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vol. 1, p. 132
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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Concerning Mrs. Hardy

To the Editor of the Spiritual Scientist:

Dear Sir: — As I was present by the invitation of my good friends, Mrs. Hull and Mrs. Lita Barney Sayles, at Mrs. Hardy's seance of Saturday March 18, referred to in the signed statement you have published, I am able to corroborate the truthfulness of the same so far as that evening is concerned.

By permission of Mrs. Hardy I placed my right hand between the tolds of the table during the intervals of the supposed spirit hand materializations, and am able to testify that I was then struck from beneath the table three times by warm human fresh; as an old student of surgery at the Hotel Dieu and Ecole de Medicine, at Paris, I know something of the warmth of a human body under various conditions I should add that a further request I made for the spirits to grasp my hand was not acceded to, and Mrs. Hull informed me, after the seance, that Mrs. Hardy stated she did not desire my presence again in any future sittings.

I have before me on my desk, at this moment, a paraffine mold taken by natural means from the hand of a friend; it is in every way equal to those produced by Mrs. Hardy, who, if my opinion be worth anything, has an unanswerable case to meet. The categorical facts in the signed statement must be met by point-blank denials, supported by evidence equally credible to that by which the charges are supported.

No further manifestations are necessary to prove Mrs. Hardy's genuineness, and no special pleadings by her friends can dispose of irrefragible proof. The signed document, styled by the Banner of Light of an ad captandum vulgus character, is a plain, unvarnished tale, marked by dignified simplicity and can in no way be considered either claptrap or an appeal to popular prejudices. I am astonished the editor of the Banner should have taken a position more suitable for a defendant's attorney than that of a judge impartially summing up the cases of both plaintiff and defendant.

If the friends of Truth are to be answered by arguments like this then Spiritualism is not worth much. To attack the signers of this document is simply to attack Spiritualism in a most vulnerable place; for these ladies and gentlemen arc known and esteemed, not only as recognized Spiritualists, but as of elevated social position, and what is more of honesty and discretion.

It is also quite as unnecessary to sneer down my friend Prof. Van DerWeyde, a scientist and a gentleman, as Mrs. Hardy's husband is permitted to do in the Banner of Light; he may be a materialist and skeptic, but he has at least a right to give his honest convictions without being insulted. If the editor of the Banner had heard the remarks of this gentleman (a brother editor) in the N. Y. Liberal Club, last Friday night, in reference to this Hardy exposure, and his belief in the sincerity of Spiritualists, whom he nevertheless considered mistaken, I am confident he would never have allowed the puplication of that portion of Mrs. Hardy's husband's letter in reference to the Professor. Or, if he had seen the poignant sorrow which both Mrs. Thomas K. Austin and myself expressed when speaking on the same occasion about this miserable business, I am certain he would never have indulged in the reflections which he has deemed it necessary to make on persons seeking the Truth and endeavoring to do their duty.

Yours faithfully,

Charles Sotheran.

Editor The American Bibliopolist, N. Y.

Home's Hornet-Nest

To the Editor of the Spiritual Scientist:

Dear Sir: — I am a Spiritualist of twenty years’ experience in many countries. I am a great traveler; and no less than Mr. D. D. Home, collect the pretty personal histories I run across in various towns. I also keep a diary. In this Mr. Home’s name figures frequently as one of the first phenomena of Spiritualism that we had in Europe. One of your correspondents, who signs himself “Judex,” says that many persons, besides a certain Brooklyn doctor, have received letters from this sinister celebrity. The latter seems to make a speciality of crowding out of his way every one who makes claims to mediumship. His plan is to tattoo them with his own hand, and then shout to everybody to see how ugly they look. Fate has willed it that one of these letters should fall into my hands. Now, like all travelers I have my hobbies. I am a collector of autographs, portraits, and characteristic anecdotes. The letter in question deserves a conspicuous place in my portfolio, if for no other reason than because of the following impudent sentence: “When people are vain enough to set themselves up as teachers . . . they should tee that their credentials are in good order.” Sublime and immortal phrase! It is worthy the Messiah of the Spiritual World! One would infer from this letter that me writer's credentials were in such a state as to entitle him to the respect and admiration due to a Rosiere of Nanterre—one of those spotless virgins they crown with roses every year in France! Home may perhaps not recognize me under the name affixed to this letter, for I never sought his acquaintance. But if he saw me he might recall me, with that wonderful memory” he boasts of, as one against whom he often brushed in Rome. In those days rumors were circulated sotto voce that were very damaging to his character for wonderful purity. I hate publicity, but I hereby notify Mr. Home that, as the intimate friend of one of the relatives of the lady he insults in this famous letter, if he says one word more about her, I will send him my photograph with a copy of an article that will be printed. The article will add one "Incident" to the number he forgot to include in his very interesting memoirs. If my endorsement of this story, added to that of several other persons, will not be sufficient, I will refer Mr. Home to Messrs. Rhymer and Anthony Trollope for further particulars.

Comte E. de L......y

Bordentown, March 23, 1876.

Psychological Influences

Andrew Jackson Davis, in his “Approaching Crisis, says: —

The atmosphere is filled with individual private experiences. These experiences are frequently reported to, and by those who are called mediums. Private derails are interesting to those only who have been the subject of such experiences. But the finest evidences from the Summer Land, and the best things in Spiritualism, cannot be divulged to a promiscuous audience. Neither can such evidences be made plausible to the reader of a newspaper, because no speaker or writer can paint all the convincing items of conditions, and the scenery which pertained to and accompanied the demonstration. Only the general fact can be given to a hearer or a reader. Because a third party cannot see the minutiae, the narration seems trite, and many times unsatisfactory. Hence we say, “Go seek for yourselves.” Individuals return to relate their private experiences; to say in touching language what they think of the dear ones remaining on earth; to tell how often they have watched over their loved; to narrate how many times they have endeavored to exert an influence in the way of guardianship, and government, and protection; regretfully to inform the beloved how often they have failed, or joyfully to tell how many times they have succeeded. They tell us these things over and over again, and we have accumulated unmistakable proofs of the truth. It cannot be fully described to you, nor can you impart the vividness of the truth to your neighbor—only the skeleton of the experience; but all the internal interest can be conceived and treasured up by no one beside yourself. Hence the basic historical facts of Spiritualism can never be spread by propagandists. You can not go about and preach the mere externals into the reason and intentions of people. Spiritualists are believers because of the incontrovertible evidences which tbey have individually received or obtained by investigation.

Curious Customs in Alaska

How the Indians hold communication with evil spirits

These Indians believe in evil spirits who live in the water, and send sickness and disease among the people—a belief to which the occasional disasters caused by mussel or fish poisoning have doubtless given rise. They hold communication with these spirits through their sorcerers, but do not worship them in any way or try to propitiate them with offerings. When a Kolosh dies his body is burned, and a rude monument placed where the ashes are buried. They believe that the spirit lives forever, but have no idea of any reward for virtue or punishment for vice. According to their belief, strict distinction of rank is preserved in the other world, all the chiefs being in one place, the common people in another, and the slaves in a corner by themselves. Only when slaves are killed at the funeral of their chief their souls remain in eternal attendance on their master. This cruel custom was said to be abolished under the Russian rule, but it always has existed and is kept up to the present day, though the ceremonies are performed out of the reach of the authorities. Several cases of this kind have occurred since the transfer of the territory, in spite of the vigilence of the authorities, and no wonder, as our Government has done nothing to suppress slavery where it exist right under the very eyes of military rule.


The London Spiritualist for sale at this office; price seven cents.

Editor's notes

  1. Concerning Mrs. Hardy by Sotheran, Charles, Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 5, April 6, 1876, p. 58
  2. Home's Hornet-Nest by unknown author (signed as Comte E. de L......y), Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 5, April 6, 1876, p. 58
  3. Psychological Influences by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 5, April 6, 1876, p. 58
  4. Curious Customs in Alaska by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 5, April 6, 1876, p. 58. From the San Francisco Chronicle