Chapter 1 - Personal experiences in the field of spiritual apparitions

- 35 - lost his belief in God. As for what I told him of the occurrences at the spiritist meetings, he considered the whole thing a fraud and a moneymaking scheme. Nevertheless, out of curiosity, he decided one evening to accompany me to a meeting at one of these churches. Like all those present, he, too, received a message. What was told to him there was correct in all particulars, in spite of the fact that the medium had never seen him before, and naturally did not know who he was. He was informed among other things that he possessed great mediumistic powers and was urged to cultivate them. After we had returned home he asked me what the medium had meant by urging him to cultivate his mediumistic powers, upon which I explained the situation and offered to hold services with him and Mrs. Niemann once or twice a week. This would, of course, give me a further opportunity to verify what I had learned in Germany, even though I no longer had any doubts on that score. I held the services as I had in the small circle in my parish, as already described. Here, then, on the opposite side of the ocean, in a family which had abandoned its belief in God, but which was honestly and sincerely willing to accept the truth, I watched the development of mediums progress exactly as it had progressed in the case of the mediums I had observed in my former environment. Thus, both there and here, the laws governing the development of mediums were the same. On the very first evening Mr. Niemann began mediumistic writing, conscious of the fact that he was writing, but unaware of what he was writing. The various passages he wrote were done in different handwritings and were signed with the names of different relatives and friends whom Mr. Niemann remembered only when he saw their signatures affixed to what he had written that evening. They all assured him that in acting as he was, he was choosing the right path. They told him to keep to it. • They themselves would have been only too happy if someone had shown them this way to God while they were alive. The messages affirmed that there was a Beyond and a God, in Whom, they said, he should trust. When Mr. Niemann came out of his trance and read what he himself had set down in different handwritings, he was speechless. Subsequently he and his wife held the service in my absence and again he wrote as on the first occasion, much to his wife’s surprise, for she secretly believed that I had hypnotized her husband and had transmitted to him by telepathy the thoughts he had committed to writing. Now, however, she had proof to the contrary, because he had done his mediumistic writing in the same manner even when I was not present. Incidentally, she might have reflected on the first occasion that I had no way of knowing the names of the deceased that appeared in the writing, and could not, therefore, have transmitted them to the writer. At the same session she had an even more convincing proof, for she herself was compelled by an invisible power to take the pencil and write, while tears rolled down her cheeks. Unlike her husband, she knew what she was writing, her sensations being the same as those of one of the boys in my home parish. As in his case too, the thoughts to be written down were forcibly instilled into her. She was, therefore, an “inspirational medium”, like that boy, and, like him, was unable to repeat, at the conclusion of her writing, the ideas with which she had been inspired. The development of these two mediums progressed from week to week. For a short time, Mr. Niemann continued to write, but soon his development as a “speaking medium” began, with all of those outward manifestations that I had observed in the case of the speaking medium in my former