Allan Kardec

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(Bordeaux, March, 1862)

A spirit who presented himself to the medium, spontaneously, under this name, stating that he died in 1704, and that he was enduring horrible sufferings.

1. What were you in your lifetime?
A. A monk without belief.

2. Was your want of belief your only fault?
A. It sufficed to lead me into all other faults.

3. Can you give us any details concerning your life? A sincere avowal will do you good.

A. Being without fortune and lazy, I went into orders, not from vocation, but to give me position. Being intelligent, I made a place for myself; influential, I misused power; vicious, I drew into a disorderly life those whom I ought to have led to virtue; hard-hearted, I persecuted those who ventured to blame my excesses; the dungeons of my monastery were filled with those whom I left to die in them of starvation. If hunger made them groan too loudly, I had them silenced by a violent death. Since then, I have been expiating my crimes, and I suffer all the torments of hell; my victims stir up the fire that devours without consuming me. I am constantly pursued by unsatisfied lust and hunger; my burning lips are tortured by thirst that is never relieved by any cooling drop; all the elements are let loose upon me. Pray for me!

4. Have you not your share of relief from the prayers that are offered up for all the dead?

A. Do you fancy they have much power? They have, on me, exactly the power of those that I formerly seemed to offer up for others. I failed to accomplish my task; pay is therefore refused to me.

5. Have you ever repented?

A. Oh, long ago; but only after I had suffered long and horribly. I was deaf to the cries of my innocent victims; now, the Master is deaf to my cries. Justice!

6. You admit that God is just, put your trust in His goodness and call on Him for help.

A. The howling of the demons is louder that my voice; my cries are stifled in my throat, for they fill my mouth with boiling pitch. I did it, great… (The spirit is unable to write the word God.)

7. Are you not yet sufficiently separated from terrestrial ideas to understand that the tortures you are enduring are altogether moral?

A. I endure them, I feel them, I see my executioners; all their faces are but too well known to me; every one of them has a name that thunders in my brain.

8. What made you commit such atrocities?

A. The vices with which I was imbued; the brutality of my passions.

9. Have you never implored the assistance of good spirits to help you out of your misery?

A. I see only the demons of hell.

10. Were you afraid of them during your life?

A. No, I feared nothing. Annihilation was my creed; pleasure, at any cost, was my worship. Divinities of hell…they have not forsaken me! I consecrated my life to them; they will never give me up!

11. Do you foresee no end to your suffering?

A. There is no end to the infinite.

12. God’s goodness is infinite; there is nothing that cannot come to an end, if He so wills it!

A. If He could but will it!

13. Why did you come to inscribe yourself here?

A. I don’t know how it was; but I wanted to speak, just as I should want to cry out as a relief to my suffering.

14. Do not your demons try to prevent you from writing?

A. No, but they are beside me, they hear me; that is why I don’t care to stop writing.

15. Is it the first time you have written thus?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know that spirits could thus enter into communication with men?

A. No.

Q. Then how did you find it out?

A. I don’t know.

16. What sensation have you felt on coming to me?

A. A calming of my terrors.

17. How did you perceive that you were here?

A. It was as though I had wakened out of sleep.

18. What did you do, in order to put yourself in communication with me?

A. I don’t understand it; didn’t you feel how it was?

19. I don’t ask you about my feeling, but about yours. Try to see what you are doing at this moment, while I am writing for you.

A. You are my thought; that’s all I see of the matter.

20. You thus did not have the will to make me write?

A. No, it is I who am writing; I think through you.

21. Try to see more clearly what you are doing. The good spirits around you will help you to understand it.

A. No, good angels do not come into Hell.

Q. You are not alone. Look around you; try to see.

A. I feel that I am helped to think through you; your hand obeys me; I do not touch you, and yet I hold you; I don’t understand it.

22. Ask for the help of your protectors; we will pray together.

A. You are going to leave me! Stay with me; they will seize me again! I beseech you stay! Stay!

23. I cannot stay any longer. Come back every day. We will pray together; and good spirits will help you.

A. Yes, I would beg for pardon. Ask for me; I cannot ask. The Medium’s Guide – Courage, what you ask for this spirit will be granted, but his expiation is far from being ended. The atrocities committed by him are unnamable and innumerable; and his guilt is all the greater because he possessed intelligence, education, and knowledge. He sinned with the full knowledge of the evil of his course, and his sufferings are consequently terrible; but, with the help and example of prayer, they will be mitigated, because he will know that they may have an end, and he will thus be sustained by hope. God sees that he is on the road to repentance, and he has therefore been allowed and enabled to communicate with you, in order that he may be encouraged and sustained. Think of him often; we leave him in your care, that you may strengthen him, in the good resolutions that he will form, with the aid of your counsels. His repentance will be followed by the desire to make atonement for his crimes; he will then demand a new earthly existence, to practice goodness in place of the evil he has done; and, when the Lord is satisfied with his state and sees him to be sufficiently resolute in his good intentions, he will be aided to see the Divine light that will guide him to the haven, and he will be received into favor, as a returning prodigal. Be confident of success; we will give you our help in the accomplishment of your task.


We have placed this spirit among the repentant criminals, although he did not fall under the ban of human justice; because criminality consists in evil deeds, and not in the chastisement inflicted by men. It is the same with the spirits whose case is brought forward in the following recital.

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