Biographies – Kardec & Contemporaries

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Allan Kardec 1804 – 1869

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Founder and codifier of Spiritism, Allan Kardec established a body of doctrine from a study of messages received by several mediums.  The Spirits’ Book was the first philosophical approach of Spiritism as  “the teachings given by the superior Spirits through the aid of diverse mediums.”  There we encounter all of the fundamental spiritist principles that define the universal and Divine laws.

To be born, die, be reborn yet again, and constantly progress, that is the Law

All effects have a cause, all intelligent effects have an intelligent cause, and the power of the intelligent cause is in proportion to the size of the effect”

 

Arthur Conan Doyle 1859 – 1930

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A British physician and writer, the creator of Sherlock Holmes was also a strong advocate of Spiritism and the author of Spiritist works.

“Either observers are liars or fools, or their observations are true.  When I say, without a doubt, that I have seen both my mother and my nephew in the presence of witnesses, while both were dead, it is clear that I belong to one or the other of these categories.  I leave to those who know me all of my work to decide.”

 

Camille Flammarion 1842 – 1925

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French astronomer, founder of the “Astronomical Society of France,” Camille Flammarion is the author of several spiritist works in which he reported a large number of testimonials from post mortem manifestations.   He hoped to guide spiritist research through a resolutely scientific demonstration, sometimes criticizing his contemporaries’ religious drift towards the spiritist phenomena.

“I do not hesitate to say that the one who declares the spiritist phenomena contrary to science does not know what he is talking about.  In effect, it is natural, there is nothing supernatural about it, there is only what is unknown; but yesterday’s unknown becomes tomorrow’s truth.”

 

Cesare Lombroso 1835 – 1909

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Italian criminologist and psychiatrist, Lombroso, after having denied for some time the possibility of communicating with the beyond, came to be a strong advocate of the spiritist cause.

“Treating spiritism as a fraud, are those who dispense with rational thought (…) I am embarrassed to have fought the possibility of spiritist phenomena.”

 

Gabriel Delanne 1857 – 1926

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French electrical engineer, Gabriel Delanne continued the work of the founder of spiritism, which he came to know in youth.  His father, Alexander, was a spiritist and friend of Allan Kardec.

At a time when metapsychology itself came to scientifically study the spiritist phenomena, Gabriel Delanne participated in this research, attending ectoplasmic sessions (seances), while remaining true to the spiritist philosophy which was notably developed in his work, “The immortal Soul” or “The Soul is immortal” (“L’âme est immortelle”).

He is the author of several books including “Spiritism before science” or “Le spiritisme devant la science”

“Is it reasonable to deny without studying or is it wise to refer to those who actually experimented with the necessary prudence?”

 

Gustave Geley 1868 – 1924

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French physician, Gustave Geley co-founded the “International Metapsychology Institute” in Paris, created in 1919, in order to conduct a scientific study of the spiritist phenomena.  He was one of the principal investigators of the ectoplasmic phenomena with several mediums including Frank Kluski and Jean Gusik.  He is known for having developed the technique of ectoplasmic moulds leaving to posterity the unmistakable traces of evidence.

“The knowledge of changing conditions (environmental influence, struggle for life, natural selection) cannot exclude the idea of a first cause, nor a final cause.”

 

Léon Denis 1846 – 1927

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French autodidact, speaker and author of spiritist works, Léon Denis was an ardent propagator of spiritism.  Considered one of the successors of Allan Kardec, he left an abundant spiritist literature, addressing social issues and clearly demarcating the Church as seen in his work, “Christianity and Spiritism” (“Christianisme et spiritisme”).

“For all who study spiritist phenomena with impartiality and know how to identify the laws, these phenomena are caused by independent entities, by the spirits of the dead.”

 

Oliver Lodge 1851 – 1940

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Professor, British physicist, president of the University of Birmingham, Oliver Lodge was the author of spiritist books.  He was a member of the “Ghost Club” and chaired the “Society for Psychical research.” He sought out mediums as the result of his son’s Raymond’s death in 1915 during the First World War.

“I identify myself as a spiritist because, after more than twenty years of study, I had to accept the phenomena as a reality.”

 

Pierre Gaètan Leymarie 1817 – 1901

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Born in Tulle in Corrèze, P.G. Leymarie arrived early in Paris due to a scenario that unraveled.  Following the 1857 coup d’état, he was exiled and returned to France after having been granted amnesty.  Reading was his passion, no matter the subject, political, social, religious or literary.  He became one of the most ardent followers of Allan Kardec.  After the death of the founder of Spiritism, he was appointed director of the spiritist society and became the editor and director of the Spiritist Magazine (La Revue spirite).  In 1878 he organized the “Scientific Society of Psychological Studies.” It disseminated the translations of the works of Allan Kardec around the world.

He died on April 10th, 1901 and according to his wishes, his body was cremated and buried alongside his wife Marina Augustine Leymarie at Père Lachaise cemetery.  The tomb sits atop a small dolmen which reads on its façade: “To die is to leave the shadow to enter into the light.”

 

Thomas Edison 1847 – 1931

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Famous American inventor, Thomas Edison was convinced of the possible manifestation of spirits; He even tried to build a machine to communicate with the beyond.

“I have now reached a point where I feel compelled by a positive finding and following my research, to strongly support the view that there is life after death.  I am even inclined to support spiritism and its principle that communications between the earthly world and the one where the dead are is possible.”

 

Victor Hugo 1802 – 1885

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The Jersey experiments are a foreshadowing of a nascent spiritism that will come with Allan Kardec.  During his exile Victor Hugo is initiated at the turning tables by Delphine de Girardin.  His son Charles became the medium of mysterious entities who sign Dante, Molière, Shakespeare or The Lion of Androcles, the drama, the wind…

“Avoiding the spiritist phenomena, is to cause the bankruptcy of the attention to which it is entitled, it is to cause the bankruptcy of the truth.”

 

Victorien Sardou 1831 – 1908

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Playwright Victorien Sardou was also a fervent adherent of spiritism and a drawing medium.  During the spiritist and spiritualist congress of Paris in 1900, he held the role of honorary president.

“When one does not have the fortune, of being a medium as I once was, to be convinced by their own experiences or in observing, in the required conditions, the phenomena produced by the very potent mediums, the best one can do is guard against the salon experiences that are pure infatility, or the ones who vainly attempt to by themselves and who are not good will deter those who seek the truth.   He must therefore stick to the testimony of the learned around the world, whose names I do not recall, that, after having studied the facts, to demonstrate the falsity, had the good decency to make honorable amends in affirming their convictions.  If spiritism was only a farce, a fine day would come when it would no longer matter, whereas these days we count its adherents in the millions.”

William Crookes 1832 – 1919

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British physicist and chemist, member of the Royal Society, William Crookes was an experimenter of ectoplasmic phenomena and materializations.   Thanks to a young medium named Florence Cook, he obtained numerous times the complete materialization of the phantom of the spirit of Katie King.

“Having assured myself of the reality of the spirit phenomena, it would be moral cowardice to refuse them my testimony:  I am not say that this is possible, I say it is!”