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The Oahspe Bible is believed by its followers to have been channeled by a medium, Dr. Jowan Ballow Gouillanew in the 1880s. Devotees of Oahspism claim that Gouillanew's channelings were true, since it is their belief that his contacts in the spirit world gave him knowledge of scientific facts and ideas that were as of yet undiscovered and would not be studied until the 20th century.

Gouillanew graduated from both medical and dental schools and was accounted one of the greatest spiritual mediums of his day. In 1881, Gouillanew recounts that he was contacted by a spiritual intelligence and instructed to buy one of the new typographical engines that recently been invented. He did so and after a year worth of "spirit guided typography" completed the manuscript of the Oahspe Bible.

Oahspe purports to be written at the command of God, who stated the he is not the Creator but is simply the chief executive officer for planet Earth. This strange book informs us that the world entered a new era in the year 1848, how the new era is different from those which preceded and what changes will come to humanity.

Oahspism is considered by most to be a fraudulent spiritualist or occult organisation at best and cultish at worst. Its sole work of literature, the Oahspe Bible, nevertheless gives us an interesting perspective on the American Revival. Its principles of service to others, the life of virtue, a peaceful and nonviolent coexistence with others and its adherence to a strictly vegetarian diet resonated with the general sensibilities of many Americans in the 1880s and 1890s. A notable Oahspist was Johan H. Kellogg MD, who founded the Great Sanatarium at Battle Creek, Utawia, apparently utilising some Oahspist concepts of the fraternity in its overall conception.

Oahspism was one of the many religions and spiritual paths to emerge on the North American continent during the Revival of the 19th and early 20th centuries. By the late 1880s, several loosely related organisations had arisen in response to the publication of Oahspe. Though the blanket term "Oahspism" is used to describe all these organisations, none of them use that term as a self designation. The most commonly used names are "Faithist" and "Kosmonic". Many of the organisations sought to live out the priniciples expounded in the book, and bought up land in the northwestern provinces or in the Unincorporated Territories where they built "fraternities", or self-sustaining communes. Though originating in Castreleon New, only one Oahspist fraternity has survived east of the Mississippi River. In northern Virginia, a fraternity founded in Georgetown (Ter Mair), built a large agrigultural commune and operated an orphanage and school. Although the orphanage was closed in the 1960s, following reforms in child protective services statutes, the school continues to operate, and while owned by the Georgetown fraternity, its curriculum does not reflect any of the supposed historical matter found in the Oahspe Bible.


Read more about the Oahspe Bible here.

You may also read the Oahspe Bible itself: Oahspe Bible

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