“In his resume de Mirville describes the argumentation of these adversaries of spiritualism as consisting of five paradoxes, which he terms distractions.
First distraction: that of Faraday, who explains the table phenomenon, by the table which pushes you “in consequence of the resistance which pushes it back.”
Second distraction: that of Babinet, explaining all the communications (by raps) which are produced, as he says, “in good faith and with perfect conscientiousness, correct in every way and sense – by ventriloquism”, the use of which faculty implies of necessity – bad faith.
Third distraction: that of Dr. Chevreuil, explaining the faculty of moving furniture without contact, by the preliminary acquisition of that faculty.
Fourth distraction: that of the French Institute and its members, who consent to accept the miracles, on condition that the latter will not contradict in any way those natural laws with which they are acquainted.
Fifth distraction: that of M. de Gasparin, introducing as a very simple and perfectly elementary phenomenon that which every one rejects, precisely because no one ever saw the like of it.
While the great, world-known scientists indulge in such fantastic theories, some less known neurologists find an explanation for occult phenomena of every kind in an abnormal effluvium resulting from epilepsy.
Another world treat mediums – and poets, too, we may infer – with assafoetida and ammonia, and declare every one of the believers in spiritual manifestations lunatics and hallucinated mystics.
To the latter lecturer and professed pathologist is commended that sensible bit of advice to be found in the New Testament: “Physician, heal thyself.”
Truly, no sane man would so sweepingly charge insanity upon four hundred and forty-six millions of people in various parts of the world, who believe in the intercourse of spirits with ourselves!”
H. P. Blavatsky