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vol. 2, p. 5
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 2 (January 1874 - April 1878)


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Spiritualism in France

In the February number of the Revue Spirite of Paris Prince Emile de Wittgenstein gives a translation of a part of Madame Blavatsky’s letter published in the New York Graphic, in which she details her experience at the home of the Eddy brothers in Vermont. He assures the Editor of the Revue, of his having been acquainted with this lady and her husband, in the Caucasus, also of the authenticity of her signature, and of her understanding, and speaking many of the dialects of the country, also assures him of the naturalness of the description of the different spirits recognized by her, at the seances of the brothers Eddy.

There is in the same number, an account of materializations in Paris, (medium, M. Firman,) a seance in which a gentleman from Moscow, has an interview with the materialized spirit of his sister, kisses her hands and cheek, feels her breath, weeps and thanks God, is almost overcome with his joy. The spirit pressed her cheek against his, and tried to calm him.

The most interesting part of the Revue, is the communications from the circles for the relief of the unhappy spirits, evolving as they do many wonderful spirit laws to those disposed to seek them. At the end of the record of one of these seances, the following remarks are of interest.

“The trials we undergo are not an arbitrary punishment. The God of spiritists is not a God of vengeance, it is a Cod who does not punish; for it is the guilty one who inflicts the punishment on himself. The law of Cod is the law of love and progress; to infringe this law, is to risk the logical consequences that result from having violated a law of nature. Thus in the physical order, the law of Cod is sobriety. Well, is the man who has led a life of vice punished by Cod and in an arbitrary manner, because he is afflicted by infirmities brought on by his excesses? No. He experiences the logical and obligatory consequences of his conduct, and will suffer physically until he is completely cured, by strict sobriety and a severe and painful medication. In the fluidic order, the situation is analagous. A failing, a vice, a fault vitiate the perisprit, and it is then necessary to overcome the imperfection and heal the fluid, in order to obtain moral health and spiritual well-being. The efforts must necessarily be in proportion to the bad fluidic state in which he is, and the pains of the trials will last until the cure is complete.”

Disorganization Among American Spiritualists

In America the Spiritual movement is at the present time in a disturbed, unhappy state, partly in consequence of two notorious mediums, who were condemned as unreliable in England, having successfully imposed upon some honorable people, and partly in Consequence of some, attacks made upon Spiritualism by a Dr. Beard, of New York to whose utterances the daily papers there have given wide publicity. Orators from the United States, who have visited this country, have told us of eleven millions of Spiritualists who form one third of the total population of their native land, consequently, in the middle of the present depression, it is natural to ask what those alleged eleven millions of believers are doing to ward off the attacks of the enemy. Surely there is no lack of strength , for one-third of the population, by all voting together in opposition to the divided votes of the remaining two-thirds, could take the entire government of the nation into their hands, and command nearly every seat in the Congress, at Washington. Madame Blavatsky, a most energetic Russian lady, now in the United States, has been fighting Dr. Beard most vigorously, and has certainly come off best from the encounter but in an article in the Spiritual Scientist she piteously asks where all the millions of the American Spiritualists are, and why they are doing nothing in the middle of the present crisis. In Boston, the headquarters of the Spiritualists of the United States, there are internal divisions, and people of education and culture, have not banded together in such a way as to be able to give public expression to their views; consequently in Boston, and, indeed throughout the States, the uneducated portion of our body is that whose utterances are attracting the greatest share of public attention, and this is certainly not to the advantage of the movement. Mr. R. Cooper who is now in Boston, says that there is a great falling off in the attendance at Spiritualistic Sunday meetings in that town ; although a much smaller hall is now used than formerly, it is not half filled. He adds : “The more respectable, well-to-do Spiritualists hold aloof altogether, preferring not to identify themselves with the movement in its present transitional state.” Thus it will be seen that in consequence of the most intelligent people keeping aloof, and the most uneducated being split up into small societies having no influence. Spiritualism in America, is at present a rope of sand, so far as united action and power to resist attacks from outside are concerned. The championship of the interests of the cause in times of difficulty thus falls upon two or three heroic individuals, and a lady has been obliged single-handed, to do work which it was the duty of the whole movement to undertake. In England, the banding together of educated and non-quarrelsome Spiritualists has proved eminently successful ; it has given a strength to the move-<... continues on page 2-6 >

Editor's notes

  1. Spiritualism in France by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 2, March 18, 1875, pp. 18-9
  2. Disorganization Among American Spiritualists by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 1, March 11, 1875, p. 6