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Apologies to AOD, I mixed your comments in with Matt's :)

Leslie Flint's Wikipedia entry mentions some incidences of fraud. Some of these have already been brought up by previous people in the comments.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Flint

Keith

Ask yourself - who is making these accusations and under what circumstances? At best they are simply personal opinions. Why are those opinions of more value than those of investigators who rigourously tested Flint many times?

I've read the wiki article (for what it's worth). I see no evidence of fraud. I do see innuendo. I have still not seen Flint discovered in fraud under controlled conditions. Please show me.

What I have seen is a large body of evidence from reputable people who tested Flint under controlled conditions and attested to the genuineness of the phenomena. Is that all to be disregarded?


Writer Peter Elbow makes a good case for the Believing Game (PDF) as a supplementary tool to critical thinking. In critical thinking, of course, we nuture our doubts and nourish our skepticism. Ideas are submitted to the acid bath of criticism, with the aim of stripping off the varnish of falsehood and revealing what is true about an idea, proposition, or claim; or disposing of it entirely. The Believing Game, or Methodological Believing, takes the opposite approach to evaluation, and requires that skepticism be temporarily suspended as you inhabit the idea from the standpoint of a believer.

My first reaction to AOD's thesis that Flint, Woods, and Greene fraudulently created the recordings of spirit voices, was one of revulsion at the idea. My skeptical reflex immediately kicked in and sought to rebut what seemed to me an unsupported and speculative accusation. This proved to be an excellent candidate for trying out the believing game.

As a provisional believer in AOD's thesis, I quickly come to the source of my revulsion, as this belief elicits an immediate judgement of serious wrongdoing on the part of those allegedly concerned. While this sort of wretched behavior doesn't approach anything close to bayonetting babies, it is a clear violation of the commandment to not bear false witness. Sam Harris makes a strong case against ever engaging in fibbery in his great little read Lying. So what do you know, Sam and Moses have more in common than just a shared heritage. If AOD is correct, then this was not some petty scam, or harmless prank, but rather rises to a more sinister level of deceit and deception. Lying is wrong. Even little white lies are wrong. They corrode the fabric of relationship and weaken the ties that bind us together as a society. This, if it is a lie, is a whopper. It's a sin against science, spiritualism, and the truth. Shame, shame, shame on them if this be so. May they have at least a week or two on Satan's spit to consider the consequences of their nasty little conspiracy. Though I'm usually inclined to be charitable, forgiving and try to obey the commandment to "Judge not", this belief strongly compels me to severely condemn what I regard to be inexcusably bad behavior.

As evidence of the scam, we believers submit to you our one and only exhibit: the tapes. As other fellow skeptics have already opined, there's a reasonable suspicion that some of the persons speaking on tape are not who they say they are. If true, then clearly deception is afoot, but who is the deceiver and who the deceived? I don't think that AOD is asking me to give up God, country, and eternity in order to reject the validity of the tapes. So, there may be tricksy spirits making mischief on the record. Flint's pal "Mickey" seems like a fine little fellow to me, but hardly one you want to have as a bouncer at a seance.

There is the question of the quality of the recorded speech, but it varies enough in liveliness/zombiness/ordinariness that I wouldn't discount it's authenticity on that account alone. As for different voices sharing a single personality behind them, I don't have the psychic or psychological acumen to perceive whether that's the case or not.

Does the fishiness of some of the recordings effectively indict Flint and his alleged conspirators? Though I'm trying to believe in their guilt, the possibility of discarnate persons pranking is a reasonable counter argument. What would help consolidate and shore up my belief, would be tangible evidence of guilt; an incriminating letter, suspicious bank statements, testimony to their low character and wicked ways, etc. I want to believe, but I need more than the tapes alone to become a true believer.

One thing that temporarily adopting this belief requires of me, is a more cynical attitude towards humanity than I currently possess. Certainly, scam artists exist, and the profession of mediumship no doubt has its fair share. But, I suspect that most business people are honest most of the time, and that probably goes for mediums too. As Flint likely made a reasonable living off his gift, and fraud or authentic he certainly had a gift, monetary gain is a possible motive to commit a lifetime of fraud. However, if he was such a skilled impersonator and able to do so while bound and gagged, he really should have gotten an agent, as he would have made a killing in Vegas. As for Woods and Greene, they supposedly paid for the privilege of sitting with and recording Flint and friends. Maybe fleeting fame was a motive, or perhaps a genuine but twisted desire to promote the cause of Spiritualism. It's hard for me get much enthusiam around that idea without at least a scrap of tangible evidence to support it.

It is fascinating to me that the exact same accusations of phoniness, fakery, and fraud attends the voluminous amount of photographic evidence of ectoplasm and ectoplasmic forms. A single photo, out of the hundreds I've looked at converted me to being a believer in ectoplasm. It's of a Polish medium photographed by Albert von Schrenck-Notzing that shows the precautions taken by the investigators to eliminate regurgitated cheese cloth or other material as the source of the ecotplasmic manifestation. The netting secured over her head and hands would let a vaporous substance pass but not a solid. The caption on the photo shares the alternative "fact" that "Practically all documented cases of ectoplasmic phenomena have, of course, been proven to be fraudulent." Even a cursory examination of the photo screams "white crow! white crow!" It goes with out saying, naturally, that von Schrenck-Notzing might have been a fraud himself. If so, he was one of the most anal retentive, meticulous, cautious, and exacting perpretrators of the dark art that ever lived.

Given that I'm sold on ectoplasm from the photographic evidence, that it can be manipulated to form a vocal apparatus is not much of a stretch.

Thanks Michael for bringing up the topic again. I'll make a point of listening to more of the recordings.

Future fakery will be better. Here's a WaPo headline & story from a few days ago:


"This audio clip of a robot as Trump may prelude a future of fake human voices" [More:]

How about listening to the vaguely robot-like voice of yourself, programmed into an app based on a sample of your speech? The technology will be ready “soon,” according to a team of researchers from the University of Montreal’s institute for computer-based learning algorithms.

Now they’re seeking investors for their product, Lyrebird, and hope to join Google in the fast-expanding business of mimicking human voices.

Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri have driven the voice technology into the mainstream, where we can control our phones, cars and even refrigerators through verbal commands. And now we face a future where the perfect vocal replication of the president of the United States — or you, or anyone — could be just a few years away, some experts say. How does that future sound?

Whoever wins the development race, experts in technology and ethical fields are gearing up for products that will do to voice what Photoshop did to photos — make reality very difficult to tell from a simulation.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/05/03/this-audio-clip-of-trump-as-a-robot-may-prelude-a-future-of-fake-human-voices/?utm_term=.490352ef63fd

I have grave doubts about Flint. I think his recordings are a hoax. I've listened to Oliver Lodge and William Crookes. They sound exactly like the same person.

Here, see what you think:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so-50Ft484Q&index=13&list=PLK7tuw-RreqOfCnQSZbzn14lcsAw9MEW7

Let’s see now; what do I really believe about Flint? First of all as someone with a science background I consider myself a true skeptic (with a little ‘s’) and as someone who has had a lot of time to see and interact with human beings I now have a strong tendency to doubt everything anyone says, especially about the paranormal, without strong hard evidence to support or refute it.

In the Flint case the hard evidence rests solely with the recordings of voices recorded by Betty Greene and George Woods. No other recordings have come to the fore. The Greene and Woods tapes really are all of the evidence there is. The rest of what some people call ‘evidence’ is just opinion of several people both those who believe Flint and those who think that he was a fraud. But in my opinion there is little evidence to support either side.

I do not know that the ‘tapes’ which are available were recorded when Flint was bound and gagged. I know nothing about the conditions under which the tapes were made. I understand that one or more tests were reported to have been conducted on Flint when he was constrained but the information about those tests is minimal and in my opinion those reports do not constitute evidence that the Greene and Woods tapes were made under the same test conditions. And, I am only aware of two tests ---the one with the colored water in his mouth with ‘Elastoplast’ over his mouth and the other with a microphone at this throat. I do not know if these were one and same test situation. I know nothing about the test conditions. There is an on-line photograph of several men in a room given as documentation of a test. On the adcguides.com web site it states that, “The medium was tested hundreds of times using all manner of controls and never once was found to have produced the voices or had any collaborator produce the voices.” Well, that’s great! Where are the reports of the hundreds of tests? What were the controls? Who conducted those hundreds of tests? I could not find even the dates of the tests that provide ‘evidence’ that Flint was legitimate.

http://adcguides.com/validity2.htm

I think I am wanting to see documentation, something like Frederic Myers provided in his book “Human Personality and It’s Survival of Bodily Death” in which he provided supporting statements of several people with names, dates etc. from those intimately aware of the case at hand; or the session notes of Pearl Curran that provided the date, time, place and what was said at each session with Pearl; or Crookes reports of D.D. Home; or Funk’s reports; or Hodgson and Hyslop’s study of Leonora Piper; or William Usborne Moore's experiences as reported in "Glimpses of the Nest State" or Gary Schwartz’s studies of modern mediums. To an extent, that type of evidence is still filtered through a human mind but I think that it provides more believable evidence that an off-hand comment from some unnamed person saying that Leslie Flint was tested “hundreds of times” and not found to be a fraud.

The bottom line for me is that the more I consider the Flint case, the more cynical I become about reports of the paranormal in general. Do I really believe that dead people are able to speak audibly with the living—on demand over a period of many years.? Do I believe that dead Americans, if they can speak to the living, speak with a British accent? Do I believe the explanations of the discrepancies in the Flint case are failures of the process somehow---not fraud. Do I believe in a “voice box’ made of ectoplasm can produce human voices? Do I believe in ectoplasm? Do I believe that Flint, Greene and Woods would never ‘stretch the truth’ for a cause they dearly believed in?

To end my comments I must say that I don’t know if Leslie Flint was a fraud or not. I don’t believe that there is good evidence to support either view. My intuition is that Flint, Greene and Woods were people with good hearts and strong beliefs and that they were caught up in the game of spiritualism and that that game gave their lives meaning and purpose. - AOD

Thanks AOD. Whilst I see your point, I don't agree that the only evidence is the recordings you mention. If that was true, then we'd have to ignore all the vast body of research on the subject of survival, almost none of which was recorded. Hardly anything heard in court would be classed as evidence as it is not recorded.It seems to me that your definition of evidence is far too narrow - however if that's your personal standard who am I to argue? :)

It occurred to me, thinking about Matt and your posts that it’s worth thinking about what we do know about Leslie Flint in terms of the sources of evidence.

What I think we know:

  1. he was extensively tested;
  2. during many of the tests we was restrained and prevented from using the normal means of communication;
  3. some testers were satisfied that when the phenomena were genuine and could not have been faked;
  4. some testers were suspicious but did not find objective evidence of fraud (interesting since you appear only to regard recorded evidence as valid here I am not sure how you regard regard the testimony of people who "thought flint was a bit suspicious";
  5. the Woods/Greene recordings were numerous and collected over many years;
  6. there were other sitters at some of the W/G sittings some of whom gave testimony;
  7. some of the recordings were impressive and some were, frankly, to say the least unconvincing;
  8. it is probable that the medium was not controlled at the W/G sittings;
  9. there was very little effort made to validate the identity of the W/G purported communicators;
  10. on a few occasions, those who knew the purported communicators confirmed that they they thought they were like or actually were the voices of the people they knew and conveyed their characters, some couldn't tell and others thought they were nothing like.

Thinking

In all of this we’re reliant on the people reporting what they heard. Unless we knew the witnesses concerned, it is hard to determine the value of their testimony (either way) but it’s probably fair to say that most had nothing to gain by dishonesty. Some of them were prominent and had reputations to risk.

I can understand, especially if only the recordings are considered, how one might reach the conclusion that Flint was fraudulent. Looking at the body of evidence in its entirety though I don’t think that’s reasonable position to take. Then again, I don’t think it’s reasonable to take the position that Flint was definitely producing genuine phenomena all the time.

It seems to me reasonable to say that on some occasions, under controlled conditions with objective witnesses there is a high probability that Leslie Flint produced good quality evidence of the phenomena. I don’t think it is possible to be certain unless we were present or at least knew the observers sufficiently well to endorse their reliability.

Fortunately, I do know someone who knew Leslie Flint personally and very well. This person was a close personal friend who I got to know over many years.They sat with Leslie Flint many times and vouched for the genuineness of the phenomena. They reported conversations with long-“dead” relatives, of an evidential nature. This person is not someone likely to lie and is unlikely to have been misled given their long research experience and analytical mindset.

What to make of their testimony? Do I accept it as complete proof of Leslie Flint’s bona fides? If I do, then there are a number of consequences, not the least of which is that Flint has provided powerful proof of ‘survival of bodily death’, to partially quote F W Myers.

Personally I can’t make that final step without direct evidence. What I do accept is that my friend has told me the truth and it is unlikely that he was misled. In this case thought, for me, it needs to be ‘seen’ to be believed. It's a probability assessment until I get some definitive evidence either way.

I have listened to the Charlotte Bronte tape---which is obviously a female voice--- in which ‘Charlotte’ drones on and on as if she has chronic fatigue syndrome or is severely depressed. As one listens to the tape one gets the impression that there is a conversation going on between the sitters and Ms. Bronte but in reality there is not. The sitters are breathlessly only commenting throughout the Bronte sermon with “yes” “yes”, “no” “oh yes” etc. etc. but there is no give and take in anything like a conversation. I expected them to say ‘Amen sister’ at any moment; no questions from the sitters with a response from ‘Charlotte’. At one point when there is a short lull, one of the sitters says “You speak clearly” after which Charlotte comments that she wonders if she can be understood. (Normally shouldn’t the sequence be reversed?) This suggests to me that the sitter, whoever it was (Betty Greene) knew in advance what was coming next. When the ‘doorbell’ rings twice, Charlotte just keeps on talking as if no disruption occurred when an expected startle response from Charlotte would have been expected. I don’t know but this suggests to me that a prerecorded tape may have been used in this séance. - AOD

That's a very interesting observation AOD. You may or may not be rig)5. What about the successful tests that were carried out and subsequently reported.

Thanks for the reply. I will retract my previous comment slightly, yes there is some evidence is suggestive of fraud then but you are right no direct evidence.

"Drayton Thomas, who was no fool, seems to have been persuaded Flint was genuine. The SPR, which exposed many fake mediums, tested Flint and could not catch him cheating, though they remained skeptical."

Michael do you have the paper by Donald J West on Flint? Apparently he caught Flint with the tape slightly removed from his mouth. This is evidence which has been cited by skeptics suggestive of fraud. After this test apparently Flint didn't want any other SPR researcher to sit in his séances. Unfortunately I do not have access to the paper.

As for Charles Drayton Thomas if you look on his Wikipedia article which includes a link to his own article and a rebuttal from the SPR, he defended the spirit photographer William Hope, which is controversial because this medium is largely considered to have been fraudulent. I think this damages the credibility of Thomas.

"It's of a Polish medium photographed by Albert von Schrenck-Notzing that shows the precautions taken by the investigators to eliminate regurgitated cheese cloth or other material as the source of the ecotplasmic manifestation."

David unfortunately this medium I think was a caught in fraud. Are you talking about Stanislawa P.?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82awa_P.

This was the medium exposed by Eugéne Osty at the Institut Métapsychique International. I think it is unlikely she was genuine.

If spirits in the afterlife were able to discover a way to form ‘ectoplasm’ into a mechanism that would transmit voice from the afterworld to the beforeworld then I think that invention was the most important discovery ever made in the history of humankind. Why, pray tell, has this important invention been abandoned? By this time an electronic ‘voice box’ might have been invented by the spirits so that every person could have the application on their cell phone; just pop into a dark room and dial-up grandma.

Every human being in the whole world would rejoice at having a way to talk to their loved ones who have passed on—a telephone to heaven so to speak! Just think of the joy and relief of fear and suffering this would provide. What better thing could be offered to humanity? Since ectoplasm was taken not only from the medium to build the ‘voice box’ but reportedly also from the sitters attending the séance, then surely among the billions of people in the world there are enough people exuding ectoplasm to build another ‘voice box’ or two.

Maybe spirits just expect us to have a trumpet handy so they can speak to us as they did with other mediums in other séances! - AOD

(I can't decide if I am being facetious here or if I am expressing a serious concern.)

Actually Steven you'll find West admitted it was his own error that had led to the plaster moving and that it wasn't suggestive of fraud. It merely invalidated the test because he had established it as one of the criteria. You can read Flint's own explanation as to why he refused to engage further and make of it what you will.

Ok AOD I'm out of the discussion with you, if you just want to post your own thoughts and not engage in discussion that's up to you.

Douglas,

Lots of good comments on religion. I concur with what you say.

Based on my knowledge of living in Japan, one of the big things that messes us up when we are trying to understand other cultures is false analogy. E.g., people analogize from the relative seriousness of religion in the US to conclude that, say, a large percentage of Japanese people really take their Buddhism and Shinto seriously when, in fact, they don't.

Similarly, a lot of religious practice around the world is on the level of "folk religion." This includes much of Islam as well, and those folks get dumped into the "radical" pot, incorrectly.

Steven informs: "David unfortunately this medium I think was a caught in fraud. Are you talking about Stanislawa P.?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82awa_P.

This was the medium exposed by Eugéne Osty at the Institut Métapsychique International. I think it is unlikely she was genuine."

Thank you for this valuable piece of information Steven. After what seemed endless minutes of tireless research, I have unearthed shocking information that casts a cloud over this alleged exposé of madame Stanislawa. Unfortunately, it seems that this Eugéne Osty fellow was, himself, a rather shady character. According to his bio page on Wikipedia—which is a legendary piece of rigorous scholarship—: “his methods were criticized as non-scientific”, his claims “disputed by skeptical researchers” and "various discrepancies have come to light which throw the whole of Osty's experiments into doubt.” Further, fellow psychical researcher Harry Price said “Osty has too often shown in the past, despite some intellectual ability, evidence of an amateurish and uncritical approach to his subject."

What is curious, is the question why Eugéne Osty gave a negative evaluation of the medium Stanislawa? Given that the money man behind the Institut Métapsychique International was a “militant spiritualist”, and therefore the institute little more than a front for Spiritualist disinformation, one would expect Osty to give Stanislawa a glowing report. It is a conundrum, until we indulge ourselves, as we have a little on this thread already, in a touch of creative license with historical fact.

In the spirit of imaginative history, or fantaisie historique as the French would say, let us consider these possible facts:

  1. As a spiritualist, Meyer almost certainly subscribed to free-lovism.
  2. As a wealthy Frenchman, Meyer likely kept a mistress or two.
  3. Madame Stanislaw, being part of the free-love network of mediums, no doubt knew Meyer and, atracted by his wealth and prestige, may have become his lover.
  4. Their tempestuous affair might have ended badly, at which point Meyer would possibly have declared “Je vengerai mon honneur contre toi, méchante sorcière!”
  5. Stanislawa, knowing little French, could have thought he said “I’ll throw your mother the whore, into a ditch.” At which point she would have smashed a table lamp over Meyer’s head.
  6. Meyer, sore and angry, then instructed his lackey Osty to employ his infamous photographic skills to smear Stansislawa.

It is my hope that these possible facts, with a few stragically placed footnotes, may be worthy of submission to the esteemed editorial team that has masterfully unmasked the rascal Osty. Vive la vérité et la justice!

Paul,

You said you mixed up AOD and me, so I will respond a bit. :)

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

I don't get a particularly fraudulent, grifty, or otherwise dishonest vibe from the Flint tapes. I actually find the mood to be extremely easygoing and pleasant. It's possible that Flint was producing voices via paranormal means and genuinely believed he was channeling the deceased while producing content of various levels of quality.

I'll say that something is missing in Flint's dossier, so to speak, that we find in the accounts of D.D. Home and Eusapia Palladino: descriptions of events that, if true, are incontrovertibly paranormal. Palladino caused (or served as the conduit of) gross physical phenomena such as levitating tables and curtains blowing that were very closely and minutely observed and simply couldn't have been produced via stage magic, etc. Either it happened, or multiple respected observers agreed to lie about it. The same logic applies to Home, who produced even more extreme phenomena.

What I've read thus far about Home is *highly suggestive* of paranormal phenomena but doesn't quite cross my "incontrovertible" threshold. So I'm OK with accepting that he was never caught in fraud. I find it likely he produced at least some paranormal phenomena. But I am also quite dissatisfied with the actual content of the sittings, including both the sound and nature of the voices and what they were saying.

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

See, I don't think it works that way, and I don't see AOD as saying that, either. Bad content *is* suggestive of fraud, it is correlated with fraud, but I think fraud has to be proven in its own right. There are sincere mediums who are just not very good at what they do. I do find some of Flint's content edifying (for example, the lecture on ghosts), but most has struck me as being of poor quality, thus far.

Matt, you wrote, "What I've read thus far about Home is *highly suggestive* of paranormal phenomena but doesn't quite cross my 'I ncontrovertible' threshold."

I think you meant Flint here, not Home.

Steven, I'd be wary of treating Wikipedia as a reliable source on parapsychology. In general, Wiki is fine for uncontroversial topics, but its presentation of anything involving controversy is likely to be one-sided and misleading. This is true not only of paranormal subjects but also of legal, political, and academic controversies.

A lot of parapsychology controversies require fairly deep digging. A brief and often inaccurate or incomplete summary on Wiki won't do it. Nor will one of my blog posts, for that matter! Fot those who are really serious, it's often necessary to seek out primary sources.

Thanks Matt. I broadly agree with what your saying. I'd also agree that poor quality might suggest fraud of course, when considered in isolation.

Imho one has to look at it in the round though and that requires more than a cursory look at the evidence in the particular case under consideration (I know you'll agree with this). It's the point Michael makes in his last post really. It's easy to be deceived either way by insufficient information. For instance, poor quality may also be just that ie genuine but not very good. It is perhaps not prudent to jump to conclusions, particularly when so much other evidence is available.

Flint never claimed to be channeling anyone as far as I know. His claim, supported by formal investigations, were that the voices were independent of him. They either were or weren't. It is of course possible that some of the phenomena were fraudulent however that's very different from saying they actually were. It seems to me that was exactly what AOD was saying - that Flint was a fraud. AOD is of course fully entitled to an opinion however such an assertion needs to be backed up with facts, especially when there is formal research that indicates Flint was genuine, at least when tested.

So was Flint genuine or not? My personal view fwiw is that some of the phenomena almost certainly were. For some of the phenomena I just don't know but can understand why someone might find it of poor quality or unconvincing. Calling "fraud" is easy to do but needs more than simply guesswork on a single source of evidence, for me at least.

Thanks again for responding.


@David. Thank you - I spat my morning cuppa :)

Michael what do you think about the allegations that Daniel Dunglas Home was caught in fraud on his Wikipedia article? Was he caught in fraud?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home

Do you dispute the letter by Barthez?

Michael wrote,

||I think you meant Flint here, not Home.||

Right, thank you. :)

According to Mary Rose Barrington of the SPR at least one test of Flint revealed the following as quoted by Smithy:

"Much later, when Flint was in his sixties, an experiment was done using infra-red and a monitor screen where one could observe directly or close up on the screen, it was clear that he [Flint] was articulating, and his own voice was recorded through a throat microphone. So that was not a success."

Well, what does she mean "that was not a success"? Of course it was a success it is just that it proved at least on that occasion Flint was using his own voice to produce the direct voices of 'spirits'. Am I to assume that this was the one and only time that Flint did this? Should this test be discounted?

And then again according to Ms. Barrington, "My own view is that the direct voice was only occasional, and certainly the voices I heard (with that one exception) [Mickey's voice whispering in her ear] appeared to come from Flint himself.

I think the test by Barrington is good evidence, at least as good as tests done by other people---maybe better. - AOD

You're doing the same thing AOD - simply ignoring questions and putting your own point. It's not a discussion, it's a lecture and I for one am not interested in being lectured to. I'm done.

Mickey's voice seems to me to be the falsetto voice of a woman not a man. I have never heard any young boys who sounded like Mickey. But, what do I know.

Reportedly Flint only had a primary school education and maybe he was just naïve enough to think that in the test with Ms. Barrington he could get away with producing the voices even though he was being observed by way of an infrared apparatus and monitor as well as a throat microphone. Maybe because of his limited education and naiveté he just didn't understand what was going on. Flint's lack of formal education may be a reason why he could have been easily manipulated by others who may have been more assertive than he was.

It seems that the SPR also was sympathetic to 'one of its own' and when Barrington discovered that Flint produced the voices, the SPR backed away and became somewhat silent about him. Barrington is quoted as saying that, "The SPR did not publish an adverse report, firstly to spare Flint. . . . ."

I think that the SPR understood more about Flint that they let on publically and therefore did not endorse him. - AOD

Dear Michael,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post here on the work of Woods & Green...the book by Randall is a particular favourite of mine.

What the book does not reveal is that Flint's first recorded seance was in 1934, at an experimental public demonstration in London.

His last seance was recorded in his own home in 1994, sixty year later.

George Woods and Betty Greene worked with Flint for over 30 years and they came into his life when Flint was already an established Medium.

Woods became friends with Flint in 1945. In 1953 Woods met Greene and he played her a Flint recording. She was intrigued enough to meet Flint for the first time that year.

On Woods' suggestion Flint agreed that they could begin recording their visits - but they were far from the only appointments Flint kept.

Flint allowed visitors to his home, sometimes twice a day - from bereaved mothers to groups of Spiritualists. Although Woods & Greene's work became a vital component in the recording of Flint's work - in the beginning, they were just two more names in his busy diary.

Cheers,
Karl

Dear Smithy,

you mentioned above that another SPR member, visiting Flint, heard Mickey's voice over their head. Can you tell me who that was ?

Thanks
Karl

Dear Steven,

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

The small monochrome photo of Flint is interesting. I understand it was taken in infrared conditions - but it proves nothing. What you describe as 'cheesecloth or tissue' is simply personal speculation.

There is no evidence that Flint was caught defrauding any tests or any of his seances. If you know of any, I would very much like to review it.

Cheers,
Karl

Dear Amos,

besides those Flint recordings by Woods & Greene, there are others recorded after their time, found on the Flint Trust website:

http://www.leslieflint.com/recordings-archive

The details of when they met Flint are also clarified on the above page.

The earliest known Flint recording is from 1935 - at a public demonstration held in London - where Mickey's voice can be heard. This is also available on the site.

Besides the Woods/Greene recordings, Flint regularly made recordings of his seances (on reel-to-reel and later cassette tapes) for those wanting a record of their sitting with him.

The colour drawing of Mickey you see online, is only one representation of how he looked. Artistic licence has to be considered, especially as it was drawn by a psychic artist under the influence of his spirit guide. Many others drew Mickey for Flint, but perhaps the one you refer to was Flint's favourite?

I believe that Stewart Alexander (the medium) has a recording of an Alec Harris seance. Although I cannot be sure, I know I've heard one in the past.

Cheers,
Karl

Thanks Karl for the link to the Leslie Flint recordings. I had not seen that site before. There is one recording "presumably' recorded in 1935 of Mickey. The rest are of later dates in the 50s, 60s and 70s. I also appreciate the photos of Greene and Woods. Thanks again!-AOD

Hi, (this is Jack Terrence Andrews, Tucson, Arizona) I am a volunteer for The Leslie Flint Educational Trust and have converted and carefully listened to hundreds of Leslie Flint communications over a period starting in 2006 and still continuing. I worked closely with the Trust and it's then head (now crossed over himself) Reverend Larry Taylor (who sat over 20 years with Leslie) via Skype video chat. Leslie held sittings for nearly 60 years. He dedicated his life to "service to others" Larry Taylor mailed many old reel to reel tapes to me in Arizona from England and I converted and mailed them back. (except for some I still have here) If you like I can help answer your questions on Leslie Flint and things like how seances were held, and the integrity of sitters and Leslie himself (I never met Leslie) and any other questions you or others may have and am completely open to any questions whatsoever, including questions on the tapes and conversion process I used. I personally believe the tapes and the communications to be absolutely genuine and the integrity of all involved completely honest, no tricks, collaborators speaking hidden in the rooms or technological trickery. It is all very honest and very real ... and I was not biased that direction when I started into this project. I started out skeptical of it all. Please feel free to ask absolutely any questions you or others wish and I will answer them as accurately as I possibly can. Thank you for remaining at least open to these wonderful communications which are so important to the world. Kind Regards, Jack Terrence Andrews If you like I can send you my private email also. I also have created a YouTube channel of over 100 Leslie Flint communications in video form. Just ask if you want the url. (OK I now see I can post it below)

As someone blessed with the gift of mental mediumship myself I find it unlikely in the extreme that Leslie Flint was in any way fraudulent. That would require an intent to deceive on his part - and the active collusion of George Woods and Betty Greene over many years. What on earth would they have had to gain from wasting time, energy and resources on such a pointless activity?
Whilst I am persuaded that Flint was entirely genuine, I have an open mind when contemplating the possibility of self- delusion! Having listened to the recordings relating to Rupert Brooke and Oscar Wilde, I found the voices to be pretty similar - and to have a lot in common with Flint's own voice. The recording of the composer frederic Chopin is also very significant to me. Students of classical music will be well aware that - contrary to widespread belief - Chopin was Polish not French. The voice recorded on the tape ,however, sounds distinctly French!

"That would require an intent to deceive on his part - and the active collusion of George Woods and Betty Greene over many years. What on earth would they have had to gain from wasting time, energy and resources on such a pointless activity?"

On one of the comments threads relating to Flint, Amos Oliver Doyle made the point that Flint, Woods, and Greene could have been motivated by the desire to spread the religion of Spiritualism and its ethical teachings. It's possible to believe in something and still participate in fraud in order to help it along. An example would be the forged documents produced by early Christians, such as the letters falsely attributed to Peter and Paul. Another example is the Book of Daniel, written around 160 BC but represented as having much earlier origins. The line between proselytizing and propaganda is blurry. Historians even have a name for this kind of thing: "pious fraud."

If Flint, Woods, and Greene believed that the world was in desperate need of the spiritual and moral sustenance provided by Spiritualism, they might have been willing to participate in some "pious fraud" of their own. (There's also the ego gratification of being one of the select few who are working to "save the world.")

I'm not insisting this was the case with Flint and his colleagues, only that it's not psychologically impossible.

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