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December 16, 2007


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Patrick Hall

A very interesting post. I find Spiritism fascinating because so many people that might be called charlatans seem to have sincerely believed that they were in touch with some sort of supernatural force. I suspect that today, many of them would be medicated (and I'm not really sure that would be a good thing).

Have you heard of Chico Xavier? He was a Brazilian "medium", who was intensely covered by media of all sorts. He wrote dozens of books through automatic writing ("psychography"), but claimed that their authors were in fact spirits, not he himself (each book bears two authors on the cover).

Like Smith (at least in her early life), it's rather difficult to call him a malicious charlatan. He remained poor throughout his life, and was careful not to give medical advice from "the beyond" (rather, he recommended normal doctors).

I must admit that I cannot bring myself to look badly upon him, although I consider him to have been entirely deluded.

Romeo Vitelli

I'm not familiar with Chico Xavier but he sounds like a fascinating case. Self-deception can take many forms.

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