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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Kardec, Allan (also, Kardek, Alain, Allen, and Alan; born L. H. Denizard Rivail, 1803-1869) A French medical doctor who became a very popular and influential spirit medium and theorist who taught that the spirit seeks reincarnation. He was first introduced to these notions when he attended a séance in 1856.

Allan Kardec, founder of a major spiritualist movement.

      He said that all declarations made by mediums on behalf of spirits were truthful and authoritative ——except in cases where the utterances had been prompted by evil spirits. In 1857, Kardec published Livre des Esprits (“The Spirits' Book”), explaining his ideas.
      Kardec was editor of La Revue Spirite and founder/president of the Parisian Society for Spiritualistic Studies, where in 1861 the famous French astronomer Camille Flammarion, then only a teenager, was first introduced to psychic matters. Flammarion (1842-1925) became a staunch defender of spiritualism.
      Kardec is buried in the famous “celebrity” graveyard of Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, where his ornate red granite monument is visited regularly and kept adorned with flowers by his admirers. The site was partially destroyed in 1989 by an unknown bomber.
      In the U.K., a prominent disciple of Kardec was Anna Blackwell, who dabbled in spirit photography as well. There is still a large following of Kardec in Brazil, where it is claimed that three thousand temples dedicated to him are active.

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