D.D. Home Astonishes the Skeptics

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Following on from what I wrote about DD Home here, I remembered this paper. To sum it up: in 1858 D.D. Home had a series of seances with the Netherlands's equivalent of CSICOP. They were sure they'd find out how Home was pulling off the fraud. According to the summary of the seances written by the head of the skeptic group soon after it was all over, they left certain that Home was not a fraudster and with no explanation of what they'd observed. Could be the most evidential physical mediumship case on record. I'm curious what you all think. I've got no idea what normal explanation there could be for all the effects described unless Home had a traveling gang of very sneaky accomplices for which there's no evidence I've seen anyway. Or maybe a desperate debunker could say the skeptic group was paid to lie about what happened? The circumstances of the whole thing make that seem pretty damn unlikely. Also Home was dirt poor his whole life and lived off of the hospitality of others. The guy who arranged for the seances to happen was affluent but apparently was a spiritualist himself. If he knew Home was just a fraud and was paying people to testify to his abilities I don't know why he'd have had any interest in Home in the first place. Plus there were a lot of other cases of Home impressing skeptics like the one I talked about in the last post so..................
(This post was last modified: 2023-07-06, 07:47 PM by RViewer88. Edited 3 times in total.)
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It's very hard to say because the years in between and the current lack of physical mediums with these abilities [demonstrated to such levels].

There have been enough witness reports for ectoplasm that I do think there's something to it, but perhaps not to the level of some of the great cases in the past.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home

Quote:Harry Houdini described him as "one of the most conspicuous and lauded of his type and generation" and "the forerunner of the mediums whose forte is fleecing by presuming on the credulity of the public."[2] Home conducted hundreds of séances, which were attended by many eminent Victorians. There have been eyewitness accounts by séance sitters describing conjuring methods and fraud that Home may have employed.[3][4][5]


Quote:Frederick Merrifield. (1903). A Sitting With D. D. Home. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 11: 76–80. Quoted in Joseph McCabe. (1920). Spiritualism: A Popular History from 1847. Dodd, Mead and Company. pp. 110-112. A Mr. Merrifield was present at one of the sittings. Home's usual phenomena were messages, the moving of objects (presumably at a distance), and the playing of an accordion which he held with one hand under the shadow of the table. But from an early date in America he had been accustomed occasionally to "materialise" hands (as it was afterwards called). The sitters would, in the darkness, faintly see a ghostly hand and arm, or they might feel the touch of an icy limb. Mr. Merrifield and the other sitters saw a "spirit-hand" stretch across the faintly lit space of the window. But Mr. Merrifield says that Home sat, or crouched, low in a low chair, and that the "spirit-hand" was a false limb on the end of Home's arm. At other times, he says, he saw that Home was using his foot."

Quote:Count Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo. (1930). Some Thoughts on D. D. Home. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. Volume 114. Quoted in John Casey. (2009). After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Oxford. pp. 373-374. ISBN 978-0-19-509295-0 "He then saw the latter open the sole of his right shoe, leave his naked foot some time on the marble floor, then suddenly with a rapid and extraordinarily agile movement, touch with his toes the hand of the Empress, who started, crying "The hand of a dead child has touched me!" General Fleury came forward and described what he had seen. The following day Home was embarked at Calais conducted by two agents; the order was to keep the incident secret."
Brian: The stuff you post is well known among Home researchers. The problem is that none of it holds up. Carrington already dealt with all of these objections long ago as did George Zorab. I also strongly recommend Peter Lamont's book on Home from 2005. Lamont is a magician himself. He has a very large body of academic-level knowledge about magic. He wrote a whole book on the Indian rope trick as an example. His conclusion after reviewing nearly everything on Home in his book is that there is still no satisfactory explanation of how Home did what he did and effectively no credible evidence of fraud either, because essentially all the fraud claims aren't firsthand. Lamont says he suspects Home was a "charlatan." But he admits he can't show it. He also has cited in at least two books the paper on Home that I posted in the OP as being especially impressive and has given no explanation for it. This thread is really supposed to be about that paper.
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(2023-07-06, 07:58 PM)RViewer88 Wrote: Brian: The stuff you post is well known among Home researchers. The problem is that none of it holds up. Carrington already dealt with all of these objections long ago as did George Zorab. I also strongly recommend Peter Lamont's book on Home from 2005. Lamont is a magician himself. He has a very large body of academic-level knowledge about magic. He wrote a whole book on the Indian rope trick as an example. His conclusion after reviewing nearly everything on Home in his book is that there is still no satisfactory explanation of how Home did what he did. Lamont says he "suspects" Home was a "charlatan." But he admits he can't show it. He also has cited in at least two books the paper on Home that I posted in the OP as being especially impressive and has given no explanation for it. This thread is really supposed to be about that paper.

You believe your confirmation bias if you wish.  PQ has frustrated its skeptics to death so I am going all out to find counter evidence because the degree of credulity here stresses me.  I have @David001 , @Ninshub  and @nbtruthman  on ignore for this very reason - because they never ever ever question "evidence" in favour of psi before making definite statements about anything.  I left the New Age when I was in my late teens because I discovered so much that made me realize you can't trust what people write in books. If you want to discuss only a paper that seems to support what you want to believe, go ahead, but I believe that anybody who still believes there is anything at all to mediumship after the history it has, is incredibly gullible.  If looking for counter evidence is not acceptable to you, maybe you should join Skeptiko instead!
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(2023-07-06, 07:53 PM)Brian Wrote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home

(2023-07-06, 08:09 PM)Brian Wrote: You believe your confirmation bias if you wish.  PQ has frustrated its skeptics to death so I am going all out to find counter evidence because the degree of credulity here stresses me.  I have @David001 , @Ninshub  and @nbtruthman  on ignore for this very reason - because they never ever ever question "evidence" in favour of psi before making definite statements about anything.  I left the New Age when I was in my late teens because I discovered so much that made me realize you can't trust what people write in books. If you want to discuss only a paper that seems to support what you want to believe, go ahead, but I believe that anybody who still believes there is anything at all to mediumship after the history it has, is incredibly gullible.  If not looking for counter evidence is not acceptable to you, maybe you should join Skeptiko instead!
Your response is needlessly hostile. Re-read what I wrote in my reply to you. Lamont is a skeptic. Hence Braude excessively bashes his book for not being out-and-out pro-Home and offering speculations on how Home could've done some things through fraud. I'm recommending that you read his book to understand what the state of Home research actually is today. Then get back to me and we can discuss the negative evidence re: Home. Wikipedia is not a reliable source on this topic since it's happy to bloat its articles with mere rumors and poorly founded conjectures as long as the bottom line is anti-paranormal. There are solid skeptics worth taking seriously. They aren't editing Wikipedia pages sadly.
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Plenty of books in the references here for you to read.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home

And don't cop out with "RW is unreliable" because the references given are all researchable.
(2023-07-06, 08:17 PM)Brian Wrote: Plenty of books in the references here for you to read.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home

And don't cop out with "RW is unreliable" because the references given are all researchable.
Ok. I've read Podmore on Home. I've read Hall on Home. I've read Wyndham's absolutely terrible little work full of inaccuracies and rumors. I've read Petrovo-Solovo's interesting skeptical arguments, but believe that they don't cut it at all. Lamont's book is more contemporary than everything cited in the RW page and is informed about the various controversies cataloged. That's why I recommended it. The only more contemporary source on RW is an Oxford book that recycles Browning's anti-Home lies that have been pretty much definitively exposed as lies. Browning was originally pro-Home, then became enraged with jealousy because he thought his wife was attracted to Home. Subsequently he lied profusely about Home. None of this essential information appears on RW.

Have you read Lamont's book? Why doesn't RW cite it? Why does RW only cite supporters of one side of this argument? Why do you complain about bias here on PQ but have apparently no issue with the extreme bias in the other direction on Wikipedia and RW?
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(2023-07-06, 08:09 PM)Brian Wrote: You believe your confirmation bias if you wish.  PQ has frustrated its skeptics to death so I am going all out to find counter evidence because the degree of credulity here stresses me.  I have @David001 , @Ninshub  and @nbtruthman  on ignore for this very reason - because they never ever ever question "evidence" in favour of psi before making definite statements about anything.  I left the New Age when I was in my late teens because I discovered so much that made me realize you can't trust what people write in books. If you want to discuss only a paper that seems to support what you want to believe, go ahead, but I believe that anybody who still believes there is anything at all to mediumship after the history it has, is incredibly gullible.  If looking for counter evidence is not acceptable to you, maybe you should join Skeptiko instead!

Hey Brian,

Speaking as a moderator: please recall #7 of our rules, which deals with skepticism in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena (ECP) forums, in particular stipulating that “when the intent is strictly to "debunk", that type of post should be reserved for the Skeptic vs Proponent Discussions sub-forum (or at least kept out of the ECP forum), so that proponents can have space to have discussions that extend beyond the "is it real or not real?" variety without unwanted and derailing interventions.”

Given that stipulation and the bit I've bolded in your quoted post above, then, please refrain from posting in this Deathbed Visions, After-Death Communications, Mediumship ECP forum, and instead post any "debunking" of mediumship in the SvP forum.

Given, too, that you seem to have indicated a general intent to debunk many of the phenomena we discuss in the ECP forums, please generally refrain from "debunking" posts in the ECP forums. You remain free, along with all members - including skeptics[1] - to challenge particular cases in the ECP forums so long as the intent isn't one of general debunking. Be aware though that a challenge needs to be specific, and to do more than just quote or reference Wikipedia or RationalWiki (the latter especially has no place being referenced as an authority in the ECP forums anyway). And, of course, you remain free to post benign comments or questions.

[1] Aside, by mutual agreement, from fls (who seems to have left us anyway).

The ECP forums are meant to be a sort of haven for "proponents" to discuss phenomena they all generally agree are in a meaningful sense real, without the interruptions of "skeptics" trying to generally debunk the phenomena, or pointing out the supposed credulity of proponents in accepting the reality of the phenomena. Please approach it in that spirit.

Also, your choice to place @Ninshub on ignore is problematic given that he is our other moderator: you now won't see any messages he might write to you in that capacity. I ask you then, until we implement a better (technical) solution, to remove him from ignore. The consequences if you don't are that he might take moderation action should you not respond to his posts as a moderator, including unilaterally deleting posts of yours or worse.

As an ordinary member: it would be helpful if you didn't refer to other members as new-agers. This labelling seems to serve no good purpose, and given that you seem to intend it as a slur, it's not good for the board's harmony.
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