Founded by Augusto Elias of Silva on 1/21/1883, the "Reformador" magazine was one of the most daring enterprises of the spiritualistic publication in Brazil. Such because founding and preserving a body of spiritualistic propaganda, in the Brazilian Court at that time was as risk as to weaken the resolution of the most resolute of the spiritualists. That due to the fact that from the Brazilian pulpits, mainly from those in the country's Capital, there was the pouring of curses against the spiritualists, the new heretics that should be abated.
Augusto Elias wrote: "Open way, greeting the men of the present that so were in the past and shall still be those of the future, another one of the fighters of the peace: the "Reformador" (our highlight) With those opening words a new body for the divulgation of the spiritualism introduced itself to the world. The main article of the first issued established the guidelines of peace and progress through which the evolutionist body of the spiritualistic press would be orientated, also defining the relevant objectives that it aimed to reach. The "Reformador" thus introduced itself as another sower of the peace, equipped with tolerance and fraternity, spreading the sing of the Ismael's paradigm: God, Christ, and Charity.
The offices of the newspaper worked (in a study) in the residence of Augusto Elias of Silva's until 1888. It was a 4-page biweekly newspaper and it is estimated that its initial circulation was of approximately 300 copies, having approximately one hundred subscribers. In 1902 it started being published as a 20-page bi-monthly magazine.
In the decade of 1930 it became monthly, and the number of pages increased gradually, until reaching the current 40 pages. In 1939, the FEB bought and installed its own printing machines, in the premises at the back of the building located on Passos Avenue. It was a decisive undertaking, a new encouragement in the path of the doctrinaire divulger in the "Land of the Gospel." Thanks to that measure, the editions and reeditions of spiritualistic books started their great expansion. With the installation of the Editorial Department in 1948, located in a wide building especially built for such in the district of São Cristóvão, in the city of Rio of January, the so-called "House of Ismael" gave a sound structure to its whole editorial compound. (1) In the 1970's the FEB starting printing the Reformador with its colorful covers, replacing even the logo and the drawing, and the magazine received a new graphic aspect, with an excellent reception.
In its extraordinary history, the "Reformador" was fearlessly side by side with the fair causes, such as the abolition of the slavery and the religious tolerance, preserving until today the genuinely spiritualist and Christian nature of the magazine, which became one of the main vehicles for the development of the spiritualistic doctrine in the world. By the way, "the work of the Brazilian Spiritualistic Federation (Federação Espírita Brasileira, in Portuguese), which is molded in Kardec's Codification and in Jesus' Gospel, has been reflected in the Spiritist movement from several countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa, allowing for fraternal contacts of great importance as for the primal purposes of the Spiritism". (2)
In course of the decades that followed its foundation, two world wars shattered the structures of the Earth and several social convulsions have destabilized our country. In that historical context, many countries have seen the appearance of the bolshevist, Fascist, Nazi-fascist totalitarisms. There came the appearance of the existentialist philosophy and movement and the licentiousness, however without embittering the resentful aftertastes of the roars of the violence, through its pages the "Reformador" disseminated, as a source of hope, precious studies and timely comments about the Christ's Good News and Allan Kardec's Spiritualistic Code, stimulating the noblest efforts of the well-intentioned spirits, towards world cofraternization and peace.
The "Reformador" always continued, with calm and unshaken balance, to sail the agitated ocean of the ideas in conflict, repeating, every month, with imperturbable safety the message of truth and forgiveness, of work, of solidarity, and of tolerance, for the Third Revelation.
It is today the dean of the spiritist press in our territory, and one of the oldest ones in the World, among its peers. As consign the "Anais da Biblioteca Nacional" (Annals of the National Library) (Vol. 85) the "Reformador" is one of the four periodicals that appeared in Rio de Janeiro, from 1808 to 1889, that have survived until the present days. Namely, they are, in order: "Jornal do Commercio" (1827); "Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro" (1839); "Diário Oficial" (1862); "Reformador" (1883). (3) Except for the "Diário Oficial" (Official Gazette), the "Reformador" is the only one which never had its publication suspended. Preserving the guidelines it has followed since its foundation, it has never diverged from the program of studying, divulging, and spreading the Spiritism under its triple aspect (scientific, philosophical, and religious one), and, even if it has given greater importance to the moral and religious side of the Doctrine, it has not, and does not ignore the fair and real value of the scientific experimentation and of the reflections, though.
"The secular history of the "Reformador" is virtually the same as the history of the House of Ismael itself"(4) of which it is the living voice and the representation of its thought. Every Spiritist knows the editorial orientation of the body of the FEB fairly well. Serving as the messenger of the Brazilian Spiritualistic Federation, it express its thought and guidelines. It is permanently working for the Gospel of Jesus, under the light of the Spiritualistic Doctrine, and that says it all. It has always been in the forefront, in defense of the Spiritualistic Movement, of the Spiritualistic Institutions, of the Spiritists, against the attacks, persecutions, and prejudices of any kind or origin. In that line of coherence, it has always expressed the calm courage of those who fight for the prevalence of the truth, of the justice, and of the fraternity among men.
"As the Encoder expressed, the unit of the Doctrine is the fortress before which the dissidences will melt and the sophisms will break before principles sustained by the reason". (5) To consubstantiate such project, "for over one century the " Reformador" has been teaching and comforting the Brazilian masses, mainly in the proposed effective transformation of the ingrained prejudice and of the ideas that hinder the spiritual evolution.(6) In that sense Emmanuel expresses himself "So that all are one".(7) Strictly speaking, the Unification is a slow ripening process, which progresses towards stimulating the existence of participation, exchange, and respect among the spiritualistic institutions, considering their diversities of conditions, respecting the administrative autonomy that they have. (8)
For some comrades the FEB excessively diffuses (through the "Reformador") the religious aspect of the doctrine, the reason why they nurture a certain rather odd aversion before everything that may have ties with the religion. Several lay institutions have been trying to meddle with the Brazilian Spiritist Movement. Companions that affirm that the Spiritism is not the Promised Consoler, because the Spiritism and the Christianity would be two different doctrines. (sic) They deny the use of the adjective Christian to qualify the Spiritism. In that confuse vortex they do not admit the submission to any constituted power, to rules, as for the anarchist spirit those are violations for free-thinking, and thus, using freedom as the sign for their strange theories, they are convicts of their "wisdom" and believe that their ideas represent the truth.
As for what concerns the non-transferable institutional task of the FEB we emphasize Allan Kardec's instructions, when it comes to the organization of the Spiritualistic Movement. The master from Lyon demonstrates not only the need for the managing board, but also how it should work. For a strong reason, to leave the Spiritualistic Doctrine loose at the insuperable whims of the personal interpretations can transform the Spiritualistic Movement into an unprecedented confusion. Those who do not understand the need for a unifying institution become supporters of what is called the "anarchical-libertarian" movement (?!). And not few are the remainders of such progressive outbursts, forming schools of a "Fashion Spiritism", based on the frail pillars of "half truths".
Aiming at reaching a harmonious relationship with the akin spiritualistic centers, the FEB and the "Reformador" have materialized the commitment with the state federal associations [in tune with the FEB] of avoiding the systematic and widespread dispersion, towards the disintegration, as a results of strange interferences. Especially because the doctrinaire unit was Allan Kardec's only and last boundary, for being the unassailable fortress of the Spiritualistic Doctrine.
Therefore, by remembering the importance of the "Reformador" magazine in the current conjuncture of the World Spiritualistic Movement, we recommend its reading, as a source of peace and love and as a powerful antidote against the poisons of the discords and disunions.
1 - The Editorial and Graphic Department works in its own building, at 17, Souza Brave Street, in the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), and has already published nearly 6,000,000 copies of Allan Kardec's works and more than 12,600,000 of other spiritualistic works, among which we find, with more than 8,300,000 copies, the directly-written books by medium Francisco Cândido Xavier. Some dozens of didactic and doctrinaire works have been published in Esperanto by the Brazilian Spiritualistic Federation, which, since 1909, fosters the use of the International Neutral Language in the spiritualistic circles and even in the middle of lay collectivities. (Source: Systematized study of the Spiritualistic Doctrine based on a Publication of the FEB).
2 - Systematized study of the Spiritualistic Doctrine based on Publication of the FEB
3 - Juvanir Borges of Souza In Reformador, January, 2003
4 - "Reformador": porta-voz da espiritualidade superior" (Reformador: voice of the higher spirituality)" - article by Francisco Thiesen In "Reformador", October, 1972.
5 - Juvanir Borges de Souza, article: Allan Kardec e a Unificação (Allan Kardec and the Unification), available at and accessed on 11/21/2005
6 - Sentence taken from the chapter about Augusto Elias da Silva in Grandes Espíritas do Brasil (Great Spiritist from Brazil), 2nd edition, revised and corrected, Rio de Janeiro, FEB, 1969.
7- (John, 17:22).
8 - "The Spiritism is a matter of principles; to be stuck to the form would be a puerility that is unworthy of the greatness of the matter. Hence comes the fact that the centers that have been penetrated by the true spirit of the Spiritism should fraternally join hands with one another and unite to fight the common enemies: incredulity and fanaticism". ( In Obras Póstumas - Constituição do Espiritismo (Posthumous Works - Constitution of the Spiritism) - Item VI).