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Arthur Conan Doyle, SPIRITUALISM and Harry Houdini

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Author Topic: Arthur Conan Doyle, SPIRITUALISM and Harry Houdini  (Read 1565 times)
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Posts: 41646

« on: May 18, 2007, 06:33:55 am »

THE RIDDLE OF HOUDINI                                                                          continued

It is obviously absurd, since the money will only be paid if you satisfy the
challenger, and since the challenger has to pay the money, he never will be

The classical instance is that of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazine, which
offered a large sum for any well-attested psychic phenomenon but, on being
confronted with the Crandon phenomena, which are perhaps best attested in
the whole annals of psychical research, found reasons for witholding the money.

I remember that when I arrived in New York, Houdini offered some huge sum
that he could do anything which I had ever seen a medium do.  I, at once,
accepted his challenge, and proposed as a test that he should materialize the
face of my mother in such a way that others besides myself who had known
her in life could recognize it.

I heard no more of the matter after that, and yet in England a medium had
actually done this.  I would have brought my witness across the Atlantic had
the test been accepted.

I am quite prepared to think that Houdini's campaign against mediums did tempo-
rary good so far as false mediums goes, but it was so indiscriminate and accom-
panied by so much which was intolerant and offensive, that it turned away the
sympathy and help which Spiritualists, who are anxious for the cleanliness of
their own movement, would gladly have given him.

The unmasking of false mediums is our urgent duty, but when we are told that,
in spite of our own evidence and that of three generations of mankind, there are
no real ones, we lose interest, for we know that we are speaking to an ignorant
man.  At the same time, the States, and in lesser degree our own people, do
need stern supervision.

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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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