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vol. 3, p. 143
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)


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< The Ring of Science (continued from page 3-142) >


The Anthropological subsection will no doubt give prominence to a discussion upon Measles as a Religious Element among the Andamanese; and an adjournment could hardly be reached without a fight over the old puzzle, whether it is probable that the American stovepipe represents the form of the prayer-cylinder of the Lacustrians. If Professor Buchanan, who has forgotten more about Anthropology than any of them ever knew, should attempt to crowd upon them the complete study of Man in all his relations, he will be coughed down and the floor granted to somebody who has a speech ready upon the reticulated button-hole of the Bergalese rajpoot's coat. And yet they are not happy.

Have we done any injustice to the American and British Association—for they are both alike. Consult the printed volumes of Transactions, in which may be found record of some of the very papers above enumerated, and others about orange-peel oil, fat women, hyena's dens and the blastoderms of birds’ eggs. If these learned children (for what are they else, who play with such toys?) would simply confess their ignorance of spiritual facts, laws and philosophy, we would have nothing to complain of. It is their own affair whether they study this or that science, and prefer to use the few hours they have on earth in discovering the nature of the respiratory organs of the shark or any other, ignoble tomfoolery, to studying the spiritual part of Man and his inter-mundane communications, attractions and perils. But what the whole Spiritualistic press and all intelligent Spiritualists so indignantly denounce, is the fact that scientific men like Davy, Faraday, Tyndall and Huxley pronounce upon these matters without being possessed of any data upon which to form an opinion. Worse, they sometimes have deliberately lied about observed phenomena, to avoid making a favorable report. If any of them feels aggrieved at our language, let him say so, and we will prove its literal accuracy.

From the N. Y. Graphic. May 4 1875

“From the Other World”

To the Editor of the Daily Graphic.

I am place den so false a position before the reading public by a part of your review of my book, “People from the Other World,” that 1 ask the favor of space for a few remarks. In his friendly desire to say pleasant things of me, your reviewer makes it appear that my tests of the mediums were so crucial as to be actually cruel. He remarks of them, that “they were often very ingenious, and sometimes almost cruel to the mediums, who were subjected to the strain of painful positions sometimes for hours, and until they suffered utter nervous prostration;” whereas the fact is, that the matters in question were tests resorted to by sundry “committees of sceptics,” and denounced by me as brutal and unnecessary. In the whole course of my investigations, I never inflicted a moment’s pain upon a medium, nor do I consider it necessary to do so. I am no advocate for shooting or stabbing the materialized spirits without consent, nor the seizure of the forms, nor the use of vitriol. I agree with Mr. Crocker, that there are more scientific methods than these, and believe that it is perfectly easy to satisfy myself as to the verity of alleged phenomena without resort to cruelty. In the case of Mrs. Compton, of Havana, N. Y., a single thread of sewing cotton passed through the perforated lobes of her ears and sealed with wav to the back of her chair, proved as effective a safeguard against fraud, as the most ingenious of manacles, or the most intricate tangle of knots could have been.

The large sale with which my book is meeting, proves that the public interest in “materialization” has been in no wise abated by the preposterous expose of the Katie King humbug, while before long, things will occur in this city, that will raise the excitement to fever heat A “Miracle Club” is being organized by some of the best of our citizens, who have secured the attendance of a private gentleman, in whose presence every wonder of Modern Spiritualism, including the materialization of the full-length spirit forms, occurs without a cabinet and in the light.

Henry S. Olcott

Lotos Club, May 1.

Apotheosis of Mrs. Conant

Under this startling caption our contemporaries of the Banner of Light, publish some of the laudatory notices of the late Mrs. Conant. Good gracious! What next? Is a new religion to be instituted? Must Spiritualists be called upon to worship Mrs. Conant as a divinity? The Pope contents himself with the mere canonization of a devout brother or sister; he or she is made a simple saint; Catholics have not ventured further than this; but the Banner wants an apotheosis! It would have us make of Mrs. Conant a goddess! How would that dear, good lady have recoiled from adulation like this! An apotheosis! Does the Banner really know what it means? Let Noah Webster explain; “Apotheosis (from apo, from, and theos, god.) The act of elevating a mortal to the rank, and placing him among the number, of the gods; deification, consecration.” It is bombast like this that makes Spiritualism the laughing-stock of the cultivated classes. But the Banner’s blunder is of a piece with many of the utterances through Mrs. Conant, claiming to be scientific. What wonder that Spiritualism has been mistrusted and laughed at? Is it not time for a little wholesome competition?

Only One Kind of Matter in the Universe

To the Editor of the Spiritual Scientist:

There are many eminent chemists. Prof. Cooke among the number, who believe, that, instead of there being sixty-four elements, there is but one. That this one universal element assumes more than sixty different forms (according to the velocity with which the atom moves), which constitute the molecules, or their arrangement or number, it not more wonderful than the changes which some of our so-called elemental bodies suffer in their allotropic modifications — Scientific American.

What a sublime simplification of the “elements” of nature the foregoing suggests! bringing us within a step of the universal atom of matter, the macrocosmic atom, save that it is pulseless and inert!

But the atom lives and moves. Whence its life and motion? Whence force? Is it not of God? Is it not “God”?


Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Aug 16, 1876.

Our Rogues Gallery

The Brooklyn Spiritualist Society furnishes us a new portrait this week to hang in our Rogues' Gallery—that of Mrs. Jennie Holmes.

We cannot say that we are are very sorry for the complaining parties. If they chose to pay Mrs. Holmes to perform her antics, in a cabinet, and in a sleazy bag with bogus seams, which she brought with her, they ought not to be coming before the public with either a whine over the trickery which on general principles, they ought to have expected, or a show of virtue that they have made a partial demonstration of its occurrence. If this committee Consider that they have done all they should by the public or themselves, they are greatly mistaken. They had no right to sit with a woman who brought such nonsensical “test” apparatus with her. They should have supplied their own as Col. Olcott did, and as they acknowledge he did. This other is investigation with a vengeance!

That Mrs. Holmes was a genuine medium, is certain. If other proof were lacking, that furnished by Col. Olcott's scientific experiments supplied it amply. He not only surrounded the medium with every safeguard that his own ingenuity suggested, but also called in two different professional jugglers to examine his test-bag, and show how it might be tampered with.

It will be observed by those who read the Colonel’s <... continues on page 3-144 >

Editor's notes

  1. “From the Other World” by Olcott, H. S., Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 9, May 6, 1875, p. 106
  2. Apotheosis of Mrs. Conant by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 25, August 26, 1875, p. 295
  3. Only One Kind of Matter in the Universe by J.C.R., Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 26, August 31, 1876, p. 305
  4. Our Rogues Gallery by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 20, July 22, 1875, p. 234