Punch,  25 (1853), 243.

Table Turning and True Piety





Spiritualism, Religion, Religious Authority, Superstition, Proof

    Rejecting Robert W Dibdin's allegations (published as Dibdin 1853) that Punch is an enemy of 'true piety', insists that it 'holds religion [...] inviolate' and that 'religion is not, in all people, allied with superstition, or with cant and hypocrisy'. Upholding his right to ridicule 'delusions [...] preached beneath the cover of religion', refuses to quote the blasphemous remarks that Dibdin solicited from the Devil via table-turning. Having been invited to 'admit the infallibility of Mr. Dibdin's sense as well as his good faith', points to the 'opposing testimony of Faraday' regarding table-turning (an allusion to Faraday 1853) and that 'there has been no one satisfactory exhibition of the wonder in public'. Notes Dibdin's attack on Faraday's 'spiritual attainments'. Reports that Punch's own table-turning trials proved that the table-turners were responsible for the effect and goes on to ridicule the idea of 'evil spirit' emanating from table-turners' fingers.

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