by Lisa and Tom Butler
First published in the Summer 2012 ATransC NewsJournal
Imagine the wonder the moon must have held for our ancestors. For many, even an understanding of the clockwork mechanism of orbital dynamics cannot diminish the wonder evoked by moonrise of a full moon.
In the Hermetic Traditions of the Tarot, “The Moon” (Key 18) represents conscious living. As the moon reflects light of the sun, so do seekers after truth express the source, depending on their progression. Seeing the Tarot as an illustration of the cycle of life: the seeker’s urge to learn (Key 4 – “The Emperor”) acts on a growing perception of the principles governing the operation of reality (Key 11 – “Justice”) to begin the conscious path toward self-determination (Key 18).
The concept is that we are governed by the primitive body consciousness until we have attained sufficient understanding to consciously direct our spiritual evolution.
In the page 10 essay, “On Being a Good Witness,” Tom talks about “white crows”: those encounters with the paranormal that cannot be dismissed as imagination or mistaken identity. White crows are necessarily personal experiences. They may be a shared encounter but whether or not they are or should be convincing depends on how well informed witnesses are and how well they can set aside unconscious social conditioning.
An important white crow for us occurred during a recent David Thompson séance. The entity responsible for managing energy required for phenomena during the séance, Timothy, had just finished demonstrating how small his hands were by showing each sitter a small, six-inch-square luminous plaque partially covered by one of his tiny hands. We had seen this before but the impact of what should be an important demonstration of phenomena had been lost because the poorly lit plaque is so difficult to focus on.
This séance was different. Timothy sat aside the plaque and went around the circle to touch each sitter’s hands. We were all holding hands as a way of assuring that none of us were moving about the room. Timothy came to each of us, and without hesitation or fumbling, grasped our fingers with his tiny hands. As Tom described it, “His hand was very small. I felt his short fingers wrap around one of my fingers on each hand. The distance between his knuckles could not have been more than three-eighths of an inch. His hands were warm and soft, like a child’s. There is no way anyone in that room could have faked such small hands or moved about in the completely dark room with such confidence.”
For us, that demonstration put everything else in perspective. All of Timothy’s actions; swinging a trumpet, playing with drumsticks and touching us, were from the physical perspective of a small child with tiny hands. Considering the need for the demonstration to be in complete darkness, that one white crow put the remaining forms of evidence into perspective, allowing us to accept the reality of that small boy’s materialization.
This poses an interesting question for sitters. Pretty much everything in David’s séance’s is designed to remove doubt while convincing the sitter that we survive beyond transition.
Even so, like the illuminated plaque for us, the meaning is often obscured by the confusion of darkness and unfamiliar activity. Again, it is an individual decision, but at some point the sitter must decide that one or two white crows provide sufficient reason to accept that the demonstration is as it is presented: proof that we survive transition.
Cober Hill is a conference center developed around an old estate near Scarborough, on the north-east coast of England. In October, we attended the Stewart Alexander and Friends conference there. Having developed for more than forty years, Stewart is one of the world’s foremost physical mediums. Our objective was to sit with him in one of his rare public séances, but we soon discovered that the conference was no less important.
The fact that the conference was organized and managed by volunteers who have come to know and love Stewart is testimony to the respect he has earned. More than once we heard someone describe the group as a close family. There were ninety people in attendance and we heard not one cross word or criticism … only friendly faces and very good conversation. Amongst the attendees were academics, practicing mediums and generally well-informed people.
The first thing we noticed about Cober Hill is that it is a long way from home. We landed in Manchester and took a train to York to spend the night. The next morning, we continued on the train to Scarborough and then took a taxi to the conference center. The train system is excellent and permitted us to avoid renting a car … they drive on the wrong side of the road, you know.
As we passed the Blacksmiths Arms pub on our way to Cober Hill, the taxi driver told us that the Queen had recently eaten there. It turns out that it is part of the Duchy of Lancaster’s estate, which is the Queen’s property.
The weekend conference included talks, workshops and an evening séance. We don’t eat beef, lamb or pork and figured we would have to survive on fish and chips. As it turned out, the food was excellent and varied and they always offered vegetarian choices. Being October, we also assumed it would be cold and rainy, but the weather was very pleasant and the trees were all in their most beautiful autumn colors.
Dr. Annette Childs counseled Stewart concerning his grief over his sister’s unexpected transition and they have become good friends. She has devoted her career to understanding the end-of-life experience and has important understanding of this which she shared at the conference. If you think about this for a moment, you may understand how rare it is for someone to talk about the actual transition experience. Spiritualists speak of survival and communication across the veil; people interested in human potential speak of becoming all one can be; but, few of us want to speak about the act of dying.
Annette is the author of Halfway Across the River, which details much of what she has learned. She spoke twice at the conference. The first talk was focused on deathbed accounts and how important it is to talk about the coming experience based on knowledge and not fear or myth. Her second talk focused more on sudden transition in which the person has not prepared. The message we took away from that talk is that there really is no pain at the moment of transition. Annette has learned that we apparently disassociate from our body at the moment of trauma. She told us that sudden, violent events are only traumatic when we survive, because the pain eventually must come back.
Bradley Harris gave a talk about his father, well-known materialization medium, Alec Harris, who made his transition in 1974. As Saturday Night Press, Ann and Tom Harrison published a book about him titled, Alec Harris- The full story of his remarkable physical mediumship by Louie Harris.
Conference attendees were shaken by news of the transition of highly respected parapsychologist, David Fontana and Tom Harrison’s transition three days later, on October 23rd (see paranormalreview.com). Tom is the son of Minnie Harrison who was an important materialization medium. Tom and Ann were scheduled to give a talk about the Saturday Night Club which is the name given to the circle that supported Minnie. Instead of canceling the talk, Ann gave it herself, and later hosted a party which she said Tom would have wanted to celebrate his life.
Violet Eccles gave a talk about her path of development in mediumship and later taught a workshop about maintaining the mediumistic link. We attended the workshop and came away with a few new techniques which we will share with our circle.
Of course, the highlight of the conference was the Saturday evening séance with Stewart. The sequence of events during the séance was much like the one we describe on the next page. The short description is “amazing!”
The conference was one of the most interesting and enjoyable that we have attended. Being with a community of like-minded people for a weekend is something we all should experience every once in a while; as we all know, we are a rather different bunch!
We pay tribute to two people who were friends and who were very important to the field of survival research. They passed within a week of each other in October. David Fontana, author of Is There an Afterlife?, made his transition October 20 and Tom Harrison, author of Life After Death – Living Proof, made his transition October 23. We know that they will continue their work from the other side but they are greatly missed by friends, loved ones and the people who learned from them.
by Tom and Lisa Butler
First published in the Winter 2011 ATransC NewsJournal
Also see The Stewart Alexander and Friends Conference at Cober Hill
In October, we traveled to the Cober Hill conference center to attend a Stewart Alexander and Friends conference, and were fortunate to be invited to stay for a small private sitting. Stewart began developing in a home circle in 1967 and his physical mediumship began showing itself in 1982. He is now retired and seldom conducts public sittings.
Thirteen of us gathered downstairs at circle leader Ray Lister’s home in Hull, England. The sitting began with Ray strapping Stewart’s arms to a chair with thick cable wraps that assured he could not be released without a cutting tool. He sat in a cabinet made of a frame with cloth sides. Luminous tabs were placed on his knees and on the curtain rod, permitting us to see where his knees were at all times as well as whether or not the curtain was open. Stewart sat with the curtain open for the majority of the séance. The sitters sat close together in a circle so that the sitter on each side of Stewart could hold his hand. The room was small and most of us had our backs to the wall. There was a round table sitting in front of Stewart. It was about eighteen inches in diameter and about two feet tall. Two trumpets sat on it with additional cable wraps and a pair of drum sticks.
Ray said a prayer and a lovely piece of music was played while Stewart went into trance. It was only a few minutes before we heard the first voice come through Stewart. It was White Feather, Stewart’s North American Indian guide. He is the first and last to speak in every séance. He greeted everyone and said, “…for a while we shall endeavor to remove the barrier between our two worlds so that once again, within this place of infinite love, we may converse together. We may once again be together as one united whole.” He told us that he spoke few words because there was so much to be done, and then he was gone.
Christopher was the next to come though. He is very likeable and fun. He is responsible for relaxing the atmosphere and soon had everyone laughing. He told us he was there to entertain us as everything was being made ready.
Walter Stinson was the next to come through. Walter is a Canadian by birth and was the brother of the famous Boston physical medium from the 1920s and 30s known to the world as Margery. Stewart told us before the séance that Walter is largely responsible for creating the physical phenomena and is in control of experimentation and further development within the home circle. He is also quite a ladies’ man with a good sense of humor. He uses laughter to raise the energy in the room.
Walter began by saying that he was merely a human being and that there was nothing angelic about him. He told us he discovered that after death, he lived on in a very real world. A world that in many ways was very physical. He said, “Your world to you is a world of reality but I tell you that your world is temporary. Our world is the world of ultimate reality.” He said that his world was very similar to ours, that it was a very substantial world; a world of fellowship and infinite beauty.
He spoke to Ann Harrison to say that he had been with her husband Tom who passed just the week before. He told her that it had been an honor to simply sit and talk with him.
Walter asked if there was a lady present who had not sat at his side before and I replied that I had not. He asked my name and invited me to sit beside him. Since the room was completely dark except for the glowing tabs, a red light was turned on so that I could see to change seats with Ray’s wife June, to sit beside Stewart. He explained that for them to work in a physical manner in our world, it was important to hear our voices and that it was the sound that was important. He then spoke to me directly, asking me how long I had been involved in seeking answers about survival. I told him forty years, and he replied that was quite a long time and that in just another sixty years, I would have been involved as long as he had. Everyone laughed.
Walter told me they were extracting living energy, ectoplasm, from Stewart, and then instructed me to “Reach out very gently with your left hand and take Stewart’s hand.” He said he wanted me to know the reality of what was about to take place and added, “I do it because I want you to be able to share your experience with others. There are so few in your world who understand this reality of survival, of communication, particularly of that on a physical level.” He asked me to gently place my right hand on top of my left, tightly hold Stewart’s hand and not to let go under any circumstance.
Walter then asked me to slowly move my right hand up Stewart’s arm until I felt the strap binding him to the chair. When I confirmed that I felt the strap, he said that they were going to try to take Stewart’s arm through the strap, and all of a sudden, Stewart raised his arm with my hand still in his hand. At the same time, there was a noise that sounded as if the strap broke. I was asked to feel the arm of the chair. The strap was still on the chair and not broken! Walter requested that the red light be turned on so that all could see, as I pulled on the strap to show everyone that it was still on the chair.
Walter said that, in ignorance, many would believe that such a demonstration was simply a miracle but that it was nothing of the sort. It was a demonstration of what could be achieved when people gather together in love. Tom began to ask if Walter moved Stewart’s arm but Walter interrupted by saying “You want to know if it was the strap or the arm that was dematerialized.” Tom agreed and Walter told us that on some occasions it was the strap, and on others, the arm. To Tom, he added, “You want to know what determines what we choose to do.” Again, Tom agreed and was told by Walter that his question would be answered “in a moment.”
Walter asked me to again place my right hand on my left and tell everyone that I had not let go of Stewart’s hand. I assured everyone that I had Stewart’s hand in mine the whole time. Walter asked me to once again gently move my hand up Stewart’s arm. I did and discovered that the strap was back on his arm! Walter said, “Stop, press on the strap. Do you want it?” I eagerly said, “Yes!” and was startled as Stewart’s arm again lifted away from the chair, but this time, with the strap still on his arm. Again, the strap made a snapping sound and I was told to take the strap, and when I did, Stewart’s arm fell back to the arm rest with my left hand still on it and my right hand holding the cable wrap!
Stewart’s hand was on the chair unsecured, but we heard a tapping, rattling sound on the table and Ray told us that it was from one of the cable wraps that we had seen laying there. Then we heard the sound of the strap being tightened on Stewart’s arm and I was asked to verify that he was once again secured to the chair. He was!
Walter then said to me, “Know that there is a gentleman here for you. Later, Freda would like to speak to you again.” The light was turned on so that I could return to my seat and the demonstration was repeated for another guest.
Walter asked us to sing, and in a short time, one of the trumpets began flying about the room, and eventually began touching sitters. Tom was to my left and was touched on his chest and then the trumpet touched his left shoulder and gently moved over his head to his other shoulder, continuing to touch him as it did. It moved to my left shoulder and ever so gently across my cheek, the top of my head, my right cheek and shoulder in a slow motion that felt like a caress. It moved on to touch others and there were many sounds of delighted sitters as it performed impossible maneuvers in the darkness. As evidence of how much the circle has developed, Stewart had been “awakened” during this and had been commenting on the trumpet’s movement.
A strange “woof, woof” sound came from the trumpet. Ann Harrison was sitting to my right and said that it was Sunrise, Minnie’s gatekeeper and protector. (Ann’s husband, Tom Harrison is author of Life After Death – Living Proof which is about his mother Minnie Harrison who was a famous physical medium.) The trumpet stopped in front of Ann and moved in a circle, first one way and then the other. This was Sunrise’s signal to the Harrison’s home circle that he was present. Ann asked out loud if it was Sunrise and the trumpet moved up and down like someone nodding their head “Yes”!
ATransC member, Dr. Annette Childs sat with us in the circle. She said something about being speechless about the movement of the trumpet, to which the trumpet also nodded “Yes,” and then to everyone’s delight, actually moved as if it were laughing. The trumpet tapped on the table and danced on the floor. Another trumpet joined in, and while one tapped on the table, the other moved about on the floor.
We heard a new sound and Ray explained that a voice box was forming between Stewart and Carol. We were told that Dr. Barnett usually uses a voice box, which is formed from ectoplasm and used to produce his audible voice. (Dr. Franklin Barnett is a 19th-century Scottish physician who worked with American trumpet medium George Valentine) Barnett’s voice finally became audible and he told us that he was speaking through a device that they have created. He told us that it takes a great deal of energy to accomplish this and that often, when he is finally able to vibrate our atmosphere with his thoughts, there is little energy left for the communication. He said that he is responsible for this method of communication and that slowly it was progressing, and that in the future, they hoped to have other souls use the voice box to communicate. Before he left, he told us that it was his intention to materialize into solid form to be with us later in the séance.
Freda Johnson was next to visit the circle. She normally introduces loved ones who wish to communicate with sitters and communicates messages from them if they are having difficulty in getting their messages across via Stewart who is in deep trance. Speaking through Stewart, she asked me to sit beside her. The red light was switched on and I once again traded places with June. Once I was seated, Freda announced, “I have a gentleman here who so wants to speak to you. In a moment, I am going to step aside so he can come and speak for himself.”
Freda said that it was extremely difficult for them to do this and that the man would need to hear my voice. She asked to take my hand and I could hear someone struggling to speak through Stewart. The hand I was holding was shaking as I heard “Is that you?” I responded that it was me and the voice said “Dad” I said that I had wanted to communicate with him for a long time, that he was the engineer and I just knew he would figure it out. My interest in communication started with my father’s transition. I began recording for EVP because he was an engineer and I thought EVP would be right up his alley, but I have never received an EVP from him. Of course I did not think to ask about this when he was coming through Stewart. It was overwhelming and a wonder that I will never forget. I told him how much I loved him. He told me how much he loved me. It was very emotional for us both. As evidence of who he was, he told me twice that he could walk just fine now. My dad had congestive heart failure which made his feet so big that he could not walk. He also said, “Mother is with me.” He always called her “Mother” and not “Mom.” This message was very healing for my sister when I told her about the séance. She had been concerned that our mother might be stuck because she had terrible dementia when she crossed.
Other loved ones came through for people. For instance, Stewart’s sister Gaynor came through while Annette Childs was sitting beside him. Since Annette had been instrumental in helping Stewart cope with Gaynor’s transition, it was a very special reunion.
Freda told Ann Harrison that even though he had only crossed over the week before, Tom was already making himself at home. Freda told Ann that one day she would tell her about the wonderful welcome Tom received. Ann and Tom were members of Stewart’s circle.
Walter returned and asked that everyone return to their seats and away from the table. The table had a translucent top with a red light underneath it, so that we could see what was happening on its surface without harm to Stewart. Walter then invited Brian K. to sit at the table across from him. Soon a blob of ectoplasm could be seen on the illuminated table top. It slowly formed into a large hand which Walter said was his. It knocked on the table and Brian said that it was a big hand. Next, Walter asked Brian to place his right hand on the table with his palm downwards. We could see that the hand moved toward Brian’s hand and he announced that it was holding his hand and that it felt like a human hand.
Many of us were called to the table after that. I sat on Stewart’s right and Annette sat on his left. We were all asked to put our hands on the table and stretch out our fingers so that they touched the adjacent hand. Walter told us that they were removing Stewart from his bindings so that we could tell others that Stewart’s hands were controlled. Once again, we heard the sound of Steward being removed from his ties.
Annette and I were told to hold Stewart’s fingers on the table and Walter asked Ray, who he affectionately calls Raymondo, to switch on the light so that all could see everyone’s hands, especially Stewart’s. The dark shape of a large hand suddenly came from the direction of Stewart and knocked sharply on the table! We were then asked to remove our hands from the table and hold hands. The table began to move, even levitating on its own. It touched my knee, and judging by the comments of the others sitting around the table, it was touching them as well.
As this was happening, we noticed that someone new was trying to speak through Stewart. It is the practice of the regular circle members to speak encouraging words and to provide the added energy of their voices. Over our encouraging words, we heard a hesitant “Con…” and “Constan… and then we heard “Konstantin.” He repeated his name and then was gone. Walter came back and said that this contact (Konstantin) was unexpected and that, “The gentleman says he has fulfilled his promise. There are great advancements that will be made in the near future.” Walter asked if we understood that and we said that we did. Walter continued to say, “He will continue to do his finest. That is all that he can do.” To say that we were blown away by this would be an understatement! [Editor: See the Konstantin Synchronicity sidebar]
As you know, Dr. Konstantin Raudive spoke to us during a David Thompson Circle of the Silver Cord séance in Sarasota, Florida. He told us to record for EVP on October 27 at 10 pm and gave us a code phrase. We thought it interesting that one of the words in the phrase was the name of a beloved cat, now on the other side!
I am not sure which of us asked a question at that séance, and the séance recording was so distorted it could not be made out, but the answer that Konstantin gave was, “You and Childs do it.” ATransC member Keith Clark was sitting between us, and everyone assumed that Raudive meant to say “Clark” and not Childs. However we thought this very interesting as we were already scheduled to attend a conference in October and friend, Dr. Annette Childs was to be a speaker at the conference. We even told Annette about this strange comment when we returned from Florida. But since she was traveling the evening before us and we would be on the plane on the 27th, it would be impossible for us to record together.
In October we spent all of the 27th on a plane going from San Francisco to London Heathrow, and then to Manchester. At the Manchester airport we carried our luggage to the train station to continue on to York for the night. The first stop for the train was Manchester Piccadilly. As people boarded the train, Tom leaned toward me and whispered, “Is that Annette?” There, sitting down directly across from us was Annette and her husband Brian. They had flown in and spent the night at a hotel in downtown Manchester.
There are trains every thirty minutes going to York and there were six cars on the train with at least ten rows of seats in each car. It is simply unimaginable that Annette and her husband would end up sitting down directly across from us. Put this together with Konstantin’s original message and then his coming through in the séance with Annette and me seated on either side of Stewart and well … what can one say about such a synchronicity?
After we returned to our seats, we were told that Dr. Barnett would try to come through and that we should sing to build the energy. One of the women near Stewart announced that she felt hands touch her head and Carol on the other side of Stewart also said that she was being touched on her head. Dr. Barnett spoke, saying that he and another person had partially materialized in the room. For a short time, there were two materialized people at once in the room! Then Sascha, who sat close to the cabinet, announced that he felt hands touching his head. We heard Dr. Barnett tell him to continue his work.
Stewart has just released his autobiographical book:
An Extraordinary Journey: The Memoirs of a Physical Medium
The book is an exceptionally well-written account of what it is like to be a physical medium and what it means to act as a channel between this world and the next. The book is available at Amzon.com.
Next we touched Tom’s head, and then taking Tom’s left hand with his two hands said, “God bless you, I am so pleased to make your acquaintance. Continue with your work. You are known in my world.” Dr. Barnett moved next to Ann Harrison and then to Annette Childs before returning to the cabinet. Dr. Branett talked for a while about the spirit team’s work with Stewart and told us about things that they want to accomplish in the New Year, after which he spoke a blessing for us and was gone. Walter returned to say a few words before ending the séance; “We that know the truth about survival … we have a shared duty and that is to convey to all mankind this wondrous truth and this is something that we can do together, my world and your world. We can reach out together so that we may help the bereaved so that we may quell the anguish of separation. We can work together as a united whole. Understand that whenever you do what White Feather calls ‘The work of the spirit,’ you will not find us absent. Whenever you send out a call, we shall be there with you. You may not see us, sense us or hear us but be assured that we will be there to help, to inspire, to guide you in whatever way that we can. We are aware of you all as individuals. We are aware of your work so know this: that we are always with you. Together we can accomplish so very much.”
Walter closed by telling us it was a privilege to be able to communicate with us from his world to ours. He told us that he hoped we took, “Inspiration to continue on. You are not alone. Good night to you all.”
This was a very touching and special experience. We can only say that we felt immensely blessed to have had this experience. We did feel that the two worlds had been joined for those two hours, and yes, we did return home inspired!
We sincerely thank Stewart and his circle for their many, many years of dedication and we also thank the Spirit Team that has given of their time to make this experience possible.
by Tom and Lisa Butler
Other SORRAT Articles
The Society for Research in Rapport and Telekinesis (SORRAT) is an experimental organization based on the concept of rapport as set forth by John G. Neihardt. The group is now under the stewardship of Tom Richards Ph.D., MO. Dr. Richards has written seven books including The Arizona SORRATS. You can receive a list of his books by writing to him at: Dr. J.T. Richards, 309 West Ninth Street, Rolla, Missouri 65401.
The physical phenomenon experienced in this group has been well documented in many books and articles. One very good article describing an ongoing letter-writing experiment was published in the Society for Scientific Exploration in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 13.2, Real Communication? Report on a SORRAT Letter-Writing Experiment by I. Grattan-Guinness. Here is the PDF. Especially see Figure 3 on page 21, the film canister passing through glass.
Doctor Berthold Schwarz submitted an empty, sealed, plastic jar, a small glass envelope similar to a light bulb without base or filament, and a spoon to the SORRAT lab with the request that the entities place the spoon and glass envelope in the jar and return it to him. As is customary with the entities, and with the intention to further the development of rapport, the jar was mailed to our address. It was for us to return it to Doctor Schwarz.
As can be seen in the photograph at the left, the spoon was bent and placed in the jar along with the glass envelope. Also as is the custom of the entities, a small “toy” coin was enclosed along with a piece of paper with a note wishing all a happy Valentine’s Day. We received the jar the day before Valentine’s Day.
The objects were placed in a locked box and that the entities were to move the objects into the jar, and move the now full jar into a supplied mailing carton and apport the mailing carton to a post office for delivery. Doctor Schwarz had placed the necessary postage on the carton.
Comment: The entities consist of a group of now deceased people, one of which is said to be able to move physical objects. We have seen pictures of a pen in the process of writing on supplied paper, but without visible support. We have also seen pictures of levitated objects in the locked lab.
The results of the SORRAT experiments do seem to be more dramatic than what is usually experienced in such phenomena. However, before you decide to discount them as fraud, please note that there is no financial gain by the SORRAT members in this work. Yes, the claims have been investigated many times with mixed results, but the same can be said of EVP.
Rapport: A form of nonphysical energy that is thought to be made available through the interaction of members of a group. In effect, there are lines of influence between you and people and things in your environment. You can think of this network as a pool of energy. As you think of a friend, you strengthen that line of influence between you and your friend. You make it even more energetic when you take time to contact that friend. John Neihardt held that this energy represented by the rapport amongst friends is a necessary ingredient needed by nonphysical entities to communicate with our side of the veil. If you are to have physical phenomena, you must have ample energy and that energy is made available by rapport within the group.
Imperator Group: A group entity providing etheric support for the SORRAT experiments. This group is thought to have been the control for Rev. W. Stainton Moses and Lenora Piper. Within the group are a number of personalities who signed SORRAT letters at one time or another. See Imperator and Rector for more information.
by I. Grattan-Guinness
First published in the Summer 2011 ATransC NewsJournal
Other SORRAT Articles
The days of large-scale physical phenomena, which so enthralled our Victorian and Edwardian predecessors, seem now a long way away, to the extent that reported cases are treated with suspicion even by those who are generally sympathetic to psychical research. An interesting and long-term case is the group called Society for Research in Rapport and Telekinesis SORRAT, which was founded by John G. Neihardt (1882–1973, who made his career as a poet and literary critic after initial training in physics (Richards, 1973). Aware of such phenomena from his own youth, he worked quietly throughout his life until he felt ready to form this group in 1961 at his home at Skyrim Farm near Columbia, Missouri. “SORRAT” is his acronym for “Society for Research in Rapport and Telekinesis,” in that order; for central to his philosophy was that rapport is the key to telekinetic processes, an essential cause for the effects that take place. This has remained a key feature for the group.
When sittings were held, very large-scale phenomena soon occurred: apparently heavy furniture rose and fell, entire rooms shook, and tables went walkabout into the farmyard. In his career, Neihardt had taught at the University of Missouri at Columbia; so the news spread there soon, and derision and persecution came back rapidly. From an early date, therefore, SORRAT has kept much to itself, while welcoming serious newcomers. The most substantial account to date is the book on the group by John Thomas Richards (born 1937), a teacher of English with an engineering background (Richards, 1982); since Neihardt’s death he has coordinated much of the work of the group, maintaining the (informal) membership list and corresponding with members and others, and holding sittings in his own home in Rolla, about 100 miles from Columbia. These usually take place in the “Isolation Room,” about 5 feet by 10 feet, located in the basement.
External appraisal has been rare. Hansen and Broughton (1991) found evidence of tampering with a pack of playing cards, while Wiseman and others (1992) decided, on statistical grounds, against a test involving the reading of a sealed pack. In a book on religious belief, the American sociologist James cClenon included SORRAT in a chapter on small sitter groups, but was rather agnostic about the probity of the events experienced, mainly because of his principal concern with belief structures rather than the events (McClenon 1994, Ch. 14). Berthold E. Schwarz (1994) drew more positive conclusions from his experiments on linking rings.
Schwarz’s experiments were carried out in collaboration with Edward Cox, an associate of J. B. Rhine. Neihardt launched SORRAT experiments about 1966, in part with the encouragement of Rhine, who also suggested a new means of staging experiments: a glass container set on a wooden or metal base with a securely lockable lid, in which artifacts were placed and any phenomena observed without interference. Cox built the first such frame, which was known as a “Cox box”; since then the more informative name “Minilab” has been attached to it, and it has been used elsewhere in psychical research.
After moving to Rolla in 1978, Cox carried out over many years a wide range of experiments, such as rings linking and unlinking, balloons inflating, metal bending, and methods of alerting a film camera to the start of a phenomenon. Many of these experiments were carried out in the Isolation Room, using a lab built with another SORRAT member and local resident, Steve Calvin…
From: “Real Communication? Report on a SORRAT Letter-Writing Experiment,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 13, No. 2, citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.518.5976&rep=rep1&type=pdf
See: Sorrat: A History of the Neihardt Psychokinesis Experiments, 1961-1981 by John Thomas Richards, available on Amazon.
Hansen, G. P. & Broughton, R. S. (1991). Card-sorting with SORRAT. Artifex, 9, 19.
McClenon, J. (1994). Wondrous Events: Foundations of Religious Belief. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Richards, J. T. (1973). Luminous Sanity: Literary Criticism written by John G. Neihardt. Cape Girardeau (MO): Concord.
Richards, J. T. (1982). SORRAT. A History of the Neihardt Psychokenesis Experiments. Metuchen (NJ) and London: The Scarecrow Press.
Schwarz, B. E. (1994). Presumed paranormal linkage of rings. International Journal of Psychosomatics, 42, 95
Wiseman, R., Beloff, J. and Morris, R. L. (1992). Testing the ESP claims of SORRAT. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 58, 363.
by Tom and Lisa Butler
First published in the Summer 2011 ATransC NewsJournal
Other SORRAT Articles
The article about the the Society for Research in Rapport and Telekinesis (SORRA
T), SORRAT Letter Experiment, provides a good introduction to this very interesting group. There is more information in the Examples section. As SORRAT members, we found information about the Fishharp Clan and their castle to be very interesting.
In the letter-writing study, the Imperator Group in the etheric is able to use a pen to write and draw on paper with what is known as direct writing. This is done by their scribe John King. A camera triggered by a motion sensor was used for the photograph elow. The white arrow points to the independently moving pen inside a locked Minilab box. After questions are answered, the entities place the letters in stamped, self-addressed envelopes, after which they are apported out of the lab into the US postal service.
The drawing of the castle and the Fishharp were produced in this way and sent to us. Lisa was told that she had a past life with the Fishharp Clan. It is very interesting that the castle of this clan was configured with various intention-directing aids.
The Imperator Group refers to maze walkers who used a maze (bottom chamber of the castle) to help focus their intention, reportedly as an aid for teleportation. The middle chamber contained a second maze of sorts and an organ-like device designed to send “voice thoughts.” The antenna for the organ was the Fishharp above the castle. See the It is All About Intention article.
The Fishharp Clan was known as a healing clan and the Fishharp was one of their healing devices, In principle, it needs to be “charged” to be effective and works as a form of intentionality amplifier. The Imperator entities drew us a picture of how to make one and SORRAT member, Dr. Terrald Brooks, made one for us as shown below. It is a brass frame shaped like a fish with copper spokes and an obsidian “eye” which can be moved between the spokes. See the close-up photograph for construction detail. As we understand its use, the practitioner must clearly visualize a desired outcome with the focused intention to make it happen while adjusting the position of the “eye.” We have found with the Fishharp and other such devices that we have a sense of the correct configuration almost as if muscle memory has assumed control of our movement. If you are familiar with radionic devices, there is a similar effect when using the stick plate (see: copenlabs.com).
The thought organ appears to be a form of radionic device in that it appears the communicator first walks the star pattern on the floor adjacent to the organ, and then adjusts the organ.
We think the sequence is to first entrain intention to clearly imagine a desired effect, and then, like the stick plate of a radionics device, adjust the organ until there is a muscle memory-like sense of right. What remains is the impression of the message or expression of intention being sent via the Fishharp antenna.
by Lisa Butler
Published in the Winter 2012 ATransC NewsJournal
While we were in England, we had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the Silver Fox Circle in Newcastle on Halloween night. We were fortunate to be introduced to the group, as this home circle is not yet demonstrating publicly. Good friends, and fellow Socrates Circle members, Jannet Caywood and Steve Atkins were with us.
The circle began in November 2007 as friends sitting together in harmony. Spontaneous physical phenomena had already been apparent around Fay Wright, the medium, for a number of years, and so they started as a cabinet circle. From the very beginning, small knocks were audible in the room during the séances.
We were in for a great time and some amazing phenomena along with the most amazing feeling of harmony and love from both members of the circle and their spirit team. Fay Wright graciously picked us up from the train station and brought us to her home.
Our first surprise was that the group was all female. If you read books about circles, you will find that it is traditional to “balance the energy” by having an equal number of male and female sitters. That has been difficult for our circle and so we were delighted to see a group of women developing and getting physical phenomena!
We sat and talked with Fay and her husband as we waited for the rest of the circle members to arrive. After everyone had arrived, as part of the preparation, they nearly covered the dinner table with toys that would be used during the séance. Each toy had glow-in-the-dark tabs strategically placed so that sitters would be able to see the toy’s movement in the completely dark room. Circle members held them up to the light to “charge” the glow tabs. They were then placed in a plastic roll-around file cabinet, which was placed in the small séance room where Jenny, the circle leader, could reach it. Some of the larger items were placed behind a black curtain which was situated behind Jenny. We were invited into the room and were seated between regular members of the circle. I was seated next to Jenny and Fay was seated in a closet with a black curtain drawn across the front.
Jenny said an opening prayer and then there was silence for about a minute. No music was played and you could hear Fay breathing in the cabinet. Just that quickly, a male voice came from the cabinet saying, “Good evening friends and welcome to our visitors.” This was the voice of Silver Fox, the group’s main guide and gatekeeper. (A gatekeeper protects the medium and decides who is allowed to come into the circle via her mediumship.) Everyone greeted Silver Fox and then the music was turned on for us to sing a few songs.
One member said that the trumpet was making noise and then we all saw it moving. About the same time, a child’s voice was heard coming from the cabinet. It was Michael, a child in spirit who played a major part in the séance that evening. He greeted each of us who were visiting.
I was asked to hold my two hands flat, palms up so that they were next to Jenny’s hands. The two trumpets, one inside the other, were laid across our four hands. The trumpets felt quite heavy and I asked if one wouldn’t fall out of the other. I was told they might but that the children would do with them as they wished. During all of the preparation, Michael could be heard humming nonchalantly in the cabinet. The trumpets lifted off my hand and Jenny told us that they are balancing only on her finger, and then they made a crashing noise on the floor. Michael announced from the cabinet that he would like “a go at lifting them up.” I said again that they are heavy together like that.
Again the trumpets were placed on my hands, but this time, with the wide end resting on my arm. Jenny asked us to sing again, and as we did, I actually felt the trumpets lift off my arm and hands. It was up in the air with only two of my fingers in contact! That little contact could not possibly have been holding the trumpets steady!
It is a very interesting sensation to feel levitation like that. The trumpets actually lifted on and off of my fingers, as if tapping my fingers, and then amid a bunch of “Wows” from the other sitters, they lifted from my hands to Jenny’s.
I should point out that, with everything that happened during the séance, the sitters encouraged and praised Michael with great enthusiasm. We understood that this was to keep the energy up so as to enable more communication. The singing was another means of bringing energy to the circle.
Next, Michael asked for an airplane and he wanted to play with Tom. In the dark, we heard the circle leader digging in the file cabinet to find the airplane. She gave it to Tom and told him to hold it flat in his hands while asking Michael to move the plane left or right or to produce “turbulence” which was to be answered with Michael shaking the plane. Tom asked for turbulence. He later explained that he felt the plane shake with a slight vibration.
About then, a strong, clear male voice could be heard from the cabinet instructing us to say “left” and “right” as a way to “warm them up.” It was the voice of spirit team member, Dr. Brown. Tom announced to the sitters that he could feel the plane tilting left and then right, and then completely lift off his hand.
Michael next asked to play with Steve, and Jenny asked him to stand and hold one hand out in front of him. The circle member next to him was also asked to stand with one of her hands held out near Steve’s. The plane was placed on both of their hands and then Steve asked Michael to make the plane make a big turn left. Steve told the sitters that he felt it go totally off his left hand and then he felt it go the other way.
A new voice came from the cabinet; that of a little girl named Melly who asked that the hoops be given to Jannet and Margaret. Jannet and Margaret were asked to stand and hold their hands flat with the hoops resting on their upturned palms. They were told to encourage the girls to move the hoops one and then the other. Each hoop had many very bright glow tabs. Margaret’s hoop was immediately seen moving as if it were a swing, and then we saw it move in a figure eight pattern.
Jannet was then asked to ask Susie to move her hoop; Susie, another child communicator, is said to be a bit shyer than Melly. Jannet’s hoop finally began moving and she excitedly exclaimed, “Look at that!” The hoops began moving in unison, and we could tell that the girls were having kind of little battle with the hoops, trying to hit each other amid our shouts of encouragement.
Michael’s voice interrupted to say that he thought it should be his turn now in a true children’s sort of way. He asked for the pole to be brought out, which resulted in one of the sitters searching around behind her in the “toy box.” After a minute or so, we heard Michael giggling from the cabinet and we were told by the regular sitters that he loved to have people searching around for something when it was not there.
Michael then asked Anna to hold “the flower.” The flower was one of those yellow yard toys that spins in the wind. It was about a foot across and had glow tabs on each petal which were numbered like a clock. We could see the glow tabs being covered, one by one, as requested by the circle members. “Cover nine,” they shouted, and then “Now! Cover eleven!” They also enjoyed covering the tabs in a clockwise or in the reverse order. We watched in amazement. The flower was so large there was no way that someone could hold it and also cover the tabs. Tom was sitting next to Anna, who was holding the flower, and when I asked him about this possibility he said, “Absolutely no way.” All of the phenomena were evidential but this to us seemed one of the most evidential.
While we were singing “Rockin’ Rollin’ Ridin’” with the flower demonstration, we could hear a female child’s voice singing. We all became quiet as Susie treated us to a solo performance with her sweet child voice.
Next, Michael asked for a football and Jenny found it in the toy box. I was asked to hold my hands flat next to Jenny’s and a little lower. On the recording of the séance, you can hear me gasp as the football not only comes into my hands but rolls up to my elbows. I later learned this is called a “hug.” I moved the football back onto my hands and held my hands next to Joan who was on my left. I felt the football levitate off of my hands and then heard Joan say they are hugging her with the ball. The ball, like the other toys, had glow tabs and I could see them literally hugging Joan with the ball. In this way, the ball moved around the circle to Jannet who told Michael how excited she was to be about to have the football placed in her hands. She, too, was greeted with the ball rolling up her arms for a hug. Jannet told Michael how much fun that was and that “She never gets to do this at home!” We all are really having a great time!
Dr. Brown spoke next. (The voices are so very different from each other.) He said that he believed they wanted to “fish fight.” Jannet handed the ball back to Jenny and then Michael’s voice was heard saying, “Can you put the car on there as well?” Jenny found the two fish toys and the car toys and put them on the drumhead she held as a stage for the “fight.” We could clearly make them out by their luminous tabs.
With a little encouragement from the sitters, one fish began to move, seeming to take aim at the other fish. There was a “battle” and one fish knocked the other off before going after the car. The crazy movements were just amazing. It looked like the car was hanging off the edge of the drum when the fish finally gave it a real shot, knocking it noisily to the floor. This was very evidential and there was no way that these movements could have been made by a human.
Michael next asked for a hula-hoop and the football, and said that he wanted to play with Tom again. Tom was asked to stand in the center of the circle and hold the hula-hoop. After a moment, the ball was levitated off Jenny’s hands through the hoop and onto the floor. Then Michael asked to do it again, only with me holding the ball. It took him a little longer, but after a moment or two, I was actually able to feel the ball levitate off my hands and then see it fly through the hoop.
Jenny was asked to put the trumpet on the drum. Still standing, Tom was asked to step back a little. Michael’s favorite music, Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best,” was playing and was turned up. We watched the trumpet fly off of the drumhead and through the hoop.
Tommy, another little boy in spirit, asked for the football to be put on the drum. It was as if they wanted to make sure that we knew they were moving the ball and that there was no human involvement. The ball flew off of the drumhead and through the hoop.
We were told that they liked to finish with a flourish and that Tommy was going to swing the hula-hoops that Tom was holding while Michael and Tommy used the trumpet to knock the football through the hoop, and then they would throw the trumpets through the hoop. They did this to everyone’s amazement and as we all cheered.
Michael then said he was finished and we all expressed our great gratitude for a true night of great fun and play. Each one in spirit who had been involved in the evening came to say goodbye, ending with Silver Fox.
What a wonderful evening. We had not expected a lot because we had been told it was a new circle. We came away with our hearts touched by those wonderful people and their spirit team, and amazed at the level of phenomena that the group is producing. They were able to show us that what we think is real is very limited, and that there is so much more to our world than 99% of the population knows. We thank them for trusting us enough to allow us into their circle and hope that we will sit with them again.
by Tom and Lisa Butler
Published in the Fall 2010 AA-EVP NewsJournal
Precipitation medium Hoyt Robinette was invited by the Spiritualist church in Reno to speak and demonstrate his mediumship. We attended the Sunday service and what he refers to as “card” and “silk” sittings.
A precipitation medium is one who is able to work with etheric helpers to produce physical objects. Often, the result is pictures as shown in this article. Psychometry is the sensing of information from the subtle energy associated with objects. Hoyt uses psychometry to sense what is written on folded pieces of paper, which is referred to as blindfold billet reading.
As we entered the church, we were each handed a piece of paper and told to write down the first and last name of anyone, now on the other side, that we wanted to hear from and to also ask one question. After a brief introduction about his work, Hoyt put tape over his eyes and then put on a blindfold. He then picked up the stack of papers containing the names and questions, and for each person, spoke the names on the paper. After a brief pause, he also spoke the answer to the question as provided by his guides.
Members of the congregation were generally pleased with the resulting answers and impressed at Hoyt’s ability to recite the names. He blindfolds himself, however, and it was difficult for us to be sure that he could not see through the small space between his nose and the blindfold. A brief search of the Internet will show that it is this concern that is most often expressed by others who have sat with him.
I had written Konstantin Raudive’s name on my paper and Tom had written his father’s name and the names of transitioned ATransC members Erland Babcock and Debbie Caruso. These names were read back to us when Hoyt held our pieces of paper. Because he was giving us the names as they were written and the answers to our questions were pretty general, we felt unsure about his being able to see and did not feel the demonstration of psychometry was evidential. However, there was a little thing that happened regarding the name Babcock. Hoyt had given the name of Tom’s father as written on the paper, and then he said he was confused after saying Erland Babcock. He said something about being confused with fathers. Tom’s stepfather was Max Babcock but he had not written his name on the paper. It appeared Hoyt sensed Max in association with Tom and was apparently uncertain how Erland Babcock and Max Babcock related to Tom. That did seem evidential.
|Lisa’s card (top) Back of card (bottom)||Tom’s card (top) Back of card (bottom)|
The next evening, we attended the card sitting. Let me first say that Tom and I helped prepared the room for the sitting and that Hoyt had not seen the room prior to that evening. The room was the basement of the Buddhist church.
Before the sitting, Hoyt handed a new, still sealed pack of plain white, three-by-five inch cards to someone in the front row of seats. The seal was broken and we were all shown that the cards were blank before they were handed back to Hoyt. Hoyt had brought a roughly ten-inch diameter and eight-inch high straw basket with a tight-fitting straw lid. It was full of all sorts of colored pens, many quite nice as used for artwork, crayons and ordinary pencils. He dumped the contents on the table and showed everyone the empty basket. Next, he proceeded to fill the basket with alternate layers of cards and various pens before putting on the lid. The lights were on and we were able to see all of his movements.
We had written names and a question on paper at the beginning of the event, and once again, Hoyt proceeded with blindfold billet reading. The basket was on the table by him but he did not touch it for about an hour and until finishing the billets. He then removed the lid and began pulling out cards with unique pictures on one side and names written on the other. The writing and artwork on each card was formed from the pen, pencils and crayons that were in the basket.
My card had the name Konstantin Raudive (misspelled with “iva”) and other names that I did not recognize. Tom’s card had the names of his father, Debbie Caruso and Erland Babcock, all of which were on his Sunday billet. Konstantin’s name had also been on my Sunday billet.
Our cards are shown here. We do not recognize the little girl on my card or the man on Tom’s, although there is a family resemblance with Tom’s card.
Hoyt reads billets for each of the events and we suspect that doing so may help him “entrain” himself to facilitate the influence of his etheric helpers. In effect, he may be entrancing himself by the process of billet reading. Both the cards and the silks “develop” while he is reading.
The rest of it is just a mystery. Hoyt wore a short-sleeved shirt and there was no place to hide already developed cards. The light was good and we had full visibility of the basket at all times. The basket was examined, is small, flexible, and did not have a fake bottom or sides.
The “silk” sitting was the next night and we made a point of sitting next to Hoyt and as close to the table holding his paraphernalia as possible. Clearly visible was a stack of “silks” which appeared to be six-inch squares of white cotton cloth previously hemmed by Hoyt himself. He forgot his inks, and had to return to the nearby hotel to get them. While he was away, we were all free to inspect everything. Tom has worked with photography in past jobs, and after smelling, examining in good light and looking for textural differences in the cloth, decided that he knew of no way that Hoyt could have previously exposed the cloth to pictures. Hoyt had also given us pieces of colored paper. These were just normal paper of various colors.
Hoyt returned with a dozen or so small bottles of colored ink as one might use for ink pads. He removed the lids and left them on the table near the stack of silks. These, he announced, were the source of ink that would be used for the images on the silks just as the pens and crayons in the basket were used as the source of color for the cards.
We sat in a circle of about twenty-four sitters with the table as part of the circle, and once again, Hoyt read blindfold billets for about an hour. He then asked all of us to hold a piece of colored paper on our knees with our fingertips. The lights were turned off and Hoyt approached the table with the silks, using a red flashlight. We were within inches of the silks and watched as he picked them up. The silks that we had examined were the ones that he handed out. There was no possibility that he could have switched them with another set. He went to each person and gave them a silk to be placed on top of the colored paper, after which he sat down in the dark and gave brief mediumistic messages to some of the sitters.
After about fifteen minutes, Hoyt came to each of us with a red light so that we could see what was on our silk. We noted the faces on our silks were already fully developed as he approached with his flashlight, and did not require the light to form. We also noted that he was probably more excited than we were to see what was there. We were asked to roll up the silk in the colored paper and keep it rolled up for at least twelve hours while it continued to develop.
Each silk had several faces that looked very much as if they had been printed using a copy stand to project colored pictures from magazines and newspapers. There were several people we felt that we recognized but I will highlight the main ones here. On Tom’s piece of cloth is a picture that we feel is Klaus Schreiber! What a shock, especially since his name had not been given to Hoyt. A much younger Rev. Barbara Thurman was also on his silk. She was/is one of our mentors. In fact, she proofread our book, There is No Death and There are No Dead, and asked for changes that made the book better. We are forever grateful for her work. Again her name had not been mentioned at any time.
We were surprised to see the face of Dennis Hopper on my silk. He transitioned May 29. Hoyt was traveling to Reno at the time and the silk sitting took place June 1. Neither of us have a special connection with Hopper that we know of. Another face appears on both silks and we were surprised to find a possible match when looking for a picture of Klaus. It was received by the Harsch-Fischbach couple; we think in 1988. It is captioned “Ill. 4: ‘Marie at the equipment’” and is said to show the scientist Mme. Marie Curie (rejuvenated) in her laboratory in the “Beyond.” We have included some faces that we did not recognize and wondered if they might be recognized by members.
As I noted above, a search of the Internet will show many negative comments about Hoyt Robinette’s work. In fact, we were advised not to invite him by friends who should know. At the same time, other friends reported enjoying his sessions. As it turns out, he provided an entertaining fundraiser for the church, and everyone had something to take home that was interesting and caused us to think.
Tom and I have been involved with the study of various forms of phenomena most of our lives and we have recently begun an in-depth study of physical mediumship. Hoyt is one of the most open, likable people we have encountered in this study. He was truly excited to see what appeared on the cards and silks, and showed absolutely none of the sort of protectiveness of the things he used for his phenomena one would expect from someone who had something to hide. We took every opportunity to examine his work, and while these were by no means controlled experiments, there was little opportunity for him to use trickery. Yes, he may have seen the billets under the cover over his eyes, but the billets had very little to do with the precipitation phenomena.
Another criticism that we have heard is that he keeps the billets, and has on file, the names that sitters write down. Again, even if this is the case, we do not see how it is relevant to the precipitation phenomena on the silks as none of the names of people that we recognize on our silks were given to him.
We do not know how the pictures were formed. After quite a lot of subsequent research, we are unable to find a physical mechanism. While the silk pictures look very photographic, they are also pictures that would be difficult to find. Even if he knew who was going to be in his sessions, there was simply no way for him to find appropriate pictures, somehow imprint them with some unknown slow-developing chemicals on the cloth and have them in the correct order for distribution to the right person in the circle. We should note that we sat in a random way in the circle and Tom pretty much shuffled the stack of silks while Hoyt was fetching the ink. Hoyt had no time to do anything but make sure he could find them in the dark.
In transcommunication, the common factors for both visual and audio ITC are a source of physical energy which is subjected to a chaotic process that can be influenced by the etheric communicator to produce an intended form. We have learned that more or less random regions of order naturally emerge in chaotic processes. In ITC, that emergent order becomes the voice of EVP or the image of visual ITC. One of the characteristics of that intended order is the presence of secondary features.
The cards had at least one primary feature but some exhibited the characteristic secondary features of ITC. Formation of the features on Hoyt’s cards and silks appeared to be consistent with ITC in that he provided the physical energy (ink and crayons) and the resulting canvas on which to express the intended order. What remains for us is to study his phenomena to possibly understand the nature of what we would predict to be a chaotic process that lends itself to psi influence. Is Hoyt producing a subtle energy field in the room while he is engrossed with billet reading? Could we use instruments to detect this?
Most of the doubt about the billets would go away if Hoyt would let someone inspect the blindfold; at least put the mask on and maybe even if he used a better mask. It would also be a good idea to have someone randomly picked from the sitters during his session to inspect the basket, silks and such.
We continue to look for photographic processes that could be used for the silks, but rather than rejecting Hoyt’s phenomena as impossible, it may be important to study his work more carefully.
The Reverend Hoyt Z. Robinette is an ordained Spiritualist minister. His abilities include trumpet mediumship, clairvoyance, blindfold billets, spirit cards, spirit pictures on silk and direct voice. His dedication to demonstrating these phenomena has introduced many people to the realization that life continues after “so called death.”
by Ken Sahari (c)2011
On May 29, 2011, I was extremely fortunate to have been invited to attend a demonstration of deep trance and physical materialization mediumship by the Felix Experimental Group from Hanau, Germany. This event took place at the breathtakingly beautiful hacienda of Mr. Hans Schaer, on the island of Ibiza. Ibiza is a small island off the east coast of Spain, and is also known as “The pearl of the Mediterranean.” This hacienda, also known as Hacienda de Bouganvillas, is known as such as it is surrounded by an array of multicolored, strikingly beautiful bougainvillea plants, as well as Bird of Paradise plants, five-foot Aloe Vera plants, orange groves and lemon trees. The compound is also inhabited by a large population of small lizards, also known as geckos. According to Hans, the hacienda is a two-hundred-year old farmhouse.
In my opinion, it is more like a contemporary Spanish country club, complete with swimming pool, tennis courts and five guest cottages, all adorned in white stucco with black wrought iron gates and fencing. This most bucolic venue proved to be an idyllic respite for rest and relaxation.
On this date, twenty-one people came together from Germany, Switzerland, England and the United State to witness something that very few people in the history of the human race have been fortunate enough to experience – direct physical and verbal communication with the spirit world, or with what the average person would call the “deceased.”
The demonstration took place in a beautifully appointed dining room, which is approximately forty feet long and sixteen feet wide. Most of the furniture was removed and half the room was used for the demonstration. A forty-foot wooden beam hung below the ceiling from which a metal hook was connected in order to hang a light fixture. The light fixture was taken down and replaced by a chain which held another hook from which the cabinet was suspended. The chairs were placed in a semi-circle around the cabinet, which afforded everyone present a clear view of this two-and-a-half-hour demonstration.
The traditional cabinet that is customarily used in physical mediumship consisted of a standard hula hoop with a large piece of black fabric hanging over it with a hook on top that was hung from the hook hanging from the support beam. This created a ‘cabinet’, just big enough for a chair for the medium to sit in. A cabinet is frequently used during these demonstrations to “contain” and “concentrate” the energy, in order for the phenomena to occur. This technique has been tried and tested over the past hundred and sixty years and has consistently been found to be most effective.
Prior to the demonstration, a full body and cavity search was performed by a licensed physician, and was found to be free of any extraneous objects. This was performed for the record and to satisfy anyone with an overly skeptical nature.
The demonstration commenced at 6pm, beginning with an opening benediction by Jackon, the circle leader. Following this, the medium began a lengthy breathing technique, which he uses to relax and facilitate the process of being put into a deep trance state. After approximately 6-8 minutes, a voice could be heard speaking in German from within the cabinet. This was the voice of Hans Bender, the main control and spirit communicator of the Felix Circle. Approximately ninety percent of the time he spoke in German, and the rest of the time in English. For me, this did not diminish the experience for me one iota, because what transpired throughout the sitting far exceeded my “boggle” threshold.
In an attempt to keep this treatise short, I will try to touch only upon the phenomena which I can recall with clarity and which left an indelible impression upon me.
Shortly after Hans Bender stopped speaking, we were all treated to a wonderful and lengthy display of spirit lights. This rather bright ball of light emerged from the cabinet through the curtain and moved about the room gracefully and with an obvious intelligence controlling it’s every movement. Having sat with other physical mediums on several occasions over the past few years, this is something that I have not experienced before. After the sitting, I asked the circle leader about the lights and he indicated that on several occasions, the light landed on him and touched him, and that it was tangible. Apparently, this must have been some sort of object that was brightly illuminated. It is my opinion that the speed and complexity of the movements could not have been performed through human agency.
Next, the circle leader placed an illuminated plaque approximately one square foot on the floor. Shortly after that, the plaque rose up off the floor and a hand could be seen emerging across the front of the illuminated portion of the plaque. In all, four different hands showed themselves over this plaque, all different sizes – small, medium, large and extra-large. The plaque hovered approximately 4-5 feet away from me so I could clearly see the anatomical differences in the four hands. I must add that this plaque phenomenon occurred approximately 10-12 feet (3-4 meters) from the cabinet where the medium was sitting.
Following this, we were all treated to a traditional display of “flying trumpets.” Two twenty inch trumpets flew about the room from floor level to heights of approximately fifteen feet (five meters). These trumpets are really megaphones that were used in olden days to amplify the voices of the people who spoke from beyond. They are still used today for direct voice communication in most physical circles. Over the past hundred and fifty years, many objects have been tested and used and experimented with in order to try to facilitate the communication, and this is one of the antiquated methods that still works. Again, there was obvious intelligence behind the movement of the trumpets and the speed and precision of the movements precluded the possibility of control through human agency.
The next experiment utilized a standard white handkerchief with sixteen pieces of luminous tape fastened to it – eight on each side. I was then asked if I would like to participate in the experiment by extending my arm all the way out in front of me while holding the handkerchief out, allowing it to dangle by squeezing it with my thumb and index finger. I enthusiastically agreed. I was then instructed by the circle leader to squeeze firmly and try not to allow the spirit person to take the hanky out of my hand. A few seconds later, a tug of war ensued and the spirit person emerged victoriously. Hans Bender then asked me if I would like to do it again and without hesitation, I happily agreed. This time I was instructed to grasp the hanky a little tighter. Once again, a spirit hand emerged from the darkness and began to tug on the hanky with more force. I made it a lot harder for spirit to take possession of it this time however in the end, spirit won once again. I must add that four times I was touched by this spirit person, twice on my knees and twice on my hands. This hand was indeed tangible. After this spirit person successfully pulled the hanky from my hand, it was held up at approximately eye level in front of Ann, the person to my right. The hanky was so well illuminated by the sixteen pieces of luminous tape that I could clearly see the hand of the spirit person holding the hanky approximately sixteen to eighteen inches from my face. It was obviously a right hand and I could clearly see the thumb and the next three fingers, minus the pinky. Again, this is something that I have never witnessed before and was thrilled to be able to engage in this experiment with this spirit communicator, as well as seeing the hand and being touched by it four times. Again, this experiment took place approximately 10-12 feet from where the medium was sitting.
It is important to mention that during the course of the aforementioned experiments, involving the luminous plaque, the illuminated flying trumpets, the spirit lights and the highly illuminated handkerchief, the mediums arms and legs were restrained on each side by two of the sitters. These phenomena also took place a significant distance from the restrained medium – at times, as much as fifteen feet (five meters) away. The medium also remained seated and entranced throughout the entire two and a half demonstrations.
Finally, after approximately two hours of nonstop physical phenomena and voice communication, the circle leader turned on a bright red light and instructed the girls sitting adjacent to the cabinet to open the curtain. Everyone present could see the medium sitting in a chair, and in what appeared to be a deep trance state. A short time later, we could all very clearly see copious amounts of that mysterious bodily substance known as ectoplasm emanating profusely from the mouth of the medium down to the floor. Hans Bender, who had control of the mediums body and vocal chords, feverishly pulled very large quantities of ectoplasm out of the mediums mouth until there was a pile of it on the floor at least a foot high (one third of a meter). When this process of manually removing all of the ectoplasm from the mouth was completed, the curtains were closed for a few seconds. They were then instructed to open the curtains once again and now the medium was completely encased in a “cocoon” of ectoplasm. His head, torso and all four extremities could not be seen at all. It was as if the medium was mummified. I must say that I have seen numerous photos of this type of phenomenon in books, museums and on the internet, but seeing it live directly in front of me was tantamount to seeing the Great Wall of China, Niagara Falls or the Maginot Line for the first time. It literally took my breathe away. The girls were then instructed to close the curtains again and a few seconds later, they reopened them to reveal the medium still sitting in his chair in an apparent deep trance state, with the rather large pile of ectoplasm still sitting on the floor in front of him. All of a sudden, what appeared to be an ectoplasmic rod rose up from the pile approximately three to four feet (one meter) in the air in front of the medium. At the top of this long rod was a human hand, moving about gracefully, demonstrating to everyone that it was real and alive. This most dramatic and visibly clear demonstration of materialization of a body part from ectoplasm in good red light was a fitting prelude to what was yet to come. A short time later, Hans Bender enthusiastically declared to all in attendance that “The Felix Circle will soon achieve full materialization in red light.”
This proclamation nearly brought me to tears as it has been over thirty-five years since any physical medium or circle was able to achieve full materialization in red light. With today’s communication technology and the internet, this would have very profound positive effects on the world as we know it.
After the demonstration was finished, a two-inch quartz crystal was left (apported) by Hans Bender. This crystal was given to me and I was told by the medium that it was a gift to me from Hans Bender. This crystal was left for the further development of my circle, the Circle for Humanity, a developing physical mediumship circle in the U.S. Needless to say, I was rendered completely speechless once again.
I feel that it is imperative to add that at no time did I ever even remotely suspect any type of deception or subterfuge. Moreover, I know the medium and his circle leader personally and can vouch for their character and integrity. Additionally, there was no fee required to attend this demonstration so the deception for profit motive can be completely eliminated.
If anyone reading this deposition has any doubts as to the authenticity of what transpires during a demonstration of physical mediumship, then it is apparent that you have not done your homework and have not familiarized yourself with at least the basics of physical mediumship, and therefore are not really in a position to accurately judge or criticize the true reality of this phenomenon. If anyone is truly interested, they could access a whole array of literature and research on this subject on the internet, or in book stores. Truth is available to all, however, you have to find it on your own. It will not fall into your lap. You must investigate evidence before rendering an opinion. The powers that be have engaged in a massive brainwashing campaign for a very long time to promote conformity and to maintain control over the masses in order to maintain the status quo for the benefit of the few, at the expense of many. The time has come, for the masses to wake up and remove the blanket of darkness and illusion and bask in sunlight of truth and reality. The massive abundance of irrefutable, scientific evidence for survival after what we call “death,” is by far the greatest discovery in human history. The entire world needs to know and is entitled to know this greatest of all truths.
Dr. Ken Sahari
New York, USA
by Tom and Lisa Butler
First published in the Fall 2010 ATransC NewsJournal
In August, we had the wonderful opportunity to fly to Frankfurt, Germany to sit with the Felix Experimental Group. The physical medium of the group lives in a lovely old farmhouse in the picturesque suburb of Hanau. The séances are conducted in a World War II bomb shelter, which is the basement of the medium’s house.
We were greeted by the medium’s mother, Elke, who guided us up several flights of stairs to her living area which had a commanding view of a lush back yard. One and two at a time, the circle members gathered at the dining room table in preparation for the séance. They all spoke good English and each took time to make us feel welcome. Elke and circle leader Dr. Jochen Soederling, a cardiologist, and member Alex, gave us information on the background of the group showing us many of the exciting apports that the group has received. The medium briefly came in and greeted us but then went back to the intense meditation that he does before each séance.
At the appointed time, Jochen led us to the basement where we were able to examine the small space where the séance was to be held. The space is about ten by fifteen feet with wood paneling and a large piece of plywood on the floor. A small wind chime is hung from the wood-paneled ceiling just above a bongo drum sitting on the floor. The chairs are arranged in a U-shape which is open toward where the medium sits. The medium’s chair is in a cabinet made of a curtain hung from the ceiling in the fashion of a free-standing shower stall. Closed during the séance, it is shown here with the opening pulled back as it is when the ectoplasm is revealed in the other pictures. At the right, in the above picture, there is a lamp with a shade that covers the red light. This light is covered with a black cloth during the séance to shield the red light from the camera. There is also a camera on a tripod at the end of the room opposite from the cabinet and behind the sitters.
The eight circle members and three additional guest sitters were directed to their chairs. We sat next to each other two seats from the cabinet, on the side with the red light. Circle leader Jochen sat next to me, translating the German communication from the group’s main spirit contact, Hans Bender.
After the medium was seated and the cabinet closed, the lights were turned off and an opening prayer was said. There followed many minutes of the medium’s deep breathing as background music played. We already knew that the medium had learned Holotropic Breathing, which helps him enter into a deep trance, otherwise we might have been concerned about his welfare, as his breathing was loud, rapid and gasping.
As the breathing quieted, Jochen excitedly whispered to me, “Hans is coming.” Soon a voice came from the cabinet introducing itself as Hans Bender, who is a well-known German parapsychologist often referred to as “Spook Bender” because of his dedication to the study of survival.
Hans made some opening remarks and welcomed us and the other guest sitters personally. What a thrill it was to hear one of the most important figures in the history of paranormal research say your name! Unfortunately the recording of the séance failed and it is difficult to remember all that was said. Oh, just to have had a recording of him saying “Tom and Leeeza”!
Hans has said in the past that there are five afterlife chemists who are responsible for the ectoplasmic structures that are used in various experiments throughout the séance. Hans has called this an “ideoplastic materialization séance.” [Ideoplastic is a term coined by Max Vorworm but used here in the sense intended by the German parapsychology icon Dr. Freiherr von Schrenck-Notzing as: Everything that can be remembered, also things the medium has read or observed or is interested in, all these memories can find a materializing reflection in the force field. (Among others: Phenomena of Materialization, Munich 1925)]
Soon there was the sound of the wind chime from the ceiling quickly followed by raps on the ceiling. They sounded for all the world like a herd of gerbils scampering across the ceiling. The sound seemed to come from the direction of the cabinet toward the wind chime. Suddenly, the raps were being made on the wood panel directly behind our heads.
Many excited shouts and exclamations followed as people were being touched. Tom said that he had been touched on his stomach and his head, and later described it as being touched by a soft cloth. Jochen pointed out to me that several people were being touched at one time on opposite sides of the circle. This would have been impossible for any one person to accomplish. There was no sound on the wood floor panel, and at the same time Hans was speaking (through the medium) from within the cabinet.
I let out an involuntary squeal as something that felt like a feather actually tickled my sandaled foot, between my little toe and next toe, before dashing up my chin. I was amazed at the precision of this feat which happened very quickly.
As it became quiet again, we were reminded to keep our feet under our chairs so as not to interfere with the structures. Hans requested that Jochen remove a six inch square luminous plate and place it on the bongo drum which was on the wood floor directly in front of Tom and me. Soon we could see the shape of a hand move over the plate from the side closest to us. The plate was occluded by the hand, first by just a few poorly formed fingers, but at one point, a thumb was also visible. The hand moved back and forth on and off the plate. Then we saw the hand structure coming over the plate from the other direction. The hand-shaped structure actually turned the plate about forty-five degrees before once again appearing on the side of the plate nearest us. After showing us a few fingers belonging to a large hand, a child-sized hand shaped in an “OK” sign briefly moved to the center of the plate. Little did I realize that Tom had been making an “OK” sign with his right hand on his leg and mentally asking that the structure do this!. It did!
Our next treat was the handkerchief experiment. We had been shown the handkerchief with the luminous tabs before the lights were turned off. For the experiment, Jochen stood up close to his chair and held the handkerchief out. All of a sudden it was flying around the circle! I was asked to stand up, staying very close to my chair, and hold the handkerchief out. I was told to let it go the minute I felt something. I stood holding the handkerchief out, and was twice asked by Hans from the cabinet if I felt anything. I was starting to panic that my energy was not correct for the experiment when I felt a tug and off the little cloth flew. It came right back rushing up to within inches of my chest!
Hans spoke to us in English about the structures we had been seeing. We also collaborated with the medium and Jochen after returning home to make sure we correctly report the concept. The medium explained that, from our point of view, the “rigid energy field” fills the experimental area as a three-dimensional field. This field enables the compaction of energy/matter. This happens by interlacing the nonphysical with the physical aspects of reality, which are normally considered two independent realms. The medium explained that most of the physical interactions during the séance are made possible by this.
A “thought form” is a collection of related ideas, images and memories and can be thought of as a gestalt “thought ball.” Everyone has a worldview, which is really a collection of thought forms characterizing our beliefs and understanding of our world. Bender said the thought forms from the sitters, as well as from many entities in the etheric, begin to develop in this field in more and more complex and perfect, denser stages.
The forms may be based on what we want to see appear because we have read about them or because we are persuaded they might appear. They all originate from our virtual world of visualized thoughts as mental projections. They may also originate as projections of thoughts of those in the etheric. “Those who are the closest to us in the non-physical,” Hans Bender said in the séance, “will use this opportunity to express themselves. So if sitters are longing to hear from a deceased loved one and then feel a touch, they can be sure the touch is actually coming from that beloved person.”
The medium explained that how complete and well-formed the structure is depends on how well the thought forms are developed in our mind. While they may clearly reflect the intention of the sitters, more often, they seem to be interwoven with the sitter’s subconscious hopes and expectations. If these are conflicted, the resulting structure might be poorly or oddly formed in a similar way.
Jochen was asked to prepare the trumpet and a sitter handed him one that had been on the floor behind the circle. The cabinet was closed and Jochen was able to use a bright flashlight to “charge” the luminescent tape as he had earlier “charged” the luminescent plate. He put the trumpet on the floor, large end down, in the middle of the room.
Moments later, we were able to see the trumpet fall over and away from the cabinet. Bender asked Jochen to move it closer to the cabinet where the energy field was stronger, and this time, the trumpet fell small end toward the cabinet. It moved about on the floor in a jerky, uncertain fashion evidently as they worked to gain control of it. Moments later, the trumpet shot into the air and demonstrated a bewildering flight of control that would be impossible of a physical person in that dark room. The sitters laughed and loudly chanted to add power to its flight.
After the trumpet had been returned to the back of the room, some of the sitters pointed out a light in front of the bottom of the cabinet. This light moved on the floor by our feet. Shortly after this a bright, penny-sized, bioluminescent, blue-green light could be seen flying around the circle. It came within inches of my face and I was amazed at its brightness. The circle leader whispered to us that Hans was saying we needed to raise the energy to keep the light going. Everyone in the circle began shouting what sounded to us like “Fly, fly,” and we started chanting this. The light reappeared and the sitters laughed with excitement as it came close to them. Later Tom told me that he had opened his palm and mentally asked the light to land on his hand and it did! He said that he did not feel the light itself, but did feel a firm structure holding the light as it briefly touched his hand between his thumb and index finger.
When we later asked about the light, Jochen told us that he had concluded that the light was part of a materialized structure. He said it looked like it was embedded into a funnel like structure. However over the past few sittings, the appearance had changed, he no longer saw the surrounding structure and could only see the pure light. Tom reported that when it touched him, it felt firm and smooth, neither hot nor cold and about two centimeters square.
Hans was asked if we would be able to take pictures with the red light. He answered that he would let us know in a few minutes. We were very excited when he came back with a yes! We were told that Hans would tap the floor three times with the medium’s foot when he was ready for the pictures to be taken. At that time, the group would count to ten. At “ten,” the red light was turned on while the curtains were opened by the sitters on either side of the cabinet and Jochen took pictures for a count of five.
The red light was between the cabinet and me, and when the curtains were opened, I could only see the bottom half of the cabinet. What I thought I saw was the light on shimmering cabinet curtains. In other words, I thought the curtains were not even opened on that first shot. Later and after looking at the picture Jochen took, I realized that I was seeing a wall of shimmering ectoplasm rather than the curtains. Tom saw that it was coming out of the medium’s mouth and said that it looked wet, very shiny and very white even in the red light.
The next time the curtains were opened after a ten-count, I could see a mass of ectoplasm on the floor next to the medium’s sneaker. The last view was a real shock because there in the middle of the pile of ectoplasm was a funny looking simulation of a hand. Tom even saw it move, as if pulsing to grow larger!
The séance ended after the pictures were taken and we all returned to the top-floor dining room table to excitedly discuss what we had experienced. Most of that is a blur because both of us were in something of a daze from what we had just witnessed.
Tom said that, both with the “OK” sign and the moving light, he mentally asked Hans Bender and the etheric chemists to respond to a specific request and they did. His experiment was unknown to anyone else in the room and with the dark conditions no one would have been able to even see the OK sign on his leg. The structures behaved as if they were under intelligent control by grabbing handkerchiefs out of people’s hands and performing other feats. But this intelligent control was not human; its fast and precise movements, often within inches of a sitter’s face, were beyond any human’s capability. All of this in total darkness.
On many occasions, phenomena were occurring in various parts of the room at a very rapid pace while all of us held hands and Hans spoke from the cabinet. For any of what we experienced to be theatrically produced as if in a dark-room magic show, a third party would necessarily have been secreted into the room without sound and as quickly extracted from the room afterwards. There was no way that this could have happened. There was not one doubt in my mind that the events we witnessed were of paranormal origin.
The Felix Experimental Group is producing important trans-etheric phenomena that can be seen. The séance takes place in the dark but the various phenomena are illuminated. This is very important as most criticism about materialization séances is that they are held in total darkness. We are told that the phenomena happen through the use of ectoplasm but I believe a large majority of people do not even believe in this substance called ectoplasm. The Felix Group is repeatedly photographing ectoplasm and they have been able to do this in front of scientists. They are producing objective evidence from which we can learn.
Tom and I would like to thank the Felix Experimental Group for their warm hospitality and also their sincere desire to understand what is taking place and share this knowledge with others. What they are able to demonstrate expanded my mind with the knowledge that the impossible is possible, and I’m sure Hans Bender has much more in store for us to learn through this exceptional group.
The medium told us early on in our email communication with him that Hans Bender has told them that, worldwide, the vibrational state of spiritual awareness has increased. He said that this vibrational state encloses the earth and all entities and that the way to spiritual enlightenment has become a little bit shorter. Hans says that more physical wonders will occur in the upcoming years and especially the readiness of high-leveled scientists to apply the spiritual to science.
by Lisa Butler
A Report on the September 25, 2009 Séance, Winter 2010 ATransC NewsJournal
Over the years, we have heard about a materialization medium named David Thompson. He was conducting demonstration séances in the UK and seemed to be the real deal. Montague Keen, member of the Council of the Society for Psychical Research for fifty-five years and secretary of its Survival Research Committee, investigated a David Thompson séance prior to his own passing in 2004. Keen’s professional report was positive, indicating that he felt the phenomena experienced during the séance were genuine. You may remember that Montague Keen also investigated the Scole Group with positive results.
Experiencing a séance like this was on the top of our wish list but always seemed out of reach. Often, by the time we looked up from our work and learned that Thompson would be giving demonstrations, the seats were already booked. This is what happened for several events in the UK in 2007, and the same thing happened when we learned that David had moved to Australia and was demonstrating in Queensland.
In the summer of 2009 a dear friend put us in contact with David’s circle leader, and through emails, we were told that there might be an event in Perth that October which we could attend. We readily agreed that we would go anywhere in order to experience a materialization séance. A few weeks later, another email came, inviting us to attend a David Thompson guest séance in Sydney. Chris, the circle leader and his wife, Rosheen, David’s manager, were very kind and wrote that they try to accommodate people who are willing to travel. To say that we were thrilled is an understatement. Of course it was quite a shock when we found that our travel time would include fourteen hours in the air from San Francisco to Sydney!
Our first two days in Sydney were spent getting over jet lag and seeing a few of the sights. One of the sights we got to experience was what we thought at first was a beautiful red sunrise in fog at Circular Quay. That was until we read the note slipped under our door, warning us not to open any windows or doors because we were experiencing an unheard of dust storm!
Chris and Rosheen asked us to have dinner with some of the members of the Circle of the Silver Cord Thursday evening. That was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Chris, Rosheen, David Thompson and his partner, Christine Morgan, who is one of Australia’s top mental mediums. We learned that they are all educated, hard working people—an important point since they did not attempt to make money for the guest séance.
Friday night was the big night. Everyone gathered at six that evening and Chris began with a short talk on materialization séances using ectoplasm and the risks to the medium. If ectoplasm is exposed to light, or in some way interfered with by a sitter, it will rapidly retract back into the medium, causing internal and external injuries that could cause death or greatly shorten the life of the medium. David has scars to prove this very real hazard. We needed no further explanation as to why the séance would be conducted in a totally dark room.
We had been told to leave jewelry at home. Nothing was to be allowed into the séance room. Shoes were removed, then everyone was searched by David and Rosheen and a metal detector was used to assure there were no forgotten or hidden articles amongst the sitters.
The séance room contained a small cabinet made with black cloth over a wood frame. The seventeen sitters were seated in a horseshoe with the cabinet where David sat at the open end of the horseshoe. A piece of plywood was placed in the middle of the floor so that we might be able to hear the sound of feet. This was raised so that everyone was certain that there was nothing hidden under it.
Two people were picked to inspect everything in the room and to observe David being bound to his chair. Tom was one of the people picked to do this. Chris, Rosheen, Christine, Silvana, Sarah and David Thomson (all Circle of the Silver Cord members) were independently searched and scanned with the metal detector. The room was thoroughly searched and then the medium’s arms and legs were bound to the chair with nylon straps, which were in turn, secured with the kind of cable wraps sometimes used by the police as temporary handcuffs. David was gagged and the gag was secured with a cable wrap. David’s cardigan sweater was secured with cable wraps in each button hole. The only way to release the wraps was to cut them off—a noisy process.
The lights were turned off and a red light was turned on. The door was secured and chairs added with sitters in front of the door. The red light was turned off and we were asked to sing with the music—loud and with enthusiasm. Singing is a way of building the energy, and more enthusiasm means more energy.
We had only finished three songs when we heard the sound of the Velcro holding the curtains in the front of the cabinet being ripped away. Chris switched the music off and asked for everyone to hold hands. David’s friend and guide, William, had come into the room. He asked who was there and was introduced all around. He had previously met most of the attendees who are Australians, and exchanged little pleasantries with many of them.
William then turned his attention to me and asked my name. “Lisa,” I answered, and he asked if he could touch me. He touched my toe first and said, “There you can feel my feet” and then touched my face and asked me what I felt. I responded that I felt his hand. “Is it not real as real can be?” he asked. I told him that it was very warm and very real, to which he responded, “As you can see there is no death.” (At the time I wondered if he knew it was the title of our book.)
Next he asked to touch Tom, and after he had done this he said to Tom, “As you can see, there was no fumbling to find your face, was there?” Tom agreed. William then asked him if he felt he was brought this distance merely to observe and Tom replied that he hoped not. William then said that there was someone from the Spirit realm who wanted to speak to Tom and his “dear lady.”
William asked if there were any questions and a sitter asked if the people on his side kept up with our technology. William responded, “My dear friend, I do not,” and everyone laughed. The person then asked if their technology was above ours and William explained that technology was not a necessity within their dimension. “Why do you need electricity with perpetual light? Why would you need conveyances to get from one place to another when you can do that with your mind and your thoughts?”
Next he was asked how many spirit people had come to witness the séance. William replied that, in his understanding, it would be in the range of one thousand individuals. “Séances such as this between the two dimensions attract a lot of attention within our world, as you can imagine.”
William then took his leave, telling us that he needed to go so that others could come through. It is difficult to explain but there is a noise that is heard when the ectoplasm is used for materialization, the circle leader knows this, and when the sound is heard asks for everyone to hold hands and welcomes whoever is trying to come through. We could tell the next individual was having difficulty talking but Tom said he knew immediately that it was Konstantin Raudive. We were both in shock and we understood why people who receive phone calls from their deceased loved ones say that the enormity of the moment does not sink in until after it is over. Please see the article “Konstantin Raudive Speaks” in this issue for a transcript of this historic conversation. Raudive spoke to us for seven minutes! It is a comfort to know that our pioneers are still interested in we who are learning to communicate via technology.
After Raudive left, a doctor came through and experienced members of the circle welcomed him as an old friend. He crossed the room and proceeded to put his hands on a woman to administer spiritual healing. The woman had been fighting a serious illness.
We were again told that we could stop holding hands and the music, It’s a Wonderful World, was played. To me it sounded like there was another, very distinctive voice singing with us. When the music stopped, Chris asked us to hold hands and we heard the distinctive voice of Louie Armstrong. He is a frequent visitor to the Circle of the Silver Cord séances. He asked Chris to get a harmonica they keep in a container and he played a song for us and we could hear him dancing with the music.
After Louie Armstrong withdrew, a child-like voice announced Timmy’s presence. This boisterous personality is a frequent visitor to the circle and manipulates the ectoplasm that enables many of the strong physical effects. He asked for a trumpet and there followed a rousing Irish jig while we were treated to seeing the trumpet fly around the room, often coming within inches of our faces. The trumpet was a light-weight cone of heavy paper about a foot long with a luminous band on the wide end so that its motion was easily visible. Sitters were shouting with excitement through the entire experience and the energy level was very high. There would have been many collisions had a physical person attempt such a demonstration.
Timmy is very funny and spent time joking with the sitters, making everyone laugh. He asked Chris for his luminous plaque, and with his fingers on it, he circled the room showing his small fingers silhouetted in the light from the plaque.
The next visitor told us his name was Russel Flexer and Tom Newman, the American who came from Florida, spoke with him. It turned out that Dr. Flexer is the founder of the church Tom now leads.
After the group sang along with Abba’s The Dancing Queen, Quentin Crisp joined the circle with much banter and jokes. He asked one sitter if he could touch her. She agreed and told everyone that he had very soft hands. Quentin quipped that he was not exactly a workman, which brought a huge laugh. He said that he was not exactly the type of person to get his hands dirty.
Quentin stopped in front of me and asked who I was and where I came from. When I told him the United States, he said that he lived in New York before he passed. (Side note: We were not aware of who Quentin Crisp was until after the séance. He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, which brought attention to his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to remain in the closet. Every icon has something totally distinctive about their look that no other icon has. Marlon Brando had his leather jacket, and with Quentin, it was his fedoras and many scarves. The Quentin Crisp archives at quentincrisp.com, is dedicated to promoting his philosophy of individuality, self-acceptance, and tolerance.)
Quentin asked if he could touch me and his hand felt warm, soft, normal; just like a person who is alive not dead! When you are touched, it is immediate, directly on your cheek or where they intend to touch you. No fumbling or misses. Try that in a pitch-black room.
Quentin asked, “And who do we have over here?” Chris the circle leader said, “Her husband may be jealous, Tom is over here.” Quentin asked to touch Tom. There was much laughter when Quentin said “Ohhhhh, he has one of those beards.” He went on to greet and touch just about everyone in the circle. His wonderful sense of humor really increased the energy. He remembered people in the circle from other séances and even asked one of them to convey greetings to acquaintances that he hadn’t seen for a while. He then said that he could not stay all night and that he needed to go. Everyone was saying their goodbyes when he asked, “Well Mr. Butler, or should I say Tom. How is your brain, trying to assimilate what is taking place?” Tom replied that he had suspended thinking and was just listening. Quentin then said, “How about you Lisa, or should I say Alisa.” His use of my legal name surprised me. He went on to say that it is such a pretty name, “and yet you call yourself Lisa.” I tried to explain that I use “Lisa” because “Alisa” is so often mispronounced and he quipped back that he could pronounce it. I had to agree that he did so, perfectly. He asked about how my brain was doing with the séance and if it had been worth the five-year wait. I said it was and that I hoped it would not be another five-years, to which he assured me that it would not.
This exchange was very evidential because I did not feel anyone there knew my legal name, and if they had somehow learned my name, they would likely have mispronounced it. The remark about the five year wait to see David was also evidential, as I had told all members of the circle that I had been trying for three years. When I later researched the timing, I realized that at the time of the séance it had actually been a little over five years. Additionally, Quentin’s prediction we would not have to wait another five years came true. The group did another sitting in Florida in early November and we were able to sit in.
Timmy came in again and asked that the red light be turned on so that those who secured David could check the cabinet to see that he was there and bound as they had left him. Tom also checked to see that David was still secured. The light was turned off again and Tim asked whether he should partially materialize or fully materialize. He was encouraged to do what he needed with the energy. Timmy said that he needed a bit more ectoplasm, and urged us to hold on. There was a gurgling sound and the suddenly loud sound of childish laughter, along with a loud thud that startled us all.
Tim asked Tom Newman to step forward in the dark. He did this and told us that David had been levitated out of the cabinet and that he was still bound to the chair. Tim asked Newman to feel the gag while Tim talked. Tom verified that David was gagged and not talking while Tim was talking.
Tom Newman returned to his seat while music was played to help David come out of trance. When Chris communicated with David that it was okay, the red light was turned on and we saw that David was ten feet in front of the cabinet, still gagged and bound. His sweater was reversed and the wraps were still in place! All cable wraps needed to be cut before he could be removed from the chair.
The whole experience was beyond words. Members of the Association know that EVP and ITC are beyond many people’s boggle point. This is way beyond that! Tom and I did not go to the séance with skeptical minds but we do believe that we are a couple of very critical thinkers. We stayed awake until two a.m. that morning talking and trying to wrap our brains around what we had experienced. We finally had to say it was what those who spoke to us during the séance said it was; so called “dead people” talking, walking, interacting with us and touching us.
We went to Australia believing in life after death but this séance was life-changing. What an incredible gift to be lucky enough to have the experience. We, like hundreds of others, thank the Circle of the Silver Cord and David Thompson for this important work.
Attitude is everything. Attitude is an expression of our worldview, and it is our worldview that we use as a mold to build our personal reality.
We have had a number of people ask us about the dangers in seeking to communicate with our friends on the other side. Some have expressed great concern that they might leave themselves open for attack from angry entities or that they might inadvertently invite a disruptive force into their home. The words, “demon” and “low levels” have come up more than once. We think a better term might simply be “less spiritually evolved entities,” as this is what they are. However, “low level” seems to be the term that is most used and understood.
Harold Sherman, in an article written for Psychic Observer & Chimes, recounted a friend’s distressing experience in trying to reach his wife and running into what he called “low grade discarnates.” When the man lost his temper and told them to go away, it only seemed to increase their interference. Sherman listened to some of the recordings and called it pure drivel.
Sherman came to the conclusion that the mental attitude of the experimenter played an important part in what was recorded. He wrote, “It is as though low grade intelligences come in on the emotionally disturbed ‘wave length’ of the operator. Unless the mind is prepared through prayer or a spiritually motivated meditative period, one is apt to invite the wrong kind of communicants.”
Some researchers, who have occasion to address the public about these phenomena, will include a strong warning that there are potential dangers and that the prospective EVP and ITC experimenter should use caution. Others seem to wonder what all of the fuss is about because they have never had a problem.
In the Summer 1988 AA-EVP NewsJournal, Sarah Estep ran a brief review of the CETL newsletter written by Jules and Maggie Harsch-Fischbach in Luxembourg. The couple believed that experimenters could attract positive as well as negative contacts. They quoted a comment made by pioneer researcher Dr. Konstantin Raudive. Raudive said, “Transcommunication is not a hobby for people who can’t cope with the realities of life.”
We believe that working with EVP and ITC is fundamentally safe. It is difficult to find a single example in which an individual has been harmed because of their communication across the veil. Yes, people have occasionally been “bothered.” It is known that the time we spend carefully listening too hard to hear EVP examples seems to enhance our clairvoyant and clairaudient senses. To many people, this is exciting and something they want. To others, it can be disturbing. This enhanced sensing has been reported to fade if one takes a break from EVP or other development work.
In the heyday of Spiritualism, people sat in groups trying to communicate with the other side. One of the important benefits of these groups was that they provided a safe place for mediums to develop. When people were working on, say for instance trance development, they could feel open and safe, in that they had an experienced medium to assist them if they should run into some sort of trouble. By the way, many Spiritualist churches still have development groups and classes and we would recommend these or any other good development groups or classes to EVP/ITC experimenters.
Many EVP experimenters work alone and do not have the benefit of a group of more experienced EVP researchers. We wish that everyone who experimented with EVP had a strong metaphysical or spiritual background, because it is important to have some basic knowledge about the other side and its workings. Since the experimenter is part of the bridge between those on the other side and the EVP or ITC equipment, it is important for the experimenter to have a strong sense of self, accompanied by a positive attitude and spiritual outlook on life.
In the Fall 1989 newsletter, Sarah Estep wrote, “Obviously, no one starts taping, automatic writing or playing with the Ouija board, thinking they will become possessed or obsessed. But it can happen. As I wrote on page 196 of Voices of Eternity, The difficulty is in ascertaining who is susceptible… I am not trying to frighten people who are thinking about beginning to tape… Working in the field can bring some of the most rewarding, enriching experiences of your life. It would be amiss of me, however, not to caution you about the darker side of psi. Experienced tapers will tell you not to believe everything that comes through. You have your liars on the other side, as you have here. The more they realize they are getting you upset, the more they will continue. Human nature being what it is, we may imagine certain messages are there, when in fact there is nothing. The important thing though is, if a person believes a message is on tape, that person will respond to it for better or worse.
“If you, at any time think you are in contact with low level entities, leave your tape recorder. Remain in control at all times. Anyone can sit down to tape. It takes much more inner strength to pull the plug and walk away.” Negative thoughts, such as fear or hate, are powerful forms of energy, and this energy can accumulate and do harm. It is as if this negative energy is an anti-particle that neutralizes positive energy and dissipates it from our use. We also believe that negative energy is not as sustainable as is positive energy because it is not consistent with the fundamentally positive nature of reality. Thus, as entities gain in spiritual maturity, they become less able to sustain fear or hate.
We advise people who are fearful of the unknown or who might have trouble keeping the voices in perspective, to pass on EVP. Our concern is that a person’s fear might tend to be amplified by a close encounter with an entity. The entity could be perfectly friendly, but because of fear and because the encounter is so fleeting, a fearful person might see the encounter as a reason to be more fearful.
Experimenters are responsible for creating a positive contact field for the other side. This includes expectations. You are responsible for your own life, and who and what you let into your environment and consciousness. Protect your personal environment and maintain a field of positive energy around your home and all that you do.
We want to make sure that people do not feel that something is wrong with them if they do encounter one of these less spiritually educated entities. Many researchers have had this happen. If you are one of them, you are not alone. Discarnate entities are attracted to people in the flesh who seem to be supportive of them in some way; someone who might be sympathetic about their plight. So, if you have attracted an angry entity, you are not necessarily an angry person. For example, if the angry entity is afraid to go on because of some dastardly deed committed in a past lifetime, and you are knowledgeable about why the entity should not be afraid, then it may very well be attracted to you as a potential source of guidance.
It has been made clear, via just about all of the forms of spirit communication, that Spirit entities are always with us. They may be in our home at any time, whether we sense them or not. A group we have communicated with, the Imperator Group, has told us that they do not watch us, and that they only come to us when we call on them or when we need help. We are certain that this group is not earthbound. It may be that earthbound entities do watch us. With that said, we believe that EVP researchers can request privacy and can tell earthbound entities to go away if they are being bothersome. An entity certainly does not have to be in your home to initiate EVP.
It is common for an EVP experimenter to ask for help from the other side to improve communications. To our friends on the other side, this is probably equivalent to asking them into our house for a visit. If you are seeking phenomena—and you are if you work with EVP—then we would think that you would greet these visitations as a new form of communication. What a wonderful proof!
These entities are people. In time, they could be you. How would you like to be treated? They deserve to be treated with respect. If you are not living in a haunted house and if you find that you have entities in your home, odds are this is because you have called them in some way, or they have a need to communicate with you. After all, many of us have come to EVP out of a need to communicate with one of them. Can you imagine how frustrating it might be if entities in your house believe you can help them communicate with a loved one (perhaps with you) and all you do is request that they leave? You have the right to tell them to go, but you have the opportunity to greet them and find a way to communicate.