Wanting to personally test a medium, know any good ones?

#1
I'm reading Leslie Keans book (Alex did a podcast with her), there is a large portion on mediumship and "controlled studies" involving some really fascinating cases therein. I'm intrigued to the point where I really want to try it out on my own. I certainly am not just going to go the purported medium down the street however and I do not know much about the industry, particularly with regards to who the "top mediums" are or who I should go to for this personal study of mine. If any of you guys are informed on the topic and have any suggestions on who a "legit" medium may be, let me know. I am also trying to determine how to make this as "cold" of a reading as possible. Ie-do not want the medium to know my name beforehand etc. My brother and mother are the deceased I will be attempting to contact or (at any rate) hoping to hear from. Any suggestions on how to go about this are welcome, but more than anything (I'm confident I can put a personal controlled study together well) I'm looking for general advice from people who may know the topic better than me, particularly with regards to who I should go to. I am going to start poking around a bit to see who might be a good medium to test. Have any of you ever consulted a medium? How did it go?
 
#2
I'm reading Leslie Keans book (Alex did a podcast with her), there is a large portion on mediumship and "controlled studies" involving some really fascinating cases therein. I'm intrigued to the point where I really want to try it out on my own. I certainly am not just going to go the purported medium down the street however and I do not know much about the industry, particularly with regards to who the "top mediums" are or who I should go to for this personal study of mine. If any of you guys are informed on the topic and have any suggestions on who a "legit" medium may be, let me know. I am also trying to determine how to make this as "cold" of a reading as possible. Ie-do not want the medium to know my name beforehand etc. My brother and mother are the deceased I will be attempting to contact or (at any rate) hoping to hear from. Any suggestions on how to go about this are welcome, but more than anything (I'm confident I can put a personal controlled study together well) I'm looking for general advice from people who may know the topic better than me, particularly with regards to who I should go to. I am going to start poking around a bit to see who might be a good medium to test. Have any of you ever consulted a medium? How did it go?
I increasingly err to the conclusion that what mediums are picking up are not spirits of the deceased, in the sense that the medium is a kind of telephone line to the dead. I think it more likely that discarnate entities are gleaning information in the etheric soup, and possibly in the mind of the sitter, and recycling it for purposes of their own.

That's based on the manner and nature of the information. Mediums can bring comfort to the bereaved, but the veracity of the information must come with considerable caveats, and I wouldn't pay more than a token fee or travelling expenses to any. I'd certainly give any medium that did it for a job a wide berth.
 
#3
I increasingly err to the conclusion that what mediums are picking up are not spirits of the deceased, in the sense that the medium is a kind of telephone line to the dead. I think it more likely that discarnate entities are gleaning information in the etheric soup, and possibly in the mind of the sitter, and recycling it for purposes of their own.

That's based on the manner and nature of the information. Mediums can bring comfort to the bereaved, but the veracity of the information must come with considerable caveats, and I wouldn't pay more than a token fee or travelling expenses to any. I'd certainly give any medium that did it for a job a wide berth.
Based on the stuff and the cases Im reading about, most of that stuff can be ruled out for a variety of reasons (at least I think), and at least in the cases Im encountering. A lot of times information comes through that had yet to be discovered, and only made sense months later after some discovery. There are also "drop by communicators." Discarnate individuals (strangers) who drop by and sometimes develop preferences for certain sitters etc and only after certain research, is the info sometimes verified. But, Im taking the veracity of these reports in this book at face value, unfortunately thats about as deep as we can go. But there are noteworthy researchers and research institutions being brought up in the book. I'm just beginning to scratch the surface on this topic. But I believe in the spirit world strongly, and Im 100 percent convinced that the deceased visit people in apparitional (ghost) form and communicate, and I believe that people speak with the dead during NDE's and hear things like, "we are always with you" and so and so forth, and that minds communicate psychically. Given this set of beliefs, the thought that people communicate with the dead seems a pretty natural thing to me. A case in particular (again taken at face value, so I cant know with certainty) saw a family solve the case of where their dead grandfathers grave was. And the grave was unmarked and seemingly unknown to anybody. If your reading cases about information with considerable caveats, then youre reading different cases than I am. I think the most important thing to realize is that there are a ton of phoneys out there who may ruin it for the genuine ones. Everytime a phoney gives a hyper generalistic reading that anybody could relate to, the skeptics will count that as evidence against ALL mediums, including any potential genuine ones. The genuines may be a vast minority. But Im convinced they are real. Maybe in a couple of months Ill come back in here and say, "youre right, theyre all fake." Im going to dig as deep into this as I can.
 
#4
Based on the stuff and the cases Im reading about, most of that stuff can be ruled out for a variety of reasons (at least I think), and at least in the cases Im encountering. A lot of times information comes through that had yet to be discovered, and only made sense months later after some discovery. There are also "drop by communicators." Discarnate individuals (strangers) who drop by and sometimes develop preferences for certain sitters etc and only after certain research, is the info sometimes verified. But, Im taking the veracity of these reports in this book at face value, unfortunately thats about as deep as we can go. But there are noteworthy researchers and research institutions being brought up in the book. I'm just beginning to scratch the surface on this topic. But I believe in the spirit world strongly, and Im 100 percent convinced that the deceased visit people in apparitional (ghost) form and communicate, and I believe that people speak with the dead during NDE's and hear things like, "we are always with you" and so and so forth, and that minds communicate psychically. Given this set of beliefs, the thought that people communicate with the dead seems a pretty natural thing to me. A case in particular (again taken at face value, so I cant know with certainty) saw a family solve the case of where their dead grandfathers grave was. And the grave was unmarked and seemingly unknown to anybody. If your reading cases about information with considerable caveats, then youre reading different cases than I am. I think the most important thing to realize is that there are a ton of phoneys out there who may ruin it for the genuine ones. Everytime a phoney gives a hyper generalistic reading that anybody could relate to, the skeptics will count that as evidence against ALL mediums, including any potential genuine ones. The genuines may be a vast minority. But Im convinced they are real. Maybe in a couple of months Ill come back in here and say, "youre right, theyre all fake." Im going to dig as deep into this as I can.
I agree that deceased individuals probably communicate with the living in apparitional form and other ways. I'm less convinced that mediumship is a direct link to such people. The nature of the communication is often banal, and suggests the deceased are obsessed with lost watches and hidden letters, when they potentially have answers to the mysteries of the universe. Also the nature of contact through "sensitives" gives too much opportunity for the medium to interpret messages. Added together, the content of the messages and the confused way in which contact is relayed gives me doubt as to their authenticity as what the seem to be.

On balance I suspect mediumship is more like Ouija board communication, which is a mix of genuinely anomalous information with a close reading of the mind of the sitter. Add that to the proliferation of phoney mediums and con artists, and it would be ill-advised to think messages are a direct phone call to the beyond. A school friend got heavily into Ouija board sessions, and reported what had occurred. Initially the contact was extraordinarily insightful into the sitters and their friends and family, providing unknown information which turned out to be correct. It then became cynical, relaying compromising secrets and ended up being extremely controlling, insisting it was buried under a public swimming pool and the group must meet there under the water. When they refused, according to my friend all hell broke loose and they ran terrified from the shed and the owner burned the board. How much of this is the actions of the deceased and how much is adolescent neurosis is impossible to know, especially this long after the fact, but I have strong reason to believe the entity had access to hidden information and was none of the things it appeared to be.

It seems possible that such entities feed on strong emotions like grief, and play on the novelty of the event and curiosity of the sitter, supplying tempting morsels of information without ever relaying anything of importance. I think mediums consciously or unknowingly cut communication at this initial stage, in the assumption the client has sufficient comfort that their loved one is okay. There are very few lengthy communications that offer credible evidence of an existence the living individual can understand, even analogously, when this is precisely the kind of detail someone would want to relay to a loved one concerned for their welfare. I think most people are content with Uncle Jack reminding them how difficult it was to get the blue sofa through the door, and Aunty Maureen saying hello, when we could know the answers to existential questions they seem reluctant or unable to navigate.
 
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#5
I agree that deceased individuals probably communicate with the living in apparitional form and other ways. I'm less convinced that mediumship is a direct link to such people. The nature of the communication is often banal, and suggests the deceased are obsessed with lost watches and hidden letters, when they potentially have answers to the mysteries of the universe. Also the nature of contact through "sensitives" gives too much opportunity for the medium to interpret messages. Added together, the content of the messages and the confused way in which contact is relayed gives me doubt as to their authenticity as what the seem to be.

On balance I suspect mediumship is more like Ouija board communication, which is a mix of genuinely anomalous information with a close reading of the mind of the sitter. Add that to the proliferation of phoney mediums and con artists, and it would be ill-advised to think messages are a direct phone call to the beyond. A school friend got heavily into Ouija board sessions, and reported what had occurred. Initially the contact was extraordinarily insightful into the sitters and their friends and family, providing unknown information which turned out to be correct. It then became cynical, relaying compromising secrets and ended up being extremely controlling, insisting it was buried under a public swimming pool and the group must meet there under the water. When they refused, according to my friend all hell broke loose and they ran terrified from the shed and the owner burned the board. How much of this is the actions of the deceased and how much is adolescent neurosis is impossible to know, especially this long after the fact, but I have strong reason to believe the entity had access to hidden information and was none of the things it appeared to be.

It seems possible that such entities feed on strong emotions like grief, and play on the novelty of the event and curiosity of the sitter, supplying tempting morsels of information without ever relaying anything of importance. I think mediums consciously or unknowingly cut communication at this initial stage, in the assumption the client has sufficient comfort that their loved one is okay. There are very few lengthy communications that offer credible evidence of an existence the living individual can understand, even analogously, when this is precisely the kind of detail someone would want to relay to a loved one concerned for their welfare. I think most people are content with Uncle Jack reminding them how difficult it was to get the blue sofa through the door, and Aunty Maureen saying hello, when we could know the answers to existential questions they seem reluctant or unable to navigate.
To me, I think its likely that everybody has SOME medium-type abilities (maybe not), but that those who have extraordinary abilities are quite rare. And amongst those people who MAY have some ability, they are prone (as humans are) to make things up and in doing so give the more genuine ones a bad rap. This is why Im so adamant about finding one with a great reputation and who is credentialed with Wingate and FFF. Im interested in the ones who may have profound ability. I think it goes without saying that the field is full of phoneys and frauds, but that its important to realize that there are phoneys and frauds in every proffession and every walk of life (even if it may be more prevalent in this particular field). I'm not interested in all the mediums around who are average or subpar. I want the type of people I'm reading about. The best of the best. Thats who I want to personally test. Not the phoney down the street. Anybody can open up a shop and call themselves a medium, and give people general information, and read their emotions, and thus ad to the pool of evidence that its a sham. But the people Im reading about (taking the accounts veracity at face value) are really beyond extraordinary and extremely unusual in their ability, and they need to be evaluated separately from anybody who just claims to be a medium. I think if you were reading the cases that I am, you might agree. Unless you choose to challenge the validity of the reports, which I couldn't really argue against except to say that they were undertaken by seemingly credible people and organizations.

I don't really see the information as being overtly banal in nature in general. I'm encountering a lot of stories where the main message seems to be a message of re-assurance and the love thing comes up often, as it does in NDE's, along with messages of removing guilt from one's life over things involving the deceased in question. The main existential point that comes up in NDE's and medium guided communication so far as I can tell is love. Love is main the point, and the ultimate existential point. They could go on about multiple universes and so on and so forth, but I get the feeling that that sort of stuff is either not supposed to be directly advertised, or the deceased are in a position to know and understand that those questions aren't nearly as important as the nature of human interaction, understanding, and trust. That seems to be the existential philosophy of the dead. I would also add that a found lost watch is more than just a found lost watch if it verifies that a person communicating with another is actually the dead relative in question, and is therefore quite extraordinary. The lost watch becomes rather profound in such a case.

I do wonder about the Ouija board thing. I have no doubt that Ouija boards are potentially dangerous. But why then is medium guided communication not so dangerous? It does seem a similar venture, I agree. Although different in that a medium, perhaps unlike anybody using a Ouija board, is supposedly gifted with a personal ability to reach out to the dead. But I don't recall as many horror stories about people going to mediums and opening themselves up for attack like I do with the Ouija board, and I have no idea why. But it appears that certain people, without question, are in fact more "sensitive" so the spirit realm for whatever reason. This belief is drawn of course from the study of many indirect but related areas to mediumship.
 
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#6
The nature of the communication is often banal, and suggests the deceased are obsessed with lost watches and hidden letters, when they potentially have answers to the mysteries of the universe. Also the nature of contact through "sensitives" gives too much opportunity for the medium to interpret messages.
Yes, but this information is of enormous value to the sitter if it confirms the validity of the contact. It might be of value to the sender also, because it is like the "OK I've arrived, pleasant journey" typical TXT.

I thought perhaps you were using the super-psi argument, but I don't think that is an intellectually honest argument, for reasons I have given before.

David
 
#7
Yes, but this information is of enormous value to the sitter if it confirms the validity of the contact. It might be of value to the sender also, because it is like the "OK I've arrived, pleasant journey" typical TXT.

I thought perhaps you were using the super-psi argument, but I don't think that is an intellectually honest argument, for reasons I have given before.

David
No, not super-psi. Briefly, and from looking at the data in the round over many years, my conclusions are:

The deceased sometimes return, particularly in the form of crisis apparitions.
The deceased more commonly interact in more subtle way of relevance only to the person for whom the message is intended.
Most commonly the deceased do not interact with the living in ways we can discern, but may through dreams, thoughts, suggestion.
A few people may have genuine mediumship capabilities, most people claiming such abilities are deluding themselves and others.
People with such capabilities are not in control of who or what comes through.
People with such capabilities are as prone to fantasy, wishful thinking and material gain as anyone else.
There appears to be a strong correlation between such capabilities and personal trauma of various kinds.
The separation between living and dead states is strong and non-negotiable.
Not all communication is by deceased personalities.
Discarnate entities are able to mimic deceased personalities and provide authentic details.
NDE experiencers do not describe positive states that reflect the banality of mediumistic communication.
Authentic and inauthentic contact is impossible to verify objectively, and may become addictive.

These are some of my conclusions on the subject. None are absolute, no one knows anything unequivocally about the subject. Caveat emptor in spiritism, as in purchasing anything in an asymmetrical working relationship.
 
#8
Do you guys know of any books which appraise the evidence for and against the various ideas concerning mediumship? Preferably something unbiased, if such a thing exists.
 
#9
I'd start with the Skeptiko podcasts with Julie Beischel. She seems to have done some really impressive work with mediums, where the medium was multiply blinded from the details of the sitter. I would imagine any of her books on this subject would be valuable.

David
 
#10
I'd start with the Skeptiko podcasts with Julie Beischel. She seems to have done some really impressive work with mediums, where the medium was multiply blinded from the details of the sitter. I would imagine any of her books on this subject would be valuable.

David
This is from her web site (scroll down for list of mediums, some may give redings by phone):
http://www.windbridge.org/mediums/

Before participating in research at the Windbridge Research Center, each prospective research medium was screened over several months using an intensive 8-step screening and training procedure:

Step 1: Written Questionnaire
Step 2: Personality/Psychological Tests
Step 3: Phone Interview (with an existing WCRM)
Step 4: Phone Interview (with a Windbridge Investigator)
Step 5: Two Blinded Phone Readings
Step 6: Mediumship Research Training
Step 7: Human Research Subjects Training
Step 8: Grief Training
 
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