THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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Imposter spiritsfalse father Ambrose


One of the hurdles presented by the spiritist communications is that of the imposter spirits, whose identity can induce error in that, under the shelter of a respectable name, they try to pass off absurdities. Such a danger has been explained to us on many occasions; however, it represents nothing to those who scrutinize the form as well as the content of the language of the invisible beings to whom they enter into communication.

It is not possible to repeat here what we have already said with that regard. Carefully refer to what we published in this Review, in the Spirits’ Book and in our Practical Instructions and one will see that there isn’t anything easier than the presumption against similar frauds, however little our good will may be. We only reproduce the following comparison which we have mentioned somewhere else:

“Suppose that in the room next door to you there are unknown individuals who you cannot see, although you can perfectly hear them. Wouldn’t that be easy, from their conversation, to recognize if they are ignorant or scholars, decent or evil, serious or foolish, fine or rude people?”

Let us make another comparison, without leaving our material humanity. Suppose that someone is introduced to you with a distinct scholar name. When you hear the name you will receive him with all the consideration deserved by his supposed merit, but once he expresses himself as a fool you will immediately recognize it and will expel him as an imposter.

The same applies to the spirits. They are recognized by their language. The language of the superior spirits is always dignified and in harmony with sublime thoughts. A triviality will never blemish their purity. The grossness of the rude words is a peculiarity of the inferior spirits. All qualities and imperfections of the spirits are revealed in their language. One can then rightfully apply the statement of the celebrity writer: The style is the man.

Those considerations are suggested to us by an article of the “Spiritualiste de la Nouvelle-Orléans”, December 1857. It is a conversation established through a medium, between two spirits, one identifying himself as Father Ambrose, the other, Clement XIV. Father Ambrose was a respectable priest, deceased in Louisiana in the last century. He was a good man, of great intelligence who left a venerable memory.

In this dialogue the ridicule competes with the ignoble, being impossible to be mistaken relative to the quality of the interlocutors. It is also necessary to acknowledge that those spirits took little precaution with their disguise. Any intellectual person would admit, even after only a minute engaged with these spirits, that Father Ambrose and Clement XIV would go down to those trivialities which are closer to an exhibition of buffoonery. Lower class comedians that imitated those two persons would not express themselves differently.

We are convinced that the New Orleans circle where the fact took place understood it as we did. It would be an insult to doubt it. We only regret the fact that upon publishing it they did not add the corrective observation, thus avoiding that superficial people take it by a model of serious style from beyond the grave. Let us quickly declare, however, that this circle does not receive communications only of that order; there are others of very different character where we find the whole sublimity of thought and expression of the superior spirits.

We thought that the evocation of the true and the false Father Ambrose could offer useful material to the observations relative to imposter spirits. That is what we did, as shown by the following interview:

1. I ask the Almighty God to allow the spirit of the true Father Ambrose, deceased in Louisiana in the last century, leaving a venerable memory, come to communicate with us.
- I am here.
2. Could you kindly tell us if it was really you and Clement XIV who had the conversation

reported in the “Spiritualiste de la Nouvelle-Orléans” which we read in our last session?
- I am sorry for the men who fell victims of the spirits as much as I am also sorry for those.
3. Who was the spirit that took your name?

- A tumbler.
4. Was the interlocutor really Clement XIV?

- It was a spirit similar to the one that used my name.
5. How could you allow such things in your name? Why haven’t you come to expose the imposters?
- Because I cannot always impede that men and spirits have fun.

6. I understand you with respect to the spirits. However, with respect to the persons who received the words, they are serious people; they did not seek amusement.

- One more reason. They should quickly think that such words could only be the language of spirits of mockery.

7. Why do the spirits not teach in New Orleans the principles perfectly identical to the ones taught here?

- Soon the Doctrine that is dictated to you will serve them. There will be only one.

8. Since this Doctrine will be taught there later, it seems to us that if it were immediately it

would accelerate the progress and avoid that some had harmful doubts.

- Gods’ predetermined designs are always impenetrable. Don’t other things seem incomprehensible to us, given the means that God employs to achieve His objectives? It is necessary that man does get used to the distinction between the true and false. Not everyone could receive light from the same beam without being obfuscated.

9. Would you kindly give us your opinion about the reincarnation?

- The spirits are created ignorant and imperfect. One incarnation only would not suffice to learn everything. It is necessary that they reincarnate to enjoy the happiness that God reserves to them.

10. Does reincarnation take place on Earth only or in other globes?

- Reincarnation happens according to the progress of the spirit, in worlds more or less perfect worlds.


11. This does not answer if it can happen on Earth?

- Yes, it can happen on Earth and if the spirit asks for it as a mission, he will have more merit than if he had asked to advance more rapidly in more perfect worlds.

12. We ask the Almighty God to allow the spirit who took the name of Father Ambrose to come to communicate with us.

- I am here but don’t you confuse me (with someone else).

13. Are you really Father Ambrose? In the name of God I conjure you to tell the truth!

- No.

14. What do you think about what you said in his name?

- I think the same as those who heard me also thought.

15. Why have you used a respectable name to say such foolish things?

- Names are nothing to our eyes. The works are everything. Since they could see what I really was by what I said, I did not give importance to the substitution of the name.

16. Why don’t you sustain the imposture in our presence?

- Because my language is a key stone by which you cannot be mistaken.

OBSERVATION: We were told several times that the imposture of certain spirits is a trial to our judgmental capacity. It is a kind of temptation, allowed by God so that, as Father Ambrose said, man may get used to distinguishing the true from the false.

17. What do you think about your partner Clement XIV?
- He is not more deserving that I am. Both need indulgence.

18. In the name of the Almighty God, I ask you that he may come.
- I am here, since the time the false Father Ambrose had arrived.

19. Why have you abused the credulity of respectable people to give a false idea of the Spiritist Doctrine?

- Why are we inclined to error? Why aren’t we perfects?

20. Didn’t you think, both of you, that one day your deception would be discovered and that the

true Father Ambrose and Clement XIV would not express themselves like you?
- The deceptions were already known and punished by the one who created us.

21. Do you belong to the same class as the rapping spirits?
- No, since logic is still necessary to do what we did in New Orleans.

22. (to the true Father Ambrose) – Do these imposters see you here?
- Yes and they suffer with my presence.

23. Are they errant or reincarnated?

- Errant. They would not be sufficiently perfect to such a detachment in case they were incarnated.

24. How about you Father Ambrose, what is your state?
- Incarnated in a happy and unknown world to you.

25. We thank you for the clarifications that you have kindly given us. Would you kindly return on other occasions, bringing us good words and leaving an essay which could show the difference between your style and of the one who stole your name?

- I am with those who seek the good in the truth.

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