An issue of the Gazette de Mons publishes the following:
“An individual afflicted by religious monomania, taken to the institution of Mr. Stuart since seven
years ago, presenting himself very calm up to now, was able to deceive security and get hold of a
knife. Because the guards were unable to recover the weapon the director of the institution was
“Mr. Stuart then immediately approached the furious man and, armed only with his courage,
attempted to unarm the man. Mr. Stuart had hardly moved a few steps when the mad man dashed
like a lightning towards him, stabbing him multiple times. The murderer was dominated with great
difficulty. From the seven stabbing wounds inflicted on Mr. Stuart one was mortal: the one that
reached his lower belly. He succumbed as a consequence of a hemorrhage from that cavity wound
on Monday, at three thirty.”
What wouldn’t be said if that individual had been troubled by a spirit’s monomania, or if he
had, in his madness, spoken of spirits? However, this would be possible considering that there
are several religious monomanias and that all sciences have already given their contribution.
What could rationally be concluded against Spiritism other than the fact that man, as a
consequence of the fragility of his own organization, can exalt himself in that particular aspect
as with others? The way by which one can prevent such exaltation is not by combating the
idea, otherwise we would take the risk of seen the prodigies of Cévennes renovated. We would
see Spiritism propagating remarkably had no campaign been organized against it. How to
oppose a phenomenon that has neither favorite time nor place; that can happen everywhere,
in all families, in the intimacy, under the most absolute secrecy, even better than in public? We
have indicated the means to prevent the inconvenience in our Practical Instruction: Make
Spiritism so much understood that one can see only a natural phenomenon, even with events
that seem most extraordinary.
An issue of priority in matters of Spiritism
Mr. Ch. Renard, a subscriber of our Review, from Rambouillet, sent us the following letter:
“Dear Sir and dignified comrade in Spiritism.
I read, or better saying, I devour with unspeakable satisfaction your review issues, as I receive them.
This is not surprising in my case since my relatives were foretellers, from generation to generation.
One of my great-great-great-grandmothers was even condemned to die at the stake as contumacious
in the murder of Vauldrie, and a regular of the Sabbath. She was only able to avoid the stake by
hiding in one of her sister’s house, an abbess of a secluded religious group. Hence I have inherited
some crumbs of occult Sciences, fact that did not preclude me from going through the materialistic
belief, if there is a belief there, and skepticism. Finally, exhausted, ill of negativism, then the works
of the ecstatic celebrity Swedenborg brought me to the truth and good. Becoming myself an ecstatic
I was convinced ad vivum about the truths that the materialized spirits of our globe cannot
I had communications of all kinds: phenomena of visions, tangibility, transportation of lost objects,
Would the brother kindly publish the note below in one of your next issues? It is not a question of
self-love but of my condition of French man.
Sometimes the small causes lead to great effects. Around 1840 I had established a friendly
relationship with Mr. Cahagnet, plumber and engraver, who had come to Ramboillet for health
reasons. That high-class worker of refined intelligence was initiated by me in human magnetism.
One day I told him: I am positive that a lucid somnambulist is capable of seeing the souls of the
dead and establish conversation with them. He was impressed. I induced him to carry out such
experiment when he could count on a lucid somnambulist. He was successful and published a first
book on necromantic experiences, followed by other volumes and brochures which in the USA were
translated under the title Celestial Telegraph. Later the ecstatic Davis published his visions or
excursions through the spiritual world. About the dematerialized, Franklin did researches that
achieved manifestations and communications easier than in the past. The first persons that he
magnetized in the USA were the Fox widow and her two daughters. There is a remarkable
coincidence between that name and mine since the English word fox means “renard”.
Since long ago the spirits told me that it was possible to communicate with spirits of other globes,
from which we would receive drawings and descriptions. I exposed the subject to Mr. Cahagnet but
he did not go beyond our satellite.
I am yours.... Etc
OBSERVATION: The issue of priority, in matters of Spiritism, is unquestionably secondary. But it
is not less remarkable that since the importation of the American phenomena, a number of authentic
facts, ignored by the public, revealed the production of similar phenomena, both in France as well
as in other European countries, in the same period or earlier.
We know that many people were involved with spiritist communications well before the turning
tables were visited, and we have proofs of that we specific dates. It seems that Mr. Renard is part of
that group and, according to him, his experiments would not have been different from those
produced in America. We register his observation is an interesting fact to the history of Spiritism
and to prove once more that this Science has roots all over the world, denying any chance of
success to those who wish to impose a barrier to Spiritism. If they smother it here it will appear
stronger in a hundred of other places, exactly at the time when it shall conquer a place among the
common beliefs, since the doubt is no longer viable. Then, willing or not, the adversaries will have
to take its position.