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Appendix from the "The Mind at Mischief"

Sadler, William S., The Mind at Mischief, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1929. pp. 382-384

Editor's note: The following was written by Dr. William S. Sadler in 1929 as an Appendix to his book, "The Mind at Mischief." Dr Sadler is known to have been intimately involved in the process which resulted in the publication of The Urantia Book. It is the opinion of some individuals that the "sleeping subject" to which he refers in this Appendix, along with the phenomena associated with this person, is a description of the process by which the content of The Urantia Book came into the possession of Dr. Sadler and the contact commissioners.

In discussions of fraudulent mediums or self-deceived psychics, the reader of this book has several times encountered the statement that there were certain exceptions to the general indictments there made, and was referred to this appendix. It now becomes my duty to explain what I had in mind when those footnotes were inserted.

In the interests of scientific accuracy on the one hand, and of strict fairness on the other, it becomes necessary to explain that there are one or two exceptions to the general statement that all cases of psychic phenomena which have come under my observation have turned out to be those of auto-psychism. It is true that practically all the physical phenomena have proved to be fraudulent, while the psychic phenomena are almost invariably explainable by the laws of psychic projection, transference, reality shifting, etc. But many years ago I did meet one trance medium, a woman now deceased, whose visions, revelations, etc., were not tainted with spiritualism. As far as my knowledge extends, at no time did she claim to be under the influence of spirit guides or controls, or to communicate messages from the spirits of departed human beings. Her work was largely of a religious nature and consisted of elevated sayings and religious admonitions. I never had the privilege of making a thoroughgoing psychic analysis of this case, and am not in a position to express myself as to the extent to which her revelations originated in the subconscious realms of her own mind. I make mention of the case merely to record the fact that I have met one instance of psychic phenomena apparently of the trance order that was not in any way associated with spiritualism.

The other exception has to do with a rather peculiar case of psychic phenomena, one which I find myself unable to classify, and which I would like very much to narrate more fully; I cannot do so here, however, because of a promise which I feel under obligation to keep sacredly. In other words, I have promised not to publish this case during the lifetime of the individual. I hope sometime to secure a modification of that promise and be able to report this case more fully because of its interesting features. I was brought in contact with it, in the summer of 1911, and I have had it under my observation more or less ever since, having been present at probably 250 of the night sessions, many of which have been attended by a stenographer who made voluminous notes.

A thorough study of this case has convinced me that it is not one of ordinary trance. While the sleep seems to be quite of a natural order, it is very profound, and so far we have never been able to awaken the subject when in this state; but the body is never rigid, and the heart action is never modified, tho respiration is sometimes markedly interfered with. This man is utterly unconscious, wholly oblivious to what takes place, and unless told about it subsequently, never knows that he has been used as a sort of clearing house for the coming and going of alleged extra-planetary personalities. In fact, he is more or less indifferent to the whole proceeding, and shows a surprising lack of interest in these affairs as they occur from time to time.

In no way are these night visitations like the seances associated with spiritualism. At no time during the period of eighteen years' observation has there been a communication from any source that claimed to be the spirit of a deceased human being. The communications which have been written, or which we have had the opportunity to hear spoken, are made by a vast order of alleged beings who claim to come from other planets to visit this world, to stop here as student visitors for study and observation when they are en route from one universe to another or from one planet to another. These communications further arise in alleged spiritual beings who purport to have been assigned to this planet for duties of various sorts.

Eighteen years of study and careful investigation have failed to reveal the psychic origin of these messages. I find myself at the present time just where I was when I started. Psychoanalysis, hypnotism, intensive comparison, fail to show that the written or spoken messages of this individual have origin in his own mind. Much of the material secured through this subject is quite contrary to his habits of thought, to the way in which he has been taught, and to his entire philosophy. In fact, of much that we have secured, we have failed to find anything of its nature in existence. Its philosophic content is quite new, and we are unable to find where very much of it has ever found human expression.

Much as I would like to report details of this case, I am not in a position to do so at present. I can only say that I have found in these years of observation that all the information imparted through this source has proved to be consistent within itself. While there is considerable difference in the quality of the communications, this seems to be reasonably explained by a difference in state of development and order of the personalities making the communications. Its philosophy is consistent. It is essentially Christian, and is, on the whole, entirely harmonious with the known scientific facts and truths of this age. In fact, the case is so unusual and extraordinary that it establishes itself immediately, as far as my experience goes, in a class by itself, one which has thus far resisted all my efforts to prove it to be of auto-psychic origin. Our investigations are being continued and, as I have intimated, I hope some time in the near future to secure permission for the more complete reporting of the phenomena connected with this interesting case.

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