Sudden Death of Jewish Member Sets Police on Sect’s Trail (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The sudden death of Sigfried Schlesinger, Jewish merchant, 40, following a heart massage cure ordered by Rev. Hermann Mill, brought to light the existence in Vienna of a new Christian-Jewish sect. The police have now undertaken a thorough investigation of the sect’s doctrine and methods in order to determine the cause of Schlesinger’s death, the insanity of his wife, Bertha, a Christian, and the sudden illness of a number of other members.
It appears that the sect, which has a membership of 600, was formed this year by Rev. Mill, who preaches a doctrine of a Christian-Jewish conception of Christianity, modelled after the early Nazarenes. His theory is that sickness may be cured only by a series of fasts. Medical aid should not be sought, even when life is in danger. A preliminary investigation showed that Jewish families, where intermarriage occurred, were mainly attracted to the sect.
When questioned by the police, Rev. Mill denied that Schlesinger’s death was due to the practice of the doctrine he preached. Death was due to Schlesinger’s having eaten rotten nuts with which he had treated other members, who likewise were taken ill.
Rev. Mill, who is of English origin, is said to be a nephew of John Stuart Mill.
Other members of the Schlesinger family, as well as some of the members of the sect, were placed under police guard.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.