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THE NEW YORK TIMES Nov. 10 1924 Page 19, Column 4


Only One Medium in a Hundred Is Genuine, Says Dr. Hereward Carrington.


Declares Houdini Not Quite Fair in Pronouncing Adverse Judgment.

Seance Cabinet-Box to Restrict MargeryPractically every scientist and independent investigator who has approached the subject with an open mind agrees that there is something in psychic phenomena which cannot be explained, said Dr. Hereward Carrington of the American Society for Psychical Research last night at the Church of All Nations, 9 Second Avenue, when he discussed the real or fraudulent nature of some recent manifestations.

“We began by trying to determine the facts,” he said. “Strange things have been reported all through biblical and profane history in all parts of the world. We apply the methods of science to them and, before beginning, have to be inoculated with materialism. Psychic science is the only one dealing with the future. We already have demonstrated that the invisible exists and is real. No one has ever really seen any one else—their invisible personality—which is the most real thing.

“Physical and mental phenomena sometimes overlap, as in the case of the ouija board. We push it unconsciously. It usually writes rubbish but sometimes extraordinary messages which afterward are found to be true.

“Why do we need mediums? Well, thousands of persons play the piano and sing, but there are only one or two musical geniuses in a generation. It is the same with mediums—99 out of every 100 are frauds. That is why they need cabinets and darkness, although light is a powerful energy and it probably destroys any subtle influence that is abroad.”

Dr. Carrington outlined the tests made in Boston of the medium Margery, who is Mrs. Dr. L.R.G. Crandall, by a Scientific American committee of which the physician was a member.

Saw No Motive for Fraud.

Margery the Medium Exposed“It did not seem to us there could be any money motive for fraud,” Dr. Carrington said. “The expenses of the investigators were paid and every facility was provided. Mrs. Crandall sat in a three-sided cabinet and members of the committee held both her hands and her feet. A table was lifted, there were raps, a light appeared, varying in size from a pin head to a saucer; electric lights were turned on and off when our hands were over the switch and an automatic victrola stopped when no on was near it. We could not explain this. Once a wing of the cabinet, held by steel braces and screws, was torn away when members of the committee held Mrs. Crandall so she could not move. There is no explanation for the ringing of an electric bell without the completion of the circuit.

“Harry Houdini thought her fraudulent, but I do not think he was entirely fair to pronounce judgment after a few sittings, although I believe him a clever and sincere man. He brought with him a box with holes in it for Mrs. Crandall’s head and arms. Otherwise, it enveloped her body and she was locked in. Under these conditions nothing occurred.

“Let us assume that the manifestations came from something—nervous energy—which emanated from the body of the medium. We don’t believe it was spirits. If the nervous energy could not go through the box naturally it could not act. I believe there should be further investigation. Mr. Houdini was against pronouncing Mrs. Crandall a genuine medium. Two other members of the committee were favorable to her and two others on the fence. I do not know of a single genuine medium in the United States, but believe there are several in Europe who are producing genuine phenomena.

German Medium’s Feats.

“There is one in Germany who, while confined in a wire cage, will move ten and fifteen pound weights outside. Houdini and the newspapers take the unfortunate position that all manifestations are either frauds or the work of spirits. By careful investigation we have been able to satisfy ourselves of the fraudulent character of many mediums. We investigated on who rang bells when tied with ropes in a cabinet, but when he was adequately bound the bells did not ring.

“One woman from the West presented a pretty problem. She placed the petals of flowers between cards which she held in her hands for some minutes after which handwriting, in the color of the flowers would appear upon them. After the first test some were missing. We suspected she was substituting other cars so we subsequently added new ones which were a thirty-second of an inch shorter. All the writing appeared on the larger cards which proved our suspicions.”

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