Institute for Spiritualist Mediums
The Institute for Spiritualist Mediums began in 1956 when
Bertha Harris, a prominent London medium, and two associates,
Ben Harrington and Russell Harwood, hosted a small
gathering to discuss the formation of a new organization to assist
mediums and promote mediumship. The initial group of
six sent a letter of invitation to all the known mediums in the
London area to join in discussions at a second meeting. A number
of the prominent mediums accepted the invitation and
moved toward the formation of what would initially be termed
the Union of Spiritual Mediums. A periodical, Mediums, was
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Institute for Spiritualist Mediums
launched. The new organization would specialize in the promotion
of mediums and mediumship in particular and Spiritualism
in general. It owns no property, has no paid employees,
and holds no Sunday gatherings. It self consciously refuses to
compete with the various Spiritualist groups already in existence.

The new union moved to assist in the training of new mediums
and in the certification of mediums as they reached various
levels of proficiency. Younger members are granted a Probationer’s
Certificate. More accomplished members may receive
registration as an Approved Medium, an important acknowledgment
signaling a medium’s ability, public proficiency, and
knowledge of Spiritualism. The union also sought ways to bring
new mediums from the countryside into London to demonstrate
their abilities. The study sessions began with evening
meetings, and later, lectures and workshops were held during
the day. In the 1970s the union instituted the first Residential
Study Weekend, now a regular annual event.
At its 25th anniversary in 1981, the union’s name was
changed to the Institute for Spiritualist Mediums. The institute
moved to create a program for home circles, and president Eileen
Roberts produced a Home Circle Tutorial kit to assist
these small groups that sit to contact spirits.
The institute may be contacted through its web address
Institute for Spiritualist Mediums.
February 20, 2000.

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