The term Spiritualism at present refers to Modern Spiritualism, founded in America in 1848, distinctive from Ancient Spiritualism, which is as old as intelligent man and is the foundation of every religion. In ancient times Spiritualism was commonly practiced by all the cultures of the earth and was considered invaluable in affairs of state and religion.
From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, when the Church of Rome had complete power, the practice of psychic arts was forbidden and many a poor soul paid the penalty for disobeying this stricture. The ban was lifted when the British Parliament passed the Witchcraft Act of 1735. This new freedom paved the way for the advent of Modern Spiritualism, a movement founded on contact with the spiritual world.
Modern Spiritualism began in the tiny hamlet of Hydesville, in Western New York State, with the psychic phenomena of mysterious knocking sounds. This single event ushered in a movement of spiritual freethinking that was new to the world and closely allied the two great causes of the day: the abolishment of slavery and woman's suffrage.
Spiritualism’s popularity grew during the Victorian Age and culminated during World War I when there were millions of spiritualists on both sides of the Atlantic. In the 1920s, the celebrated magician, Harry Houdini succeeded in his campaign to expose fraudulent mediums that vanquished Spiritualism in America.
Spiritualism does not have a Bible or a universally accepted book, but it does have seven principles that are widely recognized. Within Spiritualism, there are diverse beliefs, as in any religion. However, from my thirty-year study of Spiritualism, its mediums and its philosophy, I believe that the little-known channelled writings of the Washington, D.C., lawyer, James E. Padgett originate from higher realms of the spirit world than any other communications that I have examined. For this reason the philosophical portions of this site are based on the knowledge contained in his spirit communications.