A most outrageous swindle was perpetrated upon the public last Sunday evening at the Boston Theatre. Some persons with no higher aspirations in the world than a lust for a few dollars to fill their pockets, depleted by unsuccessful cheap shows, advertised a "séance," and engaged as "mediums" some of the most impudent impostors with which the world is cursed. They furthermore abused public confidence by causing it to be understood that these people were to appear before the scientific commission at St. Petersburg.
Is it not about time that some Society in Boston should be sufficiently strong financially, and have members who will have the requisite energy to act in an emergency like this? Common sense would dictate what might be done, and a determined will would overcome all obstacles. Spiritualism needs a Vigilance Committee. Public opinion will justify any measures that will tend to check this trifling. "Up, and at them!" should be the watchword until we have rid society of these pests and their supporters.
The press of Boston are disposed to be fair towards Spiritualists. But if Spiritualists do not care enough for Spiritualism to defend it from tricksters who have not sufficient skill to merit them the title of jugglers, how can they expect any different treatment than that it is receiving?
As a proof of the sincerity of the Boston press and also in support and further explanation of the above we might mention that the following card, sent to all the morning dailies, was accepted and printed in Tuesday’s edition.
Boston, July 19th, 1875.
Sir, – The undersigned desire to say that the persons who advertised a so-called spiritualistic exhibition at the Boston Theatre last evening were guilty of false representations to the public. We are alone empowered by the Academy of Sciences attached to the Imperial University of St. Petersburg, Russia, to select the mediums who shall be invited by that body to display their powers during the forthcoming scientific investigation of Spiritualism, and Mr. E. Gerry Brown, editor Spiritual Scientist, of this city, is our only authorized deputy.
Neither "F. Warren," "Prof. J. T. Bates," "Miss Luydam," "Mrs. S. Gould," nor "Miss Lillie Darling" has been selected, or is at all likely to be selected for that honour.
As this swindle may be again attempted, we desire to say, once for all, that no medium accepted by us will be obliged to exhibit his powers to earn money to defray his expenses, nor will any such exhibition be tolerated. The Imperial University of St. Petersburg makes its investigation in the interest of science – not to assist charlatans to give juggling performances in theatres, upon the strength of our certificates.
– HENRY S. OLCOTT
– H. P. BLAVATSKY