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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Conan Doyle's Spirit Lecture Pictures Fail

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Conan Doyle's Spirit Lecture Pictures Fail is an article written by Alfred M. Murray published in the Miami Daily News on 7 september 1925.

About the problems during the International Spiritualist Congress.


Conan Doyle's Spirit Lecture Pictures Fail

Miami Daily News (7 september 1925, p. 14)

Lantern Slides So Dim - Paris Meeting of Sect - Forced to Adjourn

Paris, Sept. 7. — The spirits were mischievous last night and the opening meeting of the International Spiritualist congress here was suddenly broken off when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's lantern slides of spirit photographs would not show clearly on the screen.

Besides 200 delegates from all parts of the world, several hundred persons had crowded into the small hall engaged for the congress in the Latin quarter; while nearly 1,000 others blocked the street outside in vain endeavor to enter and hear Sir Arthur talk about his occult experiences and see the photographs of materialisations obtained.

The pictures thrown on the screen were so dim, blurred, and indistinct that they meant nothing to the audience. After trying vainly to get better results Mr. Doyle brought the lecture to an abrupt conclusion. The crowd quit the hall angrily shouting "sabotage!"

The organizers of the congress held an excited conference, declaring adversaries of the spiritualist movement had tampered with the lantern, making it impossible to project sufficient light. Others hinted the operator had been bribed, but this seemed unlikely, as the results were the same when the operator was changed. The belief in deliberate sabotage is stronger, because the hall is noted for its excellent lantern facilities.

Mr. Doyle showed only about a third of his pictures. They included photographs of ectoplasmic manifestations and the famous one of his dead son, besides spirit faces of soldiers above a London cenotaph. All were so dim as to be meaningless.

The congress will last a week. Sir Arthur and other leaders do not conceal their intention of persuading the world to accept spiritualism as a new religion affording proof of the immortality of the soul, a religion based on facts and offering explanation of the mysteries of life as well as abolishing fear of death and furnishing a rational view of the destinies of the human race. Mr. Doyle blames materialism for all modern domestic scandals, wars, and most other world evils.






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