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The Gateway of Understanding by Carl August Wickland M.D. - 1861 - 1945

 

CHAPTER II
Psychic Research

 

PSYCHIC RESEARCH is at present subjected to a great deal of criticism and ridicule, much of which is justified. It is often stated by opponents of Psychic Research that the greater portion, some claim ninety percent, of the phenomena is fraudulent and that the remainder can be better explained on other grounds, such as personal idiosyncrasies or psycho-neuroses.

 

Anyone thoroughly versed in the various phases of Psychic Research is well aware that fraud is practised by unscrupulous individuals who enter the field merely for pecuniary gains while they themselves do not believe in the reality of spirits or spirit phenomena.

 

During a financial crisis in Chicago, a lawyer attended a seance where the medium, a man of questionable integrity, supposedly materialized the form of the lawyer's spirit wife. This spirit wife told the lawyer that his money was not safe in the bank and advised him to bring it to her at the next seance and she would take care of it for him in the spirit world. She also told him to bring her diamond brooch to her for safe keeping.

 

At the next seance the lawyer brought five hundred dollars and his wife's diamond brooch and gave them to the purported materialized spirit wife. Some time after this the lawyer saw the wife of the medium on the street and to his amazement, she was wearing his wife's diamond brooch.

 

Disillusioned, the lawyer hurried to the home of the medium to accuse him of theft but the man had left the city. The lawyer followed him, however, and had him arrested.

 

When the case came to trial the judge asked the lawyer, "To whom did you give this money and the brooch?"


 

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"To my wife," the lawyer answered.

"Where is your wife?"

"In the spirit world," the lawyer admitted.

"Then you must find your wife," the judge said sarcastically. "The case is dismissed."

 

Another amusing instance of a designing medium and credulous victims came to our attention some years ago. Two ladies were attending, for development, a series of materialization seances where King Arthur (?) materialized and each lady claimed him as her own guide. To restore peace the medium dismissed one woman from the circle but the latter went to another circle where the medium, a man, also produced materializations, later proven to be fraudulent.

 

The lady told the medium of her longing to have King Arthur for her guide and the medium obligingly materialized King Arthur, who said to her, "It will be best if you and I are married. Buy a diamond ring and bring it to this circle. I will materialize, you can give the ring to me and we will be married. I will wear the ring in the spirit world and then I will always belong to you."

 

The lady followed instructions and this marriage to a spirit (?) so strongly appealed to four other romantic women in the circle that they also bought diamond rings and presented them to their materialized spirit (?) guides, to whom they were in turn married.

 

Later one of the "brides" accidentally met the medium and saw that he was wearing all the rings. She told the other women of her discovery, but when they attempted to bring about the arrest of the medium they found that he had disappeared and with him the rings.

 

Since physical phenomena, such as materialization, require darkness or subdued light for genuine manifestations, this phase is most easily imitated and therefore most exposes of psychic phenomena are chiefly concerned with physical or mechanical demonstrations. Owing to frequent exposes of such dishonest performances, persons who think "very little and very seldom" come to the conclusion that all psychic phenomena are fraudulent.

 

Psychic Research is no exception to the general rule; fraud and deception are common everywhere, in the business


 

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world, in the Christian ministry, in the various professions. Yet no one will claim therefore that all is fraud, for it is well known that honesty is the prevailing practice. If one discovers a bogus coin he does not conclude that all coins are counterfeit. Likewise, while admittedly there are fraudulent practices in Psychic Research, to designate all such research as trickery or imposture is absurd. "The day a man's mind shuts is the day of his mental death," said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 

Mr. Harry Price, Director of the British National Laboratory of Psychical Research, states, according to his reports in "The American Weekly," of the Los Angeles Examiner: "Probably I have had more experience trying to get to the bottom of these occult matters than any man in the world

 

though I have looked in vain for the faintest crumb of evidence that the soul, personality or ego persists after death."

 

"There is something at the bottom of Spiritualism, but it is not spirits. Though I have had more experience in Psychical Research than any other man, never have I found a shred of evidence that anyone survives the grave... There is no scientific evidence that the dead have ever communicated with the living, or that a person, once dead, has ever 'come back.'"*

 

Mr. Price then describes many mysterious, unexplainable occurrences, relating that objects sealed in air-tight glass cases were caused to move; a solid, wooden table was split into almost matchwood under his hands, etc. He also reports his observations of a young girl "possessed of a devil," a "poltergeist that inflicted bites and scratches on the girl which produced marks and brought forth howls of pain... As to the stigmata, they frequently appeared while I and other trained observers did not take our eyes from E. for a Second. At one time they broke out on her face in such Profusion that she looked as if tatooed."

 

"I placed her in a chair in the middle of a perfectly strange room which I had prepared in advance, marking the Positions of movable objects, surrounded her with trained Observers in broad daylight. She could not move a finger or

 

* For the harmful results of such pernicious assertions see Chapter IX, "Is there a God?" Page 178.


 

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an eyelid without some one seeing it. Yet promptly things began to happen. Objects began to jump about the room and even a metal letter got out of the hands of some workmen who were erecting a sign outside the building, flew into the room and wrapped itself around a knife in the pocket of

 

one of the observers."

 

Mr. Price reports many other experiences too lengthy to quote. To one who is thoroughly versed in the various phases of Psychic Research there is nothing mysterious in these occurrences. Through a trance medium, who would allow herself to be controlled by these activating forces, it could be readily ascertained that these activities were due to either mischievous, discarnated spirits or spirits who were eager to make their presence known.

 

Mr. Price states: "I have seen all sorts of things happen in a way that defies every possible scientific precaution against fraud and every possible explanation occurring to known natural laws." Since he admits that he does not know what the force is with which he is dealing, how can he claim that "it is not spirits"?

 

Mr. Price's assertion that he has had more experience in Psychic Research than any one in the world is, to say the least, an absurd assumption. How can he possibly know to what extent others are following research in both normal and abnormal psychology?

 

His statement that there is no scientific evidence that the dead have ever communicated with the living is beside the facts. There is no subject so well authenticated in ancient and modern history as the existence of spirits and their communication with mortals, for good as well as otherwise.

 

He is evidently obsessed with the idea that there is no spirit return and is laboring merely to substantiate that notion. Mr. Price seemingly fails to realize that there are dogmatic spirit forces that are doing all within their power to negate or prevent the truth of spirit return being known. These are the forces referred to by Paul in Ephesians 6:12: "The spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

 

The axiom, "No one is so blind as he who will not see," seems evident in Mr. Price's method of research since apparently


 

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he strives to disprove facts instead of seeking to obtain intelligent evidence of survival.

It may be of interest to relate an experience that occurred during Mrs. Wickland's early years of mediumship which undoubtedly Proves survival. Mrs. Wickland had an intimate friend, Mrs. Lackmund, whose little girl, at the age of two and a half years, became an imbecile after one sudden convulsion. The mother was convinced that this condition was caused by spirit obsession, and together with Mrs. Wickland began to investigate the subject.

 

Mrs. Lackmund and Mrs. Wickland had made an agreement that the one who should first pass to the spirit side of life would try to return and communicate with the other, saying, as a test, "Spirit return is true."

 

A year after this Mrs. Lackmund died and two weeks later, early in the morning, she appeared to Mrs. Wickland, so life-like that the latter did not at first realize she was a spirit. Mrs. Lackmund touched her friend lightly on the cheek and Mrs. Wickland sat up, exclaiming, "Mrs. Lackmund!"

Then Mrs. Lackmund spoke. "Anna, spirit return is true. Go to Professor Lackmund (her husband) and tell him my diamond ring is in the bureau drawer."

 

Eager to ascertain the facts Mrs. Wickland went to the home of Professor Lackmund, related her experience and gave the message concerning the diamond ring.

 

Professor Lackmund then told Mrs. Wickland that he had been looking everywhere for his wife's ring but was unable to find it and had intended that morning to question the servants regarding the disappearance of the ring.

 

Looking in the bureau drawer, as suggested, Professor Lackmund found, in a corner, the ring wrapped in a piece of Paper with a note attached: "Give this ring to Franz (four year old son) when he is sixteen years old."

 

This occurrence could not have been due to a trick of the Subconscious mind since Mrs. Wickland had known nothing whatever of the circumstances of the missing ring.'

It is evident that those offering Psychic phenomena, further evidence of spirit verification see Chapter III, "Verification of Spirit Identity."


 

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especially physical, should be carefully scrutinized in order that deception may be avoided. Of the various phases of psychic phenomena, the unconscious trance state is the most dependable since through a genuine trance psychic direct contact with discarnated spirits is facilitated and the identification of many of the communicators is made possible.

 

While there are many earnest students of the interrelationship of the two worlds and many excellent psychic intermediaries who do great credit to the cause of psychic research, yet there are also many individuals, nondescript and illiterate, who possess psychic powers but are dominated largely by designing and deceiving spirit entities. These entities, seeking to please the vanity of ambitious psychics, may assume the names of great personages, especially those of renown and fame, but their twaddle and inconsistencies are entirely foreign to the original characters they represent themselves to be.

 

Many such pretentious assertions have come to our notice. Some years ago we heard a spirit speak through a medium saying that he had lived before the Pyramids were built, and yet he spoke an excellent modern English, as did another spirit that controlled a woman and claimed to have been Queen Esther of biblical fame.

 

A certain medium, whose husband is declared to be Jesus Christ reincarnated, claims that she is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary, yet she swears, smokes and drinks like a man. A young man of quite ordinary intelligence informed us that the great Socrates was his spirit guide, and we were recently invited to attend a circle to hear Jesus talk through a trumpet. (We did not, however, accept the invitation.)

 

At a dark seance conducted by some colored folk for materialization of spirits, a spirit presuming to be Jesus manifested and talked to the audience, saying, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, your Savior! King Herod was my father!" Spirits claiming to be Moses, Abraham and Elijah also materialized and spoke, asserting themselves to be the original biblical characters.

 

It seems unbelievable that intelligent persons who attend these meetings are completely blinded and fully accept the preposterous claims of such entities. One young man in particular,


 

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of whom one would expect better judgment, was so infatuated with these "divine (?) entities" that he could not be reasoned with, an attitude of fixed delusion which only too frequently leads individuals to the insane asylum.

 

When asked, "How do you know this spirit was Jesus?" the young man replied, "I saw him and talked with him."

"What language did he speak?"

"English, because that is the universal language in the spirit world .

It is evident that the personalities alluded to were the type of entities that John referred to in his admonition: "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits... because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1), which experience has proven is as true today as it was in that period.

At a gathering of Spiritualists in an eastern city a woman medium arose, entranced, to address the audience and her spirit guide said: "I do not allow my medium to read anything, not even the newspapers. I am George Washington!"

 

Another medium then arose and her spirit guide announced through her: "I am John the Apostle! Many a time I have rested my head on the bosom of Jesus and that is more than any of you people can claim!"

 

Only a short time after this we learned that a highly cultured gentleman on the western coast, an occult student, declared himself to be the reincarnation of John the Apostle. Yet this gentleman had been born before the supposed John the Apostle spoke through the medium in the Eastern city.

Too many psychics ignore the admonition, "Believe not every spirit... but try the spirits." (I John 4:1.) As a result the investigator turns from the entire subject in disgust and Psychic Research is relegated to the domain of credulity, delusion and superstition by the superficial skeptic.

 

"In the spheres of spirit life thought may be said to be the light of the soul, and the grade of the ideas held by the spirit is a good index of its spiritual unfoldment." ("Illuminated Buddhism.")

Ordinary, intelligent spirits are never pretentious, but Plain and simple; they talk intelligently concerning the relationship and condition between the two worlds. In other


 

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words, they act intelligently and depart intelligently. Such will prove to be of greatest blessing to the investigator and to humanity at large, as they are ever eager to help human advancement and will be loyal friends, faithful, loving and kind.

 

As the radio receives every vibration, harmonious or otherwise, so the advanced Intelligences perceive human thoughts and actions. There is no admonition so powerful for right living as the knowledge that we are surrounded by spirits who are aware of our shortcomings, wilful or dishonorable conduct, since they discern our very thoughts. "We also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses." (Hebrews 12:1.)

 

Maximus of Tyre, Greek rhetorician and philosopher, said: "God is the Supreme Being, one and indivisible though called by many names, accessible to reason alone, but as animals form the intermediate stage between plants and human beings, so there exist intermediaries between God and man, viz., daemons (spirits), who dwell on the confines of heaven and earth. The soul in many ways bears a great resemblance to the divinity; it is partly mortal, partly immortal, and, when freed from the fetters of the body, becomes a daemon (spirit). Life is the sleep of the soul, from which it awakes at death."

 

No subject from antiquity on is so thoroughly confirmed in sacred as well as profane history as contact with the unseen world. Through the ages the influence upon mortals of intelligent spirits for good, as well as the detrimental interference of ignorant and mischievous entities, has been recognized by mankind.

 

The spirits of former chiefs of primitive tribes became the ruling powers from the invisible world and were selfish and tyrannical beings, oftentimes posing as gods, acting through the "medicine men" who were required to be psychics before they were accepted as tribal leaders. Many of the characters referred to in the Bible as "a jealous God" were unquestionably just such legendary monstrosities parading as "Lords" who had to be placated by various offerings, even human sacrifices, to satiate their selfish, barbarous lust for power over their ignorant devotees. Similar practices are not entirely extinct today as there are still


 

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tribes and groups in some countries that are slaves to such fetishes and are held under the dominance of despotic spirit entities.

 

Is Psychic Research dangerous? This is a mooted question which may he answered both yes and no. Dr. William J. Mayo, internationally famous surgeon, stated in a paper contributed to a special volume of the American Journal of Surgery: "If (a person) wishes to devote his life to a study of so-called psychic phenomena, it is one thing, but as a side line, investigation of the occult carries distinct danger to integrity of thought."

 

A publication, "The Great Psychological Crime," which lays particular stress upon the dangers of mediumship, asserts among other statements: "Up to the present time there is a wide and prolific field of insanity which the medical fraternity find it necessary to classify under the general heading of 'Causes Unknown.' In this great class, generally speaking, will be found at the present time, for the most part, the various forms of Hysterical Insanity, Religious Insanity, Religious Mania, Emotional Insanity, and so-called 'Delusional Insanity' of all kinds and degrees. These, however, might all be included in one general class and properly designated as 'Mediumistic Insanity' or 'Subjective Insanity.'"

 

A noted English clergyman declared that there are millions of insane spiritualists in and out of the asylums. (He failed, however, to state the fact that among the inmates of the asylums are an overwhelming number of religious fanatics.)

 

Dr. Marcel Viollet, Physician to the Lunatic Asylums, Paris, wrote: "For the sake of the predisposed and the lunatics as well as for the sake of the normal participants (of a seance) and even for the sake of the future of spiritism itself, we utter the warning cry: Beware! Beware! Avoid all madness, and, at the same time, avoid the dangers of madness. Filter your assemblies... You, the predisposed... take care of the disintegration which is lying in wait for your brain... You— conscientious savants, well-balanced minds, and the inquisitive—do not let yourselves be encumbered with these perilous promiscuities. Spare them their madness, spare yourself the dangers, guarantee your doctrine


 

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and your pre-scientific facts. Establish a sanitary customs-house at the entrance to your seance-rooms, and, certain henceforth of being among healthy minds, disclose to us a new Science."

 

Before entering into the problem of the dangers of Psychic Research, it would be well to consider the dangers and fatalities resulting from all manner of research and experimentation. How many lives have been sacrificed to chemistry, the X­Ray, radium, the science of aviation, to medical research in its endeavor to discover hidden causes of diseases, in laboratories where scientists strive to unravel nature's secrets of electricity in the effort to control this force for the use of humanity? Countless have lost their lives in these various avenues of research, and yet where would the world be today were it not for these pioneers?

 

In the every-day walks of life dangers lurk on every hand; thousands and millions are continually losing their lives from one cause or another. As a matter of fact, our very physical existence is a matter of uncertainty, and, at best, of limited duration. Yet, regardless of the manifold disasters, research and experimentation go on unceasingly and humanity thereby continually evolves to higher stages of knowledge, progress and betterment. But for these pioneers of progress, wrestling to uncover nature's secrets, men would still be savages, dwelling in smoky caves.

 

No one with wide experience in Psychic Research can honestly deny or refute the assertions made by opponents of psychic phenomena, that psychic investigation is unsafe in the hands of thoughtless novices and the neurotic. That the various mental aberrations quoted above are often consequential to the impingement of discarnated spirits as contributing factors is no longer a mere hypothesis but a fully demonstrated fact which medical science ere long will be obliged to recognize and include in its diagnosis of mental abnormalities.

 

Our forty years of research in normal and abnormal psychology have fully proven that the foregoing statements have a foundation in fact. Herein lies the cardinal issue pertaining to Psychic Science, the Scylla and Charybdis, the danger which lurks about novices or those uneducated in psychic laws, those who "rush in where angels fear to tread."


 

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Some years ago we knew an excellent trance medium, Dr. E., highly spiritually minded, through whom genuine slate writing, verifiable materializations and messages were given. But he did not understand obsession and when earthbound spirits impressed him he became greedy for money, began dishonest practices and sold worthless charms to poor working girls. His intelligent spirit guides withdrew from him and the earthbound spirits dominated him entirely, driving him to utter dissipation and finally suicide.

 

Later this spirit was attracted to one of our meetings and controlled Mrs. Wickland, begging pitifully for help. He explained that while he had been honest in his early work, the woman whom he had married proved to be a dishonest and fraudulent medium, dominated by selfish, mischievous spirits. Her invisible forces had encroached upon his sensitive nature and, unaware of spirit obsession, he became overpowered by them, hence his fall and tragic ending.

 

A young girl in Chicago, who came to us for help, had attended a seance where a woman, beside whom she sat, shivered and shook violently, explaining that these manifestations were due to spirit influences. This woman told the girl that the latter was psychic and invited her to come to her seances for development.

 

The girl did so with the result that she became obsessed by earthbound spirits to such an extent that she could hear their voices day and night and finally came to us for relief. While we were conversing with the patient a spirit controlled her, and I asked, "Who are you?"

 

"I am a little girl from the seventh sphere," the spirit answered.

"A little girl from the seventh sphere would not come and control a sensitive person against her will," I said.

 

The spirit finally admitted being a man and a vagabond. "But I am not alone; there are seven of us."

 

"You must all stay here," I replied. "You will be helped by Intelligent Spirits. Now you must leave the girl."

"I can't, unless you help me."

 

Whereupon I made certain passes over the patient, the spirit became disengaged and the girl left in great haste. Later this spirit spoke through Mrs. Wickland at our circle


 

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and said that he and the other spirits had for some time been attached to the medium whose seance the girl had attended but they had left the medium and followed the girl.

 

Three years afterward we met the girl again; she had had no further trouble with spirits but assured us that she had never again gone to a seance. The medium herself came to one of our meetings and admitted that she had formerly been bothered by earthbound spirits and added, "But they are all gone now."

 

Many demonstrations are brought to our attention showing the unfortunate results of unwise psychic experimentation as well as the strange situations in which spirits often find themselves owing to lack of needed education in life concerning the simplicity of the change from the physical to the invisible state of being.

 

Mr. A., an elderly gentleman, was well situated financially and had everything to live for but subsequent to his attendance at spiritualistic dark circles he became afflicted with insomnia, melancholia and an indefinable depression for which there was no assignable reason. Being familiar with Psychic Research he came to our Institute to ascertain if his depression could by any chance be due to some outside interference. Static electricity was applied to the gentleman in the presence of Mrs. Wickland who became entranced by a foreign entity that strenuously objected to the treatment, saying: "I don't like that! (Noticing Mr. A.) Hello, pal! I like you so much; you're a nice man."

 

Dr. Wickland Where did you meet this man?

 

Spirit I found him at a meeting. (Mr. A. had attended a trumpet seance.) I was so depressed. (Coughing and choking, evidently repeating his death struggle.) I took something. (Committed suicide.) Then I slept for awhile and after that I walked a long time in the twilight. It seemed


 

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like the desert. Then I came to a meeting; it was dark and they were singing all kinds of hymns. And there I saw my pal.

Dr.             How did you become his pal, John? Is John your name?

Sp. No, my name is Philip Mendelsohn. Everything seems confused. This gentleman asked me how I became his pal. There was a gathering sitting in the dark; they were singing hymns but it was not a church. I looked around and I walked around; I had to push to get in. Some people were sitting in a circle but outside of the circle was a big crowd (spirits) shoving, pushing, pulling and crowding like at the stock market. I've never been in such a crowd.

Mr. A. Most of them must have been in much the same condition as you were—in the twilight.

Sp. You in the circle seemed like sane people; those outside seemed like crazy people. I was curious and wanted to see what was going on. After awhile there was a trumpet; they took hold of it and talked through it and the trumpet was flying around. They (spirits) were fighting to have a chance at the trumpet. Some said, "I am father," or "I am mother." I wondered why they advertised themselves. Then I thought those in the circle must be blind. (To Mr. A.) After awhile I spotted you. I saw a dandy lady (spirit) come to you; she was a peach! I saw another; she was older. I thought, "You ladies are too nice to get into this crowd; you are too respectable." Then I looked at you and I thought you were too nice to be in that crowd. When the crowd was stampeding every one (spirits) went away—or up—or some place just disappeared. The nice ladies were gone!

Mr. A.        Wouldn't you like to see them again?

Sp.            Yes, I would.

Mr. A.      I am strongly impressed that was my spirit wife and my dear mother. They would help you. Do


 

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what you are instructed to do today. Look around and see whether you see some bright persons here.

Sp.            (Gazing about.) There is not such a crowd as that night; that was like the stock market.

Dr.             Are you familiar with the market?

Sp. I made my money in the wheat pit. Then I lost my head and ray money and had to suffer for it. That was in Chicago; I lived there for awhile. I had plenty of money. Money is a good thing to have but if you haven't sense with it, it is a detriment. My father had money and I went through Yale; I thought I'd be a civil engineer. Life went all right for awhile but if you have too much money you don't like to be sent out into the mining country and have to walk miles and miles. It was too hard and I thought I didn't need to do it, so I gave it up. I won money in the market and wanted more. Then the crash came and down I went. Then I began to worry and was always depressed.

Mr. A.        Now all that depression of yours you bring to me.

Sp. I do? I'm sorry. When I come close to you I can have a little peace. But I always feel as if my hands are tied and I get down-hearted and think there is no use in anything. Did I make you feel that way?

Mr. A.        Yes, you did.

Sp. (Emphatically.) Well, I wouldn't do that for the world. I had a good brain once but there was too much money. If you have children and have money, put the money in trust and let the children work. There, that is the story of my life. (To Mr. A.) When you went home I followed you because you had such a bright light around you, and I became a pal of yours. The others (sitters at circle) at that meeting were gray and muddy; don't ever go there again.


 

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Mr. A.      Now there will be others (intelligent spirits) with a much brighter light to help you.

Sp.            Did I do much detriment to you?

Mr. A.        Yes, you did.

 

(The spirit was then made to understand that he was a spirit, temporarily in possession of Mrs. Wickland's body, facts of which he was unaware. His attention was also called to the presence of invisible friends whom he could discern if he would look around carefully. He remained quiet for a moment.)

 

Sp. Oh, look there! There's my dear old mother! She says, "Philip, your father and I have been trying to find you but you were too clouded in earthly conditions. You were lost in a cloud of ignorance; you did not pass to the spirit world but stayed near the earth." My mother thanks you for having helped me. She says when those ladies (they were so bright and beautiful) saw I was lost they looked up my father and mother. My parents were Presbyterians, and they were still in the path of religion, buried in their creed—"bond servants"—although they were spirits. Your wife and mother brought them understanding of the laws of life and nature, so we have to thank you doubly. Your wife says there are so many spirits in the earth spheres; very few go at once to the realm of understanding. After my parents were enlightened they looked for me, they say, and found me with you. But now I am free. We all thank you. Your wife and mother are going to take us to the real spirit world. I thank you and I am sorry I bothered you.

Mr. A.      I am glad I suffered as I did, Philip, if I helped you.

Sp.            I was ignorant. It is easier to say "I believe" than it is to study. My mother looks so happy, but I feel as if I were nothing at all.


 

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Mr. A.      You are just as valuable as anyone, in the sight of the Great Benevolent Father.

Sp.            My mother says my selfishness has been conquered. If I can ever do a favor for you, I certainly will. Now I will go with my people.

 

(The spirit departed and the gentleman afterward declared himself relieved of the depression.)

As all research has laws which must be observed, so also has Psychic Research governing laws which must be thoroughly understood and strictly followed to obviate disaster. Knowledge and careful observance of these laws will prevent any unfortunate consequences to the mentally and physically qualified psychic sensitives or investigators who may be interested in the furtherance of Psychic Science.

 

It is advisable to have trained, experienced researchers to give instruction pertaining to these laws; it is likewise of paramount importance that the group of investigators be harmonious, sincere, conscientious persons, exercising intelligence and reason. These conditions are necessary to attract intelligent spirits as guides and protectors.

 

In such research a thoroughly trained medium, one who is mentally and physically well-balanced and willing to make any sacrifice necessary in the interest of science, is fully protected by intelligent spirits, who are ever eagerly seeking for the co-operation of mortals in order to reveal the truth of continued existence, and particularly to make known the serious problem of impingement in human affairs by ignorant spirits.

 

Many mediums receive thought impressions emanating from some discourse given by intelligent spirits in the spirit world and mistake these spirits for "guides," claiming that Lincoln, Washington or other advanced spirits are their guides. Yet these mediums are merely tuned in like a radio on these particular thought waves.

 

Mediums who suffer writhings, convulsions and distress


 

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in general when going under control are not fully developed, nor have the controlling spirits fully developed the process of control.

 

When there is firmly implanted in the mind of the medium a dogmatic, fixed idea, say, regarding religion, reincarnation, egotism, etc., this acts as a deterrent to the communicating spirits and often colors the communication.

 

A medium should be a free soul, neutral, without creed, dogma or ism, and should be able to relax completely, leaving the way open to full control by intelligent spirits. Thus will advanced, intelligent spirits be attracted, the process of control be easy, natural and comfortable, strength be given to the medium by the guiding spirits and truthful messages and communications be received.

 

Mrs. M. T. Longley, who devoted most of her life to Psychic Research, wrote in "The Spirit World": "The power of mediumship is deep and far reaching; its source is in the potential energies of the universe; the principle of all sentient life; it is divine. Mediumship is delicate, it is subtle, rooted in the spiritual structure; it may be easily put out of tune; it can be even perverted to base uses and brought down to ignoble ends."...

 

"It is possible for some of these delicately attuned instruments to be set ajangle by the wear and tear of conditions, to be unduly influenced by designing spirits in mortal flesh as well as by duping beings outside of this clay. The wonder is, that with the conditions provided them by careless, self-seeking visitors, curiosity­hunters—perhaps from both sides of life, not to speak of designing encroachers on their magnetic forces and environments—so many psychics are held to truth and probity in their line of conduct and of work."...

 

"The ancients understood the needs of their oracles; they knew that subtle vibrant forces must away sensitives who could be susceptible to the forces of the unseen worlds sufficiently to receive and to register them correctly; so these sensible people removed their psychics from contact with the ignorant crowd; they built for them temples, and gave them beautiful surroundings, made them free from anxiety concerning the supply of bodily needs, brought them into the Sanctuaries of Silence... and provided the proper


 

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THE GATEWAY OF UNDERSTANDING conditions for the exercise of mediumship to its best and fullest extent."

 

"That which is gained by the good and pure medium... the sweetness, purity and beauty which come from the consciousness of helping, sustaining, blessing other human lives, create a happiness and spiritual wealth in the medium, or in any such ministrants, that belong to Spirit, and that is everlasting."

 

Psychic Research should be undertaken with the determination to ascertain conditions obtaining on the invisible side through contact with good, bad and indifferent entities, with charity for all. That sense of charity will increase with the realization that the often deplorable conditions of many discarnated spirits are due to erroneous doctrines, habits, wilful ignorance or unreasoning skepticism maintained in earth life.

 

"The dead know not anything" (Ecclesiastes 9:5) is statement in the Bible which the theologian would apply to those who are supposed to be dead and in the grave, yet it is not the dead bodies in the grave that are alluded to. Spirits of those who were born in ignorance, squalor or evil environment hover about the earth plane in a twilight state, totally unaware of being spirits, knowing "not anything" of their situation. They are alive, but owing to their earthly-mindedness and lack of knowledge regarding spiritual laws it is often impossible for enlightened spirits to reach them or bring them to a realization of their condition.

 

Spirits unaware of their transition often find themselves wandering about like persons in a fog, usually alone, although now and then they may observe some other wanderer. It is a constant coming and going, a drifting to and fro, described by some spirits as a condition comparable to a vast ocean in which ignorant spirits float about, occasionally contacting each other, then passing on.

 

Thoughts of help sent out by enlightened spirits ("the spirits of just men made perfect," Hebrews 12:23) are not perceived by these denizens of the twilight plane, often because they do not realize that they are discarnated. Although possessing spirit bodies, these dwellers in the "gray spheres," as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle designated this realm, still retain their mortal habits of thinking and fail


 

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to discern the thought waves sent out by those who would help them.

 

Hence the enlightened spirits urgently request humanity to co-operate in this rescue work by establishing radio centers where psychic intermediaries may serve as the radio apparatus to which the ignorant spirits can be attracted and through which they can be made to realize their situation. Through such stations intelligent spirits can contact the ignorant ones and lead them on to the pathway of understanding.

 

When earthbound entities are allowed to temporarily control a mortal sensitive they generally show susceptibility to logical reasoning, are usually responsive to a spirit of charity and become highly appreciative of help received. Their attention will then be attracted to the intelligent spirits about them, of whose presence they have been unaware; the latter are therefore then able to assist them to progression in the spirit world.

 

The interference, in various ways, of discarnated spirits in human affairs has proven a factor which must be recognized. A fuller knowledge of the significance of spirit influence will explain many of the involved and perplexing situations in human lives. To relegate Psychic Research to the limbo of credulity and superstition will not solve the problem regarding causes of abnormal mental conditions so often occurring in individuals who know nothing whatever of psychic phenomena and do not believe in the existence of spirits. Experience has proven that such persons may be suggestively or actually obsessed and dominated by discarnated entities without being aware of it and while refusing to believe in spirit influence.

 

The obsessing entities may likewise be unaware of being spirits or of having interfered with anyone and may even not believe in spirit existence. "When these spirits come to a man they enter into his entire memory and thus into his entire thought... These spirits have no knowledge whatever that they are with him." ("Heaven and its Wonders and Hell," Swedenborg.)

 

The advancement of research in normal and abnormal Psychology has shown definite evidence of utmost importance; of all sciences none is of greater importance than


 

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Psychic Research as it deals with the condition of the "dead" and their influence for good or ill in human affairs.

 

Instead of being left, as hitherto, in the hands of the idly curious as a mere pastime and a butt for ridicule, this research, especially the abnormal phase which reveals the hidden causes of much that is obscure in many of the mental aberrations so prevalent on every hand, claims the fullest attention of science.

 

The editor of "Scientific American" declared in a recent issue: "Some day the fundamental nature of the causes of Psychic phenomena may be discovered. The more precise sciences, such as physics, may then be able to fashion a tool to work with, and the investigation may be taken up in the manner science likes best and is most accustomed to."

 

Science wants psychic phenomena to harmonize with its preconceived notions; however, each problem in nature has laws of its own which must be recognized, for the laws of nature will not adjust themselves to any caprice of men of science.

 

Psychic Research does not lend itself to grab-bag methods, such as have often been used by skeptical investigators, and hasty conclusions, pro and con, must be avoided. This, of all scientific research, requires an open mind, a keen sense of discretion and patient effort in accumulating the requisite evidence.

 

Verification of these statements is readily obtainable through the co-operation of a highly trained trance psychic, developed for the purpose, who, under proper physical and spiritual protection, will permit herself, or himself, to be temporarily controlled by interfering spirits that have been dislodged from persons suffering from such influence, incidentally proving that the psychosis was not of physical origin since this could not have been transferred to a second person.

 

Appropriate treatment of the patient through the use of static electricity, hydro­therapy and suggestion greatly facilitates the transfer of the spirit, or psychosis, to the properly developed psychic sensitive. By this method the investigator obtains direct contact with the interfering entities who are usually unaware of being spirits or of being


 

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then in possession of another person's body. Direct Conversation can be had with them and much discussion may be necessary to bring these ignorant spirits to an understanding of their situation, which many are loath to recognize.

 

They frequently offer all manner of argument in an endeavor to disprove the facts, and deny being spirits, deny having obsessed anyone or being then in possession of the body of another. Although it is sometimes a difficult task to convince such spirits of their actual condition it is generally possible for the investigator to enlighten them; advanced spirits will then take them in charge for further instruction.

 

The evidence obtained in our research work has chiefly been secured through the physical organism of Mrs. Wickland, the author's wife, who has devoted over forty years to this work without any harm to herself. Mrs. Wickland's mediumship is that of unconscious trance, induced by the Intelligent Invisible Co-Workers; her eyes are closed and after waking, as if from a deep sleep, from three or four hours of trance, she is utterly unconscious of what has transpired, and, instead of being fatigued, feels rested. Mrs. Wickland also has the gift of clairvoyance, which is a very important adjunct in diagnosing cases in which interfering entities are contributing factors in the various psychoses.

 

Mrs. Wickland has allowed herself to be temporarily controlled and possessed by intelligent entities as well as by all manner of spirits, many unaware of being dead but still dominated by various habits acquired while in the physical existence and still retained mentally.

 

The many-sided conditions prevailing in this latter class are almost unbelievable and actual contact with these spirits Will convince the most skeptical of the serious nature of this problem.

 

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