Police Traps for Mediums

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
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Police Traps for Mediums is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in the Daily Express No. 7952 on 17 october 1925.

Police Traps for Mediums

Daily Express No. 7952 (p. 1)



Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes to the Editor of the "Daily Express" to protest against the prosecution of Mme. "Estelle," the clairvoyante, who was fined £20 at Marylebone Police Court on Thursday on a charge of fortune-telling. He says:—

To the Editor of the "Daily Express."

Sir, — Is it not time that the prosecution — or rather the persecution — of clairvoyants and mediums should cease? Let us use a little common sense in the matter. What harm was this woman ("Estelle") doing to any one? No complaint was made by her clients.

On the contrary, we are told that the court was full of them, ready to tastify to the good that they had received. Her messages may, as the prosecuting counsel was bound to say, have been "balderdash," but how in that case are we to account for the grateful clients?

The case was a purely artificial one, framed up by two policewomen, who are self-confessed instigators of and participators in any breach of the law which may have been effected. The usual procedure is for such policewomen to appear as weeping mourners, clad in black, begging for some consolation in their distress. The whole proceeding is repugnant to one's sense of justice, and is foreign to the spirit of British law, which has never encouraged the "agent provocateur."


I hold no brief for fortune-tellers though I cannot see that ... any harm. In the case of people with real mediumistic gifts, the effect of this law is to discourage that which is the most precious thing in the world. l know one medium to whom I have sent a hundred mourners, eighty of whom have written to me to say, that they received complete satisfaction, and that their shadows had passed away.

This woman has twice been trapped by constables and fined in the courts. The scale of fines, I may add is far higher than for personal assault or for aggravated cruelty to an animal.

Buckingham Palace mansions, S.W.