Found in the Peter Haining Archive ( though how it got there is anybody’s guess) is a letter addressed to Alec McClelland, author of The Lost World of the Agharti from someone called John Hanning-Lee.
Bearing no year date ( but it must be dated after 1982, when The Lost World of Agharti appeared ) it urges McClelland to read Seth Speaks by the American psychic and author Jane Roberts (1929 – 84), who from 1964 received spirit messages from a male being called ‘ Seth’, whose pronouncements were later made the subject of a number of published works by Roberts collectively known as the ‘Seth material’. In his letter Hanning –Lee particularly focuses on the chapter in Seth Speaks devoted to the lost underground civilisation that predated Atlantis. Hanning-Lee describes the inhabitants and their civilisation thus:
‘They had blown up their own civilisation prior to that and the underground existence that followed was, of course, a reincarnational one. They excavated whole cities, by that I mean they excavated extensively so that their cities and communicating passages were entirely beneath the surface. The means of doing this was by means of sound vibrations where certain low notes sounded with power can cause a tunnel to form where there was solid earth. I suppose an analogy would be if you were to manipulate iron filings so that a path was formed through a mass of them placed on a sheet of paper and the paper tapped lightly. These ‘ caves ‘ they formed were, then, far more extensive than the ordinary idea of the word ‘cave’ and ran for miles, Their knowledge of the plates of the Earth’s crust and the science of earthquakes was almost certainly far superior to ours. Continue reading
Found in the Coleman collection this striking pamphlet. The collection consisted of 3000+ books and booklets on parapsychology, spiritualism and the occult accumulated by a zetetic Bedford scientist determined to disprove all aspects of the paranormal. This pamphlet by Shaw Desmond from 1946 is actually quite late in the day for spiritualist and psychic publications. They were at their height in the early 1930s. There is a theory that they blossomed in the 1920s with the business of putting grieving parents in touch with their dead soldier sons…In the age of Dawkins these pamphlets are still published but the flood has (sadly) become a small stream. Shaw Desmond (1877-1960) was an Irish novelist, poet, founder of the International Institute for Psychical Research in 1934, and author of many works on the afterlife and several Scientific Romances- some dystopian and possibly influenced by Olaf Stapledon. He appears as himself in Haunted Palace(1949), a documentary, directed by Richard Fisher, in his role as a ghostbuster. There is more on Desmond at the at the SF Encyclopedia.
From a large spiritualist collection this curiosity Psychic Messages from Oscar Wilde (Psychic Book Club, London 1924) published 24 years after his death and purporting to be spirit communications from purgatory with the great writer. Why Oscar was in purgatory and not heaven is not explained (although he famously said 'I don't want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.') One of the communicants, Eric Dingwall (described online as '...a man of many parts – psychical researcher, librarian, book and antique collector, anthropologist, sexologist, intelligence operative) was no mere gullible spiritualist and occasionally they get Oscar's tone...his damning opinion of Joyce's recently published Ulysses is interesting, but it seems more likely Oscar would have approved...
COPY OF AUTOMATIC SCRIPT OBTAINED MONDAY,
JUNE 18TH, 1923.
Present.-Mr. V., Mrs. Travers Smith, Mr. B., Mr. Dingwall (Research Officer of the Society for Psychical Research), Miss Cummins.
Mr. V. was the automatist, Mrs. T.S. touching his hand.