Schizophrenia or Spirit Possession, and interview with Mike Williamson

Hello everyone,

Continuing the series on spiritualism and possession I interviewed medium Mike Williamson. Mike was by his own account 'an ordinary guy with no interest in spiritualism' (he thought it was just 'cranks trying to make money off people'.), until an injury to his daughters foot led him to a spiritual healer. This began a journey into the world of mediumship.

Mike specialises in facilitating confused earthbound spirits to move along, as well as combating the ones who are deliberately sticking around tormenting people. Much like Jerry Marzinsky, he also sees possession as the cause of a lot of schizophrenia.

Questions that arose for me from this interview:

Mike got into this area this area through spiritualist groups and his experience fits with their teaching. I am left to wonder is this because the teaching are objectively true or because it appears to people in the way they expect. Had Mike become interested in UFOs would he have had a fundamentally different type of experience?

Mike agrees with basically everyone I've spoken to on this topic, in saying that the spirit realm has the power to deceive us. For Mike, we are overwhelmingly (perhaps exclusively) dealing with human spirits, but these humans can pull on the masks of demons if they want to scare us. This is a reversal of the Fundamentalist Christian idea that it is demons pretending to be humans to entrap us.

Mike has a Minoan guide. I ask what relationship the guide has to that identity, having been 'dead' for four thousand years. I also ask if the guide expresses any interest in history. Mike states they are not really interested in such things but that the Minoan has told him they used to trade with Atlantis. I think that's highly revealing answer, I'm just not sure what it reveals.

Where as Jerry Marzinsky's experience of the spirit realm was quite negative and Clare Broad's was overwhelmingly positive, Mike's is mixed. Similarly to Clare's, he finds security from deception in a felt sense of the goodness of the spirit he's interacting with.

Thanks for that fascinating interview - I listened to it all in sections. I'd recommend others to listen too.

I was immediately struck by Mike's incredibly down to earth tone of voice - it was almost as though he was discussing unblocking drains rather than solving problems of spiritual possession - but he certainly gave very complete answers!

Because I think materialist science doesn't understand consciousness at all, I think that the natural explanation of many mental disturbances is very likely to be as Mike claims.

All neuroscience can do is observe brain phenomena (typically neural firing) and correlate that weakly with consciousness phenomena. That simply isn't close to an explanation of consciousness - so why should we accept the modern 'explanation' for what is going on.

For me, a big part of my worldview is based on my conviction that science generally claims to know far more than it really does.

Do you know if Mike has recorded the success rate of his treatments?

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Thank you David,

I don't think Mike has documented results in more than an anecdotal way, I did try and push him on that. It's certainly a question I could put to the Society for Psychical Research. It is difficult though, as what constitutes success is so subjective.
I believe that in some cases spirit influence may be misdiagnosed as mental illness. But I also believe schizophrenia, properly diagnosed, involves multiple symptoms (not just "hallucinations") some of which are better explained as a disease of the nervous system than as spirit possession.

I've posted on this and related subjects frequently and I recently realized one of the reasons I feel this way ... I've had more than one experience where I felt like I was not in my body. At those times my emotional state was nothing like I experience during ordinary consciousness. It felt like a huge weight of emotional baggage was lifted off my shoulders. I felt free, like waking up from a bad dream. It seems to me that the vast majority of emotions I normally experience are coming from the physical body (brain, nervous system, hormones). All the emotions that seem so important in life, desire for success, desire for relationships with other people, anger, fear, are really temporary illusions produced by the brain and body that have nothing to do with our real existence as non-physical conscious entities. I don't mean that we are emotionless in the afterlife or that personality is not preserved in some way in the afterlife, just that the feelings we get hung up on and obsess over during life are often not meaningful to us except as physical organisms. And I think this is supported by a common theme reported by NDErs who say that during their life review they see that the important things in life are not success or failure but how we treat other people. This is also why I think "evil spirit" is not always the best explanation for "evil" people. (Maybe it is sometimes, but not necessarily always).
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Thanks for this, Richard - much enjoyed. I agree with David that Mike comes across as very down to earth, and I personally think this enhances his credibility.

Having said that, whether or not what we are dealing with is actual "spirits", or some phenomenon that people like Mike are interpreting as spirits remains for me an open question. It's something like the nuts-and-bolts interpretation of UFOs vs less concrete interpretations.

There's something going on, I think, but maybe our interpretations are influenced by language, factors in perception and enculturation, and so on. There's maybe a little bit of dualism in all of our psyches, though where each of us draws the line may vary. A "spirit" may seem to some people as a mainly conceptual category, to others as almost concrete as tables and chairs. And of course, the ardent materialist will dismiss all such ideas out of hand.
Thank you David,

I don't think Mike has documented results in more than an anecdotal way, I did try and push him on that. It's certainly a question I could put to the Society for Psychical Research. It is difficult though, as what constitutes success is so subjective.
@ 32:00 being robust means survival / more memory: it turns out that females are much more likely to survive childbirth compared to men. Hmm.
@ 34:00 expectation shapes nde and being duped: steven bancarz goes from millionaire (so he claims) new age guru to bible-christian upon a bad dream where a demon visits him and then the holy spirit of christ visits him.

The failure of spirit guides to rescue lost spirits is surprising? A spirit that won't listen cannot be convinced, that i get.

I look forward to the soulphone, but in the meantime i think its best to be yourself, whatever that is, warts and all. For me, the bible is too violent and contradictory, uses old technology without a security system. New age is cool but you just cannot ascertain the truth. Follow your heart and hope others are helpful. But wouldn't that be true here now?