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Steve said:

"Although it is stated on Wikipedia (and other places) that he was NOMINATED seven times; according to Nobel Prize.org, it was actually thirteen."

To put this in perspective, I see this on The Guardian:

"376 nominations have been submitted for this year’s Nobel peace prize, including such diverse figures as Donald Trump . . . "

So who knows, this Kristian Birkeland guy might have as much credibility as our president.

Hi MP: I just went to Wikipedia and fixed your date of birth. I suggest that you go there and add material, because a note at the top there says:

"This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources."

You change Wikipedia by hitting the edit button.

Having, so far, listened to seven of the ten Dr. Dinshaw R. & Annie Ottilia Nanji recordings, I can honestly say that, whatever else might be true or false in those seances, those two people are definitely man and wife.

For one thing, much of the dialogue between them is mundane and typical of that between a long-standing married couple. In particular, I *love* the way Dr. Nanji mutters 'yes dear' and 'yes darling' whenever he can get a word in edgeways. It very much puts me in mind of Ogden Nash's famous lines on matrimony:

"A WORD TO HUSBANDS

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.


That aside, if I have any reservations about the authenticity of this material it's because of the use of the word, 'realisation' that occurs so often in the more preachy delivery from the discarnate voices. Also, in my (admittedly limited) experience of the Spiritualist Church, there's the usual banging on about how the orthodox religions get everything wrong. It's the spiritualist mantra and, in many ways, every bit as emphatic the religious dogma it decries.


But at least we have evidence here that Flint is no ventriloquist (although why anyone should still be caught up in that erroneous assumption, given the findings of his numerous investigations, I really don't know). On several of these tapes, as on many others, Flint can be heard snuffling, coughing and clearing his throat over the voices of the discarnate entities as they are speaking.

By the way, there was some talk of the Doctor researching the possibility of obtaining direct voice communication with his wife independently from Flint, and perhaps also writing a book about his experiences and findings. Does anyone here know if he succeeded in any of this?

Unreserved apologies to Steven. I've just realised that the Wikipedia article on Etta Wriedt does mention Usborne Moore's book. Although I'd still maintain that there should be discussion of the wider specifics for the sake of balance.

Nevertheless, my whiplashed soul cries out for forgiveness!

Yes nominated seven times lol sorry about that. As for Joseph McCabes book it is the best I have ever read on spiritualism. He concludes every medium is a fraud and gives good evidence for that.

His claims about Wriedt being caught by Birkeland are not referenced in footnotes but you can track down the original articles which describe the exposure, problem they are in Norwegian. I have not translated them.

poor doc nanji
not know own wife

him fooled heap many moons
by black medicine man

flint ride nanji like donkey
white man see through lie in one day

nanji like beaver who build lodge in tree
then cut tree down

he dumb as donkey
ha ha ha
me dumb too
i sorry

why I talk like spirit injun
me feel power leaving
i go now

_____________________________

Translation for the satire impaired:

We know nothing about how Mr. and Mrs Nanji conversed while in the flesh.
We know even less about how they should have spoken across the threshold of death.

Thanks for making the change, Roger. I'm not allowed to edit the Wiki page. The subject of the entry isn't permitted to contribute to it. I assume this is to prevent people from turning their Wiki entries into self-serving brag-fests.

Thanks to David for posting the Nanji seances.

I really take no delight in saying anything negative about Flint or any other medium. But the first Nanji recording seems prima facie wrong:

First, I hadn't heard the voice of Mickey before. This voice is just ridiculous. It doesn't sound like a real child; rather, it sounds like an adult doing a childlike falsetto. Further, what Mickey says doesn't sound like the words of someone actually in the spiritual realm, just going on and on about how they had true love and they were meant for each other, and so on. This content would be poor by earthly standards, but it's extremely trite for someone Over There.

Mrs. Nanji's voice sounds like Flint doing a woman's voice, plain and simple.

To reiterate something I said earlier, I don't feel that the voices are coming from any kind of voice box. They just sound like someone speaking. They have no otherworldly quality at all. They are supposed to be coming from an actual physical *object* that is similar to but not exactly the same as a human voice box? Can that realistically be believed? Again, I repeat myself, but one would *not* expect simple audio perfection in such a case! This doesn't just strain credulity; it annihilates it.

So we have two forces here, greatly in opposition: testing of Flint that showed actual paranormal phenomena occurring and failed to show fraud; and the tapes and their content, which, for the most part, seems quite embarrassing to me. Based on the content of the tapes alone, Skeptics would immediately cry "fraud," and it would be hard to blame them. I, however, am able to entertain the idea that the tapes can exist in a genuinely paranormal context, though I am finding the whole thing increasingly frustrating to manage in my mind. Cognitive dissonance has its limits.


His claims about Wriedt being caught by Birkeland are not referenced in footnotes but you can track down the original articles which describe the exposure, problem they are in Norwegian. I have not translated them.

Dang, hvis det bare var en måte på nettet for å oversette norsk til engelsk. Deretter kan du vise denne hundens pakke den hellige sannheten til en av Norges fineste sønner!

In the book you linked Steve called The Voices, Admiral Moore wrote:

"Whether I and others who have been convinced of the existence of supernormal phenomena have done so, and are suffering under a delusion of our own creation, or whether Professor Birkeland—for whom we all have the highest respect as an eminent savant—and other even more resolute sceptics than he, have done so, patient and prolonged investigation can alone determine. This is one reason why I hope the project of a Norwegian Society for
Psychical Research may be carried out. And I earnestly trust that the same spirit of
calm and unimpassioned inquiry, which has enabled science to solve so many
problems not less hotly debated in the past, may be found to prevail among those
scientific men in Norway who undertake the investigation of this difficult research—a
subject where fools too often rush in “Where angels fear to tread.”

That was written in 1913, and it sounds like Moore had great respect for Birkeland.

But a few things are odd here.

Wriedt was tested by Birkeland in Kristiania, Norway in August 1912. He headed the chair of the scientific committee that investigated Mrs. Wriedt (I am pretty sure this was a committee for the Norwegian Society for Psychical Research based in Kristiania). They held 3 seances and concluded over-all deliberate fraud had occured. The report was published in the Norwegian Newspaper (Tidens Tegn, August 18, 1912).

Moore's book "The Voices" was published in 1913. Why he didn't report Birkeland's negative conclusions is unclear. Maybe he did not have access to Norwegian sources. Or it is possible he chose not to report on negative information. Admittedly the Wikipedia entry for Admiral William Usborne Moore is very negative. It seems he had a history of defending known tricksters like the Bangs sisters.

As for Birkeland it is likely he committed suicide. Something very odd is that before his death he sent a telegram it said "Please remember Mrs. Wriedt's committee" (this can be found in Kristian Birkeland: The First Space Scientist p. 155 on Google Books).

I also discovered Birkeland's wife was a convinced spiritualist who had attended seances with Wriedt. It is unlikely Birkeland was a spiritualist himself. It is unclear what he meant in his telegram though.

I have no reason to believe Birkeland or his committee lied about finding the particles in Wriedt's trumpet.

Well Steven,
You apparently haven't read very books on spiritualism. See if you can find William Usborne Moore's book "Glimpses of the Next State". You might find it interesting. A reprint is available from Amazon.- AOD

Amos I am not particularly interested in reading books by die-hard spiritualists. Look on Moore's Wikipedia entry he made false statements about Hereward Carrington and had to retract them. It seems he was caught with his pants down on a number of occasions. For books I tend to go for the more critical minded approach :)

Mickey doesn't claim to be a child. In fact I recall Zerdini saying in one sitting Mickey altered his voice as he was speaking into that of an adult and had a conversation with hiim in his 'normal' voice, he then gradually changed it back to the one we usually hear, It is my understanding that Mickey adopted the persona we hear in order to lighten proceedings.

"For books I tend to go for the more critical minded approach" - Steven

Written by die-hard pseudo sceptics . . . . .like Wikipedia? I'm always astonished at the way people like you never see the irony in your own words.

Oh Steven!
You must be very young. Good luck on your journey through life - AOD

"It is my understanding that Mickey adopted the persona we hear in order to lighten proceedings."

Yes, I've noticed often, when listening to those tapes, that, at times, Mickey advances from a semi-illiterate youth to a mature speaker of considerable erudition when the subject demands.

I've also noticed that highly intelligent children who want to fit in with their less gifted companions often do the same. In fact, many highly successful comediennes have crafted their skills on just that ability. It begins as a social survival mechanism and develops into an art.

The British Comedienne Paul Merton is one such, as is Ken Dodd - ditto many others over past and present generations.

Anyway, my point is that Mickey's ability to perform in this way doesn't lessen my feeling that there is value and integrity in the Flint recordings. Thus I remain on the positive side of the fence.

Steven,

We know how you Skeptics think. Do you know how *we* think? Do you care? Because Skeptics never do seem to care. And how does that advance the conversation? But, then again, Skeptics don't seem interested in having a conversation.

Is it like some video game, where you find a blog or message board, take a look at a post, and then find one cite somewhere that you feel invalidates the topic at hand? Mission accomplished? It seems that way.

According to Skeptic epistemology, if you find one thing wrong with something, you invalidate it completely. I call this the "fallacy of the glancing blow" (originally from Steven Goldberg and his book "Why Men Rule," though I use it slightly different sense than he did).

I reject this unspoken principle. Note how I am struggling in this very comment section to put together in my mind the *big picture* about Flint. Just because he has content I find very dubious doesn't mean I can throw out all of the observations made about him, including tests conducted to rule out fraud. To me, this is good epistemology.

Now, I know you won't care about and probably can't even understand what I'm saying because Skeptics just don't think this way. But there are lots of lurkers on this blog, and this comment is for those who are still working out their own philosophical stance on all these matters. Not that I'm necessarily right, but I think recognizing epistemological issues is of very great importance.

If it's true Julie, Mickey had been a long time dead, I'd be more surprised if he'd remained a child :)

Ps. In case I didn't make clear what I wanted to say earlier: Gifted children do a 'Mickey' in reverse, in that they go into court jester mode when attempting to fit in and gain acceptance.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mickey was/is a very clever chap. And I can see why he would be perfect for the role of making everyone feel comfortable in such strange circumstances.

"Is it like some video game, where you find a blog or message board, take a look at a post, and then find one cite somewhere that you feel invalidates the topic at hand? Mission accomplished?"

I was in a rather bizarre email correspondence for a while with a determined Skeptic who was also a Wikipedia editor. This person's goal was to "debunk" every medium listed on Wiki. He was accomplishing this (to his own satisfaction) at the rate of two or three mediums per day. His method was to find any authority, anywhere, who criticized or questioned the authenticity of the medium, quote that person on Wiki, and declare the medium debunked. It didn't matter if the supposed authority had ever studied the medium or, indeed, actually was recognized as an authority on the subject. Any quote would do, as long as it was negative.

To him it was a game, I think. He was having fun with it.

I also think that many of these people really do not understand what "critical thinking" is. They believe it means "being critical of something." For them, a thumbs-down movie review would be an example of critical thinking, while a thumbs-up review would not. They don't grasp that the word "critical" can be used in more than one sense, and that a book that comes to positive conclusions about mediumship, like Alan Gauld's "Mediumship and Survival" or Stephen E. Braude's "Immortal Remains," can be a far better example of critical thinking than a mere propaganda piece that comes to a negative conclusion.

Ah that makes sense Julie. I remember Zerdini telling me that Mickey was very clever indeed and clearly was very knowledgeable especially when he dropped the mask so to speak.

@MP - who needs critical thinking when you know everything? :)

"I also think that many of these people really do not understand what "critical thinking" is. They believe it means "being critical of something." For them, a thumbs-down movie review would be an example of critical thinking, while a thumbs-up review would not. They don't grasp that the word "critical" can be used in more than one sense, and that a book that comes to positive conclusions about mediumship, like Alan Gauld's "Mediumship and Survival" or Stephen E. Braude's "Immortal Remains," can be a far better example of critical thinking than a mere propaganda piece that comes to a negative conclusion."

Very, very well said - if I might say so! :)

"I was in a rather bizarre email correspondence for a while with a determined Skeptic who was also a Wikipedia editor. This person's goal was to "debunk" every medium listed on Wiki."

This guy is still around on Wikipedia I believe, practically every article on the paranormal was written by him with skeptical sources. He has had hundreds of different names, apparently his name is "Leon", but he has also used the name Bill. He has also posted on Robert's paranormalia blog and most likely this one. He once stated on Facebook he was not connected with Susan Gerbic's Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project and that he was a former paranormal believer. Not sure if that is true, he has also claimed to be a magician.

I do not know who this person is, but I always sussed he is a main player in the skeptic community. It wouldn't surprise me if it was someone like Daniel Loxton or Joe Nickell.

I just want to say that I am continuing to listen to the Leslie Flint tapes. Two that I found interesting and entertaining were the Nellie Wright tape and the Terry Smith tape. I recommend listening to them if one has the time. The Nellie Wright tape is interesting because reportedly the only people present were Betty Greene, George Woods and Leslie Flint. Nellie Wright seems to me to have a distinctly female voice but I suppose a male experienced in mimicking female voices could have done it but if it is a man's voice it is a top notch job of sounding like a woman. More importantly for me is that at the time that Nellie Wright is speaking (up close to the microphone) one can hear Betty Greene off in the distance conversing with Nellie. In this case I don't think that the voice of Nellie Greene is done by Betty Greene. (At the end of the tape, Mickey and Leslie speak briefly close up to the microphone while George Woods and Betty Green speak off in the distance..)

I must admit I do like the Terry Smith voice. While it is similar to the other English male voices it does have the flavor of a more youthful tone about it and word choice and inflections are not very similar to the other older male voices. I really don't think that Leslie or George Woods did this voice. I liked this voice personality for a couple of reasons. First of all he talked about animals in the afterlife (I know Julie will like this) and how they were able to transmit their thoughts to others in a like manner that human spirits do. Since this is congruent with my personal beliefs I liked that part. Second, his experience in the afterlife after he died also agreed with what I imagine it would be like, that is, it was very similar to the earth life but of a better quality. It's difficult to explain but I have an internal vision-feeling what it was like for Terry Smith after he died.

As I become more and more familiar with direct voice mediums, e.g., Leslie Flint and Etta Wreidt I believe I have made that paradigm shift which allows me to entertain the thought that they may not be frauds. Etta Wriedt especially, although the documentation of her sessions is lacking in detail there is a lot of it. And, she uses several different forms of communication, e.g., trumpets, direct voice, phantasms. (I am reading William Usborne Moore's sessions with her.)

A Michael said and as Yul Brynner said in The King and I, it truly is a puzzlement! - AOD

Michael, excellent points!

"It wouldn't surprise me if it was someone like Daniel Loxton or Joe Nickell."

Loxton is among the fairly reasonable Skeptics; his stuff is non-infuriating. He's not a crusader. Even Nickell isn't as bad as the typical Skeptic.

Well Roger here is what I do know.

Daniel Loxton has admitted to being a Wikipedia editor. He sometimes comments on Facebook but I do not know what his Wikipedia account is. It is a well known fact many skeptics are on Wikipedia. For example Tim Farley has an account called "Krelnik" that promotes Harry Houdini's investigations of mediums on Wikipedia. Farley works for csicop and is involved with Susan Gerbic's Guerrilla Wikipedia team.

I suspect that Loxton is the one that wrote part of the Leonora Piper article on Wikipedia. Loxton has a pdf document on the 'history' of the skeptical movement. In this he has an obsession with quoting old debunker books like Edward Clodd, Amy Tanner and Joseph Rinn.

Clodd, Rinn, Tanner, Charles Arthur Mercier are widely cited on Wikipedia as debunking everything paranormal related. Loxton claims he has these books in his 'personal library'. How many people out there know about all these old 19th century skeptical books and are obsessed with them? Not many. That is why it could be Loxton.

As for Joe Nickell, if you check Amos Doyle's website on Patience Worth, he is a frequent commenter here he has a critical piece on Nickell.

Nickell is known to boast that he has hundreds of 'personalities'. He has pretended to be different people on many occasions. He boasts he has done this as a magician and for investigative purposes. But why not online?

I know for a fact he has a personal secretary on Wikipedia that works for him. His username is LuckyLouie, this same person has an account on Rationalwiki called "Leuders". He was the one involved in describing Rupert Sheldrake as a pseudoscientist in the Wikipedia Wars that Craig Weiler talks about.

I am not attacking these people in anyway, I am just pretty sure that Loxton and Nickell or his associate are behind writing many of the skeptical articles on Wikipedia on anything paranormal related. There idea is to demolish the paranormal. Wikipedia is a top Google rank and they cleverly use this tactic for their skeptical agenda.

I asked my wife the other day if she would listen to one of the audio conversations between Dr. and Mrs Nanji. She is well aware of my deep interest in matters pertaining to the afterlife, and I think at times she may regard my fascination with what lies beyond, in the undiscovered country of death, as somewhat akin to an unhealthy interest in necrophilia. Be that as it may, she said, to my surprise, “no thanks”. I was a bit taken aback by this, as I wasn’t trying to proselytize, just wishing to share something that I found both touching and quite fascinating. Most peculiar. Now I know how William James and other members of the SPR must have felt back in the day, when they could not convince their colleagues to attend a séance and witness first hand what those men of science claimed to be impossible. Sometimes you can’t even lead the horse to the trough, let alone compel him to drink.

I commend those of you who have listened to some of the The Annie Nanji séances, even though what you may have heard is completely opposite to my experience. The Rashomon effect, where each witness describes a situation in mutually contradictory ways, is nicely expressed in our responses. It is understandable that some of us are inclined to hear more with the analytical mind, while the hearing of others is more aligned with the heart. That's not to say that one is better than the other, they are just attuned to different nuances.

I approach these audios like the man with a nagging wife, who turns down his hearing aid while reading his book. I too registered many of the complaints voiced here, but they were a faint background rumble that didn't overly distract from listening for the language of the heart.

Given the analytical frame of mind necessary to do scientific work, it is no wonder that a brilliant investigator like William James regarded much of what came through Mrs. Piper as "bosh". The Flint skeptics here are in good company.

Why does Mickey sound like a lady of about mid years?

David Chilstrom wrote,

|| The Rashomon effect, where each witness describes a situation in mutually contradictory ways, is nicely expressed in our responses.||

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213372869384260&set=a.4604951889875.2190458.1474713943&type=3&theater

||It is understandable that some of us are inclined to hear more with the analytical mind, while the hearing of others is more aligned with the heart. That's not to say that one is better than the other, they are just attuned to different nuances.||

No one has responded to my posts much thus far. I'm a medium myself. I am open to all phenomenon. I'm not a cynic. Per AOD's suggestion, I listened to the Nellie Wright seance, or rather part of it. It sounds like the same falsetto by a male as *most* but not *all* of the via-Flint female voices I've heard thus far.

David, can we agree it's not all black vs. white, head vs. heart on this? It's actually--and unfortunatley--a puzzlement as Michael said. I'd be inclined to simply label it a mess.

\\"Given the analytical frame of mind necessary to do scientific work, it is no wonder that a brilliant investigator like William James regarded much of what came through Mrs. Piper as "bosh"." - David//
----------------

Which is my point exactly. I'm not saying I don't believe they sometimes get amazing and verifiable information but the majority of it is "bosh." Filler. I believe the Mediums intentionally embellish and build up what they are getting and feeling because there isn't enough information to fill an hour's reading so they add a bunch of New Age hooey to it and say feel good stuff that we expect to hear. So like everything else in life some of it's true and some it's "dross" which needs to be sifted out to find the gems. There are a few really good hits that probably take up just a few minutes of the reading and the rest is just "stuff."

And in fact the same can be said for a lot of individual near death experience stories. The author had a profound and amazing story but it's not really enough to fill an entire book so they extend it out and "add" in a bunch of other stuff about their life and beliefs and what it all means so they get enough to make an entire book that can be bound and sold. A lot of times I recognize a lot of "new agey" platitudes in these individual NDE stories which I believe is the authors beliefs and interpretations more than what some being of light on the other side told them. But on the aside, I still believe that there are gems to be found in these stories if we are willing to sift through and find them.

Matt,
I have listened again to the Nellie Wright tape, but from a different website. There is a distinct difference in clarity between the first one I listened to and the second one. The one at http://www.leslieflint.com/nellie-wright is the clearer tape. I still don’t know what to believe. There have been men who were able to mimic a female voice for long periods of time. I am thinking about Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire” who was able to do a convincing woman’s voice. Nellie Wright reminds me of Dame Edna Everage played by Barry Humphries who I suppose did a convincing female voice but I also think that the costume and makeup also helped with the illusion. John Inman as Mr. Humphries on “Are You Being Served” did a credible female when he played his character’s mother and there were others, some good some bad. e.g. Milton Berle and Caitlyn

I have some additional thoughts about that tape. When Nellie first begins to speak she follows Mickey and just for a moment, Nellie’s voice slides into a Mickey-like voice but as Nellie continues to speak she seemed to settle in to the voice and at times it became more distinct. I think with just a very minor tweaking though, Nellie’s voice could sound very much like Mickey’s voice; in fact there are instances where it does sound identical.

Nellie’s laugh sounds to me like the voice of a male smoker. Now, I don’t know if Leslie smoked but Nellie’s laugh does have that raspy quality of an older male smoker.

Nellie, Leslie, and Mickey apparently were very close to the microphone while Betty Greene and George Woods apparently were not so close. This might suggest that Leslie, Mickey and Nellie were the same person speaking close-up into the microphone. I still have one of those old reel-to-reel recorders and the microphones were such that one had to be close to it to get a good recording so Leslie must have been very close to the microphone.

I find in myself that the will to believe or not to believe makes a difference in what I think about the voices. When I believe that direct voice is possible then the voices seem to sound different to me. When I shift back to disbelief, then the voices all seem to sound very similar or the same. Perhaps Leslie Flint would have fared better if Betty Greene had not made the tapes at all then Leslie Flint would have taken his place along with Etta Wriedt and Emily French as perhaps a more credible direct voice medium. In my opinion there is too much ‘theatrics’ in the Flint tapes. - AOD

AOD,

Good further comments about the voices. I had felt that the Ellen Terry voice, the first female voice I heard by Flint, was pretty good:

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

But now that I listen to it again, it sounds like all of his female voices--and it sounds like a man imitating a woman.

You are right: he does a female voice rather well (if he is faking them--and I think he is). So they can sound good at first, but hearing a bunch of them can lead one to believe that they are indeed the same voice and not really female. A big part of this is that some of the female voices are truly awful, yet they have much in common with the ones done better, so they all go down, tainted, together.

And no, I don't think that's harsh or looking to see Flint as a fraud. I actually think it becomes *obvious* in context. I know some here will disagree.

Per the above, by "faking" I do not necessarily mean knowingly faking, and it is still possible that one or more of the voices are produced by paranormal means. By this I mean, they are not the actual voices of real people coming through via ectoplasm that is a separate substance (in the Aristotelian sense) from Flint.

I think it's possible that Flint was serving as a kind of transfiguration medium with his own voice. This is a rare kind of medium whose face, etc., changes to represent the Departed. Perhaps Flint was using his own voice but simply transfiguring it to seem more like the voice of the Departed. This could be possible even with ectoplasm sitting on his shoulder. Phenomena are by no means required to match what mediums or their associates think them to be.

Art wrote,

||I'm not saying I don't believe they sometimes get amazing and verifiable information but the majority of it is "bosh." Filler. I believe the Mediums intentionally embellish and build up what they are getting and feeling because there isn't enough information to fill an hour's reading so they add a bunch of New Age hooey to it and say feel good stuff that we expect to hear.||

I think that is exactly right. The vast majority of mediums we talk about on Michael's blog were either professionals doing it for money or people who were incented to perform because they had become famous and people had high expectations of their readings. Such a situation is inherently corrupting, the level of corruption that occurs being dependent on the individual medium's character. Add in that most mediums partake of the Trickster archetype to some extent, and you have a recipe for fakery and fraud *at least part of the time.*

To give an example of this that does *not* amount to actual dishonesty: Jonathon Edward saying in his sessions before a big audience: "I get an 'R' name." Now, he may indeed be getting that impression and honestly conveying that, but it is such a weak impression that it amounts to fishing and audience manipulation. It's totally unacceptable in my view and is terrible mediumship in action. I don't think Edward, however, is terrible. I think he's quite talented by forced, due to the situation into which he has freely entered, to perform on command.

I think most messages from the departed are pretty short and sweet and maybe 75% of the time consist of the classic: "I love you and am proud of you" message. I have had this come through to me numerous times. It often happens forcefully and that's all they have to say. Though "say" is not the right word, and "proud of you" is not quite the right phrase. It is not verbal at all and is like a beam of love and validation (hence the "proud of": more like "I totally accept and validate you").

And while we're on the topic, that's one reason I don't believe the super-psi hypothesis has any weight: it's usually not verbal information but a wave of light and emotion and images unlike anything in ordinary experience. An exterior intelligence/force/whatever creating this merely to fool and manipulate us seems totally implausible to me.

Another way of looking at tricksterism in mediumship is that perhaps some trickery is actually necessary to prime the pump or get the ball rolling. Kenneth Batcheldor has a whole theory on this, supported by extensive research into table-tipping and related phenomena. I discussed it in my review of Guy Lyon Playfair's book "If This Be Magic":

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2017/01/magic-time.html

Jack Houck, who hosted PK parties in which participants were encouraged to bend spoons and forks, has said that some initial trickery — say, applying muscular pressure to a spoon in order to make it start to bend — can be useful in breaking down people's resistance and opening up the floodgates of PK.

Obviously there is a risk of making excuses for cheaters, but I don't think we can rule out the possibility that tricksterism can reinforce or encourage psi. This may help to explain the long and well-documented connection between the two.

My recollection is that the ectoplasmic voice box was a replica of Flint's and, therefore, apt to give off some 'Flint' vibes.

Julie wrote,

||My recollection is that the ectoplasmic voice box was a replica of Flint's and, therefore, apt to give off some 'Flint' vibes.||

I want to be fair, but that sounds like ad hoc reasoning to me.

The whole notion that an ectoplasmic voice box can be making these voices seems totally untenable to me (not to be confused with the statement, which I am not making, that the voices could not have been produced by other paranormal means). Even if Flint has ectoplasm coming out of him and he and his associates *think* that the voice box is producing the voices, it seems untenable. Others have stated the reason: there would have to be a lot more "equipment" to produce a voice: something to pump air, lips and tongue and palate and whatnot to form the actual sounds. Add in my observation (which no one here has either affirmed or disputed) that the voices are too perfect to be produced by such extraordinary means, and Occam's Razor (properly employed in this instance, I think) really does lead one to believe that the voices were coming out of Flint's body.

Also, why are we still talking about the possibility that the voices came directly from the mouth of Leslie Flint when he was subjected to numerous, stringent tests where such fakery was ruled out? Or are we to assume that all those investigators were naive and easily duped?

We've already established that the phenomenon occurred in the absence of Greene and Woods, and spontaneously in various locations, so are we any nearer to solving the riddle?

I can accept that, perhaps, some of the voices might have been subconsciously created by Flint and relayed through the ectoplasmic voice box - but is that simply the super-psi hypothesis? Truth is, I don't think we're any closer to solving the riddle that when we started . . . . . which is exactly where I was when I suggested a discussion on the subject of the Flint direct voice phenomenon.

On the subject of mediums in general, it's many years ago since I visited one but I can still remember many of the things I was told and the impressive level of accuracy. But then the people who 'read' for me were not careerists and, if they charged at all, they charged very little.

Of the many examples I could give, one comes immediately to mind. It was back in the 1970s and, in those days, I would, occasionally, visit the local spiritualist church for their regular Friday night 'reading' session. On the notice board outside were the names and contact details of mediums that had visited the Church to give readings.

One such was a man living in the next town. I took down his telephone number from the board, contacted him a few days later and arranged a sitting. I didn't know him nor did he know me. And, as always, I gave only my first name when arranging the appointment.

During the course of that sitting (which was truly astonishing) he said, "Who's Bert?" I replied that the only Bert I knew was my husband's uncle who had died a year or two earlier. He continued with, "Well tell him from Bert not to worry because everything's on the square."

That message meant absolutely nothing to me. When I relayed it to my husband he told me that it was a Mesonic term. Bert had been the Worshipful Master of the Masonic lodge in the city of Preston some fifty miles away. Bert was the only Mason in the family and, hence, the only relative who might have used such a term.

Was that simply a good guess?

Matt - I don't think your applying Occam's razor corrrectly because it needs to be applied to all the known facts. You seem to be ignoring a lot of them. Occam's razor will give you a nasty cut :)

I think that one has to consider Leslie Flint as one of several people (mediums) who reportedly produced ‘direct voice’ contact with spirits of the dead. Henrietta ‘Etta’ Wriedt and Emily French also reportedly produced direct voices some or many of whom were documented to be very dissimilar to the voices of the reportedly delicate frail and sometimes ailing female mediums. Emily French is reported to have facilitated an American Indian who was called “Red Jacket” who reportedly produced a booming loud male voice nothing at all like the soft diminutive female voice of Emily French and French was reported to be very deaf so that any conversation with her had to be in a loud voice and often repeated before she could understand what was being said so she probably could not understand questions posed to the spirits and respond appropriately. I think it may be easier for a man to produce a faux female voice that a small delicate woman to produce a “booming masculine voice” using her vocal chords. - AOD

Matt,
I don’t know exactly what you mean when you say that, “the voices are too perfect to be produced by such extraordinary means. . . “. Perhaps you could elaborate on that a little more.

When I thought I heard my father’s voice call my name before my mother died it sounded exactly like he cried out to me before I took him to the hospital before he died---several days later, but that was only one word. I agree that the conversation with Flint’s voices does seem ‘too perfect’ to me also to the extent that they are very conversational just as if the person was sitting in a chair in my living room sipping tea next to my fireplace. It all seems too cozy. But, why should it not? - AOD

Julie,

Some of what you wrote implies I doubt mediumship. I don't. I *am* a medium myself. In fact, I would say most of my psychic friends are mediums to some extent. I think it goes with the territory.

||Also, why are we still talking about the possibility that the voices came directly from the mouth of Leslie Flint when he was subjected to numerous, stringent tests where such fakery was ruled out? Or are we to assume that all those investigators were naive and easily duped?||

I think I've explained it in detail and covered all or most of the logical possibilities. The main thing for me is the fact that most of the voices sound like Flint faking a voice, and the content is very poor. Further, simply because a paranormal means is established one time doesn't mean that every other time is legitimate. That's like saying that, since a pop star sang beautifully on live TV once, he or she is never lip-synching on other shows.

||We've already established that the phenomenon occurred in the absence of Greene and Woods, and spontaneously in various locations, so are we any nearer to solving the riddle?||

I'm not sure why the sessions were not filmed in infra-red (I say I'm not sure not because I suspect that Flint didn't want that but rather because he was so willing to be taped, and the technology existed from way back). That would establish that Flint's mouth wasn't moving and would show any ectoplasm that arose. It would also allow those of us who weren't there to see for ourselves instead of take someone's word for what happened.

||I can accept that, perhaps, some of the voices might have been subconsciously created by Flint and relayed through the ectoplasmic voice box - but is that simply the super-psi hypothesis?||

No, unrelated in my view. I think the "transfiguration" hypothesis is charitable to Flint and recognizes that he may have sincerely been trying to serve as a medium and may indeed have done so to a large extent.

||Truth is, I don't think we're any closer to solving the riddle that when we started . . . . . which is exactly where I was when I suggested a discussion on the subject of the Flint direct voice phenomenon.||

To me the riddle is squaring the reported paranormal phenomena (which I am not willing to blow off ) with the very poor content of the tapes.

I think this debate has revealed a kind of hidden assumption that we who believe that these phenomena are real tend to have: that if something can be proved to be paranormal in origin, then it's "legit" in every sense. Now, I think we here are smart enough to understand, when we see it written out, that that's not the case, but I have nevertheless seen people here more or less arguing based on this assumption.

||Was that simply a good guess?||

No, my friends get hits like that all the time, and I sometimes do myself.

Paul wrote,

||Matt - I don't think your applying Occam's razor corrrectly because it needs to be applied to all the known facts. You seem to be ignoring a lot of them. Occam's razor will give you a nasty cut :)||

It's abused so much by Skeptics that it's tainted and best not used at all, probably. But, in my view, if a voice sounds like a guy imitating a woman on a crystal-clear recording, then I am inclined to think that it's a guy imitating a woman. Now, that is my own judgment for my own mind. I would not proclaim that to the world as though I had all the facts and was certain of my logic.

AOD wrote,

||I don’t know exactly what you mean when you say that, “the voices are too perfect to be produced by such extraordinary means. . . “. Perhaps you could elaborate on that a little more.||

I already did. I compared Flint's voice to recordings via ITC (instrumental transcommunication, in which technology is used to talk to those in the Afterlife). The ITC results typically have an otherworldy quality, and there is a sense of *effort* involved (sometimes directly mentioned by the spirits). There is sometimes static, voices coming in and out, and so on.

In Flint's case, it sounds like a guy sitting down in front of a tape recording and pressing "record." There is no gurgling, squeaking, whispering, or "coming in" of the voice in the "voice box."

I apologize for getting off topic here but since Occam’s Razor was brought up I just want to recommend a light-hearted but serious message movie on Netflix called in English “The Marziano Family” This film was made in Argentina I think and is in Spanish with English subtitles. I think Occam’s Razor might be applied to one of the main themes of the movie.

This is an unbelievably complex movie with several subtexts. On the surface it is about three middle aged siblings—two brothers and a sister. It is a wonderful character study and portrayal of daily relationships of a family; one brother well to do and the other not so well to do. A movie like this would never be done in the U.S.A. and if it were produced nobody would go to see it---probably.

It is an exceptionally well thought-out movie about a fractured relationship between the two brothers and about large holes that mysteriously appear around town which people fall into and injure themselves, not seriously but nevertheless they hurt themselves. With a wonderful cast of real people it is a joy to get away from the manikins and gutter-talk women usually cast in the Hollywood movies.

The poorer brother, riding on his motorcycle finds that he can’t read the road signs and his sister takes him to a physician for examination. The doctor is young and refers him to a specialist in neurology. Well, he goes to one or more neurologists for neurological tests which seem to be normal (Obviously this is where Occam’s razor comes in.) and ends up at a lecture by a world renowned physician (whom the sister is trying to get an appointment with) who choses to speak French instead of Spanish at the lecture which apparently few people can understand.

The other brother becomes slightly obsessed about the large holes that people are falling into and he pursues several blind alleys as to their cause. Eventually the brothers get back together and all is well except. . . . . . . .! - AOD

"But, in my view, if a voice sounds like a guy imitating a woman on a crystal-clear recording, then I am inclined to think that it's a guy imitating a woman."

We'd still have to deal with the tests that were carried out, which (if reported accurately) would indicate that the voices were sometimes heard even when Flint's mouth was sealed with sticking plaster or filled with colored water. Occam's Razor is fine, but it requires the simplest answer that's consistent with *all* the facts.

"We'd still have to deal with the tests that were carried out, which (if reported accurately) would indicate that the voices were sometimes heard even when Flint's mouth was sealed with sticking plaster or filled with colored water. Occam's Razor is fine, but it requires the simplest answer that's consistent with *all* the facts."

Thank you so much for stating that, Michael. I was beginning to suspect that I speak a foreign language. It's a supicion that haunts me. :/

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