The true origins of spiritualism lay in New Thought/Metaphysics, when disreputable pairs of con-artists faked the duplication of the legitimate demonstrations of mesmerism and healing of P.P. Quimby and his subject, Lucius C. Burkmar. This segued into the subsequent fake psychic/spiritualism demonstrations/seances conducted by the Fox sisters, who later in life admitted to having been fake. They were responsible for the establishment of a very expensive teaching/certification/psychic "school" in England which in reality (and unbenounced to their students) teaches Cold Reading. The system is designed to falsely encourage the self-deluded (but often and naively well-intentioned students) of their psychic "abilities". The school still exists to this day, and I have personally been acquainted with a couple of those well-intentioned but self-deluded individuals, who sadly laid out a small fortune (so-to-speak) for encouragement of their sadly-absent "gifts".
Dr. Michael (Majick Mike)