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An Interview with Journalist Leslie Kean on Stewart Alexander and ‘Surviving Death’

Posted on 09 November 2020, 10:00

In her 2017 book, Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence of an Afterlife, Leslie Kean presents compelling research on survival of consciousness along with her own unexpected personal experiences that occurred during her investigation.  “I witnessed some unbelievable things that are not supposed to be possible in our material world,” she states in the Introduction. “Yet they were unavoidably and undeniably real.”  She discusses cases suggesting reincarnation, near-death experiences, mental mediumship, physical mediumship, after-death communications, and responsive apparitions.

A resident of New York City, Kean (below) is an independent investigative journalist who co-authored a series of game-changing stories on UFOs for the New York Times beginning in 2017. She is the author of UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, a New York Times bestseller. Surviving Death received he Parapsychological Association book award and is the basis for a six-part documentary series to air within a few months on a major streaming network.


In my blog of October 12, I referred to the fact that Kean provided an Epilogue to physical medium Stewart Alexander’s 2020 book An Extraordinary Journey, in which she describes her five-year investigation into Alexander’s mediumship.  The first edition of Stewart’s book in 2014 “opened a door to a wondrous and unexplored new world,” she wrote in the Epilogue, like nothing she had ever encountered before. It was that book, now revised and updated, that inspired her to contact Alexander.  Then, years later, in 2017, Stewart wrote the final chapter to Kean’s Surviving Death

I recently had the opportunity to put some questions to Leslie Kean by email.

As a journalist who has covered all manner of topics and then focused on serious reporting on UFOs for over a decade, what was your motivation behind pursuing a study of a possible afterlife, which many would consider a “fringe” topic?

I’m interested in large mysteries, unexplained by science, which are well documented and therefore undeniable. They expand our sense of who we are and our place in the universe. I don’t consider this topic to be “fringe”—it is simply difficult to study, often misunderstood, and can’t offer “proof”, although I believe we have solid evidence that consciousness is not limited to the physical brain. Nonetheless, many scientists don’t accept the reality of phenomena that challenge their understanding of the laws of physics or belief in physicalism. And, gullible people often make sensational claims based on assumptions and not scientific evidence. But, if one is motivated by deep curiosity and has a discriminating mind, I believe this topic is worthy of serious attention given the potential it has to redefine our understanding of the nature of consciousness, and of the meaning of death itself. And, it can be studied with the same rigor and discrimination as any other area of investigation, but of course with its own unique challenges.

You reported observing some very mind-boggling phenomena in your investigation of Stewart Alexander, including ectoplasm materializing into a “living” hand, the levitation of objects, and independent voice. You also witnessed communications from loved ones and successful book tests. Is there any doubt in your mind today that these phenomena were genuine and not some kind of magic trick?

I have absolutely no doubt, not one iota. I did my due diligence. When I began sitting with Stewart’s small circle in 2015, I thoroughly checked the seance room to make sure there was no way to sneak in or out, nothing hidden in the room, and nothing strange about Stewart’s chair or seance room table. I brought my own cable ties which were pulled tightly around his bare wrists, the thinnest part of his arm, locking his wrists through a loop under his chair arms. The straps could only be removed with wire cutters.

Stewart also wore luminous pads taped to each knee, so everyone in the room could always see where he was when it was dark. The door was locked during the seance. There was no background music throughout the sitting. Every movement was detectable in the quiet of the small room. And some phenomena occur in the light. I have sat with Stewart in four locations with different sitters, and the phenomena always occurred. Also, I have interviewed him and his Circle members and come to know them well.

What about Stewart’s long history as a physical medium?

Stewart demonstrated his unusual abilities over many years with a variety of elaborate physical restraints, visible knee markers, and with his hands held on both sides. His mediumship was scrutinized by many astute investigators in multiple locations in different countries, always in spaces under the complete control of others. Hundreds of people have attended sittings with him over the decades. No major controversies or claims of fraud have been made concerning Stewart’s mediumship in the past forty years. That’s because there isn’t any.

Stewart’s mediumship took decades to develop. He had tremendous patience, sitting devotedly with the same small circle year after year. That really impressed me - there was nothing flashy about Stewart’s mediumship nor any desire on his part to attract attention. He eventually offered guest sittings simply so that more people could have the experience. Yet he always kept his mediumship private, entirely separate from his personal and professional life; even his two adult sons knew nothing about it until the first edition of An Extraordinary Journey was published in 2010.

Of all that you witnessed or reported on in your book, what was the most convincing to you?

Well, certainly Stewart’s physical mediumship is at the top of the list. I was also impacted by two readings I had with outstanding mental mediums - one American and one Irish - in which the same things occurred despite the fact that these two mediums did not know each other. They also did not know my name. Two loved ones came through for me, behaved the same way indicative of their contrasting personalities, and gave the same personal message to me in each reading, word for word. The evidential information was spectacular in its specificity.

In terms of scientific research, the mediumship of Franek Kluski and Indridi Indridason were notable (I recommend the books Other Realities? and Indridi Indridason published by White Crow). Cases of very young children providing verifiable memories from a past life, complete with emotion and unexplained knowledge from their careers in that life, provide strong evidence for reincarnation, as documented by the University of Virginia in the US. Near death experiences also represent an intriguing body of research. And, my personal after-death communications from my younger brother who died in 2013 were very convincing to me, as I describe in my book.

Have you witnessed anything of interest since completing the book that might add to your views? 

In May, 2019, I experienced a full form materialization in a seance with Stewart. His communicator Dr. Barnett, who normally speaks in independent voice, walked out of the cabinet, stood in front of me and touched my hair. He then placed both his large hands on top of my head, bouncing them up and down for about a minute and a half. (That’s a long time). These were solid “living” hands. He spoke in his recognizable voice. “I just wanted to let you know that I am a solid human being,” he said. He then returned to the cabinet and disappeared.

My comment on this otherworldly, mind-altering experience is best taken from what I wrote in Stewart’s Epilogue:

The mind can barely grasp the fantastical nature of a human form emerging from ectoplasm, walking, talking, touching, and then receding back to from where he came.  And where is that? Dr. Barnett says he once lived on this earth. Is this materialization proof that we survive physical death? Or does it mean something else? I don’t think we can answer that question with any degree of certainty. But this experience will live with me forever.

In the first months of 2020, I got one of the best surprises of my life. (I had previously been told by Stewart’s communicators that something would occur in my home.)  A clear hand print appeared on the inside of my bedroom window - five fingers and a thumb - in the frost which had accumulated during the cold night. And, a few months later, a second hand print appeared on another window in the same room. I had just cleaned this window about a week before, and no one had been in the room. And while in isolation during the pandemic, a third print appeared on the front of my refrigerator! None of these could have been made by me or anyone else. The window prints remain on the window to this day - they just need frost or steam to be seen.

None of these things really add to my views or prove survival. They are just wondrous reminders of the unexplained world which we understand so little about.

How have the five years you have been sitting with Stewart changed the way you relate to the experience?

Early on, as a probing journalist on a quest for answers, I was always looking for further “proof”; designing potential experiments in my mind; hoping to find new ways to document the phenomena; and asking endless questions. Now, after all these years, I’ve come to respect how difficult it is for any of these manifestations to be produced in the first place; the fact that they happen at all is extraordinary enough. I’ve grown to be less demanding of classic, “scientific” evidence, and recognize that there are no answers for many of my questions. So, it’s like a letting go into the mystery while at the same time remaining objective and observant. The mind state of the medium, combined with the energies of the sitters, make all the difference in terms of a successful seance; this is not something that can be easily studied in a laboratory.

Do you think ‘absolute certainty’ on this matter is possible or is even a good thing?

No, I don’t think we can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we survive death. As a journalist (not a scientist), I’m looking rationally at the most compelling and reliable data, and presenting it in an accessible form so that readers can make up their own minds. For me, this is an ongoing journey, an exploration, a journalistic and personal foray into unchartered waters. Proof of any kind of afterlife is not the goal. However, the unusual phenomena described in my book actually do exist—this has been proven time and time again in published papers and through observation under controlled conditions. We cannot explain what the causative forces are or what they mean. I think the state of uncertainty - of never knowing and simply dwelling in the unknown - is a good thing.

What message would you like to convey to the skeptics in regards to the evidence for survival?

I was a skeptic too when I started this investigation, as were many of the leading scientists, philosophers, and seasoned investigators who pursued this topic over the last one hundred and fifty years. They set out to disprove the existence of mysterious phenomena they thought could not possibly be real. Using the strictest controls to test physical mediums and eliminate any possibility of fraud, eventually these investigators had no choice but to acknowledge the reality of the unexplained phenomena, which included materializations. And now, today, I have witnessed the same thing they did, and I too know it is real. How many skeptics with dismissive opinions have actually studied the literature? Moreover, how many of today’s skeptics have actually sat in controlled conditions with genuine mediums to observe events that challenge a materialistic view of reality? Yes, there have been many frauds, but it’s the genuine mediums that are of interest. They are rare, but they do exist, as the literature shows.

I suggest that skeptics read An Extraordinary Journey for starters, with an open, objective mind. We must remember that it’s the interpretation of the phenomena—including the question of whether they suggest survival past death—which is open for debate, and not the existence of the phenomena themselves. Yet, many skeptics still hold on to the premise “It can’t be, therefore it isn’t”. The intelligent skeptic should have enough curiosity to welcome challenging data that points toward mysteries of Nature still to be understood by science. This is how we progress!

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 due in February 2021.

An Extraordinary Journey: The Memoirs of a Physical Medium by Stewart Alexander is published by White Crow Books.



It is questionable where I have demonstrated being “angry”, “dogmatic” or being a “wild revolutionary”.
    I have not engaged in vicious diatribes.  I have not been abusive.  I may have criticized, but, frankly, only sociopaths think someone who disagrees with them necessarily is being monstrous.  I did not engage in mockery or accusations that another was “angry” or “wild”.  With respect to “digmatic”, a question can be asked.  Is it dogmatic to advise someone else not to examine the level of gasoline in a tank with a lighted match?  “Dogmatic” can be represented as involving set rules, but, also, rules that are from outside, what others tell the individual to think, not what the individual determines to be right and good.  There is rarely if ever a discussion of individuals who actually think about a matter and come up with something no one ever saw before!  A commonplace on this and many if not most other “comments” sections, individuals eagerly quoting someone else.  Never showing the initiative or gumption to actually address the world and derive something!  All determined to elevate others, but never try to display any actual ability of their own.  In its own way, that can be called debased, making onesself subservient willingly by treating another as if they necessarily are better!  And, if things I say are revolutionary, why call them “wild”?  In what way were they presented in a “wild” way, what about them necessarily is so “wild”?  I am telling the truth and I am trying to help.  And, as I said before, the sea change would represent an advancement in one’s personal nobility and service to the world and themselves and can result in God rewarding them with some gifts and even awarding them some of His power.  It is not immediately obvious what sane reason there is to condemn and forego this!

Julian Penrod, Wed 25 Nov, 17:28


You have not yet experienced the sea change you advocate. You have formed the concept of it, you have realised a few facts that some others (perhaps) have not, and so you do have some sort of knowledge of the lowest stage of spiritual life, but the merely intellectual knowledge of it that you currently have is still only in your head. It needs to arise anew in your heart. Notice my words ‘arise anew’.

A close analogy is to be seen in the stages of ethical thinking analysed and described by Kohlberg and perhaps less clearly long-known in all spiritual traditions (not organised-religious institutions) throughout the world. You may be an over-enthusiastic Kohlberg level 5 thinker, perhaps not yet even that, but you are angry and dogmatic, a wild revolutionary with an idea in your head that you want to impose on others, and not amenable yourself to calm logic, let alone amenable to the appeal of that peaceful care for your fellows that cannot be other than charitable towards them. You have to more or less dismantle all your present character in order for your consciousness to rise to Kohlberg’s levels 6 (where spirituality starts) and above. And, of course, true spiritual awareness is not the sole preserve of Kohlberg. He is just an easily identifiable example that is useful for me to cite as no more than that.

It’s up to you, Julian. No-one can help you. All we can do is not harm your coming to life spiritually.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 24 Nov, 19:26

A variant of that wheeze was in the episode, “The Exorcists”, ot “The Odd Couple”.  “Dr, Matrix” also was credited with a version in Martin Gardner’s “Mathematical Games”, in “Scientific American”.
    The truth needs to be spread, no matter how many try to fight it.  No matter if they use, for example, contradiction, doggerel, confrontation, condemnation, ridicule.  Note that, being truth, there is no reasoned “argument” here that can work against it.  Among other things, as I say, if someone engages in the sea change, they will see God acting in their life.  It can take the form of granting them some power, rewarding them, and it can prove to them God’s presence and the importance of His Will.  Christ never completed His mission.  He made mistakes.  God wants all to be on a par with Him.

Julian Penrod, Tue 24 Nov, 16:01

A mantra Julian Penrod might like to use when meditating is the ancient remedial form of what I believe may have been first recorded by a hakkim meditator, centuries ago, though I cannot vouch for that, the words usually translated as:

Waah taf’ul a-y-yaam. I believe it was recommended by a well-known more recent, Western expert in related matters, and eventually proved effective in healing the patient.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 24 Nov, 11:28

Eric Franklin tries to excoriate me by saying matters like “relativity” have nothing to do with the blog overall and the article in particular.  If Mr. Franklin will look, he will see that my first comment was about the fact that death is not inevitable.  It is not necessary that someone die, they bring it on themselves by throwing away life.  Leslie Kean may want to buy into perpetuating the propaganda that life is inherently empty and so can be disposed of at will, that the finest life ever lived will not be rewarded with not dying, but that doesn’t make it true.  It shows a shiftlessness in not thinking deeply and widely, taking lies that people have been raised with and tossing in pop culture references, gratuitous esoteric verbiage.  But that doesn’t make it true, either!  As I said, if someone takes it on themselves to engage in the sea change and really mean it, they will see God acting in their lives!  A great promise, what reasonable motivation would cause anyone to refuse it?  And Mr. Franklin should realize that he was the one who brought up “relativity”.  Also, “red shift” is not due to “relativity”.  It comes from the Doppler Effect of a radially moving source of waves.  The equivalent can be seen in sound from an obect moving toward an individual and a source of sound moving away.  The exact claimed amount is supposedly related to the models they use in “calculating” “relativistic” effects.  But, there, it has not necessarily been observed.  They say they see “red shifts” in galaxies moving away from us, but, since they purportedly have not actually gone to those galaxies or seen them as they moved that them in space, saying it relates exactly to their speed of receding from us is not proved!

Julian Penrod, Mon 23 Nov, 20:02


How on Earth does all that relate to the subject of Michael Tymn’s Blog? It has no relevance to the subject. And how on Earth does your rant discredit me? Almost all of it is your own very poor answers to matters I have not even mentioned, ie your words describe supposed errors of mine that in fact you have invented just so that you can shoot them down, and so persuade yourself that you have refuted my views. Ergo your vitriol is irrelevant to me too. Look inside yourself. Why are you so angry, so pent up?

I have not even said the things you implicitly claim I have said, and so fight against. And, to respond to one of your so-called points, have you never heard of the various causes of REDSHIFT?

Much more could be said, but I am not going to bother. You are your own problem. Get yourself sorted, otherwise don’t you think you may be one of those sinners your god will punish severely?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 22 Nov, 21:47

“Relativity”, if it is true, is part of God, but only part!  That means that it is not a basis for an understanding of God.  No more than the fact that 2 plus 2 is 4 is a basis for understanding calculus.  It’s not certain what Eric Franklin means about “partly understanding” relativity years ago, since, frankly, “scientists” do not claim even now to know why it is that the same electromagnetic field of light would look different to two different observers moving at different speeds.  “Scientists” only use the equations, construct standardized models to represent situations.  It should be mentioned that the Michelson-Morley Experiment supposedly demonstrated that the observed speed of light is the same from all sources, moving toward us or away.  This didn’t disprove the “ether”, since Lorentz’s equations already calculated observed speeds of light and could be applicable even to a “fluid” called the “ether”.
    In fact, so much acclaim is heaped on “relativity”, but imporant facts are not relized.  The first special calculation, the one all the rest are based on, is based on what can be called an optical illusion for the specific case of an apparatus moving past the observer perpedicular to the direction of travel.  Formulas for “time dilation”, “length shortening” have not been derived for apparatuses oriented parallel to their direction of travel.  The formula for energy, mass and the speed of light, it should be mentioned, does not really equate the mass of an object with supposed equivalent energy, rather, it works more as a zero point for the formula for “relativistic kinetic energy” of an object.  In fact, in “relativi8ty”, they take unwarranted liberties equating kinetic energy and energy in the form of photons.  And, unlike what so many are told, “relativity’ is not proved by atomic explosions.  Destabliszed atoms explode due to the repulive forces between protons in the nuclei.  No one has ever actually carried out an assessment of the debris from an atomic explosion and energy released to show mass is converted to energy.  A million compressed springs, touched off by a single spring among them expanding, would poruce must the same effect.
    And, frankly, the only “evidence” that “scientists” present for “relativity” is their insistence that people believe it!

Julian Penrod, Sun 22 Nov, 19:24

Dear Michael (Tymn),

The faded ink may not be a problem. There are two possible remedies.

A) Chemical treatment of the paper ITSELF, to replace the faded ink by a new compound of dark tone. This would need to be done with great care by someone who knows the details of the chemistry involved AND is a skilled manipulator (delicate handling of the original would be required, or the faded original itself might be lost), such as an art conservator.

B) Equally skilful use of computer software such as Photoshop to scan the original and enhance the optical density and contrast of the original electronically, and then print it as something to show beside the faded original. Many users of Photoshop have very little skill at such enhancement, so you need to find one who does understand optical density, contrast, tone curves, and the like, but, within limits, the technique can be very successful.  Great houses containing faded tapestries use this technique to project in register onto the faded tapestry itself the enhanced image of itself, thereby showing what the tapestry looked like before time ravaged it.

Eric Franklin (former printer, reprographer, etc)

Eric Franklin, Sun 22 Nov, 10:53


Thanks for the suggestion on the Missouri Historical Society. Unfortunately, the ink has faded and it is difficult to make out what “Patience” wrote, although her signature has not faded as much as the message.  I’m reluctant to give up on such a treasure at this time and will have to depend on my wife to donate it when the time comes for her to get rid of all my books.  I also have one signed by George Valiantine, but I don’t think that’s worth much more than Spider Man’s signature. 

As I type this, I can look up at a framed autographed photo of Charlie Chaplin that belonged to my mother and is likely worth much more than Patience’s autograph, but I value Patience’s autograph much more than Chaplin’s.
“Patience Who?” most would ask.

I don’t know what question Rick is asking to be answered.

Michael Tymn, Sun 22 Nov, 06:18

I think a copy of “The Sorry Tale” with a long inscription to Mrs. Alexander Bailey Smith written by Pearl Curran and signed as “Patience Worth” might be worth preserving.  The Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis might be willing to accept it as a donation to add to their Pearl Curran/Patience Worth collection. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 21 Nov, 16:30

Dear Michael (Tymn),

In fact we are, and have long been, in agreement on the point you now make about religious observance. I COMPLETELY AGREE with W T Stead on the point. This has LONG been my view . . how long? About 45 years.

I try to be as brief as the objective of adequate exposition allows when responding to matters raised by your blog. (Thank you again, for your blog - what a service you do for those who want to discuss these matters!!!) In the interests of brevity I have never said that religion, with its rituals and dogmas IS an essential first step for millions of people. It is indeed, but to have said so would have used up space, and would also have given some readers an unjustified feeling of “spiritual” arrival. “We obediently follow the rituals, so we are OK.” The sad thing is that they think they HAVE arrived at THE destination by attending church and taking part in rituals - so they never advance further.

Your blog is for people who HAVE advanced further, and wish to keep advancing. Thank you your blog.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sat 21 Nov, 12:45

Dear Julian,

I am not sure why I bother to answer any of the remarks you make. I am far too busy with other matters from building an extension to our cottage to caring 24/7 for a partner to starting a One Planet Development in Wales to writing another book to helping towards the publication of someone else’s very good book to doing all our household’s cooking etc to . . . . shall I go on?

Note this: If relativity or Relativity (have it whichever way you like) is TRUE it is part of the ALL-ENCOMPASSING TRUTH of GOD, is it not? So relativity IS relevant to our search for spiritual truth, whether people perceive that or not, and my paper on the subject shows very simply just HOW it is relevant, astonishing though that fact is to most people, including physicists. But you have not read my paper, nor do you know or understand ANYthing about relativity. I already partly understood relativity back in 1960, at college, and I have since read Einstein himself on the subject over ten times. The Michaelson-Morley experiment does not bear on the matter we have in hand here, on Michael Tymn’s Blog, at all. All the Michaelson-Morley experiment showed was that there is not an ether IN THE SENSE OF THAT WORD THAT WAS FIRST POSTULATED BY DESCARTES, and which persisted until Einstein’s relativity theories of 1905, and 1916 displaced it. [Arthur Findlay’s adherence to the idea of the ether LONG after Einstein’s theories had become common knowledge amongst physicists is unfortunate, since it impairs our case for belief in the evidence from séances.]  There are two TOTALLY COMPATIBLE theories from Einstein. One (1905 special relativity) is more or less geometry, the other (1916 general relativity) deals with accelerated systems as well as ‘static’ systems, and has been well corroborated first by astronomical observation and then by experiment by flying clocks around the planet.

You are, I am sorry to say, Julian, making a fool of yourself, and will be wise to stop.

Please become calm, meditate a but, and listen to the still small voice of higher beings or Higher Beings, whichever you prefer.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sat 21 Nov, 12:07


Thanks for the opening bid, but in the great scheme of things I consider Patience Worth at least 10 times more important than Spider Man.  So bidding will have to start there.  Moreover, the book is quite bulky and therefore postage must be added, especially foreign postage. smile

Michael Tymn, Sat 21 Nov, 11:03


Thanks for the refresher and clarification on Patience Worth. Also, pardon my spelling and grammatical errors in prior comments.  My fingers race ahead of my brain in my old age and I forget to proof them. Everything else has slowed down considerably, but my fingers are as fast as they were in Typing C in high school, when I was the only boy in the class.

Michael and Eric,

I don’t think I completely agree with you in your criticism of Christianity.  I agree when it comes to self-righteous Christians, but I also agree with the words from spirit of W. T. Stead, as set forth in “Life Eternal.”  On page 95, he said:

“To most of the inhabitants of the Earth, it is not necessary to belong exclusively and intensely to any special form of faith.  But there are types, for whom this is the only way.  Therefore, I say that for certain personalities, creed and dogma are necessary. They find in them the first step to the realization of faith. That realization cannot be perfect, as I have told you, until the highest stage of development is reached, but it must have a beginning, and the warring of the churches is not so evil a thing as it seems.”

Michael Tymn, Sat 21 Nov, 07:50

Answer my questions :


JungianINTP / -Rick, Sat 21 Nov, 03:26

Until and unless it is definitely proved that there is nothing beyond the immediate, to deny all “spiritualism” is at best unreasonable.  God acts as He wishes.  It should be mentioned, as I said before, sickness and even death are avoidable.  Where they occur, it is due to sin.  People have to look at these things.  To be only bereaved rather than see what sin an individual may have committed causing their situation can be to invite engaging in the same sin.

Among other things, it is not a matter of personal peccadilloes whether to capitalize a name.  All names, in English, as capitalized.  “e e cummings” chose the representation as a demonstration of non conventionality.  But there is no evidence to say the same for God.  Indeed, to choose how someone wants to represents valid names is like the individual in the English fable, “Master of All Masters”, who named his house “High Top Mountain”, his cat “White Faced Missy” and fire “hot cockalorum”.  They are not necessarily valid in a general sense, at all.  There is no valid explanation for writing what is supposed to be and is accepted as the name of God with a lowercase “g”.  It hould be noted that there is no validity for writing “Supreme Being” with a lower case “s”, as Eric Roberts does.  Both terms apply to God in the title, and so both are part of that name and should be capitalized!  The same with “Supreme Consciousness”.  Also making the mistake of assuming what takes the form of “consciousness” as recognized by humans is necessarily all!  God’s nature is beyond all.

Incidentally, relativity is accepted with a lower case “r”.  Also, it smacks of mere popularism to invoke relativity theory in talking about God, trying to pretend a connection between two subjects considered powerful, to appeal to those too weak minded to understand either.  To connect relativity in that way to God is to say there is necessarily nothing beyond relativity!  That, too, is shallow and superficial!  Indeed, even relativity seems questionable.  So many fail to realize that the Michelson Morley Experiment, which is credited with revealing relativistic effects, does not!  The behavior it claims in light is seasonal, and not universal!  Another powerful lie in society that so many don’t realize and so many won’t admit!

And Eric Roberts declares that saying taking on the goal of improving the world and onesself is a “bad effect”?  I have often seen that, when individuals declare they “don’t have time to address points I made”, it’s because they can’t but don’t want to admit it.

Julian Penrod, Sat 21 Nov, 01:28


In the interests of starting a bidding war…I will give you two…yes TWO…dollars for your Patience Worth-signed copy of “The Sorry Tale.” (My copy is, sadly, unsigned).

Don Porteous, Fri 20 Nov, 23:50

Dear Michael Roll,

You are absolutely right about the christian church’s attitude to women since Constantine got hold of it and ruined it.

The apostle Paul warned against this very vendetta, and said that the great NON-christian organisation that was coming into being even as he wrote, about AD50, would “forbid to marry” and a few other horrible things. And then that corrupt organisation even turned on him, and has ever since denounced him as a misogynist. Astonishing illogicality and (more importantly) oppression that extended not only to all the female gender but to dissenters from the official post-Constantine doctrine. Julian is right to condemn THAT.

Constantine destroyed the PRIMITIVE, ORIGINAL christianity of which you, Michael Roll the atheist, in reality strongly approve. I said to you in an email a while ago that you, with your atheistic views, are in complete agreement with my belief in a supreme Consciousness (ie what Julian calls God, with the capital G) that encompasses all, including the spirit world the established church publicly deplores yet secretly acknowledges. The Roman civilisation made gods of mere men, and to this you refer. We have just seen the deposition of a Roman man-God in the USA. A man of disgusting character in many ways. A narcissistic Nero.

Julian’s muddled views are the bad effects of the utterly corrupt so-called christian church of over 1900 years duration that will shortly, I and many others believe, come to its end. Its own self-destruction is inherent in that very lack of honesty and promulgation of of illogical and false tenets that have so misled and confused Julian. As I have said in an earlier post, let’s be merciful and give him time.

Talking of time, I have no time to go over this to remove any possible ambiguities, but perhaps even Julian will try to understand it, and grant that I do have integrity, ethics, love, and intelligence.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Fri 20 Nov, 15:39

My take on the signature issues is that Pearl Curran was not under the control of Patience Worth when she signed “Patience Worth” in your book.  Mrs. Smith was “Dotsie” with whom Pearl Curran lived when she first went to California.  “Dotsie” was her good friend who helped Pearl through some troubling times and I believe it was Dotsie who took care of Pearl’s adopted daughter “Patience Wee” (Patty) in California when Pearl was overcome by the deaths of her husband and her mother in Missouri and had to scrounge for money to survive.  Dotsie was the one who was told by Pearl that Patience had shown her “the end of the road” and that she “would have to carry on the best you can” without her.  A few weeks later Pearl Curran died of pneumonia in California.

Pearl never was in a trance when she wrote for Patience Worth—-distracted perhaps but always able to carry on a running conversation with others in the room, to answer the telephone or a knock on the door and often was thinking about what she would have to eat after everyone left.

She said that she saw pictures in her mind and sometimes heard Patience Worth speaking over and above what she saw.  Geraldine Cummins reported an almost identical experience when she wrote “The Scripts of Cleophus” a novel about the period of time after the crucifixion of Jesus; maybe a kind of continuation of “The Sorry Tale”

When Pearl was asked to sign books, and sometimes when she wrote letters she often signed them as “Patience Worth” perhaps because that is the name most people recognized and probably wanted Pearl to sign. Authors today sign their pen name rather than their given name when they sign autographs.  More people would know the Patience Worth name than would recognize Pearl Curran’s name or Pearl L. Rogers or Pearl L. Wyman. (She married two more times after the death of John Curran, her first husband.} Social standards of that time would have required her to sign as Mrs. Rogers or Mrs. Wyman. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 20 Nov, 14:33

Julian, one of the main reasons why women have had such a rough ride down through the ages. They did not get the vote in the UK until 1928. This is because of the terrible mistake the Christians made of making a man into God, the creator of the universe no less. Michael Roll

Michael Roll, Fri 20 Nov, 11:48

Dear Julian,

I write the names of the myriad merely humanly-conceptualised gods with a lower case g. They are mere humanly-devised cardboard cutout caricatures of God, so do not warrant the cap G.

I refer to the real all-containing supreme Being in other ways, such as “supreme Being”, but no words can ever serve for that purpose, can they? If you ever read my paper on the relevance of Relativity Theory to our spiritual quest you will find that it actually starts with two paragraphs about the supreme Being that contains all that is.

Sadly, you do not understand me at all, nor, in your present state of mind, ever will, so I shall give your thoughts no answer. Do listen to the small still voice, whenever you are still and quiet yourself.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Fri 20 Nov, 09:57

Concerning Patience Worth, my copy of her 1917 book, “The Sorry Tale,” has a long inscription to Mrs. Alexander Bailey Smith signed by Patience Worth at the Patience Worth Sanctuary on May 5, 1932.  I assume that Pearl Curran’s hand was involved, but I have no way of knowing if she was under the control of Patience at the time. If I were to try to sell the book or the inscription, I probably couldn’t get a dollar for it.  Yet, the current issue of the AARP magazine has an interesting article about Stan Lee, the creator of Spider Man and other Marvel Comic superheros, and it is mentioned that people stood in line to get his autograph at $80 each.  Bottom line:  Spider Man is much more important than Patience Worth.

Michael Tymn, Fri 20 Nov, 00:10

AOD, thanks for more thoughtful and helpful suggestions. I will certainly check out Dr. Prince’s book and give “The Sorry Tale” a go when I feel up to tackling a major project. Patience indeed lives on—how could she not?—despite the senseless damage others may have done to your worthy efforts to preserve her memory and promote her wisdom. Bless you for having undertaken this work, and I look forward to further conversation on this wonderful blog that Michael has gifted to us.

Julian, I am in agreement with you on a crucial point—the necessity of ethical passion in the living of our lives. I, too, believe that God would have us strive to build a better world, and in order to do this effectively, we must be “in but not of it.” Thus I emphasize spiritualism’s teaching of active love toward all, echoing the Gospel, and focus less on the consolation that spiritualism brings to the bereaved or fearful, beautiful though that consolation be.

Newton Finn, Thu 19 Nov, 22:37

Among other things, Eric Franklin tries to undo at best questionable statements on his part by engaging in even more faulty attacks on what I say, as well as other qurstionable actions.
    Eric Franklin declares my post “not clear as to meaning”.  Where?  Provide evidence.  He says my statements are “disastrously ambiguous”.  Where”  Which statements?  Really.  Provide information.  Just condemning what I said does not make it wrong.
    A point, too, As with so many who are not arguing from sense or even honor, Eric Franklin writes the name of God with a lowercase “g”.  The name God is taken as a reference to the Supreme Being.  There is no misunderstanding there.  It is accepted English to speak of Him with the first letter of His name capitalized!  And there is no way anyone who looked at what I said could possibly have felt I was not using God as His name!  Why use a lowercase “g” when addressing my statements?  For that matter, why use it at all?  The term “god” describes a poserful member of a pantheon, but not the only Supreme Being!  I was obviously not invoking a pantheon, but, face it, if someone is referring to one member of a pantheon, they would asat “a god” or “the god”.  Eric Franklin does not do that.  Eric Franklin is obviously speaking of The Supreme Being, but deliberately using a lowercase “g” in His name.  For that matter, too, using a lowercase “h” when talking of His actions.  That is an act of spite!  Why be spiteful?
    And notice such shallow comments as saying God does His work better than humans.  God does not want humans to be just an audience of His actions or puppets being so manipulated.  He wants humans to at least have an aspect which can be said to demonstrate free will.  He put us here to improve things, to achieve, through our own impetus!  He wants us to be mutual participants with Him!
    Frankly, so many superficial assertions trying to pretend to be reasoned considerations about God!  Frankly no better than the individual who declares there cannot be a God because they didn’t get the pony they demanded.
    Incidentally, the business about making “love” one’s only consideration in life appeals to Sixties drug addicts, but does not represent the totality of life.  As defined by the Sixties drug addicts, “love” can be a very static thing, not seeking improvement or betterment.  Basically, many people’s idea of Heaven, a constant situation, unchanging, endless.  So many seem to halt their own progress and make themselves beings slated for empty constant conditions, while others become able individuals, capable of surmounting their situation and advancing.  Individuals who have advanced can understand that touting only “love” is empty and vacuous.  That there are many, many, many other things to life.  They don’t forego the idea of concern for others; they don’t embrace gratuitously causing misery as a goal in life; they don’t endorse just giving, giving, giving, regardless of the nature of the individual or what that will yield.  If you “love” someone so much you don’t, for example, call on them to better their nature, you can cause them to harm themselves, if only by becoming non forthcomingly static, and others.  Basically, “love” has become a totem for those who don’t want to put the extra thought or effort into life.

Julian Penrod, Thu 19 Nov, 20:01

I have several key rings like the one you describe and without applying force to open the rings I have a very difficult time passing the ear band of my mask through it although I can do it with effort.  I don’t see how that could happen just by your mask jostling around in your carrying bag with your keys. It takes too much force to do that. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 19 Nov, 19:32

I see that you are a kindred spirit.  It takes a special kind of person to relate to the writings of Patience Worth and to understand the unequaled solid evidence she provides of—-if not a spirit world—- then of something revolutionary that has not yet been discovered about the human psychic.

There is a lot to read about Patience Worth and a lot of her writings to peruse.  When I read her poetry I feel as if I can see through her eyes and it resonates with my soul.  Her landmark novel “The Sorry Tale” is beyond belief, that someone with a very limited education and world experience could write something like that with no hesitation or research and that it would prove to be without error regarding Middle Eastern geography its peoples and customs of several cultures two thousand years ago.  “The Sorry Tale” is not for everyone.  It is long—-500+ pages—- and somewhat difficult at first to get used to the writing style.  But, I think each chapter is a gem and should be taken for its own rewards.  Anyone interested in writing surely would find that novel worth the time it takes to read it.  The crucifixion of Jesus is toward the end of the book, in my opinion is the most realistic, dramatic, emotional and powerful depiction of the death of Christ that I have ever read or seen in the movies.

If you haven’t read Dr. Walter Franklin Prince’s study of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth, I recommend that you do so.  I think it is the best report of the case of Patience Worth and Pearl Curran.  Irving Litvag wrote a very readable book titled “Singer in the Shadows” about Pearl Curran which I also recommend for those who don’t have time to do a lot of reading.

Thank you Newton for your interest in Patience Worth.  You have brightened my spirit after having had my Patience Worth web site destroyed by hackers. Since then I have become dismayed and discouraged from continuing my promotion of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth.  However you have awakened my interest again and for that I thank you kindly.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 19 Nov, 19:14

Thank you, AOD, for the link to “Gloria” and your encouragement concerning the lasting benefits of engagement with Patience. I intend to make her an even closer friend. For me, the extraordinary quality of her literary work spanning some two decades—an objective fact accessible to anyone—provides a solidity and impartiality of evidence for a spiritual realm (or something like it) beyond the capacity of even the most compelling subjective experience. Yet not for a moment do I discount the significance and persuasive power of personal revelations, of which I’ve been blessed to have my share.

Newton Finn, Thu 19 Nov, 13:37


I should have been more specific.  There is an opening, but it wasn’t open. It is a razor-thin crack that one opens by applying opposing thumb pressure. I attempted to remove the ear-band by stretching it enough to get it through that thin crack, but it was still much too thick. I might have been able to get a sewing thread through it, but not the band.  I had to apply thumb pressure to open it up to remove the ear-band.

Michael Tymn, Wed 18 Nov, 21:47

Dear Julian Penrod,

Your latest post is not clear as to meaning. Having busy lives, we correspondents all have to think quickly when writing our posts, and my own meaning is not always perfectly expressed by what I send. This is NOT an apology for some shortcoming in what I have said to or about you. What you now say is disastrously ambiguous at many points, with many statements which are so unclear that one cannot tell whether you mean something or its precise opposite.

And you TOTALLY misunderstand me, and misrepresent me. You do not know me at all. I am glad I know the opinions of those who DO know me personally. I am NOT a christian, and I refer to the christian milieu of beliefs only because other correspondents including yourself do that. I am one who follows very fully the path of loving one’s neighbour as oneself, which is far beyond ALL religions, ALL religious systems, an universal way of life that we all should follow. The simple, genuine, primitive gospel. I was brought up by people who thought THEMselves christian, but who were in fact just offshoot churchians, members of a dogmatic, legalistic, tiny sect, far removed from the true heart of christianity, but, without realising it, inheritors of the very same apostasy that Paul warned against in AD50.

One other point: Would-be world improvers should look deep into their own consciences and consciousnesses, to discover whether they are trying to do god’s work FOR him. The whole history of The Church as politicised etc by Constantine and other dishonest people has always thought it is doing god’s will. It has been one of the worst murderers in history. Do not be too quick to think you are doing good, improving the world, etc. God does his own work better than you or I can. Least action is best. No self-destroying turbulence, just growth. Perhaps you understand what I am referring to, perhaps not. Beware ZEAL, Julian! I hope this conveys my real meanings.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 18 Nov, 21:44

Newton Finn,
It seems to be rare that anyone takes the time to read about Patience Worth these days.  Apparently you have seen Casper Yost’s book about her, the book that brought Pearl Curran and Patience Worth before the public eye.  After all of the verbosity about God, religion, spirits etc.  I always find solace in returning to read Patience Worth.  For me she provides real evidence of an existence beyond the one most of us currently live in and a true understanding of what is important about being a spiritual human being.  Many times I would have quoted her on this blog in answer to some post but I demur because I am aware that readers might get tired of my reference to her.  But, more often than not, she seems to have the answers.

Newton, I hope you have read all of the Patience Worth materials and can take up the cause that she not be forgotten.  And as you quote Casper Yost , Patience’s answer is always, “Love.  Love, going out to fellow man, to all nature and overflowing toward God.” -  AOD

Here is Patience Worth’s view of organized religion as implied in her powerful poem, “Gloria”.

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 18 Nov, 21:19

A first two-minute reaction to your first paragraph (I have not yet
read the rest of what you now add): What you want me to see IS exactly
what I DO see (and have done for a some decades). The christian
‘church’ was warned by Paul that “the mystery of iniquity doth already
work”, etc (look it up!) very early in its history. Constantine, and
others, debased the whole new way of love and turned it into a
political oppression. Read me more carefully, please. The PRIMITIVE
christianity was lost well within a generation. I am ALL FOR the
primitive christianity, and absolutely AGAINST the debased,
politicised usurper that all-but destroyed the Yahshuan way of love.
PLEASE read me far more carefully.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 18 Nov, 20:41

Prompted by the criticisms of it, I read through Mr. Penrod’s comment. As an unorthodox believer in Jesus, I found little to object to in the initial paragraphs until I hit the stuff about the punishments of diseases inflicted by God, supplemented by the deserved and character-building mistreatment of the vulnerable many by the powerful few. One of the beauties of spiritualism, for me, is that it acts as a corrective to what William James called religious “over-beliefs.” In his book on Patience Worth, Casper Yost put my sentiments about as well as they can be put. “The religion she presents is not a new one. It is as old as that given to the world nineteen centuries ago; for fundamentally it is the same. It is that religion, stripped of all the doctrines and creeds and ceremonials and observances that have grown up about it in all the ages since His coming, and paring it down to the point where it can be expressed by the one word—Love. Love, going out to fellow man, to all nature and overflowing toward God.”

Newton Finn, Wed 18 Nov, 17:02

Dear all,

I (and I am sure many others) totally agree with that part of what
Julian says: “the idea that “relating” to what we call God, and “communicating” with what we call God - does NOT require any set of Church-taught and formally approved rituals or procedures.” I am in total agreement with THAT.

The established church is, and always has been, since AD33, (the
Apostle Paul agreeing about AD50, earlier than any other New Testament writer) the major adversary to true spirituality, especially as “scientific” scepticism is the vile progeny of the inevitable opposition of reason to that established oppressive churchianity which we still suffer.

As Julian says, but no doubt referring to very different matters,
there is much more to say. I am just beginning to read Don Porteous’s book, and he refers to this, indirectly, in his first few pages. We are probably right now on our last Pope . . . happy thought. I wonder how the next few years of Earth’s history is going to surprise us . . . first try us, then delight us?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 18 Nov, 16:50

The nature of an individual can be seen in their attacks on truth.  Just in addition to the fact that they attack truth and cannot see it.

Eric Franklin tries to depict what I said as based in Church doctrines.  Yet I specified that God really doesn’t want religion.  He wants people to be inherently noble and high minded, wishing in and of themselves to do what is decent and able to discern what that is, without ceremonies and such!  Why does Eric Franklin not see this?  Really?

Interesting, for whatever degree of open mindedness so many who attack what I say may want to claim they have, they actually are very shallow and limited.  They always invoke Christianity.  They criticize faults in the corporation that is The Church, but not once do any of them, ever, talk in terms of an actual improving of the good that is there!  In fact, there is a progression recognized, from seeing the world as filled only with evil spirits, to invoking beings that have some human traits and so an ability to sympathize, to beings with personalities like humans, to the concept of a single entity overall but representing Him as having a great tendency to anger, to emphasizing the importance of man in God’s considerations.  Each an advancement of what came before, each a repudiation of faults in earlier ideas.  Yet not one who takes issue with what I say sees the idea of an advancement beyond Christianity, an improvement, an expansion and a repudiation of faults!  Not one considers actually doing something, thinking about God and promoting reasonable ideas.  They just sit back and, be frank, shiftlessly attack Christianity!  They don’t actually try to improve anything!

Among other things, Christ was the son of God, but in the way we are all children of God.  Christ said and did many great and important things, and, in doing that, He was allowed to share in the power of God.  He was allowed to perform miracles.  But Christ allowed flaws into His nature.  One such, the insistence on going to Jerusalem.  He should have pushed more for a general approach to the world.  Note that the number of miracles He performed once in Jerusalem fell sharply from outside.  He was allowed to not die, but that was for the great things He did before.

But that means that acting with the high nobility and great purpose that God wants can allow someone to share in God’s power.  As I said, engaging in the sea change can cause one to see God acting in their lives.  And part of that is seeing God allow you to do things and bestowing benefits.

Strange, too, that this promise does not lead anyone to actively want to be decent, noble, scrupulous, to accomplish fine and great things.  They condemn what I say even though I promise great things.  Judge those who choose to ignore that as they deserve to be judged.

As such, this can be called an advancement beyond Christanity, beyond all religions, since, as I said, God does not want religion.  He wants people to be, in themselves, ultimately great and noble.

A note about those who insist on saying there is nothing beyond the “scientifically” measurable.  Note, the finest weight scale cannot measure temperature.  The best light meter cannot measure length.  Humans, though, are very good at discerning the nature of all things around them.  Many may not automaticslly be able to discern intensity of sound exactly in units, or length, or temperature or acidity, but they all can see differences in length, mass, temperature.  Part of the abilities of humans is to have the ability to sense phenomena as well as a laboratory filled with meters.  But they also sense other things, at least a number of them.  They sense something beyond the immediate.  There are those who say they do not sense such things, but, remember, a wrecked weight scale can’t measure well, a damaged thermometer can’t discern temperature well.  Those who insist they do not sense anything beyond the most insipidly immediate can be said to be broken in a way, damaged by themselves so they cannot discern all that’s around them.

Julian Penrod, Wed 18 Nov, 16:34

All…I’m inclined to be a bit more charitable than some here towards the thoughts (at least some of them)expressed by Julian Penrod, for the simple reason that one of his core arguments is mirrored almost word-for-word by MANY of the spirit communicators who I’ve studied. Specifically, the idea that “relating” to what we call God, and “communicating” with what we call God—does NOT require any set of Church-taught and formally approved rituals or procedures. There is broad agreement among those spirits who have anything to say about this question, that the most efficacious means of contact is via the spontaneous, and truly honest dictates of our own hearts, our deepest inner thoughts, that Mr. Penrod endorses. This thought is also echoed, almost verbatim, by Mary in several of her apparitions.

Don Porteous, Wed 18 Nov, 15:47

How do you get keys on a ‘key ring’ if there is no opening on it? - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 18 Nov, 14:35

Dear all,

I recognised, in Julian Penrod’s comment, the type of mind that is evinced by many christians, an arrogance that considers it has THE TRUTH, and is therefore an authority dogmatising and deputising for God himself, above all rationality and with many other nuances characteristic of the denizens of his neck of the forest of foolish, naive, dogmatic human beliefs. In fact, in my view too, his comment is not even worth reading twice, let alone the effort of framing any response.

But I think we should be tolerant of his rubbish. I also recognised that his comment is a muddle of half-understood churchified truths, half-truths and untruths that are, as yet, not in their right places. Give him a decade more of Higher Beings’ influence, and (if he is himself willing to learn) he may have attained a more mature stance far higher and stronger than his present dogmatising from his pulpit in the mudbath, and humbler too. As yet, he knows not what he does, but he is on his way. Let’s be merciful. He may have been brought up in a family of extreme christian zealots, as I was. (In my case a tiny sub-splinter group of the christadelphians, who, I can guarantee, are NOT brothers of christ.) If he is a chink open-minded Higher Beings whom he does not see will influence him, even if only slowly. I went through a stage of acute embarrassment to think back to what I had been brought up to be, and had escaped from. It takes time; let’s give him time.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 18 Nov, 12:13

The staggering rubbish from Julian Penrod, a God merchant, is the sole reason why I am an atheist that starts from the base that we all have a soul that separates from the dead physical body.
Michael Roll

Michael Roll, Wed 18 Nov, 11:26

Don’s rapping experience is similar to a number I have had that is in the “you have to see it to believe it” category.

I had one just a few days ago, when I decided to walk to the grocery store rather than drive there. I put my mask in my carrying bag to put on before I got to the store or around people.  I also put my keys in the bag as they are too bulky to put in my pocket.  As I approached the store, I reached in the bag to bring my mask out and found that the elastic band on the mask went through one of the key rings. The problem is that there was no opening on the key ring for the band to make its way into the ring and the band was fully secure on both sides of the mask. It remains a mystery to me. Were spirits trying to let me know they were around?  I sort of doubt that, but I have no other explanation for it.

Michael Tymn, Tue 17 Nov, 21:24

I am not one to attach labels to myself or other people but I suppose that in some things I am conservative in my approach although ‘conservative’ seems much too soft a word to describe my reaction to reports of spirit interactions with those of us still in the body.  In matters of parapsychology and Spiritism I am unashamedly skeptical which has allowed me to find and settle on some very good solid evidence to support the existence of alternate realities and discarnate entities.

Regarding raps, knocks and other noises one may hear in houses at night I am skeptical that they are evidence of spirit involvement with humans.  I place them in the same category as butterflies landing on one’s shoulder as evidence of contact by a deceased person.  Both raps and butterflies are common things in everyday life and I find it difficult to separate which of those things are everyday natural occurrences and which of them are signs of spirit involvement.  Context I guess is the deciding factor and probably if there is meaning in the raps, it is specific for the one who interprets these raps and butterflies as meaningful and evidence of contact by a spirit.

Reportedly the Fox sisters had an ongoing line of back and forth communication with a spirit entity of a deceased man by way of raps, as have others but one has to accept the reports of more than 150 years ago as free from exaggeration and embellishments. My house creaks and groans from time to time and occasionally I hear raps to which I try to respond with my own rap, thinking (hoping) that I might get a return rap.  But alas, so far I have not been able to initiate a give and take communication with anybody, living or dead.  I don’t give up hope however that someday I will get a response to my raps.

I guess that I embarrassingly identify with James Hyslop who required strict evidence of spirit involvement in life and he would only accept evidence that agreed with his own ideas of what that evidence should be.  He unabashedly believed in spirits without a doubt as I do but was not so quick to accept every person’s report of spirit contact as evidence of anything.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Nov, 20:59

Among other things, many have a very warped viwq of relations with God.  So many treat life as iof it is supposed to consist of mindless, witless, errant traipsing from one vacuous diversion called “fun” to anotehr.  They idea of life having an aim, a goal, a drive to achieve, and, more than that, to be intended to have that goal, is meaningless to many.  They toss life away.  The idea of imporving the world is crucial in life.  God answers behests but, importantly, only from those who deserve being answered!  Who earned being answered!
    A large part of earning being answered by God is the sea change, acting scrupulously, acting to improve the world and yourself, doing it because it’s right and not for what it can get you.  Engage in the sea change and you will see God acting in the world around you.
    And, as such, this doesn’t have anything to do with “religion”!  That is also crucial!  Note, no Creation myth has the first people coming into being seated in pews, with preyer books in their hands!  God doesn’t want religion!  He wants people to work for what’s right, to be aware of His presence, even to converse with Him, but He wants it to be inherent, automatic, spontaneous, not requiring ceremonies and prayers!
    A point to mention.  Beneficial events can attend someone acting by the sea change.  But it has to be remembered, too, that punishments for acting wrong can be part of God interacting with the individual, too.  Too many have bad things happen to them but never interpret them or look to see if they are pointing them in a better direction.  Once someone has engaged in the sea change, they are on a road.  A road to being better and better and better.  It’s taken for granted that, if they are smart enough to embark on the sea change, they also are smart enopugh to know when actions are craven and unworthy!  They may receive a significant bennefit when they first egage the sea change, but, after that, it’s expected of them that they know what’s right and don’t have to be coaxed!  Further benefits can be lesser in nature.  Repeated wrong doing, however, can result in punishments that get worse.
    An area where acting in God’s wishes yields important results is health.  The fact is, sickness, ailments, conditions are caused by demons.  And demons are summoned by evil.  And they are specific.  Depraved indifference to human life causes cancer; pettiness causes diabetes; deceit causes heart problems; back stabbing brings about Alzheimer’s Disease.  And lack of faith in God produces sinus problems.  Since all sin comes from lack of faith in God, that’s why diseases begin with “cold and flu like symptoms”.  And treating life like it has no depth of significance or mreaning, like it is just a meandering from one vacuous diversion called “fun” to another causes aging.
    Nor is death inevitable!  Face it, if the craven and conniving in positions of power thought death was inevitable, they would be catatonic!  They are not because they have an arrangement with God.  The beleaguering they subject so much of mankind to causes those who otherwise would be completely shiftless to have to engage in surmounting obstacles.  The mistreatment those in power and money subject so much of mankind to can also act as penance for many, many, many wrongdoings so many engage in.
    This is only part of it,  There is much more.

Julian Penrod, Tue 17 Nov, 19:41


I recognize that your general approach to a variety of the phenomena that we discuss here tends to be a bit more conservative than that of myself and many others—-but let’s face it, the firmly committed sceptic is almost always going to find recourse in “It must be this…” or “It could be that…”.

Had you actually been in my house…had you actually had my experience…you would, at the very least, have had much to explain away…

Don Porteous, Tue 17 Nov, 17:46

David Magnan…

Your “raps” experience is fascinating! It’s always good to find that I’m not the only one that some might consider bonkers…

Your theory regarding the “mechanics” of the experience is very much in concert with what some of the spirits have told us(in particular, if I recall correctly, “Technician” speaking, probably to the Harsch-Fischbach’s in Luxembourg, via ITC) that they need a certain amount of “raw material” to work with—-a flow of electrons, a flow of water, creaking beams, or whatever, that they can “mold” into whatever effect they’re trying to create.

In this same vein, for the better part of a year prior to the raps on my headboard, I was increasingly aware of occasional cracking or popping noises coming from the corner of my bedroom where the TV is located. At the time, I put this down to just some sort of normal electronic occurrence—-but after the headboard/desk experience, the TV area noises seemed to stop completely. I realize that this all “anecdotal” but it’s coherent with what we’ve been told from the “other side.”

Don Porteous, Tue 17 Nov, 17:38

Eric…Manuscript has been sent—-


Don Porteous, Tue 17 Nov, 17:08

The ‘e’ is for Eleanor, of course. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Nov, 14:36

I don’t know why but apparently I have a need to put an ‘e’ in Sidgwick! - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Nov, 14:33

Unless raps are responsive and provide ‘’yes’ or ‘no’ responses—-one for yes, two for no—- I don’t put much stock in them as communication from the ‘dearly departed’.  Plumbing is especially notorious for knocks in a house, especially in older houses.  Refrigerators also provide knocks or raps at times as do expanding and contracting wood beams and joists of a house in response to changing temperatures.  While we all may want evidence of survival I think that raps and knocks do not provide that evidence unless they provide real communication. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Nov, 14:28

Don Porteous, concerning your “raps” experienced during a time in your life when confirmation and reinforcement of your spiritual findings was important to you.

I had a period of my life many years ago when I also experienced such “raps”, generally that seemed to be agreeing with and confirming certain thoughts concerning my developing spiritual belief system. At the time I was studying psychical phenomena such as mediumship and reincarnation.

At the time I came up with a rough hypothesis for the mechanism of these sudden rapping or cracking sounds. This was that discarnates probably have considerable difficulty in manifesting much energy or power in the physical. Consequently, they probe the wooden structures of the rooms in the homes surrounding the person they were trying to signal, and find points between beams under tension, where a small amount of energy correctly applied could release a sudden burst of released stored energy in the form of a “rap” or “crack”.

For what it’s worth, when I came up with this idea there was a confirmatory rap, and also a talented psychic medium I knew had a communication confirming the hypothesis. I’m not sure whether your experiences of anomalous sounds can be similarly explained.

David Magnan, Tue 17 Nov, 12:30

Dear all,

The current discussion of super-psi and the nature of possession etc does require the realisation that these are OUR diagnoses of the nature of phenomena, OUR categorisations. If we imagine the TOP-DOWN view of a very much higher Being than ourselves we realise that ALL the varied and distinguishable phenomena of OUR world are integral and harmonious parts of the world of THAT Being.

This realisation enables a more comprehensive realisation of our situation regarding space and time. Nothing can be “unreal” in the Consciousness of a totally comprehensive Being Who beholds all our varied down-here and partial phenomena within a serene and still Being-there, a “just IS”. WE may diagnose a phenomenon as a chimera, a vision, a dream . . . or a real Being showing its presence, but within THAT absolutely-ALL Being, there is no time, all exists, nothing is mere unreality masquerading as either “alive now but in another world” or as deliberate delusive dream (such as the cynic-sceptics imagine).

It is impossible for any of us to put such a view into words, but a little meditative pondering will, I think, show what I am trying to describe. Seeing it for ourselves is always better than trying to convey that ‘seeing’ to others. A bit of Hindu mysticism and Heideggerian grasp are required. There is no time, and while space passes MOMENT BY TEMPORAL MOMENT (Yes!) for us, down here, all exists timelessly up there. We who invented the notion of the process we called time because we have to suffer learning moment by moment are timelessly alive as parts of the Whole.

I’d better stop wordifying. Words are no use. But we can ‘see’ this for ourselves, each and every one of us, and start jettisoning categories in our tiny minds, and just trust instead. Do you exist NOW? (I think, therefore I am.) There is no time. Do you exist? Alive, conscious? There is no time.

I said I’d stop wordifying. Just grasp and see . . .

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 17 Nov, 10:50


Thanks for sharing the poem.  It is much appreciated.

As for Eleanor Sidgwick, I agree with your take on her.  I always felt she was trying to be “overly scientific” in what was then a man’s world, thereby making a case for the objectivity and independence of women in academic and scientific pursuits.

Even though she seemed to favor Piper in her final analysis, her views were very muddled and that’s why I ignored her in my book about Piper. As I stated in the Introduction of the book, I was approaching it as a lawyer trying to make his client’s case, and Sidgwick’s research just added confusion to the matter.

Michael Tymn, Tue 17 Nov, 10:39

Today I received my copy of “An Extraordinary Journey: The Memoirs of a Physical Medium” by Stewart Alexander.  The revised and updated edition has an epilogue written by Leslie Kean.  In skimming through the book I know I will not be disappointed.  I have to share the beautiful poem by Charles Henry Brent at the beginning of the book.

“What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object and I stand watching her
‘Till at last she fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “She is gone!”  Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming
And other voices take up a glad shout,
“Here she comes”—-and that is dying.”
                Charles Henry Brent

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Nov, 03:48

David Magnan…

Re: reincarnation, your comments as to the “possession” theory also representing an independent “non-brain-based” form of consciousness are spot-on, and certainly provide another example of what appears to be survival phenomena.

On a different tangent—-I point I forgot to put in my original post relates to the two “rapping” events. Similar events, in different areas of my home, continued sporadically for a number of months. Once the mediumship portion of my book was complete, and I had moved on to other topics, the anomalous rappings stopped entirely, and have not reoccurred in the last seven years or so. It was almost as if some reinforcement and encouragement was being given (by those I was writing about?) at precisely the time I most needed it. When the need disappeared—-so did the raps.

Don Porteous, Tue 17 Nov, 00:12

I think I should note that Eleanor Sidgewick, one of the inner circle of people who established the British Society for Psychical Research in the late 1800s apparently believed in some kind of ‘super-psi’.  I think she was a hard-nosed investigator of psychic phenomena and produced an extensive report concerning the mediumship of Leonora Piper.  Mrs. Sidgewick’s report was very comprehensive and tended to focus on Piper’s failures as a medium.  This disappointed many people who were enchanted by Mrs. Piper’s psychic abilities as a medium.

Sidgewick seemed to take both sides of the argument at times as to whether or not there was anything involving spirits of the deceased about Piper’s performances.  Were dead people really communicating through Leonora Piper?

After completion of her investigation of Piper, I think Sidgewick was still unconvinced that deceased entities were communicating through Mrs. Piper.  However she did concede that perhaps a kind of telecommunication or ESP was occurring between Piper and spirit entities, that is Piper was using ‘super psi’ to obtain the information but the entities were really not communicating through her.  This stance however requires that deceased people still exist somewhere or a more modern interpretation might be that Mrs. Piper was just perusing the Akashic Records using super -psi.  –  AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Nov, 22:50

I prefer the group soul theory of reincarnation.  See my blog of April 4, 2011 in the archives at left for more discussion of it.

Michael Tymn, Mon 16 Nov, 21:30

Amos Oliver Doyle - your comments on various types of “possession” phenomena are very interesting. I would just like to emphasize that these phenomena tend very much to establish the spirit theory and tend to disconfirm the “living agent psi” theory that Leslie Keane seems to take some stock in, following Stephen Braude.

David Magnan, Mon 16 Nov, 18:41

I think that the whole area of possession is ripe for academic study.  At one time I focused on Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality) cases.  And, although cases of that type are now explained under the aegis of the psychiatric community as a response to childhood abuse or similar early trauma I still think that there may be a spiritual explanation to some of the cases.

A classic reference case was studied by Dr. Morton Prince and is known as the Sally Beauchamp case.  In that case I believe that Dr. Prince identified at least four distinct personalities of his patient. I think it is rather dubious that he really found four personalities as he identified sleeping personalities as other personalities in this patient.  “Sally” seemed to be the dominant possessing personality and although Dr. Prince was apparently able to merge several other personalities into one identity I believe that the “Sally” personality was never merged with the other personalities and remained distinct, that is, “Sally” continued to live, albeit attenuated somewhat, in the body of the patient along with the original occupant. Nevertheless, this case study has become the template to follow for other cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder as identified by psychiatrists who specialize in that area.  I was not impressed by the study promoted by Dr. Prince and I suspect that those who reference it have never read it.

Another classic case is “The Watseka Wonder”.  This case concerned a young girl, Lurancy Vennum whose personality was completely displaced for several months I think by the personality of another young girl.  The possessing entity controlled the body and actually left the family of the original owner to live with the parents of the possessing entity.  I think Michael Tymn wrote a blog concerning this case which I would recommend. As I recall Dr Keith Parsons has a video on the case available on Youtube.

In his book, “Immortal Remains” author Stephen Braude listed four cases of interest concerning organ transplants; people who had heart transplants.  Perhaps most relevant to possession is the case of a young child who received a heart transplant from another child.  Dr. Braude reported that the mother of the recipient noted some personality changes in her son ‘Carter’ after the surgery.

“When we went to church together [also attended by the donor’s family] Carter had never met Jerry’s [the donor] father.  We came late and Jerry’s dad was sitting with a group of people in the middle of the congregation.  Carter let go of my hand and ran right to that man.  He climbed on his lap, hugged him and said ‘Daddy’.  We were flabbergasted.  How could he have known him?  Why did he call him Dad?  He never did things like that.  He would never let go of my hand in church and never run to a stranger.  When I asked him why he did it, he said he didn’t. He said Jerry did and he went with him.”

Well, that suggests to me that somehow the entity “Jerry” was sharing the body of Carter; perhaps an example of possession of a special kind. I think that reincarnation cases while they might suggest possession in some instances most of them do not have the same presentation as cases that are more clearly cases of possession. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Nov, 16:30

Dear all,

Someone expressed the thought that many of Stevenson’s cases of incarnation might be explained by possession. (I have no time to look up who, and no disrespect is meant by my not doing so.) Indeed, the idea is very valuable indeed. But we need to be careful of the human tendency to define categories, especially when no categorial distinctions should be, where no categories exist to be defined.

Are not ALL cases of ‘human’ life on Earth POSSESSION? The ‘soul’ (call it what you will, not choking on uses of words that may not be your own familiar usages) possesses the body until the body loses its capacity to be so possessed. Then occurs the event called the death of the body. The soul floats free.

Let me let you hear some hearsay - not evidence, but indicative of an area that needs to be investigated. Long ago I knew someone who knew a pianist called John Lobb. At about 16 the body that had been named ‘John Lobb’ at its birth became mortally ill, apparently. When that body eventually and surprisingly recovered its viability the being then showing the body’s astonishingly restored viability unexpectedly displayed a different personality, and asked for a piano, and, when it was provided, immediately showed remarkable ability at playing it. Concert-giving standard, apparently.

I believe there were, sequentially, two possessors of the body (ie possessors of that visible, human, viable entity, nameable and identifiable by the normal senses of its parents (and others around) as their son John Lobb.

What does THIS suggest? for a start, BEWARE UNREAL CATEGORIES AND DISTINCTIONS THAT HAVE NO DIFFERENCES. Categories mislead. Other thoughts follow, but I have mundane housework to do today, and must go. I don’t suppose for a moment that John Lobb is the only such case. Long ago, I read of a few other such cases. I believe Wickland recounts a few.

Much appreciation to Michael (Tymn) for his immensely useful blog, and to all fellow correspondents with it.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Mon 16 Nov, 11:55

Dear all,

Quite a few communications flurrying along at the moment . . . I like that.

Dear Don Porteous,

Your offer of a copy of your book is wonderfully generous. I shall be glad to have it, via my email address.

I may have sent this message already. I had an interruption (one of a million today), and have no wish to seem discourteous, after receiving so kind an offer, if I didn’t reply, so I am sending this again.

I shall read your book as quickly as I can, but am rather busy.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 15 Nov, 18:22

Dear Newton (Finn),

Your suggestion to set up some sort of website of my own might be good. Thank you.

A friend who is developing a sustainable life/permacultural scheme in Pembrokeshire, Wales, set up something of the kind, with my own and his eco schemes on it. I have not much experience of such things, and am rather too busy at the moment, but it’s certainly an idea to remember.

I emailed the Parapsychological Association to see if they want to read and then publish online my paper about the relevance of Relativity to the possibility of making contact with spirit-world survivors of the hell-hole that is life on Earth, but they have not replied.

But one or two of you on Mike’s Blog, and a few personal friends here in Wales have read the paper, and I await their assessments.  A start. Perhaps it will all end up in another book, alongside the chapter and more that I contributed to Maureen Lockhart’s 2010 book ‘The Subtle Energy Body’, my parts of which are still my own copyright property, not the publisher’s. Little by little, perhaps, one can share ideas with kindred spirits (on Earth and Elsewhere?), some of which may blow huge chasms in the sceptics’ fortress of denial.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 15 Nov, 18:02

Dear all,

Quite a few interesting comments flurrying along at the moment . . . I like that.

Dear Don Porteous,

I had the impression that publication was now imminent, and I hope someone will publish your work soon.

Your offer of a copy of your book is wonderfully generous. I shall be glad to have it via my email address   <>  .
We found a publisher for our book ‘The Subtle Energy Body - The Complete Guide’, but only because Ervin Laszlo recommended us to the publisher. That book has 330pp approx, American Quarto size (not quite as big as our own A4), and costs £26 or thereabouts. I am mindful of the fact that if you give us an electronic copy of your book, Don, you get no income from it. I also want to explain that (along with a lot of other problems that publisher caused us) we cringed at the title THEY imposed without consulting us. OF COURSE our book is not complete, but nothing stands in the way of publishers’ arrogance. They always know far better than the author - perhaps you’ve noticed.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sun 15 Nov, 15:53


As indicated in my email to you, I look forward to reading your paper, which I have received by email. Thank you.

Michael Tymn, Sun 15 Nov, 11:07


For the most part, I agree with you in your comment about skeptics.  However, not all those unfamiliar with the evidence discussed here are necessarily skeptics. Note the first comment below by Chris of Belgium. I believe a distinction has to be made between the true skeptics and the pseudo-skeptics as well as recognizing that there are those who simply haven’t been exposed to the evidence and are neither skeptic nor pseudo-skeptic. To put it another way, there are those who are simply searching for answers who are not “skeptics.”

Michael Tymn, Sun 15 Nov, 11:05

Dear Eric Franklin…

Many thanks for the kind words. As I’ve noted on some earlier posts, my book (full title: “Spiritual Reality and the Afterlife: Materialism meets Immortality”) remains unpublished, primarily due to its length (at well over 500 pages, its a bit much for any traditional publisher).
  While you can’t “buy” it—if you’d like, I’ll be happy to email you a copy of the manuscript, as I’ve done for several other contributors here. Shall I use the email address you included in a post below???

Don Porteous, Sat 14 Nov, 22:43

Don Porteous: “I found the reincarnation research (Stevenson’s and others)less than 100% compelling, for the simple reason that many of the cases could just as readily be explained as instances of “possession” as of reincarnation.”

I’m not sure I agree there, but more importantly, the main point is that even “possession” phenomena clearly imply the existence of a mobile center of consciousness independent of the brain (namely of the possessing entity), and therefore are still evidence of the spirit theory as opposed to living agent psi.

David Magnan, Sat 14 Nov, 19:22

Don, CORT researcher James Matlock contends that reincarnation may be a complex and permanent form of possession. I think that is the best explanation.

Shaun, Sat 14 Nov, 19:08

Eric, some years ago I felt I had something important to say and, although not tech-savvy, was able to create a little blog on the cheap through one of the companies set up for that purpose. This allowed me to post several essays, to which I have then been able to link in my ongoing internet commentary. You might want to look into something like this.

Michael, my comment concerning Christianity and spiritualism had nothing to do with doctrinal issues. My unorthodox Christianity (I don’t even much like the word) has ample room for a “many mansions” view of the afterlife, the possibility of reincarnation, etc. Perhaps I’ll try to make my point more clearly another time, for whatever it’s worth. And congratulations on this most lively and substantive comment thread, a testimony to the outstanding quality of your blog.

Newton Finn, Sat 14 Nov, 17:23

Dear Eric Franklin…

Many thanks for your kind comments. As indicated in some earlier posts, my book (full title: “Spiritual Reality and the Afterlife: Materialism meets Immortality”) hasn’t yet found a publisher, basically due to its length (well over 500 pages). If you’re interested though, I’ll be happy to email you a copy of the manuscript, as I have for several other posters here. I see you’ve posted an e/m address in a post below—-would you like me to use that one???


Don Porteous, Sat 14 Nov, 16:45

Dear Don Porteous,

I find your latest contribution to the ongoing discussion very interesting, and, (after one careful but quick reading) agree with points you make. I also agree that your points are important.

But my immediate response is to ask you to tell us all the details, including title and publisher, of course, of your book, and how we can obtain a copy.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sat 14 Nov, 10:28

Dear moderator,

Please allow the publication as comment on Michael Tymn’s Blog the following message to Andrew Simpson. Thank you.

Dear Andrew Simpson,

I would like to entrust to you my paper on the relevance of Relativity Theory to the investigation of so-called paranormal events, also called spiritual, including the question of whether the being we call ‘human’ is, in essence, not human (earthy) at all, but a spiritual (non-physical) conscious being that inhabits a human body temporarily.

Please provide your email address by writing to me at my own personal email address:


Best regards

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Sat 14 Nov, 09:59

Leslie Kean (and all others commenting on various reincarnation phenomena)—while working on my own lengthy book on Spiritual Reality, I found the reincarnation research (Stevenson’s and others)less than 100% compelling, for the simple reason that many of the cases could just as readily be explained as instances of “possession” as of reincarnation. I am still of two minds on this particular question. I tend to agree with Shaun Lloyd and David Magnan that some of the NDE cases provide far better evidence of survival.

From my own personal experience, one particular set of occurrences was uniquely compelling. Somewhere in the 2012 timeframe, I was working on the mediumship portion of my book, five separate chapters, comprising about a a quarter to a third of the whole. Due to its length and complexity, this research took well over a year (actually, closer to two years), during which time I was totally immersed in it. I’m sure we’ve all heard or read that “mediumistic” abilities are something that grows slowly, and that the more involved a person is, the more their “affinity” grows for other-side communications. With this background—-
    Lying in bed one night, around two to three in the morning (my best creative time) I was mulling over some particular question (I don’t recall exactly what it was)relating to mediumship. Immediately upon coming to some tentative conclusion—-and wondering if there was any validity to that conclusion—-there was a VERY DISTINCT RAP on the headboard above me and to my left—-followed immediately by ANOTHER RAP above me and to the right. That was it. Until—-the following morning, while sitting at the desk in my office, the same question entered my mind again. Al most immediately, this was followed by ANOTHER RAP, very loud and distinct, on the top of my desk, just to my left—-followed again, just as the night before, by a SECOND RAP, this time on the top of the desk and just to my right.
    ONE occurrence—-I could easily put down as just an interesting anomaly. TWO identical occurrences—-both occurring at a time when I was deeply immersed in the subject matter relating to those occurrences—-is more than I personally am willing to sweep under the rug.

Don Porteous, Fri 13 Nov, 23:39

Dear all correspondents,

I see, so far, just one request to read my paper:

Hi Mike, I would appreciate a copy of Eric Franklin’s paper on his relativity theory. Could certainly be beyond my IQ but I’d like to read it. Thanks.

andrew simpson, Thu 12 Nov, 04:11


NB: It is NOT my relativity theory. It is Einstein’s. But, so far, I have never seen the interpretation I find inherent in it in anyone else’s writing. That is why I may have a very tiny professional and intellectual priority which I would like all readers to respect. Other philosophers/scientists/even novelists like their originality to be acknowledged, their work not plagiarised.

I do not have Andrew Simpson’s email address, so cannot send him my paper. I do not have ready to hand your own private email address, Mike (Tymn), so I cannot send you the paper for you to read yourself and to forward to Andrew Simpson and others.

Do you both want me to send the whole of my paper (it contains two diagrams and would therefore need to be a PDF) to this discussion, IF MY SOFTWARE AND YOURS WILL ALLOW THAT? And what if it doesn’t?

There are a few very erudite and quite sizeable comments, today, and much to applaud in them (eg regarding scientific method, certainty, proof, etc). My paper would help confirm some points made in them. Even those who are making these relevant points, matters that my paper would clarify and assist, are not asking to read my very simple paper. Why? Please wake up. Here is someone offering what he thinks is an original and reliable interpretation of Relativity Theory that will help ALL who are interested in the subject of Michael Tymn’s blogs - and only one of you even asks to read my paper. I am beginning to despair of the intelligence and humility of most of you.


Eric Franklin, Fri 13 Nov, 11:14

Concerning the Super-Psi or Living Agent Psi hypothesis referred to by Leslie Keane. I think that Super-Psi runs into the fact that the complete data is always the enemy of theorizing based on just a part of the data.

Super-psi is a theory that was originally invented to hopefully explain the apparent evidence of an afterlife from mediumistic communications in a more parsimonious way as manifestations of a powerful subconscious or unconscious mind fueled by powerful psi and a strong inner need on the part of the medium to generate evidence of survival.

The goal of the super-psi theory is presumably to avoid postulating a discrete center of consciousness or spirit or soul that can separate from the brain and body to visit other locations in the physical world and also that persists after death in another realm of existence. It seems much more parsimonious (to say nothing of politically correct) to simply postulate strong psi powers exerted by a consciousness that is still (as assumed by materialism) a function of the physical brain and that doesn’t survive physical death. A theory that hopefully explains the evidence but seems less materialist paradigm-breaking and less unacceptable in academia and with the intellectual powers-that-be.

This theory of super-psi invented to explain away afterlife evidence is implausible for a number of reasons well articulated by various writers such as Chris Carter and Michael Prescott.

But even more importantly, it is implausible because it mostly only considers the mediumistic communications data plus other phenomena exhibited by talented mediums, a limited data set.

It doesn’t consider the NDE data which constitutes one of the most extensive of the present categories of evidence that mind does not equal brain and that the mind can separate from the physical brain to occupy other spatial locations and also be transported to another realm of existence in which transcendental life-changing experiences can occur including greeting and communicating with deceased loved ones and friends. Veridical NDEs can include verified observations of details of the emergency room and attending doctors, and other further even more transcendental experiences, all occurring while the person’s brain was dysfunctional due to cardiac arrest or other trauma. Other veridical data and features from NDE accounts include verified details of remote visitations, and the profound and long term life-changing effects of the experience on the personality.

None of these features of NDEs are plausibly explained by super-psi on the part of talented mediums, or even super-psi on the part of the subconscious minds of the NDEers themselves who are generally ordinary people with no particular psychic talents. Except by resorting to such contorted logic as suggesting that the subconscious mind can generate extremely powerful and convincing life-changing hallucinations with much veridical content while the physical brain is dysfunctional.

The “while the physical brain is dysfunctional” part just in itself rules out the primary reason for postulating super-psi in the first place.

So I think super-psi or living agent psi is therefore relegated to unimportant status in the deliberations and investigations of parapsychology.

David Magnan, Thu 12 Nov, 23:41

Rivas points out that empirical evidence is not about 100% certainty but about what is the most likely and plausible given the current evidence. Given the absence of motives in many cases of survival suggestive phenomena then it makes the most sense to explain those incidents as survival. Philosophical and logical arguments either way are useful but no substitute for conclusions based on what is currently known.

Shaun, Thu 12 Nov, 22:50

Leslie, i am sure you have heard of the motivational arguments against super-psi that apply to many cases where there was no plausible motive. Psi is need based so if there is no motive then there can be no LAP. The only argument then is that there may be some unfathomably obscure motive, logically that may be the case but it is not realistic. There is no plausible way a child could have the complex motives needed to invoke psi powerful enough to create a Case of the Reincarnation Type. It is equally absurd to posit such motives from strict sunni muslim parents, and there is no evidence that a parent can psychically impose a complete personality change on a child anyway. I would recommend you consult the philosopher and parapsychologist Titus Rivas, another important scholar in the field.

Shaun LLoyd, Thu 12 Nov, 22:33

While I admire Leslie’s work in both fields, and see her value as a populariser, in my own journey through spirit contacts and conscious obe’s, detailed in my blogs, videos and books, I stick to “preaching to the choir”, as trying to convince skeptics is a pointless and time wasting exercise.  For the open minded no proof is needed and for the closed minded no proof is enough.  For the sceptic it’s always a journey through their own doubts.  Scepticism, in and of itself, is no more evidential then belief, but sceptics operate as though it is.

gordon phinn, Thu 12 Nov, 19:51

There are some objections to, or at least questioning of, my not being convinced that there is an afterlife. I am speaking as a professional journalist in the blog, and therefore taking the position that only the highest standard of objective evidence provides proof. None of the things that I mention are actual 100% proof of an afterlife in the way that empirical science would require. The phenomena can be proven…but what makes them proof of an afterlife? There could be other ways of explaining or interpreting them.

For example, there is an ongoing debate about whether “living agent psi” (the mediums’ own extraordinary telepathic, clairvoyant, and psychokinetic abilities which do not involve postmortem consciousness) is creating the phenomena, both within physical and mental mediumship, or whether it is actually an external force from “the other side” as the mediums are certain it is.  These arguments have been put forward brilliantly by Stephen Braude, author of Immortal Remains. I had numerous discussions with Steve about this while writing my book, and there is no way to rule out the theoretical possibility of human psi being fully responsible for the phenomena.  This was frustrating to me! Steve argues that even full walking and talking materializations are just as likely to be created by the living as by the dead (if not more so, from his perspective).  I find this hard to accept, and Steve has not directly experienced materializations or outstanding mental mediumship. But his arguments are valid.

That leaves the interpretation up to the person experiencing the phenomena. Then it becomes an entirely different matter. We all have our own concept of what constitutes “proof”. I adhere to a very high standard for that and rarely claim that I have “proof”.

I think that verified child reincarnation cases and NDE‘s are great evidence for survival. I also think drop-in communicators are among the best evidence we have, such as Emil Jensen who came through Indridi Indridason, as covered in my book Surviving Death.

And, for me personally, numerous after-death communications from my brother probably convinced me more than anything. I think I more or less said that in my book. Yet they are totally unprovable to anyone else.

It’s a fine line I have to tread between the journalist and the experiencer.

Leslie Kean, Thu 12 Nov, 18:17

For David Haith: The full form materialization was in the dark due to the extreme sensitivity that ectoplasm has to light. However, on one occasion Dr. Barnett carried a ball of ectoplasmic light with him and sitters could see his hands as he walked around the circle. And, as you say, the materialization of the hand over the table is always in red light. Dr. Barnett said that he intends to come out with a light on his face. Wouldn’t that be something!  Sadly, all the sittings stopped when Covid hit and they still have not been able to resume. Sorry I wasn’t clear when I said he “disappeared”. He walked back into the cabinet and then everyone could hear the curtains flapping fast and loudly. I don’t know why this was, but it has something to do with him dematerializing. Then he was gone. The cabinet curtains have illuminated bands along the edge, so you can see them opening and closing.

Leslie Kean, Thu 12 Nov, 17:26

Dear Michael Tymn and all correspondents,

One of you (I don’t know yet who it is) quotes Einstein by saying this:


Eric, the trouble with Relativity is Einstein. In 1955 he wrote to the New
York Times saying that any person who says we survive the death of their
physical body is bonkers.


For the moment I, Eric, shall merely add this:

Anyone who takes notice of this anecdote is also bonkers. READ MY PAPER. And anyone who trusts an off-the-cuff off-the-subject remark even by Einstein himself rather than studying and understanding the science he himself thought out is also bonkers. READ Einstein himself, and UNDERSTAND him, ignore hasty remarks even by the rightly-famous, and then read my paper.

This level of argument (ie from anecdotal and irrelevant beliefs rather than from THE SCIENCE ITSELF is worthless and does our cause no service. Einstein obviously did not grasp the broader implications of his own theory. The trouble is not Einstein but the failure to read Einstein and to realise what the implications of his theory really are. READ MY PAPER.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Thu 12 Nov, 14:12

Eric, the trouble with Relativity is Einstein. In 1955 he wrote to the New York Times saying that any person who says we survive the death of their physical body is bonkers.

Michael Roll, Thu 12 Nov, 11:37

Dear Michael Tymn,

Please accept my loud approval of your most recent comment. The real christian gospel is indeed simple, not at all the complicated doctrine-laden and terror-dispensing Constantinian established church edifice we have had to suffer for over a millennium and a half.

And you are absolutely right too when you cite Yahshua’s statement that in his father’s house are many mansions (apparently the original word means simply dwelling places). Spiritualistic revelations seem of a bewildering DISparity until we realise that there are many modes and levels of life in the Beyond about which we are all so curious. Many, eg Stafford Betty, but many others too have realised this a long time ago. There are, I believe, universes at our own level, as well as higher ones (I think Jim Beichler agrees with this - his writing seems to evince the same interpretation). My paper deals with the way Relativity actively supports this belief, and so renders the investigation of other modes and “places” of Being truly scientific, despite the vitriol of cynics.

Must break off and make breakfast for my partner Dr Maureen Lockhart (author of ‘The Subtle Energy Body’, ITI, 2010).

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Thu 12 Nov, 10:26

Dear Amos Doyle and Michael Tymn,

I have had a glance at Nassim Haramein’s site.

The quantum physics the site refers to is far beyond my own knowledge, but is irrelevant to almost the whole of Relativity Theory. My paper concerns RELATIVITY THEORY (the relevance of which has not been noticed hitherto). How many more times do I have to say this? Stop being afraid of all science (which is your indubitable ally in seeking spiritual truths) and learn some of it. Read my paper.

My fundamental-level efforts at discovering whether a living essence survives the dissolution of the physical body find their ground in RELATIVITY THEORY as well as the notion of willed control of some physical processes (ie the Copenhagen Convention view of quantum interactions. RELATIVITY THEORY IS QUITE SEPARATE, at least at that introductory level, and it validates our enquiries into survival.

What I am at pains to get a few people to read is SIMPLE GEOMETRY that arises immediately out of a beginner’s understanding of how RELATIVITY works. IT IS NOT QUANTUM PHYSICS, at even the ‘Copenhagen’ level.

This SIMPLE SCHOOL-LEVEL GEOMETRY proves the possibility of other universes threading right through our own visible, experienceable universe. A bright school kid could understand my explanation of it.

Why is everyone so scared to look at the evidence provided by science itself that refutes the sceptics by means of their own science? I keep saying that the argument is simple, and I am not lying, but no-one will find out the fact if they are are so scared of the shadows of lurking sceptics that they shun the opportunity to READ MY SIMPLE PAPER? Publishers should publish what I have written because it shows that the investigation of séances is within legitimate scientific enquiry, science that cannot be denied, and must be accepted, by the cynics themselves.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Thu 12 Nov, 09:35


Thanks for your comment.  However, I don’t see any significant conflict between the teachings of Jesus and those of Spiritualism.  The teachings of Jesus are basically, “Do unto others…” and “Love thy neighbor,” which Spiritualists agree with.

As I view it, Spiritualism clarifies and supplements the Bible, which says almost nothing about the afterlife.  The primary teaching of Spiritualism is that it is not a black and white afterlife, as so many Christians have been taught. It is one of “many mansions.”

Michael Tymn, Thu 12 Nov, 08:57

Dear Amos Doyle,

Thank you for the information. I shall have a look at what you think I shall find relevant and interesting. (For the moment I am busy getting our solid-fuel central heating going for today.)

May I add that what I want some people to take notice of and to understand is, first, NOT QUANTUM PHYSICS, as Michael (Tymn) keeps saying, time after time, month after month, but RELATIVITY THEORY. PLEASE do understand that. THEY ARE DIFFERENT.

Second, the thinking required to understand my paper is VERY SIMPLE, as I keep saying, but no-one believes me because they will not bother to read my paper, let alone read it carefully. I could mention two well-known international societies (the letters RSPMNS are used to abbreviate their titles), who purport to be interested in survival and spiritual matters generally but whose editorial people WILL NOT bother to read my paper properly, and reject my work because they WILL NOT refer it to qualified people who could tell them the facts. One of these societies says the paper is too big for their publication. Is that reason enough to refuse to publish it? They could just give it more space than most other articles they publish. Politician-style refusal to take action, isn’t it? An excuse. A mere dishonest tactic. This is an arrogance and stubbornness equal to that of many sceptics, don’t you agree?

Third, and most importantly, I repeat that if people will bother to read my EASILY COMPREHENSIBLE paper they will find that it uses ESTABLISHED SCIENCE THAT THE SCEPTICS CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT DENY, and is therefore a powerful silencer of their views.

When will people wake up, humble themselves a tad, and listen? I cannot be the only person voicing the understanding I want to share, but there will always be few of us if more do not take notice of what we few are saying.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Thu 12 Nov, 08:32

Hi Mike, I would appreciate a copy of Eric Franklin’s paper on his relativity theory. Could certainly be beyond my IQ but I’d like to read it.Thanks.

andrew simpson, Thu 12 Nov, 04:11

If you are not familiar with the work of Nassim Haramein you might want to take a look at some of his videos.  I think you might find his ideas somewhat congruent with yours.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 11 Nov, 22:30


Your comments are very much appreciated and I understand your frustration, or at least much of it.  However, as we’ve discussed on earlier posts here, your ideas relative to quantum mechanics are not easily grasped by the vast majority of people, myself included.  I’ve read enough about quantum theory that I think I get the gist of it, but don’t ask me to summarize that gist, as it is difficult to convert the ideas to words.

I am at a loss as to how to help you convert the knowledge you seem to have into meaningful language and ideas for the masses, especially when so many physicists don’t seem to get it. I wish you the best in finding an audience that will grasp it and agree with you.

Michael Tymn, Wed 11 Nov, 21:06

Several comments on this thread wonder why Kean remains unconvinced of the existence of the afterlife despite having had the extraordinary experiences she describes. Maybe the reason for this uncertainty (and I’m not sure that “uncertainty” or “unconvinced” are the right words here) is that extraordinary experiences often fail to say much about ordinary reality—about the nature and purpose of life in this world, as opposed, say, to what, if anything, comes after. The teachings attributed to Jesus, for example, assume the existence of an afterlife but contain little information about it, except for a warning that the way we live here will be of profound importance in where we wind up there. The bulk of Jesus’ teaching concerns immediate and strenuous ethical/spiritual challenges such as love, compassion, honesty, trust, sacrifice, courage, endurance, etc., all of which vitally impact the living of earthly life. I have greatly benefited from the spiritualism to which Michael’s accessible, eye-opening books introduced me (Frederic Myers is now a friend; Patience Worth, a treasure), yet overall I find less guidance and strength for daily living in spiritualist teachings than I do in those of Jesus. And I suspect that many devoted to other religious traditions, were they standing in my shoes, would offer similar thoughts. Is Kean’s noncommittal position, after seeing all the “signs and wonders,” better explained in terms of subjective meaning/existential weight than of demonstrable fact/objective knowledge? And might this also, along with presumed career considerations, help to explain William James’ stubborn ambivalence?

Newton Finn, Wed 11 Nov, 18:05

There is a ‘Talk’ page with every Wikipedia article.  You can comment there about Ian Stevenson.  Most likely you will get a ugly response from the Wikipedia Guerillas as I did when I commented about my Patience Worth page.  I can tell you from experience if you try to change anything on the Ian Stevenson page which you think are lies, that your revisions will be immediately reverted to the previous version and if you continue to make changes you will be banned from writing anything on Wikipedia.  Anyone with experience trying to change misinformation on Wikipedia knows that it is a worthless resource for information about controversial topics. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 11 Nov, 14:13

Dear Michael Roll and Alan Sanderson,

I, too, share your recognition that science that is accepted as true knowledge by the sceptics themselves is the best weapon to use in confounding them.

It is not only Quantum Mechanics that supports the notion that there is a lot more universe out there that is beyond our terrestrial senses. The oddity, in my view, is that most scientists, whilst recognising that Quantum Physics is relevant to the question of dark matter and dark energy (and so to other possibly inhabited universes), seem not to have noticed the equal relevance of Relativity Theory. I have written a paper about it that almost no-one seems to understand (including one or two VERY well-known authors of books on all our shelves). In fact, the argument is very easy to understand if only readers will read what it says, and not allow their minds to wander off into other matters whilst reading it. That way, they miss everything that is in the paper, and so wash the baby away with their own thoughts. So far, I haven’t found anyone to peer review the paper either adequately or with sufficient attention to what the paper actually says. Readers all wander off into responsive effusions expounding what they already know and already think relevant, so forgetting what my paper ACTUALLY SAYS in the maze of their pre-existing thoughts. I am willing to send my paper to a few correspondents I believe I can trust with my intellectual property - but, so far, no-one is interested in what I have to say. That’s as odd as the sceptics, don’t you think? Is ANYONE interested in what I have to say about the support Relativity gives to our spiritual quest? A very well-known Cambridge mathematician says my paper is well argued. Does HIS opinion also mean nothing?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 11 Nov, 13:07

I liked Chris’s comment from Belgium. God means so many things to so many people, perhaps metaphorical to so many including sceptics. How many unbelievers have uttered Oh God or perhaps even God almighty? Is it the Church or Christian faiths which decry those who seek through these means to prove the existence of a supernatural “God” and inferentially an afterlife or at least the survival of consciousness.

I would love to dedicate my existence to the prospect of an afterlife because so much of my worldly aspirations seem pointless and unfulfilling or futile. Yet for some reason we have to knuckle down in this form, many of us seeking guidance if not all the time, at least some of it. I just hope that Supernatural God can laugh with us from time to time, especially in our efforts to unravel, he /she/it.

Michael Andrew Alexander London, England, Wed 11 Nov, 12:41

Thanks for the reference to the blog of July 25,2011. Amazing proof. I think everybody has his own story for believing or not believing the existence of the Spirit World. I am a believer now but a few years ago I had not a clue about this subject. Everybody deserves respect , the believers as well as the non believers. Maybe we all need to learn to listen to each other en to see without any prejudice to our surroundings. Who knows, maybe in a few years some clever guy or girl will invent an app for a phone working on the higher vibrations of the Spirit World and translating the messages in our lower vibrations. So every one of us can call heaven. Wishfull thinking…maybe, but what would people think of you a few centuries ago when you would say that people will walk on the moon?

DeCat Chris (Belgium), Wed 11 Nov, 12:35

I have carried out experiments with a materialisation medium: Rita Goold from Leicester.In 1983 I physically met my “dead” father whose physical body packed in in 1967. I have the personal proof that we all survive the death of our physical bodies.This fits in with quantum mechanics. All scientists now recognise that something like 90% of the universe is out of range of our five physical senses. We all come from this invisible part of the universe and return to it after our short stay on Earth.
The so-called skeptics are not skeptics, they are mostly professional wreckers with command of media outlets.

Michael Roll, Wed 11 Nov, 11:30

Mike Tymn’s blog of November 9th deserves wide reading. I have read it twice with interest and frustration. The frustration is with no-one but myself. I think that all of us who have this knowledge, either first or second hand, have a duty to make it known. We live in a world of fake knowledge and disinformation. I, for one, feel a duty to speak up.

When Edmund Burke, in 1795, wrote his famous words, “The only thing that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” he wrote to all of us. His message is even more urgent today than it was then.

I am putting my thoughts in a book, which I hope will soon be published, but books are not enough. Only yesterday I read Wikipedia on Ian Stevenson. Every word was a lie, especially produced by Geurilla Skeptics. I haven’t the time, nor the effort, right now, to write a rebuttal, nor do I know how to get my views printed, if that were possible. The effectiveness of Wikipedia Skeptics is in commitment and numbers. Why Skeptics should be committed to what Burke would brand evil is a matter for research, but by whom?

We all of us owe Leslie Kean a great debt for her books on UFOs and Survival. She has given enormously to these subjects, and I’m delighted to know that she’ll soon be speaking on a special programme. I respect her commitment and her decision not to argue the issue. Even Darwin needed his “bulldog.” Every bulldog needs a reputation. I am not qualified to take it on. However, I would be happy to discuss the situation with others. Burke needs his followers.

Silence will get nowhere.

Alan Sanderson

Alan Sanderson, Wed 11 Nov, 11:13

Dear Michael (Tymn),

Thank you for your defence of Leslie Kean’s stance. I agree with you both. Slight reserve is necessary in order to avoid unfounded enthusiasm for belief in survival that can easily make dogmatic zealots, when calm and confident trust is better. My own position is the same as yours and Leslie’s. My stance is the same, I believe, as Oliver Lodge’s and others’, and I am more ready to believe than Richet. I live my whole life with its continuance in view at all times.

I would like to entrust to you personally, who show willingness to avoid zealotry and to accept the support of true science, my paper on the relevance of Relativity to survival. None of your other correspondents shows any interest in my thought, despite the strong support of UNDENIABLE AND ESTABLISHED science that my paper demonstrates, and I would like to preserve my academic priority if the paper does indeed contain an idea that others, even the physicists themselves, have not perceived. If you would like to read my paper do please confirm your private email address, and I’ll send the paper for you to read, and to share with anyone who is both interested and trustworthy with regard to intellectual property in an as-yet unpublished paper.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 11 Nov, 09:34

Great interview with Leslie Kean which I am circulating far and wide on the web.
What wasn’t made clear about her ‘witnessing’ of the full materialization, is whether this happened in total darkness or maybe red light.
She did say the materialization ‘disappeared’ into the cabinet but I’m unsure if this means she did see this with her eyes.
Perhaps you could enlighten us Leslie
Incidentally I have attended a Stewart Alexander seance and in red light witnessed a hand materialize.

David Haith, Tue 10 Nov, 23:33

I meant to refer Chris to my blog of July 25, 2011 concerning the paraffin hands said to have been produced by spirits under very strict controls in the Paris lab of Dr. Gustav Geley.  Dr. Charles Richet, a Nobel Prize winner, was also in on the research. If mainstream science can’t accept their research as conclusive, what hope is there for other researchers? (Photos of two of molds can be seen at the blog.) 

At the same time, even Richet refused to admit to spirits, although he had no other explanation.

I understand that the paraffin hands are still on display someplace in Paris. But who today can prove that they were produced as reported by Geley and Richet?  We have to accept their word for it all and there are those who continue to think they were somehow tricked, or if no trick, that there is some other explanation beyond spirits that we don’t yet understand.

Bottom line:  There is very strong evidence supporting the survival hypothesis, but that evidence is not absolute (100%) proof.  It is at 98.8% for me and I am content with that.  As I read it, Leslie is of the same view.

Michael Tymn, Tue 10 Nov, 21:25


That was a very interesting article. Had not heard of that particular book.

I knew that a lot has come out lately that is credible about UFOs.

I do find it a little disappointing that after all she investigated and all she experienced, she still feels she needs, it appears, so much more to get to the conclusion that there is spiritual survival and a spiritual dimension or afterlife.

However, everyone is at their own level of acceptance of these things.


Yvonne Limoges, Tue 10 Nov, 20:47

To respond to Chris’s question, yes, there have been photos of both ectoplasm and materializations, but the debunkers assume that they are all fakes and/or that the researchers taking the photos were duped by clever magicians.

Michael Tymn, Tue 10 Nov, 10:53

I have just finished reading “Postscript to Part Two: Some Final Thoughts” written by Stewart Alexander and available on-line at Amazon on his book page. I recommend reading that postscript by Alexander to get the feel for the sincerity of the man.  He makes a lot of good sense pointing out roadblocks in the acceptance of spirituality by mainstream scientists and his willingness to live with that. He seems to be a very direct if not a simple man in his writing style.  I look forward to reading his book.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 10 Nov, 01:16

“Is this materialization proof that we survive physical death? Or does it mean something else? I don’t think we can answer that question with any degree of certainty.”
Couldn’t this be said about any kind of scientific hypothesis, that we cannot be certain it is true as it purports, or whether it means something else? We don’t have “something else,” so we go along with the explanation we have until something else comes along that is a better explanation. Survival of physical death has been shown as the valid explanation for 150 years, as Kean noted. How many more centuries is she willing to wait before she gives up on “something else?”

Daniel Kealey, Tue 10 Nov, 01:12

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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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