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vol. 1, p. 51
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< The Frauds of Scientists (continued from page 1-50) >

New England conservatism by Agassiz, and although he might have had for time a difficult battle, he would have been benefactor to society, and would have left behind a name, unstained by cowardice and hypocrisy, worthy to be inscribed among those of the leaders of human progress.

How different has been the action of Crookes, in England, and Wagner and Aksakoff, in Russia, who have had less evidence than Agassiz, not being themselves subjects, but have scorned to lend their influence in suppressing truth by scientific fraud.

Free Love and Moral Degeneration

The pernicious effects of the consorting of careless mediums with depraved spirits are shown in many striking ways. They are especially noticeable in the supremacy which animal instinct is suffered to acquire over the mediums and their patrons. Lust, which at first may burn with a feeble flicker, is fed by the unseen libertines of the other world, until it sometimes becomes a consuming fire.

Too many cases of this kind have been brought to our notice to permit us to doubt the fact. If anything else were lacking, the open advocacy of free-love (!) by mediums, upon the platform and before crowded audiences, causes the cup of gall to overflow its brim, and the stench pervades the land. For men too this baseness were bad enough, but women have been found so low and lewd as to stand with unreddened brow, before mixed audiences of both sexes, and proclaim their readiness to give their bodies to any one they choose, as often as they choose—and they were not driven out of doors! We do not mean that things are any worse now than ever before. We are not sure but that they are better. We do not wish to imply that spiritual mediums are any worse than Methodist camp meeting attendants, or Congregational preachers, or that our circles have witnessed sights as bad as Catholic monasteries or convents have sometimes been disgraced by. But we do not mean that this young journal of ours should be supposed, by reason of its silence, to countenance this wickedness.

The advocates of this theory, continually force it upon the attention of Spiritnalists. The latest futile attempt was at Lake Pleasant. They disguised their intentions by clamoring loudly for a “free platform,” but the farce was apparent when they were asked to define this term. These irrepressibles, who are now endeavoring to organize as “Radicals and Free Platform Spiritualists,” know full well that the public are so disgusted with the from “Free Love” conventions, the subject is treated with silent contempt. It is time that the line was drawn, and the distinction recognized. Those who have considered this social question as paramount to all others, have no time to study Spiritualism, or aid in its propagation; and Spiritualism proper, presents so many legitimate subjects worthy the deep of a life-time, that its ablest adherents can safely trust the agitation of the social question to the “Radicals or Free Platform Spiritualists.” There can be no compromise in this matter: there should be none. The issues are so vitally different, that each should stand or fall on its merits.

Spiritualists will have to choose their course in this matter and stand by their opinions. This cause of ours is too holy to be bedraggled in the mire by voluptuaries, who paint over the word, harlot, with the gilded euphonism, Love. Love, the pure mortal love of one sex towards the other, is in itself excellent because natural. True love ennobles, enriches, unfolds, elevates the mortal spirit. The true love of man for woman is the reflection of the Divine male and female principles, which were imparted by God in to the embryonic Universe. Without these, there could have been no evolution, and without them, also there could no equipoise in the Universe.

From primordial matter imbued with these creative principles, have been or will be involved all past, existing, and future types of animate and inanimate organisms. In the mineral kingdom there has been a constant refinement in progress, by the “progression of primaries;” in the vegetable, a like evolution, by the successive production of new and higher cell forms; in man, the tendency has been to develop his superior faculties at the expense of the lower ones—to make him constantly more and more a seraph, less and less a satyr.

In all ages, in all lands, chastity is regarded as a prerequisite to seership. As man is a triad—body, mind and spirit—he can be but one or the other of these in excess. He may be a Pashaw, happy only in his harem; a Physical philosopher, enamored only of books and laboratories; or, a seer, deaf, like the preceding, to the claims of women, but, unlike him, soaring away from matter to the Empyrean and beholding the glories of the spirit-world. He cannot combine two of the three to the extent of excess. Therein lies the terrible danger which besets the tempted sensualist medium. Vice has always been what Pope describes her.

“–A monster of such hideous mien
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ;
But, seen too oft,–familiar with her face,–
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Spiritualists should realize the danger there is in the first conflict. If vanquished then, all is lost. But, far be it from us to deny the excellence of entertaining a noble spiritual love for some one person, with a view to its permanence. Indeed we go so far as to say that we do not believe any man or woman can progress in the other world who has not had this divine impulse awakened in his or her heart. It is this which brings out, in either sex, the noblest attributes of our nature, and best fits us to understand the Wisdom, Justice, Charity, and Ineffable Love of the good God,—the Ain-soph. To fix one’s affections upon a worthy object ennobles and purifies, especially when the consummation seems beyond reach. Such love as that, raises man to the level of the angels. But to crave unlawful carnal possession of one after another, in obedience to the base instincts of unbridled passion,—in a word, to lie down in the ditch beside these huckstering free lovers—is to degrade one’s self below the level of the poor brutes, who only follow the promptings of Nature, which, having made them unlike ourselves, exacts no such punishment from them as she will from man, who should have aspired to be an angel, but ended by making himself worse than beasts.


Ghosts That are Ghosts

A Goddess of Flowers Seen by Mr. Olcott in Boston
The Most Astonishing Mediumship Yet—Flowers, Plants, Birds and Butterflies brought to Mrs. Thayer’s Guests—A Haunted House and a Banquet with the Ghosts.

To the Editor of the SunSir : The Imperial University of St. Petersburg, prompted thereto by the strange experiences, during the past season, of two of its professors—Wagner, the great zoölogist, and Boutlerow—with a French medium named Bredif, has decided to make a thoroughly scientific investigation of the physical phenomena called spiritual manifestations.

The Society of Experimentalists in the Physical Sciences, a body existing within the University, has assumed charge of this matter, and a sum of money is to be appropriated to meet the necessary expenses. The Hon. Alexandre Aksakoff, Counsellor of State in the Imperial Chancellery, has accepted the duty of inviting famous mediums of various countries to present themselves before the commission and display their alleged physical phenomena, under test condi-<... continues on page 1-52 >


Editor's notes

  1. Free Love and Moral Degeneration by Olcott, H. S., Spiritual Scientist
  2. image by unknown author. pictures of flowers in color on both sided of article “Ghosts That are Ghosts”
  3. Ghosts That are Ghosts by Olcott, H. S., Banner of Light, Boston, September 4, 1875, p. 2. Reprinted from The New York Sun, August 18, 1875
  4. image by unknown author. pictures of flowers in color on both sided of article “Ghosts That are Ghosts”