A new book has made astounding claims about the recently canonised Mother Teresa of Calcutta, dubbing her a fraud and a racketeer. Perhaps the most extraordinary allegation Mother of Lies – written by former cleric Charles Copler – makes against the noted missionary is that she was involved in an illegal bare knuckle fighting ring, in which young nuns would be pitted against each other, with huge sums riding on the outcome of each match. “She didn’t just organise these underground fights, she also participated in them, “ Copler told The Sleaze. “Well into her eighties, she was the undisputed bare knuckle champion of Calcutta, winning the majority of her matches with a single knock-out blow! Mind you, towards the end, she’d only go in the ring with inexperienced novices she knew she could beat the shit out of – a hell of a lot of young nun’s first experience of the religious life was having their teeth knocked out by the old crone.” The author claims that the injuries sustained by Mother Teresa during her numerous fights were clearly in evidence. “Come on – you don’t think it was just old age that left her stooped and wizened, do you?” he asked. “I mean, her face looked like it had been used as a punch bag, didn’t it?”

Copler rejects he claims of some supporters of the late Mother Teresa that she was actually using the illegal fights to raise money for the poor of India. “Bloody apologists! She was in cahoots with the big Far Eastern gambling cartels who were willing to wager millions of dollars on a single match,” he says. “Believe me, the only person who benefited from her very substantial cut of the takings was her!” He accuses Mother Teresa of living a double life: in public the tireless defender of the poor, rejecting personal wealth and material goods in favour of altruism, in private a high living hedonist with a jet set lifestyle financed by bare knuckle fighting. “Trust me, as soon she was out of the public eye, she jumped into a limo and high-tailed it to her palace several miles south of Calcutta,” Copler explains. “She also had a couple of yachts a private plane and a holiday home in Barbados. To be fair, some of that money she made from the fights did make its way to the poor – in the form of the pittance she paid her domestic staff.” Critics of the book have pointed out that if Mother Teresa was living such a lifestyle – which allegedly included high rolling nights at casinos in Macau and Monaco – it would have surely have caught the attention of the church authorities, let alone the press. “Oh for God’s sake, are they really that naive?” he sighs. “Obviously, she was paying big backhanders to the Vatican – she had at least five Popes on the payroll during her lifetime – and they, in turn, made sure the world’s press kept it under wraps. You’d be surprised the dirt those priests have on a lot of top newspaper proprietors, editors and journalists. It’s amazing what some people will admit to in the confessional!”

Mother of Lies also casts doubt on the official account of Mother Teresa’s death, suggesting that, rather than succumbing to natural causes, the nun had actually been silenced by the Vatican. “Towards the end, it was all getting out of hand – she was moving from bare knuckle fighting into stuff that even the Vatican wasn’t prepared to cover up. No matter how big the back handers,” confides Copler. “According to my sources, the Far Eastern gambling cartels were growing tired of watching nuns duke it out, and wanted something more exciting. So, Mother Teresa started offering them the opportunity to actually kill some of the destitute people she was supposedly helping – for a hefty fee, of course. She figured that nobody would miss the victims.” The Vatican has, predictably, dismissed the claims made in the book, counter-claiming that Copler is an embittered ex-employee with a grudge against the Catholic church, pointing out he was defrocked after his attempts to establish his own sect – The Church of Christ the Latter Day Naturist – were deemed heretical. They have also highlighted the fact a previous book by Copler – which had claimed that Pope Benedict had been involved in a Nazi child abuse ring with Jimmy Savile – was withdrawn and every copy pulped following a successful libel action.

Nevertheless, Mother of Lies isn’t the first time that serious allegations of misconduct have been levelled at Mother Teresa, with a an earlier book, Missionary of Death, having accused her of creating a ‘cult of death’. Indeed, that volume’s author, freelance investigative journalist Henry Pearler, is still furious at Mother Teresa’s canonisation. “It’s bloody outrageous – I really thought better of Pope Francis,” declared Pearler – whose work has appeared in such publications as the Catterick Cattle Review Weekly and the Brighton Evening Bird Fanciers’ Gazette – in reaction to the recent canonisation of Mother Teresa “Yet he’s fallen for all the nonsense surrounding that fraud Mother Teresa and has made her a saint! Yeah, she’s a saint all right the patron saint of death!” According to Pearler’s self-published 2010 book, far from helping the poor of India, the noted nun and missionary actually exploited them to create a ‘cult of death’ promoting euthanasia. “She just gave up on the idea of actually trying to improve these peoples’ lives by trying to improve the conditions they lived in,” he explains. “Instead, she and her acolytes decided that it was easier to to send them to a ‘better place’ in the form of the hereafter! Whenever one of those poor bastards in their care breathed their last, they rejoiced! Not only were they sending them to a ‘better place’, but they also believed that it gave them some sort of spiritual kudos which would guarantee them a place at God’s side when they ascended to heaven.” Pearler alleged that Mother Teresa and her acolytes weren’t above helping some of the sick and destitute on their way. “They kept it simple,” he says. “You know, the old pillow over the face while they were sleeping, that sort of thing.”

Like Copler’s book, Missionary of Death was dismissed by the Vatican at the time of its publication, which claimed that it was based entirely upon hearsay. The Vatican also rejected the claims made about Mother Teresa in the 2008 documentary Angel of Evil, which alleged that her Indian operation was actually a front for supplying slave labour to Far Eastern sweat shops. “Thanks to her efforts in exploiting the poor of the Indian sub-continent, we’ve seen significant reductions in the costs of clothing, foot wear and electronic goods,” the film’s producer, Joel Hirk explained. “That’s her true legacy, rather than all that nonsense about helping the sick.” Hirk stands by his film, rejecting the Vatican’s allegations that most of its supposed ‘documentary’ footage was actually faked. “Those were merely dramatic reconstructions of real events,” he says. “Obviously, many of those involved didn’t want to appear on camera for fear of reprisals, so we used actors instead. It’s a perfectly legitimate technique – it’s certainly no more ‘fake’ than any of the miracles posthumously accredited to Mother Teresa in order to justify her canonisation.”