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1933 A Cheery Religion Time Magazine

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1933 A Cheery Religion Time Magazine Empty 1933 A Cheery Religion Time Magazine

Post by Admin Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:41 am

Monday, Jul. 03, 1933 Time Magazine
Cheery Religion

A self-respecting Spiritualist is a religious person. He may belong to any one of half a dozen Spiritualist organizations and hold to his private religious or ethical beliefs, but he is sure to trust in life after death and communication between two worlds by means of mediums. To become a Spiritualist minister and be designated "Reverend" he must be high-school educated and take a three-year course (in residence or by correspondence) at a school in London, Los Angeles or Whitewater, Wis.

Like other groups, Spiritualists are incorporated where state laws require it. Hence they may perform religious marriage ceremonies (which do not differ from those of other Christian sects). Spiritualists resent being classed with fortune-tellers and crystal-gazers (while professional magicians delight thus to classify them). Church services are usually on Sunday night, with hymn-singing, invocation, Bible-reading, lecture and—central feature which Spiritualists regard as their "Communion"—a séance. With the minister or a visiting medium officiating, messages are received from the other world. The congregation may applaud, chat. Cheeriness is the note.

In Manhattan's garish Hotel Astor last week met the 37th annual convention of the General Assembly of Spiritualists, a U. S. Group which claims 5,000,000 members. (Representatives of 30,000,000— they say*—world Spiritualists meet in international congress every four years.) The avowed purpose of the General Assembly is to keep spurious mediums out of the ranks. Last week it voted to stiffen examinations and raise qualifications. The convention frowned especially upon "yogis, yamas, gamas and other 'amas.''

For the first time in its history the Assembly opened its meetings (at 50¢ and 75¢ admission per person) to the public. On view were its star performers. Dr. John Heiss, elected president, is a business-like pastor of a Spiritualist church in Jamaica, L. I., publisher of small Long Island newspapers. He announced formation of an education bureau to train Spiritualist missionaries. Rev. Charles J. Morrow of Buffalo, plump and bald, is a "clairaudion." He hears voices in his left ear. In 1931 Spiritualist Morrow predicted that Mussolini would die. Last week Spiritualist Morrow fished questions out of a basket, told several women they were to go on trips.

Spiritualism's "Grand Old Man" was at the convention last week—white-haired, leonine Dr. Alexander J. Mclvor-Tyndall, 92. British-born, he studied medicine, turned to Spiritualism propounding the theory that thought, hidden in the recesses of the brain, may be brought out and photographed. Dr. Mclvor-Tyndall. has helped Scotland Yard with murder cases, notably that of a Mrs. Florence Maybrick who was convicted of poisoning her husband. He protested her innocence, was proven right when another person confessed. Last week Dr. Mclvor-Tyndall spoke to the convention on "The Dynamic Message of Spiritualism." Four times he asked the audience to arise and say: "I am filled with life and joy and health." At length he told everyone to close their eyes while he invited them to voyage with him, murmuring: "Now you are over the building. Now you are going over Times Square and the Times. Now you are going down Broadway and you pass the American and the Journal. Now we will come back. Open your parachutes and drop!"

The audience descended safely, opened their eyes, found themselves once more in the brummagem Astor ballroom. "Was that not a great trip, the best trip you ever had?" asked Dr. Mclvor-Tyndall. The audience applauded.

*But, since Spiritualists keep no memberships, no one knows.

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