Originally posted January 27, 2010 at Gaia.com
While struggling to decide how to present the rest of my material on direct-voice mediumship, I’ve read through some sites that give a contemporary perspective in addition to recounting the historical record. I’d like to recommend that you check out this one for a great overview: http://adcguides.com/dvmediumship.htm
The introduction to this site starts out with something very much like what I was trying to tell you: “Direct-voice mediumship is the most difficult form of mediumship for people to understand and accept as genuine contact with the afterlife…. when someone claims that dead people are speaking in the dark just as they would when sitting across from us having a friendly chat, people are rightly incredulous. They have no frame of reference for such claims.”
Direct voice used to be far more common some decades ago, but it does still go on today. Perhaps the best known such medium today is David Thompson. You can read about him here: http://www.silvercordcircle.com/Silvercord/David_Thompson.html. Recordings are included– and you may be especially interested to hear from the distinctive voice of Louis Armstrong.
I searched for specific references to the testing we’re told was done on Leslie Flint, and found nothing in writing, though there is a picture on www.leslieflint.comof Mr. Flint bound and gagged. David Thompson has been subjected to similar testing, and there is a detailed report of a carefully-controlled session, written by Montague Keen, athttp://www.silvercordcircle.com/Silvercord/montague_keen_report.html.
More and more I can appreciate the difficulty the average person might have with the “boggle factor” inherent in this material. Even after long acquaintance, and my own longstanding experience with mediumship, I am finding it difficult to deal with. In fact, I’ve been badly stuck for weeks trying to write about it. Part of the problem may be that these days, mental mediumship and channeling are much more the norm. We neither expect to hear disembodied voices (except through our electronic devices!) nor expect a séance to include tables lifting from the floor. All that seems rather quaint and passé, doesn’t it?
In his extensive writings about spirit contacts, Mike Tymn has taken up the question of why dramatic physical mediumship is so much less common in our sophisticated times, and I think his answers have a lot of merit. (See metgat.gaia.com/blog.) One is that people have a great deal more options for entertainment now, so they are far less likely to spend evenings sitting quietly in a darkened room together waiting for things to happen. When I remind myself of the months and years even the strongest mediums have had to spend in such patient practice before major manifestations occurred, I feel less frustrated with the unimpressive progress I’ve made working alone and in a somewhat irregular and desultory way.
Mike has also pointed out that after their extraordinary efforts failed to convince the general public about survival after death, the spirits involved may have shaken their non-heads and given up on showy physical effects, deciding to concentrate their efforts elsewhere.
You may think that the explanation is simply that people are less gullible and more able to detect fraud in modern times. I don’t think the evidence supports this idea at all (and people are as gullible as ever!). If anything, our much more compact electronic devices ought to make fraud, at least in terms of direct voice, simpler and harder to catch. And perhaps the spirits have merely adapted to current technology. Electronic Voice Phenomena, in which anomalous voices appear on recording devices without a medium being necessary, are now a major subject of study. So far I haven’t been able to catch any spirit friends speaking this way, but one day my printer did something extremely unusual, and I promise to tell you about that sometime soon.