Ernest Moyer Birth of a Divine Revelation

   

     
 

Ch 8 Sadler on Spiritualism

   
 

 



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~82~ The Birth of a Divine Revelation

CHAPTER EIGHT

Sadler on Spiritualism

Before continuing with the narrative it is necessary at this point to deal with the heart of the concern in the birth of this divine revelation. How do we know it was not channeled? How do we know the Sleeping Subject was not a channeler? The very term ďsleeping subjectĒ strongly suggests just that.

What were Sadlerís views concerning channeling, and why did he study the Sleeping Subject for more than twenty years? Are The Urantia Papers truly of divine origin and not of devil origin? Were the Papers revealed through trustworthy divine agencies?

These questions cannot be answered with proof. I can only offer the evidence uncovered in this search. And I can show why I personally have such strong faith in the authenticity of the Revelation.

The Revelation was provided in such a way that each individual must make this decision for himself. The methods of revelation, and the use of Sadler, with his strengths and human frailties, place the decision in our hands. God does not void our opportunity for contribution to the future of this world. There is no final authority we can consult to reassure us. The revelation was given in such a way that God left the decision in each of our personal hands.

There was a profound reason for this opportunity for choice. Godís work today is one of faith. He does not show himself in the sky, and he does not send his agents down here in open communication to offer incontrovertible evidence. He is asking us to make decisions, based on the evidence we have available, on our abilities to make sound judgments, and on our living faith. If we have those qualities we can contribute to the future of this planet. But if we shy away from the hard decisions, away from the choices set before us, we will not contribute.

This opportunity is unique in the universe. The residents of this planet can contribute to Godís plans based strictly on faith. No other planet has been offered such opportunity. This unique position is given because this is the planet on which Jesus had his incarnation, and because he is using it as a demonstration world.

He will show all fallen rebels the true worth of his created children. But only those who have strong faith will carry forward in spite of the most horrendous fears and spiritual obstacles.

I came to this task with full understanding of this limitation. I recognized that each and everyone will debate and struggle. Therefore, I attempt to provide as much information as I possibly can, in effort to help with those momentous decisions.

But, as a limited human mortal, I cannot offer proof. Under this imposing weight I shall now discuss why Sadler was not a channeler, did not use channelers, did not believe in spiritualist communications, and strongly

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condemned such practices. Further on I shall demonstrate why he could not have written nor have edited The Urantia Papers.

But the devil would not leave Sadler alone. Later, after Sadler had the revelation complete within his hands, and before it was published, events unfolded in Sadlerís household which brought the revelation into jeopardy. I shall discuss those elements also.

Throughout his life, from his earliest adult days, to his death in 1969, Sadler strongly condemned spiritualism, channeling, and psychic phenomena. His thought can be traced from articles in the Seventh Day Adventist Review and Herald in 1899, when he was 24 years old, to The Physiology of Faith and Fear in 1912, to The Truth About Spiritualism in 1923, to The Mind at Mischief in 1929, to The Theory and Practice of Psychiatry in 1936, to Mental Mischief and Emotional Conflicts in 1947, and to The Practice of Psychiatry in 1953, when he was 78 years old.

Throughout those many years Sadler steadfastly and unfailingly believed that spiritualism and psychic phenomena were either outright frauds or the products of deluded minds. Only reluctantly did he admit that some few cases might be attributed to spirit forces, but then he took the position that they were beyond the pale of science, and outside his abilities as a psychiatrist. He relegated those few exceptions to theology. It is likely that the solution of the problems associated with this type of spiritualism must eventually be referred to the theological tribunals.

See Mental Mischief and Emotional Conflicts, page 258.

What did Sadler mean by spiritualism? How do we think of it today? How is it related to the more recent term channeling?

The term spiritualism is really a misnomer. The term connotes a spiritual mechanism, thus to give it credibility. But from tradition it also carries strong implications of talking with the dead, and such phenomena have been strongly condemned by religious believers since ancient times.

The term also is commonly used to identify the general class of phenomena attendant upon other forms of spirit communications. Thus confusion arises in understanding. The term spiritism is used more prevalently in Europe and is more accurate to describe the phenomena. Spiritualism is a subset of spiritism. Sadler never differentiated between the two terms. In fact, he did not use the term spiritism. He always used the term spiritualism. Regardless which term is used, spiritualism, spiritism, or channeling, the phenomena are communications with invisible spirit beings through human mind, whether the spirits claim to be departed human relatives, or other disembodied beings who inhabit the universe.

Sadler was tied analytically and emotionally to spiritualism as communication with dead human mortals, although his writings show that he recognized the occasional presence of other spirits. Because of his emotional reaction to spiritualism, and in spite of his sharp analytical mind, he never clearly defined these communications in terms of their generic process. Had he done so he might have come to different conclusions about their origins.

The communications truly are from disembodied spirits. They are from invisible personalities who inhabit the spirit realms. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:

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And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the Prince of the Power of the Air, the Spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.

Spiritualism connoted not only communications from the other side, but also all the trappings of dark rooms, ectoplasmic forms, trumpet voices, and assorted phenomena. Channeling, a more recent New Age term for the identical process, is viewed more narrowly as communication from invisible spirit personalities without the trappings associated with spiritualism. A still more recent term for the identical process is Transmitters and Receivers. But in all cases, regardless of how we label it, the process is:

Communication to human mortals from the spirit world through the mind of another human mortal. There is no other mechanism. A link through human mind is necessary. Although many modern educated minds find the trappings associated with spiritualism repugnant, they are perfectly at home with spirit communications.

The fraudulent personality behind the process is well aware of the differences in psychology between this generation and the last, between superstitious mentalities and modern sophistication. He styles his methods and his labels accordingly.

With these few introductory remarks and questions I shall now go on to Sadlerís views on spiritualism. The preceding remarks offer some delineation of the elements confusing our understanding. Sadler is important to us for two reasons: a) he was the personality chosen to bring us this Revelation, and b) he typifies modern skeptical attitudes about spiritualism and psychic phenomena.

In order to document his thought and position I shall begin with an article Sadler wrote for the Review and Herald, the official SDA church instrument, July 25, 1899. The title of the article was Are We Spiritualists?

Sadler, at age 24, begins like this:

Often at the very times when we consider ourselves secure, it develops that our position is one of peril. Many of us think we are safe against the sophistries and errors of Spiritualism; but it must be admitted that the safety of our position consists alone in a thorough understanding and appreciation of manís condition after death. If we believe, as the Scriptures teach, that the dead know not anything, also that they have no part in anything that is done under the sun, then it is certain that we are safe concerning the teaching of at least some phases of modern Spiritualism. But Satan is not content with confining his efforts to a single deception, however grand it may be. While the Spiritualism of today is, in its various forms, making its influence felt in the world, the only safety of the Christian is to reckon those who have died to be dead indeed.

Sadler then goes on to a series of questions and answers which should help religious believers firm their minds concerning the reality of the dead being dead.

He concludes as follows:

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It is only a constant exercise of faith in the promises of God that will save us from the snares and delusions of Spiritualism. The very same errors that Spiritualism has brought into the physical realm, the devil is also bringing into the spiritual world. Let us lay hold of the eternal truths of Godís word, grasping by faith the promises that our sins are borne by Christ; that in him is life ó eternal life. Let us make those truths a part of our character. Let our experience in them be so real, that we shall be forever safe against the snares and delusions of modern Spiritualism in both the physical and the spiritual realm.

Obviously, Sadler was writing maturely and devoutly at a young age. Sadler emphasized that dead people were dead, and could not communicate with anyone.

As The Urantia Papers state clearly on page 1680:

The spirits of the dead do not come back to communicate with their families or their onetime friends among the living. Any spirit personality who pretends to be a dead and departed loved one, and who returns to communicate with the living, is prosecuting deception with eternal consequences. The dead truly are dead; only evil spirit personalities with insane minds would pretend to be dead and departed loved ones.

The same absolute criterion holds for the appearance of any other dead mortals from other planets who are now spirits. No loyal spirit being would come through, use, or violate the mind of a living mortal to communicate with this world.

In his many writings Sadler went on to deal with the different aspects of psychic phenomena. He denied the possibility that clairvoyants had access to spirit intelligence which permitted them to pass along truly amazing descriptions of the condition and expectation of their clients. Four years after he first met the Sleeping Subject, under the chapter Psychic Fads and Fakes in The Physiology of Faith and Fear in 1912 he wrote:

Clairvoyance and fortune-telling are ingenious psychic fakes. Clairvoyants are those persons who have elected to commercialize their natural gift, the gift of discernment, the ability to read human character. Most successful clairvoyants are women who possess a keen sense of discrimination and discernment of character ó psychic gifts which are certainly worthy of better employment than in the ways and means commonly followed by professional clairvoyants.

Here Sadler is adamant that the clairvoyants possessed their powers through strictly natural means. He did not make the leap to the possibility that spirit personalities were displaying their power and abilities through the minds of the clairvoyants.

In 1923, in The Truth About Spiritualism, he went into extended discussion of the motives behind human mortals engaging in spiritualist pursuits.

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First, there is the natural hope of life after death. None of us want it to end here. If a medium can dredge up a dead father or mother or sister or brother, the return to this world reinforces our belief in immortality. Dead relatives coming back to life touch us in our most vulnerable emotional spot.

Second, most of us would like to believe not only in life after death, but also in a spiritual world with angels and other assorted personalities. What an honor it would be to join that ensemble of immortal beings! Therefore, if those spirits would elect to communicate with us through some other adept human mortal we have a natural inclination to engage in such exchange.

Third, the drift away from spiritually centered lives to purely materialistic pursuits, created by modern material science and a general disbelief in God, has caused despair in many people.

Still writing in 1923, Sadler stated:

We cannot close our eyes to the fact that during the past fifty years materialistic tendencies have made great progress in the minds of the more intelligent and thinking elements of society. And in view of this it is not strange that the World War should have precipitated the present day reaction of spiritualism. The channels of religious consolation patronized by the last generation have been more or less blocked to the thirsty souls of today. This change in the spiritual complexion of the people is probably due to three distinct causes:

  1. A general breakdown in the religious tendencies and authority of former generations.

  2. The spread of socialism and kindred teachings which are devoid of a spiritual background and setting; and

  3. The rapid spread of materialistic tendencies, due to the enormous development of the physical sciences.

Sadler discussed a fourth cause:

And so today, just as the ditch digger craves his alcohol, and the grocery clerk seeks his out-of-door sport, as the means of obtaining relief from the tedium of daily life, so in this day of materialistic philosophy, tens of thousands of people are turning away from decadent religion to seek consolation and confirmation of their belief in a future existence at the hands of modern spiritualism. The moment orthodox religion ceases to supply consolation as a defense reaction to the uncertainty of life, then the doors are open to spiritualism to come in, and supply the consolation which religion has failed to give.

In this remark Sadler brings a caustic indictment of modern mainline religions. They truly are decadent, molded around modern materialistic gratifications, and devoid of answers to the burning questions of existence. Modern science casts such serious doubt upon many of the tenets of those religions, upon the apparent mythical stories of the Bible, and upon the processes of creation, that God was removed to a far off and inaccessible heaven. Theology was then reduced to psychological penetrations of the human psyche as the explanations of manís urge to know God and to find him.

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How truly unfortunate. Should we be puzzled or surprised that so many turned to the phenomena of real spirit personalities talking with them through the mind of other human mortals, and providing them with the hope our religions threw away?

In 1929, twenty-one years after he first met the Sleeping Subject, he again repeated his views in The Mind at Mischief. On page 19 he stated:

So may the mediums and clairvoyants, as the years pass, bury things in their subconscious minds, whence these long forgotten ideas and emotions may spring forth during the spirit seance to impersonate, through the process of projection and the technique of transference, the mannerisms and voices of dead and departed human beings.

Note that he admitted that the mannerisms and voices of the dead are those of departed human beings, and not those of the medium. He believed the subconscious memory of the medium was imitating those thought patterns, intonations, and inflections characteristic of the dead person. It did not occur to Sadler that a Spirit Personality may have imitated those attributes out of his memory banks, to thus impress the families or friends of the departed loved one.

He went on to build his theory. On page 23 of The Mind at Mischief he added to this notion:

There can be little doubt that certain human beings possess a tremendously large bump of fantasy. That is, they have the day-dreaming faculty developed to the point where it has well-nigh acquired the proportions of a separate personality.

This must be the case with many neurotics, hysterics, clairvoyants, mediums and other occult practitioners. They might be said to possess an automatic power of fantasy ó one that acts quite independently of their ordinary mental processes ó and one which forms its conclusions and formulates its statements quite without the conscious knowledge of the higher powers of such individualsí minds.

Once again Sadler demonstrated that he did not entertain the possibility that a Spirit Personality acted independently within and through the mind of the medium. If he had reached such insight he might have recognized why the medium was consciously unaware of how those thoughts and statements were created.

The medium was not fraudulent; the Spirit Personality was fraudulent. Sadler assigned all such manifestations to an automatic power of fantasy. Sadlerís limits of understanding may be further discerned by remarks he made on page 113 of The Mind at Mischief:

Spiritualism panders to the egotistic human desire for excitement and adventure. . . . It is not a matter of personal endowment or peculiar gifts. And herein is the great weakness of the spiritualistic claims. No laws are discoverable, no rules are known, except those self-imposed dogmas of the mediums pertaining to darkness, etc., all of which lend themselves so favorably to the perpetration of fraud. No universal precepts are forthcoming which will enable the sincere spiritualistic

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 inquirer to make reliable contact with the shores of another world. The rules of the game are wholly ephemeral; we have no code, the following of which will ensure successful communication with the spirit world.

Sadler was partly right and partly wrong. The rules of the game are not wholly ephemeral; for those many cases of true spirit communications specific principles certainly do apply. But the process is subject to conditions on two sides

ó the actions and limitations of the human medium, and the actions and desires of the spirit. Since ephemeral personality is involved on both sides, not merely contact with some abstract universe mind, the process is not subject to strict, repeatable scientific rules of observation.

Many of the mediums practicing in the Urantia community went out of their way to demonstrate that they could contact the spirits without the need for a darkened room. Those modern mediums thus supposed they were demonstrating a difference between the capricious spirits of spiritualist mediums, and their benign friends from the spirit world. Little did they recognize that they had no method by which they could determine the authenticity of their spirit friends. If evil spirits wished to impersonate friendship and trust they could not discern the difference.

This capricious behavior on the part of the spirits was one of the reasons Sadler could not accept the phenomena as deriving from the spirit world. If the spirits were rational they should behave in a rational manner. Therefore, in Sadlerís view, they should be subject to scientific evaluation. Unfortunately, Sadlerís basic premise was in error. Evil spirits can deceive human mortals as simple childís play

Serious investigators then become susceptible to the ephemeral conditions of that capricious conduct. Human attributes and personality endowment strongly condition spirit contact from other worlds. Certain human mortals can easily make contact. Other mortals cannot. Because we are so abysmally ignorant of the operations of the spirit world, and because we cannot get our thinking straight, no one, throughout history, carefully analyzed and defined the rules of the game. Sadler studied psychics, and reached his conclusions, under such gross limitations.

Thus, Sadler did not have the mental framework necessary for him to come to full understanding of the phenomenon of the Sleeping Subject, or what made that man different from psychic mediums. In his several vague references we do not find statements which show he clearly understood the processes under his study. He made no such discernment simply because he did not clearly understand or identify the differences.

Sadler recognized differences in process, but not differences in cause. For him, evil spirit personalities were not the origin of psychic phenomena; therefore, when he met the Sleeping Subject he could not isolate those phenomena which were due to malicious spirit personality, and those which were from benevolent sources.

In spite of information available at his fingertips, both through his personal experience, and through the Revelation, he never came to a full understanding.

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Furthermore, the miracle which followed, the miracle of the actual revelation, so engrossed his attention he did not go back to acquire that understanding. We can come to a better grasp of Sadlerís difficulty if we further examine his writings. Within this same limitation of understanding he traced spiritualism from ancient times, and presented the modern scientific classifications of the various branches of the occult.

Sadler provided a long list of examples in his 1923 The Truth About Spiritualism, from the Fox sisters in Hydeville, New York in 1848, who, he believed initiated the modern spiritualist movement, to F. W. H. Myers, who popularized spiritualist phenomena in Great Britain, to D. D. Home, a man born near Edinburgh in 1833 and promoted as the patron saint of spiritualism in England by the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to the Rev. Stainton Moses in America, to Mrs. Piper, to the famous Bangs Sister, with some of their seances attended by Sadler, to Eusapia Palladino of Italy. Sadler intended to impress upon his readers the pervasive nature of the phenomena and how the general public of the civilized world was gripped by the possibility of spirit communications with this cruel and mundane world.

In each case Sadler thought he had an explanation on grounds of fraud. The Fox sisters did, indeed, crack the knuckles of their toes to obtain their fraudulent spirit contacts. Myers exploited the trickery of levitated chairs and tables to demonstrate the power of the spirits.

 Home in England first came to the attention of others when he predicted a friends death, three days before it occurred. He went on to travel all over Europe and became a fast friend of famous people, including Alexis Tolstoi. His feats were phenomenal and elicited volumes of letters testifying to his occult powers. Unfortunately, greed took hold. He manipulated a Mrs. Lyons to give him 30,000£, but who then sued him. Rev. Moses vividly demonstrated whispering voices and strange lights floating through rooms. The voices are reported to have sometimes, blended into a quartet or a choir which could be heard in gentle meter as if the music were being wafted to the hearers from a considerable distance.

Sadler denied such evidence. He went on and on, attempting to show that  each and every case was fraudulent. He then meticulously analyzed the many different conditions and mechanical manipulations used to create the illusions. From the absence of light, to diversion of attention, to the element of surprise, to control of conditions, to concealment, to the power of suggestion, to the tying or holding of hands, to emotional expectancy, curiosity, and excitement, and to sleight-of-hand, he probed the tools of the spiritualists, who, in Sadlerís eyes, become nothing more than magicians.

Sadlerís assessment was powerfully reinforced when he was shocked to discover that an entire industry existed to manufacture paraphernalia for the mediumistic seance.

In his attempts to reduce all cases to mechanistic explanations Sadler pushed the edges of common sense.

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It will be observed that the high class mediums, who pull off the more marvelous stunts, must needs always perform amid their own surroundings. They cannot do things out in the open. Everything must be carefully staged. The author well remembers the case of Madam X, who, in connection with a performance in which the table was dancing about rather lightly in obedience to the raising and lowering of her arms ó when to my mind, the most simple explanation would be the employment of electro-magnetic force of some sort, since I noticed she was very careful to furnish her own table for this demonstration.

Unfortunately, Sadler was not a trained physicist or engineer, otherwise he would have recognized that the necessary electro-magnetic power would have required sources of energy, and size of apparatus, that would have been obvious to all observers. Electromagnetic sophistication to enable the table to float rather than suddenly jump up to a magnetic attraction would have required highly refined equipment, certainly not within the budget of the medium. And who raised the tables before electromagnetics was born? In this case he offered his doctor wife to take the medium to another room where she could undress to show that she did not have the control apparatus concealed about her person. Sadler was disappointed when Madam X refused.

Here Sadler exhibited the betrayal of mind he placed upon himself by his attitudes about spirit phenomena. All he had to do was examine the table for electro-magnetic properties, and not the medium. Still another medium kept a robe large enough to simulate a spiritís return in a hollow boot heel, while in the heel of the other shoe he kept an assortment of netting masks with which he could effect almost a dozen face transformations.

Here Sadler had reference to the form of the spirits who appear in darkened rooms during seances. As someone who attempted mechanical explanations Sadler could not bring himself to the possibility that at least some of the phenomena were real.

To Sadler it was simply incredible that spirit phenomena might actually exist. It was beyond his common sense to accept that spirits might enter and manipulate the minds of mediums to perform such feats in actuality, and not be merely the result of magical performances. He consulted with such famous magicians as Howard Thurston and Harry Houdini to obtain insights into the deceptive methods used to convince audiences of the power of their exhibitions.

Thurston, Houdini, and others were able to provide him with explanations which satisfied him. The so-called independent voices which appear in connection with many spiritualistic seances are a great puzzle to many people, but careful investigation usually discloses that they have been carried out into the room by means of extension speaking trumpets, speaking tubes, induction telephone technique, ventriloquism, etc. . . .These systems are also used by the mediums for producing whispers which are heard by the members of the circle in the darkened room. . .it is the medium or some confederate who is actually talking through the trumpet. They get their hands loose from the magic circle and the use the trumpet, which

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is built on the extension principle and can be shortened or lengthened, and by the direction in which it is pointed the voice can be made apparently to originate in almost any part of an average sized room. In other cases confederates are undoubtedly employed and are properly placed in the circle for assisting in this work.

Again, Sadler apparently never encountered exhibitions which would refute this simplistic explanation. Or if he had he probably rejected them, finding other answers to explain the mechanical trickery. Although many spiritualist performances are real, Sadler, from his mental framework, and in keen condemnation of the phenomena, could not discriminate between the real and the fraudulent.

With this same view he went on to describe the use of sulphides and phosphorus to create many of the supposed visible illusions. Mediums have told me how they use French bridal veiling and Belgian netting treated with phosphorus and other compounds to manufacture all sorts of beautiful spirit robes. I once saw taken in a raid in a seance in Chicago some thirty yards of this material which could be almost secreted in the palm of the hand, and could easily be contained in an ordinary pocket. In fact, I was able to put it all, very conveniently, in a pint cup.

After exhausting mechanical explanations for spiritualist trickery he went on to discuss the psychological origins of psychic phenomena. Mental confusion, crossed wires, endocrine disturbances, and a dozen other influences, mental, chemical, and physical, not to say spiritual, may all contribute to the making of a first class, sincere, utterly self-deceived medium or clairvoyant.

Personality determines the psychic tendency of those unique individuals; and we now know that personality is largely determined by the secretions of the endocrine, or ductless gland system, of the body. There is not only a psychic basis for spiritualistic tendencies, but also an hereditary and a chemical basis.

Sadler proposed complex dissociation as the psychological basis of spiritist phenomena. He felt that the ó . . . whole stream of consciousness may be so directed and so successfully diverted that the Ďfeeling of realityí may be so focused on a single idea or desire as to shut every other sensory feeling or emotional experience out of the mindís eye, or the awareness of consciousness; and thus the whole psychic machinery would be concentrated upon this single idea of the mind. In this way psychologists believe that mediums sometimes come to materialize disembodied spirits in the eyes of their own minds, to become ó mind, body, and soul ó possessed with the reality of the thing which they think they see outside of their minds, but which, in reality, lives and functions on the threshold of their own psychic life and which had its inception, origin, and birth within their own subconscious mind.

I have talked with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, Socrates, Plato, Milton, and other of the great minds of the past ages, but in not one case have I ever secured from mediums anything from these old

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masters that would bear the least semblance to the product of their minds when living on earth ó and mind you, I communicated with them with reference to the very things they thought about and described when living. . . . they unfailingly defaulted in their efforts to show any degree of familiarity with those subjects in which they were specialists in life. . . . But strange to say when the mediums do bring out these dignitaries of a past age, they are much more likely to talk about substitutes for coffee, removable dental bridges, or to discuss some other trifle, the purpose of which is to try and convince those present that spirits are real because they can tell you about something you have lost or which had been stolen, etc.

At this point Sadler provided a definition of what he believed were the sources of the spirits. Physiology is the key by which we will open the psychological lock which will enable us to begin our explorations of the secret birthplace and lodgement of the human well-springs of modern spiritualism.

Sadler then offers two definitions for spirit.

1. Spirit, in a theological sense, is an invisible, non-material entity, or intelligence, operating in the spiritual world in accordance with spiritual laws and for the accomplishment of spiritual purposes; and limited, in its contact with human mind, to the making of spiritual suggestions and to communicating with the spiritual monitors which are assumed to indwell the human mind. The proof of their existence must ever be without the pale of science, and their recognition is purely and wholly a matter of belief. Their contemplation is a matter of faith, and their reality and existence are not for scientific investigation.

Here Sadler provided a definition of benign spirits which follows traditional Christian lines. As human mortals, we may not recognize their influence upon us, and if we should, it may be so subtle as to be indistinguishable from other mental or spiritual forces or operations. They do not offer incontestable evidence for their existence or contact with us. All of their operations are a matter of faith, and their recognition a matter of belief.

I shall now take a brief diversion from the main line of this discussion to make an observation about Sadlerís sources. Curiously, in 1923, Sadler borrowed concepts which we now find in The Urantia Papers. The spiritual monitors which are assumed to indwell the human mind is phraseology which comes directly out of The Urantia Papers.

Page 1193 ó No matter what the previous status of the inhabitants of a world, subsequent to the bestowal of a divine Son and after the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth upon all humans, the Adjusters flock to such a world to indwell the minds of all normal will creatures. Following the completion of the mission of a Paradise bestowal Son, these Monitors truly become the kingdom of heaven within you.

Through the bestowal of the divine gifts the Father makes the closest possible approach to sin and evil, for it is literally true that the Adjuster must coexist in the

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mortal mind even in the very midst of human unrighteousness. The indwelling Adjusters are particularly tormented by those thoughts which are purely sordid and selfish; they are distressed by irreverence for that which is beautiful and divine, and they are virtually thwarted in their work by many of manís foolish animal fears and childish anxieties.

Although, at this point, Sadler may not have accepted The Urantia Papers as divine revelation, and indeed they did not come to us in authorized form until 1934 and 1935, the evidence strongly suggests he accepted the spiritual value and intellectual worth of revealed materials which predated The Urantia Papers, and which were not published.

Sometime between 1913, when he forever left the doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and 1923, when he wrote this text, he had come to accept material of religious value which had origins from sources other than our traditional Bible and Christian theology.

It is important to note that Sadler did not connect between biblical teaching of spirit entry into human mind, and the phenomena he is so assiduously pursuing.

1 Cor 3:16 ó Do you not know that you are Godís temple and that Godís Spirit dwells in you?

2 Cor 6:16 -- What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The spirit of the Father does not dwell in our livers, or our bowels, or our pancreas. He dwells within our minds.

Sadler also did not refer to the several biblical accounts of possession, again clear description of spirit entry into animal or human mind. See Matthew 8, Mark 5, and Luke 8. Although virtually everyone through the centuries admitted devil possession few seemed to recognize that it meant entry into and possession of the mind by spirit personalities. The spirits were always abstruse entities, and the entry was always simple possession. The concept of spirit personality, with exhibition of will, purpose, and intelligent scheming, did not play in this assignment.

I shall now return to the main line of discussion.

Note how he followed through on this view in his second definition of spirit.

2. Spirits, as recognized and studied by science, as pertaining to mediumship and the phenomena of modern spiritualism, are psychic projections ó fantastic creations of the subconscious mind. They have a biologic origin; they are deceptive offspring of a working conspiracy between the physiological and psychological powers resident in, and operating upon the deep and unknown deposits of human sensation, memory and emotions, which we commonly call the subconscious mind, but which is more properly and scientifically known as the great Unconscious.

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Without doubt, Sadler believed that virtually all spirit communications with living persons were strictly from the human subconscious. Although he admitted, on theological grounds, that spirits might possess the human body, in his practical operating hypotheses he did not accept that real spirit entities actually do so through the human mind.

He just did not conceive of it that way. And thus he could not distinguish between subconscious products of the human mind, and spirit productions through the human mind.

He was explicit:

The spirits, then, that we deal with so largely in the study of spiritualism, exist within the human body, and from the realms of the unconscious centers of the mind project themselves outward for the production of their phenomena. They do not exist without the body and come in to possess the body, and thus work upon the mind as an extraneous spiritual force. In brief, as far as science has been able to discover, the spirit operating in connection with occult manifestations functions only in connection with the body, and so far science has not been brought face to face with any phenomena that cannot be adequately explained on this hypothesis, or that cannot be reproduced by psychic manipulations and in accordance with natural laws.

This statement, while true for some portion of spiritist phenomena, was largely untrue for the reality of that phenomena. Evil spirits do enter the human mind, and it is only through the human mind that they can operate.

Another great difficulty, for the objective scientific examiner, is that spirit performances, exhibitions, and products are conditioned by the human mind through which they operate. Thus many serious investigators have been confused by the apparent display of the personality attributes of the human medium.

The transmitter can exhibit only according to the state of the receiver. This is like a radio or television set which may be receiving a clear signal, but faults within its circuits may produce fuzzy sound or disrupted visual images.

Again, on page 233 in The Mind At Mischief, where he discussed The Mediumís Mind, Sadler expressed his view that the phenomena had origins in the marginal consciousness:

. . . The so-called messages from the dead are made up of the more or less coherent trains of ideas that troop in from the marginal consciousness in response to those suggested ideas which come into the mediumís attention when he or she is in a state of partial or complete trance.

Thus he repeatedly assigned psychic phenomena to products of the marginal consciousness when the medium is in a partial or complete trance. He did not recognize that the trance is a condition of letting go of personal will, necessary for the human mortal to receive entry into his mind by a spirit personality. The trance, whether heavy or light, is a natural consequence of the relinquishment of human will.

8 - Spiritualism ~95~

Faced with emanations which obviously expressed the personality of the medium, Sadler was forced to the hypothesis that we were seeing products of the subconscious mind, with its dissociations. Thus he concluded that one part of the mind talking with another was the explanation for the belief by the medium that he truly had talked with spirit entities.

How easy for this detached group of psychic complexes to take one step further, after organizing itself into a subconscious source of feeling and information, to relegate to itself the prerogatives of a departed spirit, and to palm itself off on the credulous and superstitious mind of its indwelling as a spirit control, as the discarnate spirit of some departed friend or relative of recent times, or the disembodied ego of some prince or hero of olden days. So our new personality, so mystically set up in business, proceeds to borrow the mind and muscles, the talking mechanism of the medium, as a means of expression of this so-called material plane to which it has returned for various alleged benevolent purposes.

But Sadler ran into evidence he could not adequately explain. When a medium expressed knowledge of another person or event which Sadler recognized should not have been available to that medium he resorted to the hypothesis of telepathy, although he was not convinced of that explanation. However, another possibility intrigued Sadler: that of Universal Mind.

This plausible hypothesis of a Universal Mind completely does away with the assumption of the transfer of thought from one finite mind to another. There may be a Universe Intelligence whose emanations radiate to all who are in harmony with the Divine Mind. . . . If this is true, it is not difficult to see that two minds may have the same thought at the same time just as two wireless telegraph stations which are attuned alike may receive, at the same time, the same message . . .

To Sadler, the more abstract Universal Mind broadcasting events to the entire universe, as a radio transmitter broadcasts to the entire countryside, was far more appealing than the notion of a singular malevolent spirit, actually resident on this planet. Sadler had sufficient insight to recognize that a singular spirit would have had, by necessity, stupendous encyclopedic knowledge; otherwise he could not have exhibited such a wide range of information and familiarity with the hordes of human mortals who lived on this planet. Since that spirit could know all about the planet, and all the people living on it, in times past and in the present, and since it could enter as many mortal minds as opened themselves to him, the concept of a Universal Mind was an easy answer.

Most persons with whom I have discussed this problem are unable to conceive that a singular spirit personality would have such powers, again contrary to traditional teachings on the power of God to know each of us intimately and personally. However, the advent of electronic storage, and of computers, has now opened vistas of concept that were not available to earlier generations. Hence it is

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easier for us to propose concepts that were beyond the intellectual range of Sadlerís cultural environment. If the spirits have personality, as The Urantia Papers so clearly teach us, and which should be obvious to us, they will demonstrate a desire for goals, and the power of choice. If, in their interests, they do not wish to communicate with the scientific skeptic, they may reserve their performances for true believers, those they know they can delude.

For those who sincerely wish to establish communication with the spirits the technique is quite simple. All one need do is sit in a chair, close oneís eyes, and say, ďSpirit, talk with me.Ē Of course, some persons do not have the psychic ability to communicate with the spirits. And the manner in which the contact may come is determined by the personality on the other side. He may come and go, and perform his acts according to his discretion. Since Sadler did not grasp the reality of a sordid mischievous personality, his assignment of cause had to revert to tricks of the human mind.

In his Mental Mischief and Emotional Conflicts in 1947 he uses the same words and phrases he used in 1923. Sadler, and many other psychologists and psychiatrists, were led to believe in mental disassociation within the human mind by the performances observed under hypnosis, Page 265:

The subconscious of some individuals can be tapped by the employment of automatic writing. If a susceptible subject is hypnotized and told that, after waking, she will write certain passages from Shakespeare, a certain poem, or a these on a given subject; and if, after the hypnotic spell is broken, her attention is diverted and a pencil placed in her hand, she will write exactly what she was told to; and yet it can be demonstrated beyond doubt by careful examination that her conscious mind knows nothing of the instructions given her while she was hypnotized; she does not even know while engaged in her automatic writing that she is doing so in response to a command given her while she was hypnotized. This is another proof, scientifically sound, that human experiences are preserved in the subconscious mind, and that they are later able to escape in an intelligent and orderly manner.

I personally have witnessed just such demonstrations, as have many other people. The fact of a reservoir of knowledge in the subconscious that is unrecognized in the conscious mind, and the ability of a hypnotist to bring such performances, is without question.

However, on page 269, Sadler admitted to the possibility of spirits forces acting within the human mind:

It is possible that some of these cases may not be frauds or even self-deceived. Perhaps some of their manifestations are due to the genuine activity of actual spirit forces; however, this is not the place for the discussion of this point. They are called attention to here to emphasize the fact that, as we commonly meet them, they render those who tamper with them peculiarly susceptible to spiritualistic teachings.

8 - Spiritualism ~97~

Within this naturalist mental framework, Sadler was forced to explain cases which went beyond his hypotheses. Ellen White was one of those; the Sleeping Subject was another. But he would admit to only those two cases. In The Mind At Mischief he states:

It must be said at this juncture, however, that there are many men of science in good repute who believe that the whole problem of spiritualistic phenomena cannot be fought out on this line; that there is a residue that cannot be approached by means of scientific experiment.

Here Sadler admitted that there are cases which do not fall under his classifications as frauds or as products of the subconscious mind. There is a residue which defy such assignments. At this point he referred the reader to his Appendix to The Mind At Mischief.

On page 251 he again referred to unusual cases:

It is my opinion that about 75 per cent of commonplace spiritualistic manifestations are frauds ó conscious, deliberate, commercial frauds ó and that about 25 per cent belong to the order described in this chapter, and include the possible cases of actual spiritual or supernatural phenomena which, it will be observed all the way along, I admit may exist, tho I have personally come in contact with but one or two cases that could lay even remote claim to falling into the last-named group.

Again he referred the reader to the Appendix.

On page 260 he admitted that: I am not at all disposed to pronounce all these cases frauds, or even instances of self-deception. It may be altogether possible that some of them are manifestations of genuine activity on the part of actual spiritual forces, but that is not a point of further discussion in this connection. Yet again he referred the reader to the Appendix.

In a fourth reference on page 331 he comes closer to the thoughts he expressed in his Appendix:

I desire to make it distinctly clear that I am not, in this discussion, calling into question or challenging belief in the validity of true prophets, either of ancient or of modern times, who may have been in actual contact with spiritual forces of their day and generation. I am not desirous of either raising or discussing that question at all in this thesis. I, for one, am perfectly willing to admit that such divinely taught persons may have lived, or may even now live; but I am equally desirous of making it plain that it is my opinion that the vast majority of those who have made such supernatural claims were either out-and-out frauds or self-deceived individuals, who, in their ignorance of things psychical, actually believed their spells, visions, or visitations to be of divine origin. As far as my actual experience goes ó as far as I have personally been able to test and

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observe those who have seizures or experiences of this sort ó I have not yet met with a case in which I could not, after a thoroughgoing examination, discover certain psychic, chemical, and physical influences which quite fully accounted ó at least to my own satisfaction ó for their extraordinary behavior. Perhaps this statement should be qualified by adding that there are possibly one or two exceptions to this general classification of so-called psychics and trance mediums.

Many years ago I was made acquainted with a very extraordinary phenomenon of this sort, which it has been my privilege to observe periodically from that time to this, and some day I hope to report more fully upon this unique case but I hasten to say that in none of my observations of this individual and the peculiar associated experiences of the night period was there ever anything that pointed toward spiritualism. In fact, the contacts of this individual with the alleged forces which dominated at such times, whatever they were, were always in a most positive manner antagonistic to, and condemnatory of, all beliefs or tendencies associated with the idea of the return of the dead or participate in the affairs of the world of the living.

Thus we can see that Sadler was torn between the possibility of real spirit entry into human mind, and psychological explanations. Because he never fully came to grips with the actual mechanisms of the phenomenon, and in the face of his adamant opposition to such performances, he opened himself to deception later in his life.

I shall return in later chapters to modifications which took place in Sadlerís attitudes concerning the possibility of spirit communications, attitudes which introduced a serious threat to the revelation, and which have repercussions to this day.

Through such study we can better recognize why The Urantia Papers were not channeled, and why Sadler spent so many years observing the Sleeping Subject. He truly had a phenomenon beyond his conceptual range, in spite of knowledge at his fingertips necessary to come to a full understanding.

 

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 Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus: Papers 120-196