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THE NEW YORK TIMES Dec. 21, 1924 Page IX, 8, Column 4


Member of Committee on Psychic Phenomena Says Critic Is Just Seeking Publicity.

Dr. Hereward CarringtonMalcolm Bird (on floor from 'spirit' shove), 'Margery' (Mina Stinson Crandon)Dr. Hereward Carrington, a member of The Scientific American’s Committee on Psychic Phenomena, replied last night to a criticism of his connection with the recent investigations of the spirit medium “Margery” in Boston, made yesterday by Houdini, another member of the committee.

Houdini charged that the medium resorted to fraud throughout the séances and offered to reproduce everything that “Margery,” the wife of Dr. L.R.G. Crandon of Boston, asserts are psychic phenomena or forfeit $5,000. He said that he distrusted Dr. Carrington and Malcolm Bird, and added that when he first learned Dr. Carrington was to be a member of the committee he decided to watch him even more closely than the medium.

In his reply last night, Dr. Carrington called Houdini a “pure publicist,” and charged that he had no scientific interest in psychic investigations, but had had [sic] himself appointed a member of the committee purely because of the publicity it would bring him.

“Houdini makes some very specific charges against Mr. Bird and myself,” Dr. Carrington said. “I don’t acknowledge Houdini’s right to take any such stand against psychical research. Neither does any other member of the committee. The reason I didn’t go to Boston when he held his sittings with ‘Margery’ was because I know he distrusted me, and I know that anything he couldn’t explain he would charge to my presence there. Nearly all the other members of the committee veer toward a belief that there was psychic phenomena at these séances.

“The English Society has been so impressed that they are sending over Eric J. Dingwell, their research officer, who will hold a series of sittings here. I have had several letters from England about Houdini’s stand. Everard Fielding, honorary secretary of the society there, wrote that he had recently read Houdini’s new book, and described his handling of investigations in the psychic research field as grotesque.”

Dr. Carrington produced a copy of Houdini’s book, the margins of which were copiously marked, and said that those markings were corrections of inaccurate statements made by Houdini.

“We don’t object to a rational degree of skepticism,” Dr. Carrington said, “but we do demand that critics prove their points and that they shall be actuated by motives of intellectual honesty.”

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