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TO REHABILITATE SO MANY WASTED YEARS WAS NOT EASY, yet I tackled the job with a determination which meant business. There would be no more fooling around from this point on. If my childhood dreams were not to come true; if I could not find God, then I would do the best I could without God. Maybe I was a "lost soul." More than one evangelist told me that, and I still hear it every day even yet. My mail always brings in at least one letter a day which tells me to "flee from the wrath to come," or to "stop trampling under foot the blood of the lamb," or some other phrase equally as foolish. I remember a few years ago, just before his death, Billy Sunday wrote me a letter from Canton, Ohio, where he was holding a "campaign for God and souls" as he put it. In his letter he said, in part, "for God's sake stop driving men and women out of the Kingdom of God -- just as fast as I save them, you drive them away." The last time I heard Billy Sunday, he was preaching in the White Temple Baptist church in Portland, to which church I have made reference elsewhere. Sunday had clambered on to the top of a table and was preaching from there. His sleeves were rolled up, his coat was off, and if I ever saw a good theatrical performance, that was it. In the midst of his harangue, a baby began to cry. This bothered Sunday quite a bit, so stopping his sermon, he asked, "Is there a cowpuncher in the house?" Someone raised his hand signifying that he was a cowpuncher. "Then I wish you would come and lassoo this heifer and take her out of the house," said Sunday, alluding to the mother of the crying baby.
I replied to Sunday that I disputed his claims to "leading men and women into the Kingdom of God" and offered to meet him in public debate either in Canton or any other city he named. The offer was not accepted, nor has Sunday corresponded with me from that day on. I saw a list recently of the Sunday earnings covering his ministry; I saw also his statement as to how many souls he had led into "the Kingdom" in his twenty-five years ministry. If he did, and if each "soul" secured one other "soul" and brought it into the kingdom, and if it took one year to win that other "soul," the way I figured it out, this world would have been "saved" fifteen times over. Surely it is not asking too much to ask one who has found God to win one more, even if it takes a year to do it, is it? The "Psychiana" Movement is not thirteen years old. It has no preachers nor churches. Its operations are entirely by mail, and its members are secured by advertising. One man alone, however, has been able to bring more than 750,000 people to a knowledge of the True Light. Surely Sunday's converts should have been able to get one each year.
In closing the first part of this book, I left you in San Jose, California. I had slept that night (without a drink) in a livery barn. In the morning, the proprietor, a man named Hill, raked me out of the hay and began a series of questions. He said he liked my looks and did not see why a "fine handsome-looking young man like you are" should be out of work. I asked him if he knew of any work, and after thinking a while, he said, "Yes, I believe I know where you can get a job. It isn't much, but it's work, and it's honest work." I told him to put me in touch with the man who had the work. Going to the phone he called up a man by the name of Ben Davis. Ben wanted to find a man, and he would be in the livery barn that afternoon -- keep me there. Ben came, and I hired out to him for five dollars a month with room and board. Neither of the latter were worth having, but I took the job, even when I knew what it was.
Ben Davis was in the dead horse business. Whenever a horse would die, Ben would go out, give the owner five dollars for the horse, and haul it to a glue factory in San Francisco. In the case of old "nags" that, though still living, could not stand up, Ben would give them (the owners) from five to seven dollars and fifty cents for them. He had a pasture behind his "farm" and into this pasture went these old "dead and dying nags." When he had enough to make up a carload he would tie them together, the tail of one to the halter of another, and it would be my job to drive them into Milpitas, just a few miles from San Jose. There I was to load them into a box car and accompany the load of old nags to Petaluma, where they would be chopped up for chicken feed. Usually, by taking it very slowly, we got the nags into the box car. At Petaluma, however, it was a different job to get them out. This was my job -- collecting dead horses and hauling them to a San Francisco glue factory and shipping dying nags to Petaluma. Every month I received five dollars for this work. I stayed with Mr. Davis quite a while. I remember when I left I had thirty-five dollars. The reason given for my discharge was that horses were not dying fast enough -- as good a reason as any, for I was very happy to leave that place. I drive past it occasionally whenever I am near San Jose, but I never stop to call, although the name of Davis is still on the mail box.
Taking my thirty-five dollars, I boarded a train for San Francisco. I never paid the slightest attention to saloons. I was not interested in them. What I was after was another job. Murray and Ready were then, and still are, the leading employment agency in San Francisco, so there I hied myself. I stood out in front of the place for several hours, watching the new jobs stuck on the board in front. There are usually scores of people standing in front of Murray and Ready's. It is one of San Francisco's oldest landmarks. Most of the jobs were out in the woods, and that, I thought, was where I should be for at least a year. I wanted to think. I wanted to get this big physical frame of mine in the best of condition, and the woods certainly would do that. The only trouble was -- what could I do? In a little while the "artist" wrote on the huge blackboard, "Whistle punk wanted -- fifty and found." "Is there a whistle-punk in the crowd," he asked. "What's a whistle-punk?" I asked him. He told me that a whistle-punk was a boy or man who pulled the whistle cord which communicated with the donkey engine in logging operations. "Can you do that?" I said, "Of course, I can do that," and he hired me.
The job was at the camp of the Pelican Bay Lumber Company near Klamath Falls. By a strange coincidence, I am writing this autobiography at the foot of Pelican Mountain on which "I punked whistle" nearly twenty-seven years ago. The president of the Pelican Bay Lumber Company is Mr. H. D. Mortensen, who was also president at that time. I was entertained in his home last year. He is a student of mine. It is strange how things work out in this checkered life of mine.
Those days, when you hired out at a distance, the company would advance the railroad fare. This amount, coupled with the Murray and Ready commission, would be kept from your pay. That evening I was on a train for Klamath Falls. Here is another strange coincidence-the man who had the contract to haul the men from Klamath Falls to Rocky Point, the man who manages Rocky Point, is now my brother-inlaw, Art Leavitt. In due time, I arrived here at Rocky Point and was taken up a switchback logging railroad to the Camp Number One of the Pelican Bay Lumber Company. Little did I dream when I went to work "punking whistle" those long years ago that some day, as leader of the eighth largest religion in America, I should be here at this same Rocky Point, writing an autobiography for the world to read. Someone once said, "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." That is the way the Spirit which is God moved in my case. Nothing less than a divine guidance could have brought me safely to the place I occupy in the religious realm of today.
That was a profitable season spent on the mountain just at my back. I came out of those woods a real man. Very few could have thrown me. My muscles stood out like bands, and I was proud of them. I soon graduated from "whistle-punk" to "choker-slinger," which job consists of hooking a large steel cable around the end of the fallen log and then giving the signal to the "whistle-punk," who in turn, whistles to the engineer to pull the log from the woods to the skidway. I saved every nickel I made those days, and when the season was over, I did not loaf around spending what money I had saved. I got another job piling green lumber. If my readers know what sort of a job piling green lumber is, they know that the only men who can stand up under it are Swedes. Yet I could pile more green lumber, and do it faster, than any Swede we had on the job. I was in the "pink" of physical condition.
Shortly after that I walked into the Star Drug Store in Klamath Falls to make a few purchases-tooth paste, and things like that. I entered into conversation with a very fine appearing clerk there, Frank Evans by name. I met him again years later in Miami, Arizona. My shirt was open at the neck and my sleeves were rolled above my elbows, and really I was a bit proud of my six feet. "Boy, I'd hate to tangle with you," said Frank Evans. One remark led to another, and finally I told Evans I was a registered pharmacist. I explained that I liked work in the woods, but I might consider going back to the drug business if a good job opened up. Frank Evans nearly shook my hand off. "We've been trying for months to get a good man here," he said. "Wait until I call Carl Plath, the owner of the store." Plath came down and met me. I went out and bought some "store-clothes," and the next day I was back in the drug business again. It felt good. My rehabilitation was coming along fine with never the slightest desire for beer.
Shortly after this, Doctor Hunt of Klamath Falls built a hospital. He mentioned to me that he wanted a pharmacy in the hospital. I had no money for pharmacies or anything else at that time, but I interested the Reverend E. P. Lawrence (who, by the way, later married Mrs. Robinson and me) and he had some money. I opened up the Warren Hunt Hospital Pharmacy. Later Hunt took the store over, paying Lawrence what was due him. Recently I was in a party of Republicans who drove Thomas E. Dewey from Boise, Idaho, to Caldwell, where a large banquet was given the presidential candidate. Sitting in the seat next to me was the Reverend E. P. Lawrence. We chatted about old times, and I shall see him again as soon as I have time.
It was about this time that I met the lady who is now Mrs. Frank B. Robinson. Several young folks of Klamath Falls boarded with a Mrs. Rutenic whose home was, and still is, a few blocks from the Star Drug Store in which I worked. Being six feet tall and a fine physical specimen, I had no trouble whatsoever in securing attention from the ladies in the boarding house. Ladies were far from my mind those days, for I had more important work to do. Finally, in disgust, one of the ladies called up Pearl Leavitt one Sunday afternoon and informed her that she was going to bring down a good-looking fellow for her to meet. Pearl Leavitt answered that she was not interested in young men. She only thought that, for it took but three meetings for us both to fall violently in love, and we were married within a very few weeks. That was one mistake I did not make. It has been the good judgment and the kindly help of my good wife which has been a boon many times. There are few moves I make today about which she is not consulted, and her good judgment, which is instantaneous, is seldom wrong.
After the Warren Hunt Hospital had taken over the pharmacy, I took a Civil Service examination for pharmacist in the United States Veterans' Bureau at Tucson Arizona and went from Klamath Falls to that Arizona city soon after. Alfred, our first-born, came to us in Tucson. The Veterans' Bureau offices were over Steinfelds store, and some happy days were had there. Frank S. Finley, the man responsible for the appointment and a very close friend of mine, recently passed away during an operation in the Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio in San Francisco. I have always missed Finley.
The Bureau ran about a year and was ordered closed. There was some scandal connected with the Bureau in Washington, and I'm given to understand that the big chief back east was sent to the penitentiary for graft. Certainly there was some sort of graft going on, for when I ordered the initial stock of drugs for the pharmacy, when the shipment arrived it contained about three times as much as I had ordered; and in addition to the stock of drugs, there were three expensive microscopes. What they thought I would do with three microscopes, I do not know. After the Bureau was closed, I secured a job with T. Ed. Litt, a prominent druggist in Tucson and shortly after that I went back to Los Angeles, where I worked for Horton and Converse, the leading chain of prescription stores with headquarters in the Pacific Mutual Building. Two chaps worked in that store with me, Ralph Northrup and Eddie Riebsame. Riebsame was quite a boy -- one of the old time line of prescription men, and at the same time a very fine chap. Rieb used to cook his meals in the pharmacy, and these meals usually consisted of six boiled eggs, lavishly basted with butter, salt, and pepper. He would eat the whole six eggs and then tell us he was hungry.
I shall have to pass over the details of our few years in Los Angeles, for if I put them all in this book, it will be too large. There are more interesting happenings to relate -- happenings which today are of international import in the religious realm, and happenings which will, ere long, bring to the human race the actual truths of God. I am, therefore, impatient to tell you of the inception of the Movement I now head. I am also impatient to tell you the good news of the complete liberation, both of body and soul, which is for you.
It was at 500 Laurel Avenue in North Hollywood that I made the final decision to cut completely loose from all forms of religion as I knew religion to be. One Sunday morning I was in a beautiful Methodist church on Wilshire Boulevard. The structure must have cost a quarter of a million dollars. I counted exactly twenty-six people in that church. I sat through the sermon, and after it was over, I made up my mind that this world needs something far different from the religious hodge-podge that minister handed out that beautiful Sunday morning. I was just as anxious to find God as I had ever been, but I had despaired completely of ever finding out anything about God through church organizations. I knew their message by heart. I had tried their formula a dozen times. It did not work. It may work for others, but it did not work for me, and nothing less than an actual experience of the Power I knew must be God would satisfy me.
I was grieved and somewhat alarmed over the whole picture, for up to that time the only organization claiming to know anything about God was the Christian church. Not finding any of God there, and knowing that God could be found, I began to be a bit desperate. Thank God I had the courage to throw away and disbelieve everything the church had told me about God. I was alone one Sunday in our little home on Laurel Avenue when I made the decision which will mean so much to this world and to future generations. As usual, I was thinking of God and things pertaining to God. I knew I had failed to find God, and I also knew that I would continue the search for God as long as I lived. The trouble was that I did not know where to go for God outside of the church, and having utterly failed to find the first thing about God in that church, where could I look?
I decided, therefore, to see if I could not find God by some other method. No one could have convinced me that God did not exist, and no one could convince me that the church knew anything at all about God. Those two things I was sure of. This old "hell-fire" doctrine kept cropping up in my mind, and I was a bit afraid to deny what the church taught for fear of "losing my soul," and landing up in "hellfire," for that is the teaching of the Christian church. I do not believe there are five hundred Christians in the United States who actually believe that, but it is the teaching of the Christian church nevertheless. Had it not been for that teaching and the fear it instilled into human minds through the dark ages of the religious past, there would be no Christian church today. There would be no need for it. If man is not a lost soul, and if man is not doomed to hell, where is the need for the "salvation" of the church?
As I stood there in my room, distressed beyond measure, I lifted my eyes to God and said, "Oh, God, if I have to go to hell, I'll go with the consciousness that I went there earnestly trying to find you, God." And then, a remarkable thing happened. Instead of feeling condemned for denying that the church knows anything at all about God, there came to me a feeling of wonderful peace and rest. Strange -- here I should feel desperate, for had I not taken the stand that the church knows nothing whatsoever about God? I had, but instead of that confession bringing condemnation, it brought infinite peace. At last, I knew I was on the right track. I knew that God, as that Great Spirit must exist, is not to be found in anything the church teaches. Gradually I was going back to the God of my childhood. As I threw overboard the church story of Adam and Eve, the fall of man, the destruction of man by a flood because of his sin, the miraculous birth and conception of Jesus Christ, the atonement, the resurrection, etc., I began, for the first time in my life, to experience the freedom and the peace which I instinctively knew was from God.
The only thing I had been able to get from the church was theory, conjecture, doubt, and the not satisfying assurance that if I lived as well as I knew how to live, and if I believed its creeds and dogmas, eyerything would be all right -- I should know God up there among the angels, with their harps and their streets of gold. My name certainly would be found up there in the big book if I joined some church organization and did the best I could do by believing that a certain character, true or traditional, was God Almighty. That is all the Christian church ever asked me to believe. They wanted me to make public confession that this character, Jesus Christ, true or traditional, was God Almighty.
I did not know whether Jesus Christ was God Almighty or not, neither did I care. I wanted to know the Power of the great Spirit, God. I was not interested in any "son" God might have had, nor daughter, for that matter; and as far as believing that Jesus Christ was God, I should have to be shown proof of that. The church itself, I knew, had absolutely no proof of this strange thing it asked me to believe. Therefore, how was I to know whether Jesus Christ was God Almighty or not? All religions are nothing more than social organizations which say they believe that a certain character who lived ages ago was God Almighty. The name of the religion depends upon the name of the character who was supposed to be God Almighty. As far as actually knowing about God, and as far as being able to prove that this character who lived, or did not live, many ages ago, was God, no religion can do that.
Let me illustrate what I mean. The Christian religion is called "Christian" because it believes that Christ, ages ago, was Almighty God in person. Millions of Christians say that they believe that. There are more millions who believe that another character of another name was God Almighty. The Hindoos had every fundamental of the Christian story, and had it fifteen hundred years before the Christian had it, and they claim that Jesus Chrishna, and not Jesus Christ, was God Almighty. There are other millions who believe that Mohammed was God Almighty. There are other millions of followers of a dozen systems of religion outside of the Christian religion; and they all believe that some other character was God Almighty. It is quite evident, therefore, that all religion as we have it today, is a congregation of people who believe that their "deity" was Almighty God. Not a single one of them can prove their claims. God Almighty does not appear in the picture at all, for the record of each religious structure very plainly shows that they know absolutely nothing about the Power of the Great Spirit -- God. All they believe, and all they claim to know, is that a certain man who may have lived and who may not have lived, was God Almighty. There is religion as we have it today.
In the Christian religion, everything hinges around Jesus Christ. In the Hindoo religion, larger and older than Christianity, everything hinges around Chrishna. In the Mexican religion also far older than Christianity, everything hinges around' Quetzalcoatl, and so on. None of their systems of religion even attempt to know God outside of their own theory of who God is. The Christian claims his God to be Jesus Christ; the Hindoo claims almighty god was Chrishna, and so on. I disagree with them all by claiming that neither Jesus Christ, nor Chrishna, nor Prometheus, nor Buddha, nor any other man on this earth who is worshipped as God -- ever was God. The True God exists entirely outside of these religious theories, and, mark me well here, is not to be found through any of them. You cannot have two Gods. If Jesus Christ was God Almighty, so then was Chrishna and the rest of the "crucified gods," for they all appeared on the scene long before the Christian "God" appeared.
I am sure you will see this. All of these religions are groups of people who have been taught by some organization calling itself a "religion," that someone, away back in the dark and misty ages of the past, was Almighty God. Who "Almighty God" was, and is, depends upon which system of religion you belong to. The whole series of religions are not based upon God Almighty, but upon someone else who was supposed to be God, according to the founders of these systems of religion. That none of these systems actually know God is very evident. One look at the world around us, and one look at the dying condition of religion as a whole provides proof incontrovertible that none of these man-made "gods" ever was, or ever could have been, the Great Spirit which really is the Creative Intelligence behind this universe, which universe, by the way, was rolling around on its orbit through space long before, yes millions of years before any of these "gods" were ever heard of.
It is less than four hundred years since the Christian religion decided what is "the word of God." That was decided by a vote of one hundred-eighty Catholic priests and bishops at the Council of Trent, and as before related, one of the reasons we have the four gospels is because animals have four legs. The Christian church has the audacity to offer that idiotic theory to the world and tell it that the "god" of that revelation is God Almighty, the Supreme Ruler of all mankind.
God is not to be found, therefore, in any existing system of religion on the face of the earth today. These systems have a "god" of their own manufacture, and that accounts for the sad state of the world and the church -- it has not now nor has it ever had, the faintest particle of the actual truths of God in either. My work is to bring those truths to the world, and the foundation for the remarkable revelation which is coming to this world, was laid in that little room at 500 Laurel Avenue that Sunday morning not too many years ago.
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This is not the place to introduce incontrovertible evidence that all religions have somewhere had a common origin, nor is it the place to enter into a discussion as to the relative merits of the many systems of religion on the earth today. If fuller information and conclusive proof of the human origin of the Christian religion is desired, that proof may be found in Gleams Over the Horizon, and in Crucified Gods Galore, both written by me. Let me just interpolate here long enough to say that the religion of Osiris, who lived twenty thousand years before Christ was ever heard of, contains the same identical teachings as the teachings of Jesus. I am not saying that these teachings are not true, for every inspired prophet of God, regardless of what the name and date may be, always teaches the same thing. The trouble with the Christian church is that while it likes to live the easy life under the cloak of the religion which is called "of Jesus Christ," it does not like to carry out the precepts of its own religion. I will give five hundred dollars and walk five hundred miles to see a true Christian. All of these prophets had the same message, but the churches, under the spell of their pagan leaders, chose to follow the dictates of those leaders instead of following the simple, plain message of the Power of God, which message all prophets bring.
You can find in the teachings of Osiris, word for word, line for line, sentence for sentence, the same identical teachings which today appear as "original and inspired writings of the fathers of the Christian church." There is no question but that the entire Christian religion was stolen from or borrowed from the Hindoo. The similarities are in too great a profusion to be just coincidence. Even the name of their "man-god" is almost identical with that of the Christian. There is one final argument which no religion on the face of the earth can answer -- that is -- if you know so much about God, and if the man you worship as God really is the true God, why do you not throw the power of that true God against the terrific world conditions which are threatening to destroy this civilization from the face of the earth? No systems of theology can do that. All they can do is to tell us that if we believe that their particular "crucified god" was God Almighty, we shall be saved. They are very careful, however, to add that there is no "salvation" in any other system of religion -- "there is none other name given under heaven whereby we may be saved," says the Christian -- evidently afraid of competition.