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David Thompson works for an airline so often has the opportunity to get cheap or free flights to various countries as part of his job.

Your last paragraph from a Spiritualist point of view is the most feasible.

When your correspondent states that Thompson produces materialised entities that raises grave doubts in my mind as to the truth of the reports.

Thompson has NEVER produced a materialised entity nor has he ever seen one - this he has freely admitted. Neither, I may add, has any member of his current circle

David fell out with the original home circle in which he sat (with a Gordon and Eve Bromley in Crawley, Sussex, England) and then, before returning to Australia, sat in a circle composed of members and former members of the Noahs Ark Society. The leader of that circle has expressed his concerns regarding David's current claims regarding his mediumship.

The real problems arose, in my opinion, when Victor and Wendy Zammit joined his circle in Sydney.

Zammit has continued to make outrageous claims regarding David's mediumship which cannot be substantiated. He also verbally abuses anyone who dares question his statements.

Michael, I admire that you are an open minded person, and that when presented proper evidence, you are not beyond changing a previous opinion; however, in my humble estimation, there has not been sufficient evidence in this situation to warrant a change of mind.

Put David Thompson in a room by himself, carefully secured a gag around David's mouth with duct tape, handcuff his hands, add a two-way radio communication system and conduct a cross-examination of any of the famous spirits reported to come through David Thompson.

If nothing comes through or if the famous entities fail their exam, then you will have your answer.

I hesitate to raise a wavering finger here but doesn't mediumship usually rely on the right atmosphere to produce results? If so is it not likely that nothing will result at all in the environment you suggest Marcel even if David is genuine?

Having said that, I think Leslie Flint endured similar conditions (I am sure Zerdini will correct me)although I don't think he was on his own - perhaps the medium would need people around him for this to work.

As an aside I used to enjoy reading the VZ website but I found the vitriol directed to those who raised objections quite disturbing and stopped subscribing.

Leslie Flint was an Independent Direct Voice medium and did not produce physical phenomena.

The voices came from mid-air and moved around the room without the aid of trumpets etc.

Survival evidence was the criterion by which the seances were assessed.

Hi Michael,

I like your blogbut the facts on the Mormon records re Cadwell are wrong and your reprt is innacurate I quote from my site which you direct people to (thanks).
"We will now stick to his chief spirit control. A rigorous check was made of all genealogical records. Of the birth records, the census records for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1890 & 1901, together with a search of the death registration (by 1890 this was mandatory and preceded burial, the records were meticulously kept and preserved through both wars). There is no William Charles Cadwell, let alone one described as a man of science living anywhere in the UK let alone in or around London, fitting any of these records. This check was made by several people including experienced genealogists and they reached the same conclusions. DT’s circle appealed to the SPR and it became clear that they had not researched this at all, however Guy Lyon Playfair, in response to this appeal, did a check for them once contacted and said there was a death of a William Caldwell in 1899. Unfortunately this Caldwell has the wrong dates, wrong name, is a born, bred and died Lancastrian. Not a man of science and not a realistic answer given any recordings of William."

It is the census records (as well as other records) that prove this Caldwell and any other possibility never existed as the control guide or in the claimed regions and certainly no Cadwell(even in the single mormon records). In reality geneaology is better left to the geneaologists who have provided this information, as I have discovered to my chagrin, it is very difficult for unschooled amateurs.

I hope people have a full read of the otehr comments which I extracted from the long saga.

Cheers Jim

Thanks for the important qualification Zerdini :) - Do you think my commnent regarding the "atmosphere" in which any testing is done is valid?

It is interesting to compare your report, from your friend at the seance, with Victors own report to be found at
http://www.victorzammit.com/articlesdavid/newyork.htm
There are differences in many ways, especially for the reason the plywood floor was put in place. In honesty the man who arranged this seance clearly has integrity, however, I believe it is very unlikely that either a physical medium or even a mental medium would not like to see where they would work. There is also a certain charming naivety in his approach to the report which reconfirms his genuineness.

If we bring visitors here we show them where they will be because part of the requirements are to be at peace and safe where you work. At the very least I would have thought that a digital picture or two and an exchange between David and the organiser may have occured.

I note your comments about pricing, well on this trip David clearly charged much less than on any other visit, or on his Australian trips where his expenses are paid. We know that is true in Australia nad can prove it. I have no reason to disbelieve the $280 US in America which came from a National Association of Spiritualist Churches (NSAC) member church there. I would think maybe the NSAC have some knowledge of this but would not willingly follow this up. I know friends in an NSAC church that pulled out of a visit because of price but I never asked them nor would I.

In terms of David Thompson, in honesty I feel it is old hat there is no new knowledge that proves or disproves anything. If people wish to see him and pay the price so be it. If he comes up with the scientifically proven proof of survival I will cheer.

However, at this point in time, nothing has changed,the comments on the latest trip still show contradictions between your informant, the Victor Zammit report and well documented information from the past. The photograph on the Circle of the Silver Cord web site is the right height for David Thompson with the right head shape. This is substantially different from the shape of the supposed William Cadwells picture on the same site. We must await better photographs in the future.

What is or is not truth, I have no idea and refuse to say that his work is not real. I just need answers, like many others. I would find it very hard to accept that deliberate fraud was occuring, so proof of that would equally be needed.

Really it is time it was cleared up, I used to like David but do thank he and Victor for saying they are not Spiritualists. Spiritualism is about proof, which is all we are asking for

My own energies have to move on, the incident is far from the main feature of the site which my piece is written on, about the "Curious Case of David Thompson and Victor Zammit. In honesty I wish them the best but surely they could enter into dialogue not continue to abuse those who challenge them. It is neither pretty nor an effective response to deal with significant matters.

Jim

Thanks, Jim, for your comments and for the link. I don't see too many discrepancies between the two reports. Yes, the one you linked to says that plywood was put down to help confirm the materializations by making the footsteps audible, but by the same token it would presumably have made the footsteps audible if the chair had been carried into the center of the room. It is hard to lug a big, heavy piece of furniture while walking on plywood without making any sound.

I agree that there is not much new info in what my correspondent told me, but I was impressed by his sober attitude and by some of the specific facts he cited. Even if we assume that Thompson can escape from his bonds (and I'm not ruling this out), it still would not explain the precision and rapidity of the trumpet movements (as described in both reports) or the movement of the chair to the center of the room, in pitch darkness, at a time when the sitters apparently were silent and listening for any sound.

Of course I could be wrong, but my honest attitude at this point is that I just don't know.

Zerdini wrote, When your correspondent states that Thompson produces materialised entities that raises grave doubts in my mind as to the truth of the reports.

I don't think his choice of terminology affects the validity of his observations. The distinction between a physical medium and a materialization medium is a technical one, and there is a large area of overlap. (For instance, Palladino was known mainly as a physical medium, but produced some partial materializations that were sometimes seen in decent light.)

Michael, I have experience in two different seances with a flying trumpet. The trumpet moved fast, was playful, and unfortunately, was also being held afloat by someone else in the room via a long pole.

See this picture for an example of how it is done.

Instead of taking my word for it, why not try it at home if you want to. Fasten a full paper towel roll to the end of a broom stick and twirl it around the room in a circular motion with the light on so you get a sense of how far you would need to be so as not to hot people in the head, but come close enough to give them a "wind in their face" sensation.

Now, mark the spot where you were just standing with a small hardly detectable piece of glow in the dark tape. This is the marker. Turn off the lights, and swirl your paper towel roll on a stick again. You will shock yourself at how fast you can go in the dark. With enough practice, you can even learn to do some tricks, like a full stop in front of someone's face or maneuvering around their shoulder.

When you add a room of believers, some loud music or random noises, and the belief that the medium is bound and gagged, it's not too hard to get a report back much like the one your correspondent gave you.

On an historical note, check out this newspaper report from 1902 - the picture attached to the article advertises a "Trumpet Medium."

Anyway, I think you may want to revisit Lamar Keane's book. He covers the flying trumpet in there, I believe.

Oh, and here is a picture of Minnie Harrison controlling a trumpet with an ectoplasm rod which seems to be coming out of her ectoplasmic prison pouch.

MP wrote:

"I don't think his choice of terminology affects the validity of his observations. The distinction between a physical medium and a materialization medium is a technical one, and there is a large area of overlap. (For instance, Palladino was known mainly as a physical medium, but produced some partial materializations that were sometimes seen in decent light.)"

With all due respect, Michael, full or partial materialisations have to be SEEN in some form of lighting to justify the term.

Thompson sits in complete darkness so by no stretch of the imagination can he be called a materialisation medium.

There is a big difference between a physical medium and a materialisation medium.

All materialistion mediums are physical mediums but not all physical mediums are materialisation mediums.

The above was posted by Zerdini.

Hi Paul

You are correct. A hostile environment can have deleterious results in physical seances.

A sceptical attitude doesn't affect genuine mediumship.

What has happened to Lamar Keane?

Marcel, you don't appear to have much experience of physical mediumship judging purely on your comments.

I have spent nearly fifty years investigating physical and mental mediumship and sat with at least ten physical mediums so I suggest I speak from first-hand experience.

Lamar Keene was not a medium - he was an admitted conman.

What has happened to Lamar Keane?

According to George Hansen, Keene died some time ago.

With enough practice, you can even learn to do some tricks, like a full stop in front of someone's face or maneuvering around their shoulder.

In pitch darkness? How could you know where the sitter's face (or shoulder) is, if you can't see anything?

I know about hoisting the trumpet on a rod and making it whiz about, but I don't see how that can explain precise, controlled moves in which the trumpet zooms right up to a sitter and stops just touching his nose.

I suppose the operator could be wearing night-vision goggles. But this explanation could not apply to séances held decades ago, like the ones described by Arthur Findlay in On the Edge of the Etheric, in which precision trumpet moves were seen.

Or could the luminous tape/paint on the trumpet might cast just enough light to guide the operator? I doubt it. Findlay experimented with a luminous trumpet in the dark and couldn't control it with precision.

There have also been cases of trumpets that touched a sitter's left knee (say) after the sitter mentally requested the touch, without speaking aloud. As far as I know, this has not been observed in a David Thompson séance, but I have read of it happening in other venues.

Zerdini wrote:

Marcel, you don't appear to have much experience of physical mediumship judging purely on your comments.

I have spent nearly fifty years investigating physical and mental mediumship and sat with at least ten physical mediums so I suggest I speak from first-hand experience.
Ok. I don't think I was challenging your expertise in the subject. You have more experience. You win.

However, experience aside, anyone can be fooled, and most have.

I believe that there should be a "stated" minimum threshold of experiment acceptability in the field of parapsychology. This standard would serve as the basic price of entry for anyone putting forward evidence for the survival hypothesis.

I call this standard, The Consciousness Research & Experimentation Study Threshold (CREST).

My CREST Test is parapsychology's version of Occam's razor, a simple and reasonable guide that already exists, but has not been succinctly stated.

Here it is -
"Objective proof of consciousness survival first requires proof of scientific objectives."
I make a distinction between objective proof and subjective proof. There are many things that I have experienced personally which I would never expect science or scientist to validate.

The fact remains that if this was at all genuine, WHY NOT DO IT WITH THE LIGHTS ON?!?!? This is a trick that's as old as the idea of Mediumship itself.

Mr Prescott, whatever your views on mediumship and the afterlife, the fact remains that you are more willing (apparently) to believe that a man can channel the dead than he can escape some bonds.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'm fairly sure that scientifically the latter is more logical and likely. The fact is you cite the lack of video evidence as a reason to why David Thompson's skill may be real. In that case, where is the video evidence of David Thompson performing these feats? No wait, that will never occur, because, simply put, he performs in the dark - quite literally. He'd never win Randi's million dollar challenge.

Mr B
Have you read Mr Prescott's blog: Ignorance is bliss?

"He'd never win Randi's million dollar challenge."
HaHa! If you're gonna bring up Randi's challenge I could bring up Victor Zammit's challenge which no skeptic has won. They are both equally absurd. Why don't you go the Daily Grail website and read their expose about Randi's challenge. It's a farce. Randi-s challenge- LOL! Sad that people fall for that one.

I want to attend a séance where Marcel has a trumpet on a long pole and then touches everyone in the room in the dark on the nose.

A light touch that is.

With Margery the medium they tried to prove her a fraud because they found one thread on the floor and one time the dentist thumbprint was on the dental wax even though she had done maybe a hundred thumbprints of Walter at other séances.

But with spiritualism it is good to be cautious. Very cautious. I commend Michael for his willingness to even consider the validity of David Thompson. The offer is still there to the silver cord to see if I can supply the passive night goggles as they make them close to my home.

Who knows maybe the CEO of that company is into the paranormal. Hey we are already at NO.

I look forward to the day Michael P writes such a post on the Margery séances. :-)

you are more willing (apparently) to believe that a man can channel the dead than he can escape some bonds.

Well, I do believe some people can channel the dead. The evidence is, in my opinion, very, very strong that mediums like Leonora Piper, Gladys Osborn Leonard, and Eileen Garrett were the real deal.

As far as escaping from bonds is concerned, I certainly don't rule out the possibility that Thompson could do this. But I no longer think that fraud would explain some of the other reported phenomena at his séances, as mentioned in the post.

I don't believe that kind of stuff but after watching worlds scariest ghosts on google video, it makes me wonder, it has by far the best video of orbs and spirit mists on video I've ever seen full stop. google video scariest ghosts caught on tape, you won't regret it. thx

George,

You may believe if you research this topic perhaps.

George,

You may believe if you research the evidence and decide for yourself. Perhaps.

I agree Leo. The key is research. I defy anyone to read the even a fraction of the research done by Lodge, Crookes etc and dismiss surivival of death out of hand.

Hi Michael,

I would like to address one of the issues raised in in your report. First, you state that "when questions arose about the reality of Thompson's purported spirit control, a certain William C Cadwell, Playfair did some research in the Morman family history records and apparently found there was a William C Cadwell who died within one year of the date of the death given by Thompson's 'William'."

May I clarify for you that initially David Thompson claimed that it was the SPR and Montegue Keen who had undertaken the research into the existence of William C Cadwell and they "had found him". This apparently was said to have occurred back in 2005 long before any questions were being raised about this William's existence.

Shortly after questions did arise, in mid November 2007, Thompson then claimed that it was Playfair who had done the research and found William, back in 2005.

Thompson wrote, on November 20, 2007 on the now defunct SCR that "the the report was also done with Guy Lyon Playfair who did the checks on William and found him, I will ask the lady who is a member of this site to put up the recent email she recieved from Guy Lyon Playfair regarding William and his exsistance."

This letter was never made available to the members of the SCR despite a number of requests.

Subsequently some confusion arose because it seemed that Playfair had found not a William C Cadwell, but a William Caldwell, who had died in 1899, not in 1897 as claimed by Thompson's 'control'.

You are right therefore when you say "There seems to be some question as to whether the person Playfair uncovered was named Cadwell or Caldwell."

In fact, Playfair could not have 'uncovered' a William Charles Cadwell, as no such person appears to have existed, and certainly not in the 1830 - 1897 time span that Thompson's purported 'control' claims were the years of their existence.

The first person who seems to have raised concerns about the existence and claimed life of Thompson's William Charles Cadwell was a Leo, on the SCR on 15 November 2007. They wrote:

"When I wrote last time I was quite excited by David Thompson's remark about his main spirit friend and contact William Charles Cadwell who passed in 1897 and that this William Cadwell had been checked out by the SPR and Monteque Keen and was found to exist."

"I had a look around and found that William Cadwell was according to David Thompson's website born in 1830."

"I thought I would try to find out more and so looked at the Government Record Office Death Registrations (what used to be called the St Catherine Deaths Index) and I also looked at the Census records for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891."

"There was no point looking for a birth registration because it was not until the second half of 1837 that such registration came into effect. Without a known place of birth it would be very difficult to establish the church where a person was baptised in 1830."

"Anyhow, I have decided to let people on the Spiritualism Chatroom know what I found."

"In brief - NO William Charles CADWELL died in 1897, nor did a William Cadwell or a Charles William. No such person died the year before or after either."

"In the 1841 census records there was NO William or William C Cadwell born 1830 anywhere in England. Because in the 1841 census records ages were rounded down (eg 43 would be recorded as 40, 47 as 45 etc) I next checked the 1851 census and found just 8 William Cadwell - NONE were born in 1830."

"There was one William Charles Cadwell found in the 1851 census records - he however was born in 1843 in Chelsea. Sadly he died in the December Quarter of 1865 in Chelsea - so cannot be considered a possible for David Thompson's William Charles Cadwell."

"The subsequent census records also do not show any William Cadwell born 1830 - so all such records fail to show this purported guide who plays such a vital role in David Thompson's physical mediumship and seances."

"Feeling frustrated I took a look for Timothy BOOTH the child guide who is said to play an important role in the seances. He is said (on the circle of the silver cord website) to have been born in 1899 and died in 1908. Oh dear!!! There were NO Timothy Booth's born in 1899 anywhere in England. There were NO Timothy Booth's who died in 1908."

It seems that this Leo has some experience in genealogical research. A number of other people subsequently undertook an investigation and also arrived at the same conclusions as set out above.

I am one of those people, and I have extensive experience in genealogical research. Indeed, I am also currently using that training to research, using genealogical records, various famous Spiritualists, as a means of providing insight in the different written records on these people.

I can confirm that there was no William Charles Cadwell who died in 1897. The census records do not show any such person existing in England, never mind living in London between 1841 and 1901.

There was a William Caldwell (note not a Willian C Cadwell) who was born about 1832 in the Northern part of England who died in 1899. His death is indexed in the Government Record Office Index to Deaths for that year: 1899 in the registration district of Leigh Vol 8c page137.

There were NO William Cadwell's (or William Charles, or Charles William's) who died between 1890 and 1900.

Let me make it quite clear, I can provide you with a complete list of Cadwells who were born and died between 1837 and 1900. I assure you, you will not find a Cadwell that fits the claims of Thompson's WCC.

I can also confirm that there is no Timothy Booth born 1899 - died 1908 either.

In short, there is no evidence to support the existence of William Charles Cadwell and I rather doubt that there ever will be.

Thompson's mediumship, regardless of whether we call him a physical medium or a materialization medium, is fundamentally based on the existence of this Cadwell, who claims they are in charge of all phenomena and 'materializations' that take place in Thompson's seances. This primary 'control' has made claims of an existence, with a year of birth of 1830, and a year of death of 1897. Further, this 'control' claims that this existence was in London, and that is where they died and were buried. They also claim they were a 'man of science', and again there is no evidence found to substantiate this further claim.

When the basic premise of Thompson's mediumship, namely 'his friend and guide'William Charles Cadwell, is found not to stand up to reasonable and objective investigation,it cannot but give rise to doubts as to what else in Thompson's mediumship may not hold up to closer scrutiny.

I have never attended a Thompson seance, and have no desire to, not that he would be willing to have me in one. I cannot, therefore comment on what goes on in such seances. I can, however, comment with a fair degree of certainty about this purported 'spirit control'.

I, for one, would be very interested to see the 'evidence' Playfair found to substantiate what appears to be the non-existence of this character.

Regards Lis

Thanks, Lis, for that helpful recap. I really don't know what's going on with Thompson. My main point is that I now think outright fraud is unlikely, if the testimony of people who've attended the séances is accurate.

This, of course, leaves open the possibility that Thompson is being controlled by entities that are not who they say they are, or that he is manifesting his own subconscious thought-forms in some way. Or there may be some other explanation.

But my original guess - that he was freeing himself from the chair and putting on a show - no longer strikes me as plausible.

I sat with Thompson's home circle in the UK and found it remarkably unimpressive.

There was no evidence of survival given and it seemed to me that he was overly anxious to try and convince me that he was a genuine medium. He rang me a few days after the seance and asked for my views on the seance which I freely gave.

I have no doubt that he has ability to produce some physical phenomena but further than that I am not prepared to go.

The well-known Spiritualists he claimed manifested in his seances do not stand up to scrutiny as I knew most of them extremely well and they are not alike in personality, memory, speech etc.

As for the alleged 'Houdini', Louis Armstrong etc the less said the better.

Michael, this may hit your political bone in a bad way, but you are starting to sound like a graduate of the John Kerry University of Flip Flop.

The testimony given by those who have attended the David Thompson seances can be quite compelling. Almost as compelling as the people who will tell you that they say a statue of the Virgin Mary cry blood. From their accounts, you cannot see a reason not to believe them. So instead of challenging someone's eyewitness account and personal belief, you have to do neutral investigation.

I have spoken with two eye witnesses of the Australian seances, and they both were unimpressed, unconvinced and generally suspicious of all claims being made.

I think it has been 5 years now since Mr. Thompson has been materializing spirits. When in the last 5 years have any recognized psi researcher been invited to a seance or been allowed to control the protocol of these seances.

David Thompson is at best a novelty act, and at worst an unfortunate distraction. I for one am interested in the science of psi, not simply the odd and curious entertaining story.

I for one am interested in the science of psi, not simply the odd and curious entertaining story.

I'm interested in both. But a great deal of psi does take the form of odd and curious stories. I doubt it can be otherwise when dealing with phenomena on the fringe of ordinary experience. Even the best-investigated mediums have their peculiarities, like the strange behavior of Mrs. Piper's "control" Phinuit, or Mrs. Leonard's control Feda. The whole field is a mixture of the testable and the untestable, the predictable and the unpredictable, which is what makes it so difficult to pin down - like nailing Jello to a wall.

Well Michael,

Forgive me for saying so but what I wrote was not a 'recap'. It was a clear statement that the 'spirit control' so called of David Thompson DID NOT have the existence they claim they had. There is, as Victor Zammit would say, "no admissable evidence" that can establish the existence of this character. If this is so, and I will stand by that, then the supposed entity responsible for what your friend thinks they observed, does not exist.

I really do not see why,when the veracity of a claimed entity, has been brought into dispute, one would then just assume, it must be a maskerading spirit, rather than facing the much more likely probability, that it is the so called medium, who is doing the maskerading. William may have impressed your correspondent, but he has failed to impress many others. Just as David Thompson's mediumship has failed to impress many.

Perhaps, the experience of some who have sat in Thompson's seances in Australia, who were less than impressed, migth sway you. Like the lady who was hit in the chest, hard, by the 'flying' trumpet. Then again, the people who experienced Thompson's so called 'psychic surgery' might have some credible views to express as well. They would not, however, be positive of William, the Doctor, or the behaviour of Thompson.

While I do not doubt the genuineness of your friend, I do wonder whether they had sufficient experience and objectivity to assess and evaluate Thompson's 'phenomena'.

As for the chair ending up in the middle of the room, and how you believe that Thompson could not have done this - may I suggest you try tieing yourself to a chair (arms and legs as Thompson is) and then try standing up and walking about - you may be quite surprised to discover that it is actually quite easy to do.

Regards,
Lis

try tieing yourself to a chair (arms and legs as Thompson is) and then try standing up and walking about - you may be quite surprised to discover that it is actually quite easy to do.

Yes, I imagine so. But could I do it in pitch darkness, navigating between two rows of chairs placed close together, walking on plywood planks without making any sound? I think I'd probably bump into one or more of the sitters, or trip over my own feet. It would take only one such disaster to discredit me.

I also wonder about the 70 or more séances Thompson reportedly held for a home circle in the UK. What would be his motivation in doing all that work for no pay and no publicity? Just to get to the point he's at now - when he still holds down a day job and does séances on the side?

Of course a few months ago I would have been arguing the opposite side of this question. The truth is, I don't know what's going on, but I think I jumped to conclusions and then stubbornly clung to them. Now I'm trying to make amends by taking a more neutral position.

Hi Michael
On the latter point Paul Barker, David's circle leader in that Home Circle made the situation clear on the old SCR. He and the group sat on David keeping him on the right track although he tended to pull away. They were all well experienced whereas COSC members universally had little experience at all.

Paul confirmed many problems to us including the cancer patient.

Hi Michael and All.

Not only do we have information through genealogy that William did not exist but we should study some of the guidelines on guides. This information comes from an interview Joe Fisher did with the guide of George Chapman in researching his book “Hungry Ghosts” and the interview was with the Spirit of the famous surgeon Dr Lang. George Chapman was probably one of the finest Spiritual Healers and Psychic Surgeons ever. His work is well recorded, documented and there is little doubt it was genuine

“Joe Fisher was unable to be satisfied as to whether a medium's guides were real people. While much of the geographical and historical information supplied by the entities was amazingly accurate, the claimed identities did not stand up to scrutiny, in his view.”
An extract of answers shows DR Lang saying
“Well, I think entities can be traced if you can find first of all a medium who is making genuine contact. I know as much about my life as I did when I was on Earth. You don't forget. One has memory. They talk of their great guides, but when you ask them: "Did you trace your guide?" they say: "Oh, no, no, but he told me he was some famous surgeon. He's using a different name because you see, he doesn't want his family to become involved." Well, surely, when you've passed into this world, you want your family to know where you are. That's what I wanted right away - my daughter and my grandchildren all came to see me . (In fact this is true Lang’s daughter came to debunk Chapman and is now entirely convinced this guide is Lang).”

Now this great Medium George Chapman went on to say "Too many alleged spirit guides do not stand up to critical examination. I believe it is essential for those who develop trance mediumship to ensure that their spirit controls are examined thoroughly to prove their identities. The spirit communicator should speak as near as possible to the way he spoke on earth, using the same phrases and mannerisms and manifesting other personal characteristics. He should be able to give dates, names and details of his earthly experiences that can be verified, and be able to discusss intimate matters with relatives and colleagues still on earth. All to often, a 'spirit controls' claimed earthly existence is outside the memory of those living, while others deliberately cloak their identities in a shroud of mystery.”

George Chapman is way beyond anything David Thompson seems currently to be capable of. Indeed the problems here with his psychic surgery, with the cancer patient and the woman who had her breast removed fully back this contention up. Now when Victor, in trying to answer this the query of WCC’s reality questioned the purported William he refused to answer any further details. COSC records regularly show answers like this, Houdini refused to speak of his wife which is remarkable given the history. Additionally, I must again point out the danger of William’s wisdom, when he spoke of Aspirin and Down’s a circle member in the age group at risk was pregnant, some one close to him, who’s baby is later heard in the circle. In honesty between his surgeon and William’s knowledge it implies that there may be dangers for the unwary in what David is doing. This is so outside acceptable behaviour from any responsible Spirit Guide it brings the “reality” of WCC more into the spotlight

Oh on the point about the chair, if someone was used to working in the dark I doubt it would be anything like the problem we have and the plywood may even help.

In a way all you are doing is joining us in teh "don't know camp" and needing much better proof

I have no problem with the chair moving to another part of the room although I am not defending David Thompson.

I am aware of a chair containing the medium pass over the heads of the assembled sitters and land some distance way - on one occasion on the stage outside the circle.

This has happened with different chairs in different venues and in different countries.

Although I am a great fan of magic I have never seen a magician accomplish this under the exact same conditions bearing in mind it takes place extremely quickly.

Good point but was this in the light or the dark Z.... in other words how were the sitters able to corroborate the information. As I understand it, often in modern circles loud music is played while the sitters are subject to sensory deprivation and heightened awareness.

One thing that makes me less skeptical of the chair movement is the fact that essentially the same phenomenon was observed in séances with Eusapia Palladino, as I discussed here.

One of Palladino's investigators, Cesare Lombroso, wrote:

The medium, who was seated near one end of the table, was lifted up in her chair bodily, amid groans and lamentations on her part, and placed (still seated) on the table, then returned to the same position as before, with her hands continually held, her movements being accompanied by the persons next her.

On the evening of the 28th of September, while her hands were held by MM. Richet and Lombroso, she complained of hands which were grasping her under the arms; then, while in trance, with the changed voice characteristic of this state, she said, "Now I lift my medium up on the table." After two or three seconds the chair with Eusapia in it was not violently dashed, but lifted without hitting anything, on to the top of the table, and M. Richet and I are sure that we did not even assist the levitation by our own force. After some talk in the trance state the medium announced her descent, and (M. Finzi having been substituted for me) was deposited on the floor with the same security and precision, while MM. Richet and Finzi followed the movements of her hands and body without at all assisting them, and kept asking each other questions about the positions of the hands.

Moreover, during the descent both gentlemen repeatedly felt a hand touch them on the head.

On the evening of October 3 the thing was repeated in quite similar circumstances, MM. Du Prel and Finzi being one on each side of Eusapia.


Hi Michael,
I am pleased that you have taken a rethink of David's seances.Your friend has caused you to change your view dramatically. This suggests that the source of information can be stronger than the points made. There a couple of points I would like to make.

David did not make any money out of the home circle sittings. He did make good money compared to the income from his work, from public seances.

We did offer expert escape artists to be tied up the same as David and escape to show us how easy it was. None ever took this up as you have found out.

The Guy Lyon Playfair episode that took place in Oxfordshire where Montague Keen came through, allegedly and mentioned the place of an experiment they had carried out together some years before had actually been featured in a TV documentary. I had not seen it or knew about it at the time but saw it years later. It had been available for some while. David was aware of the names of the sitters before the seance. Monty was annoyed when I questioned him over his pronounciation of his old friends name, a strange response from a scientific researcher.

When Monty did sit with us the pictures taken of his thumb being cut was a farce. The before and after shots were of different sides of his hand, not an effective scientific test after all.

As has been on the COSC site the claimed testing by Guy Lyon Playfair, Montague Keen who had passed soon after David's meeting with him and Gary Schwartz never did appear. An opportunity for an open and shut case was lost.

The healing aspects reported in recent times on the site of Silver Cord are a disgrace and the aspirin issue is probably one of the most disturbing things I have read in recent years.

I thank Jim for his comments about the UK circle. I do believe David has a gift for mediumship but a severe level of distortion on the reporting and claims has left reality behind and let confusion reign.

"Good point but was this in the light or the dark Z.... in other words how were the sitters able to corroborate the information. As I understand it, often in modern circles loud music is played while the sitters are subject to sensory deprivation and heightened awareness."

It was in the dark, Jim, but on the occasions I mentioned no music was played. The chair moved over the heads of the sitters occasionally brushing someone's arm or shoulder very lightly and it all happened very quickly.

All the sitters were in a circle, usually seated by me,(an outer and an inner circle) so that there was absolutely no room to manoeuvre between the seats.

Perhaps we should look at this matter in a more dispassionate manner.

Paul Barker was circle leader for quite some time, when David Thompson was developing his mediumship. It is clear that Paul believes that David does have genuine mediumistic abilities but also draws attention to some aspects of events in those seances that introduce uncertainty.

Aspects of the seances now being conducted with the COSC give rise to significant concern for Paul, particularly aspects that relate to the alleged spirit control William Charles Cadwell.

Michael Prescott's collegue in America has attended a seance and written a report wherein he conveys he was deeply impressed by what took place yet, this person does not feel the strength of his convictions sufficiently to allow himself to be identified, apparently not wishing to enter into the fray of debate on the matter.

Michael, has been swayed from his previous position regarding David Thompson by his collegue's first hand account. It appears that certain physical phenomena occurred which seems to give more credence to David's mediumship. So Michael is now taking a more neutral stance on the subject.

Zerdini has expressed the view that the chair moving to the centre of the circle was also done in the past by Colin Fry. He is confident that in Colin's case the phenomea was genuine and accordingly is prepared to view David's efforts in this respect in a similar vein. He is less happy with other aspects of David's mediumship.

In particular,Z stresses, rightly, I believe, that David is not a materialisation medium, despite Victor Zammit's claims, because the 'entities' communicating cannot be seen. He also draws attention to the fact that the identities of those who have apparently communicated do not correspond to these people when on the earth and they have provided no objective evidence to prove who they say they are. Indeed, in some cases the information they have given has been entirely wrong.

Jim has brought attention to other concerns, largely regarding the 'control entity', their lack of objective credibility and the inaccurate, even potentially dangerous remarks made by this William. In addition, he has expressed concerns about the claimed 'psychic surgery' carried out by the 'Doctor', yet another of David's guides. Jim also remains unclear about other aspects of David Thompson's mediumship and feels that there are serious issues that need answers which have not been forthcoming.

I have pointed out that no substantiating evidence for the claimed existence of this William Charles Cadwell can be found, despite extensive research. The same situation applies for another significant circle figure; Timothy Booth. Then there is Tom the Gardener who also claims to have known both William and Timothy despite the fact that Timothy apparently lived and died after William was deceased.

I have not attended a David Thompson seance, nor has Jim. We were excluded from attending, despite having previously paid David to attend our Mission to demonstrate, give private readings, run a workshop on mediumship and do an evening of trance and psychic surgery. We were excluded because Jim asked questions and in doing so David and his circle leader determined he was an unsuitable person. Yet this was the person who was actively supporting and facilitating the upcoming physical seances that were to take place in South Australia.

I mention this,only to make clear that some might regard us as biased against David Thompson as a result of this situation. I stress that this is not the reason we have expressed concerns. If David Thompson can demonstrate genuine mediumship we would support him totally, regardless of any personal sadness over his previous conduct towards us.

So, it seems to me that we have a situation where some have been impressed with David, and other not.

Some feel that the physical phenomena associated with his seances may have a genuine basis, while others are not yet convinced.

All,who have a genuine knowledge of materialisation would argue that David is not one, though there may be evidence that he is capable of producing physical phenomena.

Much physical phenomena produced in seances can be accounted for in ways other than evidence of spirit activity. What provides evidence of spirit activity is where proof of survival information is given by recognisable people who were known before they passed into spirit. This David Thompson has not yet done with any degree of success.

Therefore, while David may be a physical medium, though this is yet to be proved conclusively, he is not at this point a materialisation medium. The claimed entities orchestrating his seances do not stand up to scrutiny and, as a result undermine the potential validity of Thompson's mediumship.

Until David is prepared to subject himself to independent testing, we will not be able to take the matter of his mediumship any further than we have to this point. Some will continue to believe in him, others will not. He will continue to be a figure of controversy and this does little to enhance the case for survival.

Since David has clearly stated that he is no longer a Spiritualist, it may be that he really has little interest in convincing that group of people of his genuineness. Others, who are part of the general evidence for survival group are divided about David's mediumship, with strong positions taken on both sides of the debate.

David appears, possibly under the guidance of Victor Zammit, to be seeking a much wider audience. An audience that is largely ignorant of the ways of spirit or of mediumship. The phenomena aspect of the seances might be very exciting and impressive but on its own does little to prove survival despite Victor's claims to the contrary.

David does not have to prove anything to any of us who have questions or concerns. He can choose to ignore us and continue to do as he is. Yet, it is sad that he has chosen this course as, without doubt, it is those of us who do have real experience of spirit who might be his greatest allies were he not so determined to alienate us by his attitude and conduct.

That he does, gives rise to other concerns. A medium, capable of producing evidence for survival would normally wish to share that with those who understand the nature of the phenomena produced. I am not saying that David is not genuine, I simply do not know what he is. I do, however, feel clear about what he is not. I also feel certain that his 'guides' are not what they claim and I am unwilling to fall into the trap of assuming they must be deceitful spirits - but nevertheless spirits. To jump to that conclusion without any evidence of their actual existence is to my mind foolhardy and an unsupportable position.

What William and the others might actually be is in reality entirely unknown, and that is all that can be said about them with any certainty.

Lis

An excellent summation, Lis, and one with which I certainly agree.

I would add that with nearly fifty years experience of physical and mental mediumship behind me (I began my investigations on the 2nd December 1959)I can state, with certainty, that the subconscious mind of the medium can play a large part in the mediumship.

This, I believe, to be the main factor in Thompson's mediumship.

The reason? Poor development of a psychic ability.

It could be likened to someone learning to play a piano and never progressing beyond hammering out a tune and believing that is all there is to understanding music.

Zerdini, where can I find your email adress, I am interested in sharing your experiences.

Hi Joki

You can contact me through the Spiritualist Chatroom:

http://spiritualistchatroom.forumotion.com/login.forum?connexion

Hi Lis,
Just to say that the gardener was called Jack for the sake of clarity.
In the UK we were to have another Physical medium tested. Warren Caylor was to be tested under, and these are his words, any conditions. He opted out at the last moment because the condition of not having his own circle members next to him would not be dropped by the Psychic News. Not an unusual condition for a test sitting to not have your friends in a position of being able to assist and it would of course proceeding would have put the test into the realms of being a laughing stock. Mediums must be prepared to back the claims they make up with some evidence or stop taking peoples money.

regards

Paul B

From this week's "Psychic News":

The much-talked-about "Psychic News" séance with Warren Caylor, scheduled for Friday 22nd August, has been abandoned.

48 hours before the séance Mr Caylor stipulated, during a telephone conversation with PN editor, Susan Farrow, that he would not permit anyone other than his own circle members to occupy the chairs next to him during the test sitting.

In a subsequent conversation with the editor on the 21st August during which she asked Mr Caylor to reconsider the stipulation, he refused. As a result, the test sitting was abandoned.

Detailed coverage will follow in a forthcoming issue of PN.

I recently wrote to Victor ‘Killer’ Zammit politely asking him to remove a quote, taken out of context, that he lifted from a magazine I used to edit, as I had no wish to be associated with him in any way.

In return I received an abusive reply, which I will not publish on here, as most people are aware of his replies to anyone who questions him.

However, by accident, he sent me a copy of an email he sent to David Thompson referring to my request.

An email VZ sent to David Thompson: by Victor:

”Hello David,

Some years ago I included one of his (referring to me) quotes – see below. He now wants me to remove it – and I do that with great pleasure.

Instead I am putting on my homepage a quote that you (and others) would like to go on record for stating – you’ve stated that indirectly in the past”:

ADMISSIBLE AFTERLIFE EVIDENCE:
"I state with absolute certainty, that litigation lawyers are best qualified to fully analyze and assess the afterlife evidence. We must at all times seek the guidance of these highly qualified experts. Some magicians, tricksters, charlatans, conmen have mislead the public too many times. So, any queries, any guidance, any direction for what is to be allowed in evidence, look for experts such as Dr Victor Zammit.” - David Thompson, materialization medium.

If you have any objections about this let me know.
Cheers,
Victor

This now appears on his website except that he has added the word ‘extraordinaire’ after the words ‘materialization medium’.
I recently wrote to Victor ‘Killer’ Zammit politely asking him to remove a quote, taken out of context, that he lifted from a magazine I used to edit, as I had no wish to be associated with him in any way.

In return I received an abusive reply, which I will not publish on here, as most people are aware of his replies to anyone who questions him.

However, by accident, he sent me a copy of an email he sent to David Thompson referring to my request.

An email VZ sent to David Thompson: by Victor:

”Hello David,

Some years ago I included one of his (referring to me) quotes – see below. He now wants me to remove it – and I do that with great pleasure.

Instead I am putting on my homepage a quote that you (and others) would like to go on record for stating – you’ve stated that indirectly in the past”:

ADMISSIBLE AFTERLIFE EVIDENCE:
"I state with absolute certainty, that litigation lawyers are best qualified to fully analyze and assess the afterlife evidence. We must at all times seek the guidance of these highly qualified experts. Some magicians, tricksters, charlatans, conmen have mislead the public too many times. So, any queries, any guidance, any direction for what is to be allowed in evidence, look for experts such as Dr Victor Zammit.” - David Thompson, materialization medium.

If you have any objections about this let me know.
Cheers,
Victor

This now appears on his website except that he has added the word ‘extraordinaire’ after the words ‘materialization medium’.

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