‘Immaculate Deception: The Shocking True Story of Christina Gallagher and her House of Prayer’, by Jim Gallagher. Merlin Publishing 2009.

This is a well written ‘exposure’ book by Sunday World reporter Jim Gallagher. He details how Christina Gallagher (no relation) got people to hand over money by telling them of her visions of, and conversations with, Our Lady. And to all you non-Catholics out there that means The Blessed Virgin. Blessed Virgin? What?– Oh I can’t be bothered: let’s just say ‘An Important Person From The Next World’.

Anyway, let’s also be clear that this is not at all a funny book. One can look upon the people who were duped into handing over vast sums of money to Ms Gallagher as ridiculous fools or, more charitably, as victims of their own ‘true faith in the one true Church’, but either way one must have pity for them. One of the compelling features of the book is how it details the amount of time it took people to realise  what was happening, and how they persisted in their folly even in the face of irrefutable evidence that ‘The House of Prayer’ in Achill was (is!) more interested in their money than their ‘eternal salvation’.

Bigger names and bigger organisations come to mind as one reads this book, Mr L.Ron Hubbard for instance.  A really spellbinding read… and it seems that Christina is still in business, though it also seems that she now has fewer followers/devotees. I hope so.


    1. Sorry for the delay in replying. Yes, a scam. But I was in Achill last year and paid a curiosity visit to the centre, where I found everything in full swing despite the expose’ of the book I reviewed. Oh, the strength of Faith!!!


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