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"Sorry to barge in, but I needed to clarify that from what I've read in a few different posts I gather Michael has had experience with a few mediums over the phone"

You're not barging in. Anyone is invited to comment. I wish more people would.

You're remembering correctly. I've had phone readings with three mediums and last month I had a personal session with a fourth. My phone reading with Georgia O'Connor was the most evidential.

"No one," you live in the heart of the beast!

I am the Beast.

I found your post relating to your experience with Georgia. Interesting, but wish you had shared more detail as to what you found evidentiary.

I also discovered that there is a spiritualist church in Rochester that was founded in the hayday of the sprititualist movement. Apparently it has survived continuously since then. Now that we are in for about six months of cruddy weather*, I think I have a mission to get me through it. I will visit the church and see what mediumistic activities are happening there (the website makes some vague allusions to this sort of thing).

* the long terrible winters may explain a lot, actually. re; talking salamanders and old Split Foot.

What I'm personally not liking is that for the hypothesis of Mania to work, which I do NOT blow off hand, you have to assume that the controls reported were misreported. That is to say, really, that they were lying.. a road im not sure I want to go down with.. if only because there is no independent evidence to support that (at least for the best cases, not talking about Cook here.

MP - For instance, take the often-cited survey of crisis apparitions performed by the SPR. If a large segment of the general public was in an unusually excited mood with regard to Spiritualist ideas, then perhaps the results of this survey should be taken with a grain of salt. Perhaps other populaces in other times and places would report far fewer apparitions

I think this is precisely equivalent to the current NDE mania. There is a lot of excitement and hope into this particular phenomena right now, but in reality the empirical evidence for many of these are on level with the evidence from a spiritual seance potentially fraudulent and overexaggerated.

If 'readings' with mental mediums were all that was required to convince me of survival I would have been a sceptic today.

As I said in my earlier post unless you've had a variety of experiences e.g. holding a conversation with a loved one or friend who is in the next world you will never be truly convinced of life after death.

In the UK we had Leslie Flint and in the USA you had Etta Wriedt, for example, plus many others over the years who provided the best kind of evidence.

However, I know of no-one today of that calibre so I accept that it is difficult to get that kind of evidence.

Hi Zerdini,

What would be good would be to nail down an explanation of why we seem to have had higher quality mediums in the past, but nobody of any great quality today.

This is mportant to explain, as skeptics will take the usual line that the earlier evidence only seems better due to poorer quality controls etc.

Why has the quality of mediumship dropped?

Or is it that the number of high quality mediums have not dropped, but that they no longer operate in the public sphere any more? If so, why not?

@Douglas:

I wish there was a simple answer to your questions but there isn't.

There have always been a few outstanding mediums in the history of mediumship but numerous mediocre ones.

In more than fifty years of investigation in different countries I can count the number of quality mediums to be less than a dozen.

We can theorise why this may be so but it wouldn't be very helpful.

It would certainly make the case for mediumsship a lot stronger if such information was conveyed in some cases of spirit communication. I have read a number of anecdotes on the Internet similar to these experiments and they all come out negative.

No it wouldn't we can't expect spirits from the otherside to be all knowing. Also using probability theory here and if you look at all the evidence that support survival their is far more that supports it then doesn't support it.

Yesterday I read the application procedure for JREF challenge and the Faq and I must say I find the conditions reasonable enough. It wouldn't be difficult to apply if you really had any abilities. Ofcourse it's at their discretion to reject your application but then it's their problem and not the applicants.

You may want to look at Michael's post on his challenge and how its just a publicity stunt. Also even if someone was to succeed it wouldn't prove anything science demands independent replication.

"Yesterday I read the application procedure for JREF challenge and the Faq and I must say I find the conditions reasonable enough. It wouldn't be difficult to apply if you really had any abilities"

The problem is that JREF is known for dragging out the application process for years until applicants just give up. They do test some people, but from what I can tell, they fast-track applicants who are easy to debunk, while putting roadblocks in front of the more serious ones.

Graham Nicholls wrote an interesting response to Randi in the comments section of this interview when asked why he wouldn't apply for the MDC:
http://www.spoonfed.co.uk/spooners/tom-699/avenues-of-the-human-spirit-an-interview-with-graham-nicholls-6040/

The problem is that JREF is known for dragging out the application process for years until applicants just give up. They do test some people, but from what I can tell, they fast-track applicants who are easy to debunk, while putting roadblocks in front of the more serious ones.

If applicants went public with this JREF would immediately loose support from their followers. I would be interested to find someone who actually applied but was 'rejected' due to such roadblcoks. I know they wouldn't take that guy who could live without eating but it's only sensible to reject claims that in any way potentially could harm the applicant. If someone actually died during the test they would have to shut down the challenge.

I would be interested to find someone who actually applied but was 'rejected' due to such roadblcoks.

Like this guy?

http://www.naturalnews.com/025627.html

Are you familiar with 'Cosmos and Psyche' by Richard Tarnas, and do you think his arechetypal astrology has anything to do with these manias?

Sorry, I haven't read Tarnas' book or even heard of it until now.

Give it a read, it's a real tour de force. He makes a really strong case for astrology, and events in the heavens correlating with those on earth. It sounds kooky at first until you realize he has amazing credentials, and the book is very scholarly. I highly recommend it, maybe it will shed some light on parapsychology

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