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Transcript of Spiritualism
Spiritualism is the Science, Philosophy and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World.
A belief in spirit communication.
A belief that the soul continues to exist after the death of the physical body.
Personal responsibility for life circumstances.
Even after death it is possible for the soul to learn and improve
A belief in a God, often referred to as "Infinite Intelligence".
The natural world considered as an expression of said intelligence.
Impact on Education
The sensation that greeted the Fox sisters, demonstrations of mediumship (séances and automatic writing) proved to be a profitable venture, and soon became popular forms of entertainment and spiritual catharsis. The Fox sisters were to earn a living this way and others would follow their lead. Showmanship became an increasingly important part of Spiritualism, and the visible, audible, and tangible evidence of spirits escalated as mediums competed for paying audiences. As independent investigating commissions repeatedly established, most notably the 1887 report of the Seybert Commission, fraud was widespread, and some of these cases were prosecuted in the courts.
Spiritualists often set March 31, 1848, as the beginning of their movement. On that date, Kate and Margaret Fox, of Hydesville, New York, reported that they had made contact with a spirit.
Despite numerous instances of chicanery, the appeal of Spiritualism was strong. Prominent in the ranks of its adherents were those grieving the death of a loved one.
Many families were drawn towards the it during the Civil War and World War 1.
Many scientists who investigated the phenomenon also became converts.
Other prominent adherents included journalist and pacifist William T. Stead (1849–1912) and physician and author Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930).
The Ghost Club founded in London in 1862, its focus was the scientific study of alleged paranormal activities in order to prove the existence of paranormal phenomena. Famous members of the club have included Charles Dickens.
The writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and the teachings of Franz Mesmer provided an example for those seeking direct personal knowledge of the afterlife. Swedenborg, who claimed to communicate with spirits while awake, described the structure of the spirit world. Two features of his view particularly resonated with the early spiritualists. The spirits are intermediates between God and humans, so that the Divine sometimes uses them as a means of communication.
Spiritualism has an
estimated 13,000,000 followers