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Excellent stuff, Michael!

As I explained in the other thread, I am acquainted with a Dutch investigator who, in the seventies, visited Flint several times.

Here is his website, which contains a lot of useful information about Flint:

https://wichm.home.xs4all.nl/deathnoe.html

Read it and enjoy!

BTW, I have somewhere an email from Mary Rose Barrington, an SPR prominent, wherein she tells how the voice of Micky, Flint's "control", was heard over her head, rather than coming from Flint himself, who was sitting several feet away from her.

Cheers - Smithy

Correction! Just looked up the mail about Flint sent to me by Ms Mary Rose Barrington. She said that Flint's control Mickey was whispering right into her ear...

I mixed this up with another SPR member, who indeed heard Micky's voice right above his head.

Smithy

Great post/fascinating subject matter.

"I found this interesting, given the many statements of NDErs about meeting Jesus. How many of them would have "realized of course it wasn't afterwords" if their NDE had become a full-fledged death experience?"

Yep. That's what I keep saying. With all of the ADCs in the literature and personal experience with ADCs, the NDE can be concluded to be merely a brief and somewhat confused intense experience generated by the mind blowing, for the uninitiated, circumstances of separating from one's physical body. Actual death - meaning so far gone you're not coming back - is quite different than the NDE.

Some of the experiments with Flint - like those involving holding colored water in his mouth - sound pretty convincing in their level of control. My question would be whether or not there were any potential confederates in the room at the time who could have been producing the voises.

Thank you for this entry, Michael. It's truly masterly in its scope and depth. To a great extent, I feel as you do: there are many ifs-and-buts but somehow I can't dismiss the Flint evidence out of hand - despite the fact that my antenna still twitch at times when listening to the tapes. It's just a gut feeling.

Also, on the subject of temporal awareness on 'the other side' I, quite accidentally, came across the following pages from Swedenborg's writings earlier today. I find them fascinating from both the NDE point of view and Einstein's relativity. My apologies for the length of the page extracts from the Kindle edition:

"Time in Heaven

Even though things keep happening in sequence and progressing in heaven the way they do in the world, still angels have no notion or concept of time and space. The lack is so complete that they simply do not know what time and space are. The reason angels do not know what time is (even though everything for them moves along in sequence just the way it does in our world, so much so that there is no difference) is that in heaven there are no years or days, but only changes of state. Where there are years and days there are times, and where there are changes of state, there are states.

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (p. 87). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition.

The reason we have times in our world is that the sun seems to move sequentially from one zone to another and to make the times we call the seasons of the year. It also moves around the earth and makes the times we call times of day, and it does these by fixed periods. It is different for heaven's sun. It does not make years and days by sequential motions and rotations, but makes apparent changes of state; and it does not make these by fixed periods. This is why angels are incapable of having any concept of time, but have a concept of state instead. It is much the same for all the things that occur as a result of time, such as the four seasons of the year called spring, summer, autumn, and winter; the four times of day called morning, noon, evening, and night; our own four ages called infancy, youth,

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (pp. 87-88). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition.

maturity, and old age; and with the other things that either occur as a result of time or happen in temporal sequence. When we think about them, it is from a temporal standpoint; but an angel thinks about them from the standpoint of state. Consequently, anything in them that is temporal for us changes into an idea of state for the angel. Spring and morning change into an idea of love and wisdom the way they are for angels in their first state; summer and noon change into an idea of love and wisdom as they are in the second state; autumn and evening, as they are in the third state; and night and winter into a concept of the kind of state that is characteristic in hell. This is why similar things are meant by these times in the Word. We can see from this how the natural concepts that occur in our thought become spiritual for the angels who are with us. Since angels have no notion of time, they

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (p. 88). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition.

have a different concept of eternity than we earthly people do. By “eternity,” angels perceive an infinite state, not an infinite time. I was thinking about eternity once, and using a concept of time I could grasp what “to eternity” entailed—namely, without end—but not what “from eternity” entailed and therefore not what God did before creation, from eternity. As my anxiety mounted because of this, I was raised into the sphere of heaven and therefore into the perception of eternity shared by angels. This shed light for me on the fact that we ought not to think about eternity in temporal terms but in terms of state, and that when we do, we can grasp what “from eternity” entails, which was actually done for me. I have been allowed to know from experience what angels’ ignorance of time is like. There was a particular individual from heaven whose nature did allow him to be

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (pp. 88-89). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition.

let into natural concepts such as we have. I talked with him afterward, person to person, and at first he did not know what it was that I was calling “time.” So I actually had to tell him how the sun seems to travel around our earth and make years and days, and that as a result, years are divided into four seasons and into months and weeks, and days into twenty-four hours, and that these times recur at fixed intervals. This gives rise to our expressions for time. He was astonished when he heard this, and said that he had not known that kind of thing, but only what states were. In the course of our conversation I mentioned that it was known in our world that there is no time in heaven. We do actually talk as though we knew, since when people die, we say that they have left temporal things and have passed beyond time, meaning that they have left our world. I also said

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (p. 89). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition.

that it is known by some that times are states in origin because they recognize that times are experienced in precise accord with the states of affection we are caught up in. They are short for us when we are engaged in pleasant and cheerful pursuits and long when we are engaged in distasteful and depressing ones, and variable when we are in hope or expectation. As a result, scholars are asking what time and space are, and some of them even recognize that time is an attribute of the natural person. A natural person may believe that we would have no thought if concepts of time, space, and matter were taken away from us, that all our thought is based on these foundations. Let such people know, though, that thoughts are limited and constrained to the extent that they derive from time, space, and matter, and that they are freed and expanded to the extent that they do not derive

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (pp. 89-90). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition.

derive from such things, because to that same extent the mind is raised above bodily and worldly considerations. This is the source of angels’ wisdom, which is so great that we must call it incomprehensible, since it does not fit into ideas that are formed merely from these [lower] concerns.

SWEDENBORG, EMANUEL. AFTERLIFE: A GUIDED TOUR OF HEAVEN AND ITS WONDERS (p. 90). Swedenborg Foundation Publishers. Kindle Edition."


Thanks for the excerpts, Julie. Very interesting!

If the Flint recordings and other, similar testimonies can be believed, then "time" in the afterlife is indeed a matter of changing mental states. Randall's book offers a good example of this in the person of Rose, an illiterate flower seller, who was content to rest in her perfect little cottage for decades of earthly time. After a hard, impoverished life on earth, she seems to have required a considerable amount of R & R. And being a person of little imagination, she was utterly satisfied with her simple, uneventful, heavenly life - at least until it eventually wore thin, and she felt the need to do more.

On earth, even the most beloved cottage would start to get dull after a few months, but Rose was able to remain undisturbed in her new home for decades. I think this is possible only if the "decades" passed, for her, as a more-or-less continuous state of being in which she was not conscious (or only barely conscious) of any progression of time.

The nearest earthly analogy I can think of is the right-brain state you may get into when you're deeply involved in a task that requires your full concentration. At a certain point you look up and say, "I've been working on this for three hours! I had no idea. I'd lost all track of time."

If we imagine this kind of mental state as predominating, then there would be little or no sense of time passing, even though there would be change (i.e., the projects we're working on would progress).

Carrying this analogy a little further, the right hemisphere seems to be linked to the unconscious and, through it, to the higher self (the subliminal self, as FWH Myers called it). If the brain, acting as a filter, largely restricts our access to the higher self during our earthly life, and if this restriction is eased after we cross over, then it might make sense that our postmortem existence would be more similar to right-brain awareness than to left-brain awareness.

And it's the left brain that seems to be concerned about time, deadlines, schedules, calendars, etc. The right brain, largely indifferent to all this, exists "in the moment."

There is a problem, Leslie Flint was caught in fraud. And there is a picture of his 'ectoplasm' voice-box online. It is sitting on his shoulder, and it looks like a piece of cheesecloth or tissue.

"If the Flint recordings and other, similar testimonies can be believed, then "time" in the afterlife is indeed a matter of changing mental states."

My suspicion exactly! In this three-dimensional existence, time differs enormously according to our activity and/or mood. For instance, when we go on holiday the first week always seems much longer than the second or third. So, presumably, when we enter a different dimension then, naturally, our appreciation/perception of time and space alters according to the information that can be accommodated by the senses.

(BTW, I listened to the Rose recording - or something very similar - and it occurred to me that, sad as this might sound, I love my home life and surroundings so much so that I would be devastated not to find it in the afterlife because, even after 35 years, I never get tired of it. It's a truly lovely place and setting. As beautiful as any scene I've encountered elsewhere - at least when one looks across the field to the Pennine Hills on a warm and sunny day - or when the view is covered in snow. If this place exists in heaven then I want to do all by growing and developing from here, along with all my animal friends. But I can see how this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.)


"If the brain, acting as a filter, largely restricts our access to the higher self during our earthly life, and if this restriction is eased after we cross over, then it might make sense that our postmortem existence would be more similar to right-brain awareness than to left-brain awareness."

Yes, I think so. Just as the Eastern cultures have a more right-brain oriented view of life and, hence, a seemingly greater spiritual awareness than do we in the West.

"And it's the left brain that seems to be concerned about time, deadlines, schedules, calendars, etc. The right brain, largely indifferent to all this, exists "in the moment.""

And left-brain thinking is exactly what our Western-style education conditions us into.

All of the recordings of Leslie Flint séances I have been able to find on the internet were dated during the time that Betty Greene and George Woods were involved with Leslie and I believe that they were all recorded by Greene and Woods. Woods reportedly sat with Leslie from 1946 onward and Betty Greene joined him in 1955. All but a few recordings have recording dates of the 1960s and 70s with several in the late 50s after Betty Greene joined the team.

Is anyone aware of any recordings earlier than 1955? Are there any recordings by anyone other than Greene and Woods?

Interestingly the Welshman, Alec Harris according to his wife, Louie, produced even more spectacular phenomena than Leslie Flint including direct voice, materializations, ectoplasm, apports, and translocation of the medium from one room to another. Harris was a contemporary of Flint---well, maybe a decade before Flint. Harris even had a young street urchin spirit, 'Ginger', a "barrow boy" ( whose portrait Harris painted ) similar to Leslie's 'Mickey" and who was similarly killed in a street accident. Both portraits appear somewhat 'Disney-ish' to me and both boys apparently served the same purpose of lightening the mood of the séance.

Unfortunately I believe that there are no recordings of the voices of Alec Harris.-
AOD

BTW, I asked about Mickey on the facebook page, 'The New Leslie Flint Educational Trust' earlier. Here below is the exchange:

"Julie Baxter: Has anyone ever managed to trace the recorded death details regarding John Whitehead (an early 20th century newpaper seller from Camden Town who was killed by a truck at the age of 11) ?

I find some of these tapes quite fascinating. But it would help deal with the critics of this material if 'Mickey' could be traced from his life here on earth. :)
Like · Reply · Yesterday at 11:39

The New Leslie Flint Educational Trust: Some have tried to trace (John Whitehead) Mickey's death details Julie - but there are a few people listed with that name, in the area, at that time. The Flint Trust would welcome any research on this important subject - that same goes for other's recorded Spirit communicators.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 17 mins

The New Leslie Flint Educational Trust: One older man, who visited Flint and spoke to Mickey, actually stated that he remembered Mickey from back when he sold the newspapers....
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 16 mins"

It's an interesting source of information re: Flint and by subscribing to the YouTube channel all the newly-released recordings are forwarded directly.

Listen to the President Herbert Hoover tape and see if you think that is the voice of an American born in Iowa. - AOD

I see that at least two recordings, Annie Besant (1988) and 'Adjul' (1990) were reported to be made after the deaths of Betty Greene (1975) and George Woods (1983). - AOD

Off topic, but ... I guess not all NDEs lead to positive changes. This CNN piece includes a profile of a rapper who had an NDE after a car crash. The experience prompted him to turn to religion, and he ended up joining ISIS. (!)

Way to miss the point, bro.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/01/politics/investigates-fbi-syria-greene/index.html

I've been listening to some Flint recordings on YouTube. (Search YouTube for Flint's name, and many items come up.) I avoided doing this until I'd read a little about him, because I thought that if the voices sounded "fake," I would be turned off before I'd given Flint a fair chance.

Anyway, it's hard to know how to evaluate the voices. Lionel Barrymore sounded somewhat like himself, but not quite. Some of the female voices could have been done by a man speaking in falsetto, as could the one childish voice I heard. But at least one female voice did sound legitimately female. And there is certainly a wide range of accents, vocal pitch, and intonation.

It might have been more evidential if voices had come through speaking in a variety of languages, including dead languages (no pun intended). Or if a singer had come through belting out an aria. Of course, it could be argued that we just don't know the limitations of the communication process.

So far, I'm up in the air on this one. It's hard to see how - or why - he and confederates could have faked all this material, yet it's definitely at the leading edge of my "boggle threshold."

Steven, can you provide details or a link on how Flint was caught in fraud?

I have listened to the Leslie Flint tape of 'Bessie Smith', a negro slave girl reported to be from Alabama before the Civil War. I can't help thinking about "Prissy" ( I don' no nuthin 'bout birthin' babies, Miss Scarlet!) the black maid to Scarlet O'hara in the movie 'Gone With the Wind' when I listen to that tape. It seems to me that 'Bessie' is an Englishman's attempt to mimic 'Prissy' and it is most likely that Leslie, being the movie fan he was, saw 'Gone With the Wind' accompanied by his friends. The Bessie Smith American southern dialect just doesn't sound like a slave girl of the south prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. (How would I really know but it seems to me that there is an British 'twang' in the speech of Bessie and as a bred and born American of the Midwest, I think that 'Bessie's" speech just doesn't sound right to me.) - AOD

"It's hard to see how - or why - he and confederates could have faked all this material, yet it's definitely at the leading edge of my "boggle threshold." "

And that's *exactly* why it's so fascinating!

Another comment about 'Bessie Smith'. From her vantage point in heaven she is reported to have said that, "She is quite proud that her hair is straight now. The white people on Earth had straight hair, but hers was "all frizzed up."

This sounds to me like something a 'white' person would think was what a black person would want when they got to heaven. Well, maybe so, but that would not be the politically correct thing to say today.

It is little things like that that make me think that the Flint tapes may have been an effort by Flint, but probably by somebody else to promote spiritualism even if they had to fabricate all of the Flint tapes to do it. Religious people have been known to lie to promote their ideology, for example in the reincarnation case of Bridey Murphy, as I recall a preacher actually was caught making up things to discredit the past life memories of Virginia Morrow aka, Bridey Murphy.- AOD

"It might have been more evidential if voices had come through speaking in a variety of languages"

I too have give some thought to that - especially with regard to the purported Chopin material. But then if communication is the aim of the exercise then what would be the point of speaking in a foreign language to a wholly English-speaking audience?

Having said that, I seem to recall one recording of a woman from ancient Rome singing a Roman folk song.

The other thing I notice, and I don't wish to be facetious, is that the recordings, especially if listened to in bed, are excellent for inducing sleep. If you don't believe me then just give it a go. :)

Julie wrote,

||Yes, I think so. Just as the Eastern cultures have a more right-brain oriented view of life and, hence, a seemingly greater spiritual awareness than do we in the West.||

Not to pick out the one thing I disagree with in your comments (which are excellent), but, um... no?!

With respect to Japan: hell no. The vast majority of Japanese people are nonreligious. OTOH, there are also very few Western-style dogmatic atheists, and there is also less dogmatic opposition to the paranormal. Of course, you can find Christians and people who belong to various spiritual systems. A lady from the Jehovah's Witnesses even came to my door. It's a hard to country to pin down in terms of spirituality, but "greater spiritual awareness"? No way.

And I think if you look at other Asian countries, you'll see a similar pattern. Or lack of pattern.

Great post, Michael!

Deano was a medium?!?!

I think this Ellen Terry comparison (life vs. via Flint) is quite compelling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iBIn8R_ba0

It sounds like a real woman, and it sounds like her. A damn fine imitation if nothing more.

I don't know what to make of the Flint recordings as a whole. I'd have to do more reading and listening. I just wish that a better investigative setup could be done today, with multiple microphones and infrared cameras rolling, and so on. I'm inclined to believe that at least something paranormal and inexplicable in a mundane way is going on.

Is it really evidential about the Afterlife per se? What I've heard thus far meshes quite well with the collective myth about the Afterlife, which is reassuring.

Michael, Flint was never ever caught in fraud!

This is comfirmed by the ever so critical SPR. They tried and tried and were never successful.

The best they could come up with was that so-called problem of the slipped plaster (only a millimeter or two) over his mouth which was caused by moving lips due to itching.

But flint was not only gagged and had colored water in his mouth, but also bound to his chair.

The other "explanation", i.e. ventriloguism, could be refuted easily by any experienced ventriloguist. No such feat can be performed when the mouth is plastered close.

Flint was not in any way an accomplished illusionist.

Steven's contention has no ground whatsoever.

I have more information which I will relate at another occasion. Today I have little time.

Smithy

"If the Flint recordings and other, similar testimonies can be believed, then "time" in the afterlife is indeed a matter of changing mental states."

Yeah. I have become convinced that all there is to reality - including the concept of time - is mental states; both in the afterlife and here. And we're all living in our own separate realities because of it. Focusing on the rules of this dense physical plane, with time and all of that, causes sufficient consensus that we are able to, more or less, act as if we are all in the same world. As a result, there is much more ability to interact with people (spirits, really) who, in other planes, we would not be able to due to vast gulfs established by differing mental states. That's why we say life is for learning, working out karma, etc. It's the only place we can really interact with others not like us and do these things. You cannot do this when you're hanging out in the afterlife in your dream cottage for an eternity.

Ok. Sorry for the tangent. Back to Flint; a most interesting topic.

Great post! Personally, I have far fewer concerns about the fraudulence of the medium than the accuracy of the information provided. We seem to be inclined to accept whatever comes forth once it has been verified that the medium isn't faking it. Reminds me a lot of The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts by Joe Fisher. The "spirits" seem to have their own agenda at times, and the "annoying gaps" they can't or won't fill shouldn't be swept under the rug.

Matt writes: "With respect to Japan: hell no. The vast majority of Japanese people are nonreligious."

Point taken. But I wasn't really thinking Of Japan.

"And I think if you look at other Asian countries, you'll see a similar pattern. Or lack of pattern."

I had Tibet and India in mind. Those cultures are generally regarded as right-brained, hence the 'Eastern Mystic' tradition.

Here are two tapes of President Herbert Hoover. The first one is a Leslie Flint tape. the second one is an actual voice recording of President Hoover. - AOD

http://adcguides.com/LF_Herbert_Hooverwma.htm

http://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/videos/hoover-on-unemployment-relief

Excellent post Michael. I have spent quite a bit of time studying Flint and have not read any reports of fraud by him. I'd be interested to know if there are any.

The problem with voices alone - particularly for those of us who haven't been able to experience this phenomenon - whether they are similar or not, is that they can be imitated by a skilled person. It is therefore the content, verified by those who knew the purported communicators which is probably of prime importance. It would be very difficult to fake someone we knew well personally, especially if we were engaged in conversation with them.

Leaving aside the actual identity if the purported communicators, if we accept the testimony of any of those sitters responsible for controlling Flint during tests, the production of the phenomena are also difficult to explain I think.

Although the Woods/Greene recordings are interesting, they seemed to have missed many opportunities to extract information that would allow us to validate the communicators' identities unfortunately.

Sadly, we have also missed the opportunity to ask someone who knew Flint very well and participated in probably over two hundred sittings with him, receiving personal evidence at many: Zerdini.

The Randall book is interesting, but I would also recommend, for interest as it is obviously not intended as a research article, "Voices In The Dark", which is Flint's autobiography.

As a final thought, assuming the phenomenon was genuine, I have often wondered why the quality of the voices might vary. Leaving aside the unknown complexities associated with using the voice box referred to, I wonder if it was modelled on the medium's own? This might account for similarities with male voices and even the medium's own voice. Just a thought.

Julie wrote,

||I had Tibet and India in mind. Those cultures are generally regarded as right-brained, hence the 'Eastern Mystic' tradition.||

Can a culture be "right-brained"?

Based on my experience in Japan, I'm loath to make assumptions about religiosity in any country. For example, Wikipedia gives the religious breakdown of Japan as follows:

51.82% Shinto
34.9% Buddhism
4% Shinto sects
2.3% Christianity
6.98% No answer

The 2.3% that are Christians are probably actually practicing to some degree. The "Shinto sects" are basically neo-Shinto cults (one helped me with an illness I had; they were quite nice). But Shinto isn't a religion in the same way that Christianity is in the US, and I have only met one Japanese person in all my experience who was genuinely practicing Buddhism. Wiki clears this up a bit here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan#Religion

One thing I find amusing is our concept of "Zen" over here. I think Americans think about Zen more than Japanese people, which is precisely zero. Referring to things as "how very Zen" there does not exist in pop culture.

So, with regard to India, I would hesitate to assume that people are really "into it" and meditating and doing yoga and whatever.

As for Tibet, I think a lot of BS has been spread. Before China invaded the monks were basically ruling the country in a brutal, totalitarian manner, so I wonder how much of the populace is actually practicing and believing now, especially since the atheism of the Chinese government has had an influence for a couple generations.

Just my $0.02...

One thing about that bothers me about the Flint recordings kind of just gelled in my mind:

Everyone seems to have the same *feel* to them. This kind of zonked out, almost stoned vibe. And they just go on and on in the same type of flow. They don't really feel like different personalities.

This is a different matter than whether the voices sound authentic qua voices, and whether real evidence is provided.

I just don't feel comfortable with the whole thing. Nor do I feel like pointing the finger of fraud. It all seems in a gray zone for, as so much in this field ends up seeming. Materialism is fully disproved, yes. But what is actually going on?

AOD,

Thanks for posting the Herbert Hoover voice.

Yeah, that one's terrible. It sounds like a bunch of the others. In a word, it sounds like Flint: the same British accent, the same intonation.

It seems as though some of the voices can somewhat "escape" that core voice and sound less like Flint and more like the actual people, whereas some just sound like Flint. Had I heard only the Hoover voice, I would have not been impressed at all and would have more or less dismissed the idea of an ectoplasmic voicebox.

Listening to the Bessie Smith tape:

http://adcguides.com/LF_Bessie_Smith.htm

Oh dear, this is really bad. I think this *does* sound like a guy doing falsetto. And a really bad, stereotypical black Southern accent. Embarrassing.

A lot of things are questionable in this seance, but here's one that might not be immediately apparent: Why is Bessie so confused at the beginning of the session? I mean, she seems to be portrayed as a kind of stupid person, not really "getting" the nature of the seance at first. Was she just walking along in the Afterlife and suddenly stumbled across whatever it is they perceive in order to speak via Flint? It just makes no sense.

Also listening to the Charlotte Bronte tape:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD88j1j3Ruc

I hope Charlotte wasn't such a crashing bore in real life!

This voice is pretty well done for a female voice, but I think it is compatible with a man doing it in falsetto. Here again, however, is the same Flint droning and pontificating, this time producing no information or observations of interest.

The "droning" I'm talking about isn't anything unnatural or anything that requires some sort of explanation: e.g., the spirits were having a tough time coming through, having difficulty using the voicebox, etc. Rather, it just sounds like a dude going on and on, rather skillfully coming up with a spontaneous sermon. Yet the effect of listening to several sessions is one of sameness and, ultimately, a dearth of interesting information. The one exception is the session I heard about ghosts, which seemed to convey some real information.

I've heard about these tapes before, and among all the apparent evidence of the personality surviving physical death, they have to be among the most intriguing. However, I'm undecided on if they're real or not. I lean towards, 'yes,' especially if family or friends of the deceased listened to the tapes and confirmed that it seemed to be them. It'd be awfully hard to deceive someone who was with something for decades, if not their whole life.

Then again, what of the recordings that don't seem authentic? If Flint was genuine and didn't resort to fraud or trickery, it's possible that the deceased may have just forgotten exactly how they spoke while in a physical body. As an example, can you remember how you spoke back in grade school? Or even high school for that matter? You could probably come up with a convincing and mostly-accurate visual representation of yourself from those times, but with patterns of speech and tone of voice, probably less so. If a spirit has spent what seems like decades in the spirit world, I think it's reasonable to assume they might have some difficulty in recalling their now-insignificant earthly life. (Then again, that brings up the question of why they can't access the Akashic records!)

The discussion of time here is great, too. I think you have it right, Michael, in that if you're caught up in something you love doing, time seems to vanish. It seems that principle is in play here, with varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the individual in question.

"Oh dear, this is really bad. I think this *does* sound like a guy doing falsetto. And a really bad, stereotypical black Southern accent." - Matt

I dunno. I listened to both of the links in your comment and thought they sounded pretty realistic. Stereotypes exist for a reason. There was a time and place where there were African American women that sounded like Bessie Smith. I used to spend my summers with my mother's family in Virginia and we had a nanny that was very kind and wonderful, but did fit that stereotype and spoke that way. Like exactly like that.

I thought that Charlotte Bronte had some interesting things to say. Her intonation and stylistic approach is boring, but she's a stuffy Brit ;-) What do you want?

All in all, most of the Flint recordings sound reasonably realistic to me so far....about to listen to the Marilyn Monroe one.

Now the Marilyn Monroe recording sounds like total BS to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O39mtPnRwtM

For one thing, Flint's version has a British accent. It's like they're trying to hide it, but it's there. It just doesn't sound anything like the real one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrbgHj0bAL4

And what's with the sitter that is convinced that Marilyn has been trying to contact her? That seems pretty hokey too (unless the sitter was an old friend)

Michael, Smithy etc here is the source:

M. Lamar Keene. (1997). The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus Books. p 122.

"A medium still riding high in England is Leslie Flint, famed as an exponent of direct voice. William Rauscher and Allen Spraggett, who attended a sitting Flint held in 1970 in New York, said that it was the most abysmal flop of any seance they had endured. All the spirit voices sounded exactly like the medium and displayed an incredible ignorance of nearly everything pertaining to the sitters. The "mediumship " was second-rate ventriloquism."

John Grant "Spooky Science: Debunking the Pseudoscience of the Afterlife" p. 45 also notes a test that Leslie Flint failed for the BBC radio. I have no reason to believe Flint was a genuine medium.

@ Matt and Ian

I can understand how just listening to the recordings wouldn't be very convincing (to say the least. If one listens to the worst examples, they are dreadful :)). The best examples of recordings are, IMHO, exceptionally interesting but not evidential to me as I do not know the controls in place at the time, the people sitting or the purported communicators. I don't think it is even necessary to infer fraud to find them to be not very useful from evidential perspective.

It might be worth mentioning that some communicators using the Independent Direct Voice (and not just via Flint) mention difficulty using the 'equipment'. They appear not to know if they are being heard, but can hear responses (somehow). They say they are required to simultaneously remain connected to this alien apparatus, remember how their voice sounded, remain in the right frame of mind, engage in a conversation which they cannot hear half of and remember details of their earthly existence (which might have been some time ago). I don't get the impression, assuming it is genuine, that it is simply a matter of conversation as if they were physically present. Add to that the apparently 'generic' nature of the voice box they say they are using, which I imagine is based on Flint's and it is perhaps amazing that anything recognisable is communicated at all.

The fact is that Flint was extensively tested. That doesn't of course mean that every recording was therefore free from fraud either inadvertent or deliberate, but I think simply basing a judgement of his mediumship on the recordings alone (of whatever quality) is probably not an entirely reasonable thing to do.

"One thing about that bothers me about the Flint recordings kind of just gelled in my mind:

Everyone seems to have the same *feel* to them. This kind of zonked out, almost stoned vibe." - Matt

I have to agree with you on that now that I've listened to quite a few recordings (slow day at work for once).

When I saw a medium and my father came through, the exchanges were very animated. There was a wide range of emotions on his part; including anger (which actually fits nicely with how he was when incarnate). This was not a direct voice medium; rather a mental medium. However, she came really close to being direct voice at a couple of juncture during the sitting and even when not, she was faithfully communicating the emotions behind what she was receiving. This was true of anther personality that came through at that sitting and of a personality that came through strongly at a subsequent sitting.

The Flint voices are mostly a flat drone. And always the British accent barely concealed at best.

Also, I am surprised that the Flint voices are so preachy and willing to talk immediately about conditions of the afterlife. The spirits I talked to were neither, though I wish they had discussed the latter.

I think it is very reasonable for people to be skeptical of Flint based on what I have heard so far. Maybe there is a good explanation. I just haven't thought of it so far.

Here is Butterfly McQueen who played 'Prissy' in Gone With the Wind.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=prissy+gone+with+the+wind+birthing+babies&qpvt=prissy+gone+with+the+wind+birthing+babies&view=detail&mid=C28D0F63208F8D47AB77C28D0F63208F8D47AB77&FORM=VRDGAR


I have to say that Flint's 'Bessie Smith' is an excellent rendition of Butterfly McQueen's voice. It is difficult for me to ignore this comparison seeing that Flint was a movie fan and all and that McQueen was from the period that Leslie Flint would be most familiar and was in one of the most popular movies ever! Perhaps McQueen's movie voices, not only in GWTW but in other movies was what English people thought American negro women sounded like. - AOD

Thanks for the info, Steven. You quoted The Psychic Mafia:

"William Rauscher and Allen Spraggett, who attended a sitting Flint held in 1970 in New York, said that it was the most abysmal flop of any seance they had endured."

Interesting, but not at all the same thing as saying Flint was "caught in fraud."

I don't know what to make of Flint, but an unsatisfactory seance very late in his career proves nothing in itself. "Caught in fraud" would mean Flint was actually proven to be faking the voices, not that he simply left two sitters unconvinced.

Eric wrote,

||I dunno. I listened to both of the links in your comment and thought they sounded pretty realistic. Stereotypes exist for a reason. There was a time and place where there were African American women that sounded like Bessie Smith.||

It reminds me of David Thompson doing Louie Armstrong (an absolute travesty). Armstrong's voice is distinctive and easy to imitate in an unsubtle way. The Bessie Smith accent, same thing. Now if an American were in Flint's position and trying to do a Brit, he would probably go for the most exaggerated Cockney accent instead of something subtle.

The Marilyn Monroe voice is absolutely farcical. C'mon, this is a British guy talking in his own voice! What a joke.

Flint’s so-called ‘voice box, if it ever existed in the dark séance rooms, in my opinion was just a stage prop. Direct voices may have manifested during a Flint séance but I think that the ‘ectoplasmic voice box’ had nothing to do with producing them especially since voices were reported as coming from different parts of the room, so the voice box must have moved from one part of the room to another all the while tethered to Flint. After all, human speech is a very complicated phenomenon requiring not only vocal chords, i.e. ’voice box’ but also most importantly, especially in British speech, teeth, tongue, and lips as well as lungs. No one was able to examine the ‘voice box’ since it was ‘ectoplasm’ and disappeared in the light. Now if there really was such a thing and it was really used to produce human speech then it must have been something entirely different from a human ‘voice box’.

I also think that the tests of Flint were irrelevant if he was not the only one producing the voices as obviously some of the female voices appear to sound authentically female and not a falsetto voice of a man. Flint, Green and Woods could have colluded to produce the voices. Focusing on Flint of course would have shown him to not be producing the voices when Greene or Woods were producing them. I am assuming that all tests would have been done in a darkened séance room so those conducting the tests may have been more concerned with tying up Flint and taping his mouth shut rather than paying attention to other sources of the voices. There is a dearth of information about the details of all of the tests conducted with Flint so how can one really know whether they were valid tests or not.

In these Greene and Woods tapes, ( which is what we are going by) somebody had to be present to turn the recorder on and off, most likely Betty Green or George Woods. Who is to say that rather than hitting the record button on the recorder(s), they pushed the play button and pre-recorded voices were played. That seems most unlikely since there was often an interchange between the voices and the sitters but if the only sitters with Flint were Greene and Woods (or even if one or two others were present) then the whole thing could have easily been concocted by that trio. - AOD

If the voicebox is based on Flint's, then I don't find it surprising they will all essentially be modulations of Flint's voice, which the spirits 'play' in order to communicate.

Of course, the above explanation has no way of being proved or disproved.

Matt, regarding the 'spirituality of the east', I often wonder about this too, and how much of what we believe is based on a westerner's view of the east, rather than reality.

Yes, the east has great spiritual traditions, think Advaita Vedanta, the various schools of Buddhism, and Kashmir Shaivism for example. But there is a mistaken belief in the west that *everybody* in the east practises these traditions, and I think the reality is that most people don't.

Most 'Buddhists' in Buddhist dominated countries for example are actually lay Buddhists, and their motivation is very much to secure a better future life, certainly not 'enlightenment' (whatever that means) - that's for the monks. There's also lots of local folk practices that get mixed in.

In Thailand for example, many local Buddhist roadside shrines are probably better thought of as altars to local nature spirits, with people leaving offerings of cola and cigarettes!

Similarly, in India, most people adhere to local deities and cults and generally more theistic belief systems which come under the term 'hindu'.

In Kashmir, most people are *not* practicing the highfalutin' teachings of what we call 'Kashmir Shaivism' and tantra. Most folk are purely theistic and worship Shiva like any other theistic deity.

The idea that everyone is sitting on a mat meditating is just crap.

There's also lots of spiritual philosophies which DO kick around the east, but which we never hear of in the 'new age' circuit in the west - in India you also have 'Dvaita' for example. Heard of that? not many have!

"It reminds me of David Thompson doing Louie Armstrong (an absolute travesty). Armstrong's voice is distinctive and easy to imitate in an unsubtle way. The Bessie Smith accent, same thing. Now if an American were in Flint's position and trying to do a Brit, he would probably go for the most exaggerated Cockney accent instead of something subtle.

The Marilyn Monroe voice is absolutely farcical. C'mon, this is a British guy talking in his own voice! What a joke." - Matt

Oh I totally agree. I just disagreed with your particular reasoning on those two examples you shared. Otherwise, yep, the voices are ridiculous and obviously a Brit trying to sound not a Brit and totally failing (I've listened to them all now). Most sound nothing like the real people where recordings of the real people are available. The Chopin sounds exactly like another male spirit (can't recall the name) except with a corny eastern European accent.

"After all, human speech is a very complicated phenomenon requiring not only vocal chords, i.e. ’voice box’ but also most importantly, especially in British speech, teeth, tongue, and lips as well as lungs. No one was able to examine the ‘voice box’ since it was ‘ectoplasm’ and disappeared in the light. " -AOD

Right! The very concept of a voice box - ectoplasmic or otherwise - producing voices is stupid. And yes, how convenient that "voice boxes" cannot be examined in the light.

I'm thinking the real voice box was a tape recorder of some sort.

Based on the content of the Conversations I remain very doubtful that these voices actually represents decarnate entities. What I have read/listended to is more or less pointless prattle. Like the message from Queen Victoria. transcript: http://esotericbooks.deds.nl/index.php/content/queenvictoriatranscript

Was this the top of mind for the former head of the biggest empire of the world to bring back to the world of the living?

I'm not saying Leslie Flint cheated but something is not right about this.

All that is true AOD but it's just speculation and ignores the fact that Flint was rigourlously tested a number of times. Although I don't recall Flint's 'voicebox' being observed, it seems to me that on at least one occasion such an artefact apparently was examined:

Then we were told that an attempt would be made to materialise the spirit larynx used for speaking. Within a foot of Dr. Coulthard’s face, there appeared a materialised structure showing movement of different parts as the control spoke through it. “I am talking to you,” he said, “and I want you all to see how this works. Now I am up here.” We heard the voice coming from the ceiling. “Now I am coming right away, here, in front of you.” The voice descended from the ceiling and spoke to the doctor. “You saw the larynx manipulated, doctor?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Then I would like you to express your opinion,” he was asked.

Here is Dr. H. Coulthard’s report on the materialised larynx:

“Striking proof of the modus operandi of the direct voice phenomenon was given me at a Mrs. Perriman séance a few days ago, when a complete ectoplasmic larynx was materialised less than two feet in front of me.

“I was able to see the whole of the working parts of the larynx, and have no hesitation in declaring, as a medical man, that the structure I saw was an exact replica of a human larynx.

“This remarkable experiment was made by one of Mrs. Perriman’s controls. I was sitting two chairs away from the medium, and the séance room was so arranged that it was impossible for Mrs. Perriman to move from her seat. Directly in front of her had been placed a new instrument with which we were experimenting.

“I heard the voice of the control talking in front of me. Then there appeared straight in front of me and about eighteen inches away, a phosphorescent replica of a typical anatomical larynx. It was shown in such a position that I could see clearly its construction.

“Inside the larynx there were the vocal cords or folds. These cords, when one is speaking, move from side to side. When the voice is not being used the cords are motionless. While I was looking at this spirit larynx, I heard the control talking. As he spoke, the vocal cords moved in exactly the way I would expect if I were able to watch a human larynx at work. The spirit varied the pitch of his voice, speaking sometimes high and sometimes low. These changes were all accompanied by the appropriate movements of the cords. The distance between the cords varied as the pitch varied.

“I am convinced that it would have been impossible for the medium to have produced such a model as I saw. Even if she were able to get out of her chair, and in front of me, she would still have to work the model without her hands being visible. She would require considerable technical knowledge, which I am sure she does not possess, to be able to move the cords exactly as they should be moved when the voice was speaking. Besides, the voice was distinctly that of a man.

http://zerdinisworld.com/?p=141

I guess the doctor was probably in on it too eh?

Paul wrote,

||It might be worth mentioning that some communicators using the Independent Direct Voice (and not just via Flint) mention difficulty using the 'equipment' [...] Add to that the apparently 'generic' nature of the voice box they say they are using, which I imagine is based on Flint's and it is perhaps amazing that anything recognisable is communicated at all.||

You raise great points, but if we think about what you are saying in a different way--and I did--it led me to believe even more that with Flint, at least to some extent, we are walking down Bovine Excrement Avenue. Here's why.

You have probably heard of ITC: instrumental transcommunication, the using of technology (TVs, telephones, special reception devices, etc.) to speak with those in the Afterlife. I have communicated a bunch with Mark Macy on this (even worked with him in a Resonance Working Group about 15 years ago) and listened to tapes that he and his associates produced.

Now regardless of what ultimate conclusion one may reach about these ITC tapes (I found a bunch to be pretty compelling), they include what one might call "realistic failure modes": e.g., static, voices coming in with varying levels of clarity, distortion, and so on. Now this doesn't happen necessarily in every recording--a few are crystal clear from start to finish (I do not mean to imply that these therefore seem fake)--but it happens. As one would expect, right? So if we suppose that the tapes are fake, we may at least may give the hoaxers credit for making sophisticated, realistic fakes.

This isn't true of Flint! The voices are always crystal clear. Now, if they were having difficulty getting used to using the voicebox, or just found it difficult to use (in varying degrees, depending on the spirit) *all* of the time, then wouldn't we expect perhaps one or more of the following:

• Odd breathy or liquid sounds, indicating difficult interaction with a supposedly *physical* object?

• Voice cutting in and out, becoming more or less audible?

• Voices that change, perhaps starting out too high- or low-pitched, squeaky, distorted, or otherwise unlike the "real" voice, as the spirit becomes used to the voicebox?

Nope. Not that I've heard. Just crystal-clear voices from the start. That just doesn't seem right.

||The fact is that Flint was extensively tested. That doesn't of course mean that every recording was therefore free from fraud either inadvertent or deliberate, but I think simply basing a judgement of his mediumship on the recordings alone (of whatever quality) is probably not an entirely reasonable thing to do.||

It seems to me there are several factors involved, which are more or less independent:

• Was Flint producing any paranormal phenomena of any type?

• Was Flint serving as a medium of any type?

• Was Flint producing the voices in a paranormal way? If so, was he doing so via an ectoplasmic voice box or by some other means (whether he was cognizant of this or not)?

Any number of things are possible. It's possible that Flint was a genuine mental medium but was faking the voices for some reason. It's possible that he was producing the voices via a paranormal means but the content of the seances was entirely his own thoughts (or super psi or something else).

Even being able to pontificate at length spontaneously in character is a feat unto itself, and some of the imitations (if they are that) are quite good, so even if it's complete fraud, it's still impressive.

But if we take all of the accounts seriously, it's hard to say that nothing paranormal was going on. Having a voice appear above one's head, etc., in a dark room is quite hard to fake (or maybe Flint was out of his chair and looming over someone to speak).

But some of the tapes are clearly garbage, and, if they are indeed paranormal in nature, raise more questions than they answer. It's all very confusing.

I give up! A larynx with vocal cords by itself cannot produce recognizable human speech. Just try it yourself. Open your mouth wide and keep it open; hold your tongue flat in your mouth up against your lower teeth and recite something. Was it understandable? - AOD

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss Flint. I agree that many of the tapes are problematic, yet he apparently produced the phenomena even when his mouth was sealed with sticking plaster, which itself was secured with a scarf. (His hands were tied to the armrests, too.) Drayton Thomas, who was no fool, seems to have been persuaded Flint was genuine. The SPR, which exposed many fake mediums, tested Flint and could not catch him cheating, though they remained skeptical. Many sitters were convinced that they were holding conversations with deceased loved ones whose voices they knew intimately.

Some of the suggestions of fraud strike me as poorly thought out. For instance, Flint could not have used a tape recorder to create the voices, because the voices interact with the sitters, answering questions and conversing fluently. Woods and Greene could not have served as Flint's accomplices in the early part of Flint's career, because they weren't acquainted with him until later.

That said, Flint's Herbert Hoover sounds nothing like the real thing, many of the communications are vague and non-evidential, and there are obvious missed opportunities - e,g., why not bring through Shakespeare to recite his new poetry, which is supposedly superior to his earthly work?

As Yul Brynner might say, "It is a puzzlement."

I think you're determined that Flint is a fraud AOD. I don't intend to spend much time trying to persuade you otherwise because, frankly, I have formed my own opinion, having looked at the research and spoke at length to an eye witness.

You seem to me happy to ignore all the research that was done and the testing and focus on what you perceive as the defects. That'll get you into the usual muddy water which leads to no conclusion which is fine but your have reached a conclusion that he was a fraud. This is against the evidence as far as I can see.

You're also making assumptions, for example: no one said the larynx constituted the entire apparatus however it does show your willingness to rush to a conclusion. You're perfectly entitled to do this of course.

Flint had demonstrated other forms of mediumship in the past but had settled on the Independent Direct Voice. What occurs to me from your questions is that you haven't really done much reading about him. Personally I don't mind but you aren't coming across as open-minded at all. Do some reading about him if you're really interested and want to have a sensible conversation about it.

Why didn't the communicator say this or that? Why didn't Shakespeare of whoever it was give us some new poetry? Well no one asked the questions so we're stuck not knowing.

Once again, and for the final time. He was extensively tested. Whilst I would agree that there is much to be desired in some of the evidence, there is no evidence of fraud when he was tested. Just elements that you don't like.

@Michael

You make good points. Regarding the quality of the purported communicators: the problem with Woods/Greene is that the communicators were seldom (if ever) validated during the recording. Even if the communications were genuine, as far as I can see there is no way to know if they were in fact who they claimed to be, even if they sounded like the original!

Michael,
Maybe it's a case of a genuine medium who occasionally committed fraud to increase renown.

"Flint could not have used a tape recorder to create the voices, because the voices interact with the sitters, answering questions and conversing fluently."

I imagined that there was a hidden tape recorder and the sitters - who are confederates - had a scripted conversation ready to go. Confederate knows what to ask so the tape recording answers appropriately and fluently. There could have been other confederates besides Woods and Green.

I don't know if the celebrity spirit recordings were done with strict controls and competent researchers. Maybe it is only the celebrity spirits that are fake. I haven't researched this enough to know which spirits were recorded under which circumstances.

As someone said up-thread, maybe the voice box itself is a hoax or maybe a symbolic paranormal phenomenon and that really spirits were talking through Flint's own physiology, more or less, and thus being modified by Flint's own voice and even his thought processes. I know the voices are said to have projected around the room, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Flint's won physiology wasn't still involved somehow.

A puzzlement indeed.

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