The Most Brazen and Bizarre Swindle

There is nothing new about these parasites milking the faithful, and the born-againers dry. Their system of operation is as old as the hills. For example, let’s go back to the era of 1915 when the most brazen and bizarre swindle ever hit Lincoln County. A daring and heartless guy by the name of Peterson set up a boiler room factory in Seattle. At that time, airplanes were just getting to the point of being able to fly. This gave Peterson’s fertile mind an idea. “Why not come out with a perpetual motion machine that would fly by faith?” He then built a model consisting of wheels that sort of balanced themselves on racks: Something like that song, “The big wheel runs by the grace of God and the little wheel runs by faith.” 

The swindler called his gismo “The Peterson Invention.” He claimed he had a hot line to Heaven. . .something like Noah had going with the Lord. The powers above told Peterson to build scads of these no-energy flying machines. Sinless guys were to fly these rigs all over the world to scatter leaflets with messages of salvation. It was supposed to have been the only way to warn all the heathens, and nations with the wrong religion to get on the right track before doomsday. 

Peterson sent salesmen throughout the Big Bend country, and other soft spots. Stock sold with the promise of $50.00 for each buck invested. If you chickened out and wanted your money back, you were condemned of having no faith, and could get in trouble with the Lord. 

Stocks did sell at an embarrassing rate in Lincoln County. Somewhere along the line, Peterson overstepped his built-in religious protection, and the law moved in on him. When they did. Peterson got wind of it, picked up all his ill-gotten money, and beat it to Sweden. 

My Aunt Wilhelmine was born in a log cabin near Edwall. Throughout her teen years she was nurtured on a low key but stable religion. Later, as a matured lady of attractive quality, she moved to Seattle and started running around with the more souped-up religious groups. 

Wilhelmine then met Peterson, and was turned on by his silver tongue. It wasn’t long before she married his son. But when her daddy-in-law set up a hide-a-way camp on foreign soil, it left the family coffers empty. She divorced Junior. Later Wilhelmine married a guy who didn't have much faith, and had to start up from scratch. 

"All Is Fair In Religion" Kik-Backs, page 86, part 2 (previous)      (home)     (thread)

"The Peterson Invention" - I have not been able to find any documentation about this story. (PK)

Walt Kik
"She divorced Junior..."
Seattle Daily Times - Nov 11, 1919

Walt Kik
Spokane Chronicle 1937