From beyond the grave: the legal regulation of mediumship

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