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The Naked
Truth Saloon

The Naked Truth Saloon

Originally published in
The Christian Informer
September, 1998

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by Richard

Last updated:
August 27, 1998.

In the state of Idaho, on February 24, 1886, James M. Lawrence published a shockingly honest advertisement in the Boise Democrat to announce the opening of his new establishment called, "The Naked Truth Saloon." It read--

Friends and Neighbors: Having just opened a commodious shop for the sale of liquid fire, I embrace this opportunity of informing you that I have commenced the business of making drunkards, paupers and beggars for the sober, industrious and respectable portion of the community to support. I shall deal in family spirits which will incite men to deeds of riots, robbery and bloodshed, and by so doing diminish the comfort, augment the expenses, and endanger the welfare of the community.

I will on short notice, for a sum, and with great expectations, undertake to prepare victims for the asylums, poor farms, prisons, and gallows.

I will furnish an article that will increase accidents, multiply the numbers of distressing diseases, and render those who are harmless incurables.

I will deal in drugs which will deprive some of life, and many of reason, most of property, and all of their peace, which will cause fathers to become fiends, and wives widows, and children to be- come orphans and all mendicants.

I will cause many of the rising generation to grow up in ignorance and prove a burden and a nuisance to the nation. I will cause mothers to forget their offspring, and cruelty to take the place of love.

I will sometimes corrupt the ministers of religion, defile the purity of the church, and cause temporary spiritual and eternal death, and if any be so impertinent as to ask me why I have the audacity to bring such accumulated misery upon the people, my honest reply is "Money." The spirit of trade is lucrative and some professing Christians give their cheerful countenance.

From the U. S. Government I have purchased the right to demolish the character, destroy the health, and shorten the lives and ruin the souls of those who choose to honor me with their custom.

I pledge myself to do all that I have promised. Those who wish any of the evils before specified brought upon themselves or their dear friends, are requested to meet me at my bar where I will for a few cents furnish them with the certain means of doing so.

-- Selected.