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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Without modifying the regulations on essential points, the Society
may adopt all supplementary measures it deems appropriate.