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@Juan, Michael

I found Laszlo’s article on worldITC entry,where he tried to provide "scientific explanation" for ITC. I cannot provide the link, but if you go to worldITC.com, then "Theories" on the left side - you fill find Laszlo's article.

I found some contradictions there. Let me cite:
“A vacuum-hologram does not have sensory organs. How, then, does such a hologram access information from a flesh-and-blood individual? We should note that the evidence for transcommunication does not suggest that the vacuum-based hologram has sensory types of perceptions, such as seeing sights in three dimension and hearing ordinary sounds. It does indicate, on the other hand, that such an entity can perceive questions and comments from living persons. How this may be possible calls for reference to the theory of holographic information transfer outlined above. The hologram that represents the consciousness of the deceased accesses the utterances of the living interlocutor through interaction with the hologram created in the vacuum by the living individual's brain…Transcommunication can be assumed to take place when the hologram created by the brain of the living interlocutor and the hologram that carries the consciousness of the deceased resonate at the same frequency. Then the hologram that carries the consciousness of the deceased person accesses the information carried by the hologram of the living person.”

So for him, consciousness after death exists in quantum hologram. Is that similar to M.Talbot?

“The hypothesis explored here is that the holographic traces of the consciousness associated with the brain of a living person persist in the physical vacuum. However, if transcommunication is an authentic phenomenon, the evidence goes beyond this; it suggests that the vacuum contains not merely a passive record of a person's consciousness, created during that person's lifetime and then persisting unchanged, but harbors a dynamic bundle of information based on the experiences accumulated in that lifetime. Under suitable conditions, this bundle of information appears to be available for transcommunication after the demise of the brain and body that has generated it.”

Then he presents “esoteric” hypotheis if “shells” and “etheric bodies”. Then he presents “scientific hypothesis”:
“It views the voices attributed to discarnate entities as waves that are imperceptible by sensory organs but are nonetheless real. Supporters of this hypothesis point out that many waves propagate in space that we cannot perceive directly but must deduce through complex chains of reasoning (eg, quantum waves, gravity waves). There are also waves that are in themselves not accessible to the senses (such as radio waves) but can be transformed into sense-perceivable form by electronic devices. There is no reason to assume that some waves would not have remained undiscovered due to lack of necessary instruments. Some of these waves could be accessed by specially gifted “psychic” individuals, and when accessed they would produce the phenomena of telepathic (direct) or instrumental (indirect) transcommunication.”


But then, he seems close to reject survival at all, look here:
“This answer is simpler, more economical, and at the same time more general than that of the esoteric tradition. There is no need to assume a special spiritual shell in regard to human beings; all things in space and time, from quanta to galaxies, leave their traces in the physical vacuum. These traces constitute scalar wave fronts that interfere and create natural holograms. In the vacuum, the holograms created by the wave fronts are not subject to attenuation or cancellation. As new waves are generated, the existing interference patterns superpose, and the information they contain is integrated with the preexisting patterns in the manner of multiplex holograms.”

However,he admits:
“The truly fundamental question is how a hologram in the physical vacuum can possess the kind of autonomy that is shown by a dialog with a living individual. This is a hard but not an unresearchable question. Given the theoretical tools, the mathematics, and the electronic simulation methods at our disposal, it should not be impossible to ascertain whether sets of coherent elements within an information-rich complex field can operate with a distinct level of autonomy of their own.”

And this conclusion seems more pro-survival anyway:

“Of the three questions posed above, two have cogent—if as yet hypothetical—answers based on the recognition of the presence of the physical vacuum as an underlying information, conserving and transmitting, and thus nonlocal connection-producing, field. On the other hand, the third question poses a major challenge for scientific research.

Exploring and possibly confirming the here-suggested answer to the two easier questions would lend credence to the phenomenon of ITC. Finding an acceptable answer to the “hard” question would be entirely fundamental. It would support a perennial belief held in nearly all religions and traditions of spirituality: belief in the survival of a form of consciousness beyond the portals of death. In the context of science, it would mark a milestone in our understanding of the phenomenon of human consciousness and its occasional, even if perhaps temporary, persistence beyond the demise of the body.”

So,consciousness persists as hologram in vaccum? Looks like bizzare idea

@Juan, you said:" The important thing is that the Akashic Records hypothesis is also vulnerable to some objections against the super-psi hypothesis: the cross-correspondences, the drop-in communications and some spirits of the dead speak of their stay in the afterlife before taking the control medium, achieving coherence between them independently."

I think 2 quotes from Julia Assante(whose book I'm going to purchase" and Jeffrey Marks(whose book I've read) may be quite rellevant to "akashic record"

Assante: "DMILS or any form of super-psi and reservoir hypotheses cannot explain afterdeath communication that takes the form of dialogue, even arguments. Nor can they explain instances in which the dead tell us about something that they and only they know, something that occurred after their deaths"

Marks: ""In several cases, the deceased will acknowledge events and happenings that have occurred to the sitter since the deceased had been dead – someone got married, a new child was born into the family, what have you. Quantum holographic recording isn’t adequate enough to explain why the person I feel standing off to my left would be bringing up such information. Moreover, sometimes a deceased person will predict a future event. For instance, I mentioned to a client to watch out for a pair of birds, that’s how her deceased loved one would present himself. Not long after, she received a mysterious photograph of two birds on her cell phone."

I think this may be relevant to the question of "akashic". Sorry, for the long posts, but Laszlo/"akashic" is really "hot" topic form me these days. Hopefullt 2 above quotes and personal considerations(cross-corespondence,drop-ins) will quite this concern.
Regards,
Alexander

lyn, your post about global warming I agree it's one of the major problems facing the world but this blog believes it is part of nature's variation and is not anthropogenic

"As for psychokinesis suggesting that the mind exists outside the body, I am not so sure. It would definitely indicate the mind could affect matter through some non-physical mechanism but I can't see how it necessarily means the mind could exist separately from the body."

I agree, and I certainly wasn't suggesting that. The main point I was making is that, if true, psychokinesis would change so radically our limited conception of the mind, and at the same time, shine such a glaring light on the close-mindedness of materialist fundamentalism, that virtually *everything* would suddenly seem to be up for grabs.

@bruce - understood.

The alleged materialization, which was demonstrated on the WIKI webside, was performed by Linda Gazerra under the scientific observation of Dr. Imoda. Gazerra´s materializations were doubeted by Charles Richet and several others due to her loose controls. It´s a typical sceptical style of debunking to raise concerns by coming up with poor evidence. I recommend Prof. Braude´s discussion as he deeply critisized such a style.

Thanks for the info, JOKI. Using those names, I was able to find a series of photos of this medium and her alleged materializations on the Felix Circle site:

http://felixcircle.blogspot.com/2008/05/famous-german-writer-and-scientist_1276.html

The purported sprits look like cutouts draped in cloth and hair. A book called The Living Age, which turned up as a result of my search, says that Gazerra refused to submit to body searches and was eventually found to have "imported dolls, drapery, and even birds in her false hair and her underclothing." The book doesn't explain who discovered this or how widely she was discredited.

I din't know if the RW photo shows Cesare Lombroso or not. Lombroso reportedly did write about Gazerra, though I don't know what opinion he had of her. Charles Richet, whom I criticized in my essay "Of Dinosaurs and Phantoms," also investigated Gazerra and found her genuine, according to this source:

http://www.answers.com/topic/linda-gazzera

regardless of who is on the photo it's sloppy debunking. even if it was Lombroso in the photo it doesn't mean he endorsed the medium. he could have been there simply testing. it's only out of convenience that the skeptic uses the photo and fills in the gap of what it implies. it would be like seeing the photos of Harry Price with Helen Ducan suggesting he endorsed her when it couldn't be further from the truth. it's sleazy reasoning

I think they got it backwards in regards to the holographic universe theory. This side is the holographic projection and the other side is the original holographic film. I believe the "film" exists in another dimension with physics that are entirely different from this side. The "soul" or consciousness exists on the other side and interacts with the holographic quantum tubules in the brain.

When the body dies the soul simply merges back into the quantum hologram on the other side.

The side is the holographic projection and the other side, heaven, is the film.

@Judith
"Have you, Michael, or any of the people writing on your site read "The Last Frontier" by Julia Assante, and, if so, what is your opinion on it?"

I've read Julia Asante's book, was impressed by it, and think it's better than most on the subject. She's undoubtedly sincere, touches on a range of issues, is herself a sensitive, and provides insight into how that capability functions in her. The focus of the book is not so much to provide evidentiality for an afterlife, but rather how to integreate the idea of an afterlife into living this life. Death is talked about from a variety of persectives, which is is one of the strong points of the book.

There are, of course, many, many books on (the) afterlife. If you're looking for a more general survey of the literature, David Fontana's "Is There an Afterlfe" is hard to beat. There's also a free online book called "21 Days Into the Afterlife" by Piero Calvi-Parisetti. Unfortunately, the latter cites Helen Duncan as an exemplary example of a medium, tainting the case. If you ignore that, the majority of the other types of "evidence" provide good jump-off places for further study.

thanks for the recommendation re Julia asante, tsavo, I think the test of a book like this is how convincingly it deals with controversial areas -can you give a summary of what she says about reincarnation (since many deny reincarnation exists)

Lyn, It is much easier for me to suggest googling 'Watts Up With That' and 'Jonova' than to provide links. Many contributors to those sites are true scientists not on the Man Made Global Warming funding gravy train. Take a few hours off from 'survival' to get up to speed on MMGW on those sites to make up your own mind.

I spent a considerable amount of time researching the work of Cesare Lombroso and I could not find one source which cited his endorsement of Gazerra, the most I found is that he studied her but I don't see any opinion floating out there but if someone has more info I would be interested (with a source or citation of course).

Disappointing that Richet thought he was genuine, which admittedly cast doubt on his other research. Luckily there are many other excellent case studies to sink your teeth into.

"Disappointing that Richet thought he was genuine"

I meant she. Sorry.

Michael it is amazing that you claim to be an "objective" researcher, and that you support the mediumship of Palladino as genuine. It is a shame you leave the other story out, such as her long history of fraud. There is no evidence Palladino was genuine. She was even found moving curtains with compressed air in light bulbs. The lady was a genius at tricks.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Eusapia_Palladino

The question needs to be asked, why was she not checked before the investigations into her mediumship occured. As you can see many of the experiments with Palladino were not done in scientifically controlled conditions.

You also claim she could levitate tables, but you what forget to mention is, is that she refused to have anyone hold her legs under the table, and she could not levitate the table standing up or from a distance.

@Barbara
"thanks for the recommendation re Julia asante, tsavo, I think the test of a book like this is how convincingly it deals with controversial areas -can you give a summary of what she says about reincarnation (since many deny reincarnation exists)"

Apologies to Michael for going quite far off topic.

Julia Assante very much believes in reincarnation and devotes an entire chapter to summarizing evidence in support thereof. She talks about discriminating past life remembrances from such things as compensation fantasy, cryptomnesia, waking dreams, genetic memory, collective unconscious, super-psi, fraud, and deception, but for the most part leaves it to the reader to evaluate the available evidence for themselves. She cites cryptomnesia as "...the greatest threat to the theory of reincarnation..." In support of past life memories she discusses hypnotherapy (eg Cannon, Wambach, Netherton, Goldberg, Guirdham), spontaneous recall, remembrances by children (Stevenson, mentioning phobias, xenoglossy, and birthmarks as particularly telling). Beyond external evidentiary types of arguments, she more explicitly claims personal communication with deceased individuals who tell of having other lives. She interprets reincarnation as being outside of time, with all lives (past and future) being coincident. She discusses the idea of an oversoul in several places and is obviously sympathetic to the idea.

I should take this opportunity to say that my previous comments about her book were not quite to the mark. I have become so familiar with the general drift of afterlife arguments through my reading, that what stuck in my mind were issues relating more to dealing with, and thinking about, death itself, which is what I tried to convey. Having gone back and looked again, I note that she spends the first quarter of the book garnering evidence for survival, so it is not lacking in that regard (though it is still not the primary focus).

'Michael it is amazing that you claim to be an "objective" researcher, and that you support the mediumship of Palladino as genuine.'

I don't think I've ever said I'm objective. I'm not sure anyone is objective when it comes to this stuff. The debunkers seem to believe they are objective, but I think they are just not very good at assessing their own biases.

Re Palladino, I certainly wouldn't regard a RationalWiki article as a reliable source! Feilding's book Sittings with Eusapia Palladino is the best source I know of. Stephen Braude's The Limits of Influence summarizes the Feilding book in detail.

Every time I've discussed Palladino, I've emphasized that she was an eccentric who was known to cheat, and who even boasted of her ability to trick people. If you're not aware that I've repeatedly stressed this point, then you haven't read what I've written.

"You also claim she could levitate tables, but you what forget to mention is, is that she refused to have anyone hold her legs under the table."

In the Naples sittings discussed by Feilding, her legs were firmly held. And one of the investigators crawled under the table and observed Palladino's legs with a lantern, while also observing that all four legs of the table were off the floor. Also, two of the investigators climbed onto the levitating table in an attempt to lower it, but their combined weight (at least 300 pounds) had no effect.

It's necessary to actually read the relevant literature in order to formulate an informed opinion on these things. In fact, this is a good rule of thumb in general.

Still, I concede that we can never know for certain what happened in the Naples sittings or in Palladino's other sessions. That's one reason why I place much more importance on well-documented cases of mental mediumship, where eyewitness reports are not at issue. I don't think physical and materialization mediumship count for much as evidence, because a) so much of it is fraudulent, and b) even the possibly genuine cases are dependent on eyewitness testimony, which can always be disputed or discounted.

The best survival evidence, in my opinion, comes from detailed cases of mental mediumship in which the communications are recorded in real time by a stenographer or on audiotape (or by the medium, in the case of automatic writing); near-death experiences with strong veridical elements; children's spontaneous memories of past lives, when details of the memories are verified by independent investigators; and crisis apparition cases with verifiable evidential content.

I wouldn't say any line of evidence is conclusive, but the sum total of these various lines of evidence is compelling. Certainly fraud and delusion cannot account for all of it.

"Harry Price fan" (which I suspect is a Daryl clone), just curious what you think of his experiments with Rudi Schneider and Stella C?

"The best survival evidence, in my opinion, comes from detailed cases of mental mediumship in which the communications are recorded in real time by a stenographer or on audiotape (or by the medium, in the case of automatic writing); near-death experiences with strong veridical elements;" - Michael Prescott
----------------------------------

For me it's near death experiences with allusions or connections to the holographic universe theory. When I stumble upon them I'm always amazed. Sometimes I read mystical experiences too that seem to have a very "holographic" flavor that I am fairly certain are real.

For instance, from Transcendental Experiences of Scientists, Dr. Taudo says, "I was astonished to see that the man's legs seemed somehow to be elongating through the concrete floor! As I visually followed them "down" they appeared to merge with a very large, living structure which appeared to be the back of some sort of truly enormous reptile.

I was quite confused by this, as one might imagine, and looked intently to determine what I was seeing. The image did not fade, but became ever more clear. As I looked around, I saw that the same "connection" was true of everyone in the room. Each stood revealed to me as a kind of animated extrusion from the body of the beast - individual, but of a piece with the same living organism."
http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=expom&id=00070&ss=1

and from Carl Turner's mystical experience I read, "My awareness was somehow intensified to a level that is not humanly possible. "I" was the awareness I was experiencing and that is the part that I find frustrating to communicate. I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere."
http://www.beyondreligion.com/su_personal/dreamsvisions-kundalini.htm

over and over and over again I stumble upon these stories that all make reference to the interconnectedness of the Universe, how our separation is an illusion, and how ultimately were are all connected to the source. I find that to be very evidential.

Alexander1304 has uploaded a book Frederick C.Dommeyer "Body ,Mind ,Death"(1965) see his post on the skeptiko forum. I downloaded the book and it put a trojan on my computer! Luckily I have very good internet safety, but anyone else and it will probably damage your computer.

It seems to me that 'darryl' cannot live without me - he follows my every step. Regarding F.C.Dommeyer's "Body ,Mind and Death" I indeed wanted to bring it do discussion on Skeptico. It is anti-survivalist book of 1965, discussing 3 types: OBEs,apparitions and mental/trance mediumship. The book is exceedengly pro-ESP,I was surprised to find pro-ESP book of 1965.Also,it was probably me who was impressed by the arguments and seeked some discussion/rebuttal/weak points. So far I found that this book mentioned only by R.Almeder in "Death and Personal Survival" - he points out(rightly,I hope),that Dommeyer description of Butler's apparitioins as mass halucination is ad hoc. M.Grosso mentions this Almeder's remarks in his "Experiencing the next world". But Dommeyer is very critical of mediumship as well,and at the end present his opinion how cross-correspondences better account for telepathy rather for survival.That's what I wanted to bring to attention. I tried to upload it on Skeptico,but failed,then put it into 2share.I'll try to find a website where it is possible to copy whole text(book is only 76 pages) - and then to provide link. Perhaps my consern about Dommeyer's points is overrated - not sure if it reasonable ti base opinion on 1965 book, which went hardly noticed since then,and especially books of A.Gauld ,S.Braud and C.Carter were published.I just had a look in C.Carter's latest - he pretty much(hope,rightly) adresses ESP arguments. Dommeyer agrues that ESP is more 'economical' and survival is 'unnescesary',but it is sure up to debate

I forgot to add - right now I'm reading David Lorimer's "Survival?".First half of historical traditions didn't seem too interesting but now I'm on empirical part - looks pretty good.Did anyone read it?What are your opinions?

Hi Alexander.

I have read the book Survival? by David Lorimer and found it very good especially the empirical part, because the historical part I found a bit boring. Lorimer concluded that these particular cases of apparitions, NDE and OBE involve materialistic hypothesis of the mind is only valid in the normal waking state, but in other situations has been to establish the hypothesis of the astral body and the hypothesis of brain as a filter of mind.

On the other hand, I have not read that book of Dommeyer, but I have some ideas on the hypothesis that all apparitions are instances of ESP. Now, it is true that in some cases the most likely is that the apparitions are telepathic projections, because the witness not only perceives the sender, but also to their environment. But in other cases likely apparitions are physical beings that appear on the site, because they block light sources, are seen by several witnesses at once, causing severe drops, etc. I would recommend the book The Enigma of Survival, by Hornell Hart, that I have read, is very good at analyzing the objections and counter-objections of the various claims and is available online but a chapter.

Hi Juan,
Meanwhole I enjoy Lorimer's book

Here is Dommeyer,I uploaded it here,for easy read :

http://www.scribd.com/doc/117386058/Body-Mind-and-Ddeath

@Alexander

I think this Daryl character has an unhealthy obsession with you, i'd be flattered :)

You might enjoy these series of videos on a lecture by Bruce Greyson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdqRzmXQE78

Thanks,Ray,I'll have a look. Regarding the Dommeyer's book of1965,I also sent it Alan Gauld, we are in friendly correspondence and he is always kind to respond to all my questions regarding paranormal.He responded,that book is written lucidely but there is actually nothing new...So,there are no "Dommeyer's arguments" there are just "ESP arguments" and this was discussed countless times since 1965 in good books/blogs/articles. It was just the first book I've seen that in 76 pages argues against survival and promotes ESP. I like suevival arguments, but for me to accept them I need them to be solidly grounded and have advantage over ESP.Therefore I brought this book into discussion

Alexander,

Here is something else for you. It is the case of highly skeptical magician David Abbot, who like Houdini, came away from spiritualism being able to explain all phenomena by normal means and trickery, except Elizabeth Blake, a direct voice medium. He took another magician with him under an assumed name and she produced all kind of independent direct voices with veridical information. In my opinion this is one the best documented cases suggesting survival. Here we have:

1) Highly skeptical magician who encountered genuine phenomena for the first time, which adds more weight for me then investigators who are already convinced or even open minded to it

2) Veridical info given be alleged spirits

3) Direct voice from the alleged spirits(no trance)

4) Some of the information provided to the 2 investigators were not known to them that they had to later verify

5) They ensured that data mining was impossible by covering their tracks

To me, this case stretches the super psi theory to its breaking point. Here is a primary source- a book written by Mr. Abbott himself on the Blake case

http://books.google.com/books?id=p3Q_AAAAYAAJ&pg=PP10&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

Very many thanks,Ray,seems like an excellent read!
I found good article of Scott Rogo on Michael Tymn's web:

http://whitecrowbooks.com/features/page/thoughts_on_survival_of_consciousness_by_d._scott_rogo

He makes 2 good cases there: deceased tries to communicate "uninveted" and person posesses skills of the deceased.
Dommeyer,as Carter, mentions case in Tamboff,where during the seance was "intrusion". He the promises to criticize this case, but later doesn't mention it. He also argues that skills of the deceased can be acuired by ESP from the living person, the point that both Rogo and Carter found completely 'ad hoc' - and I tend to agree. They both state that skills are matter of long practice, no any shred of evidence that skills can be acquired through ESP.
The case You provided is definetely strong one, but I think there are number of mental/trance cases mentioned that are also problematicl for ESP - dialog,the things that happens AFTER the the communicator died. Dommeyer makes about 8 points about (supposed) weaknesses of mediumistic communications, even mentione Eileen Garret,that she admitted she didn't know what it original of her controls.The he feels that it is enough to "demolish" survivalistic explanatioins of "cross-correspondences" and to demonstrate how telepathy is "better" explanations. And he indeed does that - in conplete 'ad hoc' in my opinion. But the most interesting point that I've never found his book in Internet mentioned even by pro-ESPers ,as to support their view.I think this tells something

You can find the story of Elizabeth Blake on my website, www.zerdinisworld.com

Compare the links on the article:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Leslie_Flint#Voices

Of Harry Price. As you can see the direct voice mediumship of Flint claiming to be Harry Price sounded nothing like the real Harry Price. Also Flint's tape recording of Ghandi sounded nothing like Ghandi... the list goes on and on. Flint was a fraud. Also notice the piece of cloth on his sholder which he claimed the be a "spirit voice box". Is there any such thing as a genuine medium. Every single one has been shot down.

I agree that many of the voices in the Flint tape sound similar, it is something I am having trouble with myself but I I will not waste my time referencing a rational wiki article. That is like a true believer citing Helen Ducan as proof of genuine physical mediumship. Both are not exactly ideal for getting to the bottom of the survival issue

also hp fan you didn't address my question on Stella c and Rudolph Schneider who hp found to be genuine.

If you mean Rudi Schneider. Harry Price exposed Rudi as a fraud. He even obtained photos of him, freeing his hands when they were supposed to be restrained and caught him using other tricks. The Schneider brothers were both frauds.

Stella C was known for reducing the room temperature in the seance room and moving small objects. Firstly as Price later admitted the room temperature dropping has a natural explanation, and secondly whilst he did believe that some objects had been moved in the seance room he rejected the spiritualist hypothesis and proposed that perhaps somekind of unknown force in is operation which orthodox science does not know about.

Considering that Palladino and others could move objects very easily by tricks, it is very easy to suggest Stella was cheating in the dark conditions.

In his last book Price was honest enough to admit even though he claimed to have observed some strange movement of objects in the seance room, they have not been repeated by science. If it is not repeatable it is not nice, this is why Price was mostly an honest psychical researcher, whilst modern day researchers such as Prescott are not.

The spiritualists are known for moving goal posts. The fox sisters were frauds so then they mention Helen Duncan, Duncan was a total fraud so then they mention Eva C, she was a total fraud so they mention Eusapia Palladino... Pallindo was caught cheating so they mention Leslie Flint... Flint was a fraud so they mention someone like Rudolph Schneider... the list goes on and on. No science has ever proven the spirit hypothesis of the spiritualists. What we have is a bunch of frauds, tricks, natural explanations or anecdotal reports which are not considered science.

We are in the 21st century anyone who actually believes spirits can take over peoples bodies in the seance room is either trolling, or deluded themselves with magical or wishful thinking. Mediumship is fake, but life after death may exist. We will only know then when we get there. Science cannot prove the para-normal. If para-normal is real, it is beyond the empirical study of the scientific method. Cheers.

If it is not repeatable it is not science, this is why Price was mostly an honest psychical researcher, whilst modern day researchers such as Prescott are not.

Just a correct on the spelling mistake in the above lines. If you want another honest parapsychologist you can read the book called Investigating the paranormal by Tony Cornell, he admits in the book that 80% of the paranomal has a natural explanation or the result of fraud or delusion etc. He ends the book by rejecting the spiritualist hypothesis and suppporting the view that perhaps 20% of the paranormal is real but beyond scientific explanation. He spent 50 years of his life investigating the paranormal. It is very interesting how Cornell came to the opposite conclusions to Prescott.

True, especially physical mediumship had many frauds, but there have been probably authentic physical mediums such as direct voice mediumship of John Sloan who appears in the book On Egde of Etheric by Arthur Findlay. Besides stronger evidence on the existence of the afterlife comes from mental mediumship.

About the paranormal and science, of course there may be a scientific study of paranormal phenomena, as demonstrated by the Society for Psychical Research in London, only that parapsychology belongs to the soft sciences, not hard sciences. And some psi phenomena are repeatable, but its reproducibility is statistical, not puntual, as often happens in the human sciences.

"and proposed that perhaps somekind of unknown force in is operation which orthodox science does not know about."

text book definition of promissory materialism and moving the goal post. the experiments were repeated over many sessions in controlled conditions with few being considered a failure. There were no traces of fraud yet you suggest it because these things cannot possibly happen.

I posted a long comment on this thread, and now it's disappeared. Apparently this is proof of dematerialization, at least!

I'll summarize what I wrote.

I'm not a "researcher," only a blogger. I actually agree with HP Fan on many points - which isn't surprising, since most of my posts on physical mediumship have been skeptical. I do think there are a few legitimate cases, but they are rare. Even authentic cases are probably best understood as PK rather than "spirits." Harry Price was not unusual in expressing his opinion about an "unknown force" -- this was the most common view of researchers as far back as Victorian times. Mediums insisted they were vessels for spirits, but the researchers generally did not accept this view. Personally I think the unconscious manifests these phenomena - see the case of "Phillip the imaginary ghost," reported in Conjuring Up Phillip, by Owen and Sparrow. Belief in spirits may facilitate the phenomena by serving as a psychological defense mechanism against the "fear of psi" discussed by Charles Tart.

That's the Cliff Notes version! We'll see if TypePad's balky servers can actually keep it posted.

Alexander1304 considering you seem to believe in any far out idea then perhaps you would enjoy "The Secret Language of Stone" by Don Robins which concludes all ghosts, hauntings, mediumship and most psychic phenomena can be explained by the energy of stones, that memories can be stored in the molecular structure of the stone to later play back memories as hallucinations in people. Id buy this anyday over the spiritualist medium hypothesis :)

Stone Tape: I now that I easy believe everything I read, and that's the problem.To deal with it I come to this blog, to Skeptico blog, and in correspondence with Alan Gaul and Stephen Braude, authors of the books that considered to be "classics". Many of the things that I initially took seriously they pointed out that there is not reason to.
Regadrind "Stone Language" - I wonder hiw many people would take it seiously.It is indeed far out. I also came to believe that the time is the best arbiter - good ideas stand the test of time, And this seems to be "one man idea".Actually,you know what? Noted parapsychologist William Roll also proposed idea of "memory traces" and "psi fields" - and it was criticized by Braude and Gauld.I f you gonna prefer "stone memory" over spiritualism hypotheis - good for you. I wonder,how mnay SERIOUS paranormal/afterlife researches would take is seriously?Even idea of "memory trace" seemed to no go further than Roll's idea. And I wonder how "stone memory" will account for proxy sittings and drop-ins.Simple criticl thining...

I made the search on Google about "The Secret Language of Stone" - this is not new book at all,it is of 1988 and currently out of print.So, no "classic" by any means.But I found interesting review on googreads, I copy/paste it here:
"This author proposes an intriguing theory about relationships between natural objects (especially stone) and the human nervous system which accounts (at least partially) for certain kinds of paranormal experiences. The ideas and facts described in this book are presented in a manner that is both compelling and enlightening. I learned a lot of cool stuff about science by reading this book. Unfortunately, I did not find his theory credible. Parts of it were solid, but its overall expanatory power was lacking. I liked what I read until I reached the last chapter. Then I was greatly disappointed. The author lays a brilliant groundwork, but then he (his theory) fails to deliver the goods. He provides evidence and explanations without adequately describing precisely how or why the phenomena occur. And he leaves very important questions unanswered. Having said that, the book is outstanding all the way up until the last chapter, so it is definitely worth reading.This is a fascinating topic."

It just confirmed my got feeling and now I think I don't need to go further with this book/theory. See my italic and bold.
I am sure that if that lawperson have found that it "failed to deliver the goods" and "left many critical questions unanswered", researchers of calibers like Gauld/Braude would be even more critical.The next my gut feeling is that the author of the book is not familiar deeply with SPR work,mediumship in particular.More and more I learn about the history if mediumship. more and more I see how complex the topic is,and it cannot be treated at general,but case-by-case

The chapter "The Cheese-Cloth Worshippers" from Harry Price's Leaves From A Psychist's Case-Book (1933) convincingly documents Harry Price's closed mind. I suggest everyone read the chapter for themselves to understand this point. Price made a career out of skepticism so an open mind would not have been in his financial interests. The best solution he could devise to witnessing and photographing the phenomena associated with the cooperative Mrs. Duncan on several occasions under controlled circumstances was: "Every orifice of her body was medically explored--and we found nothing . . . We formed the opinion that Mrs. Duncan was a regurgitator, i.e., a person who could swallow things and bring them up again at will . . ." In his own words, Prince observed about the 'cheesecloth' (ectoplasm) during a seance with the entranced Mrs. Duncan: "There appeared to be yards of it. Some of it was trailing on the floor; one end was poked up her nostril; a piece was issuing from her mouth. It moved, it writhed, it waggled, it squirmed on the floor, it spread itself out like an apron . . . All these transformations and permutations took place in a red light bright enough to read small print by."

An Open Mind, can we just be honest for a few seconds. Helen Duncan was a fraud (everyone knows this) you do not need to be a "skeptic" to admit this, there is no doubt about it, Harry Price and Dr. William Brown did an honest job in exposing her, even spiritualists have been forced to accept she cheated. Have you seen the plastic props she used in the seance room, her "spirit" peggy was basically a coat hanger, and a plastic mask! You can see it all here:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Helen_Duncan

The cheese-cloth was even found from x-rays inside Helen Duncan's stomach but she first denied these x-rays and hid her cheese-cloth in the street, she even tried to punch Dr. William Brown! She was not a nice lady. Google search helen duncan in images to see how fake her ectoplasm is, nobody with a healthy mind is going to accept her ectoplasm as genuine, it is cheese-cloth! and it was examined as cheese-cloth scientifically, there is no conspiracy, she also used plastic dolls and stuck magazine cut outs of people on it to pretend were spirits and all these things were found in the seance room after investigation.

Duncan's former maid Mary McGinlay confessed in detail to having aided Duncan in her mediumship tricks, and later even Duncan's husband admitted the whole thing was a scam.

Lights were also turned on and it turned to be Duncan in a white gown on occasions dressed as a spirit. If you want to make a case for genuine mediumship then Duncan is an embarressment and should be at the bottom of your list.

There are some quite *convincing* mediums (only a few) such as Stella C (but I recently dug up some dirt on her), Gladys Osborne Leonard (I have not debunked this one yet, I need to research her) and Ursula Roberts. But that is about it. Every other medium has been shot down, especially all modern mediums.

Eusapia Palladino was a fraud who used compressed air in rubber bulbs and even pieces of string and hair to move objects in the seance room, she was a clever lady, but a fraud.

The Schneider brothers (someone mentioned on this page earlier) were also frauds. They have been caught cheating many times, I just spent ages looking this up, see here for this evidence:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Schneider_brothers

I will continue to research Stella C, and Gladys Osborne Leonard but I think I have found evidence for fraud. It looks like all the mediums have been shot down. Sorry. Every single one is a fraud. My quest in exposing these mediums will end in two weeks as I am going back to University. It's funny how in the last two years I have changed from a convinced spiritualist to a skeptic of the subject but as I stated to Chris Carter just becuase mediumship is fake, does not mean the afterlife does not exist. But the narrow minded modern day "parapsychologists" such as those found on the skeptiko forum can not get their head around this and continue to peddle long debunked mediums out of dishonesty or sadly serious delusion.

The problem is users such as those on the skeptiko forum who believe in the paranormal and things like ectoplasm or mediumship have not read both sides of the story. Indeed their book collections will not contain such books as Neher, Andrew. Paranormal and Transcendental Experience: A Psychological Examination or Alex Owen (2004). The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England, Ronald Pearsall. (2004) Table-Rappers: The Victorians and the Occult or Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking by Leonard Zusne and Warren H. Jones etc etc which have debunked the claims of the mediums by science.

Then compare those books to modern psi books such as RANDI'S PRIZE: What sceptics say about the paranormal, why they are wrong and why it matters which contains serious dishonesty.. see his chapter on Eusapia Palladino for example nowhere in the text does he mention the bulb or string trick of palladino etc, or the other many times she was caught cheating in the seance room by countless scientists. Note how Michael Prescott gave this book a five star review on amazon. This says a lot. Sorry but none of you guys are interested in truth, it is very sad to see. The problem is you start with the assumption that the paranormal exists and refuse to accept any evidence which contradicts this view. I guess the same can be said for some of the dogmatic skeptics, (I am no fan of randi) but his type have done a good job of debunking the fraud in parapsychology. We need more honest people studying this subject, but I will not study it anymore, I am a field naturalist taking a science degree and I have no time for this anymore, so this will be my last comment or communication with anyone assoicated on this blog or the skeptiko forum. My last investigation will be into the mediums I listed above, but as I mentioned I think there is evidence to shoot them down. Cheers.


"nowhere in the text does he mention the bulb or string trick of palladino etc, or the other many times she was caught cheating in the seance room by countless scientists."

I would have to reread it to be sure, but I'd bet that Robert McLuhan does mention that Palladino was often caught cheating. I found McLuhan very judicious in his presentation of the evidence both for and against various claims.

One of the books you listed, Pearsall's "Table Rappers," was discussed on this blog:

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/10/sleight_of_mind.html

I found that Pearsall consistently slanted the evidence, and that in some cases he was guilty of outright dishonesty, as discussed in the blog post linked above.

Anyway, it seems as if you've gone from being a convinced spiritualist to a convinced debunker, when perhaps it would be better to take a middle ground. Jumping to conclusions is probably a bad policy, regardless of which side you come down on. And it might be worth remembering that if all the mediums were frauds, they fooled some very intelligent and knowledgeable people, including some leading magicians (Howard Thurston, for one) and two of the most important psychological theorists of their era, William James and FWH Myers.

Good luck with your studies, and Happy New Year!

Either every medium investigated was some kind of fraud or not. I would find it difficult to dismiss such an extensive and in many case rigorously researched body of evidence as a fabrication. Why adopt a dogmatic position one way or the other? The middle ground feel good to me.

Michael,

You may recall that we discussed these 2 photographs, supposedly of Helen Duncan, previously in a private forum

I should add that these 2 photographs are of unproven origin. Neither was used in any court case against Duncan despite the prosecution being secretly helped by Price who had previously published them.

There are several reason to suspect these could be a fake or reconstruction photographs ... just one of these being Price had been accused of tampering with photographs in at least 2 other cases apart from Duncan case. The other reasons would require too long a post to explain.

Kind regards,

Open Mind

Open Mind, you're right that I don't know the provenance of the photos. OTOH, there are quite a few photos in Price's article on Duncan showing her draped in what certainly appears to be cheesecloth. You can see the stitching on the sides (called selvedge) and rips in the cloth; photos 11 and 12 make this particularly clear. Price also claims that some photos depict safety pins, though I can't make them out, and a rubber surgical glove masquerading as a spirit hand. There is also what appears to be a cutout drawing of a girl's head with some hair on it.

http://www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/Seance/Duncan/duncan-plates-index.htm


Sorry just thought I would post this as this is the best ever evidence I have seen to refute Eusapia Palladino found on the internet:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Eusapia_Palladino

The user Forests who created this page has probably finished it now. As you can see the entire picture of Palladino has come into clear view.

Lombroso can not be trusted becuase he had a sexual relationship with Palladino, indeed Palladino like Eva C and other female medium's such as Mina Crandon were known for getting naked in the seance room and sleeping with their investigators. This is not mentioned on the skeptiko forum, and is not widely known. You can also read over the real history of spiritualism here:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Mediumship

"There is also a darker side to the history of mediumship. Many female medium's of the 19th century took part in sexual activities with their male audiences in the séance room.[2] (McGarry, 2012) wrote "It was precisely the negative, feminine coding of mediumship that shaped a cultural understanding of spiritualism as irrational and connected it with excessive, uncontrolled sexuality that later allowed doctors to recategorize the medium as the hysteric."[3] Eusapia Palladino and Eva Carriere were both known for their erotic and sexual behavior in the séance room"

Sorry this is very disgusting but this is the truth of spiritualism, Eva C was known for getting men to put their fingers into her genital area and also Eva C's last piece of ectoplasm was a fake penis. According to members on the skeptiko forum and modern day spiritualists people like Eva C were genuine and it's the "skeptics" who are wrong. Sorry but the "skeptics" are right. Im glad we have such "skeptics" to debunk such filthy people. The entire basis of spiritualism was set up so women could get power over men. It was a victorian fad. Much of this is documented in the book by the psychologist Marlene Tromp titled Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, And Self-transformation in Victorian Spiritualism.

If you want to read a serious debunking of mediumship, you can read the book Joseph McCabe Is Spiritualism based on Fraud?: The Evidence Given by Sir A.C. Doyle and Others it was a debate between him a "skeptic" and the spiritualist Arthur Conan Doyle. There is also the book by Dr. Stanley LeFevre exposing the tricks she had used throughout her career titled Trick Methods of Eusapia Paladino.

You say the people at rationalwiki are "irrational" but it looks like they have exposed the truth on these matters. I also can't believe that you fail to mention on your blog any of these facts, or how Palladino was caught cheating what the bulb, black thread or pieces of hair or that she had sexual relationships with Lombrosos.

None of you have not researched this field properly becuase of your bias. If you look at the data objectively you will see the entire history of spiritualism is based on a scam. If spirits can really speak through people or levitate tables then they should be able to do it in day time conditions with the whole world watching on tv, but they never do. Think about it. A bit of common sense. I am out and not researching this subject anymore. Good luck with your "research".

zerdini,

How does it feel being duped by a bunch of sexually charged mediums ::)

HP Fan, I'm afraid the RW piece doesn't establish the claim that Lombroso slept with Palladino. It merely cites a dubious source without elaboration. Since neither Lombroso nor Richet ever confessed to such behavior, my guess is that that source is engaged in nothing but prurient speculation.

In any case, it's Feilding's Naples sittings that I always cite. See Braude's book The Limits of Influence, if you're interested.

Incidentally, Palladino (unlike, say, Mina Crandon) was a coarse, unwashed, overweight, unattractive, and reportedly foul-smelling Neapolitan peasant whose crude antics repulsed the sophisticated researchers who worked with her. She did make sexual overtures at times, but all indications are that the investigators brushed off these unwanted advances with disgust.

Your modus operandi is to accept any negative statements about mediums at face value, while assuming that all positive statements are lies. By this MO you can, of course, "debunk" anybody, since all mediums have had negative statements made about them.

I know this may come across as rude, and I don't mean it that way ... but if you intend to be a scientist, as you've said, then you need to improve your critical-thinking skills. Thinking isn't a matter of jumping to conclusions, but of patiently gathering and then considering *all* the evidence - a time-consuming and meticulous process.

I know you're young, and I understand your emotional need to distance yourself from your hasty generalizations about mediums during your spiritualist phase. And I think this is healthy. But going too far in the other direction, and making hasty generalizations of a skeptical nature, is merely repeating your previous error. You need to learn to reason more closely and more judiciously, and not to be in such a rush to form an opinion, one way or the other.

Though it may surprise you, most of us who participate regularly in this blog required many years, even decades, of study and research before we were willing to express a definite opinion. In assuming that we've leapt to conclusions without studying the objections, you're merely projecting your psychology onto us.

You have plenty of time. Try to reduce the role of the ego (the need to come to a definite conclusion and be proved right) in your thinking, and to tolerate ambiguities and uncertainty - even to hold contradictory (tentative) opinions simultaneously for a while. This, if you don't mind my saying so, is the path to intellectual maturity. There are no shortcuts (e.g., reading RationalWiki posts). You have to do the work, no matter how long it takes. This means reading original sources, considering the answers given to objections that were raised at the time, and evaluating the testimony of people who were present at the events.

I think you're intelligent and serious-minded, and I appreciate your contributions to this blog. You just need to slow down and accept the fact that these issues are complex and require serious study over an extended period of time.

Again, I don't mean to be rude, and I apologize if these remarks come across that way. If I could go back in time, I would say the exact same things to myself at the age of 20 or 25!

Good luck in all your future endeavors, and Happy New Year.

Michael,

Harry Price was caught lying many times and can be shown with documented cross references between his private letters, etc. Not just that two of his assistants were caught lying, I can provide links to that

Price was also accused of faking photographs on several occassions. One can even prove via documented references Harry Price deliberately lied about a Schneider photograph that made Schneider look fraudulent. In fact some think he doctored the photograph.

Harry Price wasn't just a liar a times, he was a faker...for example in 1899 a young Harry Price contacted a newspaper to say he had photographed a radio wave ...but there is no such photograph in the Harry Price collection today, his pioneering achievement has gone missing ...instead his library is full of trivia he kept instead.

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