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Fake news claim: A purported “manifesto” written by the 18th-century theologian John Wesley is doing the rounds on social media written by the 18th-century theologian.

In every example of the “manifesto,” the list of principles consisted of the following:

  • Reduce the gap between rich people and poor people
  • Help everyone to have a job
  • Help the poorest, including introducing a living wage
  • Offer the best possible education
  • Help everyone to feel they can make a difference
  • Promote tolerance
  • Promote equal treatment for women
  • Create a society based on values, not profits and consumerism
  • End all forms of slavery
  • Avoid getting into wars
  • Share the love of God with everyone
  • Care for the environment

Facts Check Verdict: Fake

News Verification: A purported “manifesto” written by the 18th-century theologian John Wesley is doing the rounds on social media meme is not an original manifesto.

A simplified form of the meme was also posted on the image-hosting website Imgur on Nov. 26. 

The “manifesto” posted in the Facebook and other social media remarked on its purported prescience and applicability to Western societies in 2019 and 2020, despite having emerged in the 1700s.  

The original list is shown in the museum in the New Room, where it is described as “John Wesley’s principles in the 18th century,” with the sub-heading “A Political Manifesto for Today?” So the creators of the list did not describe it as literally being a manifesto written by Wesley, even if subsequent memes wrongly characterized it as such. The original list is the following principles:

  • Reduce the gap between rich and poor
  • Seek to ensure full employment
  • Introduce measures to help the poorest, including a living wage
  • Offer the best possible education
  • Empower individuals to feel they can make a difference
  • Promote tolerance
  • Promote equal treatment for women
  • Create a society based on values and not on profits and consumerism
  • End all forms of enslavement
  • Avoiding engaging in wars
  • Avoid narrow self-interest and promote a world view
  • Care for the animals with which we share our planet.

Hence the list was not an actual manifesto written by Wesley.





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