putterings       197   <   198   >   199       index

the spirits could not séance, pocket-mirror scribes

The com-
lead to the puny, trivial, puttering life of the
mission noted that while the spirits could not
séance or the psychic research ghosts.”
write on a slate watched by the human eye,
Simon Newcomb, the astronomer, de-
they [paid no attention to the pocket-mirror held

OCR cross-column confusion, pointing to
Rupert Hughes, “Seeing Things : The Scientists and Spiritualism” — “The sixth of a series of articles attacking various phases of occultism” — in Pearson’s Magazine 21:2 (February 1909) : 188-197 (191) : link (NYPL copy, via google books)
same : link : (Princeton copy, via hathitrust)

deconfused transcription, including context —
      It was while collecting material for the Seybert commission that the present Dean of Clark University, G. Stanley Hall, was led to make a thorough study of the mechanism and trickery of spiritualism, clairvoyance, etc. His work “Adolescence” is rated one of the noblest contributions America has made to science. Dean Hall in the course of a recent article on “Spooks and Telepathy,” says: “Everyone who has had a hard bump on his head may see sparks, but this would not make the sparks real... ¶ He agrees with the scientist Flournoy that modern spiritualism is “calculated to make him hope that death is an eternal sleep or annihilation of both ourselves and our friends, if the alternative is to lead to the puny, trivial, puttering life of the séance or the psychic research ghosts.”

all articles in the series Seeing Things

  1. “Seeing Things” 20:3 (September 1908) : 272-282 : link : (UC copy)

    [preceded by] Editor’s Introductory Note.—
          This is the first of a series of articles attacking various phases of occultism. Its spirit is that which filled Emile Zola in the Dreyfus affair when he wrote his “J’accuse!” It is in a sense a raid upon Psychical Research, and includes in its exposure the witness, the testimony, the methods, the alleged achievements, and the scientific and moral spirit of the adherents of spiritualism, telepathy, psychic force, clairvoyance, premonition, levitation, table-tapping, etc., etc. The language is strongly uncompromising, but we have thought it better not to attempt to modify it. The occultists have occupied so much space and made such claims of scientific accuracy that they should welcome, rather than resent, the appearance of so radical an adversary.

    [followed by] Author’s Note. —
          Each of these articles is plainly the brief of a prosecuting attorney, a bill of indictment against what I honestly believe to be incorporated nuisances and gravely harmful menaces to the mental health of the public. The fact that many of those whom I accuse are occupying high places in public esteem, makes the prosecution more urgent. In this case, the defence has made its arguments first and has filled — is filling — the letter-press of the world with its advertisements and its decoying literature. I make no more effort at sparing people's feelings than does any other prosecuting attorney. If innocent persons are injured, it is their own fault for frequenting bad company.

  2. “The Most Famous Living Mediums” 20:4 (October 1908) : 389-396 : link (Princeton copy)
  3. “The Miracle Monger” 20:5 (November 1908) : 492-502 : link (Princeton copy)
  4. “The Spiritualist’s Bag of Tricks” 20:6 (December 1908) : 617-627 : link (Princeton copy)
  5. “The Machinery of Miracles” 21:1 (January 1909) : 64-73 : link (NYPL copy)
  6. “The Scientists and Spiritualism” 21:2 (February 1909) : 188-197 : link (NYPL copy)

[followed by a complaint from a reader about the series, and Mr. Hughes’s response, in] “Inside with the Publishers” : 576-578 : link

Rupert Hughes (1872-1956) : wikipedia
James O. Kemm, “The Literary Legacy of Rupert Hughes”, Books at Iowa 42:1 (1985) : 10-25.
doi: https://doi.org/10.17077/0006-7474.1106

22 October 2022