Religious leaders began to realize that if they could join in a partnership with science they could sell their particular religion to a wider audience. We saw how successfully this scam was pulled off by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. When he couldn’t sell his brand of yoga in the Western world as “The Spiritual Regeneration Movement,” he called it “The Science of Creative Intelligence” and it became a success.
Maharishi was not the first to use this scheme. Long before his day, Mary Baker Eddy had founded the cult of Christian Science. Convinced that multitudes would be attracted to “Christianity” if it were scientific, she turned Jesus into a “scientist” who knew the “mental laws” that allegedly govern this universe. Unfortunately, what Eddy taught was not biblical Christianity based upon the true gospel of Jesus Christ, but an esoteric interpretation of the Bible which only she could explain. In spite of the Bible’s declaration that no “Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter:1:20), Eddy insisted that her interpretation alone was the truth, as expressed in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Mrs. Eddy held that key and had now unlocked a new understanding that all must follow—an audacious and absurd claim.
The absolute authority and infallibility claimed by “Mother Eddy” is now wielded by the “Mother Church,” where all except the most minor decisions are made for the branch churches and must be accepted without question. To this day, every Christian Science church around the world must take its Sunday lessons from the Mother Church in Boston, lessons which are based upon the infallible interpretation of Scripture known only to, and revealed only by, Mary Baker Eddy.
Here we have one of the first marks of a cult: that the followers must accept without question whatever the cult leader as the infallible authority decrees. A former Christian Scientists of the third generation explains some of its teachings:
“Mary Baker Eddy declares that there is no sin and no hell, and that death is an illusion. No one needs to be concerned about salvation because everyone will live eternally….
“Jesus was just a man, the perfect example for us to follow. He didn’t die for our sins. Instead, he demonstrated the unreality of matter, that all is mind, and that we too can overcome the false beliefs of mortal mind….
“We were warned not to read the bible without Key to the Scriptures…. We were always encouraged to repeat the affirmations, “Christian Science is the complete and final revelation” and “Christian Science is a perfect science….”