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Beyond Reasonable Doubt: An investigation of Spiritual Truths and Myths, by Trevor Davey

Publication Details: 
CON-PSY Publications. ISBN 9781898680598
Publish date: 
April, 2012
Trevor Davey was born into a family of Spiritualists, has an extensive knowledge of mediumship and healing, and currently, with his wife Lucy, writes for the newspaper Psychic World.  Beyond Reasonable Doubt is a handy and accessible primer for anyone new to Spiritualism who is interested in learning more about mediumship and spiritual development, whether as an interested observer, consumer, or potential medium.  It is not doctrinaire and does not promote a particular viewpoint.

Davey has crammed a lot in, with a brief historical overview, biographical details of notable figures, organisations (though not, curiously, the College of Psychic Studies), and sources of further information.  Different types of mediumship are explained and there is an A-Z of vocabulary, the multiplicity of which, often with variations in meaning for the same word, can be confusing to the newcomer.

The characteristics of a good medium are spelled out, whether working with large groups or in private.  Methods of communication are explored, and what a sitter might find happening in a séance room.  In passing there are brief comments on various other aspects of the paranormal, such as EVP and spirit photography, though they sometimes shade off into a description of New Age pursuits.  The book concludes with advice on running a spiritual workshop.

This is not going to convince a sceptic, but it is a useful summary, whatever one’s attitude to the phenomena it addresses.  While Spiritualist churches seem to be in decline, clairvoyance and mediumship are still reaching large numbers of people, through psychic fairs and the performances of star platform mediums, so there is a need for relevant information.  Davey’s book is pro-Spiritualist, but he is not uncritical of some of its outgrowths, and the book will assist the novice in deciding what to try and what to avoid.  There is plenty here to act as a stimulus for further investigation. 

My major criticism is that it could have done with some proofreading as there are a number of typos that could have been easily corrected.  Overall, though, given the low price, this will reach a wide audience, and whether one agrees that the Spirit Realm can be contacted or not, it constitutes a convenient overview of Spiritualist beliefs and the forms they currently take.