What qualifies as evidence from a deceased person?
Posted on 28 January 2014, 17:25
In my last blog I spoke about the MIA experiments (Mediumship Information Analysis) which were designed to test the generality of mediums’ statements and that these sets of experiments did not necessarily indicate survival. But they did show that good mediums can retrieve information about deceased persons, information that they could not possibly gain within our understanding of information transfer.
So did the information gained come from:-
1 Some sort of digital or quantum archive
2 A deceased personality- or personalities
3 The recipient
As stated in the first blog it is hard to see that it could come from the recipient as even under triple blind conditions significant results were obtained. So we are left with survival versus archive.
In one of the experimental sessions, which was actually filmed for the BBC, under triple blind conditions the medium looked at me and said this recipient lives at a place called something like Christmas Cottage. I shrugged my shoulders as I knew nothing about who the chosen recipient was and of course, neither did the medium. The medium went on to say that this house had Eastern artefacts in the back garden…like Buddha’s etc. (not what you might expect in the west of Scotland) The medium also said that this person has more than one property.
On subsequent checking the person was connected to Christmas Cottage which did have Eastern artefacts in the back garden. The recipient did own more than one property.
Outwith the MIA experiments we have events such as Murder Most Foul , as described in my book, where neither the medium or the researcher had any knowledge whatsoever of the information that was provided. The information was gained by the medium laying a hand on top of a sealed A5 envelope which contained ‘something’ belonging to the murdered girl. The medium was not told the reason for the psychometry experiment or that it related to a murder.
However, when he put his hand over the envelope the first thing that he said was ‘I have a girl here with medium length brown hair….she was murdered.’ His response was immediate and he looked quite shocked as he told me this. I made no verbal response. He went on to give 29 pieces of specific information that related to this girl. I could not have responded with a yes or no even if I had wanted to as I had no clue as to whether he was right or wrong.
On subsequent checking with the girl’s mother it transpired that 22/29 pieces of information were exactly correct: very specific and unusual information at that. The other 7 statements were not necessarily wrong, but so sensitive that I didn’t feel it was responsible to ask the mother if they were correct. The psychical researcher’s dilemma—-perceived responsibility. I felt that she had lost a daughter under dreadful circumstances and didn’t want to add to her grief.
Maybe I made a mistake with this but nevertheless the odds against chance of getting 22/29 very specific statements correct are still enormous, even if we said that each statement had a 50/50 chance of being correct, which would be ridiculous One of the statements was ‘She is telling me that she misses her four cats’. Take this alone; how many people have four cats? The information could have been she misses her dog; one cat; two cats; three cats…, but straight away he said without any hesitation ‘She is telling me that she missing her four cats.’
The manner in which the information was delivered appeared as a conversation between the medium and the deceased girl and some of the information provided correctly concerned events that happened after her death.
To me this is less indicative of downloading information from some sort of archive.
A former teacher of mathematics and physics, Tricia Robertson is a long term council member, past Vice President and Immediate Past President of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research.
Her book Things You can do When You’re Dead! Is published by White Crow Books and is available from Amazon and all good online bookstores.
Agreed on all fronts.
Tricia, Fri 7 Feb, 18:06
Proving survival is notoriously difficult, though it is becoming more likely thanks to all the recent evidence for NDEs and ‘reincarnation’ (which I don’t think is the right word, but that’s another story). Cases like the ones you describe are very persuasive evidence for the survival at least of information/memory, and it’s good to have them so well investigated and reported. You’ve shown how much evidence there is out there if one only takes the trouble to look for it.
G.L.Playfair, Fri 7 Feb, 13:42
Thanks for your latest post. Yes the super-sceptics assume that most psychical researchers are dozy and sloppy in their experiments. Well…that is what they would like people to think.
Tricia, Mon 3 Feb, 18:54
Tricia, Mon 3 Feb, 18:41
Thank you for sharing that information. I believe that these ideas are indeed true.
I assumed a high degree of preventing information leakage, hardly any researchers who want to protect their experiment would use anything but a highly secure model. I said two out of twenty-nine because, considering the extremely possibility to have a wrong guess by the medium, any right responses would be extremely unlikely. One might be by some fluke chance, two under sufficiently high security and with a reasonably good definition of a correct hit would be astronomically unlikely by chance.
I’m convinced that information that is highly complex and highly specific, gotten under reasonable security is far more convincing than what is gotten under most parapsychological research procedures. I’ve gone from thinking the model of research developed from things like card guessing, impressive though the results are, don’t carry the persuasive power of evidence from real life, of the kind that I understand Louisa Rhine specialized in. One is a scientific model, the other has more persuasive power in human experience.
Anthony McCarthy, Mon 3 Feb, 14:32
My husband, Johnny, passed 6 years ago. We communicate daily. I hear him in my head, not my ears. Also, I use a pendulum. He tells me that living in the physical world is like watching a movie with yourself included. You become hypnotised in the dark Cinema with the movements and sensations. When you pass out of the Physical world, it is like you walk out of the Cinema into the Sunshine—Heaven. You can see clearly the RealLife! The memory of the movie that you just experienced is just an imaginery play that has no Reality.
Natalie Howard, Sun 2 Feb, 15:32
He tells me that we are Creators with God—each thought we collectively believe in is manifested in the physical world.Thus all our weather, our diseases, our so called mishaps are our own Creations.
I was told by a wise gentleman years ago that God holds us in His Arms until we wake up from our dream. He cannot enter our dream or change our dream. It belongs to us. Soon we will awaken from our illisional physical world.
Thanks for your blog.
Natalie Howard- age 81
I am not sure why you say 2 pieces of information out of 29. It was 22 items of information that were correct out of 29. There was no leakage of information as the researcher and the medium knew nothing of the girl and her circumstances. Only on subsequent checking was it shown that the medium was correct. If you recall the other 7 pieces of information were not related to the mother due to the ‘sensitive’ nature of the material..and yes I chickened out.
Tricia, Sat 1 Feb, 19:34
I just came back and see a typo in what I wrote. The last sentence should say “I’m NOW more convinced by careful testing of it in the real and entirely more complex world.” Sorry.
Anthony McCarthy, Thu 30 Jan, 03:05
I’d think that two specific pieces of information out of 29, considering the incredibly broad range of possibilities would get you into the evidence room. But other people would stubbornly refuse to believe it had been entirely correct with the most incredible range of protections against information leakage.
What is convincing in this kind of experiment is a matter of individual thinking. That’s not a lower standard than in conventional science but the unadmitted basis for it. In his great book, Computer Power and Human Reason, Joseph Weizenbaum said it best:
“The man on the street surely believes such scientific facts to be as well-established, as well-proven, as his own existence. His certitude is an illusion. Nor is the scientist himself immune to the same illusion. In his praxis, he must, after all, suspend disbelief in order to do or think anything at all. He is rather like a theatergoer, who in order to participate in and understand what is happening on the stage, must for a time pretend to himself that he is witnessing real events. The scientist must believe his working hypothesis, together with its vast underlying structure of theories and assumptions, even if only for the sake of the argument. Often the “argument” extends over his entire lifetime. Gradually he becomes what he at first merely pretended to be; a true believer. I choose the word “argument” thoughtfully, for scientific demonstrations, even mathematical proofs, are fundamentally acts of persuasion.”
Only we are all supposed to make believe that mathematics and conventional science have, somehow, escaped the fact of their earliest presence in the minds of the people in whom they are the only place those things exist. People believed them because they were convinced of them. I used to buy the idea that only the extreme reductionism that comprises science was a reliable test of things like this but I’m now more convinced by careful testing of it in the real and entirely more complex world.
Anthony McCarthy, Wed 29 Jan, 16:23
Add your comment