Spiritualism: A Popular History from 1847

by Joseph Martin McCabe

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Joseph Martin McCabe was born on November 12, 1867. At the age of 15 he began training in the Franciscan order, and in 1890 was ordained. He was praised for his excellent scholarly work, especially in philosophy and was selected to study at the Catholic University of Louvain. By February 1896, he left the priesthood after losing his faith. Of his experience, McCabe wrote From Rome to Rationalism, published in 1897, and later the expanded version, Twelve Years in a Monastery.

McCabe was a truly prolific writer, publishing over 250 works. He became a secretary of the Leicester Secular Society, a founding board member in 1899 of the Rationalist Press Association, a member of the South Place Ethical Society, the National Secular Society, an advocate of women’s rights, associated with the Rationalist Association, and much more throughout his life.

McCabe was extremely critical of the spiritualism movement. Among other confrontations, in 1920 McCabe debated the famous author Arthur Conan Doyle, a spiritualist advocate. This work is a collection of arguments against spiritualism, and debunks many of its popular claims. McCabe felt spiritualism was a collection of tricks.

The new edition of this volume is dedicated to those scholars and scientists studying the perplexing history of spiritualism.

Occultists and Mystics of All Ages

by Ralph Shirley

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Ralph Shirley was born on December 30, 1865 into the aristocracy. As a result, he enjoyed the trappings of wealth, and was educated at Oxford University. He went on to become the director of William Rider & Son, a publisher of books on what is today considered New Age topics: occultism, astrology and psychic research, among other topics. In addition, Shirley founded Occult Review in 1905, helped lead the International Institute for Psychic Investigation, and also served as editor and author of several books on related subjects, including out of body experiences and astrology. Arguably, his most popular book is The Mystery of the Human Double: The Case for Astral Projection, originally published in 1938, which was also his final book. Ralph passed away a few years after its publication on December 29, 1946.

This new edition is dedicated to Dr, Nancy Sundow, a leader in the bibliography of psychic studies.

 

 

 

Psychic Tendencies of To-day: An Exposition and Critique of New Thought, Christian Science, Spiritualism, Psychical Research (Sir Oliver Lodge), and Modern Materialism in Relation to Immortality

by Alfred Wilhelm Martin

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Author Alfred Wilhelm Martin (1862-1932) was a Unitarian minister, and led the Ethical Culture Society, which was centered on the concepts of morality being independent of theology, and that industrialization and modernization presented new problems that religion was not fully equipped to handle, among other tenants. Martin wrote several books on comparative theology, including The Dawn of Christianity, Faith in a Future Life, A Philosophy of Life and Its Spiritual Values, and Seven Great Bibles.

Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge enjoyed a long life filled with many unique accomplishments. Born on June 12, 1851 he worked tirelessly until his passing on August 22, 1940. He is primarily known for his work as a renowned physicist, particularly for his work on electromagnetic radiation, radio and electricity. However, he was also deeply interested in spirituality and telepathy. Lodge over blended his two interests. Arguably, this was influenced by the death of his son, Raymond Lodge during World War I. He wrote a best selling book about his son’s death and his attempts to contact him in the afterlife, entitled Raymond or Life and Death. His belief in Spiritualism strongly influenced his research, causing some debate within academic communities over his scientific findings. Lodge wrote and researched so many subjects that his papers are scattered across numerous institutions. Those seeking further information on his psychical research can find his papers at The Society for Psychical Research in the United Kingdom.

 

 

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Mesmerism and Christian Science: A Short History of Mental Healing

by Frank Podmore

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Frank Podmore was born on February 5, 1856 and died by drowning on August 14, 1910. During his life, he focused on two major projects. One was advancing socialism in Britain, and to support his belief in incremental changes to bring about socialism, rather than a revolution, he founded the Fabian Society in 1884. The other project Podmore was passionate about was the paranormal. He wrote a great deal to debunk or otherwise offer scientific explanations to paranormal activity. In this work, which was well received by the The British Journal of Psychiatry, then referred to as the Journal of Mental Science, Podmore investigates claims of mesmerism, and argues that it may have some impact on treating gout, among other things. Podmore also gives a bit of background on leading figures practicing other forms of faith healing, such as Kenelm Digby and Paracelsus.

 

 

 

 

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Hypnotism, and Magnetism, Mesmerism, Suggestive Therapeutics and Magnetic Healing

by L. W. de Laurence

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Perhaps appropriately, L. W. de Laurence was born on Halloween in 1868 in Cleveland, Ohio. He went on to develop the major occult publishing firm, De Laurence, Scott & Co. operating out of Chicago. In addition to selling books related to occultism, they also sold related goods. The company had its largest number of consumers in the US South and Jamaica. In addition to being a purveyor of goods, de Laurence was also a writer. Unfortunately, he also was a plagiarist, lifting the work, Pictorial Key to the Tarot, written by Arthur Edward Waite, and claiming it as his own.In 1930, de Laurence was consecrated a bishop. This helped his ideas gain more traction and acceptance. In 1936 he passed away, although his company still operates, now as the de Laurence Company, out of Michigan City, Indiana. Ironically, they purport to have to fight off imposters of de Laurence products.Hypnotism, and Magnetism, Mesmerism, Suggestive Therapeutics and Magnetic Healing is a reprinted edition that has been manually cleaned of most blemishes.

 

 

 

 

Psychic Phenomena: A Brief Account of the Physical Manifestations Observed in Psychical Research

by Edward T. Bennett, Introduction by Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge

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Edward Trusted Bennett was born on July 1, 1831 in London. He was trained as a botanist, as was his younger brother, Alfred William Bennett. He was a Quaker, but after supporting the views of Charles Voysey, a priest in the Church of England who was condemned and then went on to found a theist church, Bennett he was disowned. In his later years, he became very active within the British National Association of Spiritualists and even became the first secretary of the Society for Psychical Research. He was considered to be a dedicated, hard-working and well-liked member. Even after his retirement in 1902, he continued to publish related works, such as On the Direct Phenomena of Spiritualism. Bennett was also deeply invested in his community and, among other things, helped to begin a Saturday night concert series in Richmond, Surrey, which was very well received and attended. He passed away in 1908.

Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge enjoyed a long life filled with many unique accomplishments. Born on June 12, 1851 he worked tirelessly until his passing on August 22, 1940. He is primarily known for his work as a renowned physicist, particularly for his work on electromagnetic radiation, radio and electricity. However, he was also deeply interested in spirituality and telepathy. Lodge over blended his two interests.Arguably, this was influenced by the death of his son, Raymond Lodge during World War I. He wrote a best selling book about his son’s death and his attempts to contact him in the afterlife, entitled Raymond or Life and Death. His belief in Spiritualism strongly influenced his research, causing some debate within academic communities over his scientific findings. Lodge wrote and researched so many subjects that his papers are scattered across numerous institutions. Those seeking further information on his psychical research can find his papers at The Society for Psychical Research in the United Kingdom.

 

 

 

From Incarnation to Re-Incarnation

by Richard Ingalese and Isabella Ingalese

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Richard and Isabella Ingalese were a husband and wife team deeply interested in all matters of what is often considered to be the occult. We know that the pair lived in New York City, where Isabella
practiced as apsychic and a healer, and Richard worked as a lawyer. Both were interested in what was considered “New Thought” at the time, and today perhaps considered New Age. They were especially interested in alchemy and after many years, and much expense, claimed to have developed The White Stone and the Red Stone of the Philosophers.

Richard was born as Richard Dean Arden Wade in Savannah, GA on April 15, 1863. Due to another practicing lawyer in the Chicago area of the same name, Richard changed his last name to Ingalese, and his wife, Mary Wade, chose to change her first and last name on February 21, 1898. In their later
years, especially after their mid-60s, they largely dropped out of the public spotlight. They toured the world, spending time in Italy, before returning to the United States. They both passed away in 1934 while living in Los Angeles.

 

The ABC of Palmistry: Character and Fortune Revealed

by Well Known Palmist

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Palmistry is the study of the palm in order to foretell the future, or sometimes to determine the character or history of a person. It is practiced around the world, with different approaches, and schools of thought. There have been many who have debunked and challenged the practice as well. It originated in India, and found its way to the royal courts of Europe. As it traveled, it picked up a good many changes along the way. For example, many of the hand mounds are named after Greek goddesses and gods. The ABC of Palmistry offers a trip in time in the history of hand reading. It offers readers information on how to palm read in the Western style.

 

The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry

by M. M. Pattison Muir

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Matthew Moncrieff Pattison Muir was born into a wealthy Scottish family on April 1, 1848 in Glasgow. He was encouraged through his upbringing in an interest in the natural sciences, and focused on chemistry. He did indeed become a chemistry professor at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge. By 1881, he became a Fellow, and then the head of the Caius Laboratory. His own research was focused on bismuth compounds. His facility for writing was prized, and he became famous for his textbooks, especially Heroes of Science: Chemists (1883) and History of Chemical Theories and Laws (1907).

This is a reprint edition with minor text and illustration imperfections.

 

The Occult World: Teachings of Occult Philosophy

by A. P. Sinnett

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Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840-1921), a journalist and Theosophist, wrote frequently to members of the Brotherhood of Adepts, an occult organization. The famous Mahatmas Koot Hoomi and Morya corresponded via mail with Sinnett, and Sinnett used parts of this correspondence to compose The Occult World. Together, along with others, they were building The Theosophical Society. Sinnett was friends with many of the leading theosophists and spent a productive time in India. The organization’s avowed object was at first the scientific investigation of psychic or so-called “spiritualistic” phenomena, after which its three chief objects were declared, namely (1) Brotherhood of man, without distinction of race, colour, religion, or social position; (2) the serious study of the ancient world-religions for purposes of comparison and the selection therefrom of universal ethics; (3) the study and development of the latent divine powers in man. The society has persisted through the decades and has branches or lodges scattered all over the world, some of which are in India, where its chief headquarters are established.

 

The Occult Arts: An Examination of the Claims Made for the Existence of Supernormal Powers

by J. W. Frings

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J.W. Fring opens by noting he is skeptical of any claims of the supernatural. He defines supernatural broadly, and dedicates chapters to a variety of manifestations, including alchemy, telepathy, palmistry, and hypnotism. Fring chooses to highlight multiple versions of the supernatural, broadly defining, it, and then offers some points to challenge beliefs in these manifestations. Those who are intrigued about the continuing belief in things strange will find this work both useful and controversial.

 

The Mysteries of the Head and Heart Explained: A Look at Phrenology and Mesmerism

by J. Stanley Grimes

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James Stanley Grimes was born in Boston on May 10, 1807. Although he wrote a tremendous amount, little is known about him personally. He married Frances Warner in 1832, but never remarried after she passed away in 1848. He graduated from Union College in 1840, went on to teach law the following year at Castleton Medical College. He quickly left law, focusing on writing on everything from natural selection, theology, and neurology but his focus became mesmerism and phrenology. He wrote extensively on issues of science, religion and human advancement as well.

The Mysteries of the Head and Heart is broken into three sections, with the first discussing phrenology, the second examining physiology and the third broadly looking at mesmerism. Some of his suggestions retain a certain possible validity, despite the controversial subject matter. One commentator notes, “In 1839 … Grimes — then living in Buffalo, New York and running a small group of phrenologists called the Western Phrenological Society — published a modification of Coombe’s phrenological system that [a] divided the organs of the brain into three groups (the ipseal, the social and the intellectual), and [b] added several new organs to the commonly-held phrenological model, including organs of chemicality, pneumativeness (merely having to do with breathing, alas), sanitativeness and (important for this discussion) credenciveness.”

 

Dr. John Dee: Elizabethan Mystic and Astrologer

by G. M. Hort

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This volume illustrates that, while as the saying goes, history is written by the winners, or at least predominantly by the successful, there is much to learn from the initially less successful. G. M. Hort’s account of Dr. John Dee is a different kind of biography as it paints him as a person that worked tirelessly, but in some ways never found success, and often times earned scorn instead. Despite the challenges he faced, the reader may conclude that Dr. Dee ultimately did fairly well for himself, becoming an esteemed mathematician, recognized occultist, and an erstwhile advisor to Queen Elizabeth I.

John Dee was born on July 13, 1527. While his father apparently never rose above being a “gentleman-server” in the Royal Household, the family did not want of food or shelter. Dee became an avid scholar, and very ingenuous, but his thoughtfulness and inventions were often linked to sorcery. Eventually he plunged deeper into his studies in the mysteries of sorcery and alchemy and (possibly) freemasonry. Hort gives a fascinating biography of the enigmas surrounding Dr. Dee and the times in which he lived.

 

Vampires and Vampirism: Collected Stories from Around the World

by Dudley Wright

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Dudley Wright’s fascinating work offers an academic treatment of the history of vampires. He traces the legend of vampires through history and around the world, making stops at Hungary, Britain, Russia, and various parts of what was then referred to as the Orient. He offers a collection of stories from these regions as well, so readers can draw their own conclusions.

Dudley Wright (1868-1950) is also an interesting character of note. He was born in England, and traveled throughout the world studying religions and other belief systems. He was a professional journalist and wrote for a variety of publications. He became the Assistant Editor of the Freemason and Masonic Editor of the Times of London, and other Masonic works. He spent a lot of his research on looking for a common thread to all religions, and wrote for numerous religious journals, such as Spiritual Power, the Homiletic Review, and the Bible Review. He flirted with various religious, including Buddhism and Catholicism, but he converted to Islam and ultimately returned to the Ahmadiyya movement.