Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Waratah - 'telepathic communications' - ship not wrecked.

'The Waratah - prayers for her safe keeping, at Temperence Hall, city, Sunday, 7 pm.  Christians invited.  Friends of those on board attend, to enable Mrs Murray to get telepathic communications.  Two communications had already.  Boat not wrecked, method used is similar to wireless telegraphy.  Admission, 6d'

This is an example of adverts appearing in newspapers after the disappearance of the Waratah. It is a paradoxical combination of references to Christianity, prayers and sobriety (a Victorian virtue) linked with Mrs Murray's claimed supernatural abilities to communicate with those on the Waratah - for a fee of course. The advert also claimed prior success with such communications. One could view this as a money-making venture, taking advantage of distressed family and friends.

The alleged alliance of these supernatural communications with wireless telegraphy could be viewed as an attempt to distance the 'communications' from the occult, which would sacrifice the credibility of Christian prayers 'for her safe keeping'. At the time wireless telegraphy was a leap of faith. Very few people understood the science of such 'invisible' communications. With limited insight into this new technology it is no surprise that acceptance translated into gullibility, an expanded realm fueling unrealistic expectations.

Mrs Murray may have intended to use her 'gift' for beneficence. But to the casual observer, it suggests opportunism and exploitation. The mainstream Christian world hesitantly accepted such communications with the spirit (or living on a vessel adrift) world with cautionary advice:

'The spiritual world is inhabited by legions of lying spirits whose chief occupation and delight it is to deceive humanity.'

'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world' 1 John 4:1

'In every time of crisis false prophets are ready to take advantage of the circumstances, and the evil spirits that are lying in wait to deceive humanity find no difficulty in securing many human channels through which they can exercise their nefarious arts.'

The Devil in 'his' many forms takes advantage of the weak and vulnerable.

The message is clear:

Be cautious in communications with the spirit world and don't necessarily believe all that is communicated.

Charlatans using this medium for monetary gain, could default back to the defence that false and misleading messages were the work of nefarious spirits - agents of Lucifer. How cruel to give people false messages from loved ones in the 'afterlife'. Perhaps even worse was to suggest that the people on the Waratah were still alive.

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