The movement of objects is an already proven fact. What remains to be determined is whether or not there is a manifestation of intelligence behind this movement, and, if so, what is the source of this intelligence.
We are not talking about the intelligence displayed in the movement of certain objects, verbal communications, or even those written directly by the medium. These manifestations, evident for those who have thoroughly studied the matter, are not suffciently independent of the will to make a new observer a believer. We will therefore only discuss writings obtained through an object equipped with a pencil, such as a basket or planchette, with the fngers of the medium placed upon the object in such a manner so as to preclude the possibility of exercising even the slightest infuence on the drawing of the letters.
Even if we assume that, by some amazing stroke of ingenuity, a medium succeeds in deceiving the most acutely observant eye, how can we explain the nature of the communications when they transcend the medium’s scope of knowledge? We are not talking about short, monosyllabic replies either, but many pages, as frequently happens, at incredible speeds. Sometimes the replies are spontaneous, while at other times they are on a specifc subject. There are even instances in which poems of an elevated nature, utterly fawless in style, fow from the pen of an illiterate medium. What is even stranger is that these events are occurring across the globe, and that the number of mediums is increasing. Are these facts real or not? We can only say, “Watch and see. There will be plenty of opportunities to do so, but observe often, for a long time, and according to the right conditions.”
How do our doubters reply in view of the evidence presented? They say that we are the victims of charlatans or illusions. First, charlatanism does not occur where there is no proft to be made. Charlatans do not practice their craft for free. When fraud is committed, it must be for the sake of a joke. But by what strange coincidence is there an arrangement between criminals from one end of the globe to the other to act in the same way, produce the same effects, and give replies, regarding the same subjects in different languages, that are identical in meaning (if not in words)? How is it that sincere, honorable, and educated individuals can fall prey to such manipulation and for what purpose? How is it that the patience and skill essential for carrying out such a deception are found even in young children? Mediums, if they are not passive instruments, must possess a high degree of skill and a vast array of knowledge, which is in direct contradiction with our usual expectations regarding certain ages and social standings.
Our opponents maintain that if there is no fraud, both parties may be the victims of an illusion. It is only reasonable that the reputation of the witnesses are questioned when we decide the value of the evidence. It may be a fair question to ask whether Spiritism, with millions of supporters, recruits followers only among the ignorant. We understand the logic of doubt, given that the phenomena on which Spiritism is based are so extraordinary. However, what is not admissible is the habit of some skeptics in assuming that they have a monopoly on common sense, and the hasty manner in which they accuse anyone who holds a view that is contrary to their own of being either infatuated or stupid, regardless of the intellectual or moral worth of their opponents. Any observer can attest that the opinion of enlightened individuals who have seen, studied, and meditated on any subject for an extensive amount of time is always proof of the worth of that subject, or at least a presumption in its favor. After all, it has been able to capture the attention of esteemed scholars who, we may reasonably assume, have no interest in spreading untruths or wasting time on worthless matters.