Interview with a trance medium

#1
On the 6th of February I have an interview scheduled with Trance Medium Elaine Thorpe, where I’ll also be putting questions directly to Jonathan Hunter, the Victorian gentleman Elaine channels.

I have just had a session with Jonathan, I’ll write more about how that went. Before I do though I leave a space and welcome anyone’s suggestions for questions etc.

 
#2
Wow - I have only just discovered this thread!

I guess two questions I would ask him, is if he is aware of what life is like now, and is there such a thing as reincarnation - has he reincarnated himself?

I'd love to have a question that could help to prove that this is valid. Do you have any details of the man in question? If you do, it might be interesting to ask a nonsense question to see if he responds. For example, if you know he never married, ask him if he and his wife have met up again.

David
 
#3
Well good timing, I’ll be focusing on this over the next two days.

My thoughts are:

I’m taking off the table the possibility that Elaine is involved in any sort of deliberate fraud. Perhaps I’m a fool, but I don’t find that a credible explanation for what’s being displayed here. Beyond that, I’m open to anything.

I had a session with Jonathan. The information he gave me was largely generic and not specific - with one exception. He got my maternal grandfather’s name exactly right. He did not offer any other names during the session so it wasn’t a case of a scattergun approach.

The session inclined me away from a literal interpretation of this phenomenon. It all felt very benign and nothing like the In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts stuff. I did not however have the sense that I was talking to a 19th century gentleman. I am very open to changing my mind on this. Rather I had the sense of talking to a fragmented part of Elaine’s consciousness, which itself may have had access to mediumship or psychical abilities.

He does confirm reincarnation and contends that he has done it many times. One area I want to dig into is what his identity is beyond the incarnate forms he takes. He conveyed to me that he is entirely the personality of his last incarnation. In other words the soul is not like an actor who plays different roles but has a core personality to return to. Rather the soul is defined by whatever role it played last. This makes little sense to me and I want to dig into it more.

He seems to be aware of modern cultural references etc. I want to dig in here and ask how he knows what he knows about 20th century earth. Does he know what a ‘lightsaber’ is, for example? What did he think when the World Wars were being thought?

I want to address the contradictory reports we get from mediums. I’d be very pleased if anyone here has an opinion on what the best examples are.

Finally, I don’t expect to be blown away by this interview. I suspect what isn’t said will ultimately be more revealing than what is. If Jonathan is a kind of alter. I wonder if this is an ability we could all potentially manifest, should we want to!
 
#4
Here are the questions I suggested for Alex to ask when he interviewed Claire Broad. I think the can apply to a trance medium as well:

I know the podcasts often try to tie the guest in to wider issues of social phenomena. But with a guest like this I am more interested in what she does than how her experiences relate to any bigger picture.

These are questions I would ask:

What were her most evidential readings. for example readings where she brought through information only the spirit and sitter would know?

How did she develop her skills? Did she train to bring them out and develop them or did they just arise naturally?

Did she have a mentor or teacher? How did they interact? How did that help her?

Can she give any examples of where communicating with spirits helped people who were suffering from intense grief?

Did she have training on how to interact with people who are grieving?

What advice does he have for people who are experiencing psychic phenomena and don't know what to do about it?

Has she helped earthbound spirits to complete their transition? How did she do it? What happened?

What should someone do if there is an earthbound spirit in their home?

Can someone communicate with deceased loved ones without a medium?

What is the best way to find a good medium.

Has she had any experiences where spirits caused healing - physical or psychological?

Has she had problems with skeptics?

How does she handle skeptics?
 
#5
In addition to what I posted above I would ask about how the process works.

How does the spirit control her body?

Does her brain limit what the spirit can communicate?

What is happening in the spirit realm when she goes into a trance? Are there more spirit helpers than just the communicating spirit? If so what are they doing?

How is it organized? Is it coordinated with higher realms or are the spirits working on their own?
 
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#6
He does confirm reincarnation and contends that he has done it many times. One area I want to dig into is what his identity is beyond the incarnate forms he takes. He conveyed to me that he is entirely the personality of his last incarnation. In other words the soul is not like an actor who plays different roles but has a core personality to return to. Rather the soul is defined by whatever role it played last. This makes little sense to me and I want to dig into it more.
That does sound rather odd - perhaps you should ask him whether everyone out there is the same in this respect. Do you think he means that when he 'is' Jonathon Hunter, he 'isn't any other self - so if he appears as Jonathon, he has to stay in that 'role' - which is not quite the same.

Also, does he have complete access to his previous lives?
I want to address the contradictory reports we get from mediums. I’d be very pleased if anyone here has an opinion on what the best examples are.
Maybe if you could get him to talk about the problems in communicating to a medium, and ask him if he has attempted to use any other mediums.

I do agree, studying ψ phenomena can so easily descend into simply trying to prove the phenomenon is real, and miss other information.

I'd also like to know if people always reincarnate in time order, or whether someone could incarnate in the 22nd century, and then back in this century. Does he find himself in a timeless realm?

Do you think he and Elaine are up for a series of investigations - could Alex even interview him!

David
 
#8
Is there anything that "Jonathan" (or any other "spirit") says that can be verified and would serve as evidence that he really existed in this earth plane and that the medium wouldn't have known or been able to find out via normal research?

In other words, what convinces you that this is not fraud or delusion?
 
#9
Is there anything that "Jonathan" (or any other "spirit") says that can be verified and would serve as evidence that he really existed in this earth plane and that the medium wouldn't have known or been able to find out via normal research?

In other words, what convinces you that this is not fraud or delusion?

Not in this interview. That wasn’t what I was going for, although I think it sets a stage when either myself or someone else could do a verification interview. Regarding mediumship in general, there is of course Dr. Julie Beisschel who’s been interviewed on Skeptiko.

I deliberately did not consider the possibility of fraud on Elaine’s part. Maybe more fool me, but I do not think it is likely that a woman would spend years overtly studying mediumship whilst covertly studying to perform a ventriloquist act. Furthermore, we know that people hear voices and experience shifting between different personality alters, so the experience Elaine is reporting is far from unique.

I don’t think delusion is an appropriate category. Let’s say that ‘Jonathan’ arises entirely in Elaine’s subconscious (I do acknowledge this possibility), whilst it may not be quite as interesting as a more literal explanation, the ability to form such a sub personality and have it appear as ‘real’ is still quite a thing. Could we all do this?

It may well be interesting to test Jonathan, but it would require some careful thought. He could be presented with a quiz on life in the 19th century. However, whilst I don’t believe Elaine is secretly an expert on Victorian Britain, obviously I couldn’t learn anything that technically she also could not,

Furthermore, what if Jonathan just said he couldn’t remember things due to being a spirit now? How would we know that isn’t the case?

I’m interested in his ability to ‘look into’ this world. He says he is aware of the historical events that have happened between his passing and now. He is also familiar with cultural references, he told me he knows what a ‘lightsaber’ is. This really opens up more questions than it answers. I asked him if he knew who shot JFK, as a way of asking ‘To what extent do you see world events?’ ‘Is there a limit to the detail?’ Also, if Jonathan understands a lightsaber, does he understand every cultural reference from every film ever? If he can see the Second World War, can he see me insert a picture into an envelope and tell me what the image is?

As I mentioned above, during my session with Jonathan I couldn’t relate to almost anything he said, with the exception that he got my Grandfather’s first name exactly right.
 
#10
A further problem, and perhaps why I wasn’t concerned with testing Jonathan on this occasion, is that even if Jonathan every test we could think of, it really wouldn’t tell us much about him. What if he did but we then found out there was no historical Jonathan Hunter? (His life overlaps in time with people those of you over forty would have personally known, so it’s probably possible to verify him).

With regard to the point on fraud, I will add that Elaine did not know what I would ask and at no point tried to control my questions. She did not know that I wouldn’t spring a history test on Jonathan for example.
 
#11
The solution is to find another trance medium to converse with this one at the same time who is disagreeable. Roberta Grimes is one such example, but she does automatic writing, not trance mediumship.
 
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