Thanksgiving 2020

The Thanksgiving Day service is the only ‘special’ service the Christian Science church offers. The readings from the desk include the Presidential proclamation for Thanksgiving, as well as a few passages from The Bible and Science and Health. The service is then opened to the congregation for them to share ‘testimonies of healing and sharing of experiences in Christian Science.’

The following are testimonies from Ex-Christian Scientists, as they give thanks for having left Christian Science. Thank you all for your contributions!

We at The Ex-Christian Scientist offer no readings, or lengthy proclamations, merely our sincerest thanks for everyone who has contributed to our efforts. We do not advocate any one particular path but acknowledge that there are many legitimate pathways that can be personally and spiritually fulfilling.

All Thanksgiving posts are tagged Thanksgiving. Comments are moderated and closed automatically after 30 days.


I’m grateful for finally realizing the extensive, deep trauma my time in Christian Science has left me with, so that I can finally get the help I need. I’m grateful for my wonderful therapist, who showed me that prayer was not the only way to heal. Lastly and most importantly, I’m grateful for the opportunity to finally see the world as it truly is—completely and entirely REAL—and that I can finally allow myself to experience the purely human existence we all deserve.

– Sarah R.


I am thankful for the friendships that I’ve made with people who push me out of my comfort zone. I never would have made these friendships in my CS days because I would have worried that these people and their diverse and interesting ideas would somehow ruin my immaculate thoughts. I’m grateful that I know how to think for myself now, and that I have relationships that bring me joy as a result.

– Anon.


I want to express my gratitude today and every day for having medical care now.

But I will get back to that in a moment. One thing I was taught in Christian Science was black and white thinking. This means that “if we think good thoughts from God, then we will experience only good things in our life!” vs. “if we think thoughts that aren’t from God, like feelings of imperfection and sickness, then we won’t be able to get the good things from God in our life.”

We were constantly told, in Christian Science, to “align our thoughts with God!” And we were taught that bad things don’t exist because there is no room for bad things to exist, because God, Good, fills all space! If we find ourselves feeling less that God-like, then we must have changed our thought and lost our focus on God.

This is not something that Christian Scientists do only on Sundays during church, and then forget about the rest of the week. No, this is something they strive to do 24/7. “Pray without ceasing.” It’s a command, to constantly align our thoughts with God. We were never allowed to feel frustrated, angry, weak, “less than,” sick, pride, sadness, grief…. we were only allowed to ever feel grateful, happy and joyous. That’s IT. No emotional spectrum that is normal for healthy humans to feel.

When I left Christian Science, I had this erroneous belief that medical science must be the cure all, since Christian Science prayer and “treatment” hadn’t healed me. I had been taught you can ONLY do medial or Christian Science treatment, not both together because they would cancel each other out. I had always chosen Christian Science treatment.

I rejected Christian Science for myriad reasons, some of which were long standing problems that wouldn’t yield simply to my God-like thought.

So, naturally, I assumed that now I was pursuing medical care, that it would completely fix me. I have seen this from so many other Ex Christian Scientists. We are often stunned when medical science can’t cure us in one visit, or give us a magical pill that will cure us after a period of time. It took some learning on my part to realize that medical science is an ACTUAL Science. It takes time to figure out problems, it takes time to hypothesize what might be wrong. Tests need to be done which may or may not bear out the theory. And maybe operations or medicines get tried over the course of finding help for our long standing problems that honestly never had any care despite that we were taught that Christian Science Treatment “is the best care.” (It’s actually just ignoring a problem and thinking good thoughts at it; it’s not effective in any way. Christian Scientists would argue me on this point, but they are actually wrong. The human body has an amazing ability to heal a whole lot of its problems without interference. The human body is quite an amazing miracle!)

Anyway, so I am so grateful for medical care. I had heart surgery almost 2 years ago now and it helped me so much. I now know when my heart is jumping around and being weird, that it won’t actually kill me. Before the heart surgery, I was at danger of being killed by my heart. But now most of that problem has been fixed with a surgery that I got to go home from at the end of the day.

I have had several different heart medicines to mitigate the rest of the problem. I have been enduring a different lasting heart problem post-surgery for the last year, because I have been on the wrong medicine. Last week, my doctor heard me and I felt like I saw a light bulb go on over his head, he finally understood the scope of the issue I have been dealing with multiple times per day. He read my entire chart – what medicines I have been on, how I have responded to them, when I had the surgery …. And then he prescribed a different medicine for me!

I have been on this new medicine for about a week now, and it is so promising. I am not having the problem I have been experiencing for the last year post-surgery. Not like I was. I imagine in 2 months he will increase my dose. But for now, I need to be on this smaller dose while my body adjusts to this medicine.

I am just so grateful for medical care and actual science that may take time to sort out what is wrong, but then finds a solution over time. I may not have the “perfect” body that works as well as it did when I was in high school, but I am grateful to have medical care that is helping me live a better life than I would be without it, and relying only on my thoughts and exclusive, unending positivity.

– Former Christian Science Practitioner


This is my first testimony of any kind, and it will probably be my last. I am grateful to Christian Science for coming to me in my life where I needed to learn that religion and life could be a positive experience. I am equally grateful that I am no longer a Christian Scientist, as I have moved on. Among the positive things that Christian Science taught me was about how love is unlimited and that we all are part of a much larger spiritual world that we cannot see. I moved beyond Christian Science when I felt the religion, and religion as a whole limited my ability to further understand where I (we) fit in the universe that extends beyond existence in this material, physical world. I am married to someone who is still practicing CS and I support her in her quest for understanding, as she supports me in mine. It was probably much easier for me to move on from CS as I was not raised in the religion. I married into a CS family where more than half of the extended family members have moved on from CS as well. Some have left for reasons that are expounded by members on this FB page, and some have left for reasons like mine. CS just did not answer their questions. The move beyond CS can be done. It has been done. It is not easy. I have family and friends that have discharged themselves from true cults that gaslight their members and dwell in the realm of hyper-negativity. One’s truth can be found anywhere, and I believe it is up to each individual to find their own truth, and not be constrained by peer and family pressure. I respect everyone who are working to find their true path in the uncovering and developing of their spirituality. Even if this path is in a church that I no longer support. Blessed be.

– CWL


On this beautiful Thanksgiving morning, I want to thank all the testifiers for sharing. I thank the admins of this website for giving us this space to share with each other every year.

In Christian Science, I was taught to constantly be grateful about everything, no matter what. Be grateful for severe pain in my back, because it taught me to pray to God. Well, I have known someone for 2 decades now who has never washed their hands with soap. This morning, as I washed my hands for the 5th time in less than 30 minutes (I was doing the dishes and cleaning my sink and preparing food … lots of hand washing during kitchen activities), I was suddenly grateful to realize that the Corona Virus has scared this person into finally washing their hands with soap and wearing a real mask! At first, they were wearing a flimsy cloth covering, but now is a proud owner of an actual, industry prepared mask. So I am grateful to the Corona Virus for teaching this person to wash their hands with soap and to wear a proper mask and respect something other than themselves – respecting science and a virus.

I look forward to medical science and government distribution planning to get everyone the vaccine. I am grateful to medical science – all the Lab Coat Heros – the scientists who wear lab coats who are working so hard to find a cure and to find a vaccine. They are doing good work and I look forward to getting my vaccine when it’s available to the American Public.

– Chrystal C


I am grateful for every single material cell in my material body and for materia medica for finding material treatments for material disease that have enhanced and prolonged my material life. I’m also grateful for Stephen Sondheim, whom I choose to call God. But that’s just me.

– Mike L.


I am grateful for medical science and for advances in mental health treatment. Having lived unhappily for nearly seventy years as a male, I was somewhat stunned when the dam broke last year and I began to transition to female. With help from supportive doctors, counsellors, and my wife, I am now living full time female. I am undergoing facial and body electrolysis, and my hair is growing out to show more clearly my femininity. I take testosterone suppressants and estrogen, and hope, when I have been on hormones for a year, that I will be able to have genital re-purposing surgery (my term).

With my cs background, I had lived my life denying this truth about myself. In childhood, my Sunday School education helped load my brain with mbe’s inhumane ideas about the unreality of matter and the unreality of unhappiness. Because of cs, I buried my pain with humor and superficiality in relationships. Now, rather than paying practitioners peddling preposterous propositions plagiarized from Phineas Quimby, I regularly receive real reinforcement from recognized, registered therapists. I am so grateful to be free of mbe’s insanity, and grateful to know so much more of the terrible truths about cs.

– Linda


My kids and I are enjoying our annual viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade while we eat our annual Thanksgiving feast of nachos and I am so happy not to have the exhausting work and cleanup of endless cooking after Christian Science church service.

I want to share my thanks for my family members who are still Christian Scientists who, for whatever reason, are respecting the state laws and suggestions around the Corona Virus. I am so grateful they are wearing masks and understanding my rules around having socially distant, outside, small group visits with them. Sitting outside, far apart from each other, and still wearing our masks. My Christian Science family members are being kind and considerate of my understanding of the science behind the Corona Virus, even if they believe that this virus and disease is fake and a figment of mortal mind or something like that. I am so glad they are being honest with me when I ask them about their own social distancing that they do during the week. They are being kind and understanding not to invite my family to large holiday gatherings this year.

I also want to share my huge joy at medical care for keeping my Grandpa, a lifelong Christian Scientist, around. We celebrated his 99th birthday right before this Corona Virus issue cropped up. And in a few short months, he will turn 100. It is our hope that a cure and a vaccine will be available in the spring so we can throw him a proper 100 year old birthday party. How often does our grandparent turn 100?

He wouldn’t have made 80 years old if it wasn’t for heart surgery to put in a pace maker. I am so grateful for the medical science that has kept my grandpa alive through a few kinds of cancer and heart issues. I am grateful that my grandpa has turned to medical care over the years and not just succumbed to the cancers and heart problems he has endured. He has expressed guilt to me for not understanding Christian Science enough, but I am glad he has done the right thing and gotten the care. He is such a great man and I am glad my kids have gotten to know him over the years.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

– Jodi Rose


If you would like some completely optional additional reading to accompany today’s testimonies, Rethinking Gratitude without God by Brian Peck has provided some food for thought this Thanksgiving season.


Thank you everyone for your Thanksgiving Testimony contributions, this concludes our post. Should inspiration strike, the comment section will remain open for 30 days.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season. The ExCS Admin Team.

Get Wise Webinar: Emotions!

EMOTIONS! How do we deal with the full range of emotions when we were only taught to be “happy” and “grateful?” Sometimes it’s difficult to even feel our emotions after years of denial. What do we do with our emotions when they are so intense? This can be all the more challenging around the stress of the holidays.

In this Get Wise webinar, Why is Christian Science STILL Influencing my Emotions? Jeana Roth, LPC walks us through how to engage with our emotions using a trauma informed approach along with practical skills from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This webinar is safe for both Christian and secular ex-Christian Scientists.

Your feedback is really helpful as we plan future events. Please click here to access the form. 

We want to thank Jeana Roth for sharing her time, resources, and expertise with us. Here are links to some of the resources she mentioned:

Additional Resources

If you’d like to help support this Webinar and future “Get Wise” events, we invite you to consider making a tax-deductible donation. Click here to be directed to the FFCS giving page.

Christian Science is a Cult

Originally published on kindism.org, reprinted with permission. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support of kindism.org and ExChristianScience.com


Christian Science is a cult, not occult1, a cult. Some of you will probably stop reading now, or will immediately start composing comments that Christian Science is NOT A CULT. Cool.

If you’re not ready to call Christian Science a cult, that’s okay too, I find “cult” really shuts down the conversation. When I first started questioning and leaving, the posts screaming that Christian Science was a cult (usually for Biblical reasons) were a huge turn off. If you’d like to explore the Biblical reasons2 that Christian Science is wrong, I’ll link some resources at the bottom of the post, that’s not my area of interest.

So if you’re not willing to read about Christian Science being a cult, perhaps you’ll read about Christian Science as form of mind control. Or you might stop reading now, I don’t know.

Former Christian Scientist, now Christian, Linda Kramer, has written a book clearly laying out how Christian Science is a form of mind control, it is called Perfect Peril: Christian Science and Mind Control, and it talks through mind control expert Robert Jay Liftons’s Eight Criteria for Thought Reform.

Lifton wrote Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China. I tried to read it a while back, but it is a dense book, and focused on brainwashing of political prisoners. I didn’t really connect with it, as most Christian Scientists are born into it3, so it isn’t so much brainwashing as it is our reality from day one. I got about a third of the way into it, bogged down, and I think it ended up at the local library book sale (this was pre-COVID19).

So what are Lifton’s Eight Criteria for Thought Reform? As listed in, and heavily paraphrased from, Perfect Peril p. 55-57, they are as follows:

  1. Milieu Control – information management – you should only read authorized material, and goodness knows what untruths Eddy’s contemporaries might have written about her!
  2. Mystical Manipulationleader claims divine authority — Eddy’s case some people claimed she was the Woman in Revelation
  3. Demand for Purity – strive to achieve the unattainable, nothing like failing to make a “demonstration
  4. Cult of Confession – over emphasis on confession
  5. Sacred Science – beliefs and teachings are considered sacred, it says on the cover, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and the Weekly Lesson is “divinely authorized.” Logically all enlightened thought must eventually work its way back to CS.
  6. Loading Language – group has its own jargon, so much jargon. Don’t worry, you’ll learn about Aggressive Mental Suggestion during Class Instruction. Or not.
  7. Doctrine over Person – experiences contradicting doctrine must be ignored – you didn’t have a healing, you must have been doing it wrong, please don’t share it with us.
  8. Dispensing of Existence – elitist attitude often results in shunning of members who chose to leave. This is fairly self explanatory.

I found Kramer’s book much more relatable and far easier to read. It is a slim volume, under two hundred pages, with the last forty or so devoted to Kramer’s personal journey out of Christian Science, and Biblical arguments. Kramer works through Lifton’s Eight Criteria for Thought Reform one at a time, pointing out how Christian Science fits each one, and uses authorized Christian Science sources. I now await comments about how the Devil can quote scripture for his own uses.

For those of us who were (or are) entrenched in Christian Science, stepping back and critically examine Christian Science in relation to these eight points is not always easy. Devil quoting scripture or not, Kramer lays out very solid, often relatable examples of each of the eight criteria. As a former Christian Scientist herself, she also acknowledges that these don’t necessarily feel like a problem when we are actively involved in Christian Science. It feels normal.

I was initially hesitant to read Perfect Peril as I knew Kramer had taken a different spiritual path away from Christian Science than I had, and I did not want to be given yet another list of Biblical arguments against it. I was pleasantly surprised that Lifton’s Eight Criteria were the main focus. I did read the Biblical critiques, but they did not resonate with me the same way Lifton’s criteria did.

If you’ve read this far, you’ll probably find Perfect Peril at least interesting, possibly enlightening, and maybe life changing. I found it validating as Kramer identifies, labels, and provides clear examples for each of the eight criteria. Kramer also gives background on Christian Science and Eddy from Church-Approved Sources, and sources from Eddy’s time.

Perfect Peril is quite an impactful book, I found it more easily approachable than God’s Perfect Child (which is excellent for a fuller picture of the Christian Science movement as a whole, but not an easy or quick read), and far less gut-wrenching than fathermothergod (which you will need to read with a box of kleenx near by). While all three belong on the bookshelf (or in the e-reader) of an former Christian Scientist, I think Perfect Peril will be my new go-to to loan out to the never-CS in my life who have questions about it.


  1. There are some Christian Scientists who dabble in Tarot, Astrology, Numerology, esoteric mysticism and hold some really weird views about the (coming any day now) Apocalypse, I’m not going to link to them. I’d like to think they’re a fringe group of extreme-CS, but there is more than one of them and those are just the ones sharing their views on the internet.
  2. The Fellowship of Former CS has Biblical Resources about why Christian Science is wrong — if you have issues with these, take them up with someone else, in case it wasn’t already very obvious, I have not taken a “Christian” path away from CS.
  3. The 2016 Survey by ExChristianScience.com shows 90% of Christian Scientists were born into it, and another approximately 5% are introduced to it by their parents before the age of 18. 5% of people were converts, and as this was a survey of former Christian Scientists, even the converts left. https://exchristianscience.com/tag/ex-cs-survey-2016/

Coverups, Conspiracies & “Colonel” Glover

Everyone in the year 2020 has experience living through a global pandemic. We have all seen first hand how the corona virus and the fear of covid-19 have dominated the news and reshaped our lives. Our personal experiences living in the age of the corona virus might help us to put into context a long accepted claim by Mary Baker Eddy that her husband died as a result of a yellow fever epidemic.

Young Mary had only been married six months and was pregnant with their son when her husband George Glover died. In later years Mary Baker Eddy would refer to her first husband as Major Glover or, later on, as Colonel Glover.[1] He died June 27, 1844, just days after Mary Baker Glover wrote toasts demonizing the moderate Whigs and praising pro-slavery southern Democrats. Most biographies of Mrs. Eddy repeat her assertion that her first husband died of yellow fever. Sibyl Wilbur, who worked with Mary Baker Eddy in writing the first positive biography, breathlessly describes the scene: “In Wilmington they [George and Mary] found yellow fever raging and the city in a panic. Mr. Glover endeavored to forward his business for a speedy departure; but he was himself suddenly stricken with the fever and survived but nine days.”[2] Early Christian Science historian William Lyman Johnson describes “the harrowing scenes of suffering she witnessed during this epidemic.”[3] Former Christian Science Monitor editor Richard Nenneman claims, more soberly, in his biography, “Wilmington was having an epidemic of yellow fever, and George became ill with the disease.”[4] Even some of the most critical biographies of the Leader of Christian Science accept the claim that her first husband, Mr. Glover, died of yellow fever in Wilmington, North Carolina in June 1844. But they haven’t necessarily done the checking.

When I lived in North Carolina I had the opportunity to do a little research on this period in Mrs. Eddy’s life and North Carolina history. There was an outbreak of yellow fever in Wilmington in 1821, and then not another outbreak of yellow fever until the outbreak in 1862 that lasted for several months and killed hundreds of people in a city of less than 10,000. If there was a raging epidemic of yellow fever in 1844 which panicked the city, it did not produce enough of a panic to make it into the newspapers and histories of Wilmington. You don’t have to go to the libraries, historical societies, and museums of North Carolina and spend hours researching the subject. A simple Google search of yellow fever in Wilmington will bring up a number of articles about the devastating outbreak of 1862. If you refine the Google search to include a search for yellow fever in Wilmington in 1844 you will either be taken to articles referencing the 1862 outbreak (with 1844 omitted) or you will be taken to stories about the death of George Glover. Perhaps there was a raging epidemic of yellow fever causing widespread scenes of great suffering and the only record we have of the epidemic is the account of George Glover’s death (perhaps he was the sole victim) as recounted by Mary Baker Eddy decades later.

 Yellow fever was certainly a highly feared disease at the time, and so the claim that her husband died of yellow fever amidst a panic-inducing outbreak was certainly a far more sensationalized story than the cause of death given for George Glover in all the newspapers at the time, bilious fever. Bilious fever is associated with excessive bile in the blood stream, leading to jaundice, or a yellow skin tone. The claim that her husband died amidst a highly feared epidemic is far more sensational than the idea that he died from bile entering his blood stream.

The critical Bates-Dittemore biography treats the issue well.

“In the early part of June, Glover was suddenly overcome by a severe attack of bilious fever. He struggled gallantly against it for eleven or twelve days but succumbed on June 27.

“Mrs. Eddy always insisted that her first husband died, more dramatically, during an epidemic of yellow fever. But there was no epidemic of yellow fever recorded in Wilmington that year. Had there been such an epidemic, the public funeral which Glover received would hardly have been permitted. The Wilmington Chronicle, the New Hampshire Patriot, and the Masonic Magazine all attributed his death to billious fever.

“Accepting the yellow-fever myth, Miss Wilbur consistently elaborated it by the statement: ‘During his illness his young wife was excluded by his brother Masons from the perilous task of nursing him’ (p. 39). This is contradicted by Mrs. Glover’s letter to George Sullivan Baker, January 22, 1848. [In that letter, she says ‘day and night I watched alone by the couch of death.’[5]]

“In her ‘Reply to McClure’s Magazine,’ Miscellany, page 312, Mrs. Eddy gave ‘about nine days’ as the duration of Glover’s illness; the obituaries gave twelve, corrected in Mrs. Eddy’s scrapbook to eleven. The last is most probably correct.”[6]

According to Robert Peel: “The contemporary accounts all describe the disease as ‘bilious fever.’ Mrs. Eddy’s explanation was that the authorities wished to cover up the fact that the dreaded yellow fever had appeared.”[7] Perhaps this cover-up was so thorough that although the city was allegedly in a panic due to the alleged raging yellow fever epidemic and consequent harrowing scenes of death and suffering, those covering it up were able to suppress all newspaper accounts and historical records of the outbreak. This claim of a conspiracy is a consistent pattern throughout Mrs. Eddy’s life. While it is certainly possible that George Glover died of yellow fever, and it is certainly possible (though quite implausible) that there was a conspiracy to cover up a yellow fever epidemic, if so then this would be one of a very long line of conspiracies connected to what must arguably be the most conspired-against woman in history.

It may be that Mary Baker Eddy’s claims of a yellow fever epidemic and a subsequent massive cover-up of an unheard of scale are true. But for all of us who have lived through the corona virus pandemic of 2020, we know how it has shaped our lives and how it has been a central part of the news for months. The idea that there was a massive coverup that was able to suppress all news and historical accounts of an epidemic in 1844 (but not in 1821 or 1862) strains credulity. Or perhaps it is possible that George Glover died due to bilious fever, as all the contemporary accounts confirm, and yet in the retelling many decades later Mary Baker Eddy felt the need to attribute his already tragic death to a vastly more sensational yellow fever epidemic, of which there is no evidence beyond her own statements.


Tanner Johnsrud was a fifth generation Christian Scientist and a Journal-listed practitioner for over a decade. He and his wife left Christian Science in 2017 and became Christians. He is currently working on a book on the development of Mary Baker Eddy’s teaching and claims about herself.


[1] Whether or not he ever earned the title of Colonel, or whether Mrs. Eddy later referred to him as Colonel Glover is another matter.

[2] Sibyl Wilbur, p. 41

[3] William Lyman Johnson History of Christian Science Volume 3. p. 304

Johnson, the son of the Clerk of The Mother Church writes “[Mary] was married to George Washington Glover, December 12, 1843. Six months later, her husband passed away in Wilmington, Delaware [sic]. Mrs. Glover returned to her father’s home in Tilton, New Hampshire, and in the following September a son was born, whom she named after his father. The shock of her husband’s illness and death from yellow fever, the harrowing scenes of suffering she witnessed during this epidemic, ant eh coming of a fatherless child, brought about an illness which for a time looked very serious. She was not able to nurse her son, and he was nursed by a Mrs. Morrison, who had given birth to twins a few days previous to the birth of this boy.” pp. 304-305

[4] Nenneman, p. 43

[5] Mary Baker Eddy Library Accession F00035. Quoted in In My True Light and Life, p. 54.

[6]The Truth and the Tradition – Bates Dittemore biography, p. 36

[7] Peel, Vol. 1 p. 322 n. 138

Get Wise Webinar: Why is Christian Science STILL influencing my life?

Our first Zoom Webinar/Collaboration with the Fellowship of Former CS is up on the FFCS YouTube channel!

Cult recovery experts, Bob and Judy Pardon spoke about why the effects of Christian Science remain even years after leaving. Drawing upon 30+ years research and experience helping people escape, deprogram, and recover from cults, the Pardons offer a wealth of information along with deep compassion and practical ideas of next steps.

We hope you’ll reach out to us, join in our online communities, and fill out the evaluation. Your feedback is really helpful to us as we plan future events.

Please leave us feedback! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FA…

Ex-Christian Scientist:

Fellowship of Former Christian Scientists:

Mary Baker Eddy on Race and Slavery

Many people and institutions in the United States are going through serious self-examination on the question of race right now. Christian Scientists must look at the legacy of Mary Baker Eddy on the question of race and slavery. I grew up believing that Mary Baker Eddy was a brave abolitionist while living in the South, boldly standing up and defending equality and justice for all at great personal cost. These are the stories that she told about herself decades later. At one point I wanted to write a book about Mary Baker Eddy the brave abolitionist. In 2011, I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and while there I began to research Mrs. Eddy’s time in the Carolinas. The picture that emerges based upon further research is not consistent with the stories that she told about herself many decades later. In fact they reveal quite the opposite.

Decades after her time in the South, Mrs. Eddy spoke of herself as having been an outspoken abolitionist[1]. But there is no evidence to support that claim. In fact, all the evidence we have shows that in 1844 she enthusiastically campaigned against abolitionist and moderate candidates[2], literally comparing the moderate to demons[3], while supporting pro-slavery politicians[4]. She supported pro-slavery politicians even when the majority of North Carolina voted against her candidate. Decades later she claimed to have freed her husband’s slaves after his tragic death.[5] But there is no evidence to support that claim. In fact, there is no evidence that her husband ever owned slaves.[6] There is no evidence that she freed the slaves, which was illegal in South Carolina and would have required a special act of the North Carolina legislature.[7] Decades later she told stories of one of those slaves heroically rescuing her from thieves after her husband’s death.[8] But there is no evidence to support that claim. In fact she told mutually contradictory stories,[9] and in telling the stories she claimed that her father was a strong abolitionist[10] – when all evidence points to him hating Abraham Lincoln[11] and, like Mary’s brother Albert Baker[12], being a firm anti-abolitionist[13]. Decades later, Mrs. Eddy spoke of herself as having been outspoken in opposing her family on the question of abolition in the 1852 election.[14] But there is no evidence to support that claim. In fact, she opposed the abolitionist candidate for senate in 1852, which the majority of the state of New Hampshire supported, and campaigned for his opponent.[15] Had she been an abolitionist she wouldn’t have made a passing comment saying that she didn’t think much of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.[16] In story after story, she paints herself in heroic terms, living a grand, romanticized life. But the documentable facts don’t support any of her claims. In fact they point in the opposite direction.

Decades after the abolition of slavery, she compared Christian Science to the abolition movement in Science and Health. In 1891 she added to this statement a reference to the African slave being “on the lowest plane of life.”[17] She later revised this statement to merely refer to the slave as being “on the lowest plane of human life.”[18] In private conversation, decades after the Civil War she referred to “the negro” of that day as being on the lowest plane of human life, and she told a Christian Science teacher who was teaching African-Americans that they should stop teaching them[19], and shouldn’t teach African-Americans Christian Science until after half of the world had become Christian Scientists.[20] In Science and Health, she contrasted the “Red Men” with the “more enlightened races.”[21]

Though her defenders might say she was merely a woman of her times, she was out of step with the voters of New Hampshire and North Carolina as she campaigned for pro-slavery politicians, and she held to widely denounced and discredited racial teachings as well. In fact, Mary Baker Eddy followed a heretical teaching that claims that the “Anglo-Saxon race” were the real lost tribes of Israel, and that the English and white Americans were the chosen people of God. This Anglo-Israel theory was widely ridiculed and denounced by Christians and historians for decades before Mrs. Eddy publicly espoused it. This teaching is completely heretical, completely unbiblical and completely unfounded in history. Mary Baker Eddy wrote approvingly of an author (C.A.L Totten) who advocated for Anglo-Israel teaching in his many books including Our Race[22]. She supported and encouraged various of her students who held to this Anglo-Israel teaching.[23] She thought that if the Anglo-Israel connections could be shown, that it would prove some sort of spiritual authority and superiority for herself.[24] Some of her students who believed this teaching believed that Mrs. Eddy could be proven to be the heir of the throne of David and entitled to be Queen of England.[25] She referred, in private conversation, to Christian Science as an “Anglo-Saxon religion.”[26] As late as 1898, in a poem published in Boston newspapers, The Christian Science Journal, and Miscellany she referred to the people of England and the United States as “Anglo-Israel” and “Judah’s sceptered race.”[27]  Far from advocating universal equality, she clearly articulated in her published writings that the Anglo-Saxons are the chosen people of God.

Despite all of her claims, the evidence shows that she opposed abolition. Her stories about freeing the slaves were just stories, intended to paint her as a heroic figure – as all of her stories about herself did. In fact, she considered “the African slave” and “the negro” to be on the lowest plane of life. She held to an entirely heretical and completely ridiculous teaching that the Anglo-Saxon race were God’s chosen people. Far from being a heroic abolitionist and defender of equality, Mary Baker Eddy was a serial fabulist and an unrepentant advocate of indefensible teachings about the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race.


Tanner Johnsrud was a fifth generation Christian Scientist and a Journal-listed practitioner for over a decade. He and his wife left Christian Science in 2017 and became Christians. He is currently working on a book on the development of Mary Baker Eddy’s teaching and claims about herself.


[1] Reverend Irving C. Tomlinson, M.A. C.S.B. Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy; Recollections and Experiences. (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1996.) 19

[2] Robert Peel Mary Baker Eddy: Years of Discovery. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.) 71

[3] Ernest Sutherland Bates and John V Dittemore. Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition. (New York: Knopf, 1932.) 33-35

[4] Gillian Gill Mary Baker Eddy. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Books.) 66

[5] Lyman P. Powell. Mary Baker Eddy; A Life Size Portrait. (New York: Macmillan, 1930.) 81.

 81;

Julia Michael Johnston. Mary Baker Eddy: Her Mission and Triumph. (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society. 1998.) 15

[6] Gill 65

[7] Peel Years of Discovery, p. 323 note 2

[8] Tomlinson 30-31; Gill 64-65

[9] Gill 65

[10] Gill 64-65

[11] McClure’s Magazine January 1907. Volume XXVIII, No. 3. p. 229.

Gill 605, n. 58

[12] Gill 19; 65

[13] Peel Years of Discovery, p. 320 n. 93

[14] Sibyl Wilbur. The Life of Mary Baker Eddy. (New York: Concord Publishing Co., 1908.) 52-54.

[15] Peel vol 1, p. 326 n. 50

[16] Peel vol 1, p. 88 The letter was written January 1, 1853, but it is not quoted in Peel. Evidently it exists in the archives of The Mary Baker Eddy library.

[17] Science and Health 61st Edition, pp. 121-122 (1891)

[18] Science and Health 257th Edition, p. 225 (1902)

[19] Elizabeth Earl Jones Mrs. Eddy in North Carolina and Memoirs pp. 109-110

[20] (Bliss Knapp and Eloise M Knapp – Their Book 1953.) This is from a notebook maintained by Eloise Knapp, wife of Bliss Knapp. It is located in the Principia College archives.

[21] Science and Health 26th Edition, p. 357.

[22] Mary Baker Eddy and Biblical Prophecy p. 17

[23] Peel Years of Authority pp. 116-117

Richard Nenneman. Persistent Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy. Etna, New Hampshire: Nebbadoon Press. 1997. 250-251

[24] Robert Peel Mary Baker Eddy: Years of Authority. New York: Holt Rinehart Winston, 1977. 117

[25] Peel Years of Authority 116.

[26] Elizabeth Earl Jones  Mrs. Eddy in North Carolina and Memoirs. 109-110

[27] Boston Herald May 18, 1898

The Christian Science Journal June 1898

Miscellany 337:15-22

Thanksgiving 2019

The Thanksgiving Day service is the only ‘special’ service the Christian Science church offers. The readings from the desk include the Presidential proclamation for Thanksgiving, as well as a few passages from The Bible and Science and Health. The service is then opened to the congregation for them to share ‘testimonies of healing and sharing of experiences in Christian Science.’

The following are testimonies from Ex-Christian Scientists, as they give thanks for having left Christian Science. Thank you all for your contributions!

We at The Ex-Christian Scientist offer no readings, or lengthy proclamations, merely our sincerest thanks for everyone who has contributed to our efforts. We do not advocate any one particular path but acknowledge that there are many legitimate pathways that can be personally and spiritually fulfilling.

All Thanksgiving posts are tagged Thanksgiving. Comments are moderated and closed automatically after 30 days.


I’m so grateful that since leaving Christian Science I don’t have to inconvenience the whole family by never being able to start our dinner prep until I get home from church. And they don’t have to worry about disappointing me by declining my invitation to help me fill a pew. (Ah the pride!!!! Look everybody, see my wonderful family!) – Jaycie


I am grateful that I am no longer a Christian Science practitioner. I am grateful to no longer be seen (or see myself!) as part of a spiritual elite who have some sort of advanced “spiritual understanding.” I am grateful to no longer be beholden to a system wherein my value is only as much as my last “successful” treatment. I am grateful that I was never made a Teacher or a Lecturer, and that I wasn’t hired to work in Boston – I am grateful that I am not bringing people into Christian Science, or further encouraging people to deepen their beliefs in CS. I am grateful that I am no longer perpetuating lies that are actively hurting people through denying the reality of our bodies, our minds, and ours hearts, and thus denying medical, emotional, and psychological help. I am grateful that I am not in a system that has such a hollow, empty, superficial, and ultimately harmful view of what it means to love one another. I am grateful that I am no longer being asked to ignore or cover-up lies, corruption, and abuse in the name of serving “The Cause.” I am grateful that my first allegiance is no longer to Mary Baker Eddy, her teachings, and her church. I am grateful that I am no longer engaged in twisting and warping, contorting and corrupting, every verse of the Bible to try to make it conform to Mrs. Eddy’s completely baseless interpretations. I am grateful to be free of the endless perpetual cycle of trying to be good enough, judgment, self-condemnation, guilt, and shame.

I am grateful to be in a new, real, Christian community now, one based in the gracious love of a God who really does know you and love you. I am grateful to be in a new church community where there are no elites, where honesty and integrity are more important than the organization. I am grateful to be in this new community where we can actually accept and love one another, not because of how good we are, or what we can do for one another. Instead, we love each other as real people, broken, messy, full of mistakes, but also gloriously beautiful, amazing, wonderful people – all at once! I am grateful to be in a church community where love and forgiveness are freely given. I am grateful to be in a community where we can laugh together and weep together, where people are actually there to help one another in every way, and where genuine love is truly freely given. – Tanner Johnsrud


I am glad I bailed forty odd years ago, in my twenties. I still pack crap, but have been glad of good medical care in the time since then. I have been able to control allergies with antihistamines, OCD, ADD, and depression with appropriate medications. Twenty years ago, a surgeon removed half of the medial meniscus in my right knee as I had torn it some fifteen years prior to that but just lived with it. Lately, I have begun reading about cs and mbe from writers who have not taken the blue pill, and am strengthened to be learning more about what an insanity cs is and what a complete nutcase mbe was, and how tmc has continued the delusion while the religion fades into well-deserved oblivion. I am especially grateful for the Ex-cs website and the facebook group. – Ron S.


I’m thankful to be FREE of Christian Science. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for the ability to begin to care for my physical, emotional, and mental health, with the support of a wonderful counselor and a good doctor. And most importantly (with respect for those ex-CS who oppose religion, either for now or for always), I am thankful for the real Christian gospel of salvation through Jesus, a supportive church community, beautiful/real hymns, and the hope of heaven.  – Hillary


I’m grateful for modern medicine. I’ve just had a surgery that I’ve been wanting for a long time that will increase my quality of life and reduce my risk of cancer. I’m also grateful for my lifelong (non-CS) friends who still love me despite the fact that I was completely brainwashed when we met. – Spice of Life


I am so grateful to be out of Christian Science. While I was in CS, I sustained numerous concussions. I had 3 after i became a parent in my 30s. I never had any of them checked out medically.

One time I was trying to tell a testimony at a CS Wednesday church service about the most severe concussion I ever had. The First Reader shut me up. She completely invalidated me. It hurts like hell to be invalidated.

This year, in therapy, I learned that vision therapy is a “thing.” I learned that my plethora of eye problems is likely due to all the concussions I have had.

I am grateful for my therapist who validates me. I am grateful for my vision therapy team.

I am grateful to not have to sit through church today.

I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. – Jodi


Thank you everyone for your Thanksgiving Testimony contributions, this concludes our post. Should inspiration strike, the comment section will remain open for 30 days.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season. The ExCS Admin Team.

10 Things You Probably Never Knew About MBE

By an Anonymous contributor, submitted via email.


Having just read The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science by Willa Cather and Georgine Milmine, I’ve learned so many peculiar facts and quirks about MBE I am grateful to this site’s administrators for this platform to share. The book is fascinating for anyone who ever wondered about MBE’s personal side, the context in which the ‘church’ began, and the evolution of her beliefs into a doctrine.  This brief post is only a few highlights about the woman.

1) Mary Baker Eddy’s sister had a large cradle built for her, when she was an adult in her twenties. Neighborhood boys were paid to rock Mrs. Eddy in the cradle.  She also had a swing installed. After her second marriage the cradle was moved to her new home, many townspeople recall the great migration of the cradle in a wagon.

2) MBE was a clairvoyant in her earlier days, taking on the role of a “medium” who heard spirits. She scrawled messages from the dead that spoke to her, ghosts appeared next to her bedside at night. Seances were hosted at MBE’s father’s house, and there are many first hand records of MBE’s central involvement to these events.

3) MBE did not demonstrate interest to care for her own son.   

MBE demonstrated no interest in her son as a baby or child, and limited interest when he became an adult with his own family.  MBE’s father said “Mary acts like an old Ewe that won’t own it’s lamb. She won’t have the boy near her.” Baby George was passed off between Grandma Glover, MBE’s sister, and neighbors and hired help. Eventually, George went off with a hired help when they moved westward; to his credit he did remain in contact with his mother.

4) It is reported that MBE dyed her hair and wore glasses.  Apparently the dye job was quite low quality and didn’t suit her other features and colouring. When she moved out of Boston to retire, she let her roots grow out and became naturally grey. The images that we see of her are the only licensed images she allowed out.

When MBE did live lectures in Boston to the general public she grew annoyed when people in the audience would ask her why she hadn’t healed herself of poor eye sight.  She stopped live lectures to the public.

5) Santa Claus was abolished by MBE by proclamation in 1904. Christian Scientists must not permit their children to believe in Santa. I would assume many ex-Christian Scientists are grateful their parents ignored this one.

6) Miss Mary Baker was married three times. 

  1. Her first husband, George Washington Glover, was a family neighbor who she married at 22 years old in December 1843. The couple traveled to Charleston, SC, where Glover was a stonemason, but he died in June the following year, while pregnant Mary gave birth in September. 
  2. Her second husband Dr. Daniel Patterson was a dentist and surgeon. MBE’s own father advised the Doctor not to go ahead with marrying her. He lived out his days in Maine alone, no record of divorce is mentioned.
  3. Her third husband Asa Gilbert Eddy was a student of Christian Science in Lynn, Massachusetts, they married in 1877 and he died in 1882.  

7) MBE was obsessed about malicious mesmerism. 

I missed this in Sunday School entirely, but MBE ardently believed the mental ill will of other people was harming her – notably Dr. Kennedy, a young man who practiced an early version of Christian Science with MBE in Lynn, MA.   When she had her first professional ‘break up’ of many from Richard Kennedy, she wrote riveting prose about this ‘mental assassin’ who tore apart her success with his ‘darker crimes’. As the years wore on, it wasn’t just Kennedy on the list – MBE believed she “bore in her own person the ills from which she released others” and  “she believed she herself suffered from the torturing belief she had taken away from others.”

8) Touching to heal.

Early versions of Christian Science prayer incorporated touching the patient’s head, to use a bowl of water, and to rub the patient’s head. “You lay your hands where the belief is to rub it forever out” wrote MBE in Scientific Treatise on Mortality.

9) MBE taught classes, but she never acted as a practitioner. From the very beginning she collected tuition money and taught, but never acted as a healing agent herself – only focusing on explaining the ‘Science’.  In later years as the church grew larger, this helped her stay out of additional legal trouble.

10) MBE tried to start a fire in a house where she was a live-in guest. The affidavit from the family’s son, Horace Wentowrth, describes the scene when the family returned from a local holiday and broke into MBE’s guest room (she had locked the door and left). “We found every breadth of matting slashed up through the middle, apparently with some sharp instrument. We also found the feather bed all cut out pieces.  We opened the door of a closet. On the floor was a pile of newspapers almost entirely consumed. On top of these papers was a shovelful of dead coals.” Other family members affidavit confirm the same events. This, along with many other events, were not mentioned in her authorized autobiography, which entirely skips over her mid 20’s to mid 40’s.

And a final extra fact!

The infamous ‘fall on the ice’ narrative doesn’t correlate with the doctor’s affidavit. Injuries and recovery from the infamous fall on the ice were reflected in an affidavit by the doctor who served MBE, Dr. Alvin M. Cushing. He kept a journal of all his patients incidents including MBE.  She complained of headache, was given morphine, which the Doctor reports she was very happy to take and even “gave me much credit for my ability.” MBE says she was destined for death according to medical sources. Well, Dr. Cushing wrote “I did not at any time declare, or believe, that there was no hope for Mrs. Paterson’s recovery, or that she was in a critical condition, and did not at any time say, or believe, that she had but three or any other limited number of days to live.” 

I dreamed in a red haze all night.

The following has been submitted by “Anonymous Guy in Ohio.”


In general, I was a very healthy child growing up in our Christian Science household, so many of the intricacies about CS’s distaste for modern medicine avoided my awareness.  Never had a broken bone.  No allergies.  Outside of a few severe seasonal colds, I never missed school. 

My parents skirted around CS expectations in a curious manner…I got the mandatory vaccinations for school, I went to the dentist regularly–including getting fillings when needed (?) but everything else was off the table.

I very much liked Christian Science growing up.  I remember being disappointed as a kid to find out that it was a lay ministry, meaning that leading services wasn’t a full time job.  If they would have had priests or ministers, I probably would have considered that as a career path.  

I don’t know why, but in my youth I was highly susceptible to testicle torsion.  This is essentially when your testicle twists backwards and circulation is cut off.  Very common sports injury.  Some, like me, just seem to have a predisposition for it–like some people having “bad knees”, I guess. 

 It starts off innocently enough.  A feeling like your leg is falling asleep, except it’s high up in your groin…usually I would go for a short walk, nature would take its course, it would untwist itself, and I wouldn’t think anything of it. 

Then one day shortly before my fourteenth birthday, it happened again–and this time it didn’t turn back.  This is the WORST.  Nausea sets in as the most sensitive part of the male body starts dying.  Worst pain you’ll ever feel.  If I think about it hard enough, even 25 years later, I get nauseous all over again.  

After vomiting for an hour, my mom said that I needed to “get back to God” and start praying.  (I was a mouthy 13 year old–aren’t we all?!)

Several hours later it was now 1am and I was writhing in pain as I vomited off the bedside.  The pain was too great to walk, so running to the toilet was out of the question. 

My mom decided to read “Science and Health” to me….I didn’t hear a word she said.  I told her my balls hurt.  She told me that it was part of puberty and “I didn’t know what boys my age were supposed to look like” when I told her I could feel the swelling in my scrotum.

Finally I punched the wall.  I was out of ways to process the pain.  My mom closed the book and walked out of the room, telling me to get some sleep. 

 I thought about going to the hospital myself, but at 13 years old, I would have to walk there.  In my small town, that was definitely possible, but in my condition, not practical.   

I dreamed in a red haze all night. 

For the next week, I felt part of myself die inside.  They both swelled up to the size of a tennis ball as they fought for circulation.   I was bullied in school for “walking funny”.   I’m pretty sure the Guidance office & a few teachers pulled me aside to investigate, but I was programmed not to discuss family business with them.  If only I had. 

Eventually, one testicle shriveled up and died.

That’s when I fell out of love with Christian Science.  There’s no coming back from that.

A few years later, I got an infection “down there”–this is a common thing if you’ve had this kind of trauma in the nether regions.  It was a different pain, but similar enough that I was certain the whole thing was happening again.

I already only had one testicle–was I now a Eunuch at age 16? 

I demanded to go the doctor.  My mom said, “We can’t, you need to pray, this is what you get for falling away from the Church.”

I told her I was going with or without her because I had a driving permit now, and I didn’t care if I got arrested for not having an adult in the car. If she took the keys, I would walk, because it wasn’t as bad as the last time.   Realizing that I had her, and that a minor showing up at the hospital without their parent’s consent would probably get Children’s Services involved, she relented and agreed to go with me.

My mom refused to sit in the appointment, because the Church would be disappointed.  She said she was only doing this to humor me.

The doctor was done in about 10 minutes.  “Here’s an antibiotic for the infection in your right testicle.  No, your left testicle is never going to grow back.  We’ll schedule a follow up test, but at this point it’s more dangerous to remove your testicle than to leave it.”

I told him that he didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already suspect about my condition, but I would need him to tell my mom because she thought I was only here because I was having a growth spurt and lacked a working knowledge of puberty.

He agreed, brought her into the exam room.  He minced no words.  I will never forget the look on her face as he told her that I was intimately scarred for life, and there was no remedy.

“It’s okay to cry,” she told me as we got back in the car, with tears in her eyes. 

“I ran out of tears a long time ago,” I said.  ” All that’s left is anger now.” 

I was told that I had the Best Life

The following was submitted by Beverly via email. It is shared here with permission.

I was born and raised on both Principia Campuses, Upper School and College, in the late 1940’s.  We lived in a tiny Faculty House, very isolated, on the Prin College Campus where my Dad (WWII Veteran) was a Professor of Political Science.  Both my parents were also raised in C.S. Dysfunctional Families and my Dad’s mom was a very weird, 300 Lbs. overweight C.S. Practitioner.

When I was 9 yrs. old we moved to the Prin Upper School Campus where my Mom taught Pre-School.  Again, very isolated community….you had to be a C.S. to live in our Neighborhood behind the School.

I remember that whenever any of us kids (5) got sick – we were told that we really weren’t sick and often felt guilty just for getting sick.  We got no Medical or Doctor attention (if my folks had gone to the medical, they probably would have lost their jobs at Prin.)  Also, since they didn’t have much money, my parents hardly ever called C.S. Practitioners – we little kids just had to “tough it out” on our own!  We all remember lying in bed with Fevers, etc. and getting no relief or help at all.  They just put on a Record of C.S. Hymns.

When my oldest sister was 10 she contracted Polio, but my folks just thought she had a headache and put her to bed.  They may have called some dinky little practitioner in Elsah for a while…..but nothing was really done for her and she had to endure a lot of pain, screaming at night, on her own.  When she finally got out of bed, one of her legs was withered and she has hobbled with a disfigured leg ever since.  No wheelchair or aides for her!  Now, her leg has deteriorated so much that she really can’t walk at all.

I suffered from periods of Deep Depression when I attended Prin College, but had no idea why.  Then I got my first Flashback and broke down crying, saying “I don’t think I love Mom and Dad any more.”  I had no idea why I was saying that.
Fast forward to my late 40’s.  Again I was very Depressed, and thought maybe it’s because I had left C.S. years ago and maybe I should start studying it again.  As I did…..thru a series of “Higher Power” orchestrated events….it was finally revealed to me that I had been sexually abused by my Dad when I was about 4 or 5 – in my bed at night.  My Mom knew about it, but did nothing, as she needed to stay married to Dad and they needed the money from Prin.

I found Co-Dependents Anonymous and a Fabulous Sponsor which saved my Life!  I’ve been a 12-Stepper every since!  My problem is I still find it difficult to completely leave C.S. and get hooked back into it.  I have done some Therapy, but no Therapist really understands how C.S. works and what it does to you…especially a child!

I’m so grateful to have found this website and could really use the support that is offered here.  

Anyway, that’s basically my story and I still have a hard time believing that I was raised and abused in a Cult – when all the time I was told that I had the Best Life because I was being raised in C.S. and going to Principia!