Written in 2002
The most that the average person interested in psychical research and the paranormal
knows about the cross-
Despite the fearsome reputation they have gathered, particularly among a generation largely ignorant of the classics, neither specialist knowledge nor prodigious study is needed to appreciate their significance. All those who devoted much of their lives, and considerable expertise, into analysing these messages, became converted, usually slowly and reluctantly, to the belief in the survival of identifiable personalities. Hitherto suppressed material which has only recently become available for study enables us to understand more readily why their scepticism became transformed into belief.
To understand the purpose and appreciate the significance of the cross-
On the basis that the cross-
Several of the more famous examples are not strictly cross-
That a small number of posthumous communicators, prominently associated during their
lives with the evidence for survival, were collaborating in a novel attempt to prove
their continued existence was by no means immediately apparent to their former colleagues
on Earth. The earliest cross correspondence which followed soon after Myers' death
in January 1901, the so-
In many cases the messages, normally received via automatic writing, gave specific
directions about where to look, to whom to transmit the information, and from whom
Despite 3,000 pages of scripts and commentaries published by the Society for Psychical Research during a period extending over thirty years, the full significance of these messages was apparent to only a very few contemporaries who were the principal investigators and analysts. They were constrained by obligations of strict privacy which only just becoming irrelevant. It is now possible to discern two interwoven themes, one of which, known as the Story, relates to the series of messages which were to convince the ageing British statesman, Arthur Balfour, that the love of his life was still eagerly awaiting him beyond the grave after forty and more years. The other, known The Plan, is a yet more startling and hitherto barely revealed account of a plan of spiritual eugenics by which the first of what was to be a generation of world leaders would be bred from a sexual union guided, even determined, by a group of high minded spiritual communicators so that a world of peace and prosperity would eventually prevail over wars and misery.
As to the Story, this was described in great and learned detail by Balfour's niece, Jean, Third Countess of Balfour in 1960 in The Palm Sunday Case (Proceedings of the SPR, 52). By analysing the fragments of messages from five automatists over a period of several years, it was possible to determine the identities of seven communicators, only three of whom made no attempt to conceal their clearly recognisable personalities, and to piece together a moving account of the private events of 1875 involving the young Arthur Balfour and his doomed lover, May Lyttleton.