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Chapter 48 - Roklus defends the Essenian way of life and its false miracles.
48,1. Roklus says, “I would have to let it happen without any opposition; for truth remains truth, whether it harms me or helps me! But I now know what you actually want to say to me by this, and that must have to consist of the fact that our order is something bad and finally our downfall will come to us soon, as soon as the pure light of God from heaven has enlightened those hearts of man. Friend, that is indeed a truth, to which cannot be objected – for if all the people or at least a large part of them are initiated in all our secrets from God, our work will certainly have reached an end for ever – but at least one will never be able to say of us that we did such a thing with even a spark of selfish, evil will, since in this highly troubled time nothing but only the earthly well-bring of the people lay in our hearts, and our cloister is actually nothing other than an institute for love and friendship. We chose no poor means for this!
48,2. Certainly one could say: every fraud is already poor means! But there I retort to any god: yes, fraud is certainly always poor means, if I combine it with even the smallest evil intention for whatever selfish reason! But if I see that a person cannot be healed in any other way than with an open fraud, and I then seize this one means out of pure love for the suffering brother and help the person unmistakably, then even the worst fraud is and remains no bad thing, but instead only a highly good and just means against which no god is in a position to object to me. I want to simply give you an example out of my Essene experience of life to back up what I said, and you will have to say I am correct, even if you were ten times a god.
48,3. A weeping man came to me whose dear, young and extremely good wife had become ill in a certain way, a sickness of which she could only be healed in all certainty through a one and only means well known to me. Every other medication would obviously have brought death and made the husband into the unhappiest person in the world. But the wife had such an antipathy against the known means that she wanted to die ten times over rather than to make use of this medication for her certain healing. All persuasion did not help, and the husband went from one depth of despair to another. But I, never embarrassed by a good suggestion in such situations, immediately said very seriously and decidedly to the wife in front of her husband: Oh be quite calm, I know a hundred other means that will heal such illnesses much faster and more certainly than this named one! But in this I had already lied through my teeth; for I truly knew no other for all the treasures of the Earth. This true cardinal lie was the first deception for the best of the patient.
48,4. The second and greater lie consisted necessarily of giving the known drug another name, mixing something ineffective into it and thereby changing the form, colour and to a certain extent the taste, and then placing it at their disposal for a steep price. Three pounds of gold changed the issue very powerfully. The wife took the medicine with great joy and after this she was not only completely saved within a few hours, but at the same time was fresh, cheerful and also completely healthy! I myself could hardly hold back the laughter at this good con, and to this day neither the wife nor the husband has learned even a syllable about my deception for the good of both of them!
48,5. Now I ask you whether this fraud was in itself good or bad? You are silent and can object to nothing! But I will reveal another example to you and then ask you for your judgment.
48,6. You see, a year ago it happened that the only thirteen-year-old daughter of a highly respectable and extremely wealthy couple died of an evil leprosy. I casually heard the news of it and hurried immediately to the house of great sadness. Father and mother were inconsolable at such a loss. I carefully examined the girl who was lying completely dead and found that she had a great similarity to a girl in our great people’s shelter and care institute and thought to myself: This grieving couple can and should be helped!
48,7. I immediately called the father over and said to him: Grieve not! I am a true Essene and I tell you that I can bring this sleeper back to life through my Grand Arcanum in the monastery! Have her brought there with everything that she ever owned and describe to me most exactly her whole character, her sympathies and antipathies, in brief, about everything that has ever been around her, and I guarantee you that I will bring this now dead daughter of yours back into your arms at the most within two months!
48,8. That both the parents did not consider for long, goes without saying, since they already considered me incapable of any deception in advance. Therefore everything that had been the girl’s from the cradle to her death had to be brought into the monastery. Since I had very often come into this house during my time of service and knew the girl very well, and since the previously mentioned foster girl resembled the dead girl very much and also possessed much ability, the exchange was very easily possible. After the time of a few months had passed, the foster girl was already quite the risen daughter of the parents waiting faithfully for her return.
48,9. I myself undertook the bringing of the risen into the parental home. When both the parents saw and recognised me well from afar, they ran towards me with hands raised in joy, and the pseudo-daughter did the same at my bidding and after my previous training in how she should behave. You should have been a witness of the joy of both the parents, and you would have cried with joy along with me!
48,10. Through this certainly highly fine, but nonetheless colossal fraud, three people became completely happy; the two grieving, father and mother, undoubtedly have their lost daughter again, and the otherwise highly poor girl has come to a couple of such benefactors as her heart could ever wish for. And what did I have from this? I tell you, as truly as I stand here: nothing but the pleasant knowledge that I have made three people very happy!
48,11. Now I ask you whether this fraud can also be called bad! Yes, I myself call every fraud bad which is undertaken by a person out of selfishness and disdainful profit-seeking against his innocent fellow man; but if I take comfort in a very fine deception when I have the fullest conviction that some very unhappy person cannot be healed in any other way, then even a very large fraud is something very good and cannot be characterised as bad by any reasonable and wise god, and one must be thankful in addition to the inventive human spirit who thought up the means in our order to make the suffering person happy and healthy!
48,12. Or did your God not also make use of an open deception of the old and blind Father Isaac according to your Scriptures, in order to give his people a better ancestor in Jacob than the first-born coarse Esau? I certainly agree with you in that every evil deception, if it has once reached the point of culmination, must destroy itself, but a deception for the good of humanity will surely never do this of itself – only through some wilful evil traitor, yes! But then the friend of truth who betrays the good fraud of ours is obviously a thousand times worse than the worst fraudster of the people of our order! Contradict me if you can! I am prepared to enter any battle with you in this respect.”
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