This Is Spiritualism - Maurice Barbanell

Containing some of the most remarkable spirit photographs ever published, this is a book of the widest appeal. The confirmed Spiritualist, sharing the author’s conviction in the supranormal, will read these pages avidly, being tempted, perhaps, to match the author’s psychic experiences to his own. 

To the layman knowing little or nothing of Spiritualism, the book will come as a revelation of thought-provoking ideas which sometimes challenge explanation. 

The sceptic, whose convictions are so often founded on ignorance, will find this book a renewed challenge which may not alter his views but will provide a clearer understanding of other’s faith in Spiritualism and the reasons why so many accept it.


This book, which so brilliantly captures the essence of Spiritualism in the first half of the last century, was published over 40 years ago and has been out of print for close on a quar­ter of a century. So why has the Spiritual Truth Foundation decided to reprint it at the beginning of the new Millenium? 

There are two reasons. 

The first is one of demand: it is a much sought after book which deserves to be available once again to seekers of truth, even though all of the mediums referred to in its pages have now passed to the spirit realm with which they had co,mmunion. The other is to remind ourselves, in this modem age when New Age thinking permeates our lives in a way that was unthinkable fifty years ago, that the pioneers of Spiritualism were often martyrs, scorned and vilified by those too ignorant or intolerant to examine the evidence for life after death that they were providing. We might also reflect on why forms of mediumship that were relatively commonplace in the period covered by this book -namely materialisation and direct voice communications - have now almost disappeared. Gone, but not forgotten, thanks to the lively journalistic prose of Maurice Barbanell, who was privileged to witness a tremen­dous range of phenomena during his time as Editor of two psychic publications. There is, however, one story that is missing from this book. Maurice Barbanell was also a medium; the channel for a highly evolved spirit whose real identity was never revealed but who was known as Silver Birch.

Perhaps modesty prevented the author from"'writing about his own mediumistic contribution, or maybe it was because what was communicated through him while in trance was philosoph­ical in content and not the "hard evidence" which is largely the theme of this book. Nevertheless, the teachings of Silver Birch have had an enor­mous impact on people around the world since they were first published after World War II, and the Spiritual Truth Foundation has ensured that they remain in print. A list of these titles can be found at the end of this book. Lastly, it is to be hoped that developing mediums will be inspired to seek to achieve the same high standards so clearly demonstrated in the accounts of mediumship in these pages.

Roy Stemman
Spiritual Truth Foundation

October 2001