Good insight about Rubinstein Rick! Flint is, indeed, a “puzzlement!” It is unfortunate that Flint’s voices did not speak a foreign language as Etta Wriedt’s voices reportedly did or George Valiantine did when he transmitted ancient Chinese, reportedly spoken by Confucius. And, my question would be, “Why not?” Chopin might have been more convincing if he spoke Polish or German, languages which I understand he more commonly used, Polish being his native language. But then again, he was speaking to an English audience so it was good of him to speak English with a slight French accent. (Like Charles Boyer in the movies, eh?)
I have to say that I am swinging back to thinking that Flint may have been legitimate at times even though it goes against my grain to believe that. Apparently Barrington thought that too. I guess I will have to start listening to all of the tapes again.
I don’t think that Flint or his associates were projecting the voices. Some people think that ventriloquists “throw” their voices or are able to project their voices so that they appear to sound as if coming from another location but I think those people are misinformed about ventriloquism. However, I can believe that good actors can mimic different accents including those from a different time than their own. Apparently they do it all the time on “Masterpiece Theater” of the BBC. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 15 Feb, 14:08
Thanks for providing Mary Rose Barrington’s remarks about the testing of Leslie Flint. No conclusions can be drawn from it.
The case for the validity of Flint’s direct voice mediumship remains open. It will doubtless remain so unless someone comes up with a signed confession from Flint that he fiddled the whole thing. It seems unlikely, though not impossible.
Assessing the recordings, we have to rely on our own common sense and discernment. I continue to find the internal evidence in the recordings I’ve heard—certainly not all of them—reasonably convincing.
Suppose that Flint, or he and his associates, could project male and female voices. Can we believe that he or his partners could mimic different accents including some that seem to belong to a different time than his own?
And then there are telling details. Take one of the transmissions from “Chopin” (July 7, 1955). One of the sitters, Rose Creet, mentions “Rubinstein” in her dialogue with “Chopin.” She meant Arthur Rubinstein, celebrated in the late 20th century for his playing of Chopin, among other composers. Creet and “Chopin” soon find themselves at sixes and sevens; the “Chopin” spirit thinks she is talking about Anton Rubinstein, as famous a pianist in the late 19th century as Arthur was in his own time.
But Anton Rubinstein was virtually forgotten in 1955, and only a little better known today when some of his own compositions have been recorded. What are the odds that Flint, and/or his sidekicks, would have thought to include such a misunderstanding in a phony “Chopin” script?
Some of Flint’s communicators could have been impersonating the spirits of people they claimed. That hardly invalidates the sessions as a whole.
Rick Darby, Fri 15 Feb, 06:27
Here is the comment from “Smithy” that I was responding to on the Michael Prescott site. ‘Smithy” says that the comment from Barrington was provided to him in an email from her:
“Excerpt from a mail sent to me [Smithy] by Mary Rose Barrington:
MRB: To answer your main question quickly, the SPR test [of Flint] was inconclusive, because Dr West, who fixed a tape over Flint’s mouth to ensure that he did not use his own voice, said that the tape did not line up with his marks, and therefore indicated that it had been moved. The SPR did not publish an adverse report, firstly to spare Flint, and secondly because no one could be certain that the tape had been removed. The outcome was unsatisfactory for everyone concerned. It may have been a rigorous experiment, but unfortunately it can’t be said to have confirmed the direct voice.
Much later, when Flint was in his sixties, an experiment was done using infra-red and a monitor screen where one could observe directly or close up on the screen, it was clear that he was articulating, and his own voice was recorded through a throat microphone. So that was not a success.
But I did attend many sittings with Flint, and on one occasion I had the Mickey voice whisper straight into my ear, and I am fairly sure that this was direct voice, not Flint himself.
My own view is that the direct voice was only occasional, and certainly the voices I heard (with that one exception) appeared to come from Flint himself.”
I have to accept that “Smithy” whom I believe is a credible person “in the know” about such things honestly quoted Barrington’s email to him. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 13 Feb, 18:23
Here is the first entry on on Prescott’s site for those who are interested.
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 13 Feb, 17:33
Will do, Amos.
Jon, Wed 13 Feb, 17:31
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 13 Feb, 17:16
I hope you will let us know when Barrington’s book is available. - AOD
In March, White Crow is publishing a book with Mary Rose titled “Talking about Psychical Research: Thoughts on Life, Death and the Nature of Reality”. In it she gives an opinion on Flint, writing that in the 1970s she attended seances with him most weeks for a year.
Jon, Wed 13 Feb, 16:51
The reference to Mary Rose Barrington was discussed on the Michael Prescott blog in 2007 in his article “More on Flint”. In the comments to that article I took the contrarian position as I always tend to do about the Leslie Flint tapes. I skimmed quickly some of those comments this morning and I think that I must have been commenting on information provided by another commenter about Barrington and the SPR but I am not sure. Later today I will try to find a more reliable quote about Barrington’s test of Flint. Prescott’s article(s) on Flint I think provided an excellent give and take from several commenters in which the Flint case was intelligently discussed in depth. There were some excellent comments why Barrington’s comment may have been misreported and why her test of Flint may not have been taken seriously by the SPR. Those who are interested in Flint might want to peruse Prescott’s site for articles about Flint. I believe there were several of them, all of which were extensive and provided excellent conversation about the Flint case.
I have to continue to say that while from this vantage point I don’t really know what transpired at the Flint séances, I still have an innate feeling that something is ‘not right’ about the promotion of Flint by his followers and the lack of good documentation of the “100s” of reported tests performed on Flint, except for one and I would not call the documentation that is available on that test ‘good’.
The validity of the Flint case now depends I suppose upon one’s own belief system; mine has not solidified yet and at my age I suppose it never will. I am stuck with a ‘will to disbelieve.’
Perhaps, “Truth”—- is Belief by Consensus. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 13 Feb, 14:38
Hi, has anyone from the group listened to the Annie Nanji seances. It is a while since I listened but from what I remember her bereaved husband struggles to reconcile what is being channeled with the voice of his departed wife, he asks about his two dead children whome I believe died in the same accident however their voices fail to materialize at any of the recorded seances. With all this in mind together with the issue that is extremely unlikely that it is his actual wife, the spirit seems to know his exact movements leading up the sittings right down to him changing the colour of the bed sheets back in Sweden, shopping trips what he is carrying in his pocket. As i have mentioned it is some years since I have listened and I am not going to listen again due to the points I have already made but I find it extremely unlikely that Flint would have noted him changing the bed sheets or observed him shopping or what he had in his pockets. Flint was the real deal unfortunately what he was channeling was not. Please feel free to listen and correct me as my memories of the sittings are a little rusty after nearly ten years.
Gavin Doyle, Tue 12 Feb, 23:59
The comments about Leslie Flint encouraged me to listen to several of the recordings again, since it had been awhile. They included “Winston Churchill,” “Mrs. Patrick Campbell,” and “Chopin.”
I continue to find the recordings I’ve heard (not all of them, by any means) convincing. That isn’t to say they offer unambiguous proof of being voices from the Other Side, but to me they have a prima facie “rightness.”
For me the key element in their favor is not the messages (some routine or banal) but the accent and style of speaking.
Churchill’s pronunciation and delivery are a great deal like ... Churchill. Campbell talks in an old-fashioned “plummy” accent (“oveh hyea”) that is all but extinct in modern England, and I hear remnants of stage technique in her delivery. Chopin sounds the way I would expect a Pole who lived in France and was communicating in English to sound.
Could one person have produced all these voices? Not unless he or she could convincingly imitate speech of men and women. Could they be the product of several people? Yes, theoretically, but they’d have to be jolly good actors. Flint and his circle may have been interested in show business, but it’s a far cry from that to being able to sustain an obsolete pronunciation or foreign accent. Even good actors often have trouble with accents that differ radically from their own natural way of talking.
And that’s not even taking into account the difficulties that would have been involved in carrying on the imposture of a wide variety of characters over 30 years. It seems like some of the skepticism about Flint is along the same lines as that of people who dismiss all mediumship just on the basis that it’s possible to conceive of some way it could have been fraudulent, even when there is no evidence for it.
I will admit, though, I don’t know much about how Flint was tested, if he was. Amos, do you have a link about Mary Rose Barrington’s conclusions?
Rick Darby, Tue 12 Feb, 22:58
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 12 Feb, 13:58
I second your choice of Etta Wriedt as the best direct voice medium. As reported by William Usborne Moore, four voices could be heard sometimes at the same time at the Wriedt sittings; none of them sounding like the frail Etta Wriedt. - AOD
In addition to the link I just left about Kluski’s ape-man, consider the direct-voice mediumship of Etta Wriedt(see blog of Oct. 31, 2011 in the archives) and that of Sophia Williams (see blog of August 27, 2013). I’d have to place them as my candidates for best direct-voice mediums on record, but their phenomena were so much different. Neither was a trance medium. Etta could be talking to someone in the room at the same time several voices were coming through in other places of the room and communicating with sitters, while the voices from Sophia could only be heard when researcher Hamlin Garland put a megaphone to her chest.
Keep in mind that in some cases, the voice sounds like the deceased human, not like the medium’s voice, while in others the voice does sound like the medium’s. I don’t think the latter case necessarily suggests fraud. It has something to do with the power of the medium and the sitter as well as the communicator’s ability. Take a look at Florence Marryat’s experience in the blog of Feb. 7, 2011.
Michael Tymn, Mon 11 Feb, 20:26
I haven’t had time to listen to the link. Thanks for sending it. However, my blog of February 7, 2011 in the archives at left discusses Kluski’s ape-man and some other strange aspects of mediumship. It is certainly not a black and white area, as indications are that the manifestations are sometimes made by spirits, but also can be made by the medium’s “thoughts” as well as by the thoughts of those in attendance. Needless to say, the admixture makes it almost laughable for the skeptic.
I’ll add some other references as I recall them.
Michael Tymn, Mon 11 Feb, 19:59
I don’t think that Leslie Flint and his circle of believers were about monetary gain. I think rather that they were about proselytizing their beliefs about spiritualism. Moreover some of them, Betty Greene and George Woods for example were very negative about organized Christian religions; even to the point of being hateful, I think, and were fast to denigrate any belief in Christian dogma and promote spiritualism. The tapes, which they made free to the public, they hoped would help them do that. Just listen to the preamble to the tapes recorded by Betty Greene. Then tell me what you think.
Some of them, Leslie Flint primarily, were very interested in show business, movies and acting. That’s why many of the voices are actors, writers and other ‘show-biz’ characters, because that’s what Flint knew the most about. The voices gave Flint and his cohorts an opportunity to display their acting skills in mimicking voices and acting a role in the dark. Many of the voices drone on and on lecturing the sitters, not really providing any give and take or verifiable new information. How much do we really have to swallow about the Flint recordings? It seems that any legitimate criticism is shooshed away with some lame-brained excuse. And how believable is an ectoplasmic voice box sitting on Flint’s shoulder with streams of ectoplasm coming from every sitter in the room? Where is the red light or infra-red photograph documenting that? Really now! How much are we required to turn off our ability to think for ourselves?
Mary Rose Barrington of the SPR tested Flint under controlled conditions including infra-red light and throat microphone which revealed that Flint vocalized words during the test. The test was determined to be inconclusive or a failure and the SPR hushed it up. Not so! It was very conclusive and a success, proving that Flint was vocally active in producing some voices some of the time. The test was a failure only for those who had a ‘will to believe’ in Leslie Flint and spirits. Where are the reported “hundreds” of tests that were conducted on Flint? What were the test conditions? It is fine to test Leslie Flint under controlled conditions but I have never read anything about Greene and Woods AND Flint being tested under controlled conditions AT THE SAME TIME! In one in the communications it was acknowledged that Woods had a role in facilitating the voices. This was a simple ‘art of distraction.’ Focus on Flint while “Auntie Greenie” and “Uncle Woody” put on a show.
Many of the tapes were made when only Flint, Greene and Woods were present which for me is highly suspicious. One photograph of Green and Woods shows two tape recorders. How easy it would be in the dark to press the ‘play button’ on one pre-recorded tape and the ‘record button’ on the other machine thereby giving a final recording appearing to be sitters and spirit interacting. Speakers could be placed anywhere in the room. One could always say that the second recorder was necessary to provide a back-up in case the first recorder failed. There were no precautions taken to prevent that kind of thing from happening. And many of the tapes are of such poor quality that is difficult too understand what is actually said.
For me the ‘Charlotte Bronte’ tape is very revealing, First of all she sounds like an over weight middle-aged matron, exactly what I would expect Betty Greene to sound like and not at all like the 39 year-old smaller woman Bronte was. (Well, of course the voice box of ectoplasm was the cause of the difference.) Betty Green anticipates a question subsequently made by ‘Charlotte” when she (Betty) said that she could hear Charlotte very well to which ‘Charlotte’ asks “can you hear me?” (Shouldn’t it be the other around?) In another instance the door bell clangs blaringly two times and ‘Charlotte’ goes on talking through the interruption as if nothing had occurred. The sitters continually say “yes” “oh yes” “yes” “yes” to Charlotte’s lecture but there is no question and answer give and take with Charlotte. What a missed opportunity that was! These tapes by Greene and Woods have admittedly been “re-recorded” “edited” “enhanced” and otherwise manipulated by followers of Leslie Flint.
Of all of the so-called evidence of an after life, these Greene and Wood tapes are the one thing that makes me want to chuck the whole mess of spiritualism. I think that Greene, Woods and Flint perpetrated the biggest lie and farce there ever was on their believing adoring public who have the ‘will to believe’ anything to assuage their fear of death. Or, just maybe he and his friends had a bone to pick with the Catholic and Anglican Churches. It may have been that at one time Flint was a legitimate medium transmitting voices, thoughts or information from the unknown but like many other mediums, his powers waned over the years so that as his physical form weakened so did his ability to produce the voices. (contrary to Etta Wriedt) Thank goodness there are many other legitimate examples of spiritual realities that are believable.
There! I said it! - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 11 Feb, 19:53
Hi,after reading the blog about Flint on the Prescott site I feel compelled to contribute some more.
Gavin Doyle, Mon 11 Feb, 15:11
As you may or may not be aware Flint had a bad chest through heavy smoking much of his life which resulted in a persistent heavy cough and indeed his chest can be heared grumbling away on most of the recordings, with this in mind I have noted without exception when Flint coughs communication ceases all be it for a short period, It is as if the spirit is aware and is being polite while Flint finishes coughing, or is it something more sinister? Also of note, the spirits breath while talking and concurrently fluctuate their breath much as any individual does while in conversation. The voices are particularly similar for a lot of the recordings however there is a good mix of speech patterns and accents for other recordings but I feel it is definitely the same individual in a lot of instances. Mickeys mediumship is appalling and you almost feel embarrassed for him when he tries, it is just not there, you may have an additional facet of him actually talking but what he says is particularly inaccurate concerning the sitters.
Flint may not have made much monetary gain through his endeavours but due to his demand and connections I doubt he ever worried about finding the rent. Having said all the above I am still not entirely convinced he was fraudulent, I think it is more to do with the source, as I have mentioned before, spirits Lie.
Sorry Amos I have been away for a while, my Father has terminal cancer so I am tied up away from the pc a lot of the time. In answer to your question I am studying the whole demons are aliens phenomena. If you look at the Scole report a picture of a grey quite clearly materialized on camera, I do not believe in extraterrestrials I think all alien phenomena is inter dimensional, if it were extraterrestrial I think we would be on to some thing by now considering how long Seti has been running and how far we have delved into space since the advent of Hubble. I think it is quite telling when during UFO observations the ships appear to travel at incomprehensible speeds, they can be observed at one location and then move in less than a split second to another distant location, they are simply popping in and out of dimensions.
Gavin Doyle, Mon 11 Feb, 11:00
I also wanted to mention Franek Kluski while I was here, do you not find it strange that he materialised some kind of tall hairy animal? Its all very irregular.
I wondered if the group would like to give their observations on the following assuming Michael is ok with posting links…....... https://vimeo.com/19335330
I think the spirits although inoffensive sound quite demonic in places, I am mentioning Jean Duncan as having been a credible medium recently dead that practiced close to my home town, I would not mention Warren Caylor or any other contemporary medium in the same breath as it is obviously trickery.
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 10 Feb, 13:52
I truly don’t know what to think about the Flint recordings. I guess I agree with Michael Prescott when he says they are a “puzzlement!” (I note that the Leslie Flynn site has removed the Marilyn Monroe, Herbert Hoover and Bessie Smith recordings but they may be available from other sources, I just didn’t have time to look for them.) - AOD
This post is very relevant to me as I was brought up in conservative wing of Pentecostal Christianity, which generally is extremely fearful of ‘communication with spirits’... but yet is also very open to ‘the moving of the Holy Spirit which includes spirit phenomena such as healing, prophecy and glossolalia (‘speaking in tongues’).
I think the Pentecostal movement, and the wider Evangelical movement, have both lost much from their lack of connection with the Spiritualist movement.
It’s my personal judgement after several decades of both observing and reading about spirit phenomena, that mediumship is very closely related to what Christians call the ‘prophetic’ gift and that there is much of great value in the communications that have been conveyed since the mid-1850s (and much earlier too.. going back certainly to the Kabbalistic movement of the 1400s ).
Some day i hope to try to write about what I see as the very close parallels between Christian theology and spirit revelations. The more I discover, the more I feel a great mistake was made by Evangelicals in calling all such phenomena ‘the occult’ and thinking of it as dark and scary.
Nate Cull, Sun 10 Feb, 04:21
Thanks for the link to the Flint material. I just had time to browse it. Without really digging into it and reading other sources, my reaction is much the same as that of Michael Prescott and others, i.e., difficult to believe that Flint could have carried on such an imposture for so many years, or would have had the motivation to do so and fooled so many people with personal information.
Although the mediumship of Kathleen Goligher was not the direct voice, as with Flint, similar arguments have been made regarding the direct voice, although it would take me time to dig them up, time I don’t have right now due to caretaking duties. Here is what Dr. William Crawford said about Goligher’s mediumship, which he studies for some three years.
“While recognizing that both varieties of fraud exist, I am confident that they have been much overrated. Even at séances, such as the Golighers’, where everything is above suspicion, where all phenomena can be demonstrated with the greatest ease to be genuine to the last detail, things happen which to a superficial observer might appear fraudulent. For instance, sometimes the medium’s body, or portions of her body, make spasmodic kinds of movements when heavy raps or impacts are being experienced far out in the circle. These are simply the reactions due to the raps and are what we might expect. The seeker after fraud (who by the way is usually a person with no knowledge of science) immediately puts them down to imposture. My experiments, conducted over a long period of time and more thoroughly than any ever carried out hitherto, have proved to me beyond all question that the medium’s body is either directly or indirectly the focus of all the mechanical actions which result in phenomena. And not only is it the focus but it also seems to supply a kind of duplicate of portions of her body, which can be temporarily detached and projected into the space in front of her.
“Thus, things happen in the séance room which, from the nature of the case, sometimes bears a superficial appearance of fraud, though, in a properly conducted circle it is only superficial, and the true and genuine nature of the phenomena can always be discovered by a little investigation.”
Michael Tymn, Sat 9 Feb, 21:06
For an exhaustive discussion of the Leslie Flint case see:
Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 9 Feb, 02:16
I have met a few people, mostly SPR researchers, who attended a Flint séance back in the day and I know a well-known retired London lawyer named Aubrey Rose (see link below) who attended regular sittings with Flint during the last two decades of Flint’s life and became friends with him. Aubrey sat dozens of times in Flint’s modest living room and met other sitters and he told me he never saw or sensed any kind of fraud. He has a drawer full of tapes, as many of the sitters would have had—and if the accusation is that the tapes were faked in some way, I think he would say that’s definitely not possible.
Aubrey has nothing but praise for Flint’s genuineness and modesty. He told me he had plenty of personal evidence of Flint’s talents as a medium. Family evidence mostly, from people who had passed on.
I have no idea if the famous people are who they claimed to be but I don’t got the impression from people I’ve met who met Flint that he and Betty and George were anything other than genuine. That doesn’t mean the communicators were who they say they were. I don’t think we can never really know that. Having listening to some of the tapes, I found the regular communicators much more interesting that the so-called famous people.
Jon, Fri 8 Feb, 23:58
I am not a big Leslie Flint fan. I read his autobiography many years ago, but, even though he claimed to be the most tested medium ever, I have yet to see any independent research reports on his mediumship. There is so much more out there than Leslie Flint that was tested by credible scientists.
Michael Tymn, Fri 8 Feb, 18:29
Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 8 Feb, 17:26
What was the “big clue” in the Scole Report? - AOD
You have brought up a very good case which has been discussed ad nauseum on several blogs on the internet. I too have my own theory of who the direct voices really were but there were many ideas about who and what they were. There are many reasons to suspect that the voices were not who they claimed to be. As an American I am especially suspicious of the voices purported to be Marilyn Monroe, Bessie Smith and Herbert Hoover. But I suppose the fact that Monroe and Hoover do not sound like they did in life is, according to some people, inconsequential as the sound reportedly was coming from a “voice box” made of ectoplasm extruded from Leslie Flint with additional materials obtained from the sitters.
For me, ‘Bessie Smith’ is a parody of Butterfly McQueen as ‘Prissy’ in “Gone With The Wind” a movie which Flint would have been very familiar with since he was a movie buff and she was a character which Flint, living in England, might have thought represented negroes in America. It is truly laughable!
I think the bottom line for me regarding the Leslie Flint tapes, recorded by George Woods and Betty Green is that they are not recordings of disembodied spirits but are manifestations of one or more sitters including Leslie Flint present during the séance. I tend to believe that Mr. Woods and Mrs. Green were complicit in recording the voices. But I am not dogmatic in my belief, acknowledging that there could be other explanations for the voice discrepancies. In my opinion the Leslie Flint case is not the best evidence, not even good evidence of spirits.
I recommend reading about the mediumship of Etta Wriedt who also was involved in ‘direct voice’. Michael Tymn has written at least one blog about her and I recommend reading that. And then perhaps, go on to the books by W. Usborne Moore, “Glimpses of the Next State, and “The Voices”, in which he documents his attendance at séances conducted by Mrs. Wriedt. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 8 Feb, 17:10
Just out of interest I wonder who honestly believes the spirits channeled by Leslie Flint were who they purported to be and how come they breath. I think you would have to be particularly forgiving to overlook the various discrepancies to think for a minute they were who they said they were which defines my point, in this instance we are starting off with a lie. I have my own theories as to who they actually are and I think the Scole report furnished us with a big clue.
Gavin Doyle, Fri 8 Feb, 15:45
Your quote of Judge Edmonds describes better than I ever could the communication from and spirit of Patience Worth.
“[The] general character has been such as to warrant me saying that I have been struck with their beauty – their sublimity at times – and the uniformly elevated tone of morals which they teach. They are eminently practical in their character, and not in a sentiment is to be found that would be unacceptable to the most pure and humble Christian. The lessons which they are those of love, kindness, and are addressed to the calm, deliberate reason of man, asking from him no blind faith, but a careful inquiry and a deliberate judgment… - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 7 Feb, 23:57
Thanks again to all for the comments. I might add the words of New York State Supreme Court Justice John Edmonds, one of the first psychical researchers:
“Oh, how sad is the mistake of him, who from a superficial examination, ventures to pronounce it all evil! He may as well enter the dens of iniquity in this great city, and hearing amid its festering wickedness the mingled shout of blasphemy and ribaldry that will ascend before him, thence infer that such is the character of this whole community.
“[The] general character has been such as to warrant me saying that I have been struck with their beauty – their sublimity at times – and the uniformly elevated tone of morals which they teach. They are eminently practical in their character, and not in a sentiment is to be found that would be unacceptable to the most pure and humble Christian. The lessons which they are those of love, kindness, and are addressed to the calm, deliberate reason of man, asking from him no blind faith, but a careful inquiry and a deliberate judgment… [At one sitting] it was said, ‘Imitate Christ in his humility, in his submission to the will of God, and in his love to man, and you will be acceptable to God.’”
Michael Tymn, Thu 7 Feb, 21:49
In response to Gavin, I think one needs to consider the definition of ‘lie’, that is, the noun suggesting that something is not true. The dictionary defines ‘lie’ as “an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker or writer to be untrue with intent to deceive.” The key with this definition is that something is said or written with the “intent to deceive.” After having read or seen many examples of spirit interactions of various sorts with humans, I think that few examples provide actual ‘lies’ according to the definition.
Is some of the information provided untrue or false? Maybe—-and in some cases certainly, but I don’t think that the preponderance of it has been provided with an “intent to deceive”. I could never say that ” without exception spirits lie.” And who am I anyway to know enough to affirmatively label something said by a spirit as a lie. Having said that, I agree that there may be some so-called “lower level spirits” who enjoy spinning a good tale, much as they did when they were in physical form but if one “tests the spirits” as cautioned, I think that eventually they will be found out.
There are difficulties inherent in the transmission of communications from the spirit world. Usually there is always a medium directly involved, except in the cases of ‘direct voice’ communications. But even in those cases there is a medium in the room and the spirits claim to use power of the medium (and the sitters) to communicate. In many communications there is a spirit who acts as a control or link in the spirit world transmitting information from another spirit to the medium who then transmits it to a sitter. And often, many mediums see, hear and feel things which they have to interpret and discern the meaning. This all provides many opportunities for communications to become garbled. Frederic Myers acknowledged this when he said from the spirit world that trying to communicate was like trying to see and speak through a clouded glass or something to that effect.
If it turns out that communication from the spirit world does not agree with one’s belief system, that in itself is not proof that what was transmitted was a lie. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 7 Feb, 20:30
@ Gavin Doyle,
You are right that spirit communications often convey false information or questionable teachings. It does not follow, however, that spirits “lie” (although some nasty customers in the shadier realms of the astral do). The alternative and more likely view is that sincere spirits can be mistaken.
Even some post-mortem communicators have warned us that simply passing over to the other side doesn’t automatically confer complete understanding. While it appears that in the afterlife there are more and better opportunities to understand the higher teachings, spirits must still continue their education. They can persist in certain errors and illusions even after shedding some of them.
We should use discernment in accepting (or not) messages from the spirit world, but we need not assume that most of those messages are intended to deceive.
Rick Darby, Thu 7 Feb, 20:05
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God.”
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and such is the spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already it is in the world.”
~1 John 4:1-3 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
Note that it says “is come” in the present tense. Yes indeed, but this time in the appearance of all humans. Not as one single human only. Otherwise our Father would not have made it possible for all of us to ever have the happiness He and His Son enjoy. Even an earthly father who loves his children willing they all be as equally happy as he himself is would have more love for his children than God the Father would have for us.
That love of an earthly father or mother for their offspring is the love of God manifesting through them.
Any spirit that denies that is the Anti-Christ. Obviously the world is still nearly completely under the power of that spirit or consciousness.
Sin is not believing in the Son of God:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
And when He is come, He will reprove the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment: concerning sin, because they believe not in Me;”
“He who confesses his sins, and accuses them, now does the work with God.
God accuses your sins: and if you also accuse, you are united to God.”
~Augustine Tractate 12 (John 3:6-21) chapter 3, paragraph 13.
“The Son Himself says, ‘Your Eyes have seen My imperfect being. That which is imperfect in My Body, Your Eyes have seen’.”
~St. Augustine, Sermon 85 §6.
“To him that believes in Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. ~Romans 4:5. This is the work in which we may
be doing the works of Christ, for even our very believing in Christ is the work of Christ. It is this He works in us, not certainly without us.”
~Augustine, Tractate 72 (John 14:10-14), paragraph 2.
Elsewhere in the Tractate St.Augustine writes that there is a difference between believing someone and believing in someone. That we can believe Peter and Paul, but not in Peter and Paul because believing is an activity that takes place in the one believing.
He writes that the devils believed Christ -they were the first ones to recognize Him and call Him Son of God- but they did not believe in Him.
So when we don’t believe that when we believe in Christ that activity of believing in Christ is taking place in Christ, be it in our appearance still of the sinful flesh, we are like the devils.
It is Christ Who in us believes in Himself that He is the Son of God in our appearance of the sinful flesh when we believe it. Christ not having any sin but appearing to have it when we don’t believe in Him as explained by
“And it is assuredly something less to preach the words of righteousness, which He did apart from us, than to justify the ungodly, which He does in
Lodewijk Langeweg, Thu 7 Feb, 18:58
such a way in us that we also are doing it ourselves.”
~Tractate 72 (John 14:10-14), paragraph 3.
Michael, let me add my name to the many who have congratulated you on this essay. It is a fine representation of the classic argument. It could be used as an intructional text in a class on “discernment for beginners”.
Best wishes form Canada!
gordon phinn, Thu 7 Feb, 17:38
You have to ask yourself why without exception spirits lie, do you really want to be communing with liars, nine times out of ten the so called veridical evidence does indeed contain some truths but there always turns out to be some lies contained within, take Joe Fishers Hungry Ghosts for example. Why is it that most of Leslie flints communications on the surface seem like very good noble teachings while at the same time denigrating The Church and Christ? It is not that complicated really yet such wise men as Conan Doyle and Sir William Crookes were taken in by it, it beggars belief.
Gavin Doyle, Thu 7 Feb, 14:01
(To get here I had to add www. before this address given in the e-mails:
These days the last thing I do before closing my laptop is go to Calmdownmind and watch one or two of the many short videos after tapping on Videos on its home page.
I might as well use my addiction to the Internet to the advantage of my soul. Those videos evoke the necessary moral boost I need to finally close my laptop, light a candle as symbol for the pure light of consciousness and the burning love of our true Being, and just only sit watching all the mental activity and sensations and feelings that come into awareness then.
Next to the burning candle stands an A4 sized sheet of paper, backed by a same sized carton sheet to back it up, on a stand normally used for smartphones and tablets, with in large purple font printed on it:
“Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
It can feel like purgatory, but may God eventually come to enjoy his love and joy also in my soul, and from there in others.
Lodewijk Langeweg, Wed 6 Feb, 11:08
I do agree with points that Michael is making. As an Anglican or Episcopal priest, I would make the point that churches are for prayer and worship, love and community service. To inform the life of faith, Christians have used varying collections of manuscripts, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, written over as much as a thousand years. Protestant Christians use a shorter Bible, Episcopalians use the same collection, and also a collection they call the Apocrypha, the Catholics combine both collections in one. The Orthodox churches have additional books. Those Christian who emphasize love of God and neighbour will find inspiration from many of these books. Legalists will be drawn to others. Thank you, Michael
Michael Cocks, Wed 6 Feb, 05:21
Clearly there has been a misunderstanding owing to incorrect translation. The world is going to the fish. But occasionally mind.
Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli at Rome depicts the Jewish prophet with horns sprouting from his head. The version of the Old Testament Michelangelo was working from translated “rays of light” as “horns.”
Rick Darby, Wed 6 Feb, 00:47
Regarding your friend, sadly it seems he is one of many Christians who seem to have become deaf to the reasonable expectation that it was always God’s will - that prophets would continue advising us all of God’s message, and in a manner more suited to our times. It surely therefore seems illogical to revere all prophets of the Old Testament without question yet ignore completely all those of today. Probably this deafness has resulted from too much notice since biblical times of the fearful exhortations of the Old Testament to mete out the most appalling treatment (including immediate death) to psychics and mediums. Below are some New Testament Biblical quotes which you could possibly refer to him which may change his mind.
Some New Testament quotes that support mediums/psychics – the prophets of today
“I will send the prophets and messengers”.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”. (NIV)
[Jesus speaking] “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me”. (NIV)
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-21,
“Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.”
Bruce Scott-Hill, Tue 5 Feb, 22:22
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”. (Context is that “works” means Christs miracles, so obviously it could include psychic/medium capabilities.)
Great article, Mike.
A couple interesting points come to mind in reference to the passages sited by your friend. First, he apparently is unaware that the New Testament didn’t yet exist at the time the Book of Revelations was written, nor has the Author of Revelations been identified. Scholars believe that Revelations was written in code to be understood by Christians of the day who were facing persecution, so reading it literally is a mistake.
The New Testament was compiled later and not canonized for several hundred years. That means the statement made in Revelations could only have been in reference to the Old Testament, therefore according to the claim made, the creation and compilation of the New Testament would be heresy.
I also find it interesting when people refer to Old Testament passages from Deuteronomy and Leviticus to denounce Mediums. In those same books you’ll find passages indicating that slavery is an acceptable practice, and that a disobedient son should be taken to a public place to be stoned to death. Is that the inspired word of God?
For those who wish to read more on the subject, here is link to an article I wrote for “Helping Parents Heal”, which is an international group for bereaved parents:
Mark Ireland, Tue 5 Feb, 18:46
I truly enjoyed this one.
It is so very true. It is so very much about semantics when talking to people
about this topic.
Sometimes, if you can find the “right” type of jargon they use, one can get a little bit through to a person about the afterlife and such.
If after speaking with them I can cause them to doubt or question even a little of what they might believe, I feel I’ve done my duty.
Since us Spiritists believe in reincarnation, we know that every person is at a
different level of comprehension regarding spiritual matters and other things
(although some outright not consider it more out of pride for various reasons)
eventually… all will come around to believing in the spirits, the afterlife, etc.
Yvonne Limoges, Tue 5 Feb, 18:31
It is always so sad when people have such indoctrinated ideas. In any case the bible was put together by men who had an agenda to control people and, as everyone knows, has been amended through the years to suit themselves. I do believe that they have taken the words of the man called Jesus and totally misrepresented his mission.
Ok Michael, if I see you in hell we will have a lot of friends there !
Tricia Robertson, Tue 5 Feb, 18:30
BTW Amos..I adore Patience Worth.
Mike if you’re going to hell because you believe in Spiritism, a lot of us are going to be there with you! Blessings Karen
Karen Herrick PhD, Tue 5 Feb, 16:01
Human beings are great at taking control of just about anything which involves power or money and using to their own advantages. i.e., our innate spirituality and direct connection to the source high-jacked by religious organizations with the statement their church and belief in one individual as no-less, the son of God, is the only way to heaven, for those they convice of this they are then locked in, no escape from that faith. Worse, they teach if you don’t follow their power schemes, you will be tormented for an eternity in a place called hell, and last but not least, you must financially support their organizations to be able to receive the grace of God, the real reason behind all of the other lies. From what I see, humanity has been manipulating themselves in this regard for as long as religions have existed, the Christian religious leadership one of the worst abusers.
Chris, Tue 5 Feb, 13:40
I’m enjoying your latest blog. There are many things in the Bible that puzzle me. For instance, as you point out, Revelation: 22:18 reads;
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: pity anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
I’m no biblical scholar but as I understand it the Bible was compiled 200-300 years after the biblical texts were written (as far as we know) and Revelation was placed conveniently at the end of the New testament. Surely when Revelation was written, the writer would not have known of the other 65 books (depending on which version) that make up the Bible? Does this mean the other books are “added?”
Or am I missing something?
Jon, Tue 5 Feb, 11:18
It so happens that John of the Cross has written a few chapters on hearing voices, and how to discern the voice of God from voices that are not of God.
That the best thing to do is not to pay heed to any voice -locution- that does not bring a divine virtue with it. If the voice would say “Fear not” and any fear one might have felt is then instantly gone, replaced by a divine peace, that is the voice of God. Or if one would hear “Love Me” one would instantly feel a great love.
Such a voice one would have no doubt about is from God.
But all other voices one better not pay heed to, because the devil can make himself appear to be an angel of light. And even if the voice would come from God but does not bring a divine virtue as mentioned with it, one could misinterpret the meaning of it, so also in that case it is better not to heed it.
Teresa of Avila also wrote something similar.
The text John of the Cross wrote about hearing locutions is found here:
Ascent of Mount Carmel by John of the Cross
Book Two Chapter 21
God’s displeasure at requests for revelations and locutions, even though he sometimes answers them. Proofs of how he is frequently angered in spite of his condescension and response.
Book Two Chapter 22
Resolving a doubt about why in the law of grace it is not permitted to question God through supernatural means as it was in the old law. Proof from St. Paul.
Available for free here:
Lodewijk Langeweg, Tue 5 Feb, 07:05
I am non the wiser, yet I continue to read articles like this, I would never listen to my Spirit Guides again, I have researched too much, I know too much, yet I know nothing! I would never put myself through the emotional roller coaster ever again, maybe I am not enlightened enough to cope, I don’t know, I don’t really care anymore. Truly I just wish they would leave us alone, no good is coming from it all. They don’t seem to be able to help us. They just speak of love over and over , it is amazing how they can just speak on and on but say nothing, yet we continue to hang onto ever word !
Kerrie, Tue 5 Feb, 05:35
Thank you for the correction. Yes, I meant “asylum,” not “amnesty” and will make the change.
I also find it difficult to reconcile fundamentalist beliefs with our ideas of justice. My friend addresses that by saying that “the ways of the Lord are not always understood by us,” or words to that effect.
Thanks to all others who have commented here. Your comments are appreciated and definitely add to the discussion
Michael Tymn, Mon 4 Feb, 23:41
I am an ex-fundamentalist who still values the writings of the Old and New Testaments with which I resonate. Just a few days ago, I realized that the words “channeling” and “automatic writing” are the current words for what Christians claim is the source of “the Word of Go.” I used to believe that every single word in the Bible was “down-loaded” from God and must be trusted and obeyed. The Scripture verse we used was, “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:21).” Honestly, that is the same as channeling and automatic writing in which a spirit temporarily inhabits the speaker or writer and speaks or writes through him or her. That’s pretty amazing. I bet Christians don’t really think about the fact that channeling and automatic writing are the sources of their holy book.
Brian Anthony Kraemer, Mon 4 Feb, 20:11
Everyone is in a quandary including me ...what’s right what’s not….the universe is clever to allow all to follow their in bred Godlness ...the heart….the big book ...were men’s good ideas
Robin Roberts, Mon 4 Feb, 18:47
But your intent matters finally ....your heart felt intent is the route to take ...the live universe will give you exactly what you ask…..no discrination ...all fare ...no one needs to yearn
It will be given ....just work towards purity of heart ...keep sweeping out the bad feelings that creep in and consider yourself at a pretty good standing for a pretty good future
If we do not we will find diffculty…like unable to find our way
...struggle too move ahead like covered in some goo….preventing us getting any where ....
...keeping us back…a very frustrating situation in a dungeon with no one around no one can hear us ...this is hell ...
We can escape that awful chained situation by cleaning out our heart ...Robbie
Mike, I find it frightening that your friend was ever a judge, since he does not appear to think clearly nor to be capable of good judgment.
People who are brought up in his brand of “Christianity” supposedly study the Bible, yet they may be completely unaware of its history and the meanings of words in the languages originally used to write it.
(By the way, where you wrote “amnesty,” I think you meant “asylum.”)
Elene, Mon 4 Feb, 18:31
Sounds just like Augustine what the spirit claiming to be him says. In any case sure good advice to follow.
Lodewijk Langeweg, Mon 4 Feb, 17:58
Mike, Don’t let the fundamentalist (true believers) stop the service that you provide to so many of us that are a little more doubtful we know everything. I have read the same books they have and don’t find absolute truth in them.
Keith, Mon 4 Feb, 17:32
In their true essence words are just written symbols for physical things, and non-physical things. Many animals, including humans use auditory symbols, ‘speech’, to communicate with their fellow species. Humans are unique in that they use written symbols to communicate but auditory symbols came first with written symbols just a primitive means of recording the sound symbol. But a word or a sound is just a symbol for something else; it has no intrinsic meaning in and of itself. The meaning of words comes by consensus within a culture. The same symbols, both written and auditory may mean different things to different peoples. The meanings of written and sound symbols has changed over numerous generations of humans so than the meaning of a symbol today in a culture may not be the same as the meaning of the symbol, say, 50 or more years ago, e.g. ‘gay’.
There have been many interpretations of the writings that have been collected into the Bible and many published versions of the Bible. Over the generations books were added or taken out as well as specific content. It has been translated into many languages with many different word symbols used to communicate thoughts. For those reasons and others I believe that the Bible cannot be taken literally within a culture. One must try to get at the thoughts that those who wrote the symbols are trying to convey. Not an easy task!
I do believe that ‘Patience Worth” whatever she was, provides a unique opportunity to discover new information about the conscious and unconscious abilities of human beings. Studies of Patience Worth and Pearl Curran may also reveal something about an unknown state of existence; the state in which the entity(ies) calling herself “Patience Worth” lived. I think that the Patience Worth case is the very best opportunity to discover whether or not consciousness survives death of the physical form. The evidence is there for anyone to consider.
Most people want spectacular manifestations of spirit survival like apparitions, direct voices, poltergeist phenomena, self-playing accordions or pianos, etc. and few will take the time and make the effort to study the Patience Worth case which requires reading her extant poems, aphorisms, novels, plays and table talk and then trying to understand just ‘how did Pearl do that!’ Dr. Franklin Walter Prince made a good effort in 1926-27 to do that and published a major reference book titled, “The Case of Patience Worth” originally published in 1927, many copies and editions of which are available on the internet at a reasonable price.
Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 4 Feb, 17:31
I might add to Michael’s example of exotic word usage by Patience Worth additional examples discerned by Casper S. Yost and published in Princes’ book. Typically many of the words may still be in use today but, meaningfully used by Patience Worth in senses which are now obsolete. Yost provides too many to list here but one can find them all on pages 339-340 in the chapter titled “The Dialect of Patience Worth” published in Prince’s book. The following are perhaps a few of the most interesting: sorry—-to grieve, slimed—-dirty, wan—-small or weak, ettle—-to direct speech at, sog—-to saturate, tide—-time, bat—-wink, kirtle—-a woman’s outer garment, wot—-to know, dods—-ill humor, Regale—-a musical instrument, flutter-fly—-titmouse. Now, mind you, Pearl Curran wrote this language in the teens and twenties of the early 20th century with little more than a grade school formal education but obviously, with an innate intelligence. I challenge anyone to find just one example in the writings of Patience Worth that would provide evidence that she was a daemon, To the contrary within all of her writings one can discern a deep love of God and all of his creation. - AOD
Excellent discussion! I’ve read similar explanations, but “Christian Literalists” refuse to be persuaded!I also subscribe to the Friday AfterLife Report out of Australia. Excellent. I just finished writing my 20th book, THE BOOK OF LIFE, Commentaries by Richard Lee VanDerVoort, Master Psychic, and his Spirit Guides, psychically channeled. Will be up on Amazon during March 2019.I will be submitting it to White Crow Press.
Richard Lee Van Der Voort, Mon 4 Feb, 15:07
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