My Visit to a Spiritualist Church

#1
I thought it might be interesting to report on my experience visiting a spiritual church for the first time? The visiting medium was the supposedly amazing Darren Brittain. I was told to get there as early as possible, as it would be chock full, the church has maybe fifteen regulars but they were expecting well over a hundred that night. Darren arrived around an hour before kick off at 6:30 , I was there chatting to the church president from around 5:30, he was a nice old fella, I felt he was unusually honest in his views about the mediums. He hoped the Darren would stay with his feet planted like he had been when he last visited, unlike some others he mentioned. He said I had picked the right night to come, the service would last an hour, till 8:30 more or less.

Darren appeared out of his private room shortly after 7:30 looking sprightly and appropriately dressed in jacket & jeans. After a short prayer he talked about what we would be doing and asked if there were any 'first timers' in the crowd, around a dozen of us put our hands up. He gets voices in his right ear and sees them on his left when they appear to him, he gets smells and other senses on occasion. He gets energies in the form of 'tingles' when he senses the right person has made contact.

He started talking about a 'young man with a head injury' who had passed in a motor bike accident and quickly picked out a young woman in the assembly who was associated. He seemed to 'get' some connections stronger than others, getting accurate hits when at other times he seemed to raise names or places or events which didn't obviously click with anyone. I know it's selfish but I felt a bit bored when he found his next connection - and it wasn't me ! He spent around 5- 10 mins on each person that he connected with, so maybe 10 people got meaningful connections, I was aware that an hour would go really quickly at that rate. His pace of delivery was very fast when he was in full flight, but frustratingly slow when he was trying to find his targets at times.

Now being a 'believer' but at the same time being sceptical of individuals I don't know, I felt that it might be mind blowing if I was the one receiving one of the rare 'strong connection' type informations, but to be honest it was quite boring hearing about 'Aunty Anne's silver necklace that she's showing me' or whatever. I think it would be worth having a one to one with him, because if he got a good connection and if he's genuine it might change your life ? I have not had good experiences with mediums myself, or rather psychics, charging quite large sums for minimal results - you don't know if the guy is having an off day or laughing his head off inwardly? I'm an unusual Scotsman in this regard according to the public view,(but not in my own experience)in that I'm not that bothered about money, I've always had an 'easy come - easy go' approach, so I don't lose sleep over such things.

My impression overall was that of a willing crowd and a favourite( good looking) showman, he didn't have to try that hard to impress anyone, and wasn't that bothered either way by his own admission. The afterlife appears to be much the same as life here, people don't seem to be that different, which lends creedance to my own beliefs, and to Darren's genuineness. Maybe he and others can connect with some levels quite nearby, but other higher(or lower) levels remain largely ' unseen' - who knows.

He lives less than an hour's drive from me, I might see if a one to one might be on, depending how much he charges. I feel like a gambler trying one last throw of the dice to win the big one before he can relax - we all know it never works that way. By the way he got around £300 for last night, and that's cheap, others charge double that or more.
 
#3
Thanks for sharing! I've had two readings in my time. One seemed pretty good, it was taped and over 10 years ago. I had been thinking about seeing if I still have the tape. The second one was a non-starter. My aunt paid for it for me but the woman just stared at me for a few minutes, said she wasn't getting anything and refunded my money.
 
#4
I can't talk about readings, but I have two anecdotal stories about spiritualism from a good friend, whose grandmother used to go to spiritual church for many years...

The spiritualist at the church claimed to have an Indian spirit guide... Anyway the grandmother stopped going to church after one reading, when she claimed that she had spontaneously seen a little wizened Indian man sitting perched on one shoulder of the reader... She thought it was such a grotesque sight that she never went back... and left spiritualism altogether.

Prior to this event, the same grandmother had on another occasion secretly employed a healer to do some healing on my friends older brother, who tragically suffered from cerebral paisley due to complications at birth.

The brother began to claim that he had seen an old lady sat at the bottom of his bed at night, which was scaring him. His mother made enquiries with the grandmother, who admitted she had employed an old lady as a spiritual healer, she had to ask the healer to stop, because her appearances at the bottom of the brothers bed were scaring him so much.
 
#5
Thanks Steve. What was the evidential value of his performance in your opinion?
To me personally this provided no evidence that I could use if I was trying to convince a sceptic friend. In fact I have exactly that friend who was going to come to the church with me but unfortunately had to work that day ( shift patterns). He is a fan of Darren Brown and as I said to him he is more impressive than Darren Brittain on the face of it.

I believe he can do what he says he does, but I can totally see how anyone who is sceptic would/could totally say " what a load of nonsense". I have arranged a personal reading a couple of months from now as he is very fair with his prices, I think I will get a better idea after that, but even if I am totally blown away it will convince me alone. If he doesn't convince me then I'll be disappointed of course, but not surprised.

My dad is an example of how personal experience can change everything. Apparently he was never too convinced about stuff like this until he had an experience one night with a ghost, after that his opinion totally changed. :eek:
 
#6
To me personally this provided no evidence that I could use if I was trying to convince a sceptic friend. In fact I have exactly that friend who was going to come to the church with me but unfortunately had to work that day ( shift patterns). He is a fan of Darren Brown and as I said to him he is more impressive than Darren Brittain on the face of it.

I believe he can do what he says he does, but I can totally see how anyone who is sceptic would/could totally say " what a load of nonsense". I have arranged a personal reading a couple of months from now as he is very fair with his prices, I think I will get a better idea after that, but even if I am totally blown away it will convince me alone. If he doesn't convince me then I'll be disappointed of course, but not surprised.

My dad is an example of how personal experience can change everything. Apparently he was never too convinced about stuff like this until he had an experience one night with a ghost, after that his opinion totally changed. :eek:
Yes, I think experience is everything.

That is why I'm constantly teetering on the precipice between belief and skepticism. My logical mind says all things paranormal are either not real or misinterpreted events that have a logical explanation. But then my experiences tell me that not only is there far more to reality that what we know, it's far more than we can even fathom in our limited minds. But then the science and skeptical community give some very convincing explanations for certain phenomena, causing me to question my own experience.

I don't know what, if anything, will ever fully convince me 100% of the existence of the paranormal. It seems I am doomed to live in this dualistic state for the rest of my life. But I guess there is fun to be had in the searching.
 
#7
But then the science and skeptical community give some very convincing explanations for certain phenomena, causing me to question my own experience.
While it's true that sometimes convincing explanations are offered, at other times the explanations are so unsatisfactory as to at the very least leave the subject wide open, and may even go further than that.
 
#8
To me personally this provided no evidence that I could use if I was trying to convince a sceptic friend. In fact I have exactly that friend who was going to come to the church with me but unfortunately had to work that day ( shift patterns). He is a fan of Darren Brown and as I said to him he is more impressive than Darren Brittain on the face of it.

I believe he can do what he says he does, but I can totally see how anyone who is sceptic would/could totally say " what a load of nonsense". I have arranged a personal reading a couple of months from now as he is very fair with his prices, I think I will get a better idea after that, but even if I am totally blown away it will convince me alone. If he doesn't convince me then I'll be disappointed of course, but not surprised.

My dad is an example of how personal experience can change everything. Apparently he was never too convinced about stuff like this until he had an experience one night with a ghost, after that his opinion totally changed. :eek:
I'd agree personal experience is the decider.
 
#9
While it's true that sometimes convincing explanations are offered, at other times the explanations are so unsatisfactory as to at the very least leave the subject wide open, and may even go further than that.
Yes, totally agree. Hence my never ending cycle of doubt and belief. :/
 
#10
I'd agree personal experience is the decider.
Yes, totally agree. Hence my never ending cycle of doubt and belief. :/
The interesting thing I find is that although I haven't had any personal experience to speak of I am firmly in the proponent camp, and it wasn't my parents or anything cultural that convinced me. In fact I grew up moving between Africa and UK and was too busy fitting in at new schools to find anything like religion - but I always 'felt' there was a God. I'm still trying to persuade Him/Her/It to let me have a glimpse of the divine - but so far nada, I kind of know there is no good reason for showing me - it is an intuition ? I haven't found myself in deep enough trouble yet !

I find myself getting emotional listening to music or watching videos occasionally more often recently yet I don't feel depressed ?

I sympathise with you Vault, my cycles to the 'dark side' only come now and then, and don't last long, but they are annoying. :)
 
#11
The interesting thing I find is that although I haven't had any personal experience to speak of I am firmly in the proponent camp, and it wasn't my parents or anything cultural that convinced me. In fact I grew up moving between Africa and UK and was too busy fitting in at new schools to find anything like religion - but I always 'felt' there was a God. I'm still trying to persuade Him/Her/It to let me have a glimpse of the divine - but so far nada, I kind of know there is no good reason for showing me - it is an intuition ? I haven't found myself in deep enough trouble yet !

I find myself getting emotional listening to music or watching videos occasionally more often recently yet I don't feel depressed ?

I sympathise with you Vault, my cycles to the 'dark side' only come now and then, and don't last long, but they are annoying. :)
It is interesting to see the different routes people take on this subject.
 
#12
Yes, totally agree. Hence my never ending cycle of doubt and belief. :/
Had to learn that the hard way myself when i came to this forum: Theres no certainity, therefore that cycle you are writing about will go on for our whole lifes. I experience that myself quite often, especially since my opinion is influenced way too easily these days. Therefore i can somehow understand the problem you are struggling with.
 
#13
I'm not sure about the idea that there's no certainty. One thing is clear, certainty is non-transferable, it can't be easily shared from one person to another. Years ago I didn't have any certainty, I was full of questions, questions, questions and no answers. But this uncertainty needn't last an entire lifetime. At least that's my view.
 
#14
Yes, I think experience is everything.

That is why I'm constantly teetering on the precipice between belief and skepticism. My logical mind says all things paranormal are either not real or misinterpreted events that have a logical explanation. But then my experiences tell me that not only is there far more to reality that what we know, it's far more than we can even fathom in our limited minds. But then the science and skeptical community give some very convincing explanations for certain phenomena, causing me to question my own experience.

I don't know what, if anything, will ever fully convince me 100% of the existence of the paranormal. It seems I am doomed to live in this dualistic state for the rest of my life. But I guess there is fun to be had in the searching.
What you call "skepticism" is actually nay-saying, pseudo-skepticism. That "dualistic state"? That's genuine skepticism.
 
#15
I thought it might be interesting to report on my experience visiting a spiritual church for the first time? The visiting medium was the supposedly amazing Darren Brittain. I was told to get there as early as possible, as it would be chock full, the church has maybe fifteen regulars but they were expecting well over a hundred that night. Darren arrived around an hour before kick off at 6:30 , I was there chatting to the church president from around 5:30, he was a nice old fella, I felt he was unusually honest in his views about the mediums. He hoped the Darren would stay with his feet planted like he had been when he last visited, unlike some others he mentioned. He said I had picked the right night to come, the service would last an hour, till 8:30 more or less.

Darren appeared out of his private room shortly after 7:30 looking sprightly and appropriately dressed in jacket & jeans. After a short prayer he talked about what we would be doing and asked if there were any 'first timers' in the crowd, around a dozen of us put our hands up. He gets voices in his right ear and sees them on his left when they appear to him, he gets smells and other senses on occasion. He gets energies in the form of 'tingles' when he senses the right person has made contact.

He started talking about a 'young man with a head injury' who had passed in a motor bike accident and quickly picked out a young woman in the assembly who was associated. He seemed to 'get' some connections stronger than others, getting accurate hits when at other times he seemed to raise names or places or events which didn't obviously click with anyone. I know it's selfish but I felt a bit bored when he found his next connection - and it wasn't me ! He spent around 5- 10 mins on each person that he connected with, so maybe 10 people got meaningful connections, I was aware that an hour would go really quickly at that rate. His pace of delivery was very fast when he was in full flight, but frustratingly slow when he was trying to find his targets at times.

Now being a 'believer' but at the same time being sceptical of individuals I don't know, I felt that it might be mind blowing if I was the one receiving one of the rare 'strong connection' type informations, but to be honest it was quite boring hearing about 'Aunty Anne's silver necklace that she's showing me' or whatever. I think it would be worth having a one to one with him, because if he got a good connection and if he's genuine it might change your life ? I have not had good experiences with mediums myself, or rather psychics, charging quite large sums for minimal results - you don't know if the guy is having an off day or laughing his head off inwardly? I'm an unusual Scotsman in this regard according to the public view,(but not in my own experience)in that I'm not that bothered about money, I've always had an 'easy come - easy go' approach, so I don't lose sleep over such things.

My impression overall was that of a willing crowd and a favourite( good looking) showman, he didn't have to try that hard to impress anyone, and wasn't that bothered either way by his own admission. The afterlife appears to be much the same as life here, people don't seem to be that different, which lends creedance to my own beliefs, and to Darren's genuineness. Maybe he and others can connect with some levels quite nearby, but other higher(or lower) levels remain largely ' unseen' - who knows.

He lives less than an hour's drive from me, I might see if a one to one might be on, depending how much he charges. I feel like a gambler trying one last throw of the dice to win the big one before he can relax - we all know it never works that way. By the way he got around £300 for last night, and that's cheap, others charge double that or more.
Induced auto-suggestion plays a big role in this kind of spiritual self-deceit.
The psychology of belief and that of the crowd do have some interesting things to say on the subject as well.
But , that does not make the fact go away that some people do genuinely experience some spiritual awakening though.

Beware of the intrinsic self-deceit capacity of the human mind thus.
 
#16
The interesting thing I find is that although I haven't had any personal experience to speak of I am firmly in the proponent camp, and it wasn't my parents or anything cultural that convinced me. In fact I grew up moving between Africa and UK and was too busy fitting in at new schools to find anything like religion - but I always 'felt' there was a God. I'm still trying to persuade Him/Her/It to let me have a glimpse of the divine - but so far nada, I kind of know there is no good reason for showing me - it is an intuition ? I haven't found myself in deep enough trouble yet !

I find myself getting emotional listening to music or watching videos occasionally more often recently yet I don't feel depressed ?

I sympathise with you Vault, my cycles to the 'dark side' only come now and then, and don't last long, but they are annoying. :)

Look into HSP, highly sensitive person, data.

It was actually a thread of Saiko's that led me to look into it and lo and behold, that is exactly what I am. Finally, I understand why I seem to see things so differently from others. And why I've always been so damned sensitive! I get emotional over everything...music, literature, poetry, tv/movies, even stupid commercials. Sometimes just looking at or being in nature is enough to bring me to tears, but they are joyous tears, not sadness. I spent my entire life wondering what was wrong with me, why I was always so sensitive and such a cry baby. I finally know there isn't anything WRONG with me, I just feel more than most others. But it can go the other way too. I have to be really careful about who I surround myself with, since I tend to take on the emotions of those around me.

HSP's also tend to work more on an intuitional level, hence maybe why you've always "felt" there is a God without really intellectualizing it.
 
#18
Look into HSP, highly sensitive person, data.

It was actually a thread of Saiko's that led me to look into it and lo and behold, that is exactly what I am. Finally, I understand why I seem to see things so differently from others. And why I've always been so damned sensitive! I get emotional over everything...music, literature, poetry, tv/movies, even stupid commercials. Sometimes just looking at or being in nature is enough to bring me to tears, but they are joyous tears, not sadness. I spent my entire life wondering what was wrong with me, why I was always so sensitive and such a cry baby. I finally know there isn't anything WRONG with me, I just feel more than most others. But it can go the other way too. I have to be really careful about who I surround myself with, since I tend to take on the emotions of those around me.

HSP's also tend to work more on an intuitional level, hence maybe why you've always "felt" there is a God without really intellectualizing it.
I actually know something similar when it comes to music. I actually kind of drift away in some sort of fantasy world and i totally loose it then. I may be moving around then but im actually somewhere else and i wont recognize anything that is happening around me while im actually running around in my appartment. I also tend to get all sorts of strong emotions while doing so. That happens atleast once a day and i actually really enjoy it. Happens sometimes even without music. Its not just thinking about stuff, im totally snapping out of it at those times.

I also looked a bit into that hsp stuff. Seems like something i should investigate a bit further for my own sake.
 
#19
Genuine skepticism sucks then! :D I kid, it really can be tiring though. Maybe it's just my brain. Stupid thing never shuts up.
:) I know what you mean. However, one can learn to move the attention to processes other than the intellect. It's like the kids are still in the class arguing while you've gone for a stroll.
 
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