Why This Website?

Once upon a time, founded long ago in May 1932, there was a newspaper dedicated to spreading the word about Spiritualism.

A unique weekly paper was produced by a renowned trance medium and journalist to publicise the truth that life is eternal, that there is ‘life after death’ and that it is through mediumship that ‘We prove life after death’ declared in black type printed on its masthead.

It survived many trials and tribulations – including World War II – and steadfastly reported and recorded the news and views of those who were pleased to call themselves Spiritualists, even when mediums were still able to be prosecuted for ‘pretending to be a medium’ without any opportunity to prove that they were genuine under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, or as ‘rogues and vagabonds’ under the 1824 Vagrancy Act Section 4 Number 11 – fortune tellers and mediums and not entitled to trial by jury…

It was in the forefront of the campaign to have that scurrilous Witchcraft Act repealed, and replaced with one that better reflected modern awareness of the existence of genuine mediumship. It would still allow for prosecution of fraudulent mediums – those who would ‘pretend to speak to the spirits of the dead’ as written in the aforementioned Act. In 1951 that 18th century legislation was discarded, and a new era for Spiritualism and its bedrock of good mediumship dawned. Spiritualist societies of all shades of religious philosophy flourished and were represented in the pages of a paper inspired by spirit communicators through its mediumistic Founding Editor.

He was told it should be named ‘ Psychic News’. The main topics, apart from actual news of church and centre meetings with reports on the mediums serving or healings effected, and political lobbying for more recognition for Spiritualism generally, were reincarnation, Christian Spiritualism, Physical Mediumship, Healing and Spiritualist philosophy. In its later years it found itself in a differently enabled world, a world of technological advancement and instant earthly communications…

A digitally engineered media revolution. At the same time, it saw the rise of psychism and ‘New Age’ spirituality as opposed to mediumship and Spiritualism as a religious denomination and or belief system. A ‘quick fix’ instant gratification societal development was reflected in a growing proliferation of ‘psychic’ phone lines where callers would be given psychic or allegedly mediumistic readings for something in excess of, pro rata, £60.00 an hour…

Television shows with psychics and mediums grew massively popular.The churches held fast. In 1995, the SNU had literally saved PN from extinction, and in 1996 was still struggling to keep it afloat against a background of outstanding loans from Directors and spiralling costs of newsprint and distribution as well as ever decreasing circulation figures. Its newly appointed editor had left abruptly…

I was asked to help and stepped in to edit Psychic News in the Autumn of that year. I set about trimming the sails of this flagship of the Spiritualist movement and in the light of my previous publishing experience I was able to cut costs and set it back on course. I left in May 2003, in PN’s 71st year of weekly publication, unable to cope with the pressure in my last year there.

Tony Ortzen who’d been assistant to the Founding Editor Maurice Barbanell , then editor on his passing for some years, returned for a couple of years and thereafter also left… The SNU found another editor and she stayed in post until liquidation loomed because of plummeting sales and related issues. In 2010 PN shut shop. It never made 80 – but this is the age of cyberspace communication.

So here we are, able to enjoy some of the same Spiritualist orientated articles and to share our thoughts in much the same ways as we did. You’ve even got the same people – old friends like popular media medium, Philip Solomon, Peter ‘teabags’ Spillett, and the no-nonsense Jim McQuitty giving you their thoughts.

You can contact me via the contact form page and send emails too for inclusion in the Readers’ Forum. Now read on, as I used to say, and in true story telling tradition, we shall all live together happily ever after!

Published by revlyngdes

I am first minister of the New Spiritualists Society UK. I have been in Spiritualism for many years and have utilised my journalistic skills - I was a sports journalist both freelance and publishing editor of Sportswoman magazine and managing editor of Sportsworld among other publications. I won Magazine Sportswriter of the Year in 1988 and had the book Women and Sport published in the same year. In 1994 I edited the SNU newsletter New Communicator and in 1996 I was appointed editor of old established weekly Spiritualist newspaper Psychic News. I contribute to Psychic World quarterly and compile and edit the community magazine Littleport Life. I was a speed skater and ice hockey player and ran a speed club and ice hockey club. I also became a coach and referee. I am president of the Great Britain Bandy Association which I founded and director of the Ice Arena Project. I am PO for the Littleport Society and Chair of the Scout and Guide Hut committee. I am mother of 6, grandmother and great grandmother. I am married to my partner of 37 years Cathy.

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