Spiritualism: Fact or Fraud?
Spiritualism is the belief that the souls of the dead pass over onto the first Astral Plane, and from there they can communicate via a Medium to warn, guide, and enlighten the living with the observations they have made from beyond the veil. The Medium communicates between the two worlds through séances. God is the Infinite Intelligence, and when spirits pass over they grow and perfect by moving through a series of hierarchical spheres.
The first Spiritualists were radical Quakers who combined supernatural practices within their own religion. This belief system was hugely popular with middle and upper class Americans and Europeans between 1840 – 1920. During the American Civil War period a lot of grieving parents tried supernatural sources in a desperate attempt to communicate with their lost sons, including President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary. Another historical surge happened during The Great War too, for similar reasons. Unfortunately, trances, séances, and automatic writing developed into profitable showmanship for paying audiences and therefore became susceptible to widespread fraud. The Seybert Commission discredited many famous practitioners.
Both Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens were members of the Ghost Club established in London, 1862. These men undertook the scientific study of paranormal activities in order to prove or disprove their existence. During the 1920s Harry Houdini campaigned to expose fraudulent Mediums. And in 1921 Thomas Lynn Bradford committed suicide hoping to prove the existence of the afterlife, but no communication was ever heard from him again.
Although Spiritualism as a religion has been widely discredited there has been a continuing interest in Spiritual Healing. This is a holistic practice where the Medium aids a sick person by transmitting curative energy that works with the mind, spirit, emotion, and body of the recipient. Does it work?
What do you believe?
Britannica.com. “Spiritualism,” at http://www.britannica.com/topic/spiritualism-religion
National Spiritualist Association of Churches. “Religion,” at https://www.nsac.org/spiritualism.php
Wikipedia. “Spiritualism,” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism