What Is Spiritualism
(A concise presentation)
Spiritualism (or mediumism): a spiritual movement of “revelations” that consists in the communi-cation of people with “spirits” which are supposedly the souls of people who have previously died. Such communication is achieved through dedicated people called “intermediaries” or “me-diums.” A more careful study of the teachings of spiritualism shows that beyond some simple philosophical or ethical teaching, which is based on “para-physical” or “psychic” activity and the revelations and teachings of “spirits,” spiritualism is basically a faith, “revelation” and religion derived from idolatric oracles, a faith related to magic and necromancy.
Modern spiritualism developed during the 2nd half of the 19th century on, first in the United States of America, soon spreading everywhere (Scotland and England, Germany, Russia, France, Ita-ly, etc). Its spread was sparked by the activity of “spirits playing” with the three daughters of the American family Fox at their home in Hydesville of Wayne County, NY (from 1847 and after).
Spiritualism progressively evolved into a religion with its own theology, anthropology, and ethics, based on the teachings of the so-called “spirits” – teachings which, of course, are light years away from the revealed Truth about God to the Church through Christ. Among their teachings is the characteristic “co-eternity” of God and matter (namely, matter was not created by God but always existed with Him), pantheism (man or even matter is part of the essence of God), the adoption of reincarnation, evolutionism, the supposed appearance in the world of a “global flow” (of an element between spirit and matter) which constitutes man’s “aura,” or generally assumes other forms (electric or magnetic flow, ethereal body, living flow, “soul of the world,” etc). The most notable preachers and apostles of spiritualism were Allan Cardec (pen-name of doctor Léon Rivail), Léon Denis, Cesare Lombroso, et al. Among the Greeks were B. Tsinoukas, A. Tanagras, K. Demaratos, Ar. Papastavros, et al.
Among other things, spiritualism also uses hypnotism (“mesmerism”) by a “medium” through whom the “spirits” can talk.
The documentation on the phenomena that take place during the invocation of the “spirits” by mediums are frightful, phenomena that the Church has been aware of since the beginning, even from the early lives and writings of the Holy Fathers. They are demonic, magical and wholly dangerous (movements of articles, changes in weight and temperature of articles and their levi-tation, music and noise from nowhere, haunted places, typtology, spiritography, psychometry, materializations, telepathy, incineration, etc).
Such demonic phenomena are also precisely observed, and not by chance, at peoples’ meetings with beings which the New Agers and the UFO believers consider “extraterrestrials.” These phenomena were clearly described as demonic by the blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose in his great work Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, and a sample of such phenomena are also re-ported in Steven Spielberg’s pro-UFO film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1979). Pro-nounced spreading of Spiritualism to the “masses” in the western world was achieved with the release of the “Ouija board” through which the user receives answers from “spirits” on a special alphabet response board (a form of “alphabetic typtology”).
Allan Cardec himself points out the danger of the intermediary (the medium) becoming a victim of “malevolent spirits” and ending up demonically possessed; this demonizing – according to Cardec – is a common occurrence among mediums and can range between 1) simple demoni-zation (“obsession”), 2) paranoia (“fascination”), and 3) enslavement.
There is a strong connection between spiritualism and theosophy, but also (unofficially) with Masonry, on the basis of their common tracing back to “ancient wisdom” of “evolved spirits” of old – which Theosophists and some Masons invoke in front of an audience in spiritual gatherings. (This is documented as happening in Rosicrucian Masonry.) This connection is also apparent in the relativism of these three religions – theological relativism, moral relativism, etc – which suggests that there is no absolute Truth revealed by God, but all theological and ethical values are of relative worth and are subject to exhaustive research, alterations and variations.
Many decades ago, spiritualist Léon Denis characteristically wrote in his book Apres la mort: “But we already have reached a time in history, where the old religions are being rejected on their own bases and a philosophical and social renovation is being prepared … Salvation, light, and restoration will not come from the Church. She is incapable of renewing the human spirit … The teaching which the dead give us tends to reconcile all the adversarial systems, and from the ashes of the past a new flame will be rekindled. In the philosophy of the spirits we again discover the hidden teaching, which spans across the ages.”