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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Rev. Robert Whyte and Spiritualism. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Reply

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Rev. Robert Whyte and Spiritualism is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Cape Argus (Cape Town, South Africa) on 26 november 1928.


Rev. Robert Whyte and Spiritualism

The Cape Argus (26 november 1928, p. 10)

Sir A. Conan Doyle's Reply.

To the Editor of The Argus.

Sir, — The Rev. Robert Whyte is entitled to form his own views upon spiritualism, but the grounds which he gives for those views are for the most part complete misrepresentations of our case. I would ask him one or two questions.

(1) He puts the words "unsmokable cigars and undrinkable whiskies" with quotation marks after my name. Where have I used such words? Where have I ever upheld the idea. of such things in the next world? If he cannot answer this — and he certainly cannot — does he not incur responsability by using a faked quotation?

(2) He complains that mediums are often uneducated people. Does he suppose that the Apostles were highly educated? Does he remember a text about things being given to the humble which were denied to the learned?

(3) He says that spiritualism in our sense is as old as the hills. Can be quote any example of methodical communication conducted according rules; and dating before 1848? As an historian of spiritualism I should be interested to know of it.

(4) He says that the information is futile and absurd. Has he read the Rev. Stainton Moses's "Spirit teachings," which we take to be our standard work? Has he read the Rev. Drayton Thomas's "Life After Death"? Has he reed the Rev. Charles Tweedale's "Survival of Man"? Has he read "The Bridge" or "The Cleophas Script"? The man who can say that these, or many more which I can name, are anything but high and beautiful is devoid of all critical.

Every second line of Mr. Whyte's article contains a mis-statement, but the samples which I have taken may stand for the whole. Would it not be better for a Christian clergyman to minister to his own flock rather than to spend his energies in vilifying those who are quite as earnest in God's service as he can himself be, and who, in a world of agnostics, are endeavouring to prove the basis of all religion — the continuity of life?

Arthur Conan Doyle








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