Report on Spiritualism

October 17, 1871

Daily News Review: Report on Spiritualism of the Committee of the London Dialectical Society

I regret that I am unable to accept the invitation of the Committee of the Dialectical Society to co-operate with a committee for the investigation of "Spirtualism"; and for two reasons. In the first place, I have not time for such an inquiry, which would involve much trouble and (unless it were unlike all inquiries of that kind I have known) much annoyance. In the second place, I take no interest in the subject. The only case of "Spiritualism" I have had the opportunity of examining into for myself, was as gross an imposture as ever came under my notice. But supposing the phenomena to be genuine–they do not interest me. If anybody would endow me with the faculty of listening to the chatter of old women and curates in the nearest cathedral town, I should decline the privilege, having better things to do. And if the folk in the spiritual world do not talk more wisely and sensibly than their friends report them to do, I put them in the same category. The only good that I can see in the demonstration of the truth of "Spiritualism" is to furnish an additional argument against suicide. Better live a crossing-sweeper than die and be made to talk twaddle by a "medium" hired at a guinea a séance .


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University