Some things never change. It has come to my attention that a few “prominent skeptics” may be falling under the spell of the charms of a few “prominent mediums.” I’m not naming names here, but recent developments have given me pause to reflect on a time when such things happened before and as they say, if we don’t learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it.
Mediums have traditionally been a forward bunch of folks not given to shyness or modesty. They are crooks after all, and as such need to have nerve and be ready to “turn their tricks” at a moment’s notice. I have always admired that dodgy aspect of mediumship. Being able to think fast on your feet and being sharp enough to not only reply to any question a sitter might throw out at you with appropriate woo is part of the entertainment value that transferred from magicians like The Davenport Brothers and Houdini back in the day when nobody knew any better. It’s also a large area that falls into that shady netherworld where magic and con artistry meet.
The best of the lady mediums like Eusapia Pallidino, Margery (also known as Mina Crandon) and Mrs Leonora Piper exibited great charisma. If they weren’t beautiful to look at, they made up for that fact by displaying their wares in the most erotically misdirecting ways. From www.prairieghosts.com/margery.html this excerpt:
“Mina herself became well-known for her risqué and sometimes bizarre séances. It was not uncommon for her to hold sessions in the nude and according to some, she was especially adept at manifesting ectoplasm from her vagina. “
And the most pertinent line:
“It was also rumored that she had affairs with some of her would-be investigators, thus silencing a few of her most vocal critics.”
Therein lies the tale. Mediums aren’t any less attractive or lacking in charisma these days (except Sylvia Browne of course). In fact, to keep up with the fashions and sexual climate of our Madonna laden times, many of these brazen neo-witches may even be more crafty and nefarious in their seductive ways than ever before.They have to: It’s part of their act.
I haven’t heard about any nude seances besides a couple of interesting situations that occurred at The Magic Castle years ago, but I have heard (and seen with my own eyes and ears mind you) that some questionable antics have been going on within skeptical circles here and abroad. Hey, I’m no prude and having grown up in the 60’s, I’ve no objection to any of this. I’m just saying…
Houdini’s exploits with Margery are a good case in point. If you can read up on that whole affair, where the folding ruler that manifested inside the box Houdini built to restrain Mina came from and exactly why it was pinned on Houdini is one of the great mysteries of the anti-spiritualism movement.Things remain very muddled when it comes to who did what and for what reasons. My dear friend and late cult movie director Curtis Harrington was intrigued by this story and wanted to make a film about it. Too bad it never happened. It would have been a great dramatic premise that would still ring true today. When men of prestige and scientific acumen get wrapped up with sexy women who know how to “cast a spell,” you can bet there’s going to be controversy.
A 20-year-old college student who sought a medium’s help to end her streak of bad luck ended up having to sleep with the man. She approached the medium, known only as master Choy, in April on the recommendations of her friends as she was worried about her well-being.The 50-year-old medium told her she would not be able to get rid of the bad luck unless she had sex with a married man. After some persuasion from the man, who is married, the girl agreed to have sex with him.