Calvin Blanchard in the Boston Investigator (1861–1866)

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Mr. President:—If it is not out of order, I should like to make a short communication for the consideration of the meeting over which you have the honor to preside.

I presume that the object of the Infidel Association is to eradicate superstition. Superstition is but the form which man’s ignorance takes. The Bible, the great bugbear of “Infidels,” is not a cause of superstition, or of ignorance; it is but one of the manifestations of it, Is there no superstition where man is so savage that not even Bibles exist among them?

The question is, to prevent the religious, political, moral, and social evils which arise from man’s ignorance. In order to do which, we must have precisely such an educational organization, on an intelligible and political basis, as now exists on an incomprehensible basis. There is, there can be, no absurdity more monstrous—no project more hopeless—than that of attempting, through reason and discussion, to set mankind right, after allowing their organs of intellect to be completely maimed in the bud.

You cannot “poh, poh” the religious instinct out of existence; and if you could, man would sink lower| than any other animal.

Until science and art show that in and through the substantial, man can obtain all that he is constituted to desire, he will look for it beyond the skies; even and until the social organism is regulated by scientific religion and a corresponding artistic government, it will continue to be disturbed and tormented by the religion of mystery and its resulting governmental brutalities, social abominations, and moral delusions.

I propose that societies be formed to commence a course of positivistic education; that it should hold its meetings weekly, and intersperse its teaching and lectures with all that can delight and attract. That no pains be spared to gain over the all powerful influence of woman. Whatever social undertaking does not do this, is a failure to begin with; and whatever social system does not have the full unbiased sanction of woman ought to fail.

To such an organization, I will contribute fifty dollars per year, to begin a subscription with ; and I know that if all the unbelievers in Spiritualism in New York would do as much in proportion to their means, Heaven on Earth would soon eliminate from the human mind all notions respecting a Heaven beyond the skies,


Calvin Blanchard.

Calvin Blanchard, “A Statement and Proposition,” Boston Investigator 31 no. 1 (April 24, 1861): 3.

For the Boston Investigator.


Extract from the writings of Calvin Blanchard, announcer of the religion of science; professor of theo-religio political physics; and expositor of the statics and dynamics of God Almighty.—There needs but the practicalness in religion and government, that is exercised in less complicated mechanics, to establish “Heaven” on earth.

All which to or in man exists,* is God, Almighty.† The “Heaven”-idea, or “immortality”-instinct, is His index to, and warranty for, perfection. This, it is a necessity and the irrepressible tendency of His nature to accomplish.

Mankind necessarily must become substantial “angels,” “Heaven” must be materially realized.—Progress cannot stop, till God’s highest purpose—man’s highest aim—is executed; till human beings obtain all they desire, with just the exertion requisite to give full delight to possession, and are secure of happiness till pleasure, in all the varieties presentable to the five senses, palls on the appetite, and sensation itself becomes valueless. All this is clearly conceivable, and therefore possible; for ideas are not absolute, but relative.

God operates through development. Human skill is his finishing stroke. Through this, He will create supply fully adequate to demand, liberate human nature from all constraint, and forever abolish that compromise with evil, that make-shift of ignorance, that substructure of vindictiveness, hypocritically named “self-denial.”

The crowning process in divine mechanics will be a re-organization, whereby, after the model of the solar system, society will provide for the right action of its members; whereby social action will become unobstructed, harmonious, reciprocal; whereby all means will be used, instead of neglected or abused;—made as productive of good as they now are of evil, This is all that is needed. That this will be accomplished, I claim to have demonstrated. I maintain that government is justly responsible to the individual; not the individual to government: or, that responsibility belongs to government and the individual mutually, in the ratio of their power: that, therefore, penal laws are most consummate quackery, and their-execution the height of atrocity.

I have taken into account all the obstacles to man’s happiness, and find that there is not one that does not contain an indispensable requisite to it. I have searched into the discordancy, the prejudice, the blindness which miseducation and the arch-tyrant Habit have sanctified in popular estimation, and enbalmed in the affections of mankind, together with the suicidal foolishness monstrously named selfishness, and found their sure remedy. I have calculated the appalling difference between man’s capacity for health and longevity and the amount of these which he enjoys, and pointed out the means whereby that difference will be obliterated; I have grappled with the causes which give death such fearful advantage over the young, and so overwhelmingly afflict mankind with disease. I have shorn the “King of Terrors” of his dread title. It is only in asserting man’s capability to live when he is dead, that other religious teachers outdo me.

I have not shrank from such opponents as earthquakes or tornadoes. Neither the superfluous thermal action in the torrid zone, nor the too feeble thermal and luminous action at the poles, terrify me. All evil is physical. “Moral evil” is a tricky sophism, under which social mountebanks hide their incapacity—a phantom, by battling with which, they avoid ttacking the real foe. Substantialities (and not speculative abstractions, and the shallow surfaceishness which tickles the multitude,) must be the study of mankind’s rulers, before religion can be other than wholesale fraud, or government better than triumphant brigandage.

The universal imminency of war, the unprecedentedly formidable means for human butchery, and the frightful extent to which those means are already active, evince the utter inefficiency of the method whereby, for almost nineteen centuries, it has been attempted to produce “peace on earth.” Countless ages of moralism at length sum up in a perfect saturnalia of fraud, hypocrisy, corruption, prostitution, and all that is abominable. Monarchism and aristocratism are in their death-agonies. Majorityism—demagoguery—“elective franchise” (?) has proved to be the shortest cut to ruin that a nation can take. All the experiments hitherto tried on the unfortunate Social Organism are such shameful failures—such thoroughly exploded Utopias, that neither divines, philosophers, politicians, sceptics, nor philanthropists, can agree as to whether wages-slaves or chattel-slaves have the worst of it, and mankind are completely at a loss to decide whether masters or slaves are most uncomfortably situated. It therefore seems to me most opportune to present my discoveries to those whom the Almighty has endowed with ability to become practical social architects, No good ever has been, or can be achieved except through physical science and art. In the name of God, and in behalf of the human race, I demand the inauguration of physical science and art in religion and government.


New York, October, 1861,

* “How came existence?” Nonsense! You can’t imagine non-existence.

† The only dangerous Atheist is the church. She proclaims that God is an immaterial spirit, and thus practically denies His existence, while treacherously seeming to affirm it.

“Presignification,” Boston Investigator 31 no. 25 (October 09, 1861): 4.

For the Boston Investigator.

“The Satyricon.”

Mr. Editor:—In our review of the above book, you say “nor do we believe that he [Calvin Blanchard practices what he preaches,” &c. Yes, I do, to the utmost possible, and have for more than fifteen years, and still shall continue to. So long as I do not get my “brains blown out,” nor die in some other way, I will never cease to present to the leaders of mankind my great plan for reorganizing the human relations, and all in the connection, so that human nature will be completely emancipated; not, as now, all but completely enslaved. So that all human beings will be developed to a superiority immensely beyond what the best of them now exhibit.—So that all (mind the emphasis) men, women, and children will do and be all that they please as long as they please.

Truly yours,

Calvin Blanchard, Publisher.

26 Ann Street, New York.

Calvin Blanchard, “The Satyricon,” Boston Investigator 316 no. 2 (May 16, 1866):


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2684 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.


  1. Shawn, I am a huge fan of Calvin Blanchard. I have been for several years now. What I find is that people today, as people also in Blanchard’s time, only developed the skill set of working under despotism. When I speak of the wrongs in practice today, the reaction is fear & confusion because people have literally never seen free thought in any working order. Mr Blanchard has never been wrong, that I can see. We can live in heaven on earth. Our society is set up for the accumulation of despotism. We can set up our society for liberty. Imagine, zero suffering. Mr Blanchard realized that nature is all sufficient. We can revolutionize our society, using technology. We can use his system. Working models should be used to create what Calvin Blanchard & so many other believers knew was possible. Conscious liberty.

  2. Shawn, I have trouble working these sites. I have just signed up for a wordpress site. I would like to begin to complete what Mr Blanchard & so many others envisioned, free society. The process is easy. First we lay down how society without despotism functions, individual based society. Then we create a working model to accommodate the transition.

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