British National Association of Spiritualists

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British National Association of Spiritualists

A society formed in 1873 mainly through the instrumentality of Dawson Rogers to promote the interests of Spiritualism in Great Britain. The British National Association of Spiritualists (BNAS) numbered among its original vice-presidents and members of council the most prominent Spiritualists of the dayBenjamin Coleman, Mrs. Macdougall Gregory, Sir Charles Isham, Mr. Jacken, Dawson Rogers, Morell Theobald, Dr. Wyld, Dr. Stanhope Speer, and many others. Many eminent people of other countries joined the association as corresponding members.

In 1882 BNAS changed its name to the Central Association of Spiritualists. Among its committees was one for systematic research into the phenomena of Spiritualism, in which connection some interesting scientific experiments were made in 1878.

Early in 1882, conferences, which were held at the association's rooms and were presided over by William Barrett, resulted in the formation of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Many members of the SPR were recruited from the council of the BNAS, such as the Rev. Stainton Moses, Dr. George Wyld, Dawson Rogers, and Morell Theobald. The BNAS was at first associated with the Spiritualist, edited by W. H. Harrison, but in 1879 the reports of its proceedings were transferred to Spiritual Notes, a paper which, founded in the previous year, came to an end in 1881, as did the Spiritualist. In the latter year Dawson Rogers founded Light, with which the society was henceforth associated.

From the beginning, the BNAS held itself apart from religious and philosophical dogmatism and included among its members Spiritualists of all sects and opinions.

In 1884 the association reorganized as the London Spiritualist Alliance. The journal Light is now published by the College of Psychic Studies, London, which developed on similar lines to the former British College of Psychic Science.


Doyle, Arthur Conan. The History of Spiritualism. New York: Charles H. Doran, 1926. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1975.

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British National Association of Spiritualists

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