The Big Lie

By Fred A. Shewmaker

Many members of the church seem to accept, without question, the claims often made that prohibition was unenforceable, spawned crime and was a failure. Gospel preachers, who have some knowledge of the d evidence, have labeled the propaganda against prohibition “The Big Lie.” However, there has been a hesitancy to press the point. This is mainly due to unavailability of a ready reference source. Why should a gospel preacher subject his credibility to questioning by pressing the point, when the statistical evidence is contained in documents which are not readily available to the public? After all, much of a preacher’s effectiveness depends upon a general acceptance of his credibility.

Possibly this lack of a readily available reference will soon be a thing of the past. In the August 15, 1988 Times Reporter, local newspaper for the Dover-New Philadelphia, Ohio area, there appeared an article entitled: “Researcher challenges Prohibition critics.” The article reports that “after more than 20 years of research on Prohibition, (John C.) Burnham is about to finish a book about the period’s effect on alcohol use.”

The article also reported that Burnham, an Ohio State University professor, “says there’s no truth to the claim that it was ineffective in curbing alcohol use.” Some of us have been saying the same thing for a long time. Hopefully, professor Burnham’s book will furnish us with live ammunition so that we can reload our guns and quit shooting blanks.

Guardian of Truth XXXII: 20, p. 618
October 20, 1988