The Spiritist Review - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1861

Allan Kardec

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One of our subscribers sent us some very interesting details about manifestations that have occurred and still do in a town located in the Aube region. We will hide the name of the person involved to protect their anonymity in order to avoid being surrounded by flocks of curious visitors who might destroy his peace of mind. These noisy manifestations have already attracted more than an inconvenience; moreover, our correspondent tells us what he has seen and we do know him well enough to trust his testimony. The reader will find below the most interesting passages of his report:

“Four years ago (in 1856), in the town where I live, at the house of Mr. R… there were manifestations that up to a certain degree were similar to those of Bergzabern. At that time I did not know that gentleman; it was only later that we became acquainted and that is how I learned about the facts that had already occurred. The manifestations had stopped long ago and Mr. R… thought that he was free from them when all of a sudden they started again, the same as before. I was then able to witness them for several consecutive days. I will tell you what I saw with my own eyes.”

“The person who is the target of these manifestations is Mr. R’s…sixteen year old son, who was therefore only twelve when they occurred for the first time. The boy is mentally challenged; he cannot read or write and rarely leaves his home. As for the manifestations that occurred before my eyes, with the exception of the rocking bed and the magnetic levitation, the spirit more or less reproduced everything that happened in Bergzabern: the knocks and scratches were the same; he whistled, imitating the sound of a tree being sawed, and threw pieces of charcoal that would come from who knows where into the bedroom, since there was no coal to be found anywhere else in the house. The phenomenon starts when the boy lies down and begins to fall asleep. During his sleep, he speaks to a spirit with authority, assuming the perfect voice of command of a superior officer, despite the fact that he had never watched any military exercises. He then simulates a combat, commands the maneuvers, conquering victoriously and believing that he has risen to the rank of general on the battlefield. When he commands the spirit to knock a few times it sometimes happens that the spirit knocks more than requested. The boy then asks: - How do you intend to remove the additional knocks? The spirit then starts to scratch, as if erasing something. When the boy commands the spirit, he seems very agitated and sometimes screams so much that his voice trails off into a sort of groaning sound. Following the command, the spirit then knocks every French or foreign military march, even Chinese ones. I could not attest their accuracy since I don’t know them. But the boy often said: - That is not right. Start all over again. And the spirit obeyed. I must say and in-passing that the boy sounds really rude during his sleep and when commanding.”

“One evening I was watching these things; Mr. R’s…son was in great agitation for about five hours. I tried to calm him down through magnetic passes. He soon became furious and made a mess in his bed. The next day he lied down on my arrival and as usual he soon fell asleep. The knocks and raps began again. He suddenly ordered the spirit: - Come here. I will make you sleep. And to our great surprise he magnetized the spirit, despite his resistance and refusal, as we gathered from the conversation that followed. He then woke the spirit up, demagnetizing him like a professional magnetizer would have done. I then noticed that he seemed to have retrieved too much magnetic fluid, kind of throwing it towards me, causing me harm. When he woke up he had no memory of the event.”

“Far from calm, the facts became more serious and more afflictive each day in a distressing manner by the exasperation of the spirit, who is certainly afraid of losing his dominance upon the boy. I wanted to ask his name and background, but only got lies and blasphemies as an answer. I must let you know at this point that the spirit speaks through the boy’s mouth, who serves him as a speaking medium. I unsuccessfully tried to excite good feelings in him through good words. He answered that the prayers were nothing to him; that he tried to approach God only finding ice and fog. He calls me a bigot and whenever I pray in silence I notice that he gets angry and raps with double intensity. He brings heavy objects every day, iron, copper, etc. When I ask him where he finds them he says that he takes them from dishonest people. If I preach morality to him, he becomes furious. One evening he said that if I continued to come, he would break everything and that he would not leave before Easter. He then spat on my face. Once asked about the reason why he was attached to the young Mr. R… in such a way he said: - if it was not him it would be someone else. The father himself is not free from attacks of that malevolent spirit. He is often interrupted in his work by the rapping spirit, who pulls his clothes and pinches him to the point of bleeding. I did what was possible but I am out of resources. Besides, it is very difficult to obtain good results considering that Mr. and Mrs. R… don’t help due to their inconsistent faith, despite their desire to get rid of the spirit and the true losses and prejudices they suffer due to their son.”

Several details were omitted for they would only reinforce the report. However, we showed enough to demonstrate that one can say that like certain wrongdoers, this spirit is of the worse kind. We addressed the following questions to St. Louis in the session of the Society on November 9th:

1. Could you kindly tell us something about the spirit that obsesses the young R…? – A. The boy’s intelligence is of the weakest kind and when the spirit takes over he becomes completely hallucinated, and even more so when his body is deeply asleep. Thus, reason has no domain over his brain that is dominated by this tempestuous spirit.

2. Can a relatively superior spirit exert a magnetic action and paralyze his faculties? – A. A good spirit can only act upon another morally, not physically. In order to paralyze through the magnetic fluid it is necessary to use matter and the spirit is not matter like a human being.

3. How come the young R… pretends to magnetize and lead the spirit to sleep? – A. He believes it and the spirit gives him that illusion.

4. The father wants to know if there is any means of getting rid of that unwelcome guest; if his son will remain under this influence for a long time... – A. When the young man is awake one must evoke the good spirits, together with him, so that he can be in touch with them and through that he can keep the bad spirits who obsess him in his sleep away.

5. Could we help from here, evoking that spirit in order to moralize him, or perhaps the spirit of the boy himself? – A. It might not be possible at the moment. They are both too much materialized. It is necessary to act directly upon the body of the living one, through the presence of good spirits who will come to him.

6. We don’t understand your response very well. – A. I said that it is necessary to request the support of the good spirits who will help to make the boy less accessible to the impressions of the bad spirit.

7. What can we do for him? – A. The bad spirit that obsesses him will not let him go easily, since he is not strongly pushed away by anyone. Your prayers and evocations are a weak weapon against him. It would be necessary to act physically on the person that is tormented by him. You can pray since it is always beneficial. You will not succeed, however, if not supported by those directly involved in the case, the father and mother. They unfortunately don’t have the faith in God that multiplies their strength a hundred times, and God does not hear but those who address Him with faith. Thus, they cannot complain about an evil against which they do nothing to eliminate.

8. How can we win over the subjection of this young man to the empire of such an evil spirit, with the authority that the boy has over the spirit, once it seems that he commands and the spirit obeys? – A. The spirit of that young man is not very advanced spiritually but it is more advanced than you think in terms of intelligence. He abused that intelligence in other existences, not directing it to a moral objective, but on the contrary to ambitious objectives. He is facing punishment now in a body that does not allow free access to his intelligence and the bad spirit takes advantage of such weakness. He allows to be driven in questions of minor importance because he knows that the boy is incapable of commanding serious things. He gets a kick out of that. Earth has swarms of spirits like this, punished in human bodies. That is why there are so many diseases of all kinds.

OBSERVATION: The observation of the facts confirms the explanation. During the sleep the boy shows intelligence incontestably superior to that in his normal state, demonstrating a previous development, but reduced to a latent state in the rough covering of the body. It is only at the times of emancipation of the soul in which there isn’t much influence of matter that his intelligence expands, in which he also exerts authority upon the creature that subjugates him. However, returning to his waking state his faculties are annihilated by the limited body that compresses them. Isn’t that a moral teaching of practical reach?

We thought of evoking the spirit but none of the mediums present at the meeting showed interest to serve as interpreter. Ms. Eugenie who also showed disgust, suddenly took the pencil and in an involuntary movement wrote:

1. You don’t want it? Ah! You will write. Oh you think that I will not dominate you? Well, then! I am here but don’t be so scared. I will make you feel my force. NOTE: The spirit then made the medium swing a strong punch on the table, breaking several pencils.

2. Since you are here, tell us why you have attached yourself to Mr. R... – A. Do you really believe that I would have to confide in you! For starters, know that I have a great need to torment somebody. A medium who can think would reject me. I attach myself to an idiot who opposes no resistance.

3. Note: Someone thought that despite the cowardly act the spirit is still intelligent. He then answers without having the question directly asked to him: – A. A little bit. I am not as silly as you think.

4. What did you do when alive? – A. I didn’t do much. A man that did more evil things than good, for what he is punished even more.

5. Considering that you are punished for having practiced bad things, you must understand the need to do good. Don’t you want to improve? – A. If you wanted to help me I would waste less time.

6. We don’t ask more than that, but it is necessary that you show the will. Pray with us. This will help you. (Here the spirit answers with blasphemy)

7. That is it! We will hear no more. We hoped that we could awake some good feelings in you. That is why we called you. However, since you respond to our benevolence with rude words, you might as well leave. – A. Ah your charity ends here! Just because I was able to resist a little I can see that your charity ends soon. It is because you are not much better than I am. Yes, you could enlighten me more than you think if you behaved accordingly, to begin with, in the interest of this suffering idiot, in his father’s interest who is scared of me too and in my own, if that pleases you.

8. Tell us your name so that we can call you. – A. Why bother with my name! Call me the spirit of the young idiot, if you like.

9. If we wanted to stop you it was for the fact that you used blasphemy. – A. Ah! Ah! You were shocked. To know what is in the mud you have to move it.

10. Someone said: - This image is compatible with the spirit. It is despicable. – A. Would you like poetry, Sir? To get to know the rose’s perfume one needs to smell it.

11. Since you said that we could be of some help, one of the participants is offering to instruct you. Would you like to attend his evocations? – A. I want to see if it is convenient first. (After a few moments of reflection he adds: ) Yes; I will.

12. Why would Mr. R’s… son get mad when Mr. L… wanted to magnetize him? – A. It was not him that got mad but me.

13. Why? – A. I have no power over that man, who is above me, that is why I cannot stand him. He wants to take my domain away from me and I cannot accept that.

14. You must see happier spirits around you. Do you know why? – A. Yes, I do. They are better than I am.

15. Would you then understand that if instead of doing bad things you did good ones you could also be happier like them? – A. I wanted nothing more than that but it is difficult to be good.

16. Perhaps difficult for you but not impossible. Do you understand that prayer can have a great influence upon your improvement? – A. I don’t say no. I will think about that. Call me again.

OBSERVATION: As seen above, the spirit did not deny his character. However, he seemed less unwilling towards the end, and that is a proof that he is not entirely impervious to reason. There is remedy for him but to have him entirely dominated he needs the support of people who are not helping at this moment. This should be a lesson to those who may be going through similar situations. There is no doubt that this is a very bad spirit, belonging to the dregs of the spiritual world. One can say that he is brutally bad but that there are more resources against spirits in that category than to the hypocrites. There is no doubt that they are much less dangerous than the fascinating spirits, with the support of a certain amount of intelligence and a false appearance of virtue, they know how to inspire a blind confidence in certain people, a confidence that sooner or later will victimize them, since those spirits never act for the good of anybody. They always have a second intention.

The result of The Mediums’ Book – so we hope – will be to guard us against their suggestions, something that certainly will not please them. As it can be seen, however, we are as much affected by their bad influence as we are from that of incarnated spirits, which they can incite against us. The bad spirits, as much as men, do not see with pleasure those who, upon unmasking their wickedness, deprives them of the means to harm.

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