Gabriel Delanne was one of the greatest disseminators of the reality of Spirit communication. He was born on March 23, 1857 , in France , exactly in the year in which Allan Kardec published the first edition of “The Spirits’ Book.” His father, Alexandre Delanne, was a spiritist and a very close friend of Kardec’s; for this reason, Gabriel Delanne was greatly influenced by spiritist ideas. His father was one of the founders of the Parisian Teaching League, and along with Kardec, was also involved in the administration of the Spiritist Society, founded by both. His mother was an active medium, cooperating side by side with the master of Lyon , in the codification, reception of communications, and transmission of reliable filtered information from the spiritual world, through her gift.
A great defender of Spiritism, Delanne was born under a favorable spiritual atmosphere for the task that he was to fulfill. This was accomplished in a strictly scientific manner and maintaining absolute fidelity to the codifier. He always affirmed that his unshakable faith was Spiritism, and being devoted from an early age to the experimental research of the facts, witnessed within his own house, he came to receive from the spiritual world a message whose words would instill in him even more dedication and discipline with his researches. The message said: “Do not fear. Have confidence. Although you will not be wealthy you will never lack the material necessities in your life.”
In 1883 he founded the magazine “Spiritism” thanks to the generosity of an English woman, Elisabeth D’ Esperance, who donated the necessary funds. He then started to take part in experiments with great mediums. In 1904 together with Charles Richet and other researchers, he witnessed the prodigious phenomenon of materialization in Villa Carmen, in Argel. The literary production of Delanne doesn’t rely on imaginary speculations, but rather on factual investigation and verification. Being particularly devoted to the work of demonstrating that Spiritism leans on scientific bases, he produced important works, which today are well known all over the world: “Researches on Mediumship,” “Evidence for a future life,” ” Spiritism and Science,” “The Spiritist Phenomenon,” “The Evolution of the Soul,” “The Materialized Apparitions of the Living and the Dead”, “Documents for the Study of Reincarnation,” and finally “Reincarnation.”
In “Spiritism and Science,” he builds with rare mastery a complete picture of the data that the psyche can present to deserve the respect of scientists. And as demonstration of the admirable certainty of his argument, it is enough to read through its pages to see that since the first edition, the author had the satisfaction of verifying that some of his most important theories have been confirmed by Science.
In his struggle to establish the spiritist truth, aware of the evils generated by ignorance, fanaticism and excessive passion, he writes: “The struggle will be hard and probably long, since the religious and scientific damage are obstinate. However, the evidence will eventually prevail. We now have the conviction that immortality will become a scientific truth, whose beneficial consequences will be felt all over the world, thereby changing the course of mankind’s destinies. Being a person of a polytechnic mentality, attracted since an early age to the study of exact sciences, observations, rigorous deductions, etc., he became the greatest exponent of the experimental side of Spiritism to which he gave a great impulse, as yet unsurpassed.
Gabriel Delanne made people see through his works that modern Physics, magnetism, hypnotism, verbal or mental suggestion, clairvoyance, telepathy, and Spiritism, all of the new knowledge converge at the spiritual borders. He made it evident that the proof of the spirit communication, being as numerous and varied, would turn Spiritism into a scientific demonstration of immortality. In his incessant effort, which had begun when he was 13 years old, he published, at the age of 68, a work of incomparable value: “Reincarnation,” the last one of his privileged genius. This work is a consecrated one due to Delanne’s solidity in presentation, rigidity of logic, value of argument, choice of proofs, the superiority of thesis, and impartiality with which he presents the facts.
Approaching the angles elaborated by the Codification, Delanne always answered with humility regarding his own work: “I have not added anything new. Everything that exists stems from Kardec. I have been merely making verifications. I presented them in my books and I demonstrated them in daily practice. I have not added anything new.” This is surely an excess of modesty on his part. His work complements and solidifies the teachings of Kardec, approaching related themes and deepening others, where the great codifier did not have the time for further considerations.
Gabriel Delanne was the researcher who tirelessly tried to approach science and religion, certain that both would have to walk hand in hand, for a logical understanding of the universe and of its inhabitants – the spirits. This distinguished researcher dedicated all of his life to the propagation of Spiritism. According to the point of view of those that only consider the here and now as the true reason of living, his life was a useless sacrifice. They cannot understand that thanks to his disinterest in earthly ambition and vanity, Delanne was covered with spiritual glories for a work well driven, without hesitations and faithfully executed until the last instant of his corporeal life.