Sir A. Conan Doyle's Balance Sheet

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Sir A. Conan Doyle's Balance Sheet is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in Light on 22 october 1921.

Sir A. Conan Doyle's Balance Sheet

Light (22 october 1921, p. 684)

Advice to Workers in the Movement.

Sir, — As a good deal of money has passed through my hands into the Spiritualist movement as a result of my lectures during the last two years, I would wish to give some general account of it. I do not go into small detail here, but I keep my figures ready at all times for in accountant's inspection.

When lecturing under the auspices of any Spiritualist body, whether local or central, it has been my custom to allow half the profits to its funds. This is deducted before any cheque reaches me. The amount of these deductions is £426.

A similar sum has in each case reached me, and when I add the profit of those lectures which were delivered independently, the total amount is £710.

When to this I add the £700 turned over to the Australian fund, the total sum received and used for the work during two years has been £1,836. My recent Northern tour will bring the total to well over £2,000.

Of this sum only the £710 has been within my own discretion. I have spent it and more in strengthening the hands of individual workers, in sustaining struggling organisations, in charities (not confined to Spiritualism) and in promoting experimental work. At present my Spiritualist account is some hundreds of pounds in my debt.

As my income is sufficient and independent, I am able to help in this way, but I would by no means advise individual workers to refrain from taking a fair profit upon their work. No man can be an efficient instrument if he is worried over his own private affairs. The stronger we are individually the stronger we are collectively. If a man can work for the cause and earn a living by it I think he is perfectly right in doing so. The people whom I very heartily despise are those who take all the consolation we bring, but who give neither work nor pay in return. — Yours faithfully,

Arthur Coran Doyle,

Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex.
October 13th, 1921.