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Physical Mediumship Experience
Ok. So here goes. Very long post...

What I was hoping to see when I made arrangements to attend the séance was a demonstration of physical mediumship that I would be able to fully believe was not a magic trick.

After some familiarization with PM in general I found that although each medium has their own methods and abilities, most mediums follow certain predictable patterns. By using those general patterns I found that I could make some generalizations about how most demonstrations are set up and and proceed , and then could establish some rules of thumb based on that general “baseline” and create a list of criteria for a valid demonstration for psi for me.

The baseline-
Certain physical conditions seem to be required for nearly all physical mediums. The reasons for this may be totally valid, but even if not, I would need to accept these a prerequisite for any demonstration I was likely to attend.

During the demonstration the medium is said to provide the ability for spirit to some or all of the following:
- verbally communicate,
- apport (materialize) objects from nothing,
- move objects in the room,
- physically touch sitters,
- exude ectoplasm (which in tern can be used for other reasons such as constructing living things),
- create fully real walking/talking entities, even deceased family members of sitters,
- provide information that the medium can’t know,
- and other things depending on the medium

Most demonstrations require: 
1- almost total dark conditions, with some periods of low light. 
Reason- light is an inhibitor to most psi phenomenon, and in some cases light presents a real danger to the medium. 
Unfortunately- it provides the medium the ability to do whatever they want under the cover of darkness.

2- music and group singing interspersed with periods of relative quiet. 
Reason- to develop a positive working energy in the group, which encourages & possibly even enables the phenomenon. 
Unfortunately- it gives the medium an acoustic cover to do whatever they want without being heard.

3- the medium sits behind a curtain, and inside a “cabinet” for much of the time. Most cabinets have a ceiling and side and rear walls made of wood (some are fabric), and a front sliding curtain.
Reason- apparently this forms a sacred/private/protected space for the medium to develop and focus energy. 
Unfortunately- it provides a hidden space to do whatever the medium wants without witnesses.

4- the medium is bound in some way to keep them from moving, or physically using their hands to touch or manipulate anything.
Reason- to assure sitters that the medium is not physically causing any of the phenomenon to happen.
Unfortunately- since the medium can not been seen, it is not known if they are actually bound while any odd occurrences actually happen.

5- the medium is gagged in some way to keep them from speaking.
Reason- to demonstrate that the voices that are heard during the séance are not coming from the medium.
Unfortunately- since the medium cannot be seen it is unknown whether they are actually speaking.

6- a variety of objects with glowing spots on them which are meant to demonstrate their movement.
Reason- to show that non-physical entities are in the space and can “show” their presence by moving the objects.
Unfortunately- since the witnesses can’t see the actual objects in space, they can’t decide whether a person is actually moving them rather than “spirit”.

The room we were in was long (30 feet) and thin (12 feet) with chairs set in a horseshoe shape with backs against the two side walls and the medium’s cabinet on one end against a wall, and the 1 door exiting the room on the end opposite the medium. The center of the room was crowed with toys and other objects on the floor and it would have been hard for anyone to walk through this in the dark without being noticed. Also since there were many objects with glow marks, I would have seen signs of a person moving around the room, had that happened, which it didn’t.

All sitters in the room were asked to leave all objects behind and were frisked on entering the room. The medium was frisked as he entered by me and another person. I looked in his mouth and found nothing. As he spoke with us he drank cans of Red Bull energy drink to show that anything in his stomach would be covered with the stuff. 

The medium then sat in a stout wooden chair with arms, and his wrists were bound to the chairs arms with heavy duty zip ties that I inspected and which looked completely normal and functional. He was then gagged by a sitter, with a silk scarf rolled tightly and inserted in his mouth and around his head. Multiple people, including me inspected the gag and binding of wrists and found them to be tight.

The curtain was closed and music was played until the voices were heard,,,,

So briefly here’s what was demonstrated over the course of approx. 2 hours with spirit:
-A variety of spirit entities spoke to the group. 
-All voices seemed to emanate from the direction of the medium, and nowhere else. These voices were in a variety of accents and tones. 
-The voices spoke and joked and conversed. A joke was made about farting and made another joking comment about welcoming some and wanting others to go home: both comments were familiar as I heard the identical ones in a recording of the same “entity” on Youtube. I found it odd that the entity has a “standard routine”.
-No two voices were ever heard at once.
- An apport (a necklace) was removed from the medium’s mouth (the gag had to be removed to get it untangled from the silk scarf)
-Many objects were moved in the dark, which we could see by glow spots on them. Objects such as: a little drum, drum sticks, toys, and balls. Objects close to the medium’s position were moved and banged under control. 
-Occasionally an object moved as if it were thrown. The object bounced and slid or rolled to a stop on the floor. In all cases the objects moved from the area of medium, in a direction to a point away from the medium (from my right to left). 
-No object located away from the medium ever moved. 
-No object “floated around” other than within a foot or two of where the medium’s chair. 
-No object ever appeared to move under control at any significant distance from the medium, for example to the ceiling or to the other side of the room.
-A two foot long “trumpet” was waved and “floated” around in front of us. The thin end (that one would grasp) was always in the direction of the medium. It never whirled or spun in a way that this wasn’t the case. It never moved so the thin end was more than a foot or two from where the medium was last seen to be sitting.
-Drumsticks were used to drum on the floor which we could see via glow paint on them. And they were waved around. The ends moved in glowing arcs through the air, as if being held by unseen (spirit?) hands. The ends that would have been held by hands, were always closest to the medium. 
-People were touched in the dark by hands that “seemed much larger than normal hands” (I wasn’t)
-Ectoplasm was shown to us in VERY dim light. It appeared in the very low light as a glowing mass of something, and seemed to be attached or emanating from the medium’s face.
-Water was splashed on us all. This apparently from a bowl of water that we were shown earlier.

That is the full description of the approximately two hour session.

I had particular ideas in mind about what type of things would be particularly convincing given the dark conditions. What I was watching/listening for and never happened was:
Multiple voices speaking at the same time
Voices emanating from other parts of the room
Full body manifestations that were smaller than the medium and clearly acting on their own
Objects moving under control distant from the mediumship
Objects moving in impossible ways (at high speeds for example)

Had any of these things happened I would be immediately (if not scientifically) convinced: but they did not. 

My main problem with all of the things I did witness, was that they could have easily been faked if the medium could have released himself from his bonds. And being unable to witness whether that was the case, I cannot say. I have no idea HOW the medium would have released the bonds but I have seen much more amazing feats of magic on many occasions. Of course I am not accusing the medium of doing so, but I AM saying that I am not fully satisfied that he didn’t either.

So there you have it. I am still left unconvinced but open minded, and waiting for a more convincing demonstration.
[-] The following 14 users Like jkmac's post:
  • tim, DaveB, Sciborg_S_Patel, Bucky, Silence, Roberta, Doppelgänger, Laird, laborde, Obiwan, Typoz, malf, Ninshub, berkelon
Terrific report, jk - thanks for that!
[-] The following 5 users Like Ninshub's post:
  • tim, Laird, laborde, malf, jkmac
Very well writtten. I am tempted to ask what was the point of the demonstration. I don't read anything evidential in it. Did I miss something?
[-] The following 3 users Like Obiwan's post:
  • tim, Bucky, Laird
(09-09-2017, 08:39 PM)Ninshub Wrote: Terrific report, jk - thanks for that!

Was expecting a ton of "I told you so"s and/or criticisms of my approach. 

Nothing yet though...

We'll see.
[-] The following 3 users Like jkmac's post:
  • tim, Laird, Ninshub
(09-09-2017, 10:36 PM)Obiwan Wrote: Very well writtten. I am tempted to ask what was the point of the demonstration. I don't read anything evidential in it. Did I miss something?

Well of course, most seances are evidential in their physical aspect.

The fact that spirit physically talks to you, and manipulates physical objects while the medium is bound and gagged is fairly evidential I would say. Add to that the materialization of objects out of "thin air". 

And although it didn't happen in my seance, the creation of physical human appearing bodies which walk and talk? 

Yes I would say if those things happened as they appeared to do, it would all qualify as extremely evidential, and are a pretty compelling "point of the demonstration".

Now, that all assumes that the medium was bound and gagged during the time when those things happened,,, and that MAY have been the case. I just can verify this it was so, to my satisfaction. There were many others that witnessed this that were convinced that they witnessed something otherworldly.

So essentially: I MAY have witnessed something incredible. OTOH, maybe not. I just can't say.

Got to admit: I wanted to believe everything I saw,,,because I did (and do) believe there is a non-physical aspect of our reality that is in play.  But wanting is not part of my requirements for belief. I follow the data: period!
[-] The following 3 users Like jkmac's post:
  • tim, Laird, Ninshub
Jk, I'm just curious. Aside from assessing the evidence, did you experience anything internally, like a different "energy" or the sense of a (or multiple) presence(s) in the room while the séance was going on?
[-] The following 1 user Likes Ninshub's post:
  • Laird
What has been described appears to have been a demonstration of 'phenomenalism', the production of physical phenomena.

Movement of any visible object could reasonably be said to have been 'witnessed'.   Anything that couldn't be seen -  because it was dark or concealed in some way - isn't 'witnessed' but experienced .  If a demonstrator can't be seen then his deliberate involvement in bringing about phenomena can't be ruled out.  Put bluntly, faking might have occurred.

The word 'evidential' in connection with mediumship generally is often used to imply evidence of the identity of a supposed spirit communicator.  It might also be used in the sense of evidence of non-incarnate involvement in the production of phenomena.
(09-10-2017, 04:55 AM)Ninshub Wrote: Jk, I'm just curious. Aside from assessing the evidence, did you experience anything internally, like a different "energy" or the sense of a (or multiple) presence(s) in the room while the séance was going on?

No not really. But need to also say that I have generally never had that sixth sense sort of thing that some people talk about. Like when they would say: I could feel someone looking at me, or it was dark but I could sense someone in the room. I've never had that "skill".

Which is why I rely on more direct sense evidence. And is probably why I went into engineering as a profession...  Smile
[-] The following 1 user Likes jkmac's post:
  • Ninshub
For my curiosity, if for no-one else's, was the demonstration a 'commercial' one i.e. advertised, charged-for or was it by invitation, low-key?
(09-10-2017, 11:35 AM)Brian Wrote: Wow, we have a Superhuman here on Psiencequest!
Boy that was super helpful! Look forward to reading more of your stuff. 

You obviously have a solid grasp of the material.

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