It's been a definite change for the worse for Spiritualism as a religious belief system,to whichever Spiritualist enclave you adhere,and for all its genuine exponents, since Europe laid down the law in 2008. It has certainly affected church and centre attendances.

When it was reported in 2008 that our UK government were set to abolish many of our laws under a new European directive on trading standards you may wonder why I took to the media soapbox.
I was horrified to learn that we were to lose the hard-won Fraudulent Mediums Act which was lumped in for abolition most surprisingly, and ignorantly, along with many other intrinsically commercially focused regulations that had been enshrined in United Kingdom and English law for its citizens’ protection against unfair trading practices.
Or in the words of the old sentiment: Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you!
Was it through ignorance of the Spiritualist movement and its history, or was it because someone or some vested interest group in Britain seized on the opportunity to press the destruct button on Spiritualism and its religious practices? One has to see that Spiritualism is an heretical doctrine according to the articles and creed of the Established Church and satellite religious denominations, and of the Roman Church too.
Puzzlingly the EU’s ‘Unfair Commercial Practices’ Directive was accepted by the then newly formed Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform as applying to the Fraudulent Mediums Act, the wording of which I had been previously lobbying to change from ‘Fraudulent’ to ‘Genuine’ having mind to the negative implications!
Now instead of uniting to fight the abolition which was more than insulting in itself to be tarred with the commercial traders’ brush, one of the most influential Spiritualist groups, the Spiritualists’ National Union, or SNU for short, sided with the government’s compliance to the European directive and this government’s uninformed interpretation of mediumship.
Genuine mediumship and the skill of speaking with those on the other side of life, and relaying messages and communication therefrom, is the bedrock on which Spiritualism stands firm.
In fact, the notion flying around in 2008 that this would put an end to ostensibly fraudulent practices, taking in psychic phone-lines that were in their infancy then and threatening to expand, and so by inference, depleting attendances at Spiritualist meetings where genuine mediumship and even psychic readings etc., were on offer, has been proved lamentably wrong. The reverse has happened!
Then the Spiritualists’ National Union put out its own directive to its exponents and churches telling them that unless they stated it was all for ‘entertainment purposes only’ or an ‘experiment without guarantee’ their exponents would be liable to prosecution under this new trades description act that had done away with the Fraudulent Mediums Act - that their own members of their own organisation had battled to emplace in law in 1951.
The SNU appeared to forget its roots. It used to say it ‘was the religion of Spiritualism’ modified in the interests of truth to ‘representing the religion of Spiritualism’ and began selling trading insurance policies to its exponents.
There are many groups representing the religion of Spiritualism, and unfortunately many of these followed sheep-like into the morass of insurance broking that coincided with scare-mongering aimed towards mediums.
Mine seemed to be the voice in the wilderness arguing against the repeal of the act that afforded protection to genuine mediums – and healers – and I appeared on many television and radio programmes sometimes head to head with spokespersons from the Spiritualists’ National Union.
I also launched and edited two Spiritualist newspapers in 2008 dedicated to fighting the FMA’s repeal instigated by the EU, spreading stories of genuine mediumship and healing as well as writing lead articles on same.
I entered into discussion with the head of the BERR and other related government departments.
At the end of my correspondences I received assurances that they had no concerns about religious matters or the practices of any religious denomination. That the Spiritualist community had no need to worry about their practices.
I had originally envisaged, happily erroneously as it turned out, all kinds of allegations being made by people who may wish Spiritualists and Spiritualism ill, claiming to have been duped by genuine mediums amongst other disruptions, but this hasn’t happened.
What has happened instead is that a vast industry has sprung up of psychic phone line operators, ghost-busting television programmes, psychics and mediums’ television shows and theatrical presentations. I say industry because they are all covered for any fraudulent mediumship as was, by declaring that they only do it for entertainment. Pretending to conjure up the spirits of the dead used to be an indictable offence. Now charlatans have a get out of jail free card! And genuine exponents of Spiritualist practices have also now lumped themselves together with the jokers in the pack.
Only recently a case of fake mediumship took place at a séance. The sitters got their money back and nobody was prosecuted. There is no law left by which a fraudulent medium can be prosecuted! The Spiritualist centre where this happened is exactly that. So unless the people who run it and booked the medium choose, the miscreant can just relax and do it again – if he can find anywhere to let him that is.
After I had continued to state the case for religious Spiritualist mediumship and healing needing no insurance or spurious statements that it’s all in fun, a couple of years ago on the SNU website it was announced that those serving churches had no need to say that they were only doing it for entertainment…
This EU directive and its consequent subtle damage to the Spiritualist Church, Movement, Way of Life, call it how you will, gave rise to the new Spiritualist society that I have named – the New Spiritualists’ Society.
It is a religious organisation, a declared denomination of Christianity, that does not sell insurance to Spiritualist mediums and healers. It is Ministry led. Its exponents are serious about their practices and as genuine mediums and healers are doing the religious work of their calling. None of them would lower themselves or do a disservice to Spiritualism by saying that what they do is for the purposes of entertaining anyone.
As for Spiritualism in Europe, there are odd places set up by mostly English Spiritualists who are tutors of mediumship development in Europe; Germany, Holland, Spain and Italy, that are not called Spiritualist, but spiritual or a place of spirit. These are centres offering mediumship courses etc., but you’ll find no directory of Spiritualist Churches as you can almost to excess, spoiled for choice, in North America and in South America who call themselves Spiritists. Or in Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, our old British Commonwealth countries. Just as an aside,our New Spiritualists' Society has an expanding global ministry, with Reverend Alan Acton busy on the continent (as well as America) and Israel has a New Spiritualists' Society group led by Pastor James Wallace Turner.
But we in the UK need to get another Private Member’s Bill up and running in a sovereign parliament, like the one that brought forth the Fraudulent Mediums Act in 1951, to stop the rot and allow Spiritualism to flourish as it should – and ensure that the new law is worded appropriately to enable prosecution of those who bring it into disrepute. Those who can currently take shelter, courtesy of the EU, by saying that they are in the entertainment industry. Then all our churches, centres and meeting places will once again attract enquirers and seekers who can be sure to get the proof that there is unconditional life after death and that our loved ones lost to this world can communicate with us from the next, as well as general spiritual upliftment.