13 Va. L. Rev. 22 (1926-1927)
Copyright of Automatic Writing

handle is hein.journals/valr13 and id is 42 raw text is: VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW

COPYRIGHT OF AUTOMATIC WRITING.1
N THE London Times of July 23, 1926, is an account of the
trial of the case of Cummins v. Bond in the Chancery Divi-
sion of the High Court of Justice, before Mr. Justice Eve, in
which a spirit medium, Miss Geraldine Cummins, producer
among other things of the script known as The Gospel of Philip
the Evangelist, sought an injunction against publication by the
sitter, Mr. Frederick Bligh Bond, author of The Gate of Re-
membrance and The Company of Avalon, an architect and
writer upon psychical subjects, of certain writings automatically
produced by the medium, called The Chronicle of Cleophas. 2
According to her counsel, the writing was extremely rapid-
some 2,000 words in an hour. It was produced thus: the plain-
tiff covered her eyes with her left hand, took a pencil in her
right hand, and began to write on a sheet of foolscap. Another
sheet was supplied when that was full. During that time she
was only partially conscious, and what was written she only
partially remembered afterwards. The production caused great
exhaustion. There was no doubt, however, that what was writ-
ten was the work of the plaintiff, and the result of an operation
of the brain which directed the hand. There was no suggestion
that it was dictated or was a copy o.f any existing book or work.
In the argument reference was made to the well known poem
Kubla Khan, produced by Coleridge while under the influence
qf opium. It was said that the chronicle had a considerable
commercial value, particularly in the United States.
The plaintiff in her evidence testified that so far as she was
1 Other articles in this series: The Fortune Teller (1923) 9 VA. L. Rzv.
249; Spiritualism and Crivie (1922) 22 CoL. L. Rev. 439; The Conjurer (1921)
7 VA. L. Rzv. 370; Psychic Phenomena and the Law (1921) 29 HARv. L. IRv.
625; 11 Am. B. A. J. 419, note 18.
'One of the two disciples who walked with Jesus to Emmans on the day of
his resurrection was named Cleopas (Luke XXIV, 18). Sir Arthur Conarx
Doyle attaches much importance to the script involved in this suit. 2 HIsToRY
oF SPIRITUALISM (1926) 259.

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