The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1863

Allan Kardec

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As a response to the calumnies that the adversaries of Spiritism like to spread against the Society we believe it is right to publish the requests for admission expressed in the two letters below followed by some observations.

To the President of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies

Dear Sir,

Would I be allowed to aspire to be admitted as a member of the illustrious Society that you preside?

I was also fortunate to get to know Spiritism and experience its beneficial influence in all its plenitude. I have been suffering physical difficulties and consequently the moral pain that follows when there is, for compensation, only doubt and uncertainty. The Spirits’ Book came to my house as the savior whose helping hand rescued us from the abyss like the doctor that cures instantly. I read and understood it and soon the moral pain gave rise to a huge happiness before which the physical suffering disappeared because since then I only see it as the effect of the divine will and wisdom that only sends us pain for our own good.

Under the influence of this beneficial belief my physical condition improved significantly and I hope God will complete the work because if I wanted to be cured now it is not like in the past when it was to enjoy life only but to solely dedicate it to good, that is, to use it exclusively to march to the future, working hard and with all available means to the betterment of my neighbors and, in particular, dedicating my life to the propagation of the sublime Doctrine that God, in His infinite benevolence, sends to the poor humanity to have it regenerated. Praise the Lord for the divine light that in His mercy decided to send it to His blind creatures! Praise you Sir, who was chosen by God to bring the sacred focus of light!

If you deign Sir, to accept my request, I will be profoundly thankfully to you for transmitting it to your honorable colleagues. I do not have the honor of knowing you in person since my health condition has always precluded me from visiting you. But my colleague, Mr. Canu, may put a word for me.

Receive, dear Sir and master, my sincere feeling of respect and devotion.

Hermann Hobach”

“Dear Sir and venerable master,

Confident in your benevolence, I address you with a request that if accepted will give me a lot of joy. I had the honor of writing to you already, some time ago, with the double objective of expressing me in a way new feelings produced by the reading of The Spirits’ Book and to obey a sacred duty of a venerable man who extends courage to the vacillating and weak of this world in whose rank I counted a short while back given the ignorance of these sublime principles that finally show man a mission to accomplish according to their strength and capabilities. You gave that letter an answer full of amenities, inviting me to come and attend the general sessions of the Society as a listener. Those sessions and the reading of The Medium’s Book gave me more and more strength and courage and inspire in me the desire to join a Society founded on the same principles that have just sent away from me agitation, dispersion and the chaos that presided over all my actions.

I had even supposed that the enigma of life must be very insignificant because my soul had not allowed me to understand that there was a spiritual world beyond the material one that surrounded me, marching shoulder to shoulder with our world for the betterment.

Thus, Sir, I reaffirm my intent to gladly demonstrate before the whole world of disbelief and the skeptical that the Spiritist Doctrine has brought such a radical change to my behavior and such a change could be certainly classified, without exaggeration, of a miracle because by opening my eyes to all the good that one can do and does not do I noticed an objective to our lives, to begin with, and then full of sins of all sorts I finally saw that the providence had not let us go without work and that a single existence was not enough to perfect the Spirit working first to dominate the body and then to dominate oneself.

If you find it adequate to receive me, Sir, as a member of the Spiritist Society, despite my early age, I ask you to forward my request to the council and let them know how honored I would be to be received at the heart of the Society, something that I would appreciate with the highest feeling of recognition.

With the highest veneration,

Paul Albert

If such letters honor their authors, they also honor the Society to which they are addressed, gladly seeing the requests from those who want to join it, animated by such feelings. It is a proof of how much they understand the exclusively moral objective proposed by the Society since they are not driven by an empty curiosity that, in fact, would not be our purpose to satisfy.

The Society only welcomes serious people and letters like those published above illustrates its true character. It is among followers of that caliber that the Society is happy to recruit and it is the best response that it can give to the detractors of Spiritism who strive to present it as its sisters from other counties and abroad that march under the same flag as dangerous focus to reason and public order or as a huge speculation. It was God’s will that there would not be other sources of disturbance.

As we have said, modern Spiritism will have its history, the report of its phases, struggles and successes, its defenders and its martyrs and adversaries for it is necessary that posterity knows the weapons that were used to attack it. It is necessary, above all, that it registers the people of heart that devoted to its cause with total abnegation, complete moral and material selflessness so that it can pay them back with a just tribute of recognition. To us it is a real joy when we can inscribe a new name, glorious for its modesty, courage and virtues in these archives that confuses the worker and the prince, the poor and the rich, people of all countries and religions, since there is only one cast for the good, only one cult, only one nationality and only one flag: the universal fraternity.

The Spiritist Society of Paris, the first one to be founded and officially recognized; the one that we can say gave the impulse and from which so many other societies were formed; that became, by the force of things and however small the number of members, the center of the Spiritist movement, for its principles are of the almost universality of the followers, this Society, we were saying, will also have its archives for the instruction of those to whom we pave the way and for the confusion of its slanderers.

It is not only far away that calumny spits its poison but to our door steps. A few days ago, someone told us that he had the greatest desire to attend some sessions of the Society but that he had stopped when he was told that he had to pay ten francs. His was greatly surprise, and we can say, also very happy when he learned that such a rumor was incorrect; that since the time of creation of the Society that not a single listener had to pay one cent; that there is no monetary commitment in any form or shape, not even as subscription to the Spiritist Review or for the purchase of books; that none of our mediums are paid for since all of them without exception do their service out of pure devotion to the cause; that the members and associated are the only ones to contribute to the material expenses but that the corresponding and honorary members have no obligation, having the limited budget of the Society applied to current expenses, restricted as much as possible and without capitalization; that Spiritism is a purely moral doctrine and that it cannot, like any other sacred thing, be an object of exploitation that we have always repudiated verbally and in writing; that therefore only a remarkable malevolence is capable of attaching similar ideas to the Society.

We must add that the author of this pseudo-official information said that he had paid the ten francs, demonstrating that he was not innocent in the spread of these rumors. The Spiritist Society of Paris, given its position and role, will have a later repercussion. It is then necessary to our brothers of forthcoming times to guarantee that its objective and tendencies are not denatured by malicious maneuvers and for that it is not enough to provide a few individual refutations that only have effect in the present, and then lost in the crowds. The obtained retractions are no more than temporary satisfactions whose memories will soon disappear. It is necessary a special, authentic and lasting monument and such a monument will be built in due course. While we wait let our adversaries to belie one another through their lies. Time will judge them.

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