Sir A. Conan Doyle. Rudi Schneider Defender

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Sir A. Conan Doyle. Rudi Schneider Defender is an article published in the Daily Mail on 2 december 1929, including a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sir A. Conan Doyle

Daily Mail (2 december 1929, p. 15)

Rudi Schneider Defender

A Reply to Mr. Maskelyne.

Mr. Harry Price is continuing his séances with Rudi Schneider, the young Austrian medium, at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, South Kensington, S.W., and he still refuses to accept any challenge to test the medium by other means than those that are now imposed.

Mr. Noel Maskelyne, the conjurer, who on Friday offered £100 to Charing Cross Hospital if Rudi Schneider could produce genuine spirit phenomena under test conditions imposed by himself, has heard nothing from Mr. Price.

He said yesterday: "As a reasonable time has mow expired since I issued my challenge, one can only assume that Mr. Price refuses to have Rudi Schneider tested to ascertain if there is any trickery."

In regard to Mr. Maskelyne's challenge Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has sent the following letter to the Editor of The Daily Mail:—

Sir, — Captain Noel Maskelyne is reported in your columns as having said that his family had exposed many mediums. I am fairly conversant with the history of spiritualism and I am not aware that the Maskelynes have ever at any time exposed any medium.
The family have always been parasitic upon spiritualism, and have gained money and advertisement by more or less clever imitations of real psychic phenomena. That was what the elder Maskelyne did to the Davenports, and the tradition has carried on.
Does it not stand to reason, and is it not perfectly obvious, that if the Davenports had been conjurers they would have announced themselves as such and made money from their tricks?
Now that Rudi Schneider is showing his perfectly honest phenomena the family are at their old game again, and we shall probably see an imitation Schneider performance upon the stage. To call these imitations "exposures" is as if a forger "exposed" the Bank of England by making bogus notes. — Yours faithfully,
15, Buckingham Palace Mansions, S. W. 1.

Mr. John Nevil Maskelyne and his friend, Mr. G. A. Cooke, exposed the Davenport brothers in 1865. The latter claimed to be able to produce spiritualistic manifestations.