View Full Version : Question about alleged ectoplasm phenomena.

2010-Mar-27, 02:14 PM
Not a subject I think of often, but recently while reading Carl G. Jung's material he mentioned witnessing extrusion of ectoplasm during "seances" he attended. Jung was an empirically trained psychologist, btw.

Jung mentioned that the "mediums" involved were seated on scales. Their weight dropped "by several kilograms" during the extrusion of ectoplasm.

I'd previously read of such a thing years ago, by an "occultist" named Dion Fortune. I was skeptical of her account.

However, Jung was empirically trained. His report involved scales and measured body weight. He was merely an observer and would have noticed if the scales were being tampered with during.

Comments? Explanations?

2010-Mar-27, 03:50 PM
If you want to detect suspected trickery during an experiment, you employ a stage magician or other professional trickster.

Empiricists tend to have two exploitable blind spots: the assumption that they're trained observers and can't be tricked, and that any trickery is likely to involve means that are within their area of knowledge.


Jung was hoaxed. It wouldn't have been especially hard to do. They merely had to show Jung what he expected to see, and use that to cover what they really did.

grant hutchison
2010-Mar-27, 03:59 PM
Given that investigators (such as Houdini) reported ectoplasm to consist of light cloth coated with grease, which had been concealed within or about the person of the alleged medium, I think it would be surprising if the medium's weight didn't drop after the ectoplasm had been extruded.

Grant Hutchison

2010-Mar-27, 04:14 PM
Well, there's nothing that isn't repeatable about this experiment. There's no particular need to debate this old experiment when anyone who purports the existence of ectoplasm can make a new one.

2010-Mar-27, 05:50 PM
Wouldn't the weight more logically stay the same after ectoplasm was extruded anyway? I mean, if it's from the Spirit Realm? At any rate, Mary Roach's Spook talks a good deal about mediums and how they went about fooling people.

2010-Mar-27, 06:13 PM
The only thing I've heard of that's vaguely similar is of some hypnotist who was supposedly the bee's knees when it came to getting people to quit smoking. Apparently, once you'd undergone the therapy, your body would "eject" all the tar from your lungs, and you'd spend the next 2-3 weeks of your life oozing brown nicotine/tar goo from all your pores. :sick:
I never followed the story up, but I was/am skeptical.

2010-Mar-27, 06:18 PM
Wouldn't the weight more logically stay the same after ectoplasm was extruded anyway? I mean, if it's from the Spirit Realm?

Yeah, that's what I would think. :rolleyes: The alleged "astral body," from which ectoplasm supposedly derives, is supposedly weightless -- or mostly so.