Strange Occurrences at Knock, Mayo, Ireland 1879 or Tricks?

In a village of about a dozen homes and a Parish Church called Knock an "apparition" was reported.
On the night of the 21st of August 1879 the Virgin Mary flanked by St Joseph and a bishop thought to be St John the Evangelist and an altar with a lamb and cross on it allegedly appeared on the gable wall of the Parish Church for a few hours. Fifteen people witnessed the vision including a child of five and stood watching it for two hours allegedly in torrential rain.
The suspicion of fraud and trickery was there from the very start. The most popular natural explanation is that a projector, called a magic lantern in those days, was deployed.  It may not matter so much how the vision or illusion is explained as how the witnesses and those who took up their cause were less than truthful.  For example, testimonies were written down and published in heavily altered and embellished form and the witnesses said absolutely nothing about this horrid deception.  Neither did "saintly" Archdeacon Cavanagh who became a one man crusade for the authenticity of the "miracle".

There is no evidence that any original account said the entities seen were anything other than immobile statues.  What survives says there was no sign of life.

Knock has of course been good for the deprived Mayo region it is encased by.  There is an airport and a pilgrimage industry.  There is a basilica.  Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have set their papal foot there.

If Knock is a lie and is protected by lies that shows the unique power of religious ideology to give the lie more shelf-life than it normally would have.  And Knock is not only a lie but a very big one.

Out of honour for the story and belief in the basic integrity of all who publicised Knock and raised it to what it has become, vulnerable people are donating.  People are still going there looking for one of the famous cures none of which has really past any test for being unexplainable never mind miraculous.

Let it stop. 


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