isis unveiled: chapter IV (a testimony)

“Those who are unable to believe in a personal devil and the dogmas of the church must nevertheless accord to the clergy enough of shrewdness to prevent the compromising of her reputation for infallibility by making so much of manifestations which, if fraudulent, must inevitably be some day exposed.

But the best testimony to the reality of this force was given by Robert Houdin himself, the king of jugglers, who, upon being called as an expert by the Academy to witness the wonderful clairvoyant powers and occasional mistakes of a table, said: “We jugglers never make mistakes, and my second-sight never failed me yet.”

The learned astronomer Babinet was not more fortunate in his selection of Comte, the celebrated ventriloquist, as an expert to testify against the phenomena of direct voices and the rappings.

Comte, if we may believe the witnesses, laughed in the face of Babinet at the bare suggestion that the raps were produced by “unconscious ventriloquism”!

The latter theory, worthy twin-sister of “unconscious cerebration”, caused many of the most skeptical academicians to blush. Its absurdity was too apparent.

“The problem of the supernatural”, says de Gasparin, “such as it was presented by the middle ages, and as it stands now, is not among the number of those which we are permitted to despise; its breadth and grandeur escape the notice of no one….Everything is profoundly serious in it, both the evil and the remedy, the superstitious recrudescency, and the physical fact which is destined to conquer the latter.”

Further, he pronounces the following decisive opinion, to which he came, conquered by the various manifestations, as he says himself:

“The number of facts which claim their place in the broad daylight of truth, has so much increased of late, that of two consequences one is henceforth inevitable: either the domain of natural sciences must consent to expand itself, or the domain of the supernatural will become so enlarged as to have no bounds.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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