The New Science

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
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The New Science is an interview of Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) on 18 september 1920.

The New Science

The Sydney Morning Herald (18 september 1920)




Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, termed the champion of spiritualism, accompanied by his wife and three children, passed through Fremantle on board the R.M.S. Naldera to-day, and when interviewed regarding his visit, stated that he expected to remain some five months in Australia and New Zealand. The general title of the two special lectures that he had prepared for the visit would be "Death and the Hereafter" and "The New Revelation." The first evening would be a consideration of the human argument, while the second would be devoted to the religious argument. Probably he will also give a special lecture, with lantern slides showing various psychic phenomena.

"I propose to speak on psychic research; it is the object of my visit," he said, "for I think that in Australia and New Zealand there is room for that propaganda which, during the past four years, has so marvellously transformed English opinion. There has been, and still is, much bitter opposition to the new science, but the appeals made to public intelligence in England during the past few years have borne fruit."

At this stage Sir Arthur produced several photographs, the first of which was a photograph of himself, while over one shoulder could be seen the slightly blurred but still distinct face of a young man.

"Now there is no fraud about that. I took the photograph with my own hands, developed it myself, and took particular care that the negative was not interfered with. When I had completed its development, I held it up to the light and saw what you can now see for yourself on the print. It is my dead son. My feelings then, although indescribable, were nothing to what I felt when I met my dear boy later at a seance, when he placed his hand upon my head, caressed me, and spoke in his own familiar voice.

"We decided to come to Australia after having received an invitation from the spiritualists here. What further determined me was the fact that I had seen your wonderful boys in action. On that historic date, September 29, 1918. I saw them break the vaunted Hindenburg line. I shall never forget that sight nor those gallant Anzacs. I know how this country has suffered during the war, how your brilliantly daring soldiers have performed the almost impossible, how the loss of those who will never return must be felt. I can realise the pain that lingers in the hearts of those dear ones left behind. But I come to try to bring happiness to heal the still open wound, and trust that Australians will find solace in the new science. I need not say that I expect, and am prepared for, every form of opposition, but I only ask for a fair hearing and impartial judgment."