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Lord Adare and D.D. Home
Source: An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor
Lord Adare was the author of a remarkable record: Experiences
in Spiritualism with D. D. Home, printed privately
in 1869 at the request of his father, the Earl of Dunraven.
To make this exceedingly rare book accessible to a large
public and in memory of his father to whose title he succeeded,
the author agreed in 1925 to a second edition by the SPR
in extenso, less the attestation of fifty prominent witnesses
of the phenomena. The probable reason for the privacy of
the first publication was that the Earl of Dunraven, being
a Roman Catholic, disliked incurring the censure of the
The friendship of Lord Adare and D. D. Home dates from
1867. It began at Malvern in Dr. Gully's hydropathic establishment
where Home was a guest and Lord Adare a patient. For the
next two years he spent a great deal of time in Home's company.
His friendship for Home - as stated in his preface to the
1925 publication - never diminished or changed thereafter.
But having thoroughly satisfied himself that the facts were
not due to trickery or fraud he abandoned psychical research,
as the phenomena, which were physically very exhausting
to him, showed little progress and the study of occult forces
was not congenial to him, having other plans and ambitions
for his life; moreover, he grew afraid lest absorption in
the subject weakened his self-dependence and the necessity
of submitting everything to reason.
The phenomena recorded in the book are of a very wide range
and embrace almost every spiritualistic manifestation. The
absence of apport phenomena and generally the penetration
of matter through solid matter is conspicuous. Its possibility
was stoutly denied by D. D. Home. To scientific requirements
the records fail in many ways. The control is left to the
senses, no instruments were introduced and in the narrative
many points are left not cleared up or incomplete. No attempt
was made to find the laws in operation. Miracle worship
is a not very exaggerated adjective of the attitude of Lord
Adare and of his fellow-sitters. On the other hand, deficient
as they are, the records give the impression of conscientiousness.
In the form of letters addressed to the Earl of Dunraven
they were drawn up shortly after the seances. An important
point is that Lord Adare, for almost two years, lived most
of the time with Home. This alone eliminates the possibility
of deception on a large scale. The preface definitely states:
"We have not, on a single occasion, during the whole
series of seances seen any indication of contrivance on
the part of the medium for producing or facilitating the
manifestations which have taken place."
The nature of the phenomena, too, in most cases, was such
as to exclude every supposition of fraudulent production.
One cannot shake a whole room, vibrate a table, generate
moaning winds, phantom hands, transparent apparitions, music
without instruments or levitation of one's own body without
paraphernalia of sleight-of-hand and a stage to produce
the optical illusions. If no other records were available
concerning the phenomena of D. D. Home, Lord Adare's book
alone would establish a prima facie case for the genuine
and unusual powers of this famous Medium.
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