A Major Church Discovers the Truth of Direct Spiritual Contact .
(And why you probably have never heard about it !)
By Stephen William.
Stephen William is a UK based Spiritual Medium and Healer of over 20 years’ experience. He is also the author of “NOSTRADAMUS HIS PROPHECY FINALLY EXPLAINED”. Available now on Amazon Kindle.
In 1937, due to the rising popularity of popularity of Spiritualism in the United Kingdom and the rest of the developed world, The Church of England decided to set up an Inquiry into Spiritualism.
The American equivalent of the Church of England is the Episcopal Church. They are both members of the Anglican Communion which has eighty-five million members. It therefore is the third biggest Christian Communion in the World , after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
This inquiry seems to have been prompted by the aftermath of World War One, when many people turned to spiritual mediums to contact their dead relatives who had been killed tragically in the War, or in the Spanish Flu pandemic which swept the world in 1918-20. Conventional religions did not appear to provide comfort for grieving relatives of many young people taken before their time it seemed. Proof of their continued existence seemed to provide solace to the bereaved.
This understandably was a cause of concern to Anglican Christian ministers, as it was contrary to Biblical teaching from the Book of Leviticus onwards. However, what obviously concerned the hierarchy of the Church of England, was this contact of the dead, genuine or faked? Setting up an Inquiry which would prove these “contacts” ,” “readings” ,”seances” etc.etc. to be frauds would help the faithful to ignore the attraction of direct spiritual contact.. Contacting the dead via spiritual mediums is banned in the Bible as mentioned, but surely they must have reasoned that modern rational methods would prove the mediums were fakes anyway?
Therefore, the Church of England presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most prominent clergyman in the Anglican Communion, Dr Cosmo Lang , set up a committee of high- ranking Church ministers and lay people to investigate the phenomena. These were selected for their intellect and knowledge to investigate Spiritual Mediums and their practices. This committee included the then best-known British Psychiatrist and Psychologist Dr William Brown. He had already investigated a well- known clairvoyant and had declared her to be fraudulent in some of her practices. So, it must have seemed he was just the right person for the job!
This committee set about its task and nearly a year later in 1938, it duly delivered its Majority Report to the Archbishop and some other very senior Bishops. Unfortunately to their obvious discomfort, the committee by a clear majority vote, had decided that direct spiritual contact with departed spirits was a proven reality ! Even the small minority of members that did not vote for the proposition , merely reserved their judgement, and did not vote against it !
Clearly this presented a problem for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other senior Bishops. The findings not only confirmed some mediums could in fact successfully contact deceased human spirits, but the report also suggested that such contact could reinforce people’s faith in the afterlife and not compromise Christian beliefs. This potential spiritual “bombshell” could cause many theological problems for a conventional faith- based Church.
It was therefore decided not to publish the Report. It was not even to be distributed to more junior members of the Church clergy ,including many bishops. To be fair to the senior hierarchy of the Church, not only would the findings cause a storm of controversy within its own Church and its followers ,(the Church of England is the biggest religion in the UK and the reigning King or Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church) but could cause problems with relationships with other Christian churches as well.
Also, the British nation was heading towards a probable war with Nazi Germany and its ally Fascist Italy. The probability of war with two heavily armed tyrannical opponents was very disturbing and the Church probably believed to have a public debate on basic and long held religious beliefs, would be disastrous to public morale.
The problem with this stance was that some members of the committee were very frustrated with the lack of publication of their revolutionary findings and diligent work. So, it appears after a while, some contacted the British Press both “broadsheet” and “tabloid”, hinting at the contents of the report. As you can imagine this was “hot news” and reported widely in the UK of the Report’s possible contents and the Church’s apparent cravenness in not publishing the Report !
However, World War Two now had started and the nation was involved in a life and death struggle against Nazi Germany. Given this scenario , the publication of such a controversial document must have not been seen as an important priority to a besieged nation’s main Church. Nevertheless, questions in the Press on its lack of publication persisted and this culminated in the leading spiritualist magazine “Psychic News” publishing a pamphlet in 1942, called the “ The Silence of Dr Lang”. This heavily criticized the Church and speculated that direct spiritual communication had been demonstrated to be factually true to leading clergymen. Also, that Spiritualism could be a valid and helpful part of Christian belief.
Still however the Church refused to publish this Report and its controversial contents. This situation persisted for nearly thirty years, until one day, an anonymously typed copy of the report was mailed to the then editor of the Psychic News ! He immediately sent a copy of it to one of the members of the original the Report committee and asked if it was genuine . It came back with a few grammatical corrections ,but no correction to its contents. Emboldened by this, he then sent a copy to the then current Archbishop of Canterbury announcing his intention to publish. The answer he received back criticized his decision to publish it, however more importantly no denial of its contents ! The Psychic News then published the document with a foreword by its Editor. Its impact was immediate . Newspapers and other churches around the world were obviously demanding to know if its contents were true and what was the current Church’s leadership views on the subject !?
As before the Church’s defence was to say nothing publicly and to continue to refuse to publish the Report. Eventually the furor died down and the situation remained the same for nearly another two decades, until the Church finally DID publish it in the 1980s. However, by then the Report was nearly fifty years old and traditional religious belief was waning throughout the world in all religions. Not much controversy ensued and its delayed publication appeared to indicate the Church did not actually believe in the findings. It is now largely forgotten and that is why I am writing this article, to revive interest in it.
To myself, the terribly long delay in the publication of this Report was a massive, missed opportunity for not only that Church ,but for everybody of spiritual inclination and practice, whether they be conventional religious believers or are more mystical in their approach to the spiritual side of existence. In this increasingly materialistic world ,here was proof of the afterlife and a non -physical dimension to existence proven to senior conventional church people and a scientifically trained expert. However, it was wasted. In our logic driven and evidence requiring modern world , people quite reasonably demand evidence of something’s reality before believing in it. Conventional belief in religion is in decline, in a rising percentage of the population of the developed world. Modern people generally do not wish to be seen as illogical and need a logical reason to accept a spiritual dimension to existence. The consequence of this lack of proof, is the lack of spiritual acceptance amongst much of the modern population . The possible casualty of this is the eventual loss of relevance of the great spiritual teachings of the past , such as those from Jesus, Moses, Buddha etc. The potential casualty in the future , is an even more materialistic and careless society.
Also, the lack of evidential proof of the continuation of life after physical death, causes great misery for many people. Sometimes it is the loss of a partner, a child or some loved relative and the possibility of never able to communicate with them again, which originally prompted the Church’s investigation into direct spiritual communication. Or it is their own unsatisfying life experience with only the prospect of personal extinction at end of it. Yet here is the world’s third biggest Christian religion exploration of supernatural communication, demonstrating it is an actual reality and not just an act of hopeful faith.
To spiritual and mystical minded people everywhere , this document can be justification that they are not just idealistic and naïve dreamers ,but practical truth seekers ,who offer a realistic way of dealing with the paradoxes of physical existence.
If you wish to obtain an e-copy of the Psychic News’s version of the Church of England’s 1938 Majority Report, Psychic News have very kindly allowed me to distribute it to anybody who wish to see it. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Stephen William International Copyright
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