Insanity and Spiritism
THE claim has frequently been made by medical men that a
belief in and adherence to Spiritism conduce to mental unbalance. The
assertion has been most strenuously denied by leaders in the spiritistic
cult, and yet those who make it, apparently do so in the utmost good
faith. Mr. T. Massie, M. B., says:
"I have had twenty years' experience in investigating the
mental condition of some 2,500 alleged lunatics. From such persons I
have heard many statements assuring me of the presence of spirit
forms. I have never had any hesitation in certifying such persons to
be fit for an asylum treatment." -- Sunday Times, Sept. 9,
A Spiritist writer hopes "Mr. Massie discovered something more
in each of his patients which justified their being incarcerated in a
lunatic asylum than their gift of clairvoyance. -- "The Proofs
of the Truths of Spiritualism," by Henslow, p. 140. It is very
evident that he did, and that he found the one thing leading into the
other, and considered that asylum treatment might save the individual
from complete loss of reason. We personally know of such results
following a continuance of such experiences.
Rev. Dr. Hastings, in a powerful sermon against Spiritism, delivered
in Holburn United Free Church, Aberdeen, Scotland, "quoted from an
eminent superintendent of a Royal Lunatic Asylum to show that many
people were prejudicially affected, and insanity ensued, through
dabbling in Spiritism."-- Christian Herald, April 15, 1920.
He declared that Spiritism was unavailing in the work of establishing
communion between man and God, "because it had no message to the
heart and the life from Christ or from God." It does not even claim
that it has any such message, but only messages from the dead, who,
according to the Word, are utterly unable to give any mess ages to
More than this, Spiritism teaches that men themselves are gods, puts
God Himself beyond the reach of, and entirely out of communion with, the
spiritually hungry souls who need Him, and repudiates the entire
redemptive work of Jesus Christ. No message that has ever come through
those who claim to be the spirits of the dead, has ever helped any soul
to come into communion with the heavenly Father, or strengthened faith
in the gospel, or upheld the Lord Jesus as the propitiation for the sins
of the people. On the other hand, these messages, while claiming Jesus
as a great teacher, have disputed every claim to Deity on His part, thus
setting Him forth as an impostor, and denouncing the idea that His
sacrifice on Calvary was or ever will be efficacious in washing the
guilt of sin from any human being. Furthermore, some at least of the
messages that have come from these alleged spirits of the dead have
driven men and women into asylums for the insane or spurred them on to
Dr. A. Maxwell Williamson, medical officer of health for the city of
Edinburgh, published the following statement in a Scottish newspaper:
"The overwhelming majority of those who dabble in Spiritualism
are neurotic. I had a man here in my room recently who had visions. I
had to tell him quite frankly, as a medical man, that if he encouraged
these, he would find himself very seriously ill, and in danger of
mental disturbance. Those who suffer from these practices are really
on the same plane as victims of shell shock.
"Unless Spiritualism is checked, it will mean social suicide.
We must put our heel on this contamination. Clean minds and healthy
thinking will give us A-1 men: this thing will breed weaklings. It is
un-Christian, unscientific, and from a national point of view its
spread means a mental and physical deterioration."--Southern
Cross, Dec. 3, 1920.
Spiritists will denounce this testimony as that of one who is biased
and bigoted; but those who are fair minded and are not wholly captivated
by the Spiritist propaganda, must give Dr. Williamson credit for giving
sincere testimony, based on experience with the results of the teachings
and practices of Spiritism. He has found the results pernicious.
The Rev. S. H. Anderson, of the Paris City Mission, writes in the Christian:
"Recently, after celebrating a marriage service, I asked the
bridegroom news of his uncle, who had been a leader of necromancers in
Mauritius. The young man answered: 'He lost his reason, and died in a
lunatic asylum.' Some time ago, preaching in a McAIl Mission Hall, at
8 Boulevarde Bonne Nouvelle in Paris, against Spiritism (as
'Spiritualism' is styled in France), I showed how the Word of God
condemns it. Thereafter, a gentlemen came and thanked me for my
address, and said: 'We were seven friends who used to consult the
spirits of the dead. Six became insane and were interned in a lunatic
asylum. Seeing that, I gave up Spiritism, and providentially came to
hear the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, and am now a believer."
Says Elliot O'Donnell, in his book, "Spiritualism Explained:
"It is an indisputable fact that the lunatic asylums at this
very moment are full of people who have become insane simply through
attending spiritualist sťances."
The editor of the Harbinger of Light (July 1, 1921) refers to
this statement as "the lunacy myth," and dismisses it thus:
"If it [the statement referred to] contained a modicum of
truth, we should begin to feel alarmed at being associated with a
cause that could possibly produce such direful results."
He declares it to be "based either upon whirling imagination or
deliberate falsehood." In our opinion it is based upon neither, but
upon the observation of the results of the belief in, and the practice
of, Spiritism. There is much more than a modicum of truth in the
statement, and it would be well if all -- Spiritists as well as those
not yet fully ensnared -- would become alarmed at being associated with
a cause that produces such direful results."
Spiritism, denying both the Christ and the God of the Bible, and
declaring the Bible itself to be only a compilation of myths and
legends, has flung down a challenge to Christianity, and sends us for
wisdom and consolation and guidance to the gibbering, muttering,
incoherent testimonies of spirit mediums, who, professing to speak for
the dead, are voicing the sentiments of fallen angels.
With our Bible gone, we would turn for a cheerless
"comfort" to the cold and dumb lips of the tomb. With our
Saviour gone, we would turn for salvation to the contradictory and
whimsical mouthings of spirit mediums, that throw us back upon our own
sin-smeared record for a passport to the habitation of immaculate
Divinity. With God where Spiritism puts Him, He is beyond our utmost
reach, and we are left without hope and without God in a world sodden in
sin and speeding to its doom. With such a cheerless outlook, and with
voices whispering suggestions of suicide, is it any wonder that many
minds break under the strain, and insanity or self-destruction ensues?
It would be almost a miracle if there were no such results.
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