Varieties - The False Mr. Home
Some time ago we read the following article in the papers from Lyon, which was also posted on the
city walls: “Mr. Home, the notable medium who had the honor of carrying out experiments before
H.M. the Emperor, from Thursday April 1st, will be giving sessions of spiritualism in the great Lyon
theater. He will produce apparitions, etc... Special seats will be available to doctors and scholars,
so that those can certify that nothing has been prepared. The sessions will vary, containing acts of
the notable clairvoyant Mrs. ..., very lucid somnambulist, who will reproduce all feelings, one by
one, according to the desires of the spectators. Tickets cost 5 francs first class, 3 francs second
Text in very poor French *, as indicated by the original at the end of this article (E.T)
Mr. Home’s antagonist (some people say Hume) did not wish to miss the occasion of exposing him
to ridicule. In their passionate intent of finding something to bite, they took this gross mystification
with such an enthusiasm that it speaks against their balance and their respect towards the truth,
because before throwing stones at others it is necessary to verify if those stones will not hit another
target. But passion is blind, does not think and many times, on trying to damage others, it is wrong.
“Look at this, they joyfully said, “this so much praised man, now reduced to play on stages, giving
spectacles at a price per head!”. And their papers giving credit to the fact, without investigation.
Unfortunately to them, their happiness did not last long.
We were soon asked to provide enough information to unmask the fraud, which was not difficult,
particularly thanks to the large number of people proficient in Spiritism in that city.
As soon as the theater director knew what was going on, he immediately addressed the following
letter to the newspapers: “Mr. Editor, I promptly inform you that the announced spectacle in the
great theater, due on April 1st will no longer happen. I thought the theatre would be occupied by Mr.
Home and not by Mr. Lambert Laroche, so called Hume. Those who have anticipated the
acquisition of their tickets can come to the theater’s box office in order to be duly reimbursed.”
On another hand, the cited Lambert Laroche, from Langres, once questioned about his identity, was
obliged to answer in the terms that we reproduce in its entirety, as we do not want to be accused of
having introduced the smallest alteration.
“You have submitted several extra of your correspondence from Paris, indicating that Mr. Home
who gives sessions in a given theater of the capital, is now traveling to Italy and cannot, as a
consequence, be in Lyon. Sir I ignore 1. Knowledge of this Mr. Home, 2. I do not know what his
skills are, 3. I had never had anything in common with this Mr. Home, 4. I have worked and still
work with a pseudo name Hume, justifying this name by the local and foreign newspapers cuttings
that I submit to you 5. I travel with two companions, my type of experience contains spiritualism or
evocation, vision and in one word, reproduction of the ideas of the spectator, my specialty is to
operate that type of process in people, as seen in the papers from Spain and Africa. With this my
Editor, I demonstrate here that I never wanted to take the place of any supposed Mr. Home who you
say has a reputation, mine is sufficiently known by its great notoriety and experience I have.
Receive, Mr. Editor, my cordial greetings.”
It is useless to say that Mr. Lambert Laroche left Lyon with his head up. He will certainly go to
other places looking for fools to easily deceive. I wish to say one word still to express our sadness
about the deplorable avidity with which certain creatures, who consider themselves serious, use
anything that may serve their animosity. Spiritism is very much accredited today and should fear
nothing from the buffooneries; it is not more disgraced by the charlatans than the medical science is
by the witch doctors of the streets; it finds everywhere – but notably among the enlightened people
– zealous and innumerous defenders who know how to face mockery. Far from harming it, the Lyon
case only serves its propagation, attracting the attention of the indecisive to the reality. Who knows
it was not even provoked by a superior power with that objective? Who can brag about probing
As for the systematic adversaries, they can laugh but not slander. A few years more and we will see
who will have the final word. If it is logical to doubt about something unknown, it is always
imprudent to falsely manifest against the new ideas that, sooner or later, may oppose a humiliating
denial to our perspicacity. History is there to prove it. Those, in their pride, who show disdain to the
adepts of the Spiritist Doctrine, would they be as superior as they judge themselves? These spirits
that they try to ridicule recommend the good and forbid the evil, even against the enemies; they tell
us that we lower ourselves by desiring the evil. Who is then the most elevated: the one who tries to
do the evil thing or the one who has neither hatred nor resentment in their heart?
Not long ago Mr. Home returned to Paris but he will soon leave to Scotland and from there to St.
The newspaper L’Independant de la Charente-Inférieure reported, last March, the following fact
that would have taken place in the Civil Hospital of the Saints. **
The most marvelous stories have been told in this town, for eight days, everyone talking about the
singular noises that are heard, sometimes imitating a trotting horse, sometimes the walks of a dog or
a cat. Bottles placed on top of the fireplace are moved to another place in the room. On a given
morning pieces of ragged cloth were found contorted and full of knots, impossible to untie. A piece
of paper was once left on top of the fireplace where one could read: “What do you want? What are
you asking for?” Next morning there was an answer, written with unknown, indecipherable
characters. Matches left on the table would disappear as with magic.
Finally, every object changes place and spreads about all corners of the room. Such sortileges only
happen in the obscurity of the night. Once the light is on, it is all silence; once the light is off the
noises restart immediately. It is a spirit who is friendly with the darkness. Several people, among
them some clergy and retired military, lied down in that bewitched room, unable to explain or
discover the origin of the sounds.
A hospital employee, a suspect of being the author of those jokes, has just been fired. Some say,
however, that he not only was not the culprit but, on the contrary, was also many times the victim of
It seems that this story has started more than a month ago. For a long time nothing was said as
everyone was suspicious of their own senses, afraid of being ridiculed. The comments appeared
only a few days later.
OBSERVATION: We have not had time yet to verify the authenticity of the facts shown above. We
publish them with the due reservations. Notice, however, that if they are invented, they are not less
possible and have nothing of more extraordinary than many others of the same type that were duly
* The original text in French: “Vous m’avez soumis diversse extre de vos correspondance de Paris,
desquellesil résulterez que un M. Home qui donne des séancedans quelque salon de la capítalle se trauve en
ce moment en Itali etne peut par conséquent se trauvair à Lyon. Monsieur gignore 1.o la cannaissance de ce
M. Home, 2.o je nessait quellais son talent 3.o je nais jamais rien nue de commun àveque ce M. Home, 4o jait
tavaillez et tavaille sout mon nom de gaire qui est Hume et dont je vous justi par les article de journaux
étrangers et français que je vous est soumis 5o je voyage à vecque deux sugais mon genre d’experriance
consiste en spiritualisme au évocation vision, et en un mot reproduction des idais du spectateur par un sugais,
ma cepécialité est d’opere par c’est procedere sur les personnes étrangere comme on la pue le voir dans les
journaux je vien despagne et d’afrique. Seci M. le rédacteur vous démontre que je n’ais poin voulu prendre le
nom de ce prétendu Home que vous dites en réputation, le min est sufisant connu par sagrande notoriété et
par les expérience que je produi. Agreez M. le redacteur mes salutation empressait”.
“The independent of the inferior Clarent”, title of a newspaper taken from the name of one of the French
Departments, by the Garonne river banks. This river crosses the Angouleme region.