CONCERNING SPIRIT POSSESSION
(Clarkson Dye Makes Inquiries)
|"To the Round Robin Editor:||September 1, 1946.|
Referring to your inquiry concerning doubles, the following may be of interest: I wrote to all the mental institutions in California recently, making inquiry concerning cases of split personality and possible 'possession', and received replies from most of them. I send you a copy of one letter; the others were virtually the same:
"It will be appreciated if the need of your Psychiatric Department will furnish information regarding the following: / I have recently finished reading ... Wherein the authors assert that many of the supposed insane are really victims of 'possession', and that pathological and heredity case histories fail to reveal these elements . . . Will you advise me whether you have noted cases of split or dual personality wherein such a presumption could be logically entertained...?"
(Note: We have combined two separate communications from Mr. Dye, and have greatly abbreviated his letter to the various institutions.)
Replies from Mental Institutions:
|1.||"We do not believe that mental conditions are due to 'split' or dual personalities, as you call them."|
|2.||"In my own experience a splitting of personality or a dual personality, as noted in cases of dementia praecox, have been frequently seen, but I have never been led to presume that such patients were suffering from a possession."|
|3.||"The concept of patients being the victims of 'possession' smacks of mediaeval times ... altho the basic difficulty is not clear in many of the types."|
|4.||"The theory of demonical (sic) possession as a cause for disease has for many years been completely and universally discarded by scientific men."|
|5.||"In our experience we have never noted cases of dual personality wherein a reasonable presumption could be entertained that the patient could be suffering from possession. No credence is placed in such belief at the present time."|
|6.||"There are many cases of 'split personality' which are found in the schizophrenic group; but it is felt that this is not due to the patient's suffering from 'possession'." (Napa Insane Asylum)|
|7.||"There are no doubt patients who suffer with a split or dual personality... we are satisfied with the theory that most mental disorders are either inherited or arise from inherent weaknesses." (Camarillo State Hospital)|
|8.||"Admittedly, certain instances of split personality seemingly are due to 'possession', but this is only the subjective explanation given by the patient... The most recent instance occurred in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1936." (Langley-Porter Clinic of San Francisco)|
|9.||"The recorded material appears to be controversial and inconclusive (i.e. regarding dual personalities, or demoniacal possession. No comment given in reply as to attitude of criminologists)." (San Quentin Penitentiary)|
|10.||Folsom Penitentiary; inquiry was referred to the diagnostic Clinic at San Quentin, v.9 sup.|
We refrain, with unbelievable self-control, from making any extended comment at this time; merely mark the whole thing Exhibit A, the case for and against contemporary psychiatry - and wait hopefully for comments from our readers.
THREAD FROM THE LABYRINTH
(F.G.H. Comments on a Round Robin article)
"I would like to comment on Thread from the Labyrinth in RR 9. I fully agree with the stand taken and have preached it for many years. As a Helper I have been aware of it and have done my best to alleviate the misery... Those so stranded are on the etheric and two lowest astral planes - thru their own faults and mistakes. Anyone who has even a modicum of love in his own family will be taken care of by those who went before, even for a long time. Love is the only currency that has validity across the Divide. But much more should and could be done to help these victims of their own ignorance.
"There is quite a bit of organized effort to help the newly dead. Nobody, however lonely his death, passes over without the 'reception committee' being present, which not only does the necessary physical chores of the passing over, but also is there with help and advice. It is only when this help and advice is rejected that a person gets lost.
"Among the organizations which help their members the most prominent are some of the Churches. The Catholic Church takes plenty of care of its members, but the results are often not very beneficial, as that Church is interested more in the maintenance of its membership than the benefit of its individual members. The best care, I have found, is taken by the Mormon and Quaker groups. These have well-organized welfare groups on the other side, and take the best care of the needs of their members, and of many outsiders too. Then there are the better fraternal organizations, especially some of the Masonic Lodges. And, of course, the Brotherhood in all its ramifications. But the hands of many helpers are tied by the karmic load of those they would be glad to help. One who has led a cold and selfish life, gratified only his own selfish desires, regardless of the cost to others, is damned to this experience as part of his punishment and education, and no helping hand can reach him."
to the Editor.
When M.R. of Clearwater (Fla.) wrote us the following letter, she had no remotest idea of its being published; maybe ye editor's neck will soon be very sore. But readers like letters, we have been told, and this one is all about pendulums, a recent Round Robin subject, and hence good for doubting Thomases, and besides all that it's a clever letter from a very clever young woman, and our snow-white whiskers wag in appreciation of it. Now, if you and you will only sit down and do like wise! . . .
"Dear Round Robin Editor: The article on the pendulum intrigued me very much. Last fall I met a man who claimed to sex papayas with it, and showed me how. AND IT WORKS! I told a friend about it and he sent me a quote from RR about the British doctors. So, blithely, I set out to sell an article about it. Of course, nobody touched it, but here are the details, and I cross my heart it works!
Mr. Nordstrom, I feel sure, would not object to the use of his name if you wish. He gave me leave to write about him. Emil A. Nordstrom, Director of U.S. Housing Authority in St. Petersburg, Fla., an engineer there for some 20 years, and before that with B.F. Goodrich and other big firms. No mysticism about him. An old German told him about the pendulum and he had a big laugh. But he and his wife grow lots of fruit trees, and the papaya, as you probably know, is a pest.
It not only has sex, but sometimes the sex seems to change before it is full grown, and orthodox methods don't show it for 15-18 months. And of course growers waste a lot of room on worthless males. One day he was bored, and he tried the nail and string. Just an ordinary big nail, from the top of a ladder directly over the tuft of leaves at the top. Of course he knew the sex of these plants, but finding it worked 100% he bought 200 small ones in cans, lined them up, made test markers and got busy. The months went by, the papayas flowered - and not a single one fooled him, out of 200! But of course the county agent and everybody else just chortled.
The odd thing is, that the old German was a dowser, but he couldn't do the papaya stunt at all. And Mrs. Nordstrom, who gets a slight reaction over the papayas, took the old German's dowsing stick and found it worked for her. But it wouldn't move for her husband at all, tho the string and nail whirled round at a great rate over the papayas. He has let lots of his friends try it. Some can and some can't. He thinks pious neuter people can't do it.
For the male papaya it swings in a gradually widening circle. For the female, back and forth, always east and west. And for the neuter plants that haven't decided what they will be, it skitters about in and between the two. After I learned the stunt I worked it over other plants that had sex - out too small to tell - also over the cat. But I couldn't make it work over hatching eggs, because my arm got tired too fast. But I didn't try too hard, nor a second time.
Lots of fun, anyway. And I don't think my subconscious knows the sex of papayas... I do love Round Robin, and Flying Roll too.
Sincerely - M.R.
§ M.R. is a successful writer... We add, it is a pity some University department of science will not do for the very important subject of radiesthetics, what Duke University is doing, thru Dr. Rhine's department, for telepathy, clairvoyance, and PK effects. (Ed.)
INVESTIGATION OF MYSTERIOUS PHENOMENA
Round Robin is in receipt of a letter from Mr. R. DeWitt Miller, President of the Society for Investigation of Mysterious Phenomena (457 So. Serrano Ave., Los Angeles 5), enclosing a three-page report of the I.M.P. committee appointed to investigate the claims of medium George Alvin Emberg, of Vancouver, B.C. Our space permits us to make a brief summary only, which is all the more excusable on account of the wholly negative results.
The attempt was, to show a decrease in the brightness of a strong electric light (150 watts), also various colors in the light, and possibly faces - all said to be accomplished by spirit forces working on the current within the globe itself, by mental means, and aided by the mental concentration of the medium.
Black and white photographs were taken, also Kodachrome (color film). Three negatives of the former showed no variation in the light, and no colors appeared in the latter. Colors were apparent to most observers while fixing the gaze on the light, but subsequent trials gave a similar effect, at a meeting of the Society several weeks later. No exceptions to the negative report are noted by any member of the Society.
The Editor of Round Robin is glad to present the above synopsis, since he was personally responsible for gathering a group to witness these same hoped-for phenomena, through the same medium, in San Diego. Colors were indeed observed, but later experiments showed them to be effects of optical strain from gazing at the strong light; and while two observers thought there was a diminution of light, this was not noted by any others. No instrumental tests were made at the San Diego meeting, but such results as were obtainable must be considered negative. Round Robin also wishes to make note of the competent and systematic way in which the Society conducted these tests, as shown by the report which adequately covers all arrangements, operations, and apparatus employed. And the RR Editor takes this occasion to add, that tho he is himself a spiritist in his basic acceptances, and a student of things 'occult', he strongly favors the most critical and rigid scientific study of such phenomena, provided it is carried on by men who are competent, impartial, and thoroughly informed on all sides of the questions involved. It is imperative, in the interests of humanity, that this gulf be bridged, and it is the great objective of RR to assist in this by every means possible.
Readers will understand that a negative seance report by no means reflects discredit upon the medium, nor rules out the possibility of the phenomena. Our impression of the integrity and good character of the medium in this case is entirely favorable.
The Gamma issue of Flying Roll is now ready for distribution. There are no free copies, but a copy may be had for inspection, and return if not wanted. Please state occult affiliations, if any. Price .50.
Case of Abou ben
Adhem (or, why we
Do you all remember the case of Abou ben Adhem (may his tribe increase) - who woke one night from a deep dream of peace - and saw the Angel with the book, and held brief converse with him? It now appears, according to an article in Light (Sept.) that the episode was investigated by the SIPP, or Society for the Investigation of Psychomorphic Phenomena. We have no space to quote the three pages covering this investigation - which includes almost unsatisfactory interview with Mr. ben Adhem himself - but only the intensely interesting closing paragraph, as follows:
"There remains, however, an interesting point. It is whether we should suppose that Mr. Ben Adhem, having been born with, or being otherwise possessed of, a psychorrhagic diathesis, unconsciously brought about a kind of phantasmogenetic modification of an area of space in his bedroom, as adumbrated in the case of Canon bourne, quoted in Myer's Human Personality (abridged) page 197. Or, on the other hand, whether these two experiences should be regarded as being instances, autogenous and automorphic respectively, of ordinary hallucination. There is this to be said for the first, that the second being (as always deceptively) the simpler one, it would for that reason, following the Society's accepted policy, normally be deemed the less likely one. Nevertheless, the Investigation Committee, having given exhaustive consideration to the various psychologic and other factors involved, has come to the conclusion that this case would most appropriately be assigned provisionally to category B (iii), as having consisted of two successive pseudo-veridical or Falsidical Sensory Automatisms, both of somnistic origin. The question will be considered, however, whether this point may not suitably form the subject for debate at one of the quarterly meetings of the Society."
For the Investigation Committee,
"A group of scientists would like to spend several nights in an effectively haunted house." Writer in Times makes sour comment on this, ends by quoting the villager in Silas Marner, during argument about ghosts: "As if ghos'es 'ud want to be believed in by anybody so ignirant!"
Note on astral
The cataleptic condition which frequently occurs immediately following the return to the body is extremely alarming to many experimenters. J. H. Brown, in Light (Sept.) says that to struggle against this makes matters worse; if he waits quietly the condition soon breaks. Yram also experienced this, but took the line of least resistance and went to sleep. Amateur experimenters should reckon with this condition, accept it without alarm; nevertheless some relative or friend should always be informed concerning it. Wherever there is any record of catalepsy or involuntary trance, extreme care and maximum delay are essential at the time of death.
- GOLD OF OUR OWN OPINIONS -
"And I own I love to find, as I fear I always must,
The gold of my own opinions in a fellow heap of dust."
There is a great probability now given us, thru psychical and spiritistic researches, that there is a continued existence of the soul after death, preserving a weak identity, to which new life and growth can be added...
It can be demonstrated experimentally that there is in man a principle which differs from that in a material body. Telepathic phenomena snow us the direct influence of one spirit on another without physical or material communication from the outside.
The only direct evidence for survival of the individual, is that afforded by so-called occult phenomena . . . We may fairly conjecture that we may be on the verge of something like a demonstration that individual consciousness does survive the death of the body.
(Professor N. S. Shaler)
We shall never attain a view of the sum of phenomena unless we free ourselves from the routine of the schools, and unless we attack manfully the problems of occultism and magic.
When I look over the whole field of phenomena, and consider the suppositions that must be made to escape spiritism . . . I see no reason except the suspicions of my neighbors for withholding assent.
(Professor J. H. Hyslop)
I claim that a spirit exists in man, and that it is healthy and desirable that this spirit should be capable of partial and temporary dissociation from the organism (for the sake of) increased vision and communication with other incarnate Spirits.
(F. W. H. Myers)
I believe myself that eventually there will be completely satisfactory evidence, from empirical sources, based on strictly scientific grounds, that man indeed does not die with the death of his body.
(Dr. Richard Hodgson)
The best philosophical ground for believing in survival of death by self-conscious persons was stated by Thomas Hill Green (Oxford) thus: "That it is impossible to conclude without intellectual absurdity, that an order of things which as for its visible end the construction of self-conscious personality, should ultimate in the extinction of the same."
(J. M. Whiton)
At some future day it will be proved that the human soul in earth life is in uninterrupted communication with those living in another world... I permit myself to doubt each (ghost story) in particular and yet believe in them when all taken together.
(From The Proofs of Life After Death / A Collation of Opinions / Robert J. Thompson, 360 pp)
- Thompson, Robert J. The Proofs of Life After Death: A Collation of Opinions As to Future Life. Boston: Small, Maynard and Co, 1906. Print. [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/proofsoflifeaft00thom>]