The term spiritism is derived from the Latin word spiritus, the spirit. It can be defined as the doctrine or cult of spirits. This movement is understood as an attempt to communicate with the dead in the realm of the dead. Historically, spiritism can be traced back thousands of years. (Old Testament: 1 Samuel 28:5; Genesis 18:10), further references in the history of the Christian church. The non-Christian religions are largely spiritistic. Spiritism has become a worldwide movement and is growing rapidly in all countries.

Some forms of spiritism:

– Umbanda, Cardecian Spiritism, Macumbakult e.g. in Brazil

– Voodoo e.g. in West Africa and Haiti

Some Spiritistic phenomena are:

  1. Spiritistic visions
  2. Spiritistic prophecy
  3. Table lifting
  4. Ouija board
  5. Speaking in Trance
  6. Automatic writing
  7. Spiritistic Soothsaying
  8. Communication with spirits
  9. Excursion of the soul
  10. Astral Traveling
  11. Transfiguration
  12. Levitation
  13. Apports
  14. Spiritistic aggressive magic
  15. Spiritistic defense magic
  16. Spiritistic operations

The following explanations and examples are taken from the book „Occult ABC“ by Dr. Kurt E. Koch.

  1. Spiritistic visions

Spiritistic visions are sometimes similar to biblical visions, but have a completely different root. Biblical visions come from the sphere of God, from the sphere of the Holy Spirit. Spiritistic visions are under satanic inspiration. Here is an example: In Porto Alegre (Brazil), a 17-year-old girl came to me for counselling. During the burning of a large arsenal, she experienced the whole process in a dream. She saw the mighty building burn to the ground. On the same day, the newspaper carried the pictures as she had seen them. The parapsychologist will say that the girl recorded the burning process telepathically. I have no objection to this explanation, but it does not clarify the roots of this ability. Both of the girl’s grandfathers were active spiritists in Brazil. Where spiritism has been practised by the ancestors, the descendants are endowed with mediumistic powers up to the fourth generation.

  1. The table lifting

The so-called table lifting is considered by many people as a social game. However, it is a spiritistic session. This is because table-lifting is practised in order to make contact with the „deceased“ (in reality, they are demons) and to find out hidden information. Participants sit around a round table, forming a chain with their hands. The medium tries to connect with the realm of the dead. The teammates ask questions, which are answered by tapping of the table. Neither do psychic forces come into action nor is the subconscious of the participants tapped into, but demonic forces are involved. Proof of this is the fact that praying, believing Christians immediately override the action of moving the table or glass when they fall into such a circle out of ignorance.

  1. Ouija board

Ouija board” or “talking board” is the English term for a fortune-telling game known as a planchette in France and a psychograph in Germany. It is a board with an alphabet, numbers and the words yes and no. A movable pointing device completes the “game”, which was invented in 1891 by the American Elijah Bond. The rights were sold to Parker Brothers in 1966. This is interesting because only one year later four million Ouija boards were produced and sold in North America alone. Especially in English-speaking countries, the Ouija board has become a popular “parlour game”.

During a session with the Ouija board, the game leader communicates with spirits or the deceased so that the participants can ask them questions. The questions can be about the past or the future. The pointer moves to each letter, which then gives the answer. Attempts to give a plausible explanation for the ghostly movement of the pointer are not satisfactory.

Dr. Kurt E. Koch: „The American psychologists try to play down this game. They claim that it can only bring the contents of our subconscious to light. This claim can be quickly refuted. After all, hidden things of the past and the future are revealed, which cannot be anchored in our subconscious.“

  1. Speaking in Trance

Speaking in trance is a mediumistic process. It only works in the presence of a medium who has mastered this form of spiritism. The medium goes into a trance, a kind of deep sleep, and the spirits are then said to be able to speak to the people present through the medium.

Dr. Kurt E. Koch writes in his book “Occult ABC”:

Ex. 218 I had been asked to preach at a Lutheran church in South Africa. The last minister had been led astray by spiritists. When he hesitated, the spiritists told him that Luther spoke at their meetings. What Lutheran pastor would not be eager to hear Martin Luther speak? So the Lutheran pastor went to the séance with his wife and daughter. The pastor quickly realised that what was going on was a shameless deception on the part of the demons: Martin Luther had certainly never preached in such a primitive and unspiritual way as through this spiritistic medium. After a terrible struggle, he renounced Spiritism. But he died a short time later. His wife and daughter were unable to free themselves and remained trapped in the spiritists’ coils.

  1. Automatic writing

In spiritistic automatic writing, the medium must achieve complete inner quietness and must not concentrate on anything. Suddenly, the compulsion to write comes over the medium. One of the most versatile and capable mediums was Matthew Manning. A number of parapsychologists have already studied Manning.

Dr. Kurt E. Koch writes in his book “Occult ABC”:

Ex 219 A parapsychologist visited Manning to check out some of his experiments. Manning offered to give the parapsychologist a diagnosis of his state of health. Manning took a sheet of paper and wrote the parapsychologist’s date of birth at the top of the page. Then Manning waited. After a minute, his hand began to write in a quite different style of handwriting. The writing was signed at the bottom, Thomas Penn. The diagnosis that this Thomas Penn from the other side gave was also interesting. lt was, „A malfunction in the epigastric region. “ The parapsychologist asked Manning, „Do you know what is
meant by ‚the epigastric region‘?“ “No,“ said Manning, „I don’t know.“ „lt isn’t altogether clear to me either,“ said the parapsychologist. When checked by a doctor, the diagnosis proved to be correct. This knowledge cannot therefore have come from Manning’s subconscious. This is a case where extra-human forces are at work.

Automatic drawing is on the same level. Manning takes a crayon in his hand, waits, and then suddenly starts to draw quickly. After a few minutes his style changes. He draws in the style of well-known artists. When the parapsychologist was there, Manning drew a reproduction of the rhinoceros which Albrecht Dürer drew in 1515, and which is hanging in the British Museum in London. A few minutes later, Manning drew a picture of Salome with the head of John the Baptist on a table before her. The original is by Aubrey Beardsley. Kurt E. Koch: „I have seen both drawings and know that Manning has certainly not the artistic ability to copy the drawing of Albrecht Dürer or the painting of Beardsley from memory.
Manning originally believed that his subconscious mind was responsible for all these powers. He has long since given up that view. He now believes that he receives his impulses and abilities from the unseen world.

  1. Spiritistic Soothsaying

Ex 220 In a Women’s Fellowship group, a woman openly told me that she had taken part in a spiritistic séance. During the séance, a woman asked whether her husband, who bad been missing for years, was still alive. The questioner was asked to give the medium a piece of her husband’s clothing. The medium then shut his eyes for a few seconds, and said, „Your husband is living in Italy.“ This
later turned out to be true. What we have here is a combination of psychometry and spiritistic soothsaying. People who make use of such help come under a ban.

  1. Conversation with spirits

Strong mediums with well-developed abilities do not need a means of contact to communicate with spirits. They can see the spirits, talk to them and receive answers.

A young spiritist confirmed this fact to Kurt E. Koch after a lecture in Frankfurt. The young woman admitted that she had been conversing with spirits for years. She had started with table-tapping and glass-moving. Later she no longer needed these aids, but was able to put questions to the spirits directly. They answered her. When Kurt E Koch pointed out to her that these spirits would destroy her life, she openly admitted it.

Another example from Lismore in Australia: A woman told Kurt E. Koch in the counselling session about her severe fears. Her uncle was a spiritist. Before he died, he transferred his psychic powers to the niece. It often happens with mediums that they cannot die until they have transferred their magical powers to someone else. Since this young woman had taken over the mediumistic powers from her dying uncle, she had experienced terrible anxiety. She saw demons, heard knocking, experienced poltergeists and other disturbances. In her distress, she went to a doctor instead of an experienced pastor. The doctor naturally thought she was suffering from a form of schizophrenia and admitted her to a clinic. There, too, she received psychiatric treatment, that was unsuccessful. She was discharged again and continued to have the apparitions. Not only could she see the spirits, she could also talk to them, ask them questions and receive answers. Her nervous system became more and more disturbed. (Source: “Occult ABC”, Dr. Kurt E Koch)

  1. Excursion of the soul

There are spiritistic mediums who have the ability to detach their soul from their body to explore hidden things. So it is a spiritistic form of clairvoyance.

Here is an example: (Source: “Occult ABC”, Dr. Kurt E Koch):

Ex 223 In London I gave a talk in All Saints Hall. There were many Anglican priests present. The talk was followed by a discussion. One Anglican minister declared that he had the power to separate his soul from his body and send it out to find our bidden things. This state of separation happened without his will. He thought it was like the gift of the Apostle Paul who says in 2 Corinthians 12:3 „Whether in the body or out of the body, I know not“. The priest went on to say that the only way to stop this process is to think about the cross of Jesus Christ. He saw his ability as a gift from God. He said that he also had the gift of second sight.
I pointed out to this minister that I had observed that the excursion of the soul was a phenomenon in spiritist families. Usually the parents or grandparents were Spiritists and these abilities appear in their descendants. The minister questioned this. Then suddenly I found I had a supporter. A man stood up in the back whom I did not know. He said, „I used to have the same ability, but I was set free by Christ. Just call on Jesus Christ, for he who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved.
A day or two later I received a phone call from this Anglican priest asking if I had time to see him. He confessed that he had been involved with spiritists. He renounced spiritism, accepted Jesus Christ and invited me to speak at his church. The church was packed.

  1. Astral Travelling ( Astroprojection)

Astral travelling is also called astroprojection. Spiritists who practise astral projection only send their souls on journeys around this world. Strong mediums who have mastered astral travel claim that they can send their soul to the moon or the planets to discover things there. Some are even so bold that they claim to have entered God’s sphere. This is completely absurd. God does not let spiritists interfere with His work.

  1. Transfiguration

Transfiguration occurs when a Spiritist medium changes his or her appearance to that of another person.

Example 226 ( Occult ABC by Dr. Kurt E. Koch): I met Mr Millen in London. For years he had been a highly qualified medium. His wife and a prayer group began to intercede for him. After much struggle, he was finally set free through Christ. This former spiritist told me about his mediumistic powers. For example, he had mastered transfiguration. When he went into a trance, it was as if an invisible substance clothed him. This was probably what spiritists call ectoplasm or teleplasm.
His face then took on the appearance of a dead person whom someone wanted to see. For example, a woman asked to see her grandmother and recognised her in the transformation. She embraced her grandmother and wept.

  1. Levitation

Levitation is practised by spiritists on all continents. The word comes from the Latin levitas (lightness, agility) and the verb levare (to make lighter, to lift, to lift up). During Spiritist levitations, the earth’s gravity seems to be suspended. People float to the ceiling.

  1. Apports

The term comes from the Latin apportare (to bring). It refers to the sudden appearance of objects in enclosed spaces. There are two forms. The objects disappear as they came, or the objects remain.

Dr Kurt E. Koch warns against the practice of any kind of spiritism. Through his many years of work as an evangelist and pastor, he has come into contact with countless people who have suffered disturbances in their spiritual sensitivity after participating in spiritistic seances etc. But he testifies:

You become free from mediumistic powers when you surrender your life to Christ and renounce these powers, including the sins of your ancestors.

See also: Effects and liberation of occult activity