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This eBook is a carefully put together near-exact reproduction of the original edition of the title published in 1891 to expose spiritist frauds. This edition excludes all editorial comments, notes and noises that had come to be associated with some editions for nearly a century. In consequence the author's voice can be heard crystal clear once again. It does not assume or attribute authorship to any specific person or persons based on surmise but acknowledges that the book was anonymously written.
The author exposes the methods employed by "mediums" like himself to defraud trusting human beings and avows his retirement from the vocation. While Harry Houdini was careful not to reveal many secrets he knew, this author tells all. In doing so he not only upsets the miserable work of many a charlatan, he also details the methods employed by honest prestidigitators.
The author wrote that he would probably bring down on his head the curses of many hundreds of "mediums", for, if this work were very widely read, there would be few "mediums" save the lecturers who could do business, with any degree of safety from exposure.
But in fact, when this book was first published in 1891, in print, spiritists and fraudulent mediums burnt every single copy of it they thought existed and went as far as to destroy the printing plates. They did fail to annihilate it though and copies resurfaced years after the book was branded "lost". Now that it has been carefully digitized and reillustrated it is hoped that the title will gain immortality as well as educate and entertain.
The author does not wish to be understood as maintaining that there is nothing in spiritualism. Do not despair, he writes, for you will find in the chaff that is so plentiful some good grains. That one does not find it does not signify none ever will. And that this book should not stop anyone from investigating spiritualism, but they should continue their investigations with the book in a convenient pocket. He merely hopes that he has so fully explained the tricks employed by the frauds that they will find it a hard matter to capture your silver, and if you are ever "nailed to the cross" as they called it behind the backs of their dupes, it would be through means other than those used by the gentry treated of.
He phantasizes that he will live again and if he live again he is sure others will, and it is probable that he will meet the friends that have preceded him, and it is more than likely he will be able to see and visit his friends on earth. But if he can return to earth and visit those he loved, he is positive he will NOT do so by performing feats with heated lamp chimneys, or by controlling a lecturer and attempting to deliver an impressive oration in the language of a coal heaver. He would not attempt to return through a "medium" through whom a sixty-eight-year-old Indian "control" converses to an audience like a prattling child. Nor does he believe that he or any other spirit can or would return through the organism of any other depraved arbiter.
It is not at all probable, either, that he would go into the business of materializing lace for entertainment at a dollar a head, although he is familiar with the methods employed in that manifestation. No religion so satisfactory nor so reasonable and just in its teachings, to the writer's best understanding, but his own career and the fact that he met no professional "medium", male or female, in his long experience and extensive travels, who were not "crooked", leads him to conclude that from the professional you are to expect nothing of any value whatsoever. He urges the reader to investigate spiritualism for it will do no harm, but not through the professional "medium". He cautions against setting out with the intention of getting rich in worldly goods through their aid, attempting to find buried treasures, pots of gold, mines of silver or in fact anything one can better attend to personally ...

Published: A. Datta on May 27, 2014
ISBN: 9789351568803
List price: $4.20
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