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Ectoplasm & Advanced Spirit Communication Explained

Posted on 08 February 2016, 10:49

Soon after William Stainton Moses, (below) an Anglican priest and English Master at University College, London, discovered his mediumistic ability in 1872, he and Dr. Stanhope Speer, his good friend, experienced a cloud of luminous smoke, very phosphorus like, that very much alarmed them.  The next night, Moses asked the controlling spirit, an entity calling himself Mentor, one of the band of 49 spirits operating in the group headed by a spirit calling “itself” Imperator, what it was all about. The following dialogue took place, as recorded by Dr. Speer: 


Mentor: “We are scarcely able to write. The shock has destroyed your passivity. It was an accident. The envelope in which is contained the substance which we gather from the bodies of the sitters was accidentally destroyed, and hence the escape into outer air, and the smoke which terrified you. It was owing to a new operator (spirit operator) being engaged on the experiment. We regret the shock to you.”

Moses: “I was extremely alarmed. It was just like phosphorus.”
Mentor: “No, but similar. We told you when first we began to make the lights that they were attended with some risk; and that with unfavourable conditions they would be smoky and of a reddish yellow hue.”
Moses: “Yes, I know. But not that they would make a smoke and scene like that.”
Mentor: “Nor would they, save by accident. The envelope was destroyed by mischance, and the substance which we had gathered escaped.”
Moses: “What substance?”
Mentor:  “That which we draw from the bodily organisms of the sitters. We had a large supply, seeing that neither of you had sustained any drain of late.”
Moses: “You draw it from our bodies – from all?”
Mentor:  “From both of you. You are both helpful in this, both. But not from all people. From some the substance cannot be safely drawn, lest we diminish the life principle too much.”
Moses: “Robust men give it off?”
Mentor: “Yes, in greater proportion. It is the sudden loss of it and the shock that so startled you that caused the feeling of weakness and depression.”
Moses: “It seemed to come from the side of the table.”
Mentor: “From the darkened space between the sitters. We gathered it between you in the midst. Could you have seen with spirit eyes you would have discovered threads of light, joined to your bodies and leading to the space where the substance was being collected. These lines of light were ducts leading to our receptacle.”
Moses: “From what part of my body?”
Mentor: “From many; from the nerve centers and from the spine.”
Moses: “What is this substance?”
Mentor: “In simple words, it is that which give to your bodies vitality and energy. It is the life principle.”
Moses: “Very like sublimated phosphorus?”
Mentor: “No body that does not contain a large portion of what you call phosphorus is serviceable to us for objective manifestations. This is invariable. There are other qualities of which you do not know, and which not all spirits can tell, but this is invariable in mediums for physical manifestations.”

On another occasion, Imperator communicated: “We have a higher form of what is known to you as electricity, and it is by that means we are enabled to manifest, and that Mentor shows his globe of light. He brings with him the nucleus, as we told you.”

On August 10, 1873, Dr. Speer recorded that Mentor said he would show his hand. “A large, very bright light then came up as before, casting a great reflection on the oilcloth, came up as before in front of me; inside of it appeared the hand of Mentor, as distinct as it can well be conceived. ‘You see! You see!’ said he, ‘that is my hand; now I move my fingers,’ and he continued to move his fingers about freely, just in front of my face. I thanked him for his consideration.”

At a sitting on September 11, 1873, Mrs. Speer recorded: “....the next evening we sat again in perfect darkness, which Mentor took advantage of, as he showed lights almost as soon as we were seated. He then controlled the medium (Moses), talking to us about the lights as he showed them. At first they were very small. This, he said, was the nucleus of light he had brought with him, a small amount of what we should call electricity. This nucleus lasted all the time, and from the circle he gathered more light around it, and kept it alive by contact with the medium. At one time, the light was as bright as a torch. Mentor moved it about all over the table and above our heads with the greatest rapidity.”

Imperator claimed to be from the Seventh Sphere and said that his real name would mean nothing to Moses or the others, nor would the real names of Mentor, Rector, Prudens, Minister, and Doctor, all members of the “band of 49.”

At a later sitting, Prudens, Doctor, and Minister, in a group communication, explained: “The higher spirits who come to your earth are influences or emanations.  They are not what you describe as persons, but emanations from higher spheres.  Learn to recognize the impersonality of the higher messages.  When we first appeared to this medium he insisted of our identifying ourselves to him. But many influences come through our name.  Two or three stages after death, spirits lose much of what you regard as individuality and become more like influences.  I have now passed to the verge of the spheres from which it is impossible to return to you. I can influence without any regard to distance.  I am very distant from you now.” 

Another member of the band of 49, Elliotson, added:  “The exalted spirit, Imperator, who directs this medium (Moses), bathes me in his influence.  I do not see him, but he permeates the space in which I dwell.  I have received his commands and instructions, but I have never seen him.  The medium sees a manifestation of him, which is necessary in his case, not in mine.  The return to earth is a great trial for me. I might compare it to the descent from a pure and sunny atmosphere into a valley where the fog lingers. In the atmosphere of earth I seem completely changed.  The old habits of thought awaken, and I seem to breathe grosser air.”

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.

His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.



I no longer have the book you mentioned, but, as I recall, the author didn’t really seem to have a good grasp of the subject.  There were too many distinguished scientists, including Dr. Charles Richet, a Nobel prize winner in medicine, who observed it on numerous occasions to discount it. There are too many living people who have witnessed it in recent years to discount it.  See my blog entry of February 11, 2013 in the archives on the left side of this screen. 

I really believe that ectoplasm is the key to understanding all of this.

Thanks to all for the comments.

Michael Tymn, Mon 22 Feb, 10:56

Thanks, Mike.

I have some printouts of Stainton Moses’ works, but to date I’ve read only Dr. Betty’s take on it.  But after reading the snipppets above, I probably won’t be rushing to read Moses directly.  (Time is definitely limited…)

As for the “physical mediumship”, I would agree you in the sense that there’s always something to be learned reading and studying the full history of all “spiritual” topics - if for no other reason than to be informed.

As for myself (a million years ago I probably said this exact thing in one of your blog comments), while I greatly admire your exhaustive work in this area, mediumship just isn’t my “thing” (I like to read and study ADCs, NDEs, DBVs and OBEs).  But I’ve had more than a little firsthand experience with mediums and “physical mediums”, and my advice to William is the same:  Don’t bother with it - at least when it comes to anyone still alive.

If you’d like to know more (and some of what I very obliquely allude to is indirectly related to some of your and Dr. Betty’s work), feel free to contact me offline.


Ron, Mon 22 Feb, 00:01

I am open to their possibly being an afterlife but like William draw the line with ectoplasm and physical mediumship nonsense. One should read the book Spook which has a chapter on ectoplasm. Anyone looking at photos of ectoplasm coming out of people can readily see that this is but a hoax with the overly gullible open to believing such nonsense. Michael reads a lot on the paranormal so maybe he read the book Spook. I would like to hear what he thinks about this book and the chapter on ectoplasm, assuming that he read it.

Brian, Sun 21 Feb, 23:02


Assuming that a person’s time is truly limited and he or she is simply looking for evidence that consciousness does survive death, I agree with you.  However, if the person has the time and has reached the point of diminishing returns as far as evidence for survival is concerned, I believe there is much to be learned from exploring the various types of physical mediumship. For example, what are we to think when Jesus, Socrates, St. Augustine, St. Stephen, Swedenborg, Bacon, etc. supposedly communicate? Is it really them?  Should we dismiss it all, even though so much of it makes sense?  If you consider what Mentor and others said in this post,  then maybe it is not such a stretch. If you have read any of the books of Stainton Moses, an Anglican minister, you will find much more to ponder on than simply whether man survives physical death or not.  If you haven’t read the book mentioned by Michael Cocks, also an Anglican minister, above, I urge you to do so and possibly move behind the basic survival issue. With some discernment, you can move beyond the obnoxious.

Thanks for the comment.

Michael Tymn, Sat 20 Feb, 21:11

I’m with William: our time and efforts are better served ignoring this and all so-called “physical mediumship” - and the various shady and obnoxious egos personalities attached to it.

William: don’t completely abandon your search.  The “afterlife” is real! (whatever that word means!)  But your instincts are good: there is waaaaay too much UTTER GARBAGE and nonspiritual vileness out there - and I think you have a good nose for who and of what I speak.

In the meantime, William, have you read “Testimony of Light”?  Have you studied ADCs, NDEs and DBVs?  Or, better yet: try to have your own experiences.  I recommend trying to initiate an OBE and get the answers for yourself.  Here I recommend William Buhlman’s “Adventures Beyond the Body”.  Or you can go the psychomanteum route and try sitting in a dark room staring into a blackened mirror…

Sorry, Dr. Betty (who I admire greatly!), but I’m not with you on this one.

Ron, Fri 19 Feb, 04:35

There has been an interesting discussion on Michael Tymn’s blog, in which Afterlife Teachings from Stephen the Martyr was mentioned. His teaching is that we carry ourselves personality and memories intact into the next world. Stephen being an example able to speak as Stephen even after 2000 years. He says he can return to the “tent” of Stephen, but that his normal consciousness is more all-embracing. He would largely agree with Amos Doyle’s comments. But when he refers to discarding a shoe that is too tight he is speaking of the time where his view has become so all embracing that “Stephen” has ceased to exist.

Michael Cocks, Sun 14 Feb, 23:55

Thank you for your polite reply Michael. I rarely comment on blogs, preferring to read, learn and take away what I think is reasonable from various afterlife articles. The communications in the above article unfortunately exceeded my personal boggle threshold, and coming almost immediately after the Lizard/Reptilian comment i read on an older article in Roberta’s blog caused me to question whether or not I have wasted so much on this quest for truth that we all share. I enjoy your posts here and one or two other blogs, must most of the others leave me cold and frustrated. Whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinions and views, a few of the over the top blog hosts should at least be encouraged to consider the damage they are doing to what I loosely term the Spiritual Belief Movement,by some of their silly implausible pronouncements, an example of which I mentioned that did not come across as playing semantics, as you suggest . Cheers.

William, Thu 11 Feb, 11:10

Michael D.

The reference is “The Annals of Psychical Science,” February 1905 issue, article titled “A Defence of William Stainton Moses” by Ernesto Bozzano. I suspect it will be difficult to find the issue, although perhaps they are now on line.

Michael Tymn, Wed 10 Feb, 19:24

The thought of losing individuality has always given me pause. However, there might be other ways of looking at it. In the book “The Afterlife Teaching of Stephen the Martyr”, the “Stephen” communicator likens it to removing a shoe that is too tight or hurts the foot. He also insinuates that it can be taken up again if one wishes or it is necessary. So it may not be quite what one thinks.

Pat, Wed 10 Feb, 18:48

Mr T, can you provide the source for the above article? Something we can find and read the rest of?


Michael D, Wed 10 Feb, 15:38

The question of whether or not individuality survives in the spirit world is one that requires a considerable amount of discussion because it embraces concepts of the oversoul.  That is, what really is a human spirit.  Is it a personality that exists for a time and then disappears from earth into a spirit world or is it an eternal entity?  And, could a human oversoul have many personalities, each one an individual incarnation on earth?

Recently in Michael Prescott’s blog there has been a continuing discussion there about these questions.  Prescott has used the metaphor of a diamond to represent the oversoul and the facets on the diamond to represent each individual incarnation which in the spirit world doesn’t exactly lose its individuality but at the same time is incorporated into the larger entity, the oversoul as metaphorically represented by the diamond and its facets.

I understand that Silver Birch also used this metaphor to try to explain the oversoul.

I guess that the simple answer to whether or not individuality is lost is yes, because each personality is absorbed into the oversoul, that is, the oversoul is the true spiritual being but each personality or individuality is a part of that higher spiritual entity.- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 9 Feb, 23:00


Thank you for your comment.  I also questioned the comment about losing individuality, but it is not stated that we lose all our individuality.  Any individual who joins a large group and subscribes to the group’s principles and goals is going to have to give up much individuality, at least the more egocentric habits and characteristics, e.g., joining the military or a religious order.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  As with so many other things, including the “lizard people,” you referred to, it is a matter of semantics and interpretation.  You have to discern the messages.  I infer that you are taking them all at face value.

Michael Tymn, Tue 9 Feb, 19:01

So this set of communicators, aside from waffling nonsense, tell us that our spirits lose our individuality, while others through some other mediums tell that we retain it ! What to believe ? Little wonder that Spirituality is treated with disdain by sceptical debunkers. On top of this, I read Roberta Grimes claim with a straight face that evil lizard people are interfering and hampering Thomas Edison’s development of a telephone system to connect the Spirit World with the Earthly one. I bat James Randi’s mob got a great belly laugh from that one .

William, Tue 9 Feb, 09:00

There’s an article coming up in the January Searchight where I discuss the vagal nerve/silver cord and this article indicates that electricity comiing down the spinal column is what activates our “energy centers” which would be our chakras.  And also that some of us have more energy than others meaning we have larger chakras (probably most mediums have larger chakras I would think) because this is why they would have these psychic abilities.  The more I read about the other side - the “pure and sunny atmosphere” the more I look forward to going there. But since we can’t chose when I’m content to sta here “where the fog lingers.”

Karen Herrick, Mon 8 Feb, 22:45

This is as strange a communication as I’ve ever read.  In my view, no medium’s subconscious could ever have invented this.  Great read, Mike.  Thanks.

Stafford Betty, Mon 8 Feb, 21:31

Been reading your blog for awhile now. Great and very informative articles, keep up the good work. Just wanted to share a link to an article I thought would interest you and ask how it would mesh with your own conclusions on life after death.

Pat, Mon 8 Feb, 20:57

Another thought-provoking piece. I’m curious to research the current state of science regarding the nature of electricity.

ichael Schmicker, Mon 8 Feb, 20:45

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