Site Search:

 

You're Reading 20Th Century Charlatan



Read our other books in our Bookshelf!
To read in your language, press the "Language" button in the top menu

 

Dig A Little Deeper

 

Once you come to realization that more than one of Branham's prophecies have been proven false, more than one of his life stories have been proven fiction, and more than one of the spiritual events he described were nothing more than a campfire story, it's time to buckle down and examine the motives behind the deception. At this point, having been programmed to believe that this man from Jeffersonville, Indiana was a humble man who wanted nothing more than a simple life, most people ask the question, "Why would our precious brother Branham purposefully try to deceive?"

 

This is not a question easily answered without all of the background information to the conclusion. On the surface, William Branham seemed a genuine, humble man from a poor family and an upbringing that sounds more like a Mark Twain story than reality. That reality is the part in question.

 

Birth

 

Starting in 1952, William Branham told a story about a mystic woman, a fortune-teller, who told him that his birthdate was significant in the world of astrology. According to Branham, the woman quickly recognized his "spirit," and asked him, "Sir, did you know that you were born under a sign?"

 

Using this theme, Branham started promoting the idea that "before God does anything on earth, He declares it in the heavens," using the star that the Magi followed as his example. He then claimed that the same star that led the Magi to Christ is that which announced the arrival of William Branham to this earth.

 

This story was tied to the birthdate that he started using in August of 1950. According to Branham, April 6, 1909 was his birthdate, and a supernatural being visited him as he entered into this world. He claimed that the "being” returned to tell him that he was chosen to spread the "message of Divine healing to the peoples of the world."

 

There is just one problem: this was one of three different birthdates he gave, all having different years, and two of which were tied to spiritual events. Only one birthdate can be correct, which would indicate that one of the spiritual events could not be accurate.

 

In a 1949 sermon given to followers of false prophet John Alexander Dowie, Branham reminded the congregation of Dowie's prophecy regarding the coming revival. In this sermon, entitled "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision," Branham promoted the idea that he was to bring the revival that Dowie promised would come. Two years later, addressing Raymond T. Richey, Branham reminds Richey of Dowie's prophecy. In this sermon, Branham makes the claim that Dowie "died on one day, and I [William Branham] was borned on the next." Both Richey and F. F. Bosworth were taught under the ministry of Dowie, though Bosworth had co-founded the Assemblies of God under which Richey was ordained as a minister. To these men trained under Dowie, Branham's claim to be born the day after Dowie died would have been very appealing. Dowie died on March 9, 1907, placing Branham's claim of birth to be March 10, 1907.

 

But this was not the second date Branham gives for his birthday — though it was the second claim to a supernatural event. On his marriage certificate, William Branham claimed to have been born April 8, 1908. Thus, we have three different years, three different days, and two different months for Branham's birthdate — all given by William Branham himself:

 

·      March 10, 1907

·      April 8, 1908

·      April 6, 1909

 

Childhood

 

Many in the following of William Branham are familiar with his captivating stories of his childhood days, roaming the hills of Kentucky as he supported his poor mother and siblings by hunting, trapping, selling the skins, and eating the meat. Most of Branham's claims to spiritual events involve the wilderness, and in his descriptions of the great men of the Bible, Branham was quick to point out their "love" for nature.

 

Believers dedicate songs to the memory of the "Cabin's Location," a small one-bedroom log cabin where his mother poured coon grease in the matted eyes of the eight other children packed into the structure. Interestingly, the Branham family moved to Indiana before William was age three, and it is very unlikely that he would have retained any memories of the place. But the reality is that only two siblings occupied this cabin during the time William lived in it.

 

The 1930 Census gives the birthplace for both of the parents, and each of the siblings. At the time of this census, Melvin was 18 years old, while William was 21. The record also shows that William was born in Kentucky, and that Melvin was born in Indiana. According to this census report, William Branham would have been three years old when Melvin was born in Indiana. The records for the rest of the siblings also show Indiana as the state of birth.

 

Ultimately, census records place all of Branham's childhood stories in the category of fiction. The hunting, trapping, selling skins, and other activities of a young adult would be impossible when you consider the fact that William Branham would have been under age three.