The out-of-body issue is inextricably linked with that of survival, that is, the continuing existence of the self in some form after death. Indeed, for many the OBE/NDE is an indication – if not actually a proof – that somehow humans survive bodily death. The very idea that death is not the end, that we are not all destined to the extinction of our selfhood is extremely potent, and besides being the ultimate hope of so many religions was originally the raison d'être for much parapsychological research. Indeed, in the early days of the British Society for Psychical Research members who had been reared in a religious tradition but who were shaken by the implications of Darwinian theory 'saw in the claims of the spiritualists a possibility of salvaging something of the unique spiritual status accorded to human kind. Proof of personal survival of bodily death' (Rush: 1986c, p. 23). The main focus of much of this research was the spiritualist movement. Experiments by small groups of devotees had been taking place since at least the latter part of the eighteenth century, and by the middle years of the nineteenth century table-tipping, automatic writing, spirit voices and even 'apparitions', while not actually commonplace, were very much part of the repertoire of many self-respecting spiritualist – or, as some would prefer, spiritist – gatherings. Mediums were in great demand for seances, especially those who were apparently able to produce sensational results often before quite critical audiences. Some were only too ready to lease out their services for private sittings for the well-to-do, often for not inconsiderable sums. After the First World War in particular, it was understandable that those who had lost loved ones wanted the reassurance that they were in a 'better place' and that one day the bereaved and those who had 'passed over' would be happily reunited.