Nandor Fodor , Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science


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Nandor Fodor , Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science

  1. 1. www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comENCYCLOPAEDIA OF PSYCHIC SCIENCE – Nandor Fodor - 1932 FP 2012
  2. 2. FOREWORDThis wonderful book is the only comprehensive survey of the most amazing andbaffling phenomena known to mankind.Here are detailed articles and case-histories dealing with Apparitions of the livingand the dead, Apports (solid objects miraculously brought into closed rooms),Clairvoyance, Divination, Fire Immunity, Levitation (individuals or objects floating inthe air in defiance of gravity), Materializations (phantoms built up from someunknown substance in sensitive persons), Prediction of future events, Telekinesis(movement of objects without apparent contact), Telepathy (thought transference) -and a host of other marvels. Here are hundreds of articles and biographies dealingwith such phenomena and the people involved, the famous mediums and wonder-workers who did these things and the reporters and scientists who investigated them.And the really extraordinary thing is that these are not old, far-off tales of occultwonders from ancient times, but sober reports from our own civilization, datingroughly from early nineteenth century to recent times. Many of the witnesses andinvestigators cited are reputable and highly esteemed scientists.This vast survey covers the entire field of Psychical Phenomena and Spiritualism,including Mediumship, Extrasensory Perception and what is now termedParapsychology. Every kind of psychical phenomenon of the period is listed, all theimportant and many lesser-known items, with precise information and detailedbiographical and bibliographical material.Apart from its value as an indispensable reference work, it provides, in effect, a wholelibrary on the subjects concerned. In this single volume are more than eight hundredseparate entries, classifying and cross-referencing all the phenomena, personalitiesand organizations in the field, a crisp systematic summary of thousands of otherbooks and journals, weighed with clarity, impartiality and good judgement. www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comAs an Encyclopaedia it is conveniently arranged on an alphabetical plan, but it ispossible to absorb the essential contents without having to start at A.S.P.R. andplough through more than four hundred pages to Zugun! By selecting certain articlesin sequence you can master the basic framework of the subject and then branch offinto reading hundreds of fascinating details.Start by reading the long article on Spiritualism, then the shorter piece on PsychicalResearch. You will now have a master key to the whole volume and the two parallelapproaches which characterize the subject. The first gives the history of theSpiritualist movement in various countries, the beliefs, personalities and mainphenomena. The second article clarifies the scientific approach. It is now possible toturn to individual entries dealing with phenomena like Raps and Table Turning fromwhich the Spiritualist movement started. The fine entry Medium explains the basis ofmediumship, and the entry under Fraud will give valuable information on theproblems of distinguishing genuine from false phenomena. Then there are individualbiographies of great mediums like the Fox Sisters, D. D. Home, Eusapia Palladino,Carlos Mirabelli, Margery Crandon, etc., as well as leading Spiritualists andorganizations concerned in the growth of the movement.
  3. 3. On the side of Psychical Research, the entries on the Society for Psychical Research, inBritain, and the American Society for Psychical Research, with the detailed Indices totheir published Proceedings, will give a useful lead to the history and achievementsof -the scientific side of the subject, the attitudes, terminology and leadingpersonalities. A glance at the main Index will show a number of other organizationsconnected with Psychical Research.Historically, modern Spiritualism and Psychical Research grew out of the Mesmerismand Animal Magnetism that had swept throughout Europe from the end of theeighteenth century onwards; in America it was signalled by the amazing utterances ofthe seer Andrew Jackson Davis (1826-1910), and by the mysterious insistent rappingsin the Fox family at Hydesville, New York State, in 1848. These developments areclearly summarized in this Encyclopaedia.Yet Spiritualism and psychic phenomena are almost as old as the human race.Trance-speaking, possession, clairvoyance, premonitions, prophecy, levitation,communication, with the dead-even table-turning, are all Connected with olderreligions, and many of these phenomena still survive among primitive races. Therehave been careful historical and anthropological studies of these aspects ofSpiritualism by writers like Andrew Lang and Caesar de Vesme, who are both cited inthis Encyclopaedia. It is outside the scope of this book to deal with the importantevidence in detail, but it is valuable to bear it in mind in assessing the differentapproaches of religion and science. There can be no reasonable doubt thatmiraculous events happened and still sometimes happen. If anything, the realproblem is why they should become rare or deceptive in modern life. Part of theanswer may lie in the changes in mans consciousness over the centuries.Primitive man lived in a world where dreams, gods, spirits, ghosts, demons andmiracles were inextricably involved in everyday waking life. But the miraculousevaporated as the vital religious consciousness of ancient times gave way to www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comincreased preoccupation with the practical material world. The wonder and awe atthe mystery of life were displaced by concentration on improved technology - bettertools, housing, social organization, and so on. After many bitter struggles toovercome the outworn formalism into which religion had degenerated, scienceproduced its own miracles, and eventually scientific method took over the authorityof religion. From time to time, however, religious revivals have shaken modern manfrom a materialistic daydream and shown a glimpse of that broader vision ofmeaning and purpose in the universe which had been known in ancient times.Usually the impact of such revivals has been too chaotic to allow a grand synthesisbetween religion and modern science.Spiritualism broke upon the nineteenth century world like a great, incoherent wave ofthe supernatural, at once sublime, trivial, inspiring, degrading, true and false.Throughout the 1850s table-turning became a fashionable preoccupation of rich andpoor, and the communications a strange mixture of the uncanny and the banal. Later,more evidential communications were received through automatic writing, voicemediumship, and other manifestations. It is reported that in 1862 Miss NettieColburn, a powerful young trance medium (listed in the Encyclopaedia under hermarried name of Mrs. Maynard) visited the White House and gave an astonishing
  4. 4. trance address to President Abraham Lincoln on the eve of his AntiSlaveryProclamation.In the intense excitement of Spiritualist fervor, scientists felt that they should asserttheir own authority. To many of them Spiritualism appeared a dangerous reversion tosuperstition. Some determined to expose Spiritualism with the new disciplines andtechniques of science, others, less prejudiced, were sympathetic to the newmovement but thought it needed the restraining hand of science to validate itsphenomena and exclude shameless frauds and the inevitable lunatic fringe.In 1853 Dr. Robert Hare, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, "feltcalled upon," as he wrote, "as an act of duty to his fellow creatures, to bring whateverinfluence he possessed to the attempt to stem the tide of popular madness which, indefiance of reason and science) was fast setting in favor of the gross delusion calledSpiritualism." He devised apparatus and conducted careful tests with mediums.Unfortunately, as a fair-minded investigator, he eventually announced that he wasnow convinced of the facts of Spiritualism! He was immediately condemned by theprofessors of Harvard for "insane adherence to a gigantic humbug" and howleddown by the American Scientific Association, which refused to listen to his lecture.It needed courage to investigate Spiritualism without prejudice and for many years itwas dangerous for individual scientists to risk a reputation. In 1870 the great Britishphysicist William Crookes announced his intention of making an impartialinvestigation of Spiritualism. After several years skilful observations and tests heboldly acknowledged his belief in the reality of psychic phenomena. He was bitterlycriticized by other scientists and eventually found it expedient to discontinue theseresearches, although he never retracted any of his findings and remained a believerin the phenomena of Spiritualism for the rest of his life. It was not until the foundingof the British Society for Psychical Research in 1882, and the American Society threeyears later, that such investigations were treated with the respect that they deserved.The enlightened interest of sincere and intelligent scientists marked a turning point www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comin the history of both Spiritualism and Psychical Research.From the end of the nineteenth century to the opening of the twentieth was thegolden age of great mediums and great psychical researchers - mediums like DanielDunglas Home, Florence Cook, Eusapia Palladino, Mrs. Piper, the Rev. Stainton Moses;investigators like Crookes, Myers, Hyslop, William James, Sidgwick, Lombroso, Richet.There were many others, whose names are all in this Encyclopaedia.For a time the cooperation between Spiritualists and psychical researchers wasreasonably cordial. Eminent scientists endorsed much of the mental phenomena ofTelepathy and Clairvoyance, and gave qualified approval to some of the physicalphenomena of Telekinesis, Materializations and Levitation. But soon irreconcilabledifferences arose. The climate of opinion of the twentieth century, with its emphasison technology and materialistic philosophy, was opposed to the religious outlook ofSpiritualism. With a first World War on its hands civilization had other, moreimmediate problems. The great successes of science in practical affairs made it seemunlikely that there could really be a firm basis to the manifestations of disembodiedspirits. Many of the signs and wonders of mediums evaporated under cold rigidlaboratory tests, and it became difficult to attract funds for psychical research. The
  5. 5. modern world was more interested in life this side of the grave and saw no dividendsin experiments and speculations concerned with an after-life.After the first excitement of its impact Spiritualism had ceased to be a nine dayswonder, and now settled down into its own kind of orthodoxy, with the inevitableproblems of establishment, schisms and federation that face all religions. Spiritualistsbecame a minority in a modern world preoccupied with the hard facts of life as weknow it. A new generation was growing up, unaware of the origins and continuationof Spiritualism; for other people it remained yet another cranky cult. The subject wasgood for an occasional "controversial" article in the tabloid press (it still is!) but it hadlong ceased to be front-page news. At the same time, the general public was notunsympathetic to a little mystery and magic as life became increasingly materialistic.Astrology, fortune-telling, palmistry and other occult. arts never ceased to bepopular, and everybody liked a good ghost story. Popular journalism becameimportant propaganda for Spiritualists, both in the national Press and in Spiritualistnewspapers and journals.On the other hand, psychical researchers frowned on sensationalism and becameincreasingly skeptical. Conscientious investigators were dismayed by the frequency ofvulgar fraud. Inevitably, psychical researchers and Spiritualists tended to drift intoopposite camps. One may see these two rival currents as a renewal of the conflictbetween science and religion.Psychical researchers set their own test conditions and atmosphere, and whethertheir investigations were successful or not their reports were read with respect.Spiritualists objected that mediums were "on trial" in an unsuitable atmosphere.Skeptical and suspicious attitudes powerfully influence the elusive phenomena ofsensitive individuals, and it had long been noticed that unconscious fraud might bebrought about through expectation on the part of the investigators. And an adverseor even inconclusive report by a psychical researcher might damage the reputation ofa medium, whose position was unjustly precarious anyway so far as the law was www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comconconcerned.In Britain, Spiritualists were often persecuted under cruel, old-fashioned legislation.Psychical research might be quite respectable, but until as recently as 1951 a mediumcould be prosecuted under sections of the Witchcraft Act 1735 and the Vagrancy Act1824. In a 1921 case a judge stated: "I cannot reverse the decision on the claim thatthe intention to deceive was not necessarily to be proved. The act of fortune-telling isan offence in itself." Perhaps the most despicable type of prosecution was that inwhich agents provocateur were employed by the police to obtain evidence. Disguisedpolicewomen, posing as bereaved parents, would approach a medium, begging forsome consolatory message. A small sum of money would be proferred as a "love-offering" and if this was accepted the medium could be prosecuted- often for as littleas the equivalent of a 25-cent "donation" to the Spiritualist church funds. Anunsympathetic magistrate, arrogantly convinced that all Spiritualists were frauds,would impose a fine or a sentence of up to three months imprisonment. Thedisgrace, loss of reputation and employment, could ruin a medium for life.In New York, comparable outdated legislation was amended in 1929, to exemptministers and mediums of Spiritualist Associations acting in good faith withoutpersonal fees.
  6. 6. Many Spiritualist seances were in darkness or subdued light, and another hazard formediums was the amateur investigator who would flash on lights and grab atmanifestations, determined to expose what he considered fraud. Whether thephenomena were genuine or not, such crude tactics might cause serious shock orother injury to the medium. It was often not generally recognized that Spiritualistorganizations themselves took care to test mediums and were alert to detect fraud.During the 1930s, Spiritualism and psychical research were uneasy partners. Therewere many intelligent and sincere Spiritualists, but it must be admitted that therewere also lower levels of the movement that were undiscriminating, acceptingdubious phenomena and rather banal "messages." Of course, not all mediums wereSpiritualists, and many were non-professional. The most reliable field for mediumshipwas perhaps the "home circle," composed of family and friends.Much excellent and painstaking work had been achieved by psychical researchers, butsome were very skeptical, too materialistic in approach, and oversensitive to criticism.In the twentieth century, intellect and experimental method were supplanting thefaith and emotional warmth of religion. There was a tendency to assume that nothingwas real unless you could measure and test it.In 1934, the Hon. Alfred Lyttleton, President of the Society for Psychical Research,stated that "after fifty years of steady work the Society, as a Society, would not affirmthat the survival of bodily death has been demonstrated conclusively, or thatcommunication with spirits has been established" (in any case, the Societysconstitution did not insist on corporate opinions). "But," she added: "I think it may besaid that many of those conversant with the work have been convinced by thecumulative effect of the evidence that life does continue after bodily death, and thatsome communication between the living and the dead has been discovered."The present Encyclopaedia, which also appeared in 1934, boldly attempted its ownsummary of the whole history, detail and validity of Spiritualism and Psychical www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comScience. It was a heroic task, yet it emerges as the most comprehensive andfairminded account of the subject ever made.You might expect to find that a careful and complex Encyclopaedia of this kind,involving years of research, study and assessment, would be the result of a team ofinvestigators and writers-yet the fact is that this tremendous compilation is the workof one man-a Hungarian barrister who in exile became a journalist, a psychicalresearcher, and a psychoanalyst. A man of truly international outlook he became anAmerican citizen, travelled to England and became a naturalized Briton, finallyreturning to America where he resumed American citizenship and spent his last years.For just over a century, the strange phenomena which we call "psychical" or"parapsychological" have been studied by theologians, scientists and even conjurers,but it took a legal mind to write the best and most complete account of the wholesubject. There is no biographical entry for Dr. Nandor Fodor himself in hisEncyclopaedia, so it is only proper that this new edition of his major work shouldcontain the leading facts of his life.NANDOR FODOR was born in Berengszasz, Hungary, May 13, 1895. He recalls thatwhile at high school the chief of his class predicted: "Fodor, he will get somewhere!"
  7. 7. He studied law and took his LL.D. at the Royal Hungarian University of Science in1917, acting as a Law assistant from 1917-21; he also received a Ph.D. He marriedAmaria Iren in 1922, and they had a daughter.From 1921 -28, the second chapter of his profession became journalism. Around1921 he paid his first visit to America as a staff reporter on the New York Hungarian-language daily Amerikai Magyar Nepszava (American Hungarian Peoples Voice). Thechance discovery of a book by the brilliant psychical researcher and writer HerewardCarrington fired the imagination of Fodor and gave a new direction to his interests.The book was Carringtons Modern Psychic Phenomena, published 1919, and Fodorrecalls that he found it in a bookshop on Fourth Avenue, New York, in 1921;thereafter he also found his main vocation- psychical research. In a warm tribute toCarrington in Tomorrow (Winter 1959) Fodor wrote: "This work was a revelation tome. From then on I spent my lunch money on books, feasting on psychic knowledgein preference to the nourishing food of the Hungarian restaurants near my work."He approached Carrington for an interview for his newspaper; instead Carringtoncourteously invited him to a reception for the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creatorof Sherlock Holmes and the most sincere and tireless worker for the cause ofSpiritualism. At the reception Fodor was able to interview Conan Doyle.Carrington had a profound influence on Fodor. They became firm friends, andalthough they did not meet again for ten years they corresponded and latercollaborated. It is clear that from this time onwards Fodor took Carrington as a modelfor his own subsequent activities as writer and investigator of psychical subjects,although not yet free to concentrate his energies full time on these matters.In 1926, while still a reporter in New York, Fodor also interviewed Sandor Ferenczi,leading psychoanalyst and associate of Freud. Although psychoanalysis wasnominally unsympathetic to the occult, Ferenczi and even Freud himself were secretlysympathetic to certain psychical phenomena. Strangely enough, psychoanalysis wasto be the second decisive influence in Fodors life and he was destined to link its www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comfindings with psychical research.In the following year, Fodor had what he calls his "first encounter with the dead" at aseance with William Cartheuser, voice medium, in New York City. Fodor received avery moving and evidential direct voice communication from his dead father. Manyyears later, Fodor became disillusioned with the mediumship of Cartheuser, but neverforgot the overwhelming emotional impact of that first seance. He wrote a detailedaccount of it, published in his book The Haunted Mind (Helix Press, 1959).In 1929, after an interview with the millionaire newspaper magnate Lord Rothermere,Fodor was fortunate enough to get a privileged position on his personal staff.Rothermere owned a chain of national British newspapers-the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror,Evening News, and Sunday Dispatch, and was deeply concerned in the restoration ofHungary. Fodors new job took him to England. Here, as a secretary to LordRothermere, he was concerned with Hungarian affairs, such as the revision of theHungarian Peace Treaty after World War 1, but he found himself with plenty of sparetime and a comfortable office in Fleet Street, London.It was in this period that he compiled the present Encyclopaedia. It was aphenomenal undertaking for one man, and it took him several years. When it
  8. 8. appeared, in 1934, Fodor himself explained how he came to undertake this task. Hewrote:I was struck by the fact, when I began my studies in psychical research eleven yearsago, that the enquirer is faced by an endless repetition as he goes on.I wanted a guide, and started to make an index of my own. From this, as time wenton, the idea of an alphabetical encyclopaedia was born.We have few comprehensive books on psychic science, and they are all coloured bytoo much or too little faith. Podmores Modern Spiritualism [This classic work wasreissued by University Books Inc. under the new title Mediums of the 19th Century in1963, with an important Introduction by Dr. E. J. Dingwall. Podmores opinions arecertainly unjustly skeptical, but the book is valuable for its historical survey ratherthan its dogmatic opinions.] is a splendid work, but its narrow views, in the light ofgreater present knowledge, are irritating and occasionally infuriating.Conan Doyles History of Spiritualism is too sketchy and inexact, Campbell HolmsFacts of Psychic Science only deals with phenomena, and, for the purpose I have inmind, in a not sufficiently comprehensive and discriminative manner. CarringtonsStory of Psychic Science is more of a text than a reference book.What we need is a standard work, which, in a dispassionate, detached and impersonalmanner, presents all the facts of history, research, phenomena and mediumship, inwhich, at a minutes notice, we can lay our hands on every important fact....This is a good description of the Encyclopaedia. There can be no doubt that afterthirty years this book still stands as the key reference work on the subject for theperiod covered. When it appeared, it established Fodors reputation overnight as anauthority on psychical matters. www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comHe was invited to lecture on Spiritualism and Psychical Research, and in February1934 became Assistant Editor, under David Gow, of Light, the oldest BritishSpiritualist journal. It is still in existence, now published by the College of PsychicScience in London, and the Autumn 1964 issue carried a fine tribute to Fodor fromMiss Mercy Phillimore, who was associated with his early work in Britain. In thosedays, although Fodor was a brilliant journalist and could read and write English withease, he had difficulty in speaking the language. Miss Phillimore recalls:He never failed to speak, and was first up when the chairman declared the discussionopen. This was the occasion for a friendly titter from the audience, for his wordsgushed forth-indeed, splashed forth-in torrents at terrific speed, and in the whirl ofsounds were many amusing mistakes. He was quite willing to learn about his errorsof speech, and joined in the fun.Through the help of the London Spiritualist Alliance, Fodor was able to take part inresearch experiments with mediums. His happy enthusiasm at being able to witnessthe phenomena which he had previously only studied in books is amusing:The commotion caused by his excitement would not be believed by anyone who hadnot been present; his jumping and shouting filled the room with deafening noise. It
  9. 9. was of course a great thrill for him to witness that of which he had read so much, andthe first impact brought acceptance that the phenomena were genuinelysupernormal.Later on he became somewhat more cautious and skeptical.1934 was an important year for psyschical research in England. On June 6, theUniversity of London Council for Psychical Investigation was founded, to take overthe work of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research which had been foundedby Harry Price in 1925. Price presented the Council with his library, laboratory andequipment. He had carried out interesting investigations, but on the wholeSpiritualists objected to laboratory tests by skeptical investigators and scientists. In avigorous newspaper article, veteran Spiritualist Hannen Swaffer commented: ". . .high-sounding degrees do not impress anybody except newspapers, and they haveused it all before, as their files will show, about other institutes, all of which ended inthe same way as I prophesy this one will-in nothing. Spiritualism would rather haveone medium than the enquiries of a thousand scientists."Early in 1934 another organization came into being-the International Institute forPsychical Research, with a Council of both Spiritualists and non-Spiritualists,dedicated to a sympathetic and unprejudiced investigation of psychical phenomena.Professor D. F. Fraser-Harris was announced as Research Officer, but resignedthrough a misunderstanding with the Council. In his place, Dr. Nandor Fodor wasappointed, and thus began his years of practical investigation into psychicalphenomena. It was not until 1938 that Fodor too was involved in an unhappymisunderstanding with his Council.Meanwhile he undertook a number of careful investigations into mediumistictransfiguration, production of apports, direct voice, levitation, hauntings, poltergeistand materializations. He also edited a series of valuable Bulletins issued by theInstitute. It must have been a great satisfaction to Fodor that the first of these, www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comdealing with poltergeist phenomena, was a collaboration with his friend Dr. HerewardCarrington, who was Research Officer of the American Psychical Institute of NewYork. Later on, their modest 44-page booklet became the basis for a more substantialbook Haunted People (New York 1951), British edition titled The Story of thePoltergeist Down the Centuries (London 1953).Between April and May 1934, Fodor also wrote a series of popular articles onmediums, Spiritualism and Psychical Research, for the newspaper Bristol EveningWorld; these were reprinted in book form as These Mysterious People (London,1934). This is perhaps the clearest, most reliable and readable popular work of itskind ever published, covering the important personalities and phenomena andforming one of the best general introductions to the subject.During his time in England, Fodor met Dr. Elizabeth Severn, a well-known practicingpsychoanalyst who had been a pupil of Sandor Ferenczi. This contact renewed hisinterest in psychoanalysis. At that time there was still considerable prejudice againstthe subject in England, since it dealt with the explosive question of sexualmotivations. Fodor, however, believed that psychoanalysis could throw importantlight on psychical phenomena.
  10. 10. Although he seems to have had a natural flair for the subject, his psychoanalyticaltheories and investigations were too far ahead of their time to be generallyacceptable, and some of his best observations were not vindicated until many yearslater. In the Introduction to The Story of the Poltergeist Down the Centuries (London,1953), Dr. Carrington reviewed the developing tendency for psychical investigators toconsider the emotional states and unconscious drives in mediumistic subjects, withparticular reference to poltergeist phenomena. After referring to an early paper by Dr.James Hyslop, he commented: ". . . Aside from a few clinical observations of EusapiaPalladino, this remained practically the only study of the sort until Dr. Nandor Fodorspsychoanalytical analyses of various poltergeist cases. "In 1944, Dr. John Layard, in apaper on "Psi Phenomena and Poltergeists" (Proceedings S.P.R., July 1934) PP. 237-47) concluded ". . . all true poltergeist phenomena ... are purposeful and probablyoccasioned by conditions of Unresolved tension in the psyche of those involuntarilyproducing them."But this was a revolutionary concept in the 1930s when Fodor conducted his owninvestigations, and it needed great courage to maintain such views. He was bitterlycriticized by Spiritualists for introducing a tabooed subject into psychical research.Two of Fodors important investigations were to have far-reaching results. These werethe Ash Manor Ghost and the Thornton Heath Poltergeist, fully reported in FodorsThe Haunted Mind (Helix Press, 1959).It was in 1936 that he investigated the strange dramatic story of the Ash ManorGhost, in which it seemed that hauntings took place because of abnormal sexualrelationships in the family concerned. Suppressed sexual energies appeared toprovide an atmosphere in which a phantom could continue to manifest. Amazinglyenough, the basic diagnosis of the case was through the spirit-guide of a brilliantmedium whom Fodor brought into the case. This medium was Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett,who was later to head the Parapsychology Foundation in America.The Thornton Heath Poltergeist, which he started to investigate February 1938, was a www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comsensational affair of a woman who produced remarkable poltergeist phenomena andappeared to be the victim of vampirism. Whatever the objective nature of thephenomena, Fodor soon found that their occurrence was intimately related to thepersonal problems of the woman concerned. This presented a peculiar difficulty. AsFodor wrote in The Haunted Mind: "The psychical researcher is forced to view hissubjects as material for investigation, but not necessarily as human beings. Thepsychoanalyst can go further. His aim is to analyze, to find the fault, and then, ifpossible, to heal and bring about a new adjustment to life." As an experimenter andobserver it would have been unethical to change to an analyst-patient relationshipwithout full understanding and agreement.Before Fodor could resolve this delicate situation, the opposition to hispsychoanalytical views exploded into a crisis affecting his own position as ResearchOfficer of the International Institute for Psychical Research. Word of his sexualtheories and findings leaked out, and this, bracketed with his vigorous exposure ofmediumistic frauds, aroused intense antagonism. In an obscure work ConsciousnessCreative (Boston, 1937) he had contributed an essay which stated: "For reasons ofpublic propriety, mediumship is very seldom discussed from its most importantangle: that of sex." This was violently criticized in the popular Spiritualist press in
  11. 11. Britain. Horace Leaf, a famous medium and Spiritualist author, came to the defense ofFodor, stating:Owing to the peculiar nature of the subject, Dr. Nandor Fodor wisely restricted itspublication to quarters which guaranteed that it would be read only by thoseinterested in the more technical and scientific aspects of mediumship... Dr. Fodorsarticle is written in a style suitable to the subject and carefully restrained in tone. Asubject so delicate and so liable to misunderstanding demands scientific language,otherwise it would approach vulgarity. Dr. Fodor is to be congratulated on theexcellent manner in which he has handled it.In spite of this sensible and temperate attitude, a reviewer attacked Fodor inunrestrained terms:Although he may not even suspect it, Dr. Nandor Fodor, Research Officer to theInternational Institute for Psychical Research, has confessed his amazing ignorance ofthe nature of psychic phenomena in a curious essay in a very curious book....The reviewer went on to speak of "This insult to the great spirit guides Further articleswere published, baiting Fodor and questioning his competence, until one day inFebruary 1938 he issued a writ for libel against the newspaper concerned. Otherrepercussions followed. J. Arthur Findlay, one of the most respected figures in theSpiritualist movement, was a chief shareholder in the company owning thenewspaper and also Chairman of the International Institute, of which he was afounder. He felt he could no longer be associated with the Institute under thesecircumstances, and accordingly resigned from his position there. Meanwhile theInstitute itself brought Fodors investigation of the Thornton Heath case to a close,and in August 1938 the Council of the Institute sent a letter to their members whichopened:Dear Sir/Madam, www.survivalafterdeath.blogspot.comAfter carefully reviewing and considering the policy of the Institute, the Council havedecided that the employment of a whole-time director of research is not justified.Accordingly they have terminated with regret the engagement of Dr. Nandor Fodor,who is no longer connected with the Institute in that or any other capacity.Stung by this peremptory dismissal, Fodor wrote a spirited reply on September 2,also published in the journal The Occult Review (October 1938):I have been on holiday in France. On my return I learned with considerable surprisethat I was no more Director of Research for the International Institute for PsychicalResearch. The communique which you published last week was emphatic in statingthat I was no longer connected with the Institute in that or any other capacity. Thepublic warning may make people wonder whether I have been guilty of misdemeanoror was expected to commit such under false pretenses. Let me make it first clear thatI have been one of the founders of the International Institute for Psychical Research. Ihave directed its research for four years with considerable sacrifice. I have built theInstitute with my sweat and blood. It belonged to me more than to any member ofthe Council. Yet the present Council of the Institute felt in no way obliged to inform
  12. 12. me that my services would be no more wanted and to give me a fair chance ofresignation....Fodor went on to disclose that the Institute had also impounded the manuscript ofhis new book. He challenged the Council to inform the membership of the wholetruth of the matter, and concluded: "I am entitled to satisfaction. I mean to get it."This was fighting talk!During this period of an open break with Spiritualists he felt free to speak his mindon some of the lower levels of the movement. His own- unhappiness at being forcedinto an invidious position was reflected in a new series of hard-hitting articles for TheLeader, in which, with talented journalism, he now wrote of "shameless imposture." "Irespect the deep religious convictions of sincere spiritualists," he declared, "but Icannot keep silent about some of our miracle-mongers." The series was announced:"BEGINNING THE GREATEST SHOWUP OF SPIRIT MIRACLES EVER PRINTED." "IExpose the Shams of Spiritualism." Later headlines read: "I Unmask the Muslin andCheese-cloth Ghosts I Debunk These Gifts from Heaven."Spiritualists were alarmed at this tearing aside of the veils, and Fodor was reproachedby his former associates. Answering the charge of now being a "very doubtful friend,"he replied (Light, November 10, 1938): &qu