In Knock, Co Mayo, on the 21st of August 1879 the Virgin Mary flanked by St Joseph and St John the Evangelist and an altar with a lamb and cross on it allegedly appeared on the gable wall of the Parish Church to fifteen people.

Star witness Mary Beirne stated that the Virgin’s crown was somewhat yellow. A real miracle would have had a gold crown.

There is a serious problem as to why the vision was only witnessed by the family and friends of the first visionary though there were plenty of other people in Knock. Did she know that there was something odd about the whole thing that made her afraid to go to unbiased people?

Another interesting point is that Mary Beirne could have moulded the perception of the others of what was seen at the gable for she quickly took on a leadership role and was the first to suggest it was the Virgin Mary (page 206, The Cult of the Virgin Mary). She seems to have been behind the acceptance by the witnesses that the bishop was St John the Evangelist. It is interesting that God would send John holding a book to suggest he wrote the Fourth Gospel when scholarship shows that he did not.

Anyway there could have been a strange light and she led the rest to think they saw these figures inside the light. The illusion hypothesis is a possibility. A child can be a remarkable witness and a six year old boy said there was nothing there but nice things and lights.

Knock cannot be from God because the first commission was careless and did not ask the right questions or work out why the witnesses were sometimes contradicting one another (page 66, The Cult of the Virgin Mary). God would do better than that. The first commission is the most important one. They did not try to explain why there was a dispute about if there was a Lamb there or not or if there were glittering stars or if the crown was somewhat yellow or gold or if there were angels flying about or if there was a cross on the altar that appeared in the vision with the Lamb standing on it. Patrick Hill was known to have added a lot to his original description when he was interviewed in 1897.
The book, The Apparition at Knock, A Survey of Facts and Evidence by Fr Michael Walsh is a good read. Page 20 tells us that the figures seemed to move out and then backwards according to Patrick Hill’s testimony. That is what something being projected from a machine would do. Some but not all the witnesses said the figures moved, but it is a very easy thing to imagine. Bridget Trench said they didn’t move (page 29). Page 47 has top witness Mary Beirne saying the vision of Mary had a yellow whiteness. She didn’t see the vision’s feet but Bridget Trench said they were visible and tried to touch them (page 29). She also said that the images seemed to retreat into the wall when approached – maybe that was an illusion. When you are far off a projected image it is easier to think it is three dimensional but when you get close it is easier to see that it is on the wall. She added that she saw attempts to recreate the vision using slides but there was no comparison (page 50). In 1936, she said she couldn’t remember seeing a lamb on the altar (page 52). She stated that close up the images seemed painted on the wall (page 62).
The apparition led to people picking the cement out of the Church wall and putting it in danger of collapsing (page 89). Would the Virgin knowing people would do this have appeared at Knock and caused the desecration of a Church? Strangely it got so bad that the stones were being pulled out before anything was done about it. Apparitions of lights on the gable and even of the Virgin herself were seen after the vision but the Church dismissed those stories.

How could God give us fifteen modern witnesses to a miracle when he only gave us a handful of obscure and legendary witnesses to the resurrection? Why is Knock more believable than the resurrection of Jesus though the latter is essential for belief?
The vast majority of believing Catholics believe in their faith because of the alleged miracles of Lourdes and Fatima and often because of the Turin Shroud. This must be dangerous and sinful. They are basing too much on private revelations. They are supposed to base their faith on the resurrection of Jesus not apparitions. But they don't. The resurrection is not a sign for them for they have less interest in it than in the apparitions and visions. They can't even give good believable reasons for holding the resurrection to be fact. If they saw the resurrection as a sign and as good evidence for the authenticity of the Christian faith they would not be building their faith on private revelations. The private revelations have bad fruits no matter how good these fruits look.
It is foolish to believe that the private revelations are really from God.

Ballinspittle, Moving Statues and Faith, Tim Ryan and Jurek Kirakowski, Mercier Press, Dublin, 1985
Beauraing and Other Apparitions, Fr Herbert Thurston, Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1934
Believing in God, PJ McGrath, Millington Books in Association with Wolfhound, Dublin, 1995
Bernadette of Lourdes, Rev CC Martindale, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1970
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
Catholic Prophecy, The Coming Chastisement Yves Dupont, TAN, Illinois, 1973
Comparative Miracles, Fr Robert D Smith, B. Herder Book Co, St Louis, Mo, 1965
Counterfeit Miracles, BB Warfield, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1995
Cults and Fanatics, Colin & Damon Wilson, Siena, London, 1996
Divine Mercy in My Soul, Sr M Faustina Kowalska, Marian Press, Massachusetts, 1987
Eleven Lourdes Miracles, Dr D J West, Duckworth, London, 1957
Everything You Know About God is Wrong, The Disinformation Guide to Religion, Edited by Russ Kick, The Disinformation Company, New York, 2007
Evidence of Satan in the Modern World, Leon Cristiani, TAN, Illinois, 1974
From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls, Walter Vandereycken and Ron van Deth, Athlone Press, London, 1996
Fatima in Lucia’s own Words, Sr Lucia, Postulation Centre, Fatima, 1976
Fatima Revealed…And Discarded, Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, Augustine, Devon, 1988  
From the Visions of the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, Topic Newspapers, Mullingar, undated
Garabandal, a Message for the World, Ave Maria Publications, Middleton, Co Armagh
Introduction to the Devout Life, St Francis de Sales, Burns Oates and Washbourne Limited, London, 1952
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM, London, 1969
Miracles, Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Mother of Nations, Joan Ashton, Veritas, Dublin, 1988
New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Objections to Roman Catholicism, Edited by Michael de la Bedoyere, Constable, London, 1964
Our Lady of Beauraing, Rev J.A. Shields, M.A., D.C.L., M.H. Gill and Son, Ltd., Dublin, 1958
Padre Pio, Patrick O Donovan, Catholic Truth Society, London
Please Come Back to Me and My Son R Vincnet, Ireland’s Eye, Mullingar, 1992
Powers of Darkness, Powers of Light, John Cornwell, London, 1992
Rosa Mystica, Franz Speckbacher, Divine Mercy Publications, Dublin, 1986
San Damiano, S di Maria, The Marian Centre, Hungerford, 1983
Spiritual Healing, Martin Daulby and Caroline Mathison, Geddes & Grosset, New Lanark, Scotland, 1998
St Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, Fr Joseph I Dirvin C.M., Tan, Illinois, 1984
The Apparition at Knock, A Survey of Facts and Evidence, Fr Michael Walsh, St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Co Galway, 1959
The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary Today, Rene Laurentin, Veritas, Dublin 1990
The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Lourdes, JB Estrade, Art & Book Company Ltd, Westminster, 1912
The Autobiography of St Margaret Mary, TAN, Illinois, 1986
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996

The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary, Elliot Miller and Kenneth R. Samples, 1992

The Cult of the Virgin Mary, Michael P Carroll, Princeton University Press, 1986

The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, Kevin McClure Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, 1985
The Exaltation of the Virgin Mary, by Rev S.G. Poyntz, M.A., B.D., Association for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Dublin, 1955
The Holy Shroud and Four Visions, Rev Patrick O Connell and Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
The Holy Shroud and the Visions of Maria Valtorta, Msgr Vincenzo Celli, Kolbe Publications Inc., Sheerbrooke, California, 1994
The Incorruptibles, Joan Carroll Cruz, Tan, Illinois, 1977
The Medjugorje Deception, E Michael Jones, Fidelity Press, Indiana, 1998
The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, Fr Herbert Thurston, Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1952
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Supernatural A-Z, James Randi, Headline Books, London, 1995
The Thunder of Justice, Ted and Maureen Flynn, MAXCOL, Vancouver, 1993
The Turin Shroud is Genuine, Rodney Hoare, Souvenir Press, London, 1998 Twenty Questions about Medjugorje Kevin Orlin Johnson Ph.D, Pangaeus, Dallas, 1999
The Two Divine Promises, Fr Roman Hoppe, TAN, Illinois, 1987
The Virgin of the Poor, Damian Walne and Joan Flory, CTS, London, 1983
The Way of Divine Love, Sr Josefa Mendenez, TAN, Illinois, 1980
The Wonder of Guadalupe, Francis Johnson, Augustine, Devon, 1981
To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, Fr Gobbi, The Marian Movement of Priests, St Paul’s Press, Athlone, 1991

The Most Dangerous False Apparition in the World

False Visions Which Followed Knock

Critique: “Poem of the Man-God” Medugorje’s Gospel by Brother James,

Saints Preserve Us!
This excellent site outlines the errors of famous Catholic visionaries such as Anne Catherine Emmerich and Marie de Agreda which they said their visions told them. But it puts these errors down to the visionaries misunderstanding. This excuse itself accuses God of being slack! It points out that when Satan speaks, in the experience of the Church, he states 99% of the truth that God has revealed and 1 % untruth because every little error helps his cause. In the Church’s experience, that is the way it seems to be which means Carey and the Church should not be accepting the visions of Emmerich and Agreda. The former stated that there was a terrestrial paradise near Tibet and the pseudo-Dionysus writings are authentic though they are universally recognised as heretical forgeries advocating a Hindu piety. Thus she fell into heresy. Her miracles defended those errors. Agreda insisted that all must believe her writings which in Church doctrine can only be said of sacred scripture and the infallible dogmas of the Church. Nostradamus claimed that his revelations were given to him by the creator God. Like Agreda he claimed to be the producer of new scripture and was a heretic. The site examines the proof that the apparitions of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje are not from God at all.

The Amplified Bible