ABOUT THE PHYSICAL MEDIUM ARNOLD CLAREThe awakening of the mediumship of Arnold Clare, born in 1901, can be linked to John, a monk whom he met in 1917 at Mount Athos. Arnold, serving as a member of the Navy, spent many hours listening to the wise old man; he remembered that on leaving, John simply said that the two of them would meet again. Arnold hardly realized at the time what the circumstances would be when this happened.
Later, during his naval service, he became
acquainted with a Russian captain who invited him to his own home where circles
were held with his wife as the medium. After attending a number of these, the
medium began to speak 'with an intonation unmistakably John's and reproducing
his natural inflexions'. During this occasion, the communicator reminded Arnold
of what he had predicted: 'I told you, my son, we should meet again'. He
continued to speak as he had done at Mount Athos, and advised Arnold that he was
being trained for work.(1) The development of Arnold Clare's mediumship then
occurred in a series of different stages. In each of these, evidence became
greater and communication became of higher quality.
To ensure that a reasonable amount of light
was available during his seances, the plaque used was somewhat large, i.e. over
two square feet; before each sitting, luminous paint was applied. The light that
it supplied made it possible to see objects four feet away; through this,
sitters were able to observe the trumpets, and see the materializations.
At this point, materializations were participating in the seances, being some distance from the medium and speaking to the sitters; in time this was developed even further with materializations being up to eighteen feet away from the medium, and conducting lengthy and lucid conversations. It should be noted that Arnold was not a professional medium and made no financial gain from his work; when a charge was made, the proceeds were given to a charity or cause related to Spiritualism. It is remarkable that he was able to produce such marvellous phenomena in view of his employment with the Admiralty and absences from home that were required due to this work.
In June 1940, it was possible to conduct seances in a subdued ('ice-blue') light whereupon sitters could see each other, although there was a noticeable effect on the quality of the phenomena, with the trumpets having restricted movement. In July 1940, one of the more spectacular materializations took place: sitters were joined by the medium Jack Webber who had died earlier that year. The ten sitters signed a declaration about what they had witnessed. After an appearance of one of the guides, the plaque rose and Jack Webber was seen, albeit for a few seconds. This was followed by a further appearance of longer duration; of this, Harry Edwards, one of the sitters, declared, 'Jack went from our side of the circle to the opposite side and spoke a few words, with the tonal qualities of his voice being clearly recognisable'...I have seen many materialisations, but never before have I seen one so plainly'.
Following this, there were materializations
of two of Arnold's guides. The seance included other phenomena; for nearly an
hour, up to three trumpets moved about the room and 'they weaved intricate
patterns at amazing speed...they turned, reversed, joined together three in a
row' and at certain times were some eight feet away from the medium.(3) This was
accompanied by a number of apports. Due to the war, seances were not held
between August and early November 1940; in fact, due to the time, many of the
seances were accompanied by the noise of air-raid sirens, guns and bombing.
On 30 November 1940, Colin Evans, B.A., was
invited to a seance; his record is significant due to his objectively and the
absence of partiality. During the seance, light was sometimes provided by a red
light and the fire. His general view was that of, 'complete genuineness in
respect to all the phenomena'.(4) The seance began with noises and the trumpets
beginning to move. One of the guides spoke, and Evans recorded that it was
wholly unlike the medium's own voice, and he believed the accent would not be
possible to falsify unless a person had specialized training. Music was played
through much of the seance and when the needle on the gramophone required
changing, the sitter managed to drop this and was unable to locate it on the
floor. Ever helpful, Little Peter announced that he had found the needle, and a
box of these was promptly levitated around the room - and rattled. Evans also
noted the presence of winds, that he believed may have been caused by the rapid
movement of the trumpets. He also related how Arnold's mediumship not only
provided different forms of phenomena, but demonstrated survival. A number of
the sitters were spoken to through the trumpets and the communicators were
recognized as 'voices of friends and relatives ("dead") well known to
them'.(5) One of these sitters had not attended a seance before, and was unknown
to the medium. This was followed by apports: Little Peter counted aloud, as
these were produced one by one. Materializations subsequently joined the circle.
Evans then requested that the medium be seen while a materialization was
It is only by the reading of such records of physical mediumship that the value of this activity becomes evident. Harry Edwards notes that the number of outstanding physical mediums in the world is negligible;(8) this form of mediumship is rare, and consequently, very precious. When this fact is considered, the importance of the NAS, its aims, and the mediums who work with it, is apparent. This is surely something worth reflecting upon.
(C) Noah's Ark Society
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