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Maxwell, Joseph (ca. 1933)

Maxwell, Joseph (ca. 1933)

Attorney-general at the Court of Appeal at Bordeaux and prominent French psychic investigator. The chance reading of a book on Theosophy gave him the first impulse to study occult mysteries. He then found a remarkable medium in Limoges. The result, however, was unconvincing. But he realized that certain manifestations could only be studied with the knowledge of nervous and mental pathology, and for six years he studied at the University of Bordeaux for a medical degree.

As a trained investigator he had the rare fortune to find a medium in a friend, a Mr. Meurice, who could produce telekinetic phenomena in good light. He obtained further good results with a Miss Agullana of Bordeaux, two young mediums of Agen, and others. In 1895 in l'Agnelas, he and Eugene Rochas, Dariex, Sabatier, Count de Gramont, and Watteville attended experiments with Eusapia Palladino.

After an extensive study of the phenomena of raps, he wrote in Les Phénoménes psychiques (Paris, 1903) about the reality of telekinesis: "I am certain that we are in the presence of an unknown force; its manifestations do not seem to obey the same laws as those governing other forces more familiar to us; but I have no doubt they obey some law." He admitted that the force is intelligent but wondered if that intelligence did not come from the experimenters. His theory was that a kind of collective consciousness produced the intellectual results. The book, the result of ten years of research, is a valuable contribution to psychical literature.


Maxwell, Joseph. La Divination. Paris: E. Flammarion, 1927.

. La Magie. Paris: E. Flammarion, 1922.

. Les Phénomènes psychiques (Metapsychical Phenomena). London: Duckworth, 1905.

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