The Possession of Mr Le Baron
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Account communicated to the Society for Psychical Research by William James, who knew the author [ as quoted in The Mind Possessed - Dr William Sargant].
Mr Le Baron (pseudonym) is a journalist, and has published some work on metaphysics. In 1894 he stayed for some time at an American Spiritualist camp meeting, and joined a circle which held seances at midnight in the pine woods for converse with the invisible brethren. At one of these meetings Mr Le Baron became conscious of new and strange sensations. He felt his head held back until he was forced flat on the ground. Then,
'the force produced a motor disturbance of my head and jaws. My mouth made automatic movements, till in a few seconds I was distinctly conscious of another’s voice - unearthly, awful, loud, weird - bursting through the woodland from my own lips, with the despairing words, "Oh, my people!" Mutterings of semi-purposive prophecy followed.'
A few days later he spoke again in the same involuntary manner to the friend with whom he was staying, in the character of her recently deceased mother. Again, after sleeping in the bed for some years occupied by his friend's father, who had been lame, he awoke lame, and limped painfully for some hours. He soon began both to write and speak sentences of semi-prophetic and mystical character, such as,
'He shall be a leader of the host of the Lord'; 'I shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt answer to My voice.’
He learnt to converse by means of a pencil and paper with this invisible monitor, which, or whom, he not very happily christens 'the psychophysical spontaneity'.