Researchers

 

Lord Adare

1841-1926


     author of a remarkable record: Experiences in Spiritualism with D. D. Home, printed privately in 1869 at the request of his father, the Earl of Dunraven. To make this exceedingly rare book accessible to a large public and in memory of his father to whose title he succeeded, the author agreed in 1925 to a second edition by the SPR in extenso, less the attestation of fifty prominent witnesses of the phenomena. The probable reason for the privacy of the first publication was that the Earl of Dunraven, being a Roman Catholic, disliked incurring the censure of the Church.

The friendship of Lord Adare and D. D. Home dates from 1867. It began at Malvern in Dr. Gully's hydropathic establishment where Home was a guest and Lord Adare a patient. For the next two years he spent a great deal of time in Home's company. His friendship for Home - as stated in his preface to the 1925 publication - never diminished or changed thereafter. But having thoroughly satisfied himself that the facts were not due to trickery or fraud he abandoned psychical research, as the phenomena, which were physically very exhausting to him, showed little progress and the study of occult forces was not congenial to him, having other plans and ambitions for his life; moreover, he grew afraid lest absorption in the subject weakened his self-dependence and the necessity of submitting everything to reason.

The phenomena recorded in the book are of a very wide range and embrace almost every spiritualistic manifestation. The absence of apport phenomena and generally the penetration of matter through solid matter is conspicuous. Its possibility was stoutly denied by D. D. Home. To scientific requirements the records fail in many ways. The control is left to the senses, no instruments were introduced and in the narrative many points are left not cleared up or incomplete. No attempt was made to find the laws in operation. Miracle worship is a not very exaggerated adjective of the attitude of Lord Adare and of his fellow-sitters. On the other hand, deficient as they are, the records give the impression of conscientiousness. In the form of letters addressed to the Earl of Dunraven they were drawn up shortly after the sťances. An important point is that Lord Adare, for almost two years, lived most of the time with Home. This alone eliminates the possibility of deception on a large scale. The preface definitely states:

"We have not, on a single occasion, during the whole series of sťances seen any indication of contrivance on the part of the medium for producing or facilitating the manifestations which have taken place."

The nature of the phenomena, too, in most cases, was such as to exclude every supposition of fraudulent production. One cannot shake a whole room, vibrate a table, generate moaning winds, phantom hands, transparent apparitions, music without instruments or levitation of one's own body without paraphernalia of sleight-of-hand and a stage to produce the optical illusions. If no other records were available concerning the phenomena of D. D. Home, Lord Adare's book alone would establish a prima facie case for the genuine and unusual powers of this famous Medium.

Source (with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).

 

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