The article on Spiritualism started well, but degenerated into sloppy journalism quickly. The Independent ran a much better article with interviews on the history of Spiritualism in Summerland and Santa Barbara a number of years ago. This article took the direction of erroneous information and without the benefit of fact-checking chose a person to verify their premise all Spiritualist are mentalists and shams.

Why didn’t the writer visit the Summerland Spiritualist Church of the Comforter in Santa Barbara? Why did the writer go to a psychic medium who used methods other than mental mediumship? The National Spiritualist Association of Churches certifies their mediums, and they adhere to strict guidelines of not using psychic tools, making “cold” readings, or asking questions. The Spiritualist churches would be glad to demonstrate the continuity of life for a small donation in the collection plate at church service. The writer could see and verify the veracity of the greetings from loved ones in spirit, and see the acknowledgement of identification from the attendees.

In addition, Summerland was a thriving summer camp for Spiritualist members and attendees, with church services and workshops. It was not full of “worn out mediums.” Tongue-in-cheek writing filled with erroneous and disparaging words only serves to illustrate the lack of research and open mind of the writer. Let’s get more professional in the future, or find a career as a stand-up sarcastic comedian.


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