The Holy Ghost

In January of 1908, six members of the Chapel of the Followers of the Holy Ghost, recently arrived from Philadelphia, were arrested at a negro mission house for indecent behavior “by indulging in that part of their ritual which they term the spiritual kiss.” The raid was prompted by the parents of one of the members, Mabel Collins, who had written to Anthony Comstock after their daughter joined the sect. When the judge at the Tombs Police Court said that he did not see how he could hold the prisoners, Comstock said, “I think something should be done, as these persons are living in a resort filled with the lowest type of negroes. Besides, I think their minds are affected.”

Comstock and the Tombs

After being freed, the “Holy Ghosters” were joined by others from the mission house and knelt in prayer in the hallway outside the courtroom, saying, “Oh Lord, we wish to pray for the Judge before whom we have just been brought and who has delivered us out of the hands of the Philistines. We pray also for Mr. Comstock, that he may be given the grace of God to no longer persecute the righteous.”

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