Suggestion of Critics is Preposterous, Declares Famous Author


Churches of Present Day Taking Cult of Spiritualism For Granted

Do not judge “spirit photographs” until you have seen them; likewise, do not judge spiritualism until you have heard something about it.  This was the burden of a message given by Sir A. Conan Doyle, noted author and lecturer, to The Herald on Tuesday evening, when interviewed following his arrival in Calgary.  The author of the famous Sherlock Holmes stories, who for a number of years has given up his time to research, asks people to approach the subject of spiritualism with an open mind – at least unclouded by prejudice formed with no definite knowledge of what they are talking about.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who is now devoting practically the whole of his time to the study of the occult, speaks on Wednesday night at the Al Azhar Temple on “Proofs of Immortality”, during which some twenty startling spirit photographs will be thrown upon the screen.  Incidentally it should be stated that Sir Arthur does not benefit financially to the extent of a cent from his lectures, as the entire proceeds, after the deduction of expenses, are handed over to Spiritualistic societies.                                                               

Preposterous Suggestion

In replying to a question as to the criticism that had been made in some quarters in connection with the photographs, Sir Arthur said that generally speaking, people who had not seen them did not know what they were talking about.  “They seem to have the impression that I have taken them”, he said.  “Such is not the case: they were taken by some of the greatest scientific men, and the suggestion of these critics is preposterous.”

Sir Arthur has that happy knack of putting the interviewer immediately at his ease.  He states his faith in spiritualism in a manner which leaves a deep impress.  “We have not got to the bottom of anything yet in this world”, he remarked to The Herald.  “We do not know what electricity or magnetism is.  We do not know what gravity is, except superficially, but there is still a lot to be learned.”

The famous author stated that he had little time for writing now except in connection with his psychical investigations, and for that reason it was not likely that he would publish any more books in anything like the immediate future.  People in general, he said, did not know how big or abstruse the literature on the occult had become, and suiting his action to his words he picked up at random French publication on the subject which dealt largely with the medical aspect of the question.  For that reason there was a great deal to be done on keeping thoroughly abreast of the times.           

Gives His Whole Time

“The work has become so great”, said Sir Arthur, “that I have practically given my whole time to it, although I have to keep the pot boiling as I do not accept anything at all from my lectures.  All the proceeds go to spiritualistic work.””

When he was asked to what extent those societies benefitted, Sir Arthur said that at the close of his last American tour he had handed over $10,000.  In Australia he had left $5,000 for the carrying out of the work there.

“Yes”, said Sir Arthur in reply to another question.  “Spiritualism is making great headway, not only in little churches, but in the great preponderance of churches, they are taking it for granted without the least knowledge of the source of the change.”

Sir Arthur, although of the most robust build, appeared somewhat fatigued after his journey from Edmonton where he lectured on Monday night, and the newspaperman tried to excuse himself, much as he would have liked to have sat with the great British author who had thrilled millions with his detective stories the world over, for an indefinite period.

What is Ectoplasm?

Sir Arthur somehow noticed this – was it his occult knowledge observation? – and he proceeded to talk of that marvellous substance, ectoplasm, which by the way is the mysterious element in his photographs that Calgary people will have an opportunity of seeing for themselves on Wednesday night.

And from that he went on to talk in his own inimitable way of those who come to see these eerie manifestations and those whose came to scoff, the “brainy” men so called.  It was deeply interesting and at once showed to what extent Sir Artur, prominent man of lecture and qualified medicine, as he is, believes in spiritual forces.

Unseen Forces

In this connection, he referred incidentally to sometimes feeling that even when his herculean physical strength was giving way, under the strain of his work and his lectures, he felt supported by unseen forces.  “In fact”, he said, “sometimes I feel stronger at the end of a hard day’s work than when I commenced, because now I know those unseen forces – and there was no doubt in his earnest sincerity – have been, and are, supporting me.

It is regrettable that a larger hall than the Al Azhar could not be secured for the lecture.  Those who have not already secured their tickets should do so without delay.  The lecture, as already mentioned, is on Wednesday night.