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Tony Grist

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The Blue Island [Mar. 26th, 2016|08:04 pm]
Tony Grist
The campaigning journalist W T Stead went down with the Titanic. He'd been an active spiritualist- and so it's not surprising that once in spirit he started turning up in seance rooms. The Blue Island was transmitted by automatic writing through a young actor who was a friend of Stead's daughter.

It's an inartistic book, full of repetition and redundancy but never dull- and reads as if taken down from the dictation of a man who is thinking aloud. "Stead" (we'll put him in inverted commas for the sake of unbelievers) talks of being gathered up with all the other dead of the Titanic and transported as if by moving platform to an earthlike environment he calls the Blue Island (because of its predominant tonality) where he meets his father and other friends and is given space to acclimatise himself to life without a physical body. After a comparatively short time there he graduates to a sphere where he has to face up to the issues raised by his earth life and commit himself to serious self improvement. Like the Blue Island this is an earthlike place- in which people live in houses (or palaces if they choose) of their own mental construction. He expects- at the time of writing- to stay in this second sphere for the equivalent of a human lifetime (at least) and then move to a third where he will be required to chose either to reincarnate or proceed deeper into the spiritual world...

Stead's daughter thought the style and tone of the writing characteristic of her father- and noted that the medium (who hadn't known him) initially left his "t"s uncrossed and his "i"s undotted and then went back and filled in the lacunae while revising the text- just as Stead would have done.
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