Book: "Raymond or Life and Death"

Author: Sir Oliver Lodge FRS

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- (Part 2) Chapter 7 - Supernormal Portion -

First Peter Sittings (Anonymous)


          MRS. KENNEDY desired Lady Lodge to try with a different and independent medium, and therefore kindly arranged with Mr. A. Vout Peters to come to her house on Monday afternoon and give a trance sitting to 'a friend of hers' not specified. Accordingly, at or about 3 P.m. on Monday, 27 September 1915, Lady Lodge went by herself to Mrs. Kennedy's house, so as not to have to give any name, and awaited the arrival of Peters' who, when he came, said he would prefer to sit in Mrs. Kennedy's own room in which he had sat before, and which he associated with her son Paul. No kind of introduction was made, and Peters was a total stranger to Lady Lodge; though to Mrs. Kennedy he was fairly well known, having several times given her first-rate evidence about her son, who had proved his identity in several striking ways.

When Peters goes into a trance his personality is supposed to change to that of another man' who, we understand, is called Moonstone'; much as Mrs. Piper was controlled by apparent personalities calling themselves 'Phinuit' or 'Rector.' When Peters does not go into a trance he has some clairvoyant faculty of his own.

The only other person present on this occasion was Mrs. Kennedy, who kindly took notes.

This is an important sitting, as it was held for a complete stranger, so I propose to report it practically in full.

M. F. A. L. Sitting with A. Vout Peters, in Mrs. Kennedys House, On 27 September 1915, at 3.30 p.m. 

Medium . . . . A. VOUT PETERS. 

Sitter . . . . . LADY LODGE (M. F. A. L.). 

Recorder . . . . MRS. KATHERINE KENNEDY (K. K.).


The record consists of Mrs. Kennedy's notes. Annotations in square brackets have been added subsequently by OJL.

While only partially under control, Peters said: "I feel a lot of force here , Mrs. Kennedy."

Peters was controlled quickly by 'Moonstone,' who greeted K. K. and reminded her of a prophecy of his. (This prophecy related to the Russian place Dvinsk, and to the important actions likely to be going on there-as if the decisive battle of the war was to be fought there.) Then he turned to L. L. and said:

What a useful life you have led, and will lead. You have always been the prop of things.

You have always been associated with men a lot. You are the mother and house prop.

You are not unacquainted with spiritualism.

You have been associated with it more or less for some time.

I sense you as living away from London-in the North or Northwest.

You are much associated with men, and you are the house prop-the mother. You have no word in the language that quite gives it-there are always four walls, but something more is needed-you are the house prop.

You have had a tremendous lot of sadness recently, from a death that has come suddenly.

You never thought it was to be like this. (Peters went on talking glibly, and there was no need for the sitter to say anything.)

There is a gentleman here who is on the other side-he went very suddenly. Fairly tall, rather broad, upright (here the medium sat up very straight and squared his shoulders) - rather long face, fairly long nose, lips full, moustache, nice teeth, quick and active, strong sense of humour-he could always laugh, keen sense of affection.

He went over into the spirit world very quickly. There is no idea of death because it was so sudden, with no illness.

Do you know anything connected with the letter L? (No answer was given to this.)

What I am going to say now is from Paul - he says: "Tell mother it is not one L, it is double L." He says: "Tell mother she always loved a riddle"-he laughs.

(L. L. and K. K. both said they could not understand.(1) 'Moonstone' continued:-)

They don't want to make it too easy for you, and funnily enough, the easier it seems to you sometimes the more difficult it seems to them.

This man is a soldier-an officer. He went over where it is warm.

You are his mother, aren't you - and he does not call you ma, or mamma, or mater - just mother, mother. [True.]

He is reticent and yet he told you a tremendous lot. You were not only his mother but his friend.

Wasn't he clever with books? He laughs and says: "Anyhow I ought to be, I was brought up with them." He was not altogether a booky person.

He knew of spiritualism before he passed over, but he was a little bit sceptical - he had an attitude of carefulness about it. He tells me to tell you this:

The attitude of Mr. Stead and some of those people turned him aside; on one side there was too much credulity - on the other side too much piffling at trifles.

[See also Appendix to this sitting.]

He holds up in his hand a little heap of olives, as a symbol for you-then he laughs. Now he says-for a test-Associated with the olives is the word Roland(2). All of this is to give you proof that he is here.

(1) Though K. K.'s record, being made at the time, reads L. L. (meaning Lady Lodge) throughout. When she speaks, later on, I change the L. L. of the record to her proper initials to avoid confusion - OJL.

(2) This is clear, though apparently it was not so recognised at the time. See later, pp. 135 and 144.

Before you came you were very down in the dumps.

Was he ill three weeks after he was hurt? [More like three hours, probably less.]

(Various other guesses were made for the meaning of 3.) I see the figure 3 so plainly-can't you find a meaning for it?

(L. L. suggested 3rd Battalion, and 'Moonstone' continued:-)

He says "Yes" -and wasn't he officially put down on another one? [Perfectly true, he was attached to the 2nd Battalion at the Front, to the 3rd or reserve Battalion while training.](1)

He says: "Don't forget to tell father all this."

His home is associated with books-both reading and writing books. Wait a minute, he wants to give me a word, he is a little impatient with me. Manuscripts, he says, manuscripts-that's the word.

He sends a message, and he says-this is more for father -"It is no good his attempting to come to the medium here, he will simply frighten the medium for all he is worth, and he will not get anything. But he is not afraid of you, and if there is communication wanted with this man again, you must come."

You have several portraits of this boy. Before he went away you had got a good portrait of him-2-no, 3. [Fully as many as that.]

Two where he is alone and one where he is in a group of other men. [This last is not yet verified.](2)

He is particular that I should tell you of this. In one you see his walking-stick ('Moonstone' here put an imaginary stick under his arm). [Not known yet.] He had particularly strong hands.

When he was younger, he was very strongly associated with football and outdoor sports. You have in your house prizes that he won, I can't tell you what. [Incorrect; possibly some confusion in record here; or else Wrong]

Why should I get two words-Small' and 'Heath.' 

(1) 'Let it be understood, once for all, that remarks in square brackets represent nothing said at the time, but are comments afterwards by me when I read the record.-O. J. L.

(2) The photograph episode is described above, in Chapter IV, in the light of later information.

[Small Heath is a place near Birmingham with which he had some but not close associations.]

Also I see, but very dimly as in a mist, the letters B I R. [Probably Birmingham.]

You heard of either his death or of his being hurt by telegram. He didn't die at once. He had three wounds.

I don't think you have got details yet. [No, not fully.]

If he had lived he would have made a name for himself in his own particular line.

Was he not associated with chemistry? If not, some one associated with him was, because I see all the things in a chemical laboratory.

[The next portion has already been reported in Chapter III, but I do not omit it from its context here.]

That chemistry thing takes me away from him to a man in the flesh.

And connected with him a man, a writer of poetry, on our side, closely connected with spiritualism.

He was very clever-he too passed away out of England.

He has communicated several times.

This gentleman who wrote poetry - I see the letter M - is helping your son to communicate. He is built up in the chemical conditions. If your son didn't know this man, he knew of him. At the back of the gentleman beginning with M and who wrote poetry is a whole group of people.

They are very interested. And don't be surprised if you get messages from them, even if you don't know them.

This is so important that is going to be said now, that I want to go slowly, for you to write clearly every word (dictates carefully).

"Not only is the partition so thin that you can hear the operators on the other side, but a big hole has been made."

This message is for the gentleman associated with the chemical laboratory.

The boy - I call them all boys, because I was over a hundred when I lived here and they are all boys to me-he says, he is here, but he says: "Hitherto it has been a thing of the head, now I am come over it is a thing of the heart. What is more (here Peters jumped up in his chair vigorously, snapped his fingers excitedly, and spoke loudly):

"Good God! how father will be able to speak out! much firmer than he has ever done, because it will touch our hearts."

M. F. A. L.- Does he want his father to speak out?

Yes, but not yet-wait, the evidence will be given in such a way that it cannot be contradicted, and his name is big enough to sweep all stupid opposition on one side.

I was not conscious of much suffering, and I am glad that I settled my affairs before I went.

[He did; he made a will just before leaving England, and left things in good order. He also cleared up things when he joined the Army.]

Have you a sister of his with you, and one on our side? A little child almost, so little that you never associated her with him.

There are two sisters, one on each side of him, one in the dark and one in the light.

[Raymond was the only boy sandwiched in between two sisters Violet older than he, and still living (presumably in the dark), and Laura(1) younger than he, died a few minutes after birth (in the light). Raymond was the youngest boy, and had thus a sister on either side of him.]

Your girl is standing on one side, Paul on the other, and your boy in the centre. (Here 'Moonstone' put his arm round K. K.'s shoulder to show how the boy was standing.) Now he stoops over you and kisses you there (indicating the brow).

Before he went away he came home for a little while. Didn't he come for three days?

(There is a little unimportant confusion in the record about 'days.')

(1) Now apparently called Lily: see later.

Then, with evident intention of trying to give a 'test,' some trivial but characteristic features were mentioned about the interior of three houses-the one we are in now, the one we had last occupied at Liverpool, and the one he called 'Mother's home.' But there is again some confusion in the record, partly because M. F. A. L. didn't understand what he was driving at, partly because the recorder found it difficult to follow; and though the confusion was subsequently disentangled through another medium next day, 28 September, it is hardly worth while to give as much explanation as would be needed to make the points clear. So this part is omitted. (See p. 145.)

And he wanted me to tell you of a kiss on the forehead.

M F. A. L.-He did not kiss me on the forehead when he said good-bye.

Well he is taller than you, isn't he?


Not very demonstrative before strangers. But when alone with you, like a little boy again.

M. F. A. L.-I don't think he was undemonstrative before strangers.

Oh yes, all you English are like that. You lock up your affection, and you sometimes lose the key.

He laughs. He says you didn't understand about Rowland. He can get it through now, it's a Roland for your Oliver [P. 131]

[Excellent. By recent marriages the family has gained a Rowland (son-in-law) and lost (so to speak) an Oliver (son).]

He is going. He gives his love to all.

It has been easy for him to come for two reasons: First, because you came to get help for Madame.' Secondly, because he had the knowledge in this life.

M. F. A. L.-I hope it has been a pleasure to him to come?

Not a pleasure, a joy.

M. F. A. L.-I hope he will come to me again.

As much as he can.

Paul now wants to speak to his mother.

(1) This is curious, because it was with Mrs. Leonard that Madame had sat, not with Peters at all. It is a simple cross-correspondence.

Appendix to First Peters Sitting


Mrs. Rowland Waterhouse has recently found among her papers an old letter from Bedales School which she received from her brother Raymond when she was in Paris during the winter 1905-1906. The concluding part of it is of some small interest in the light of later developments:

"I should like to hear more about table turning. I don't believe in it. The girls here say they have done it at Steephurst and they attribute it to some sense of which we know nothing" and which I want to turn to some account, driving a dynamo or something, if it is possible, as they make out, to cause a table to revolve without any exertion - I am your affectionate brother, ''RAYMOND.''



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