THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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Regulations of the Parisian Society for Spiritist Studies, authorized by Decree of the Chief of Police on April 13, 1858, according to notice from the Secretary of the Interior and National Security.
Founded on April 1, 1858

Although these regulations are the result of experience, we do not provide them as a required model. Their sole purpose here is to aid start-up societies, which may take as guidelines the provisions they consider useful and applicable to their own set of circumstances. Even though they are presented in simplified form, their structure may be reduced still further with small individual groups, which only need to establish measures for their internal structure, precautions and regularity of their work. We also offer them as information to persons who want to establish relations with the Parisian Society, either by correspondence or as integrated members.


Chapter 1 - Purpose and composition of the society

Article 1 - The Society's purpose is to study all the phenomena related to spirit manifestations and their application to the moral, physical, historical and psychological sciences. Issues involving politics, religious controversy or social economics are forbidden. It shall take the name: Parisian Society for Spiritist Studies.
Article 2 - The Society shall be composed of registered members, free associates and correspondence members. It may confer honorary membership on individuals residing in France or abroad, who by their position or work may provide an important service to it. Honorary members are subject to annual reelection.
Article 3 - The Society shall only admit individuals who sympathize with its principles and the objective of its projects, those who have already been initiated into the fundamental principles of Spiritist Science, or those who are seriously animated by the desire for instruction in it. Consequently, it shall exclude all who may bring trouble to its meetings, either through a hostile attitude and theoretical disagreement or for any other reason that may cause a waste of time on needless argumentation.
All members are mutually obligated to display benevolence and good manners, and in all circumstances must place the general good above personal issues and self-importance.
Article 4 - To be admitted as a free associate, the request must be made in writing to the President, supported by the signature of two full members, who will be responsible for the intentions of the postulant.
The request must state: 1) if the postulant already possesses an understanding of Spiritism; 2) what his/her convictions are concerning the fundamental points of Spiritist Science; 3) a promise to fully comply with these regulations.
The request shall be submitted to the commission, which, depending on the case, shall propose admission, postponement or rejection.
Postponement is required for every candidate who does not yet possess any understanding of Spiritist Science or does not sympathize with the Society's principles.
Free associates have the right to attend all sessions, to participate in activities and study groups, but will have no right to vote on administrative matters of the Society.
Free associates shall only be such during the year of their admission and permanent membership in the Society must be ratified at the end of that year.
Article 5 - To be a full member it is necessary to have been a free associate for at least one year, to have attended more than half the sessions and to have given during that time obvious proof of the applicant's understanding of his/her convictions concerning Spiritism, his/her adhesion to the Society's principles and his/her willingness to act according to the principles of charity and Spiritist morality in all circumstances involving colleagues.
Free associates who have regularly attended the Society's sessions for six months may be admitted as full members if they have also fulfilled the other conditions.
Admission shall be proposed ex officio with the consent of the associate if supported by three full members. Next, and depending on the case, it shall be submitted to the vote of the Society by secret ballot after a verbal report by the commission.
Only full members have the right to vote and to enjoy the rights granted in Article 25.
Article 6 - If it deems it appropriate, the Society shall limit the number of free associates and full members.
Article 7 - Correspondence members are those who do not reside in Paris, but who maintain relations with the Society and furnish it with documents that may be useful for its studies. They may be nominated through the presentation of only one full member.

Chapter 2 - Administration

Article 8 - The Society shall be administered by a Director-President, assisted by members of a board and commission.
Article 9 - The board shall be comprised of a President, VicePresident, General Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries and a Treasurer.
One or more Honorary Presidents may be appointed.
In the absence of the President and Vice-President, the sessions shall be presided over by one of the commission members.
Article 10- The Director-President shall dedicate all his/her attention to the interests of the Society and Spiritist Science. He/she is responsible for the general direction and supervision of administration, as well as the maintenance of the archives. The President is appointed for three years, and the other members of the board for one year, eligible to be reelected indefinitely.
Article 11 - The Commission is comprised of board members and five other full members, chosen from amongst those who have taken an active role in the Society's projects, have rendered service to the cause of Spiritism, or have revealed a benevolent and conciliatory spirit. These five members, like those of the board, are appointed for one year and may be reelected.
The Commission is eligibly presided over by the Director-President, or in his/her absence, by the Vice-President or by one of its members designated for the purpose.
The Commission is in charge of examining beforehand all the administrative issues, proposals, and other matters, which must be submitted to the Society: controlling the receipts and expenses of the Society, and the accounts of the treasury; authorizing ordinary expenses and all measures deemed necessary.
It shall also examine study materials proposed by various members, formulate them on their behalf, and set the order of the sessions according to the President.
The President may always oppose the examination of certain subjects and their placement on the agenda, except when he/she appeals to the board, which shall decide.
The Commission shall meet regularly before the sessions begin in order to examine the subjects at hand, and also at any other time deemed appropriate.
The members of the board and commission who are absent for three consecutive months without a justifiable excuse shall be considered to have renounced their duties and shall be replaced.
Article 12 - Decisions of either the Society or the Commission shall be made by the absolute majority of the members present; in case of a tie vote, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
The Commission may deliberate with a quorum of four members. Vote by secret ballot shall be taken if requested by five members.
Article 13 - Every three months, six members chosen from among the full members or free associates shall be appointed to fulfill the functions of Commissioners.
Commissioners are in charge of supervising the order and proper conducting of the sessions, and verifying the right of participation by any outside person who would like to attend.
To do so, designated members shall agree amongst themselves which one will be present at the opening of the sessions.
Article 14 - The business year shall begin April 1. Appointments to the board and Commission shall be made at the first May session. Incumbent members shall continue their duties until then.
Article 15 - To cover the Society's expenses, an annual fee of 24 francs shall be charged to full members and 20 francs to free associates.
Full members shall also pay a fee of 10 francs at their admission. The fee is paid in full for the year in progress.
Members admitted during the year shall only pay for the quarters remaining, calculated from the date of admission.
Whenever a husband and wife are accepted as free associates or full members, they shall only be required to pay between them one and a half times the normal fee.
Every six months - on April 1 and October 1 - the Treasurer shall render an accounting to the Commission for the use and situation of the funds.
After current expenses for rent and other necessities have been paid, the Society shall determine the use of any balance left over.
Article 16 - A membership card stating their status shall be given to all who are admitted as free associates and full members. This card shall remain -with the Treasurer until the new member can pick it up after having paid his/her admission fee. The new member may not attend any sessions before picking up the card. Failure to do so within one month of admission shall mean that the member is regarded as having resigned.
Every member who has not paid the annual fee within the first month of the beginning of the business year shall also be regarded as having resigned if he/she has not heeded the warning sent by the Treasurer.

Chapter 3 - Sessions

Article 17 - The Society's sessions are to be held on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. unless changed as needed. Sessions may be either private or general and are never open to the public. Every member of the Society, regardless of status, should sign an attendance sheet at each session.
Article 18 - Silence and concentration are strictly required during the sessions, and especially during study time. No one may speak without the President's permission.
All questions asked of the spirits shall go through the President, who may refuse to ask them, depending on the circumstances.
All pointless questions, or those of personal interest or involving mere curiosity, or those whose aim is to test the spirits are strictly prohibited, as well as all those that do not have a generally useful purpose from a study point of view.
Equally prohibited are all discussions that are off the subject.
Article 19 - Every member has the right to ask anyone who departs from appropriateness during the discussion or who disturbs the session in any way to be brought to order. The request shall immediately be put to a vote, and once approved, it shall be written in the minutes.
Three warnings within a year shall warrant dismissal of the member, whatever his/her status may be.
Article 20 - No spirit communication obtained outside the Society may be read without having been submitted to the President or the Commission, who may or may not approve its reading.
One copy of each outside communication, whose reading has been authorized, must be kept on file.
All communications obtained during the sessions belong to the Society, but the mediums who received them may keep a copy.
Article 21 - Closed sessions are reserved for Society members and shall be held on the first, third, and, if applicable, on the fifth Friday of each month.
The society reserves for individual sessions all questions concerning administration, as well as study materials that require greater peacefulness and concentration, or which it deems proper to delve into before being addressed in the presence of outside individuals.
Besides full members and free associates, correspondence members passing through Paris, and mediums who lend their help to the Society, have the right to attend closed sessions.
No outside person shall be admitted to closed sessions, except in exceptional cases and with the prior consent of the President.
Article 22 - General sessions shall be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of each month.
During general sessions, the Society authorizes admitting outside observers, who may attend them temporarily without taking part in them. Such authorization may be suspended when deemed appropriate.
No one may attend sessions as an observer without having been introduced to the President by a Society member, who shall be entrusted with ensuring that his/her guest will not cause trouble or interrupt the session.
The Society only admits persons as auditors those who want to become members or those who are interested in its work and have already been sufficiently initiated into Spiritist Science to understand it. Anyone who wants to attend only out of curiosity, or whose opinions are hostile, must absolutely be refused admission.
An auditor is forbidden to speak except in exceptional cases as the President sees fit. Anyone who disturbs the order in any way or expresses ill will toward the Society's work may be invited to leave, and in all cases the fact shall be noted on the attendance sheet. He/she shall be refused entry in the future.
The number of auditors shall be limited to the available seats, and those who can attend the sessions shall be written down beforehand, making mention of who recommended them and their address. Consequently, every request for admittance to a session must be made to the President several days beforehand. The President is the only one authorized to grant admission cards until the list ends.
Cards are only good for the day indicated and for the persons so designated.
Permission cannot be granted to the same auditor for more than two sessions, except by the President's authorization and for exceptional cases. No member may introduce more than two persons at a time. There is no set limit on the number of admissions that may be granted by the President.
Auditors are not to be admitted after the session has begun.

Chapter 4 - Miscellaneous dispositions

Article 23 - All members of the Society owe it their cooperation. Therefore, they have the duty to gather within their respective circle of observation those old or recent cases that can be linked to Spiritism and communicate them, At the same time and whenever possible, they shall inquire about the notoriety of such cases. They also have the duty to list all publications that may have a more or less direct relation with the objective of Spiritism's projects.
Article 24 - The Society shall critique the various works published on Spiritism whenever it considers it appropriate. In order to do so, it shall entrust one of its full members or free associates with writing an opinion, which will be published in La Revue Spirite, when deemed appropriate.
Article 25 - The Society shall build a special library comprised of works that have been offered to it and that it acquires. At the Society's headquarters, full members may use this library and the archives on days and at times set for this purpose.
Article 26 - Considering that its responsibility may be morally compromised by private publications made by its members, the Society has determined that no one shall use the title Society Member in any writing without having been authorized to do so and without having made the text known beforehand. The Commission shall be in charge of making a report on the matter. If the Society regards the writing as incompatible with its principles, the author, after having been heard out, will be invited to modify it or renounce its publication, or not to publish it under the title Society Member. If he/she does not wish to abide by the decision, he/she maybe expelled.
Any writing published anonymously by a Society member without any clues as to whom the author is belongs to the category of ordinary publications, and the Society reserves the right to evaluate it. However, without wanting to hinder the free expression of personal opinion, the Society invites its members who intend to publish in this manner to ask for its official opinion beforehand in the interest of the Science,
Article 27 - Since the Society desires to maintain within itself the unity of the principles and spirit of mutual benevolence, it may expel any member who becomes a source of trouble or who expresses open hostility against it through writings that compromise the Doctrine, who holds subversive opinions or through any procedure of which the Society cannot approve, There shall be no expulsion, however, except after an unheeded warning, and after hearing the guilty member out, if he/she wishes to offer an explanation, The decision shall be made in top secret by a majority of three fourths of the members present.
Article 28 - Every member who withdraws voluntarily during the course of the year cannot request a proportional refund of his/her fee. However, such refund shall be made if the member is expelled by the Society.
Article 29 - These regulations shall be modified as necessary. Proposals for modification shall be made only through the President, to whom they shall be transmitted after having been accepted by the Commission.
Without modifying the regulations on essential points, the Society may adopt all supplementary measures it deems appropriate.

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