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Nediums and Psychic Researchers Part 4 Dr. Hare, Mr. Hume (D.D.Home) and Mr. Purchas.

By:Richard Rowley
Date: Fri,18 Mar 2011
Submitter:Richard Rowley

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Dr. Hare, Mr. Hume (D.D.Home) and Mr. Purchas.
Psychic Research (5) Investigators from the past.

Before leaving Dr. Hare, here are a few more of
the communications from his family members, which
together with the results of his tests and meeting
with various mediums of the day turned him from a
skeptic into a convinced Spiritualist when he was over
seventy years of age. His book “Spiritualism
Scientifically Demonstrated” was published in 1855 In
that same year in Yorkshire Alfred Kitson was born,
later to become a staunch Spiritualist, the Yorkshire
Spiritual Telegraph began publication, and Daniel
Dunglas Home the young Scottish medium returned to
Europe from the U.S.A. and worked hard without
charging fees over the next three decades (he died in
1886) to foster the growth of Spiritualism. He
demonstrated for many prominent public figures and
impressed such writers as Thackeray, Anthony Trollope,
Alexander Dumas, Elizabeth Browning and Charles
Dickens. Robert Owen mentioned him in his 1855 letter
to the Spiritual Telegraph, calling him Mr. Hume,
which is the spelling that the medium used himself
while residing in the States, because his name was
(and is) always being mis-pronounced there! William
Crookes judged his mediumship to be genuine, and
Home’s two volumes of autobiography and more than a
dozen books by other witnesses and researchers
outweigh any skeptical comments. Modern scholars and
critics who write of early Spiritualism as being
unscientific and therefore invalid should read all
these accounts of the early days by those who lived
through them, and then perhaps they would not be so
unscientific and smug themselves. Susan Blackmore and
Richard Wiseman and James Randi, nota bene.

Now here are some more excerpts from Professor Hare’s
book:- [Richard R.]

Many close family members came to communicate
with Robert Hare through automatic writing mediums.
It is possible that Kate Fox was one of these, since
this was one of her talents. Here are some of the
communications. [My notes in square brackets. Richard

From Maria Hare, a daughter in spirit:

“I will give you some idea of my beautiful home.
Think of all the flowers ever seen on earth blended in
one, all the heavenly strains of music blended in one
strain, all beauty combined, and you will have a
slight conception of the heavenly kingdom.
Poets have sung of heavenly joys, but fancy
cannot paint, nor artist sketch, the wondrous beauties
of the spirit home. Darling father, how glad I am to
see you have begun to live for heaven! I shall be one
to welcome you when life’s journey is over. Oh,
mother dear, will you, for the love you bear to us,
listen to the voice of your children? We will give
you all the proof you ask.”

Robert Hare writes: ‘A beautiful and much loved son,
who left this world at three years of age, came to me,
at the end of twenty-seven years, from the seventh
sphere, with words of love, consolation, and advice.
Such events, to a believer in the spiritual doctrine,
are well calculated to arouse the strongest energies
of the soul and inspire the best feelings of the
heart. The regular progress of maturity of the
spirit, uninterrupted by the grace, is made evident to
our astonished minds by an event like this. We are
also admonished by the same source that decline is not
an attribute of spirit life; that old age recedes, and
infancy advances, to the same point of maturity, with
entire immunity from all physical infirmity.’
[I can attest to this. My father first materialized
to me twenty years ago in a state of ill health,
wearing the drab Peter Falk Columbo-type raincoat he
had just before passing 60 years ago, to identify
himself. He had an aging haggard appearance, pale
and ashen. But since then, seen clairvoyantly by more
than one medium, he is young and energetic again and
going about his activities over there in full health,
with time to visit us to see what we are doing now,
and give the odd inspiration or hint, here and there.

Maria came again on a later date (Christmas 1854) to
write. “We have been constantly with you. Having
wished to give a communication the evening our friend
(a lady who is a very superior medium) was with you
and mother, but the mode was too tedious. It was an
era in mother’s life. Her opposition [to Spiritualism
and the phenomena] tends in some measure to repulse
us; not that we love her less, but our loving natures
must meet reciprocal tenderness [in order to be able
to communicate effectively].
Love begets love in the heavenly spheres, as well
as on earth.”

At the next meeting of their circle, Maria
communicated with him again, this time through the
mediumship of Mrs. Gourlay: “The proposed
communication between us affords me much pleasure, and
causes me to feel as if I were really to live over
again the days of my earthly existence, when I was
blessed with the oft-repeated manifestations of your
parental love and affection. I flatter myself, my
dear father, that this revival of loving association
will tend much to your happiness as well as mine. I
will be a friendly star to guide you in your course
over the troubled sea of life, that you may not become
submerged in its surging billows, but arrive safely at
the haven of eternal joy and felicity. I will lift
your soul by degrees to the source of love and wisdom,
and cause you to feel sensations of pleasure such as
you have never before experienced. You have a mind
which delights in the beauties of nature and art. Let
me tell you, then, that no science of earthly grandeur
which you have ever witnessed, nor the sublimest
flight of fancy of the wildest enthusiast in the cause
of Spiritualism, can compare with the beauties and
joys of the spirit home.
I regret that the members of my loved family are
so much blinded by prejudice, as to debar themselves
the holy privilege of spiritual communication – a
communion which would serve to connect them
indissolubly with us, and teach them of a world beyond
death and the grave. [Obviously Mrs. Hare and some
other family members were disturbed by the professor’s
over-enthusiastic investigation of mediums and
Oh father, how my heart rejoices that I can come
to you with cheering words, and pour into your willing
ear the tidings of the gospel of peace, which will
prove a balm of consolation to your drooping spirit.
I have already presented you with a view of the
beautiful realities of my spirit home. The picture I
have drawn is no ideal one, but a real and substantial
scene of enduring pleasures. Now let me ask, how will
your joys compare with ours? Oh, that the minds of my
darling children might become imbued with an
understanding of this most holy religion, for I am
conscious that it would add largely to their present
and future bliss.
I perceive the emotions of your inmost heart, and
if the love of a devoted child can in any wise conduce
to your happiness, it is most freely yours. Oh, that
dear mother could feel as you do, how happy her
declining years on earth might become. When she is
disposed to listen to the voices of her spirit
children, it will be our pleasure to come to her ‘with
glad tidings of great joy.’”

A little while later, his brother John was

“To the mind that is ignorant and prejudiced, this
mode of communion with the invisible world may seem to
be a direct violation and infringement of nature’s
laws; but it is, on the contrary, not only natural,
but perfectly legitimate to the age in which you now
live. It is not a new revelation, but simply the
discovery of hidden truths peculiarly adapted to the
present advanced state of the race. It is old
material in a new form. The material and spiritual
elements are contributing, as never before, to the
elevation and happiness of mankind, and already is
established a spiritual telegraph on which I am at
this moment successfully operating – sending a message
of love to you, my brother. You say my words of cheer
have wrought a change for the better in your health.
This is a result which naturally follows a strict
adherence to my prescription – cheerfulness.
You desire to know what time would be most
advisable for you to sit for spiritual communion. I
would say, early in the morning, before the mind
becomes taxed with the cares of the day, make a record
of your impressions. It will be our endeavour to
gladden your heart with tokens of our increasing and
untiring love. Your cup of happiness shall be filled
to the brim, if it depends on us.
Keep the mind’s sunshine bright. You have a soul
to feel for others’ woes, and this is the true stamp
of divinity.”

Robert Hare includes many reports of séances
provided by colleagues and friends, and discusses all
the problems of reconciling religious doctrines
between different faith and with the phenomena
demonstrated by mediums and healers, and these
arguments continue to this day. His book is the first
classic document of scientific psychical research, to
be followed in a few years by the investigations of
William Crookes.

Moving forward seventy years from those times, we
come across a lone psychical researcher in South
Africa, the English-born engineer, T.A.R. Purchas.
After serving in the army from 1877-1882 at the close
of the Kaffir wars, he became a mining engineer,
traveling to Canada, the Klondike and Madagascar. It
was at this time that he first became interested in
psychical research, but was unable to devote much time
to it until he settled down to a business career in
1907 as a member of the First Legislative Council of
the Transvaal and as Chairman of the Rand Water
Board in Johannesburg. He describes his introduction
to Spiritualism in his book, “The Spiritual Adventures
of a Business Man.” ( Simpkin Marshall, Ltd., and The
Psychic Press, London. 1929).

“In the earlier days of my work, my experiences
were confined almost entirely to what is known as
physical phenomena. This kind of phenomena has a very
wide range, is truly marvelous, and leaves no possible
doubt in the mind of the careful investigator of its
absolute reality; but, generally speaking, it falls
short of giving the indubitable proofs of the personal
identity of the discarnate intelligences with whom one
is brought into contact, which are necessary to
establish the continuity of the human personality one
has known in earth life. I had, however, seen
sufficient to spur me on to further and more complete
examination of what was obviously a great mystery,
having a vital bearing upon the life and destiny of
the human race. I did not doubt that if I had
sufficient patience and perseverance I should succeed
in my quest – and I was not disappointed.
The facilities I sought eventually came my way
about twelve years ago, [around the time of the First
World War] and I shall now proceed to enter upon the
relation of some of the experiences they brought me.”

Mr. Purchas started his home circle in 1916,
relying on a civil servant friend as medium, with a
mining engineer and his two daughters, and his wife
and the medium’s wife making up a group of seven
compatible personalities. Purchas was director of
the group, and kept the records, and the civil servant
Mr. Strangman (pseudonym) and Mrs. Purchas acted as
automatic writing mediums. Along with raps and
initial messages came news of a “Superior” spirit who
had been encouraged to take charge of the circle’s
“First we were told of the efforts that had been
made ‘for countless generations of humanity’ to
impress upon the minds of specially selected incarnate
intelligences the ‘great revelation’ it was desired to
give to our earth planet. Occasionally it had been
possible to ‘get through’ portions of it, but even
these portions had been so misunderstood and confused
by the human minds through which they had been passed,
that they had become not merely worthless, but
frequently harmful. The facilities which our circle
appeared to offer had encouraged the Superior to make
another attempt; but we were warned – in terms that
were particularly cold and impersonal – everything
would depend on the result of the tests to which, as a
circle, we would be submitted.”

This is exactly what happened eighty years
later, with the Scole group! Not only should we ‘test
the spirits’ but the spirits themselves certainly test
us, to see if we are worthy transmitters through which
to convey their important communications.

[to be continued]. Richard R.

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