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Roundtable on Ectoplasm and Materialization Continues (Part 2)

Posted on 07 December 2020, 11:39

A virtual roundtable involving four pioneers of psychical research on the subjects of ectoplasm and materialization began with the last blog post here on November 23.  It continues here and will conclude on December 21. The roundtable members are Sir Williams Crookes, Professor Charles Richet, Dr. Gustave Geley, (below) and Dr. Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, all identified in the prior post. I am serving as moderator.


As stated in Part 1, the words here are those of the researchers, as extracted from their reports and books, except words in brackets, which are inferred to permit a meaningful flow and link. 

Moderator:  Gentlemen, before the break, you discussed the nature of ectoplasm, how it takes on different forms, from a vapor to a thick milky paste, and how materialized objects take shape from or within the ectoplasm, sometimes forming just hands or faces and occasionally a full body. 

Richet: [“Correct.] The outcome of these surprising observations is that we can state the stages in the formation of ectoplasms – a whitish steam, perhaps luminous, taking the shape of gauze or muslin, in which there develops a hand or an arm that gradually gains consistency. The ectoplasm makes personal movements.  It creeps, rises from the ground, and puts forth tentacles like an amoeba.  It is not always connected with the body of the medium but usually emanates from her, and is connected with her.”

Moderator:  “Thank you, Professor Richet.  To begin this session, I would like to ask why the so-called cabinet is necessary in the first place.  It is my understanding that these cabinets are mostly curtained-off sections of the room. 

Geley: “This dark cabinet has no other purpose than to protect the sleeping medium from disturbing influences, and especially from the action of light. It is thus possible to keep the séance-room sufficiently well lit for perfect observation.”

Schrenck-Notzing: “According to the spiritistic view, the closed cabinet opposes the dispersion of the fluid emanating from the medium. For the carping critic, the cabinet, the darkness of the reduced light, only exist in order to hide the manipulations by means of which the phenomena are fraudulently produced.  That this easily understood view is generally applauded is not surprising.”

Moderator: But why darkness in the first place?

Richet:  “For one reason or another, none, or scarcely any, are produced in full light. This does not apply to D. D. Home who gave astonishing materializations in the light; but in most cases darkness is essential. Sometimes red light, such as used by photographers, can be used and when the medium is very powerful, flashlight photographs can be taken. Nevertheless, darkness is usually so necessary that the medium must be protected by a curtain (forming a cabinet), notably at the beginnings of the phenomena. Only behind this curtain, even when the room is darkened, can preliminary changes take place. This will cause skeptics to smile; but in point of fact what does darkness matter?  Can darkness create a living face and produce a white veil?”

Crookes: “I have said that darkness is not essential. It is, however, a well-ascertained fact that when the force is weak a bright light exerts an interfering action on some of the phenomena. The power possessed by Mr. Home is sufficiently strong to withstand this antagonistic influence.”

Geley: “The detrimental action of light on ectoplasmic forms is not surprising. Light is well known to be fatal to many micro-organisms, and seems to hinder the organization of primordial forms of life.”

Schrenck-Notzing: “The recent investigations by W. J. Crawford have shown that white light acts destructively on the pseudopods or psychic projections from the medium’s body necessary for the production of telekinetic phenomena. It appears to produce a molecular softening of the invisible ‘rods’; while red light acts much more feebly.  It is, therefore, necessary to consider the reflection, refraction and absorption of the light used in the séance room … All [my] observations agree in this, that a white light has a hindering and disturbing effect on the phenomena, and an unfavorable action on the development of the teleplasm.”

Moderator: If I understand all this correctly, mediums vary in power and the ability to produce phenomena as well as to resist light depends on that power. Mr. Home must have been an exceptionally powerful medium to be able to produce in good light.

Crookes: “I may at once answer one objection which has been made in several quarters, viz., that my results would carry more weight had they been tried a greater number of times, and with persons, and with other persons besides Mr. Home. The fact is, I have been working at the subject for two years, and have found nine or ten different persons who possess psychic power in more or less degree; but its development in Mr. D. D. Home is so powerful, that, having satisfied myself by careful experiments that the phenomena observed were genuine, I have, merely as a matter of convenience, carried on my experiments with him, in preference to working with others in whom the power existed in a less striking degree.”

Schrenck-Notzing: “The exhaustion of the medium is, as a rule, in proportion to the strength of the phenomena.  But the effort involved in the action of the medium’s organism is much greater when the audience is unfavorable.  Occasionally, the mood of the medium may be adversely affected by unsympathetic personalities, or by contemptuous treatment.”

Geley: “A light, especially if sudden and unexpected, produces a painful start in the medium.  However, nothing is more variable than the light-effects; in some cases the substance can stand even full daylight.  The magnesium flashlight causes a violent start in the medium, but it is borne, and allows of instantaneous photographs. In the effects of light on the substance, and its repercussion on the medium, it is difficult to distinguish between real pain and mere reflex; both, whether pain or reflex, impede investigation.”

Moderator: I understand that the medium experiences much pain as the ectoplasm is being exuded from her or his body.

Geley: (Referring to the medium known as Eva C.)  “The phenomena appear (when they do appear) after a variable interval, sometimes very brief, sometimes an hour or more.  They always begin by painful sensations in the medium; she sighs and moans from time to time much like a woman in childbirth.  These moans reach their height just when the manifestation begins, they lessen or cease when the forms are complete.”

Moderator: Does the ectoplasm usually flow from the mouth?

Geley: “The most frequent and most easily observed origin is from the mouth; the substance is then seen to proceed from the interior surfaces of the cheeks, the roof of the palate, and the gums … [It also] exudes from the natural orifices and the extremities, from the top of the head, from the nipples, and the ends of the fingers.” (Schrenck-Notzing here leaned toward Geley and reminded him of those instances when the teleplasm/ectoplasm flowed from the vagina of Eva C.)  Geley nodded in agreement.)

Moderator: Can we go back to the materializations themselves? Some of them are so fragmentary and so strange in appearance that it is difficult to believe they are real, whatever “real” means here.

Richet: “The fact of the appearance of flat images rather than of forms in relief is no evidence of trickery.  It is imagined, quite mistakenly, that a materialization must be analogous to a human body and must be three dimensional. This is not so.  There is nothing to prove that the process of materialization is other than a development of a completed form after a first stage of coarse and rudimentary lineaments formed from the cloudy substance.”

Moderator: Knowing that Professor Richet and Dr. Schrenck-Notzing resist or are skeptical concerning the possibility that spirits are behind these materializations, I have kept this subject for the end, but I find it difficult to avoid at this point. I have heard the spiritist’s view on this, that these very imperfect productions can be likened to asking humans to do self portraits.  The very artistic person might succeed in varying degrees, but most people would fail badly and their likenesses would be as bizarre as most of the ectoplasmic formations.  Graduation to the spirit world does not enhance one’s artistic ability, it is further said.  On the other hand, the spiritist’s view set aside, if it is somehow being produced by the medium’s subconscious, the medium’s artistic ability might be a factor.  Does that make sense?

Geley: [“Exactly!] Since ectoplasmic formation is a function (a) of a dynamic and material externalization of the medium and (b) of ideoplastic organization of the externalized elements, it is easy to understand why perfect materializations should be few. To build up in a few seconds an organ or an organism biologically complete – to create life – is a metapsychic feat which can but rarely produce a perfect result. That is why the great majority of materializations are incomplete, fragmentary, defective, and show lacunae in their structures. The forms are seldom other than more or less successful attempts at hands, faces, and organisms … To have produced the astonishing varieties of form, the fringes with half-formed fingers, faces, or hands in the mass would have seemed absurd to a medium who was wishing to simulate a spirit materialization ... The defects in some materializations do not imply fraud but quite otherwise.”

Moderator:  The skeptics scoff at the idea of clothes being worn by the materializations. Any thoughts on this matter?

Richet: “This objection is somewhat naïve, for the materialization of a hand is no easier to understand than of the glove that covers it. It is, however, clear that materialization may be of inanimate objects and not of the human body only. The garments are usually veils or draperies, usually white, like muslin, produced by the gradual transformation of the whitish and more or less luminous cloud with which the apparition begins.”

Crookes: [“I see that Ms. Marryat is still amongst the audience. May I ask her to tell of her observations with Katie King?”] (Florence Marryat, the renowned British author, then moves forward to the table and speaks.)

Marryat: “She was always attired in white drapery, but it varied in quality. Sometimes it looked like long cloth; at others like mull muslin or jaconet; oftenest it was a species of thick cotton net. The sitters were much given to asking ‘Katie’ for a piece of her dress to keep as a souvenir of their visit, and when they received it, would seal it up carefully in an envelope and convey it home; and were much surprised on examining their treasure to find it had totally disappeared. Katie used to say that nothing material about her could be made to last without taking away some of the medium’s vitality, and weakening her in consequence.”

Crookes: [“Tell them about Katie cutting up the dress.”]


Marryat: “One evening, when she was cutting off pieces of her dress rather lavishly, I remarked that it would require a great deal of mending. She answered, ‘I’ll show you how we mend dresses in the Spirit World.’ She then doubled up the front breadth of her garment a dozen times, and cut two or three round holes in it. I am sure when she let it fall again there must have been thirty or forty holes, and Katie said, ‘Isn’t that a nice cullender?’ She then commenced, whilst we stood close to her, to shake her skirt gently about, and in a minute it was a perfect as before, without a hole to be seen.” (Crookes then asked her to tell about cutting Katie’s hair.)

“She told me to take the scissors and cut off her hair. She had a profusion of ringlets falling to her waist that night. I obeyed religiously, hacking the hair wherever I could, whilst she kept on saying, ‘Cut more! Cut more! Not for yourself, you known, because you can’t take it away.’ So I cut off curl after curl, and as fast as they fell to the ground, the hair grew again upon her head. When I had finished, Katie asked me to examine her hair, to see if I could detect any place, where I had used the scissors, and I did so without any effect. Neither was the severed hair to be found. It had vanished out of sight.”

Part 3, which will discuss the “intelligence” behind the materializations will be posted on December 21.

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 forthcoming book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is released on January 26, 2021.


Dear Mike (Tymn),

I have been looking forward eagerly to seeing Part 3, but it seems Part 2 has been sent again instead.

Happy solstice to everyone . . .

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 22 Dec, 15:27

very interesting,and am sure will convince others of the reality of Spirtualism in this modern day.

louie Paterson, Tue 22 Dec, 14:49

Amos, thanks for the information, but it should be noted that Wehner was born in 1890 and wrote the book during the 1920s; therefore, he was still a very young man and thus probably had pretty good eyesight. smile

Michael Tymn, Mon 21 Dec, 19:24

Not meaning to be critical in any way but as one grows older one’s eyes are subject to numerous visual phenomena including ‘scintillating scotoma’ which is a shimmering incomplete zig-zig ring of light and color appearing in the vision lasting about 20 minutes or so.  Also one can have a detaching vitreous in one or both eyes which also produces momentary various and sundry wispy light phenomena.  In addition one can see ‘floaters’ which are moving particles of debris in the eye, sometimes appearing in the vision as sheets of wispy whitish clouds.  Increasing eye pressure in glaucoma can also produce distortions of the vision.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 21 Dec, 17:41

I just came across another interesting comment about incomplete or fragmentary materializations.  It is in “A Curious Life” by George Wehner, a composer, artist, trance medium, and clairvoyant, page 114.  This involved a seance at which he was a sitter, not the medium. 

“All through the singing I had the most beautiful but fleeting glimpses of snow-white wisps of mist-like substance that went floating swiftly through the room.  Misty, half-formed figures emerged from the cabinet (in spite of the presence of the the man seated within), or appeared suddenly in the midst of the sitters, and some came gliding uncannily through the walls.  A few of these wraiths showed remarkably clear features, but most of them were indistinct and full of ghastly holes caused by lack of power to draw to themselves a sufficient quantity of atoms from the medium and the sitters. None of them appeared to linger, but passed rapidly through the walls, ceiling and floor, and many seemed to disintegrate in the air before our eyes.”

Michael Tymn, Mon 21 Dec, 01:06

Dear all, Michael of North London and Stafford Betty in particular,

It has taken about three readings of your words, Michael NL, to find your mind showing itself to my own consciousness, and I am filled with appreciation. You are a lovely person, a lovely being enduring the same irksome human mobile (or not so mobile) prison we all have.

I do not receive messages from spirit worlds via the birds, but they do appreciate physical world black sunflower seed.

The theory of Relativity is Einstein’s, the one recognised and accepted by scientists, including the cynical ones, not my theory, but perhaps I have seen what some do not yet see, that Einstein’s theory allows the presence “all-through-yet-totally-out-of-communication-with” our universe of other universes, wherein may dwell beings like and/or unlike us. (NOT a matter of more or different dimensions within our own universe - that’s a common misperception - but totally separate universes).

Following this thought: To give a tentative answer to Stafford Betty’s question of a few days ago, my own thought is that ghosts appear out-from (Greek EK epsilon kappa [I don’t know much Greek, but it’s the right word and does not exist in English]) a universe no higher than ours, or even a lower one, in which they exist still as what WE call our etheric bodies, (ie they have thrown away their physical bodies, as all do, but have not yet become of a more fully “spiritual” constitution (appropriate to a higher universe) but remain suspended between the spiritual and the physical as etheric-body-ONLY beings. (Words are inadequate - don’t choke on pernickety problems of language when reading others’ words!! Try to grasp what they MEAN, what they picture.) By contrast, those beings appearing via what WE discern to be what we call ectoplasm seem to come from a place (beyond the etheric?) which does not supply them with the means of coming back here but requires that they bridge the gap between their universe and ours by borrowing a supply of OUR-world-stuff (the medium’s etheric body) in order to appear down here in our low universe. I believe they are of/from this different substance-of-being because THEY have already gone higher, and have thrown off the etheric AS WELL AS the physical. (They want to be in touch with us but are living in a higher level than the level of ghosts, who are in/of/from a sort of half-way-house level) Hence the higher beings’ difficulty in realising themselves down here at OUR physical-cum-etheric level. They need OUR ectoplasm to become again like US. Ghosts, by contrast, still have their etheric body’s constitution, so can appear more easily. When we think about it, this is perfectly logical scenario, and technologically credible, so it may be correct, and so may answer your question, Stafford.

This revised post results from my having been able to return to the computer after one of life’s myriad interruptions that stalled the earlier post. I hope this version explains the ideas better - but remember that words are inherently pretty clumsy, no matter how much thought the writer gives to the notions he tries to express.

Much appreciation to Mike Tymn for the blog itself.

Very kind regards to all readers - what good company you and your thoughts are.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Fri 11 Dec, 12:18

Dear all, Michael of North London, in particular,

It has taken about three readings if your words, Michael NL, to find your mind burgeoning in my own consciousness, and I am filled with appreciation. You are a lovely person, a lovely being in human mobile prison.

I do not receive messages via the birds, but they do appreciate physical world black sunflower seed.

The theory of Relativity is Einstein’s, the one recognised and accepted by scientists, including the cynical ones, not mine, but perhaps I have seen what some do not yet see, that Einstein’s theory allows the presence “all-through-yet-totally-out-of-comminication-with” ours of other universes, wherein may dwell beings like and/or unlike us.

To give a tentative answer to Stafford Betty’s question of a few days ago, my own thought is that ghosts appear out-from a universe no higher than ours, or even a lower one,in which they exist still as what WE call our etheric bodies, (ie they have thrown away their bodies, as all do, but have not yet become of a different constitution but remain as etheric-body-ONLY beings while those appearing via what WE can discern to be what we call ectoplasm seem to come from a place which does not supply them with the etheric means (they have already gone higher, and thrown off the etheric as well?), but requires that they bridge the gap between their universe and ours by borrowing a supply of our-world-stuff (the medium’s etheric body-stuff) in order to appear down here in our low universe.

One of life’s myriad interruptions must have my instant attention, so my line of thought is broken temporarily. Perhaps I have said enough (too much from me?) but I shall try to complete this later. Meanwhile, I’ll send this unread and uncorrected, as it is.

Much appreciation to Mike Tymn for the blog itself

Very kind regarda to all readers

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Fri 11 Dec, 10:24

Thanks to all for the comments so far.  Here’s something of possible interest from the March 1923 issue of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, by Irving Hamlin. It involved a seance on April 24, 1920 with a medium referred to as “Mrs. Z” and conducted at the home of a “well-known physician” in Evanston, Illinois. Hamlin wrote:

“Many of the (materialized) figures talked and whispered with varying degrees of success in making themselves understood…The extraordinary speed with which these figures change from one appearance to another, granting if you please, that they are the masquerading medium (as had been claimed by others), is a little short of miraculous. Some have chalk white countenances, while others have perfectly natural complexions. Some have light hair long and flowing, others dark hair. Many have faces and heads wrapped up in the manner of nuns. The coiffure, the make-up, the varying countenances and varying heights of figures, all make a bewildering complex that is very difficult to ‘explain’ on the lines of a masquerading medium sitting in utter darkness and leaving no traces of cosmetic powder in the the cabinet afterwards…It may be true, as some assert, that the figures seen at this seance were Mrs. Z herself, but I know positively that some were not. It is well known that some of the phenomena are really transfigurations of the medium herself, that some are etherealizations, and that some are independent materializations—the latter being the large majority.

“Etherealizations are amorphous at times or may be at other times well built up figures of the consistency perhaps of tobacco smoke. For three or four minutes at a time on two or three occasions, I have seen these on the floor and sometimes in the air near the medium, with the curtains wide open.  It first appeared as nothing more than a rat under a handkerchief, moving about, quickly rising to a height of two or three feet, all of an intense vibration and tremble, rising and sinking, but never dispersing as it would if it were only a mass of smoke; sometimes straight and square at the top like a fence post; then sharp at the top, or perhaps pyramidal like a doorstep evergreen tree, never reaching human height, and thus it labored unsuccessfully trying to build itself up into presentable form, which it probably could have accomplished had it not been hampered by the open curtains and the light of the seance room.

“Etherealizations, also incomplete materializations as well as those which are very complete and substantial, are built up in the darkness of the cabinet and are exhibited for from ten to sixty seconds, and then have to scuttle back behind the curtains to avoid going into utter disintegration out in the open.  Sometimes we see them sinking downward in this kind of death before the curtains can close upon them.”

Hamlin mentioned that controls were very strict, although Mrs. Z did not submit to a gynecological exam to rule out a foreign substance or objects being smuggled into the room.

Michael Tymn, Thu 10 Dec, 07:00

Dear Amos Doyle,

You are absolutely right to remind some of us that there are levels within what we call the spirit world. What some call delusive demons do indeed exist, I believe, and part of our duty to ourselves and to others is to reach a maturity in THIS world that not only protects us from them but also prepares us for a higher world (perhaps rather than reincarnating here), and enables us to discern spiritual truths that many miss whilst still down here. John the Divine I think it was who, in one of his very brief epistles in the New Testament, advises us to test the spirits, whether they are of God. Whatever one’s doctrinal position, it is surely wise to be(come) wise (ie to use our intelligence as well as our trust) in our passage through this life. In alternative words, to value honest and careful science in full synthesis with our intuitive spirituality.

As always, far more should be said, if it can be said at all in human language.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 9 Dec, 21:39

Dear Newton Finn,

I share your concern to express well what are sometimes complex groups of ideas. Despite feeling that your own utterance last time may have fallen short, this time you have succeeded excellently.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 9 Dec, 21:20

Mr. Payette’s comment in the prior thread surely paints with too broad a brush, but it does express a vital truth. As Michael makes clear in his books and blog, the signs and wonders of mediumship are not ends in themselves but rather means (in the form of evidential, experiential opportunities) to transcend the pervasive, corrosive materialism that surrounds us and, inevitably, seeps inside. Liberated by awareness of the afterlife, we become open to the mysterious and sublime and desire to devote our lives in THIS world to making it better, more beautiful. The message of spiritualism, at least to me, is that the spiritual is not an ocean but a river, one which flows naturally into the ethical as this life flows seamlessly into the next. In my first comment on this blog, I tried to say this but couldn’t quite find the right words. I hope I did better this time.

Newton Finn, Wed 9 Dec, 17:10

Michael Roll,
I have to smile at your comment about Rita Goold having to pay for food for all of the people attending her seances.  Pearl Curran (Patience Worth) had the same expenses when she dictated for Patience Worth in the presence of an audience in her home.  Pearl Curran never charged people who attended her ‘seances’ and she rarely broke even on anything she published.

I know though that she did receive a fee for services when she gave a performance for various women’s clubs and larger audiences. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 9 Dec, 16:34

Dear Mike (Tymn),

I totally agree that there are differing manifestations of what we in our “”“real solid”“” world describe as spirit. I think this relates to several different topics in the current discussion, and does so with differing ethical bearings. Inhabitants of the other worlds consider their worlds just as real and solid as we consider ours, do they not?

I have come to the conclusion myself that, just as you say, Mike, a number of appearances that ardent christians condemn as satanic or demonic are in fact the same as a number of Old Testament manifestations. Once humans thought that they discerned appearances, events and things that seemed to be caused by non-human presences the way was open to all sorts of misinterpretations and doctrines, most of which led further and further from the simpler realisation that there “just are” other levels of experience than the ordinary. At the stage in history when humans were first learning to interpret what they experienced they had not got far enough to subsume ALL these experiences under the further realisation that there must be a self-harmonious Great Being Who includes ALL those disparate and strange experiences. Monotheism did reach this point, but still in too ignorant a state of development to avoid other serious errors.

The experiences people have of ‘otherness’ are simply manifestations all emanating at different levels from the Great Being. “In my father’s house are many dwelling places” describes this, I believe. There was and is no need to invoke evil beings rivalling God, such as ‘demons’ or ‘devils’ or a Satan. That word only means ‘adversary’, not king of spiritual darkness attempting to rival the king of light. The Great ALL cannot have any rival, nor any internal disharmony. All is ‘in’ that Great Being. Human ignorance, fear and inventiveness produced supposedly-independent spirits, often as excuses for human deliberate misbehaviour. It’s all very complex, and most of it false. When the false is believed to be true human thought produces explanatory ‘theories’ with yet further layers of misunderstanding to explain the previous misunderstandings - and then blames the imaginary evil spiritual entity, or even “God Himself” for what is perceived as evil. A very convoluted system, its complexities devised to explain away the prior undetected errors.

Such imaginings, I believe, at least for humans with perfect honesty and, as a direct result of that honesty, freedom from delusion, are the real demonic and the real delusive entities that Lance Layette refers to. During the golden age of spiritual manifestations and investigations (1850 to 1930) the way was open to a real fusion of science honestly pursued and revelation granted by other worlds. Higher spiritual experiences would have become possible but cynical humans destroyed the way to this, and higher beings withdrew to await a more favourable time to show themselves again. We now have to seek, and await, a new era of revelation.

Perhaps, after an interlude now apparently dawning when humans will claim they have reset everything and produced an earthly paradise, only to discover after a while that they have done the opposite, we shall enter a new age of happy communication between the worlds.

I have tried to be brief and have therefore probably failed to be unambiguous.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 9 Dec, 14:00

There is an awful lot of bombardment to my senses and my concentration do wane I’m afraid.

It strikes me that whilst this is a competitive environment of views, there is a desperation to helps others and I do intuitively believe in higher life forms here helping others in this realm of our existence, either through mediums or directly through what is commonly seen as the supreme, God.

I ought to have concentrated better at school and should be better read, so I am grateful to those who have achieved this on mine and others’ behalves.

I’m not sure whether this in linked to Mr Franklin’s theory of relativity but I do remember our headmaster and De La Salle Brother deputising for our absent math’s teacher and producing these almost surreal multi-dimensional images.

He seemed to be oblivious to our understanding and was focused at speed in his production of oblongs, rectangles and other shapes galore.

Brother Claude was renowned as a highly intelligent man and formidable mathematician and I think that this one lesson, despite my lack of understanding, was one of my most memorable experiences. Though austere, he was operating on a much higher plane and he fuelled my imagination and sense of wonder.

I was moved by Michael Roll’s spiritual experiences, especially in relation to cricket which has all sorts of romantic and spiritual connotations(the spirit of cricket, a well renowned literary concept).

All sports have these connotations of course but cricket has traditionally operated with all sorts of idiosyncrasies and yet I was surprised that he was described as an atheist(perhaps I have to reappraise my own definition) by one author. I suppose I have to accept that I have more than enough in common with spiritualists to comfort me on my journey through life.

Thank you for allowing me to elicit such strong memories of that math’s lesson which outweighed by far, many intellectual deficiencies on my part.

That being said, I think there is an awful lot, also to be said for intuitive belief.

Just wondering, by the way, Mr Franklin, if those birds at your bird feed convey any subliminal messages from time to time.

I often hope that dad is saying hello around mine.

Michael, North London, Wed 9 Dec, 12:42

Michael, at the Rita Goold experiment the former materialisation medium, Helen Duncan, Materialised at every experiment. We know it was Helen because she had been checked out by her daughter. I asked Helen why her etheric team had not warned her that a police raid was being planned. It killed Helen. Helen replied that she was warned, “but like a fool I did not take notice of the warning because paying customers were coming from all over the country.” This is the reason why Rita Goold was not allowed to take a penny from anybody who witnessed her mediumship. In fact she was out of pocket because she fed the people who came.

Michael Roll, Wed 9 Dec, 11:54


I assume you are referring to the last comment on the prior post.  I just responded to him.

Incidentally, I just came upon this comment by Johannes Greber in his book, “Communication with the Spirit World of God,” relative to ectoplasm, which is referred to as od or odic force in German.

“It is the same thing that we find in the Bible in connection with the burning bush, the pillar of cloud and fire of the Israelites, the cloud resting over the tabernacle, the cloud on Mount Tabor, and the odic flames seen at Whitsuntide.”

Thank you.


Michael Tymn, Wed 9 Dec, 01:58


I have also wondered about that and don’t have any answers, except that apparitions, if they can be so called, are more ethereal and can be seen through, while materializations are more solid.  See the comment by George Wehner in the comments section of the prior blog post. My guess is that apparitions and materializations are totally different phenomena.

Michael Tymn, Tue 8 Dec, 23:18

Dear Mike (Tymn),

Your latest commentator (name not yet known to me) gives a first impression of dogmatic pride that I hope is not true. I am too busy to say much now, but I cannot leave this impression unrecorded as I turn to my own tasks. The claim to know the whole of any field of study is characteristic of those dogmatists who think that what we may term religious facts supervene scientific facts. I hope this also is not true of this commentator. We should all seek the truth that correctly combines fact from both sources, the evidence from historical records and that from modern science becoming the basis of the rejection of the unreliable fantasies and fallacies of the other. This unified process discovers truth more reliably than other methods. Truth is ONE, and this mutual testing process is the best way to seek it. This commentator should know that just as the early investigators were honest scientists (and many of them Christian believers too) so today’s honest and careful science supports the religious and/or spiritual findings of those earlier investigators: it does not destroy their claims, but confirms them. We need the harmonisation of both.

It is my own view, and perhaps his/hers?, that we must add modern scientific evidence for the spirit world’s existence to the evidence from the golden age of honest open-mindedness, rather than endlessly mulling over that evidence while ignoring the relevance of modern science that strongly supports the belief that the spirit realms do exist.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 8 Dec, 19:21

The greater mystery for me remains the same: Why do ordinary ghosts seem to be formed with no medium present to provide the ectoplasm? Their origin seems to be different from the phantasms seen during a seance. Any ideas?

Stafford Betty, Mon 7 Dec, 23:03

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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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