Special love for falsifications
The item's author and participator of the incident K. Ruskov took a great interest in spiritualism in 1883 amused by the "spirit" that willingly answered his questions with the help of a table's leg that gave as many knocks as was necessary to point how old was somebody, or how long was the way, or how much was the price, etc. The table also "moved along the room at the request of those present, climbed the sofa or another table, reared up as a horse or stood still on one single leg, obediently following all our wishes. It even served a perambulator for my eight-months-old daughter, carrying her in a box along the room as if on wheels". Then the seance participants learnt to communicate with the "spirit" using alphabet (something like primitive Morse code) which significantly broadened the limits of possible questions and answers. Finally the "spirit" taught them a more perfect way of receiving information: Ruskov took a pencil and his hand wrote the answer as if by itself (a kind of motor automatism).
However amusing were these "spiritual" games, something was telling Ruskov that he could not at all be certain that the spirits so eagerly communicating with him were indeed the souls of those deceased whom he hoped to invoke. He ventured a following experiment. Having invoked the "spirit" and put him a question he waited till the pencil started to write and then read silently the prayer "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let them also that hate Him flee before Him..." (Ps. 68). The pencil stopped short. Ruskov left the prayer and asked what was the matter. The pencil recommenced writing. As Ruskov resumed the prayer it stopped again. This made Ruskov insist on an explanation from the "spirit" who it really was and why prayer was preventing it from action. The questions sank into silence. After all Ruskov said:
"- In the name of God the Almighty I demand you write who you are...
The pencil began to scratch the paper as if under constraint and wrote very slowly: 'I am he who had tempted God in the desert'.
This unexpected avowal so greatly impressed me that I sprang up from the chair and threw the pencil away. My wife wondered what had happened. I told her who had been writing answers to us with that treacherous pencil, then picked it up and demanded that it should write immediately who had been producing all those knocks and movements in the table before. Who had been bringing us answers?
The pencil wrote: 'Me, the evil spirit'.
- I demand that you leave us, - said I. - We will not any longer have anything with you.
The pencil wrote slowly: 'I will not return' - the letters growing smaller and smaller as if moving away".
Before the prayer forced it to tell the truth the evil spirit had been giving himself out to be a soul of this or that late person, and more often these were Ruskov's two children, the twelve-years-old Anna and five-years-old Pavel, who had died in 1882.
I adduced here this story to stress CPW's characteristic trait: their love for posing as dead people's souls. We should keep it in mind when discussing their pictorial talent.
There are a number of cases where CPW do not need even the hand of an artist to create paintings, sometimes copying this or that artist's manner. Italian newspaper "Domenica del Corriere" (January 24, 1979) published an article containing a detailed description of such phenomena. It is called "Endowed with Abilities beyond Explanation" and runs as follows:
"Gustav Adolph Rol - he made men of science, psychologists and philosophers talk in amazement: 'This is the most astonishing man under the sun'. Here is an illustration to this:
There was eight of us (some had been watching Rol for quite a time before). A casual talk about art passed into discussing the 20th-century artists. Rol asked each guest to name his favourite painter of the period. Picasso, Modigliani, Soutine, Kandinski, Dubuffet, Matisse, Leger and Hartung were mentioned. Rol put their names down and said:
- Wouldn't it be nice to gather all these here tonight? Yet who can say whether they wish to come... Or whether they'll prove gentle enough not to quarrel. I've never ventured such a thing before. Well, let it be a trial trip.
He took eight snow-white sheets of paper and handed out one to each of us. Folding the sheets four times each we got sixteen rectangles. Rol explained: 'The artists are to be brought here by my usual stalker Ogust Ravuet. He is my "noetic spirit" connected with me by the most indissoluble bonds (Ogust Ravuet, 1814 - 1895, painted lugubrious landscapes of astonishing beauty. - Heg. N).
Rol prepared several paints on a plate, a palette-knife and two brushes. His face was placid, a faint smile brought a somewhat relaxed expression to it, though it was clear that he was concentrated on a thought that transcended our minds. He told me quietly: 'Please, choose one of the sheets and put it into your breast pocket'.
Now I should confess a small transgression: it was already the third evening that I was spending at Rol's and such an honourable mission was not at all unexpected for me. That is why I had prepared a blank sheet of the same snow-white, 'extrastrong' paper still in my office, and was keeping it in my breast pocket. So I took one of the folded paper rectangles and... simply let it slip on the floor unnoticed.
A COSY LITTLE GATHERING
A special solemnity of calm anticipation reigned in Rol's spacious light room. Nobody doubted something important was being on. Rol seemed to be staring into a painting in front of him. Yet in a few minutes it was clear that his sight had left both the room and the human space dimensions altogether. Suddenly he addressed somebody before him: 'Ah, Ravuet, is that you? Thanks for coming. Will you help us?'
He touched a sheet of paper and said with a smile: 'I see, you don't approve of your works mixing with others? Well, maestro, dear, take for yourself one half of the sheet. Yes, yes, this half'.
He began drawing and erasing lines, then turned to the brushes. We were all silent.
- Look, look! Here they are! Good evening, Matisse, how nice of you... Ah, Picasso, swine, you don't change... Oh, Modi, Modi, the gentlest Modigliani, my poor sweet Modigliani... The light bites my eyes, what a tormenting light! Well, lets go on working.
Some five minutes passed in this one-sided dialogue, then Rol tore his sheet in small pieces:
- Enough! Let's call it a day for today.
With these words he asked me: 'Show us what's there in your sheet?' I remember the firm belief with which I was putting my hand into my breast pocket: the conviction that the sheet of paper I'd brought from my office is covered with drawings. And indeed, when I took it out and unfolded we saw 16 fresh (still damp!) tempera sketches. Eight Ravuet's landscapes on one side sharply contrasted with eight multifarious studies signed by Picasso, Kandinski, Modigliani and the rest on the other. Rol cut the rectangles off and enframed them with great care.
- Isn't it marvellous! - exclaimed he".
Taking into consideration the CPW's peculiar love for falsifications along with their strange craving for pretending dead people's souls, let us not be led astray by the medium's calling the late artists by names. The pictures emerging on the folded in four sheet of paper kept in the correspondent's pocket since he left his office are sure to be done by the creatures of parallel world, and not at all by the artists' 'spirits'.
Those who feel like doubting the whole episode's probability should remember that CPW's resources far surpass those of human beings. Dwelling in the parallel superfine world these creatures, though deprived of fleshy bodies, can easily form for themselves temporal appearances of the most various shape and density: from a vague luminescent cloud or a huge flying object to an automobile or a humanlike figure. And their ability to communicate with men using inscriptions or pictures is quite well-known. Thus the newspaper "Izvestiya" ¹¹ 101 and 147 for April-May 1987 published two detailed reports from the town of Yenakievo, Donetsk region, that we have already mentioned, where poltergeist was manifest not only in spontaneously igniting furnishings and incessantly exploding bulbs, plugs, tins and bottles, but also in "menacing inscriptions appearing on the walls, some of which were cut off along with a piece of wallpaper and preserved for examination". The number of CPW's permanent contacts with mediums by means of written messages has increased recently; the letter sent by Servey Svetlichny from the town of Kochetok, Kharkov district, is rather typical in this sense.
Sergey writes that when in autumn of 1995 photos in their bookcase began to move of themselves, it did not take him and his wife long "to understand that they were dealing with some rational creature capable of independent actions. Mrs. Svetlichny suggested that we should leave in the bookcase a message asking who he was and what were his intentions. That initiated a steady communication with a curious being unknown to science, that called itself 'Gnome'. It answered all our questions. First he wrote clumsily, but in the course of these years its handwriting has noticeably improved. The odd five years of such communicating resulted in a whole pile of his messages and pictures. The 'gnome' tells us about his world and also about other creatures in the surrounding space…" ("NLO" ¹ 45, November 8, 1999). Well, the quality of information given by CPW on themselves is certainly doubtful, for they lie more often than tell the truth. Yet the very fact of their writing and drawing pictures does not raise doubts.