239. Fascination has much graver consequences. It is an illusion produced by direct action of the spirit on the medium's thought, and which in some measure paralyzes his judgment in regard to communications. The fascinated medium does not believe himself to be deceived ; the spirit has the art to inspire him with a blind confidence, which prevents him from seeing the treachery, and from understanding " the absurdity of what he writes, even when it is patent to everybody's eyes : the illusion may even go so far as to make him see sublimity in the most ridiculous language. It would be an error to suppose that this kind of obses sion could come to only simple, ignorant persons, and those without judgment ; men the most acute, the most learned, the most intelligent in other relations, are not exempt, which proves that this aberration m is the effect of a foreign cause, to whose influence they are subjected. We have said that the results of fascination are much more grave ; for, by means of the illusion, the spirit leads the one he masters as he would lead a blind man, can make him accept the most absurd doctrines, the falsest theories, as being the sole expression of truth ; still more, he can incite him to the most ridiculous, compromising, and even dangerous proceedings.
One can easily comprehend the great difference existing between simple obsession and fascination ; as also that the spirits who produce these two effects must differ in character. In the first, the spirit is a being troublesome only by his tenacity, and of whom one is impatient to be rid. In the second, it is quite another thing: to gain such ends needs an adroit, subtle, and profoundly hypocritical spirit, for he can create the delusion, and make himself accepted only by means of the mask he wears and of a semblance of virtue ; the grand words, charity, humility, and love of God, are as letters of credence ; but through all he shows signs of inferiority, which one must be fascinated not to perceive. He also dreads all people who see too clearly ; his tactics, therefore, are, almost always, to inspire his interpreter to withdraw from every one who could open his eyes : by this means, avoiding all contradiction, he is sure of being always right.