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
Maxwell, Joseph. La Divination. Paris E. Flammarion, 1927.
———. La Magie. Paris E. Flammarion, 1922.
———. Les Phénomènes psychiques (Metapsychical Phenomena).
London Duckworth, 1905.