Reverend John Hugh Smyth Pigott was the leader of an organisation in London called ‘Agapemone’. Agapemone was originally founded by Reverend Henry Prince (1811-1899). Its fundamental doctrines were similar to those of Protestant Christianity, with the major exception that Reverend Henry Prince considered himself to be the second coming of the Messiah and also to be immortal.
After his death, his successor John Hugh Smyth Pigott assumed this mantle. Although the community was initially shocked at the death of the ‘Eternal Messiah’, Pigott cajoled them to believe that, in fact, Henry Prince had only been a harbinger, and that he - Pigott, was in reality, the ever-lasting Messiah.
The organisation’s church in Clapton, London was known as the ‘Ark of the Covenant'. On 7 September 1902, Pigott delivered his inaugural sermon there, in which he claimed that he was the second advent of the Messiah, Jesus (as). He admonished the audience that there was no need to search for God in the heavens, for “he is present amongst you”.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), wrote to Pigott that such a blasphemous proposition did not behove man and that in the future he should abstain from making such claims, or he would be destroyed. This message was sent to him in November 1902.
On 20 November 1902, Hazrat Ahmad (as) received a revelation (Tadhkirah, pp. 596-597) in which the part 'Wallahu Shadeedul Iqaab' [Allah is severe in retribution] indicated that Pigott’s end would be doomed and he would be afflicted with God’s chastisement.
During the lifetime of Hazrat Ahmad (as), Pigott never claimed godship again. However in 1909, one year after the demise of Hazrat Ahmad (as), Pigott repeated his claim to godship.
His final days were spent in a state of mental, physical and social crisis. He died in 1927 and was buried in his own church. The church was later sold and is now a residential establishment run by an English family.