por Orson Peter Carrara

A Brazilian journalist in the USA and his approach on Spiritism

Marcelo Parpinelli Medeiros (photo) is a journalist from São Paulo, in Brazil, living and working in Marietta, in the US state of Georgia. Until July 2020, he lived in New York and was a member of IESS - Inner Enlightenment Spiritist Society. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Spiritist Centres remain closed in the region and he hasn’t yet joined a new Group. In this interview, he speaks about the dissemination of Spiritism in the United States and his views on the links between journalism and the principles of Spiritism.

How did you become a Spiritist?

I come from a Spiritist family, but I had always heard of Spiritism, like most Brazilians, even though I didn’t know exactly what it was. After the death of one of my uncles in 2001, we found many Spiritist books among his belongings: the whole collection of Allan Kardec books and many written by the medium, Chico Xavier. I began browsing and reading, out of curiosity, and became more and more interested. A few years later, in 2005, I began attending the events of Spiritist Centres.

Were you surprised by what you found in Spiritist books?

Very. When I read the first books of André Luiz, the Spirit World he described seemed to come from fiction. As Catholicism doesn’t elaborate at all on details of life in the Spirit World, it was all new to me. It took me a while to understand and accept the concepts of reincarnation and the fact that all planets are inhabited. But the rationality of the Spiritist Teachings helped me accept and understand that. If you study the information in Spiritism properly, everything makes sense.

As a Spiritist journalist working abroad, how do you see the world today?

As a journalist, I had the opportunity of travelling to many areas of the world: I’ve been to South Africa, Haiti, Venezuela, Ecuador and many regions of Brazil, the United States and other countries. What strikes out is the widespread social inequality. Having access to Spiritism helps us understand the different experiences people go through and to accept that all happens according to divine law, which is fair. But it also shows us that we can’t remain passive before so much inequality. After all, Spiritism shows us that there’s no salvation without charity. Spiritism helps us see the world with different eyes and realise that each one of us is an important tool in a wider process of reform on the planet.

How has Spiritism changed the way you approach your profession?

In the past few years, I have focused on studying media and communications in the light of Spiritism. I make a concerted effort to put these teachings into practice in my daily work as a journalist. One of the issues that has attracted the most controversy recently is fake news. As a journalist, I have to deal with that all the time. And Spiritism has provided a great deal of information that can help us deal with that. In The Mediums’ Book, Kardec mentions that he received many apocryphal messages from Spirits who pretended even to be Jesus. He said, in his comments, that those messages wouldn’t stand any serious test of credibility. The same principle applies to fake news. So I apply that to my work and I also put into practice other Spiritist lessons about the power of the written and spoken word in my profession.

What would you like to say about your experience in the Spiritist Movement in another country?

Spiritism abroad is still in its infancy when compared to the strength of the movement in Brazil. There are few Spiritist Centres. But there is a group of dedicated volunteer workers working hard, determined to expand the reach of Spiritism abroad. In the US, the first Spiritist Centre began operating in Spanish, founded by a couple from Puerto Rico in the 1930s. Then we had Spiritist Centres where Portuguese was the language spoken, but now we have Groups that operate fully in English. It is essential to speak the language of the country and to offer activities in English in the US. That’s not an easy task, but many people are working hard to achieve it. We are planting the seeds that will surely bear fruits one day.

Tell us more about your YouTube channel.

I take part in a YouTube channel called The Spiritist Way, which produces 100% of its content in English. We have two playlists. One offers 10-minute videos explaining what Spiritism is. And the other has longer videos focusing on The Spirits’ Book. I also produced a documentary about Andrew Jackson Davis, an American medium from the 19th Century, who is considered the John the Baptist of modern Spiritism. I also appear regularly on Kardec Radio, an English language radio station.

Here are the links:

Documentary "Andrew Jackson Davis - The Poughkeepsie Seer": click here to access-1

“The Spiritist Way” Channel: click here to access-2

What is the reaction of most Americans to Spiritism?

While in Brazil most people have heard of Spiritism, here in the US there’s a different reality. So it’s important, firstly, to put things in context for them. In New York, where I lived for 9 years, local Americans are more receptive and open. But I came to realise that they prefer study groups, where they can interact and ask questions, than talks and lectures. Another important point to highlight is charity. The US is a country with a great tradition of volunteer work. And Spiritism, as we know, is based on charity. There is a great number of Americans who have joined Spiritism here who are doing an amazing job helping those in need.



Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita