Gilbert, Mostyn (d. 1992)
Noted psychical researcher and active member of the Society
for Psychical Research (SPR). Although born in the United
States, he lived and worked in Britain. Gilbert had special
interests in table turning, mediumship, materialization, electronic
voice phenomena, and the history of nineteenth-century
Spiritualism. He became secretary of the Survival Joint Research
Committee (SJRC) of the SPR in 1963 and prepared its
quarterly agenda and minutes of meetings. The SJRC, now a
trust, was concerned with investigating evidence for survival
after death, and Gilbert was actively involved in its formation,
together with such Spiritualists friends as Maurice Barbanell
(former editor of the newspaper Psychic News). The committee
brought together Spiritualists and scientists.
Gilbert was a friend of Eric J. Dingwall and helped him prepare
his book The Critic’s Dilemma (1966), dealing with the research
of Sir William Crookes, a subject on which Gilbert also
made contributions to the Journal of the SPR (in volumes
41–44). He did valuable work in editing the society’s Combined
Index, part IV (1973), and also cataloged the collection of the
Britten Memorial Library in Manchester prior to its transfer to
the Spiritualists’ National Union headquarters at Stansted.
Gilbert did not hesitate to criticize what he considered
shortcomings in council proceedings, but many members believed
that his comments were a valuable stimulus. He was extremely
helpful for several years in the organization of the Association
for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena