Henri Sausse’s complaint and the original manuscript of
the medium Desliens
Because of space the original article by the French Charles Kempf and Michel Buffet (1) was divided into two parts. In the last edition of this magazine, we reproduced the first part of the article, focusing on the typographic studies on the first seven French editions of Genesisand also on information about the graphs used. In this edition, we insert the essential part of Henri Sausse’s denunciation and the final part of the article focusing on the manuscript of the medium M. Desliens that was also changed in future publication in Posthumous Works.
We found another source on this subject, in a manuscript of Allan Kardec, copied below, of a communication received by the medium A. Desliens. This communication was published by P.-G. Leymarie in the Spiritist Magazine of March 15, 1887 and in Posthumous Works in 1890, but with adulterations compared to this original by Allan Kardec. (2)
This greatly reduces the confidence that we can deposit in P.-G. Leymarie. He apparently aimed at going on concealing and adulterating the fifth edition the Genesis.
"February 22, 1868. (Medium M. Desliens). Advice on Genesis:
Allow me some personal advice about your book Genesis. I believe that, as you do, it must undergo a rearrangement that will make you gain value in methodical terms; but I also advise you to review certain comparisons of the first chapters, which, without being imprecise, may be ambiguous, and which may be used against you in the closing words. I do not want to indicate them in a more specific way, but by carefully analyzing the second and third chapters, they will certainly surprise you. We care for your research. It is only a matter of detail, no doubt, but the details sometimes have their importance; that's why I found it useful to draw your attention to that point.
Question: In the reprint that we are going to do, I would like to add a few things without increasing the volume. Do you think there are parts that could be removed without inconvenience?
Answer: My opinion is that there is absolutely nothing to be removed as doctrine; everything is useful and satisfactory in all respects; but I also believe that you could, without inconvenience, condense even more certain ideas that do not need development to be understood, having already been sketched elsewhere; in your reorganization work, you will get this easily.
We must leave intact all the theories that appear for the first time in the eyes of the public; do not remove any ideas, I repeat, but only cut here and there developments that add nothing to clarity.
No doubt, you will be more concise, but understandable, and you may have to add new and urgent elements. This is a serious work for this review, and I ask you not to wait too late to do it; it would be better if you were instead prepared ahead of time than have to wait for it.
Above all, do not rush. Despite the seeming contradiction of my words, you understand me without a doubt. Get to work promptly, but do not stay for long. Take your time; the ideas will be clearer and the body will be less tired.
Question: The quick sale will no doubt calm down; it is the effect of the first moment. So, I do believe that the third and fourth editions will take longer; however, as it takes some time for review and reprint, it is important not to be taken by surprise. Could you tell me approximately how much longer I have, to act accordingly?
Answer: You have to wait for a fast flow. When we told you that this book would be a success among his successes, we heard philosophical and material success. As you can see, we were right in our predictions. Be ready at all times; it will be faster than you suppose".
This text confirms several fundamental points in our analysis:
- Allan Kardec intended to revise the Genesis, but without urgency;
- The quick flow of the first two editions (2,000 copies);
- That Kardec intended a 3rd and 4th edition (not a 4th and 5th edition, transcribed by P.-G. Leymarie ...), as well as a reprint (2,000 printed copies of February 1869).
This last point suggests that Kardec thought that the first impression would give four editions, not three and that happened in the beginning of 1869 with the selling out of the third edition, before having finished all the revisions that he had anticipated, deciding a new impression that gave the 4ª edition , identical to the first three. In the meantime, he had consecrated, under the influence of the Spirits, and as can be seen in the Spiritist Magazine at intervals, his energy in the preparation of the 1868 project, with valuable advice for his succession, and prepared for his retirement in Villa Segur and the moving of the bookstore to a new address, which would be at the beginning of April 1869 to Rue de Lille. He was definitely planning to finish the reviews after this move.
Henri Sausse’s complaint
To complete this analysis, we reproduce texts from Henri Sausse's complaint in the article "An infamy" (3), published in the magazine Le Spiritisme, 2nd year. No. 19. 1st Fortnight, December 1884:
"[...] I do not know if all the works of Allan Kardec were maculated by sacrilegious hands, but I realized that there is at least one, the Genesis, which presents major mutilations. Shocked by these three words: Magazine, Corrected and Augmented, placed below the fifth edition, I had the patience to confront, page by page, and line by line of this fifth edition with that published in 1868 and that I had bought at the time of its publication. The result of my work is this. In comparing the texts of the first edition with those of the fifth, I found that 126 passages had been modified, added, or suppressed. Of this number, eleven (11) were subject to partial revision. Fifty (50) were added and sixty-five were suppressed, not counting the numbers of paragraphs replaced, or the titles that were added. All parts of this book have suffered serious mutilation, to a greater or lesser degree, but chapter XVIII: 'The times are at hand', is the most ill-treated; the changes that have taken place in it make it almost unrecognizable.
Now, tell me, who are the culprits? What was the reason for these maneuvers? I will emphasize, in the first edition of the Genesis, only a single passage from those which have been suppressed; it will be sufficient for you to indicate it to enable you to judge who should take advantage of this infamy".
At the conclusion of this unfortunate debate, there is nothing like following the advice we find in our own Spiritist philosophy, especially the precautionary principle, illustrated by Erastus, in The Book of Mediums, chapter XX, no. 230: "[...] In doubt refrain, says one of your old proverbs, so admit only what is obviously for you. As soon as a new opinion appears, if it seems doubtful to you, pass it by the sieve of reason and logic; reason and common sense refute, reject it boldly, it is better to reject ten truths than to admit a single lie, a single false theory [...]”
The presented elements consist of a convergence of evidences towards the adulteration by P.-G. Leymarie. Doubt being more than legitimate, Le Mouvement Spirite francophone decided to publish from now on The Genesis according to the first four editions, held in the time of Allan Kardec. It also makes it possible, in the case of a definitive proof of adulteration, to be accused of having violated the Berne Convention, which is incorporated in the laws of most nations, which preserves, without limitation of time, the moral right of the authors, in this case Allan Kardec himself.
In addition, it is necessary to fight relentlessly against personalist and conflicts of interest within and especially in the direction of the Spiritist movement, not to repeat this episode "Leymarie", always according to the advice contained in the books of the Spiritist philosophy, and always according to the Spirit Erasmus, in The Gospel according to Spiritism, chapter XX, item 4:
"Q. If many of those called to Spiritism are deceived, what is the sign of recognizing those who are on the right path? A. You will recognize them in the principles of the true charity which they will profess and practice, you will recognize them among the afflicted whom they have brought solace, you will recognize them by their love of neighbor, their self-denial, their personal disinterestedness, you will finally recognize them in the triumph of their principles, the triumph of his law, those who follow his law are his chosen, and he will give them victory, but he will crush those who distort the spirit the law and make it a starting point to satisfy their vanity and ambition. (Erastus, angel guardian of the medium, Paris, 1863.)
(1) LMSF Translation from: Kempf, Charles; Buffet, Michel. Analyze typographies des sept premières editions de La Genèse d'Allan Kardec. Revue spirite. Supplément spécial de fin d'année. 161th année. 4th quarter 2018.
(2) This message was included with cuts and alterations in Posthumous Works, organized by P.G.Leymarie, and published in 1890: 2nd part, Cap. "My initiation in Spiritism", item "My new work on the Genesis."
(3) The authors Kempf and Buffet reproduced the denunciation of the biographer of Kardec, Henri Sausse, where he relates the misrepresentations in the edition of the Genesis of 1872, and also the prolonged discussions in correspondences and articles between the biographer and Leymarie. In this article only Sausse's main conclusion was reproduced. Available: Spiritist Encyclopedia: www.spiritisme.net; Goidanich, Simoni Privato. The legacy of Allan Kardec. Ed.USE-SP, 2018.