Secret Mormonism and Christian Science

By Amelia A. Atmore, October, 1927
G. F. VALLANCE, publisher of Christian Literature
Barkingside, Essex, Great Britain

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This is an old out-of-print book written by a Christian mother whose young daughter professed through two workers in Southern Rhodesia, Africa.  It is an account of how the workers operated and of the mother’s observations.  She suspected the workers of secretly being Mormons and/or being involved in Christian Science.  She was heartbroken at the loss of her daughter and chronicled her investigation and conclusions in this book.  Quite an interesting read.

Her book is: “DEDICATED to the many lives blighted and the many homes broken up by these SECRET MORMON AGENTS, who say they are only just Christians come to preach the true Gospel of Jesus. They are best known as the Gospel Readers, the Evangelists, the Cooneyites, the Go-Preachers, or the Disciples.”

Excerpt from Chapter 1:


In April 1927, we were living in a small town in Southern Rhodesia. Our family consisted of my husband, self, two sons, and one daughter. One son, being away at a boarding school, there were four of us at home. Owing to the loneliness of the town, there was always a welcome for strangers, Christians especially.

On arriving home from work one evening, my husband informed my daughter and myself that two lady missionaries had arrived, who appeared to be genuine Christians, something above the average professing Christian. We were highly delighted, as our souls were hungering for fellowship with other Christians. But, strange to say, on being introduced to them I was not at all impressed, but had an inward dread or mistrust of them, but rather than think wrong of any true child of God, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

They held a few meetings in our Theatre Hall, after which, in a very shy and bashful manner, they asked if they might hold a few meetings in our dining room. I asked them under what name they went, or to what Sect they belonged. I was told that they had no name, Christians preaching the true Gospel of Jesus. They said Sectarianism was contrary to Scripture, and that they preached in different homes because the Apostles did so.

I therefore gladly gave them the use of my dining room, and they held meetings at other homes also. They were four months in our town, during which time they were in daily contact with my daughter. They then went away for a month and returned again, staying at our house another month. It was during this period that I was continually asked if one or other of their Male Leaders might spend the day or the weekend at our home. The request always being accompanied with an apology of how sorry they would be to put us to extra trouble on their behalf.

On the other hand, I was frequently questioned by the townspeople as to who the Missionaries were, who were staying with us. I could only say what I had been told, that they were not a Sect, but just Christians. One gentleman asked me if they were the Go-Preachers. I told him that I had never heard of such a Sect, but I would straight-way approach their Woman Leader on the matter. She seemed rather hurried, and said, “Oh! that is what some people call us.” Investigations prove that they are called the Go-Preachers because they lay stress on the text in Matthew 10, 7, “As ye go preach,” or the Cooneyites, because they are a movement supposed to have been started first by “Irvine” and later joined by “Cooney” in Ireland. But in truth, they are a Mormon Sect and originated from America, and not from Ireland as is believed.

Judging from previous conversations with them, I was under the impression that “Irvine’s and Cooney’s” names were concealed, because of the trouble and family dissension their supposed followers cause wherever they go. This, however, is not so. Their names are never mentioned simply because they are not the original Founders.

I am not concerned as to whether the Go-Preachers have a name or not. But this I do know, that they are a crowd of Parasites, whom, when they do not feel like working anymore, throw up their secular work, and go out in two’s to preach. Some of them cannot preach at all, and I have known those who can preach a little to allow many weeks to pass with no preaching at all, but plenty of rest taken.

Is it not a disgrace to civilisation, that these able-bodied men and women, should live free of charge at people’s homes; eat the very bread which rightfully belongs to helpless children; accept money from girls and women, who have to work hard for all they receive: and further, travel all over the world at the expense of a few victims? Can they in the face of these hard facts say that they are preaching their gospel free of charge? Let us further bear in mind that they have no upkeep of a Church, no Tract printing, and no Advertising. Therefore, all the money which they receive from their victims is entirely for themselves.

They say that churches are money makers, because they take up a collection, or get up bazaars, in order to raise funds, but they do not say that they have a better method, that without asking they are able to bleed a few silly people.

In the short time, I have known them, I have had no less than seven of them stay at my house from time to time. I once ventured to ask one how she got her living. This was when they thought I was going to join them. She said, “I will leave you a list of the workers’ names, and when the Lord moves on your heart to send something for the work, you may send to any of the names on the list.” This list is headed “South African Workers,” but does not say workers of what? I have it in my possession to this day.

Paul definitely states: “Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you” (2nd Thess. 3-8). “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2nd Thes. 3-10).  I cannot find anywhere in the scriptures where anyone is authorised to live at other people’s houses for nothing.

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