I was just thinking, while reading the amazon blurb for a book on Spiritualism and its role in early feminism ("Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth Century America" by Ann Braude), about the possibility that mass social change is conduive to paranormal phenomena. A link between the concept of liminality,anti-structure and the paranormal has often been suggested; a major exposition of the issue can be found in George Hansen's "The Trickster and the Paranormal". The rise of spiritualism in the 19th century was coincident with enormous social change: the rise of modern science, the decline of religion, women's rights and so on - by any reckoning an anti-structural scenario. The spiritual phenomena allegedly produced at this time were of an extraordinary variety: full materializations of spirits, levitation, ectoplasmic rods, independent voice, and apports to name just a few. Might it be that these spirit manifestations were so impressive as a result of the seances taking place right in the middle of widespread social flux? If there is a link between intensity of paranormal phenomena and social upheaval, then might the alleged successes of certain mediumship groups (for example the Felix Experimental Group and the Yellow Cloud Circle) in producing materializations be linked to the current state of society? Is our society in a state of change?