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vol. 1, p. 104
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< The Slanderers of "Art Magic" (continued from page 1-103) >

extensive mastery of foreign languages would enable us to arrange the author’s idiomatic translation into fair, readable English.”

The letter closes with an explanation of her relations with the parties before named, assigns a reason for not wishing to have her work connected with them, and apologizes to Col. Olcott and Mme. Blavatsky for any injury the association of her name with theirs may have caused. The work is to be published soon after Christmas, and she gives the additional information that some twenty names have been struck off the subscription list by the author.

An English Writer on Spiritualism in America

Spiritual Scientist, Dec: 30, 1875

Of all the criticismson Spiritualism in America that; have lately appeared from English writers, that by Mr. Algernon Joy, Secretary to the British National Association seems to be the most honest. He has “no axe to grind” and tells a remarkable amount of truths compressed into small space. Some may appreciate “toadyism” and relish, the familiar titles of “good brothers and sisters,” but we prefer to see things called by their right names. Of free-love he says:

I was told that probably one-third of the acknowledged Spiritualists in the United States are free-lovers, and that is a reason why many who are Spiritualists in faith do not avow it. The other two-thirds of the Spiritualists are perhaps the most violent opponents of free-love that exist anywhere.

Speaking of Spiritualism in Baltimore he refers to Washington Danskin, husband of the present medium who supplies the messages for the Banner; he says: —

I met Mr. Washington Danskin, a very fine character, and the father of Spiritualism in Baltimore, and who, perhaps for that reason, is rather tyrannical in his opinions, and has a strong tendency to discountenance those who do not think as he does.

We catch a glimpse of the Holmes fraud, and wonder Mr. Algernor Joy does not consider the conduct of Mr. Child a proper subject for investigation by the British National Association. Dr. Child figures on their list as an “honorary” member. There are many who would hesitate to accept the kind invitation to become honorary members of the Association if there was no provision to erase from the list the name of one upon whom suspicion of fraud rests as strongly as it does on Dr. Child. Even Mr. Joy does not hesitate to criticise. He says:—

I also went to Philadelphia and saw Dr. Child, who was very ill. There seems to be no doubt that he was in partnership with the Holmeses, reaping pecuniary benefit from their seances, with which, it afterwards turned out, a considerable amount of fraud had been mixed up. When this was discovered, Dr. Child stopped the sale of his book, which purported to have been dictated by the spirit John King, who appeared through the Holmeses’. The book also contained an account of the seances at the Holmeses’. The feeling against Dr. Child in Philadelphia, in consequence of his having been in partnership with these mediums, was so strong that he was obliged to resign his presidency of the Spiritualistic Association there. While I was in Philadelphia I saw a copy of Dr. Child’s book for sale at the public bookstall in the International Hotel, and I think that, whether Dr. Child now reaps any benefit from it or not, he ought to stop the sale.

He also, as well as our correspondent who recently visited Mrs. Huntoon, was unable to obtain a seance under test- conditions. He says: —

I went to see the Eddy brothers, and intended to write a letter to The Spiritualist about them. While there I saw no manifestations under test-conditions. I firmly believe that every spirit that came out upon the platform was William Eddy himself; those that only showed in the doorway, the same on his hands and knees, and the small children that appeared were made-up dolls; still I must admit that much of this is merely hypothesis. The whole family are most unbounded liars; I never met such a lying family. The brothers are also in every way great blackguards. Mrs. Huntoon is perhaps equally untruthful. One evening I called on the chance of getting a seance which she had half promised me. I found the lights out, and, on knocking at the door, could get no answer. The next day she told me that she had just come back from Rutland. A few minutes afterwards I chanced to mention this in the house of a neighbor, and they laughed and told me that she had slept in their house all night, that on the previous evening she came running in saying that her husband had threatened to cut her throat, and asked them to allow her to sleep there.

White Magic, or Occultism



Editor's notes

  1. An English Writer on Spiritualism in America by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 3, No. 17, December 30, 1875, p. 202
  2. White Magic, or Occultism by unknown author (signed as C.O.P.), Banner of Light