^ Joseph McCabe. (1920). Spiritualism: A Popular History from 1847. Dodd, Mead and Company. pp. 110–12. A Mr. Merrifield was present at one of the sittings. Home's usual phenomena were messages, the moving of objects (presumably at a distance), and the playing of an accordion which he held with one hand under the shadow of the table. But from an early date in America he had been accustomed occasionally to "materialise" hands (as it was afterwards called). The sitters would, in the darkness, faintly see a ghostly hand and arm, or they might feel the touch of an icy limb. Mr. Merrifield and the other sitters saw a "spirit-hand" stretch across the faintly lit space of the window. But Mr. Merrifield says that Home sat, or crouched, low in a low chair, and that the "spirit-hand" was a false limb on the end of Home's arm. At other times, he says, he saw that Home was using his foot."
Mesmer did not contribute religious beliefs, but he brought a technique, later known as hypnotism, that it was claimed could induce trances and cause subjects to report contact with supernatural beings. There was a great deal of professional showmanship inherent to demonstrations of Mesmerism, and the practitioners who lectured in mid-19th-century North America sought to entertain their audiences as well as to demonstrate methods for personal contact with the divine.
Assuming female personas for religious ceremonies is a longstanding tradition in the region, though it has become increasingly common in recent years. One reason may be linked to a belief that females are easier to possess, said Coleman. Wearing clothes traditionally associated with women can help mediums communicate with the spirit world, according to Anukul Siripan, a 45-year-old transgender psychic from the Thai province of Lampang.
'Experienced Spirit Mediums'. Experienced? What is there to demonstrate the experience? 'Medium'? I was 'painting' with morality - as I always do. Not also true for mediums - is it? 'Spirit'? What sort of 'spirit' is common to all 'mediums'? Is there a 'spirit' common to all 'mediums'? If so, what is it? For example, I'm not sure the 'spirit' of a 'medium' in Bristol would be identical to the 'spirit' of a 'medium' in, say, Liverpool. Is that, for example, what presents the controversy? But I welcome the research into 'spirit' brains. Indeed, they were psychographed.
The Austrian medium Rudi Schneider was investigated in 1924 by the physicists Stefan Meyer and Karl Przibram. They caught Rudi freeing his arm in a series of séances. Rudi claimed he could levitate objects but according to Harry Price a photograph taken on April 28, 1932 showed that Rudi had managed to free his arm to move a handkerchief from the table. According to Warren Jay Vinton, Schneider was an expert at freeing himself from control in the séance room. Oliver Gatty and Theodore Besterman who tested Schneider concluded that in their tests there was "no good evidence that Rudi Schneider possesses supernormal powers."
In the typical deep trance, the medium may not have clear recall of all the messages conveyed while in an altered state; such people generally work with an assistant. That person selectively wrote down or otherwise recorded the medium's words. Rarely did the assistant record the responding words of the sitter and other attendants. An example of this kind of relationship can be found in the early 20th century collaboration between the trance medium Mrs. Cecil M. Cook of the William T. Stead Memorial Center in Chicago (a religious body incorporated under the statutes of the State of Illinois) and the journalist Lloyd Kenyon Jones. The latter was a non-medium Spiritualist who transcribed Cook's messages in shorthand. He edited them for publication in book and pamphlet form.
Put simply, mediums act as the “middle man” between spirits and humans. Like it or lump it, believe them or question them, mediums claim to act as a communicating agent between the spirits of the dead and those of the living. In fact, the concept of “mediumship” is just that — a claim that you can communicate with spirits not visible to the naked eye. Mediums don’t always restrict themselves to dead human spirits — many claim they can talk to animals, angels, demons, or any number of other spirit creatures.
William Stainton Moses (1839–92) was an Anglican clergyman who, in the period from 1872 to 1883, filled 24 notebooks with automatic writing, much of which was said to describe conditions in the spirit world. However, Frank Podmore was skeptical of his alleged ability to communicate with spirits and Joseph McCabe described Moses as a "deliberate impostor", suggesting his apports and all of his feats were the result of trickery.
Mediums are souls in the world who still have their physical bodies, yet they can attune to souls who don’t (and communicate with them). In other words, we tune-in to those who have moved over to the Other-Side. I am the type of Medium who uses her mind to connect mentally with energies on the Other-Side. There are other Mediums who use their bodies to channel spirit.
In addition, the movement appealed to reformers, who fortuitously found that the spirits favored such causes du jour as abolition of slavery, and equal rights for women. It also appealed to some who had a materialist orientation and rejected organized religion. In 1854 the utopian socialist Robert Owen was converted to spiritualism after "sittings" with the American medium Maria B. Hayden (credited with introducing spiritualism to England); Owen made a public profession of his new faith in his publication The Rational quarterly review and later wrote a pamphlet, The future of the Human race; or great glorious and future revolution to be effected through the agency of departed spirits of good and superior men and women.
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