A husband and his wife, physically and financially depressed, followed a hint in an address by a “metaphysical lecturer,” Eugene B. Weeks. “I am a child of God, and therefore do not inherit sickness.” This thought healed Myrtle Fillmore of tuberculosis and, later, her husband, Charles, of a diseased hip. Raised in a Christian environment, they connected it thoroughly with Christian terminology, and then with all-encompassing faith they applied the thought in every direction.


The movement began with debts in the year 1890, but it grew through free will offerings in return for literature and prayers freely distributed. Today its influence spreads around the earth, including Nigeria. Statistics, however, are not available, as the cult prefers (like the Bahá’is) to work silently and pervasively.

In 1891 the name Unity suddenly dawned upon Charles Fillmore. “That’s it,” he cried. “UNITY! That’s the name for our work, the name we’ve been looking for! The name came right out of the ether, just as the voice of Jesus was heard by Paul alone. No one heard it, but it was as clear to me as though somebody had spoken to me.”

Blest with two sons, Rickert the architect-farmer, and Lowell the organizer, the organization has built two centers, the Unity Society of Practical Christianity in Kansas City, Missouri, and the more recent headquarters, the Unity School of Christianity at Lee’s Summit, Missouri. They operate “the best vegetarian cafeteria in the world” (though the eating of meat is not strictly forbidden, and Charles ate fish in his later years), they own huge printing presses and a powerful broadcasting station, they distribute freely and sell tons of books and pamphlets, and they have year-round training classes and education ...

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