The Most Awesome Book on Spirit Communication
Posted on 09 March 2015, 11:33
“Just one book, the most mind-blowing, awesome one you know of,” was my old friend’s request. His brother was dying of cancer and he wanted a book that might give his brother some hope in his final days.
My friend informed me that his brother was a hard-core atheist and had not been open to discussion of spiritual subjects in the past. “When you’re dead, you’re dead,” was his philosophy. However, my friend had noticed that on his most recent visits, his brother no longer seemed interested in watching or talking about football, something that had been their primary topic of conversation over the years. His mood, as he moved toward the brink of the abyss, was now more one of anguish, anger, and despair. My friend hoped that his brother might now be more open to talking about the possibility that he will survive physical death. If his brother wasn’t ready to read the book he wanted me to recommend, he (my friend) said he was going to sit there and read the book to him, whether he liked it or not.
I pondered on the request and quickly narrowed it down to two books – The Buried Crosses by Hamlin Garland and The Voices by Vice-Admiral W. Usborne Moore. I thought the first book, published in 1939, might be more entertaining for the dying brother, but also more mind-boggling and easier to dismiss than the second one. We have only Garland’s testimony for the experiences set forth in his book, but Moore, a retired British naval commander, offers, in addition to his own first-hand observations, those of a number of other credible people, including scientists, professors, diplomats, engineers, and business executives. If a non-believer wants to call Garland a dupe, that is one thing, but he is going to have to call many more people than Moore (below) dupes after finishing The Voices, first published in 1913.
The Voices has to do with the direct-voice mediumship of Henrietta “Etta” Wriedt, (below) a Detroit, Michigan resident. In 431 pages, Moore sets forth details of numerous sittings with Wriedt in which deceased loved ones, as well as some not well recalled, communicated with sitters, offering many evidential facts, and in some cases even materialized for sitters. Most of the cases discussed in the book were in England during 1912 and 1913. In some cases, the communication was in a foreign language unknown to Wriedt. According to Moore, Wriedt was uneducated and spoke only “Yankee,” and yet voices came through in “pure English.”
Count Chedo Miyatovich, a diplomat from Serbia, reported a sitting with Wriedt in London in which he was accompanied by his friend, Dr. Hinkovitch. Miyatovich heard from his mother in their Servian language, while Hinkovitch heard from an old deceased friend, also a doctor, in the Croatian language. “They continued for some time the conversation in their native tongue, of which I heard and understood every word,” Miyatovich testified. “Mrs. Wriedt, for the first time in her life, heard how the Croatian language sounds. I and my Croatian friend were deeply impressed by what we witnessed that day, May 16th (1912). I spoke of it to my friends as the most wonderful experience of my life.”
After his first visit with Wriedt, Miyatovich arranged for Professor Margarette Selenka, a distinguished German zoologist and anthropologist, to sit with her. Selenka heard from her deceased husband, Professor Lorentz Selenka, and her mother, who died a year earlier, both speaking in German. A friend of Selenka’s came singing a German song, and asked her to join him, as they used to sing together in the old days, after which a number of spirits came for the other two sitters.
Both Miyatovich and Selenka heard from William T. Stead, a British journalist who was a victim of the Titanic sinking just a month earlier. “Mr. Stead had a long conversation with Mme. Selenka and a short one with me, reminding me of an incident which two years ago, took place in his office at Mowbray House,” Miyatovich further reported. After hearing from Stead, Miyatovich heard from Ada Mayell, a close friend who had died just three weeks earlier in his home country. She made reference to letters sent to Miyatovich by her sister and niece.
William Jeffrey a business executive, reported hearing from his wife, mentioning that when alive she would usually speak proper English but would sometimes lapse into her old Scotch ways of speaking when talking to intimates. This she did when she communicated through Mrs. Wriedt’s mediumship.
James Robertson, another business executive, reported hearing from his mother. “The voice of my mother was the voice I was familiar with, the same broad Doric speech, as if she had never gone from us,” he testified. “The Scotch idioms were never departed from for a moment…She spoke to me as if we had but parted yesterday, called me ‘Jeems’ as she had always done while in the body…Mrs. Wriedt could not by any possibility have given a replica of the Scotch tones I heard, for while my mother was conversing with my daughters [she, Mrs. Wriedt] was talking [with me] in her usual Yankee tones.”
Peter Reid, an artist, reported that his “sweetheart” communicated and had the same old laugh he recalled from her earthly life. She first claimed to be his sister, and when Reid asked her why she made such a claim she reminded him that he was like a big brother to her and her family when she was a child. Moreover, she was concerned that she would not “get in” if she did not identify herself as a relative.
Moore further offers the testimony of one J. Maybank, who, along with his wife, sat with Wriedt on May 20, 1912. Mr. Maybank first heard from Tommy Mahone, a former shipmate on the Rambler whom he at first didn’t remember. However, Mahone reminded him of several incidents that happened on the ship on the China Station, after which Maybank began to remember him. The Maybanks then heard from their deceased son, Harold, and recognized his voice. Mr. Maybank put a test question to his son, asking him if he remembered “poor old Cyril.” The son replied, “Of course I do, dad; didn’t I tease him, when he went on, and didn’t he growl.” Harold then let out a loud, angry growl, that of a cat, thereby convincing the Maybanks that it was indeed their son.
At a third sitting, a voice identified herself as “Flossie.” Mrs. Maybank cried out, “What, my little sister?” when the voice replied, “Little sister indeed! I’m a woman now.” Mr. Maybank asked Flossie if she remembered what he said to her the last time he saw her. “Yes,” Flossie replied, “you said, ‘Good-bye, dear, I’m off to China, and when I return you will be quite well.’”
The Rev. Charles Tweedale, an Anglican priest, told of his sitting with Mrs. Wriedt on June 3, 1912 in which his wife heard from Frank Woodward, her former music master. She had not heard from him in 17 years and was unaware of his death. Later inquiry by Tweedale revealed the fact that Woodward had died a year previously.
Mrs. Tweedale also heard from her Grannie Burnett, who had died when she was a little girl. The grandmother told her that “Mary” was with her. However, Mrs. Tweedale did not immediately recall a Mary associated with her grandmother. It was only later that she remembered that her grandmother had adopted a girl named Mary under peculiar circumstances and that this Mary had died about three years earlier.
Moore, who had investigated a number of mediums in England, noted that voices came through the trumpet in broad daylight or gaslight, but they were louder in the dark. Moreover, Wriedt was open to sitting anywhere in the room so that the investigator could watch her and rule out fraud. There were times when several voices were coming through as Mrs. Wriedt, who did not require a trance condition, talked with the person sitting next to her.
Sir William Barrett, professor of physics at the Royal College in Dublin, also set forth his testimonial in Moore’s book. After hearing from a number of others, Barrett heard “Sidgwick.” He then asked for the man’s Christian name and the voice responded with “Henry Sidgwick.” Henry Sidgwick was a personal friend of Barrett’s and the first president of the Society for Psychical Research. Barrett asked Sidgwick if he was all right now, not referring to a particular problem he had. “You mean the impediment in my speech, but I do not stutter now,” Sidgwick, who had a stuttering problem when alive, replied.
“I went to Mrs. Wriedt’s séances in a somewhat skeptical spirit, but I came to the conclusion that she is a genuine and remarkable medium, and has given abundant proof to others beside myself that the voices and the contents of the messages given are wholly beyond the range of trickery or collusion,” Barrett offered.
And yet, if my friend’s brother happens to Google “Etta Wriedt,” the first thing that will pop up on her is the Wikipedia entry, obviously written by a “know nothing,” stating that she was “exposed as a fraud by physicist Kristian Bireland when he discovered the noises produced by the trumpet were caused by chemical explosions induced by potassium and water or by lycopodium powder.” Exactly how such chemicals produce familiar voices and factual information is not explained, however. My guess is that such chemicals, if they actually existed, were components of the ectoplasm produced by direct-voice mediums to permit the voices. But if the dying brother has a will to disbelieve, he’ll probably accept the Wikipedia entry as truth and continue his sad march toward total extinction.
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.
Next blog entry: March 23
Lump that together with mass mind-reading, ESP and the rest and there’s everything very neatly explained. The answer wasn’t 42 after all!
I also recommend Victor Zammit’s book to people because it covers such a wide range of phenomena. Whilst isolated instances can be shrugged off, Victor’s book shows that there is just far too much that can’t be explained by conventional thinking.
Leslie Harris, Tue 17 Mar, 13:07
I would also suggest victor zammits book on the subject. It deals with various fields collectively.
indianninja, Tue 17 Mar, 11:49
The voices could have been easily explained by a hidden speaker with a raspnerry pi assembly streaming voices over a wifi network from a ventriloquist cult. As for the non availability of the equipmejts then, that can be easily explained by cosmic wormholes called in by the ventriloquist cult working with advanced alien technologies. I believe my explaination was much more creative than the paltry licopodium and potass water(seriously? )
I too think that Etta Wreidt was an impressive medium. If it is true that she channeled direct voices that spoke in many different languages, none of which she spoke or knew, then how can any skeptic explain that as fraudulent? Certainly neither lycopodium nor potassium is an explanation! I think the many reports of sessions with Etta Wreidt are very evidential even if only a portion of them is true. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 12 Mar, 15:58
Leslie Harris, Thu 12 Mar, 00:32
The prevention of any means of challenging demonstrably incorrect statements has been stock in trade of religions for a very long time, particularly in the Catholic Church. Any questioner was labelled a heretic and killed off; the church seized his assets – a very profitable arrangement. Knowledge was stifled by prohibiting its acquisition, hence the huge list of banned books. Today’s Islamists are still at it; question = infidel = instant death!!
There is a common factor with what you have experienced – the claim to absolute authority. Absolute authority cannot be questioned. Today, it is a bit more difficult (in western society but not in middle eastern) to murder people for daring to disagree so the next best ploy is to make it impossible to question absolute authority or change anything propounded by absolute authority. Seizing control of Internet sites is a very good way of doing this.
Once control is established, another factor kicks in – anonymity. This then allows the situation where you can be described as being in error but with no proof being offered in substantiation. The anonymous accusers demand proof but without any semblance of the logic of proof being applied to them.
These are the tactics of those who recognize that they are trying to defend the indefensible!!
Sadly, the same applies to today’s world, in which followers of one particular imaginary deity rampage unfettered by any concept of proof that their imaginary deity ever existed. They claim that their barbarism is a requirement of their particular imaginary deity and revert to the tactics pursued by the Catholic Church for a thousand years; wholesale barbarism and murder as a daily tool.
If ever you start thinking that you are being unfairly treated in this matter, I can recommend a very good antidote. It is Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. Apart from being a very good read, there is a salutary lesson that runs through the entire book. It is a brilliant example of how very wrong some of the most august thinkers and scientists were when they rejected new thinking in various fields.
Relevant to this discussion were matters rejected and airily dismissed as ‘impossible’. Some did not live long enough to experience a face-full of smelly egg but many did. Common to these situations was the failure to consider the available evidence, which is where most afterlife sceptics and deniers stand.
I am an engineer and I have spent my professional life guided by pragmatism. I have never been able to understand people who dismiss things out of hand. To me, they are displaying massive conceit. They are saying that their intuitive intellect is so superior that they do not need to examine anything before pronouncing it to be true or false.
A possible explanation regarding afterlife considerations is that sceptics and deniers are inherently terrified of the concept, the more so if they have a deep inner feeling that they have done many things for which they might find themselves being held accountable in the next life!
This White Crow group is comprised of people who do think, search, compare and consider. The sceptics and deniers are welcome to follow their deeply flawed mental processes!!
I agree with you 100%. The problem is that the “sceptics” and debunkers writing the Wikipedia biographies aren’t interested in getting to the truth of the matter. Their minds are made up and they will do anything to sabotage the person. I don’t know how Rational Wiki is related to Wikipedia, if at all, but they have all kinds of false information about me and there is no way to correct it.
Stafford, thanks for the comments about my books. Yours belong up there as well. I was thinking more of direct evidence in that Admiral Moore directly observed her on many occasions. Our books offer only indirect evidence.
Check out “The Buried Crosses” book. Reproductions of it are available through White Crow Books.
Michael Tymn, Tue 10 Mar, 20:50
Leslie Harris, Mon 9 Mar, 22:20
This was a very good selection and I hope that it serves the intended purpose.
Your last paragraph interests me for a very important reason.
For too long, it has been sufficient for sceptics and deniers to offer a rubbish statement as “proof”. There is a problem with this. A statement is not, of itself, proof. Moreover, the statement is in fact a claim.
This in turn presents a contradiction. Sceptics and deniers have long held that, if an event cannot be reproduced in a laboratory at will, then it must be fraudulent. No proof for this is ofered.
As I have said recently, such a requirement immediately eliminates the supernova from the astronomer’s lexicon because it can’t be reproduced and this in turn eliminates most of astronomy’s basic calculations of time and distance.
Why then should the sceptics not be subjected to the same proof as they demand of others? In the case in question, the ‘explanation’ is of utterly no relevance to the observations (and substantiation) of the actual events. It would be no less ridiculous to claim that all of the voices were produced by ventriloquist mice living in the skirting boards.
So the sceptics and deniers want ‘proof’? Fine! Let’s start with their claims!!
Great advice on ‘Voices.’ I have to declare my ignorance regarding the other book, as I have never read it…or in fact heard about it.
Tricia, Mon 9 Mar, 20:35
I have actually included much the same material from Voices in a recent article on direct voice. Some of Arthur Findlay’s books are also excellent.
Mike, I think you should have recommended one of your own books. You bring together many sources rather than depending on only one. The sheer volume of voices has more impact than the one you recommend—or so I think.
Stafford Betty, Mon 9 Mar, 18:22
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