Spiritism and Common Sense (1922)
In a time when America was at the peak of its spiritual renaissance, there was an ever-expanding number of persons claiming to possess mediumistic abilities. Seances had moved from private gatherings in homes to businesses and ultimately to public stage shows that were the height of spectacle. Trance mediumship in darkened rooms promised that one would be touched by a mysterious hand or witness ectoplasm issue forth from the medium. Private photo shoots by psychic photographers would often reveal disembodied figures appearing behind the sitter.
There was a lot of public interest. There was also a lot of money to be made.
And much to the chagrin of very talented and genuine mediums, there were an undue amount of frauds.
CM de Heredia, in addition to being a very devout priest, was also a talented magician who was critical of all aspects of spiritism. Throughout Spiritism and Common Sense, de Heredia made sure to put the concept of actual spiritism as being anathema to Christian dogma which was the onus for him to prove that spiritism did not exist.
He examined various methodologies employed by fraudulent mediums (who were named) and recreated techniques utilized by them. He held large public events where he would demonstrate how mediums would produce levitation, table tipping, and being touched by a ghostly hand. He revealed what ectoplasm was made of and where to hide it.
His healthy skepticism helped to reign in a field. His skepticism also cast a pall over those who were genuine in their mediumistic abilities.
Because of his impact on the spiritual renaissance, we hope that Spiritism and Common Sense will be an interesting read for you. If this book isn’t your cup of tea, be sure to check out our library where new books in PDF form are frequently added, and they’re always free.