Behavior: A Long History of Hoaxes

The first professional organization to study paranormal phenomena was the British Society for Psychical Research, founded in 1882. Among its membership were prominent scholars and scientists —men of unimpeachable credentials and high moral character. They soon discovered and enthusiastically reported on the telepathic abilities of five little girls, daughters of the Rev. A.M. Creery.

The mentalist millennium was at hand.

Six years later, the girls were caught cheating and shamefacedly admitted that they had fooled the investigators.

They were the first in a long series of deceivers of scientists.

The society's next major project was an investigation of two "sensitives" from Brighton, G.A. Smith and...

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