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7th (Militia) United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment.

Standing orders of the Seventh regiment, National guard, for the regulation and government of the regiment in the field or in quarters. A. Duryee, colonel online

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>nI>I2;i;?7




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SPIRITISM

THE

MODERN SATANISM



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Nihil Obstat

P. L. BIERMANN,
Censor Deputatus.

Imprimatur

GEORGE WILLIAM MUNDELEIN,
Archbishop of Chicago.



Copyright 1920
EXTENSION PRESS

All Rights Reserved

Printed in U. S. A.



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SPIRITISM

T HE

MODERN SATANISM



By

Thomas F. Coaklcy



"Whose coming is according to the
working of Satan, in all power
and signs and lying wonders/'



EXTENSION PRESS

Le Moyne Building Chicago



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KV I2^Z7



f C L L F .'- •



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CONTENTS

CHAPTER

Introduction 7

I. Spiritism a Plot to Destroy
Christianity 13

II. Christ Was Not a Medium 35

III. Spiritism Attacks Christ 72

IV. Spiritism at the Bar of Reason

AND Revelation 112



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INTRODUCTION

It is evident from our current literature that
thoughtful students of the Spiritistic movement
are beginning to realize that, in the controversy
to which it has given rise, problems of a very
grave character are involved and that these prob-
lems cannot possibly be shelved or ignored. To
the ordinary reader of the popular works on
Spiritism increasingly issuing from the press, the
phenomena described and the spirit messages re-
ported constitute no doubt the most interesting
and fascinating aspect of the subject. He ac-
cepts the evidence presented at its surface value,
and is quite willing to believe that the spirits of
the departed have found a means of communica-
tion with the sense world, and that they are
really the individuals they claim to be. Devoid,
in most instances, of any deep and clearly de-
fined religious conviction or belief, he does not
concern himself with the moral aspect of the
matter: — the nature and aim of the messages
conveyed, or the effect produced by spiritistic
practices upon the experimenters and the sensi-

7



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8 Introduction

tive. He has moreover a vague sort of sympathy
with the attractive description of the other world
life that these curious messages so often convey,
and finds in them nothing contrary to the dic-
tates of his reason and his common sense. To
such persons the question of the identity of the
communicating agents, the immense difficulties
lying in the way of establishing that identity, and
the ultimate purpose underlying this deliberate
effort to open up communication with the living
is of no particular interest. It is sufficient for
them to know that there is another world and
another life, in which they may conceivably find
more happiness than they have found in this one.

But to the serious student of the subject who
holds a deep religious conviction, based upon
what he believes to be incontrovertible historic
fact, and who consequently scrutinizes the con-
tents of these spirit messages and their manifest
aim and purpose, the matter assumes a very dif-
ferent aspect. He sees very clearly that prob-
lems are here involved which touch the very
foundations of religious belief and that these
problems must be solved one way or the other.

It is quite ttue that spirit messages generally



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Introduction 9

speaking are very ambiguous and contradictory,
one spirit often emphatically asserting what an-
other spirit equally emphatically denies. The
messages moreover are apt, in many instances, to
reflect the mentality of the medium through
whom they come. It is all the more remarkable
that, with respect to the great subject of Re-
vealed Religion, the spirits of the seance room
are strangely unanimous in their assertions. They
always and everywhere declare that Christ was
not divine in the sense in which he declared
himself to be divine, and in which the historic
Christian Church defines that doctrine. They
assert that the Fall of Man, the Atonement on
the Cross, the permanent and irremediable con-
sequences of unforgiven sin, are not matters con-
tained in the original Christian teaching, but
after-developments and speculations of theolo-
gians respecting which nothing is known in the
world beyond the grave, and which the spirits
are now specially deputed to refute.

The historic Christian, therefore, who is ac-
quainted with the true history of Christian
thought and belief, and who knows that these
doctrines are not only contained in the clear and



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10 Introduction

explicit teaching of Our Lord himself, but that
they formed the belief of the earliest Christians
who forfeited their lives in millions because of
their profession of this belief, is confronted by
a problem which he cannot possibly evade and
of which he is bound to find the correct solution.
He must recognize that there cannot be any
kind of intelligible compromise between the
teachings of the Church and those of the spirits,
and that if one is true, the other must necessarily
be false. Which is false and which is true? This
is the question which thousands of perplexed
minds, in many lands, are asking themselves at
this moment.

Any serious attempt to answer this complex
question, in an adequate and convincing manner,
demands not only intimate acquaintance with the
intricacies of modem psychical research and
with the results of true scientific investigation,
but also that accurate historical and theological
knowledge which only years of systematic
thought and training can furnish.

To one therefore who, like myself, has chiefly
confined himself in his writings to the scientific
and experimental aspect of the subject, but who



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Introduction 11

has always been conscious that he has thus not
covered the whole ground in this great contro-
versy, the appearance of such a work as this is
a source of real gratification. I heartily wel-
come the learned author as a fellow worker in a
field which is in large measure virgin soil, and
where trained thinkers, such as he, are sorely and
urgently needed. In his treatment of the sub-
ject, especially in his second chapter. Doctor
Coakley has shown the utter untenableness of the
Spiritistic reasoning respecting the person of
Christ, and it seems to me that his exposition can
scarcely fail to bring conviction to minds that are
not wholly blinded by prejudice and misconcep-
tion. I warmly commend the book therefore to
those serious searchers after truth, with many of
whom my own work is constantly bringing me in
contact, and who are sincerely anxious to find
their way to the true solution of what is perhaps
the most serious of all the problems that have
ever perplexed the human mind.

J. Godfrey Raupert.



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SPIRITISM

The Modern Satanism



CHAPTER I

SPIRITISM A PLOT TO DESTROY CHRISTIANITY

"For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and
shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive if
possible even the elect. Behold I have told it to you before-
hand." <i)

"Therefore hearken not to your prophets and diviners, and
dreamers and soothsayers, and sorcerers." <2>

The most popular amusement this year is
Spiritism. A vast proportion of the population
is practicing it^ consulting mediums, purchasing
the latest books, magazines and newspapers deal-
ing with it and attending lectures by the leaders
of Spiritism and Psychic Research in such num-
bers that no hall in America has been large
enough to contain those clamoring for admit-
tance. The Eighteenth Amendment to the
American Constitution enacting Prohibition has
well nigh abolished the cabaret of dances; but

(1) Matt. xxiv. 24.

(2) Jer. xxTii. 9.

13



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14 Spiritism

in its place we have a cabaret of ghosts, with con-
tinuous performances, night and day. The
spirits have invaded the literary field and vol-
umes are written and dictated by spirit controls,
who seem to favor literary folk above other an-
cient and honorable professions; Detectives
have their favorite mediums for the purpose of
apprehending criminals, and brokers and their
clients consult them frequently to learn the fate
of their investments. Some business men keep
several mediums on their payroll, consulting
them independently on questions of importance,
and basing their action upon their agreement or
disagreement. School children are purchasing
the Ouija pointer at bargain sales in the base-
ments of large department stores; fashionable
ladies consult the planchette at afternoon teas,
until the country at large seems to have been
seized as in the grip of an epidemic of Spiritism.
Crazes such as this sweep over the world from
time to time. They seem to have their cycles
just as diseases come and go. The present mo-
mentum obtained by Spiritism threatens to rock
the bases of civilization and of reason, unless wc
soon revert to sanity and wholesomeness. In all



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The Modern Satanism 15

these mental crises, even the keenest minds are
sometimes swept from their intellectual anchor-
age, giving the weight and prestige of their once
great sane and sober names to the propagation of
error.

The present craze for Spiritism is by no means
a novelty in the world's history. In substance it
is as old as mankind. In ancient times the pagans
practiced the evocation of spirits ; it was common
in India, in Chaldea, and among the Egyptians,
and it has existed in China from time immemo-
rial. We find it in classic Greece, and stately
Rome. Socrates and Aristotle consulted the
spirits, and the works of the most celebrated Ro-
man authors contain many references to the
practice. The Old Testament has many pas-
sages containing severe prohibitions against its
use, although Christianity was the first real con-
sistent enemy of necromancy, divination, magic,
witchcraft, communicating with the souls of the
dead, and demonology.

Modern Spiritism began in 1848 with the ad-
vent of the Fox sisters. So swift was its progress
that in 1851 there were at least one hundred
mediums in New York alone. In a brief space



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16 Spiritism

it swept the entire country. By 1854 ^^ less than
1300 persons signed a petition to Congress re-
questing a national investigation of its claims.
Some of the most prominent citizens of the
United States gave it their support. Soon it in-
vaded Europe causing immense interest and ex-
citement. So great was its popularity that in
1887 there were about one hundred newspapers
dealing with the philosophy and phenomena of
Spiritism. Its adherents were numbered by mil-
lions, lectures were given every day of the year,
and spiritistic circles were held in nearly every
city, town and village throughout the length and
breadth of the country. Since the outbreak of
the Great War the movement has grown by leaps
and bounds, and there is no telling the number
of those affiliated with the latest fad. Spiritistic
temples are being erected in many parts of the
country, and a veritable frenzy of spirit consul-
tation has seized upon the whole population,
stimulated by a flood of sensational articles in
newspapers and popular magazines, all of them
challenging the essential and fundamental doc-
trines of Christianity.
The one precise differentiation between the



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The Modern Satanism 17

movement today, and all that have occurred in
the past, is that those who look upon themselves,
and who are looked upon by others, as the leaders
of the Spiritistic cult, are Scientists of greater
or less reputation. Everything connected with
Psychic Research today seems to be clothed in a
scientific garb. Up to the present generation
Spiritism had never laid any serious claim to a
scientific foundation, when suddenly Scientists
with great names seize upon the movement, and
endeavor to give it an academic standing among
the learned and serious of the world. It is pre-
cisely this feature which entitles Spiritism to a
claim upon our attention. It means that the
reality of Spiritistic Phenomena can no longer
be denied. Too many eminent personages of un-
sullied reputation have given many anxious
years to its study to allow us to enter a sweeping
denial of the phenomena they report, or to waive
them aside on the plea of fraud or trickery.
And the scientific background and support it is
able to produce makes it a more than ordinary
enemy of Christianity. That crowds flock to
Spiritistic seances and purchase the literary pro-
ductions of Spiritistic authors, are only evi-



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18 Spiritism

dcnccs of the shackles with which the human
mind has been enslaved by so-called Science.
We have been worshiping science instead of
God these many years. We came to the conclu-
sion long ago that everything uttered by scientists
was true, and multitudes today are willing to
deny Christ at the bidding of this or that scien-
tist. The world at large little reckons that these
same scientists, or their predecessors who led the
scientific world in past generations, denied Christ
upon purely materialistic grounds. To deny
Christ seems to be the great thing, whether it be
on materialistic or spiritistic grounds. During the
past two generations Scientists have been the
avowed enemies of everything that even re-
motely concerned the soul or the supernatural
life. Let any theologian, however meek and
humble of heart, even hint at the immortality of
the soul, and at once the scientific world would
scoff and laugh, saying there is neither a soul nor
a future life, and that immortality is a figment of
the imagination.

Today all this is changed, and the successors
of those who formerly railed at God and the
spiritual life, are now crying from the housetops



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The Modern Satanism 19

some of the very truths which Christianity has
preached for 1900 years. The pity is that the
present uproarious propaganda cannot be re-
ceived in its entirety, since it is mixed with so
much error. Because Spiritists admit the im-
mortality of the soul, which is a Christian
dogma, is no reason why we should admit other
statements of Spirits which are contrary to Chris-
tian doctrines. It needed no ghost or materi-
alized spirit or discaraate soul or hysterical
medium to tell us that the soul is immortal. We
always knew that. It has been a doctrine taught
by God to humanity from the very foundation
of the world. Even today scientists decline to
investigate the Christian proofs for immortality,
preferring to wander in a labyrinth of seance
communications without proof of identity. The
modern Spiritistic craze proves just one thing:
Materialism is dead. How the great scientific
leaders of the nineteenth century must turn in
their unquiet graves at this complete revolution
and repudiation of their once vaunted opin-
ions 1 1

Spiritism has been acclaimed on two conti-
nents as a new Religion, because, if we were to



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20 Spiritism

believe Spiritists, Christianity has broken down,
Religion is dead, historical Christianity has
failed. Remarks such as these fall limpidly
from the lips of the great High Priests of the
widely heralded New Revelation. And yet on
mere historic grounds we can easily demonstrate
that instead of being a New Revelation, Modern
Spiritism is an ancient heresy. There is nothing
substantially new in it ; it is merely Anti-Christ
masquerading in modern clothes. The savages
of antiquity were acquainted with nearly every
one of the phenomena of modern Spiritism.
Scientific men are just now becoming familiar
with these facts that are evident to any one famil-
iar with the history of black magic. There is
scarcely a nation or a race or a period in the en-
tire history of the world which does not reveal to
us a well defined effort to hold communication
with the unseen world. Hence we must brand as
presumptuous those who claim that Modern
Spiritism is a New Revelation; it is in reality
nothing but a new form of arrogance, for Spir-
itists are by no means the pioneers or discoverers
of any new or wondrous psychic laws. Histori-
cal Christianity is not dead, nor is it likely to



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The Modern Satanism 21

die, whatever Spiritists and their advertisers say
to the contrary.

Was it not of his Church that Christ spoke to
Peter on a memorable occasion those far famed
words "The gates of hell shall not prevail
against it."^^^ If the Bible means what it says,
if Christ was sincere in this statement, how can
Christianity have failed, as those fond of
Psychic Research allege? Is Christ in error, or
is it the spirit rapping, table tilting mediums and
their spirit controls? Did not our Saviour
promise his Church "I shall be with you all
days, even to the consummation of the world ?"^*^
How then can Christ's Religion be dead?
And what must we think of the Spiritists who
give utterance to such destructive doctrines? In
spite of the age old declarations by Our Divine
Redeemer guaranteeing perpetuity to his Re-
ligion, we are told by those who follow Psychic
Research that these texts are unmeaning. The
lie is passed, and we are assured that historic
Christianity has spent its force, and now another
revelation has succeeded it. They thrust upon a
grief-stricken world an entirely new Theology,

(3) Matt. xvi. 18.

(4) Matt xxvui. 20.



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22 Spiritism

which they claim is the very essence of the Re-
ligion of Christ, long obscured and travestied by
his followers.

Vast numbers of its mediums and adherents
look upon Spiritism as their religion. They at-
tend no other church than the Spiritistic. Let us
not forget that Spiritism is everywhere stressed
as a new Religion. The great object of the new
creed is to inculcate the religious frame of mind.
All the seances are looked upon as religious in-
stitutions. They are invariably opened and
closed by prayer. No levity is permitted. A
hymn is sung occasionally during the course of
the seance.

But we must not suppose that Spiritists assume
their new Religion to be a home-made, man-
made affair. They claim a divine origin for
their new cult. In some halting way they see the
absurdity of having an effect greater than a
cause, so they realize they must begin in the next
world, claiming a divine source. They style
their present spiritistic activity as the greatest re-
ligious event since the death of Christ, because it
has resulted in what they say is a breaking down
of the walls between two worlds.



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The Modern Satanism 23

It is the avowed purpose of Spiritism to com-
municate with the souls of the dead, to catalog
and classify the subtle and elusive utterances
from beyond, and to construct from them an en-
tirely new religious philosophy and theology.
They lay great stress upon the appeal to human
reason in their new religion, to the exclusion of
Christian faith. Just how much value we should
attach to this spirit inspiration may be inferred
from a well known remark of St. Paul. "But
though we or an angel from heaven preach a
gospel to you besides that which we have
preached to you, let him be anathcma."^"^ Fre-
quently spirits claim they desire to bring about
a union between faith and reason. But this is a
mere play upon words. Such a union as they
proclaim would not be a union of two partners,
each busily employed in his own sphere, in help-
ing the human soul onward and upward through
darkness to God. Rather it is to be a sort of un-
recognized union, a morganatic alliance, the one
bond, the other free, with science in the saddle.
Indeed Spiritists tell us plainly that the so-called
reconciliation between Science and Religion is

(5) Gal. i. 8.



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24 Spiritism

one involving the entire triumph of Science. So
instead of Science being the handmaid of Re-
ligion, as it should be in the ordered scale of
knowledge, the tables are turned, and Religion is
to be the slave of Science.

Spiritists wish for certainty and the evidence
of their senses instead of divine faith. In this
manner they are attempting to do away with
Christian faith, which they continually scoff at,
yet it is the one thing that Christ praised on
many occasions. So important is it that Holy
Scripture solemnly warns us "without Faith it
is impossible to please God."^®* In countless
places in the New Testament, its necessity is in-
sisted upon to such an extent that it is the very
essence of a Christian that he believe and put into
practice all the truths that God has believed.^'^^
Hence the insistence by Spiritists upon sensi-
ble vision and scientific certainty to the exclusion
of divine faith in God is a violent assault upon
the very foundations of Christianity.

The spirits are crafty and unreliable; hence
we must not be surprised when their earthly lit-
erary representatives become apt pupils at dis-

<6) Heb. xi. 6.

(7) Matt xxviii, 19.



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The Modern Satanism 25

sembling. They deny every fundamental doc-
trine of Christianity, yet they still wish to be
Christians. They affirm with vehemence that
they merely desire to modify Christianity and to
make it accord with the facts of Psychic Re-
search. They want to "serve two masters" not-
withstanding a certain notable passage in the
"Sermon on the Mount"^®^ to the contrary.
Hence the intellectual acrobatic feats performed
in affirming and denying the same thing at one
and the same time. In one place they tell us
solemnly that Spiritism is a New Revelation;
then we are told just as energetically this does


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Online Library7th (Militia) United States. Army. New York Infantry RegimentStanding orders of the Seventh regiment, National guard, for the regulation and government of the regiment in the field or in quarters. A. Duryee, colonel → online text (page 1 of 7)