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Irrefutable Evidence of Life After Death?

Posted on 25 March 2024, 9:37

I don’t know how anyone can read the reports by some very renowned researchers about the mediumship of Etta Wriedt and conclude that she was a charlatan or that the phenomena described by various witnesses suggest anything other than spirit communication and, concomitantly, survival in a spirit world.


Wriedt, an American living in Detroit, was studied and validated by such esteemed researchers as Sir William Barrett, a physics professor who co-founded the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Sir Oliver Lodge, a physicist remembered for his pioneering work in electricity and radio, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the physician who created Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John S. King, a physician who founded the Canadian branch of the SPR, and Vice-Admiral William Usborne Moore, a retired British naval commander turned researcher. Lady (Dr.) Florence Barrett, Sir William’s wife, who was dean of the London School of Medicine for Women, is said to have been skeptical of all mediums until she sat with Mrs. Wriedt and heard from deceased relatives in their own voices.

A collection of some of the most interesting reports has been put together in a book edited Etta Wriedt: One of the Greatest American Direct Voice Mediums of the 20th Century by N. Riley Heagerty and published by White Crow Books. Another book, to be published by White Crow Books later this year, titled The Spiritualist Prime Minister, is about William Lyon Mackenzie King, former prime minister of Canada, and his many communications with the spirit world, quite a few of them through Wriedt.  The author is historian Dr. Anton Wagner. That book will be the subject of a later blog.  For this one, I’m just going to provide bits and pieces from Heagerty’s book. As discussed in his book, as well as in my blog of October 31, 2011 and in Chapter 14 of my book, No One Really Dies, Wriedt (1862-1942) was a direct-voice medium, meaning the voices did not come through her larynx and mouth but from nearby her, often amplified by a so-called trumpet which would float around the room and stop in front of one of the sitters to whom spirits would then speak. She did not go into a trance state as so many mediums did then and could often be seen talking to the person next to her at the same time one or more spirit voices were being heard by others.

It was reported that as many as four spirit voices would be talking simultaneously to different sitters and that, although Wriedt knew only English, the “Yankee” form of it, not “pure” English, according to Admiral Moore, spirits communicated in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Dutch, Arabic, Serbian, Croatian and other languages. Phenomena could be produced in lighted conditions, but darkness provided stronger voices and otherwise better phenomena.

Count Chedo Myatovitch, a diplomat from Serbia, provided an account of a sitting with Wriedt on May 16, 1912 in Wimbledon, England. He heard from a   recently deceased friend, Adela Mayell, communicating in Serbian and speaking “in her affectionate and generous voice, trying to reassure me on certain questions which had sadly preoccupied my mind since her death.”  She was followed by a deceased physician speaking in the Croatian language to Dr. Hinkovitch, who had accompanied Myatovitch. “They continued for some time the conversation in their native tongue, of which I heard and understood every word,” Myatovitch reported, adding that he accompanied Frau Professor Margareet Selenka, a renowned German zoologist,  to a later sitting with Wriedt.  She had a conversation with her late husband and her mother before a friend came singing a German song while asking Selenka to join in.  “I spoke of it to my friends as the most wonderful experience of my life,” Myatovich offered.

Whistling from the Dead

Rose Champion de’Crespigny, a noted British artist, historian, and author (upper photo), was highly skeptical before she was persuaded by a friend, Colonel E. R. Johnson, to sit with Wriedt.  She was amazed when her late husband, Philip, greeted her by whistling their favorite waltz, “Daheim,” through the trumpet.  She was certain that Wriedt, Johnson, and others in the room knew nothing of their interest in this music.  She remained skeptical, however, because her husband’s voice didn’t sound like she remembered it, although he spoke with the same mannerisms.  Apparently sensing her skepticism, Philip turned it over to his brother, who reminded her of a dance they had both been to when young and of some incident about the flower she had worn. As that was very evidential, Crespigny didn’t know what to think.

At a later sitting, Crespigny heard from her father, who had died some 25 years earlier.  He asked about his two sisters, mentioning one of them by a pet name, while also referring to their old Scottish nurse and giving her name, an unusual one, Euphemia, as well as the pet names of her children. He further talked about his duty stations in the military.  When Rose asked her father if he remembered the Russian ‘scare’ in 1879, he replied that he certainly did and corrected her by saying it was in 1878, not ’79, which proved factual. 

Crespigny estimated that she had more than one-hundred sittings with Wriedt while Wriedt was visiting England and said that she could count the blank sittings on the fingers of one hand. She recalled an attempt by a scientist to expose Wriedt as a fraud by detecting drops of water adhering to the inner sides of the trumpet, which suggested the condensation of human breath and Wriedt’s having spoken through the trumpet.  However, she said it was the custom to hold the trumpet under the cold water tap after each sitting – something she had assisted with on many occasions. Moreover, drops of water did not explain the evidential information.

First & Second Wife Communicate Together

Dr. John King (middle photo) reported that both his first wife, Martha, who had died at an early age, and his recently deceased second wife, May, communicated with him together in harmony. May spoke loud enough that a trumpet was not required and referred to him as “Johnnie,” a nickname which only she called him by. King also heard from a former patient who expressed concern about an illegitimate son, asking King to divulge his identity to the boy along with the fact that his mother had withheld funds he had left for the boy’s education and advancement.

The Reverend Charles Tweedale, Vicar of Weston, Church of England, and his wife sat with Wriedt in 1912.  He reported that a voice came to his wife, giving the name “Frank Woodward.” His wife was astonished as Woodward was her schoolmaster 17 years earlier and she was not aware that he had died, a fact which she verified upon returning home and writing to her mother.

Admiral Moore (bottom photo) reported that in Scotland, Mrs. Wriedt’s séances were even more successful than those in England.  “The Scotch voices of the spirits were most remarkable,” he wrote, “especially to an English listener.  Very occasionally, Gaelic was spoken.  No Scotch spirit ever spoke in English unless he had lost his accent before he passed out, and no English spirit ever spoke in Scotch.”   
Moore further stated:  “For my part I can only say that, in her presence, I obtained evidence of the next state of consciousness so clear and so pronounced that the slightest doubt was no longer possible. I left her house in February 1911, in the condition of mind of a man who no longer fosters ‘belief,’ but who knows what is his destiny when the tomb closes over him and his spirit leaves the earth plane.”

Said Sir William Barrett, the physicist: “I went to Mrs. Wriedt’s sittings in a somewhat sceptical spirit, but I came to the conclusion that she is a genuine and remarkable psychic and has given abundant proof to others beside myself that the voices and the contents of the messages are wholly beyond the range of trickery or collusion.  I am convinced of the genuineness of the phenomena.”

There is so much more set forth in Heagerty’s book as well as in the other references.  With such evidence, I find it extremely difficult to understand how anyone with an open mind can claim fraud, telepathy, super psi or living-agent psi, or some other explanation than spirits of the dead communicating from another dimension of reality.  Yet, more than a century later, both religion and science turn up their noses at such evidence. Is it any wonder that the spirit world has pulled back?

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:  April 8



I highly reccomend Heagerty’s other book “The French Revelation”. You can get a free sample of Chapter Two on this site at

Also, regarding Don’s comments on Cora Richmond, I’ve been doing a deep dive on her discourses in the past couple of months, including rescuing many from scans of old issues of Banner of Light, Daybreak and the Medium, etc. I’ve converted all of her books online from PDF to epub format and I am in the process of organizing the pieces not published into books in some sort of sensible organization.

My interest in her discourses is based on her historical position as an early trance lecture medium. Particularly fascinating to me is that her guides very often allowed a committee from the audience to choose the topic, and she was rightly famous for delivering cogent and knowledgable lectures on a broad array of sometimes abstruse themes without any prior preperation.

Today I’ve been reading two lectures channeled by Cora Hatch (later Richmond)  on the morning and evening of Dec. 16, 1860 on the topic of the political crisis, as America teetered on the brink of Civil War. She was 20 years old at the time, and the spirit of Theodore Parker headlined the morning trance lecture, advocating war if necessary to abolish slavery, followed by Henry Clay that evening in a masterful rebuttal, arguing to preserve the union at all costs.

I found this debate extremely pertinent to the present political climate in the U.S. Our national karma is catching up with us and the trauma of our bloody past is coming back to haunt us.

David Chilstrom, Mon 8 Apr, 23:44

Putting the Christian story about Jesus aside, Patient Worth’s description of the culture and the people of the time and place in which Jesus reportedly lived provide many more details than the Christian gospels.  There are people who want to call “The Sorry Tale” the fourth gospel but I don’t think that is necessary nor do I think that Patience Worth would have wanted that recognition.  It is a story about the injustice done to the illegitimate son, Hatte, heir of the emperor Tiberius, told by Hatte’s mother Theia and how love and hate can sometimes come to the same end. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 6 Apr, 21:22

Yes indeed.  It is the whole story about Patience Worth and Pearl Curran that makes it evidential, not any one thing. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 6 Apr, 19:56

Hi Amos
Professor Fontana formerly of the SPR stated about Pearl Curran the following “The literary style, the creation of plot and of characters have been highly praised, and it has been suggested by experts that The Sorry Tale is one of the finest accounts of the life and times of Christ penned since the Gospels themselves “ High praise indeed for someone who left school at age 14.

Pete Marley, Sat 6 Apr, 13:04

You mentioned the “purple rhetoric” of the 19th century so perhaps an example of it might be appropriate here.

Pearl Curran was accused of taking the name “Patience Worth” from a novel written by Mary Johnston and published in 1899 titled “To Have and to Hold.”  That name, “Patience Worth” only appeared once on one page in the book but some thought that Pearl Curran had either read the book before Patience Worth came to her or her father might have read it to her and she remembered it for 14 years until she started to use it for her own purposes.  Here are a couple of examples written by Johnston in quite modern English so that one might compare it with the “purple rhetoric”  of Patience Worth and Pearl Curran.

“You know what I did to escape them all, to escape that man.  I fled from England in the dress of my waiting maid and under her name, “Patience Worth” I came to Virginia in that guise.  I let myself be put up, appraised, cried for sale, in the meadow yonder, as if I had been indeed the piece of merchandise, I professed myself.  The one man who approached me with respect I gulled and cheated.  I let him, a stranger, give me his name.  I shelter myself now behind his name.  I have foisted on him my quarrel.  I have—-Oh despise me, if you will! You cannot despise me more that I despise myself!”

Here is a little bit more of the writing from Mary Johnston’s Chapter XXXIX

“It was like a May morning, so mild was the air, so gay the sunshine, when the mist had risen.  Wild flowers were blooming and here and there unfolding leaves made a delicate fretwork against the deep blue sky.  The wind did not blow, everywhere were stillness soft and sweet, dewy freshness, careless peace.

Hour after hour I walked slowly through the woodland, pausing now and then to look from side to side.  It was idle going wandering in the desert with no guiding star.  The place where I would be might lie to the east, to the west.  In the wide enshrouding forest, I might have passed it by.  I believed not that I had done so.  Surely, surely I should have known, surely the voice that lived only in my heart would have called to me to stay.

Beside a newly felled tree, in a glade starred with small white flowers, I came upon the bodies of a man and a boy, so hacked, so hewn, so robbed of all comeliness, that at the sight the heart stood still and the brain grew sick.  Farther on was a clearing, and in its midst the charred and blackened walls of what had been a home.  I crossed the freshly turned earth and looked in at the cabin door with the stillness and the sunshine.  A woman lay dead upon the floor, her outstretched hand clenched upon the foot of a cradle.  I entered the room, and, looking within the cradle, found that the babe had not been spared.  Taking up the little waxen body with the blood upon its innocent breast, I laid it with the mother’s arms, and went my way over the sunny doorstop and the earth that had been made ready for planting.  A white butterfly—-the first of the year—-fluttered before me, then rose through a mist of green and passed from my sight.”

So, there you have it, Rick, an afternoon’s reading on the seat of a bay window of a Victorian house.  – AOD

P.S.  Mary Johnston’s book sold very well into a second printing while Pearl Curran’s poems, plays and novels did not have a wide readership.

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 4 Apr, 17:56

I know, I know, Rick, the glass is almost empty for a few of us here.  You have put into words what I suspect occurs with most people to whom I recommend that they read Patience Worth’s writings.  Even those closest to me and support my interest in them have not read them. Time is limited for all of us so if I were asked to suggest one piece of writing of Patience Worth to read, that would cause quite a dilemma for me because the evidence provided by Patience Worth and Pearl Curran is not to be found in one thing.  It is the compendium of the whole story about Patience Worth and Pearl Curran and their writing that provides the evidence.  I am torn between two books ABOUT Patience Worth; Dr. Prince’s book “The Case of Patience Worth” and Irving Litvag’s book “Singer in the Shadows.”  Litvag’s book can be read in one sitting and is presented in a non-biased way.  I would recommend that book for those who just want an overview of the case.  Prince’s book is much more detailed and comprehensive, covering a year or more research done by Dr. Prince with Pearl Curran and Patience Worth during which he actually participated in some of the sessions and spoke directly with Patience Worth.  If one has the time, Prince’s book is the best one.

It could be that most of us are waiting for a telephone call from our dearly departed before we will be convinced that enough evidence of the afterlife has been provided.  I must say, that I am not convinced yet either, but the “Case of Patience Worth” provides a piece of the best evidence I have seen. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 4 Apr, 13:59

AOD, 3 April 18:23,

Thanks for adding to my admittedly sparse knowledge of Patience Worth and giving me more to consider.

What little I have read of her oeuvre strikes me as a parody of the kind of “purple” rhetoric popular in the 19th century and into the pre-Great War 20th. Agreed, however, her work’s literary quality or lack thereof is not especially relevant to its metaphysical significance.

Maybe I’m selling Patience (or her spirit alter ego) short. You are obviously better read in her output than me, for whom a little goes a long way. It’s possible her style, or various styles, would grow on me. And so might her meaning. However, in my 70s the sand in the hourglass runs low, and I apportion my reading critically. I’d rather use what time I have left for spiritually important writing I can better connect with.

You say, “I think, that the point of Patience Worth is to provide evidence that consciousness survives in another reality ... .” Do you believe the Patience Worth phenomenon is more evidential than the huge store of information from genuine mediumship that has accumulated? From NDEs and OBEs?

Rick Darby, Thu 4 Apr, 00:01

Your comment stimulated a torrent of thoughts that tumbles from my consciousness for which I will not be able to do justice.  At the onset, my comment was in response to Don’s implied question about Patience Worth’s views about organized religion, being a Lollard and such. The example I provided was the best one I could find that gave some indication of what Patience Worth (or Pearl Curran) thought about the organized religion of her day, and I slightly paraphrased some of it while quoting other parts but not using the original parsing.  I didn’t think Don and I were discussing the pros and cons of the quality of the writing of Patience Worth and Pearl Curran.

Over the years there have been people who attempted to compare the works of Patience Worth to William Shakespeare but that comparison was never really seriously considered by most people familiar with both writers. I think it is difficult to compare Shakespeare’s plays with the style of blank verse of the poetry of Patience Worth and the several styles of writing seen in her novels.  Patience tried to mimic the writing style of Shakespeare in “An Elizabethan Mask’, a play about a very young Will Shakespeare and I think she does a good job of capturing the feel of Shakespeare’s style but those who know say it doesn’t come close.

No one is saying that Patience Worth was the best writer the English world has ever seen.  I think, that the point of Patience Worth is to provide evidence that consciousness survives in another reality and to give Theia, mother of the thief crucified next to Jesus, a means of rectifying the injustice done to her child Hatte, illegitimate son and heir of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. (See “The Sorry Tale.”)

You are in good company though as there are people of renown, e.g., Ian Stevenson, Stephen Braude, James Hyslop, Joe Nickell and others who have offered their critical opinions about the source of the Patience Worth materials although I have not seen the word ‘awful” applied to them.  The closest I have seen is that the writing of Patience Worth is “not understandable” usually said by people who do not understand it, so I am not exactly sure where the fault lies.

I might point out that in Pearl Curran’s time, William Stanley Braithwaite editor of “Anthology of Magazine Verse and Year Book of American Poetry” (1918) printed five of Patience Worth’s poems and listed eighty-eight of her poems as worthy of distinction. Her poems were included along with respected writers of the time including Vachel Lindsay, Sara Teasdale, Edgar Lee Masters and others. According to Irving Litvag, author of “Singer in the Shadows” (1972), “Braithwaite’s annual volume was one of the most authoritative and respected of poetry anthologies and was considered one of the most reliable guides to the best American poetry of the time.

Marion Reedy respected authority of good writing and owner of “Reedy’s Mirror,” a weekly opinion magazine in St. Louis, praised the poetry of Patience Worth, saying “Whoever is it [who writes it] certainly writes near-great poetry [but] “I don’t believe any person dead has ever come back to tell anybody anything.” (Of course, today, there are many people who have ‘died’ and have come back to tell the tale as a near death experience).  Reedy continued, “I believe someone with a special literary interest in the older English poetry is putting over something on the operators of the Ouija board. Whoever it is certainly writes near-great poetry.” So, “near great poetry” according to Marion Reedy who discovered and promoted Carl Sandburg, Sara Teasdale, Vachel Lindsay, Fannie Hurst, Theodore Dreiser and Edgar Lee Masters among others.

Patience Worth did not use Pearl Curran’s voice to transmit her works.  Similar to Geraldine Cummins, Pearl Curran saw panoramic pictures in her mind and symbols which she had to interpret but at times over and above the panorama, symbols and foreign language she heard Patience Worth interpreting what was seen and heard. On occasion, Pearl saw a small version of herself walking in the panorama, tasting food, feeling the materials, smelling the camels and smelling flowers.  Pearl Curran took dictation from Patience Worth and repeated it to an amanuensis who wrote it down; Patience Worth did not speak by “using” Curran’s voice.

When discussing the English language used by Patience Worth (or Pearl Curran) one needs to have read the poems, plays, and novels attributed to Patience Worth because they are in differing language styles.  All of them are in modern English language with some archaic words thrown in, in some of them, especially her poems and the talk with sitters seated around the Ouija board.  Patience Worth said she purposefully did this to differentiate her personality from the personality of Pearl Curran. This fact gives cause to suspect that “Patience Worth” was really someone like “Imperator’ with a cadre of other writers feeding her the writing. I have a different view but I won’t go into that here as it is much too convoluted.  I recommend reading “Telka”, an epic medieval poem, (of sorts), “The Sorry Tale,” “Hope Trueblood” and many of her poems and the “Table Talk” around the Ouija board, and then come back to the blog for discussion.

Was Pearl Curran a “multiple personality” or did she have “dissociative identity disorder.?”  Dr. Morton Prince, Boston psychiatrist, wanted to hypnotize her to find out but Pearl Curran would not agree because she could not stay in Boston for the time it would take and for fear that she would lose her ability to communicate with Patience Worth.  In my view, Pearl Curran does not meet the criteria as listed in the ICD 10 diagnostic codes for either of those diagnoses and according to most people who knew and/or lived with Pearl Curran, she was a normal as any woman of her day.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 3 Apr, 18:23

Thanks Rick,
Your comment is the kind I keep hoping for and never get.  I will think on it for a while and write my thoughts about what you wrote later in the afternoon.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 3 Apr, 15:02

“Or did men, to do their will, write with unalterable tracery law, that ran new within the fluid pressed in fervid troth to God; while blood in lapping waves washed thy very doors? Did Mary stand dumb, hearkening to some litany mumbled in a limped tongue. And Priest send incense up, or light a taper in thy pit-like dark?  Oh, everlasting God!  I am dismayed, that thy very stones did not gape and fall apart; that every scarlet line within the illumined records did not spurt in anguish and, bleeding wipe the “law” from off the page.

AOL, you say you are inspired by Patience Worth, and I don’t mean to offend you. But for the record, I have to state (as I have before) that whether considered prose or poetry this is awful writing. Not because it is expressed in the idiom of another era, the late 17th century; Shakespeare (whoever he actually was) lived even earlier, and his language was more modern—not to mention far more restrained yet brilliant—than that of Patience.

If Will had written lines like “Or did men, to do their will, write with unalterable tracery law, that ran new within the fluid pressed in fervid troth to God; while blood in lapping waves washed thy very doors?” his plays would have been laughed off the Globe’s stage.

I am not one of those, like the alleged experts in psychology, who claim that Patience was a “secondary personality” of Pearl Curran. The notion of secondary (or tertiary, or multiple) personalities seems to me pretty meaningless. It offers no explanation of how these add-on personalities operate. As for why they arise, oh that’s because of childhood trauma, like Freud’s theory about neuroses. I say unlikely. There’s my skeptical streak again.

So is there an alternative explanation about extra- or multiple-personality cases? Yes, but it’s ruled out of court by the “scientific” materialists who are officially qualified to pontificate on such matters on the rare occasions when such as Patience Worth can’t be ignored.
The counter-explanation is that disembodied spirits drop in and speak using the minds and vocal apparatus of hosts such as Pearl Curran. It’s quite possible that “Patience” was a pseudo-personality of an attaching spirit. Given the kind of fantastically elaborate, over-the-top language it spouted, it seems likely that this was one of those restless, earthbound spirits who get their kicks by playing silly games involving those in the physical world. Psychical research is not short of examples, especially in poltergeist cases.

Rick Darby, Wed 3 Apr, 12:24

I have watched parts 1 and 2 of the video you referenced.  In those videos Mannion is obviously fraudulent for at least one thing as he presents himself as being bound to a chair in the “cabinet” which obviously he was not.  I don’t understand his need to take off all of his clothes to the point that he is nude save for a panel covering his genitals.  He must be getting some sexual satisfaction appearing nude in the dark before a circle of people. I don’t buy his claim that he was in a trance during his performance out of the cabinet.  Based on the video, I believe that he is a blatant sham snake-oil salesman taking advantage of very gullible people with a “will to believe.”  He does a great disservice to those mediums who are genuine.

Thanks for the information about Mannion. I have a “fake-medium radar” and it clangs loudly with each video of Mannion I see.  I think we just have to file it away in file 13 for what it is—-trash!  Don’t let this one faker destroy your efforts to find out the truth about the spirit world.  Keep looking and weighing whatever evidence is there to see.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 2 Apr, 19:17

Pete,that video of Mannion is available at:

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 2 Apr, 18:11

Hi Michael
I agree with what you have said about supposed fraud in this and past blogs. I maybe did not really get my point across clearly enough. What I was referring to was some of the difficulties facing us in the present day in seeking direct evidence.
A physical medium called Gary Mannion in 2016 in England and was filmed leaving the cabinet touching people in the circle and waving a trumpet around the room close to people in the circle. The video was posted on YouTube but iI have been unable to locate.
However if you put in a search now for the same medium he is all over YouTube touring the US and Australia in recent years appearing on Wendy Zammits channel calling himself a psychic surgeon now !
The man is fraudulent but it does not seem to have affected his career! It is not like say Palladino who clearly was genuine but where there were some issues . This guy was conducting seances in the dark and was caught blatantly faking the phenomena! They make it so much harder for genuine people!

Pete Marley, Tue 2 Apr, 17:09


“...and did holy writs by their tedious array enslave the humble sanctity of men?”

OUCH. That’s right out of the thoughts of Imperator and so many others. I knew of course that Patience had a tongue as sharp as her wit, but didn’t realize (or more probably, had forgotten) that her cynical streak ran quite so deep.

Many thanks for sharing this…


Don Porteous, Tue 2 Apr, 12:45

Hi Don,
“Long time no say!”

Patience Worth rarely, if ever, made reference to any religion by name, except for one time I think when she mentioned a Buddha statue.  I don’t think she even focused much on the Puritan or Quaker religions, which the women around the Ouija board thought she must have belonged, dressing her adopted daughter in Puritan style clothing; “Puritan Prim” as they perceived it to be.

  Patience seemed to see God in everything and wrote poem after poem reverencing him. She metaphorically described him once as ‘kissing” the field, where with each kiss a flower grew.  She wanted to show God in everything she wrote and her love for God as he was inherent in man.  She saw the outdoor world as the church in which to worship and seemed not to care much for edifices constructed of stone by worshipers.

I recall one powerful caustic poem about organized religion she dictated called “Gloria.” It is one of her best poems with at least one or two memorable lines, but is much too long to post here. Perhaps the following selections from that poem will give an idea of her thoughts about organized religion and the church at that time.

(Patience didn’t title her poems and I think “Gloria” is not exactly right for this poem.  Perhaps the adherents of organized religion (Casper Yost and the Currans) sitting around the Ouija board were not thrilled with this poem or didn’t really understand it.)

In that poem Patience critically addresses ‘the church”  (Probably Catholic) as “towering spires astride the cowled gabled ways with emblazoned scripts depicting fanciful reaction of ancient times and smoking alters with candles burning the sacred air sending aloft a pungent scent of mouldering decay, blackening the placid faces of the saints who with stony visages gaze adown the aisles, unseeing man’s exultant joy or his despair; vault-like in cold aloofness, “proudly do ye stand, reechoing the chants that flow from out cold tombs, the unlit hearts of priesthood and of saintly nuns.”

She asks, “For this did saints ope up their veins?  Did Martyrs writhe? And did holy writs by their tedious array enslave the humble sanctity of men?

“Or did men, to do their will, write with unalterable tracery law, that ran new within the fluid pressed in fervid troth to God; while blood in lapping waves washed thy very doors? Did Mary stand dumb, hearkening to some litany mumbled in a limped tongue. And Priest send incense up, or light a taper in thy pit-like dark?  Oh, everlasting God!  I am dismayed, that thy very stones did not gape and fall apart; that every scarlet line within the illumined records did not spurt in anguish and, bleeding wipe the “law” from off the page. 

No altar yet, upraised but shall give way to that his Sire hath flung from His prolific hand.  He, the high-priest, lights the taper Day, each morning with the sun, and incense flings across the valley way in silver mists; filling the night with litanies, lighting each star in memory of some holy soul, defying mould and ravages of time, the festival of worm upon his festering flesh.  Exultant doth this God erect anew each coming day and night an alter upon which to burn our hearts, while thou dost re-echo dead prayers; burning incense yet before the embered fire of Hope.

While thy dimming tapers die, and the carved saints stand mute before thy suppliants, what should His holy step be heard naked upon the stones, with the pattering of sheep beside?”

I think this completely encapsulates the thoughts of a “Lollard.”  And, who would not have been proud to have written this line:  “I am dismayed, that thy very stones did not gape and fall apart; that every scarlet line within the illumined records did not spurt in anguish and, bleeding wipe the “law” from off the page.”  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 1 Apr, 22:04


At the risk of being called one of the gullible ones, I question whether all that so-called cheating is really cheating. The following two paragraphs are from one of my articles on the “Margery” mediumship.

“Ironically, the May and June 1926 issues of the ASPR Journal carried articles (Parts I and II) by Dr Karl Gruber, a German physician, biologist, and zoologist, reporting on his research of the physical mediumship of Willie and Rudi Schneider. His report included the ‘synchronous movements’ between the medium and objects out of the medium’s reach. ‘If this connection is broken by movements of the hand or other object across the field of activity, or if it is roughly torn away, either temporary or lasting bodily injury to the medium results,’ Gruber stated, noting that his research involved more than one-hundred experiments. ‘This fact has been repeatedly misunderstood by the skeptical, who have seen in it the unmasking of a frightened medium.’  It is ironic because Louisa W. Rhine translated the article from the German to English and the articles must have appeared just before the Rhines sat with Margery on 1 July, thereby suggesting that Joseph Rhine gave no consideration to the movement he claimed to have observed with Margery’s foot. (Louisa Rhine did not see such movement.)
“Likewise, Dingwall seems to have been convinced that everything was on the up-and-up until he saw movement in Margery’s mouth at the same time he heard Walter laugh; thus, he, too, apparently gave no consideration to the ‘synchrony’ aspect reported by Gruber and Bottazzi.  Houdini also observed movement.”

Bottom line:  I think the synchrony aspect, which was also very common with Eusapia Palladino, is taken to be fraud by the know-nothings.  I don’t know if that was so in the case you mentioned, but there were other researchers who observed the same thing and have retracted their claims of fraud.  I suspect it is one reason why we don’t have much physical mediumship today, i.e., the spirit world realizes that it is likely a genuine medium will be disparaged because the know-nothings don’t get it. I’m not saying there are no cheaters or were no cheaters, only that much of the so-called fraud was not really fraud at all.

Michael Tymn, Mon 1 Apr, 21:51

I have experienced synchronicity several times in my life, which I suppose some people would just call meaningful coincidence.  A couple of those I would consider to be very meaningful coincidences. But like a few others here, I have not experienced apports, direct voice, apparitions or even mediumistic contacts with the dead. If I had experienced those things, I believe that I would be less likely to doubt others when they say they have experienced those things.  Even so, there are a handful of so-called mediums for whom I believe “cheating” is out of the question.  Examples might include, among a few others, the Bangs Sisters and the Campbell Brothers, Leonora Piper, George Chapman and Dr. Lang, Chico Xavier and of course Pearl Curran. A few reincarnation reports sometimes are above reproach, I think.

I suspect that some, maybe most mediums, “cheat” or “cold read” from time to time when the things are not ideally conducive to spirit communication; when they don’t feel well or environmental things are not right for communication to occur.  I think it may be an individual thing with most mediums because apparently some have greater or lesser skills at mediumship and they receive communication in different ways and some communicating spirits just don’t have anything meaningful to say.    I don’t usually hold that against them (depending on the type of cheating) as the demands from the sitters on the medium are great to provide some type of evidence that a loved one has survived death.  And a session with a medium is not like a direct land-line telephone call to the hereafter.

I think that some believers are too quick to overlook obvious signs of “cheating” or other evidence of fakery, allowing their “will to believe” to overtake their common sense.  I can imagine what it must be like for a stage medium to confront an audience of 200 or more people and have to say, “I am not getting anything tonight! You all need to go home!” But admittedly, it would be quite a chore to entertain that many people with verifiable information for a couple of hours with only cold reading and general information.  A good medium will build up a reputation of reliability and trustworthiness.  Matt Fraser and Tyler Henry are two young examples I am thinking about who have to perform on demand and seem to do a good job, albeit with video editing. But Fraser and Henry have different skill development and performance styles and venues, with Fraser having better ability to see, hear, feel, smell the spirit communicator than Tyler Henry, I think.

As far as commercial gain is concerned, I have no problem with compensation for time spent by the medium.  Doctors, plumbers, musicians, athletes, actors etc. all get paid for their skills.  I begin to have concerns when a popular medium begins to “write” book after book about essentially the same things; sometimes just putting a different cover on a book they have previously published under a different title. Extravagant charges of many hundreds of dollars for a reading are also a red flag for me. But there must be some reason why people will wait several years on a waiting list just to get a reading from a popular medium.  Apparently, they have proved themselves as reliable in the minds of many people. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 1 Apr, 20:13

Hi Michael,
You even manage to make the insurance world exciting!
Amos and Rick, I agree with your comments concerning doubt and its relation to other people and their motives ! I have read widely for a long time and a recurring theme in a lot of spiritualist literature is that if you stay on the path eventually you will receive some direct evidence yourself. However I have not been fortunate in this regard so far.
However the situation is not helped by fraudsters. For example there was a place in England a few years ago that held regular sittings demonstrating physical mediumship that I had planned to attend. One of the so called reputable mediums was caught on infra red camera blatantly cheating during a session. From what I can remember when confronted with the evidence he still denied it. These people are despicable.
Which is why the evidence I find most believable is where very little or no commercial gain or the desire for fame is present as a motive ! I have found the discussion around doubt helpful.
Ps I too had to look up the definition of lollard

Pete Marley, Mon 1 Apr, 15:08


A fascinating reference to the Lollards—like yourself, I had to look them up. Interestingly, if I read correctly, it seems that they had a tendency to de-emphasize the importance of at least some of the accepted Church sacraments—which would put them in the same company as many of the spirit communicators, who by and large, de-emphasize the importance of both doctrine and ritual on the other side. I’ve forgotten what Patience had to say here…

Don Porteous, Mon 1 Apr, 11:44

AOD @ 30 Mar 21:24,

Doubt is my constant companion.  I think it is because I have been around humans long enough that I have come to understand that one can’t believe what most humans say.  Everyone seems to have an agenda, known or unknown.

Hear, hear. You could be speaking for me as well.

I’ve finally had to accept that I have long had and will always have a rationalist / skeptical streak. Something about my upbringing maybe, or a strong later influence, or the way my mind works; anyway, it seems ineradicable.

My inherent tendency to skepticism is not intellectual. Something inside has urged me to study psychical phenomena and pursue spiritual wisdom for more than half a century. I don’t think I would have shown such devotion if I believed, on rational grounds, that such subjects were bunk.

I haven’t reached Michael’s 98+ percent conviction, but based on what I’ve read and witnessed my score isn’t too far behind.

Why any reservations at all, then? Two reasons, I think.

First, I’ve had almost no paranormal experiences myself; or at least none that couldn’t arguably have had normal explanations. Direct personal experience is the best teacher, with other people’s a distant second. Sometimes I feel almost angry that I haven’t been treated to inner trans-rational knowing.

Second, psychical research and spirituality are lumbered with superstition, crackpot theories, fraud, commercialism, and trend following. I don’t see how anyone can deny this. Such motivations are a minority within the field, but are aspects of human nature that reliably show up even in worthwhile pursuits.

My skeptical residue has its rewards. I’ve never gotten wrapped up in phony cults like Scientology and est. I don’t have time for New Age crap.

We all have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. But maybe not give up hope for better cards in this life or on the Other Side.

Rick Darby, Sun 31 Mar, 21:24

Nice writing Michael of “many years ago.” I had to smile at the alliteration of the second paragraph.  That should be used as an example of alliteration in text books and style manuals.  You haven’t changed much over the years, Michael.  You have been a good writer for many years and I have enjoyed all of your works.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sun 31 Mar, 20:05

My last comment to Pete prompted me to post the below which I wrote for an insurance magazine many years ago.The links between facing death and insurance should be apparent.

The Adjuster’s Customer Satisfaction Challenge

by Michael E. Tymn, CPCU, AIC

Satisfying our customers is not as easy as in most other industries.  We do not offer shiny new cars, trips to exotic places, pretty pictures, beautiful music, or cotton candy.  Our customers do not come to us looking for material or sensory pleasure.  They are searching for something much less tangible but far more important to their well being – peace of mind.

Our customers are fellow human beings who have suffered losses of one kind or another.  We deal with death, disease, dismemberment, disability, disfigurement, damage, disaster, destruction, dishonesty, and various other dreaded and disagreeable afflictions.  Our customers come to us depressed and distraught.  They are often distrustful and demanding.  It is not a happy work environment.

We cannot make our customers better off than they were before.  The best we can do is put them back to where they were.  But even this is often impossible. Monetary compensation and words of condolence will not erase the emotional trauma or even the inconvenience associated with loss.  Real “satisfaction” is often incomplete from the customer’s standpoint.

We frequently face a conflict between satisfying our customers and doing what is legally or procedurally proper.  These situations can involve ignorance of the law, conflicting interests, unrealistic expectations, or, occasionally, simple greed and avarice.  Through all of this, we must maintain composure and offer compassion.

It would be easy for us to envy those who work in a more positive environment, those who can provide their customers with material or sensory gratification, those who can elicit smiles, elation, and at least surface gratitude from their customers.  Only occasionally does the restoring of peace of mind and returning of the status quo evoke thankful appreciation.

And yet, we must continually strive to serve and satisfy.  We must do this by being knowledgeable in all of the disciplines underlying our work – medicine, law, mechanics, engineering, construction, psychology, and accounting, to name just some.  We must be adept in applying the scientific method.  We must be focused and dedicated, ethical and empathetic while recognizing conflicts arising from our fiduciary responsibility and satisfying the insured or claimant.  We must rise above the barriers that bind and confine us to an essentially negative environment.  We must recognize that customer satisfaction is not always measured in gladness and glee.  We must realize that satisfaction is not always expressed, not always immediate, not always conscious.

Beyond all else, we must fully understand and appreciate that our customers cannot be satisfied unless we ourselves are satisfied – satisfied that we have done everything within our power and authority to accommodate, acquiesce, and appease.  If we can internalize this self-satisfaction, we need no immediate or direct thanks, no outward recognition, no applause.  The peace of mind will be our own.
A graduate of San Jose State, Michael E. Tymn began his insurance career in 1961 as an adjuster in the San Francisco-Oakland area.  In 1968, he joined an international insurance company and handled claims in Japan, Malaysia, South Vietnam, The Philippines and Guam.  He moved to Hawaii in 1972 and retired from the insurance business in 2002.

Michael Tymn, Sat 30 Mar, 21:28

Doubt is my constant companion.  I think it is because I have been around humans long enough that I have come to understand that one can’t believe what most humans say.  Everyone seems to have an agenda, known or unknown.  My only anchor is the Pearl Curran/Patience Worth materials.  They keep me from drifting off into an abyss, pulling me back, tethering me to their evidence of spiritual life, evidence that I can hold in my hand; first-hand evidence found in a multitude of writings dictated by Patience Worth evincing her love for God and man. My surety is not to be found in any one piece of writing but in the multitude of examples Patience Worth provided displaying her exceptional quality writing skills and historical knowledge. Things Pearl Curran could never do or know.

I have mentioned to Michael recently in an email an example of Patience’s historical knowledge in that Patience Worth called herself a “Lollard” in response to an over-heard question from women chatting around the Ouija board wondering about her religion.  Patience joined the conversation and said that she would be considered a “Lollard.”

Except for Stafford Betty, it is unlikely that anyone else here knows what a “Lollard” is without looking it up. I admit that I had to look it up.  I can’t imagine that Pearl Curran with a grade school education ever knew what it was either.

Concerning the mind-brain conundrum.  I think about children two to five years old who remember a past life.  How is that past life information stored in the brain of a child that is considered to be a tabula rasa or blank slate, having very limited memories, could have past-life memories stored in their new brain?

And a far as skeptics’ criticism that evidence from Near Death Experiencers is only anecdotal, I would ask them what evidence does science have that people dream, when probably almost everyone dreams and can testify to the content of their dreams, but all that science knows about dreams is from anecdotal reports from dreamers. Yet, few people would claim that there are no such things as dreams. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 30 Mar, 21:24


As the spirit of Martin Luther told Victor Hugo, doubt is a good and necessary thing.  The challenge is in reducing the doubt to the minimum.  Mine is stuck at 1.2%  If I ever make it to 100%, I’ll probably be in trouble, although at 87, I don’t think there is much chance of changing in that respect.

I received an email this morning from a long-time friend who knows me from the running world, in which I wrote many articles and a book for 40 years. He said my running friends are confused by the fact that I write about running in one place and death in another, as if a person can’t have more than one interest.  Actually, I’ve played around with a book about insurance, a field in which I worked for 40+ years.  As I pointed out to my friend, they are all related to the extent that they are about finishing well. Insurance is right up there with death as far as being the most misunderstood and hated subject. 

Thanks for the feedback.

Michael Tymn, Sat 30 Mar, 21:18

Hi Michael,
Thanks for this post it was most opportune! Thanks also to Amos for the YouTube link.
I was in a real dip. I have been reading this stuff since the 70s and was firmly convinced by the evidence which is highlighted in these blogs. What I struggle with sometimes is when the doubt creeps in and I think what if the prevailing mainstream view is right and I have wasted my time ? I do not have a single friend or relative for that matter who believes in an afterlife, the brain is the mind, once that is dead or damaged that’s it !
Your latest post has pulled me back in, thank you

Pete Marley, Sat 30 Mar, 12:54


That’s my understanding of the direct-voice, which is considered both physical and mental mediumship. As Sir Oliver Lodge saw it, the direct-voice was the best type of mediumship, although I’m not sure “best” was the word he used. It might have been “most evidential” or something to that effect.  There were many other direct-voice mediums and they seemed to be of varying ability. With Sophia Williams, the voices came from her solar plexus. Hamlin Garland would usually have to put the small end of the trumpet to her solar plexus and his ear to the large end, but there were times when he could hear the voice without the device See my blog of August 27, 2013 in the archives concerning her and the Buried Crosses. Leslie Flint and George Valiantine were also direct-voice mediums.  The voices with Valiantine were at times said to be so loud as to be able to hear them a room or two away, but at other times, a trumpet was necessary to amplify the voice.  It is apparently not only the strength of the medium that is involved, but the ability of the communicating spirit. As I understand it, many spirits are not capable of communicating at all, while others come through in a weak voice, and still others loudly. Thus, the power of the medium is one factor, but the ability of the communicating spirit, assuming it is in fact a spirit, must also be factored in., Fri 29 Mar, 00:22


Let me see if I understand. Are you (and Riley Heagerty, if you want to comment) saying something like the following:

Etta Wriedt was not a typical mental medium acting as a “pass-through” agent delivering messages from spirits. Instead, her remarkable ability was in creating the conditions for direct voice communication, allowing the spirits to speak for themselves. Her own role was generating the apparatus—made of ectoplasm or some other semi-material substance—the spirits could use temporarily to talk to sitters.

I was not suggesting that all the phenomena were based on telepathy, just wondering if it could be ruled out. Telepathy as an explanation seems far-fetched, especially in light of the Frank Woodward case you mentioned. Anyway, telepathy can hardly be responsible for voices coming from points in space away from her, or talking simultaneously with her.

So our parapsychologists now want to re-brand super-psi as living-agent psi? I guess if they can’t confirm or explain something, they can try to sound smart by giving it a new name.

Rick Darby, Thu 28 Mar, 22:16

Many thanks Mike—much appreciated.


Don Porteous, Thu 28 Mar, 13:43

Here is a YouTube video presented by Wendy Zammit of Heagerty and his new book about Wriedt. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 28 Mar, 13:16


It has been about 12 years since I read the Cora Scott (aka Cora Richmond) books, but I recall much philosophy and wisdom from them.  See my blogs of December 2 and December 16, 2013 for a little of it, especially December 16. 


Michael Tymn, Thu 28 Mar, 04:24


Admiral Moore had dozens of sittings with Wriedt over several years, maybe hundreds, but I think they were all recorded after the sessions, not during them. John King also had many sitting with her, as did Mrs. de’Crespingy, who claimed more than a hundred.  Trying to take notes during the seances, especially in darkness,  would be a real distraction and lend itself to the skeptic saying he or she wasn’t attentive to what was going on at the moment. He was too occupied with recording what was going on just before that. Not the same kind of mediumship as with Piper and Curran.  Thanks for the comment.

Michael Tymn, Thu 28 Mar, 04:15


I think that Living-Agent Psi is just another name for Super PSI as some more modern parapsychologists have tried to name it. I think Super PSI replaced Cosmic Consciousness.

I don’t think Etta Wriedt ever “conveyed” anything. That’s assuming that in the direct or independent voice it does not come from or through the medium. Her vital forces are seemingly used for the spirit world to get it through to us, but she’s not “giving it” as might be said with other kinds of mediums.  As Riley will tell you, the best references are Admiral Moore’s book, which has been republished by White Crow Books, and that of Dr. John King. 

The “Frank Woodward” case mentioned above seems to rule our telepathy as Tweedale and his wife were unaware that Woodward had died. Thus, Wriedt couldn’t have been reading their minds for the information.  I’d have to search the references for some other items that the sitter did not know in order to rule out telepathy in the usual manner, but considering the nature of the independent voice, telepathy seems like a real stretch for something the medium isn’t giving in the first place. It is more of an argument against the trance mediumship and clairvoyance. How does telepathy account for 14 or more languages coming through?  Thanks for the comment and the opportunity to add information.

Michael Tymn, Thu 28 Mar, 01:21

Yes, N. Riley Haegerty writes some good stuff.  I have read three of his books and enjoyed them thoroughly and have seen a couple of YouTube interviews with him.  I have a question for Heagerty though. In your research, did you come across any first-hand notes taken during any session with Wriedt? Something like the notes taken during Leonora Piper’s or Pearl Curran’s sessions? Did anyone document the actual conversations, questions and responses during any of the direct-voice sessions with Wriedt?  It seems that a lot or all of the information about Wriedt is second, third or fourth-hand verbal information often quoted in books by other people.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 27 Mar, 18:57


Thanks for the reply. Whenever you do get back to the Stainton Moses-type stuff, I would be most interested in anything further you might have to say about whatever came through the “Guides” of Cora (Scott) Richmond.

I recently finished plodding through all 760 pages of “The Life Work of Mrs. Cora L.V. Richmond.” As biographies go, I could have lived without it, as until the final 35 pages or so, it’s composed mostly of testimonial/experiential letters from those who knew her. Needless to say, a LOT of repetition. On the other hand…

Am now working through “The Soul”—the first of six parts of what seems to be called (in my version at least) “Psychosophy” (presumably, Soul Wisdom) being, far more interestingly, the actual teachings of Richmond’s guides themselves. Based on a small sample (am only about 40 pages into it) the input from the anonymous guide/s is perhaps even more engrossing than that from Imperator. He/she/it speaks with a directness and clarity that makes sometimes abstruse points readily understandable.  We’ll see where it goes, but so far, highly recommended…

Don Porteous, Wed 27 Mar, 11:53

With such evidence, I find it extremely difficult to understand how anyone with an open mind can claim fraud, telepathy, super psi or living-agent psi, or some other explanation than spirits of the dead communicating from another dimension of reality.

I agree, any claim of fraud on Etta Wriedt’s part hasn’t a leg to stand on. As far as super-psi, it’s a purely hypothetical concept for which there is zero evidence, nor could there be because it is non-falsifiable.

I don’t know what living-agent psi means.

Does Wriedt’s record of evidential transmissions rule out telepathy, though? Did she ever convey information not known to sitters but which proved to be correct?

Rick Darby, Wed 27 Mar, 10:10

Don, like you and Stafford, I don’t feel a need for more evidence, but it seems to me that there are still many who haven’t heard it or need more of it.  In my church-going days, I heard more-or-less the same sermons every year for 20-plus years, perhaps with a very revisions here and there. Apparently, there were people who needed to hear it over and over again before they grasped it, or there was only so much for the priests to say without repeating themselves. However, I do hope to get back to Stainton Moses and others in future blogs.  Thanks for the comment.

Michael Tymn, Wed 27 Mar, 00:17


My only source for the Etta Wriedt material is Usborne Moore’s book, which I read some years ago.
While I found it compelling enough to include some of it (Count Chedo Miyatovich rings a bell) in my first book, I must confess that this more “evidential” type of communication has never been quite as impressive to me as some of the more in-depth “philosophically-oriented” material that we get from Imperator and some of the others. The sheer consistency of much of this material (what I’m working on now) from a variety of sources, and on the most key questions, is quite impressive.


I share your high regard for the Borgia/Benson material. In truth though, it must be pointed out that the vast bulk of his “descriptive” material on the afterlife relates to the “third plane”—i.e., the first level that most of us get to when we move to the other side, and the place that Myers so pointedly described as “the plane of illusion.” Even his “visit to Christ” was painted in purely physical terms, which in all probability don’t seem to apply as we move to the higher levels (and particularly when we get beyond the “realms of form”). As for any more detailed info on these higher levels, to the best of my knowledge, it just plain doesn’t exist—as it seems to be beyond the knowledge of any spirits who’ve reported back thus far.

Don Porteous, Tue 26 Mar, 16:38


If there is some kind of “intelligence” other than spirits behind it all, I guess the question then becomes why that “intelligence” continually pretends to be the spirit of a dead person. 


Michael Tymn, Tue 26 Mar, 02:59

She’s one of my favourites Mike as Etta Wriedt was undoubtedly one of the best direct-voice mediums of her time. As a comparison to the direct-voice of say Leslie Flint she seems to have been able to have numerous spirits communicating at the same time and even talking over her own voice. I don’t recall ever hearing numerous speakers communicating simultaneously on the Flint recordings and very rarely heard his voice talking alongside his control Mickey or anyone else but usually in between. Flint seems to clear his voice a lot so the use of the ectoplasmic voice box must have had some effect on his larynx maybe due to some kind of vibration. Etta Wriedt seems mainly to have used trumpets for direct voice which might explain the reason for multiple voices at the same time. I believe She could also produce the voices in daylight and also sometimes when she was in another room from where the voices were heard.

I remember reading about solar plexus direct voice where the voices emanate from the solar plexus area and the voices can be heard near the stomach. Psychic ectoplasmic rods that supposedly control the trumpet during direct voice and other trumpet phenomena also emerge from the same area.

Barring my own direct experience of this kind of mediumship which is zero it’s my opinion that there is some intelligence behind the communications but as to what it’s true source is I’m not sure. Even Eileen Garret who was a very successful trance medium and investigator into psychic phenomena herself was sceptical of the the spirit hypothesis and preferred to put it down to some kind of superconscious reservoir that could be tapped by the subconscious mind or some kind of power or force that had not yet been discovered by science. Alan Crossley who sat with many well known mediums such as Alec Harris, Stewart Alexander, Helen Duncan, Rita Goold (the latter I have my doubts about after hearing a recording of one of her seances on Youtube) magmanimously endorsed the materialisations that manifested at their seances but is reluctant to put them down to the spirit hypothesis and seems to think science will eventually reveal their origin as new discoveries in conciousness and physics etc are made. Stewart Alexander in his book ‘An extraordinary journey - the memoirs of a physical medium’  describes Alan Crossley (whom he knew very well) as having an unshakable faith in life after death so maybe he (Crossley) was in two minds about it or just couldn’t get past the ‘mind boggle’ threshold of witnessing solid three dimensional spirit manifestations in the flesh so to speak.

Incidentally there is apparently a recording (transferred onto nine long playing records) of a direct-voice experiment with the physical medium William Cartheuser. The experiment was carried out by the ASPR and the records are supposedly still in their possession. Among the witnesses to the experiment were Hereward Carrington, Helen T. Bigelow (ASPR secretary). In the studio where the seance took place microphones were set up in different places and I think five were positioned twenty feet above posotioned close to the ceiling and quite a few feet apart and a voice had to be within two feet of each microphone in order for it to be picked up any further away and it wouldn’t register. Needless to say the spirit voices were able to talk into any microphone in any order that was stated and the voice would follow on instantaneously from one microphone to the next no matter how far apart the microphones were. Cartheuser was reputed to have used fraudulent methods in some of his seances so his credibility was somewhat tainted but he undoubtedly produced very credible phenomena at other times.

Mark, Mon 25 Mar, 23:38

Try my book, The French Revelation for detailed descriptions of the world of spirit.

N. Riley Heagerty

riley heagerty, Mon 25 Mar, 21:20

For me, the evidence for survival is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so additional evidence pouring in from hundreds of sources like these is of less interest to me than what we survive into. What is the afterlife like? For me that is the great question.
I haven’t found anything so helpful as Anthony Borgia’s Life in the World Unseen, a record of communications from the Catholic priest, Robert Hugh Benson, the son of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, several decades following the communicator’s death. What is unique about these communications is the detail about the afterworld he lives in. Here are some chapter headings: The flowers, The Soil, Building Methods, Geographical Position, Occupations, Recreations, The Children’s Sphere, The Highest Realms. I have found it especially helpful for the writing of my latest novel, Guardians of the Afterworld.
Do any of you know of another spirit book with so much specific, almost technical information in it? The closest thing to it that I’m aware of is Chico Xavier’s Nosso Lar, but even that is not so detailed.

Stafford, Mon 25 Mar, 20:34

Pretty amazing! Thank you for sharing!

Some people can see and hear… and still not believe!!!

Very unfortunate. 

However, the spirits have patience.

Take Care,

Yvonne Limoges, Mon 25 Mar, 20:33

I know, it is the will to disbelieve.

Tricia Robertson, Mon 25 Mar, 14:35

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“Life After Death – The Communicator” by Paul Beard – If the telephone rings, naturally the caller is expected to identify himself. In post-mortem communication, necessitating something far more complex than a telephone, it is not enough to seek the speakers identity. One needs to estimate also as far as is possible his present status and stature. This involves a number of factors, overlapping and hard to keep separate, each bringing its own kind of difficulty. Four such factors can readily be named. Read here
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