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Tags Alexis Didier , clairvoyants , mediums

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Old 6th August 2017, 09:08 AM   #81
Craig B
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
I quoted a former member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry who believed Didier had paranormal powers. I am not agreeing with what he wrote I wanted to see what users here think about Dingwall's conclusion. A user on this thread said no reliable sources discuss Didier. Would you agree Dingwall is a reliable source?
Have you read Dingwall's wiki biography?

ETA He had some unscientific predispositions which attracted cogent criticism. This is from the wiki biography of Mina CrandonWP, a famous female medium.
Crandon performed many of her séances in the nude, and was reported to throw herself onto the laps of her male sitters. She was also described as an alcoholic.During séances, Eric Dingwall told Crandon to take off her clothes and sit in the nude. Crandon would also sometimes sprinkle luminous powder on her breasts and because of such activities William McDougall and other psychical researchers criticized Dingwall for having improper relations with Crandon.

Historian Ruth Brandon has noted that as Bird, Carrington and Dingwall were all personally involved with Crandon, they were biased and unreliable witnesses.

Last edited by Craig B; 6th August 2017 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 6th August 2017, 11:04 AM   #82
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Oooh! She's the fun crowd! With ectoplasm! Gotta have ectoplasm; did Didier?

Not all of the photos are SFW, but here we have her late brother's ectoplasmic hand coming out of her vagina. Creepy, and not in a spooky way.

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Old 6th August 2017, 11:16 PM   #83
Craig B
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Oooh! She's the fun crowd! With ectoplasm! Gotta have ectoplasm; did Didier?
Did Didier have ectoplasm? By the time the investigator was born, Didier was ectoplasm. He died in 1886, and Eric DingwallWP was born in 1890. Dingwall investigated many things.
Dingwall was nicknamed "Dirty Ding" due to his interests in erotica and sexual customs.
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Old 7th August 2017, 01:56 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
It is called Where Houdini Was Wong (1950) and the subtitle is A Reply to "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin".
He disguised himself as a china-man?
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Old 7th August 2017, 02:21 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
I quoted a former member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry who believed Didier had paranormal powers. I am not agreeing with what he wrote I wanted to see what users here think about Dingwall's conclusion. A user on this thread said no reliable sources discuss Didier. Would you agree Dingwall is a reliable source?
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Old 7th August 2017, 03:07 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
I quoted a former member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry who believed Didier had paranormal powers.
Yes, you did, and I wonder why.

Quote:
I am not agreeing with what he wrote I wanted to see what users here think about Dingwall's conclusion. A user on this thread said no reliable sources discuss Didier. Would you agree Dingwall is a reliable source?
No, of course not; this is a skeptical forum. We need rather more than a hundred year old claim of an irreproducible event to conclude that our understanding of the laws of nature is all wrong.

But you knew that, and yet you keep asking us what we think, and you keep quoting people who claim that Didier had paranormal powers. Why?
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Old 7th August 2017, 04:49 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
Perhaps type into Google books his real name which brings up many books. Tip: His name is "Alexis Didier". Not "Alex Didier".

Would agree you do not get much information on an "Alex Didier" but then again that isn't his real name!

But sure great scientific research you are doing. You can't even get his name correct when researching the man



Already quoted from three books that mention him. But sure no data exists.
Well at least you are finally getting around to providing data that supports your position. While your data is not very convincing data, but at least you are providing it.

So good for you!

And by the way, ...

it is not my job to provide data to support various stupid, idiotic bits of fantasy that some people may have.
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Old 7th August 2017, 08:18 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Yes, you did, and I wonder why.


No, of course not; this is a skeptical forum. We need rather more than a hundred year old claim of an irreproducible event to conclude that our understanding of the laws of nature is all wrong.

But you knew that, and yet you keep asking us what we think, and you keep quoting people who claim that Didier had paranormal powers. Why?
Actually I have only quoted one person who claimed Didier had paranormal powers. This was Eric Dingwall.
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Old 7th August 2017, 08:22 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Have you read Dingwall's wiki biography?

ETA He had some unscientific predispositions which attracted cogent criticism. This is from the wiki biography of Mina CrandonWP, a famous female medium.
Crandon performed many of her séances in the nude, and was reported to throw herself onto the laps of her male sitters. She was also described as an alcoholic.During séances, Eric Dingwall told Crandon to take off her clothes and sit in the nude. Crandon would also sometimes sprinkle luminous powder on her breasts and because of such activities William McDougall and other psychical researchers criticized Dingwall for having improper relations with Crandon.

Historian Ruth Brandon has noted that as Bird, Carrington and Dingwall were all personally involved with Crandon, they were biased and unreliable witnesses.
Your argument seems to be that because Dingwall was sexually involved with Mina Crandon he was an unreliable source on Didier?
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Old 7th August 2017, 09:35 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
Your argument seems to be that because Dingwall was sexually involved with Mina Crandon he was an unreliable source on Didier?
What is your argument? Dingwall was born four years after Didier died. He was less than reliable in the case of observation of Crandon. Why should I trust Dingwall's judgement to the extent of admitting that Didier had powers which I don't believe are physically available anywhere in the Universe.

You will recall that Didier attributed his powers to "magnetism". This principle was the subject of scientific study as early as the eighteenth century, when a French Royal Commission investigated alleged "cures" effected by Anton Mesmer. It was determined by that commission, as stated by Benjamin Franklin, that these effects are the result of human imagination, not magnetism or any supernatural force. That conclusion seems sound to me, and nothing in Dirty Ding's beliefs about Didier, who died before that investigator was even born, inclines me to change it.

Moreover if Didier had the powers attributed to him, of for example reading playing cards when they were face down, why did he not use these powers to become superlatively rich, as he could have done in any casino, of which many existed in his day, instead of eking out a modest living performing what amounts to conjuring tricks.

Are conjurers really defying the laws of nature by creating organisms (e.g. rabbits) inside their hats? If any of them are, why don't they become world famous by doing it under controlled conditions in a scientific institution? They are therefore merely creating an illusion, and I can be confident of that even if I don't know in every case how the illusion is achieved.
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Old 7th August 2017, 11:19 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
Actually I have only quoted one person who claimed Didier had paranormal powers. This was Eric Dingwall.
Actually, you have also quoted Robert-Houdin. You keep hinting that Didier was a clairvoyant, right from your OP, and when people do not believe it, you claim they are anti-scientific and berate them for sticking to the laws of nature ("You didn't even bother looking up the subject of this thread, you just said you are "convinced that Mr. Didier is no more clairvoyant than anyone else in the world.")

You seem to have the agenda that we should accept clairvoyance as being real, on the basis of hundred-years-old testimonials, in part from people who never had a chance to meet Didier. And you try to conceal your agenda by claiming to be a skeptic, and pretending not to believe in clairvoyance yourself.
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:01 AM   #92
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Quote:
Actually, you have also quoted Robert-Houdin.
And where did Robert-Houdin ever say Didier had paranormal powers? He never did in those words, but I agree he seemed to be convinced it was not the result of conjuring.

Quote:
You keep hinting that Didier was a clairvoyant.
Where? I have never said that. I am quoting historical matters.

Quote:
You didn't even bother looking up the subject of this thread, you just said you are "convinced that Mr. Didier is no more clairvoyant than anyone else in the world.")
This was a valid point. You have to research someone before you can just shout 'fraud'. Are you disagreeing with this?

Quote:
You seem to have the agenda that we should accept clairvoyance as being real, on the basis of hundred-years-old testimonials, in part from people who never had a chance to meet Didier. And you try to conceal your agenda by claiming to be a skeptic, and pretending not to believe in clairvoyance yourself.
I am not asking anyone to accept clairvoyance as real, that is not the purpose of this thread. Perhaps you should read my posts instead of seeing things you want to believe.

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Old 8th August 2017, 09:09 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
What is your argument? Dingwall was born four years after Didier died. He was less than reliable in the case of observation of Crandon. Why should I trust Dingwall's judgement to the extent of admitting that Didier had powers which I don't believe are physically available anywhere in the Universe.

You will recall that Didier attributed his powers to "magnetism". This principle was the subject of scientific study as early as the eighteenth century, when a French Royal Commission investigated alleged "cures" effected by Anton Mesmer. It was determined by that commission, as stated by Benjamin Franklin, that these effects are the result of human imagination, not magnetism or any supernatural force. That conclusion seems sound to me, and nothing in Dirty Ding's beliefs about Didier, who died before that investigator was even born, inclines me to change it.

Moreover if Didier had the powers attributed to him, of for example reading playing cards when they were face down, why did he not use these powers to become superlatively rich, as he could have done in any casino, of which many existed in his day, instead of eking out a modest living performing what amounts to conjuring tricks.

Are conjurers really defying the laws of nature by creating organisms (e.g. rabbits) inside their hats? If any of them are, why don't they become world famous by doing it under controlled conditions in a scientific institution? They are therefore merely creating an illusion, and I can be confident of that even if I don't know in every case how the illusion is achieved.
Relax I am not saying Didier had paranormal powers. The reason I mentioned Eric Dingwall was because he has been described as a notable practitioner of scientific skepticism.

At a meeting of the executive council of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) in Denver, Colorado in April 2011, Eric Dingwall was selected for inclusion in CSI's Pantheon of Skeptics. The Pantheon of Skeptics was created by CSI to remember the legacy of deceased fellows of CSI and their contributions to the cause of scientific skepticism.

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticle...om_csicon_2016

So you disagree with the skeptical inquirer article honouring Eric Dingwall as a practitioner of scientific skepticism? I am trying to figure out why a so called scientific skeptic would be on record for endorsing alleged paranormal powers of Didier.

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Old 8th August 2017, 09:13 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
And where did Robert-Houdin ever say Didier had paranormal powers? He never did in those words, but I agree he seemed to be convinced it was not the result of conjuring.
What are you saying it was, then? Remember I have reprimanded you for talking out of both sides of your mouth. What is it you are claiming about Didier?
Quote:
This was a valid point. You have to research someone before you can just shout 'fraud'. Are you disagreeing with this?
The burden of proof that a conjurer has some special powers beyond illusionism lies with the person who makes a claim to that effect. Are you making that claim? Remember I have reprimanded you for talking out of both sides of your mouth.
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:19 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
What are you saying it was, then? Remember I have reprimanded you for talking out of both sides of your mouth. What is it you are claiming about Didier? The burden of proof that a conjurer has some special powers beyond illusionism lies with the person who makes a claim to that effect. Are you making that claim? Remember I have reprimanded you for talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Here is what magician Robert-Houdin wrote:

I therefore returned, from this seance as astonished as one can be, and I am convinced that it is quite impossible that chance, or any superior skill, could produce such wonderful results.' (May 16.)

I am not making any absolute claims. It is entirely possible (and likely) that Didier cheated on these experiments, but I can't prove it and I do not know how he did it. If he cheated - I am genuinely interested in how he did it. Do you have any ideas how he cheated on the card experiments against an experienced magician?
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Old 8th August 2017, 10:10 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
Here is what magician Robert-Houdin wrote:

I therefore returned, from this seance as astonished as one can be, and I am convinced that it is quite impossible that chance, or any superior skill, could produce such wonderful results.' (May 16.)

I am not making any absolute claims. It is entirely possible (and likely) that Didier cheated on these experiments, but I can't prove it and I do not know how he did it. If he cheated - I am genuinely interested in how he did it. Do you have any ideas how he cheated on the card experiments against an experienced magician?
He's most probably a cheat and you don't know how he did it, but you still accuse other people of having anti scientific attitudes when they cry "Fraud". That's not a sensible position to adopt. Do you know all the ways in which members of the Magic Circle pull rabbits out of their hats? No? So perhaps they can create rabbits inside hats by waving a wand and saying abracadabra. Who knows?
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Old 8th August 2017, 11:27 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
He's most probably a cheat and you don't know how he did it, but you still accuse other people of having anti scientific attitudes when they cry "Fraud". That's not a sensible position to adopt. Do you know all the ways in which members of the Magic Circle pull rabbits out of their hats? No? So perhaps they can create rabbits inside hats by waving a wand and saying abracadabra. Who knows?
It is not anti-scientific to call a fraud a fraud. It is anti-scientific to call someone a fraud without even looking into who they are or evaluating their claims, this is what several users did; they did not even research Didier, they just said he was a fraud without even looking him up. One user even said no data existed on him

Joe Nickell and others who spend their lives investigating historical claims from a skeptical viewpoint have complained about this sort of thing. It is not true skepticism. Investigate first, then if there is evidence suggestive of fraud - shout fraud, not the other way round. Do not just come into a thread, do no research and shout fraud !

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Old 8th August 2017, 11:42 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
It is not anti-scientific to call a fraud a fraud. It is anti-scientific to call someone a fraud without even looking into who they are or evaluating their claims, this is what several users did; they did not even research Didier, they just said he was a fraud without even looking him up. One user even said no data existed on him

Joe Nickell and others who spend their lives investigating historical claims from a skeptical viewpoint have complained about this sort of thing. It is not true skepticism. Investigate first, then if there is evidence suggestive of fraud - shout fraud, not the other way round. Do not just come into a thread, do no research and shout fraud !
You are wrong again.

You are the one who has been anti-scientific right from the start.

Since you were the one who knew so much about Dider and since you are the one who wants input on Dider, then you should be the one to provide data about Dider.

As I said earlier, it is not my job to fully research every stupid, idiotic, crack-pot idea that is going on. If I actually did do such a thing, then I would not have time to do anything else in my life.

As for me, I checked Wikipedia, and there was no mention of Dider. I checked Google, and I only found one old book that mentioned Dider.

That was enough for me to conclude that this Dider person does not have any sort of paranormal powers.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:05 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
It is not anti-scientific to call a fraud a fraud. It is anti-scientific to call someone a fraud without even looking into who they are or evaluating their claims, this is what several users did; they did not even research Didier, they just said he was a fraud without even looking him up. One user even said no data existed on him

Joe Nickell and others who spend their lives investigating historical claims from a skeptical viewpoint have complained about this sort of thing. It is not true skepticism. Investigate first, then if there is evidence suggestive of fraud - shout fraud, not the other way round. Do not just come into a thread, do no research and shout fraud !
One can say confidently, if one is scientific, that Didier had no supernatural because there is no evidence that anyone has ever possessed powers like that. He was therefore a madman or a fraud.

He was not evidently a madman, because it is not easy for mad people to pretend to be sane. Therefore he was a fraud, because it is very normal for frauds to pretend to be sincere.

If you think differently, it is for you to produce the evidence, but you have not done so.
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Old 8th August 2017, 06:18 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
This was a valid point. You have to research someone before you can just shout 'fraud'. Are you disagreeing with this?
Then how about: There is no way for us to determine whether or not Didier was a fraud or genuine because he is long dead and there is no way to carry out a proper study.


Quote:
I am not asking anyone to accept clairvoyance as real, that is not the purpose of this thread. Perhaps you should read my posts instead of seeing things you want to believe.
You want us to study Didier and give you an opinion. Conclusive study is impossible. Thus, you are going to be met with the default position: since no one has ever demonstrated actual powers, the most likely conclusion is that Didier did not have powers.
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:08 PM   #101
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I am not aware of Alexis Didier having ever been caught cheating. But it doesn’t seem he was really thoroughly examined. French academics had given up studying such things. And this was before Houdini popularized debunking fakers. Houdin said he was impressed. I don’t know enough about Houdin to weigh his opinion. Was he easily fooled, as Houdini claimed? Is it possible he had a deal to endorse Didier to tour with him or act as his manager or otherwise get some cut, but it never proceeded any further? I don’t know.

Frank Podmore's Modern Spiritualism: A History and a Criticism (1902) addresses some possible ways in which Didier accomplished his tricks.

One thing that seems to point rather sharply to a standard magician’s trick is the trick where he would be blindfolded and read words on a piece of paper. By several accounts he held the paper to his forehead or stomach or both. This seems to clearly indicate that he could see around the edges of the blindfold.

The biggest problem with written accounts of magic tricks is that they are told from the perspective of the person being fooled. The account of the trick often leaves out crucial details. I have tracked down some old accounts of magic tricks and been thoroughly stumped, until I find an account that includes a small detail that the other accounts neglected to mention and which makes it rather obvious how the trick could have been done.

An example is Didier’s book test. Some accounts say they chose a random book and asked him to read the first line on a specified page. Other accounts say Didier opened the book to a page and then marked a place on the page with his finger or a pin and then gave the phrase that appeared several pages after. This can seem almost impossible. But then we find more details. Some accounts say that prior to this trick, Didier had done a trick involving covering over the book. This would have given him an opportunity during this trick to glance at a phrase to prepare for the book test. Also, some account say after opening the book, he thumbs through and selects a certain number of pages on which the phrase will then appear. Again, selecting the group of pages gave him an opportunity to glance at a phrase. Sometimes he was off by a word. Sometimes he didn’t have the exact page. Sometimes he didn’t even specify which page the phrase was on, just that it was in the group he selected. If we put together all of the accounts to get an accurate picture of what the trick involved, it becomes much easier to determine how the trick could have been done. Of course, there are a number of methods for the book test.

We find the same problem with the account of his psychic traveling. We don’t know whether the descriptions offered in places like the Zoist are accurate or what information has been omitted. I have seen plenty of accounts of psychics where the subjects claim that the information provided was completely accurate and that the physic told them things without ever asking them anything, but the records of the reading show that the physic were actually wrong or that the psychic asked plenty of questions (even asking for information and then later giving back that same information as if it were psychically divined). That’s not to even mention vague information that the subject then interprets as something specific.

Without detailed and reliable accounts, the psychic readings could have been any combination of hot reading, cold reading, accomplices, vague responses, leading questions, leading responses, counting the hits and forgetting the misses, misremembering, misstating, or even complete fabrications by people who wanted to convince people of the power of mesmerism or because they were paid or even made up.

One thing that hints toward fabrication is a repeated formula where Didier provides a vision and the subject says that the vision is not true. But then it turns out something unusual had happened and someone or something was not where the subject thought they were and Didier’s vision was correct! The recurrence of this formula suggests fictional writing rather than an accurate recording of the events.
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:56 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
He was convinced in two letters he wrote.

Alfred Russel Wallace made reference to these letters:

Dr. Lee printed statements from the letters in his book:
Are copies of Robert-Houdin’s letters available on-line? Are there any references to the letters prior to 1866? I would think there would be, but I cannot readily find any.

Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
Yes I agree with this. But what I am saying is, Alexis Didier was literally a 20 year old kid when he was tested by Robert-Houdin but he managed to get one over on a very experience and talented magician.

Didier grew up from a poor household, there is no evidence he attended magic shows.
My understanding is that at the age of 14 Didier saw a mesmerizer for his epilepsy and at that time he began learning under that mesmerizer. At age 16 he connected with Marcillet. So by the time he met Robert-Houdin he had 6-7 years experience in the craft, with at least 4 years under the tutelage of a professional. That would be plenty of time for a talented young magician to pick up a few good tricks.
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Old 13th August 2017, 10:23 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Well snake oil has been around since forever, so I suspect that once Moses lubricated his snake, it loosened up. Easy to see how this could become lost in translation over time. Or something.
When I lubricate my snake it stiffens up.
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Old 13th August 2017, 03:24 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Are copies of Robert-Houdin’s letters available on-line? Are there any references to the letters prior to 1866? I would think there would be, but I cannot readily find any.



My understanding is that at the age of 14 Didier saw a mesmerizer for his epilepsy and at that time he began learning under that mesmerizer. At age 16 he connected with Marcillet. So by the time he met Robert-Houdin he had 6-7 years experience in the craft, with at least 4 years under the tutelage of a professional. That would be plenty of time for a talented young magician to pick up a few good tricks.
You can find translations of Robert-Houdin's two letters on pp. 250-252 of Houdini's A Magician Among the Spirits. A copy of the book can be found at https://archive.org/details/1924Houd...mongTheSpirits.
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Old 16th April 2018, 05:11 AM   #105
Shuca
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It's been a long time since the last post on this threat… Anyway, here is a small contribution…

First of all, it is hard to analyse someone who lived almost 200 years ago and his abilities can’t be tested any more. Regarding the historical context, most of the 19 century was time when there was a big debate between “rationalists” and “spiritists”. In France there was a theory of “animal magnetism” which was proposed in 18 century by Franz Mesmer, which was debunked by the investigation conducted in 1784. However, “magnetism” survived. In the 19. century in France there were many traveling “somnambulists” who performed many clairvoyant shows. One of the more popular, and who was not caught cheating, was Alexis Didier. ESP proponents often quote his experiment with famous illusionist Richard Houdin as an evidence that his abilities were genuine. I will focus on that experiment. One of his proponents is Bertrand Meheust who studied Didier and says that most of his abilities could be explained naturally, but not all, source: http://bertrand.meheust.free.fr/documents/alexis.pdf (here you can find criticism of Didier as well as Meheust’s answer to that criticism).

Before going further, the experiment was organized in 1847 by a catholic fundamentalist Marquis de Mirville who “supported” magnetism because of his own religious agenda. So, he contacted Houdin and arranged an experiment to be conducted in office of Jean-Bon Marcillet who was Didier’s manager and “magnetiser” for the last 5 years. Didier and his “magnetiser”, Jean-Bon Marcillet, were a business team and lived well form Didier’s performances.

The case is built on the Houdin’s two sittings with the Didier. According to the Meheust article, Houdin’s statement speaks positively of Didier’s abilities, but is also careful and emphasizes that it doesn’t confirm validity of “magnetism”. Sittings were mentioned in the book written by the Marquis several years after the event. Houdin confirmed that later in a statement given to one of the French scientist with a slight different description of the events. However, it must be said that Houdin never mentioned this episode in his biography. Also, in his statement given to the marquis he didn’t mention some of the Didier’s obvious misses.

Why didn’t Houdin mention the “test” in his official biography, if he was astonished by Didier’s abilities, I don’t know. Maybe he wanted to avoid public attacks for embracing ESP? But, if he wanted to stay off critics he could have denied the event happened, which he didn't. French illusionist and expert on Houdin Michel Seldow says that Houdin felt sorry for the marquis and Didier and let them pass the test. But, Meheust says that Houdin was critical of “somnambulists” and debunked some of them, so he must have been impressed by Didier’s performance. One possible explanations is that Didier managed to trick (deliberately or spontaneously) Houdin with hot and cold reading techniques, guessing, fishing and other tricks. Frank Podmore explored that possibility in his book “Mesmerism and Christian Science”, page 172, and gave alternative explanations for seemingly “supernormal” results. Second critic comes from Harry Houdini in his book “A magician among the spirits”, page 250. This critics, however, never entered the Meheust article. In his report Meheust says that Didier was blindfolded during the whole test with Houdin, and that information leakage wouldn’t have been possible with the book and card experiment. However, it is clear in the Marquis story that after the card reading performance Houdin removed the blindfold from Didier’s head (page 7, Meheust’s article). Did Houdin overestimated his abilities and did a bad job with tying the blindfolds? Did Didier managed to get some seemingly inexplicable hits described in other experiments by coincidence? Maybe the answer to all that is yes. Who knows. Is there any other normal explanation possible? I don’t know, I can only speculate.

It is wort knowing that Houdin opened his theatre in 1845, according to Wikipedia. For that he took a loan of 15.000 franks, source: http://magicagora.com/2011/11/10/rob...magic/?lang=en So, was he in financial turmoil during that period and he needed funds and because of that he carefully supported Didier? I don’t know, I can only speculate. On the other hand, maybe that performance was just another magic show for the public. As historian John Tresch claims in his book “The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon”, page 174-175, Houdin was deliberately ambivalent in his statement regarding “magnetism”. Sometimes he debunks it and sometimes it seems that he endorses it. His shows were not just illusions intended to debunk “magnetism” but were there to stir the dialogue between the debunkers and believers, as it was in the spirit of the 19 century.

Last edited by Shuca; 16th April 2018 at 05:12 AM.
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