Freethought Archives > G.W. Foote > Flowers of Freethought Vol. II (1894)


(November, 1888.)

The Whitechapel monster has once more startled and horrified London, and again he has left absolutely no clue to his identity. He is the mystery of mysteries. He comes and goes like a ghost. Murder marks his appearance, but that is all we know of him. The rest is silence. The police, the vigilance societies, and the private detectives are all baffled. They can only stare at each other in blind dismay, as helpless as the poor victims of the fiend's performances. All sorts of theories are started, but they are all in the air—the wild conjectures of irresponsible imaginations. All sorts of stories are afloat, but they contradict each other. As for descriptions of the monster, it is easy enough to say that the police have advertised for nine or ten "wanted" gentlemen, of various heights, dimensions, colors, and costumes, who are all the very same person.

We have no desire to dabble in murder, nor do we aspire to turn an honest penny by the minute description of bodily mutilations. But while the Whitechapel atrocities are engaging the public attention, we are tempted to contribute our quota of speculation as to the monster's identity. We thought of doing so before, but we reflected that it was perfectly useless while such a pig-headed person as Sir Charles Warren was at the head of the police. Now, however, that he is gone, and there is a chance of common-sense suggestions being fairly considered, we venture to propound our theory, in the hope that it will at least be treated on its merits.

Well now, to the point. Our theory is that the Whitechapel murderer is——— "Whom?" the reader cries. Wait awhile. Brace up your nerves for the dread intelligence. The East-end fiend, the Whitechapel devil, the slaughterer and mutilator of women, is—Jehovah!

"Blasphemous!" is shouted from a million throats. But science is used to such shriekings. We pause till the noise subsides, and then proceed to point out that our theory fulfils the grand condition of fitting in with all the facts.

The Whitechapel murderer is shrouded in mystery. So is Jehovah. The Whitechapel murderer comes no one knows whence and goes no one knows whither. So does Jehovah. The Whitechapel murderer appears in different disguises. So does Jehovah. The Whitechapel murderer's movements baffle all vigilance. So do Jehovah's. The Whitechapel murderer comes and goes, appears and disappears, with the celerity and noiselessness of a ghost. So does Jehovah, who is a ghost. Thus far, then, the similarity is marvellously close, and a prima facie case of identity is established.

It will very likely be objected that Jehovah is incapable of such atrocities. But this is the misconception of ignorance or the politeness of hypocrisy. Jehovah has written his autobiography, and on his own confession his murderous exploits were very similar to those of the Whitechapel terror. Appealing to that incontrovertible authority, we propose to show that he has every disposition to commit these enormities.

According to his own history of himself, Jehovah is passionately fond of bloodshed. The sanguine fluid which courses in our veins is the only thing that appeases him. "Without shedding of blood," he tells us through the pen of St. Paul, "there is no remission" of any debts owing to him. He called on Abraham, his friend, to stick a knife into his own son. He slew the first-born of every family in Egypt in a single night. He accepted the blood of a young virgin offered him by Jephthah. He slew 50,070 men at Beth-Shemesh for looking into his private trunk. He ordered his "chosen" friends, a famous set of banditti, to exterminate, men, women, children, and even animals, and to "leave alive nothing that breatheth." He massacred 70,000 citizens of Palestine because their king took a census, a social experiment to which he has a rooted antipathy. He had a house especially built for him, and gave orders that it should daily be drenched with blood. According to one of his candid friends, Archdeacon Farrar, "the floor must literally have swum with blood, and under the blaze of Eastern sunlight, the burning of fat and flesh on the large blazing altar must have been carried on amid heaps of sacrificial foulness—offal and skins and thick smoke and steaming putrescence." On one occasion, when in a state of murderous frenzy, he cried out, "I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh."

Jehovah's passion for bloodshed is proved out of his own mouth. Let us now see his love of mutilation. He generally did this by proxy, and enjoyed the spectacle without undergoing the trouble. Some of his friends took a gentleman named Adoni-bezek, and "cut off his thumbs and his great toes." Wishing to kill a certain Eglon, the king of Moab, he sent an adventurer called Ehud with "a present from Jehovah." The present turned out to be an eighteen-inch knife, which Ehud thrust into Eglon's belly; a part of the body on which the Whitechapel murderer is fond of experimenting. Jehovah's friend David, a man after his own heart, mutilated no less than four hundred men, and gave their foreskins to his wife as a dowry. Incurring Jehovah's displeasure and wishing to conciliate him, he attacked certain cities, captured their inhabitants, and cut them in pieces with saws, axes, and harrows.

Jehovah is particularly savage towards females. He cursed a woman for eating an apple, and instead of killing her on the spot, he determined to torture her every time she became a mother. A friend of his—and we judge people by their friends—cut a woman up into twelve pieces, and sent them to various addresses by parcels' delivery. Another of his friends, called Menahem, made a raid on a certain territory, and "all the women therein that were with child he ripped up." Jehovah himself, being angry with the people of Samaria, promised to slay them with the sword, dash their infants to pieces, and rip up their pregnant women. No doubt he fulfilled his promise, and he would scarcely have made it if he had not been accustomed to such atrocities. It appears to us, therefore, that he is fully entitled to the name of Jehovah the Ripper.

We have not exhausted our evidence. Far more could be adduced, but we hope this will suffice. It may, of course, be objected that Jehovah has reformed, that he is too old for midnight adventures, that he has lost his savage cunning, and that his son keeps a sharp eye on the aged assassin. But the ruling passion is never really conquered; it is even, as the proverb says, strong in death. We venture, therefore, to suggest that the Whitechapel murderer is Jehovah; and although keen eyes may detect a few superficial flaws in our theory—for what theory is perfect till it is demonstrated?—we protest that it marvellously covers the facts of the case, and is infinitely superior to any other theory that has hitherto been broached.

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