Did Mary Baker Eddy write it? The authorship of “Money Thought”

March 25, 2019

We are occasionally asked to authenticate an article titled “Money Thought,” sometimes said to be the work of Mary Baker Eddy. It begins, “In working on the money thought, do you see you are working on the god of this world thought, and that, therefore, it is the basis of belief of life in matter?”

We have found no evidence that Eddy wrote or was the source of this article. It appears to have originated with individuals who withdrew from membership in, or were not affiliated with, The Mother Church. They include Rev. Glenn Andrews Kratzer, Elizabeth Cary Kratzer, and Stephen H. Alison.

In April 1916 Elizabeth Kratzer wrote a book that included pieces of “Money Thought,” titled Individual Completeness; or, The Male and Female of God’s Creating, published by her husband, Glenn Kratzer. In September 1916 Alison began a magazine that printed the full article and claimed the document constituted notes “kept by one of Mrs. Eddy’s early students from her teaching on the money thought.”1 Those alleged notes do not exist today. Furthermore, nowhere in her writings did Eddy use the phrase “money thought.”

In 1933 the Christian Science Sentinel informed readers about the origins of “Money Thought”:

Recently, additional information has been collected which throws light upon the source of another much-traveled paper on the “Money Thought.” For some years this manuscript has been circulating in the United States of America and abroad. Its copies have varied noticeably, and the Directors of The Mother Church have uniformly pronounced them “unauthentic.” Now it is known that this article in its original form appeared in a magazine edited and published by a dismissed member of The Mother Church and an associate, who gave this item the caption, “Notes kept by one of Mrs. Eddy’s early students from her teaching on the money thought.” Advertised in this magazine were various books, among which were some whose authors had been dismissed from The Mother Church because their writings did not accord with the requirements of the By-Laws in respect to literature on Christian Science. To the thoughtful, it is obvious that the printed caption used in this magazine, designed by its sponsors to present their particular brand of metaphysical teaching, is misleading.2

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  1. “Notes kept by one of Mrs. Eddy’s early students from her teaching on the money thought,” The Christian Scientist, September 1916, 5–7.
  2. “Item of Interest,” Christian Science Sentinel, 2 December 1933, 271–272, https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/3bujbpmg2q?s=t.