Skip to main content.
Information about Faiths, Beliefs, Doctrines, Etc.
Follow us:

Apologetics Research Resources on religious movements, cults, sects, world religions and related issues

home Home     Information about Apologetics Index research resources How To Use Our Religion Database
Color Key Color Key    index Topical Index

The Abode of Love

Pages In This Entry:

  1. Agapemone
  2. Agapemone - Henry Prince
  3. Agapemonites and the Abode of Love
  4. The Abode of Love
  5. Agapemone - Research Resources

Next page:
Previous page:

To the community's surprise, in 1904, he chose an outsider to become his 'Bride of the Lamb' or his 'Chief Soul Bride', a position the new Sister Ruth took unhesitatingly and with no apparent protest from Catherine. The precise nature of the relationship was soon revealed - three children called Glory, Power and Life were born within a few years. The response of the Church of England was to defrock Smyth-Pigott, but his reaction was: 'I am God. It does not matter what they do'.

As the years passed and Ruth aged, the dictator of the predominantly female community began to look for a new and younger 'Bride of the Lamb' and a Sister Grace was courted under the guise of religious instruction. Ruth resolved not to give in without a fight and challenged Smyth-Pigott in his private quarters. The consequence of this argument was that the poor woman was publicly derobed in the chapel and replaced by Sister Grace. Ruth left the community without her children.

After the departure of Ruth, Smyth-Pigott gave up all pretence of a Chief Soul Bride and the outside world turned aggressively towards the Agapemonites. Demonstrations outside the gates were not uncommon and in one of the most brutal attacks a male member of the sect was mistaken for Smyth-Pigott and was beaten, tarred and feathered. A little later the man died.

The leader took one more official soul-bride but it was thought that there were many others. At times of heavy press attention he would take holidays abroad to other Agapemonite branches, mainly in Norway. These visits also won converts who would then come to Spaxton as paying guests.

Despite the manner of Ruth's departure, Smyth-Pigott had always regretted that she had left. So he hired private investigators to track her down and then implored her to return. When she eventually agreed to come back it was not as a Chief Soul Bride, but with pity rather than love, as a dignified woman who bore the marks of intense suffering.

During the mid 1920s the health of the 'Messiah' began to decline, as did the financial well-being of the sect due to some injudicious building extensions and the world slump. And in March 1927 the second 'immortal' leader died - many mourners joined Catherine and Ruth at the graveside of a man who must be one of Somerset's greatest charlatans.

Unchallenged, the leadership switched to Douglas Hamilton who did not have the youth or the charisma to enable the movement to grow. By 1929 numbers had dwindled to thirty women and three men (Hamilton and a couple of gardeners). Eventually, the meaningless leadership title fell to Ruth in her old age. Before she died at the age of 90 she willed that the chapel should be consecrated and the movement at Spaxton folded completely two years later.
- Source: Malcolm Rigby, The Abode of Love, Somerset Gateway, May, 2000.

• Somerset is one of the most beautiful Counties of the British Isles. There is everything from the rolling hills of Exmoor to the breathtaking beauty of the levels. Visitors to Somerset in the UK will find a county full of variety. Somerset offers places to relax and leisure activities to excite and challenge. Somerset Gateway is here to help you get the most from this beautiful County.

Part: 1 2 3

Tags and keywords for this Apologetics Index entry More About...

Topic: Agapemone
Related Tags / Keywords:

Join us at Google+

Information about Apologetics Index research resources Comment

    Our Comments Policy
  • We favor well-reasoned, constructive comments.
  • This is not a discussion- or debate forum.
  • Keep comments brief and to the point
  • lengthy comments (more than a few lines) should be posted on your own site, a forum, or perhaps Google+. You are welcome to post a link to your comments.
Note: To post your comment, you can log in with your WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account.Note: All comments are moderated.

Comments are closed.

RSS Feed Free Updates
Subscribe: Subscribe to Apologetics Index via email Email   Follow Apologetics Index at Twitter Twitter   Read Apologetics Index in an RSS reader RSS   Google+ Google+

Information about Apologetics Index research resources More Apologetics & Countercult Research?

• Select a topic from our A-Z Index
• See our home page for the latest updates and additions to the site
• Or use our Google-powered search engine:
This post was last updated: Jul. 10, 2010