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King Matthias' Reign

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Deception, greed, and manipulation would be acceptable terms to describe the avarice Prophet who rose amongst the people of New York City during the 1830’s. King Matthias, as he was self-proclaimed, shaped a society built upon “no market, no money, no buying and selling,…no economic oppression of any kind (Johnson Wilentz 96). This creation was a foundation provided to poor men living in New York City during a period where economic stability, individual consistency, and the ability to accumulate wealth for ones family was necessary. Robert Matthews sought to transform this appearance of existence as he generated a new form of religion, one that people who despised and depicted of his ideology, would consider madness! It was ridicule, deviant, and profane for Matthias to sway the weak-minded people of New York City in the 1830s into becoming his disciples. During his reign, Matthias acculturated several followers, ones of which who were already in need of a “savior and others who would be considered gullable to his cunning tongue. The cult that was created was infamous for the peculiar practices that they engaged in and doctrines that were discovered.

On the contrary, many citizens repelled from his teachings and ways of living, for it was blasphemous and irreligious based on the scriptures in the bible. Matthias appearance and self-assurance had now come into sight as his kingdom arose. Manipulation gave power to Matthias, for it gave him all the wealth and riches he desired. With the money from his followers, he made an appearance in Manhattan in which he wore a “black cap of japanned leather shaped like an inverted cone; a military frock coat … decorated with gold braid, frogs, and fancy buttons (Johnson Wilentz 98). Matthias was more vexed on looking like a King, rather than a God. His wardrobe, throne, and home was needless, and Christians who saw Matthias on the street or attended his sermons were appalled (Johnson Wilentz 99). Not only was Matthias attire unfit for a God, in Matthiass kingdom, women were considered to be suppressed to the power of men. Women had no say and “Every thing that has the smell of women,” as Matthias pronounced, “will be destroyed,” and only “real men will be saved; all mock men will be damned (Johnson Wilentz 93). According to Matthias, the women of the Kingdom were only to stay home, clean, cook, and carry out sexual favors for the patriarchal leaders of the homes.

Matthias made known that everything placed upon the earth, including the earth itself, was a possession of God, and due to him being alive with the spirit of God, it all belonged to him. Matthias teachings were becoming obscene and contradicted those of Christian preachers in regards to women of equality. Matthias expresses his un-acceptance of the female sex when he mentions that All women, not obedient, had better become so as soon ass possible and let the wicked spirit depart (Johnson Wilentz 93). Passing his own judgment, Matthias created a list in which he had condemned anyone that opposes the life of Jews, disobedient women, and Christian devils. This forced the Christian preachers to act upon his un-holy ways by systematically stealing women and children from fathers…and putting them into churches and prayer meetings (Johnson Wilentz 95). His teachings were corrupting the city of New York in the 1830s. Based on the people who entered his Kingdom, Matthias appeared to have had a particular attraction for other psychologically wounded men, and for needy women that were submissive to his preachingas. Matthias Kingdom was an example of reformation based on his own sexuality. He sought to create a religion in which he could re-incarnate the patriarchal life style that he was exposed to during his time of aging.

The Kingdom that he constructs conveys the time era in the 19th century during the Second Great Awakening, a time when the country was experiencing new religious revivals. For the duration of this time period, new religions cults were being founded and we notice a dramatic growth of existing spiritual denominations. Matthias perceptions were not accepted by everyone and it ruffled others feathers by his teachings and rituals. In spite of this, Matthias Truth did have an impact on several individuals, Elijah Pierson, who sought God and realized Christianity and prayer was non-beneficial, had become a strong follower to the words of Matthias. Furthermore, Matthias was a powerful king, versus a God, and the removal of his beard showed him that his power can be taken from him.

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