Spiritualism: a victorian fraud

page: 1
0

log in

join

posted on Jul, 30 2003 @ 01:23 AM
link   
The new age fad of channeling made popular by celebrities like Shirley Maclaine and others is by no means anything new.
The concept of channeling or communicating with deceased spirits has been around for thousands of years in almost all cultures..
Here in the U.S. the practice of contacting the dead all
started with the spiritualist movement.
This religous cult or church started in upstate New York around 1848 by the Fox sisters.
They lived in a house that was supposedly haunted and were able to communicate with it's ghostly inhabitant which replied by rapping on the walls.
Word of this spread rather quickly and the Fox sisters became overnight celebrities.
And it wasn't long before others got into this act and started holding seances to contact relatives on the other side.
Many upper class and working class folks participated in this then current fad which spread even across the atlantic
to Europe. Victorian England proved very receptive to this
American import and many current celebrities went in for it also. Queen Victoria was reported to have participated in
seances and Prime Minister Gladstone also.
But now comes an interesting feature to this story.
Years later after having enjoyed their fame for awhile,one
of the Fox sisters admitted to having commited fraud.
In order to produce those rapping noises on the wall,she merely cracked her toe joints!
She demonstrated this in public and they were loud enough to be heard by the audience.
Far from discrediting or hurting the movement,Spiritualism
as this new religion was called spread and gained more adherents all over the world.
Today there are spiritualist churches in almost every major
country in the world.
The antics of the mediums who contacted the dead ,included table tipping or moving,causing flowers to fall out of the air,playing of musical instruments,and ghostly materializations that were known as ectoplasm.
Many of these mediums had been caught or exposed by
investigators from the newly created "Society For Psychical
Research" founded in 1882 or 1883.
However despite this it did nothing to dampen the faith
of the spiritualists.
The will to believe in something is a die-hard or stubborn
attitude that seems characteristic of those with a religous
mania.
This was especially true for the Spiritualists who had a very personal investment in their beliefs.
Nothing is more comforting to the bereaved then to know
that their deceased loved ones are still alive, but on the other side.
Also it's even more comforting when they can contact or talk to them through the agency of a medium.
This was one main reason why this movement managed to survive despite the exposure of the parlor tricks conducted
by some of it's practitioners.
The urge to believe is stronger than the urge to question,
especially for the religous.




posted on Aug, 5 2003 @ 03:21 PM
link   
Yogi bear I partly agree and partly disagree with your post. Undoubtedly many spiritualist mediums now and in the past were active frauds taking advantage of the relatives of the deceased but there continue to be a small number of these who were exhaustively tested by investigators and never found to be cheating, there is also a murky grey area where certain mediums cheated to gain results when under pressure to perform, even though some of those investigating would swear that on past achievements alone the subject had already displayed proof of their claimed talents, the trickery being so badly performed and concealed as to be laughable. It's also to be remembered that skeptics can also be partial to cheating or re-writing the the results to suit there own belief.
medium ship aside spiritualism has a very tolerant philosophy that welcomes all races and creeds and firmly places personal responsability as the means to progression, not relying on saviours who forgive at the last minute or divisive dogma. We get what we give out good bad or indifferent and for that it's to be applauded. Having said all that even if a medium is shown to be 100% genuine it must be considered that the information may be accessed via telepathy rather than the actual deceased



posted on Aug, 5 2003 @ 04:47 PM
link   
Real mystics do not ask for money

Just like there are bad cops, priest, judges, salesmen, mechanics, doctors, teachers and so on this vocation is not different.

Best advise Caveat emptor and would add that one should define the word buy in every context which can be considered.



posted on Aug, 5 2003 @ 08:04 PM
link   
It's easy to find stories which claim the fox sisters were frauds, however they recanted the claim that they faked the rappings a year later. I bet you didn't know that.

I'm a spiritualist. I don't completly believe in the fox sisters myself. However what about andrew jackson davis?

There are thousands of true stories about spiritualist contacting those who have passed over. I personaly know one of americas top 100. I don't want to get into what spiritualism is all about. I just believe what "I" have seen.



posted on Aug, 5 2003 @ 08:53 PM
link   
Yogi for a good overveiw of spiritualism and post mortem existance research in general read Afterlife by Colin Wilson.



posted on Aug, 5 2003 @ 11:56 PM
link   
from energy wave>


It's easy to find stories which claim the fox sisters were frauds, however they recanted the claim that they faked the rappings a year later. I bet you didn't know that.

Oh really? Then why did they claim that it was mere fraud on their part in the first place?


By the way ever heard of James Randi the magician?
He has an outstanding offer of I think one million dollars to anyone who can prove to him under controlled conditions that they have genuine psychic powers.
This offer has been in existence for awhile now so with all
the reports and claims of esp and genuine psychic powers there should be a large crowd rushing for this.
Like houdini before him he has exposed the antics or slieght of hand tricks performed by these charlatans.



posted on Aug, 6 2003 @ 08:52 AM
link   
My friend, the one who is one of americas top 100 psychic mediums has used her abilities to locate missing people for the FBI, etc. She is very accurate.

Can the amazing Randy do that?

It's all real. There are fakes yes but...



posted on Aug, 6 2003 @ 12:28 PM
link   
Try reading some more impartial websites about Randi. When it comes to cheating and rigging results he's up there with the worst fake psychic. he's been caught out more than once. Another good book is Psychic Detectives by Jenny Randles and Peter Hough for a balanced veiw of this phenomona.



posted on Aug, 7 2003 @ 08:51 PM
link   
I still would like to know how come the fox sisters confessed to fraud in the first place.
They made a public demonstration as to how they made thier rapping noises.
What would they have gained from exposing themselves as
phoneys?



posted on Aug, 7 2003 @ 09:09 PM
link   

Originally posted by yogibear
I still would like to know how come the fox sisters confessed to fraud in the first place.
They made a public demonstration as to how they made thier rapping noises.
What would they have gained from exposing themselves as
phoneys?





They were under too much pressure. Two of the three died as alcoholics and I think all three sisters died basicly pennyless.





top topics
 
0

log in

join