Forgotten Religion Kosmon Finds Resurgence In Modern Era

JESSE THORSTAD is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How One Religion Used The Internet To Gain Followers

When one thinks of a religious gathering, the things that come to mind are large churches and steeples or perhaps a call to prayer echoing off the sidewalks and buildings of a major city. The Kosmon faith is much more nondescript as it seeks its revitalization in smaller locations like storefronts in Brooklyn, New York.

Although it was once a more popular religion, the Kosmon faith and its worshipers, “Faithists” fell to the wayside in the late 19th century. Now, individuals such as Anthony Linton, the president of the Faithist temple in Brooklyn, are trying to revitalize the Kosmon religious interpretation of the world, one small step at a time. 

What Do Faithists Believe?

The story of Faithism began in the late 19th century when John Bailou Newbrough (1828-1898) had a religious revelation which leads to him writing the Kosmon bible, called the Oahspe. During this time, he would sit at his typewriter and type out the revelations as they occurred to him, without his direct knowledge of what he was writing until after it was finished. The Oahspe, meaning “sky, earth, and spirit” is meant to be a grand gathering of all spiritual knowledge that had been revealed at the time of its completion. 

The contents of the Oahspe are vast, touching on aspects of ethics, the need for conservation efforts on earth, as well as the history of the cosmos that exist in several different realms including those beyond human comprehension. The text contains maps of the cosmos, a vast 24,000 year history leading to the present day, as well as various languages including modern English and Panic, the supposed original language of humans derived from the mimicry of sounds. 

A Resurgent Faith

The Faithists became fewer in number following the death of the founder due to an outbreak of influenza at one of the numerous Kosmon colonies that sprung up in the heyday of the faith. The members of the temple created their off-shoots which rose and fell as the central part of the religion staggered along. Now, though, with the power of the internet, the Faithist movement is beginning to see an uptick in interest and numbers. Currently, groups are meeting in several major cities including New York, New England, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and other places as well. Much like the Oahspe says, the journey to enlightenment can be long and arduous, but people will seek out new interpretations of faith and personal enlightenment. 


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