June 24th, 1915.

Received by:James Padgett

Washington D.C.

I am here, William S. Richards:

Let me write just a little bit, as I need help. I am in darkness and suffering.

I am a man who lived the life of an infidel when on earth and did not believe in God or Jesus, or in anything that was taught in the Bible in reference to a future life, or in anything of a religious value. I was not a bad man, in the sense of being immoral more than men ordinarily are, but I did not have thoughts which tended to develop my soul qualities, or make me what is called a spiritual man. So you see that when I died and found myself still living I was somewhat surprised, and for quite a while could not realize that I was a spirit pure and simple.

But since that time I have discovered many things that show me that my beliefs on earth were all wrong. Yet that discovery does not remedy the failings of soul development which my beliefs caused, and I am now like a man without anything to guide or direct him in the way in which he may recover these lost possessions. I have met a great many spirits but they are, like myself, without knowledge of those things which may be necessary to help us in the way of progression. I am a spirit that enjoys some happiness and has some light, but it is that which arises from the exercise of my mental powers. I don't know anything about any happiness that may come from the development of the soul, and yet I have heard that there is such a thing, and that a wonderful happiness ensues from such development.

Of course, I must find this happiness if I can, and if you can help me in any way to find it, I will be very thankful if you will do so.

I am in darkness most of the time and I suffer also, but at other infrequent times I have some light and some happiness; but the former conditions are the ones that are mostly mine.

I live in what we call the earth plane and I have the privilege of roaming over that plane with certain restrictions. I cannot go into what you might call the higher planes of that plane, but in my own plane and in the lower ones I may go, and I do sometimes.

I find many spirits who are in a very great condition of darkness and in torture, and their places must be the hells of the Bible but without the fires or the devils, as men believe. I never see any devils but the spirits themselves, and some of them are the only devils that are necessary to make a hell.

I do not know just who I am in this darkness that I speak of, except it must be because of the stagnation of my spiritual self. My soul is nearly dead so far as any development is concerned, and my mind, while active and eager for knowledge, does not give me any great happiness. So I suppose the great happiness that I hear is possessed by others must come from the soul development. At any rate I want to find the cause if I can, and I thought that maybe you could help me.

My name was William S. Richards. I lived in Germantown, Pa., and died in 1901.

So I am waiting for your advice.

I have called for him and he says that he will show me the way, and that I must go with him. So I will say,

Good night,

William S. Richards