Eric Dingwall: My Sixty Years in Psychical Research

Since I gave up nearly all active work in psychical research, I have often been asked why, after more than sixty years’ work in the field, I have finally lost most of my interest in it. There are two answers to the question. First, I have come to the conclusion that the present immense interest in occultism and in the grosser forms of superstition is due, to a certain extent at least, to the persistent and far-reaching propaganda put out by the parapsychologists. In this they have, I think, a very grave responsibility. With the gradual decline in the West of belief in Christianity has come not, as one might have hoped, a leaning toward the rational way of looking at the world but a decided tendency to adopt the magical way. Thus Christianity, unbelievable as it may be to the rational mind, has been supported by the occult superstitions of darker ages. One reason, therefore, for my ceasing work is that I do not wish to be associated with persons who actively support such superstitions as are today everywhere apparent. I cannot accept such responsibility.

Eric Dingwall:
“British anthropologist, Director of the Department of Physical Phenomena at the ASPR from 1921-22, Research Officer of the SPR from 1922-27. Author of Revelations of a Spirit Medium (with Harry Price), 1922, How to go to a Medium, 1927, Ghosts and Spirits in the Ancient World, 1930, The Haunting of Borley Rectory – A Critical Survey of the Evidence (with Kathleen Goldney and Trevor Hall), 1956, Some Human Oddities, 1962. After sixty years of active psychical research he eventually gave up in exasperation with the low standards of evidence and the disreputable conduct of parapsychologists.”
Read The Need for Responsibility in Parapsychology: My Sixty Years in Psychical Research »

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