“Among the multitude of books against spiritualism emanating from Catholic and Protestant sources, none have produced a more appalling effect than the works of de Mirville and des Mousseaux: La Magie au XIXme Siecle – Moeurs et Practiques des Demons – Hauts Phenomees de la Magie – Les Mediateurs de la Magie – Des Esprits et de leurs Manifestations, etc.
They comprise the most cyclopaedic biography of the devil and his imps that has appeared for the private delectation of good Catholics since the middle ages.
According to the authors, he who was “a liar and murderer from the beginning”, was also the principle motor of spiritual phenomena. He had been for thousands of years at the head of pagan theurgy; and it was he, again, who, encouraged by the increase of heresies, infidelity, and atheism, had reappeared in our century.
The French Academy lifted up its voice in a general outcry of indignation, and M. de Gasparin even took it for a personal insult. “This is a declaration of war, a ‘levee of shields'” – wrote he in his voluminous book of refutations.
“The work of M. de Mirville is a real manifesto….I would be glad to see in it the expression of a strictly individual opinion, but, in truth, it is impossible.
The success of the work, these solemn adhesions, the faithful reproduction of its theses by the journals and writers of the party, the solidarity established throughout between them and the whole body of catholicity…everything goes to show a work which is essentially an act, and has the value of a collective labor.
As it is, I felt that I had a duty to perform….I felt obliged to pick up the glove….and lift high the Protestant flag against the Ultramontane banner.””
H. P. Blavatsky