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Family Feuds in the Afterlife – Part II

Posted on 20 May 2024, 5:55

This is a continuation of the prior blog.  It involves the renowned Irish medium Geraldine Cummins (GC) and four sisters.  Molly Ross, the youngest and only living sister, had nine sittings with GC from 1925 thru 1929 and heard from her three sisters, Audrey, Margaret, and Alice, vis GC’s automatic writing.  Astor is the spirit control of GC.  Beatrice Gibbes was GC’s assistant, who would change the pages which the semi-entranced GC wrote on.  Mater is their mother and Pater their father.


On November 12, 1928, Molly returned for another sitting with GC. Astor announced that both Margaret and Alice were there. “You mustn’t mind too much what Alice says to you,” Margaret opened the dialogue. “She is still very much in the cloud of her memories. She feels, however, that things are not so bad here now. At first she found fault with so many different aspects of life in this place between the worlds. There is a kind of intermediate state, you know. If only human beings would talk to their people when they are in that state it would give such comfort…I had a difficult time, but it is over now. You did help me.”

In a later sitting, Molly asked Alice what she had been doing with her time. “I was taken to a land like the earth in some ways but very different in others,” Alice responded. “For instance, you see rocks, trees, houses, about you, but if you choose to close your outward eyes and use another part of you that can perceive, you see right through these rocks, trees, houses, and solid earth. They tell me here that even while you are on earth, if you practiced them from childhood closing the outer eyes and willing hard to see with the eyes of your inner body, everything also would become transparent to you. And you would see other strange things.”

Molly asked about Margaret. “Oh! I’ve no patience with her,” Alice communicated…. dear, she is so stupid, still.” Molly noted that Alice always complained of Margaret’s stupidity.  “She is just planted there in her wretched house, trying to pretend she is living just as she did on earth, which is such nonsense,” Alice continued.  “It is just as if I had pretended all my life I was a baby in a nursery and kept on sucking a bottle.  Margaret is still sucking her baby bottle and she whines for her baby comforter.  Why, I am already far ahead of her, though I have been here such a short time.”

Alice said that had she known what it was like on that side when she was on earth, she would not have bothered so much about dinners and overdrafts.  Molly recalled that Alice was frequently worried about overdrafts.

The sisters began to discuss Alice’s dog.  As Alice tried to write the name of her dog, Patricia, she wrote “Patsey, Pitri-e-“ and then “STUPID,” after which the pencil was flung violently down.  After things quieted down, Alice apologized and said she could not get the hand to write properly.

During a March 26, 1929 sitting, Astor asked Molly to wait while he found her sister.  After fumbling with the pencil, Alice began writing in her broken and uneven calligraphy. She informed Mollie that Margaret was giving her a hard time and requested that she mediate. “She is just as mulish as ever,” Alice wrote.  Molly recalled Alice using that word many times in describing Margaret.
“You know what she’s like,” Alice continued.  “She’s just the same.  Wants everything to be run in her way, by rules and regulations.  I told her she was the real trouble.  That her nagging about this and that was bad for the Mater.”  Molly also recalled Alice’s frequent use of the word “nagging.”

More Complaints

After a pause, Margaret communicated and complained about Alice.  “She is just the same.  She hasn’t changed a bit.  You remember how she used to carry all before her, sweep everything aside to suit herself; behave as though she were the only person in the house to be attended to.  Of course, you were so young when we were together in the house you can’t remember how spoilt and impossible she was.  Well, she has simply taken possession of the Mater.  She behaves as if she were mistress of everything. She tries to prevent my seeing her.  She won’t let me tell the Mater about my own little difficulties…And when she is coming out in the old colors again I think it is high time she was put in her place. Molly recalled Margaret frequently saying “coming out in old colors again” with regard to Alice.

Molly suggested that Margaret try to get on better with Alice and she might then gravitate to happier conditions.  Margaret said that she would think it over, then wrote that she would say a few nice words to Alice, after which Alice would speak.  “She is so silly, you know,” Margaret ended.  “She boasted to the mater that she had managed to get married and that I hadn’t, and had done nothing with my life.”  Molly noted that Alice used to taunt Margaret about not being married and doing nothing with her life.
After a pause of about a half-minute, the pencil tapped and Alice’s peculiar writing began.  “I thought you would do it, Molly,” Alice wrote. “She has apologized to me…she saw how much she was in the wrong.  I shall get real peace and happiness now if Margaret really does leave the Mater to me…”

Alice went on to tell Molly that her new body has been growing and changing.  “You would be surprised if you saw it.  I have grown so much younger.  It gives me pleasure to look and feel as if I were in the twenties again….Perhaps Charles and I will have to live together. HOW HEAVENLY!”  Molly noted that Alice often used this expression in jest. It was written in extra-large letters.

On March 28, Molly again sat with GC.  She asked Astor if she could speak to her two weird sisters.  “They have, during their life on earth, impregnated their ever-growing etheric doubles with the spirit of antagonism for each other,” Astor communicated.  “My friend, you sow the seeds of another potential existence here.  You need not be too troubled about them.  Slowly this warp in their being will be straightened out.  But at the moment, when they meet, they respond to old, deep antagonisms.  I will summons them.”

Margaret communicated first and said that she had told Mater she would not be seeing much of her in the future because Alice was jealous of her. “The Mater said the people one lives with can be the creation of our own minds; that I could make Alice a really lovable person by thinking her so all the time.  Such nonsense, really.”  Molly noted that this was a phrase frequently used by Margaret.
Molly asked how Pater was coping with the situation. “He seems only to be amused at what’s happened,” Margaret responded. “He isn’t interested in either of us.  His whole mind is fixed on some work he has here. He always was that way.  Didn’t bother about people.”  Molly confirmed this as correct.

After some other comments by Margaret, there was a pause and Alice returned and wrote that everything has been going well since Margaret left and that she has been visiting many old friends with Mater.  She added that Margaret needed a “husband of the firm kind” to make her understand how to live.  Molly noted that Alice often remarked that women needed “firm husbands.”
The handwriting changed to that of Mater, who affectionately greeted Molly.  Molly asked her what was going on with Alice and Margaret. “Oh yes, I was very upset about it,” Mater replied.  “It reminded me of the old days when they quarreled and I could do nothing with them…You know I didn’t see much of Margaret till Alice came.  Then she used to visit us a great deal.  At first, I was very pleased.  Then I saw it was partly not to let Alice be the one and only.  So silly, really.”  Mollie noted that Margaret was not particularly fond of her mother when alive, and it was very like her to try and upset arrangements under the circumstances as described.
Mater explained to Molly that Alice, being newly arrived, needed her attention more than Margaret did.  “I am happy because I know I am able, in this way, to help her to happiness.  I don’t mind her taking control of everything. I won’t restrain her now.  I will let her give her own nature full play.  Later she will begin to learn, and will change.  At present what is essential is that she should be content after her long discontent, as it would be fatal if she became warped or embittered.” Mater added that Margaret is much harder to help because she hates change, and she is naturally indolent.

Because of pressures of other work and also because GC had been in Ireland for several months, Molly did not sit with GC again until September 29, 1929.  Molly told Astor that she would like to talk to her two strange sisters.  After a pause, Margaret began writing.  She mentioned that she had been around Molly several times during the summer and was glad that she was able to spend some time with John (Alice’s husband). “You can be very sympathetic,” Margaret wrote.  “He never met with that in his married life anyway.”  Molly noted that she had visited John several times and what Margaret said was for the most part true.

Progress Made

Molly asked Margaret how she was doing.  “Things are getting brighter for me,” Margaret replied.  “Alice taunted me about not having friends here, so I thought I would show her that I had my own circle.  So, though I didn’t like doing it at all, I looked up strangers.  I tried to make the acquaintance of quite unprepossessing people. The result is, I have made my circle now, but it wouldn’t have been made if it hadn’t been for Stephen.  You don’t know him.  He is the man I loathed so much, who had to live with me here. Well, he isn’t so bad after all, though he does upset me still; he is so unmethodical and untidy.” 

Margaret asked Molly if she would come to live with her when it was her time to cross over to the other side, but Molly said she would have to see what conditions are when she gets there.  Molly then said that she would like to talk to Alice.

“May I say that I think you are very foolish to talk to Alice?” Margaret replied.  She will only weary you with her temper, but of course, if you want to have a row with her, you can…I could tell you a great deal about travel here if you talk to me.  Most interesting.  The worlds you can visit, the states you can enter…..”  But Molly rejected the offer and asked that Alice be allowed to take over the hand.

After a pause, the untidy broken handwriting of Alice began.  “Stupid.  This hand is idiotic,” Alice wrote as she struggled to take control of GC’s hand.  “Molly dear, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is not to have to be cook, housekeeper, charwoman and nurse to John, all combined,” Alice wrote. “Don’t tell him I said that. I know he did his best.”

Alice went on to say that when John comes over she will leaver Mater and make a home with John since he would never be able to look after himself there.  “He seems to be able to look after himself now at any rate,” Molly told Alice.  “I don’t think you need bother.”
But Alice insisted that she wanted to be with John again.  When Molly said she didn’t seem to appreciate him when she was on earth, Alice agreed.  “I know I didn’t.  I have grown to want John again.  It was the reverse on earth.”

Gibbes summarized the case by writing: “It would be difficult to attribute the production of the Ross scripts to the ‘subconscious activity’ of Miss Cummins. Her mind contained no reminiscences or associations upon which it could draw in order to successfully dramatize these very original ladies.  That language employed is purely colloquial and there is no attempt to emulate the style of a particular author known to us.  But there is the precise building up of curious and mundane personalities which were characteristic of certain deceased persons unknown to the automatist, but definitely claimed to be recognized by their surviving relatives.”

Gibbes added that the writing did not bear any resemblance to GC’s normal script and the phraseology was much different than that used by GC in her conscious state.  Moreover, she concluded that the individuality of the spirit communicators made such theories as telepathy and Universal Memory highly unlikely.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
His latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow books.

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Next blog post:  June 3


Dear all,

The book “Life before Life” by Helen Wambach has an amusing final chapter Finding Truth on the All American Talk Show

The chapter explores how someone with a new idea on life after death is on an interview panel on television.
Geraldine Cummins, if she lived in the modern era, would be on a similar interview panel. There is no great knowledge advanced but the entertainment of a debate. Helen explained that her research used group hypnosis and recorded the percentage of the responses with the highest percentages forming the reported view. If one person has a point of view then we can dismiss it but if the majority report the same then there must be some solid substance.
In some ways, this chapter reflects our discussion on this blog. In the end those on the interview met in a dream and those things that each believed melded in to one. Maybe one day this might happen here.

A very interesting chapter to include and as the debate of GC’s contribution to the debate on life after death fades we have been entertained much like Helen’s final chapter.

Worth a read,

Bruce, Wed 29 May, 19:35

Don and Amos,
My medium side is always looking for what we call in cybersecurity “deep fakes”. They are often hard to spot in hit and run messages. Mischievous souls with a desire for trickery. The longer the relationship between a medium and their control(s) the stronger the link. It has a unique feel as it is really the same as friendship. You can feel the qualities of those who communicate. This analysis goes towards sifting messages from fake to real. Analysis is asking the correct questions.
I always asked why what and how much in my twenty years of New Product Development. These three questions gave me the insight I needed to analyse any proposition. I was therefore very glad to see Why emerge in this debate. For the why we first look to the old wants and needs of those walking the earth. When a link of love is broken the need to continue that link is obvious. People want to communicate and they may or may not believe in the afterlife, but they need to try and are willing to give it a go.
(If the medium does not charge, what is the downside, an hour of hearing someone tell you to be kind to people.)
The other part of the why is from the spirits viewpoint. Again it is to reassure those walking the earth that their fear is unfounded. There is life after death. Why is it so important for this knowledge of love to continue.
What is the next question to consider. What method can be used to communicate this love? Trance, light trance, automatic writing are all choices to convey messages of love. Sometimes we get glimpses of the organisations that operate beyond the veil. Controls like Astor can grab the desired person. What is going on that there is no system that those who want to communicate are unable to convey their message. Is there a switchboard with limited connections.
The last is How much progress can someone achieve? How does reincarnation work?
I looked at a book Life before Life Helen Wambach page 80  with a chapter on Why
The regression had a survey asking Why (Why are we living? – answer spiritual development ) and What (What is your purpose in choosing this coming lifetime? – purpose was blanked I know there was a reason why I was here but couldn’t really remember why.)
So mediums and past life regressions have the problem of being left in the dark (along with others) about life’s mysteries.
I did like Don’s reference to Eric. I was tempted to ask was Don now acting as a medium. If Amos follows then my work here is done. I do appreciate the debate between you two as it expands my limits of knowledge. Michael mentioned my old spiritualist friend Alfred Russel Wallace who said The facts beat me. His strength of character is often found in the characters on this blog.

Bruce, Mon 27 May, 10:09

Hello Pete Marley…

Yes, of course you’re absolutely right about the possible effects of one’s exposure to the various dogmas and isms. My own wife, as mentioned somewhere previously on this blog, after a childhood of indoctrination by the Irish Catholic nuns (in New York—perhaps not quite the same as in County Mayo) was a long-time “lapsed Catholic” when we first met. After some years of being the dedicated proofreader/critic during the writing of my first book, she was impressed enough by what she was reading that she felt impelled to rejoin the Church—although one of a far less doctrinaire variety than she had been accustomed to. For that one mind at least, the apparent “truth” of spiritual reality was too strong for her to dismiss. Our biases can indeed be overcome.

All of which said, this is probably a good place to throw in a quote, which I just came across yesterday, from a communicating spirit who went by the name of “Red Cloud” (not his real name, as he was apparently an Egyptian from an earlier age) delivered during a lecture on “Man’s Spiritual Consciousness” in March of 1935…

“God has given you the right to think individually, despite the fact that you are part of the Whole. If you prefer to wallow in the dim and dark cellar of illusion, if you will not allow your soul to blossom forth in all its beauty by sustaining it with spiritual food then you are free to please yourself.”

Not much more I can add…

Thanks for your comments..

Don Porteous, Sun 26 May, 21:13

Hi Don,
I don’t accept your distinction between open and closed minds when it comes to the afterlife.
Using your dichotomy I am predisposed to a belief in the survival of consciousness as a result of an Irish Catholic upbringing. However because I feel I was duped, it has made me ultra cautious when it comes to a an acceptance of an alternative.
However I don’t think it’s a simple matter of me now having a closed mind according to your reasoning.
I look at the evidence and as I have said before on this blog I still vacillate between belief and non belief after all these years.
Granted it is not a very comfortable position for me to occupy but there it is.
If pressed I would come down on the side of a belief in an afterlife but it is by no means cut and dried for me.
Best wishes
Pete Marley

Pete Marley, Sun 26 May, 08:33

Amos has provided an excellent summary of some of my own recent musings on psychic matters.

Ironically his response to one of my recent posts led me to revisit some of my old books. I have reread a small book by a Church of England vicar who addresses these issues.

He writes about a Derbyshire medium Nella Taylor who provided him with outstanding evidence of the afterlife. I met this vicar before he died and he was nobody’s fool.

What I found interesting was that this particular medium did not like physical mediumship and. I quote, I experienced remarkable physical phenomena, probably the area most open to fraud and deception and least liked by Nella Taylor !
I was unsure about some of the Scole phenomena particularly when the spirits objected to requests from spr members to use infra red cameras.

However some years ago I was in contact with a magician who was a member of the magic circle and attended some of the Scole sessions. He assured me that what he experienced was genuine and no deception was involved.

So there we have it, a couple of examples of from whom II would call trustworthy people to say they experienced genuine physical phenomena.
It is always more difficult to accept these testimonies when you have not had these experiences yourself despite your best efforts to do so!

My last experience with a well known uk medium who was recommended by someone from the spr referenced my father saying he was well educated and surrounded by books! My father was born on a remote farm in the wilds of Mayo. He started work at 14 and never read a book in his life ! When. I told the medium that what he was getting was way off the mark he reacted badly and virtually accused me of wasting his time and stopped the session.

I am not criticising mediums in general but simply giving an example of an experience which was not at all helpful.
Sent from my iPad

the 3 Marleys, Sat 25 May, 21:22


The tone of your response is much appreciated.

The bottom line however remains the same. Once we cut through the sometimes obtuse verbiage on both sides of the “belief” question, it boils down to a matter of choice—and that choice is always going to involve, as you observe, some degree of personal preference. In other words, of “bias.” Some of us come to the table with a a bias in favor of “belief”—that is, with a tendency to be “open-minded” when considering a question. Others display an evident bias in favor of “disbelief”—the tendency to be more “closed-minded” in their judgments. The “evidential requirements” for both sides have been rehashed many times, so there’s no point in doing so again.

Let’s just say that it’s obvious that you and I (among many others here) bring opposing biases to the discussion. I won’t open up the Pandora’s box of trying to diagnose the relative validity of those two competing biases—other than to observe that one of the two would seem to be far more conducive to intellectual change and growth than the other. To each his own…

Don Porteous, Sat 25 May, 11:50


Great subject.

Thanks, Amos. Your comments are always very informative and helpful.

As a medium, spirits are what communicate pure and simple.

No psi or superpsi, etc.

They are individual spirits wanting a voice… to talk to loved ones, to express sadness or anger, and to relay their feelings. Many are brought that are confused, and we help them to understand where they are.

The spirit communications are very individual and unique.

Deceiving spirits have their own personal agenda and are usually prideful and want to be definitely known, too.

Our group of mediums never charge so there is no monetary gain. For us, it is doing charity work and learning from the experiences on what awaits us in the afterlife. 


Yvonne Limoges, Sat 25 May, 01:58

I am not sure that I fully understand your question but it seems to ask: What is it about the evidence in this particular subject area that renders it so immune to belief?  This “particular subject area,” I assume to be the existence of a spirit reality.

I don’t know how to answer your question without getting into definitions and semantics.  “Evidence” of a spiritual reality takes in a lot of mostly verbal reports from people, such as people who have had a near death experience, who report a past life existence, who say they have been in another reality or from people who have observed phenomena that they interpret to have been initiated by entities existing in a non-physical reality.

That is all well and good and certainly interesting, but it is not evidence that a spirit reality exists.  It is anecdotal, sometimes first hand but often second, third or fourth-hand information. The question of believability comes into play here.  Just how believable are the people who report such phenomena.  Many of them believe what they say is true but that doesn’t mean that others have to believe or are immune to what is reported as hard fact. Few people are “immune to belief” when presented with documented hard facts. And in the field of spiritual realities, there are few if any hard facts providing evidence for it.

The human organism is very complicated and it is not completely known just what the human organism, the human mind or consciousness, can or cannot fabricate; or how it may interpret what it fabricates as reality.  There are demonstrations of people under hypnosis who can see things that are not there and to the contrary can NOT see things that are there.  Hypnotized people can produce stigmata, can become allergic to specific foods or become non-allergic to things that when not hypnotized they were allergic. The human mind apparently is a very powerful thing.

Then, what does “immune to belief” mean?  It may be that people are labeled as “immune to belief” simply because they are in disagreement with someone who is proposing or reporting what they think is a new discovery in physics or they do not accept as evidence something believed by others as suggesting survival of consciousness after death of the physical form. There is no such immunity.  People may be skeptical, and require a high degree of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but few people are immune to acceptance of new information if it is supported by facts.

One may think that “nothing has changed” regarding evidence supporting a spirit reality but although old information is out there for all to see, new information is appearing seemingly on a daily basis.  Such new information may add weight to the old evidence but at the same time it may make the old evidence less convincing because the new evidence is more convincing based on fact, at least for those willing to seriously consider it.

You offer a suggestion contrasting philosophical speculations and afterlife possibilities. But is there any difference between a speculation and a possibility?  One my speculate upon something or suggest a possibility about something but essentially, to suggest a possibility is to speculate about something.

I think you are crossing the line when you imply, I am irrational and in a state of “self-induced ignorance” by refusing to agree with your logic. Then, you require a “legitimate” (in caps) answer, meaning of course one that is acceptable to you! And then, claim to know that I will be “more satisfied” basically by agreeing with you.  Surely, your comment must have been written in an “off moment.”  Even I have been known to do that from time to time. —AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 24 May, 19:59

As most readers here probably know, Alfred Russel Wallace is considered co-originator with Charles Darwin of the natural selection theory of evolution. When he was asked about the “secondary personality” theory, his reply was:

“But is this so-called explanation any real explanation, or anything more than a juggle of words which creates more difficulties than it solves?  The conception of such a double personality in each of us, a second-self, which in most cases remains unknown to us all our lives, which is said to live an independent mental life, to have means of acquiring knowledge our normal self does not possess, to exhibit all the characteristics of a distinct individuality with a different character from our own, is surely a conception more ponderously difficult, more truly supernatural than that of a spirit world, composed of beings who have lived, and learned, and suffered on earth, and whose mental nature still subsists after its separation from the earthly body.  On the second-self theory, we have to suppose that this recondite but worser half of ourselves, while possessing some knowledge we have not, does not know that it is part of us, or, if it knows, is a persistent liar, for in most cases it adopts a distinct name, and persists in speaking of us, its better half, in the third person.

“There is yet another and I think a more fundamental objection to this view, in the impossibility of conceiving how or why this second-self was developed in us under the law of survival of the fittest.

“This cumbrous and unintelligible hypothesis finds great favor with those who have always been accustomed to regard the belief in a spirit-world, and more particularly a belief that the spirits of our dead friends can and do sometimes communicate with us, as unscientific, unphilosophical, and superstitious.”

Michael Tymn, Fri 24 May, 08:19

Thanks to all for the comments so far.  They are much appreciated.  I just watched an interesting you=tube, the link to which was provided by Victor and Wendy Zammit, of mediumistic art.  The link provided by the Zammits is

Michael Tymn, Fri 24 May, 08:01


I guess the biggest question nobody attempts to answer relative to thoughtgraphy, super-psi, living-agent psi, whatever it is called, is “why are they all pretending to be spirits?” What’s the game?  If the medium is doing it intentionally, what’s the gain? Wouldn’t most mediums be able to better profit from their abilities if a non-spirit explanation were offered?  If unintentional, how is it that none of the “communicators” attempt to explain that they are nothing more than manifestations of the medium’s subconscious mind? Then again, a devious spirit might very well do this, but I can’t recall such a case.

Michael Tymn, Fri 24 May, 07:57


After a bit of self-debate—and since our late Welsh friend Eric Franklin is no longer here to jump into the fray as he most likely would have—allow me to take up the load.

I’m tempted to say something snarky like “Congratulations! One of your less worthy negative screeds!”—-but I’ll restrain myself. Oh, wait—I guess I didn’t restrain myself. I guess that makes me a hateful person. Or…

“I must say that my belief in a spiritual reality is decreasing day by day…”. Sounds like a bit of a breakthrough—except that absolutely nothing has changed. The same subject matter, is addressed by the same voluminous amounts, of credibly sound and believable evidence—-which continues to be unequivocally rejected by a large and determined coterie of spiritual Luddites. The main question jumping off the page is WHY? What is it about the evidence in this particular subject area that renders it so immune to belief? It can’t be an intellectual assessment, as the vast bulk of this evidence holds up well in the face of rigorous logical examination.

If I might offer a suggestion—if you seriously feel an urge to indulge in philosophical speculations—rather than continuing to trudge down the well-rutted trail in search of afterlife possibilities—you might be far better served by a serious effort to answer the “WHY” question posed above. What is it that causes an otherwise fine mind to act in a less than fully rational fashion—to create a state of “self-induced ignorance” by refusing to recognize that which logic says SHOULD be recognized? If you can come up with a legitimate answer—a LEGITIMATE answer—I suspect you’ll be far more satisfied as you deal with these ponderings…


Don Porteous, Thu 23 May, 16:38

Perhaps over the past 14 years or so of participating on your blog I have been one to question physical mediumship more than other people who post. And, it is true that I do question physical mediumship, perhaps more so today than ever before.  I don’t see much of it reported any more.  Especially, I wonder why the need for it, since the topic of interest is one of a spiritual reality not a physical one. But apparently most people can’t fathom a spiritual reality and are reluctant to give up the idea that a spiritual reality should be similar or the same as the physical reality they experience, hence, the need for physical manifestations from mediums, ranging from apports of flowers, gems and other physical objects, partial or full body apparitions with pulse and temperature who walk around the room and shake hands with the sitters. And, of course—-ectoplasm!

( I am not including precipitated paintings here.  They may be the one physical manifestation of spirit intervention that I think might be real as hard evidence remains behind for all to examine and propose an explanation.)

It has been a little more than 70 years now that I have been reading about matters of spirituality and parapsychology.  It all first started with Morey Bernstein’s book, “The Search for Bridey Murphy” which as a young boy I read in 1952 when it first came out—-a story of reincarnation of an Irish woman reported by current day Virginia Tighe under regression hypnosis.  Since then I have continued to read and consider many reports of phenomena suggestive of spiritual communications or contacts of some sort with physical beings.  I must say that my belief in a spiritual reality is decreasing day by day as I have accumulated story after story for many years of physical manifestations by mediums.  I no longer believe in floating accordions playing “Dixie”, levitating tables or a levitated piano with Abraham Lincoln sitting on it, or bodies floating to the ceiling or out of a second story window and in through another window. I no longer believe wax molds of hands were done by spirits.

I do however believe that the best evidence for a spiritual reality comes from mental mediums and from non-mediums who experience unusual phenomena or a spiritual nature. Mental mediums are much better today than they might have been 100 or more years ago.  In addition there are the near death experiencers, those who say they go out of body, cases of spirit possession, children 2 to 5 years old who recall a previous life, a few so-called “automatic writers” and apparitions experienced by some people while under emotional distress and maybe even UFOs.

I have never experienced a physical manifestation from the spirit world either with or without the intervention of a medium.  I see little or no evidence that physical manifestations from the spirit world happen today. I have to take somebody else’s word for it that it happened in the past sometimes more than 100 or 150 years ago supported with little or no reliable documentation for what is reported. 

The “Scole Experiment” is interesting and as a more recent case it may be a kind of psychokinesis or so-called thoughtgraphy, such as that produced by Ted Serios using a Polaroid camera and not evidence of spirit communication with the living so, the Scole Experiment may not really be a case of spirit intervention; and I am being generous here! -AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 23 May, 01:54

What these two blogs about quarreling sisters bring to bear, unpleasantly I would say, is that we crossover into the hereafter just as we are, warts and all. We are not changed in the twinkling of an eye, though the circumstances we find ourselves in have altered dramatically.

One of the criticisms of mediumistic communications is the “the dreariest twaddle” (as Stainton Moses put it) that spirits oftimes spout. Surely, survival of death would bring about some measure of enlightenment and spiritual illumination to the inhabitants of the spirit realm. Apparently not.

While these facts are somewhat disappointing, it is also comforting that this “inner skin” of character that has been shaped and molded over the course of terrestrial existence is preserved intact and provides the foundation for the life to come.

I am reminded often of the biblical expression “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” Regardless of whatever gray hairs we may sport, as expressions of an immortal self, we are all toddlers in the grand scheme of things.

David Chilstrom, Wed 22 May, 00:30


Not exactly on topic, but I had to laugh upon reading something in the Solomon’s book on The Scole Experiment, which I’m rereading after about 25 years. As I recall, and I may be wrong, you questioned physical mediumship more than other people commenting here.  Thus, I thought about you when I read the following on page 31.

“But in the case of mental mediumship, this has always been somewhat difficult to demonstrate to the satisfaction of everyone, as critics can convincingly argue for the alternative explanations, such as fraud, alter-ego or super-PSI hyphotheses which we discuss later. Hence the need for physical mediumship to create phenomena which can be tested and verified more easily and so to satisfy more of the demands of the critics.”

Michael Tymn, Tue 21 May, 06:54

I think that some people have a very narrow view of survival and what it is that actually survives death of the physical form.  Souls that are enamored with their personality on earth find it very difficult to think that they are much more than the personality they played while in the physical. Their personality is ephemeral; it is a role the evolving Soul Consciousness plays for a time and then, after dissolution of the physical form, incorporates, so to speak, as part of the memories of the Soul Consciousness.

To not relinquish one’s personality is to remain stuck, bound in a way to the physical plane.  Is it really inconceivable to me that one would maintain a given personality for eternity; that a Soul Consciousness would continue to play the part of a argumentative demanding female, or a stodgy, cigar-smoking curmudgeon for eternity; gender and experience directs so much of one’s personality, but more importantly, is it to be expected that one would always remain in a human form throughout eternity?

This just can’t be! Not if survival of a soul and reincarnation is to make any sense. Does the Queen of England remain the Queen for eternity?  Do Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Clark Gable retain their movie star personality with its foibles forever?  I don’t think so.  These are just roles they played on their way back to the Source of their Soul Consciousness.

A Soul Consciousness inhabits many different forms, and plays many different roles.  Perhaps for a while a discarnate personality persists in the lower planes, but after a while, the Soul Consciousness tires of playing that part and recognizes it was just a role it played while incarnated and eventually becomes its greater self, either proceeding to a higher realm or reincarnating as another personality on Earth or some other place.  Personalities don’t reincarnate but the Soul Consciousness does!  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 21 May, 00:24

Excellent comment.  100 Thumbs up! - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 20 May, 22:18

I find this post extraordinarily interesting. It confirms the conclusion I drew many years ago: that our personalities and habits cross the great divide completely intact. The evidential that Cummins provides is without compare. If what you are looking for is proof there is an afterlife, she provides it like none other. There is no way to explain her presentation of Alice’s and Margaret’s peculiar attitudes, patterns of speech, and contrasting handwritings than by the sisters’ survival. My afterlife novels borrow lavishly from material like this. It helps me to know I’m not misleading my readers.

There is, of course, far more information about the afterlife in spirit literature that points to a rosier picture, thank God. On the bottom line, our character dictates the starting point of all our afterlife adventures. What an interesting world awaits us! And what a shame that 99% of the world has no idea of it! Imagine the impact for good if it did.


Stafford Betty, Mon 20 May, 22:04


Regarding reincarnation…

As incarnated spirits in the material plane, we are very strongly influenced and wrapped up in our own current personal identity in this life and our material surroundings.

That’s why so many spirits do not know, believe or accept reincarnation. And, that’s why they communicate such.

They continue for very long periods as they were.

However, when we return to the spiritual plane, we are there for a relatively long time.

Little-by-little, our spiritual perspective changes as we learn… and what we want to eventually do…to further ourselves in our moral and spiritual progression.

We do not reincarnate right away. We could be in the spiritual plane for centuries of our time and more.

Those at a certain level of intelligence and morality (those with a general knowledge of spiritual matters) only reincarnate when they are ready to and want to reincarnate.

Eventually, the spirit can only learn so much before it finally decides freely on its own that it must put what it has learned to the test to further evolve.

A person can learn to be a surgeon but if he never operates… what good is that knowledge?

How do we evolve to reach a state of unconditional love and charity and have the ability to practice it totally?

The spirits say we must evolve through work and practice in the material world so we can be morally strong enough to reach the level to volunteer to go on higher level missions to help humanity as a whole, such as the spirits of people we know in history who have incarnated to bring special knowledge or to be self-sacrificing examples of a high morality.

Most Respectfully,

Yvonne Limoges, Mon 20 May, 20:03

Mike, this is My reply since it won’t take.  It was that it seems so petty the things they were discussing in regards to the afterlife - but I did like “See with the eyes of your inner body everything would become transparent - and I have grown so much younger!”  I’m looking forward to that part.

Blessings, Karen

Karen Herrick, Mon 20 May, 20:01

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Fallen Soldier Convinces His Famous Father of Life After Death – On September 14, 1915, Second Lieutenant Raymond Lodge, the youngest of six sons of Sir Oliver Lodge, a distinguished British physicist and pioneer in electricity and radio, as well as the former president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, was killed in WWI action in Flanders. Read here
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