The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Friday, January 27th, 1860
(General Session)

Minutes of the January 20th session read and approved. A request for admission was received. Its reading, analysis and approval were postponed to the next private session.


1st – Letter from Mr. Hinderson Mackenzie, from London, member of the Royal Antiques Society, with very interesting details about the use of metallic or crystal balls, as a means of obtaining spiritist communications. This is what he uses with the support of a special clairvoyant medium, according to the advices of one of his friends, who has used this method for thirty-five years, with the most complete and conclusive experiences. The medium sees the answers to the questions on a kind of mirror surface, producing welldeveloped communications, occasionally obtained so quickly that it is hard to follow him.

2nd – Reading of an article from the Siècle of January 22nd, from which the following passage is extracted: “The tables spoke, turned and danced well before the American cult which pretends to have originated them. That ball dance of chairs was already famous in Rome, in the first centuries of our era, and here is how Tertulian expressed it in Chapter XXIII of the Apologetic, when talking about the mediums of his time: “If the magicians are supposed to make ghosts appear, evoke the soul of the dead, and force children’s mouth to act like oracles; if these charlatans imitate a large number of miracles which, as it seems, are due to the circles and connections established among individuals; if they provoke sleep, if they make conjurations, if they command liar spirits and demons, the tables and chairs that prophesize are a common fact, etc.”

Regarding that, it is necessary to notice that modern Spiritists have never pretended to have invented or discovered the manifestations. On the contrary, they constantly reinforce the antiquity and universality of the spiritist phenomena and that very antiquity is an argument in favor of the Doctrine, demonstrating that its principle is in nature and that it is not a product of a systematic combination. Those who intend to impose such idea onto the Doctrine demonstrate that they speak without the knowledge of its fundamentals, otherwise they would know that modern Spiritism is based on the undisputable fact that it is present in all times and among all peoples.


1st – Questions raised about the phenomena of the metallic or crystal balls as a means of obtaining communications. The answer is: “The theory of such phenomenon cannot be explained yet; we need some previous knowledge to understand that, which will come on their own time and will be the result of future observations. That shall happen in due time.”

2nd – New evocation of Urbain Grandier, who confirms and complements certain historical facts and that in addition provides explanations which come to support what have already been said about planet Saturn.

3rd – Two spontaneous essays obtained simultaneously: the first from Abelard, by Mr. Roze; the second from John, the Baptist, by Mr. Colin.

Next, and since it was requested that an unfortunate spirit who had asked for help through prayers would come to communicate spontaneously, one of the mediums wrote the following: “Bless your heart for having accepted to pray in favor of this evoked useless and unclean spirit, who is still and so shamefully attached to his miserable wealth. You receive the sincere thanks of Father Crépin.”

Friday, February 3rd, 1860
(Private Session)

The minutes of the January 27th session were approved. Reading of the names of the observers who attended the last general assembly. No inconvenience was noted due to their presence.

Dr. Gotti, director of the Homeopathic Institute of Genoa (Piedmont), is accepted as a corresponding member. Reading of two new requests for admission, postponed to the next session.


1st – Mr. Allan Kardec announces that a lady from the countryside who is a subscriber of the Review, sent him the amount of ten thousand francs to be utilized in favor of Spiritism. She received an unexpected inheritance which she never counted on thus she wishes that it be shared by the Spiritist Doctrine to whom she owes supreme consolations and her learning about the true conditions of happiness in this life and in the next. She says in her letter: “You made me understand Spiritism, showing me its true objective. Only Spiritism could triumph over the doubts and uncertainties which were a source of indescribable anxiety to me. I used to take life lightheartedly, cursing the stones in my path. I now see clearly around me and before me. The horizon has widened and I march firmly, confident in the future, not bothering with the thorns on the way. I wish that this meager offering can help you to share with others the blessed light which made me so happy. Use it as you will. I don’t want a receipt or any expense report. The only thing I require is the strictest anonymity.”

Mr. Allan Kardec adds: “I shall respect the veil of modesty covering this person and will endeavor to correspond to her generous intentions. I cannot see a better way of using such a donation but in providing the Society with the necessary means of installation to give it more favorable conditions to its works.”

A member voices his opinion that he is sorry for this person’s anonymity since the Society cannot pay her back with tributes of gratitude.

Mr. Allan Kardec replies that since the donation has no other specific application other then Spiritism in general, he will take care of it, in the name of all serious followers of Spiritism. He insists in the qualification of “serious followers”, considering when one cannot put their name to that, who cannot understand its elevated moral consequences, only seeing in Spiritism the subject of phenomena and experimentation, and even less to take advantage of that or leading others to do as well.

2nd – Mr. President entrusted the office of the Society with a sealed letter sent by Dr. Vignal, a regular member, which can only be opened at the end of March next.

3rd – Mr. Netz sends an issue of the periodical Illustration, reporting an apparition. The fact will be the object of a special study.


1st – An observation about visions on certain bodies, like glasses, crystal or metallic balls, and etc., discussed in the last session, was presented. Mr. Allan Kardec thinks that the expression “magic mirror” commonly given to such objects must be carefully avoided. He proposes that they should be called “psychic mirrors”. In the opinion of several members of the assembly, the name “psychographic mirrors” would correspond better to the nature of the phenomenon.

2nd – Dr. Vignal, who offered to be the subject of study about the spirits of living persons, is evoked. He answers the questions with perfect lucidity. Two other spirits, the one of Castelnaudary and that of Dr. Cauviere, communicate simultaneously through another medium, resulting in a very instructive exchange of observations. At the end the doctors provide an essay each, showing their renowned and elevated capacity (publication follows).

3rd – Two other spontaneous essays: the first one from Mr. Francisco de Sales, by Mrs. Mallet; the second by Mr. Colin, signed by Moses, Plato and later Julian.

Friday, February 10th, 1860
(General Session)

The minutes of the February 3rd session were approved.

A letter with a request for admission was received; the issue is to be handled in the next private session.


The following note is transmitted by Mr. Soive, requesting that an evocation be carried out if considered useful: “A certain Mr. T…, 35 years old, residing at the Boulevard of the Hospital, was pursued by the persistent thought of having involuntarily killed a friend during a quarrel. Despite everything that was done to persuade him, showing his living friend to him, he thought that it was a ghost. Then, while tormented by the remorse of an imaginary crime, he killed himself by asphyxiation”

The evocation of Mr. T… will be done, time allowing.


1st – Five spontaneous and simultaneous essays: the first through Mr. Roze, signed by Lammenais; the second by Ms. Eugenie, signed by Staël; the third by Mr. Colin, signed by Fourier; the fourth by Ms. Huet, from a spirit who says that will give his name later, announcing a series of communications; the fifth trough Mr. Didier Junior, signed by Charlet.

2nd – After reading Fourier’s essay, the president makes an observation to those persons strange to the Society, and who may not know its procedures, about the fact that this communication, in principle, seems to require comments; that among the manifesting spirits there are those of all levels; that their communications reflect their personal ideas, which are not always entirely just. Following the advice given to the Society, those communications are received as an expression of individual opinions, keeping the Society of its own prerogative of judging them, submitting them to the control of logic and reason. The understanding is that the Society does not take as the final word that everything coming from the spirits is of the essence. The spirit is revealed by the communication, if good or bad, of Science or ignorance. The communications are objects of study to the Society which accepts what is good and rejects what is bad.

3rd – Evocation of Ms. Indermuhle, from Berne, deaf-mute from birth, who is alive and thirty two years old. The evocation is of great interest from a scientific as well as moral point of view, given the sagacity and accuracy of the answers, indicating an advanced spirit.

4th – Evocation of Mr. T… who was mentioned earlier. He gives signs of great agitation, breaking several pencils before sketching a few lines, showing difficulty. The confusion of his mind is evident; he initially insisted on the fact that he had killed his friend; he ends up agreeing that it was a persistent thought, adding however that if he did not kill he had felt like doing it, and if he did not do it, it was for lack of courage only. St. Louis gives some explanations about the situation of that spirit and the consequences of his suicide. This evocation shall be repeated later, when the spirit is more separated from the body.

Friday, February 17th, 1860
(Private Session)

The minutes of the February 10th session were read and approved.

The following persons were admitted as regular members, after a written request and favorable opinion: Mrs. de Regnez, from Paris; Mr. Indermuhle de Wytenbach, from Berne; Mrs. Lubrat, from Paris.

Two new requests for membership were read, decision postponed to the next private session.

Mr. Allan Kardec transmits the following to the Society, regarding the donation:

“If the lady benefactor does not request an expense report regarding the use of the donated funds, I must not allow on my end that the use of those funds not be submitted to a control. That amount will account for the first contribution to a special fund which shall have nothing in common with my personal businesses, being the object of a separate bookkeeping, named Spiritism Fund. This fund will be augmented in the future by funds from other sources, and it will be exclusively destined to the needs of the Doctrine and the development of the spiritist studies. One of my first actions will be the creation of a special library, thus providing for what the Society currently lacks for its normal operation, as I have already said.

Hence, I have asked several colleagues to take over the control of the funds, attesting on the due dates which will be determined, the application of those funds. The committee will be formed by Mr. Solichon, Mr. Thiry, Mr. Levent, Mr. Mialhe, Mr. Krafzoff and Mrs. Parisse.”

The communications received in the previous session were read. The Society then dealt with several other administrative matters.

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