Debauched sessions.

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We have learned that Pierson relied on Sojourner-Truth to help him during his times of weakness. During Piersons Fits, or claimed demonic possession, Ann Folger often called Pierson, quote, ‘a brute.’ During these debauched sessions, Pierson would masturbate, and either Matthias or Sojourner-Truth would attempt to stop him.

Concentrating on details, not propaganda as perpetrated by Mr. Stone and the wealthy members of his inner circle, we find a story far more believable! This story is by Isabella Van Wagener, the much respected, famous Christian preacher and defender of women’s rights, known as ‘Sojourner-Truth.’ She tells us her viewpoint regarding Pierson’s sickness and the real events surrounding Catherine’s health condition.

Without fear of censorship, Sojourner-Truth reveals what transpired between Matthias and female caregivers. Looking towards the first evening of Pierson’s sickness, Sojourner-Truth recalls quote. ‘As the parties had means, Mr. Pierson ought to have had one or more nurses exclusively to attend him and keep him clean: for it was not possible for those in the family to do justice to him and continue their services in the family. Nor did they do what they might partly from disgust and partly from the attentions which Matthias and Mrs. B. Folger were paying to each other, and thus neglecting the necessary orders.’ (Ref: H77.)

The information which Sojourner-Truth presents is different from most of the copycat versions of events, as portrayed in some newspapers, we read, quote. ‘Catherine’s sickness mentioned in Stone’s book as following the consumption of blackberries then supposed poisoned, arose from disgust at the appearance of Mr. Pierson and continued only while nausea remained.’ Here we have clear evidence that Catherine was sick due to what she saw, smelt, and experienced during the few short hours when she attempted to help Pierson in his sufferings. With this information, the understanding of Catherine not suffering sickness from eating the blackberries makes, as the saying goes, perfect sense!

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 79.

Turning to Ann and Matthias during their involvement on the first fateful evening of Pierson’s sufferings, we read via the New York Courier & Enquirer quote. ‘Mr. Pierson, when he vomited, threw up a considerable quantity of blackberries.’ Indisputably we have proven these were the blackberries eaten while walking in the fields earlier in the day and not the blackberries presented and consumed at the evening dining room table! Within the same article, we are told by Ann that she quote. ‘Would go to Matthias and obtain direction on how to act and would receive a reply, sometimes the spirit would teach me, and always on such occasions, I followed the directions of my own spirit.’ (Ref: 170.)

Looking at Ann’s character, then after examining all the available evidence, Ann is positioned as the mother of the house. Consideration of her being a Sheeple mother is fascinating. The term Sheeple means people that are unable to think or act for themselves. The phrase Sheeple mother in this context is a mother who is unable or unwilling to think or act without prior consent or instruction. Unquestionably, Matthias is the leader, and Ann is a perfect follower when she wants to be! Ann’s treatment of Pierson and his sickness confirms her as a Sheeple mother of the highest order! On the other hand, Matthias was the Alpha male; he was the leader who required obedience without question!

Returning to the main story’s events, Pierson is at the bottom of the kitchen stairs, after which he recovered, then sat at the table waiting for his evening meal. (Ref: 169.) Unsurprisingly he was, as far as Matthias is concerned, suffering from his commonly accepted illness. Perceived to be improving, Matthias does all that he can to help Pierson. He gave him ‘coffee’ while at the same time he, quote. ‘Also put bread into his mouth, but he did not eat it.’ Attempting to help with his action and words, Matthias quote. ‘Walked him (Pierson) about the hall and the Plaza.’ While walking, we have information that appears to make little or no sense at all. We read the quote. ‘Matthias used to stop as if he was speaking to him.’ Strangely Ann, full of concern, or idle curiosity, walks towards Matthias and Pierson, after which she is surprised to discover that quote. ‘Pierson had not recovered so as to converse.’ At this stage, the careful reader may be wondering why Matthias and Pierson are talking with each other while walking around the hall and plaza at Mount Zion? Perhaps there were voices, or could it be that Ann was merely trying, as the saying goes, to ‘muddy the waters.’ The next event clarifies the situation when we find, quote. ‘Pierson had another very strong fit the same evening, in the chair, and I(Ann) went out and called Isabella. Sometime after, he had another fit in a room at the south side of the house, and I (Ann) asked Matthias permission to wash Pierson’s face with cold water.’ With tender, caring actions, Ann bathes Pierson’s face; perhaps she recalls Pierson as a younger Christian man full of charitable good works. Could it be that Ann remembers the happy family times that she shared with Pierson, his wife Sarah, and their family, while they enjoyed peaceful times in New York City? As families, they were the very best of friends. Maybe Ann remembers that Pierson, before Matthias’s arrival, was regarded as the Alpha male when it came down to finances and status. Whatever her reasons, Ann from all the records shows compassion towards Pierson while he is suffering, after which she quote. ‘Washed Pierson’s face,’ he was put to bed and about half an hour after he began to vomit.’ In this deteriorating situation, Sojourner-Truth, or quote. ‘Isabella was with him all night.’ (Ref: 169.)

Although Ann wants to assist Pierson; her weakness and Matthias’ self-interest moves to the forefront! Within the next statement, we read, quote. ‘Matthias took Mrs. B. Folger out of the room, especially to prevent her from being sick.’ Avoiding the awful view and smell of Pierson’s sufferings, we find, quote. ‘Matthias also left the room, expressing a belief that he should be sick if he remained.’ Unable or unwilling to continue, Ann, Catherine, and Matthias are out of the picture. Determined to help, the teenage daughter Elizabeth Pierson and Sojourner-Truth keep working together, extending loving care towards the suffering Elijah Pierson. In one report, we read, quote. ‘Isabella, the colored woman, was the only person who would, or indeed could assist him when most he needed help, and she could scarcely restrain from being sick herself.’ (Ref: H76.)

The words contained in one small sentence clearly and emphatically shown the character and caring Christian nature of Sojourner-Truth, when we read, quote. ‘There was nothing done that night for Pierson, except by Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) who washed him.’ (Ref: 175.) Surprisingly Sojourner-Truth was the only adult who was either willing or able to help Pierson in his dire need! Is it any wonder that she considered it wrong that Pierson did not receive professional help from paid nurses!

Side note Question to American Students.

 Was Sojourner-Truth wrong to hold such views?

Suffering in his sickness, and with the additional challenges of the so-called fits, we must now investigate Pierson’s views on infirmity and his potential treatment. Disturbingly the words of the Folgers are alarming when they said quote. ‘Mr. Pierson expressed himself satisfied that he should overcome them, (his fit’s) he regarded them as the last struggle of the devil with him, and he was satisfied he should master him.’ (Ref: 193.)

This viewpoint reveals that Pierson viewed his so-called fits as some religious experience, which required him to contend with the Devil! The fact that Pierson was quote. ‘Satisfied he should master him,’ indicates that he viewed his on-going battle with his fits as a quote. ‘Struggle’ with the devil within himself. Pierson’s religious ideas and his understanding of them are bewildering and confusing. According to Pierson, his fits or struggle with demonic possession were genuine; losing or dying, not an option! He thought his faith could and would overcome the fits, the devil, and undoubtedly any other obstacle or challenge that may cross his path in life. Like many others, the following statement presents us with a clear understanding of Pierson’s mindset during his time as the ever-faithful John the Baptist to Matthias: we read, quote. ‘It does not appear either that they had once thought of his death, nor did he. Apparently, he seemed principally affected by his fits, and these he had had for a long while, nor did they appear much to hurt him, as he was well in the interval, and the additional sickness was not alarming. He retained his senses, and had so firmly expressed his opinions about physicians and medicine, that no medical aid could be given him; in this respect, his firmness was equal to Matthias.’ (Ref: H77) Standing shoulder to shoulder, Matthias: Pierson and Ann sought no help from the medical profession.

According to the Folger point of view via Mr. Stone’s pen, we read the quote. ‘On this point, the sickness was a devil and could be resisted and cast out.’ From the above statement, great insight into Pierson’s delusion or faith is evident as it is clear that even the Folgers accepted that Pierson was a man of firm faith! Mr. Elijah Pierson was a Christian, and his faith was not going to be destroyed by anyone, including the Devil! Pierson was self-deceived and blind to all reason. Incredibly only four years previously, he deluded himself into believing his beloved wife Sarah would be resurrected from the dead! Now shockingly, during his sufferings, Pierson believes he is being possessed by the Devil, or at the very least afflicted with sickness caused by evil spirits!

We have learned that Pierson relied on Sojourner-Truth to help him during his times of weakness. During Piersons Fits, or claimed demonic possession, Ann Folger often called Pierson, quote, ‘a brute.’ During these debauched sessions, Pierson would masturbate, and either Matthias or Sojourner-Truth would attempt to stop him.

The implications of the previous chapters show the relationship between Matthias and Pierson’s deteriorating. For the most part, the decline is on Matthias’s side, as he has taken offense at Pierson. Additionally, Matthias is proactive in attacking Pierson about his working activities in the fields and gardens around Mount Zion. Incredibly, Matthias and Pierson’s difficulties are beginning to affect Ann and Matthias, resulting in re-opening old wounds. Additionally, the secret between Pierson and Sojourner-Truth fascinates Ann, as Matthias appears to be involved!

Sunday 3rd August 1834.

As the significant activities of Sunday draw to a close: Pierson is physically, mentally, and spiritually weakened. We read in many newspapers that quote. ‘Pierson was left alone in his room without a candle.’ (Ref:184.)  His authority is most assuredly under attack! Sunday should have been a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving; this day should be a day of love, faith, and prayer. As darkness falls, we read that, ‘Pierson was sensible on Sunday night,’ as reported in the Cincinnati Daily Gazette. After days of enduring mental, physical, and now spiritual pain and suffering: unfortunately, Pierson is left alone in the dark, lying on his bed of straw on the floor. As hunger and thirst continue to affect his body adversely, perhaps he dreams of better days, when his wife Sarah was lovingly by his side sharing an albeit spartan Christian existence, before the arrival of the unforgettable American Prophet Matthias. Left alone, Pierson awaits the arrival of Monday morning.

Monday 4th August 1834:

Most newspapers report the events of Monday; they said, quote. ‘On Monday morning, Pierson was worse, and when witness (Ann) went to see him, she found his daughter rubbing his legs, Matthias brought him in his breakfast.’ (Ref: 176 & 192.) In another newspaper report, we read further details when Ann said, quote. ‘His breakfast on this morning, consisting of coffee, bread, and shad, was taken to him by Matthias.’ (Ref: C203.) After the breakfast details, we hear no more of the occurrences until Ann continued with her statement when she said, quote. ‘Pierson appeared to lose his senses; when Matthias came out, he went to preach to Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) and commanded her to go up to his room. At supper time on Monday night, she heard a noise in Pierson’s room and went to the door, and saw Pierson on the floor. Mrs. Gallagher went first to the door, but Matthias said she was always the first to go, and she came back and seated herself at table; sometime after, Matthias went into the room, and so did I, and I saw Pierson lying on the floor with his feet to the door, and I asked to call Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) to take him up, but Matthias said no let him be, I am watching his spirit. I then walked out to the courtyard; towards candlelight, I came in, and Pierson’s bed was put on the floor, and he put on it and left there that night.’ (Ref: 176.)

Within the Cincinnati Daily Gazette, we read a vital piece of information that has been overlooked or left out of many of the other newspapers: we find the quote. ‘Pierson asked me if I could not administer an injection to him, and I (Ann) said yes if Matthias would let me, and bid Pierson ask Matthias for leave to do it. Matthias came into the room, and I went out and heard no more about it.’ (Ref: 192.) With his health deteriorating, Pierson has made a brave, courageous step towards recovery by requesting medical help. He is no longer John the Baptist, the faithful disciple of Matthias; he is a man crying out for help. Unsurprisingly with his faith in Matthias starting to waiver, cracks appear in Piersons commitment to the doctrines of health and sickness. Pierson has exposed himself weaker in the faith; sadly, this is a desperate action by a man clinging to the last vestiges of life! Delving deeper into the horrors unfolding, the newspapers paint the vision of Monday evening as, quote. ‘Pierson’s bed was put on the floor, and he put on it, and left there that night.’ (Ref: 192.)

Attempting to find the devil in the detail, we will look at the different versions of events proffered by Anne and Benjamin Folger. Interestingly, there are monumental differences between the Folger court versions reported in the papers and the statements given to, then published by, Mr. Stone.

Conclusion item 1. What a sad reflection on the desperate situation of religious delusion! Surprisingly Pierson believes he is suffering his fits like his father in heaven or, as I suspect, like his mentor and leader Prophet Matthias. The implications are that Matthias told Pierson that he also experienced fits, which concluded with him overcoming them!

Conclusion item 2. For now, we must content ourselves with the minimum knowledge that they were talking about the mysteries of Matthias’ doctrines, linked with sickness as a religious trial. Amazingly both men believed that fits or afflictions were evil spirits involved in some eternal spirit war!

Conclusion item 3. If you, as the careful reader or Student, consider Elijah Piersons, situation, the real horror of Pierson’s living conditions may surprise you. Pierson was living in a filthy, contaminated room. The movement of his bowels and the vomit turned his bedroom into a living hell. Undoubtedly as Ann surveyed the utter filth of Pierson’s bedroom, her emotions must have been stirred as she, quote. ‘Called the colored woman (Sojourner-Truth) to make his bed upon the floor.’ When Sojourner-Truth arrived, she was ready, willing, and able to do as requested; however, Ann quote. ‘Likewise called Catherine to assist, but she refused.’ (Ref: C202.) In summary, when Catherine refuses to help, Pierson is sleeping on a straw mattress on the floor of his filthy room. In the darkness of his bedroom, Elijah Pierson has no candle or light in his quarters; he has no nurse or medical help. Suffering, he is alone, confused, and desperate for assistance. Isolated and in his dire situation, Pierson tries to sleep and regain his strength of both mind and body!

Tuesday, 5th August 1834:

On Tuesday morning, Ann walked into Pierson’s room, where she found, quote. ‘Pierson lying in the same state, insensible. He was lying on a straw bed on the floor.’ (Ref 184) The exact words used by Ann and penned by Mr. Stone was, quote. ‘The next morning, Tuesday, 5th August, he was insensible, his eyes closed, but his mouth open.’ (Ref: C203) Shockingly Pierson is lying in a bed of straw on the floor, with his mouth continually open, while Elizabeth, Ann, and Sojourner-Truth attempt to keep the flies off his mouth, face, and body.

In a statement made by Ann, under oath, and before the court at White Plains, she informs us of the help which Pierson received. she said, quote. ‘I never forbid Isabella or Pierson’s daughter going into it.’ Shockingly Ann is talking about the filthy, degrading bedroom that Pierson was now living in! Continuing with her statement, she then informs the court quote. ‘I do not think that he ever asked for anything that was refused him, except on the occasion already spoken of. He got his meals regularly until he became senseless.’

THESE FACTS ARE POINT NUMBER 87.

Informatively we understand from most of the newspapers that Pierson received a warm bath sometime on Tuesday evening. As the mother of the house, Ann Folger took her responsibilities seriously due to her education and Christian character. In many ways, she is charming, with her innocent ruthless ability to play the game of life. Evaluating Pierson’s situation, Ann enquired, quote. ‘If anything should be done for Mr. Pierson. He said, no; that he (Matthias) was attending to his own business and watching Mr. Pierson’s spirit. Mrs. Folger asked if she might give him a drink, or wet his lips, as they appeared dry; he said, no, he did not need any.’

About midday, a woman by the name of Mrs. Dratch attempted to visit with Pierson. Unannounced, she traveled on a steamboat from New York. Mrs. Dratch, a Jewess associate, or even a friend, had a reason for her impromptu visit; she was financially destitute and required additional funds from Pierson’s cash reserves! (Ref C: 203) Patiently Mrs. Dratch, quote. ‘Asked to see Pierson several times during the day, and Matthias said that she should see him.’ (Ref: 192)

Remarkably as Sojourner-Truth attended to her duties, she used controlled violence towards Pierson: we read, quote. ‘Perceiving a fit coming on while putting him in the bath, Isabella slapped him on the neck, or side of the face and neck, as before explained, as the wish of Mr. Pierson, and exclaimed, with the characteristic of one of the kingdom, come out of your hellish sleep, and this was the slap at the spirit.’ (Ref: H78) The careful reader may, at this point, be wondering why Sojourner-Truth hit Mr. Pierson and why she called it the slap of the spirit? Turning once again to the court records, Ann tells us why all the disciples of Matthias acted in such a manner; we read, quote. ‘The idea was to torment the evil spirit until it departed. We all sincerely wished for Mr. Pierson’s recovery, but there was nothing done for him but wash him and put him in the bath. We acted so in accordance with what we thought our line of duty, and I was treated when sick in the same way myself.’

Further, in the same statement, we read, quote. ‘When Isabella (Sojourner-Truth) slapped Mr. Pierson, her doing so did not appear in the same light that it does now. At that time, we believed that if we lifted him tenderly and with care, the evil spirit which was in him would come into us and that in order to prevent it, it was necessary to treat him roughly, which our nature would not permit us to do. But Isabella having more resolution than us, and laboring under the same delusion, she slapped his face and desired him to come out of his hellish sleep.’ (Ref: 200) Striking Pierson with the palm of her hand is Sojourner-Truths way of attempting to help, as her obedient actions are a physical expression of the sheer horror and bewilderment endured by Pierson and those associated with him inside the Zion of Matthias!

Undoubtedly, Matthias and his disciples believed they were engaged in some eternal fight against evil spirits, the reality of which they considered undisputable! In one statement, we read, quote. ‘Mr. Pierson’s sickness was considered a defilement, and Matthias said we should burn everything that was in the room. Matthias said the sick spirit defiled the room and it extended to the parlor, in consequence of which Matthias wished the door to be closed which led from the parlor to the kitchen where we then ate our meals’ (Ref: 200)

Almost entirely forgotten in most other reports, statements, and testimonies is the crucial point showing the intentions of Sojourner-Truth to complete the instructions ordered by Mr. Elijah Pierson, she said quote. ‘Come out of your hellish sleep.’ (Ref H78) By administering the slap and harsh words, Sojourner-Truth is acting on instructions previously given to her directly by Mr. Pierson and should not be construed as an act of violence or cruelty! Additionally, Sojourner-Truth has not flinched from her duty of care towards Pierson, as on many occasions, she has been able to do that which others could not or would not do!

The recognized understanding of demonic possession by pretty devils or sick spirits is a core belief of Matthias’ disciples. We have no records from the community showing any rejection of doctrines on communications with or possession by spirits from the unseen spirit world. According to witnesses, Mr. E. Pierson became possessed or influenced by demonic forces beyond our known earthly realm!

Attempting to explain her emotional and spiritual feelings towards the perceived evil within Pierson, we find proof positive that Ann believed the sick spirit within Pierson could enter into other persons. Terrified, Ann is afraid for herself and the other women within Mount Zion. From all the direct and indirect evidence available, the idea of Ann trying to protect herself from demonic possession is not in question! Attempting to help herself and the other women at Mount Zion, Ann wants to prevent these so-called evil spirits from entering into the other women: in her words, she said quote. ‘It might be the proper way of resisting the sick spirit and preventing it’s visiting the women.’ (Ref: C204)

In many reports, we read that, quote. ‘Pierson was left alone.’ The idea of Pierson alone, as reported in most of the newspapers, is not entirely accurate! (Ref: 184) According to Sojourner-Truth, we find Mrs. Dratch once again steps forward and offers, quote. ‘To sit up with Mr. Pierson.’ Characteristically Matthias declined her offer, resulting in Mrs. Dratch closing the door to her bedroom and retiring for the night (Ref: H79)

As we have read, according to Sojourner-Truth, Mrs. Ann Folger, at the very least, somewhat neglected Pierson in his time of need and care. As in all things, Ann and Sojourner-Truth both had duties of care towards Pierson! Additionally, Ann was pregnant with Matthias’ child: in one report, we read, quote. ‘Not being well herself, her cares were numerous, and having very little rest at night from her anxiety for Mr. Pierson, which was increased by the singular noise made by him most of the time, she (Ann) became greatly exhausted.’ (Ref: C204) As each person attempts to sleep, the groans from Pierson’s room continued unceasingly. According to Stones’ version of events via the Folgers statements, we read the quote. ‘Mr. Pierson had fits now in rapid succession, and the peculiar noise he made could be heard in every part of the house.’ (Ref C205)

If so desired, students and interested readers can read the full version of Sojourner-Truths interaction with the Notorious American Prophet Matthias inside either a deluxe flip e-book or a standard e-book from Amazon or Barns & Noble. Hard and softback versions are also available.

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