books, wherein he described "heaven", the afterlife, the "true nature of Christianity", etc according to the messages of the spirits. It is no surprise, therefore, that Totten also dabbled in the nascent spiritualism of his time, reborn only recently in the United States with the table rapping Fox sisters. But it was the pseudo-scientific pyramidology of Piazzi Smith that would lead Totten to his theories on Bible prophecy and the lost tribes. Though this is a totally unchristian and superstitious act of divination, pyramid sortilege was found to be a fascinating way for individuals such as Totten to justify their speculations on the "lost tribes", and the end times. Much the same thing is happening now, with so much pseudo-scientific speculation being accorded the so -called "Bible codes". Popular in "word of faith" circles, these are supposed to reveal, via the application of arcane decoding, the dates for the Second Coming of Our Lord, the rapture, etc.
Tottens theories were apparently so attractive to Sandford that the latter took them to heart and greatly magnified their implications. When on a trip to Jerusalem in 1898, Sandford made a declaration of his Anglo-Israel convictions. Such doctrines which were at considerable variance with the doctrines of much of the Wesleyan Holiness movement, as it had been in the forefront of the fight against slavery. Not surprisingly, those who most influenced Sandford in the Holiness movement were affiliated with the "Higher Life" or "Higher Lines" segment-individuals such as Hannah Whitehall Smith those most preoccupied with signs and wonders rather than with the Wesleyan concepts of sanctification; and it was within these groups that Sandfords grafting of Anglo-Israelitism would find the greatest acceptance:
"To be sure, with the ideas and doctrines from so many sources, he bridged some substantial theological chasms since the millenarians were looking for a worldwide catastrophe, they generally did not approve of the notion of American or English manifest destiny which appealed to optimistic millennialists; Sandford would successfully merge the two doctrines by viewing Anglo-America as the "lost tribes of Israel," stiff-necked, rebellious, deserving of Gods punishment, yet still Gods chosen people and rod for the nations." ( Hiss . p.77)
Sandford had accepted the imminent pre-millenialism of Darby, (which he no doubt imbibed via influence of A.B. Simpson) and, by inclusion, its occult inspired Irvingite doctrine of the rapture. He thus took considerable pains to develop his theological synthesis which would combine Dowies end times restorationism, the Holiness movements emphasis on experiential sanctification and Spirit Baptism. The resurgence of speaking in tongues, and his own strict authoritarianism, were also major factors in his movment.
His conviction that the end of the world was near, and the fact that he considered himself come in the spirit and power of Elijah, led him to establish Shiloh in 1897. To the contemporary reader, the doomsday orientation of the group sounds strikingly familiar, in light of many such present day cults; the scenario which was played out in Mr. Sandfords case turned deadly. A newspaper in upper state New York, in the immediate wake of the Jonestown massacre in 1978, draws parallels with Jim Jones Peoples Temple commune and Sandfords group:
few may remember the religious cult, "The Holy Ghost and Us," in
1900s at Ridge Mills. This story also is almost unbelievable. The "Holy Ghost Station" was established in 1901 by a Rev. Frank W. Sandford, later was to be convicted and sentenced for the death of six persons, one of Ridge Mills. He had founded the cult nine years before in eastern New York Sandford and his followers declared they had found the path to salvation, and that there was to be an end of the world in the near future and that only those on their side would survive in the "life hereafter In April of 1905, some of the 'saints,' as they called themselves, left Ridge Mills for Shiloh, Maine, many of them selling the property and giving most of it to Sandford. Twenty two persons left Ridge Mills in a body, 'to wait the end of the world.' In all, 25 of the Rome area, 14 of them children, 'answered the call.' Meetings at Ridge Mills continued, with leaders exhorting others to join those in Maine.
"The end of the world did not come but most of those who went to Shiloh remained there to experience sufferings which led to a state investigation. Preacher Sandford, at one time a Baptist pastor of a wealthy parish, said mysterious voices told him to take all his possessions and go to Shiloh, Maine. He said he was broke when he arrived there but soon the property in Shiloh was worth more than $250,000 as followers in numerous places, including Ridge Mills, poured in contributions.
"The Shiloh community put all earnings into a common purse and drew all supplies from a common larder. Soon poor crops caused reports of hunger in the commune. Meanwhile, Sandford was some place on his yacht, searching, he said, for another Shiloh and a new end-of-world date.
"One member broke away and reported: "I have endured the tortures of hell since I joined. . . They have taken all my money, deprived me of my family, ruined my health and were starving me to death."
Then Sandford was charged with manslaughter in causing the death of a boy by refusing to permit administration of medicine while the boy was suffering from diphtheria. A jury disagreed in the first trial, he was convicted in the second but the verdict was set aside on the grounds that public opinion was unfriendly to him. Meanwhile, another refugee from Shiloh, a Ridge Mills man, declared they had been permitted only one meal a day, usually mush and milk, and that sickness was ravaging the disciples. A state investigation uncovered what were called cases of cruelty to children, it being declared that Sandford was, "ruling his people with fear, they following his merest suggestions implicitly." Sandford was called "insane."
Then in August of 1910 came news that the bark Kingdom, flagship of the Holy Ghost and Us squadron then at sea, had been wrecked of Yarmouth, Maine. On August 3, 1911, the yacht Coronet, with 48 men, women and children of the cult aboard, was reported in distress off West Africa and short of provisions. None knew where they were supposed to be going. That same year in October, Sandford was arrested in Portland, Me. on complaint of a woman ex-follower who alleged she had been illegally detained aboard the Kingdom. In December, Sandford was indicted on six counts for causing deaths among his people and convicted. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and in 1918, seven years later, was paroled on good behavior. (THE ROME, NEW YORK SENTINEL, editorial opinion of Tuesday, November 21, 1978)
Events similar to this are repeated ad nauseam in the history of "Christian cults"-a charismatic (in the generic sense) leader, claiming a special calling, and extraordinary powers, will, little by little, gain control over peoples hearts, minds, and (significantly) their property. Impressing upon their followers the imminence of the Second Coming, or some global catastrophe, and assuring them that they alone will be the survivors, they assure these followers thator they will occupy a position of power and influence in the new world to come. Readers will note that this has just happened again in Uganda, where thousands of innocent persons lost their property, their freedom, and finally their lives in a hideous fashion after being duped by devil worshipping "Marian" seers into believing that the end of the world was imminent, and that they alone were to survive.
Sandford was to preach many cultish doctrines; one of the most remarkable was that he claimed to be the chosen vessel of the "restored" baptism of the "latter days", having come in the spirit and power of Elijah. (Thereby aping one of his mentors, Alexander Dowie.) The reader is invited to consider the diabolically manipulative language that Sandford employs while making his claims. He first makes the case to his readers that the true, valid sacramental baptism, using the trinitarian formula of either immersion, aspersion or infusion, was a false baptism. He thereby negates the constant usage of every historical Christian denomination from the time of the Apostles to his own:
You had better forget what your neighbor says and what your own brain thinks, and
substitute in their stead exact obedience to what God plainly states. Nothing but
"burial," absolute is the baptism authorized by Jesus Christ.
The baptism authorized by the Son of God was not immersion three times in water. The Scripture nowhere states that God the Father died and rose again, or that the Holy Ghost died and rose again. The man Christ Jesus did die and rise again, hence, one immersion in water correctly represents that event. If the three Persons of the Trinity died, then plainly Satan, the god of this world, was the only god while the true One was in the grave This is a lie of the devil, and every person who teaches or preaches it is teaching falsity, magnifying Satan's power, belittling the true God and administering a baptism "not sealed" as the voice of God has declared. (Frank W. Sandford, Authoritative Baptism, pp. 5,6)
Next Sandford was to propose himself, a la Dowie, as a new Elijah, specially chosen to restore the true Baptism to the divided Christian world, and in essence save the Church from the strife of "denominationalism." Modern day Charismatics should compare their own language about a "new Pentecost" with the unfettered dawnism of Sandford:
During the first year of the twentieth century a voice was heard saying "The mantle of Elijah is fallen upon thee" - a little later in the year - "Wash My lambs" - and September 30th in the evening, ''Be ready against tomorrow," a message indicating that the time for a "special baptism" had come and that it was to be held on the date signified - October 1, 1901. (Ibid, pge 8)
In language that is more reminiscent of a possessing demon than of the usual rhetoric of Protestant fundamentalism, Sandford employs twisted and cult like language to indict the Catholic Church (also known as "the Dark Ages") for "perverting the true baptism"; at the same time he virtually presents himself as the prophet Elijah, the great restorer:
Elijahs is the washing of Christendom from its denominational schisms and errors to prepare His people for the One "coming in power and greate glory" in a word, it is the restoration of the Masters baptism which has been perverted through the Dark Ages and which is now restored by a prophet sent of God "to make ready for a people prepared for the Lord."
You, like "the eunuch of Ethiopia," may be on your way to another continent. Yet this is your opportunity. Be loyal to the kingdom of God in its formative period. Join that which is based upon the Word of God, with the authority of the ME behind it; it its days of weakness rather than in its day of strength, in its days of humiliation rather than in its day of worldwide and glorious triumph. I would advise every honest soul who desires the real thing on this earth to "Press" forward here and now into these waters - these waters of the greatest opportunity man ever knew or ever will know. (Ibid, pp. 9, 13)
Anyone who has studied cults to any considerable degree will note that the founders of
such groups-like Sandford- will not go very far in increasing their membership by making
ordinary or everyday claims - they must promise something extraordinary. Seeing as
Sandford was promising the "greatest opportunity man ever knew or ever will
know", it is not surprising that he attracted a considerable following.
The question remains, as to whether, on the matter of a restored baptism, Sandford influenced Charles F. Parham, who was certainly well acquainted (professionally as well as personally) with Sandford, or vice versa. Since the so called "voices" which announced a "new restoration of the true baptism" were not heard by Sandford until October of 1901, whereas the Topeka outpouring, presided over by Parham occurred on January 1 of that same year, this is certainly an open question. Unlike the Catholic Church of antiquity, founded by Jesus Christ Himself explicitly on Peter and the twelve Apostles, the early history of Pentecostalism was not overshadowed by one dominant individual, but was characterized by a complex intermingling of new spiritualities, theological concepts and religious novelties. On the other hand, the movement in its formative stage can be said to be highly incestuous, as one constantly observed the same small group of individuals (with a select and expanding group of new devotees) interact with one another, exchange ideas and support, and finally diverge into well defined, competing sects. For example, both Parham and Sandford were influenced by Dowie, A.B. Simpson, and Anna Whitehall Smith. Both in turn exercised influence over people like A.J. Tomlinson and Charles Lake. It would not be surprising if both influenced one another. However, there is no question that at first it was Sandford who was the prophet to be looked up to and admired by Parham and the others. The direct links between Sandford and the founders of Pentecostalism will be documented further on in this chapter.
Restoration of healing was also one of the cardinal tenets of Sandfords new sect, and as has been observed, his gross fanaticism with regards to the miraculous was to result in his (just like Dowie!) being tried for manslaughter. Sandford apparently believed that in these final days before the parousia and the millenium, healing would be open to all-all that is, who lived a holy life, in accord with Sandfords idea of holiness. In other words, if someone in Sandfords commune was not healed by his or his lieutenants prayers, then something was obviously amiss with the individuals life. This was a ruse which was very convenient for Sandford, as it could explain any failures on his part to obtain the "throne of God" to the sinfulness of the individual who has not been healed; however it was to backfire on Sandford, just as was the case with Dowie. Like Dowie, he forbade his followers to make use of medicine or seek the care of a physician. This led to cruel and morally repulsive incidents like this one:
" Albert Field, the jeweler from Brunswick, disappeared from the hill with his family. The decisive element in Field's defection, as he finally told the newspapers, was an episode earlier that winter, while Frank Sandford was still at Shiloh. Sandford's sister Annie and her second husband, Nat Brown, had lost their one-year old son to what was thought to be cholera-infantum, a digestive problem not uncommon among infants. Sandford apparently tried to revive the baby, remembering perhaps that the Elijah of the Old Testament had brought to life the young son of the widow Zerephath. But the baby named Brown did not revive. Its body was taken to one of the cold turrets and kept there for sixty days, while the Browns and Sandford and the ministers continued to pray for its restoration to life. One night the child was finally buried, the funeral held in the dark. The incident was kept a secret at Shiloh with only partial success ... If the resurrection of Olive Mills had been claimed as the seal of apostleship, did this failure then mean the unsealing? Or did it throw the miracle of Olive Mills into the shadow (or light) of a completely natural event, without extraordinary overtones?" (extracted from Fair Clear and Terrible by Shirley Nelson, an unpublished account of Shiloh, p. 277)
It should be obvious to any sincere and sound Christian that if Sandford had any true contact with "voices" extraneous to those emanating from his own boundless megalomania, then the voices emanated from hell and not heaven. These types of incidents are the hallmark of dangerous cults the world over, and the truly tragic thing aspect with regards to them is that the true believers in such individuals cannot be swayed even in the face of such obviously sadistic, cruel and deceptive behavior. Unfortunately, individuals like Sandford are not the exception among the founders of Pentecostalism, they are the rule. There is absolutely no possible scenario in which the Holy Spirit could be invoked to bear witness to such manifestly false convictions. Accordingly, Sandford the person and ministry of Sandford remain in relative ignominy among the overwhelming majority of Charismatics today, having been condemned to oblivion in the movements collective memory. His preeminence and influence at the birth of the "New Pentecost" represent an uncomfortable reality which is difficult for the Charismatic movement to justify, it being the direct lineal descendant of Pentecostalism. One of those who fell under the direct influence of Sandford was an early, prominent Pentecostal leader, A.J. Tomlinson:
Sandford's influence on A.J. Tomlinson from at least 1897 can be handily documented. Ralph Gleason, a Sandford surrogate, baptized Tomlinson at Lisbon Falls, Maine on October 30, 1897 A collection of periodicals left behind by Tomlinson included the August 1, 1897 edition of Tongues of Fire 3:15. Tongues of Fire 3:21 (November 1, 1897) seems to identify Tomlinson as a student at Shiloh Tomlinson's diary recorded a visit to Shiloh in October 1901, where he was baptized for the third time, now by Sandford himself.. ..
It is known that Tomlinson spent time at the Mount of Blessings before 1899 and read all these periodicals. An insert on Alvin York in Tomlinson's The Faithful Standard (1922) said:
"Many of the Pentecostal people know the Bible School at Mount of Blessings. They are sanctified people. Many who now have the baptism were once connected with the Mount of Blessings. And about two months ago one of the Church of God preachers stopped over to talk with the leader at that place and that leader said to him, 'After all, I think we all ought to seek the Baptism like you have it "
(Dr. Harold D. Hunter,"Beniah at the Apostolic Crossroads: " Little Noticed
Crosscurrents of B.H. Irwin, Charles Fox Parham, Frank Sandford, A.J. Tomlinson")
Tomlinson represents an important link between B. H. Irwin, of "fire and dynamite" fame, and went on to become general overseer of the Church of God in 1909, and kept that position until his death in the 1940s. The Church of God is known to this day as one of the most prominent of the Pentecostal denominations.
It was through the medium of tongue speaking or glossolalia, however, that Sandfords Shiloh was to have its greatest influence on the nascent Pentecostal movement. As will be documented, Shiloh was, during the late 1890s, host to many past and future leaders of Pentecostal/Fire Baptist circles like Tomlinson, but perhaps his most most significant influence was to be exercised through his association with Charles Fox Parham. This influence on Parham was mainly in the area of tongue-speaking. Tongues were most certainly a part of Sandfords "restored" world view. However, it would appear that tongue speaking in the manner it was practiced by disciples of Sandford, was understood as miraculously imparted true foreign languages, and this was confirmed by Sandford himself in his book entitled Tongues of Fire, published around 1897. As Sandford was to live until well into the 1950s, he was later to repudiate the idea of tongues restoration, but the documentation for his sects practices before the turn of the century are simply overwhelming:
It was this "outbreak" of foreign tongues which undoubtedly influenced
Charles F. Parham, and his subsequent role as the father of Pentecostalism. Parham had
been closely associated with Sandford from at least early 1900, as Sandford himself
"At Kansas City The services Saturday and Sunday were richly blessed, and Brother Parham, a religious leader who had come from Topeka to attend the services, insisted that we accompany him home. The bond of union Sunday afternoon which had united the the three leaders of three great movements, one in the extreme west, another in the extreme east and the third in the center of our vast country, must have brought rejoicing among the angels here was my Brother Parham from Topeka, leader of a work similar to our own, divine healing, church, Bible School, and publisher of a paper " (Tongues of Fire, July 1 & 15, 1900, p.111 and 115)
Indeed, so enthusiastic was Parham about the tongue speaking he witnessed at Shiloh that he actually included an enthusiastic endorsement of such in the first publication of his Holiness oriented journal, The Apostolic Faith. (This is not to be confused with the Azusa Street publication of the same name.)
Charles Parham's first Apostolic Faith (May 3, 1899) drew from Sandford's tract "The Everlasting Gospel" thereby recounting that Jennie Glassey could "read and write, translate and sing" in missionary tongues The April 1, 1900 edition of Apostolic Faith 2 carried a report about Brother and Sister Hamaker tarrying at Beth-el Healing Home for a "heathen tongue" before they embark on the mission field The greatest enticement to see Sandford came from ambassadors Edward Doughty and Victor Barton's invasion of Topeka in early 1900 (Hunter, op. Cit.)
According to the renowned Pentecostal scholar Harold Hunter, it was at Shiloh that Parham first actually witnessed "tongues" being spoken, and this occurred a full six months prior to the "Topeka outpouring", which is considered the true point of origin of the modern Pentecostal movement:
From an interview with Parham conducted by C. W. Shumway, we know that Parham not only studied under Sandford, but was witness to tongues being spoken during that summer of 1900. Parham indicated to Shumway that he first heard tongues being spoken by two male students as they emerged from one of the prayer towers. This chronology would indicate tongues "breaking out" at least six months prior to Agnes Ozman's experience. " (Ibid)
It would appear that Agnes Ozman herself , the first individual to undergo (under the
leadership of Parham) what would henceforth be described by Pentecostal theologians as
"glossocentric pneumatobaptism"-spirit baptism as evidenced by speaking in
tongues- was also familiar with and amenable to the teachings of Sandford:
Yet to be explored adequately is to what extent Agnes Ozman represents a synthesis of these same influences. Agnes evidenced at least a kinship to Sandford by recounting her time with Dowie, classes at Nyack with Stephen Merritt and an evangelistic excursion into Old Orchard, Maine. This 1890's exposure preceded the rupture between Simpson and Sandford. Menzies argues that Agnes, who affiliated with the Fire-Baptized after Topeka, had Fire-Baptized contact prior to 1900. After her xenolalic pneumabaptism at Bethel Bible College, Agnes was part of a group that started out for Shiloh, but stopped short. (Ibid)
This is especially revealing, as it is obvious that her "Pentecostal experience" of January 1, 1901 in Topeka was virtually identical, in form and content, with that of Jenny Glassey, the student of Sandford described above. From here on in it appears that Parham was to borrow copiously from the message of Sandford, while distancing himself from the messenger. It is important to recognize that there is no evidence that Parham would ever regard the Shiloh manifestations as spurious or demonic; he merely opposed the exclusivism of the Sandfordites, and wished to make their experiences more available to more mainline Protestant denominations:
In September of 1900 Parham returned to Topeka, Kansas, dissatisfied spiritually with what he had seen, and opened the Bethel Healing Home. "I returned home fully convinced that while many had obtained real experience in sanctification and the annointing that abideth, there still remained a great outpouring of power for the Christians who were close to this age."Parham criticized those centers of holiness and healing spirituality on two counts. Not only did they fall short of "the account in Acts" in Parhams estimation, but they also spawned an offenisve sectarian spirit. He censured those "Bible Schools" (presumably including Simpsons Nyack) "Zions", (and ) "colonies" (Shiloh?) he had toured because they adhered to the doctrines "of one man" which caused them to become narrow, selfish self advancing; until denouncing and un-Christianizing all others, they came to believe they [were] the only people." (Charles W. Nienkirchen, A.B. Simpson and the Pentecostal Movment.)
Far from a criticism of the method, or spiritual content of the manifestations among the Sandfordites- this declaration by Parham represents an explicit acknowledgement on Parhams part that the experiences among the Sandfordites were the "genuine anointing." It is clear that Parham has his own agenda, and his own sectarian fish to fry, as it were. The fact that Parham would eventually criticize Sandford is not surprising-in the world of cults and the ambience of unfettered "spirit power" there are bound to be rivalries, claims and counterclaims. The Catholic Church is often criticized for its rigid authoritarianism and its use of anathemas; but the fact is that it is not a "charismatic consensus" or some vague experiential unity that has protected the Church. On the contrary, the words of Our Lord Himself manifest that it is the institutional and hierarchical authority of the Church that is the heir of His promise of indefectibility and infallibility, as well as of unity. Such authority, exercised in His name and guided by the Holy Spirit has kept the Church from the divisiveness and sectarianism which is characteristic of individuals like Dowie, Sandford, Woodworth-Etter, Irwin, etc. Once the process of division has begun, their respective movements will multiply ad infinitum, and the resultant branches will spread out further and further from the trunk of doctrinal and disciplinary soundness of which the Catholic Church alone is the guarantor.
Error by its very nature is divisive, and truth unitive. Error mixed with a combustible pseudo-spiritual empowerment and magnetism has constantly proved a deadly mixture. Unfettered by truth and unmoved by charity, which is not mere affectation, or emotional attachment, it will breed jealousy, rivalry, quarrels and sects, and fulfill the demonic purpose, which is the further fragmentation of the Christian world. Ironically, the Charismatic movement, descended from the divisive sects of Pentecostalism, is now in the forefront of the todays ecumenical quest for so called Christian unity. Of course, the unity which the movement longs for is not a unity of doctrine or authority; rather it is a unity centered around the "Pentecostal experience" and not true unity, which is found only in the Catholic Church. "Ordo ab chao", order out of chaos, seems to be the word of the day for much of the "ecumania" or false ecumenism so rampant today. Movements like the radical Charismatic Renewal thrive on doctrinal confusion and fragmentation in order to advance the agenda of false "unity in the Spirit". There is not, nor can there be, "unity in the Spirit" where error is involved, where false doctrines rise to the forefront, and the truths of Divine Revelation, taught infallibly and authoritatively by the Church are considered of secondary importance.
C.W. Shumway projected tongues-speech as starting among Sandford's followers in
1893.Sandford's Tongues of Fire 8:5 (March 1, 1897) carried a remarkable report on a
youngmissionary to Africa, Jennie Glassey, from her adopted mother, Mrs. Black:
One foreign language after another has been given to her. She has sung in the Spirit, African tunes, and even written strange characters which the Holy Ghost taught her as an alphabet.(14) (Hunter, op. Cit)
What is significant here are two things: what were considered tongues among Sanfords followers were obviously true foreign languages, and there was no thought given to a "private prayer language." And second, if we are to believe the account relating to Mrs. Black, automatic writing, which we have encountered so often in this study, is also involved. Automatic writing is clearly mediumistic in character, and has never been acknowledged as being one of the Holy Spirits gifts-quite the contrary, it is a forbidden method of divination, little different than the ouija board. Therefore, if these accounts are true, they point to demonic intervention rather than a "New Pentecost." As any serious student of demonology knows, one of the signs of possession by evil spirits, explicitly stated in the Rituale Romanum, the Roman Rite of Exorcism, is the sudden ability to speak or understand a foreign language fluently, with no prior training or instruction. This manifestation bears all the signs of either auto-suggestion or diabolical intervention, and none of the signs of the true gifts of the Spirit, since this would imply that the Holy Spirit would bear witness to the false prophet Sandford, and his false cult. The devil, as Simio Dei, the ape of God, will counterfeit the true gift of the Holy Spirit in an especially alluring manner, and this indeed have been the case with the first "outbreaks" of tongues speaking preceeding the birth of Pentecostalism. As we will see in the next chapter, the Catholic Church has traditionally held no other tradition with regards to tongues than that of a miraculously imparted true and articulate foreign language.
The former interpretation was undoubtedly the interpretation of the gift from the point of view of Sandford and the "Sandfordites" as well, as the following attests:
Proof positive of the authenticity of this xenolalia and xenographia was seen in the reaction of a sailor named Jack who had been a prisoner of an African tribe. Jack was so amazed at her ability to converse with him in an unidentified dialect that he became a Christian. Frank Sandford interviewed a clergyman from St. Louis who had recently been with the missionary party in England: He declared there was 'no doubt whatever that the work was of God,' and added, 'They have now about thirteen different dialects.' He related how she had heard Africans on the street talking their native dialects, and understood whatthey said.
Tongues of Fire 3:6 (March 15, 1897) and Tongues of Fire 4:7 (April 1, 1898) record Sandford's personal arguments for speaking in tongues. Sandford linked with the Blacks and Jennie Glassey en route to Jerusalem and defended the legitimacy of their claims in Tongues of Fire 4:12 (June 15, 1898). The same verdict was printed in Tongues of Fire 4:14 (July 15, 1898) by W.N. Gleason who kept the missionary band in Jerusalem after Sandford's departure. Gleason believed that the xenolalia extended to Greek, French, Latin, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, while the xenographia was primarily Hebrew and Greek that had been recognized by proper authorities. Tongues of Fire 4:12
(June 15, 1898) cited "The Amherest Daily News" in Nova Scotia as follows: "Miss Glassey, July 8th and 9th 1895, received a wonderful language lesson. " The Spirit empowered her to read the Croo language and write the Khoominar language, some of which was verified by a native African who knew dialects from Sierra Leone. In any event, the later repudiation by Sandford of this phenomenon and the movement so centrally known thereby would account for omission of such things in standard Shiloh sources. (Hunter,op.cit)