George Vale Owen and Arthur Conan Doyle


George Vale Owen and Arthur Conan Doyle

It was quite late in my own journey that I first discovered the work of Rev George Vale Owen. At that time there were no ebooks at all on the web, and very little reference to his work at all. A friend bought one of his books at a bookshop in England and mailed it to me in Australia. I then bought all the hard copy volumes and started to re-edit and republish electronically. I was, it is fair to say, very smitten by these. They have a unique quality which makes you feel as if you are right there in the spirit world observing what is being discussed.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a preface to these books and initially they were published in a daily newspaper. Imagine that today? It would never happen. Thank God we have the internet. I recently discovered a very astute commentary on the reaction of Christian clergy to this subject. Rev George was at first feted but then fated. Loved first and then banished. But Arthur Conan Doyle was far more complimentary about Rev George in a comment in one of his own books:

Quote from Chapter I of “The Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921)”, page 18

“Whilst in Exeter I had a discussion with those who would break away from Christianity. They are a strong body within the movement, and how can Christians be surprised at it when they remember that for seventy years they have had nothing but contempt and abuse for the true light-bearers of the world? Is there at the present moment one single bishop, or one head of a Free Church, who has the first idea of psychic truth? Dr. Parker had, in his day, so too Archdeacons Wilberforce and Colley, Mr. Haweis and a few others. General Booth has also testified to spiritual communion with the dead. But what have Spiritualists had in the main save misrepresentation and persecution? Hence the movement has admittedly, so far as it is an organised religion—and it has already 360 churches and 1,000 building funds—taken a purely Unitarian turn.

page 21-22

“To come back then to the discussion at Exeter, what I said then and feel now is that every Spiritualist is free to find his own path, and that as a matter of fact his typical path is a Unitarian one, but that this in no way obscures the fact that our greatest leaders, Lodge, Barrett, Ellis Powell, Tweedale, are devoted sons of the Church, that our literature is full of Christian aspiration, and that our greatest prophet, Vale Owen, is a priest of a particularly sacerdotal turn of mind. We are in a transition stage, and have not yet found any common theological position,1 or any common position at all, save that the dead carry on, that they do not change, that they can under proper physical conditions communicate with us, and that there are many physical signs by which they make their presence known to us. That is our common ground, and all beyond that is matter of individual observation and inference. Therefore, we are not in a position to take on any anti-Christian agitation, for it would be against the conscience of the greater part of our own people.”

The books of George Vale Owen offered on this site are the five volumes that he produced, however a mini-publication called “Paul and Albert” was discovered and I simply appended it to Volume 5.

Volume 1: Lowlands of Heaven

Volume 2: Highlands of Heaven

Volume 3: Ministry of Heaven

Volume 4: Battalions of Heaven

Volume 5: Outlands of Heaven plus Paul and Albert

Note 1 It is apparent that James Padgett became aware of Arthur Conan Doyle’s view on Christianity, but his wife, (in spirit - Helen Padgett), advised against making contact, with this comment being recorded in Padgett’s diary on this site of December 13th, 1917:

read with me Conan Doyle’s article on the New Revelation - not wise to write to him and make contents of the messages known2 - higher spirits say it is better that these truths be not disseminated piecemeal - book published - advice - will try to bring Raymond to me

Note 2 We have a message that indicates that Arthur Conan Doyle and Rev George Vale Owen have actually become aware of these teachings, and likely soon will pass into the Kingdom of God.