Spiritualism is a Very Happy Creed

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Spiritualism is a Very Happy Creed is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in the Cape Times (Cape Town, South Africa) on 21 november 1928.

Spiritualism is a Very Happy Creed

Cape Times (21 november 1928, p. 11)

To the Editor, "Cape Times."

Sir, — Your correspondent, "Confirmed Agnostic," need not be depressed. We are told that every man eventually gets his heart's desire in the other world, and if his ambition is really annihilation, as he states, then perhaps something of the sort, if only temporary, may be arranged.

But he should not continue to repeat the often-refuted statement that Spiritualism breeds insanity. It is absolutely untrue. Of course there is a certain type of mind which is put off its balance by any form of religion. But religious mania usually attacks those who have melancholy beliefs — such as predestination. Spiritualism is a very happy creed and in all my forty years of experience I have hardly ever known a person the worse for it.

The legend of insanity was started by Dr. Forbes Winslow, who said them were 10,000 people in asylums through Spiritualism. Winslow afterwards became an ardent Spiritualist, and admitted that his figures were imaginary, but the evil lived after him and the assertion is still made. Dr. Eugene Crowell made an analysis of the asylums of four States, including New York, and among many hundreds of cases of religious mania could only find four Spiritualists. Morselli, the famous Italian Alienist, made a similar inquiry with the same result. I hope, therefore, that your correspondent will either withdraw his statement, or give some definite figures to support it. — I am, etc.,

Arthur Conan Doyle
November 20.