Some people have requested further information or “evidence“ about mediumship after watching Episodes 2 and 3 of the Netflix series Surviving Death. As a primary source, my book Surviving Death contains much research-oriented information and analysis of my own highly evidential mental mediumship readings and experiences with physical mediumship. Here is some important additional material which relates specifically to these two episodes.
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Table of Contents
- Sandra O’Hara
- Julie Beischel, PhD
- Mike Anthony
- Robert Ginsberg
- The Kluski Molds
- Stephen Braude, PhD
- Stewart Alexander
- The Scole Experiment
- Suzanne Tempel
In my book I describe an extraordinarily accurate reading I had with mental medium Sandra O’Hara. My two deceased loved ones, who had both appeared previously for me through medium Laura Lynne Jackson, provided some of the exact same information to Sandra as Laura had brought through a few months earlier (and the two mediums had never spoken to each other). Two of the most personal messages, unknown to anyone but me, were in the exact same words both times. In fact, I had mentally asked for my two deceased communicators to come through and repeat something they had said to Laura – and that happened. Both mediums also described the two “personalities” in exactly the same way, almost word for word. Sandra didn’t know my name or anything about me before we started. I learned through direct experience that something truly unexplained was happening and that these were both superb mediums.
In the Netflix series, at the beginning of Episode 2, we see part of a short reading Sandra provided for my friend Tia in a group setting. After Tia says that the name Sandra brought forward was her grandmother’s name, Sandra says to Tia that her mother was there too. “What was the ailment with your Mum around the head area?” she asks. Tia replies that her Mum had a brain tumor, confirming Sandra’s accuracy. That is the end of the scene. But there is more to that reading. Although there were a few vague statements as well, here are additional accurate points that Sandra made immediately after the end of this scene:
- Your mother was a tough cookie.
(Yes, she was strong and independent.)
- There is a hearing issue or problem with the ear now, and she is pointing at you.
(Tia had discovered she was deaf in one ear and the doctors had checked her for a brain tumor)
- Something about being out of state. Have you changed states? Did you travel out of state to visit your mother?
(Tia’s mother moved to another state when she was diagnosed. Tia had to travel out of state to visit her mother.)
- She was not in pain when she died, she just felt winded.
(Tia’s Mum was on a lot of morphine. She had stage 4 lung cancer so she was loosing lung capacity at the end.)
- There is an issue with your Dad’s legs.
(Her Dad had Restless Leg Syndrome.)
JULIE BEISCHEL, PhD
A Brief Overview of Mediumship Accuracy Testing at the Windbridge Research Center
In a short video prepared for this website, Julie Beischel, PhD, shows us that years of research into mediumship readings has been conducted at the Windbridge Research Center in Arizona, with the strictest protocols in place. Julie and her team have controlled for fraud, cueing, rater bias, cold reading, hot reading, and the use of general statements, and she explains how this can be done. What else is left to explain this away? Under tightly controlled laboratory conditions, mediums can provide accurate and specific information about the deceased. So, it’s not only about going to a good medium and seeing for yourself; there is also research that confirms that this is a genuine phenomenon.
Loyd Auerbach, MS; Bruce Greyson, MD; Chris Roe, PhD; and Jim Tucker, MD – all featured in the Surviving Death series – serve on the Windbridge Scientific Advisory Board, along with many other highly qualified investigators from a range of specialties. There is much fascinating and accessible information, sometimes with videos, available at www.Windbridge.org, such as: “Should I get a reading? This decision requires careful thought” and “How is this possible? Consciousness is separate from brain”.
Watch the video here:
In the Netflix series, Mike Anthony shares part of his journey seeking communication from his dad whom he lost suddenly some years ago. We see Mike attending a mediumship reading with Laura Lynne Jackson and a trance demonstration with Nicole de Haas. Yet there is a great deal more to Mike’s story. Through numerous sessions with mediums involving his family members, and a series of after-death-communications, Mike received stunning evidence that his dad had survived death in some form. These events are among the strongest accounts I have ever heard of how powerful and evidential mediumship can be for grieving people
Mike tells his complete story in his new book Love, Dad. He also shares some of his research on mediumship and provides background on some of the strongest cases of genuine physical mediumship. The book culminates with a description of Mike’s life-changing sitting with physical medium Stewart Alexander, when he witnessed something extraordinary while also hearing directly from his dad.
Another 2021 book on mental mediumship has just been released by Robert Ginsberg, director of Forever Family Foundation which has been certifying qualified mediums for many years and conducting research on the impact mediumship can have on grieving people. Bob and his wife Phran, who sadly died last year, appeared in Episode 4 and conducted the grief retreat at the end of that episode.
Bob writes: “The overwhelming majority of mediums today cannot do what they claim. Some are frauds, others are inexperienced, and many delude themselves into believing that they have such ability. These practitioners have no business sitting with the bereaved and they can do great harm. On the other hand, there are some mediums that truly can speak to the dead, do so at a very high level of accuracy, and provide an invaluable service to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.” His book The Medium Explosion: A Guide to Navigating the World of Those Who Claim to Communicate with the Dead provides “a guide for all those who have either sat with a medium or intend to do so.”
THE KLUSKI MOLDS
In Episode 3 there is a short scene in Paris about the molds of materialized hands facilitated by Polish physical medium Franek Kluski. The importance of this evidence for the reality of materializations produced by genuine physical mediumship cannot be overstated. I was fortunate to see the molds for myself and to meet Mario Varvoglis, whom you see in the scene, on the day of the shoot. These fragile plaster relics are normally kept under lock and key in the dark in order to preserve them.
I highlighted the molds in my book as being absolutely spectacular because of the strict controls placed on these experiments by outstanding investigators, one of them a Nobel prize winner. Do you think it’s possible that materializations can occur under the right conditions with a highly developed physical medium? This evidence, combined with other reports of controlled physical mediumship, and ultimately my own direct experiences while sitting with Stewart Alexander, leave me with no doubts.
I encourage everyone to read this short excerpt from my book about the Kluski molds, and you will understand their significance.
PDF attached here
Excerpted from Surviving Death by Leslie Kean. Copyright © 2017 by Leslie Kean. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Copyright © 2021 by Leslie Kean. All rights reserved. No images may be reproduced, reprinted, or circulated on the internet without my permission.
STEPHEN BRAUDE, PhD
Can physical mediums facilitate levitations and the movement of objects at a distance?
Stephen E. Braude is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Former Chair of the Department at the University of Maryland and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. In addition to more than sixty philosophical and scientific papers, he has written six books, including The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science and Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life After Death. In 2014, Steve was awarded the prestigious Myers Memorial Medal by the The Society for Psychical Research for his significant contributions to psychical research.
Steve’s research is among the most rigorous on the question of evidence for survival that I have encountered and it was an important resource for me while writing Surviving Death.
Steve recognizes that the physical phenomena demonstrated within the context of genuine physical mediumship (which is rare), when properly controlled, actually happen. He has spent decades studying and analyzing the work of many historical physical mediums, and has witnessed some of these phenomena for himself. He has written extensively about “macro psychokinesis”- the movement of objects at a distance by “the mind” or forces beyond our understanding, observed by multiple witnesses under controlled conditions. Steve is not a proponent of the spiritualist explanation for these phenomena. He has been courageous in brilliantly challenging the uninformed attitudes of skepticism in the academic world.
Here are a few short videos excerpted from longer interviews with Steve. The quotes are from an interview he did with Skeptico.
Psychokinesis and rationality – How Steve became convinced of the evidence for macro PK.
I first studied the evidence for large-scale psychokinesis, and physical mediumship in particular. That was a momentous event because the evidence blew me away. What I discovered, first of all, was that the evidence was much cleaner than people made it out to be. It was much more compelling and interesting than people had made it out to be. The usual arguments about the evidence being easily dismissed because of poor observation or poor conditions of observation demonstrated really a lack of command of the evidence.
Testing table tilting (videos and photos shown) and discussing seance room phenomena
In the best cases the witnesses of some of these remarkable large-scale physical phenomena were not only not biased in favor of the phenomena, they were biased against it. That’s one of the reasons these cases are so good. These are cases which converted skeptical investigators who might have been magicians prepared to debunk the medium, or whatever it might have been. And there are plenty of examples of those.
The famous trance medium Mrs. Leonora Piper
We know that there were cases of fraud; there were cases of poor observation or poor conditions of observation. We can grant all that. Those are not the cases that matter. The cases that are interesting are the ones in which the conditions of observation were impeccable, the observers were trained and knew what to look for, magicians if that was relevant, and so on. And those cases are much better than most people realize.
Physical medium D.D. Home, studied extensively by the British chemist and physicist Sir William Crookes
His mediumship lasted about 25 years. He was never caught cheating. He would conduct séances at the spur of the moment in locations never before visited, so you can’t say that the phenomena that occurred when he walked into a room for the first time were produced by some hidden apparatus or because he concealed a confederate, for instance. There are plenty of these reports. Home would enter a room for the first time and the bookshelf at the other end of the room would walk toward the people who had just entered the room.
Physical medium Stewart Alexander was discussed briefly in Episode 3 of Surviving Death, and we saw a short scene of Mike Anthony and his family talking through a computer to one of Stewart’s communicators while Stewart was in trance. This communicator was facilitating contact between Mike’s Dad Robert and his family, and we hear Robert speaking directly to them from the small seance room in the UK.
Well, I can understand if this may have been a little confusing for those not familiar with how this scenario works. And, to understand the context for this scene, I would like you to know more about Stewart Alexander’s mediumship which is so rare in today’s world.
Stewart recently published a newly revised memoir for which he invited me to write a detailed epilogue. As part of that, I describe becoming a member of his weekly meeting of sitters in the UK, known as the Home Circle, and then joining these seances through an iPad turned upside down to prevent any light escaping into the UK seance room. Even without being able to see, I could otherwise interact with everyone there (from both worlds) as if I were in the room. Eventually Mike Anthony joined me for these weekly sittings. The snippet you see is from one such sitting in New York. Sadly, these seances had to stop in early 2020 as a result of the pandemic and are still suspended.
To understand more, and to learn who Stewart is, how his mediumship evolved, and what it has produced, I encourage everyone to read his powerful book An Extraordinary Journey. I would also love for you to read my epilogue which shares my journey with Stewart. Having developed and practiced for over forty years, Stewart Alexander is absolutely the “real deal’, without question. No major controversies or claims of fraud have ever erupted concerning his mediumship, which has been well tested. The physical phenomena and “evidence” he has facilitated are beyond belief…but they happen. They have been witnessed by countless individuals from all over the world.
I wrote in the epilogue that “I had to consider the risks to my reputation as a journalist writing about my own unusual experiences, which will likely be hard for some to accept. However, I can remain objective even while having the good fortune of knowing these experiences directly. And, in this instance, I am lucky enough to be riding at the tail end of a book by an exceptional and rare individual with the courage to put himself on the line like few others I have known.”
Stewart Alexander is a very private man. This is why he chose not to appear in the Netflix series Surviving Death – it has too big an audience! (He also has concerns about how media covers mediumship and Spiritualism, which I understand.) However, I describe my first sittings with Stewart in my book Surviving Death, and he wrote the concluding chapter to that book. He also agreed to record two recent interviews with Jeffrey Mishlove of New Thinking Allowed describing how he developed and what happens in his seance room. These are linked to my interview about Stewart describing what I witnessed in his seance room.
Part 1: The making of a physical medium
Part 2: Experiences of a physical medium
THE SCOLE EXPERIMENT
The Scole Experiment, a five-year investigation into life after death, was conducted from 1993 to 1998 in the Norfolk village of Scole, England. Robin and Sandra Foy, experienced sitters, sat with Alan and Diana Bennett, trance mediums, to facilitate a range of phenomena and communications. Sittings were also held in America, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands and were attended by hundreds of visitors as well as scientists from multiple countries.
Some of the Scole phenomena included :
- Handwriting and faces appearing on factory-sealed, unopened film placed in a locked box with no camera, in total darkness
- Objects and lights materializing and de-materializing, and moving around the room
- Objects transported into the room from the outside (apports) during the sitting
- Materialized hands
- Independent voices in the room
All the Scole sessions were recorded. The “spirit voices” who spoke through the mediums could read minds by answering questions that were only thought, not asked. Light phenomena also responded to thoughts of participants. Abundant video and photographic evidence was obtained.
Three seasoned investigators made extended observations of the sessions for two years under controlled conditions, and designed their own rigorous experiments. Montague Keen, Arthur Ellison, and David Fontana published a detailed report of their findings in the 1999 Proceedings of the Society of Psychical Research. They were unable to detect any direct indication of fraud or deception. They concluded that these physical manifestations were perhaps the best evidence ever for the existence of life after death. The report included commentary by skeptics who did not agree with this conclusion; some raised questions addressed by the three authors in the report.
Psychologist David Fontana describes his firsthand observations in this short video:
A prominent leading magician, James Webster, attended three sittings, as described by Fontana:
“An Associate and Silver Medal Holder of the Inner Magic Circle (the premier echelon for magicians in the UK), and a man with over 40 years of professional experience as a stage magician and as a psychical researcher, he is fully versed both in illusion and in the various tricks used by fraudulent mediums in the past. On the strength of his experience and of his observations at Scole he is unequivocal that the phenomena witnessed there by him could not be duplicated by professional magicians, even had they prior access to the room in which the sittings were held and were able to import into it the tools of their trade… Given that in addition no magician took up our invitation to replicate the phenomena under the conditions operating at Scole we are left with the conclusion that the phenomena witnessed there by us cannot, in the light of present knowledge, be dismissed as trickery, no matter how clever.”
The Scole Experiment is rich with detail and visual imagery, as shown in the 2010 documentary “The Afterlife Investations: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence for the Afterlife” produced and directed by Tim Coleman.
Measuring the brain waves of mediums
Suzanne Tempel, an Awakened Mind Coach & Practitioner from the Netherlands, conducts ongoing international research into the states of consciousness of mediums – particularly physical mediums, both newly developing and more advanced. She does this through the use of electroencephalogram (EEG) which tracks and records brain wave patterns in their various frequencies.
Suzanne has a small team helping her with the analysis of her data, including Karin Reinholt, an associate professor at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Albany, State University of New York, and Andrew Tang, a software entrepreneur and innovator for EEG-related projects.
Here is a 1 minute introduction to Suzanne and her work
Suzanne’s EEG measurements are registered in a computer program and are visible as a color pattern. You can then see what brain waves are involved when someone goes into a trance state to facilitate a seance, enters a higher state of consciousness, or conducts a mental mediumship reading. This provides a deeper insight into the state of consciousness involved, since investigators can see the specific state of consciousness on the screen, like a mirror to the mental state being measured.
Suzanne reports that all of the mediums show brain wave patterns which have progressed from a normal waking state of consciousness. She has studied Stewart Alexander and physical medium Nicole de Haas from the Netherlands, among many others. Although much more detail is needed for a fuller understanding of this work, you can compare the images of the brainwaves of both these mediums to that of the normal waking state above.
Because of Stewart Alexander’s trust for Suzanne and his interest in her work, he allowed Suzanne to measure him in 2017 and 2018 before and after a séance, and while Stewart was in a “mediumistic trance state” with his spirit communicators speaking through him. Suzanne took separate mesaurements for three of Stewart’s spirit communicators, measuring the brainwaves while each was present. She also measured heart rate and skin conductance at the same time.
This resulted in groundbreaking new data within this field. Previously it was understood that ‘mediumistic trance’ is conducted from a specific state of consciousness revealing itself in brainwave patterns known as the ‘deep trance state’. Suzanne discovered that some of the most accomplished mediums actually go to ‘higher states of consciousness’ instead, which renders as a different pattern and requires different training to achieve. This was the case with Stewart Alexander.
NICOLE DE HAAS
Suzanne has also been studying physical medium Nicole de Haas since 2017, following the same procedures, and she experimented with Nicole’s team when she was allowed in her circle for six months for research purposes. Suzanne was able to measure Nicole while she received healing from a well-developed medium. (She has also done experiments measuring both the healer and the recipient of the healing.)
Click here for further information, and to learn more about Suzanne’s method for mediumship development and meditation – the Awaking Mediumship Method. She will be publishing more details of this intriguing work in the future.