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Family Feuds in the Afterlife – Part II

Posted on 20 May 2024, 5:55

This is a continuation of the prior blog.  It involves the renowned Irish medium Geraldine Cummins (GC) and four sisters.  Molly Ross, the youngest and only living sister, had nine sittings with GC from 1925 thru 1929 and heard from her three sisters, Audrey, Margaret, and Alice, vis GC’s automatic writing.  Astor is the spirit control of GC.  Beatrice Gibbes was GC’s assistant, who would change the pages which the semi-entranced GC wrote on.  Mater is their mother and Pater their father.


On November 12, 1928, Molly returned for another sitting with GC. Astor announced that both Margaret and Alice were there. “You mustn’t mind too much what Alice says to you,” Margaret opened the dialogue. “She is still very much in the cloud of her memories. She feels, however, that things are not so bad here now. At first she found fault with so many different aspects of life in this place between the worlds. There is a kind of intermediate state, you know. If only human beings would talk to their people when they are in that state it would give such comfort…I had a difficult time, but it is over now. You did help me.”

In a later sitting, Molly asked Alice what she had been doing with her time. “I was taken to a land like the earth in some ways but very different in others,” Alice responded. “For instance, you see rocks, trees, houses, about you, but if you choose to close your outward eyes and use another part of you that can perceive, you see right through these rocks, trees, houses, and solid earth. They tell me here that even while you are on earth, if you practiced them from childhood closing the outer eyes and willing hard to see with the eyes of your inner body, everything also would become transparent to you. And you would see other strange things.”

Molly asked about Margaret. “Oh! I’ve no patience with her,” Alice communicated…. dear, she is so stupid, still.” Molly noted that Alice always complained of Margaret’s stupidity.  “She is just planted there in her wretched house, trying to pretend she is living just as she did on earth, which is such nonsense,” Alice continued.  “It is just as if I had pretended all my life I was a baby in a nursery and kept on sucking a bottle.  Margaret is still sucking her baby bottle and she whines for her baby comforter.  Why, I am already far ahead of her, though I have been here such a short time.”

Alice said that had she known what it was like on that side when she was on earth, she would not have bothered so much about dinners and overdrafts.  Molly recalled that Alice was frequently worried about overdrafts.

The sisters began to discuss Alice’s dog.  As Alice tried to write the name of her dog, Patricia, she wrote “Patsey, Pitri-e-“ and then “STUPID,” after which the pencil was flung violently down.  After things quieted down, Alice apologized and said she could not get the hand to write properly.

During a March 26, 1929 sitting, Astor asked Molly to wait while he found her sister.  After fumbling with the pencil, Alice began writing in her broken and uneven calligraphy. She informed Mollie that Margaret was giving her a hard time and requested that she mediate. “She is just as mulish as ever,” Alice wrote.  Molly recalled Alice using that word many times in describing Margaret.
“You know what she’s like,” Alice continued.  “She’s just the same.  Wants everything to be run in her way, by rules and regulations.  I told her she was the real trouble.  That her nagging about this and that was bad for the Mater.”  Molly also recalled Alice’s frequent use of the word “nagging.”

More Complaints

After a pause, Margaret communicated and complained about Alice.  “She is just the same.  She hasn’t changed a bit.  You remember how she used to carry all before her, sweep everything aside to suit herself; behave as though she were the only person in the house to be attended to.  Of course, you were so young when we were together in the house you can’t remember how spoilt and impossible she was.  Well, she has simply taken possession of the Mater.  She behaves as if she were mistress of everything. She tries to prevent my seeing her.  She won’t let me tell the Mater about my own little difficulties…And when she is coming out in the old colors again I think it is high time she was put in her place. Molly recalled Margaret frequently saying “coming out in old colors again” with regard to Alice.

Molly suggested that Margaret try to get on better with Alice and she might then gravitate to happier conditions.  Margaret said that she would think it over, then wrote that she would say a few nice words to Alice, after which Alice would speak.  “She is so silly, you know,” Margaret ended.  “She boasted to the mater that she had managed to get married and that I hadn’t, and had done nothing with my life.”  Molly noted that Alice used to taunt Margaret about not being married and doing nothing with her life.
After a pause of about a half-minute, the pencil tapped and Alice’s peculiar writing began.  “I thought you would do it, Molly,” Alice wrote. “She has apologized to me…she saw how much she was in the wrong.  I shall get real peace and happiness now if Margaret really does leave the Mater to me…”

Alice went on to tell Molly that her new body has been growing and changing.  “You would be surprised if you saw it.  I have grown so much younger.  It gives me pleasure to look and feel as if I were in the twenties again….Perhaps Charles and I will have to live together. HOW HEAVENLY!”  Molly noted that Alice often used this expression in jest. It was written in extra-large letters.

On March 28, Molly again sat with GC.  She asked Astor if she could speak to her two weird sisters.  “They have, during their life on earth, impregnated their ever-growing etheric doubles with the spirit of antagonism for each other,” Astor communicated.  “My friend, you sow the seeds of another potential existence here.  You need not be too troubled about them.  Slowly this warp in their being will be straightened out.  But at the moment, when they meet, they respond to old, deep antagonisms.  I will summons them.”

Margaret communicated first and said that she had told Mater she would not be seeing much of her in the future because Alice was jealous of her. “The Mater said the people one lives with can be the creation of our own minds; that I could make Alice a really lovable person by thinking her so all the time.  Such nonsense, really.”  Molly noted that this was a phrase frequently used by Margaret.
Molly asked how Pater was coping with the situation. “He seems only to be amused at what’s happened,” Margaret responded. “He isn’t interested in either of us.  His whole mind is fixed on some work he has here. He always was that way.  Didn’t bother about people.”  Molly confirmed this as correct.

After some other comments by Margaret, there was a pause and Alice returned and wrote that everything has been going well since Margaret left and that she has been visiting many old friends with Mater.  She added that Margaret needed a “husband of the firm kind” to make her understand how to live.  Molly noted that Alice often remarked that women needed “firm husbands.”
The handwriting changed to that of Mater, who affectionately greeted Molly.  Molly asked her what was going on with Alice and Margaret. “Oh yes, I was very upset about it,” Mater replied.  “It reminded me of the old days when they quarreled and I could do nothing with them…You know I didn’t see much of Margaret till Alice came.  Then she used to visit us a great deal.  At first, I was very pleased.  Then I saw it was partly not to let Alice be the one and only.  So silly, really.”  Mollie noted that Margaret was not particularly fond of her mother when alive, and it was very like her to try and upset arrangements under the circumstances as described.
Mater explained to Molly that Alice, being newly arrived, needed her attention more than Margaret did.  “I am happy because I know I am able, in this way, to help her to happiness.  I don’t mind her taking control of everything. I won’t restrain her now.  I will let her give her own nature full play.  Later she will begin to learn, and will change.  At present what is essential is that she should be content after her long discontent, as it would be fatal if she became warped or embittered.” Mater added that Margaret is much harder to help because she hates change, and she is naturally indolent.

Because of pressures of other work and also because GC had been in Ireland for several months, Molly did not sit with GC again until September 29, 1929.  Molly told Astor that she would like to talk to her two strange sisters.  After a pause, Margaret began writing.  She mentioned that she had been around Molly several times during the summer and was glad that she was able to spend some time with John (Alice’s husband). “You can be very sympathetic,” Margaret wrote.  “He never met with that in his married life anyway.”  Molly noted that she had visited John several times and what Margaret said was for the most part true.

Progress Made

Molly asked Margaret how she was doing.  “Things are getting brighter for me,” Margaret replied.  “Alice taunted me about not having friends here, so I thought I would show her that I had my own circle.  So, though I didn’t like doing it at all, I looked up strangers.  I tried to make the acquaintance of quite unprepossessing people. The result is, I have made my circle now, but it wouldn’t have been made if it hadn’t been for Stephen.  You don’t know him.  He is the man I loathed so much, who had to live with me here. Well, he isn’t so bad after all, though he does upset me still; he is so unmethodical and untidy.” 

Margaret asked Molly if she would come to live with her when it was her time to cross over to the other side, but Molly said she would have to see what conditions are when she gets there.  Molly then said that she would like to talk to Alice.

“May I say that I think you are very foolish to talk to Alice?” Margaret replied.  She will only weary you with her temper, but of course, if you want to have a row with her, you can…I could tell you a great deal about travel here if you talk to me.  Most interesting.  The worlds you can visit, the states you can enter…..”  But Molly rejected the offer and asked that Alice be allowed to take over the hand.

After a pause, the untidy broken handwriting of Alice began.  “Stupid.  This hand is idiotic,” Alice wrote as she struggled to take control of GC’s hand.  “Molly dear, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is not to have to be cook, housekeeper, charwoman and nurse to John, all combined,” Alice wrote. “Don’t tell him I said that. I know he did his best.”

Alice went on to say that when John comes over she will leaver Mater and make a home with John since he would never be able to look after himself there.  “He seems to be able to look after himself now at any rate,” Molly told Alice.  “I don’t think you need bother.”
But Alice insisted that she wanted to be with John again.  When Molly said she didn’t seem to appreciate him when she was on earth, Alice agreed.  “I know I didn’t.  I have grown to want John again.  It was the reverse on earth.”

Gibbes summarized the case by writing: “It would be difficult to attribute the production of the Ross scripts to the ‘subconscious activity’ of Miss Cummins. Her mind contained no reminiscences or associations upon which it could draw in order to successfully dramatize these very original ladies.  That language employed is purely colloquial and there is no attempt to emulate the style of a particular author known to us.  But there is the precise building up of curious and mundane personalities which were characteristic of certain deceased persons unknown to the automatist, but definitely claimed to be recognized by their surviving relatives.”

Gibbes added that the writing did not bear any resemblance to GC’s normal script and the phraseology was much different than that used by GC in her conscious state.  Moreover, she concluded that the individuality of the spirit communicators made such theories as telepathy and Universal Memory highly unlikely.

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:  June 3

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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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