McClure's Magazine

A malicious three year crusade to ridicule and destroy Christian Science

In 1906, S.S. McClure, owner of McClure's Magazine, was planning a "muckraking campaign" against Mrs. Eddy and Christian Science. The journalist, Georgine Milmine,  who had some favorable dealings with Mr. Farlow, the head of the Committee of Publications in Boston, had been turned against Mrs. Eddy.

McClure and Milmine had been at this for 2-3 years collecting as McClure put it "a whole trunkful of documents." In a letter written to John Willis, the outgoing President of the Mother Church from Mrs. Bensley, a student in Chicago, the plot was revealed. Mrs. Bensley's daughter was a freelance journalist in NYC, and Mr. McClure said to her they are going to take up every phase of development of Christian Science and do what they can to ridicule and destroy it. "This is information is authentic. I had it from Mr. McClure's own lips."

Sibyl Wilbur was outraged by this "brutal abuse" and found a little struggling magazine called Human Life which was willing to pay her enough money to live while researching a series of articles she would write to counteract the lies and gossip spread by Milmine and McClure's magazine. McClure was slandering the most newsworthy person who ever trod the globe. All the world was eager to read about Mary Baker Eddy. When Miss Wilbur's articles began appearing in Human Life in January 1907, the magazine profited enormously. The circulation which had been ~20,000 shot up to ~100,000 within months and remained high during the time Sibyl was researching and writing. At the end of that time, the magazine fell back to normal circulation and later disappeared. 

Later, Sibyl Wilbur published her book, "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy" and it was based mainly on her monthly publications found in Human Life.

During her research and writing, Miss Wilbur visited Mrs. Eddy at both Pleasant View and Chestnut Hill. She knelt beside Mrs. Eddy's chair in a last interview at Chestnut Hill and the Leader said to her "I am an old woman, my dear, and I never found it wise to argue with a lie. You are doing what I cannot do for myself; do it wisely."