; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Live... Die... and Live Again - Part 9

By Stephen Ellis - Most people want to believe that when their body dies, their consciousness continues to live. My research indicates that this is true.

There are a significant number of people who try to capitalize on the desire of the living to communicate with loved ones that have died. Is this possible?

None of us can be absolutely, scientifically, certain as to where our consciousness goes when we die. I’ve studied the subject for years and believe I know…but I will never have a way of proving it while I am alive. Of course, we could ask those who have passed-on…”if” we knew how to communicate with them.

A visit to Google.com will reveal more than ten pages of listings or people who claim to be able to communicate with the dead. Are they for real? Are they all frauds?

It is not my position to claim that someone is a fraud, especially people that I have never met or witnessed their claimed abilities. I do, however, have serious question about those who charge a significant fee to do their communicating with the dead. A lot of people will do a lot of strange things for the almighty dollar including, without limitation, séances, talking with dead, etc.

Among the more famous of the psychics who claim to communicate with the dead are John Edwards, James Van Praagh, the star British psychic, Sally Morgan, and the recent TV sensation the “Long Island Medium”. Even Newsweek Magazine (July 11, 2014) had a lengthy article about communicating with the dead. I have never seen any of the above-named mediums perform, but have been to a number of séances with less noted mediums. I have seen John Edwards on TV and spoken with someone who attended the show. My friend who attended the Edwards show recalls being told something by Edwards and responding “absolutely not”. But when the show aired on TV and Edwards made the same allegation, the edited TV version showed my friend nodding his head in agreement. It costs a lot of money to do a TV show, so what the public sees on TV is often more to keep the sponsors happy than to stay to the facts.

When there is a lot of money involved, TV shows only what the alleged psychic or medium wants it to show.

I have seen a number of so-called mediums do individual “readings” of people in their audiences…and I recognized almost all of it as “cold reading” techniques. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “cold reading”, it is simply a statement by the alleged psychic or medium to someone in the audience that is applicable to almost anyone but is phrased in a way that makes the listener believe the medium is talking about him or her. Some examples of this might be:

“I see that there is someone close to you who has crossed to the other side.” (Why would anyone go to a séance if there wasn’t some dead person they want to communicate with?)

“I sense that there is someone in the room that needs to resolve a deep conflict…that you want to rectify these conflicts but you are finding it difficult to do…”. The cold reader then waits for the subject to refine the statement and that gives the psychic more to talk about.

“I sense someone important to you…the letter “J” is in this room. Is it John? Or…?” The medium then gives the subject a moment to respond. If the subject doesn’t know anyone whose name starts with a “J” (highly unlikely) the medium will expand…Maybe it’s a pet’s name…a place…a close friend”. What the psychic or medium is trying to do is draw information out from the subject with the medium will use at a later moment.

I’m not suggesting that all psychic/mediums use this technique, but it is used very commonly by people who pretend to speak with the dead.

Having said the above, I have formed the opinion that none of the people who act as commercial mediums to communicate with the dead are for real.

But don’t close your book on the subject. I have personally known a number of people who claim (and support) the fact that they have communicated with a deceased loved one. More about this in Part 10.

If you are interested in the subject, I suggest you read my book, “Explaining the Unexplained”. You can download a Kindle of it for about $5.00. Hard and soft-cover copies are available at Barnes & Nobel and at Amazon. - stebrel@aol.com

Explaining the Unexplained

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