Barbanell & Silver Birch

A unique two-world partnership


About Silver Birch

The profound spiritual teachings of Silver Birch have guided and inspired tens of thousands of followers around the world for decades. Spoken in words and phrases whose meanings are simple to absorb, his philosophy has guided countless people on their spiritual journeys through this earthly life.

They have learned to view their lives and those of others with love, compassion and understanding, knowing that we each have our own divine purpose. This realisation comes from the insights offered by Silver Birch’s unique other-world vantage point.

The Spiritual Truth Foundation owns the copyright of Silver Birch’s teachings and promotes their spiritual wisdom through a series of books as well as rare recordings of him speaking.

Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Silver Birch, such as:

Who was Silver birch?
Who painted his portrait?
What is special about his teachings?
Why does he no longer communicate his wisdom?
Where can I learn more about his teachings?

Eternal justice is not mocked. I wish that you could see the operation of the Law as I see it and know how finely balanced are the scales of justice. Then you could know that the Great Spirit makes no mistakes. Silver Birch

About Maurice Barbanell

Silver Birch gave his teachings through a medium named Maurice Barbanell.

Barbanell was the founder and editor of the weekly Spiritualist newspaper, Psychic News, and for half a century devoted his life to spreading spiritual knowledge through its columns and those of other publications with which he was associated.

In his own obituary, which he wrote before his passing at the age of 79 on 17th July 1981, he revealed that he was told by Estelle Roberts’ Red Cloud — a spirit guide for whom he had the greatest admiration and affection — that in a previous incarnation he had made a promise to reincarnate and devote his life to spreading Spiritualism. Though he had no conscious knowledge of that life or promise, events certainly conspired to make it possible.

Barbanell was born to Jewish parents in a poor area of London’s East End. His mother was devoutly religious but his father, a barber, was an atheist so Barbanell heard many arguments about religion during his early years. His father always won, and his son adopted the same outlook but later changed to agnosticism. Yet after hearing about Spiritualism from a speaker at a social and literary club of which he was secretary, Barbanell refused to start the debate by putting an opposing view — one of his duties — because, he explained, he had made no personal investigation and therefore his opinions were valueless.

This impressed the speaker, who invited Barbanell to attend a seance in which a medium, Mrs Blaustein, was entranced by various spirits of different nationalities. He was not impressed, and on a second visit fell asleep.  On waking, Barbanell apologised, believing that either boredom or tiredness had been responsible, but the other circle members informed him that he had not been asleep but had been in a trance and a Red Indian had spoken through him. Silver Birch had found his mouthpiece at last.

Later, with the encouragement of famous Fleet Street journalist Hannen Swaffer, Barbanell founded Psychic News, partly as a vehicle for the guide’s teachings. But, because he knew he would be criticised for publishing his own mediumship in his own newspaper, Barbanell did not reveal to his readers for many years who was channelling the wisdom, by which time the guide had a huge following on his own merits.

Silver Birch spoke regularly at Barbanell’s home circle and the proceedings were always recorded meticulously in shorthand. There were a number of differences in style and procedure between Barbanell’s own journalistic efforts and the way in which Silver Birch communicated, as Barbanell himself observed:

“In my working life I use words every day. I have never yet written or dictated an article with which I was satisfied when I read it. Inevitably I find, when looking at the typed material, that I can improve it by altering words, phrases and sentences. No such problem arises with the guide’s teachings. These flow perfectly, requiring usually only punctuation. Another interesting aspect is the occasional use of words that I regard as archaic and do not form part of my normal vocabulary.”

It’s also fascinating to note that Barbanell’s personal views did not always correspond fully with those of Silver Birch. Perhaps the best known example concerns the guide’s many references to reincarnation as a fact. Barbanell was less categorical. His argument was that it was impossible to prove reincarnation, because every case he had encountered could just as easily be explained as spirit overshadowing (or possession).