Eugene Osty (1874-1938)   -  French Doctor & Metaphysician

Honorary Vice-President of Harry Price's National Laboratory of Psychical Research and the Director of the Institut Métapsychique in Paris, Osty was one of France's foremost psychical researchers.  After a good relationship which lasted for eight years, Osty and Price clashed over the alleged 'exposure' of Rudi Schneider and Osty resigned from the National Laboratory in 1933.


Eugene Osty - Director of the Institut Métapsychique and contemporary of Harry Price

Eugene Osty formally qualified as a doctor of medicine but his interest in the paranormal began in 1909 when a palmist gave him an incredibly accurate reading.  The following year he began his investigation into what he termed 'metapsychic' phenomena and summed up his researches in the 1913 book Lucidity and Intuition.  Further studies were interrupted by the Great War but after the end of hostilities he was invited by Gustave Geley, then one of France's top psychical researchers to join the Management Committee of the Institut Métapsychique in Paris.  Osty relocated to the French capital where he collaborated with other researchers including the distinguished physiologist Charles Richet and Camille Flammarion, the astronomer and author.

After Geley's death in an aeroplane crash on 15th July 1924, Osty took over as Director of the Institut and he retained this position until his own death in 1938.  Osty carried out his researches using strictly scientific disciplines and sought to find the source of after-death communication through some hidden process which lingers after bodily death rather than the spiritualist hypothesis.  Geley considered him one of the foremost researchers and described his book Supernormal Faculties in Man as a groundbreaking work of psychical research.  In 1931 and 1932 in collaboration with his son Marcel, Osty developed an infra-red ray apparatus which he used in his examination of the mediumship of Rudi Schneider.   

Harry Price first encountered Eugene Osty in May 1925 when he visited Paris and was received by the leading French researchers of the day.  In June 1927 Osty held the Third International Congress for Psychical research at the Institut where Price delivered a lecture on the Stella C. experiments.  In the July of the following year Osty invited Price to lecture at the Institut and Price gave a talk entitled 'Some Favourite Tricks of Famous Mediums'.  Later in the same year Price entertained Osty at his National Laboratory of Psychical Research in London and Osty himself had been made an Honorary Vice President when the organisation was brought into existence in 1925.  

In 1929-1930, when Price was considering closing the National Laboratory, he made negotiations to transfer his entire laboratory and research library to the Institut Métapsychique but this came to nothing.  At the same time the two men shared the experimental roles when Rudi Schneider visited London and Paris for series of sittings at both institutions.  Price's relationship with Osty was fairly harmonious but the two men fell out following Price's alleged 'exposure' of Rudi Schneider following his Third Series of sittings in 1932.  Osty was enraged by Price's actions which included a criticism of Osty's controlling procedures during his Paris sittings.  The Frenchman countered this by issuing a 16 page paper entitled The Strange Conduct of Mr Harry Price.  The two men subsequently exchanged a few letters but in March 1933 Osty ended their professional relationship with the three-line letter: "Erase my name as Vice-President of the National Laboratory.  I do not wish to have any more contact with you."



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