Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1951, 4 September
Document title: Time and Motion
Document type: lecture
Event: Professional Course
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Document ID: 5109C04
Description: Hubbard speaks authoritatively on stage magic and charlatanism in its field. Discusses the tarot as the symbolism of the magician., Hubbard speaks authoritatively on stage magic and charlatanism in its field. Discusses the tarot as the symbolism of the magician.
There was, once upon a time, a philosophical school known as the magicians, and this philosophical school believed that you could postulate a cause and get an effect, and that was what it believed. They believed in a definite code, a philosophic code, along this line, and they did a very, very interesting job of it. They were just philosophers, they weren’t trying to do very much. But then very ignorant people around them—superstitious people—said, “You mean you could wave something in the air, or talk to a ghost or demon or make it appear or something of the sort?” Reality in those days included a world which was full of ghosts and demons.One of these magicians one day (he must have been very tired) unfortunately said, “Yes, that’s what we mean,” and then the fakers, the charlatans, got into the field. Now, the symbolical language of the magician had to do with a wand, a cup, a disc and a lamp.
This was symbology to them; they didn’t do things with wands, discs, cups and lamps. But the charlatans said, “Now, let’s see. You take this wand and you pass it over this cup.” A little stick passes over a hat and life comes out of the hat—a rabbit out of the hat. You have seen this; it is stage magic. That trick is almost a thousand years old.
But it is symbolical; the wand is symbolical and the cup is symbolical. They are the male and female organs which produce life. The magic of man was what the whole field of magic was trying to figure out. What is this magic of life? We take two beings and we get a third being. And where does it come from? What is it all about? They were trying to riddle this out.
But the stage magician, instead of asking these philosophic imponderables, takes a hat (which is the cup) and a stick (which is his wand) and produces a rabbit out of the hat, and this never fails to get an audience; it never fails. That is the most interesting magic we have around us— the rabbit out of a hat, the child, the generations of time into the future; there are unnumbered generations going out.
These unnumbered generations go out into the future, but how are they produced, one after the other, and what is the purpose of them? This is the big riddle.
But in every field you get a certain amount of charlatanism. Somebody comes in on the field and he says, “There is a possibility that this can exist. Therefore I can tell these people—who don’t know as much about it as I do, and I know just enough about it to fake it—that this is the way . . .” So we have Lady Anne the Prophet, who will read your crystal ball for practically nothing and advise you to buy a certain amount of stocks that she is in cahoots with the local stockbroker on.
And people find it a very handy way of controlling and guiding men. In other words, something like this will come down the tone scale to around 1.5 or 1.1, and by that time people are getting gain from it. They are trying to get gain out of it instead of direct magic. That is parapsychology today.
Parapsychology, nevertheless, has a lot of data in it. The 1890s were the heyday of fakerism in parapsychology. There were charlatans all over the place who would produce paraffin gloves out of thin air—”obviously produced from a ghost.” There were fellows who were so adroit that you could tie their hands and yet they could free their toes out of their shoes and play a trumpet, so you would have the lights out and there would be the trumpet music of the spirits and that sort of thing.
Some men like Houdini went around and invalidated these charlatans. They showed that this sort of thing didn’t exist. So naturally, since most of the society goes along on the equation A=A=A all the time anyway, people said, “Oh, it’s been showed up that it’s all a fake, so it doesn’t exist and there isn’t anything valid about it anymore.”