The summer of 2010 is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and in tribute to the heroism of those who took part in that great event, and in memory of all those who lost their lives, I would like to post a series of articles on Spirt Rescue work, starting with that which was undertaken by Lord Dowding, after he retired from the Air Force. After investigating the work of mediums, he became an ardent advocate of Spiritualism,and Roy Stemman in his most recent Paranormal Review has paid an admirable tribute to him and the importance of his work.
Rescue work in home circles and local gatherings has been a significant aspect of mediumship probably since early civilization. During the two world wars and in the lesser conflicts since, many people in the armed forces and civilians alike, met sudden or slow and painful death. At present, in times of great natural and man-made disasters, wars and acts of terrorism,many more are dying unexpectedly and left in confusion. Rescue work is still needed, after 9/11,Iraq, Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and the present floods in Pakistan. We can all help with our thoughts and prayers if we can’t directly join a rescue circle.
As this is an ongoing project, and as not so much is published about this aspect of Spiritualism, Iam starting by offering a few extracts from Lord Dowding’s experiences with the home circle probably of Margaret
Flavell, in Wimbledon, London, early in 1944. They are taken from Dowding’s book “God’s Magic: An Aspect of Spiritualism” published in 1946 by the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain. Earlier accounts are given in his other books, “Lychgate,” and “Many Mansions” and "The Dark Star." This heroic serviceman devoted the last thirty years of his life to Spiritualism, and his books remain landmarks in the movement. He was tactful about disclosing names, as mediums often preferred to remain anonymous back then, since there was still much persecution by the church and the police.
From Lord Dowding’s notes:-
“Awakening work was the commonest type during the war, when casualties were heavy and when the crowds in the astral were continually being reinforced by fresh contingents of men suddenly wiped out of earthly existence and quite unaware of what had happened to them.
“What generally used to occur was that we would be sitting in the drawing room of the lady who acted as medium and whom I have designated L.L. for the purpose of these records. All the surroundings would be quite normal in ordinary or artificial light according to the time of year. Then L.L. perhaps would say, “Here are three paratroopers from Normandy.” Or “Here is the crew of a bomber who think that they have come down in the Ruhr,” or something like that, and then we would hold them in quiet conversation while
those on the other side were working on them to raise their vibrations: and after a bit they would begin to notice something strange in our appearance, something different from themselves, or, by trying to shake hands or to slap me on the back they would discover that we were intangible and the little shock of the
discovery would bring realization, but somehow or other they always eventually tumbled to what had happened, and then they could see the friends who had come to meet them and they would all go off happily together.
“Remember that I could never see or hear
anything. I relied on L.L. to tell me what was
happening, but when I talked with to our visitors they would generally see me and hear me without any intermediary. Daisy, the third member of the circle, was usually present.
“[On the first occasion] we had finished our healing circle when Chang the guide told us that he had someone for us to awaken.
LL “It is an American flying boy (serviceman); he can’t see us or anything yet. Will you conduct the conversation? I shall be too far away. [From this point LL was in a semi-trance. She spoke with a strong American accent and her face worked in accordance with
the emotions of the boy.]
American: “Say, what’s this? Where am I?”
Dowding: “It’s all right. You have been brought to us so that we may help you.”
American: “Oh, never mind about me! Help the others. I’ve just seen one of them have his leg snapped off by a croc.”
Dowding: It’s all right. The others are being helped. [But he was difficult to pacify. He wanted me to go and help them.] Can you see me now?”
American: “Sure I can see you. But you keep onacting funny; kinda shimmering like a bad movie.”
Dowding: “Yes. I want you to look closely at us and you will see that we do not look solid and real to you. And when you can see that we are not real, then you will be able to see the others who have come to help you.”
American: “Say, where am I?”
Dowding: “You are in England.”
American: “Well, that’s a good one! We were flying over _____. No, I mustn’t tell you; but one of those ****** Japs got us and we couldn’t stay in the air.”
Dowding: You came down out of control?”
American: “We were on fire. But we all got out except Tubby. Tubby was in the tail. A damned death-trap that is! Sorry I can’t tell you where we were flying.”
Dowding: “Never mind about the Official Secrets Act now; it doesn’t affect you any more. I tell you again that this is England – just near London.”
American: “Say, I’ve always wanted to visit
England, but I never thought it would be like this. But who are you, anyway?”
Dowding: “You’ve been brought to me so that I may help you.”
American: “Yes, but who are you?”
Dowding: “Well, you’ve heard of the Battle of Britain. Did you ever hear of Sir Hugh Dowding?”
American: Why, yes; sure I’ve heard of him. I know old Dowding.”
Dowding: “Well, I’m old Dowding, I really am. Come on, now, put your hand on my shoulder.”
American: “How can I put my hand on your shoulder when you keep jumping about?” (Of course, I hadn’t moved.)
Dowding: “All right, then. Smack me on the back. A good hard one.”
American : (tries it and encounters no resistance) “Gosh! Are you a ghost?”
Dowding: No, I am not a ghost.
American: Am I a ghost, then?
Dowding: No. What has happened is that you and I are in different worlds.
American: How do you mean, different worlds? You just said we were both here in England. (Suddenly he realizes, and his face puckers up into an expression of agony.) Why, I haven’t been all that bad; I don’t have to go to hell!
Dowding: No, no, no. You aren’t going to hell. We’re just trying to wake you up so that you can go and join all your friends.
American: (suddenly seeing some of his fellow airmen) Why Mac! How in hell did YOU get here? (to me) I’ll be all right now. Mac’s a great guy. Mac taught me to fly. ……(he talks to Mac for a while). Say, I understand now. Mac got his too (was killed) (He sees Tubby). Why, Tubby, how did you get here?
Tubby: We’re all here. We’ve been here all the time, but we couldn’t see one another nor see you; we could only hear your voice. (Now they can all see one another and are talking together.)
Chang (the medium’s guide, having lived in ancient China, does not understand airplanes) : Will you tell me what is the quality of the men who sit in the front of your flying birds? Are they the leaders?
Are they in command?
Dowding: Yes. They are called the pilots. They control the aeroplane (airplane). When they pull the (joy-)stick the nose goes up, and when they push it the nose goes down. They steer to the right or left with their feet.
The American boy was a youngster, not more than about 20, with a round baby face, straight fair hair and very blue eyes. They all went off happily together.”
At other times, helpers like Dowding’s first wife,Clarice, assuming the appearance of a Red Cross Nurse for the occasion, would lead these lost souls to the next phase of their existence. Clarice had died in 1920 of appendicitis, but was a very active member of
this rescue circle. They had a daughter and a son,but Lord Dowding did not remarry until 1950.
Lord Dowding concludes his account of this rescue work by remarking “ Now, I shouldn’t like anyone to get the idea this is the only way in which these lads awakened to their new life, or that we are the only operators of this particular method. Quite a number of people are engaged in this work, but for some
reason or another it is very little known. Also you must remember that every little drama, such as I have described, is watched by numbers of unseen spectators who see what is happening and apply the illuminations (realizations and awakenings) to their own condition.
“There is another aspect to these activities: I believe that they are arranged to some extent for our own education.. Anyhow, our work never seems to get into a groove; so soon as we become accustomed to one form of activity, the nature of the work changes
and we find ourselves doing something else.”
While a movie was later being made of the Battle of Britain, Dowding visited the studio set in 1968 two years before his death, and felt he was home again. Sir Laurence Olivier played his role. When medium Ena Twigg attended the memorial service held at
Westminster Abbey in March, 1970 in honor of his ‘Battle of Britain Victory,’ she noticed “as the service began, a vision in glorious color unfolded before my eyes. First I saw a formation of airplanes flying past. Then Lord Dowding appeared between two vases of roses near the altar, at full attention,
saluting. He was radiant and looked thirty years younger – as he must have looked during the Battle of Britain. Then as the organ music soared, hundreds of spirit faces belonging to former RAF members formed in clouds around him.” There was no division into
different sects and organizations in this service. Everyone came together from all faiths to honor his memory.
[Compiled by Richard R.]
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