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Communicating with the Dead (Original)

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Author Topic: Communicating with the Dead (Original)  (Read 3128 times)
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« Reply #165 on: January 19, 2008, 03:04:27 pm »

Sandra Taylor

Member # 2492

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   posted 07-17-2005 10:28 PM                       
Mediums' Confessions

I could fill this entire volume with accounts of fraudulent mediums, their exposures, and their confessions. And my list would not include the thousands of fortune-tellers who have fallen into the hands of the police.

Most fraudulent mediums confess when they are in a tight corner in order to save themselves from possible legal proceedings. Some, more honest, get sick of the whole business and confess their frauds in order to ease their conscience.(68) in 1891, in America, a sensation was caused by the publication(69) of The Revelations of a Spirit Medium. In that same year it was 'entered according to Act of Congress in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.' That is, it was copyrighted. And that is all we know definitely about the book. The author was either Donovan, Charles F. Pidgeon, Frank N. Foster, or Mansfield, and bibliophiles have not yet decided which. But the work itself is a brilliant and detailed exposť of most of the tricks used by fraudulent mediums, who bought up all the copies they could find and destroyed them. The book is now of the extremest rarity. During a lifetime's collecting of rare books on magic I have found only three copies. One of these I sacrificed in order that a facsimile edition(70) could be produced by the anastatic process, This was edited by Dr. E. J. Dingwall and myself.

(68) For example, that of Douglas Blackburn, whose 'Confessions of a Famous Medium' appeared in John Bull, December 5, 1908 to January 9, 1909.
(69) By Farrington & Co., St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A.
(70) Revelations of a Spirit Medium; or, Spiritualistic Mysteries Exposed. With Notes, Bibliography, Glossary and Index. Ed. by Harry Price and E. J. Dingwall, London, 1922. (Sec. Ed., 1930.)

Another work, also anonymous (though supposed to have been written by Chapman), appeared in London in 1882 under the title of Confessions of a Medium: and a series of articles, Confessions of a Bogus Medium: How I Made £1,000 a Year by Faked Sťances was published by a weekly journal(71). It is well worth reading.

(71) In the World's Pictorial News, London, beginning February 20, 1920.
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