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"Chopin likes to wear loud, modern clothes and has become addicted to television."
After I cross over I'm going to dress in a Star Trek Uniform and pretend I'm a Federation starship captain and fly around the Universe in a Starship. I think it would be tremendously fun. I'm not joking.

This has always been an interesting topic. Rosemary Brown quite unique. Just how she managed so many different styles of writing is always fun to debate and I'm glad that you revisited her history.

Another kind of creative mediumhsip is what Spiritists call "mediumnistic painting", an artistic form very popular in Brazil. Perhaps the best known mediumnisitic painter is Luis Antonio Gasparetto, a Brazilian psychotherapist who according to his own account cannot paint a stroke. Nevertheless, Gasparetto has been known to turn out canvases at a staggering rate and in an impressive variety of styles, purportedly channelling artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso. Unfortunately there are very few books written in English about Gasparetto or mediumnisitic painting in general, but you can try "Spirit Summonings" published by Time Life in 1989, a very recommended summary for anyone interested in the history of mediumship and the New Age phenomena of channeling.
Happy 4th of July!

There's a short video at the following link that's well worth watching:

I've played the piano since the age of 7 and am very devoted to the music of the dear departed greats, and must say that that I was impressed watching that short video. It does sound like Beethoven - though early Beethoven rather than later, and unusually simple.

I have a talent for improvising in various styles and can do so for hours on end, but what she's doing is something else altogether. If I try to put the music onto manuscript I inevitably botch it and end up with something very unimpressive. She appears to write directly to manuscript without any experimentation and playing back ideas as she writes (as almost all composers do). It's a great pity that hardly anything of her work is available to hear online, as I'd particularly like to hear the Rachmaninoff. To compose passable Rachmaninoff on the spot seems almost absurd to me - rhythmically and harmonically he's so complicated - and yet she did this, and could then go on and write something 200 years removed in style quite consistently!

The mixed time thing is interesting -- off the top of my head the only piece I can think of that employs this is a Chopin nocturne, which for about 6 bars does demand 3/4 time in right hand and 4/4 in left (I think). I again find it inconceivable that someone with no formal instruction in composition and scanty musical education otherwise could manage this. Nor did she compose solely for piano either.

Another point of interest is that a great supporter of hers is the famous British pianist John Lill -- whom I saw in a TV documentary recently claiming that all his life he's been visited by Beethoven (who appeared to him the day before winning the Tchaikovsky competition informing him that he would win -- and he did!). I read somewhere that her address was supplied to him by the visiting Beethoven and he went along and met her, being perfectly expected!! Lill is alive, so someone ought to write him and clarify this.

I don't know if this supports the spiritualistic hypothesis, unless the great composers have lost much of their abilities post-mortem, or are deliberately simplifying things so as not to exasperate the poor medium too much. After all, if you watch the video you see her pace is rather slow - it would thus take months to put to paper something like one of Beethoven's later sonatas.

I dunno. Perhaps a case of Helene Smith style inventive fantasy? No, this is up there with Patience Worth and I don't know what to make of that either.

Charles Drayton Thomas said that his book tests and newspaper tests were invented by his deceased father, John Wesley Thomas. If this were the case, would you consider these creative enough to be beyond the capacity of an ego persona? Similarly, the cross correspondences of Myers, et al.

A couple of other interesting creative paranormal stories that tend to support communication from the other side is the Patience Worth story and the two sisters (Bang sisters) that could paint dead relatives of those in the audience in record time and I have read that one painting actually changed in some way like the eyes moved on the painting right in front of the audience. Michael does paintings qualify as creative?

An interesting side note to the Patience Worth story is that the medium (Pearl Curran) to Patience Worth was told to go to a certain hospital and there would be a baby available for adoption and to name that baby Patience Worth. And indeed there was a baby girl that the parents could not support and gave her up for adoption and she was named Patience Worth.

This hospital story appears to rule out the subconscious mind of the medium as the source. Plus she was able to write poems at record speeds and won at least one award with her poems.

For you that like poems this is the response that Pearl Curran received thru automatic writing when, asked by a researcher if Patience Worth was indeed who she says she was: she responded with this poem.

'A phantom? We'el enough,
Prove thee, thyself to me;
I say, behold, here I be
Buskins, kirtle, cap and pettiskirts,
And much tongue!
We'el what has thou to prove thee?'

Here in Brazil we had the medium Chico Xavier (dead in 2002). Look this scientific work about a book of him:

Francisco Cândido Xavier’s book of mediumistic poems, Parnaso de além-túmulo [Parnassus Beyond the Tomb], containing 259 works attributed to 56 Brazilian and Portuguese poets, is discussed in this dissertation within such categories relevant to Literary Theory as authorship, pastiche, style and the limits of literary genre. The first chapter of three that make up the dissertation analyzes the publication history of Parnaso and the
content of the various editions, the poets represented in the anthology as spiritual authors, in addition to the repercussions of publication within the Spiritist community and the press in general.
The second chapter consists of five studies that on the basis of the critical bibliografy attempt to ascertain the commonalities between the works of the poets and the poems of Parnaso. A corpus was selected from the works of three Portuguese poets (João de Deus, Antero de Quental e Guerra Junqueiro) and two Brazilians (Cruz e Sousa e Augusto dos
Anjos). The analysis suggests that the poems of the anthology are not a product of simple literary imitation.
The final chapter presents certain implications of the analysis. Entitled, “The Literary Context of Parnassus,” the following questions are taken up: configurational aspects of authorship and the probative intentions of the anthology; presuppositions for a Spiritist understanding of art; literary inspiration and Spiritism; Chico Xavier and psychography; and, to conclude, persuasive elements in Spiritist literature.


Not quite true on John Wesley Thomas inventing the book tests. The senior Thomas told Drayton that others in a higher sphere gave him the idea of the books tests. In fact, the father of Professor James Mapes came up with a book test during the mid 1850s, while William Stainton Moses also had a book test. See "The First Book Test" and "The Moses Book Test" at

Just finished "Ghosts in Solid Form" by Gambier Bolton. Lots of great info. and once again, fascinating details of full blown materializations. Gotta love these free E Books.

Bolton actually gives a laundry list of the best conditions for this to happen. He suggests using red paper (gels?) to avoid the natural, gas (the old days) or electric light hitting the medium. Seems like holding these seances in good light is not a problem, if proper precautions are taken.

From the book:

On numerous occasions this Sensitive has been seen by all present, in gaslight shaded by red paper, seated on his chair in a state of deep trance, and was heard to be breathing heavily, whilst two materialised entities stood beside him; or with one beside him, and the other standing five to eight feet away from him and close to the Sitters.

* * * * *

Bolton also notes that a doctor is present at the location to perform what sounds like strip searches. This is to make sure nobody brings in any item that can be used in making fraudulent phenomena.

Transfigurations are also discussed. Maybe this is what happened with Colin Fry? And maybe that is what is going on with David Thompson? If so, it's still impressive. Just not what we're told it is. And it's possible neither one of them knows it's going on since they're in trance.

I read about a seance with Stuart Alexander. They put luminous bands on his knees so the sitters could see that he was still in his seat. Hey, why not get flex cuffs that are luminous? And make David Thompson wear them or wear luminous bands on his knees like SA does.

Also, in the SA seance, the spirits apparently show some of the sitters that the spirits can dematerialize the flex ties at will. If that's true, then SA can get around the room. But, with the luminous bands, everybody would see him.

Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. What do you guys know about him? I want to get the english translation of his book on materializations which supposedly features a lot of photos.

Also, in the post above, I forgot to mention that the author speaks highly of Florence Cook.
Deborah Blum (whose book I loved) all but called Cook a street whore.

This is an idea which I've played around with for years - might there be a THIRD state of being between "life" and "death"?

Could there be a "linking force" between the physical body and the soul/spirit which is partly physical and partly spiritual?

After death that body might continue to exist for some considerable time, enjoy a certain amount of self-awareness, and may actually consider itself to BE the dear departed.

It will most likely decay over a period of years, suffering from what we might describe as the psychic equivalent of Alzheimer's Disease.

This might explain some of the nonsense received in even the most honest and best-run seance chambers.

Vitor how popular is the spirits book by Kardec in your country of Brazil?

Concerning séances with materializations. I read that once an investigator weighed the medium and the materialized entity and found that the materialized entity weighed exactly what the medium had lost in weight.

They assumed it was due to the ectoplasm that the medium lost in the trance.

>>Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. What do you guys know about him?<

He was the Victor Zammit of his time, quite gullible and very apologetic of mediums who were highly suspect and often eventually proven frauds.

His most famous collaborator was "Eva C," who was supposedly able to materialize ectoplasmic faces. Too bad they were actually just crumpled up page cut-outs from magazines.

Oh, and the ectoplasm she produced was later tested and found to be merely chewed-up paper.

Still, Schrenck-Notzing declared her 100% kosher.


-> Vitor how popular is the spirits book by Kardec in your country of Brazil?

Very, very popular. Brazil is the country with more adepts of Spiritsm in the world.

-> Concerning séances with materializations. I read that once an investigator weighed the medium and the materialized entity and found that the materialized entity weighed exactly what the medium had lost in weight.They assumed it was due to the ectoplasm that the medium lost in the trance.

That's right. There is an article by Valter da Rosa Borges that mention a lot of these cases.

Valter is a serious parapsychological researcher, I know him. He saw a materialization that is very, very hard to explain by fraud. I interview him about this, you can read the interview (in Portuguese) here:

Best wishes,

i just finished reading the section about the scole experiment from David Fontana's book 'is there an afterlife.'

there was a particular aspect of experiment where there was a crystal on the table. there was light coming from the spirit and the control spirit asked david fontana and others to touch the crystal- one moment it's solid, and then next moment it became a holographic image where their hands simply move through the crystal.

now, david fontana said that the only door into the room is locked and would have made alot of noise if open, and that the room was fully inspected before the session- that appeared to be a pretty strong evidence for a physical materialization (or dematerialization in that case).

reading david fontana book really blew my mind about some of the things he wrote about- made me very skeptical because some of those things he described (with mediumship, and with poltergeist, and with apparations) were very convincing and extraordinary.

pardon my ignorance, but exactly how credible is david fontana, and SPR? and with researchers like him and montague keen? if i picked up this book years before, i would have laugh at it and think that this book was written by some con-artists or that this book was just one of those new age books that are actually fictions rather than true scientific exploration.

for me, if i experience those things david fontana described in the book, or that i know someone (that i know) that i really trust who experienced them, then i would believe that these events were real, and leave it at that. do these things really happen? yes, david fontana still leave rooms for skepticisms, and offered many alternative possibilities- but in the end, even though i may not be a logical person, i find that these evidence really do point to the survival after death.

say if this book is written by sylvia browne, or victor zammit, then i would take this book with a grain of salt, or even dismiss it as mere fiction and wishful-thinking, but after extensive googling on my part (i may not be the expert googler), i have not find anything damaging or negative about david fontana, gary schwartz, ian stevenson, or montague keen. sure sure, skeptics called them gullible and poor researchers, but after reading them their books and researches- i just dont see any evidence that they're gullible or easily fooled.

the dogmatic skeptics' accusations in these cases, in my opinion, simply do not stand for these researchers. if they can find something really damaging (such as they committing fraud) then i would be convinced otherwise.

so what do you think about them? are they for real? or they're just all part of the conspiracy to deceive the public into believing afterlife?

i'm confused...

Regarding Edwards’ explanation, I agree with him that it probably came from her subconscious. Skilled psychics and clairvoyants agree that the subconscious is the mechanism of psychic perception. I disagree that it was a supernatural agency. I believe psychic perception it is a natural phenomena.

Of course his skeptical demonstration of how easy it is to be psychic used a conversation with John Lennon. I would have been more convinced by his skeptical argument had instead chosen to compose a brilliant classical piece.


Not quite fair.

Unlike Zammit, Schrenck-Notzing was a prominent and respected person - Munich's most highly regarded person. Nor did he believe in survival.

While I agree that it's doubtful that Marthe Beraud/Eva C ever produced a genuine phenomenon in her life, Schrenck-Notzing deserves our respect for bringing to scientific attention the mediumship of Willi and Rudi Schneider, who both have provided some of the strongest evidence for physical phenomena, and certainly under the toughest conditions ever imposed on any medium anywhere, ever. He pioneered the electrical control that Harry Price later employed in his amazing set of experiments.


I'm glad somebody brought up Scole. I read the same Fontana book a few weeks ago before my book dematerialized (I lost it)!

That bowl thing was the most impressive thing to me too. IMO, Scole was legit. Lots of outsiders attended and came away impressed.
I have heard a few weren't impressed but haven't seen direct quotes from them. I wrote Sheldrake and Noetic Sciences to see if I could get a quote from them about Scole. But no such luck as of yet.

Only solution for me? Start my own group and see if I can replicate any of the phenomena. Especially the spirit lights and that bowl trick! Hope others have started their own groups too.

But for now, no evidence that fraud occurred at Scole. Only negative thing was no results (Except a few dots/stars) with the film when it was inside the secure box that SPR designed.


Are the tests/results of Rudi and Willi in Baron's book that I mentioned?

I think there is not just a enormous amount of scientific evidence that we have souls but also our pets, and all other animals, insects etc[ all living organisms].

thanks joeMB, let me know what you find out. Sheldrake (rupert, right?) is also one of the researchers that i think highly of too. i heard his interview on skpetico and it was informative and science-oriented.

i did read that some visitors of the scole were not impressed, but then being impressed or not has nothing to do with whether the experiment was a fraud or not. i wouldnt expect that everyone will be impressed. it could be possible that some of the visitors' bias may have hinder the manifestation from taking places.

probably the only argument from the dogmatic skeptics i've read was the fact that most of the sittings were performed in complete darkness (disregarding of the fact that there were spirit illuminations during the sitting). it was a valid argument, but then some of the things that were happening cannot be replicated (or very difficult) even in broad daylight. for example, with the crystal bowl event, if all the sitters were watching the crystal at the same time..the trickster would have to swap the crystal and turn on the holographic image in seconds, in the watchful eyes of the sitters.

but then, just because i dont know how it's done doesnt mean that it can't be done. i like to read about it if someone can do it.

but overall, the skeptics cannot just dismiss the whole thing just because they did it in total darkness. a true skeptic should read every details of the report- and upon reading some of the controls, and some of the events that took place, a true skeptic would not have dismissed the validity of this experiment just because of one condition (even though this condition does pose a serious compromise to the integrity of the study).

i would be too afraid to start a circle here. call me superstitious or not, but you never know what you have invite in....there were cases of violent physical manifestations.....and maybe even possession!

I believe that Fontana and Keen saw spirit lights that lit up the room enough that you could see across the circle to the other sitters. So, total darkness was not always the case.

I wonder if they would have gotten the same results if they used red light?

vitor: thanks for the info. I found the spirits book after about 12 years into my research into life after death and must admit that about 90 to 95% of what is written in this book supports my findings.

One big exception for me is that this book teaches that "god" can “create” life/material/consciousness outside of its oneness or its absoluteness or its isness. From my point of view this book is very Christian oriented due to the former Christian saints that comes thru but does teach reincarnation and progression of the soul.

Kardec’s introduction chapter in this book and his insights into mediumship are very well thought out as he was a brilliant man. From my point of view the introduction chapter alone is a worthwhile read to explain his research methodology and to counter any future skepticism.

As far as the Scole experiments one night I emailed Noetic sciences about the Scole séances and lo and behold the person that attended these séances was working late and we exchanged emails several times. She stated that she did not find the séances that credible. She only attended one night if my memory serves me correctly and maybe one night is not enough to confirm the validity of a these séances.

Could this person from Noetic sciences if she is “very” skeptical influence the outcome of the séances? Maybe.

It appears that the Summerland is full of lisping English gentleman.

There's also video of Conan Doyle on youtube - worth comparing with David Thompson's utterances...

Oh dear I posted wrong place. Please ignore above post.

P.S. I'm dubious about Scole too. Anywhere darkness is demanded is reason for doubt. Nor do I think there was any control of the mediums at all. They were happy to just sit back and watch things happen. Now imagine had that been the attitude with Eusapia Palladino! Would she ever have produced a genuine phenomenon in her life under those circumstances?

After watching that Colin Fry video, I have even more difficulty believing he's for real.

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