The Episcopal Letter – the Ideas of the Eldest Couched in the Terminology of Toward the Light – Part 2

By Sverre Avnskog

Dedicated to my father, Jan-Petter Avnskog, 1929-2000. Peace be with his memory!


A few months ago I presented a new article on my website, and once again the Episcopal Letter was the subject of my attention. After the publication of this article I received some reactions from the readers, both publicly and privately, and hence this second article on the same issue, in which I will discuss some of the problems and objections following in the wake of the article. Unfortunately it is difficult to express any opinion about the Episcopal Letter and about Johanne Agerskov against the established opinion without someone feeling offended. I can only regret that some people feel  my view upon the Episcopal Letter constitutes an attack on their belief – obviously it is not my intention to offend anybody. In the same way that I defend the right of the Danish bishops to stick to the Christian belief in 1938 if they felt this the most proper thing to do, in the same vein I will of course also defend the right of every TtL supporter to maintain that the Episcopal Letter is a true message from God. But however much I respect their right, this evidently cannot be a reason for me to refrain from presenting my own viewpoints.
















































































































“Why does daddy sit here so often, writing and reading books? And what is the name of this book?
Toward the Light! Oh no, it looks a little boring – I had better go and watch Mickey Mouse movies instead......” Photo: Sverre Avnskog.

What kind of Relationship does Sverre Avnskog’s have with Truth?

Different people perceive reality in different ways, and what is absolute truth for one person may for another appear as a distortion of reality. From TtL we know that even two persons witnessing the same incident often may present widely different versions of what happened. All experience shows that people are very unreliable as witnesses of the truth – most presentations will be marked by the person’s entirely subjective perception.

This is evidently also the case with us TtL-people. We perceive many different things in a variety of individual ways, and – honestly! - none of us can claim that are in possession of the whole  and absolute truth – and probably nobody would expect or demand that either.  All we can do is assess reality and events to the best of our ability and explain as honestly as possible how we ourselves perceive reality. At least that it is my intention. I have always been a seeker of truth, never resigned or satisfied with the “official” and “established” Truths. I have been like that since I was very young, and rather soon I found myself in opposition to Christianity, because I found it contained so much that was incomprehensible, in addition to what I saw as a grievous injustice that Jesus was to be punished for something he had not done – and, to boot, that it was his own father, God, who had him punished.

When as a grown-up man I came across TtL and in it found the answers to all the questions I had been grappling with in relation to Christianity, it was therefore a natural thing for me to make TtL the subject of the same critical scrutiny as the one I had carried out with Christianity. And in the case of TtL the end result was extremely favourable – until the point when I came across the Episcopal Letter. The same urge that made me try to understand Christianity made itself felt once again, and fairly soon I concluded that the Episcopal Letter and TtL are two mutually entirely incompatible texts. The discrepancies are so many and so obvious that my mind - which has very strict requirements for logical coherence and demands a credible representation of God, our loving Father – can in no way accept the claim that the Episcopal Letter may be a genuine message from the extrasensory world. There is no way I can accept that God one moment is an infinitely patient father, never weary, while in the next moment he is a tired and powerless figure, about to abandon mankind – a mere deserter! And do take notice, that this has nothing to do with doubt! I do not doubt in relation to the question whether the Episcopal Letter is genuine or not – I am absolute confident in the conviction that the Episcopal Letter is full of lies and deceit – and the picture representing “God” has nothing to do with the real God!

I have written much about this on my website – because it is my truth. Of course I do not demand or expect everybody to share my truth. Other people are very welcome to express their own truths, such as they perceive them in their universe and context. And then we can exchange points of views and find out if we can learn something from each other.

And I can promise my readers that whatever I write is always the complete and whole truth, such as I see it in the moment of writing. If in some cases I find out that I am wrong, evidently I erase the mistake and substitute it with whatever I have found out is correct and true, and if anyone has been touched on the raw because of my mistake, I have of course been ready to apologize to that person. I take a liberal view of such a situation and have no problems apologizing. In fact, often it is a positive feeling having cleared the air, when one feels guilty of having committed an injustice.

Therefore, if anybody finds something on my website that they consider incorrect, or which does an injustice to other people, you are naturally most welcome to write to me about it. If I find that I have made a mistake I will of course correct it as soon as possible!























Three magnificent editions of Toward the Light! At the far left is Johanne Agerskov’s personal copy, where each single line was numbered. At the centre is her sister, Emma Mathiesen’s copy – very beautifully leather-bound. These two copies belong to descendents of the Agerskov- and Malling-Hansen family. On the right is Michael Agerskov’s personal bound copy, a present to him from the locksmith A. Andér, who also made two table models of the universe, equipped with an electrical engine generating a rotating movement of an axis with the mother suns. This book today belongs to yours truly and is my dearest treasure. And, yes, I have read TtL, at least 7-8 times from beginning to end. All photos: Sverre Avnskog.

Has Sverre Avnskog Read Toward the Light!, or Has He Merely Heard about it from Others?

I believe very few will doubt that I have read TtL if they have studied what I have written on my website, but since one of my opponents in fact has asked this question I think it is only proper to inform the readers that, yes indeed, I have read TtL from start to finish at least 7-8 times. TtL has been my dearest reading material ever since I first discovered the text around 20 years ago. And in addition to reading it from start to finish a number of times I have also consulted it in order to double-check particular details and information almost daily during extensive periods of time. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I am saying that that I know the content of TtL by heart – not in detail but general terms of content.

With regard to the collection of letters of the Royal Library, holding more than 3000 pages and also dealing with TtL, I have read all letters several times and k now their content very well! This may serve as background information, in case somebody has questions about my relationship with TtL! For me, TtL is simply one of the greatest gifts ever given by God to mankind.

A rare picture, taken in front of the house that Michael Agerskov senior let build in Rørvig, Sjælland, in 1897. At the front of the flight of steps is the eldest son, engineer Christian Agerskov with his son Gunnar. Right behind them is Michael Agerskov senior, inspector of customs. To the left of him is Christian’s Swedish wife Selma, and to her left Andrea Louise Agerskov, Michael Agerskov senior’s wife. Standing behind Andrea Louise we then see Johanne Malling-Hansen who at the time the picture was taken was engaged to be married with Michael Agerskov junior. To the right of Johanne are two of the house maids. And who might have taken this beautiful picture? I guess it must be lecturer and author, later on publisher of TtL – Michael Agerskov. Photo: Private.

Does Sverre Avnskog Hate Johanne Agerskov?

When researching the past, evidently we will find good as well as unfavorable features with the great personalities of the past, and someone who attempts to create a picture of the past which is as close as possible to reality, of course cannot fail to disclose the details he/she personally doesn’t like, aiming at protecting a person from the judgment of posterity. That is the practice in dictatorships where leaders must be glorified and idolized, but it is certainly not a research method used in our part of the world by researchers with self-respect. In addition to my great love for TtL I have also been very much interested in the purely historical events around the appearance of TtL. In this respect TtL has been my model with its promise that he who seeks shall find. And I have found a great deal of historical material concerning the pivotal events taking place in Denmark in the beginning of the 20th century. This historical material I have presented as accurately as possible, without adding or subtracting. My biography on Rasmus Malling-Hansen was finalized a couple of years ago, and I am still in the process of collecting material for my biographies of Michael and Johanne Agerskov as well as Knud Brønnum, another of the great pioneers of the early TtL history. My great admiration and love for these people is constantly present as a background for everything I write about them. And I see Johanne Agerskov as something far more than a mere secretary for the spiritual world. She and her husband dedicated their entire lives to the fight for the cause of the light on earth, and the publication of TtL was only a part of this work. For many years they prayed lovingly for the earthbound spirits, and their devoted and unselfish work led to Jesus finally being able to bring Satan to them, and they prayed lovingly for his salvation as well and together with Christ contributed to his turning back to God, such that the light won a final victory over darkness in the spiritual world. For this they deserve our deep gratitude, even if of course our greatest gratitude is due to God who made all this possible.

Hence, my feelings for Johanne Agerskov are as far from hate as it is possible to get. If presenting as accurately as possible a picture of Johanne Agerskov’s life is tantamount to hating her, then one must claim that TtL contributes to hatred against Jesus, for in TtL we gain insight not only into what Jesus succeeded to do but also in his failures and shortcomings. We learn that Jesus was far too rigid in his demands on the well-to-do scribes, he had a violent temper often liable to explode, and he failed to remember the prayer for Ardor in the decisive moment, when Ardor tried to call forth pride in his mind. Here TtL is an absolute ideal to me in the sense of the way TtL provides a balanced and truthful picture of Jesus, not just idolizing him.

One of the tasks of a historian is to provide an independent assessment of the historical material he manages to dig out. And by informing about his sources he gives others the possibility to test his judgments. There will always be disagreement about how to interpret different events in the life of historical figures, but each and every researcher – and journalist for that matter – obviously has a duty not to deliberately omit important aspects of the life of the historical object for the purpose of constructing a plaster saint, where everything negative about the person has been censured away.  No matter what, at the end of the day it will turn against the author himself and also against the portrait he has “painted”, since he will sooner or later be exposed as a forger. Hence it must be our aim, even when making a portrait of Johanne Agerskov, that the picture represented be as close to reality as possible. And since Johanne Agerskov with the Episcopal Letter in fact did publish a document that in crucial aspects is at variance with TtL, then we are doing her no favor by trying to be silent about this. If you wish to maintain your credibility as a historical researcher, the only feasible option is to bring it out into the open, scrutinize it and express your honest opinion. Others may then assert their views if they do not agree. Obviously I have no wish whatsoever to try and stop others from expressing their opinions in favor of the Episcopal Letter – on the contrary – let us have all arguments for and against put on the table, and then everybody can make up their mind as they please and in relation to their own conscience!

“One cannot but feel the warmest compassion with Johanne Agerskov and acknowledge that she, in spite of the invaluable effort she made for mankind, on the whole was met with ignorance, ridicule, critique and condemnation. This has been the case for many of the youngest. In acknowledgement of their rich gifts humans have shown only obtuseness and reprobation. This was also to a very great extent Johanne Agerskov’s fate. And the last part of her life was marked by sickness, loneliness, isolation and also, I dare say, a considerable degree of acrimony. Judging from her letters, I feel that she initially came across as a strong woman with great authority, but was gradually transformed into a hard and uncompromising person. However, this is not difficult to understand – it is a very human reaction considering everything she had gone through.”From the article “Johanne Agerskog, the Episcopal Letter and the Brilliant Quick-Change Turns of the Eldest” (Not yet translated into English)

The picture to the left is a selective enlargement from the group photo above. Photo: Private

Had Johanne Agerskov Become Immune to the Attacks by Darkness?

One of the aspects initially arousing my interest to investigate what kind of life Johanne Agerskov led was in fact that many supporters of the Episcopal Letter would often claim that it was completely impossible for Johanne Agerskov to have been deceived by the eldest. It would often be asserted that she had become immune to the attacks by darkness when she once unmasked a “fake spirit” that attempted to trick her at the very beginning of her work as a medium.

According to some people it is a kind of law in the realm of the light that a medium who has once recognized and exposed one of the representatives of darkness is forever immune to new attacks. It is difficult to find support for such a claim in TtL. While it is self-evident that such an experience will strengthen the capacity of the medium to detect possible future attempts of fraud, it does not appear likely that this will create immunity. If that was the case it would evidently imply that all people who have managed to resist darkness in a particular field would forever have become immune against attacks in this field, and we all know that this is not at all the case. We are all attacked, again and again, in all aspects of life – and it does not stop even when we have once been victorious.

In Q&A p 48 Michael Agerskov writes about what Johanne Agerskov’s spiritual leader “said” in regard to the event when she had exposed the trickster who tried to dupe her early in her “career” as a medium:

“He explained that her love for him and her trust in his honesty had brought home the victory for her. And he said that a spirit of darkness for a long time had been trying to imitate his voice and manner of speech, and that she had felt the deceit without however realizing what was happening. But in the very moment when her love of truth rose up against the lie that was being told and when she with all her will-power demanded it repeated in God’s name, the power of this evil spirit was broken in front of her, and she would in future be void of his interference.”

In the above description it is worth noting that nothing is said about Mrs Agerskov being free from all interference from all of the eldest in perpetuity. It is said that that she had merely broken the power of one of the eldest in relation to her. Do also note that it was her love of truth that rose against the imposter – and no wonder – his messages were confusing as well as incoherent and stupid. And when JA with full will-power demanded the message repeated in God’s name he was exposed. But how would things have been in case his messages had been undistinguishable from Leo’s and if JA had not reacted to the content? We don’t know, but this evil spirit was exposed because his messages were contrary to what JAS perceived as the truth. But it is at any rate quite clear that JA did not react on account of the tone of voice or the choice of words of the trickster – it was because she found the content improbable.

When I met these claims that Johanne Agerskov was in all perpetuity immune against the attacks by darkness, I decided to investigate if it was true – that it was not possible to find traces of the attacks by darkness in her life. Not for wishing to blacken Johanne Agerskov, because I don’t wish that at all – but I like to know the truth about the things that interest me, and I don’t like it when there are assertions in relation to Toward the Light and the Episcopal Letter which by closer scrutiny are revealed to be inaccurate. But I know that many people frown on me because of my interest in these issues and perceive it as if I were conducting a defaming campaign against Johanne Agerskov. Nothing could be further from reality – I wish nothing but to find the truth – the whole truth, and my aim is always that there must be nothing I am not willing to face up to.

Does anyone really believe that when TtL becomes world famous, then each and every researcher and journalist in future will refrain from trying to find out what kind of people Rasmus Malling-Hansen, Johanne Agerskov and Michael Agerskov were in reality? Obviously it must be the right and duty of every serious historian and journalist to investigate what kind of people who participated in the appearance of Toward the Light! if one is to write about the text. And if there are hidden details or dark aspects of their lives, one can be certain that sooner or later it will come to the surface! I am therefore very happy and satisfied to be able to conclude that all three of them were unusually honest and firm characters. However, unfortunately Johanne Agerskov experienced so many disappointments and so much adversity in her life, that the very claim that she was immune to attacks from the darkness in invalidated by being plainly unreasonable. She as well as her husband were severely attacked by sickness (= attacks by darkness), and in addition to she herself suffering from gallstone attacks and bronchitis, JA went through the ordeal of seeing her husband slowly fading away by muscular paresis, eventually also paralyzing the heart muscle killing him at the age of some 60 years, all but withered away. Their work together for the advance of the light on earth was ridiculed and hushed up, and even the members of the Society for the Dissemination of Toward the Light! criticized Johanne Agerskov severely. The most reasonable conclusion must be that Johanne Agerskov was a very, very sorely tried woman who had to put up with extremely severe strain. It is certainly no wonder that she gradually was affected by this, any other person would have felt the same way, and the fact that she eventually did not have the strength to unmask one of the eldest who contacted her in 1938 should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the story of her life.

When studying Johanne Agerskov’s life it seems obvious to me that the same thing happened with her as with Jesus – she became a victim of the cruel power of darkness. The eldest still alive have doubtlessly used every opportunity to pull vast amounts of darkness around her, incite people against her and finally swathe her in so much darkness that it became impossible for her to distinguish and identify the evil stream of stream of darkness from the eldest who contacted her in 1938. In a letter in 1934 to Chr Jørgensen,  Johanne Agerskov wrote in great detail about how it is impossible for the youngest to reach a medium once one of the eldest has managed to establish contact with that person, and she also received messages from Leo about this with very important information about how the eldest operated. There are also limits to what the discarnated youngest can manage, and once darkness has been sufficiently dense it is impenetrable even for them. In addition, the  ability of the eldest to imitate just about everybody – even the youngest - is so brilliant that they can dupe anyone. And when Mrs Agerskov did not react against the content of the message received there was, of course, no reason for her love of truth to raise objections, and if she had gained confidence that the one who approached her was her father, then there would also be no reason for her to doubt the veracity of what she received, for her love and confidence in him was, as we know, boundless. It is therefore rather difficult to imagine that she, after having received the Episcopal Letter, would demand it confirmed in God’s name with her full will-power.

If asserting that Johanne Agerskov – similarly to most of the youngest who lived before her – became a victim of the power of darkness is tantamount to denigrating her, then we must also say that TtL denigrates Jesus when it is told that he towards the end was attacked by darkness.  I dare to suggest that if Johanne Agerskov had lived some centuries before, she had doubtlessly been killed – probably burned at the stake!















































OSTENFELD, Ib, consultant medical doctor; born 13/4 1902 in Frederiksberg; son of professor Dr Techn Asger Skovgaard Ostenfeld (dead 1931, see Krak’s Blue Book 1931) and wife Elisabeth, née
Pontoppidan; married (1935) with Ragnhild O., born 3/11 1909 in Hensingør, daughter of chartered surveyor captain F.C. Gørtz and his wife Sofie, née Norup.

Matriculated from Frederiksberg Gymnasium 1920; medical practitioner in 1929; registrar at St Hans Hospital 1930-31, employed at the Finsen-Institute 1932-33; registrar at Frederiksberg Hospital neurological and mental ward 1936-37; doctor of medicine 1937; GP neurology 1939-40; assistant at the psychiatric poly-clinic of the ‘Rigshospital’ 1940-41; head f the psychiatric ward of Frederiksberg Hospital 1941-49; associate professor at the University of Copenhagen (psychology) 1946-50; head doctor at the mental hospital in Vedsted 1951.

Quoted from “Danish Biographical Lexicon”












Psychiatrist Ib Ostenfeld Claimed in 1949 that Johanne Agerskov Was Suffering From Schizofrenia. Was that True?

One of the things I have investigated quite recently is the assertion by the author and psychiatrist Ib Ostenfeld in the article “ Mentally Disordered Existential Systems” in the religious journal “Våbenhuset” (= “The Porch”) in 1949, according to which Johanne Agerskov was suffering from a serious mental disorder, a kind of schizophrenia, and that the mental disorder was a result of her urge to find answers to questions so vast and intricate that the human mind cannot grasp them. Ostenfeld wrote, among other things:

“From the point of view of a psychiatrist, Mrs Agerskov’s accounts must be characterized as pathological products. The diagnosis one would attach to her is Paraphrenia, a manifestation of schizophrenia appearing late in life (i.e. a destructive mental disorder, previously called dementia praecox), however with its own particular mitigating features. It can be characterized as follows: Not rarely we see, at a relatively advanced age, the appearance of mental disorders which in relation to the perceptional content shows irrefutable identity with schizophrenic disorders, but where the personality, the bearer of the erroneous, “demented” notions, can remain apparently completely intact. In contrast to the case of the youth schizophrenia, where the personality breaks up and disintegrates in such a way that the patient no more retains traits of his normal self, the paraphrenic patient superficially remains himself and will be able to give a convincing representation of himself as normal, unchanged, with the same positive personal qualities as before. “

Reacting against Ib Ostenfeld’s article, numerous protests reached the editor of “Våbenhuset” and one of those that had his protest printed was Johanne Agerskov’s old friend, with whom she had fallen out in connection with the Episcopal Letter, the writer Christian Jørgensen. Jørgensen very strongly repudiated Ostenfeld’s assertions:

“When the specialists in mental diseases claim that Mrs Agerskov and Em.Swedenborg suffered from paraphrenia, a delayed manifestation of schizophrenia, they explain that the patients are capable of give a convincing representation of being normal and retain the same positive personal qualities as before. The question is then why they are diagnosed as being mentally ill. Now, of course I do not want to deny psychological cleavages may occur, such as has been described, e.g., by Pierre Janet. I also do not doubt that Dr Ostenfeld has treated patients where their psyche has, so to speak, split. But in such cases we are talking about sick people treated by a specialist of mental diseases. However, neither Mrs Agerskov herself or her surroundings have found the least cause to seek help from a psychiatrist. I have known Mrs Agerskov for many years and have not noticed any sign whatsoever of mental disorder with her. On the contrary, she was exceptionally logical, truthful, headstrong and a woman of strong character. Her psyche was, least of all, in a state of disintegration or split. When somebody now wants to prove, based upon her work, that she was mentally deranged there is every reason to ask, with the innocent voice of a layman, why she did not become insane and why such a mental disorder never manifested itself clearly during the twenty years she lived after the appearance of the texts.”

In other words, Christian Jørgensen did not at all allow old disagreements to prevent him from being in the front rank in defending Johanne Agerskov and Toward the Light! when needed! He remained a staunch supporter of TtL throughout his life!

Now, it is quite outrageous to put forward such claims against a person such as those Ib Ostenfeld did against Johanne Agerskov entirely on the basis of having read what she had written in her books. This made me wonder whether he might have known about her in some other way not known to outsiders. My wish to find out more about this was reinforced recently when I learned from a person who was close to Børge Brønnum, that Brønnum had told him Johanne Agerskov became deranged towards the end and spent her last days in a mental asylum. Could the claim that she became mentally deranged have some foundation?

Further investigations about Ib Ostenfeld revealed that during 1941-49 he was head doctor  at the psychiatric ward of Frederiksberg Hospital. If Johanne Agerskov had become mentally ill towards the end of her life, certainly Frederiksberg Hospital would be the most likely place for her to be admitted. I therefore approached the hospital and was referred to the Frederiksberg municipal archives, where they keep all journals and list of patients from the psychiatric ward of the Frederiksberg Hospital. They investigated whether Johanne Agerskov’s name was on any of the lists of the hospital, but in vain – hence, I conclude with 100 % certainty that Johanne Agerskov was not admitted here towards the end of her life and that Ib Ostenfeld’s diagnosis of her is entirely built on speculations on the basis of what he has read in TtL and adjacent texts. However, there is no doubt that Ib Ostenfeld has treated Johanne Agerskov’s daughter, Inger. Inger Agerskov had a cerebral haemorrhage shortly after her mother’s death in 1946 and became incapacitated for employment purposes. But she also broke down mentally and in 1948 was admitted to the psychiatric ward of Frederiksberg Hospital, where she was treated by Ib Ostenfeld. Dr. Theol. F.L.Østrup relates in a letter to Chr. Jørgensen dated Nov 9, 1949 that he has spoken with Ostenfeld about Inger Agerskov, and that the psychiatrist claims that she had an incurable mental illness. Let me once again underline that this is not something I mention in order to malign Inger Agerskov, but only because it is a historical fact which I find no reason to conceal. It doesn’t change anything in relation to Inger Agerskov’s efforts and achievements for the cause of TtL.


















































Inger Johanne Agerskov, as her full name was, photographed circa 1922 with her cousin Gertrude Mathiesen (later married Skaar Jacobsen) in Næstved, where the Mathiesen family was staying. Among Johanne Agerskov’s sisters, Gertrude’s mother, Emma Mathiesen, was probably the one who was most involved in the destiny of TtL. Inger Agerskov is sitting to the right. Photo: Private.

Is there Nothing New in the Episcopal Letter Not Included in TtL?

When asserting that the EL contains a new message not to be found in TtL with adjacent texts, one is often countered by supporters of the authenticity of the EL claiming that the EL is not at all a “new message” but merely an approach to the nine Danish bishops in 1938, comparable to a private letter, and that the wording of the EL has been used exclusively in order to stir up the bishops and provoke a reaction from them. Personally I do not find this compatible with the fact that the EL was actually printed and distributed in as many as 1270 copies! (According to a letter from Knud Brønnum to Hilda Jensen dated 22 march 1938). Here Brønnum writes, among other things:

“Concerning the distribution of the two “open letters” I can tell you that they were sent in 1270 copies reaching various men and women from all layers of society, in the city as well as in smaller towns, but apart from a completely misleading and inaccurate article in “Aftenbladet” on the 26th of February, with a mention on March 11 of the board’s serious refutation of the meaningless and confusing allegations – received by the editors already on February 28 – as far as we are aware nothing more has appeared in public about the letters; however, it is of course quite understandable that the men, whose opinion are of importance, must have some time to really make themselves acquainted with the complete set of messages, before they can and are willing to champion the cause of “Toward the Light” and carry out the mission imposed upon them in the letters, but we must pray and hope that this silence does not last too long. In addition to the two “open letters”, the bishops have also received the entire set of messages, apart from “Some Psychic Experiences” and “Greeting to Denmark”. This collection of poems has, together with the letters, been distributed in 400 copies.

A text distributed in 1270 copies can hardly be characterized as a private approach to nine Danish bishops, rather it must be designated as a public communication. If the message had been targeting only the nine bishops, then surely it would not have been sent in that many copies to so many people. Obviously the publishers must have been aware that the message in the EL about God – that if TtL was not going to be accepted as the truth he would possibly have to sever all connection  with them  and let them sink so deep down into darkness, sin and misdeed as they could – would become publicly known in Denmark. If they had wished only the bishops to become aware of this, and not the public in general, evidently they would not have distributed the EL to well over a thousand people. Hence, it is safe to claim that the EL was very much a public message.

Then what about the content of the EL – is everything in it already known from TtL? Definitely not. There is nothing in TtL about God perhaps reaching the point of breaking off all contact with mankind, and also there is no message about God not being able to help humans in case TtL is not being adopted as the truth. In fact, the opposite is stated. In TtL it is said that God does not at all interfere with or attach importance to what kind of faith the individual persons confesses, only whether he or she is living in accordance with the eternal values of his or her religion. It is also stated in “Questions and Answers” that God, because he himself has fought his own battle against darkness and emerged victorious, can assist humans in every possible way in their fight out of darkness, and no situation can emerge which is not already known from before by God himself. Alleging that God was “surprised” by the dreadful prospects ahead in 1938 is quite unfeasible, for God knows each and every manifestation of the darkness, since he has carried out his own struggle against darkness and emerged victoriously.

The entirely new pieces of information, never before announced by the spirits of the light through Johanne Agerskov as the medium, therefore definitely qualify as being a “new message”. And this “new message” presented in full publicity is in very sharp contrast to what we know beforehand from TtL with adjacent texts. There is one sentence, however, in the speech of Christ which is often mentioned as “proof” that the possibility of God coming to the point of breaking off all contact with the humans is also mentioned as a possible outcome in TtL. Here Christ says that when humans fight each other, God turns against them. This is the quotation:

“For you should remember that  a l l   of you have a joint father, remember that He loves you  a l l with the same deep and infinite love. But if you wage war and kill each other, then He will turn against you, then He will morn you.”

First of all, this is about God’s love to each single human being, so great that he does not wish to see any of them killed in warfare with others. Then it appears very unlikely, after having underlined how great God’s love is, that in the next sentence it is claimed that if humans nevertheless choose to wage war, then he will break off all connection with them. In my view, Christ is here using a poetic, metaphoric expression conveying that God dissociates himself from us when we wage war, in other words “turns away” – grieving. This does not imply that God in actual fact turns away his head or his body. Also, there is nothing to indicate that God would turn away from those that do not fight. Why ever would he do that? Still, if we take the expression “turn away from” quite literally, then it must be fair to say that there is a vast difference between turning away from somebody when they are waging a war, on the one hand, and to distance oneself completely from them and sever all connection with them for maybe several millions of years, on the other hand. 

Concerning the issue whether the Episcopal Letter is a message to only a few people, then we must also remember that the letter contains information of enormous consequence for all mankind. Considering that it states that God may come to break off all connection with human beings possibly for several millions of years, it seems to me somewhat peculiar to claim that this is a private communication to only a few Danish bishops. If for instance a school teacher tells a misbehaving pupil that he will let the entire class be detained without being taught if the one single misbehaving pupil does not reform his ways, then one must conclude that this information is very highly interesting to all the other pupils, since they are the ones to possibly be detained! By the way, in Norway this kind of reaction from a teacher is forbidden by law. It is not allowed to punish somebody for something they have not done and collective punishments are also not allowed. If the Episcopal Letter is true and genuine, then one must conclude that God’s ethical standard is at a considerably lower level than those in for instance the country of Norway!
































































Letter from Knud Brønnum to Hilda Jensen of March 22, 1938, in which he informs about the distribution of the Episcopal Letter, among other things. It appears that the letter was distributed in 1270 copies. This hardly qualifies it as a “private” approach?

On What Ground Can Sverre Claim that Johanne Agerskov Reconsidered and Wished to Resume her Work as a Medium in the Course of the Exchange of Letters with Medical Officer Marner in 1933?

There is some confusion around when Johanne Agerskov really discontinued her work as a medium for the extrasensory spirits. I myself have been puzzled by the information early in the 1930-ies that Johanne Agerskov would receive no more questions from the extrasensory side, but then she carries on again sometimes in the 1930-ies and again receives thought messages from Leo.

For instance the following is stated in the preface of Q&As II (in  1930):

“ It has been made known to us that with “Toward the Light”, “The Teaching of Atonement and the Short Cut” and the two Supplements, the problems have been treated that God has wished to elucidate to mankind and the guidance has been given that mankind should follow; however, my wife will always be available to receive assistance, if necessary, for answers to letters, controversies in the press etc on the basis of what has been provided.”

Do notice that it is said here that Mrs Agerskov will be able to receive assistance for answering letters, newspaper controversies etc on the basis of what has already been provided through TtL and adjacent texts, but that there will not be any more question replied to directly from the extrasensory side.

In 1931 the situation is unchanged, when Johanne Agerskov writes as follows in the open letter to I.P.Müller: “Since my calling as intermediary, interpreter and secretary for the spiritual intelligences has now come to an end, I hereby give thanks to all sympathetic friends that I have won through my work. I would to thank each one for the support given in so many ways both to my husband and to me.”

Judging from the above direct quotation from Mrs Agerskov, I suppose there cannot by much doubt that she, at this point in time, regarded her mediumistic work as ended!

This is confirmed also in the first letter to medical officer Marner, dated March 27 1933, printed in Johanne Agerskov’s ‘Copy Books’ (notebooks):
“As mentioned on the phone, I cannot get you a direct response from my spiritual leader, but I have requested that he may obtain permission to lead my thoughts into the right track such that I may possibly be able to untangle the jungle growth of questions that you have sent me. The easiest way out for me would of course be to turn away all future questions with the justification: that my work has come to an end long time ago, that I am fatigued, sick etc. However since I, on the other hand, must consider the possibility that I, with the help of my spiritual leader, may be able to guide a fellow human being toward a better understanding of “Toward the Light”, well, then I yield and attempt to find the explanations that you yourself, Sir, cannot find – from the foundation presented in the text. –“

So, Johanne Agerskov is here stating in writing that she, by means of the assistance of her spiritual leader, will try to respond to the questions to which Marner himself could not manage to find responses.

After this initial letter the correspondence between Mrs Agerskov and Marners continues for some months and at a point in time it becomes clear that Johanne Agerskov considers the communication ended.  But then, in a letter dated 27th of September 1933, she apparently reconsiders and after all still wishes to carry on the correspondence. And not only does she receive help from her spiritual leader, no, he even dictates her a direct response to Marner.
“In spite of having decided not to continue clarifying the various problems in “Toward the Light” for you, I do feel however, since your letter arrived at a point in time when I am relatively well, that I should make one more attempt in this regard. But what really prompted my decision was one of your questions, namely this: “What is the meaning of germ?” Therefore I wish to start with this question. -
However, since I realized that the word “germ” such as it is used in the Comment to “Toward the Light” is not congruent with that which we colloquially designate as germs, such as e.g. the germ of seeds, peas, beans etc or for instance sprouts, leaves etc; and since I, to be honest, did not have the  faintest idea how to define this famous word from the “Comment” I prayed that my spiritual leader be permitted to define the meaning of the word, since he is the one who from the beginning has been using it. The answer was: “Since it concerns a word used in the Comment, to which there has not been attached any guiding definition from extrasensory side, you will be informed about what this word covers.” – Thereafter my spiritual leader dictated the following to me: …”

So in spite of statements both in Q&As and several other places in the early 1930-ies that the extrasensory side did not wish to respond to any more questions, and in spite of Johanne Agerskov herself declaring that her work as a medium was over, the task is indeed resumed in the letter to Mr  Marner of September 27, 1933. And ascan be seen from the above quotation the work is resumed because Johanne Agerskov herself requests it – I think there can be no doubt about that.

This took place towards the end of 1933 and also in 1934 Leo dictated several replies to letters through Johanne Agerskov, among other things about the brilliant talents of the eldest to imitate anyone of the youngest.

In 1938 Mrs Agerskov receives the Episcopal Letter, but this time it is not possible for her to make Leo respond to any more questions, even if we know that at least Chr Jørgensen and the vicar Mr Wemmelund, who had contributed in posing questions to the extrasensory world already from the time when TtL came into being and who were important financial supporters of all the publications, requested additional explanations to the seeming contradictions between TtL and the EL. But whereas Leo had always been ready to come forward and respond to questions before, in 1938 he remained silent. I find it strange, to put it mildly.




















































It was in the Christian journal, “Våbenhuset” (The Porch) no 4, 1949, that the writer and psychiatrist Ib Ostenfeld asserted that Johanne Agerskov suffered from paraphrenia, a kind of schizophrenia. The assertion was strongly opposed by the writer Chr Jørgensen.

How Can Sverre Avnskog Claim that God and the Youngest Can Completely Remove Ether Images, But Only If They Are Already Weakened by Humans Not Following Their Thought Impulses?

It is quite understandable that I receive questions about how I may know that God and the youngest can remove ether images, provided they have been weakened beforehand by humans not following them. Of course I am happy to explain that. TtL is structured such that the responses to some specific questions emerge in a very clear, lucid and unambiguous manner. But in many places also some details in various responses emerge, and these, when linked together, can also provide us with answers to other questions to which there are apparently no answers otherwise in the text.

One such problem is the question why God and the youngest do not simply remove all the ether images immediately, such that the humans may be spared these dreadful predestinations once and for all.

The ether images are compared to wireless telegrams which, once sent, cannot be stopped on their journey to the recipient station. The signals move through the universe and no one can stop them once they have been sent. However, then we have the following sentence in Q&As I, question no 67:

“God never ever goes against the given laws, but He and the youngest may, by leading Ardor’s ether images out to distant power centers – “receiving stations” – in space, weaken the strength of such images or even, under favorable conditions, stop them altogether, leaving them “stuck” to the power center.”

In other words, there is still a possibility for God and the youngest to weaken the strength of the ether images and even to stop them altogether: But this can only occur under favorable conditions!! However, the specific kind of favorable conditions called for is not made clear. Hence it is up to us to investigate what kind of propitious conditions that are needed to make God and the eldest completely put an end to the ether images. Perhaps we may find an indication about what this may be by searching information on ether images elsewhere in TtL?

In the “Comment”, chapter 36 we read the following:
These ether images have a bearing on the individual human being as well as on entire nations. This kind of thoughts and ideas, this kind of acts determine this kind of future events for the individual as well as for society.    H e n c e,  t h r o u g h   t h o u g h t s   a n d   a c t i o n s   h u m a n s   c r e a t e   a n d   s h a p e , i n   t h e     p r o p e r   a n d   d e e p e s t   s e n c e  o f   t h e   w o r d, t h e i r   o w n   a n d   t h e i r   d e s c e n d e n t ‘ s  l i v e s. But by means of the voluntary help of the youngest God seeks to guide humans’ willpower towards goodness, and in this manner plenty of criminal and ghastly acts have been prevented from appearing on earth as actual events.

Seeing these two quotations together I find it very likely that the propitious circumstances mentioned in the former quotation which make it possible for the youngest to completely stop the ether images must be the situation where humans have refused to go along with the evil thought impulses of the ether images and have thereby weakened the power of the ether image.




































Frederiksberg Hospital – this is where Inger Agerskov was admitted at the psychiatric ward 1948-1951 and was treated, among others, by Ib Ostenfeld, head doctor providing service there until 1949.















Was it Only Chr Jørgensen’s Future Possible Letters Dealing With the Episcopal Letter which Johanne and Inger Agerskov Did Not Want to Read and Respond to?

There have been claims to the effect that it was not correct when I have mentioned in several articles that Inger and Johanne Agerskov severed all connection with Chr Jørgensen.  Some people are of the opinion that it was merely those of his possible future letters dealing with the Episcopal Letter they did want to read or respond to. Well, the exact truth emerges easily by quoting from the last letter Inger Agerskov wrote to Chr Jørgensen, dated May 10, 1938:

“From your letters I realize that you have not come one single step further towards understanding all the things that have been explained to you in my mother’s and my letters. I would not like to think that you are not capable of understanding the explanations, and I am more liable to think that you do not want to, and this is also why I am  aware that all kind of further investigation, explanation and reference to the texts from our side will be quite in vain – only a waste of time and efforts. For this reason I let you know: there is no point in you writing any more to my mother or to me – your future letters will all be returned unopened.”

Having read the above, I hope that henceforth no one will claim that I am wrong when I assert that Inger and Johanne Agerskov declared that they would not read any of Chr Jørgensen’s future letters. And since they did not want to read any of his letters, not even open them, evidently they would not have known the subject of the letters such that they might possibly have been able to select those that they were willing to respond to.

















Christian Jørgensen turned out in defense of Johanne Agerskov against the accusations from
Ib Ostenfeld according to which she suffered from a kind of schizophrenia. His defense was printed in Våbenhuset no 1, 1950.

When Was Chr Jørgensen Told that the Money by Which He Had Supported the Publication of Q&A’s II Would Be Refunded to Him?

It has also been asserted that I was incorrect in claiming that Chr Jørgensen was told after the “letter polemic” with Inger and Johanne Agerskov that the money with which he had supported the publication of Q&A’s II would be refunded to him. My source of that piece of information is a letter from the board of the Society for the Dissemination of TtL to Chr Jørgensen, which I found in the letter archive of the Royal Library, and that letter is dated April 11, 1938, in other words a bit more than a month and a half after Chr Jørgensen’s first letter to Johanne Agerskov regarding the Episcopal Letter. If this information is inaccurate, and if anyone possesses letters or other documentation proving that this happened prior to the exchange of letters between the Agerskovs and Jørgensen, I will of course be happy to correct my information. I do not wish to find anything else than the truth and I will obviously bow to any irrefutable proof. However, until the moment when I receive such a letter or document proving that I am wrong, I will however maintain my claim that the money by which Chr Jørgensen had supported the publication of Q&A’s II was refunded to him as a result of the controversy with Johanne Agerskov concerning the authenticity of the Episcopal Letter. At this point in time Johanne Agerskov was toying with the idea of publishing a paperback edition of TtL – a “popular edition” as the term was, and in order to realize these plans the Society for the Dissemination of TtL needed to collect money from supporters and certainly not to refund the little they had. Therefore it seems more than odd that Chr Jørgensen all of a sudden was refunded the money by which he had supported the publication of Q&A’s II. By the way, the popular edition became a reality in 1939 thanks to an anonymous gift of 2000 kroner. Wonder where that money came from?

In order to understand how Chr Jørgensen experienced the episode about the money it is important to remember that this was not a short-term loan, rather it was a monetary gift making it possible to publish Q&A’s II. In case no additional supporters had been willing to sponsor the publication, Agerskov would have had big problems to publish Q&A’s II. Chr Jørgensen experienced it as an insult that this money ”all of a sudden” was to  be refunded to him because of a conflict, and that feeling I personally find very understandable.






































In the same issue of Våbenhuset where Chr Jørgensen’s defence for Johanne Agerskov was printed, was also this advertisement for  TtL from the publishing company of Folmer Hansen.

Has Sverre Avnskog Been Hired by Johanne Agerskov’s Family in Order to Blacken Her Memory?

No, of course not. First of all, no one in Johanne Agerskov’s family has expressed any negative feelings in relation to Johanne Agerskov, and I would of course not let myself be hired to convey something I could not vouch for. I have met many descendents of the Malling-Hansen and Agerskov families, and I have only the very best impression of all of them. They have expressed joy over somebody taking an interest in their ancestors and have been very kind to open their homes and archives for me as a researcher. Not only have they let me make copies of photos left behind, letters and other documents, they have also proven to me that the well-known Danish hospitality is no myth but an absolute reality. I have been incredibly touched by the friendliness and generosity I have met everywhere from the descendents. And – I am yet to hear one single negative word about Johanne Agerskov’s work as a medium from any of them. They have only related to me, in quite a neutral manner, the knowledge they have about the past history of the family. And the fact is that Johanne Agerskov enjoyed very good support from most of her sisters in her task. I know that Juliane, Engelke, Emma and Karen were all close and firm supporters to Johanne and defended her through thick and thin. In particular Emma was strongly engaged in TtL, and the same involvement was passed on to her daughter Elsebeth. Emma, however, eventually came to doubt the authenticity of the Episcopal Letter, but all of her comments about her sister bear witness to an enormous respect and consideration for her sister. Only the relationship to the youngest of the sisters, Marie, seems to have suffered because of Toward the Light, however that was probably mostly due to conflicts in relation to Marie’s husband, the vicar Axel Forman, who in fact participated in some of the earliest séances but later expressed disagreement about what actually had taken place during some of them. For additional information I refer to one of the letters in Johanne Agerskov’s “copy books” to her brother-in-law.

In the Agerskov family there were probably several of the contemporaries who took a skeptical position in relation to Johanne Agerskov’s work as a medium, but – once again – none of those I have spoken to about Johanne Agerskov in this family have expressed having in any way negative feelings vis-à-vis Mrs Agerskov. They have simply told me, as neutrally as possible, what kind of people Johanne and Michael were, about their characteristics and about what is known about them in the family.

I think the descendents in the Malling-Hansen and Agerskov families deserve a lot of credit and our heartfelt thanks for their very kind cooperativeness towards us who are conducting research in the happenings of the past! Their conduct has been absolutely exemplary! I consider many of them today as my good and close friends! They are really great people!



































The language barrier was easily overcome when Jette, née Kongsted, whose grand uncle was Michael Agerskov, played with our little 2-year old daughter during her and her husband’s visit to us in spring 2009. Children instinctively recognize good people, and the contact was, as is evident, excellent! Photo: Sverre Avnskog





























Is it an Expression of Duplicity When One Both Criticizes and Praises and Should Sverre Avnskog Rather Not Have Anything to Do With Children?

For the reader’s information, I have been a primary school teacher for almost 30 years by now. Perhaps you wonder what relevance this information has in an article about the Episcopal Letter? The reason I mention this is that some people have expressed doubt whether it is proper that I deal with children, considering my attitudes to Johanne Agerskov and the Episcopal Letter. This is why I would like to tell the interested reader that I have in fact dedicated my professional career to taking care of children of the age group 6-13 years. This has been a very rewarding but also demanding task. The reason why I chose to work with the youngest children was that I felt at an early stage I had more to offer the youngest, while they are still dependent upon adults who can treat them with the loving care they need.  To observe the personality of the small children awaken, grow and develop is one of the things that have provided me the greatest joys in life. I have never been comfortable in the company of those that seek power or those that feel they are “bigwigs”, but together with the children I have always felt that my sensitivity comes into its own, and the little ones have in me always found an adult willing to take them seriously, listen and give them the recognition that make them feel valuable and loved.

But everybody dealing with children knows very well that as an adult it is not enough to give support and encouragement – because all children carry “weed germs” that we as adults must help them to remove. Setting bounds and limits and sometimes applying sanctions is also part of child education, otherwise life among children would become a struggle against one another, and the strongest children would completely dominate the weaker children. I assume this is something that everyone with experience of their own children, or entrusted with the care and education of children, are fully aware of, and no responsible educationalist can do otherwise than praising the children for what they are good at and at the same time give them feedback in the areas where they need to improve. This is not an expression of duplicity, and it is also not something that confuses the children – children expect and wish that adults appear as responsible grown-ups, clearly showing what they can accept and what they cannot accept. Pedagogical research shows quite unambiguously that children who do not get reactions from adults, both in positive and negative respects, become confused, unsecure and unmotivated.


































































I sensed from an early stage that it was easy for me to establish contact with children and that I had a natural talent for communicating with them. This is why I chose to become a teacher for the youngest. Up until now nobody has complained about my teaching manner or ability. I am also lucky enough to have procreated children and in this photo I am celebrating my 52-year birthday with my stepdaughter Sofie and my biological daughter Amina. Photo: Wan Avnskog.

Why Does the Episcopal Letter Have Such a Disuniting Effect?

As previously mentioned, it is difficult to express any kind of opinion about the Episcopal Letter without some of its supporters construing it as a personal insult. However, this is how it is with issues as delicate as a person’s feelings for and relationship with God. And once more I would like to underline that I have no wish whatsoever to attack anyone personally or their religious feelings; I merely want to describe the phenomena that I feel I am observing, and if it is an attack on people’s religious feelings to try and describe how  darkness is working, then indeed TtL must be designated as one big attack on Christians by showing how Christianity has become a mixture of light and darkness because of Ardor’s thought influences. In the same way my personal view is that Toward the Light! has become a mixture of light and darkness because of the Episcopal Letter. I am convinced that the EL comes from one of the eldest, and that it has turned up by a process whereby this eldest has let himself or herself inspire by Ardor’s ideas, by one or several of the ether images he designed when he realized that his hegemony on earth was coming to an end. That Ardor understood that his cause was losing ground is of course evident from TtL – also that he created ether images in order to prevent the success and progress of the light after his being crushed – something he was convinced would happen. But he could think like that only because he had lost every recollection about God’s loving nature, and after “waking” up in the light it must have been a terrible experience for him see what kind of “legacy” he had left behind in the shape of ether images that would pursue mankind for centuries ahead.

If I am correct that the Episcopal Letter stems from one of Ardor’s ether images, constructed in order to create dissention both internally among supporters of TtL as well as between TtL and the Danish Church, then the case is unfortunately also like this: by making oneself a spokesperson for the authenticity of the Episcopal Letter, arguing that it is true that God can possibly be imagined to let us down, then and thereby one nourishes the ether image such that it becomes stronger. And this is of course not something I myself am making up – this is how the dynamics of the ether images is operating. If humans follow the evil thought impulses of the ether image it is strengthened, if humans resist the thought power of the ether image, it is weakened. Let me also add that obviously I do not believe that one escapes darkness just by being against the Episcopal Letter. Of course it is not that simple. All of us are constantly exposed to the influence of darkness, and a person who wants to argue against the eventuality that God can possibly sever all connection with us humans for a period of several million years must evidently be careful not to attack the supporters of the Episcopal Letter instead of arguing in favor of his own views. Such a procedure conflicts as strongly against the laws of the light- and will also strengthen the power of the ether image – and hence will contribute to the disunion between the opponents and the supporters of the authenticity of the Episcopal Letter.

My view, reached after very careful considerations and after having studied the historical events in the small TtL-milieu following the appearance of the Episcopal Letter, is that the Episcopal Letter with its appurtenant ether image is the most important reason why TtL is still only known among a tiny faithful “community”, internally ravaged by disunion, personal clashes and rifts. Picking from history suffice it to mention that the EL caused old friendships to end in bitter feud; one of the leading advocates of the EL, Inger Agerskov, became mentally deranged and was admitted to a mental hospital in 1948; Cay Prior, one of the leading advocates of TtL who translated TtL and many other texts into English, died deeply depressed and disillusioned, convinced that mankind was “lost”; the Society for the Dissemination of TtL was split up by antagonism and conflicts; members of the society felt ostracized and persecuted; the rift vis-à-vis the church became deep and permanent etc etc etc. The list can be made much longer and shows the kind of battlefield in which the tiny TtL milieu found itself in the wake after the Episcopal Letter.

And unfortunately the EL has exactly the same effect today. Friendships are destroyed, discussions end in unbridgeable personal conflicts and intolerance rages in “God’s” name! People who are simply expressing their points of view are being persecuted publicly and accused and impugned for aspects that have nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion.

All of this evidently contributes to a situation whereby the vicious spiral which Ardor has set in motion with his ether images is twisted and turned increasingly hard. The strife and the dissention feed increasing amount of energy to the ether image, the increased strength of the ether image makes its evil thought impulses stronger still and so on. And at the center of the strife more often than not we find – yes, exactly – the Episcopal Letter! This blasphemous and sacrilegious text that presents God as a simple defector, who could be imagined to let down his creatures precisely when they need him most, and who is alleged to be able to help humans if they profess a certain faith and none other.

What Does God Want Us to Do?

To my mind it is perfectly clear that the strategy attempted in 1938 – with TtL in hand proclaiming that our “religion” is the only one capable of saving mankind from becoming let down by God and that our “religion” is the only one that can make God continue to stand by us, is a total derailment – it is definitely not this kind of procedure God wishes us to use!

In fact, TtL tells us quite a lot about how God wishes those who want to serve his cause to behave. In the speech of Christ to mankind we receive ample information about how best to serve God’s cause among our fellow men.

“For you shall know:  t h a t   n o   f a i t h   h a s   a d v a n t a g e s   o r   r i g h t s  o v e r  t h e  
o t h e r s. 
N o  t e a c h i n g   i s  t h e   o n l y   o n e   t o   b r i n g   s a l v a t i o n;  for our Father does not ask you what kind of faith you profess, only if you have tried to go forward toward the light, if you have conquered evil and the many temptations; He asks you whether you have supported the weak, comforted the sorrowful, fed the hungry, clad the naked, helped the poor, the sick and the suffering people; and He asks you whether you have done your good deeds out of love and charity, or whether you did them  f o r   t h e   s a k e   o f   y o u r   o w n   a d v a n t a g e.
Verily, our Father does not ask you about your faith, but  w h e t h e r  y o u  h a v e  l i v e d   a n d
 a c t e d  c o m p l e t e l y   i n  a c c o r d a n c e   w i t h  t h a t   w h i c h  f o r   y o u  w a s  t r u t h   a n d   j u s t i c e. ‘

In other words, God does not at all ask us what kind of faith we profess and he makes it quite clear that no teaching is the only one to lead to salvation! Well, these are indeed totally different tones than those from the Episcopal Letter! Therefore, it cannot possibly be true that God may come to the point of severing all kind of connection with us in case TtL is not accepted as the truth, for “no teaching is the only one leading to salvation;…” God does not ask us what we profess, only how we conduct our lives! And the same thing must also apply to the Nine Danish bishops in 1938 – they were then also not asked to what kind of faith or teaching they confess, but only whether they were seeking the noblest and most truthful in themselves.

My claim is that the entire project around the Episcopal Letter, the content as well as the distribution, is completely against what Christ is requesting us in our relationship with other religions. Can it be expressed more clearly than what Christ is saying, that supporters of TtL in no way has any right to set themselves up as a judge of other religious persuasions or points of view? For the speech of Christ is of course not meant only for those that belong to the various world religions, it refers equally much to us believers in TtL!

“Still I wish to tell all of you: If you wish to be God’s servants, then you must not constantly fight and strife with each other about ancient words and doctrines, sounding to you from the many texts of the ancestors. Then you must not constantly emphasize that your faith and your church are the only ones that are true and leading to salvation. And never ever must you by means of the sword or harsh dictates enforce upon others your faith and your opinions.
What you should do is to come together in your joint yearning for the pure, the exalted and the divine. Yes, indeed, you should all seek to meet in your shared longing for a father’s love and for divine justice.

In other words, Christ is asking us not to fight and strife, and we are not to emphasize our own faith as the only one leading to salvation, and neither must we try to enforce our own belief upon others. And it is undeniable that the EL was clearly an attempt to enforce a particular belief upon the Danish bishops –namely that of TtL. Also, the EL can in no way be said to be an attempt to meet with the bishops in a joint yearning for a father’s love, in a text that visualizes the most hideous consequences of failure to keep a promise. Far from it!

I am very happy to make the words of Christ my own, when he says that we who wish to be God’s servants on earth must speak mild, loving and understandable words to everyone, not speak harshly and judgmentally and never threaten or frighten with damnation and eternal torments, even if it is “only” for some millions of years and not in all eternity!

“Yes, verily I say onto you: If you wish to be God’s servants, then you must serve Him in spirit and in truth;  t h e n   y o u   m u s t   s p e a k   m i l d, l o v i n g  a n d c o m p r e h e n s  i b l e  w o r d s  t o   e v e r y b o d y, who in doubt, hopelessness and penitence  turn  to you for help and guidance; then you must, tirelessly and continuously comfort and give strength to the weak, disheartened and irresolute people; you must never speak harsh, judgmental words to the living, and even less must you denounce the dead; you must never, in order to claim power and authority for yourselves,
 t h r e a t e n  w i t h  e t e r n a l   d a m n a t i o n   or   f r i g h t e n  w i t h   p u n i s h m  e n t
 a n d   t o r m e n t s   i n    h e l l.”




Oslo, 01.08.09
Sverre Avnskog

English translation by
Jørgen Malling Christensen