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I should add that when he encountered the Being of Light, it's possible he was interfacing with his consciousness at the highest plane (bottom-most slice in the diagram). He did not explain it this way, but it's one possible interpretation.

I have long thought that the being of light in many accounts may be an objective interpretation of an encounter with a higher aspect of self.

If this model is true, then our whole self is so much more than we perceive it to be, and as such, coming into awareness of it could easily interpreted with an encounter with a god-like being, especially once the subjective experience is subsequently objectified and assimilated upon return to everyday awareness - it is probably during this process that cultural overlays come into play.

This NDE account is making the rounds with the online NDE community. I assume it's creating discussion on the NDERF forum, but Near-Death forums.com also has a thread devoted to it.
http://www.near-death-forums.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10864


The fact is, this NDE stands out. First, it's probably the longest NDERF story ever posted - you don't just zip through it in ten minutes. Second, even though almost forty years have elapsed since the event, the attention to detail given by the experiencer is incredible. Of course, that explains the length.
Like Michel points out, it could be a bored writer with a lot of time on his hands, but it definitely has the ring of truth.

What rings true to me about the above account is the obvious difficulty expressed in trying to put into human language the nature of his experience.

I wouldnt blame his language skills. Language wasnt actually built to describe such experiences.

Michael:

As a long time fan of your blog, I read everything you post, and I'm appalled that I need to ask you for a favor- but I don't know how to contact you.

I had a reading with a psychic, Georgia O'Connor recently and she (or maybe a spirit guide more appropriately) prescribed some powerful prescription drugs that I've gotten my doctor to give me. It was an incredible reading, but I realized with a shock that she could of gotten info from my facebook page and blog from that page.

I need any info I can get on her, so as to make an informed judgement. Can you or anybody reading this help me?

Thanks!!! Tharpa tharpa@gmail.com

"Can you or anybody reading this help me?"

I replied to you on another thread, but let me repost my comment here, with some additional thoughts:

T Tharpa Doyle, there are two or three regular commenters who've had evidential readings with Georgia. "No One," in particular, had what he regarded as a highly accurate reading, and he took great pains to prevent any possibility of being researched.

However, I would *not* substitute advice communicated through a medium for the advice of medical doctors. If you can supplement your medical treatment with some kind of alternative therapy, fine. But I definitely would *not* substitute an unproven alternative treatment for mainstream treatment.

Mediums are not infallible, and neither are spirits. Mediums can misinterpret messages, and the communicators themselves can be mistaken.

---

That was my earlier comment. Now that I know a little more about your situation, I'd say that if your doctor was willing to prescribe the medicine, he or she must think it potentially offers some benefit that outweighs any risks. However, one option might be to get a second opinion from another doctor. The bottom line is that I, personally, would not outsource my medical care to "the other side," but if medical science concurs in the diagnosis, then it's a different story.

I'm not sure how helpful this is. Anyone else have any thoughts?

"Mediums are not infallible, and neither are spirits. Mediums can misinterpret messages, and the communicators themselves can be mistaken."

Agreed.

TTD, I did have a highly evidential sitting with Georgia, as Michael says. I was truly impressed.

The hour was largely dedicated to communications from my father (who was recently deceased at the time) and my mother who has been deceased for 25 years. There were a couple other spirits that came through briefly, at the the end of the session, for my wife.

I did completely mask my identity. I am certain that Georgia could NOT have know who I really am until after the session. I made the appointment via a gmail account that contained no name references and I did not use a credit card in registration. I saw her in person at her house and paid only after the sitting with a check.

All of the spirits gave 100% accurate and very detailed information concerning personal history; theirs, mine - much history that, even if Georgia had known who I was, she couldn't found via any source because it is so private. The information included facts about my life (and my wife's life) concerning events that ocurred since the spirits' passing.

I do statistical analyses for a living (in insurance) and am convinced well beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is no way that guessing or coincidence could account for the accuracy. Again, the information was just way to detailed, specific, idiosyncratic and private.

That being said, the spirits also made some statements about future events and ongoing situations in my life. My mother's statements have panned out to be fairly accurate. My father's statements much less so. I will provide an example as follows (appologies for length):

I hadn't told Georgia that we breed, break and start thoroughbred race horses (my wife used to be an exercise rider at Saratoga) as a side business/hobby. In fact, we didn't tell her anything at all concerning who we were, what we do, who we wanted (or expected) to communicate with - nothing. Once a horse is ready and showing signs that it has talent, we send it off to a trainer at the track. We had sent a particularly favorite horse to a no name trainer the previous year because he was all we could afford at that time and someone whose opinion we trusted recommended him.

At any rate, that decision was a disaster. After a lack of success and some harm to the horse's career we found another trainer and placed the horse with him. My father commented on the situation and the business being dirty and stated that the first trainer was a "crook" (true) and that the second trainer was "green" (true - an ex-rider into about his second or third year of training with a few wins under his belt), but that "his heart is in the right place" (a perception that I had had myself at that time). I don't remember the exact wording, but my father said something about the need to work closely with this new trainer and things might work out, albeit always iffy in such a corrupt business.

It turned out recently that the new trainer is also crooked. We had told him, in no uncertain terms - and he had agreed - that if any single vetinarian bill was to exceed $50 or if the vetinarian total for the month was to exceed $200, that we needed to be notified and that further vet care would have to be authorized by us. At the end of the season (in Dec) the new trainer presented us with a vet bill that he been holding onto, for several thousand dollars. Outrageous in the extreme. It is clear from looking it over that our horse never received 90% of what is on the bill. In fact, that trainer had two injured horses of his own and it is clear to us that he had the vet (who he admitted is is friend) bill the charges related to his horses to our horse (which, btw, has no injuries). I am shocked that he would think that I would just pay such obviously ridiculous bills. In fact, I won't, but that is a different story.

The point is that the guy my father said had his heart in the right place, is a cheap petty rip-off artist and had been planning this little scheme even as I was sitting with Georgia.

I will say that my father said he did not understand the horse business. So maybe that's a qualifier in his favor, somewhat.

One more - I really need to drive this home - One reason we went to see Georgia (again, we didn't tell her) is that there were weird happenings our house after my father passed. Some were classic poltergiest phenomena. Some items that are personally important had been moved and placed in inappropriate places. Some items had gone missing. One of these items that could not be found was my wife's wallet. My wife sort of cued up a discussion on that topic. She said something like, "I want to ask him [my father] about some things that have been happening lately in our house. My father's spirit instantly interupted and began talking about how he had been moving objects because he wanted to get our attention. He had some things to tell us and we weren't listening. He also said that he would continue to terrorize my wife (poking, nightmares, hiding things, etc) if I didn't start paying attention. We kind of worked out an agreement. I would pay attention when I was able and he would stop terrorizing. As a sign of good faith, my wife wanted to know where her wallet was (I should mention that Georgia speaking for my father had previously even said "pink wallet" (true) even though my wife had not mentioned wallet specifically until this point. My father then said that the wallet could be found in a "green military bag". We searched old OD green mil bags in our house. The wallet was not in any of them. It remains missing.

So, I would say that a certain class of info from my father's spirit was not reliable. Statements of fact pertaining to his own history and my history were spot on.

OTH, One of the spirits communicating to my wife gave a very accurate diagnosis for an unusual condition that my mother-in-law has.

TTD, I would not deviate from the course of treatment recommended by real physicians. Maybe there is a way to incorporate what Georgia said without going against professional medical recommendations?

TTD, I also agree with Michael in that getting a second or third medical opinion is always the best idea when faced with a serious diagnosis. Working in the health care insurance industry it frequently comes to my attention that physicians are a s fallible as anyone else. They frequently treat according to the best they know based on training, experience, etc; not necessarly the highest available standards of practice. Surgeons cut, radiologists irradiate......to a man with a hammer, all prblem look like a nail.

be sure to seek a second and third opinion from physicians with different practice/specialty orientation.

best wishes.

Wow--what an account. I just finished reading it. Thanks for passing it along, Michael.

It's not a quick or easy read, but it certainly seems genuine.

The level of detail in it is astonishing-- both before the actual NDE begins, and during it.

What strikes me is how often he returns to what seems to me to be his main theme--love. To quote just a few instances:

"There the nature of the meta-mind that I was in, that was communicating with me and I with it was one of love. I could not begin to describe the sensations and ease of being that I felt to be in an environment that was literally composed of love as its base-essence or base-frequency."  

"The sensations of being welcomed, of being loved, of being back again, of being at ease, of being nurtured, of being caressed, their acceptance of my returning of my love for them, of having them inside me, and me inside them, of feeling their extreme intelligence and wisdom, of feeling the extent of their knowing of the fundamental nature of things. I lay among these beings being welcomed and loved by them for how long I do not know."

"There are no words that can describe this being and its sheer magnificence in its magnitude. However, it has to be said, that all of this, all that it was capable of, all that it did, all that it gave, could be reduced to its essential quality, all of it was poured into this one quality without reservation: it was sheer unalloyed love absolute. And this indescribable beauty of it moved through every part of me as if I were being permeated by the very shining itself. . . .I knew that this being was total love."

So the universe is composed of love, filled with beings who delight in love, and graced with a "God" that is itself love. Sounds like a good place to live. :o)

By the way, Michael, you say you kept being reminded of Michael Newton. I can certainly see why that would be the case.

I myself kept thinking of Nanci Danison, and her experience of being joyfully reunited with her spiritual friends, and the many extraordinary ways they had of communing with each other and sharing each others' experience--even to the point of being "inside" each other.

Michael, over the past week or so, I'm frequently being told by Typepad that my message has been posted, when it actually hasn't. Any idea what's happening?

I tried three times to post a comment today, for example, that's not all that long.

I did just successfully post a comment in another thread, though.

spirit of typepad no like Bruce

I feel rather horrified that anyone would resort to a "medium." You don't need one. Nor is supposed communication with the departed safe or prudent.

Whatever you're communicating with, it may not be what you think it is.

But I write as a very conservative Catholic.

I've had my own experiences. Light and a sense of well-being and of joy are a part of them. One was the result of a simple, traditional blessing of the throat through the aid of St. Blaise. The other was the result of what I can only describe as a sort of prayer for an answer to the mystery of the meaning of death. The occasion was the death of my first wife.

But what I felt was a necessary smallness and humility, not enlargement.

But be very careful about what you may become entangled with.

I can't say I'm much of a fan of mediums either, even though no one's account was fascinating. A few may be able to contact the deceased, but I wouldn't trust them for anything else. And there's no way I would substitute a medium advice's for a medical opinion. BTW, the last medium I encountered was several years ago, and she told me I'd be involved with a "powerful man with a military haircut," uh no, I guess General Petraeus was already taken.

Kathleen, I've talked to a few BS self professed "mediums" of the sort you mention since I saw Georgia.

Georgia is nothing like that. There is no fishing and no vagueness. Just accurate facts firmly stated, almost rapid fire with no pause for confirmation. Vet very detailed prvate information.

"I feel rather horrified that anyone would resort to a "medium." You don't need one. Nor is supposed communication with the departed safe or prudent."

Pavel, and what do you do when the deceased insist on communicating with you? Burn a candle? Toss some holy water?

It doesn't work.

If your god and church is what they are supposed to be, these spirits wouldn't be knocking the door down, would they?

Bruce, I rescued your comment from the spam filter. TypePad is not doing a good job with comments lately. Some of my own have ended up in the spam folder also.

"Bruce, I rescued your comment"

Thanks, Michael! Good to have a lifeguard on the premises. :o)

The point Pavel makes is not unusual especially for religious people. The solution is to do some research before embarking on an course of action. Whether that is consulting mediums or becoming a Roman Catholic or a member of any other religion.

" It was an incredible reading, but I realized with a shock that she could of gotten info from my facebook page and blog from that page. "
Do you say that because the info she gave you are all available on Facebook and blog (with exactly the same words) or because you noticed some unusual activity on your account?

I've been an avid reader of this blog for many years but I don't believe I've ever commented before. I just want to mention that, to me, what gives this the ring of sincerity is how difficult the writer seems to find the work of translating his experience to the rest of us. I've never had an experience this intense. But I've had a couple of experiences that simply lie on the other side of some chasm between the here of objective reality and the there of ?.

I think I just created a new place name. The land of ?. Now, let me toddle off to copyright that.

—Best, Steve Volk

Hey everybody, Michael broke out the crayons! Yay!

Michael, in summarizing Peter N's account, you wrote, "he separated from the Being, which reassured him that they would meet again".

Years ago, in a spiritual crisis, I had an OBE in which I encountered a Being of Light. I did not recognize this entity as myself or as God, but as the higher aspect of a living person who I perceive has a deep spiritual connection to me (perhaps as a member of my soul group). This being of light, which had enveloped me a bubble of warm unconditional love like nothing I've ever experienced on earth, said to me, via telepathy, "I have loved you before and will love you again in another time and place" -- the point being we'll meet again, don't worry. For me it could refer to a future life, as in future incarnation together on Earth, or perhaps being reunited as in Dr. Newton's "life between lives".

As you and others have pointed out, perhaps this light being was my own higher consciousness comforting the human me. But I had immediately recognized this entity (by its "essence" alone, not sight - as it was all light with a human form - no identifiable facial features) as someone else, not me, not God or some other cultural holy figure.

So I agree with the Peter N's "paradox" -- that we are all aspects of consciousness making up one "meta-mind" but somehow we, as these beings (or orbs) of light, also each retain our own individual "essence" or vibration that differentiates me from you and our other loved ones in our soul groups. Individual drops in a great ocean -- the drops are never "lost" in the sea. And we'll always be reunited (indeed we're always connected by, one in spirit) no matter how far apart or for how long we're separated here in the physical realm.

"I should add that when he encountered the Being of Light, it's possible he was interfacing with his consciousness at the highest plane".

Apologies Michael if you've already cottoned onto this possibility but might I suggest the Ouroboros symbol of a snake eating its own tail alludes amongst other things to the sort of thing you're getting at as indeed does esoteric origami when countless individual elements of a seemingly highly elaborate structure're suddenly opened out and flattened down to reveal they were only ever so many folds in a single sheet of paper.

I don't think I have seen it anywhere, but has anyone ever addressed the supposition that Near Daeth accounts may have been formulated by the brain during the recovery phase once the brain function has been reactivated, with the patient in a dreaming state but before regaining conciousness?

Yes snorkler it has been addresed ad infinitum by sceptics. If anyone is interested in the best academic arguemnt for all instances of evidence of survival I would recommend Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century.
Edward and Emily Kelly. this book adreses almost all the issues.

Near death experiences seem to have a heavily influenced cultural context. Hindus see Yama the King of Death, no tunnel of light.
The angle you perceive the light is channeled by the prism of both your own expectations and learning and in the case of mediums, theosophy, spiritualism and years of that culture.
If a Aleut, Sufi, Masai, Appalachian Baptist could be all channeled through different mediums that did not ascribe to a particular view of the afterlife in any particular form I would accept Summerland etc.
We all have our cultural biases my relatives in Ulster would think going to a Catholic Priest the same as going to see a demon.
The gentlemen's NDE reminds me of the imagery in the Hwa yen sutra of the Jeweled Net of Indra, where every jewel in the net reflects all others

Hi Steve,
Bernardo Kastrup has written a good round up of the cultural aspect of NDEs on his blog. Basically, not only is there no problem with a cultural aspect to NDEs, in fact it is to be fully expected. He finds no solid foundation to the argument of skeptics who try to use this to promote the idea that the entire NDE is a product of the brain.

Actually, when you read enough accounts, it is possible to see a core of common transcendent elements behind all of them. The idea that they are entirely dependent on cultural expectations is false. What happens though, is that the core elements are often interpreted or 'dressed up', depending on the cultural background of the experiencer.

I think Bernardo is right. The final clincher for me is that if you do a bit of digging, you can find NDE accounts where contact is made with a being identified as Christ or God, but who then subsequently reverts to a more generic being of light. In these cases, the cultural overlay obviously dissipates to a degree.

In other cases, it is more of an awareness issue, with the person seeing Christ, but they also have an awareness that the Christ image is really a way for them to perceive this being in an approachable manner.

However, we still don't know if it is the being of light who itself chooses to appear in a culturally familiar form to makes things easier for the NDEr, or if it is the NDEer themselves who are interpreting the being of light in such a way.

As usual with these matters, it's probably not a case of either/or, but the ratio and degree of cultural overlay will differ from individual to individual.

Here's the link to Bernardo's blog post on the issue of the cultural aspects of NDEs.

Basically he's highlighting a common skeptic tactic, where they take an idea with some validity, and then massively overstate it:

http://www.bernardokastrup.com/#!/2012/03/ndes-and-after-life-reality.html

"I don't think I have seen it anywhere, but has anyone ever addressed the supposition that Near Death accounts may have been formulated by the brain during the recovery phase once the brain function has been reactivated, with the patient in a dreaming state but before regaining conciousness?" - snorkler
------------------------

So snorkler how does the brain come up with stuff that seems to parallel quantum physics and the holographic universe theory during these experiences? I've read a blue million of them that seem to be congruent with stuff I've read in Popular Physics books and online articles.

"I literally had the feeling that I was everywhere in the universe simultaneously." - Mark Horton's NDE

"The next thing I recall was being shown the universe. I remember thinking, "So, THAT'S how it is! I was in awe. It was like a huge net, or chain link fence, everything in the universe is connected." - kelly k's NDE

"Was in an accident. Hemorrhaging badly, vomiting blood. Taken to surgery I suddenly became aware of slipping out of my body from feet through the top of my head as if I were the inside of a concord grape and pan caked above the surgical site as if my spirit got out of the way of my body. I could feel this process happen. I watched everything that was going on in a completely detached mode. The tools looked like a carpenter's shop. I heard the music, the buzz of saws, and I could read the minds and future's of the people there including my own. I saw the reason for my life and what I needed to work out. Physically speaking, I saw through walls. My husband was home chopping wood, red roses waiting in my patient room from my sister in Alaska and my kids were in school and I knew what they were doing. I could instantly read the mind's of those in the surgery room and what they would do next. I also knew one physician's had cancer and didn't know it. He would die the following year (and did). The other was having a Romeo and Juliet affair that would end up badly (and did). I was in the middle of some kind of hologram. I noticed all my feelings, emotions, personality and knowledge were still with me and that I carried a large amount of anger toward certain people, especially my parents and the religion they used against me. I'd been an agnostic for years. Then once having this experience during surgery in an out of my body state, I suddenly observed a Being of Light instantly entering this holographic space and when he came, I was washed with a flood of love and forgiveness for everyone and everything. I even loved the earth and all its beauty and the animals on the earth and "felt" the spiritual process we are all in, and how we are literally tied together as brothers and sisters needing to be unified in love and care." - Chamisa's NDE

"Mediums are not infallible, and neither are spirits. Mediums can misinterpret messages, and the communicators themselves can be mistaken." - Michael

Agreed. - No One

Agreed times ten. I'm going to have to adjust my endorsement of our little medium, although I'm not using names here because what I am about to write is not, um...very flattering.
I've had three sessions (via phone) with her. The first one was so evidential it blew my mind, the second one was impressive, but a little shaky, but the third one was a disaster. I know, mediums have bad days, but when they do, they must be really bad.

During my second session statements were made by my Maternal Grandmother concerning her "taking care" of my Mother. My Mother died over fifteen years ago, so I assumed this meant that my Grandmother was taking care of my Mother on a spiritual plane, or something along those lines. There were a couple of very evidential hits, but the bulk of the session was generic platitudes and assurances - my relatives love me, my Grandmother has always adored me, I have more help than I realize, etc...

My third reading was nothing but misses and vacuous sweet talk, and half way into it, I realized that this medium was discussing my Mother as if she were still alive. When I (politely, I was not confrontational with her) brought this to her attention, she stammered something about how my Grandmother might have been talking about my Mother-in Law.
As the reading progressed (regressed?) I found myself wishing the session would hurry up and end. The misses, vagaries and dodging of substantial discussion was painfully obvious to both of us. There was absolutely no evidential information passed on.

Afterwards, I started thinking about the first session. Virtually every specific fact-based hit could be found on the internet, if the seeker knew where to look. Except for my Mother. Ancestry.com lists her date of birth, but her date of death is blank. Evidence not be available online had a more to do with the personality of the deceased, and I have some sinking-pit-in-the-stomach ideas about that.

There's more, but I don't want to wear this out. Suffice it to say that I now have my doubts. The best thing I can say is that psi and mediumship skills are very fragile and unpredictable. I imagine it's a 'gift' that can't be turned on and off at will, and that's why many authentic mediums in history have been known to resort to trickery or cold reading when their powers failed them.

Oh, and it gets worse. I had a reading via phone with an (unnamed) Windbridge medium. I called at our appointed time, and when she answered the phone, it was obvious that she had forgotten about the appointment. She hastily got herself together and tried to pull off a reading, but the only stunning thing about the experience was the colossal failure of it. Even after resorting to leading questions and taking scores of guesses, not one bit of evidence came forward.

I'm not saying these ladies have no paranormal abilities, I'm just stressing that the capricious nature of it has hit me right between the eyes. I'm still as stunned as I was when I had my first 'evidential' reading, but for different reasons. Be careful out there, good luck!

@Rabbitdawg
Always a good idea (ie essential) to repeat an experiment, do the controls, and let the chips fall where they may.

Thanks for sharing all of that, RD.

I do think that mediumship is like any other art form, a performer can have days - even terribly off days. I would expect it to be the case that sometimes a medium is just off his/her game. Maybe sometimes the problem is on a sitter's side. There could be a lack of sitter to spirit connection at a given time. Maybe once the spirits have come through and communicated they are reluctant or unable to do it again. maybe it can be a combination of all of the above.

I do know that our friend was in the early stages of a divorce when I saw her (she told my wife afterward). So that situation could be distracting and dissipating energy and focus.

However, all of that said, I would expect that a reputable medium would simply say, "I'm not getting anything today. We should stop and I won't charge you. If you'd like we can reschedule". I would respect that a lot more.

The failure to act with integrity in this regard has damaged research and reputations from the beginning.

As for information being gleaned from what is available on line, I doubt it, especially in my case. And, if online was the source for amazing hits, wouldn't the medium just continue to stay within the confines of what's safely available and not branch out into unknown and risky areas of a sitter's life?

I am genuinely curious, are there any internet savvy folks here that could figure out how to obtain online information from someone NOT using their real name and setting an appointment through a gmail account?

I know that someone who commented here once had figured out my identity from all the clues I have dropped in comments, but that person knew where to start looking. There was a starting point. A medium wouldn't have that.

Rabbitdawg, let me ask you two things to delve into this matter a little deeper. You said you went to the first medium three times, and then went to another. Obviously there was motivation to do all this.

1) As best you can describe, what were the motivations you had for each of the various visits?

2) How did your state of mind compare prior to each visit in terms of your personal attitudes, expectations, etc? For example, the third visit must undoubtedly have involved a more questioning attitude and more doubt than the second. How did the second compare with the first in this regard? Were you more or less expectant going into the second than the first? Would you describe yourself as more "open" the first visit (ie without preformed expectancies) than the second or third? That sort of thing.

RD, now that I have a but of time to think over your comment I am highly interested in your answers to tsavo's questions.

About six weeks ago you commented (regarding seession with Georgia):

"That was the part that surprised me the most, No One. I think my internal Witness / Observer got a kick out of watching me wander around in an existential daze for about a week. Heck, I'm still trying to land. Which brings me around to...

It's all MICHAEL PRESCOTT's fault!!! :D
Just kidding Michael, most of us out here love ya - your "diamond" is already pretty well polished. Thank you for what you (and your regular commenters) do."

Was that based on your first reading - and between then and now you've had two more?

I think maybe you pushed too hard too soon and lost (literally and figuratively) the spirits of the thing;a little over-use and abuse. Not to be critical because it's understandable that you'd want to get back on a ride that gave you such a good twirl on the one hand and also a need to satisfy rational based reservations on the other. It's just I don't think you can do that.

Mediums and spirits are not machines.

Well, this is pretty stressful. MY doctor agreed to the meds the medium prescribed, so it's nothing dangerous. But if she was a fraud- and I didn't cover my identity- why would she prescribe psych meds in the first place? Plus, the spirit guide had to spell them out literally so she was either BSing strangely or she honestly didn't know about psych drugs. Wouldn't it be a potential liability for someone doing fraud to recommend drugs???
Tharpa

One more thought- the reading was almost too perfect but my blog is easily found From my FB page. Doh! So either she's brilliant or a very careless fraud- although there were a few things she would have a tough te coming up with even with my blog. But telling me 3 specific drugs not to take and spelling out many letter to letter- it's too weird.

Tharpa

Snorkler, if that was so, why would everyone be having such similar types of dreams?

As for mediums, I remain very wary of them. And from what I know, anything you do online can be easily discovered and tracked. It takes time and skill, that's all.

Rabbitdawg, the reason I asked those questions was to try and get a feel for whether *you* might have in some way been responsible for the observed decline in the medium's effectiveness. (I'm making the automatic assumption that fraud is not an issue, although I recognize it is always an important consideration to keep in mind.)

One of the most important variables in mediumship data that needs to be addressed is the state of mind of the sitter. Your "experiment" is particularly interesting insofar as you observed a graded decline in mediumship over three relatively identical sittings with the same medium. An obvious question is whether there was some sort of generalized change in your attitude over the course of the sittings. Was doubt creeping in in any way? Certainly there must have been between sittings 2 and 3. Maybe part of the motivation for sitting 2 was to confirm sitting 1 because you wanted to "make sure"? Parapsychologists are well aware of the sheep-goat effect on PSI experiments. Believers (sheep) tend to get positive results, whereas goats (skeptics) tend to get negative ones. This effect is usually invoked to explain the oft-observed irreproducibility of PSI experiments by different investigators. It's not inconceivable that the same person might be more sheep-like in one case and more goat-like in another, depending where their head was at in each case, and that this might correspondingly influence the effectiveness of a medium during a sitting.

I'm not postulating anything about mechanism here, that is to say, nothing about where the information is, or is not, coming from, or how the information is obtained. I'm not trying to make a case for or against survival or super-PSI. I'm just interested to get a clearer picture of your involvement as one of the major participants.

Always a good idea (ie essential) to repeat an experiment, do the controls, and let the chips fall where they may. - tsavo
Yep. That's what I was doing. I was very impressed by the accuracy of the first reading, so I naturally wanted more information. My personal rule is to seek evidential information before I start paying attention to the accolades, advice and expressions of affection. First time - bang! Second time - huh. Third time - oh, puh-leeeeze!
My beginning state of mind at each session was receptive, but passive. I wanted to believe, but I didn't want to Blue Sky myself either.
As far as her state of mind, I've wondered about that, too. Like No One, I was aware that she was undergoing a divorce. That information can be inferred by scanning her Twitter and Facebook page, which has gone fallow over the past couple of years. More about that and the internet stuff in another post.

It's all MICHAEL PRESCOTT's fault!!! :D - no one
Way-ul, he did stress that it wasn't an endorsement. LOL We - well - most of us respect his insight and analysis, that's why we come here. :-)

...I would expect that a reputable medium would simply say, "I'm not getting anything today. We should stop and I won't charge you. If you'd like we can reschedule". - no one
My thoughts exactly. I have to admit that I didn't strongly confront her, but I didn't feel like I should have to. IMO, it was obvious by my tepid reactions that it wasn't working. I also have to admit that I am not the type of person who aggressively defends himself unless I'm under a serious threat. More flight than fight. If I see someone I love, or someone vulnerable being attacked, I'll quickly go into a white-hot rage. Crazy is my strongest defense. :-)
That being said, she didn't ask. The Windbridge medium did ask if she was correct, but it was in the context of fishing for information. Funny, immediately after stressing that she didn't want any leads from the client, she started asking me to "help" her by feeding her information. Not just simple confirmations, but as the session started to go in the tank, she was literally asking me to tell her more about the people I wanted to hear from.

Anypooch, I'm scrambling to get to work right now, so I'll have to come back to it in the morning. I've been thinking about this a lot, so, coming up: problems with getting an appointment that might have been a clue to the mediums state of mind.
Also, creative uses the internet (even by an amateur), and how to make humor look evidential.


Thanks for all the great comments. I feel pretty torn. I still want to believe that I had an incredible reading. I mean, why, if she is a fraud, did 'she' (the spirit guide ostensibly) insist at least 3 times that I learn to get in touch with him myself so I could save money? Is this a very sly con, convincing me of her validity? And no one has yet told me why a con would prescribe meds- something totally unneeded with all the info she (ostensibly) had. Couldn't this set her up for possible legal problems, or am I being naive?

I have to say, she hit a few buttons on the head that would be tough to pull up from the web..... and she started the session with some misses that would be totally unnecessary if she had all that info. Another clever ruse?

It's my bad to take drugs prescribed by a psychic whether she is a fraud or not. Just because you're in spirit doesn't mean you know shit about doctorin' particularly. But I'm fairly desperate after years of chronic illness.

Anyway. The most incredible experience of my life is crumbling into doubt and pain. If she is a fraud, I only hope she gets exposed- but how do you catch someone? Put up false info on your FB page, and set the bait? That's not a bad idea.

So, I have another reading with her. I was going to go in with a fake name from a friends website, phone, etc. But now I think I'll just tell her my situation, and see if Spirit can come through with something evidential. If nothing happens, I'll ask for a refund, which is her policy. Maybe I should just cancel the reading and forget about psychics. NDEs are cool enough as is. And BTW, does anybody know of any studies that show that prayer actually helps? Something I do a lot, and if would be nice if it was actually helping someone!!

I'm foolish enough to think that if I just asked her, telling her of my situation, she would spill the beans. Seriously. Dream on!

Tharpa, I, for one, am convinced she is not a fraud; not always at least. I am disappointed that she might continue to BS her way through an off day. That does bring the validity of information provided into question. I will further say that both my wife and I felt that as the hour came to a conclusion and the main acts had left the stage, that she might have been gratuitously tossing in a few aphorisms. Maybe.

I am curious as to why you would question her *if* a licensed physician felt the drugs are medically appropriate to the point where he would prescribe them. Doctors normally don't just write prescriptions because a patient requests the drugs. The fact that the doctor *did* write the prescription seems to confirm her abilities to my mind, but obviously I don't have enough information to firmly make that statement.

My sense of these phenomena is that they are like cats. When you determindly the cat, it's nowhere to be found. See the cat and want to pat it, it scoots away. Not thinking about the cat, it comes and sits in your lap. Once in while you want to pat the cat, you see it and it actually allows you to. Everything has to be just right. A cat is not a dog.

RD, if she was gleaning information from your FB page the first session, were there any updates that you had made on FB between the first session and the last? Did she comment on the updates? If not, why would she not to continue the ruse via her standard modus operandi?

I am less interested in what you think your receptivity level was than I am in your energy level and emotional state. How were you really feeling about what you were doing? What were you really feeling going into the last session?

When I read your first comment refering to the failure I got several images and they were kind of negative so I didn't want to write them, but now I have some less negative ones. One is a farmer milking a cow and getting a bucket full. Being tremendously happy with the result he comes back an hour later and gets a quarter bucket. Confused as why the second time was less milk than the first he comes back again in anothr hour and gets nothing. Another is someone going on a thrill ride at an amusement park. The first time is exhilerating.......yep, by the third time it's a big yawn and it's on to something else.

Maybe this is tsavo's "rabbit hole".

Here's my way of looking at it. Suppose you want to test a basketball player's free-throw skills. He stands at the free-throw line and sinks ten out of ten. Amazing! The next day he tries again, but this time he sinks only four out of ten. The third day he sinks no baskets at all.

What are we to conclude from this? That the basketball player was faking his free-throw ability the first time? That we imagined it?

A more logical conclusion is that he has good days and bad days. He can sink ten out of ten sometimes, but he can't necessarily do it on demand.

Now, I concede that this analogy is flawed, because there's no obvious way to cheat at free-throws, while there are known methods by which a medium or psychic can cheat. Still, neither RD nor Tharpa seemed to think the medium was cheating the first time. And it appears that No One took sufficient precautions to rule out any advance research on the medium's part.

I also think it's advisable to keep one's emotions in check as much as possible while conducting this sort of research. Swinging from ecstatic belief to numbed despair isn't all that healthy, and may even interfere with the results. It's probably better to maintain a middle-of-the-road attitude: something is going on here, it may be significant, but certainty is likely to remain elusive. It's a journey, not a destination; an ongoing process of discovery, not a single make-or-break test.

@ Kathleen."Snorkler, if that was so,why would everyone be having such similar types of dreams?"
NDE's have had quite a deal of publicity over the past few decades.A lot of people would have read of other Near Death accounts.Isn't it at least plausible that the brain of someone in the recovery phase after a near death event could recall reading NDE's of others in order to create a dream of similar experiences?

For more of an insight into the struggles of genuine working mediums, from their point of view, I would advise reading Ian Rubenstein's excellent book 'consulting spirit'(previously reviewed by Michael Prescott).

allbeit, the book is about spiritualist mediumship, but it's a really great insight into how this phenomena works (or sometimes doesnt), and the very real frustrations, highs and lows of a working medium.

Yes, they DO have good day and bad days. Days with lots of hits and verifiable information, some days with only bits and pieces of quality information, and some frustrating days with nothing at all.

The mediums themselves get frustrated at those times when very little, or sometimes nothing at all, is produced. It isnt an exact science as we all know.

Rubenstein discusses all this, and his own ongoing training as a medium, in his book.

It certainly changed my view of mediums after reading it, as until you have the persepctive of a medium and how hard they have to work, it's very easy to be critical of a particular reading, even going so far as to dismiss a very good medium on the basis of a single sitting!

Please read this before being too quick to be critical. At least make an attempt to understand the process from the medium's perspective, and the hard work involved, then by all means fire away.


"Now, I concede that this analogy is flawed, because there's no obvious way to cheat at free-throws, while there are known methods by which a medium or psychic can cheat."

Since we're talking about it, I'd really like RD and Tharpa to make the case that she could have obtained her information from FB or other online sources.

I don't have an FB page, but my son does. He has an unusual name. If you search the name on FB you get two hits; one is his and one is another young man who spells his first and last names exactly the same, about the same age, yet they are two entirely different people. One is an avid online gamer with long hair and gaming related pic.s and the other is a military officer with pic.s of Iraq and Afghanistan and men in uniform with real-life weapons.

If a medium were to be basing readings off FB info, then, even for someone with an unusual name, the medium would have a 50% chance (in this case) of making a totally eroneous "reading".

Once in a while I get bored and wonder what some old buddy that I've lost touch with is up to and I google his name. In most cases I get hits on people with the same name, but that I know I are not him (but I knew that person to start with so I can tell). Again, A "medium" using this approach would be risking serious cases of mistaken identity. I don't think it is as clean and cut and dry a method as some people are thinking it is.

I might be missing something, though.

Michael, did you provide her with your real name? Were "hits" made during your session related to info that could be obtained on-line?

Thanks everyone.

Snokler, I was moving some book shelves the other day and behind one of them was an old paperback book I had forgotten about. It is Jesse Wiess' "The Vestibule". It is a sample of accounts of death and dying and NDEs. It predates Moody and the accounts are from the 1940s - 1960s, well before the cultural phenom. of NDEs blossomed. The NDE accounts are no different from those post Moody.

No one: Just to clear it up, I've only had one reading with her. I was skeptical but open minded. After a few misses about family that made me wince, I asked for a spirit guide instead. He came through, and proceeded to simply say everything about me without any questioning, etc. I said almost nothing and it went on and on- fact after fact that were all true about my past, with suggestions thrown in- like what psych drugs to take (I'm bipolar II). The drug names had to be spelled out by the guide for the medium to understand them. He told me past drugs I had been on, my diagnosis, the fact that I play guitar and am involved with hospice, on and on, hit after hit. I wasn't saying a word for the most part.

So, my mind was blown. But, I do have a blog linked from my FB page, and 85% of the info could be found there with an hour or two of reading.

So, your reading makes me feel a lot better. One of the drugs he prescribed my doctor OKed, but it's a drug I'm afraid of in terms of side effects (abilify). So, thus my dilemma.

So, counsel me dude- I've set up a new reading. Should I go incognito, or just tell her my situation as described in my previous comments? If she's for real, she's simply amazing, at least at times.

TD, "....the fact that I play guitar and am involved with hospice, on and on, hit after hit."

Cool. I play guitar and do hospice volunteer work myself.

Counseling is something that it way beyond my comfort zone. As far as you know, I'm just some dude on the internet and I admit that I am perfectly capable of making screwed-up decision for myself.

I tend to eschew giving advice to others under any circumstance unless it's an area where I feel like I have developed a high level of expertise and experience *and* I know all of the facts of the situation and know the person very well.

I can tell you what I think, though it may or may not be worth the time it takes to read it.

I think she is going through a period of low energy and her abilities have waned; hopefully temporarily. Why spend $ and invest hopes in a compromised source? OTH, it seems that the spirit guide was pretty stellar.

I think that you should explore treatment advice from experts that are medically quailified in all the normal ways.

I think that the ultimate spiritual advice and understanding comes from within ourselves if we look quitely, calmly and with *patience* and *honestly*.

I think that when someone is face faced with paradigm shattering information, the mind seeks to discredit the information. This is what I think the whole "could have gotten it from FB" thing is all about. Re-reading her website (see faqs), I see that she almost encourages people to register for sessions under a false name or a friend's name. If she's telling people to do that if it makes them feel better, then she cannot be relying on internet sources. If she was relying on internet sources she'd make up some reason why everyone must register under their real names.

In your case, if a fraud, why not immediately launch into the information that was later provided by the spirit guide and that was accurate? Why risk the session starting out with misses?

Again, I think these phenomena are like cats. If you seek them to agressively and too often, they will shy away from you.

If I was deteremined to have another session with her, I would be totally open and honest about why. I would explain that I had had a first session and what I came away with and why I was coming back. If she is the real deal, and I still think is, then being honest and open can only help. If she is a phoney, then you are facing a fail regardless of your level of secrecy.

Best of luck to you.

...I also think it's advisable to keep one's emotions in check as much as possible while conducting this sort of research. Swinging from ecstatic belief to numbed despair isn't all that healthy, and may even interfere with the results.... - Michael

This is one of the reasons I come here. To give and receive feedback, because sometimes it can be almost impossible to be objective, especially when it come to personal matters of spiritual significance.

I have to admit that just because something can be found online, doesn't mean it was found online. And there was a decent amount of evidence demonstrated via personality characteristics and quirks that are not found online. I'm looking forward to hearing what happens with Tharpa's experience

I did a Google search using my first and last name, along with the city attached to my area code (information available to the medium). My RabbitDawg handle came up on, along with information telling how long I had been married and that I was interested in near-death experiences, but that's about it. A lot of the hard data that came up as evidence in the readings could have been acquired using that handle, but it would have taken a heluva lot of digging. Hours into days. In other words, that's a lotta work for ninety dollars.

Looking at the mediums Facebook page and Twitter feed, and it is obvious to the most casual observer that she is having family problems, the details of which are irrelevant here. Also, her social media accounts hadn't been updated in almost two years.
Perhaps the last bad session blew the wind out of my sails and made me excessively paranoid. I still think she's a lady with a heart of gold. I mean, how many mediums do you know state that "I will never turn anyone away because they are unable to pay"? She says it on her website. And as No One points out, she almost encourages new clients to use false names, if they're skeptical enough (it's in her FAQ).

It really comes down to what No One wrote: I would expect that a reputable medium would simply say, "I'm not getting anything today. We should stop and I won't charge you. If you'd like we can reschedule".
But then, mediums wouldn't be able to pay their bills if they did that.

I may be wrong, but I'm under the impression that this medium offers a refund if the session is unsatisfactory. Of course, you'd probably have to ask for it right then and there.

Re my own session, her husband actually set it up because he enjoyed my blog. He contacted me out of the blue, via email. So he, at least, knew my name and my interest in this subject, and could have been privy to anything I've posted here. He claimed he did not share any info about with his wife other than my first name, but naturally it's impossible to verify this claim.

However, little or nothing that came through in the session related to my online postings. There was nothing about my career as a writer, for instance. Most of the material involved a deceased relative. I hadn't posted anything about this person online, here or elsewhere.

I would have to review my notes or listen to my recording of the session to remember all that was said, but there were enough specific hits to impress me. OTOH, when I summarized some of those hits for Michael Tymn in an email, he didn't seem particularly impressed. So a lot of times, what's meaningful to you may seem uninspiring to someone else.

Here is a specific example. I told the medium that when my relative was dying, I (mentally) conveyed a message to him or her. I asked what the message was. With no hesitation the medium replied with the gist of the message. Now, I had not designed the message as a test; it wasn't a "Houdini code." It's something that the medium could conceivably have guessed. *Conceivably.* But given the range of messages one might seek to convey in those circumstances, what are the odds that the medium would hit on the right one with no fishing? (And no, it wasn't anything as generic as "I love you" or "Farewell.")

You might wonder why I don't just say what the message was. Answer: once I put it online, I contaminate any future sessions I may have with other mediums. For the same reason, I'm not specifying who the relative was.

Bottom line: In my opinion, the medium did not rely on online info in my session. But can I totally rule out the possibility of brilliant guesswork? No - nor the possibility of telepathy, super-psi, the Akashic records, a mischievous impersonating spirit, or evil dogs that live in the woods. The mind can be endlessly inventive in spinning skeptical hypotheses. Certainty is elusive in these matters.

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