From beyond the grave: the legal regulation of mediumship

June 9th, 2012 Posted in Books and Publications

Thank you, Carlos S. Alvarado, Ph.D., for drawing attention to this International Journal of Law in Context article by Steve Greenfield, Guy Osborn, and Stephanie Roberts.

From the abstract:

“In recent years there has been an increased interest in mediumship. This has been part of a broader fascination with paranormal issues that has been fostered by new modes of dissemination and communication. This article focuses upon attempts made by the criminal law to regulate mediums, and, in particular, the disjunction between the ‘genuine medium’ and the ‘vulnerable consumer’. It charts historical approaches of the law and provides a critique of the current legal landscape, including the new regulatory framework under the Unfair Commercial Practice Regulations 2008, and the possibility of an action under the Fraud Act 2006. It concludes that the law has continually struggled to adequately deal with this phenomenon, and that the current regime is likely to prove similarly ineffective given the fundamental conceptual legal problem of proving what may be un-provable.”

The pictures below are from The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult. The first one was taken by Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, “The medium Stanislawa P. in her tightly stitched and sealed costume, June 13, 1913.” This was to prevent possible fraud.

The medium Stanislawa P.

This one was taken by Henri Mathouillot, “The medium Mme Receveur levitating a table, October 24, 1935.” Mathouillot was an engineer, and he’s measuring how high the table was raised.

The medium Mme Receveur

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  1. 2 Responses to “From beyond the grave: the legal regulation of mediumship”

  2. By Stephen Hall on Jun 11, 2012

    It’s an interesting photograph, but offers no proof of levitation. Take a close look at Mme Receveur’s hands. Zoom in. Her hands are not lying flat on the table, but appear to be in a gripping position, holding on something attached to the table top. Also, the table is not out in front of her legs, but in a position near her which would allow her to use maximum leverage to lift the table with the strength of her shoulders (notice the elevation of her elbows). She appears to be a husky woman capable of doing so. We also do not know if this was taken in a darkened room with only a momentary flash allowing Mathouillot a quick measurement of table height, or in a steady light.

  3. By T Stokes on Oct 15, 2012

    yu cannot judge a well known and well documented phenomenon like table tipping and lifting by just one pic, you have to observe hundreds of cases with different subjects in different locations, i am sure you know this , so i am suspicious of your agenda here ?
    explain.

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