taken refuge in

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joel123

Senior Member
persian
Does "taken refuge in" mean "defeated"?

(...)To such instances we may apply the judgment of Professor Zollner on the Lankester incident: "The physical facts observed by us in so astonishing a variety in his presence negatived on every reasonable ground the supposition that he in one solitary case had taken refuge in wilful imposture." He adds, what was certainly the case in that particular instance, that Slade was the victim of his accuser's and his judge's limited knowledge.
" the text belongs to history of spiritualism by arthur conan doyle "
 
  • joel123

    Senior Member
    persian
    I'd say he pretended on purpose in order to protect himself, if I'm reading it correctly.
    thanks, but i am a bit confused. did he tricked them intentionally? why he should do that considering that he has supernatural powers?
    are you saying that he was an impostor and he pretended in that particular occasion to protect himself?
     
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    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The idea is that he did not deliberately try to deceive anyone. Don't forget the rest of the sentence: The observed facts "negatived" (contradicted) the supposition that he had tried to protect himself by any such deceit.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    thanks, but i am a bit confused. did he tricked them intentionally? why he should do that considering that he has supernatural powers?
    are you saying that he was an impostor and he pretended in that particular occasion to protect himself?
    These are exactly the questions that are driving the author into such convoluted sentences.

    Obviously the clairvoyant has no supernatural powers. Obviously he has been cheating all along. But he was only caught once. The author has to make up a reason why he was only cheating on that particular case.

    When people are bound and determined to argue that something palpably false is actually true, they do tend to get tangled up in their own lies.

    We see this all the time in people promoting pseudo science and conspiracy theories today, up to the highest levels of politics unfortunately.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The supposition:
    in one case he had taken refuge in wilful imposture.

    To me that means someone had accused him in one case of using trickery to pretend there was some supernatural event.

    They were saying he knowingly (i.e. wilfully) used fakery (i.e. imposture) as a way to hide from (take refuge from) the suspicion that he did not have supernatural abilities. They believed he was trying to fool people with tricks, to protect his reputation as a psychic or whatever he claimed to be.

    The author is trying to minimize the importance of the accusation by saying it was "one solitary case". He had been accused one time but the author thinks that the many other occasions when his supernatural abilities were properly documented (in his opinion) makes that one case unlikely to be true or very unimportant.
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    thanks, but i am a bit confused. did he tricked them intentionally? why he should do that considering that he has supernatural powers?
    That's the point. His accusers don't think he has supernatural powers and they believe they caught him using magician-type tricks to try to fool them into believing that he had supernatural powers.
     
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