Thomson Jay Hudson (February 22, 1834 in Windham, Ohio – May 26, 1903 in Detroit, Michigan), was a chief examiner of the US Patent Office and a psychical researcher, known for his three laws of psychic phenomena, which were first published in 1893.
Refusing his father's wish to become a minister of religion, Hudson funded his own study of law at college. He began a law practice in Port Huron, Michigan but, in 1860, he began a journalistic career instead. In 1866, he unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate. From 1877 till 1880 he was Washington correspondent for the Scripps Syndicate. In 1880 he accepted a position in the US Patent Office and was promoted to principal examiner of a Scientific Division, a post he held until the publication of The Law of Psychic Phenomena in 1893.
He wrote and lectured on this subject until his death from heart failure in 1903.
Thomson Jay Hudson began observing hypnotism shows and noticed similarities between hypnosis subjects and the trances of Spiritualist mediums. His idea was that any contact with "spirits" was contact with the medium's or the subject's own subconscious. Anything else could be explained by telepathy, which he defined as contact between two or more subconsciouses. Hudson postulated that his theory could explain all forms of spiritualism and had a period of popularity until the carnage of the First World War caused a fresh interest in spiritualism again as psychic mediums emerged to meet the demands of grieving relatives.
In The Law of Psychic Phenomena (1893, p.26), Hudson spoke of an "objective mind" and a "subjective mind"; and, as he further explained, his theoretical position was that:
The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) is a nonprofit organisation in the United Kingdom. Its stated purpose is to understand events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal. It describes itself as the "first society to conduct organised scholarly research into human experiences that challenge contemporary scientific models." It does not, however, since its inception in 1882, hold any corporate opinions: SPR members assert a variety of beliefs with regard to the nature of the phenomena studied.
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Frank Podmore was an English author, and founding member of the Fabian Society. He is best known as an influential member of the Society for Psychical Research and for his sceptical writings on spiritualism.
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Lloyd Kenyon Jones was a newspaper journalist, lecturer, and author who was raised in Wisconsin and became associated with the religion of Spiritualism during the early 20th century.
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Simeon Edmunds was a British psychical researcher and writer on hypnotism.