39. Theory of weak-mindedness. Some of our opponents put aside all suspicion
of trickery, but assert that those who are not deceivers are themselves deceived; which
is only a more civil way of Saying that we are simpletons. When unbelievers are less
choice in their forms of expression, they say plainly that those who believe in spiritism
are mad thus assuming to themselves the exclusive possession of mental soundness.
This charge of insanity is the grand
argument of those who can find no good reason for their opposition. But the frequency
of this charge has made it so ridiculous that we need not waste our time in refuting it.
Spiritists, moreover, care but little for the attacks of their adversaries. They take their
lot bravely, consoling themselves with the knowledge that plenty of people, of incon-
testable merit, are their companions in misfortune. It must really be admitted that their
madness, if such it be, is a madness of a very singular character, for it lays hold, most
often, of the enlightened classes, among which spiritism counts, at the present period,
the immense majority of its adherents. If among the number, a few eccentric ones are
to be found, such exceptions prove no more against spiritism than religious madness
proves against religion, than music-madness proves against music, or than the fact that
men have lost their wits in the study of mathematics proves against the truth of that
great science. All ideas have had their fanatics; and that judgement must be obtuse
indeed which confounds the exaggeration of a thing with the thing itself. For a more
ample treatment of this subject, we refer the reader to our pamphlet What is Spiritism?
and to The Spirits' Book (Introduction § XV.).