In September 1902 a man by the name of John Hugh Smyth-Pigott of the Agapemonites made claim to be God incarnate coinciding with his proclamation that he was the Second Coming of the Messiah on Earth. Upon hearing this claim Mirza Ghulam Ahmad informed J.H. Smyth-Pigott of his impending doom within his lifetime if he persists in his claim that he is God and does not repent i.e. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would live to see the death of J.H. Smyth-Pigott of the Agapemonites or Pigott would repent during his lifetime.
Agapemonites, translated as “Adobe of Love” in Greek, was a Christian religious sect existing from 1846-1956 established in Somerset, England. The Agapemonites or Community of The Son of Man were founded by Henry James Prince (1811-1899), who broke away from the Church of England in claiming that the Holy Ghost had taken up residence in his body. He ironically claimed to be immortal but died in 1899 and was succeeded by John Hugh Smyth-Pigott, he too claimed immortality and after his death the cult went into decline until the last member died in 1956.
The Agapemonites beliefs centred around eccentric views on marriage, the Messiah, immortality and the role of women. On September 7th 1902, John Hugh Smyth-Pigott, born 1852, proclaimed that he was the Second Coming of the Messiah and that he was “God not man” and stated “God is no longer there” pointing upwards, “but here” pointing to himself, thus sparking riots in the streets of London as several thousand people mocked the congregation and chased him to shouts of ‘hypocrite’ as he resorted to police protection to resist the attacks. Consequently, J.H. Smyth-Pigott relocated to Somerset where he continued his movement centred around power, sex, money and womanising by demanding a chain of brides, allegedly seven a week, whom he named ‘soul brides’, later investigations showed that these ‘soul brides’ were not only spiritual but physical too, and some produced illegitimate children. He was defrocked by the Church of England under the Clergy Discipline Act on a charge of immorality as a result of his illicit affairs to which his reaction was “I am God. It does not matter what they do”. He died at the age of seventy-five from influenza and was succeeded by Douglas Hamilton who did not have the youth or the charisma to enable the movement to grow. The movement itself gradually ceased to exist due to the boast of immortality of its leaders who then passed away negating the belief of their alleged undying life.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came to know of the claim put forward by J.H. Smyth-Pigott and in response, a disciple of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, wrote in English for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a letter to be circulated in England directed towards J.H. Smyth-Pigott. The letter/leaflet was entitled ‘A Warning To A Pretender To Divinity’.
“J.H. Smyth Pigott, Pastor of… London, has recently announced himself as God… on the 7th and 14th of September 1902… God has, therefore, commanded me to warn him… I, therefore, warn him through this notice that if he does not repent of this irreverent claim, he shall be soon annihilated, even in my life-time… God has borne witness to my truth with heavenly signs shown in thousands… The death of Mr. Pigott within my life-time shall be another sign of my truth. If I die before Mr. Pigott, I am not the true Messiah nor am I from God… God shall bring the false Messiah to destruction within the life-time of the true one… 24th November 1902.” (A Warning To A Pretender To Divinity)
The above letter cannot be found on the official website and even Ahmadiyya lists, compiled to detail the works of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, fail to mention this letter/leaflet presented above. It is unsurprisingly unknown, unlisted and unavailable in order to suppress the failed prophecy contained within it. Why would they hide the works of their Prophet/Mahdi/Messiah? Why would they hide the alleged words of God contained within this ‘prophecy’? This material has been hidden from followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad for obvious reasons, however thorough research will always lead one toward the truth and as much as the Ahmadiyya community have tried to suppress this subject, scatters of remnants can be found on the official website which eventually echoes the reality of this prophecy. The first indication outside of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself comes from his second successor and son, Mirza Bashir Mahmud Ahmad.
“Hazrat Mirza Sahib… issued another leaflet sometime in 1903. This leaflet was called Prophecies about Dowie and Piggott. Piggott was a pretender in England… he prayed: ‘God, ordain that the falsehood of Piggott and Dowie may soon become patent to people.’ This leaflet also was published in the West on a very large scale. Newspapers in Europe and America commented upon it. The Glasgow Herald in Britain and the New York Commercial Advertiser in America published summaries of it. Millions of persons came to know of it.” (An Invitation To Ahmadiyya – Argument 10 – Prophecies)
Direct Link: http://www.alislam.org/books/invitation/arg10.html
The rest of the section, in his book, ‘An Invitation To Ahmadiyya’, fails to mention J.H. Smyth-Pigott again but continues focusing on Alexander Dowie. However, Mirza Bashir Mahmud Ahmad mentions that the prophecy has been published in newspapers throughout Europe and America. The monthly eGazette on the official website gives yet more details on this subject and notice how this edition which utilises a newspaper article from 1907 only concentrates on Alexander Dowie and does not mention J.H. Smyth-Pigott in the slightest.
“What Did USA Newspapers Say About Alexander Dowie? The Sunday Herald, Boston, June 23, 1907 wrote, “Great is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Messiah Foretold Pathetic End of Dowie.” (April 2009 eGazette)
The April 2009 edition of the monthly eGazette magazine shows an image of an article entitled ‘Great Is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad The Messiah’ said to be contained in the Sunday Herald, Boston dated June 23rd 1907. You can’t help but notice that that image of the newspaper on the April issue of the official monthly eGazette (above) magazine is hard to read, more importantly, why have they completely ignored the prophecy concerning John Hugh Smyth-Pigott contained within it? The quote below taken from the newspaper article is in essence from the letter entitled ‘A Warning To A Pretender To Divinity’. The full image is given below and then a close up to verify the quote concerning J.H. Smyth-Pigott is given which reflects the letter entitled ‘A Warning To A Pretender To Divinity’.
“Great Is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad” (The Sunday Herald, Boston, June 23 1907)
Direct Link: http://www.thecult.info/forum/download/file.php?id=73
Below is a close up of the first column, specifically the bottom left hand paragraph:
“A sign of the evidence of God in my favor will appear on the death of Mr. Pigott, the arrogant pretender to divinity, who shall be brought to destruction within my lifetime…” (The Sunday Herald, Boston, June 23 1907)
Direct Link: http://www.thecult.info/forum/download/file.php?id=74
Let there be no doubt that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has prophesised that John Hugh Smyth-Pigott would die within his lifetime. In particular note the fact that he said “If I die before Mr. Pigott, I am not the true Messiah nor am I from God”. Below is verification of the date Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died.
“…died at Lahore on May 26th 1908” (Tadhkirah 2006 Version – Page 5)
Direct Link: http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Tadhkirah.pdf
Below is confirmation of the death of John Hugh Smyth-Pigott:
“After Smyth-Pigott died in 1927, the community went into gradual decline…” (The Telegraph – The Chapel Of Unrest)
Recall the words of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in relation to J.H. Smyth-Pigott, “…he shall be soon annihilated, even in my life-time… The death of Mr. Pigott within my life-time shall be another sign of my truth. If I die before Mr. Pigott, I am not the true Messiah nor am I from God…” What more evidence can one ask to establish the falsehood of this charlatan? Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died in the year 1908, 18 years, 9 months and 24 days before J.H. Smyth-Pigott, are you then surprised that this information is concealed from naive followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? In his own words he states that should he die before the pretender J.H. Smyth-Pigott then he is not the true Messiah nor is he from God. History testifies that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died more than 18 years before J.H. Smyth-Pigott and therefore his prophecy failed and consequently it proves that he was not from God. These were his conditions, his words and those of his God, not mine or those of any other individual.
This obviously creates a dilemma for his followers, and anyone who has come across previous failed prophecies with identical premises will already know the defence they would put up. The claim would be that J.H. Smyth-Pigott secretly repented within his heart and therefore the prophecy came true. However, this is far from the truth as a year after the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who died in 1908, J.H. Smyth-Pigott was defrocked by the Church of England in 1909 on a charge of immorality to which his reaction was “I am God. It does not matter what they do”. Does this sound like he repented or intended to repent? In addition to this the followers of J.H. Smyth-Pigott proclaimed upon his death that their ‘Messiah’ lives for evermore as shown in the Australian newspaper, Argus and the statement from his granddaughter that his grave was left open because they expected him to rise. If this is not enough then refer to the quote below by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that J.H. Smyth-Pigott will not repent.
“The Promised Messiah prayed about Piggott (a Priest of London who had claimed to be God) and saw in a dream some books on which was written three times: Holy, Holy, Holy; and then received a revelation (Arabic): Allah is Severe in retribution. They are not acting righteously. The Promised Messiah explained this as meaning that Piggott was in a bad way and would not repent and would not believe in God. There is also the indication that his claiming to be God is an evil thing and that he will be afflicted with God’s chastisement. It is a very daring thing to claim to be God (Badr Vol. I Nos. 5 and 6, Nov.8 and Dec. 5, 1902 p. 4).” (Tadhkirah 2006 Version – Page 531)
Direct Link: http://www.alislam.org/library/books/Tadhkirah.pdf
Note: This link is for the 2009 version of Tadhkirah
In his own words, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has stated that J.H. Smyth-Pigott “would not repent and would not believe in God”. The smoke-screen cop out prophecy claim that he repented has no basis and no evidence supporting it. On the other hand, there exists unambiguous evidence that J.H. Smyth-Pigott did not repent and continued acting upon his absurd beliefs till the day he died. The first indication is from his followers who reacted as follows upon his death:
“March 21 (1927) The Rev T.H. Smyth-Pigott has died at the Spaxton Agapemone from influenza, and will be buried in the grounds where the founder, “Brother” Prince, was interred. The inmates refuse to admit the death as they profess to believe that their “Messiah” lives for evermore.” (The Argus – Abode Of Love – Agapemone Leader Dead)
Direct Link: http://ndpbeta.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/3844803
The following is an interview with Kate Barlow, the granddaughter of Pigott, about her book “The Abode of Love”. After After 42 minutes, Kate Barlow says:
It all went downhill once my grandfather died. It was such a shock, I know it sounds ridiculous, but they left the grave open because they thought he’d come back.
(Thanks to Brother Fuad for the above link).
Quite clearly there is no indication of any repentance according to his followers. However, the Ahmadis have a tendency to use the secret repentance within the heart escape clause. This however is refuted by the official Ahmadiyya website itself (the irony) as Mubasher Ahmad writes the following regarding J.H. Smyth-Pigott:
“…the Church of England took stern action against him, and he was defrocked and thus utterly humiliated. But Smyth-Pigott persisted in his arrogance and announced: ‘I am God. It does not matter what they do.’” (Approaching The West – Page 16)
Clearly his response to being defrocked was ‘I am God. It does not matter what they do’. Below is an article from the broadsheet newspaper ‘The Independent’ which verifies that J.H Smyth-Pigott was defrocked in 1909, a year after the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
“….the Rev John Hugh Smyth-Pigott succeeded him, was defrocked in 1909, but lived on at Agapemone until 1927.” (The Independent – Online)
And finally, further verification that in 1909 upon being defrocked, this was indeed his reaction:
“The response of the Church of England was to defrock Smyth-Pigott, but his reaction was: ‘I am God. It does not matter what they do’.” (The Abode of Love)
Therefore it has been conclusively proven that J.H. Smyth-Pigott did not repent and continued claiming he was God after the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The fundamental nature of this prophecy was outliving J.H. Smyth-Pigott in order to prove his truthfulness to the world. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself stated that J.H. Smyth-Pigott would be brought to destruction within his lifetime and therefore he would outlive him. Do not forget the words of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in that should this not happen then he is not the Messiah nor is he from God. The fact remains that J.H. Smyth Pigott outlived Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by an astounding 18 years, 9 months and 24 days and at no point did he repent for his boast. For all the efforts of the Ahmadiyya movement to hide this information, truth remains and falsehood perishes for by its nature, falsehood is bound to perish.
All Praise Is Due To Allah (SWT).
I would like to thank Fuad Al-Attar, Akber Chaudry and Shahid Kamal for exposing this prophecy in the first instance. May Allah (SWT) reward them immensely and grant them Barakah for all their time and efforts in defending Islam.