Monthly Archives: February 2014

Feb 19 Weekly Papers

Anna Davis
Feb 19 Paper

After hearing from Rita about the show Long Island Medium in class on Tuesday, I was surprised that she believed Theresa Caputo was a real medium. She mentioned that the show was edited a lot and that it did not accurately portray the process, but that Theresa Caputo was nevertheless a real medium. I wanted to learn more about the star of Long Island Medium so I chose to read her autobiography, There’s More to Life Than This. The book was a fast and fun read, and Theresa came across as sincere and honest.

She was born and raised on Long Island in Hicksville, New York. She began seeing spirits at the age of four, often in the form of nightmares. Because of her night terrors, she began to develop anxiety that stayed with her until she was thirty years old. She recalls seeing her very first spirit at four years old, an old hobo who was calling out her name over and over again. She was terrified of him and cried for her parents. She continued to see spirits and have nightmares, and chose to ignore them rather than talk to them. Her family was Roman Catholic, but spiritually flexible and was completely supportive of her. They realized that she was actually “hearing” and “seeing” spirits and it was her mother who encouraged her to go see a spiritual guide.

When Theresa was 16 her grandmother died and this was the first time she let the spirits back in to talk to her. She sat by the window and communicated with her grandmother. Shortly thereafter, however, she shout out all of the spirits again. Thereas recounts that while her family was supportive of her, her fellow classmates teased her and it was their lack of acceptance that prompted her to shout out the spirits again. When her uncle Julie died, her mental health took a turn for the worse and she developed more phobias.

At age 18, Theresa met her husband Larry and began therapy. She had developed a smoking habit, as well as other habits, to cope with her anxieties. In her mid-twenties she fell deathly ill with a fever of 104 degrees. She now believes that this was an act of God, who was “detoxing” her body. By age 28 she had stopped smoking, but her anxiety was still a problem. She met Pat Longo, a spiritual teacher, who told her she was a medium. With Pat’s help she overcame her anxiety, and set “office hours” for spirits to talk to her. By setting boundaries, she was able to control the emotions that came with communicating with spirits.

Towards the end of her book, Theresa shared her thoughts on the afterlife and guardian angels. I found her thoughts to be very interesting and sort of a new twist on what I have heard in the past. She talked about how everyone has a guardian angel, and hers is named Solerna. She said that when we die our souls detach from our bodies and we meet other souls and either learn our new lessons in heaven or come back to earth and learn them through reincarnation.

I’m still undecided on whether or not she is actually a medium, but I found her book to be both personal and educational on how mediums operate and communicate with spirits.

McNees, Brianna 2/19

This week I was interested in looking at those mediums that have made a career out of their ability to communicate with the dead.  To begin my research I googled the top mediums and Concertta Bertoldi and George Anderson were amongst the search results.  In looking further into their biographies and notable work that they have done as mediums, it was interesting to see the similiarties and differences between their career pathways.  Both mediums became aware of their abilities during their childhood.  George Anderson had his first experience with this type of phenomenon after he had had a near-death experience with the chicken pox at the age of six.  It all started when he started to see St. Joan of Arc and then later saw deceased relatives.  Concerttta Bertoldi did not have any significant experience that marked the start of these events, but at age eleven she was told that her brother was going to pass away early and she would not be able to have kids.

After having these experiences at a young age, they knew they were both different from any other person and embraced these abilities.  Later in life they began to share these abilities with others and soon gained fame within society for it.  Both mediums are distinguished throughout the country and have appeared on various talk shows, interviews and have published multiple top-selling books on the topics.  After further exploration, it was shocking to see the business side of being a medium.  On George Anderson’s personal website, they list the different services that are available to the public to sign up for.  These included personal, group and telephone reading sessions.  These sessions ranged anywhere from $400-$1200.  This surprised me that the cost was so high because this was a skill that others have, but have not been exploited to this extent.

After speaking with the mediums in class on Monday and learning more about Bertoldi and Anderson, it is interesting to me that they are able to start this form of communication right on the spot.  In an interview, Anderson stated that opening up and beginning these conversations took a lot of concentration on his end.  Therefore, I was surprised when he was able to communicate with multiple people on national television where there are many distractions in the room.  It is because of this that I started to question the legitimacy of these individuals.  How is it that they are able to connect with so many individuals on the spot?  Is it a performance or is it authentic?

 

 

 

 

The Eagle and the Rose: A Remarkable True Story By Rosemary Altea

This is an autobiography by Rosemary Altea, an internationally renound spiritual medium. In this book she entails her life as a medium and her journey towards seeing her abilities as a gift as opposed to a curse. I decided to reading this book because I had I looked up some videos of mediums on YouTube and found some that made me respect Rosemary Altea as a medium as she seemed very humble and truthful. Here are some of the clips I am referring to


Like I said, after watching more of these types of videos I felt that Rosemary Altea seemed to be very genuine and truthful about her abilities so I decided to check out her autobiography. She starts by sharing that these abilities have been with her, her entire life. She also explains that, from her knowledge, her grandmother was very much like her, only her grandmother died thinking that she was mentally ill suffering from something like schizophrenia. Therefore growing up was particularly difficult as Rosemary parents were not very loving or supportive and would get mad whenever she would have a “bad dream.” or something of that matter. In fact when Rosemary would say anything weird, like something she couldn’t know her mother would get mad and say that she would be sent to “the Towers” a mental institution if she didn’t stop it. Therefore Rosemary grew up never telling anyone of her other life, and ability to see things that no one else could see from fear that she was crazy.

However when Rosemary was about 30 her powers became stronger and stronger and even though she tried to hide them one night it all came out. Her friend had been seeing her struggling financially as a single mother so she insisted that Rosemary spend the night out with her. Ironically, or not so ironically, her friend took her to a demonstration and talk on tarot cards. It was in this small home in the middle of nowhere where Rosemary first shared her experiences with the paranormal. It was also there that she had her first experience working as a medium in trance.

Another video I found before reading this book was of skeptics analyzing Rosemary readings:

These people were trying to prove what mediums do isn’t from to any sort of special abilities but foreknowledge. What I found interesting about this was it shows you anyone will see what he or she wants to see, skeptic or not.

– Genevieve Wang

Feb 19 – Allison Dubois

For this week, I grabbed one of Professor Mann’s books that happened to be about Allison Dubois. Allison Dubois is the woman who inspired the TV show Medium. I have always had an interest in this show and wondered how much of it was taken from Dubois’s actual experiences as a medium. Thus, the reading of her book, “Don’t Kiss Them Good-bye,” was so interesting for me.

Dubois described that as a child, her psychic experiences were confusing and somewhat scary. She explained seeing spirits and sensing an overwhelming amount of energy around her. In order to comfort herself, she decorated her room with stuffed animals and focused on the concrete rather than her abstract experience. However, she had voices, or as she called them “guides,” telling her to trust in the fact that she was different from others and would someday make a difference in the world.

When she was only six, Allison had her first true experience with the other side. After the death of her grandfather, he visited her and told her that he was okay. She relayed this information to her mother who feigned belief and turned the other way. Allison knew that her mother didn’t truly believe her and thus chalked up her remarkable experience to an overactive imagination.

However, after a lonely adolescence, Dubois began to harness and believe in her abilities. She interned at the homicide bureau and began using her talents to help families track down perpetrators of crimes (mostly with abducted children). She explains how it is easier to get information about a crime from the perpetrator rather than the victim because perpetrators run on adrenaline and process their crime solely in their minds. The victims on the other hand are processing the crime emotionally and it is harder to decode their confusion. She speaks about how draining it is to work on these cases due to the emotional investment and the flood of information she receives about each specific crime.

Allison’s story is fascinating. When she assists with a crime, she does not ask for a cent. She does not believe that her abilities are infallible and stresses the importance of good police work and DNA evidence. Although some of the information I have come across about mediums makes me doubt the practice, Allison’s work makes me more of a believer. She is so genuine and has only the best interest of the family’s of victims at heart. Dubois does whatever she can for police investigations when she is asked and has helped to solve countless crimes and to get the right people behind bars. I recommend Allison’s book to all skeptics because what she does is truly amazing.

The Sacred Promise (Feb 19)

Yuma Uesaka

PSYCH 401

February 19, 2014

Week 6 (The Sacred Promise)

After watching Schwartz’s lecture about what experiments that implied the existence of spirits, I wanted to know more about his perspectives. So I decided to pick up one of his more recent books from Prof. Mann’s library called The Scared Promise. The section of this book I focused on was the portion where he explores the possibility of spirits having healing capabilities. One particular experiment he did was quite shocking, and I thought it would be great to share this with the class.

Dr Howard Hall holds two PhDs – one in experimental psychology from Princeton, and another in clinical psychology from Rutgers. He is currently a tenured faculty member at Case Western – the point is, he is not some random person off the street. He is also very spiritual, and practices a type of Islamic faith called Sufism. One of things Sufis practice is what is called Deliberately Caused Bodily Damage, or DCBD. The practitioner basically takes some sort of a sharp object, and inserts it into his body. It is claimed that experts can do this without experiencing any physical pain, and the wound is said to heal within minutes. Dr.Schwartz decided to have Dr.Hall perform DCBD in a laboratory setting, with EEG and GDV (Gas Discharge Visualization) machines running to measure his physical states.

Just like most of his experiements, Dr. Schwartz did his best to make it foolproof – he bought the tool (a metal ice pick) himself and brought it to the experiment himself so there is no trickery. Dr. Hall meditated and prayed for about 90 minutes, and then signaled that he was ready to insert the ice pick into his cheek. It took him about a minute to insert the ice pick into his cheek, and he kept the ice pick in his cheek for about 5 minutes, so that his EEG can be measured. He then took the ice pick out of his cheek. Upon immediately checking his cheek, there was a single drop of blood that appeared, and in about 1 minute, the wound showed no sign of inflammation or tearing. Interestingly, EEG frequencies during the insertion of the pick was very low (theta and delta activities).

Though there maybe ways to attack this experiment from a skeptical perspective (the experiment was fake or didn’t happen, or possibly explaining the phenomenon as some super placebo effect), but Dr. Hall claims that it was the spirit of Mohammad that showed up and allowed him to do what he did. It also happens to be that the mediums in the lab (there were a few watching the experiment) saw spirits.

For me, this was very shocking because if this experiment was completely genuine with no sort of tricks, it is something that is intriguing from both spiritual and scientific point of view! I would love to be in a situation where I can witness something like this happening.

Feb 19th (Steve Nagle)

Helen Greaves “Testimony Of Light”

This book was interesting because rather than a biography it was the account of one single event of communicating with the dead. Helen Greaves and Fances Banks were good friends and spiritual companions in life to the point where they believe that they had developed their own form of telepathy. When Frances passed away, Helen claimed that they were able to maintain their telepathic connection and that she was able to communicate with Frances while she was “on the other side.” The book “Testimony of Light” details many of Helen’s telepathic interactions in which Frances describes what she is going through on the other side. One interesting aspect of this is that Frances talks often reincarnation, which is odd considering both woman are Christian and believe that Frances is in the Christian heaven. The author refutes this by asserting that reincarnation was always part of the catholic faith that was phased out in the middle ages.

During their many communications Frances details many aspects of the afterlife. Frances’ description of the afterlife is much different than what we have come to know. The afterlife that Frances finds herself in still involves a great deal of work and is not necessarily kind to everyone. Frances describes many souls how have been sent to the shadow or a hell like state for their actions during life. According to Frances upon arriving in the afterlife one is given two “blueprints” one which describes what life could have been and one which describes what their life was. According to Frances this process involved a lot of guilt for many as their actual lives didn’t live up to potential.

This is not to say that heaven was totally negative in this description. Frances describes a garden of light and a web of light protection to be used as souls continue their work in the afterlife. I thought this description of the afterlife was interesting because it delt with a lot more personal accountability and punishment than the others. That is not to say it is not appealing though. I find myself a little drawn to the idea that there is still work to be done in the afterlife, because in my mind just getting absorbed into a being of light seems a bit boring.

 

 

For my second medium i found this interview with chip coffe famous television medium (psychic kids)

Its from some VERY low budget youtube show so its a bit poorly done , but the interview that starts at about 6 minutes with Chip is fairly interesting. He talks a alot about what it is to be a medium in modern society, a discussion that i found very interesting

Feb. 19 Paper

Liana Rosenbloom

PSCH 401—Mann

18 February 2014

John Holland and Allison DuBois

In order to more fully grasp the practices of mediums, their opinions of their work and what they view their personal role in people’s lives to be, I explored the personal stories of both John Holland and Allison DuBois.  Holland, author of Spirit Whisperer, and DuBois, author of Don’t Kiss Them Good-Bye, shed an interesting and important light on the work of mediums and how they came to explore their abilities.

In Spirit Whisperer, Holland explains a few important aspects of his life that have influenced his work as a medium.  He notes that as a child he was always “hungry for knowledge,” and was slightly different than other children.  His abilities were brought to the forefront during a “sitting in circle” session, which he describes as a meeting for psychic development between like-minded people.  He also references a nearly fatal car accident he survived at the age of 30, explaining that this near-death experience also enhanced his spirituality and passion for his work as a medium.  Finally, he emphasizes this importance of seven principles of spiritualism from the Spiritualists National Union (SNU).  He puts a strong emphasis on the fact that working with these spiritual principles (such as the fatherhood of God, existence of the human soul and personal responsibility) has a strong impact on one’s ability to both process and come to terms with information from the other side.

DuBois does similar work to Holland, focusing on spirituality and the departed, noting on her website that she, “prides [herself] on accuracy and bringing closure to people who have lost loved ones.”  In a video FAQ (http://www.allisondubois.com/index.php/faq), she explains that one of the ways in which she does this is working with those who have lost a child and helping them cope with this loss.  She notes that when she “brings children through,” they are often still attached to their favorite things about childhood (their room, being with their family in their home, etc.) and often ask her to tell their parents that they are okay.  She explains that many parents feel as sense of guilt when they lose their child, regardless of the cause, and she sees her work as a way to connect parents with their child again, spiritually, and help the parents come to terms with their loss.

In general, I am still somewhat skeptical of mediums, but I think it is primarily out of shock.  Both Holland and DuBois have long standing records of accuracy, and I find it hard to believe, but also hard to dispute.  Whether they are “frauds” or are truly communicating with those on the other side, I can imagine that I would find comfort in a reading with them.  To that end, I think it is beneficial that they are using what they see as their connection with the other side, and their spirituality, to bring comfort to those who have lost their loved ones.

Link to John Holland’s website: http://johnholland.com/

Link to Allison’s website: http://www.allisondubois.com/

2/19 Medium Biographies

Eileen J. Garrett is said to have been one of the most influential mediums of the 20th century. Garrett was born in 1893 in Beauparc, County Meath, Ireland. Her aunt and uncle adopted her and raised her after her mother and father committed suicide when she was very young. Different from the mediums that came to class on Monday, Garrett claims that she tended to see light and energy around people, along with sensing them and feeling them too. Growing up, Garrett had many playmates, who she referred to as “the children.” According to Garrett, she didn’t have to do anything special to make the children appear — they just would. And they would only be visible to Garrett.

One of Garrett’s first experiences happened when she was very young. Garrett saw her favorite aunt walking down the street, holding a baby. When Garrett reached her aunt, her aunt said to her, “I am going away now and I must take the baby with me.” Garrett thought this was a little strange, and went back to her adoptive aunt to tell her the story. Garrett’s adopted aunt didn’t believe her and punished her for making up this crazy story. The next day, Garrett’s favorite aunt died in childbirth, as did the baby.

After this experience, Garrett became interested in life and death and what happens after. She would perform experiments on her aunt’s baby ducklings — killing them to try to understand what happened to their energies and spirits afterward.

Garrett’s most well known experience was in 1930 with the British plane, the R101. Garrett sensed that the plane was going to crash and so she told the Director of Civil Aviation. Of course, he did not believer her, and shortly after, he died along with 45 others. Two days after the crash, flight lieutenant and captain H.C. Irwin communicated through Garrett a detailed explanation of why the plane crashed. Experts later said that what Garrett communicated was the same conclusion that famous naval architect E.R. Spanner came to in his book about the crash.

Later, Garrett founded the Parapsychology Foundation in 1951, which is thought to be one of her greatest achievements. She died from bone cancer on September 15, 1970.

Sources:
http://www.fst.org/garrett.htm
http://www.searchwithin.org/download/eileen_garrett.pdf


For my next biography, I wanted to find a more current medium. Rebecca Rosen is a 37 year-old wife and mother, residing in Denver, Colorado. Rebecca grew up in a household where there was never any talk about psychics or mediums. When Rebecca was 20 years old, a sophomore at the University of Florida, she suffered from severe depression. After struggling alone for quite some time, she told her parents about her feelings and shortly after began antidepressants. Yet after 6 months on the antidepressants, she still felt the same. She decided to go off the medicine.

Still suffering from depression years later, Rebecca found an “angel board,” which she describes as similar to a Ouija board. One night, Rebecca brought the board into her room and claims her deceased grandma spoke to her and told her to watch the candle behind her. When Rebecca turned around, she noticed that her candle was dripping wax all over the floor.

Shortly after this incident, Rebecca, still suffering from depression, went to a bookstore to write in her journal. At the bookstore, Rebecca felt her grandma communicating through her hand and onto the page — something Rebecca describes as “automatic writing.” She took up 15 pages in her journal with her grandma’s stories that only her father would know. When Rebecca went home to show her father, he couldn’t believe it. He confirmed it must be his mother.

Rebecca’s grandma took her life when Rebecca was 11. She too was depressed. She explained to Rebecca that she needed to help so that what happened to her would not happen to her granddaughter.

When Rebecca was able to love herself, according to her grandma, she’d meet her lover. The clues she had were that his name would be Ryan, he’d give her a rose and his birthday would be September 24.

Once Rebecca was healthy, she was introduced to Brian Rosen, who she married shortly after. Rebecca interprets his name as “Rian Rose” if you eliminate the first and last letters, as the clues her grandma gave her. Rebecca now feels as though it is her job to help others connect with their loved ones when they need them most. She is a full time medium and has appeared on many TV Shows.

Sources:
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Meet-Psychic-Medium-Rebecca-Rosen
http://rebeccarosen.com/

Adwon

I know the purpose of this paper is to write about mediums and give a testimony to their stories, but then I ran across psychicbutsane.com. This is a website giving testimony that psychics are sane, but then that brought up the question in my mind, what if they are just insane?. To play devil’s advocate, mediums claim that everyone has the ability to have psychic connections but they ignore the feelings and that all people can read others but we don’t tap into our “spiritual connections”. I would like to debate this claim. I think all people can sense the energy of someone else but this doesn’t mean they have psychic abilities. Humans have the innate ability to know when they’re around good people and bad people, or when they’re making the wrong or right decision. It’s called intuition, or a gut feeling, and my mom always told me to trust those. I have been in many situations or been around people when I have a deep feeling that I shouldn’t be there or that the person I’m around isn’t good news. In Christian terms.. I would attribute this to God or the concept of knowing what path we’re on and following His will. There are definitely times when I know I’m supposed to do something so I do it and it starts a chain reaction of good things that happen. I also think we know when to make moves in our lives. Melissa said she knew when to buy a ticket to Brazil because of her psychic abilities, but I think all humans have this capability if we tap into our deeper selves.

I am a skeptic. I love the idea that people we love are around us as spirits- as angels. But many mediums don’t phrase it this way. They say spirits come back to say hi or ask deep questions about a persons life until they get a hint of information they can you.

This link is about a man who admitted to being a fake because his conscience couldn’t take it anymore.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197662/Professional-medium-repents-life-cons-reveals-duped-people-believing-talk-DEAD.html

This is a video of a fake psychic on Dr. Oz which is a reputable  show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTogsiNw1Ok

I disagree with mediums who say that all people can talk to the dead. I think there are angels and demons within our realm that are there to protect us and tempt us with sin and when we lead strong spiritual lives whether by a specific religion or just spirituality, we can more easily feel those beings.

The concept of angels who are around to protect me makes me happy. The concept that there are human beings just like me that claim they can see or hear peoples loved ones who have died, bring me an extremely negative feeling. I don’t think anyone’s memories should be tainted or changed and I especially don’t think it’s right to falsely make claims about speaking to someone’s deceased.

Long Island Medium: Theresa Caputo

In addition to a Psychology major, I’m also a Communication studies major, so Theresa Caputo, more commonly known as “Long Island Medium” naturally intrigues me. In the Communication Studies field at Michigan we study the media, its changing landscape, and its effects. During the guest lecture on Monday, either Melissa or Rita mentioned the T.V. show Long Island Medium and its potential implications for mainstream viewing. As extraordinary psychic experiences are becoming widely accepted—or at least considered—I wonder how this affects viewers’ attitudes. More importantly, is there a shift in beliefs and attitudes toward psychic experience because of the mainstream shows?  It would be interesting to conduct a study to find out how shows like Crossing Over with John Edward, Long Island Medium, and the like have impacted viewers, so maybe this is some future research to consider.

Either Melissa or Rita talked about how Theresa is a real medium, but the show is extremely staged—like any reality show. However, I wonder if this affects viewers’ perception of psychic experience. Because most viewers are aware of the staging in reality T.V., it’s possible that viewers also see Theresa’s powers to be a part of this dramatic scheme. Although Long Island Medium may be reinforcing ideas, it could also be causing viewers to become more critical due to the reality show atmosphere.

As I listened/read interviews with Theresa, her description of her powers seems to align with literature and personal accounts from friends—and the way she presents it seems authentic. Her over-the-top personality is perfect for T.V., and until more research is done, I think that spreading these kinds of ideas via T.V. is a great start to integrating extraordinary experiences into media.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/11/01/long-island-medium-real/