An Interview with Victor and Wendy Zammit
Posted on 20 May 2013, 15:41
If anyone has done more than Victor and Wendy Zammit to spread the gospel of survival, I don’t know who the person might be. Their Friday Report at http://www.victorzammit.com reaches thousands of people in more 100 countries every week. It offers a variety of interesting, informative, intriguing, and inspirational stories relating to spirituality, especially survival.
When it comes to weighing the evidence for survival, few people are more qualified than Victor Zammit, LL.B., Ph.D., (below) a retired lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia. Now retired from the practice of law, Zammit calls himself a full-time afterlife researcher. Wendy Zammit, M.A., (below) has contributed significantly in their joint venture. Their book, A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife, first published in 1996, under the title A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife, has been revised and recently republished by White Crow Books.
I recently interviewed the Zammits for The Searchlight, a quarterly publication of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies. Here is that interview:
Victor, when I interviewed you several years back, you said that you felt you had a mission to make known the evidence for survival. Would you mind elaborating on this a little and explain why you feel it is a goal worthy of your time?
“Disseminating the evidence for the afterlife on a global level has truly become a passion for me these days. We – Wendy and I – receive regular emails from the five continents. The response basically is that the researched information is helping people everywhere to overcome the fear of death and to cope better with the loss of their loved ones. Further, transmitted information from the afterlife dimension tells us that there are virtually millions of people who have no idea about the afterlife and on crossing over have serious problems adjusting. The urgent message is to do whatever we can to help people around the world to know that consciousness survives physical death and that there is accountability for our actions and omissions while on earth.”
Wendy, you appear to share Victor’s zeal for helping others awaken to the reality of life after death. How did you become interested in the subject?
“Victor and I have been together for forty-five years now and have always shared our interests. We both did degrees in psychology and history and postgraduate research degrees so we have always been interested in human consciousness. For many years we were both involved in debates and human rights and social justice issues while Victor was studying and working in law. So when Victor began having psychic experiences more than twenty years ago, it was natural for us to begin researching them together. In the early days we went as a couple to every religious, spiritual and New Age group we could find, read the same books and had long discussions. When we began to research physical mediumship it was a joint enterprise and we both became members of David Thompson’s Circle of the Silver Cord.”
Do you feel that significant progress is being made relative to accepting the evidence for survival?
(VZ) “Yes, I accept there has been a paradigm shift these last twenty-five years in this regard. Whilst I accept that there is significant progress being made globally there is huge amount of work to be done spreading the light. But I am optimistic for the future. I do believe that there are powerful afterlife forces joined by those who are on earth – and they are making a significant contribution guiding the world towards the acceptance of the afterlife.”
(WZ) “My feeling is that in the West more people are having direct experiences and are talking about them. Many people I talk to often start out with direct after death contacts without the aid of a medium. When I compare the attitude today to what it was when we started this work I can see that there is a lot more openness and information about NDEs, after death contacts, about OBEs, and about reincarnation.”
I know that both of you have witnessed quite a bit of physical mediumship. There are many believers in survival who say that mental mediumship is more convincing than physical mediumship. Do you agree?
(VZ ) “Physical mediumship is not all the same. Just seeing things move around the room is not all that convincing. But materialization is another thing, especially when you have reunions with loved ones who can talk directly with you. For me materializations of loved ones are the greatest discovery in paranormal history. I conversed with my crossed- over younger sister who materialized and talked about matters we talked about before she crossed over. Wendy’s father materialized and talked to her about things only Wendy and her father knew – and he kissed her on her forehead. Like my sister, his voice was his original, authentic voice he had when he lived on earth (and he spoke with his distinctive Australian accent). Over seven years we witnessed over a hundred reunions where materialized spirits conversed with loved ones in the séance room who talked about familiar things only they knew. Over this time I did come across a very small minority of so-called Spiritualists who showed they have an irretrievably closed mind about materializations. I have to concede, I do not know why they are so determined that there cannot be such a thing– I find it very puzzling!
“Having said that, I accept that gifted mental mediumship is also very convincing. We regularly report some of the very best brilliant mental mediums in our Friday afterlife report. The mediums who took part in Sensing Murder (NZ) are absolutely stunning with the information they are able to produce.”
(WZ) “Quite honestly over the seven years we have been investigating David Thompson’s mediumship we have seen so many people absolutely stunned when William walks around the room – hearing his heavy footsteps, hearing him clap his hands and coming close and talk to you and touch you. If you are open to it, physical mediumship hits you with a force. It’s like “Oh my God this is real.” On the other hand there are some people who are just so overwhelmed by it that they become irrational – claiming that there has to be a trick to it. People need to have studied physical mediumship and its history before going to sit – it does need preparation. And of course it’s just not possible for some people who are unable to sit in a dark room in fairly confined conditions for almost two hours.”
The mediumship of yesteryear – much of which you cite in your book – seems to have been much more dynamic and convincing than the mediumship of today. Do you agree?
(VZ) “Certainly all the great mediums you have written about were really amazing and we may never see someone like Mrs. Leonora Piper again. Gladys Osborne Leonard and Mrs. Eileen Garrett also seem to have been amazing. And we certainly don’t seem to have the number of great materialization mediums we had in the past like Helen Duncan, Alec Harris, Gordon Higginson, Estelle Roberts, and Jack Webber to name a few.
“But on the other hand some of the mental mediums of today are superb. Gordon Smith has proved himself in tests with Archie Roy and Tricia Robertson. Some of the American mediums tested by the Windbridge Institute have performed magnificently. And in our new book we give examples of readings by gifted mediums Deb Webber and Kelvin Cruickshank that have more than forty confirmed points of information each.”
A number of the old researchers concluded that the direct voice mediumship was the most convincing. Emily French, Leslie Flint, Etta Wriedt, and John Sloan immediately come to mind. Do you know of anyone today who produces such quality mediumship as they did? If not, why do you think that is?
(VZ) “It is hard to say as we don’t really have any direct voice mediums today to compare them with. I don’t know of anyone doing the kind of direct voice mediumship of the mediums you mentioned.
“Why is it so? For direct voice mediumship you seem to need to have a dedicated circle willing to sit for the development of the medium. Conditions have changed so much in the West that it is extremely hard to get a dedicated group together, at least in the cities, to meet at the same time every week for up to seven years without missing a week. Think about it. You need to have a sufficiently large living space to dedicate a room to it. Then you need to have people who live close enough to each other to be able to come together at the same time every week. Gordon Higginson would not even allow the members of his Circle to even miss a week for holidays. The sitters need to have the patience to sit together in the darkness for an hour or so without anything happening, week after week after week. There are so many other distractions these days that people in the past did not have – television, videos, computers, internet, video games. And there is more pressure on people to use their spare time to earn money to pay for the high cost of living.”
(WZ) “I also think that in the West we are being bombarded with different electrical frequencies that are making physical mediumship more difficult. The proliferation of wireless internet and mobile phones as well as all the signals coming from satellites can’t be helping. Many people are finding it impossible to switch off mentally as well.”
How important is the issue of harmony between the sitters?
(VZ) “Most people don’t understand that in any kind of physical mediumship the harmony of the energy between the sitters is absolutely vital. We have seen sittings where there is a large group of very positive and joyful people produce stunning results. The next night if there are only a couple of people who are depressed, skeptical or anxious, the energy will be dramatically weakened. Many circles have had to be disbanded and start again because of disharmony. This seems to be the same through all forms of spirit contact including EVP and ITC.”
I understand that you are putting out a new book. Please tell the readers something about it.
(VZ) “As you know we have had an earlier book, A Lawyer presents the Case for the Afterlife on the Internet in various versions free of charge in downloadable form for the last ten years. Volunteers who loved the earlier book translated it into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, German, French and Russian. Every day we receive emails from people who say that the material in this book has changed their lives. I have been sending out hard copies from home but the cost of international postage from Australia makes it too expensive for a lot of people. A lot of people have been asking us to do an updated version including some of the new material that we have been putting in our weekly Friday Afterlife Reports. So we decided to update the book calling it A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife and make it available through the online bookshops which will reduce the cost of postage. Of course, in addition to the updating many of the existing chapters, there are several new chapters and a sharp short cross-examination of a skeptic. But once again it concentrates on evidence that is credible, repeatable and admissible in a court of law.”
(WZ) “Nowadays, we also know from our Friday Report statistics that we have a large number of readers who speak English as a second language, especially in Russia, China and South America. So we have tried to write the new book in plain English, using short sentences and familiar vocabulary to make it easier for people to understand and translate. We are writing for people who are completely new to afterlife research as well as for people with a wide existing knowledge. We have tried to make it an introduction to afterlife research but also to give details of the ‘classics’ in afterlife research as well as the many new books that have become available in the last couple of years, including the wonderful series of books that you have been putting out.”
Where so you see the future of afterlife research going?
(VZ) “Well of course, as you have been saying in your books, the research that has been done with the great mediums of the past already provides absolute and stunning evidence for the afterlife. It’s like the research with psi – they can’t keep doing the same experiments over and over. I suppose the dream would be to have materialization reunions in lighted conditions so that they could be videoed. Other than that I think it would be good to have a simpler and more accessible version of the cross correspondences, with messages coming through different mediums all over the world and being assembled in a central place. Having said that, I do accept that there is already sufficient afterlife evidence to convince any open-minded skeptic about the existence of the afterlife. But the evidence will continue to be refined in the many of the areas of research we cover. As to the closed minded skeptics, for some seven reasons I mention in my homepage, they are not in a position to objectively identify evidence when the evidence is blatantly clear to everybody else.”
(WZ) “My feeling is that we have entered a time when people are wanting to have their own direct experiences of afterlife contact. I think the work on Guided Afterlife Connections by Dr. Craig Hogan and Rochelle Wright has enormous potential in this regard as well as the work in out-of-body explorations, which we outline in the new book. Dr. Julie Beischel of the Windbridge Institute is onto something when she talks about applied mediumship research. I love her idea of having mediums work alongside counselors to help people who are grieving. I’m also very inspired by the idea of putting together a team of forensic mediums to help solve cold cases. The US organization Find Me has created a model that could be applied to other countries.”
A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife by Victor & Wendy Zammit is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and online bookstores.
Next blog: June 3
Read comments or post one of your own
“Dead” Mountain Climber Mallory Says He Never Made It To The Top
Posted on 06 May 2013, 16:18
“Because it’s there,” was the succinct reply of Englishman George Herbert Mallory (below) to the question of why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. Sometime later, on June 8, 1924, Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, disappeared as they approached the summit of Everest, never to be heard from again, at least in a normal way. Indications were that Mallory had left Irvine behind and attempted to climb the final leg on his own. There was much speculation as to whether Mallory made it to the summit before he died. His body was found in 1999 at a point still short of the summit, but the speculation remained that he might have reached the summit and died on his way back down.
I recently came upon an apparently little-known communication purportedly coming from Mallory several months after his death, in which he said that he did not reach the summit. It came through the mediumship of Geraldine Cummins (1890-1969), (below) probably the most celebrated automatic writing medium ever, and was communicated to Beatrice Gibbes, Cummins’s friend. As Gibbes was a member of the Royal Geographic Society and feared that she would be banned from the organization if it were known that she “dabbled in the occult,” the communication with Mallory was not made public.
It was left to Charles Fryer, an Anglican priest and college lecturer in history, to uncover the scripts in the Cork (Ireland) City Archives as he did research for a biography of Cummins, first published in 1990 and recently republished by White Crow Books under the title, Geraldine Cummins: An Appreciation, while subtitled, The Inside Story of Ireland’s Greatest Medium.
Around November 30, 1924, Gibbes decided to see if she could make contact with Mallory. She was careful not to inform Cummins of her intentions and was reasonably certain that Cummins did not know anything about Mallory. She asked Astor, Cummins’s spirit control, if he could locate Mallory and bring him to her to communicate through Cummins. The records are vague as to the first few attempts at communication, but apparently Mallory was still not fully awakened and found it difficult to communicate. It was not until the fourth try that he finally made himself known. “I want to talk,” the transcript reads. “I am clearer tonight. You called me before and I was puzzled. I am Mallory. I am wondering if my people are known to you. I don’t think they would believe I was alive. I am getting away now from the darkness I slipped into after that suffocating time. I can remember still the struggle for breath, and how the hammer seemed to go on beating in my head, knock, knock, and I wouldn’t give in. I had got so far, and after the awful cold, I wonder, has anyone succeeded, or will anyone? I’d like to warn chaps not to try; it can’t be done.”
Mallory said that he slipped, caught hold of something, then slipped again, and while he didn’t fall very far something in his body broke, he wasn’t sure what. “I couldn’t stir, just lay there waiting, such a dreary time. I believe I was a bit queer for a while, all mixed up in my head, seeing figures and shapes, then that passed, mercifully, and I only felt weak and light, my body numb.”
Gibbes asked him if he made it to the top. “Not quite,” he responded. “It rose right above me. I remember my despair. Oh, if I’d got to the summit and died I wouldn’t mind, but I am just like so many others.” Though still confused and apparently unable to recall Irvine’s name, he added that he left his climbing partner behind and died alone “I think I was delirious at the end, everything danced about me and I had curious dreams…”
Mallory told Gibbes that he was “losing hold” and had to leave. In a later sitting, he told her that things were becoming more clear to him. “It was all a muddle at first, you see, I took a long time getting clear of my body,” he explained. “It didn’t decompose rapidly in that great cold. I found myself outside it, watching the man that was myself and yet not myself, tied to him still by threads…it took a long time to snap, perhaps because I was a pretty strong chap and died hard. You know, I believe people don’t die when doctors pronounce them dead, they are still very often only just outside their bodies, as I was.” He added that he was so determined to live that if someone had found him he thought he could somehow get back into his body. Eventually, other spirits came and broke the last threads holding his spirit body to his physical body.
Mallory went on to tell Gibbes that he had started a new adventure of sorts. “It is difficult to explain mathematically and there is no physiology here,” he said. “But a segment of me has gone forward, if you like to put it that way. I mean I have been in a place of many colours. I have been conscious of my shape, it is not as difficult as you imagine, but it is very flexible. I have been learning how to control it, but these periods when I am not resting come to me as dreams come, and pass rapidly. I shall have this life permanently, probably, after a while.”
Gibbes asked him to elaborate on those who came from the coloured place to help him. “They are very curious,” he said. “I will try and explain how I perceive them. I know what I see breaks all scientific laws, but as I shan’t have to argue about it with any of the old buffers who call themselves scientists I shall go ahead. They seem like long and pliable shapes that are shrouded and change continually different colours. They seem to float, or rather swim, without any exertion, in some strange buoyant stuff which they can pass through or can drift on. There is usually a kind of light with each of these beings, they seem to project that, and it gathers or sucks in thought and ejects it. I am afraid this sounds very tall, but through this stuff or fluid, if you look close enough, are tiny little ripples which remind one a little of threads. I mean each ripple has a sequence and a colour and suggest what is thread-like. I have noticed these ripples are made by what seems to be an intelligence. I conclude these ripples are the thought or speech of people; they have drifted into me several times, and I have been sensible of words framing an image or thought for me.”
He continued, informing Gibbes that he passes through matter without knowing he is doing so. “But I have learnt to adjust my focus to reach those conditions of mind when I can again make the earth seem real, and I can in your life even become associated with it again. It’s awfully comforting.” He added that he didn’t know how much of what he was telling Gibbes was getting through. “It’s rather like telephoning; one never knows quite how much you get at the other end. You know, I’m awfully glad I can get on to you. Things have cleared up for me, since, so much. I’ve got free of what was keeping me in that confused darkness. A kind of husk, I think, was dropped off me since I began to think more clearly. Talking helps me to formulate my thoughts, a case of Q.E.D., Euclid, you know; the proposition proved at last. The worst of it is, if one proves one proposition in Euclid one has to go on to another. That’s about what it means to me here.”
There were difficulties, Mallory further explained, in remembering things. “I have tried to put through to you any fragment of memory I could; my memory has been all in pieces since I died; the queer thing is that though I have moments when I remember most things in my life, there are other when my memory shuts off like a moving picture and I am in a blank. I think I shall understand myself better soon. I am helped of course by others who have shown me how to see without eyes and hear without ears.”
The communication from Mallory wasn’t really evidential in the sense that it could not be verified or could have been researched beforehand by someone intent on deception. However, there was considerable evidential material coming through Geraldine Cummins with others to attest to her genuineness as a medium, thereby lending itself to the truth of the Mallory communication.
The daughter of Professor Ashley Cummins, M.D., Cummins was introduced to mediumship during June 1914, when she met Hester (Dowden) Travers Smith in Paris and observed her receive messages from “alleged deceased persons” by means of the ouija board. With Dowden and Cummins working the ouija board together at a later date, the often-cited “Pearl Tie-Pin Case” unfolded in which Cummins’s cousin, who had been killed on the battlefield in World War I, asked Cummins to make sure his pearl-tie pin was given to his fiancée. At the time, no one knew of the fiancée or the pearl tie-pin, but both were later verified.
Cummins’s dedication to mediumship actually began in 1923, after she met Gibbes, a London resident and member of the Society for Psychical Research. Gibbes took her under wing and helped her develop as a medium. Gibbes described Cummins’s condition during the automatic writing as “semi-trance or light dream-state or sometimes in a deeper condition of trance.” Her hand appeared to be controlled by some outside entity or influence, quite separate from her own personality. The handwriting almost always resembled that of the communicating entity when alive.
Interestingly, Cummins was initially skeptical relative to the spirit hypothesis. At first, she subscribed to the theory that it was all coming from her subconscious. “My slow, conscious mind could not have invented these impersonations,” she wrote. “So [I] became all the more interested and conceitedly pleased with [my] subconscious powers.”
At some point during the 1920s, Cummins came to agree with Gibbes on spirit communication, thus abandoning her subconscious theory. “…these investigations presented to me a vision of the latent powers of the individual self and also a belief in the immortality of the soul,” she wrote. “Better still, they gave me a philosophy with which to withstand the buffets of the world – best of all, an understanding of many of the mysterious sayings of Christ, and they cast for me a certain illumination on His recorded life…”
Although author Charles Fryer never met Cummins, he thoroughly researched her and offers a very interesting and intriguing summary of her career.
Geraldine Cummins: An Appreciation: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Greatest Medium by Charles Fryer is available from White Crow Books
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.
Next blog: May 20
Read comments or post one of your own