11. December 2013 · Comments Off on Spiritualist History File: James E. Padgett & Dr. Leslie R. Stone · Categories: Afterlife, automatic writing, Death, history, mediumship, Spiritualist History File

The Spiritualist Writings of James E. Padgett

James E. Padgett Photo

James E. Padgett

Today I would like to introduce you to two individuals from The Spiritualist History File of 1914. These two men were responsible for bringing through thousands of cogent and important spiritual messages from the Spirit World for the benefit of mankind in general. The primary messenger and writing instrument was James E. Padgett.  The other man, Dr. Stone, played a supportive role and was responsible for ensuring that the messages, at least four volumes worth got published.

Let me start by providing you with some historical background.  James E. Padgett was born August 25, 1852, in Washington, D.C. He became a lawyer in 1880 and practiced law for forty-three years.

Padgett was a Methodist and taught Sunday school at the Trinity Methodist Church. He had no previous experience with psychic phenomena; his conception of religious doctrine was simply the doctrine of the Protestant church.

He was reluctant to attend his first séance, held at the home of a medium named Mrs. Maltby, but due to his longing for his recently deceased wife, Helen, and at the insistence of friends, he was willing to investigate the possibility of contact with her. 1914.

At the séance, Mrs. Maltby described Helen perfectly and told Padgett that Helen wanted to make contact with him. Mrs. Maltby also recognized that linking with Helen and recording her thoughts through a type of mediumship called “automatic writing” would be within Padgett’s psychic ability.

Because of his loneliness, Padgett was willing to attempt this rather unorthodox endeavor. In the evenings that followed, he sat patiently at his desk with pencil in hand, hoping to hear from his dear, departed wife. In time, his hand began to move and he wrote scrolly characters that he described as “fish hooks” and “hangers”. Eventually, he wrote a short readable note signed “Helen”. In the note, Helen stated she was often present with Padgett in spirit form and that she was glad that she was able to be close to him in this way.

Padgett was not convinced that the early letters he wrote actually came from his deceased wife and, in fact, he asked for proof. In the months that followed, Helen, through her letters, provided details of their lives that only the two of them had shared. Padgett thought that even these phenomena could be explained as material coming from his own mind, except that the writings came too quickly for him to formulate the thoughts. Besides, Padgett had forgotten many of the experiences he and Helen shared years ago; only Helen would have remembered them. Helen was insistent that the writings originated from her mind and not from his.

At this point, the understanding that these phenomena could not have been the brainchild of his own imagination came forcibly to Padgett. He became compelled to accept the evidence, as conclusively as any that he had heard in court, that his wife was alive and well, living in another dimension from where she was able to transmit her thoughts to her husband and he was able to write them down.

Through the insistent multitude of Helen’s letters and those of other close relations in Spirit, Padgett eventually accepted that his psychic powers were to be used by the hierarchy of the spirit world to impart spiritual knowledge to the world.

Letter Example from Wife Helen: (Edited)
“I am here, Helen.  I will try tonight to tell you of what I am now doing in my new home and in the earth sphere where I am most of the time, helping spirits. I am living with your mother in her home, but I am not so spiritual as she. We are both very happy though, and have everything that my heart could wish for.”

“My home here is much more beautiful than that which I had in the third sphere, and everything is beyond what I conceived when I lived there.” (Earlier letters from Helen indicate that she was living in the second and third Spheres, so this letter demonstrates that she had already progressed to a higher level, which validates one of the tenets of Spiritualism.)

“The house and trees and flowers and fruits are very much more beautiful and delightful.  I have met many spirits that I did not know either on earth or in the spirit world before I came to this place, both men and women.  Yes, we have rivers and lakes and fields and mountains and all the beautiful landscapes that you can imagine, I not only enjoy these things, but they are more real than those of earth. The music is so beautiful that I cannot describe it to you.” ….

This, therefore, gives use a framework of how Padgett became involved in Spiritualism.

Background on Dr. Stone.

Dr. Leslie R Stone

Dr. Leslie R Stone

Now I would like to provide some background on Dr. Stone.  Leslie R. Stone was born in 1876, in England. He immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1902, where he was introduced to Spiritualism. Dr. Stone studied Chiropractic in Oklahoma City graduating in 1912. In the fall of 1914, he moved to Washington D.C., where he was introduced to James Padgett.

Dr. Stone had been meeting with a branch of the Colburn Family whom he had met through someone he had met who had been seeking the copyright holder in order to republish a book by the famous Civil War Era Spiritualist, Nettie Colburn. He said, “I found them very kind and lovable people who were greatly interested in psychic experiences. It was through their son, Arthur Colburn, that I first heard of the messages that were being received by Mr. Padgett. I was introduced to him at his office where he was practicing law.” This was in the early fall of 1914 when everyone was excited about the great conflict that had broken out in Europe. (WWI) Some people felt the period was ushering in the end of the world and that Jesus himself would appear at this “end time.”  “For me, it was the end of my travels and spiritual search.”

“I became interested in him at first because he seemed to be a fine gentleman, and what was also important to me, a genuine medium. We became friendly on the basis of Spiritualism and mediumship, and this became a bond which, in addition to our mutual respect and brotherly love for each other, was never broken in this life until his death on March 17, 1923.  I was very often in Mr. Padgett’s room when he was receiving these writings; I am the eyewitness to the formation and development of James Padgett as the medium “par excellence” through whom the Divine Truths of the Heavenly Father and Life in the Spirit World have come to mankind.“

According to Dr. Stone, Padgett often did not fully know what he had written until reading it afterwards. Padgett was able to learn, through his writings, how to improve his soul condition, which developed his psychic powers to the extent that enabled him to link psychically with the higher spirits to receive and write their messages accurately. Padgett was able to accomplish the mediumistic assignment given him because he was born with psychic abilities, though they required development for the task at hand. Also, and equally important, he had the ability to make his mind extremely passive, which enabled him to receive the thoughts of spirits without imposing his own thoughts along with theirs during the writing sessions.

Upon Padgett’s passing in 1923, Dr. Stone became entrusted as publisher of the more than two thousand channeled messages that Padgett wrote over a nine-year period. To publish the first book of Padgett’s writings was a considerable undertaking for Dr. Stone because of Padgett’s style of automatic writing, whereby the words were interconnected without breaks or punctuation. Nevertheless, Dr. Stone persevered and completed his book of “messages”, as he called them, in 1940.

Unfortunately, by 1940, Spiritualism’s popularity in America had waned dramatically. This was due, for the most part, to the successful campaign by the celebrated escape artist, Harry Houdini, to expose fraud in the séance room. Houdini succeeded in discrediting many phony spiritualist mediums, and, by the time Dr. Stone’s book was ready for publication, Spiritualism was a mere shadow of its former self.

This atmosphere proved to be unfavorable for a book on the subject of Spiritualism, and has contributed sharply to the obscurity of James Padgett and his channeled work. Nevertheless, a small, but dedicated group, headed by Dr. Stone, continued to transcribe and publish Padgett’s writings and today there exists four sizable volumes. And much of the material can be found on numerous websites.

One may wonder if such an important spiritual event took place, why it has gone unnoticed for nearly a century? The answer is that Helen had suffered from a long illness that depleted Padgett’s savings. He was raising their two boys and he had to continue practicing law to provide for his family. Also, he realized that if he were to reveal his mediumship, it could jeopardize his reputation and law career, his only means of support. Thus, he chose to keep his writings private, disclosing them to only his closest friends – Dr. Leslie Stone, and a few others. Because of this, Padgett and his spirit communications are virtually unknown to this day.

At this point I would like to share a few of the writings of James Padgett with you.

MARTIN LUTHER: May 29, 1916 (Edited)
I selected this message from Martin Luther because of my background being raised as a Lutheran.

“I am here, Martin Luther, the onetime monk and reformer. When on earth, I firmly believed what was contained in our doctrines and teachings and was sincere in trying to induce others to believe as I believed and taught. However, after my long experience in the spirit world and my communications with Jesus and his Apostles and others to whom the truths of God have come, I realize and know that many of my teachings were erroneous and should no longer be believed by those who worship in the churches that bear my name.”

“My doctrine of faith, that is, justification by faith, is wrong when its foundation is considered. Our faith was founded on the assumption that Jesus was a part of the Godhead and the only begotten son of the Father. The premise is that God so loved sinful man that he caused Jesus to die on the cross so that divine justice might be appeased and the burden of men’s sins taken from them and placed on Jesus. Oh, the terrible error of it all.  No death of Jesus could make any man less of a sinner or draw him any nearer to God.”

“Jesus came to earth with a mission to save men from their sins, and that mission was to be performed by declaring to man who God had bestowed the privilege of receiving the divine love and the other by showing man the way in which the privilege might be exercised so that this love would become his and thereby make him a part of God’s divinity and insure him of immortality.”

“The Roman church taught the communion of saints, and I declare the communion of spirits and mortals, be they saints or sinners. The Church taught the doctrine of purgatory and hell, and I declare that there is a hell and a purgatory, that probation exists in both places, and that sometime in the long ages to come both places will be emptied of their inhabitants, some of whom will become redeemed children of God and dwellers in the celestial heavens while others will become purified in their natural love and become inhabitants of the spiritual spheres.”

“I pray and desire that my followers may become inhabitants of the celestial heavens and partake of the divine nature of God and immortality. To them I say: harken to the truths as Jesus has and will reveal them in his messages, for in the truths that he shall declare they will find life eternal and atonement with God that they have for so many years been seeking in darkness and disappointment.
– Your brother in Christ, Martin Luther”

JESUS: (Edited) June 7th, 1915.
I am here, Jesus. I want to write to you tonight about my birth and life up to the time of my public ministry. I was born in Bethlehem, as you know, in a manger, and when I was a few days old my parents took me to Egypt, in order to avoid the soldiers of Herod… The Bible story of my birth and the flight of my parents and the murder of the innocents is substantially correct; and I only wish to add to it, that when my parents arrived in Bethlehem they were not compelled to seek the manger of a stable in order that I might be born, on account of poverty, for they were supplied with funds and everything that was needed to make my birth comfortable for my mother; and as a matter of fact my father was not poor in the world’s goods as poverty was considered in those days.

After they arrived in Egypt my father sought the home of a Jew, who was his relative, and lived there for a long time, doing the work that his trade fitted him to do.  When I became of proper age, I attended the common school provided for small children, and was taught those things that had to do with the religion of the Jews. My education as to these matters of religion was derived Jewish teachers whose text-book was the Old Testament.

My development in the knowledge of the truths which I taught during my public ministry, was caused by my inner spiritual faculties, and my teacher was God.  I was not born with the knowledge that I was the son of God sent to earth to teach these great truths… this knowledge of my mission came to me after I became a man and had the frequent communions with God by my spiritual senses.

My teachings were those that the Father had committed to me from the beginning, but which I was only conscious of after I became a close communicant of the Father, and learned from Him my mission. So you must believe that I was a son of man as well as a son of God, and that in the literal sense. I would not have been true to my mission had I claimed that I was the only son of God, for it is not true – and men should not so teach it.

Lazarus Story: I wish to explain my visit to the house of Lazarus and my healing him of his unconscious state. He was in a coma, but the people of my time did not understand this, I did say as recorded, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awaken him out of his sleep” (John 11:11). Now, the Gospel of John, which at this point was not written by John, declares that by “sleep” I meant death, but this is not true. Had I meant that Lazarus was dead, I would have used one of the expressions that were commonly used at the time to indicate death. These were “to sleep with one’s Father” or “to sleep in the dust” or “to be in perpetual sleep“. When I wept (John 11:35) this is true, it was because I was touched by my emotion of love for Lazarus.

I did heal the sick, the deaf, the blind man and the withered hand of the palsied man at the pool of Siloam: he was cured because of his faith (John 9:7). Healing is effected as a result of rapport between the mortal doctor or healer and the spirit healers who are transmitting those therapeutic forces and energies to the ailing person. The mortal healers, through their spiritual condition, can attract the spirit healers. However, if the sick person, through faith and prayer, can rise above the earth plane, the spirit healer can work directly with the patient to accomplish the healing.

So there it is; a glimpse into the Spiritualist History File on the life and work of two unheralded men, James E. Padgett and his supporter and publisher, Dr. Leslie R. Stone.  In all my research, this provides yet another thought-provoking example of a large body of material that might have been lost had it not been for the advent of the internet.  What we see here is that there is a new opening to great knowledge that may have been otherwise lost to the world.  This adds another piece to the puzzle of the great works to be found within the body of Spiritualism.

I would like to comment here that the process which Mr. Padgett followed was a similar pattern which my own sister, Nancy followed after losing a loved one. Eventually she was able to receive messages from the angels via automatic writing. And today she publishes an e-magazine called The Inner Voice Magazine, which can be found online.

On a Personal Note: I find it difficult to believe reincarnation does not exist. However, after reading numerous random snippets of this work, I was able to determine that these writings did not propose a doctrine of reincarnation or re-birth. My explanation for this is that this material was intended for a Christian World at a time when the messages, as I have shown, would have been Earth Shattering enough for most people with fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Other than that omission, I found the writings to emanate a great ray of Truth!