Cat’s Paw

Cat's Paw: Margery and the Rhines, 1926

1987. Cat's Paw: Margery and the Rhines, 1926. Journal of Parapsychology, 51, 229-247.

J. B. and L. E. Rhine had a single sitting with the medium Margery in July 1926. Their skeptical report of this experience was published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. Historians have assumed that this report was first rejected by the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. Moreover, it has generally been assumed that J. B. Rhine made contact with critics of Margery only after the seance. Documents in the ASPR archives show these assumptions to be wrong. Rhine met with both William McDougall and W. F. Prince before the seance, and the paper he submitted to the ASPR Journal was accepted for publication several days before he withdrew it.

Rhine's actions may have heightened tensions between the ASPR and the Boston Society for Psychic Research and helped delay the merger of these societies, with important historical consequences for parapsychology.

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