Dear Sir, I take the earliest
opportunity to warn mediums generally but particularly American mediums that
a plot against the cause has been hatched in St. Petersburg. The particulars
have just been received by me from one of my foreign correspondents, and
may be relied upon as authentic.
It is now commonly known that Prof. Wagner, the geologist, has boldly
come out as a champion for mediumistic phenomena. Since he witnessed the
wonderful manifestations of Bredif, the French medium, he has issued several
pamphlets, reviewed at great length in Col. Olcotts People from
the Other World, and excited and defied the anger of all the scientific
pyschophobists of the Imperial University. Fancy a herd of mad bulls rushing
at the red flag of a picador, and you will have some idea of the
effect of Wagners Olcott-pamphlet upon his colleagues.
Chief among them is the chairman of the scientific Commission which has
just exploded with a report of what they did not see at séances
never held! Goaded to fury by the defence of Spiritualism, which they
had intended to quietly butcher, this individual suddenly took the determination
to come to America, and is now probably on his way. Like a Samson of science,
he expects to tie our foxes of mediums together by the tails, set fire to
them, and turn them into the corn of those Philistines, Wagner and Butlerow.
Let me give mediums a bit of friendly caution. If this Russian Professor
should turn up at a séance, keep a sharp eye upon him, and
let everyone do the same; give him no private séances at which
there is not present at least one truthful and impartial Spiritualist. Some
scientists are not to be trusted. My correspondent writes that the Professor
Goes to America to create a great scandal,
burst up Spiritualism, and turn the laugh on P. Wagner, Aksakoff and Butlerow.
The plot is very ingeniously contrived: he is coming here under the pretest
of the Centennial, and will attract as little attention as possible among
But, Mr. Editor, what if he should meet the fate of Hare and become a
Spiritualist! What wailing would there not be in the Society of Physical
Sciences! I shudder at the mortification which would await my poor countrymen.
But another distinguished Russian scientist is also coming, for whom
I bespeak a very different reception. Prof. Kittara, the greatest technologist
of Russia and a member of the Emperors Privy Council, is really sent
by the government to the Centennial. He is deeply interested in Spiritualism,
very anxious to investigate it, and will bring the proper credentials from
Mr. Aksakoff. The latter gentleman writes me that every civility and attention
should be shown Prof. Kittara, as his report, if favourable, will have a
tremendous influence upon public opinion.
The unfairness of the University Commission has, it seems, produced a
reäction. I translate the following from a paper which Mr. Aksakoff
has sent me, the St. Petersburg Berjeveya Viedomostji (Exchange Reports):
We hear that the Commission
for the investigation of mediumism, which
was formed by the Society of Physical Sciences attached to the University,
is preparing to issue a report of its labours [? !. It will appear
as an appendix to the monthly periodical of the Chemical and Physical Societies.
Meanwhile another Commission is being formed, but this time its members
will not be supplied from the Physical Science Society, but from the Medical
Society. Nevertheless, several members of the former will be invited to
join, as well as the friends of mediumism, and others who would be able
to offer important suggestions pro or con. We hear
that the formation of this new Commission is warmly advocated, its necessity
having been shown in the breach of faith by the Physical Science Society,
its failure to hold the promised forty séances, its premature
adoption of unfair conclusions, and the strong prejudices of the members.
Let us hope that this new organization may prove more honourable than
its predecessor (peace to its ashes!).
[From The Banner of Light, May 13th, 1876.
H. P. Blavatsky