Saturday, June 7, 2014

A full rebuttal to the Mrs. Piper criticisms

The first part will be from me the second part all credit goes to user named Ben Steigmann. First the argument that muscle reading can explain Mrs. Piper's readings and thought transference.

I don’t think telepathy had nothing to do with it. This link I will have down before clearly points out that muscle reading has been shown to be inadequate to explain Piper’s readings. Here is a small sample of what Ben Steigmann had to say:

The following shows intellectual dishonesty on the part of McCabe and Rational Wiki (and also the wikipedia article on Myers, which was obviously edited by the same person who put in the info on Rational Wiki):
Part of the Rational Wiki article on Frederic Myers is an attempt to attack him on his sexual activities, including vague allegations of sexual relations with mediums biasing his arguments. Then we come upon this misrepresentative assault (this version is from the Rational Wiki article on Myers as of November 14, 2013, 1:03 PST):
"The skeptic Joseph McCabe discovered false information in Myers book Phantasms of the Living (1886) a book which documented anecdotal experiences of apparitions and phantasms. Myers included an alleged "personal experience" by a retired Judge Edmund Hornby involving a visitation from a spirit, however the whole thing was a hoax and Hornby admitted there was no truth in it. Myers did not do proper research on the subject."
The reality is quite different, and when we conduct a full investigation into this, we gain extreme doubt that the RW coverage of spiritualism or any other subject they don't like is in any way reliable or, in the cases where they may accurately cite sources, if it is in any way objective. As follows:
First, McCabe did repeat such insinuations, but not in the manner alleging that Myers made things up, as RW editors defamatorily insinuate. He states of Edmund Hornby that he "could only mutter that he did not understand his own mistake":
Doing relevant primary source research we find, when we come upon commentary concerning this and the argument of Balfour that McCabe cites against this anecdote (The Nineteenth Century, Volume 16, p. 851: - you may have to scroll down to the correct page, that Hornby's defense against the assertions of Balfour, showing that even if the story can be disputed, Myers did not fabricate information - and also that McCabe gave a MARKEDLY BIASED presentation that did not represent the substance of the argument - Hornby did not state "that he did not understand his own mistake", but instead, Hornby directly challenges Balfour. He may be wrong, but the fact is that tone of the RW towards Myers on this is over the top (allegations of false information - implying he fabricated it, rather than contentious information - the assertion is that Hornby stated that there was no truth in it, such an assertion ignores his statement "If I had not believed, as I still believe, that every word of it [the story] was accurate, and that my memory was to be relied on, I should not have ever told it as a personal experience.")
Regarding Myers and his sexual activities - possibly he did have an affair with Freer. Possibly he didn't. In McLuhan's mental mediums document he provides the following citation regarding other allegations r.e. Myers: Gauld, Alan & Salter, W.H. FREDERIC MYERS AND ‘PHYLLIS’, Journal 42, 1963-64, pp. 316-24. Defences of Myers against an attack on his integrity regarding his relationship with Annie Marshall.
See also Journal 43, pp. 277-81. CC/MM/s-test
The point is that no proof is given that he faked evidence. What has just been proven is that debunkers faked evidence against him.

All credit to Ben Steigmann in his excellent rebuttals on skeptic arguments against mediums. You can read all the other comments in made here at the link below. Midnightrunner a user on the Neurologica blog mentioned that, Ben is into conspiracy theories. Well I ain't into conspiracy theories at all but, Midnightrunner is using that as a way to counter all the arguments he made refuting skeptical arguments against medium Leonora Piper.

The source of the comments can be found here.


Ben Steigmann said...

Hello Leo,

I am busy with other items now, but if you really wanted to help, you could work at refuting as much of the skeptic attack on Piper from now until the end of December - putting what you have in a word document, etc. You may be able to email it to me base on my info here, or facebook message me, or post the document as a reply in the comments section. Please do not focus on G Stanley Hall, as a paper is forthcoming on him. You may be able to make some rebuttal of Tuckett after refuting wikipedia, that would help. Here are some sources that may help you

From some of these, you may just want to summarize strong evidence that critics ignore, but you can also refute some attacks.

Here are sources that you may want to consult:

1) William James: Essays in PSychical Research.

2) Gauld - "Mediumship and Survival" - this is the best single book on the subject:

3) Hyslop (1905). Science and a Future Life:

4) this is a key source on Piper:
The Cosmic Relations and Immortality Vol. I:, Vol. II:

While Gauld's book and the others on Piper above make the case, others have specifically rebutted criticisms. See W.F. Prince - The Enchanted Boundary: Being a Survey of Negative Reactions to Claims of Psychic Phenomena, 1820-1930.:;view=1up;seq=9

Gauld (1968). Critics of Mrs. Piper: [if you can get it, Gauld's whole book "The Founders of Psychical Research" is recommended]

Hyslop (1903). Reply to Mr. Podmore's Criticism:

Hyslop (1912). Review of "Evidence for the Supernatural" by Ivor Lloyd Tuckett.:;view=1up;seq=581

Hyslop (1919). Review of "Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge" by Charles Mercier, "Reflections on "Raymond"" by Walter Cook, and "The Question: "If a Man Die, Shall he Live Again?"" by Edward Clodd:

Hyslop (1920). Review of "The Quest for Dean Bridgman Connor" by Anthony Philpot:;view=2up;seq=64;skin=mobile

Hyslop (1921). Review of "Psychic Tendencies of Today" by Anthony Martin:;view=2up;seq=490;skin=mobile

Dale (1954). Review of "Sixty Years of Psychical Research: Houdini and I among the Spiritualists" by Joseph Rinn (discusses the unreliability of Rinn):

Good luck, and I very much look forward to your work on this - incorporating it into a complete rebuttal to wikipedia on Piper that I will work on beginning next year. Your help would be immensely appreciated.

Thanks- Ben.

Ben Steigmann said...

Also, one thing I like to do is show how hostile secondary sources either omit or distort, and I do this by comparing the primary sources with the secondary sources. So after you read the main literature, you might want to do this on Piper.

check hathitrust for the early issues of the pspr and jspr and paspr and jaspr: pspr:, (this is missing volume II, which is given in the earlier link)

jspr: (missing volume 1)



Sometimes the JASPR is particularly useful, as it contains articles from Hyslop, one of the greatest experts on Piper. See for example this on Sidgwick's views on Piper:;view=1up;seq=8 - see also "Bosh" Proves to be Sense:;view=1up;seq=631 - hereis an article of his on the Hodgson control:;view=1up;seq=15

and here is an important critical review of Podmore's "Newer Spiritualism":;view=1up;seq=11

As an aside, here is another important book on Piper:

good luck in your research