The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, September 21, 1919, Magazine Section, Page 5, Image 89

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    5
SPIRIT MESSAGES OR VAGARIES OF SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
Harvey O'Higgins Relates Startling Experiences With Ouija Board.
THE . SUNDAY OREGOXIAN, PORTLAND, SEPTEMBER 21, 1919.
Millions of empty chairs !n the homes in
countries recently engaged in the great war
have sent humanity groping to the mjstery
of the ages tne ways and means of com
munication with the dead. In this article
Harvey J. O'Higgins te: of some of his ex
periences In the realm of the supernatural.
His article Is rated "neutral" in the spiritual
ist series which Tne Oregonlan is presenting,
but lie explains away some of the objections
voiced last week by Rupert Hughes relative
to the contradictions ot spirit messages.
"Without committing himself by saying
whether such communications came from
the dead or from tna subconscious mind,
O'Higgins says that "the subconscious mind
will lie and cheat and mislead the conscious
mind like a dual personality."
If you have ever tried any ouija board ex
periments, this article will interest you.
Kext week Ollah Toph. a friend of Booth
Taxklngton's, will contribute to the series an
( article called "The Psychic Gift."
MESSAGE FRO)! THE DEAD.
BY HARVEY O'HIGGIXS.
IF YOU are sitting- at the dinner
table, beside a man who is talking
Interestedly with another neighbor
and ou say to him, in a low tone, "The
salt, please," he will reach out for the,
salt cellar and pass it to you while he
talks, without being aware of what
you have said or what he has done. He
has heard and responded, "subconscious
. ly," as the psychologists say.
If you put him at a writing-desk,
with his arm through , a screen and a
pencil in that hand, and then interest
him in conversation, his hand will
write words and phrases that he will
not be conscious of writing; and this
"automatic writing," too, is "subcon
scious." If you hypnotize him and" take him
back over his past, you will find that
he remembers accurately a thousand
things that he could not recall by any
effort of his conscious memory. And
scientific investigation shows that this
subconscious memory contains a record
of all his experiences: that it is a per
fect record; and that what we ordinari
ly call our "memory" Is really a "or
gettery," a guard at the door, a censor
who chooses what shall be permitted
to enter our present from our past.
Experiments have been performed
with persons who have developed the
faculty of automatic writing and with
trance-mediums who are, so to speak,
self-hypnotized; and these experiments
have proved that the subconscious mind
is apparently able to read unuttered
thoughts, to transmit thought, and to
communicate freely with other sub
conscious minas, without being hin
dered by any of our ordinary limitations
of time and space. In many of the
records of such experiments, there are
Instances of communicated thoughts
that seem to be messages not from
living persons, but from the dead. It is
upon such instances that men like Sir
, Oliver Lodge and James H. Hyslop base
their belief in spiritualism, in the sur
vival of conscious intelligence after
death and its ability to communicate
with the living.
Now it seems that this subconscious
xnind is lncontrollably tricky. It is as
Irresponsible as dreaming. It will lie
and cheat and mislead the conscious
mind like a dual personality. And con
sequently all study of it and all ex
periments with it are beset with pe
culiar difficulties, with many liabill
ties of error, and with real danger to
the amateur. Automatic writing, for
example, if you experiment with in on
your own mind, is apt to "split the
consciousness," to weaken the control
exercised by the conscious mind, and
to develop a tendency to what is pro
fessionally called "hysteria." It is prob
ably for these reasons that the re
corded history of the phenmena of
spiritualism is so clouded with proofs
of imposture, with exposures of trick
ery and fake mediums and procured
"manifestations." On account of such
deceits, the whole subject has been
discredited for many people. There re
mains the fact, however, that skilled
investigators, guarding expertly against
deception, have been convinced that the
spirits of the dead can send messages
. to us through the subconscious mind,
in spite of the treacheries of that un
trustworthy messenger.
The matter is vital and important.
The theory of the subconscious mind
and the evidences of its power are
themselves as weird as any ghost story.
You are at liberty either to believe in
spiritualism or in a sort of unconscious
"wireless" through which .we can re
ceive and send messages unknown to
ourselves, about matters of which we
are otherwise ignorant, under condi
tions which we do not understand. We
may either believe in the power of the
dead to return without their bodies or
in the power of the living to see and
hear and communicate with each other
without their bodies. Either conclusion
is sufficiently miraculous. The editors
of this paper do not wish to make the
choice for you, but to present some of
the evidence and argument upon which
the choice has to le made.
In the young days of spiritualism
in America, it was by means of table
rapping and table-tipping that mes
sages were received "from the dead.1
That is to say, a circle of persons sat
around a table with their hands upon
it; one of them called off the letters
of the alphabet; and when the proper
letter had been reached, "the spirits"
rapped or tipped the table. The form
of the ouija board and its method of
operation are relics of such early
seances. A sort of doll's table, tri
angular, with three legs that are felt
tipped, stands on a board on which
are printed the letters of the alpha
bet, figures from one to ten, and the
words "yes," "no," and "good-bye.'
Two or three persons sit around the
board with their finger-tips resting
lightly on the table, and the "mes
' sages from the dead" are spelled out
as the triangular table moves about
on the lettered board, pointing out the
letters with the table leg at its apex.
Automatic writing and the messages
of trance-mediums are now more often
used than the ouija board by those
professionally Interested in spiritual
ism. Amateurs have been warned
against experimenting with automatic
writing. The trance-medium is, of
course, not easily accessible. But no
occult power is needed to operate th
ouija board; there is no dividing of
consciousness consequent upon its use
the operator need not have any faith
in spiritualism necessarily; and there
are few people who cannot make it
spell out messages even when they ap
proach it merely for amusement.
The causes of the movements of the
ouija table and the origin of the mes
aages that it spells out are still as
much in dispute are all the other
phenomena of spiritualism. Sir V. F.
' " - ' ' - cZf&o:ri J l
. ' X ' " ' N ' v - " .
; hi i- . 4t t 1
k ' ' - , - - - g iJ '
i - f . ' v
,?.- ---: :."K - I . lf? -
hit's i Vv i i . . - ,
. uikuL sr , 1 1 - :-f' - . "-;rv 1
' 1 , M I' i , 1 : 1 v 1
Barrett has found that the messages i
can be obtained even when the oper
ators at the table are blindfolded and
the letters on the board have been
changed in their order after the blind
folding. But pparently very little
scientific investigation of the ouija
board has been attempted. It has been
left as a parlor amusement for ama
teurs. Of the publislied records of its
use, the most notable is the recent vol
ume in which are collected the mes
sages, poems, etc., obtained under the
apparent "control" of a woman of co
lonial days who called herself "Pa
tience Worth."
It was with the ouija board that we
obtained our "messages from the dead."
The Author Experiences.
The excitement hegan for us with a
message from a man who gave his
name as "John Lafayette," and gave
it so authoritatively that none could
doubt him. One of us said: "It must
be a French soldier." We asked him if
he were a French soldier, and he re
plied: "Bureau' of statistics." To a
question about what he had done in the
bureau of statistics, he answered:
Clerk of census." And the little three-
legged table on the ouija board circled
from letter to letter of the. alphabet in
convincingly clerical flourishes as the
clerk of the census spelled out his re
plies. It was a Sunday afternoon. There
was a November storm outdoors. We
were all tired of reading, and no vis
itors had come in to share the blazing
coal fire of the grate. Consequently,
every one applauded the arrival of John
Lafayette. None of us believed in spir
itualism. None of us believe that the
uija board would bring us messages
from the tlad. The board had been
bought "as an entertaining toy in a
toy shop by a member of the house
hold who had read "Patience Worth";
and it was vaguely supposed to operate
according to laws of "subconscious sug
gestion," of which none of us professed
to know anthlng. Two young women
had sat down, in a mood of skeptical
curiosity, with the lettered board on
their knees and their finger tips resting
on the movable "table." And when the
table began to slide and circle and
flourish about, on the printed alphabet.
under their hands, they accused each
other of manipulating it. First one re
plied: "I'm not doing it. Really! I
thought you were. And then the other:
'That would be stupid. I'm playing
fair. Look. My finger tips are just
touching it lightly. I couldn't move it.
See?" And so forth.
John Lafayette of Omaha.
When these preliminary doubts and
accusations had subsided they were
succeeded by an atmosphere of amuse
ment- Some one asked- where John
Fafayette had lived. He answered:
Omaha." Some one else asked -if he
had been married. The little table slid
up to the word "No." A bachelor asked
facetiously: "Were you engaged?" The
table moved across the board to point
to the word "Yes." They asked: "To
whom?" And the pointer leg of the
table spelled out "Alma Atkinson."
There was something convincing
about that name, and a number of ques
tions were asked more soberly. In reply
to these John Fafayette said that he
had been 36 years old when he died
of "necrosis" at a "sanitarium" on No
vember 3, 1915."
None of us knew what "necrosis ' was.
and, while we were still discussing It,
one of us asked, amused: "Well, John.
have you a message for any one?"
He answered: "Yes."
"Wait. Listen," they said. "He has a
message. Well, what is it?"
Letter by letter and not in easy cir
cles and sliding flourishes, but with
agitated and eager haste he spelled
out: "Kiss our baby."
. Our amusement paled. It was as if
we had stumbled, smiling, into a scene
of private grief. It struck us with a
chill.
We asked: "What Is the baby's
name?"
He replied: "Allie." A diminutive of
"Alma," evidently.
wHow old?"
"Six months." A posthumous child.
then since Lafayette had died in No
vember, 1915, and this was November,
1916 unless he meant that the baby
DOES THE OUIJA BOAftD FAKE? O'HIGGINS FRANKLY
DOESN'T KNOW. ,
"I do not know whether or not these' extraordinary messages are
factual. I do not know whether there ever lived a John Lafayette in
Omaha, an Arthur Cage in Providence, Texas, or a Cane Varley in
Georgetown, N. Y. I do not know whether any of the persons exist
to whom the messages were to be delivered. I am entirely outside of
any controversy that can arise about the matter. So are the others
who received the messages; and that is a point which I wish particu
larly to guard. We do not offer these messages as evidence either for
or against spiritualism, telepathy, or any sort of occultism. We know
nothing about it. The messages came without any volition on our
part, without any conscious assistance from us, and without any
credulity to influence us toward an unconscious assistance. We re
ceived them skeptically, irresponsibly, with curiosity, but with no con
victions about their origin or their accuracy."
was six months old at the time of his i
death. 1
I asked: "Where' does Alma Atkinson
replied: "17 Budd street."
This was obviously verifiable. I had
understood that such ouija board mes
sages were always vague and rather
illusory. I got a pad of paper and a
lead pencil and put down the address
and the other information about John
Lafayette. It would be a simple mat
ter to write to Alma Atkinson at 17
Budd street, Omaha, and find out
whether she had ever known a John
Lafayefte, clerk of the census in the
ureau of statistics, who had died of
ecrosis in a sanitarium on November
, 1915. If there had been such a man,
she had known him, and he was
dead, we had a case for the Society of
Psychical Research to explain.
While I was mailing my notes the
table on the board kept spelling out
the word "claim" over and over. We
asked: "Claim what? What claim T' He
answered: "Claim my war pension."
And in reply to further questions he
explained that he had been "at Santi
ago" for five months; that the claim
for his pension was to be made through
his lawyer, Frank X. Wagner Francis
Xavier, evidently and that Wagner's
address was "1577 Halben avenue."
By this time we were all much ex
cited. The table on the board was
skating, about with , an electrifying
swiftness, in a manner that was evi
dently beyond the control of either of
the young women. They seemed to be
following it, rather than directing it.
with their fingers. However, in order
to guard against any unconscious fraud
it was agreed that they should not
look to see what letters were being
indicated by the pointer-leg of the
table, so that they might not guide it.
from tetter to letter, even Innocently.
Under these conditions we began to
examine John Lafayette with bus
picious care. He was not offended.
In reply to our questions he said that
he had been born at Annapolis. His
father had been a sailor. We asked
An officer?" He answered: "No. Be
fore the mast." His mother had been
Scotch. Her name, "Thankful Gordon.'
His father's name, "Charles Lafayette.'
We asked: "Have you any other mes
3age
He replied: "Rest under cloud."
"What cloud?"
"Our baby."
"Why is that a cloud?"
"Laugh at her."
"Who laughs at her?"
"Colby."
"Who is Colby?"
"Brother."
"Whose brother?"
"Alma."
There was some question asked about
the amount of his pension, but the an
swer was confused. It seemed to be
"675 dollars." The table returned agi
tatedly to spelling "Claim claim.'
Final Answer Incomplete.
The subsequent questions and an
swers were:
"Where are you?" '
"With mother."
"What religion were you brought up
in?"
"German Lutheran."
"What is Alma doing?"
"Work."
"What is shs working at!"
f I
"What does she do?"
"Uranium."
rFederal Mining Co."
"Where is it?"
And the final answer unfinished
was "88 Vet "
It had taken us some hours to spell
out these replies, letter by letter. One
f the young women was tired and
cramped, from sitting with her unsup
ported arms outstretched to the mov
ing table. She withdrew her hands.
And John Lafayette returned to what-
ummoned from.
Subsequently, when we got an Omaha
directory in the New York public
library, we could find no Alma Atkin
son in it, no Frank X. Wagner, no
Federal Mining company, no Budd
street and no Halben avenue. It seemed
plain that we had been the victims of
one of those hoaxes that the human
mind plays upon Itself. But on con
sulting my notes of questions and
answers, I found that in our excite
ment we had taken it for granted that
these were Omaha names and addresses
because Lafayette said he had lived in
Omaha. They might be anywhere else
in the United States. We could be sure
only that they were not in Omaha.
This was disappointing, but It vv-5 not
conclusive.
The next time we were more careful.
Another Sitting- With the Board.
I offer It as evidence of the incur
able levity of mankind that, with such
weird enigma still unsolved, we al
lowed more than a month to pass be
fore we returned to the ouija board.
Our second seance was held on the
Right of December 24. 1916 last
Christmas eve from 9 to 11. We were
at a Christmas house-party in the
country, and we went to the ouija
board as part of the holiday gaiety.
as we might have taken to consulting
the mirror on Hallowe'en. There were
no spiritualists among us. Of the two
women who sat at the board, only one
had assisted at the previous sitting;
tho other was a stranger to the prac
tice and the theory of the whole affair,
Almost at once the little table began
to move, but with difficulty, squeak
ing as It slid about from letter to let
ter. When we oiled the surface of the
board the movements became more
free, but it dld not at any time ap
proach the chirographic fluency of
John Lafayette. It moved abruptly.
impatiently, and with an irascible Jerk
to the "No" whenever we misread the
message.
At first we got only 'Cage down
south," repeated like an S. O. S. call
ty wireless. And then "Helen thinks
you have forgotten." And then again
"Cage down south Memphis." Finally
we asked: "What is your name?
The reply was "Cage." We asked:
"What is your first name?" "Arthur
Arthur Cage then was sending the
message. We asked: "For whom is
this message?"
He answered: "Anna Frank."
We asked: "Where Is Anna Frank?"
He answered. Impatiently: "I told
you" referring, apparently, to the
Memphis in a previous message.
We Insisted: "What address?"
He replied: "Niagara."
"Is that Niagara street?"
"No."
"Niagara Avenue?"
"No."
".Niagara what, then?"
"Niagara plac "
"What numrx-"
"35."
An Impatient Spirit.
His impatience was manifestly in
creasing. Where had he lived?
"Providence, Texas."
"What street?"
"Alamo street."
"Number?"
"Forty-three."
Who was the "Helen" to whom he re
ferred? "Helen Frank."
Who was "Helen Frank"?
He replied: "Sister."
And then came this message: "Break
neck on horse Anna evening of De
cember 22. 1916."
In reply to our questions, he ex
plained that it was "Anna Frank" who
had been killed on horseback; that he,
Arthur Cage, bad died "Anno domini
1908" (as if reading it from his tomb
stone), "November 3" at "Sandusky,
Ohio," of failure of blood, supply"; and
that Anna Frank was Helen Frank's
sister.
His next message was about anotner
family. It read: "Anna Frank requests
Mary Rose hide money from Benny so
he won't" and then, after a pause,
quickly "hide Mary's gold."
In reply to our questions, he said that
Mary Rose lived at "1236 Stanton street.
Remington, Texas." that Benny was her
husband, that Anna Frank was her
cousin, and that he, Arthur Cage, was
her brother.
We asked: "Why hide money from
Fenny?"
Ho answered enapplshlv: "Benny
wastes life on fools desires."
Wo continued: 'Any other message?"
Yes. Unload stocks."
ever mystery of silence he had been
"What stocks?"
"KAND "
"I that Kand?'
"No. KANDMT" apparently Intend
ed for K., M. & T., Kansas, Missouri S
Texas.
"Who owns this stock?"
"Anna. For Helen."
We asked: "To whom shoull we
writer
He replied, again impatiently: "The
Helen I told you of."
"What is Helen's address?"
"16 Franklin street. Memphis, Tenn."
Well, that was all clear enough. Anna
Frank, killed only two days previous,
was using her cousin Arthur Cage
who had been dead eight years to send
messages to her sister, Helen Frank,
about various family matters.
We invited Arthur Cage to continue.
He began: "Rsingles "
That did not spell anything. We
He answered. "No." ,
asked: "Is it 'singles?"
"Spell it again."
.He repeated: "Rsingles."
Someone suggested: "Perhaps it's R.
S. Ingles." "
He replied: "Yea"
"Well, go ahead."
"Ought to marry Helen."
We asked: "Why?"
"Helen" Wanted Money.
He answered: "To save Anna's mind
on this side. Wants Helen have her
money." And in reply to our questions,
he explained that "R. S. Ingles" was a
"broker." whose address was "246 Rut-
ter street. Memphis, Tenn."
We asked: "Any more messages?"
He replied: "Have Helen bury Anna
in vault."
We asked: "Any more?"
He replied: "Worried Helen gives
shocked death Anna."
This was not clear. and It was
given with an effort of Irritable haste.
When we asked "Anything else?" he
replied "No." Some one put a question
to him and he shoved the table off the
board abruptly and departed.
Here were three addresses that could
be verified: R. S. Ingles of 246 Rutter
street. Memphis. Tenn.; Helen Frank of
16 Franklin street. MemDhls. Tenn
and Mary Rose of 123B Stanton street.
Remington. Tex. Did these pearls
really exist? Did they know anything
of an Anna Frank. 35 Niagara Place.
Memphis, Tenn., who had been killed
horseback riding on the evening of De
cember 22? Did they know an Arthur
Cage, of 43 Alamo street. Providence,
Tex., who had died in Sandusky, Ohio,
If
these names and addresses were no
merely the product of some "subcon
scious fictionlst" among us then
it
was as easy, apparently, to get mes
sages from the dead, on the ouija board.
as to get messages from the living on
tho telephone; the mystery of survival
after death had been solved; the sphinx
had spoken.
There was only one flaw in the proof.
It was this: None of the information
given us by Arthur Cage accepting it
at its face. value was unknown to the
living. The skeptical might argue that
it was not the mind of the dead Arthur
Cage that we had tapped, but the mind
of the living Helen Frank, or Mary
Rose, or R. S. Ingles. From that point
of view we bad not proved anything
but thought-transference a thing suf
ficiently mysterious but not perhaps
that objection was somewhat
overcome by a message which we ob
tained, at another sitting, on. the night
of January 12, 1917. The two young
women who had been in communication
with John Lafayette were at the board
again. ' The table began to move at
once. One of them asked: "Are you a
man or a woman?" It replied: "I am a
man." And this is what followed:
"What is your name?"
"Cane."
"What is your first name?"
"Cane."
"What is your last name'.'"
"Varley."
"Where did you die?"
"FK " a pause, and then "San-
ford."
"Where?"
"Georgetown."
"Where is Georgetown?"
"New York."
"Then what is 'Sanford'?"
"A friend."
"What is his first name?"
"Tedrow."
"What street?"
"Durland."
"What number?"
"4."
"Have you any message to give?"
"Yes."
"What is itr
Neither of the young women was
watching the board. They had been
asked not to. And as Cane Varley
spelled out his message they listened to
a conversation, aside, that was going
on among the others in the room. 1
took down on paper the letters of the
message as the pointer-leg of the table
indicated them, and no one else knew
what the message was. It began:
"COME U PON T R V C K "
I asked: "Is that word 'Truck'?"
One of the young women said
"Truck? What do we care about his
truck? Let's get, something more ex
citing."
The table repeated "TRUCK." and
continued: "RU1XINSTOREREAROFSA
FEGKTMO.S'EYHIDUENTHEK."
I asked: "What's that last word?"
The table repeated. "THERE."
They asked: "What is it? What does
he say?"
He had evidently said: "Come up on
truck run in store, rear of safe. Get
money hidden there."
In reply to our questions, he ex
plained that the store was "Marion
Brothers" store on "Howell street" in
Georgetown. We asked: "What num
ber in Howell street?" and he replied
"No number." We asked whose money
it was and he said "Sanford.'
"Who hid this money?"
"Jake Sanford."
"Why did he hide itr
"For ed "
For Edr
"No. For devilment."
"How much Is itr
"7 thousand shares."
"Goodrich Rubber.
United States
Gum Prf
"It that 'Gum preferred'?"
No. Gum Preparations."
So. behind the safe in
Marion
Brothers' store on Howell street, in
Georgetown, N. Y.. there were hidden
7000 shares of stock of the Goodrich
Rubber company and the United States
Gum Preparations company. (None of
us had ever heard of the latter com
pany.) Here was a fact that was ob
viously unknown to the living except
Jake Sanford, and he was apparently
In 1908? If they really existed
concealing it. In order to prove, be-
ond any reasonable doubt, the survival
of identity after death it was only
necessary to go to Marion Brothers
store and take these stocks from their
hiding place. (None of us knew
Georgetown. None of us had ever
heard the names of any of these
streets before.)
We continued with Cane Varley:
What happened to you?" meaning to
ask him how he had died.
He replied: "Tired "
"Tired V
"No. Tried to come back."
"When did you die?"
"Easter week."
"What year?"
"A year ago."
"What did you die of?"
"Uremrc potsonlng."
"How old were you"'"
"Fifty."
"Where did you liver
"Georgetown."
"What street?"
"Howell street."
"What number!"
"No number."
"For whom is this message?"
"Ralph Th
"Ralph who?"
I
"Ralph I?"
"No. Phipps."
"Where does he lU-er
""Georgetown."
"What streetr
"Varley street."
"Give us your name again."
"Cane Varley." .
"Have" you any other message?"
"Enoch ought to destroy wills."
"Who is Enoch?'
"Jake's "brother."
"Whose wlllsr
"Sanford."
That ended the sitting. It was mid
night and the operators at the table
were exhausted. There was no prob
ability that we could get a message
more determinative of the whole mys
tery than this one about the hidden
money. We decided to rest on it.
Now, on the previous day, I had
been talking to an editor about a
series of articles of spiritualism. He
had invited mo to prepare an artido
for the series. It was a subject of
which I knew practically nothing. I
explained that our recent adventures
with the ouija board were my only
experience in occultism. I related
what had happened, and he invited me
to write it up.
This confronted me with a. r,i,3r
dilemma as I laid out and reconsidered
the material in my notes. If 1 investi
gated Arthur Cage's names and ad
dressesif I instigated a search for
Cane Variey s hidden stocks and suc
ceeded In proving the accuracy of our
messages from the dead, we might in
cur the suspicion that we had obtained
the information in advance and then
pretended to discover it through the
medium of the ouija board. The only
result would be a general question of
our good faith. Equally so. if I in
vestigated and found that the names
and addresses and the stocks were
purely imaginary. Then the believers
in spiritualism might argue that we had
invented false messages purposely in
order to cast ridicule upon the phe
nomena of their faith. And it occurred
to me that if I published the messages.
as they stood, without knowing whether
they were true or not, I could escape
the charge of having "planted"' them.
ii tuey were true, and the odium of ap
pearing to ridicule any honest religious
conviction. If they were not true. And
the curiosity of humanity In Memphis
and Georgetown and Annapolis and
Sandusky and Providence and Reming
ton would undertake an investigation
of them that would be much more thor
ough than any I could instigate.
i'hat is the situation, then. I do not
know whether or not these extra
ordinary messages are factual. I do
not know whether there ever lived a
John Lafayette in Omaha, an Arthur
Case In Providence. Tex., or a Cane
Varley in Georgetown, N. Y. I do not
know whether any of the persons exist
to whom the messages were to be de
livered. I am entirely outside of any
controversy that can arise about the
matter. So are the others who received
the messages, and that is a point
which I wish particularly to guard.
We do not offer these messages as evi
dence either for or against spiritualism,
telepathy, or any sort of occultism. We
know nothing about it The messages
came without any volition on our part,"
without any conscious assistance from
us. and without any credulity to in
fluence us toward an unconscious as
sistance. We received them skeptically.
Irresponsibly, with curiosity, but with
no convictions about' their origin or
their accuracy.
I am publishing them in that spirit.
They are evidence of what? I do not
know. I do not wish to offer evidence
and at the same time act as the Judge
and Jury on that evidence. I merely
offer the evidence.
But it seems to me that this evidence
is important; that these messages offer
a crucial test of much that has been
published about communications from
the dead. If they are true messages
to living people It seems difficult to
doubt the reality of conscious existence
after death. If they are untrue, then
it is possible for any person innocently
to invent names, addresses, person
alities, involved stories and convincing
details of all' sorts from his subcon
scious Imagination, and to impose upon
his own conscious mind and the con
scious ninds of others by unconsciously
reproducing these inventions as mes
sages from another world. Either the
messages are true messages, or the
human mind is so tricky that no
merely colorable evidence of immor
tality such as that offered in ""Pa
tience Worth," for Instance can be ac
cepted as proof of existence after
death. If we. In complete innocence,
could deceive ourselves by producing
these elaborate fabrications, it must be
a simple matter for others, in equat
Innocence, to produce such messages as
the newspapers have recently been
printing from William James and Hugo
Munsterberg the only difference being
that the messages from James and
Munsterberg contain nothing that can
be either proved or disproved, whereas
our messages from Arthur Carte and
Cane Varley will be known, within a
day of their publication, either as il
lusions of the subconscious mind or as
veritable communications from the
dead.
Will anyone who can either prove or
disprove any detail of them write about
it to the editor of this paper?
(Copyright, 1919. The Metropolitan
Newspaper Service.)