In our article about the hurdles to overcome as a medium we placed
greed on the list of the flaws that can provide entry to the imperfect
spirits. It will not be useless to elaborate on this subject. The medium
that could turn their faculties into a profession is in the first row of the
self-serving mediums, offering what is typically called sessions or paid
consultations. We don’t know them, at least in France. Since everything
can become the subject of speculation, it would not come as a surprise to
us if one day they wanted to exploit the spirits. One still needs to know
how the spirits would handle this matter in case such speculation was
introduced. Even without any initiation in Spiritism one can understand
how shameful this is.
However, those who only know, even if a little, the difficult condi-
tions required by the communication of the good spirits with us, and the
little which is needed to send them away, as well as their rejection towards
anything representing a selfish interest, will never be able to admit that
the superior spirits may serve the caprices of the first one to evoke them at
some sort of hourly rate.
The simplest common sense repeals such hypothesis. The evocation
of your father, your mother, your children and your friends through simi-
lar means, wouldn’t that also be sacrilege? There is no doubt that one
can obtain communications through such a mode but God knows from
which source! The frivolous, liars, naughty, jester spirits and the whole
crowd of inferior spirits always come. They are always ready to answer to
anything. St. Louis was telling us the other day at the Society: “Evoke a
stone and it will respond to you.”
Those who want serious communications must, before anything, be
informed about the nature of the sympathies between the medium and
the beings from beyond the grave. The communications fed by the ambi-
tion of profit can only inspire a really mediocre confidence.
Self-serving mediums are not the only ones that could demand a
given payment. Self-serving is not only translated as the expectation of a
material profit but also by greedy thoughts of any kind, through which
personal hope may be founded. Furthermore, it is an anomaly which the
jester spirits know how to use very well, taking advantage of that with
a really remarkable skill and insolence, feeding with deceptive illusions
those who position themselves under their dependence.
In summary, mediumship is a faculty given for the good and the good
spirits stay away from whoever intends to transform it into a ladder to
reach any goal that is not in the designs of the Providence. Selfishness is
the ulcer of Society. The good spirits fight it, therefore, it is not possible
to suppose that they may come to stimulate it. This is so rational that it is
useless to insist on that point.
The mediums of physical effects are not in the same category; un-
scrupulous inferior spirits who are not concerned about moral sentiments
produce these effects. This type of medium, who wanted to exploit his
faculty, could very easily find spirits who would assist him. However, we
would still have another inconvenience. As with the medium of intelligent
communications, the one of physical effects has not received his faculty
for his own pleasure. It has been given to him on the condition that it is
used properly. If it is abused it can be taken away from the medium or
converted into a loss, as, in reality, the inferior spirits are under the com-
mand of the superior ones.
The inferior spirits like to mystify but they do not like to be mysti-
fied. If they willingly agree to respond to jokes and questions of curiosity
on one hand, on the other hand, like the other spirits, they do not like to
be exploited and constantly prove that they have their own free will; that
they act when and how they wish to do so, implying that the medium of
physical effects becomes even more insecure with respect to the regularity
of the manifestations than the writing mediums. Pretending to produce
them at will on given days and at predetermined times would be a demon-
stration of profound ignorance. What can then be done to make money?
Simulate the phenomena. That is what can happen not only to those who
have openly turned this into a profession but also to the apparently simple
persons who had reduced themselves to receiving any retribution from the
visitors. If the spirits don’t produce anything then the mediums produce
it. Imagination is really fertile when there is money involved. It is a thesis
that we will develop in a special article to help to preclude fraud.
We conclude from all the above that the most absolute disinterest is
the best guarantee against charlatanism, since there is no uninterested
If disinterest does not always ensure the good quality of the intelligent
communications it does, however, subtracts from the bad spirits a power-
ful means of action, shutting up the mouth of certain detractors.