De Gasparin, Count Agenor

De Gasparin, Count Agenor (1810–1871)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Count Agenor de Gasparin was one of the first investigators of table tipping and telekinetic, or psychokinetic (PK), phenomena in France. In 1854, he published a book on his experiments in Velleyres, Switzerland, under the title Des Tables Tournantes, du Surnaturel en général, et des Esprits. These experiments were conducted under strict test conditions. He established the movement of objects without human contact and the alteration of the weight of objects. However, he did not accept the spirit hypothesis. He arrived at the following conclusions:

  1. The will, in a certain condition of the human organism, can act, from a distance, upon inert bodies, and by an agent different from that of muscular action.
  2. Under the same conditions thought can be communicated directly, though unconsciously, from one individual to another.

In the preface to a later edition of his book in 1888, he stated that the time elapsed since the original publication had not been sufficient to solve the problem, but that “some day an edifice would be erected on the same stone which was laid [in his book] in 1854.”

Sources:

Gasparin, Count Agenor: A Treatise on Turning Tables. New York: 1857
Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978