Rescue Circles. (24) Researchers and mediums return. A hangman speaks out against capital punishment. Helping lost spirits.
We still have some rescue cases from Air Chief Marshal Lord Hugh Dowding to present, and some more experiences and communications with the other side. It is interesting to note that most of those who have
contributed to Spiritualism during their lifetimes, either as researchers or mediums, have themselves, after their passing, come through other mediums to tell the story of their continuing existence
To mention a few of those whose work we have records of from both sides of the veil which we are using in this series, we can name W.T. Stead, Canon Pakenham Walsh, Frederic Myers, Oliver Lodge, Emanuel Swedenborg, Raynor Johnson, Isaac Funk, Conan Doyle, Tudor Pole, A.D. Mattson, Douglas Fawcett, Maurice Barnanell, and Hugh Dowding himself. Their
communications came through the mediumship of Mrs. Cecil Cook, Grace Cooke, Margaret Flavell, Ena Twigg, Kendrick Johnson, Estelle Roberts, Kenneth Richmond, Leslie Flint, Geraldine Cummins, Marie Cherrie, Hester
Dowden, Cynthia Sandys and many others, to all of whom we are greatly indebted.
All of us will continue to live on after our death, not just these well-known personalities. So the information we have received is a great help to us in
our preparation for the next life, as well as giving us a greater purpose in this present life.
The picture we have built up of the other side [as can also been seen in the "World Beyond" series of articles in "The Spirit World" section here,
has also been given to us piece by piece, detail by detail, by all our loved ones, our own friends and relatives who have communicated with us over the
years, proving to us that they still exist, and they
have consoled us with thoughts of love and kindness
and even trying, with good intentions, to interfere
with our lives, if that was their previous nature! We
also have our guides, angels and helpers at our side,
whether we are aware of them or not.
Part of the rescue work is to help those who have
no knowledge of spirit, and especially those low souls
who may try to obsess or possess us. The casting out
or exorcism of so-called demons or evil spirits, is a
side of our work as Spiritualists which must not be
ignored, although it is best left to experts. Not
only do the mentally ill still need help, but also the
ignorant spirits possessing some of them. Capital punishment,
forced exorcisms and consigning evil spirits to
eternal damnation (as some Christians and some members of other religions believe can happen - not Spiritualist) is not the way of Spiritualism.
Help can be given to every spirit, however evil, but
such work needs trained specialists and strong mediums
to help the work of guides and rescuing spirits on the
other side. The reason why traditional exorcisms are
so dangerous and are sometimes ineffective is because
the possessed person is rescued while the obsessing
spirit is not. He or she is cursed, "damned" and supposedly sent to hell
or oblivion. So understandably the spirit resists
ejection, and puts up a fight, using the energy of the
team of exorcists to amplify the dramatic phenomena.
If the spirit were sent into the light, or the
prophet’s light, or the Divine Light of forgiveness,
were invoked for them s well as for the victim, there
might be a calmer, more successful outcome. The
obsessing spirit might not immediately reform, but it
would be sent by helpers to where it could do no
further harm, and eventually wake up and itself be
motivated to seek help to progress and reform, as in
the case of King Henry VIII reported in this series.
Now, first let us look at another case from Lord
Dowding. This was the spirit of a brutal British
public hangman from over 200 years ago.
“I was a truly brutal type of man, such as hardly
ever is known, for I had the work of trying to hang
these poor people that did wrong.
I had no idea how terribly wicked I was, and
thought I did a brave thing that most would be too
squeamish to do, in ridding the earth of monsters of
How awful I found my mistake, for I was met by
one I had killed. He forgave me, and asked me to be
his friend, for he had few friends as he had not made
many, and these had left him when he had become a
killer. But I was a killer too, so he hoped I could
be friendly with him.
I had a terrible shock in meeting him at all, for
I had no thought of such people living any more. In
fact I had given little thought to anything that
I was just a man who felt impelled to be brave,
and had chosen this dreadful way. I found my line at
the expense of others. I now know the awful crime
this is, to kill a man; especially in cold blood, and
a man so terribly unprepared to die. For nearly all
are quite unprepared to look to be led, after death,
and wander unhappily looking to find help among
hard-hearted people who care nothing for them. I had
a true feeling that it was a bright thing to kill
these poor people, but I was the worst killer of all.
Though not so wicked as the men who told me to do this
work, for I only obeyed orders.
I think no one who thinks the kind of thought I
now have to think can be a doubter any more, that no
life should ever be taken in cold blood. This
cold-blooded murder is always the worst kind of
killing, for there is no sorrow or love to help the
poor unfortunate man who has not been successful in
finding a true purpose for his life, so needs love and
help in being assisted to his line.
For all have a line to God, and this murder of
men is the murder of God. However depraved he may be,
this depravity of execution is the failure to find God
in any way at all. This means failure to find loving
purpose in life. This is the worst failure a man can
make, for he has no hope of being an individual, but
must give up and go back to animal again [as a pack of
animals hunting, and so, tribal warfare and the
brutality of acts like the “Rape of Nanking” (1937).
A Japanese officer in that attack described how he and
his company lost all humanity and acted like animals
towards the Chinese…. And so it is in all acts of war.
But that is another debate. Richard R.].
I know now that this is the case with several
whom I killed, but I cannot help them, for I helped no
criminals in earth life, so now I must stand helpless
to be a comforter of them, even when I see them killed
as I killed.
But I try to meet them, but this is hard for they
cannot see me unless they look for someone to lead
them. Some do, but some never think to look for any
sort of help at all, but only think of despair. This
is awful, for they can see nothing but blackness, if
they look for no light. I try to be a bit of light,
for I was almost despairing when I found what I had
been doing to these poor spirits. But I cannot do
much, for I am too weak to do much myself in such
horrible darkness, for this needs strength and love to
reclaim such spirits.
That is true that many mothers have met their
poor sons, but some are in no helping condition, for
they were despairing too. This is often the reason of
their child’s despair, because they despaired; then
the baby sees only blackness instead of love, and
wonders if there is any love in the world from the
I wish people would try loving such children,
however unlovable they may seem, for this is the only
way to help them to be their true selves, as all can
be, but so few are.
I will try to help more now, for this is the
earth wave that I use, which can sometimes reach the
wanderers, but I do not understand how. Perhaps I
can be helped by many others who love these poor
people, then we will meet them with more strength. I
think I am the bolter of doors in the spirit world,
for I try to bolt the doors of blackness and turn
those away who wish to despair.
I hope I will now be more successful with this
troop to give me help, though I do not understand how.
I was the man that did this terrible work long
ago, for I had dreadful times myself, being helped by
this man I had killed. He had only been a killer
because he was chased, for he had robbed. But not
because he needed things, but because he was brave too
and had a longing to do some daring thing. This is
how he found his line, for it is the same as mine. We
both seek to do brave things; this line of courage
makes us brave to be daring now in helping others who
are brave in defying all help. But this is not easy,
so please love us, to help too. This is all you can
perhaps do. It there is a man who is brave and not
helpful, try to let him know bravery is a true line to
God, but he should be loving too.
I have the task to try to think of my name. It
was Philip Polperro. Yes, I think, but I am not sure.
I was so lost. But I know I was in this London, and
in the time of the king that was trying to be king of
I am a very low spirit, but I try to love, and be
higher by being a helper to these poor spirits who
wander lost in darkness and fog. Be loving to them
Another spirit doing rescue work was a former
stretcher bearer at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation
in 1940. He reports:
“It is true that many are lost for a long time;
but not to be endured [experienced] as time, for time
is not, there.
I think illness is often the means of saving them
from being lost at all, and they can be taught to look
for help as a child, and to try to see, then they will
have a true attitude of spirit when they die, and will
find help easily.
I think it is better to suffer trouble in earth
life than to be wandering spirits lost on earth in
confusion after death. They often try to help
themselves, though in vain, through the passers-by
who can neither see nor hear them, though they could
help by loving each other. This gives loving rays
that make it possible to light up the fog. Love is
the first thing that becomes visible to the spirit
after death. I think this is strange, but it is true.
These helpless spirits had not even looked to find
love or they would have seen it.
I think the shock of sudden death is truly
difficult for some who have not tried to love or look
to be loved except in a purely natural instinctive
sort of way.
I hope others may now hear of this, for this is
love directly applied, and a far better means of
finding these truly lost; for this too is true. They
are not visible to spirits as they cannot assume a
spirit form without some recognition that they are
spirit, tacit or actual. It is truly terrible that
many are really missing like this. I hope love can
find them all, for many are searching. William
Spirits like the above are difficult to rescue,
as observed Joe, the deceased brother-in-law of
medium Kenneth Richmond. He died in battle in the
first world war, and came through in June and July of
1918 with these messages.
“Rescue of the dull, in many ways is more
difficult than the rescue of the wicked. The dull are
like a lighted [kerosene] lantern of which the glasses
are so smoked on the inside that no light can shine
through. They can only be rescued by those who have
learnt to sense the light within although they cannot
see it. But the glasses cannot be cleaned from
outside, but only from within.
A battlefield as it is seen from the other side
has nothing of the din and smoke, and the physical
horror. Those don’t matter at all, in so far as the
impression of them remains in the minds of those who
My first impression is of a chaos of forms
striving, each striving to free himself, he does not
know from what, he does not know what he is striving
Our work is to help them, and I wonder if you can
understand how that help is carried out. In reality
we have to give them the thoughts and feelings that
will help them, first of all sympathy, then the
feeling that we understand and can explain things, so
that they will trust us and allow us to help them. In
reality it is those thoughts and feelings that we give
and we have to think jolly hard to see just what each
one really needs, and to give it him. But in
appearance we have to do a great deal to make things
easy for their minds. There is a certain amount of
harmless pretence, more than harmless, helpful; if
they’re mortally wounded they are still anxious about
the wound, they can’t realize that it is left behind
with the body, the thought form of their broken body
is with them, and we have to humour their illusion;
they get the impression of all sorts of marvelous
dressings, of doctors with unheard of abilities to
close up wounds however desperate, and to start them
healing, and of strange new ointments to take away
This is like suggestion, only it appeals to
something they already know, their knowledge of
themselves which is underneath the conviction in the
foreground that they are still wounded and in pain,
and nearly all of them are undeveloped they have to
have these thought forms, these symbols, created for
them to represent the real healing of their troubles
that is going on.
They are truly wounded spirits, because the
bodily wound is a shock to the spirit, and the spirit
carries over with it the sense of that shock, and
naturally can only think of it through the symbols of
the body. So the thought form of the shattered
physical frame is with them, and in a way we can see
it, in a way it is like dealing with bodies. It is
rather like the way in which you might dress a wound
in a dream, if you suppose that in your dream you know
all the time that it is not a wound in concrete flesh,
but that it is the thought form fro a different wound,
for the shock to the spirit.
So all spirit life for some little time after
separation from the body is in a world full of bodily
shapes. But they are like the shapes in dreams. They
are there because they are thoughts.
[to be continued]
[The first two communicators came through the
mediumship of Mrs. D.O. Roberts, published by John
Watkins, London, circa 1948 in “How Do We Live?”
The third extract was edited by Zoe Richmond and
published in “Harvest of Light” by Neville Spearman
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