Serious Investigation Made

It should not be thought that all who attend trumpet and materializing séances believe in those phases of spiritualism, or that they have faith in the honesty of the medium. Many spiritualists attend for amusement or to investigate seriously in the hope that they will see genuine psychic phenomena or, at least, something interesting. There are those who claim that even when they know the mediums to be counterfeit, a certain percentage of the phenomena are genuine.

Millions of dollars have been spent by honest, sincere but mistaken seekers of truth in chasing that elusive will-o'-the-wisp, a genuine medium. In many cases, these people were spurred in their search by reading the publications made by analytical scientific investigators of the phenomena of spiritualism. I mean the writings of those highly intellectual, keenly intelligent men of science who have for years been patiently, laboriously, accumulating a vast mass of evidence dealing with spiritualistic and supernormal phenomena without the slightest thought to material reward — Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Barrett, Dr. Walter Franklin Prince, Sir Conan Doyle, and others. Without due thought and preparation, these truth seekers I speak of rushed headlong into investigation of this abstruse and perplexing subject in the hope of experiencing the phenomena of which the scientists had written. In visiting public mediums, many were sadly disillusioned and others were convinced by the spurious phenomena they saw.

Counterfeit mediumship is built on newspaper and magazine stories of prophetic dreams and inexplicable ghostly happenings, on the love of the mysterious and supernatural inherent in all of us, and even more on the publications of scientific investigators of the phenomena of spiritualism.

Imagination runs riot in the religious atmosphere of the séance room. The prayers, singing of hymns, subtle suggestions of the medium or confederate, the will to believe, the darkness, the tenseness, all play on the emotions of the sitters and cause imaginary perception of things which do not occur. Mistaken observation, faulty reasoning, hallucination, and fraud account for most of the alleged phenomena.

Contrary to general belief, there is today very little information passed from one medium to another by mail or telephone, and the much discussed "Blue Book" is a myth. True, many counterfeit mediums have a "notebook" in which is recorded information that might later be used, but most fake mediums today do not use even a "notebook," and not once in a hundred times does a medium have advance information about a caller. If a medium cannot get what is wanted at one sitting, more sittings are arranged for.

It should be remembered that the spiritualistic phenomena reported by scientists are not the kind usually found in spiritualistic churches or séances or message meetings conducted by professional mediums.

Extensive literature on psychic science and numerous well-authenticated cases of spontaneous and induced supernormal phenomena of various kinds, such as telepathy, pre-vision, prophetic dreams, etc., reported by competent authorities, makes it seem that the subject has some merit. In my own personal experience, a friend of many years standing who is a non-professional automatic writing psychic conveyed to me information unknown to her or myself. It could not be accounted for on normal grounds, and I believe there is evidence of certain forms of supernormal phenomena which is well worthy of study by those who have the proper qualifications.

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