What Happens in the Convent Stays in the Convent…

My first article as “The Conspiracy Guy” is up at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website. It’s called, “Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures: A Classic American Conspiracy Theory.”



3 Responses to What Happens in the Convent Stays in the Convent…

  1. Timothy Binga says:

    Nice article Bob. I never followed up much on with this work (we have more than a few copies here) and this article helps fill in some knowledge gaps I had. Thanks.

  2. Bob says:

    Hey, Tim. Yeah, I’m pretty awesome. It was, in fact, your comment that you had several copies of this in the library that convinced me that this was worth following up on.

  3. Pacal says:

    Here in Canada works like Maria Monk’s fictional memoirs were actually very common as a bit of political folklore.

    I rember reading English Canadian Newspapers from the 1830s and 40s writing breathless accounts about the corruption and wickedness of the Catholic church and about how “Priest ridden” French Canadians were. These accounts also included “true stories” of Priests seducing and raping etc. THe idea of the confessional as a place of seduction and rape and monastaries and convents as places of perversion and corruption was also very common. Often this was blended with anti-French Canadian hysterics.

    Because in Canada the division during much of the 19th century was between French Catholic Canadians and English Protestant Canadians. So the “anti-papist” mindset that produced such things has Titus Oate’s conspiracy nonsense produced in Canada an anti-Catholic mindset that merged with anti-French bias and the political fight for power.

    In Canada belief in a French conspiracy against English Canada has blended seamlessly with anti-Cathlocism for much of the History of Canada.

    It is my understanding that among some Americans Quebec became sort of a base for the great “papist” conspiracy to destroy rightous Protestantism and the American way of life.

    It is interesting to record that among French Canadians there existed a belief that English Canadians were engaged in a Protestant conspiracy to destroy French Canada and the one true Church, (Catholic).

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