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A Psychic, Medium’s Perspective » Blog Archive » Politics, Controversy at the International Spiritualist Federation

Politics, Controversy at the International Spiritualist Federation

Olive Branch

There has been a great controversy going on at the International Spiritualist Federation (ISF) for quite some months. It surrounds the conviction of the ISF’s former President, Mervyn Johnson, on charges of child rape amongst other charges in Sweden. I thought about whether to comment on this situation for quite a long time. Did a lot of soul searching. In the end, I felt I had to give my opinion on the situation being a Spiritualist Minister.

The controversy and turmoil has to do with the resistance to terminate the rapist’s membership. According to a website based in the United Kingdom that has been following this in great detail, Paranormal Review , Mervyn Johnson’s membership has been revoked permanently this month June 2008. Apparently, although I don’t subscribe to the Psychic News publication of Great Britain, it has been covered there extensively as well. The next Fraternal Week 2009 will still be held in Sweden where the crimes were committed.

Apparently it seems, many on the Executive supported the former President, unable to believe that he could do the things he was convicted of . Then, there were those who believed that since he was convicted, the ISF should have immediately disassociated themselves from him.

In my opinion upon the conviction of Mervyn Johnson, the ISF should have revoked his membership immediately and imposed a lifetime ban. Sweden is a country that has laws and due process, unlike many corrupt countries. I’m sure he had a fair trial. I must add that the ISF did remove Mervyn Johnson as President immediately after they found out about the criminal charges.

If his case is appealed and he wins, or he receives a pardon, then the ISF might consider the reinstatement of his membership. Absent of the clearing of his name, that he was wrongfully convicted, in a court of law, the ban should stay in place.

In my opinion, the ISF handled this situation badly. It gave the appearance that they condoned the actions of a convicted rapist. I’m sure they didn’t. But, it came across that way. The controversy would have died down a long time ago if it had been dealt with swiftly and properly.

Another contentious issue is the location of the next Fraternal Week in 2009, Sweden. I don’t see this in any way as a slap in the face of the victims of Mervyn Johnson. The Country of Sweden was not responsible for these criminal acts. On the contrary, the Swedish Criminal Justice System did its job by convicting this child rapist. That’s my view.

There are other things going on at the ISF with its administration that are creating hard feelings as well. You can refer back to Paranormal Review.

All of this has created a bad impression of the ISF and the Religion of Spiritualism. It overshadows all the good that the Churches and Organizations from around the world do. Transparency and self-policing are so important in maintaining the reputation of any organization. Look at the scandal in regards to pedophiles in the Roman Catholic Church. It was covered up and thousands of boys were abused. Spiritualism needs to be better than sweeping things under the carpet or not wanting to deal with unfortunate situations that happen in every Religion.

I attended one of the ISF’s Fraternal Weeks in 2002 in Canada. I found the Executive and everyone I met to be very nice people with the best of intentions. My opinion of the ISF hasn’t changed. I just think that they handled this situation with the child rapist very badly.

I hope that the ISF can work through this difficult time; and learn and grow from this situation. They have been in existence for a very long time, and done much good. I hope that they can heal, get past this and move forward in unity and continue the good work of the past.

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5 Responses to “Politics, Controversy at the International Spiritualist Federation”

  1. Administrator Says:

    More trouble for the International Spiritualist Federation (ISF). The Spiritualist National Union, a major body in Spiritualism, has pulled out of the ISF after 85 years. Please visit Paranormal Review for all the details. The rift in the ISF looks like its pretty deep and may take some time to heal.

  2. Administrator Says:

    More unfavorable news coverage about the problems at the International Spiritualist Federation(ISF). The former President of the ISF who was convicted on child rape charges Mervyn Johnson is also known as Mervyn Wright. Mervyn is referred to as Wright in this “Times” United Kingdom online Article By David Brown. Please click on link.

  3. Administrator Says:

    More unfavorable international news coverage of the International Spiritualist Federation in India. Please click on the link for the Times of India Online Article.

  4. Administrator Says:

    It looks like the healing has begun at the International Spiritualist Federation (ISF). It also appears that the ISF has become more open about what happened. I’m very happy they have decided upon this course of action. Please see the complete article at Paranormal Review

  5. jeff (Controversies) Says:

    Sucha great article and thanks for sharing this article.