Great Is the Philosophy of Nastiness

Emma M. Blanchard, “Great Is the Philosophy of Nastiness. Reply to Rev. Moses Hull’s Experience,” Religio-Philosophical Journal, September 13, 1873

For shame, Mr. Hull!  You a representative Spiritualist, and do this thing!  Has not Spiritualism issues enough to carry at this momentous epoch, without liberating another nest of hornets upon her?  Never probe an abscess until the work of suppuration has been completed, else you increase the inflammation.  When the physical body is weak, lobelia must be administered cautiously, and even then the casus emesis usually comes off second best; so also of the body social.  I wish to scold you briefly for your inopportune disclosures, or in other words, I wish to “whip you for telling the truth.”

While you nominally accord to woman the right to adopt the same course as yourself, you seem to forget that to do so overtly would ruin her social standing for life, and that to her a change of sexual pastures might not bring the sanctified relief of which you boast.  The probable result would be a loathesome disease—nature’s special lash for sexual promiscuity in woman, first upon herself, and then back upon her insatiable vampyre man (if you have thus far escaped that lash, thank your good luck rather than your good conduct for the undeserved immunity).

I wish to ask you, Mr. Hull, when your sexual unhappiness began.  Was it when, after wooing and winning the confiding heart of your wife, she entrusted her honor, her body, her all to your keeping by taking the same vow that came so near killing you—that of mutual chastity and fidelity—and voluntarily placing herself upon the altar of your nuptial couch?  Was it during the first week after your marriage?  Ah! no, for she then was the “lady whose very soul you could feel coming to you, and yours in return going to her.”  What spoiled this happy state of affairs?  “I abused my wife until sexual pleasure between us was impossible.”  When you did that, Mr. Hull, you forged the chains of which you so bitterly complain; and if you could have cornered one of your dear affinities until your surfeited, swinish intercourse with her yielded only “mere momentary relief,” you would have been foundered again.  But affinities of this kind are not to be so cornered; they like variety as well as do their paramours, and they make it their business to relieve “humble and prayerful” men, until outraged nature inflicts her penalty, and then if they suffer their “very souls” to go out toward a man, he is smitten with the plague, and they get into hot water for having given him “that peace, happiness, and intellectual growth for which he craved.”

I admit that the present marriage code is impferfect; I regret that such sexual excess as you have confessed are too common in wedlock for the happiness of many unfortunate wives.  But in such cases nature is uniformly merciful, and withholds the lash.  If they will wear themselves out faster than she can recuperate wasted energy, she merely reminds them of the fact by reducing the fearfully exhausting orgasm to a “mere momentary relief” from their Kilkenney passions.

“Right here I will say, I know a man who is bitterly opposed to this theory, whose wife complains that she is compelled to yield to his unbridled lust as often as once, and sometimes twice in each successive twenty-four hours.  I have known her to frame all kinds of excuses to get off on a visit for a few hours’ rest.”

Well, Mr. Hull, what does this prove?  Simply that the man was a perfect hog.  Suppose he embraced “this theory;” what then?  Wouldn’t he be a nice fellow to turn loose among the wives and daughters of the land?  But wouldn’t he raise particular havoc “once and sometimes twice in each successive twenty-four hours?”  Were you that sort of a man when you “abused your wife until sexual pleasure between you was impossible?”  Most likely.  Are you any better now, only that now, like a worthless shot-gun, scatter so that you hit no particular mark?  But how came you to know her, to frame such excuses, for such a purpose, unless she was an immodest woman to tell you, and you equally immodest to listen to it, and still more immodest to publish it to the world?  Perhaps you also know where she went to “visit for a few hour’s rest?”  But I will be more charitable, and suppose that she did not tell you—probably told your wife, whose confidence you have been otherwise abusing.  The whole account is improbable; any sane physician will say that copulation every twelve hours for three months would kill any man dead, and serve him right!

You wisely veil the scene that ensued when your wife first learned of your perfidy—when you told her that you simply “used her to avoid fornication when at home.”  And your admission that since you had let yourself loose upon society, your home had been a “model of domestic happiness,” is a confession worthy only of a goat.

“The man who will quarrel with his wife in the daytime, and then demand of her the sexual relation at night, without regarding her desires in the matter, is a licentious, adulterous brute.”  True, Mr. Hull; he “dies daily” upon his “mere momentary relief,” but what of his suffering wife?  The trouble here is inconsistency.  When you approach an affinity, do you “demand of her the sexual relation without regarding her desires in the matter”?  No, sir.  When husbands will practice that deference and suavity toward their wives in making sexual overtures that they show to these women of easy virtue, whose business it is to relieve men of “large brain” of their surplus steam, the conjugal rite will not be worn so threadbare.  In your own case, by your own admission, you made a hog of yourself at your own table.  If you did this “without regarding her desires,” you were a grossly licentious adulterer against a defenseless woman; if she was as lecherous as yourself and encouraged such “gratification of the animal,” then I can not see but that you were well mated, and richly merited the punishment you meted out to each other.  Better thus, than to turn loose two such ghouls upon society.

“Love children” are superior to those born of a wife “used merely for avoiding fornication when at home.”  I will tell you why: When the mother of a love-child (bastard) finds what has come upon her by “obeying God’s higher law,” the author of the mischief is made to stand back, large brain and all.  Compulsion is not always needed; more frequently he runs away from the consequences of his fornication, and leaves his victim to fulfill the duties of gestation and maternity without being called upon to “yield to unbridled lust as often as once, and sometimes twice in each successive twenty-four hours.”

The unborn babe gets some repose.  When born, its fountain of nourishment is not poisoned before it is a week old, and kept so until it is able to walk, or is weaned and hustled aside to make room for a new comer.  Shame upon such husbands!  Mares, cows, etc., will resist sexual violation to the death; were wives to follow the example, you would not stand alone as a martyr, O cerebral mammoth!

But Mr. Hull, what shall be done with the love-children which may follow in your fructified wake?  By the law of the land (which should be obeyed by all good citizens until it is repealed), they are illegitimate—outcasts upon the society you have polluted.  You would not do for a Mormon, for you do not believe in supporting your concubines.  You are a sort of sexual smuggler, refusing to pay any duty upon the commodity which your “large brain” craves so irresitibly, and for the lack of which you “died daily” when you had but one poor woman to “use.”  You are a fornicating freebooter, a buccaneer bent after beauty, and a pirate of purity!  Your proper place is Oneida, where your large-brained children could be reared at the general expense, and fathered by nobody.

Frankness is a virtue, and consistency is a jewel; but if you propose to practice what you now preach, you will find that Spiritualists, whose exponent and defender you have assumed to be, will not give you as cordial a welcome as they would if they thought you were less “craving,” and your majestic brain less veneral.

Finally, my own experience is easily told: I have been a true wife seventeen years, and the mother of three children.  During all those years, my husband has never once demanded the sexual relation, nor has he ever abused me by excess.  We are agreed that the present marriage code is not what it should be, but it has never been a “bond of iniquity” to us.  I can with a clear conscience assert that I have never longed for the caress of a stranger, nor loathed the embrace of my husband.

My honor and virtue are dearer to me than all else I have in this world, and I defy any person living or dead, to impugn them.

I have listened to discourses by Rev. Moses Hull, and have admired his forensic ability, which I innocently attributed to his “large brain,” instead of the baser function which he publicly claims for it.  The time has been when he could have been a welcome guest at our house; now and henceforth a viper would be more welcome.  I do not say this to ostracise him; he has ostracised himself, and left the character of every lady where he has visited or may visit, open to suspicion.  This being the case, let him seek his affinities to minister to the wants of a brain “twenty-three and seven-eighth inches,” but let him not do it in the name of Spiritualism, Progress or Reform.

Louisville, Ky., August, 1873.

W. Church, “Now, Gabriel, Blow Your Trumpet!” Religio-Philosophical Journal, September 13, 1873

Some years ago, we had an account of an Adventist and his wife, standing upon the top of their dwelling, robed for ascending Heavenward.  While waiting for the auspicious moment, they concluded to reveal to each other the hidden secrets of their past lives.  The husband first opened up his budget of sly pecadillos, which encouraged the wife to proceed.  However surprising her statements, the husband maintained his equanimity until she said—“My dear, you remember that red haired journeyman shoemaker that used to live with us—that man is the father of your curley headed little Jimmie.”  At this point the husband gave out, and exclaimed with a loud voice—“Now, Gabriel, blow your trumpet!”

Doubtless, some who have heard Moses Hull discourse so eloquently touching the beauties of spirit intercourse, when they shall have read his personal experiences, published in Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly, of August 23, ’73, they will think with the Adventist, that it is high time for the angel Gabriel to blow his horn!

Moses wishes to be a martyr, and so vaults to the front with the agility and grace of a wild antelope!  One would almost think that Moses himself must be a reincarnation (?) of some of the old martyrs of the long ago; otherwise, he could not have rushed to the front ranks with such a gay, elastic step.  It would seem that for many years he suffered immensely in body and soul, by adhering to integrity in his matrimonial alliance, but, eventually feeling, as he terms it, “The voice of God in his soul,” too strong for “man-made institutions,” he takes French leave, for the time-being, of the wife of his bosom, and finds great joy, growth of intellect and health of body by sporting away from home, among the fair daughters of the land.

Having done this, and feeling as innocent as the “Babes in the woods,” he comes home and tells his wife of the jubilant times he has had; but just at this point, he fails to tell us how she damaged his shirt bosom, tore his hair, and played the broomstick and rolling pin.  A description would doubtless have beggared all efforts of his facile pen, but he gives us to understand that her frantic paroxysms were but the throes of a birth to a higher life.  The volcanic fires of her soul, having lifted her to an exalted plane, where, like the Scripture Moses, she could “view the landscape o’er”—a flood of light was let in upon her soul, and from that lofty table-ground, she could see abroad for herself all the inestimable privileges which her husband found away from home, and, for conscience sake, Moses would ask no questions about her going out or coming in.

As a chieftain in this unique field of honor, it is evident that the younger Moses has had a robust experience; but, the question arises, would it not be expedient for him, in all such warfare upon the integrity of the time-honored institution of matrimony, like the Irishman, to place his breast-plate in the vicinity of his seat of honor, as a protection to his most efficient qualities? for he may intrude where it will be necessary to make sudden retreats.  There is a charming courage about the pioneer who travels from town to town, dispensing the gospel and scattering prison offences along his path!

This Solon of wisdom gives us to understand that, as sure as change of scenery and diet are often requisite to health, so variety is even more so where the pleasing and captivating impulses of nature are concerned; and, that whoever opposes his view of the subject must be troubled with ignorance or selfishness, and of course, should consider himself or herself upon the dunce block from the start.  He informs us that all persons who have shone with intellectual brilliancy in the past, have done, either openly or secretly, as he has done; but, as the old lady could not tell whether indigo should sink or swim to be good, so he as frankly tells us that, “Either the departures of the world’s great men from strictly monogamic relation, has given them the power to become the great men they were, or their great energy and intellect demanded more food than could be found exclusively in the monogamic relations.”

He kindly informs us that his voluminous head measures twenty-three and seven-eighths inches.  Perhaps he drew the line a little too low on the back of his head; however this may be, in the size of his remarkable head he finds an apology for indulging largely in what he terms “Religious experiences.”  Having given his religious experiences on this interesting subject, he invites his brethren to follow with theirs; so we may look for rich revelations as one martyr after another steps to the front.

All new candidates for glory should not forget that prayer is an essential as a prelude—as Moses says, “I humbly and prayerfully yielded to the diviner impulses of my soul, and found that peace, happiness, and intellectual growth, which I craved.  I felt that I had been baptized with a divine baptism; had reached a higher and purer life; had entered the Holy of Holies, and found a divine benediction that never was reached by one who had not travelled the same road.”

I am disposed to object to his placing Jesus and Paul in the line with those who practiced free-love of his type, as the evidence is quite the reverse, as far as there is any at all on the subject; but I presume they were brought in to give dignity to the platform, the same as Mrs. Woodhull desired that Mr. Beecher should stand side by side with her as an ornament to her doctrines.

If there is any one who has failed to learn the absolute tendency—the certain ultimate of Mrs. Woodhull’s teaching—let them ponder well the revelations of her distinguished apostle, Moses Hull.

Trenton, N. J.

“Moses,” Religio-Philosophical Journal, September 13, 1873

Brother Jones:  I am not so utterly devoid of comprehension in the doctrine of mental science and animal magnetism, that I do not understand what is meant by a magnetic operator or a psychologist, asking the aid of contact through taking the hand of his subject; but, really can you say anything that will enlighten anti-free lovers as to the process by which Moses Hull’s love can be transmitted so purely and infallibly through the contact of hands, as he has indicated in his letter in Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly of August 23d.  If that is a sure process of knowing when peoples’ souls are going out to each other, why don’t it operate as successfully in cases where marriage is intended?  And again, if it is the sure test of pure love, true affinity, adaptation of soul, why is it necessary to add “sexual freedom” to those associations which are doomed to be transient for the want of true and abiding love?

If Moses’ style of love only lasts, or can only be clearly recognized, while the sexual perception is stimulated by contact, how can he tell whether it is love or licentiousness?

If polygamic sexual relations have so restored the bodies, elevated the souls, and strengthened the intellects of Moses and his lawful wife, may we not ask if their cases were not rather bad ones at the outset?  And if they have got along so amazingly under the exercise of “social freedom,” won’t he in time need the improving aid of “the prostitute” whom his loving heart now coldly passes by?

I recollect that a few years since a rather irreligious newspaper comment stated that the result of a certain camp meeting was the birth of twenty illegitimate babies, whose tender age dated back to the camp meeting.

If all the free lovers who are about to attend the coming convention of the American Association at Chicago “shall be of Moses Hull’s stripe,” may not its fruits be more abundant than the fruits of the camp meeting just referred to?

Moses has told us so much, that we might have hoped he had made a clean breast of it and told us all, but he informs us it is only part of his experience.  Are we to presume he told us the cleanest, or the dirtiest part of it?

If it don’t suit you, Brother Jones, to investigate these mysteries, then perhaps it would be well to submit the queries to your readers for solution.

Trenton, N. J.

“Spiritualists Have but to Speak to Shake Off the Incubus—Voice from Portsmouth, New Hampshire,” Religio-Philosophical Journal, September 13, 1873

Mr. Editor—I had the pleasure of reading your paper of August 23d, the first one I have ever seen, and I was so pleased at the stand you have taken regarding Woodhullism and the so-called National Convention, that I immediately subscribed for the Journal of one of our news dealers.  It is time that we as Spiritualists should take a bold stand to shield our beautiful philosophy from the demon of Woodhullism (I speak not against her individually, only her pernicious doctrines), and since her Camp Meeting speech in Massachusetts, the Spiritualists of this city are more indignant than ever.  I expect it will be the means of breaking up our society, or placing it in a dormant condition for awhile, for our people are unwilling to do any thing towards helping the cause if Woodhullism is to be the bobtail of the Spiritualist kite.  Our blessed truths are destined to elevate humanity unless choked down by the works of free loveism.  The time I believe must come when we shall have to establish a real bona-fide convention to undo the effects of the bogus ones, and may the good angel hasten the time when the brains of Spiritualism shall take the lead in the movement, a host of good men and women shall step to the front, while we, lesser lights, shall back them with our influence and our money.  So far as I can obtain the sentiments of our people, I find very few Spiritualists who support Mrs. Woodhull’s doctrines.  We have had exceedingly interesting lectures the past season, and quite an interest has been manifested by the people.  We suspended our meetings from June until October, and unless something is done to eradicate free love from our banners, we shall suspend all meetings during the coming season.

Yours for the truth,
Joseph G. Harvey,
Sec’y. of Portsmouth Spiritual Society.

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