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Frequencies for Listening

Frequencies for Listening

(p.179) 7 Frequencies for Listening
The Story of Radio Mind
Pamela E. Klassen
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on how radio waves served as the central medium for Frederick Du Vernet’s late style spiritual politics. Combining the innovations of radio technology with what psychology was newly revealing about the complexity of human consciousness, Du Vernet saw radio mind as opening up a new spiritual frequency for all. Based in part on the copious marginalia he left in his library of books focused on psychology, theology, and psychic research, including books by William James and Henri Bergson, the chapter tells the story of how he came to be convinced by the powers of telepathy as he grappled with debilitating illness. In a contrapuntal reading, the chapter parallels his “telepathic testimonies,” published in church and secular newspapers, with his letters to church and government officials in which he criticized the evils of residential schools for Indigenous children. Quoting the voices of Indigenous parents in his appeals to his Anglican colleagues in Toronto, Du Vernet highlighted the devastation wrought on parents and children when they were torn apart through the residential schooling system. At the same time that he wrote about the power of thoughts to travel across distance, he insisted on the importance of families in proximity.

Keywords:   radio waves, psychic research, contrapuntal reading, marginalia, William James, Henri Bergson, Indian residential schools, family, spiritual politics, telepathic testimonies

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