THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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38. System of Charlatanism. Among our antago nists many attribute these effects to fraud, because some of them have been imitated. This supposition would transform all spiritists into dupes, all mediums into cheats, without regard to the position, the charac ter, knowledge, and reputation of the persons. If this deserved an answer, we might say that certain phe nomena of physics have also been imitated by jugglers, and that it proves nothing against the real science. Besides, there are persons whose characters are beyond all suspicion of fraud, and one must be wanting in every vestige of good breeding and urbanity to dare to say to them that they are the accomplices of char latanism. In a very respectable parlor, a gentleman, otherwise well bred, having permitted himself to make a reflection of this nature, the lady of the house said to him, " Since you are not content, sir, your money will be returned to you at the door," and, with a ges ture, made him understand what he would better do. Is that to say that there are no abuses in it ? To think that we must admit men to be perfect.
Everything is abused, even the most sacred things ; why, then, should not Spiritism be abused ? But the bad use that may be made of a thing should cause no prejudice against the thing itself; the only way by which we can judge of men's sincerity is by the mo tives from which they act. Where there is no specula tion, charlatanism can find no place.

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