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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 2143 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2007, 05:35:56 pm »

THE RIDDLE OF HOUDINI                                                                                 continued

...........I will now turn to a consideration of the nature of Houdini's power
and, in order to appreciate the argument, one has to consider the nature of
some of the feats which he did actually perform.  A list of these would make
a considerable pamphlet, but a few typical ones may be selected.  A general
outline of his life, too, may not be out of place.

Houdini's real name was Eric Weiss, and he was born in 1874, in the State of
Wisconsin, in one of those small towns which seem to be the real centres of
American originality.  he was the seventh son of a Jewish rabbi, and he has
left it on record that his mother did not even know the English language.  He
has left no record that in his early youth he had some connection with medium-
ship, though of a most doubtful variety.

He has not scrupled to confess that he eked out any powers he may have had
by the expedient of reading the names upon the graves in the local cemeteries.

It was a good deal later than this that he first met a true medium in the shape
of Ira Davensport, the only survivor of the famous brothers whose powers ama-
zed all England in the 'sixties (1860s) and who, in spite of all the interested claims
of Maskelyne and other conjurers, were never exposed, nor even adequately imi-

I have before me, as I write, a letter from Houdini himself, in which he tells me:

"I was an intimate friend of Ira Erastus Davenport.  I can make the positive
assertion that the Davenport Brothers never were exposed.  I know more about
the Davenports than anyone living."

He then adds the very curious and notable sentence:

"I know for a fact that it was not necessary for them to remove their bonds,
in order to obtain manifestations."

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