The Book of Gold (fragment)
Religion is no leaf of faded green
< Letter from London (continued from page 3-229) >
will have no doubt that when Buguet says he never took a genuine spirit picture, he adds one more sin to those which already stain his soul. He is a fair instance of the besetments that come round mediums, especially such as are brought into contact with all kinds of influences. He was a powerful medium; of that I am sure, and was most successful in taking spirit pictures. But as trade increased, and people came thick and fast, the demand exceeded the supply. People sent him their photographs to get pictures of their dead, and the temptation came to manufacture shams. Nothing easier; no sitter to pry into the operation; nothing necessary but a dummy draped! This he made, and painted heads on cards which he fitted on to it. I believe his cheating stopped them. I do not believe his pictures taken with sitters were fraudulently obtained; and in some score of cases I am sure they were not.
The time came when Spiritualism made too great a noise in Paris, and priestly attention was attracted. Persecution followed as a matter of course. A raid was made on Buguet, the medium Firman, and the editor of the Revue Spirite. Evidence of imposture was found in Buguet’s studio, his position became serious. Each was kept in solitary confinement, and it was suggested to each that he should confess his conspiracy. The other two, having nothing to say, refused. The authorities found, however, a more tractable person in Buguet. They suggested to him that he should append his name to a prepared statement, and intimated to him that he would get off cheaply by that means. To his eternal disgrace he consented, and made a false confession, incriminating innocent persons, and throwing ridicule and contempt on Spiritualism in general, and Spirit Photography in particular.
The trial is not yet over, but no justice can be had, and it is a foregone conclusion that Spiritualism will receive a heavy blow from a scoundrel whose title to belief may be measured by the fact that he admits and boasts that for years he has been swindling the public by trading on the holiest instincts of humanity! Most miserable; but alas! no doubt exists that the willing tool of priestly persecution will get off with reward, while honest men suffer. So it is.
I am of opinion that there was a good deal of nonsense talked about the Holmes expose, and perhaps that there may have been a subornation of evidence there. At any rate Col. Olcott seems to have proved conclusively the mediumship of the Holmes.
When shall we be able to eliminate tricks and fraud? suppose when we can eliminate human nature, or confine these phenomena to higher specimens of it.
The Revelations of a Mirror
This series of articles correctly describes what au illiterate woman saw in a “Magic Mirror,” which once belonged to the celebrated French seeress, Madame Lenormand, and which was consulted by the Emperor Napoleon I. on various occasions. The present observer is not only unfamiliar with the facts of history, but could not even read the messages which appeared upon the face of the mirror; she had to call them off, letter by letter, to another person, who framed them into words and sentences. The explanatory notes in brackets are editorial.
The clouds gather over the glass as usual, but suddenly break, and 1 see a lady, tall, pensive, with beautiful hair, and a most lovely countenance. I ask who she is, when she shows the name Marie Maude Stuart, and that of Darnley beside it. Then comes an aged man holding a start surmounted with a globe on which is the name Hafed Yokeh. . . Scene changes.
The same lady appears sitting on a verandah, and by her side a nest with a large bird sitting on eggs. A long ladder reaching from earth to heaven. (One of the ancient Hermetic symbols, and the Jacob’s ladder of the Bible). The seeress and I are seen mounting it to the top, where we are received by an old wan in rich robes and bearing a start, who leads us lo a great mansion, where we pass through many corridors to a sort of reception-room, where our dresses are exchanged for ethers of silvery tissue, and we are conducted to seats. First is lead up to us and introduced Napoleon I. The whole scene in Lighted up with a silvery radiance like the shining of the moon. Then comes a long procession of priests carrying banners embroidered with crescents, some having one, others two, three, and up to six. (This is also a most ancient symbol; the crescent moon signifying the female tide of Nature). Napoleon twirls around his finger a minature globe, upon which Is written News 1874, Sept 21st. …Scene changes.
A glassy river, beautifully lighted up in moonlight. A large silver ship glides towards us. 1 ask whither we arc to go. These words appear: Liverpool, London. Chiselhurst, all Europe—List, West, from Paris to the Alps.… Scene changes.
A king seated on a magnificent throne with seven gulden steps. (Every Cabalist, and even every Mason, knows the significance of the seven steps). The King holds out a sceptre. I ask, “Name, please?” Answer. King Edward 1121-1877. “What does this mean?” Answer. Hear in 1877. Then appeared the names: Louis III.; Hal and Ellinor, 1161; George III; James, 1769; Richard III.; Henry IV.; William Edward; Albert Ernest V.; Edward Albert Guelph. (For a very curious chapter upon the fatality of the color White to the English monarchy, and the evil omen of the name Albert, see Hargrave Jennings’ “Rosicrucians,” p. 189 et seq.) . . . Scene changes again.
The ex-Empress Eugenie appears, clothed tin black, and accompanied by a lad bearing a cross. They both walk slowly along and enter a room, and the lad places the cross <... continues on page 3-231 >
Prophecies and Counter Prophecies
A few weeks ago a small number of prominent Spiritualists were gathered at a private seance for materializations. Among those present, were Dr. H. B. Storer, Chas. Houghton, Prof. M—, the representative of the Boston Herald, Mrs. Maud E. Lord, and Charles Foster, the gifted test medium. The latter in conversation with the representative of the Scientist, prophesied its early dissolution, the ultimate, however, to be pleasing to its projector and editor. But little was said about the matter, although the representative, received the joking compliments of other members of the circle as to what sum “would buy his right and title.”
A few days ago the manager of the Scientist received a notice to call at the Western Union Telegraph Office and receipt for money sent by telegraph. He went with the following Experience:—
Scene. Western Union Telegraph office. Time, noon. To the left, receiver at desk. Enter on the right an individual who presents a money order notice.
Clerk. Are you expecting any money?
Individual. Well, that’s my name and address on the order, and that's your notice to me. I have no one in mind, however.
Clerk. Do you know a Sir Henry de Morgan?
Individual. (Smiling broadly.) Well, 1 have heard it said, that the spirit of the gentleman you mention, who lived on the earth 250 years ago, takes a kind interest in my welfare. I’ll receipt for the money.
Clerk. (Drawing bade, and changing tone.) Do you know anyone about here who can identify you?
Here a member of the Company is called who knows Individual, and the money is paid.
An hour later a telegram came saying,—
I contribute—dollars to pay—note, due June 19th, and defy Charles Foster to make his prophecy good. The challenge to be published. Go to Western Union Telegraph office, get money, and acknowledge receipt by telegraph.
The money was sent from a far distant city. As the telegram asks us to publish, we do so willingly. We advance no opinion in this case. We have already shown telegram to several prominent Spiritualists, one of whom suggests that a member of the circle is “guying” us. Well and good. We are willing to be “guyed” as often as anyone wishes to “guy” us in this manner. But in this connection we would notice that in the telegram the name of the payee on the note, and the amount, are correctly stated. We feel sure that no member of the circle had this knowledge, so complicity on their part is out of the question. We return thanks to our donor, and comply with the request to publish as an evidence of our appreciation of the liberality of the donation and the service rendered. Time solves many mysteries. The motto of the Scientist is, “Try to understand Yourself and Things in General.” But in this instance, in the language of Lord Dundreary, “It's one of those things that no feller can find out.”
- The Book of Gold (fragment) by Trowbridge, John Townsend. Cut without title and author
- The Revelations of a Mirror by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 17, July 1, 1875, p. 195
- Prophecies and Counter Prophecies by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 16, June 24, 1875, p. 190
- There is HPB's handwriting across this paragraph, saying: “(HPB) With ...”