6 Comments

  1. Jane

    My fourteen year old daughter is a christian scientist and my twenty year old son died two and a half years ago. Her beliefs make it very difficult to grieve together. It breaks my heart sometimes. We are very close but she “is done grieving” for her only brother. I will never be done grieving. Never.

  2. Dawn

    Hi Tanner, Thank you for sharing this. I left C.S. 2 years ago and I am still struggling. My whole identity was wrapped up in it but I didn’t realize how destructive it was until I tried to leave. I literally felt like I would die if I left but I had to get my teenager out. I never got to attend a large thriving church only a small toxic one. Church services had become like attending a weekly funeral with somber readings and depressing organ music. I grieve over raising my child up in this. Christian Science always encourages people to read Science and Health through in a year but we were never encouraged to read the Bible through in a year. After years in C.S. I still felt like I didn’t really know the Bible so I decided to read it through in a standard English version. After so many years of following Mary Baker Eddy, 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 spoke to me. I no longer wanted to follow M.B.E. I just wanted to follow Jesus.

    I have heard different versions of Mrs. Eddy raising Calvin Frye from death. I never found the story comforting, as it didn’t sound like the way Jesus healed with her grabbing him and shouting at him. Actually the stories of how staff were treated have always bothered me, particularly Article XXII Sections 11 and 14 of the Manual. The Manual states that a church member when summoned by Mrs. Eddy must go to her within 10 days or be excommunicated. It also states that a person must work for her for 3 years or be excommunicated. This is so inappropriate, it crosses so many boundaries, but high demand groups don’t have boundaries. They are always telling their members they are not doing enough and they need to do more. The Manual is supposed to be divinely inspired second only to the Bible and Science and Health but there are things in there that do not seem appropriate.

    I came across a video recently on YouTube called “What Christian Scientists Believe” and of course it only mentioned the good stuff, nothing about mortal mind, malpractice, animal magnetism, or mental poisoning with arsenic.

  3. David B

    Thanks, Tanner, for sharing this. It was fascinating! It clears up the mystery of why some people, like Miss Irma Eareckson, who taught English at Principia for many years until 1972, said that Mrs. Eddy never raised anyone from the dead, while others said she did raise some from the dead like Calvin Frye. Thank you for your research into the behind the scene details! If Mrs. Eddy could really raise people from the dead, one might wonder why she didn’t raise Mr. Eddy from the dead, but instead declared he had been mentally murdered by arsenic mentally administered (even though an autopsy said the cause of death was organic heart disease, if I remember correctly.)

  4. Bruce

    Thank you for this fascinating explanation of the apocryphal story about Eddy resuscitating Calvin Frye from death. Myths are hard to dislodge, but this should give any Christian Scientist who has been harboring doubts more reason to question deeper.

  5. Karen C

    I have a story related to this. One night, many years ago, I was driving on the interstate from one side of my city to the other, going from my parents’ house to my place. My heart began to beat heavily and rapidly. My breathing got fast and shallow. I felt all shaky. I had episodes like this often. (Now I know they were panic attacks.) I was so terrified that I pulled onto the shoulder, switched on my emergency lights. I didn’t feel I could even make it to an exit–I just pulled over. After a minute or so, I got back into traffic and got to my place.

    Alone there, I remembered Calvin Frye and the pie. Suddenly I became overwhelmed by the thought that maybe I died, there on the interstate, and I’d passed on and didn’t know it, just like Calvin Frye didn’t know it. I was so freaked that I decided to call my mother–not to tell her what happened, but just to talk to her. I reasoned that, if she could pick up my call and talk to me, that meant I was still in this world and not passed on.

    I called. She answered. We didn’t talk about much. I’d seen her just 40 minutes prior. But it was super reassuring. All that fear and emotional rollercoaster just because of, as you say, “what someone said that Julia Bartlett said that Calvin Frye told her about a mental wandering he may have had in connection with one of his recurring cataleptic seizures.”

    On a lighter note, I love baked goods, so I have always, always wanted to know what kind of pie he was eating. I figure that, if we’re all supposed to believe this crazy story, we at least deserve to know that!

  6. Elsie

    How funny, I have never heard of this story before, or of Mrs. Eddy raising anyone from the dead. I attended my local CS church from birth through college, attended Prin, and even worked in Boston at the Mother Church for 5 years after. I’ll have to ask some of my friends if they’ve ever heard of this.

    I quit attending church in my mid 20’s (30 years ago), and no longer consider myself a Christian Scientist, however I’ll probably always carry some of the lessons I learned in church with me. Even though I don’t agree with some of the things that the church teaches, my issue is more one of religion in general, not just CS. Unfortunately there are judgmental extremists in every religion, I met more in Boston than anywhere else. In general, most Christian Scientists I’ve known, in my hometown, and at Prin, were really kind, loving, intelligent people.

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