Spiritualists as a Party
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Spiritualists as a Party
TO INTERVENE IN GENERAL ELECTION.
"PSYCHIC FREEDOM" DEMAND.
SIR A. CONAN DOYLE AND 500,000 FOLLOWERS.
British spiritualists feel that their movement has now reached a stage where it is sufficiently powerful numerically to demand "psychic freedom" for themselves and their mediums.
They have gone so far as to plan intervention in the next general election.
By psychic freedom they mean freedom from police attention for approved mediums and the general lifting of any legal ban upon spiritualistic activities.
There are some 400 spiritualist churches in this country which are affiliated to the National Spiritualist Union, and a further 100 churches of almost similar character which are not affiliated.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who has in recent years given up most of his time to the furtherance of spiritualism throughout the world, said to a Daily Mail reporter yesterday:
"I should say that the aggregate membership of the 500 spiritualist churches amounts to at least 100,000 men and women. We have thousands of followers who are not members, and in the event of political action we should probably have the support of the Theosophists and other sects of a like character, giving us a total following of at least 500,000 persons.
"With that we have the material for a very earnest and strong political weapon. We intend to see that every political party becomes aware of the movement, and we shall, I hope, vote en bloc for the party that is sympathetic to our aims and promises to help us."
Dealing with some of the aspects of "psychic freedom." Sir Arthur said:
"We want mediums to be allowed to work perfectly freely in our churches, not at their peril, subject to police visitation and possible prosecution. Our churches and scientific bodies must be given the right to grant certificates to honest mediums.
"We who use them will judge of their capabilities honestly. There are a great many fine mediums in course of development, but they themselves are oppressed and their spiritual growth stunted by the law.
"As for our relations with the Church at England, I should say that between one-quarter and one-third of the spiritualist churches are run on purely Christian lines. The great majority are run on Unitarian lines, every reverence being paid towards the chiefs and prophets of every great religion of the world.
"I go so far as to say that I do not think that any Christian would be offended by anything he saw or heard in our churches."