GERMAN PIONEER of psychical research, a physician of Munich who specialised in psychiatry which eventually led him him into psychical research.
While a student in hypnotic experiments he succeeded in obtaining duplications of personality. He soon realised that there is a new realm of science awaiting discovery. With a young woman of Munich, Lina M., he made experiments in thought-transference. They are described by du Prel in his books. Lina M. also presented the curious phenomena of the transposition of the senses. Magdeleine C., the musical medium, gave Baron the opportunity to study the hypnotic alterations of personality. These cases, the study of which is described in his monograph
Die Traumtanzerin Magdeleine C., Stuttgart 1904, was the transition between his researches on hypnosis and 'psychical' phenomena. His medical reputation at the time was high, his outlook materialistic.
By marriage he became financially independent, surrendered his medical practice and devoted himself exclusively to research. With the awakening of his interest in psychical research he founded the 'Gesellshaft fur Metapsychische Forschung' and began his study of telekinesis and teleplastics which rendered him famous. Up to the time of his death there was no important medium in Europe with whom he did not conduct personal experiments. He commenced with
Eusapia Palladino at whose experiments he was present as early as 1894 in Rome. He followed her all over Europe and invited her twice as his guest to Munich. But he did not declare his belief in the reality of her phenomena until 1914 and only published his Rome and Munich experiments records in
Physikalische Phenomena des Mediumismus in 1920.
For many years he studied the phenomena of materialisation of Eva. C. (Marthe
Beraud) at Mme. Bisson's house in Paris and at Munich. His book, Phenomena of
Materialisations published in Germany in 1914, at the same time with Mme. Bission's work in
France, is amply illustrated with photographs and is one of the most significant contributions to psychical research.
The author discusses the phenomena with prudence and judgement and says:
"I am of the opinion that the hypothesis of spirits not only fails to explain the least detail of these processes, but in every way it obstructs and shackles serious scientific research".
He only arrived at some vague biological theory of teleplasmic phenomena. He also sat with
Stanislava Tomczyk, Franek
Kluski, Linda Gazzera, Lucia Sordi and many other mediums.
Trained and examined the phenomena of the Schneider children. The conditions of these experiments were very strict and impeachable. An electrical system of control made the phenomena fraud-proof. The best evidence of this is the statement of a hundred profoundly sceptical, often hostile scientists who witnessed the phenomena in 1922 and declared themselves completely convinced of the reality of telekinesis and ectoplasm.
Source (with minor modifications):
An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).
Articles by Baron von Schrenck Notzing on this website:
Expert Opinion on the
Fraudulent use of Certain Materials in Producing Teleplasmic Images
Front Page Illustrations from
the Journal Le Miroir