“The position assumed by modern scientists is that even though the occurrence of certain mysterious phenomena in the presence of the mediums be a fact, there is no proof that they are not due to some abnormal nervous condition of those individuals.
The possibility that they may be produced by returning human spirits need not be considered until the other question is decided. Little exception can be taken to this position.
Unquestionably, the burden of proof rests upon those who assert the agency of spirits. If the scientists would grapple with the subject in good faith, showing an earnest desire to solve the perplexing mystery, instead of treating it with undignified and unprofessional contempt, they would be open to no censure.
True, the great majority of “spiritual” communications are calculated to disgust investigators of even moderate intelligence. Even when genuine they are trivial, commonplace, and often vulgar. During the past twenty years we have received through various mediums messages purporting to be from Shakespere, Byron, Franklin, Peter the Great, Napoleon and Josephine, and even from Voltaire.
The general impression made upon us was that French conqueror and his consort seemed to have forgotten how to spell words correctly; Shakespere and Byron had become chronic inebriates; and Voltaire had turned an imbecile.
Who can blame men trained to habits of exactitude, or even simply well-educated persons, for hastily concluding that when so much palpable fraud lies upon the surface, there could hardly be truth if they should go to the bottom?”
H. P. Blavatsky